Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer of death

That's what I have told one of my cousins I have come to name this summer. My aunt died. Last week a family friend died. And through all of this my stepmother is dying. On Friday my cousin echoed my earlier sentiments. "I'm done."

Yeah, we lost a family friend last week. I found out by reading the paper. But this was someone whom I knew in name only. My dad's cousin? She went through this whole, "My wedding party is dying" thing. But I, the flower girl, am still here.

Saturday turned out to be the nexus of all that is bad in my life. Picked my mother up after her trip to see her mother; she had no regard for my time and schedule per usual. Even better was when she talked over me while at brunch. Then again, she did show great improvement by apologizing immediately -- a rarity. And I was reminded once more how I do not have a voice as far as my family is concerned unless they want something from me. I went to spend a couple of hours with my real parents after that. Screw all those other things I had had planned for my day. My head hurt and I needed to recharge.

It wasn't enough though. I got home and decided to check stuff on my computer. I read a blog post that pissed me off. I could go into it but I decided that it all really isn't worth my energy. Who are these people? Are they a part of my everyday life other than some words on a screen? So I opted to not comment. Nor did I write the flaming post that instantly came to mind. I reminded myself that the universe has a way of dealing with things as long as one has patience. And I have loads of patience.

No. More pressing was the need to lie down. For a couple of hours. Saturday night was supposed to be girls' night out.

Two of the women had already backed out on Friday. The restaurant owner called to confirm the reservation. He was thrilled when I told him that instead of six it would be four. And then I picked up the phone to confirm two of the four. (I didn't bother to call Fluffycat because I knew that she would definitely be there. Remembering this is why I actually showed up to the restaurant.) One of the two called while I was walking to the restaurant. She was at least an hour's drive away. She had forgotten. I had heard nothing from the other. And then I started freaking out. And getting fully pissed off. By the time I had reached the restaurant -- on time for the reservation -- I had heard from only Fluffycat. And so I gave up our table.

I ended up on the phone with one of the women who had bowed out on Friday at this point. That third party? She had apparently called this other friend. And I started screaming about how I was the one who had set everything up -- at this friend's behest and she did not have the decency to call me to say, "Hey. This is what's going on." Especially since this friend has had a past history of flaking. And even more so, because this friend was the one who had asked me to set the whole thing up in the first place. This would be while talking to my friend when I called two weeks after my aunt had died because I was still in disbelief that she had not tried to contact me. Saturday night's dinner was our first contact since then. Part of my tirade on the phone was that if she didn't show up, I knew that we were done as friends. But she did. So now I'm still questioning. Of course, I'm leaning heavily toward being done with her at this point. I know that we have a bond but what if it isn't what you need?

Food at the restaurant was fabulous. Fluffycat and my friend headed home. I headed to my bar. I got a cocktail and headed out to the outdoor area. While I played solitaire on my iPhone, I fought back the urge to cry. The guys I have met there previously quickly realized that they needed to give me space. I was angry at the world. But mostly I was angry at myself for making bad choices.

Random Guy showed up, as I knew that he would. I told him that I was pissed off with the world and he quickly moved out of range. Eventually he sat with me. And I thanked him for making me laugh. I don't laugh much these days.

There is the moment that continues to haunt me. Random Guy asked, "Why don't your friends ever go out with you?" And I explained about their marriages and their kids. And told him that one day, it would happen to him as well. But the thing that touched me? We're not dating but he said that he'd like to meet my friends. Heck. I've met his. Now there's a part of me that is feeling abandoned. Nothing new. I'm an old hat at this feeling,

By Sunday, I thought to myself, "I'm done with this blogging thing. It's time to go out and reclaim my life." But I had a life when I first started this blog. It's just that I need to find my way back the person I used to be. Not completely. The new version of that person has learned how to say "no" and to not feel overly guilty for saying that one word.

Somewhere along the way I have built a life that is filled with people who say, "I need.." and, "Could you possibly do..." This isn't so bad in itself. It's just that with many of these people, when I utter the same words, they don't seem to hear them.

I became my "partygirl" persona because I realized that people did not listen to me. The partygirl persona allowed me to be all in another person's face until I was heard. OK. Let's be honest. When I am in partygirl mode, I only have to say it once.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to fit that into my everyday life. People want me to research stuff and to then give advice. If it doesn't fit into their vision, then they ignore what I have said. Thing is that months down the road, I am generally proven right. I love research. I love looking at the "big picture."

Where am I now? I'm trying to come up with things that will help me to maintain my sanity during all of this. And to tell everyone who doesn't fit into the plan what they can kiss.

And so the summer of death marches on.

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