I find myself becoming more upset than usual these days. This seems a bit surprising because I haven’t been upset regularly in several years. I was in a relationship years ago with a person whose temperament completely clashed with mine. She was way too talkative and seemed to focus a lot on her diet and I ended up yelling at her . I saw that hilarious Adam Sandler movie about a guy who simply refused to express any sort of anger. As a result it seemed that people took advantage of him. I find it difficult to deal with a partner with whom I cannot disagree, even sharply, without her falling apart. It’s what I call give and take.
After I say something angrily I quickly apologize. But perhaps I need to dig a little more deeply into why I am becoming a little more angry. Sorry if I was yelling at anyone while writing this blog entry.
I am generally very even tempered, except for when I am watching sports or listing to political commentary. Almost anything uttered by Governor Walker is bound to upset me so I simply turn the station. When the Packers blew that game against Seattle I became so angry I simply turned off the television and left the room. It helped that there was a meeting with the atheist mythicists, actually they were taping a radio program. So I got away from what was bothering me. But I would like to have a little more insight into my personality. If you can find it lurking around somewhere, please mail it back to me.
In our family we remember the unpleasantries and the hurts that we have experienced. My mother will regale you with stories about the way her younger sister constantly failed to keep the electric bill paid. And my sister tells of the time when some of our relatives ripped off our mom’s younger brother. We rarely share stories about what made us a family and how we survived the Great Migration. We had land in the south but our ancestors we forced to leave, so the story goes.
But coming north did not keep us together generations have past and the divisions have cut a hole in the things we share. Perhaps creating a hanging quilt and listing our relationships with one another can be a step towards becoming a family once more. I know that our present situation doesn’t work for me any longer.
I just finished talking with my older sister Chris, whose childhood picture is just above. It took place just after the Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills won their respective football games. I used to hate the Packers when I was growing up and cheering for the New York Giants. The Bills were the hometown favorites who began playing in the American Football League. They were champions with Jack Kemp at quarterback. After retiring, Kemp became a congressman and then Secretary of Housing.
But this is a story of home and my wonderful mother’s quirks or flaws, as Lucy from the old Peanuts comic strip would call them. There are several things to know about Mom: she is a retired nurse, she grew up in a small town and she is always involved in some small business which fails due to poor planning. Today I learned that some of these ventures involved black walnuts and squirrels.
Black walnuts like those above may seem harmless but in the hands of an experienced person, they can be power weapons for chaos or make you a fan of squirrels everywhere. My sister talked about how, mom had collected some black walnuts at our old home and left them in the back of a pickup truck overnight. The next day she awoke to find a bunch of squirrels hung over from the walnuts and some marijuana a neighbor had generously donated.
I grew up unaware of this story so as an adult I was free to create my own disaster with the dreaded nuts. When I was living in a small apartment a carpenter friend Brian said that he and his wife had some of these tasty black walnuts they had collected out in the country. If you know anything about these nuts, you know that their shells are as hard as titanium and they have a strong and loud scent. That was what I learned after a week of keeping them in a window. One day after returning home from work, I found a squirrel in the apartment and my roommate and I had to get help from the apartment maintenance man in chasing the overfed rodent out of our humble abode. The walnuts found their way into the garbage and never darkened my door step again.
Today I learned that black walnuts are gracing mom’s garage while the squirrels eagerly sit and watch mom and puff away on their Colorado gold. Some things never change. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
While I was out escaping from all kinds of mayhem that may be happening, my companion has just turned 64. This is certainly not anything I had planned. You might have heard I am terrible with remembering these sorts of things. I had months of preparation and still almost flubbed it. Well to make up for it I celebrated with her for a few days. By the time we were finished she had surely had enough of her birthday. This is a trick that men use when we are dealing with important dates such as anniversaries or a companion’s birthday. We celebrate a day or two after in such a big way that the person says, oh please, sod off, why don’t you?
Well, what else has gone on? The World Cup soccer tournament has been going on endlessly, thanks to international asshole Ann Coulter. She insulted most of the people on the planet by dissing soccer. And so naturally the convoluted rules made it possible for the US to continue playing even after losing its game in the qualifying round. Many very nice people died, not the ones who you wish would jump out of a building. I saw The Bucket List, which I had written about on the other blog but was more appropriate on this one. I had probably start working on my list now that I have been middle-aged for like 30 years.
Being able to go into the woods without being killed by the natives is top on the list. Next is traveling somewhere this year. Third is having a friend or two. Fourth would be having a woman writer to annoy my fan. I’m certain my fan is sitting around thinking I wish there was some guest writer to lighten the load from this nitwit. Canada would be a nice place to venture out towards. Fifth would be to end the year with money and good health. But surely I can be more ambitious than that. I don’t know about the jumping out of airplanes stuff that they did in the movie.
The money thing is always handy. I am finally in a job where I am in high demand now that my thoughts turn to retirement. It’s a long way off due to my less than stellar work history and my tendency to work for small start-ups. It’s interesting. I think if I had gone to social work school I would have started smoking and become burnt out carrying around the problems of the people I was assisting. It’s also possible I would have gone to a psychiatrist sooner. Now that I decided becoming a psychotherapist was not in the cards, I am feeling restless.
My friend wants me to write a non-controversial blog for her website. There are those friends who know all kinds of things about you and are so thoughtful. I’m not one of those. I can barely stand remembering stuff about me to share. Most of the stories I tell about folks are ruined because I can’t remember the juicy details. Was Kenyatta chopped up in Minnesota or Wisconsin? Was he left-handed or right-handed? And what kind of olive oil did he accidentally put into the cake? But if you like following people on twitter or Facebook, I’m your man.
Well, dear reader, it seems the crossroad has come to me in my relationship with dear Lizzy. Through Facebook, she sent me a message promising a number of surprises when I see her on Saturday, Mind you, that we are two totally immature people in our 60s who have decided we met 20 years ago but were somehow married to the wrong people. I should also warn you that I have 2 interacting fetishes and 1 absolute must in my life. My fetishes are Asian women, who are absolutely the bomb. Lizzy and I have joked about this weird fantasy of mine but in reality I have never dated an Asian woman. Second fetish, which might come true, is that I love robots. I used to enjoy reading about them in science fiction novels and finding out what secret codes of honor the robots followed, well that will set me off.
So when Lizzy sent me a little Facebook note about the fact she had planned some little surprise for me when we see each other this weekend, I immediately thought : 3 Way with a robot. Wouldn’t you? What do you think she has in mind? Keep in mind that your suggestions can’t set off our pacemakers. Better yet, what would you suggest. Any suggestions involving current or retired athletes will be disallowed.
One absolute must in my life? Hah, what’s yours? I read about the top 50 New York Giants of all time and of course the top player is Lawrence Taylor. A great player but deeply flawed person, like most of us. what is it you can’t live without?
Work is one of the things that can pull a couple apart faster than sex. It’s one of the things that defines us in America. I remember a previous relationship in which the woman I was dating was a co-worker and also living on Social security disability benefits. She was caught in a bind because she worried about losing the social safety net provided by those monthly checks. There have been studies showing that the number of people collecting those benefits has increased. And i spend a lot of my time assisting people who would to return to some form of gainful employment.
People like the woman I was dating, what had begun her career helping people. She already had a college degree, a wonderful smile and a history of overcoming challenges. And yet we were completely incompatible. There were underlying personality traits that should have told us to cease and desist, but in reality I think we were just too horny to recognize them.
As people with a lived experience of mental illness, we want to find people who can understand us and it makes perfectly good sense to find another consumer who has experienced some of the same extreme states we have visited. States of the union, states of consciousness and even Mississippi. Let’s visit them. but in regard to mental health you have to decide what impact if any your mental history plays in your life. In this case, my former girl friend found that she was unable to work as she continued to spiral downward. I now work more than 40 hours per week and may be on that other extreme of being far away.
I hear Jackie Wilson singing that your love has lifted me higher and higher. He was one of the singers being remembered in the tribute song Nightshift by the Commodores. But the other type of nightshift is the one that takes place at home when you are discussing your views of life. Are you still talking about your work lives or something deeper and more meaningful?
It seems that I am perhaps a little too compatible with Lizzy and so we must make certain not to encourage one another’s bad habits. For one thing we are notorious procrastinators. I have developed many bad habits over the years that can be traced to Internet access. I am addicted to seeking information, no matter how trivial, and posting it on Facebook or wherever. Only when deadlines are staring me in the face do I knock out my assignments. Rarely do I take the opportunity to create a third or fourth draft before submitting a paper. In part this is due to my supreme confidence in my writing ability. However, when applied to the APA format, this kind of rid and run style can have serious limitations.
The other fault I share with Lizzy is that we were not the neatest kids in the playground. I joked about my habits in a blog about why the barefoot vegans would not accept me. In truth I never made an application because their lifestyle seemed completely different from mine. I could not imagine moving all of my belongings into one room and try as I might, I have not been able to develop much interest in yoga. Whereas, the housing group was centered around yoga and a shared sense of spirituality. Both of us are secular, rational people who like to reason things out more than we like to throw out things. We enjoy our dust animals. They comfort and caress us. Dirt unseen is well, just not there, silly.
So we have to channel one another’s inner Felix, the neatnik to Oscar’s live and let live. We will see how productive we are this week as I prepare to move in with my darling. I have managed to throw away some papers and donate clothes to a local organization. I have also located a loving home where I can send my furniture and my television. We will see how my little companion works on cleaning out the room where I am going to be setting up my office in our flat. This is some serious shit.