Bloggy blues

Rejected title: All over the fucking board. And then some.

To blog, therefore I am. Or some shit like that.

For some reason, I don’t feel like the blog is serving its purpose lately. I mean, I am just not having fun writing in it. I am trying to faithfully keep up with my life, but it seems that I’ve been altogether too conscious that I have an audience. And while I think I’ve always written in my private journals with the thought in my mind that they would someday be published, I guess I still regarded the bound books as sacred space, while this space seems to be anything but.

I think I’ve been as honest as I can possibly be here, but it’s the offline conversations that hold so much truth and insight about me. It’s civility that keeps me censoring myself, to some degree. Just like you don’t punch someone who pisses you off, you just don’t go apeshit in a public forum (as we’ve all been known to do, from time to time, with varying degrees of regret). And I’m even shying away from writing solely in “Drafts” mode, as an errant post somehow went live for about two minutes until the exclamation point lit up above my head and I went into deletion hell. And it’s not that I wouldn’t stand behind that post — it just really contained explosive content that should probably have never been captured in writing.

And I’ve been rather direct and even confrontational at work lately, which seems to make me want to avoid conflict in my personal life … even to the point of me not saying things that need to be said. And I can harbor resentment and/or disappointment like none other. But I am just not asking the questions that I need to ask. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t care or if I’m just too tired to. I think I’m leaning toward the “I can’t take one more fucking detail” schtick. My heart has really gone through some strange situations during the past six months, and frankly, I’m lucky that it’s still beating.

God, I’m tired. Emotionally just as much as physically.

In other news. …

How do you tell a friend to NOT care so much about everything?

I am really worrying about Shan. She spent last night in the emergency room. Again. Apparently, she’s acquired a really bad cough that caused her to crack a rib from its ferocity (and her doctors can’t do anything about it till she has the baby). And she’s still itching like a maniac. Ten doctor’s appointments, and they have given her every prescription under the sun. Right now, the Vicodin is miraculously halting the cough and keeping the itchies at bay, but it’s certainly no cure, and it’s only temporary.

She didn’t go into work today, but we talked for two hours in the evening. I really, truly feel that if she didn’t have to work for Cruise Director and Club Medicated in general, she’d be in great health and spirits. Her doctor is recommending that she cut back to a 30-hour workweek, and she’s against it (because she does the work of four people), but I really tried to talk her into it. She’s now considering taking off every Wednesday, and believe me, I will be making sure that she goes home (relatively) on time and doesn’t come in during weekends. The battle lines at work were drawn long before we got there, and war will be waged, whether we are there to clean up the mess and dress the wounds or not. She will be a wonderful mother, just for the mere fact that she has to wipe asses all day, every day, at work. A kid should be so much less work!

I keep trying to get her to do baby registries. I might end up just doing it myself, just to get her started. People at work are really getting antsy — they adore her and are begging me to tell them what to buy for her — which says loads about her character, that people truly want to help her out in any way that they can, for all the help she gives them. We have fewer than two months till Alex makes her premiere, and I am so worried that Shan will be confined to bedrest and we won’t be able to do a little surprise shower for her (don’t worry — she doesn’t read the blog — she’ll never know what I’m up to!).

But the shower is trifle — I am so concerned that she doesn’t know how to take it easy. She runs around like a maniac, her boss is a great guy but a real shit to work for, she’s got to convert her home office/storage room into a nursery, and she’s got to find the money to make it all happen. There’s just no time for her to be sick and tired and to pamper herself. And lord knows I don’t have the money to really help her, nor would she ever take it. So I try to do little things, like just being there. And that seems to help the most, but I just don’t know how to convince her to let the work shit slide, because her health is just so much more important than any bullshit assignment her boss barks at her to do at 6 p.m.

She’s actually planning to attend my moving soiree next Wednesday (although it’s not a party). I asked her to sit home and enjoy the day off, but she wants to be there for me. Can you imagine? I may have to break her fingers if she tries to lift something.

Good, home-grown values come in handy. Sometimes.

Speaking of breaking fingers, she threatened more physical harm on me if I buy her another baby gift. (Let’s not poke into my work closet, where I have a nice stash of baby goods.) I told her look, it’s not like she would ever accept it if I wanted to give her money for all the wonderful things she’s done for me, but she sure as hell can’t say no to cute little things for her child, right? She knows that the only thing I want in return is a photo of the munchkin in any pretty duds I might happen to find for her. Of course, I’ll probably be the one taking the photos, but still. 🙂 I love it that she doesn’t expect or want anything. Those are the people I love to take care of — the ones who would never expect it. She is going through a tough separation with a former best friend who refuses to congratulate her on her wedding because Shan didn’t send her kid a birthday gift. Not like Shan didn’t pay for the child’s entire pile of Xmas gifts, to help out her friend, who was down on her luck. This former friend reminds me of so many people my mom and I have known throughout our lives — the ones who get pissed when you don’t pamper their kids (as if it’s your job).

I remember people going nuts on my mom/grandmother for not sending a card with money or something, at which point they would ask, “And what did you do for Dawn’s birthday?” Which was, of course, nothing. But then again, I remember them always commemmorating other kids’ birthdays. That was just my family — poor as church mice but too proud to admit it. And the card would always arrive on time, no matter what they had to give up to put something in it. This has stuck with me throughout the years — how shitty it is to feel obligated to celebrate some brat’s birthday, but how tradition always dictated to be good to your family. Fuck that crap — my friends and I are good to each other. The family I acknowledge is limited to a select few. And even my one cousin — I went all out and really went nuts over her wedding gifts, and do you think the cunt ever sent me a fucking thank-you card, let alone called me after the wedding, which happened four years ago?!?!

Same thing with graduations. I was the first member of my immediate family to graduate from college, not to mention that I was one of the oldest ones of my generation (as mom was a mere sweet 16 when I came into the world). But when all the younger cousins started graduating from high school, my family got hit up for donations to their college funds. My grandmother lovingly reminded the evil assclowns in my grandfather’s family that I had acquired a bachelor’s degree on my own, with no help from any of them. And to this day, the extended family wonders why I just never saw a reason to have anything to do with them — something about my own requirement to care about people who never knew that I was in college — I saw them at a funeral, and they asked what grade I was in. I was completing my junior year at Point Park College at the time.

On the other hand, I did (do) have one cousin, Carole, who was always more than generous. I was always reluctant to take any kind of help, because I never knew when I’d be in a position to pay her back. But she was a proponent of “pay it forward” long before it ever became a Kevin Spacey movie (with a nice guest appearance from Jon Bon Jovi. Yum.) — she told me specifically to be kind to someone who needs it, when I am in a position to give it. I will never forget her for that … for being the only member of the extended family who ever made any kind of sense, and it just happened to be good sense. 🙂

Shan and I were discussing tonight how our families truly brought us up right. We didn’t have money, but we had a great deal of values instilled in us. We never expected anything from anybody (and when we did, whoo-boy, were we disappointed when nobody ever came through). We were taught to be classy and gracious and well-mannered. But at times, it was to our detriment, when we started expecting reciprocal treatment from everyone else in the world. Boy, that was dumb — and sadly so. But why is it so wrong to expect a little bit of consideration in this world? Why is it so much to ask that people say what they mean and mean what they say?

Don’t get me wrong — the circle of friends keeps narrowing in both of our worlds. Nothin’ wrong with having contacts everywhere, don’t get me wrong. But recently, I sent out my address update to my friends, and the list was shorter than ever. When I moved last year, I sent my update to no fewer than 60 people. Maybe more. This year, 36. And of that 36, I expect maybe eight of those people to actually use that address for something more than a holiday card.

Random thought of the evening

Is that what happens to friendships and relationships, as we get older? Do they resort to “holiday card” lists? It kills me that I can’t keep up enough with certain people, whether they live down the street or overseas. And it breaks my heart when there are certain folks who can’t/won’t make the time for me (again, whether they live down the street or a state or two away). Maybe it’s a vicious cycle — for every person you cut out of your life, someone you want to be in your life walks away (or runs, depending on the situation). I watch Shan with her strange friend on the West Coast, and I wonder if friendships don’t just run their course, just like relationships. Rarely do I “get rid” of people, but I’ve learned not to cry a river if things just happen to come apart over time.

Shan and I are strong proponents of the “bank account” theory of friendship — you need to make deposits before you can make withdrawals. And if both parties aren’t depositing equally, then it simply isn’t a joint account. Friendship is hard work, but at times like this, we all need for it to be easy. And right now, it really is. The account is full to overflowing. And now that things are just plain old tough all around, it’s good to keep going back for withdrawals and finding that the account isn’t going to run dry anytime soon.

Just got a lovely e-mail from Paul about my move on Wednesday. Seriously, he and Bryan just stepped off the plane from their California adventure, and they wanted to let me know that they took the day off and that they don’t want me to worry about a thing. 🙂 I swear, I have some of the best friends in this world.

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