Thursday, December 12, 2019

For context to this post, my mom died a couple of weeks ago

Bless him, my dad is still hanging onto his sobriety. Alone. He's not in any kind of program or treatment. But he's very much into Entenmann's chocolate loaf cake, Lay's, and diet Coke.

I had to tell him this morning that the funeral director is coming by his house on Saturday with my mom's ashes in an urn.

He's been waiting for this, but hearing it's actually going to happen on a real calendar date was upsetting. Me saying the word to tell him was upsetting. Upsetting him is upsetting.

He says he's going to put her urn on the wine bar (a huge, monstrous marble and wrought iron cabinet that looks like the Godfather movies threw up in the hallway) so he can talk to her every day when he walks by. He's been planning this since she was alive, but the reality of it actually happening in a couple of days was too much for him and he cried into the phone with me.
One of my mom's friends offered to come by and take my mom's clothes out of the house for him and he didn't realize that he was allowed to tell her no, and say he wasn't ready. I told him that it's completely natural for him to want to wait, and that her friend would 100% understand and respect this.
He cancelled his doctor appointment, and hasn't really been out of the house because the thought of talking to anyone who might ask about my mom is too much for him to bear to have to explain. I told him that's totally fine too. He said that he's only sleeping a couple of hours a night and that his eyes and face hurt from crying.
I had to explain grief to him as if he were a child. He's 84. I said, "a horrible thing has happened to you and it's OK to cry and be upset as long as you want to".
You are normal, you old weirdo.
I told him that grief is natural and no one expects you to carry on like nothing happened. Well, I screamed all of this into the phone because the man has significant hearing loss, and I had to scream it all twice because he also has dementia.

Today I decided is the day that I'm going to make all of the calls I have to make, like telling their bank and the cable company that she is dead. I'm going to have to call the oxygen company and ask them to come and pick up all of the hoses, tanks and equipment that are tucked around all over their house. Stuff like that. I have a headache thinking about it, and looking at the UPS envelope I got in the mail the other day from the funeral home that has all of the copies of her death certificate that I ordered.
Anyhoo... I'm sad to have to do all of these things and the idea of having to be in charge of so much of my dad's life is terrifying, especially long distance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pure Sap-ola. Like, seriously, barf

Recently a friend of mine had to put down her dog. A dog she had had for a really, very very long time. Annie.

My friend posted pictures over the years of Annie on Facebook. She was a black lab and my friend took her everywhere she went. Annie kept getting grayer, and grayer around her sweet face in the pictures, and I kept thinking, shit, Annie is old as fuck and probably gonna die soon. WTF is my friend going to do. I hope she doesn't lose it.

I've known people who invest all of their joy in their pets. More than even the most important people in their lives, they love that goddamned dog. It's really easy to do because animals are fucking awesome and don't ask us for much more than to be near us and give them food. But sometimes people seem to forget, your pet is gonna die. Probably before you do, so quit acting like the sun rises and sets out of it's ass. Quit spending money on chihuahua Halloween costumes and take the damn thing to the vet and get it's fucking teeth cleaned. February is dental health month, they'll offer a discount. Jesus. Seriously. This is a pet peeve of mine. Your dog doesn't need a gel manicure. It needs to be spayed or neutered, checked for heartworm, and it needs vaccine updates and a prescription for Revolution.

Anyhoo... I've always tried to be pragmatic about my pets, even though unfortunately I have a rep for being a cat lady. But you know what? I don't throw them birthday parties, or make them wear wigs or funny hats, or have their portraits taken with Santa. Another pet peeve of mine (so to speak). That shit is for YOU, the pet owner. They only put up with it because it seems to be making YOU happy. 

I'm only saying all of this so I can tell you that my entire life doesn't revolve around my pets (although FB and Instagram tell another tale), but still what a gut punch it was when my cat Turtle died. It's been 4 years and I'm still tearing up at the memory of it as I type this. I still mist up sometimes when I walk by the spot in our house where he died in my arms. The spot where I sat for an hour after he was dead and soaked his silky fur with hot tears and screamed inhuman sounds into his little soft neck. Nobody but MDH knew that until now.

I didn't think I'd ever recover from losing Turtle. It was a grief unlike anything I had ever experienced. More intense grief than any person I've loved who has died. He'd been sick for a long time and in the course of doing everything we could to get him better, my grief was compounded by the guilt of thinking I didn't try hard enough, or missed something we could have done differently.

He was the best fucking cat ever. I still believe that. He never shit anywhere but the litter box, he never jumped on the counters or tried to steal your sandwich. He didn't randomly knock shit on the floor for no reason. None of that. He came when you called him, and when you picked him up he'd put his paws around your neck like he was hugging you. He'd stay like that as long as you wanted. He fucking played fetch like a dog. I'm telling you, he was the best.

And no matter how cool or annoying your pet is you get used to having a companion like that in the house. They become part of your routine and how you live. They greet you when you come home and are often the first person (I meant person) you speak to in the morning and the last one you say good night to before you go to sleep. There are a hundred little rituals you follow that will create a huge, gaping, dark hole in your life when you don't do them anymore. Grief. Real grief.

After about 2 weeks of random uncontrollable sobbing I graduated to a few weeks of starting to say something to the air and stopping myself, and seeing Turtle sized shadows out of the corner of my eye every time I turned around. 

Eventually, after a few months, I stopped missing the rituals and felt like I may be ready to look into getting another cat. MDH, who had gone through some grieving of his own, said he was cool with it as long as I was ready. So I started looking for the right face on Petfinder. I knew I wanted to adopt from a shelter, so I just kept looking for a face that looked like it needed me, and that's how I found Frankie (look how annoyed he is by life). Poor lad looked really put out, so I went to meet him and brought him home, and yada-yada-yada he healed me. A few months later we adopted Leroux and she healed MDH., who I didn't even know needed healing. 

It doesn't work this way with people, but there's one more example of how animals are fucking amazing.

So my friend who lost her Annie just posted that she adopted another dog. She'll probably rename him, and they are getting to know each other. I was thrilled that she got him because I know how devastated she was when Annie died, but there's something about looking an animal in the eyes, when you know it's the right one and you just go... we'll rescue each other, that's the deal.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Get 'em Tiger

Today I share with you the following quote from the Huffington Post with which Alec Baldwin responded to a remark by Jack Cafferty that he is unfit to run for office:

"Don't tell people that a career in the performing arts disqualfies them from elected office, and I won't say that your being convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which you struck a cyclist and then ran two red lights while pursued by the police in May of 2003 disqualifies you from posing as a "Man of the People" on a major cable news network."


As far as I'm concerned Baldwin has a free blow job coming for that one, (although not from me as I am a happily married woman and long ago left that business behind) and not so much because Cafferty is a douche bag who had it coming or because I'm particularly riled up about TV news show hosts giving celebrities with political leanings a hard time. I really don't care.

No. It's because so rarely does one have exactly the right words to say when confronted with douche bag-ery. Even when we do have the right words we seldom have the opportunity to say them at exactly the right moment.

Hurray to Alec for being prepared.

I for one, typically don't think of the right comeback to an insult until well into my drive home and then end up just mumbling it to myself over and over like a crazy person.

Shark Bait

There are some nights, mornings, however you want to classify it, when I just simply cannot stay asleep. I almost always wake up between somewhere 3 and 4am and on a good day I crawl back into bed and go right back to dreamy-bye and on other days I lay there and lay there and lay there not able to go back to sleep. So I get up, put on the coffee, turn on the TV in the den and stare at it for an hour or so.

It's not like I'm wide awake or anything. No no. I'm still quite tired, just unable to sleep.

In my blurry-eyed grog I don't really care what program is actually on the TV. In fact I'm not quite sure why I even turn the TV on at all except out of habit. But still, there I sit, aiming coffee at my face and hoping most of it goes into my mouth, watching whatever channel it happened to be on when we went to bed, which very often is Comedy Central as we record the Daily Show each night.

At 4am Comedy Central and other similar channels aren't really on though. I guess those people were able to pee and go back to sleep. Lucky bastards. No it's infomercials at 4am, isn't it? It is.

I don't start off watching the infomercials. Not really. I'm just sitting in front of the infomercial, wishing I could go back to sleep and my brain is too groggy to register the fact that there is an obnoxious sales pitch happening on the other side of my eyes. Eventually though, the coffee kicks in and I suddenly find myself drawn in, needing more than anything to have an acne free complexion, meaningful beauty or to grow fresh tomatoes upside down from my balcony and I don't even have a balcony. Or acne either for that matter.

The News Round Up - This Is (Not) Important So Gather Round

MDH and I got a new bed. I may have mentioned in an earlier post that we were planning to buy one, but I'm too lazy to go back and check for sure, which is interesting because normally nothing pleases me more than rereading my own posts over and over again like a crazy narcassistic gasbag, what was I talking about? Oh yes... MDH and I finally got a new bed. It's fucking amazing. Life changing. Trans formative. I'm a new woman.

Our old bed sucked. It was old. And small. And had begun to sag in the middle when we were both in it. Folded up like a taco. It was also noisy and not in a sexy let's get it on er-ah, er-ah squeaky way, but in a bouncy, jostling each other awake every time you make the slightest movement kind of way. It's was annoying. If you dropped a bowling ball on that bed I'm quite sure it would have knocked over a glass of red wine in the other room.

Dye Hard

I was only able to watch the first 5 minutes of the Oprah show that I had recorded on my DVR because that's all I was able to stand of Oprah's bad dancing and John Travolta's horrible dye job. First of all, Oprah stop moving. Don't dance girl. Just stop.

More importantly, John Travolta, you are an old man, it's time to be gray. You are fooling no one.

The Visitors

So in a couple of weeks my crazy aunt Liz, my sister* and my niece** are all coming to visit us at our new Texas digs. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. They have never come to visit us. Ever.

I think the whole thing started when I told my sister about my surgery, after my recovery was nearly complete mind you. I think that she and Liz thought that they were going to come here and somehow take care of me. Well thank god I foiled that plan by waiting until after I was better before I told anybody about it. Now when they come we can just have fun. Although I can't help but wonder how they thought I'd still need taking care of when they didn't book their flights until 6 weeks after I was officially recovered. Nice try. Let's just party.

I got in big trouble, by the way, for not telling anyone in my family (besides my parents) about my being sick and having surgery until after the fact. I didn't want to make a million phone calls telling the world about my rather personal, crotch related ordeal, so when I was ready for people to know there was only one phone call necessary. My sister***. I knew once she knew then everyone in my family, whether they were interested or not, would know.

And damned if the fucking phone didn't start ringing less then 30 minutes after my initial call with her ended. This is exactly what I had tried to avoid - talking about my uterus and having multiple conversations involving the words "cervix" and "ovaries" to a million different people who, although technically family, are not necessarily the people I'd like to discuss this shit with.

Thankfully, I was mostly healed and recovered and better able to handle such discussions than I was prior to the surgery when I was quite irritable (to put it mildly) and ill.

Crazy aunt Liz is my dad's sister and the one that came down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast in her housecoat and slippers at the last family reunion MDH and I attended. She didn't have her teeth in either. Other members of my family also came down to breakfast in the hotel restaurant unwashed and uncombed wearing sweats, pajama pants and t-shirts and flip-flops. Somehow though that doesn't seem quite as shocking as a housecoat and slippers because you often (sadly) see people**** in public wearing sweats and pajama pants with t-shirts and flip-flops. A housecoat and slippers seems a bit intimate of attire for public airings.

Anyhoo... my family all think I'm a huge prig because I give a shit about such things as whether or not I shower and appear fully dressed in public and that's totally OK with me.

I know that many people in my family also think that I'm a prig because I read a lot, I sometimes use big fancy words and make an effort to use correct grammar when I speak (or write***** (I fail sometimes, but they probably wouldn't know that)). I don't watch Dog the Bounty Hunter, follow NASCAR, go to church or listen to country music. I know they all love me, as I love them, but I'm not one of them.

As a result of this most of my adult life, with a few exceptions here and there, I have chosen to keep my family at arms length, so it'll be weird to have so many of them here all at once.

*She's actually my cousin, but when we were children I lived with her family for about a year or so, until my dad could get his shit together after my mom left us. Even after I went to live with my dad again I continued to spend a great deal of time at her family's house throughout my life. I went on family vacations with them and spent several weekend with them throughout the year. and we have always felt like sisters. We made a pact when we were teenagers and decided that because we were really sisters in our hearts we would always refer to each other thusly. At this stage in our lives it's weird to keep doing it, but we continue to do it because we have always done it. It's awkward however when I talk about her to other people who don't know her and I have recently taken to referring to her as my cousin rather than feeling like a liar and having to explain about how she's my sister, but not really my sister. I assume she's doing the same, but it has never come up.

**Her kids have always called me "Aunt Lady".

***Fifteen years ago she would have been one of the first to know, before the fact even, but we aren't as close as we once. I really don't like her husband very much and the feeling is mutual I think. I used to hang around and do stuff with them anyway and just put up with his bullshit, but as the kids got older and busier and I got older and busier I had less time and patience. Also, it was always a one way street in that I always had to go to their house (about an hour away) and they rarely seemed able to make the effort to come to me, and that shit gets old after awhile, especially if her husband was going to act like a total asshat the whole time I was there. I wish I liked him. I've tried to like him. But there it is.

****People who are not me.

*****It's all I can do not to have an embolism when I read some of my family members posts on Facebook.