This is one of those days that it feels good to talk about someone besides “you know who.” (me)
So today is a brag about a sister day. She was part of a dance performance last night in New Orleans. She is the fine young lady standing to the right of the column at the top of the stairs.
Where do we go from here now that all other children are growin’ up?
And how do we spend our lives if there’s no one to lend us a hand?
I don’t wanna live here no more, I don’t wanna stay
Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life, Quietly fading away
Alan Parsons Project -Where Do We Go From Here? Lyrics
The here that I don’t wanna live in no more is not a physical space like my house. It’s a metaphysical location – the place I’m stuck in at the moment. I’m tired of fading away, I don’t do anything quietly and furthermore – I’m not liking this! I miss ME. I miss the fun loving, adventurous, creative, rose colored glasses wearing, me.
And there are certainly plenty of people to lend me a hand. All I have to do is reach out, answer the damned phone, come out from under my blankey. Take that risk, belly flop back into the pool.
I’ve always been my best friend or my worst enemy, depending on the situation. Lately I’ve been the enemy. Beating myself up for something that is …not…my…fault. Mental illness is not something that happens because of personal flaws or failings, it just happens. Here I am hiding from people because I’m supposed to be perfect in every way. Well I’m not Mary Poppins. And now I’ve retreated so far into my shell that I’m lost and having trouble finding the way out.
This reminds me of a scene from the movie Liar Liar, starring Jim Carrey. He’s in the bathroom, slamming around, banging his head on the sink, rubbing soap in his eyes. A guy walks in and asks “What the hell are you doing?” He replies, “I’m kicking my ass, do you mind?”
I was looking at my bank statement yesterday and it really hit me hard. There are no transactions on there in the month except for a trip to the 7-11 convenience store every few days for a pack of smokes. That’s it, zip, nada. I’m not going anywhere, doing anything, shopping, eating, going to movies. Gads – I’ve morphed into a Zombie. This is just downright ridiculous.
There are far better ways to save money than impersonating a hermit. Although I may have to sell blood or something. I’m in shock and furious at the moment because I went to drug store to pick up my prescription and it was THREE HUNDRED and NINETY DOLLARS!!!&%#* What the? EErrggg…gaaaaHHH. Are you effing kidding me?? What the hell is this stuff made out of?? Gold plated platinum dusted, uranium? I almost pooped my pants right there in the pharmacy. The Astra Zeneca Pharmaceutical Corporation is the new Anti-Christ, in my opinion. Time to go back to the head doctor and discuss generics or a plan B.
Maybe I should drag my suitcase out of the closet and start packing it. I’ll worry about a destination along the way. I do want to go visit my family and I miss them terribly, but they all live in and around New Orleans. The combination of the Super Bowl there this year, followed by Mardi Gras this month was a little daunting, so I stayed home. Way too much of a circus for my taste. But, that’s all over now. Nothing stopping me – except me.
We had a Super Bowl party here at Casa de Wacko yesterday. For those of you who are not in the USA, the Super Bowl is the culmination of a season long American Football orgy of running around clutching or throwing an oval-shaped object wrapped in pigskin. It also involves a lot of rolling around on the ground writhing in pain and having tantrums in the face of the cameramen.
Appropriate attire for this occasion is skin-tight pants, padding and helmets…for the players. For the fans, well we can pretty much dress however we like. We can paint our chest blue, or wear a giant wedge of plastic cheese on our head. I think there are some unspoken rules about this, but I’m not exactly sure what they are. I suspect the costume has to be vaguely related to the team you are rooting for.
Mr. Husband really out did himself cooking yummy scrumptious food. He started cooking on Saturday. We had chicken and white bean chili, and homemade guacamole with chips. And because the game was in New Orleans and it’s close to Mardi Gras we got a traditional King Cake with raspberry cream filling from the Whole Foods Market. Oh lawzy mercy, what a feast!
I personally am glad the opposing teams have to wear different colors. If they didn’t I would not even know who I am supposed to yell about or when. It doesn’t really help me that much though. I groan and wince when someone gets slammed face first into the ground under a pile of players, no matter which team they are on. Seriously, if a group of guys behaved like this in vegetable isle at the super market they would all to jail. If I had any say in the matter.
The fascination with football eludes me. Sometimes I wonder if it is a form of gentile pseudo warfare for the modern male couch potato. I guess it’s better than having them out every weekend erecting trebuchets and bombarding neighboring towns with boulders, but not by much. Maybe men just gotta do what men gotta do?
I must confess that I harbor a bit of jealousy because the only time I hear Mr. Husband screaming with wild abandon or groaning in agony is while he is watching a game. He never screams about or at ME like that! ***dabs a tear with a lace handkerchief***
Our house did look like the remains of a battle field when it was all over and we all had a good time. Overall it was a great day.
First of all I want to apologize to all my beloved readers for not getting around to posting the pictures and tales from the road trip and wedding in Key West. I promise I’m working on it and will do so soon. I’m sort of working through the trip backwards.
Trying to sort out these pictures are part of reason I went sailing into the high seas of this physical and emotional upheaval, catharsis, entire life passing before my eyes, everything looks different now, semi-nervous breakdown, bah hum bug, hissy fit.
The truth is there are very few pictures on my phone. My body was there but didn’t take many pictures. That was a shock and also a sort of twilight zone feeling. Most of the pictures are on the Hubman’s phone. 2 revelations hit me hard. 1) I don’t take pictures when I’m not happy, and 2) Hubman is a much better photographer than I am….when he chooses to be. He’s not very cooperative when I try to get him to photograph something, but when he wants to he’s damn good at it.
Scrolling through all the pictures on his phone I also realized that we existed in 2 different dimensions on the entire trip and had an entirely different vacation. He went to the Hemingway House in Key West while I was sick in bed at the resort. He took pictures of all the shenanigans at the wedding reception, while I left early to go upstairs and hack up a lung. He took pictures of the resort in Alabama while I was upstairs choking to death. He went walking on Royal Street in New Orleans and ogled all the beautiful antiques and other gee gaws while I was in the hotel hacking up my remaining lung.
I blame it on string theory and alternate universes. If all these physicist brainiacs can figure out the very nature of the universe, why can’t they figure out how a man and woman can cohabitate without killing each other? Maybe that’s why they are all eccentric loners. That’s my theory.
All along the way Mother-in-Law cruised along, unflappable, like the Queen Mum, occasionally raising an eyebrow and saying “well you can’t pick your relatives.” She’s right in a way. But, you do sort of pick your relatives when you marry someone. Because we don’t just marry one person, we marry the entire damned family. And now instead of 1 set of bizarre and colorful personages there are 2, and we’re saddled to them for life unless we call it quits.
I hit a relationship nightmare wall in New Orleans with one of my relatives who has a major drinking problem. Was talking to my sister about it later and I had a rather disturbing revelation. At least with a drunken relative, no matter how bad it gets, you count on them eventually passing out and then you heave a sigh of relief and can go about your business.
However, with a wacko relative who doesn’t drink, they can drag the craziness on and on and on and on. Until you are tempted to slip them something in their coffee to knock them out cold for at least 3 days. Also, since they’re sober, they remember everything and can store up every little thing anyone said or did, take out of context, twist it around, and stab someone in the gut with it at a most inopportune moment.
People who do this have the most annoying tendency to act all high and mighty because they don’t drink. My response is; do the world a favor and have a drink, a pill, go to bed or just shut the hell up! Preferably before someone shuts you up, shoots you with a tranquilizer dart, or vows on the life of their first-born child to never be in your exalted presence again for the rest of their natural life. Or perhaps are forced to identify you in a line up because you finally snapped and tried to run over the bag boy at the local supermarket with your car.
Another thing I realized is that in my biological relatives and relatives that I chose through marriage there is one over-riding tendency that drives me bat shit crazy. And I let myself get sucked into over and over again. This particular hat trick is “hey, let’s do X activity, I really love to do it.” Silly me, I always think that means that we are going to jointly participate, do it together and collective share in the joy and creativity of the activity.
Nope. Ding Ding Ding. Way wrong answer! What it really means is that the person suggesting or demanding that the activity occur is going to sit around on their ass and tell you what to do, how to do it, and refuse to budge on anything that is not exactly how they want it done. All while they are sitting around complaining about how hard they are working. They will also get all bent out of shape and put on a pout that rivals the tantrums of King Leer if you don’t do it with a gleam in your eye and pretend to enjoy every moment of your inadvertent indentured servitude.
So I guess I have some family issues. I find vague comfort in the fact that I am not alone. The holidays tend to bring out the good and the bad in all of us. Everything seems amplified and magnified during this time. All kinds of shoulds, and this is how it’s supposed to be, and we always did it this way, it doesn’t feel like the holidays if we don’t do such is such, tends to glob up into one huge ball of confusion that would bring a horse to its knees.
Perhaps I need to go on a solo trip to Fiji for the holidays next year? Or maybe even this year. It’s not too late.
This story of the road trip to Key West seems to be unfolding in a nonlinear fashion. I learned a lot about myself this time around. Travel is always educational. Unfortunately it’s not always things you want to learn. But, I sort of wonder if perhaps some things are better not learned in the first place. Although I still have bronchitis so I may still be in an extremely whiny and frustrated mood.
The main thing I learned this time is that at the tender age of 57 I still stand back and let myself get talked into things that I know are going to be a BAAAAAD idea. And then volunteer to do part of the driving to get to the bad idea.
I’ve driven to Key West from New Orleans 2 times before and both times swore on my future grave that I was NEVER going to do it again. It’s a long boring stressful trip through a whole lot of nothing. Key West is fabulous, but driving there sucks on multiple levels.
So what do I do? I agree to another road trip to Key West from 500 miles further away and somehow tell myself that I have not in fact lost my freaking mind. I should have put my foot down and said “there is no way in hell that I am doing this, and may God have mercy on your soul. Don’t bother sending postcards because I’ve already been there, done that.” Or maybe something along the lines of “hey, I’m going to fly, meet ya there, have fun. Call me from the road if you live.”
I love my Mother-in-law but she is what she is. She still bosses her son around and hasn’t figured out that I don’t take well to getting bossed around. I put an end to my mother bossing me around by leaving home when I was 15 years old. I’m left feeling like I spent 2 weeks with a pillow slammed down over my face. Maybe that’s why my body decided to manifest bronchitis so I could have an excuse to say NO, I don’t want to cram another plate of food down my face or look at one more tree, statue or anything else without resorting to violence. I need a break!!
Part of the problem is that the Hubman has developed this sort of Siamese triplet mentality. A weird triangle relationship has manifested where he seems to think that he, his mother and I are an inseparable unit. It’s not doing our relationship much good. This was becoming an issue before we left on the trip. If I didn’t go along with the program with his mother, then he won’t go either. It’s as if WE not HE is responsible for entertaining his mother at all times. I have my own mother to contend with, thank you very much. And that is not always an easy task.
As a result, this behavior continued and worsened on the trip and if I didn’t go along with the program then he would stay in the room and crank up the AC to zizz and in general take over everything and every square inch of the room. He wouldn’t do anything with his mother unless I came along, so the only solitude I managed to find was in a random hotel bathrooms or walking around the corner to alleys. The exception being the night I collapsed in the hotel.
My first mistake was forgetting the first rule of travel is that it’s supposed to be enjoyable for ALL members of the party. As defined by ALL members of the group. This doesn’t mean that everyone likes every single activity. Of course compromises should be made. But reluctantly embarking on a 3,000 mile road trip because one of the persons involved doesn’t want to be “inconvenienced” by an uncomfortable airplane seat is a recipe for resentments and disaster. Said person did absolutely none of the driving of course.
Another mistake was my standing by while the Hubman planned out the route and how long it “should” take us to get from point A to point B. Never in his life has he been on a road trip as an adult. He was a passenger in the back seat as a small child and went on road trips with his family. But that doesn’t even come close to counting as experience as an adult traveler. I kept trying to tell him that you need to factor in time to stop, walk around, eat, use the restroom, and just in general not be in the car for a while. Did he listen? – NO. Did I put my foot down and insist? – NO.
Crazy things happen when traveling. Not everyone wakes up hung over in a hotel room in Bangkok with a tattoo on their face, but things do happen. Time to recuperate, process, be alone, and rev up for more adventures needs to be in there somewhere, or a trip can quickly transform into a death march.
So it seems we have some issues to resolve. Ya think?