Vigorous Anonymity

Archive for the ‘Sugar Spice and Puppy Dog Tails’ Category

2PM – Expected snowstorm begins.

4PM – I leave work early, since my boss is off for the day.  In my defense, I emailed him to say I was doing so.  He did not reply in a timely enough fashion to alter my plans, so I left.

7:30PM – I arrived home, having managed to stretch a 30 minute ride into a 210 minute ride.  That’s talent, people.

7:30 – 7:40 PM – I sat on the toilet and cried.  It just came out in great hulking sobs as the anxiety of the 3 1/2 hour ride home and the many near death experiences washed over me.  (And could someone please explain why men in huge pick up trucks think it’s ok to be assholes on the roads?)

7:40 – 7:50 PM – Listened to Morris’ tale of snow woe, as he had been forced to abandon his car about 5 blocks from our house and walk home.  However, before he got out of his car, he watched a 3-car accident occur (with the final destruction being wreaked by a guy in a huge pick up truck).

7:50 – 9:00 PM – Watched a really bad movie, the name of which escapes me.  Morris expressed displeasure over how oily everyone was.  If that helps to narrow down what movie it was.

9:00 – 12:00PM – Freaked the fuck out over Rakeman (the mentally challenged man across the street) who used a snowblower for 3 hours when I just wanted to go to sleep.  Made numerous calls to the police, who did drive-by’s but little else.

12:00 – 2:15 AM – Slept, until I was awakened by a text from our Office Manager indicating our building had lost power.  Said a silent prayer that I might get an extra hour of sleep in the morning.

2:15 – 2:36 AM – Slept, until my cell phone rang.  It was the police, not wanting to discuss Rakeman, but rather perturbed about Morris’ car that they had stumbled across.  We had 2 choices – come get it now, or pick it up at the tow company’s lot in the morning.  Price undisclosed.  I said tow it.  Jackass jumped out of bed and ran for his boots.

2:36AM – 3:30AM – Drove to Morris’ car, shoveled Morris’ car out of ditch, and then drove home.  Upon arrival, listened to Jackass scream at the top of his lungs over his missing wallet which was sitting on the table 2 feet away from him.

3:30 AM – 4:30 AM – Tossed and turned fitfully, certain I would not sleep again this night.

4:30 AM – 6:15AM – Miraculously, slept, until awakened by a text from a co-worker wondering if I was going to work, because of the power thing.

6:16 AM – Gave up any further attempts at sleep.

It is now 4:11 PM and I am almost blind, I’m so tired.  I anticipate having to spend another 10 minutes on the toilet tonight, sobbing.  And only 363 days till next Christmas!

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Ingrid and I are going clothes shopping today, hopefully to buy her something decent to wear to her graduation.  Which is a week from today.  She should have graduated in May of this year, but she had a problem with a class the previous semester.  She knew by December of 2011 that she wasn’t graduating in May 2012.  There was much drama.  And an equal amount of dollars to find her an apartment for the 4 months she needed it this semester, plus the actual cost of the semester.  She used her father’s illness that year as the excuse but the truth is she just didn’t do the work.  It’s one of those “I know you know, and you know I know” kinds of things.  We just don’t say it out loud.

I am cautiously optimistic about this excursion, but I know one or both of us will come home in tears.

Morris, the now 20 year old son who lives in my basement (I never thought I’d type those words in a sentence, EVER) left for work 30 minutes ago.  He works a 12 hour shift 6 days a week selling Christmas trees at the local nursery.  And beginning to realize that, while less prosperous, it is a lot less physically strenuous to just go to college already!  He made it through his Freshman year at a college in Boston, and that was enough of that.  He LOVED Boston – college and the resultant homework?  Not so much.

Jackass – well that’s still a work in progress.  He has changed a great deal since his illness.  I’ve been wanting to post more, so that story will finally come out I think.  It’s been a long while.  I miss this forum.

Last night, I decided to forego my usual sleep aid, Benadryl, just to see if I could fall asleep without it.  I do that every once in a while, just to prove I can.  Just like every once in a while, I’ll go a weekend without wine.  Just to prove I’m not an alcoholic.

I was asleep in 5 minutes.  I guess.  All I remember is being asleep when I realized my phone was vibrating.  At 12:22.  It was Ingrid.

I haven’t given many updates on Ingrid, but for those of you who’ve been around, you know she has always been a challenge for me.  But things have been better since she’s been away at college.  She’s a junior now, and she is actually having moments of sanity and maturity, albeit they are quickly washed away in the onslaught of a broken hair straightener, or the fact that I ran out of milk.  But things are better.

She is still calling me daily.  And texting.  A lot.  But it’s ok, it’s the rhythm we’ve fallen into and when I don’t hear from her, I actually wonder why and if she’s ok.  I don’t call her, however.  I ain’t no chopper mom.

So when the phone rang at 12:22 I sighed and silently damned her for waking me, and answered the phone.  And was hit with the full breadth of her hysterical crying, and could not understand a word she was saying.  It took her a full five minutes to calm down enough to say these words:  “Mom, David died!”

Now I have to tell you who David is.  Sometime in the beginning of this year, she was “introduced” to a guy, via her roommate’s brother.  I use the word introduce in quotes because she never actually met him.  Not in the flesh.  But, for the last nine months they have spoken daily, sometimes more than once a day, and have been having an online relationship that has been both confidence-building for my daughter who has always struggled with self-esteem issues, and debilitating as he wasn’t always that kind or that reliable. I secretly hoped many times he would just go away and leave her alone.  But I didn’t count on it happening this way.

The story goes:  She spoke to him sometime Monday.  He was wasted.  They might have fought, but then they did that a lot.  Tuesday came and went and she didn’t hear from him and he wasn’t answering his phone.  At midnight, she went on Facebook before going to bed, went to his page to leave him a message, and saw dozens of “Rest in Peace, David” comments.  She lost her mind, called me, and sobbed for half an hour.

She didn’t know anyone in his life, not really, and had no way to find out what had happened.  All she knew was he was gone.

By 2AM she was calling me again, this time having gotten in touch with someone who knew what had happened.  A seizure.  When he was alone in the house.  And that’s all we know.

The people in our lives all react somewhat dubiously to the power of an online/phone only relationship, but you and I know it’s real.  All of you have come into contact with people here or elsewhere on the web who have touched you, and whose loss would affect you.  Deeply and truly.

I am very worried about my girl.  How does a 20 year old bounce back from losing someone…someone who she was making plans with, to see, to touch, to kiss.  And now none of that will happen.

Rest in peace, David.

Ingrid’s roommate has swine flu.  They’re sending the kid home for a week, but Ingrid and the remaining 2 roommates will stay behind in the infestation.  Excellent.

Morris and I have both had the seasonal flu shot, but no one else in the family has.  Ingrid is supposed to have one before she can start her clinicals next semester but the school ran out, as have all the pharmacies and doctors in the area, and at home as well.  I’m not sure what she’s supposed to do about next year.  I’m frankly more worried about this week.

I emailed Jackass and he told me the school he teaches at has 16 confirmed cases of swine flu, and another 50 unconfirmed.  They’re unconfirmed because Horizon doesn’t cover the cost of the nose swab they use to confirm it, so those parents opt out of it because the treatment is the same.  But that’s 66 kids in a rural Northern New Jersey high school with swine flu.  Moderately troubling.

And Jackass is one of the ones in the family who hasn’t gotten a seasonal or H1N1 shot yet.  Are you liking our odds?  Anyone want to go for a long car ride with me?  I didn’t think so.

I read this over at Pioneer Woman today, while I was having my lunch.  And as I scrolled down my soup spoon just got suspended in mid-air while my jaw dropped.  I was agog!

Look at those sweet little boys…doing work.  Driving a vehicle!  Driving it in reverse!  Are you serious???  What are those kids, 7 and 8???

This is proof that all children need to be raised on farms of some sort.  We should have the option to send them to farms to be raised by people that no how to properly utilize young children, instead of plopping them down in front of a television and putting a Playstation controller in their hands.  Just think how useful your children would be when you got them back!

Case in point, Ingrid took her car to school with her this year.  Yesterday, I got a call from her.

Ingrid:”Mom, something’s wrong.  I left for Target with half a tank of gas and when I got home my gas light was on!  It’s only 10 minutes away!”

Me:  “Well maybe you didn’t have as much gas as you thought you had.”

Ingrid:  “No, Mom, there’s a big puddle of oily rainbow colored stuff under the car.”

Me:  “Oh.”  (to self, fuck.)

So her car has some sort of leak of some sort of fluid but since we’re not there to see it, smell it, touch it, fix it, we are relying on Ingrid to do so.  And she’ll have to get it fixed, because if it is indeed gas it won’t be a good idea to drive it all the way out here.

I explain she’ll have to call around and try to find a repair shop and then take it there.  And her brain exploded, and there was much crying and rending of clothing.  She called one place, and it turned out to be a tire center, and the guy there told her “That car is a walking time bomb, you shouldn’t even be driving it.”  So that ended any and all self-involvement by Ingrid.

I ended up having to call some places, and then had to tell her what to do.  Right down to giving her directions (the place is two blocks from her school).

But I’m pretty sure if Pioneer Woman had raised that kid, she’d not only know how to get it fixed, she’d have the hood open and a dipstick in her hand when she called me.

No, not that kind of dipstick…you people are sick…

Morris has been under the weather.  A bit of a sore throat, a bit of a fever, a bit of a cough, a bit of a sniffle.  Annoying, to say the least.  I hate when kids are sick like that – can’t they just get on with it and have the flu or strep throat?  Something I can CURE!?

After 5 days of the swollen glands and sore throat, I told him this morning to go back to bed, and I would make him an appointment to see the doctor.  I knew it was going to be for nothing, but…you know how it goes.  I’d always rather err on the side of caution with this.

We went to the doctor, and she declared that he was having allergies (which he’s never had before) due to the change in the seasons, and he should take some Claritin.  So that was fun.  (She also gave him some low dose steroids for the swollen glands, and a prescription for antibiotics IF it hasn’t all stopped in 10 days.  Don’t send her hate mail, she’s really very awesome.)

While we were there, though, she said, “Hey, how about a flu shot!”  And I said, “YES!”

While she was out mixing the plague she would soon introduce to my baby’s body, Morris was sitting on the exam table.  Our GP’s office is tragically outdated, and I only go there for this sort of thing, and to get referrals to specialists.  So the exam table was a little older than what he’s used to, and since it’s a GP, its used for all kinds of things.  Including ob/gyn exams.

At the end, where Morris was sitting, were these handy little metal rings, and he was merrily playing with them while the doctor was talking to him, and then after she left to prepare the shot, he turns to me and asks:

“What are these rings for?”

“Do you really want to know?”

He shrugs.  “Sure.”

“They’re called stirrups.  There for women…for when they are having female type examinations.”

He dropped those metal things out of his hands like they were on fire, and wiped his hands on his jeans like he was infected by something.  I just laughed, and said, “It’s just where your feet would go.”

He just moaned and said “Oh god, that’s even worse!”

Last night, I was flipping stations and found a retrospective – a good one – about Woodstock.

I was 8 when Woodstock was happening, and I didn’t even know what it was until many years later.  But the music of that era is very much alive for me, probably because my sisters and brothers and husband are all products of the 60’s.  I’ve passed a love of CSN&Y, the Mamas and Papas, the Beatles, Dylan, and Jefferson Airplane to my daughter.  She is convinced she was born in the wrong era.

After the show was on about 10 minutes, Ingrid turned away from Facebook (yeah, imagine that!) and joined me on the couch to watch the last hour.

At some point, she turned to me and said, “You didn’t go to that right?”  Ain’t it cute how they have no idea how old you are or when you were alive.

“No, I was a kid.  But I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway.”

She gasped.  “Are you kidding?  Why not!?”

I looked at the television – the rampant drug use, the sex, the mud – and then looked at her.  “You know me pretty well.  Does that look like some place I’d be happy?”  All those people.  All that dirt.  All those drugs.  Oh my.  No.

She just shook her head at me and started watching again.  And at some point, a clip of Gracie Slick singing at dawn came on, and she asked me, “Was it just continual music for three days, all night long?”

I said, yeah, I think so.

“And you wouldn’t want to go to THAT?  What are you, crazy????”

No.  I’m just uncool.



  • None
  • TheQueen: Yeah, perhaps next year suggest you ALL just skip the adult gifts and focus on the little ones. I'm sure you won't miss it!
  • kristabella: Yay! You're back!
  • Shania Ring: Out of all of that, the only thing in my head is 20?!? Twenty? I remember a little boy in middle school when I first started reading you. Are you SURE