Monday, October 27, 2008

The One About Family and Frustration

Ahhhh, the holidaze....They're approaching rapidly aren't they? Every year around here, the holidaze bring about a multitude of problems. Some are solvable, some, not so much. Almost all of them revolve around family.

For those of you that know me, you're probably aware that I have a pretty shitty family. With the exception of Flipper, the rest of them pretty much suck. Hard.

Over the years the tension within the family grew and flourished. If I told you most of it was over money, would you be surprised? It's long and complicated but suffice it to say it revolves around the fact that although Flipper has been with me since I was nine years old, I'm not "legitimate" in their eyes. And now it's passing through to the next generation. And that's just one side of the "family"

On the other side? Well, let's just say that they'll show up, they'll take interest you when you write a check, other than that? Not so much.

Himself's family? Pretty much non-existent. His older sister is wrapped up in her religion and her own family. His younger sister?? Well let's just say that "teh crazy" really is a sexually transmitted disease... We never hear from them. Perhaps they too, feel that we're not a "legitimate" family...I'm an "other" wife, so maybe that's where their primary problem lies. (BTW, I don't remember actually doing anything to offend them. I'm from the camp that says I can't fix it if you don't tell me what "it" is)

Moving on.....

The Holidaze involve dealing with my family, both side A (Flipper's) and side B (mine). First we'll deal with side A. The A side will be here for Thanksgiving. I do this every year because it makes Flipper happy. Even though at some level he realizes that his family sucks, they are still his family and in some peculiar way, it makes him happy to have them here. It causes a load of stress that can only be tolerated with controlled outbursts of rage and OCD. Some of the "things" that have been said and or done over the years?

"Arrogant" tells me that I must be gone from my family home so that he and his girlfriend can romp in the Jacuzzi. I protest..he tells me that "it doesn't matter what you think, all this will be mine anyway when Flipper dies" He never saw the shovel coming....he refused medical treatment....

"Disturbed" asks me to stand up in her wedding. I agree (it makes Flipper happy) It costs me more than $500.00 to do so. The wedding is out of town. I'm housed away from the rest of the wedding party. I'm uninvited to the wedding party festivities, I drive myself to and from the church and reception.

"Piggy" tells me that "Your husband won't be excited over your adoption, he's had "real" children"

I asked "Disturbed" to do a reading at Momma's funeral. (in fairness, she was my very last choice) She accepts and then assaults me with the statement "We never got to know Flipper because your mother was such a bitch"

These are but a few examples of what has transpired over the years. The hardest part for me is to put on the "happy face". I want to be a good person, I really do. I want Flipper to have everything that makes him happy for as long as he's on this Earth. But I also want peace in my own home. I want peace for my daughter and husband. I want home to be a safe place, and letting these people in my home risks safety. One never knows what they may say or do... the anticipation of disaster causes unbelievable amounts of stress.

My counter for all of this... is that everything must be "perfect"... and my "perfect" is generally over and above everyone else's perfect... Anyone seeing my problem here??

Most days I can give up life's difficulties to the universe and move on... Holidaze? I give them up to the OCD monster and anger...and I don't know how to make it stop while making everyone happy at the same time......

Le Sigh.....

Subscribe in a reader

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The One Where I Pledge My Undying Love

To this wonderful little gizmo...Santoku Kitchen Shears from Kitchen Aid. I found them in a multi-pack at my local warehouse store, but I've seen them on Amazon for as low as 6 bucks!! 6 bucks people! How many folks can achieve Nirvana for 6 bucks!

Why I'm desperately in love? Because they do everything....lettuce for salad, done! Toddler's sandwich? Done! Spaghetti in toddler's bowl? Done! Chopped veggies for toddler mentioned above? Done! They come apart so that each side may be used seperately (in case you need more leverage) and they can be WASHED....WHEN THEY'RE APART!....AND DRIED!... so you never have to think about what's growing in the parts you can't get to!!!! (My inner OCD monster is smiling broadly!) Oh and one of the great parts, if you happen to use plastic or melamine bowls or plates with your kids, they don't scratch up the inside of the plate or bowl. (there has been much speculation that scratched plastic products release toxic chemicals when exposed to heat). Love Them!!! Run out and secure them immediately, before the rest of the world finds out how awesome they are!

That is all......
Subscribe in a reader

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The One About High School...

We all have memories of high school. Some great, some not so great. Some of you were the "popular" or the "cool" kids, others were the "freaks" "geeks" and "jocks". Many of you often felt that you didn't fit in, maybe there are even some of you out there that "ruled the school".

Up until today, I never gave much thought to my high school experience. I always thought that there were probably only three remarkable things that went on during those years. The first was that I was expelled from the hoity-toity all girls Catholic high school that Momma Nyt always wanted me to attend. (Surprised!? Anyone!???? I didn't think so..) The second was that I spent almost my entire junior and senior year (and three years afterward) dating a guy who was already out of school. (this will be important later) and third was I discovered theater.

So many people relate high school to the experiences. Football games, homecomings, proms..there's the stuff you got away with, and the stuff you didn't. I missed a lot of the regular stuff (see reason number two) and I got away with and was caught for a fair amount of stuff. None of that is what has me thinking today. Today, I'm thinking about the people....and about the mark they left on my life.

After expulsion from Sister Mary's Boot Camp for Young Women, I landed at the local public high school. I arrived in the middle of my sophmore year. And I was most definitely "the new kid". My family had recently made the exodus from the city to the wide open suburbs, and everything was brand new and scary...

First on the list of people who left their mark was J. J. was the wiry, Irish ,working class kid, with what would probably called ADHD today. He was the Biology partner I was assigned to. The partner that no one else really wanted. I remember the teacher, scanning my grades from St.Mary's Boot Camp and announcing in front of the whole class.."Congratulations J. with her as your partner, you now have a hope of passing the class." I made sure he passed. He taught me to just sit still and listen. He taught me to "hear" though the static. I remain forever grateful. I might have missed many things in my life if I hadn't learned the lessons that J. had to teach me.

Next up came E. and T. They saw me standing there, on my first day, in the cafeteria and offered me a seat at their table. We dined together for the rest of the year and most of the following year. I remember being so grateful for that first offer. They taught me to always extend a hand. Always try. And to this day, I always do....

M. and I had a friendship that developed without fanfare. It's as though one day she was just some kid in class with me, and the next we were inseperable. She was beautiful, boheme, brilliant and unconcerned with the conventional wisdom. She taught me that being different was a good thing. Being brilliant was better. She encouraged the curiousity in me that I still have today. Sometime during junior year, M. became involved with S. He was dark, brooding, along with brilliant and sensitive. He hated me upon first meeting...overtime M, S, and I became something like the three musketeers. He taught me that opposites really can become friends. He taught me to appreciate the differences, perhaps even to embrace them.

Lastly, there was T2. Unconventional looking, unconventional thinking, smart, funny, and artistic as hell. She taught me about standing up. And how to really appreciate a good laugh. And that there's no sin in following your matter what anyone says...

All of this comes to mind today because today, I found out that one of these people who so shaped my life is no longer with us. Someone who left their mark on me has been gone for close to ten years now. And I never knew......and I never got to tell them just how much I learned in such a short amount of time. Part of me thinks its lose track of people after such a long time.....part of me believes that it's natural....

But then there's another part of me. It's the part of me that mourns a death I never knew, and cries tears for a soul that I never should have let slip away from my own life. And the other part of me, the part of me that knows I could have done better..

Good-bye my friend.....I hope you know....and I hope we meet again....

Subscribe in a reader

Monday, October 13, 2008

The One That Can't Wait Until Father's Day

One of my favorite guilty, chick flick pleasures is a movie called "Where The Heart Is". There is a line in the film that I hear in my head from time to time. "You tell them that our lives can change with every breath we take.." And it's true. That's why I need to do this now....

The picture above is Flipper and the Eggroll. They look like this together ALL THE TIME. And I can't put into words how happy that makes me. They have a love affair happening that every grandparent/grandchild should have. I don't have the words to express how full it makes my heart, and how content it makes my soul.

I wished this for both of them. When we lost Momma almost three years ago now, I worried for Flipper. He's a loner by nature, and not the most demonstrative fellow in the world. He's what we refer to as a "doer" not a "talker" and for almost 30 years, Momma did the talking for him. When she left us, I worried that he would retreat into his shell and miss so many of the simple joys that life had to offer.

I worried for Eggroll. Momma left us as the order for Eggroll was being placed, and I worried that this kid would never know the joy of being someone's grandchild.

I worried for nothing.

I hope and I pray (yes, the heathen does pray) that wherever Momma is, she can see and feel the joy that Flipper and Eggroll share. I hope that Flipper and the Eggroll both know how very very grateful I am for both of them, and the relationship they have. It is everything I could have wished for.....

Admiring the "Dancing Chickens"..

She would break out the random dance moves when she heard the banjo music. He danced with her and then smugly told me "She likes country music, she'll have taste!"

She already has taste Flipper, she chose to love you.....

P.S. It took over an hour to get this written, I have trouble typing through tears...

Subscribe in a reader

Friday, October 10, 2008

The One That Fascinates and Repulses All At Once

Seriously!?! A children's book?!? At my local warehouse store?!? So much for the innocence of the young....

Subscribe in a reader

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The One Where I Babble Incoherently

All the news and views that you can use....or maybe not...

  • VP debate? Rocked! Sarah held her own and it seems as though it worked. For right now the press seems to be leaving her "experience and knowledge" thing alone
  • Last nights presidential debate? Kind of stinky. I was hoping to a true "town hall" forum. What I got was a bunch of distilled questions. Meh!
  • Anyone else freaking out about the whole mortgage rescue thing? The very idea that the federal government is going to renegotiate principal based on current market value makes my hair stand on end. Way to screw the folks that did it "right". Let's take a look at just what that means. You, and your neighbor each bought a 500k home two years ago. You did it by the book, your neighbor got in way over his head. You're paying your 300k mortgage, he's not paying his 500k mortgage. Meanwhile, your elected officials have decided that your neighbor needs to stay in his home, so his mortgage is reduced to current market value...let's say 400k..and records it as such. You are now out 100k in equity and oh yes, you'll still have to pay your 300k with interest. When the market recovers (and it will), your neighbor will make an extra 100k... I should have bought a bigger house...
  • I currently believe that one should be given a lifetime supply of KY when registering to vote.
  • The Eggroll is now negotiating the "twos". Fortunately she only has another 6 months or so and then "two" is over.
  • How is it that a small child can hold an entire dinner in her mouth for AN HOUR without swallowing??
  • Why is it that no matter how hard I try, I cannot stay away from the cookies in the kitchen?
  • My child now calls for Gammaw when faced with doing something she does not want to do. My mother warned me that she would stick around....apparently...she has.
  • No, she's not trying to say Gampaw...she says that very clearly...
  • Puppy arriving shortly before Thanksgiving. If anyone is keeping score that means Shit That Will Make Nyt Insane -17 Nyt Not Requiring Medication -0
  • Airfare to the great Southwest has exploded.
  • Is it worth $400 to keep my kid from missing 3 appointments with the speech therapist instead of two?
  • Why is it that I rise at 5:30 every morning and I don't even have a job?
  • Given the current market conditions, Eggroll will have to rely on our public school system.
  • That pisses me off
  • It brings tears to my eyes to see the love affair that Flipper has with the Eggroll, and vice versa.
This concludes today's incoherent ramblings.....
Subscribe in a reader

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The One Where I Realize I'm Not As Smart As I Think I Am

So this morning, the Senate passed the "new and improved" bailout bill. Or to be more precise and pleasant... the "rescue" package. Or to quote a pundit "Porkapalooza". Tax breaks for wooden arrow manufacturers?? Seriously??

Now, I consider myself fairly well read. And with all the hullabaloo surrounding the current presidential race, I though I was doing pretty well. I try to form my opinions after research, thought and consideration. I've never been the person who's been satisfied with "because someone said so". And I thought I was doing pretty well.......and then..... well then I realized how stupid I really am....

For those of you that don't know...I'm that rare thing in my state...Suburbanitis Republicanis. And I've voted that way for as long as I've been voting. (except for local elections, I'll explain that system later) And that my friends is precisely the problem. When it comes to the Senate and the House, well, I've just voted the straight party ticket. Now, with the recent economic emergency, I realize just how stupid I've been. I can't say I've ever researched my Senator or my Representative before an election and now it's glaringly apparent that I should have. It's glarlingly apparent that everyone should.

The office of President is no doubt the "face" of the nation. And currently, no one is really pleased with our "face". But here's the rub... The "face" is only responsible for signing legislation into law. Not making the legislation, that's up to the people I didn't research. So, while I was asleep at the wheel, the current Congress (whose majority is on the opposite side of the "face") has crippled the "face" (repeat after me "line item veto") and taken the taxpayers for a ride.

Yesterday, I was in favor of the "rescue" package. Yesterday, I really believed that the markets needed the liquidity injection that the package was supposed to provide. Yesterday, I didn't mind that it would cost my family thousands. Today, after 338 pages of tax exemptions was added to the bill, today I really mind. Today, I have decided that the best thing that could happen is to let the markets correct themselves. I'm not up for paying for someone else's poor judgement. I have empathy for those who are in real financial trouble, but I'm having trouble mustering up any sympathy. I do have sympathy for the tens of thousands of retirees who will suffer and I have empathy for those who will soon find themselves homeless. But, I'm not interested in paying anyone else's bills. Actually, I'm not interested in fattening up anyone else's hog. And that's precisely what's going on. Rescue, my ass. The only thing that this Congress is interested in rescuing is its own ass. I, personally, would rather kick their ass, right after I kick myself in the ass for allowing them into office.

None of this means that I'm switching sides in this election. I actually find my candidates call for a one year moratorium on spending refreshing. Kind of like running my country like I run my own home. I'm disappointed that my candidate voted to pass this ridiculous legislation, but I still believe in the basic message. I'll still take substance over style any day. But, never again will I vote straight party... It just costs too damn much money...