What It’s Like

Day 286


Random thoughts on an abnormal holiday.

Some hand sanitizers smell like tequila. And not in a good way – more like tequila the day after a long night of drinking.

The two Sagittarians in my life, who I love so very much, seem hell-bent on interrupting the most private moments of my life. Can’t go to the bathroom, and …. can a person just take a shower in peace?

One of the dogs started heaving in the middle of the night. I tried to pretend I didn’t hear it, you know, in case Todd did and he’d have to take care of it. And then my anxiety got the better of me, as it usually does, because I worried that the flea spray (which says it’s safe as long as you don’t spray it in eyes or mouth) I put on them several days before might have made them sick. And so I waited a bit longer for Todd to move (he didn’t) while my mind raced with the terrible thought that I might’ve poisoned the dogs and then I’d have to tell Pat I killed her beloved poodles.

Dammit. So I got up and it was Shuggie, and she horked up some chunk of leather glove and it was so totally gross even in the dark and I’m guessing she’d got hold of another of Todd’s work gloves. She is such a toddler. And so by that time Todd WAS awake and I’m asking him if this could kill her and what are we going to do with this dog. He wasn’t worried at this point, at which time I told him if she didn’t inadvertently kill herself, I might take her out myself. (Not really – put down the phone – ya’ll know how much a love her.) And now I am seriously looking at pet insurance for this brat.

At the very least, she has left the Christmas tree alone. She chased a ball that had fallen off of it one time, but that was it. I did catch her drinking the water from the stand, but I fixed that so she can’t do it anymore. What IS it with animals and Christmas tree water? The two cats from my former life did it all the time, and even Oliver did it occasionally – though he preferred just to nap under the tree.

The other night Todd and I were in the kitchen talking and listening to music. I shared a memory of my then-8-year-old brother wanting to hold a 2-month-old Opac and how nervous I was about it. I might’ve tried to explain to him what it’s like to be a new mother and watching someone else hold your child. And then Todd starting singing –because everything has a soundtrack for him – What It’s Like by Everlast.

Why is this significant? Because I associate that song with my brother, every time I hear it. One summer about 4 years ago, he was selecting music by the pool and this song was one he chose. I never knew the song was originally released in 1998, when he was just six years old. Obviously after I had O and became a stay-at-home mom, I was really insulated against a lot of things going on outside my home.

To that end, my counselor keeps presenting me with different scenarios – some of which the weasels had never even thrown up on the whiteboard in my mind – and I’m thinking, how dare he! Clearly he doesn’t understand that he is supposed to tell me everything is wonderful and nothing will ever go wrong.

I’m torn some days between planning and denying. But the good news is – God is with me! The Bible says if He is for me, then who can be against me? I am grateful for all the wonderful people who love and support me, even those on the fringes who know the story and are willing to stand behind me. He keeps giving me gifts and blessings and I praise Him for that.

Speaking of gifts, one of my neighbors came down to our house on his skid steer and moved all the snow off our driveway last week. I saw him clearing his own when I walked to the mailboxes that day and sometime afterward I heard him in our driveway. He lives several doors down the street. I texted his wife, a friend, to say thank you. She answered that it brings him great joy to spend all day driving around on that thing, and I could only think what would happen if Todd had one too.

I also want to recognize that another great gift comes from our neighbor Jackie, who lives several doors down on the opposite side of our house. It is because of her and her kindness and sense of community, that so many of us know each other in this quiet cul-de-sac. She brings us all together at least once a year to celebrate New Year’s, though sadly this year we’ll have to skip it.

So tomorrow is Christmas, a Christmas like none we’ve ever had in our lifetime. It’ll be just Todd, V, and me…until V goes to her dad’s. We’re going to Zoom with my mom in the morning.

I ordered something special for Todd and it arrived yesterday, thank God. Several things I ordered for V and O several weeks ago are still out there somewhere and there is literally still no delivery estimate available as of today. I’m not complaining. It’ll be here eventually.

Meanwhile, Todd ordered something for me from Amazon, and it showed delivered at 5:30 a.m. but, alas, it wasn’t at our house. He called. They sent a picture of the box sitting on top of a trash can, and said it was definitely delivered to our neighborhood. The customer service rep – and I hope this isn’t his real job – suggested that maybe the neighbor who received it would bring it to us. He said it was delivered to a house that had a pool. Then suggested we go get it. Todd told him he is NOT going around the neighborhood looking for a package when he paid extra for express delivery. Plus, people have guns. The rep said, and I quote, if Todd isn’t happy with Amazon delivery services, he “can become a driver.” Oh YES he DID.

I went to the grocery store today. Every year I post on Facebook that I went there and what a mistake it was. This year, I didn’t post it, because I don’t need anyone to know I never learn. Well – maybe it’s too late for that now. And, in most cases, everyone knows I never learn anyway, all things considered.

There are no free hams left, but plenty of TP, paper towels, and – apparently – plenty of shrimp. Is shrimp a thing at Christmas? I don’t know, but there was a shit-ton of shrimp piled high in the case that usually has at least 8 other options for seafood. It made me imagine what it might feel like to jam my hands in there and swirl them around – but I don’t think it would be as euphoric as say, a bucket full of M&Ms. Definitely wouldn’t smell as good, either.

None of the presents are wrapped. This is not new either. It was always my tradition to wrap on Christmas Eve, with a glass of wine, and Love Actually. I don’t know, I might do it again this year. And, to steal a meme, I don’t even know what I’m going to wear to the living room tomorrow.

An article I read recently listed four things people say that pisses other people off:

“No offense, but”

“Dude” (guilty)

“Literally” (guilty again)

And, “Please wait, I’ll be right with you.” (I never say, “please wait.”)

Upcoming: I’m off now for two weeks, because of my current work schedule and two holidays falling on Fridays, plus I took PPL for two days next week. Which turns out to be good also because on Sunday I will join the second one-million people. I will report back on that next week.

Meantime, I’m working on a special Night Before Christmas I hope to post later this evening.

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