Letting Go, Moving On

Our weather around here has been “off” for almost 10 months now.  First, last summer we had the worst drought ever on record– which lead to an ugly autumn.  Then we had an early winter followed by the wettest spring on record.  I don’t think that I’m overstating it when I say that this weird weather is making people crazy.  They aren’t behaving nicely at all.

And I certainly have felt the brunt of this unhappiness.

I work from home so I don’t have to engage with people on a daily basis if I don’t want to.  I’m naturally observant and I’m very empathetic [as are many introverts, btw].  All of this combined together means that when I do go into the world, I’m more highly attuned to what is going on.  And the negative energy hits me harder than most other people who I know.

In fact, yesterday when I shared the details of some friends’ rude behavior, I was just giving you, my gentle readers, a brief glimpse into what has been going on behind the scenes in my life.  Everywhere I turn among those who one year ago I would have described as friends, I find strangeness and hostility.  Throughout this year I’ve been marginalized, used, put down, and most recently, completely ignored.  Apparently I’m now invisible, too.

I tell Zen-Den about my ridiculous encounters with friends, acquaintances, humanity.  He listens.  And then he tells me that I’m too nice to too many people who don’t care one iota about me.  And that it’s time for me to cut bait.

He’s right, of course.

Sad as it is for me to say, many (most?) of my current friendships have run their courses.  I’ve always been more of a free spirit than anyone else I know.  But there’s more to this disconnection than that.  Being on my own as much as I have been these last few years, I’ve evolved into a more relaxed, open-minded person than when I first met so many of these people.  I’m more liberal now.  I’m more focused on healthy living.  I’m more creative.  And I’m much more concerned with living in the moment– not agonizing over the future– being able to let go of the past.

So that is exactly what I am doing here in this blog post.  I’m making the choice to be good to myself now and in the future.  I’m saying good-bye to the most negative, small-minded group of people I’ve ever known.  And I’m telling the world in no uncertain terms: I deserve better.

Now, I shall go out and make it so.  Care to join me?

How To Make Me Snarl

[First, here’s “why” I’m talking about this.]

I introduce this topic today because:

  1. It makes me irritable and therefore is rant-worthy;
  2. No one I know irl can figure out what to do about the sort of rudeness I will describe below;  and
  3. I’m hearing about more and more adults who are changing their first names.  So even if you haven’t experienced firsthand what I’m talking about here, I’m betting that sometime soon you will.

[This is not the snarl part.]

A few of my friends have changed their first names.  Some have adopted a different version of their childhood name e.g. Kathy became Katie.  Others have tweaked their childhood name e.g. Sandy became Sondy.  While others have changed their names completely e.g. Joyce became Suzy.

[Still not the snarl part.]

I’m always happy to use whatever name a friend wants me to use.  I figure that he or she has good reasons for changing his or her name, and I can’t imagine being so rude to someone as to not respect what he or she wants to be called.

[This is the beginning of the snarl part.]

But I’ve noticed that not everyone I know is as gracious about name changes as I am.  In fact, on a few occasions I’ve been shocked when someone I know insists that he or she doesn’t have to adopt a friend’ s new name because he or she knew this person before the name change.  Therefore, he or she is exempt from cooperating.

I’ve come to think of these uncooperative sorts of people as the louts.

[Full snarl here.]

Obviously, this behavior is insulting to the name changer, but it is also awkward for those of us who know both the name changer and the uncooperative lout.  While I understand that there is a power play going on here, I can’t figure out what the end game is.  Is the lout trying to undermine the name changer?  Or is the lout trying to punish those of us who cooperative with the name changer?  Or is the lout so obtuse that he or she really doesn’t understand how irritating his or her behavior truly is?

[And finally, I conclude.]

I realize that lack of courtesy is an epidemic in our world.  And I also realize that I cannot change people (nor do I want to).  But this situation has made me more aware of how fragile personal relationships are.  And how nonchalantly some people I know will throw them away when asked to bend just a little bit.

Can you blame me when I say that I have an overwhelming urge to snarl?

Dining With The Beans

I stopped at the grocery late yesterday afternoon to pick up a fast dinner for Zen-Den and me.  I knew that we had the makings for a tossed salad at home, as well as some fresh blackberries, so I only had four items in my basket.

  • a rotisserie chicken, bbq
  • a loaf of bread, California sourdough
  • a bottle of white wine, Argentinian Torrontes
  • a package of Klondike bars, original

It wasn’t busy in the store so I went through the regular checkout line.  The guy that was running the cash register was indifferent to what he was ringing up, but the girl who was bagging my groceries was paying close attention to what I was buying.  And even went so far as to offer her opinion:  “Wow!  This is– like– the best.  dinner.  ever.”

And you know what?  She was right.

Our dinner.  Ally selected.  Bagger approved.  😉

Making Myself Useful

People think of me at the strangest times.

I received an email from a former boss of mine who I haven’t heard from in five years– haven’t worked for in about two decades.  Not to be cynical, but I figured there was a reason that she thought of me all of a sudden and sent me this email. And I was right.

The first part of her message told me what she and her husband had done. Retired now.  Moved to another state.  Built a house on 10+ acres.  Raising farm animals.

Then she explained that she had written to ask me about events that happened in a bar near where we worked– twenty years ago— when Bailey’s Irish Cream was a new and exotic drink to us. Specifically, she wanted to know if I remembered the names of any of the drinks with Bailey’s Irish Cream in them that we used to enjoy.

I could only think of two drinks, a Nutty Irishman [Bailey’s and Frangelico] and a B-52 [Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, and Kahlua], but I emailed to her what I could remember.  I figured she was hosting some shindig and wanted to have some special drinks.

But I could not have been farther from the truth, as I learned when former boss emailed back and finally told me what she was really up to.

One of her alpacas, named Bailey, had just given birth. And former boss thought that it’d be fun to name her newest little girl alpaca, the daughter of Bailey, after one of those drinks we enjoyed years ago. But former boss couldn’t think of the names of any of them, so naturally she thought of me.

Well, of course. Makes perfect sense.

At first I was a bit miffed about why former boss had contacted me.  But as I got thinking about it I decided that I liked my newfound title of She Who Names Alpacas.  It had a certain ring to it.

So I sent former boss an email suggesting that “Bea,” a shortened form of B-52, would be a good name for an alpaca.  I liked it because I figured that if I was an alpaca I’d want a respectable name– not something silly like Nutty.  Me, a suburbanite, being so knowledgeable about alpacas and all….

Former boss emailed back, said that she liked the name, and promised to send photos of Bea, just as soon as she got around to taking them. Which in my estimation will be about the time Bea becomes a mother herself and former boss, needing yet another “Bailey” name, thinks of me again.

Here Comes The Sun

Let’s review.

First, I sat at this desk, working on this computer, complaining about rain to the whole world via this blog.  And I was grumpy.

Then something amazing happened.  We had a rainbow.  Not just any rainbow, but the biggest and brightest one I’ve ever seen in this part of the USA.  A rainbow of such significance that Z-D phoned me on his way home from work to make sure that I was seeing this rainbow.  And I was stunned.

Then yesterday, because the sun was shining, I was able to plant colorful flowers and pretty viney things in the many garden pots that decorate the exterior of our home.  Pots that I really love to look at when I’m driving up the driveway or walking up the sidewalk.  And I was very happy.

[I’m calling this particular pot, and its sister pot on the other side of the stoop, “Snack Time At Vacation Bible School” because it has chocolate drop coleus + coralberry punch superbells in it.  How fun is that?]

So even though the weather forecast for today is rain, I’m still in a good mood.  Creating the flower pots yesterday brightened my spirits.  And reminded me that when the nice weather gets here, I must make the effort to enjoy every minute of it.

TGIF, everyone.  Make it a good weekend.  Rainy or sunny.

It Is Still Raining Here

“April is the cruelest month.”  ~ T. S. Eliot, “The Wasteland”

I’m sick of the rain.  We’ve had wet weather here almost every day since mid-March.  In fact, in April we had 3x our normal rainfall, making this past April the second wettest on record.

[Oh joy.]

  • At this point, I can’t stand looking at the rain:  boring raindrops descending from gray skies that never go away.
  • I can’t stand hearing the sound of the rain pounding on the roof all night: *plop, plop… plop… splat* over and over again.
  • I can’t stand driving the car in the rain: *swish, swish* {sound of windshield wipers} *splash. splash. splash* {driving through a puddle}
  • I can’t stand walking in the rain: wet feet, muddy shoes/ cold ankles, soggy pants bottoms.

I’ve been a trooper about this lousy weather.  Really, I have.  I’ve looked on the bright side and been understanding about the fickle nature of spring.

[Spring: the passive-aggressive season.]

  • Yes, yes– I know that we had a drought last summer/autumn and that this rainfall is wonderful for the trees and grass.
  • Yes, yes– I get it that the early farm crops are thriving and this pleases some farmers.
  • Yes, yes– I’m delighted that because of the plethora of worms available, the birds are so healthy and happy this spring.  Bully for them.

But the reality is that after a very long winter I’ve endured almost two extra months of cabin fever, unable to go for long walks– or to putter in the garden– or to enjoy cook-outs on the deck.  I’ve been cooperative.  I’ve put up with this weather nonsense without much complaint.

And what have I got for all my goodness?  More fricking rain.  Predicted through the weekend.  Maybe into next week.

[And my life remains on hold.]

Oh. No. Not. This.

I was shopping for some clothes for me.  I found a few things to try on so I stepped into a dressing room.  At first my focus was on the clothes, but gradually it shifted and I realized that playing loudly from a speaker right above my head was a cutesy, wordy song that I’d never heard before.

So I stopped what I was doing and had a listen.  Big mistake.  Now I have an ear worm… and this is what I’m hearing.

[You’ve been warned.  Click on the link at your own peril.]