Friday, May 22, 2009

The Joke's on Me....and other updates

My friends all hate me on their birthdays. Because I am the "baby" of our group. And I give them a really, really hard time about how old they are. Well, it is disconcerting to have friends in their 60's. How the hell did that happen? 30 used to be old!
My friend, John, for instance, is ten years older than I am and boy it's really bone chilling to have a peer who is almost 70. I look at him and think, "you don't seem ancient."
I gave them such a hard time that, for my 40th birthday, they got up at the crack of dawn and put a big sign covering the whole side of my house and put balloons and flyers on everybody's mail box to announce my age. I didn't care, because, as I reminded them, they were still older than I.
This year, Bill's ex-wife, Julie turned 60. We are friends and she's three years older than I am and that's how I keep track of her age. So, I alerted her co-workers and they planned to roast her and I sent her flowers with black balloons and I had her name put up at the marquee in a motel downtown. I knew she'd hate it and that was the fun part.
She called me later that day and said sweetly, "Thank you for the flowers, Arlene, but I'm not 60."
"Yes, you are! You can't fool me. I know exactly how old you are! You're three years older than I am and I'm 57." Laughing.
"Arlene..." (quietly and still sweetly)"You're not 57. You're 56. I'm 59. I'll be 60 next year."
Damn. She was right. I got my age mixed up.
Oh, well, it was fun and funny for various reasons and I'll get her next year. At least now I know for sure how old I am. That happened the year I was 52. I gave my sister a bad time about turning 50, but she reminded me I was 51. Making her only 49. really can get confused about your old age. It will happen to all of you young people as well.

I think I have a church calling. It's been niggling at the back of my mind, anyway, and I almost volunteered for it because I thought our ward needed better compassionate service, but it always comes back to bite me when I volunteer for something thinking I could do a better job. But I was talking to my stalker visiting teacher, who is a doll, and also the new RS president and she told me who they were calling as compassionate service leader. I told her how I rocked that calling years ago and she asked me if I would consider being the assistant, because the other person also works and it is a big calling and I said okay. Maybe I'm getting active again. We'll see. I haven't been called yet, but if I do, I'm going to accept. I could do compassionate service with one hand tied behind my back. It's easy and fun for me and since it does sound sort of fun, maybe I'm coming out of my 5 year slump.

I'm resenting Bill today. I asked him to stay home for Memorial Day weekend, although I have to work Saturday and Monday. My sister's boyfriend is coming up and he's difficult. He's an alcoholic and angry at the world. We have fixed up Dessie's grave and it will have a nice new stone on it. He wants to visit her grave and I totally understand. However, with my work schedule, there will be little time for socializing. He probably won't even want to socialize anyway. But, because of the possibility for problems, I felt I needed Bill to stay home, especially for Sunday. Just in case.

But he came to me and said, "I will if you really want me to, but I think I should go to Ely. I haven't seen Alex (his grandson) in a long time and I feel I need to take care of the graves (his parents and my first husband and son) up there." He's throwing in Alex and the graves because he knows those are also my priorities.

But it's really about fishing. He's got his boat all ready to go and parked in the driveway to pack up, etc. He's going fishing. Alex is the shill he's using to get me to say okay. Which normally I never say a word. He's very lucky that way, he can go and do whatever he wants without a peep from me. I very seldom ask him not to. It's been years since I asked him to stay home with me from anything.

But. "If you really, really need me, I'll stay, but....." And I said, "whatever, you're right, I'll be working."

The other part I resent is that he fishes in the lake where my husband and son were killed. I just find that so disrespectful to my experience of giving my son CPR on the side of that lake and knowing my husband was already dead.

It used to really hurt my feelings, but now, whatever. At least I'll be rid of him for the weekend. It's relaxing to be home alone in my slobhood.

I just hope my sister's boyfriend doesn't show up. I doubt it. But this is an argument Bill already lost. He just doesn't know it yet. His mother did the same thing to me when James died. I asked her specifically to come be with me. I honestly needed her. She was going hunting. Asking me over and over again, "do you really need me?" until I said, "no, it's okay." She and Bill's sister drove from the hunting camp to the funeral and then went right back to hunting. They were the only members of Bill's family to come to the funeral. And they never spoke of James again in Bill's family.

I've given up expecting him to consider my feelings. I asked nice, too. One more nail in the coffin.


cathycan said...

Wow, not knowing you very well, I was shocked by your experience at the lake! What a tragedy! You have my sympathy.
"One more nail in the coffin"... love it! So aptly put.
Enjoy what you have of the holiday weekend.

lifeinredshoes said...

My, it's so good to have you back!
Reading this post gives me some much needed insight to your writing, things are beginning to come together.
You know some bloggers feel that we should fill our posts with happy, upbeat fluff. Personally, I like to read about a persons real life, so much more interesting.

annegb said...

I thought it was kind of upbeat, actually, getting a calling and never knowing how old I am.

This makes it really difficult to figure out how old my kids are as well.

But you know, I think I need to get over myself where Bill's concerned. David and Davey died 36 years ago and I'm still harping.

I've been praying for forgiveness and I feel the Lord's blessing me there. I think I've been too hard on Bill.

I've been rigidly honest about my emotions here because I feel it may help somebody else not to feel like alone. Life, and marriage, are hard.

The truth is I feel that I'm healing. It's been so slow. But considering a calling---whether I get it or not----and feeling up to teasing a friend about a birthday, whether I get it right or not :), those are pretty big steps for me right now.

I feel like I'm crawling out of 5 year hole.