October 15, 2022: Sunshine & Happiness

Another Saturday morning in paradise, a welcome change from the monsoon that graced us on Thursday when the dogs were all too happy to enjoy whilst hunting squirrels. Squirrels, I am certain, do not like rain and so must have been in their nests high above the mud pit the dogs have created between the two trees. I dragged two soaking wet poodles in desperate need of a spa day to the wash tub THREE times. I have all but lost hope for ever living in a spotless home, ever again.

One might call it a trade-off. Immaculately clean home empty of the loving, albeit frenetic, energy of furbabies, or perpetually pawprinted and crumb-littered floors with endless entertainment from a pair of love-bugs. I have my days when I’ve had it, but then Shuggie will sidle up to me and throw her body against my legs or Bee will jump for joy when I get home from work.

A friend recently lost her 18-year-old fur baby, a devastating loss that I can relate to in so many ways and yet I am reluctant to strike a sameness because every one is different. They are not just pets – they have walked beside us through the everydays, basked in the happy days, and laid next to us as we cried. They have carried us through the hardest days with their love and also – in my case with Oliver – casual-indifference-my-bowl’s-empty-where’s-my-food.

I was sitting on the couch last night drinking Kashmir T’chai and watching The Handmaid’s Tale, petting Shuggie because she insisted and was fresh and soft from her spa day (and no longer crusty from Thursday’s shenanigans). Bee interrupted periodically and made me feel like the mom guilty of favoritism even though she is a lunatic and needs meds I swear to Artemis. Bee is the March Hare to Shuggie’s Cheshire Cat. Oliver, were he still here, would be Caterpillar to us all, and I would give my left arm to have him back. (Okay, possibly a bad analogy given the present state of my shoulder.)

Where was I going with this? Shuggie was lying on me and Bee took up the opposite end of the couch because yes – these two have finagled their way onto the furniture – and I felt an old familiar ache of how painful these losses are and how I swore I wouldn’t do it again. Yet here we are.

Meanwhile, The Handmaid’s Tale – OMFG. If you are up to date, let me say that I saw that coming about halfway through the last episode but it left me breathless anyway and few shows have that effect on me anymore. I will admit I was a longtime holdout because of the nature of the material – it is very hard to digest and if you are among “those that feel” you will be impacted by this dystopian epic. There is also some debate on who June really belongs with and I’d love to open a dialogue somewhere about this, if only to say that in my opinion it depends on how June chooses to live. Neither relationship can survive outside the environ it was born in. Luke could never handle the chaos of Gilead, and Nick could never function in a good old-fashioned marriage in a free world. What happens to these relationships when, or even IF, she gets Hannah back?

ANYWAY. I was reading an email newsletter from the New York Times this morning – Dressing Up by Melissa Kirsch – about clothing, a return to the office, purging vs. balance of “responsible consumerism.” The author mentions a colleague who went to observe what businesspeople were wearing downtown and now I want to do this. This segues to a mention of “the wildly popular Birkenstock Boston, a slip-on shoe that’s a door-knock away from a house scuff.” Curious now, aren’t you?

The Birkenstock Boston links to another article – in a nutshell, Tik Tok influencers have sounded the call to arms (or feets, in this case) to rush out and obtain one’s own pair of $160 clogs that resemble something from the Game of Thrones costume department. So much so that Birken-out-of-stock cannot keep up with demand and some enterprising (read: price-gauging opportunists) online sellers have purchased all they could to resell for – in some cases – upwards of $330. Yes, someone actually bought them from Poshmark seller for that price, because “you know what? I’m going to wear these, so it’s worth it.”  

Most of the folks interviewed for the linked article are in their 20s and I don’t know what this says about Gen Z, residual millennials, or humanity in general – but WHY??? They see something dope an influencer shows off and it’s like the Cabbage Patch rumpus of ’83. I guess it’s an affect of human nature, but at my experienced age I just. Don’t. Get. It. Nothing is so important I’d pay double for it or call stores 4 and 5 times a day checking on stock.

In my own life I can testify I never wanted nor received a Cabbage Patch doll, although my stepsister did and she got one but no one remembers if anyone stood in line for hours at the mall for it. When Opac was little I wanted a silver train car for his Fisher Price railroad and it was sold out everywhere, but available on Ebay for nearly triple the retail value. I waited until it restocked at the now defunct Toys R Us and he got a surprise late gift from Santa. The only thing I would ever pay way more than retail for, or drive hundreds of miles, or wait dozens of hours for would be to see Prince perform one last time – and – in the first 3 rows at that. I don’t know what that says about me, but I love Disney as much as the next superfan and I don’t know if I can ever entertain the thought of enduring the shitshow it has become.

On that note, a lot of shit seems to be happening lately that make us – meaning Todd and me – throw our hands and up and wonder how people survive. In my previous post I mentioned that somebody fucked up our COBRA benefits and now the bills are coming in requesting payment. I cannot overstate how fuuuucking pissed off I am at this egregious mistake that I mention in the same sentence with “lawsuit” and I am not kidding.

I have kept silent about it for a variety of reasons, but Todd has changed jobs and life is steadily improving. I will let him tell those who know him personally about where and what he is doing now but I will say he loves it and it was SUCH a positive change. Those who know me know that I am extremely protective of those I love and I am cynical of the old connections he still has.

I often also get myself in trouble for expressing strong opinions particularly on what I will call it the generosity factor that is common among his kind (Sagittarians like my mom) – they both give and give to others, some who are ungrateful and see them only as a means to an end. It’s a quality that is both endearing and infuriating. They could both benefit from a little more time with selfish me. I provide the balance. AND, it’s FREE.

For October 15 the weather is absolutely gorgeous outside and to my annoyance Shuggie has shown far less interest in being out there than when it was raining like hurricane. There are things I want to do, things I have to do, and things I need to do – in no particular order but if Todd were home and not helping Sister Outlaw, I’m sure I could persuade him to play hooky in favor of visiting Edgar Allen Poe’s grave or the botanical gardens.

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