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April 8, 2017 / Meredith

Those Old And/Or Dead Parents

Today marked the five-year anniversary of my father-in-law’s death.  Knick took me out to lunch at Flameburger, the go-to place for a fast meal when we visited his dad at “the home.”  Most notably we, Knick and I, took a quick Easter breakfast at Flameburger in the midst of standing vigil at Faux Pa’s side; it took the guy thirty-six hours to drift off into the big sleep.  Fortunately we didn’t miss his passing while we shoveled down greasy eggs and flat pancakes with all the patrons who had nowhere else to go on Easter morning.

We toasted Faux Pa with our big glasses of pop but didn’t talk about him at all during our lunch.  I thought Knick would have more to say in the memories of his dad, but no.  That seemed kind of strange and a little sad to me, but Knick and his parents were strange and sad in general as far as families go.  That’s only my opinion, and I’m sure plenty of people say the same about me and my family.  What I miss the most is the stories I could tell about Knick’s parents, how completely absurd they were.

I wasn’t my mother-in-law’s first choice of wives for her only boy, her only child.  On the other hand, she never treated him with any more respect than she would treat a dog, and she didn’t like dogs much.  I didn’t care much what Faux Ma thought of me because deep down I know she knew I was a good fit for Knicky.  She just had to be annoyed at something and I was a pretty clear target.

Faux Pa, on the other hand, well, I think he liked me and was glad to see his son happy in marriage.  For as long as I knew Knick’s parents Faux Pa was pretty subdued and succumbed to his wife’s fancies.  After studying the dynamic of the family of three I suspected Faux Pa wasn’t as easy-going in his younger days, and through the years my suspicions were confirmed.

The whole family was a frustrated bunch, and they frustrated me.  The best thing was, they provided endless blog fodder.  The paranoia, the mind games, the passive-aggressiveness, and the food.  Oh, the food!  Faux Ma was probably one of the worst cooks of any mother I’d ever known.

Knick doesn’t recognize the anniversary of his mother’s death because, sadly, he’s glad she’s dead.  Even though his dad ruled a bit more forcefully in Knicky’s youth, Knick has a soft spot in his heart for him.  I’ll never pretend to know completely what went on during Knick’s years with his parents, but I’m fairly certain it wasn’t great.  If he wants to piss on his mother’s grave, I’ll give him support.  If he wants to honor his father on the anniversary of his death, I’ll support that too.

Today’s thoughts reinforce the relationship I have with my parents.  Yes, they’re still alive, but besides being very loving and considerate people they’re the most frustrating, aggravating, stubborn people I know.  They gave me a good childhood, opportunities at their expense, and support and encouragement throughout my entire life.  They’re old now.  The least I can do is provide to my parents the patience and encouragement they gave me for so many years.  Because for me, being an orphan would suck.  Will suck.  And the time with them grows shorter with every day.

The End

March 28, 2017 / Meredith

Runnin’ Blind

Honey, you really tempt me

You know the way you look so kind

I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind

You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find

Running into the sun but I’m running behind

                                        ~ Jackson Browne

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March 10, 2017 / Meredith

Happy Birthday

What was it about that guy.  He was good for you, but so bad for you in the end.

One thing I wish for all women (but for some it may be too late) is that they have that guy.  The guy who made a huge impact.  The guy you never dreamed you’d ever be with but there you are, with him.  The guy who always came back, even years later.  Even when you thought you were through with him forever.  He caught you again, even though you knew it was wrong.

He challenged you.  He did things to you no one else ever did or will ever do again.  He made you think, he made you feel.  He made a difference.  He set a standard, high or low.

I know some women who never had that guy, who never felt such a passion.  I feel sorry for the women who only had tender and safe love.  Oh yes, tender and safe is a good thing in the long run, but to have that one, angsty, abandoned, turbulent romance…ahh, such are the things real memories can be made.

Those memories last forever.  And ever.  And you dream about that guy even though you sleep next to the love of your life.  He’s the epitome of the zest of your youth.  He taught you the meanings of exhilaration and despair.

That guy holds your heart for a lifetime.  You’ll love him until the day you die, but he’s not what life is about.  He doesn’t give security, he’s too volatile, he isn’t the guy you want to grow old with.  You can’t be with him forever, but he’ll never leave your heart.  He’s become part of you.  You’ll never forget him, and you’ll never want to.

But now he’s gone.  He’s moved on, married, has had children, perhaps divorced and moved to the next one.  You don’t care, because you’ve move on too, having a life of your own, and a very satisfying one at that.  You’re happy with the path you’ve chosen.  And yet, just once in a while, you think about him, and the time you spent together.  He never goes away.

I wish a very happy birthday to two of those guys.  Two friends with the same birthday and who dated two sisters, forever affecting their lives.  A toast to the men who made us who we are today.  We think of you fondly, and will see you in our dreams.

The End

February 11, 2017 / Meredith

Weekend Coffee Share ~ 02/11/17

Where have I been?  Hiding under the blankets I presume.  Hiding from lots of things – politics, aging parents*, and I’ll never delete myself from the list.  Yes, I’ve been hiding from myself.

This week I had two lunch dates with two different friends.  One of those friends I’ve known since 7th grade.  The other I’ve known for a much shorter time, which friendship was developed in a professional atmosphere.  The first friend and I retired within months of each other, last year.  The second friend is still working in the same place I used to work.  I discovered some interesting things about myself with these two lunches.

Talking to the first friend, I’ll call her Linda, was a little depressing.  We retired within months of each other taking advantage of the very antiquated Rule of 90, the yardstick to retirement in government employment.  The Rule of 90 doesn’t exist anymore, as far as I know, and in fact used to be known as the Rule of 80.  The “rule” is a formula which adds the employee’s age with the number of years of service; if the sum equals the “rule,” one can retire with full benefits.  Nice for those who want(ed) to retire before Social Security age.  Luckily for me and Linda we were able to sneak into government service before the Rule of 90 went out of fashion, so we were able to retire before reaching the very ancient age of 62,65, 67, or whatever the proper retirement age is these days.   People envied us to the point of hating us.  We wouldn’t have had to retire, but we couldn’t stand it anymore so just took the leap.

As Linda and I ate our stir fry, egg rolls and rice noodles, Linda and I compared notes about how our retirement lives are going.  We both admitted that so far we haven’t pursued any of the things we said we’d do when we retired.  Strangely enough we aren’t even bothered by it.  That bothered us.  Are we living the dream?  I left that lunch feeling stuffed with MSG but empty of dreams.

Three days later I had lunch with the second friend, I’ll call her Heather.  She’s working in a place I’m still familiar with.  It’s hard to get the people and images and situations out of my mind even after a year of being removed.  She can’t even relate to being retired because 1) she’s a bit younger than I am and 2) no Rule of 90.  Toward the end of our lunch she told me that on her birthday this year she reflected on her life and decided she has the life she wants.  She recently married a man she loves and who loves her, she has a nice home, is surrounded by her beloved dogs, and has a good relationship with her parents.  “It’s a good life,” she said.  And then she asked me how I felt about my life…

I’d already told her that the retirement life was a big adjustment and I’m still not completely adjusted.  I also told her about the conversation I’d had with Linda just days before.  But thinking about it for a moment I told Heather, yes, I have a good life and I’m happy with it.  Knicky and I love each other and are very good to each other.  I have freedom to do whatever I want, or neglect anything I want.  I can still spend time with my parents, which a lot of people my age can’t do anymore.

So much can be said for these two lunch dates.  One left me depleted, the other uplifted.  This is no reflection on the women I had lunch with, but the perspective I had after each lunch date.  I’m glad I had lunch with both of them, but am doubly glad I had lunch with Heather after the lunch with Linda.  I’m feeling more positive and more inspired now, and am certain I’ll act upon that inspiration.  Better yet, I’ll share that inspiration with Linda, my life-long friend, so we both can go forward in our retirement lives with vigor.

I wonder how other people have entered into the retirement years.

*Note – I don’t really hide from my aging parents.  They take priority.  But sometimes I relish time under the blankets when they don’t need me.

See what others are talking about over coffee by clicking on the linky thing. 

The End

 

December 21, 2016 / Meredith

Pagans, Rejoice!

Today is the winter solstice.  I’m just waiting for my pagan husband to dance naked around the trees in the back yard.  Won’t that be a treat for the neighbors and their little children?!

Not Knick, but thank you Google Images, for driving the message home.

Not Knick, but thank you Google Images, for driving the message home.

OK, so Knicky doesn’t really do that, but we partake in the “tree” ritual, as millions of other celebrators of Christmas do.  Yes, we have a Christmas tree, which, if you didn’t know, is a pagan thing.  Knick also puts fruits and nuts outside on Christmas Eve for our little yard pets (aka: squirrels, birds, deer) to enjoy.  He’s such a lover of nature, as we all should be.  (Lord Cheeto, take note!)

It’s the holiday season, I’ve got my shopping done, cookies are baked, entertaining has been underway, and I’m feeling like a damn elf at Santa’s castle.

Happy solstice everyone!

The End

December 3, 2016 / Meredith

Weekend Coffee Share ~ 12/03/16

Welcome back!  I’ve been remiss in my writing endeavors not only here but everywhere.  I haven’t even written out my Christmas cards yet.

This week I was not quite myself as I had to depart from my usual and most comfortable hermit mode.  I was social.  Very social.  Social to the point of scaring myself.  It was scary mostly because I enjoyed myself way more than a hermit should when socializing.

Monday I was a cool cat and went to a music cafe to watch my nephews (plus two other band members) perform.  The place was great and was filled with family and friends of the band members.  There were some people there who didn’t know the band, but it was mostly moms and dads and grandparents and aunties and friends.  It was a fun time and I’m amazed my nephews can play instruments they taught themselves to play.  I had Johnny Cash songs running through my head the entire next day.

Tuesday Knick and I went to visit and old college friend of his.  He and his wife were at our wedding and we haven’t seen them since.  Plus, I only met them at our wedding so basically these people were strangers to me.  Social anxiety me was kind of nervous about this gathering, but Hein and Susan put me at ease right away.  Such wonderful people!  I’ve decided I want to adopt them as my BFFs and will be having them to our house in the very near future for another fun night of gabbing and eating.  I don’t know why Knicky didn’t keep up with these guys, because they’re without a doubt the nicest people in the universe.

Wednesday I had the night off from social events, which was a good thing because two nights of socializing in a row nearly makes me spontaneously combust.

Thursday I took my friend out for a birthday dinner.  Yes, I said “my” friend.  If I adopt Hein and Susan as BFFs I’ll have accumulated three friends.  Told you I was a hermit.  Anyway, we went to a restaurant that’s kind of fancy and while we were sitting at our table drinking the cocktails we ordered at the bar before being seated we both acquired the super power of invisibility.  We sat there for forty minutes and no one waited on us.  The place wasn’t busy, and  wait staff continually walked by our table but apparently didn’t see us sitting there waiting to order.  We finished our drinks and got up to leave.  The manager was at the hostess station and hoped we had a nice meal and I said, “um, no.”  Quite frankly I was surprised that he addressed me at all because clearly we were invisible to everyone else.  After I told him about the neglect we’d received he offered to pay for our dinner.  Aw hell no, and plus I’m going to spread it around town that this place sucks!  Friend and I went to another restaurant right down the street, were waited on immediately.  Unfortunately our super powers of invisibility were gone, but at least we got to eat and had a nice evening of bonding.

Friday I took the annual trek to a famous holiday bazaar in the city with Charlotte and our mom.  It was a great opportunity for me to pick up some unique Christmas gifts and bond with the ladies of my family.  Also included in the outing was a lunch consisting of lobster bisque and a visit to Anthony Scornavacco Antiques.  We brought the day to a close by having cocktails and dessert.  Again, nice bonding, but by this time my introverted hermit self was fit to be tied.

Today I spent some quality time with a frasier fir and did some laundry.  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so I better reserve my resources in the next day or two for a lot more socializing in the near future.

See what others are talking about over coffee by clicking on the linky thing. 

The End

October 9, 2016 / Meredith

Weekend Coffee Share ~ 10/08/16

It’s way too late for coffee.  Maybe some decaf?  Or a glass of wine?  I’ll have some wine and tell you what’s going on.

I spent the day playing vendor at a pretty major craft fair today.  Despite huge crowds I was a little disappointed with my sales.  However, Knick and I gave it our best shots at making the day at least entertaining.  What’s more entertaining than people watching?!

One of the first things that happened in the morning, that would be around 7:30 a.m., was a vendor who came in and pretty much told a bunch of us who’d already started setting up our canopies that we weren’t in the right positions.  In the craft show world the organizers of the shows tell vendors where to set up.  Knick and I set up exactly where we were told to set up, as did the other artisans around us.  Mrs. Bossy Boots told us we were wrong.  Knicky and I, along with the other half-set-up artisans wouldn’t budge, nor give Mrs. Bossy Boots the time of day.  Except for at one point I flipped her the bird while her back was turned to me.  I know, I’m a coward, but the vibe sunk in, along with the many glaring looks I gave her throughout the day.

Mrs. Bossy Boots sold pillows.  Fleece covered pillows.  A steal at $15 for anyone who doesn’t know how to sew a straight line on a sewing machine.  I’m pretty sure she made lots more money than I did today, which made me hate her more than ever.  Plus, she reminded me of my ex-sister-in-law’s mother, who is a loud-mouthed hillbilly.

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One older lady came into my booth and looked at the cute magnet sets I sell.  Sets, meaning themes.  Flowers, Barbies, fruits, Drinking Buddies – sets of six magnets pertaining to the same theme.  This woman asked me if I had any “team” magnets, as in football teams.  I wanted to reach over the craft-filled table and punch the dentures right out of her mouth.  I’m not about sports, much less teams, which is completely obvious  to anyone who pays attention to my booth contents.  I’m about cool and funny and ironic.  Grunting sports is not my gig.  In my head I told her sports are at least one-half of what’s wrong with our country and she should expand her intellectual and artistic horizons.  In reality I just shook my head no.  A very definitive NO, without apology.

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There were a few woman throughout the day who led their men around by the nose ring.  The guys would come into my booth and see things they thought were cool or funny and their wives/girlfriends/women talked them out of buying what they wanted.  That drives me up a wall.  Seriously?  If a woman can get her guy to go to a craft fair in the first place she should at least let him buy what he wants, right?  Guys, take a stand and buy that funny shit!

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Then there are the children.  I love the children.  One of them was very appropriately told by her mother not to touch anything.  Good plan, mothers!  Look, but don’t touch, especially if you have sticky fingers.  However, this little girl was very interested in the candles I sell, so I would pick up this one and hold it to her nose and let her take a deep sniff.  “Mmm,” she’d say.  Then she’s point at another and wonder what that one smelled like.  “Gingerbread Cookies,” I’d answer, and hold it to her nose for another deep sniff.  Kids love smelling candles, and if their parents have the least interest in having candles in their houses the kids can convince them to buy one or two.  Unfortunately, this kid didn’t show enough love, or the parent was not about the candles in the house or, especially, if there’s a pet in the house.  Alas, no sale, but a little girl who got a couple of whiffs of goodness.  Kids love smelling candles, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of watching them experience that.

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Yeah, I have to admit that even though some of the craft fairs I attend don’t result in great revenue they’re at least entertaining.  Plus it gets me out in the fresh air for a change.  I spend way too much time in the confines of my house and even more, my studio.

Yay craft shows, for giving me more entertainment than Hollywood could ever hope to present.

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To see who else is having coffee just click on the blue linky frog:

 

 

The End

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