I’m having a mean monkey kind of day. And this is one long-ass post to tell you all about it.
When I went upstairs to wake Max up and get him dressed for school I noticed Penny circling around pillows and other things on the floor with that intent look cats get when they’re looking for something good to pee on to invoke your anger. Or to let you know that the litter box could kill a mouse from the ammoniated fumes it’s putting out because someone hasn’t cleaned it for a while. The box looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks. I wouldn’t make Hitler use that litter box. Seriously – it was THAT BAD. So the first thing I got to do this morning was replace all the litter with new litter, spilling a bunch of it on the bathroom throw rug. Which I haven’t had time to go clean up yet.
*and then there was my midmorning incarceration*
Right now I’m locked in my office with my tense dog because my mom has two movers helping her shift around a bunch of furniture. They don’t seem motivated to meet Chick. She, on the other hand, is very motivated to meet them. At the same time all this has been going on my mom has been talking with the people who came to buy her car. People who brought their four YAPPING dogs who I can hear through the walls of the house as though the walls were made of rice paper. Chick can hear them out there too. You’d have to be literally deaf NOT to hear them. The people buying the car are really nice. But there’s a lot riding on this car being sold and I have some pretty serious anxiety building up over it.
Beware: saga ahead!
You are probably not in the know because I haven’t talked about this to very many people and definitely didn’t put it on facebook. I will put you in the know: our home insurance inspector came to reassess our house now that it is once again owner occupied. That actually happened two months ago. My mom received notice that we have to replace our roof by March or they will drop our insurance. No one in this house can afford to replace a roof. It was decided, after many more dire plans were scratched, that my mom would move into our part of the house and rent out her little apartment and also sell her car. I’ve been stressing pretty much non-stop about this, as has my mom. Four people living in a 2 bedroom place is a tight squeeze. Since that plan was drawn my mom has had many roofers out to get their professional opinion and in the end 3 out of 4 roofers don’t think the roof needs to be completely replaced – that repairing it would be fine. So my mom has to convince the insurance people to agree to let us simply repair it.
Pissing contests for everyone!
It’s looking like that might work out. If it doesn’t I don’t know what we’ll do because my mom has declared that she refuses to send her cats to a shelter. Which, I don’t blame her. We were going to try to find them homes because 4 people and six pets (4 of whom do not get along with each other) all living in a two bedroom space is untenable. The pissing contest between my mom’s pisser and my own pisser would be so epic it would have to be televised to be believed. How do you find homes for a cat that pees? Anyway – this problem was not just painful and worrying for my mom but also for me because I can’t bear the thought of finding other homes for my own cats – and my mom’s cats are part of this family too and how could I insist they go live somewhere without my mom?
My mom still has to sell the car. And she seems to have done it. But those buyers were outside for almost an hour with those yapping dogs while Chick sat in here with me whining and aching to go play (or brawl) with them… I have visions of these people never leaving or that they’ll change their minds about the car.
In which a mistrustful person is mistrustful:
They’re finally gone, as I type this sentence. But I am a person who is mistrustful of luck long into the night. It might be a week before I trust that it’s all going to work out. My mom, meanwhile, with her happy facility to immediately brush all concerns away and make assumptions that all will be exactly as she wants it to be – believes that it’s a done deal, which it probably is.
The movers are still here. So we’re in this office and I’m realizing that I haven’t had any real peace and quiet for weeks with my mom worried and having roofers in and now movers and car buyers and – and – and –
I’ve been listening to Chick whining that awful high pitched whistle-y noise for over an hour. It’s making my insides curl up and knot. I can’t think, I can’t breath, I can’t work, and I can’t drink my coffee.
But the coffee isn’t Chick’s fault. It’s cold and gross now. And I wasn’t committed enough to drinking it in the first place because I went to bed at 3:30 am. Again. For no better reason than I wanted to be up with no one making demands of me. No one talking to me or interrupting my work and my thoughts and my writing. God I need alone time. Alone and completely quiet time. But I also need sleep. So this morning I planned to crawl back into bed after Max left and try to grab a little extra sleep. But I didn’t. So I’ve been half-heartedly sipping it all morning and it’s just not good.
The movers are done.
Maybe now I should go and nap.
But wait! There’s more! Other things that have been stressing me out:
- An acquaintance who I really liked unfriended me on facebook. We didn’t fight and I’m unaware of doing or saying anything she would have found offensive. It was a fluke that I found out she’d unfriended me at all. But – as I’m learning – the people who need to be in your life will be in your life. And if someone doesn’t want to be in yours? It’s okay. Feel the hurt and let it go. I’ve had too much big hurt in the last few years to hang onto little hurts.
- I also seem to have lost a good friend. I’m not going to share the gritty on this one – I just want to say that I have learned to stop reaching out to people who don’t reach back and to stop investing time or emotion in people who don’t invest the same in me. I’m becoming the expert on this and may start a column about it.* I’m letting go of this too because I don’t have time to give to people who don’t have time to give to me.
- My dog has been whining a lot. She seems to be stressed out like the rest of us. And I KNOW it’s because she isn’t getting enough exercise. I feel like I’m constantly struggling to keep up with everything else – I can’t handle the obligation of meeting her needs too. I turn to Philip to do this and he often seems to resent me asking this of him. Whatever. Dude has not been cleaning the litter box.
- My fridge broke last week. It cost lots of money to fix it. But fix it we did. We also have all these bills due and Max needs new shoes, new backpack, more sweatshirts, more socks, and eyeglasses. Plus it’s his birthday so there are presents for him and he already understands he does not have total request freedom. We’ve agreed to buy him the big thing he really super desperately wants.
- Cooking. Cooking is usually something I greatly enjoy. Even after deciding not to restrict my dairy buying to make it easier – I can’t seem to get in the kitchen often enough to make really good food. I’m always scrambling and am rarely inspired. It bothers me a lot.
- My mom has been stressing me out. She has lots of her own big stresses but it has been my way for the past 42 years to be stressed when my mom is stressed and then to stress out on my own account and – I could probably do with a higher dose of Celexa but I won’t do it right now because I’m terrified of med-related weight gain.
- Philip has been stressing me out because he’s really keyed up a lot these days. When he’s keyed up I get keyed up.
(I think I’ve just figured out the underlying cause of 90% of my stress: EMPATHY. If I would just stop empathizing and became impervious to other people’s stress – I might not need any anxiety medication at all. No, that’s not true. Even if I wasn’t so empathetic I’d still be filled with rage every time someone leans right close to me chewing really crunchy food or slurping coffee. Slurp slurp slurp…)
I spared you at least 3 bullet points.
In spite of all that stress – things really are okay. They really are. We had an internet crisis yesterday and I zipped over to my friend Sharon’s house to borrow her computer and it was like dropping in on family. I had a cup of tea and tasted her home cured olives (we embarked on this adventure together but I’m lagging way behind and mine aren’t even in their second brine yet – while hers are done and turned out really well!) and I just breathed deep after spilling my tale of mom-unplugging-the-snake-pile-of-cords that connect us to the world and then I felt better.
Under all the incidental stress-of-life crap I’m a pretty happy person right now.
*However, it remains curious that I only seem to have trouble losing friends in one county on earth: Yamhill. WHAT THE FUCK IS IT ABOUT ME AND THAT PLACE?! I do still have few good friends there that I cherish. But, fuck it. What the hell is it? You know who I’m still friends with? Everyone I’ve been friends with here in the Bay Area for the past 25 years minus 2 people. I’ve lost 2 friends in 20 years here in the Bay Area. Out of many many friends. I’m used to keeping friends for the long haul. One of my best friends here is someone I’ve known for 20 years and been close to for about 15. My other best friend here I’ve been friends with ever since I met her 13 years ago. We stayed friends after I moved away. We’re still friends now. I’m a LOYAL person. I’m a really good friend. Except that I suck at birthdays. Yamhill County is my Kryptonite. Jesus.