Retreat

I’m sitting here, working the fringe benefits allocation and the FICA allocation, and it is taking all of my willpower not to just get up and walk out. I’m not talking about quitting. I’m talking about Just Not Being Here, and I’m not just talking about work. I’m talking about everything.

If I had a magic wand, I would move a week of my vacation time during the holidays to next week. I would spend the next ten days in complete and utter solitude. At home. With the dog.

The exhaustion that I’m suffering right now seems endless. I can’t hardly keep my eyes open, even after a full night’s sleep. I could sleep for a week, I think, before I felt better.

As someone who has stood on the very edge of sanity and looked over the ledge, I can tell you that while I’m okay in the sense that I’m not a danger to myself or other people, I am losing my mind.

There’s a paranoia welling inside me. I take things the worst way possible. When people speak to me, I question their motives. I question their loyalty and allegiance. When I don’t hear from someone, they’re ignoring me, they don’t care anymore, they don’t want me bothering them. When I do hear from someone, I feel pressured. I hate the constant stream of panic and frustration I’m dealing with right now, and I hate exposing people to it. I don’t want to spend all of my free time completely alone, but I fear companionship. I fear making a fool of myself, I fear being talked about behind my back, I’m afraid of becoming- no, I’m afraid that I’ve already become that person, that girl, the subject of irritation and pity and duty.

The slightest imposition, say, my boss expecting me to do my job, or a coworker needing some information, or a two minute chore for my second job- these things make me seethe with resentment and I’m overwhelmed by the pressure to perform and not let this ordeal affect my performance. I don’t want to go to school, and I don’t want to do my homework, and I don’t want to read my textbooks.

So the only thing that gives me comfort right now, that brings me a sense of calm and well-being, is retreating. Hiding from my life, its pressures and demands. Giving up on my social life in hopes that my attachment to people will fade, so that everything can end quietly and be easy for everyone and I can avoid the humiliation and drama that will come from figuring out that people are rolling their eyes at me and hoping I don’t show up to parties and not telling me about events on purpose.

If I have to calm my Mom down one more time, I’m going to quit taking her calls. I know she’s worried, and I know that she’s going to rightfully react with anger when she feels I’ve been wronged, but her energy is AWFUL, HORRIBLE and TOXIC (see, it runs in the family! i just have the sense to see and admit it), and I. CAN’T. HANDLE. IT.

People want to know what’s going on, and I want to tell them, but I get tired of relaying the same awful information over and over and over again, and I want them to want to know, but I find myself wishing that there was just some way to make them know without having to talk about it ALL THE TIME.

I’ve grown to hate talking on the phone. I wish that people would just come see me, come sit on the porch and have a drink and talk about what color I should paint the living room and whether or not we’ll have a lot of snow this winter and what are you doing for the long weekend. My house is pretty far out from town, though, and people don’t come out. A few people come out sometimes, but for the most part, I don’t have company.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish these entries and call my HR rep and see if I can’t plan a retreat, before I end up in a straitjacket in the psych ward.

Wishes

My Mom was asking me if there was anything I needed. There isn’t really anything I need, and that’s what I told her. She argued with me, and I explained that there are some things I want, that would help me out, yes. Need, no, want, of course. Then she said this:

“I really wish there was some place, online, that you could make a “wish list”, and I could go in there and pick something out when I had the extra cash.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I asked her if she wanted me to set up an Amazon wish list. She did. So I did. This morning, I came into work and pulled the list up to see if I had added something yesterday- I couldn’t remember. I had added it, but I also noticed that a book I really wanted was no longer on my list. Thinking I had lost my mind, because I thought it was the first thing I added, I looked at the list filters to see if my settings were messed up. Nope, the only filter was “unpurchased”. Wait, what?

Apparently, the hot minute my Mom got the email notification about my wish list, she whipped out her debit card and bought me the book. I’m too excited- it’s a book about learning to live alone, and it was written by a widow, so no bitterness or divorce crap, just “How to Move to the Middle of the Bed”. Exactly.

Needless to say, I’m now loading that list the hell up. If Mama wants to flex her debit card muscles on my behalf? Let’s not have her running out of ideas!

Pictures and Presents

You simply must see what arrived in my mailbox a few days ago….

i wish the internet had smellovision...

i wish the internet had smellovision...

Someone… someone whom I have a deep set adoration for knows my penchant for hot baths. So she loaded me up with a ton of Raspberry Mango Tango bath stuff and lip gloss too, for good measure. As if that wasn’t enough?! She also sent me something of a sampler pack of her other flavors and scents. Get your hands on some of this stuff. Seriously. It’s like heaven in your bathtub.

I also thought I would share some office pics. You know, where the magic happens.

this why they call my office "the jungle"...

this why they call my office "the jungle"...

Yes, that is an electric tea kettle sitting on top of my mini fridge. I’m one of those.

my kingdom for a trellis...

my kingdom for a trellis...

Picture 005

Please to notice the growed up office chair and the mirror on the wall by the door, perfect for putting my makeup on before I go out at night, and not a minute sooner. 😉

internet, meet b!

internet, meet b!

This is the view from the door. B is pretty much always in that chair. I’m not sure she doesn’t sit there all night while I’m at home asleep….

uh, how did facebook get onto my work monitor? ;)

uh, how did facebook get onto my work monitor? 😉

This is the exact view that I enjoy for the majority of my waking hours. Life certainly could be worse.

As scintillating as I’m sure you’re finding this, I only have one more photo for you. It’s important though.

"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want."

"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want."

Since you can’t read the words at the bottom, I made it the caption. I find this piece very indicative of my nature, and that’s why I’m so compelled to share it with you. My boss got a good laugh out of it.

There you have it. Pictures and presents, and now you know what my office looks like.

By the way, do you need a wedding dress?

Happy Friday, lovelies!

Hell Week

What do you get when you combine less than desirable living conditions, the month end closing, a visit from my boss, and deadlines for tuition and books for fall term? One crazy verybadcat, that’s what. Also, the air card is still not getting a good enough signal at the house, so when I get home, I’m limited to what I can access on my phone.

All that to say, I won’t be around much this week. My goal is to be back on track for TMI Thursday.

In the meantime, you could check out my Ebay auctions, friend me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter. You know, to stave off the inevitable withdrawal you’ll experience.

Tell me what’s going on with you this week, to make me feel better when I end up waving the white flag and hitting “mark all as read” in my reader.

Dreams for Sale

Okay, freaders. I have a few financial matters that need tending to, and quickly. In order to generate some cash, I’d like to sell some things that I don’t need anymore. I’m not sure at all how to go about it. Maybe you can help. Or maybe you will just save me a lot of time and decide you’re interested in buying. 😉

Item #1: Diamond Journey pendant. The tricky part here is where to sell? I’m not going to get what I need from a pawn shop. I have a certificate for this necklace, which I will be locating tonight. There are a few on Ebay, but it’s hard to get a read on pricing and how likely it is to sell. I don’t have time to list it twice. Craigslist, maybe? Except that the last thing I want is having to field a ton of phone calls/meetings/weirdo emails.

Item #2: My wedding dress. It’s an Oleg Cassini, bought ten years ago. The problem with this item? I’ve kept the dress protected very well, but I never did have it cleaned after the wedding, so it would need to be cleaned before it was worn again. Do I wait until I can pay to have it cleaned? Do I come down on my reserve to account for the expense the buyer will incur in having it cleaned? I have no reason to think that it won’t be pristine afterwards- no spills or stains, just some grass and general dirt on the edges of the train…

Additionally, how does one handle the sale of such sentimental items? Will people even want the material remnants of a failed marriage? What should the ad say? I don’t want to be rude, crass or bitter. I don’t feel rude, crass, or bitter. I just need money, and have no intention to use or pass down either item, given the circumstances.

So, internet, what say you? How much are yesterday’s dreams worth, and where is the best place to sell them?

Staycation Salad

  • Vodka + cream= trouble, even if it has Caramel Bailey’s in it and tastes really yummy.
  • Don’t let old guys buy you shots at the piano bar.
  • If you pack an overnight bag? Maybe you should see that you have it at the place where you spend the night.
  • The cell repeater is out at the house, so that’s why I’ve been kinda MIA this week.
  • Don’t give your bestie a bite of your rocky road ice cream if she’s allergic to walnuts. Killing the bestie= bad move.
  • Good friends will invite you out on the town. Excellent friends will put you to bed on the couch after.
  • Sometimes you can get away with parking in a tow zone.
  • Don’t break things in bar bathrooms. If you do accidentally break something? FLEE.
  • I have a personal fashion consultant now. No more buying clothes without prior approval. 😉 Particularly bikinis.
  • When your friends call you off of the couch, even if it’s your third night in a row, even if you can’t drink because you’re taking Sudafed for the sniffles, GO. Because street festivals only come once a year, and the next thing you know, you’re giggling over hashbrowns and thinking to yourself “Thank God I decided not to stay home and watch SATC reruns.”  😉
  • If you have so many family and friends checking in and checking up on you that you can’t hardly keep caught up on your correspondence? You’ve got better problems than most.
  • When your Auntie sends you pocket money, go get ice cream with a friend. Because that’s what pocket money is for.

No Matter What

Much of the reason I didn’t post was that I was resting. Life has been a little much for me lately, and I had not done enough eating or sleeping in weeks.  I found some peace and serenity that I had gone without for far too long.

What it comes down to is this. I’m going to be okay, no matter what. My family will help me the best that they can and they will be there for me, no matter what. MH and I are going to get through this. Together. No matter what. My friends, the people I love so much, will stand by my side. No matter what.

That kind of finality is a double edged sword, of course. Mark is gone. No matter what. My sister, who is doing well considering her circumstances, is changed forever. No matter what. My Mom is who she is, sick or well, no matter what. My Dad will inevitably mark all occasions with a trip to the liqour store and won’t see a need to leave a drop of Grand Marnier in his bottle when he leaves town. No matter what.

I didn’t realize just how bad my general state of being had become until I heard those words. I worried and rung my hands and sweated buckets thinking about talking to my Dad about our financial situation, fearing his reaction. Fearing more than anything that he wouldn’t be able to help us. He was not in the house five minutes before he started the conversation. He just knew. He just knew that it’s the end of the month, that things have been hard for us, that I hadn’t been making my usual volume of calls to my Mom (who had boarded the crazy train again, meaning that there was no way I could handle her and my own situation and especially not her being crazy-face about my situation), and he knew. He knew what I needed, knew how much I needed, and within a few minutes of getting a good look at me, how scared I was. So he just came out with it, and he gathered me up in his arms, and he told me.

“I know where you’re at. I’ve been there before. I understand. I don’t want you making yourself sick anymore. I’ve got you covered. No matter what.”

In that one moment, all the stress and shame and pain and angst lifted. I felt normal again. Actually, I felt so sleepy and hungry that I couldn’t hardly stand it. So I took a nap, and then Dad took us out to dinner, where I proceeded to demolish a huge steak and all the trimmings, and washed it down with a few vodka and cranberries. They were, of course, of somewhat subpar quality, because my sister was seated across from me and was not behind the bar.

My sister. She takes my breath away. To see her surviving, thriving in some ways, through this tragedy. To see her in her element- behind the bar, shaking and stirring, snapping her fingers at the servers, cracking ass in the kitchen when she’s running food. Every movement precise, but not planned- there’s no time for that. Seeing the respect and affection that she inspires in her coworkers and watching the way that her boss looks at her, with pride and gratitude.

There were, of course, comments from all over about how much we look alike. This was compounded by my father’s arrival. I have his smile.  I was asked if I also have his temperament, and answered in the affirmative without hesitation. All weekend long, the three of us- I can’t believe that, even when we were little girls, there was a house big enough for the three of us. There are these moments, like the one I shared with my father, at every turn- moments where it becomes undeniable that we truly are family. Looking in at a face and into eyes that are a fun house mirror of your own- almost the same, but not quite. Knowing what they are thinking or feeling, and that opposite eerily comforting feeling of knowing that I cannot hide much from these people who have been reading out of my book for the better part of a quarter century.

Add to that a husband, who as a matter of survival, has gotten just as good or better at taking my emotional temperature. Who has his own decade-plus of history in our family. Watching my husband care for and comfort my sister was quite possibly one of the most incredible things I will ever witness. Second only to watching her gracefully and gratefully accept it from him. He is there for her, no matter what. She is there for us, no matter what.

We are all going to be okay, somehow, some way.

No matter what.