|Saddle up, Cowboy!
||[Oct. 5th, 2009|02:43 pm]
My lack of empathy, sympathy and ability to make small talk is somewhat balanced by my pragmatism and ability to deal with whatever’s thrown at me. Which I have in excess. I still remain proud of a compliment paid to me by a visual merchandiser who worked at Cookware Store, traveling around the region, setting up seasonal displays. She said, after a pretty profound series of disasters – slicing my knuckle cap off while unloading an entire truck because my warehouse guy called in sick, dealing with phone issues, the wood floor in the store bubbling up like giant pop-ups, and the lovely self-important, neurotic and narcissistic customers that an overpriced cookware store will attract, “Wow, all of the other managers in the region are totally stressed out, dealing with the holiday season, freaking out, running around…and you’re just so calm and mellow.” To which I replied “Believe me, if I thought that screaming and running around pulling out my hair would fix anything, I’d be hoarse, bald and there would be divots in the wall from me throwing myself against it. But it doesn’t, so I might as well roll my eyes and just press on.” My motto, a bon mot from Winston Churchll: If you’re going through Hell…just keep going. |
Which has always served me well, as a philosophy. But lately, whew. Been dealing for months with the IRS, who cannot be convinced that my ex-husband and I filed joint returns several years ago, when we were still married. Wait, no they CAN be convinced...and then four months later, for some reason, despite copies of the joint returns, where his name and SS clearly appear, despite assuring me that “oh, okay, we’ll take care of that”…somehow they then become unconvinced and send him one of those “We’re going to eat your children, your job, your sanity if you don’t pay us the gigathousands you owe us” letters. But of course, since they don’t believe that he’s on the return that I filed for us, they won’t open up my file for him, so he has to turn to me for help, so I have to call and say “Okay, look on the far lefthand side of the return, four lines down...do you see the name of the person you are now harassing? Oh, yes, you do. Cut it out.” And they say oh, RIGHT...which seems to hold them a few months until something happens and we go through it all. Again.
I got the plumber in to fix all sorts of things just a few weeks ago and...several of them have worked their way undone. The contractor that was going to do all sorts of work for very reasonable price...makes the IRS look competent. And already I have to have him re-do what little he’s done. As well as find a new contractor and start that all over again from scratch.
Seventy pounds of geriatric, incontinent, neurotic greyhound, whom I ADORE, is wearing me down by having accidents, stepping in it and tracking it...everywhere. Because he gets nervous and frightened when he has an accident. Did you know a greyhound can hit top speed in three strides? Even an old one. And while they lack in endurance, they sure can cover a lot of ground...and bed...and couch...and stairs...and hallway before they pass out again. And sparing you the gory details, I will leave you with this thought: those long-toed, high arched greyhound feet? If you ever want to smuggle drugs, stuff them up a greyhound foot, because they can pack a lot of...shit. Two to four loads of accident related laundry almost every day. Plus the related angst and guilt at actually contemplating, nay, looking forward, to an end to it.
My phone number became invalid. And then out of service. And then disconnected. (There is nothing better than getting a call from your father offering to send you money – nothing more empowering than your family assuming that at your age and station in life, you are unable to pay your telephone bill. THERE'S a self-esteem moment for you.) Four hours of phone calls, store visits later, you find out that someone whose phone number is very close to yours was receiving harassing phone calls and asked to have their number switched. Except, my number got switched. Which I fixed. Yay, victory! And then he/she must have started getting the calls again, so my phone that worked for a couple of days, went out again. So, I had to spend more time getting it switched back on. I may have actually pulled out some hair there in the Verizon store, at one point, because they went from “oh, but you asked us to do it, and I doubt we can get your old number back” to “oh, honey just sit down, we’ll get it all fixed.”
I got to the point where, in the middle of the plumbing-IRS-phone Unholy Triumvirate of Repeating Fail, that I did find myself on the verge of screaming, throwing myself into walls. To distract myself, I used a exercise where, in the middle of great stress, you visualize what would make you happy RIGHT NOW. And I visualized a bottle with a label on it. The label said “Happy”. And I just wanted to dose myself with it. And then thought, wow, that’s an unhealthy thought. But the fact that I recognized it was an unhappy thought, made me happy. At least I still have self-awareness! Which shows, really, how easy it is to make me happy. Which makes me sad that I’m not happy more often, which...luckily for all of us, a song I liked came on the radio and Ms. Short Attention Span started obsessing over whether liking Cold Play meant that I'm now old and lame because it's practically soft rock. Or I'm old and lame because I'm regressing to the days of Styx and Asia. Or, f-it, I just like it and I have plenty of cutting edge cool stuff on my CD shelves so, tough. And then I thought...oh, I'm old and lame because I buy CDs, not downloads...and somewhere in there I forgot how much Suck I was surrounded by.
On Saturday I decided to take a half day at Faire so that I could take care of business. Time to buy candy at Costco – because if you wait too long, they run out and you do NOT want to buy 2000 pieces of candy at retail. Plus I needed some prop supplies for the Scary Perry sewer theme. And mulch. And booze. The latter two have nothing to do with Halloween, but everything to do with an impending parental visit, which will fill me with inadequacy, shame, and general loserishness. The mulch may hold some of the criticism at bay...hint, if you just load mulch OVER the weeds this time of year, no one will discover your ploy until springtime and then you can just PRETEND that those bastards weeds just popped up now. The cider, because while I don’t consider it “Happy” medicine, the thought of my mother eye-balling my pathetic attempts at housekeeping and my father eyeballing my pathetic attempts at being a responsible adult...make me want that bottle of Happy. And, I have found that applying cider to myself, after cleaning up a Poo Shoe incident, makes for faster healing. Although I may be creating some weird Pavlovian situation that I don’t care to contemplate right now.
This was all a good plan, that included arriving in Beltsville with an almost completely empty gas tank so that I could refill at Costco low prices. Which was a good plan. But leaving my purse back at the Faire site was definitely a crimp in the plan. Since I had neither money, nor gas to go back to get the money I already had. In Crownsville. Finding out that I’d never replaced the emergency $20 that lives in the spare tire compartment, was a further crimp. Remembering that someone had stolen the roll of quarters I keep in the glove compartment for parking meters and other emergencies, pretty much cut off my air supply. Thankfully, I am a total slob and there was a little over $2 in change on the floor of my car. And that, for the record, is just enough to get an old Saturn station wagon back to Crownsville. I’m going to spare you the details of the horrendous traffic I ran into in every direction, on every leg of the journey. I did accomplish all of my errands, but it turned into a full day of errands and a full measure of bitter that I “wasted” an entire day spending all sorts of money, dodging vehicles that were trying to kill me and of course lost a good two hours in driving back and forth. Wasting time, money and carbon emissions.
But hey, whatever. Again, at no point would tearing out my hair and running around like a crazy person have helped. And, I have gigantic amounts of candy, several bags of mulch, two cases of cider, a Pennywise the Clown prop AND I have a new motto: Sometimes you just have to saddle up the Suck and ride it out of the Valley.
But seriously? I’ve ordered some spurs, just in case.