Krissie: Sometimes Life Sucks

That’s my scared look. With good reason. Life has gone sideways. Is it the Mayans? The stars? What the hell is happening?

I miss my mother. I felt trapped by her. As I mentioned before, I had good reason not to feel terribly tender thoughts for her, and yet I took exquisite, loving care of her. Never realizing that I actually loved her after all. And now I miss her. I keep thinking I need to call her, or that she’s coming over for dinner, or that I need to ask her something. Who would have thought it?

Mini-me never had to deal with my mother’s craziness. Don’t think she ever saw it, which was one good thing. She had wonderful times with her: together they traveled England and Europe twice, once when she was sixteen and then when she was in her late twenties. That was one good thing about her not getting back to see my mother before she died. My mother was once more out of control, and it was good Mini-me didn’t have to see it.

Mini-me lost the brother she’d grown up with when she was 20. He drowned when his car went into the Delaware Canal. She lost her darling Uncle Dougal (only good uncle she had) about a week after her engagement party. She lost her adopted-away half sister, Jill, right before her birthday a couple of years later. For many many years her birthday was forever associated with the death of a sister she had just found.

But Mini-me is an extraordinary creature. She survives. She adapts. She moved to England, went to school (with Damien Lewis and Joseph Fiennes) and got her degree in stage managing. She toured England with operas and musicals. She married a lighting designer over there, got burned out (not by her husband ;> ) and went to work for Virgin Atlantic, which was great, taking my daughter and me to Tokyo, England and Venice. Then, when her husband got burned out they left England and moved to Lake Tahoe to become ski instructors, because, as she said, she could be happy anywhere and that was what put the light back in her husband’s eyes. Really, she’s an extraordinary person.
So after all that sorrow, all that adaptability, what happens? Her mother dies when she’s only 64. Leaving her with not just terrible grief, but the biggest physical and financial mess you can imagine.
As icing on the cake, just as Mini-me felt like she could get her birthday back after years of associating it with her sister’s death. So in honor of this totally shitty year, in which she lost her beloved grandmother, her father-in-law, dying slowly and painfully of bladder cancer, dies on the morning of her birthday.

I told her she should do what I did when my sister died a week before my birthday. Just stop celebrating it for a while. And therefore, don’t age that year. By those standards I’m in my late fifties (except then it comes to Medicare, which I will embrace with passionate enthusiasm).

So Mini-me, after three cross-country trips to VT this summer, now has to make her second trip to England with her husband tomorrow. She’ll go to Peter’s service on Friday, then fly out and arrive in NJ to go to her grandmother’s service, most of which she arranged and even paid for the catering, bless her heart. Hours after the reception is done she’ll get on a plane and fly back to Reno, then get a ride back to Tahoe, where she’ll immediately go back to work while her husband is behind in England for two weeks.

And she’ll be cheery, upbeat, and serene. She really does live the serenity prayer, pretty much always have. She was just born with it, she’s extraordinary, and I love her to pieces.

I can’t spare her the shit she’s going through. I hate that after all her expenses she then paid for the catering, and I wish to god I could have helped, but the little bit my mother left isn’t going to cover that as well as the minister, organist, etc.

Crusie’s not having a walk in the park, either. She spent a fortune on glasses and none of them work — she’s better off with over-the-counter reading glasses. Not a tragedy, but just one more kick in the ass. She just keeps getting slapped upside the head. Someone go out there and distract whatever vengeful god has her in his sights. Just wave wildly and then duck for cover. If enough of us do that They won’t find her.

As for me, I soldier on. I baked yesterday, put Autumn-y runners on furniture, plus fake foliage in pitchers for a splash of color. Then I went through a new box of photos and ached inside. But that’s to be considered and dealt with later…

In the meantime, we’ll all get through this year as best we can. But spare a thought for Mini-me. She may seem invulnerable, but I think she’s had enough shit thrown at her for a lifetime.

Krissie: Total Indulgence

So Mini-me and I had a great time yesterday (that termed crack Niece Jenny up. She reads here, but hasn’t commented, I think). I’ve gotta figure out a term for her, to differentiate between Crusie and niece. Which is why I started calling Crusie Crusie — because everytime I said “jenny did this” or “Jenny said that” Richie would never know which one I was talking about. But Niece Jenny sounds wrong. We gotta come up with a name for her. Though Mini-me is a riot.
Anyway, we hauled stuff out of the basement for Richie’s yard sale, finding mostly treasures to sell. I’m really not attached to things I thought I’d be attached to. All this stuff I’ve been holding onto for decades, and there’s just no need.
Then we decided we had to get Tarn-x, which she says is best for de-tarnishing silver (then you have to use silver polish on it) and a yard-sale kit with price stickers and yard signage (she’ll make the signs before she goes) and we went out to lunch and looked at new front doors (ours has rotted) and I bought a used Wii for Alex for his 5th birthday. Because it brings in Netflix as well, and he has some monster truck games he loves, and I’m grandma. It’ll be a present from my son as well, who’s flying back home for Alex’s birthday, which makes me happy.
Anyway, Mini-me and I had a great time, came home late and watched House Hunters International, which is fun because she lived in England for seven years and traveled all around Europe, so she has a more local perspective.

Today we take my BFF, who’s an honorary god-mother (since her mother was Mini-me’s godmother) and go to another big city, to drop off Goodwill stuff, maybe for mani-pedis, and a nice lunch. Tomorrow we’ll work on the yard sale and then have two, two, count ’em, invites out, when we never get invited out. At 5:30 it’s Richie’s cousin’s wife’s birthday, the around 7 it’ll be my cousin Emmie. So I guess all our socializing is with cousins, but hey, we’ve got the best cousins in the world. In fact, my BFF (who’s been my best friend, off and on, since we were both 8 years old) is technically a kind of cousin, since her sister married my cousin.
And yet there are so few of us left. Well, a lot on Richie’s side. all of whom I love, but not so many left on our side.
And then Mini-me leaves on Sunday, and I’ll be in tears, but that’s to be expected. I’m trying to get at least a little bit written every day so I stay in the book, but since my Jenny (as opposed to Our Jenny) lives in Lake Tahoe (well, not in the lake, but in the town with her British husband) I don’t get to see her enough.
Tomorrow will be my mother’s birthday, and I was originally planning a big bash for her 98th birthday, so I imagine that might be a bit of an issue. Then again, the things I expect to upset me don’t — it’s the other stuff that blindsides me. However, I’m down to crying unexpectedly about once a day, so that’s an improvement.
And I’m so happy about my weight and health in general. It’s nice to grab clothes in the morning and be pleasantly surprised when I look in the mirror (and it always is a surprise).
So … socialization … check.
Lose weight … check.
Deal with clutter … check.
As in, successfully working on all three. Except, oh my god the clutter. Because of Moo’s stuff, despite the truckload and car load we took to Good will, the furniture we gave away, the dumpster we filled.
As well, it looks as if Richie really will get the yard sale done for Labor Day. And if he does, we can do another for Columbus Day if he’s happy with it.
Work work work, but we’re making progress, and as they say in 12 step groups, it’s progress, not perfection.
On to an arduous day of play. But first, I gotta write!