Saturday, January 24, 2009

with deepest sympathy

You know how you never react to tragedy the way you think that you will? Well, I'm the exception to that rule, because I am pretty predictable. The first thing I did after my mom died was invest in a new tube of waterproof mascara, because you know, that is how I roll. Then I wandered around Walmart and had an anxiety attack and frightened the old ladies in front of the popcorn aisle. So, to calm myself down I bought a hot chocolate maker, because I could hear Wendy's voice in my head telling me it was cozy. Yay for schizophrenic hallucinations, because she was right, it is very comforting.

Now that I am armed with my mascara and sugar fix, I need a plan to make it through the viewing and funeral. I HATE viewings. Alot. So very very much. So far my best idea has been to create an elaborate chart assigning points to every platitude people try to comfort you with on these occasions. For example, "She is in a better place" is worth two points. My siblings and I can discreetly keep score and whoever has endured the most comforting phrases, and thus collected the most points, at the end of the evening will win a special treat, perhaps an extra helping of funeral potatoes.

Yes, I know that this makes me sound callous and a bit jaded, but we all grieve in our own way and my way happens to involve distracting myself with ridiculous games, which I will totally win and rub all my siblings faces in it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Resolution This

On the whole, I think New Year's resolutions are lame. Why suddenly strive to fix your flaws just because you turned the page on the calendar? I say embrace your flaws at all times, even in January.

However, I have to admit I have actually attempt to make and keep one resolution this year. Usually I make a few token ones just to join in the fun. One year I gave up shellfish.(I hate any sort of fish, especially those that come in a shell, because shells freak me out, they are an exoskeleton. Eww.) So...where was I? Oh yes, I have resolved to give up Diet Coke this year. Not completely, I just finally admitted to myself that it has gotten out of hand. I usually polish off my first can by 8:30 a.m. and then just keep going throughout the day. And last week my darling little brother came up to me with tears in his eyes and told me that I need to stop it. I felt like I was having an intervention. I was waiting for him to pull out the letter he had written to me about how my substance abuse was tearing our family apart. Darn him and his Maybelline lashes.

So, since I am not a fan of migraines, here is my plan: Last week I limited my Diet Coke intake to three 12 ounce cans every day. This week I am down to two cans, next week is one can a day and then maybe one can every other day. Yes I am a woman with a plan. Nothing can stop me...except maybe the refills for 25 cents on Tuesdays at my local Texaco.

Now. On to more pertinent topics. My mother died last night. I only mention this as kind of an excuse as to why I am a bit incoherent and basically absent from this blog for the past few weeks. It has been a rough time, especially for Charlie whom has had to feed himself and figure out how the washing machine works for the past two weeks while I was at my mother's bedside. More on this later, as soon as I can compartmentalize it and make it a bit more palatable.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I survived In-Law week and all I got was this T-shirt

So, Charlie's youngest brother got married yesterday...Yay! But because of this event there were Hanoseks swarming the greater Wasatch front area for the past week. They were everywhere, like in a horror movie, except not really that scary and generally more eloquent than your run of the mill horror movie monster. We kicked off the week with Charlie's sister and her family coming to stay with us. I love Charlie's little sister and her kids are so well behaved it's kind of unnerving, so that was exciting. But then, the festivities began in earnest with more relatives arriving every day and with each family that showed up we had to have another celebration. By Wednesday every meal was proceeded by an intense round of negotiations about what, where and when we would eat that stretched out to about four hours and involved at least 67 phone calls, some to the Vatican.

In my philisophical musings I like to ponder the difficulties of merging with a new family. I know most people have to tread lightly when it comes to their in-laws, but I have found it particularly difficult to delve into the culture and secret world of my husband's family. There are nine siblings spread out over the continental U.S. They only see each other once every two or three years but when they get together they suddenly meld into a giant unit that moves and thinks with an unsettling single-mindedness. Like a beehive. Or military clones in a sci-fi movie. Or victims that have survived some intense catastrophe together. The rest of us that have married into the family all sit on the outskirts of their activities with a bemused look on our faces listening to them speaking in their own specific dilect of english. It is kind of like when you are in a foreign country and you don't want anyone to know that you don't speak the language or understand what it is you just ordered for lunch but you can't admit to locals that you need help, so you end up with a cow tongue and pickled gnats, but you pretend that is exactly what you wanted.

During these little family get togethers I tend to vacillate between my I-feel-left-out-and-therefore-cranky mood and my isn't-Charlie-so-cute-when-he-is-playing-with-his-big-brothers mood. It's a little bit draining and I usually need a day or two to recover. But this time since the festivities have gone on now for eight days with no signs of slowing down I am considering asking my doctor for a Xanax prescription. Or a month in a spa retreat.