Archive for March, 2012


In which the tyger is burning bright

March 30, 2012

My best friend from high school is here and while I am so overwhelmingly glad, I am also in the worst of all possible moods.

Part of the moodiness came from opening up the important, i.e., expensive mail, to see what was in there. Idiocy! Sheer idiocy. A survey from some shyster lawyer admonishing me for not filling out his previous survey which asks, among other puzzling questions, whether the “treatment named above,” which is not named, might have been caused by a slip-and-fall at work, or at the hands of another party, possibly during a violent crime.

No, I do not believe that the treatment, which by the date I can tell was chemoembolization, was necessitated by a work accident, you fucking stupid motherfucking ambulance chasers. Which I informed them in the margins.

My irritation is exacerbated by the fact that I have two mutant wisdom teeth growing in, and they hurt. My wisdom teeth, once they started, never stopped emerging. Do I have room for them? Hell no! Are my teeth already fucked up? Why, yes! Yes they are. It is my least favorite physical feature, my smile. I also have a cross-bite, which complicates things. Regardless, I don’t want any more fucking useless teeth. I feel you, little babies around the world, with those awful white pegs eroding your perfect gums. It does hurt. And you’re just on the first set.

I guess if you’re in a really shitty mood, it doesn’t hurt to have a slightly menacing smile.

Not amused.


In which I prepare for rainy days

March 29, 2012

My taste for pretty things has always outstripped my budget for those things. As a child, I read reference books on silver and china and crystal patterns, memorizing the names of the really fine ones, planning tables of Richard Ginori china and Baccarat goblets. I was especially judicious about the silver: it could not resemble something suitable for a castle. We are not royalty, and anyway, too much ornament is vulgar. And yes, I did judge my former mother-in-law quite harshly when she waxed lovingly on her favorite sterling pattern: Grande Baroque. The name says it all. It is the cheesy family sedan, in Champagne beige, with smoked glass and Landau roof. Everything extraneous, everything pointless showing off. I also judged her sister very harshly when, at dinner at my house, she picked up a salad fork in my chosen pattern of Gorham Fairfax — clean, elegant, classic, and hefting it in her fingers a few times, said that she thought it’d be heavier. Philistine.

Anyway, I have no occasion to shop these days. The last time I went to Macy’s was for their Presidents’ Day sale, where the captain led me, hobbling, from display bed to display bed so I wouldn’t keel over. Not exactly a leisurely outing, but it was nice to be out. At the mall, of all places. We ate lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. I don’t remember what we had.

Left to my own devices, I inevitably wind up down some designer website rabbit hole, at the bottom of which is a flashing sign reading To the Trade Only. As I am not in The Trade, and not likely to be so anytime soon, nor will I hire a designer to access these things for me, I sometimes have to worm my way in.

The gloomy weather of late has gotten me thinking about umbrellas, as in, I need a decent one. Luckily, one of my favorite designers, Scalamandré, sells such an umbrella.


So, I ordered one. Maybe you have feelings about this. Maybe you think it’s ugly. It’s not, but some people are bound to react negatively to anything that didn’t originate at Pottery Barn. I cannot wait until my umbrella gets here. I can’t wait until it rains again. I’m in the mood to put on my Gucci loafers, no socks, rolled up jeans and a striped chemise, my mink coat and my new umbrella. That just may get me out of bed to walk to the coffee shop, where I plan to take extensive notes on all passers-by.

Once you understand why I need that umbrella, that specific umbrella; once you understand why it was such an insult when my mother-in-law’s sister derided the weight of my table silver, once you understand how much I rue the distance from Gump’s and its many options for hand-engraving, you will know me a little better. This is not just about materialism. It’s about quality and appreciation. And if you feel the need to tell me how hideous my zebra umbrella is, think twice. Because I don’t need friends who find it acceptable to make me feel bad, and because when it comes to the zebra umbrella, you’re just wrong.


In which there is Drama!

March 28, 2012

Sooooooooo… Because my brain, unattended, wanders down convoluted paths, I decided to text my mother so I did. And I went off/drew some boundaries about a couple of things, of which being that I like my apartment, I am not moving from my apartment, and I will scream until the police come of anyone tries to evict me. Scream!!!

Oh, the phone call I got. “All lies! I would never say that!!!” oh, the drama. There was an attempt at ferreting out my source, but I was steel.

There was a brief review of the “Shut up the cat/God wants you to have a new apartment.” incident, which she attributed to a lack of knowledge of how one might go about this impossible task, despite having lived with multiple cats for, oh, 28 or more years.

Anyway, I refused to give up my source, which no doubt just made my mother more wiley, but I made myself clear. I am not moving.

I’m sure she is pissed, but there’s nothing I can do. It does seem plausible that she told people she hates my apartment. Oh, well. It’s my weird little apartment. I like it.


TV on for company.


In which there are bright spots

March 27, 2012

One thing I did not anticipate about being essentially home-bound for the last 18 months is the wide variety of corporate colleges advertising to exhort me to become a medical billing technician — a job whose title alone causes my spine to collapse, leaving me twitching with hallucinogenic boredom.

These ads sometimes feature angry young people insulting the viewer — “You’re just sitting on the couch. This is easy. Why you got to make it complicated?” (Storms off in disgust.)

There are also ads for various cancer centers, each promising more gentle and caring treatment than the last. “Fuck YOU,” I say, neutrally, to these ads for places my insurance won’t cover.

I’m not sure what people think I do all day, but it’s mostly napping, taking drugs, and holding myself back from writing BOO HOO to someone who just posted on FB that her $37 olive oil went rancid before she could use it. THAT IS A TRAGEDY, I think, closing my FB page.

I talked to my therapist the other day and I told her that mostly, when people say something moronic to me, I want to tell them to shut up, get off my lawn. “And how do you feel about seeing yourself becoming this?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer. It did not seem to be the neutral question it was phrased as. “How do you like being a big bitch?” Part of me doesn’t give a shit. Part of me knows that I cannot hold it together forever. My patience is very thin. My gracious side can’t always come out to play. So far, I’ve been able to manage laconic in place of outright rude.

We shall she how she holds. There’s always corporate college. Why I gotta make everything so complicated? It’s easy!


In which there’s more crazy-making

March 26, 2012

So… I told my mother that I didn’t want her getting an apartment down here. I told her that there was no reason for it. I told her I would prefer if she just visits now and again.

Well, naturally, she ignored my request. I got an email — sent to the whole family down here, like we’re going to be overjoyed — “I found a place to stay!” Fucking great. It’s one of her typical harebrained schemes. She’s going to be rooming with (and supposedly helping) some 300-year-old mother of a high school classmate, who remembers my grandparents, but not anyone from a younger generation.

I’m really not sure how this will work. Well, to be clear, it obviously won’t work. I’m so angry at her for going against what I asked her to do.

I also have a lot of anxiety regarding her stay here, because she’s been telling people she hates my apartment and wants me to move. Yeah. I can barely walk to the kitchen. I will not be moving. I pray, anyway. I guess that explains her asshole response to me asking her to quiet down the cat.

I just got back from LA, where I discussed the horrifying and invasive options available. I literally do not know what to do.

Right now, I’m going to take a Xanax, try to chill the fuck out, and take a nap.

A final note: for those of you who know my mom, I ask you please not to say anything to her. I am working on a strategy to manage her boundary-smashing behavior. Thank you.


A corner of my apartment, which I happen to like.


In which I couldn’t sleep at all last night

March 25, 2012

The rain is coming down, making a lovely pattering sound on the leaves of the liquid amber tree just outside my window. It’s a good day to curl up and watch Sunset Blvd., if you have a copy.

I owe a lot of phone calls and emails. I just can’t bring myself to do anything about it. I don’t want to answer questions. I don’t want to hear all about my mother’s widows’ grief group, or her widows’ lunch group. She has really embraced her status as widow. She likes to have an identity.

I’m tired today because I didn’t sleep at all last night. I could sleep now, naturally, but that’ll just lead to no sleep again tonight. And Monday, bright and early, I going to to LA for some meeting with an interventional radiologist. And I have no idea why. I forgot to ask.



Amen, you know?


In which there’s a little dread

March 22, 2012

One reason I feel ambiguous about my mom’s next visit is the memory of her helping me last year. My cat was yowling in the stairwell, and I asked her to please, please go mollify the cat so that he wouldn’t bother my neighbors. I didn’t want them to complain about me, my ultimate fear being eviction.

My mother’s response: “Well, maybe it’s God’s will that you get a new apartment.”