Tonight will be exactly one year since my life shattered into a million little pieces of shit.
A lot has happened in this last year.
So much of it is too horrific for words.
But some of it is actually … well? Surprisingly, some of it is not too awful. Dare I say, maybe even verging on nice?
I never thought I’d be saying that anytime soon.
But shit or shine, I can’t talk about any of it yet. There are trials looming and attorneys everywhere and court dates popping up like zits and it’s all very dramatic and expensive and miserable and blah blah blah.
I can’t wait until it’s all over.
In the meantime, my 82 year old mother decided that I did not have nearly enough crazy around me so she decided to get herself a new cell phone and then she declared she was going to learn how to text even if it killed
And my initial reaction was one of GOOD GOD, JUST PUNCH ME IN THE THROAT ALREADY.
Which was quickly followed by something akin to SERIOUSLY. GO HEAD. PUNCH ME. LOOK, I’LL EVEN STAND STILL. HURRY UP.
Because I knew what was coming.
*Ring Ring Ring*
Me: Hi Mom.
Mom: Andy? Andy? This is Mom.
Me: I know, Mom.
Me: I’m here, Mom.
Me: I’M HERE, MOM.
Mom: Peter! Peter! Come here. This new phone is not working. Peter! Are you listening to me? Andy can’t hear me either. What is wrong with everybody??
Me: MOM! Stop yelling at Dad. You’re phone is not broken. YOU ARE JUST DEAF.
Mom: Oh, Andy! There you are! Listen. I got a new cell phone. Nothing fancy. I told that young man at the store that I don’t want any bells or whistles. NO BELLS OR WHISTLES. I just want to get a call, make a call and text.
Mom: Andy? Andy? What is that loud banging?
Me: Nothing, Mom. I’m just bludgeoning myself with my crockpot.
Mom: Whatever for?
Me: Just preparing for the inevitable, Mom.
Mom: You make no sense. Listen. Hang up because I’m going to text you.
*Ring Ring Ring*
Me: Hi, Mom.
Mom: Andy? We got disconnected. DAMMIT. I think this new cell phone is defective? Do I have to go all the way back to the store now? Who’s got time for that? GODDAMMIT.IT.ALL.TO.HELL.
Me: Mom! Relax. You told me to hang up so I hung up.
Mom: Oh! That’s what you did? Fine. OK. Hang up. I’m going to tex…
*Five seconds later*
Me: Hi Mo…
Mom: Andy! I just texted you! Did you get it?
Me: Yes, Mom.
Mom: Text me back!
Text from me: Hey Mom! Congratulations on your texting! Love U!
*Ring Ring Ring*
.Me: Hi Mo…
Mom: Andy! I got your text! I just wanted you to know. Now, hang up. I’m going to text you again.
*One hour later*
Text from Mom: hello. this is mom. hello.
*two seconds later*
*Ring Ring Ring*
Me: Hi. This is Andy. I can’t take your call right now because my mother is driving me batshit crazy. If you leave your …
Mom: There are no capital letters on my phone. I can’t find them anywhere. I knew this goddamn phone was defective. WHO MAKES CELL PHONES WITHOUT CAPITAL LETTERS?
Pray for me.
I love my little corner of the Internet.
I love that even though I haven’t posted in … let’s see … drop the 6, carry the 1 … HOLY SHIT CHECK THE EDGE OF THE EARTH, SHE PROBABLY FELL OFF, people still pop in here to see if I’ve done anything to embarrass my kids (see below), named any cold sores lately (there was Margo – I kicked her ass last November, but not before she kicked my lips’ ass for a few weeks before that) and whether I’ve managed yet to sculpt a reasonable facsimile of Mt. Vesuvius out of Ollie’s poop (a few more deposits behind the couch and I should be good to go).
Let’s see … what’s been going on?
Zoe has been accepted to five out of seven colleges so far, including Geneseo. I think Geneseo wanted her because of my essay. Zoe thinks they wanted her because of her grades, leadership potential, blah blah freaking blah. Way to make it all about YOU, Zoe.
We put our house up for sale. I think God decided to stop using my life as an enema bag for a bit and give me a break because within 48 hours, I had four offers. All four were non-contingent, two were all cash and one was above purchase price, accompanied by a letter and family photo. I stared at that photo and studied their faces and the toothy smile of their little girl and as I signed on the bottom line through a stream of tears, I hoped my home would bring them more happiness than it ever did us.
We move this weekend. At first, it was hard to think about leaving a large, beautiful home that had my heart and soul plastered all over it and through it for a small, nondescript, bland apartment but now? I think we might be a bit excited. It may be small, but this apartment will be a fresh, new start for the girls and me. No bitter memories slapping us with a harsh reality everywhere we turn. I’d like to believe that new memories are just waiting around some tight-fitting corners for us to discover.
I ran into my eleven year old’s hottie teacher at Target the other day. This would be the same hottie teacher we ran into while bra shopping for her, when she spent the following week hoping the earth would open up and swallow her whole. I texted her all about my new run-in because that’s the kind of mom I am:
Life these past few months has been challenging. The loss of my husband has been agonizing enough but the loss of those so dear to me who, for whatever reason, could not find it within themselves to stand behind us with both feet planted firmly on the ground has compounded that agony. The loss has just been unfathomable. But you know that saying about God never closing a door without opening a window? Never have I believed in that as much as I do now.
Open windows have come in the form of a good job with a boss who is a trusted friend and confidante.
A friend, to whom I was married in a former life, who finished unfinished bathrooms and without whom I could not have sold our house.
An entire family who opened up their home to the three of us and became a safe haven for Helena, as well as a reminder that family isn’t always defined by blood.
Lifelong friends who call like clockwork, checking up on me and buying me greasy potato skins because nothing soothes a wounded soul like fat and cholesterol.
Friends of my eldest who spent hours filling up trucks and finding willing dumpsters.
Another friend who tirelessly but beautifully staged my house so that it sold within days instead of months.
Friends who drove over to my house with three seconds of notice, bringing with them broad, water-proof shoulders.
Others who offered to sit with me at court or, in the alternative, text me during the entire time and make me laugh so that I forgot the awfulness all around me.
A lawyer who texts me late on a Saturday night after a particularly hideous and scary day, without charging me for it.
Online friends who prove that the Internet isn’t so vast and impersonal after all.
And still other friends who find you after thirty years and help you haul fifteen years of crap out your basement without expecting anything in return.
In this big cyclone of shit that has been swirling around us since last summer, I have found rays of light poking through.
I’m still scared of this new life. But somewhere in the back of my mind, a little to the left of Anderson Cooper’s imprint, is the knowledge that we’re going to be OK.
OH MY GOD, GUESS WHAT?
I’m still here.
I can’t believe it either.
I have so much to tell you but my brain is in overdrive and my fingers can’t keep up and they’re all SLOW THE HELL DOWN, STUPID CEREBELLUM, and my brain is all OH YEAH? WHY DON’T YOU COME OVER HERE AND MAKE ME, YOU STUPID DIGITS and my fingers are all OH YEAH? COME OUT FROM BEHIND THAT SKULL AND WE’LL SEE HOW BIG YOUR BALLS ARE and my brain is all OH, GAME ON! YOU LITTLE PIECES OF … WAIT. I HAVE BALLS?
I’m typing this with eight fingers now because my two middle ones are busy flipping my cerebellum’s genitalia the bird.
Look at that! I still manage to fit some derivative of the word “genitals” into a post that has nothing to do with sex. See? I’m still me.
THAT’S A GOOD THING.
Just in case you were wondering.
There is no way I can use one blog post to fill you in on all of the unholy crap that has gone down in the last couple of months so for now, I’ll just hit the highlights:
Right now, I am trying to finish my Christmas shopping sometime before Valentine’s Day but I’ll be back soon because when all is said and done, I miss writing my blog.
Really, really miss it.
And while I can no longer write about my marriage to Nate without gouging my eyes out with a spork, I’m confident that life won’t always suck like it does at the moment. This is not the end of my story but simply the end of a chapter. And hopefully, this horribleness will be over soon and my new life will begin and I can sell the rights to my insane life story to Pixar and they’ll make an animated movie of my life and it will be their first R or NC-17 movie and parents will unwittingly take their kids to it because hello? It’s Pixar! And three minutes in, they’ll be shielding their children’s eyes and screaming for their money back so they can pay for therapy and their kids will be crying MOMMY! WHY ARE CREATIVE JUNKIE’S BRAINS EXPLODING ALL OVER THE SCREEN? CAN I HAVE MORE GUMMY BEARS?
My new life will inevitably breed all sorts of new stories and I expect it won’t be too long before I have blog fodder out the ying yang, such as my suspicion that instead of working on her college application essay, my eldest daughter is busy writing my online profile for eharmony.com.
Maybe by the time I’m actually ready to date, I’ll know what a wazoo and a ying yang is.
Yesterday, it took me one hour to drive one mile YES I SAID ONE FREAKING MILE and I don’t even live in LA.
I live in western New York where Route 590 is a goddamn, filthy cesspool of traffic jam every morning.
Periodically, while at yet another dead stop, I’d yell SHIT SHIT SHITTY SHIT SHIT ON A STICK at the miles of vehicles stretched out before me, including this one, whose cargo, I believe, turned out to be quite prophetic.
Irony, thy name is Witty Septic Guy.
Every so often I allow myself one feeding frenzy at the all-you-can-eat lunacy trough, just so I can get in touch with my own inner batshit crazy and make sure it’s still up to challenge. The last thing I want is my batshit crazy to languish and atrophy because I won’t be able to distinguish it from my metabolism and then where will I be?
The last time I stuffed my psyche’s face at this trough was back in February 2010 while driving our Durango home from the IKEA in Pittsburgh and we all know how that ended.
This time around, I’ve been standing at the damn trough for so long, my feet have grown roots and I have a permanent hunchback. Not to mention my emotional stability is so distended from gorging itself on the never-ending buffet of whackadoodle, it’s got stretch marks and on more than one occasion, I’ve mistaken it for my stomach.
For my own sanity, I decided to no longer stand at this damn trough but rather, sit down on the couch, make myself comfy and hold out for a full-blown midlife crisis instead because I hear they’re a lot more fun. To prepare for it, I bought myself my very first thong. Look for a post coming your way soon entitled WHY AM I WEARING A COLONOSCOPY ON MY ASS?
But just as I was settling down to await my crisis by eating my weight in Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies while watching a marathon of Real Housewives of New York City…
… Zoe decided to shoot my life to hell by signing up for her driver’s license test.
This was Zoe, filled with nervous excitement, right before her test was to start.
If I had known how to shoot video with my phone, you would have heard her saying something like “Ten more minutes until the world as you know it changes forever, Mom!” and then you would have seen a panning shot of the clouds and the sky and then more clouds and then more sky and then a bunch of shaky trees and then some grass and dirt and then someone probably would have zoomed in an emotionally fragile, bespectacled, perimenopausal woman lying flat on her back from the OH MY GODness of it all.
But only if that someone didn’t care about being grounded until she turned thirty.
This was Zoe’s instructor.
My first thought was that he might keel over and die of old age before Zoe completed her test, thus making it null and void and forcing her to reschedule it for sometime in 2021, which was the only time I could find in my busy schedule to drive her back here.
But he was all perky and said stuff like Howdy, there! Ready to rock and roll? Let’s get moving, then! and he showed absolutely no signs of kicking the bucket anytime soon, let alone in the next ten minutes.
My second thought was DAMN IT ALL TO HELL.
This is Zoe, pulling away from the curb.
Again, if I had known how to shoot video with my phone, you would have seen a shot of the car driving away with the camera running after it and you’d probably hear some delusional maniac frantically shouting HEY! SHE FORGOT TO USE HER TURNING SIGNAL! THAT’S LIKE, A TWENTY POINT PENALTY, RIGHT?
And then you’d have probably seen some footage of stubble on a pale, white leg walking slowly to the sidewalk with a voice over of HEY! WHOSE JOB WAS IT TO REMIND ME TO SHAVE TODAY?
You know, it’s probably a good thing no one knows how to shoot video on my phone.
While waiting for life to end as I know it, Helena and I had ourselves a nice conversation in which I commented on what a gorgeous day it was and how upset I was that her big sister had to go and muck it all to hell by growing up and how Helena was my baby and would always be my baby and how I was so happy that she wouldn’t do horribly stupid things to her mama like dating and applying to college and then she said something about there being a little over 2,000 days until Zoe and I would be sitting in these same chairs in this same spot as she took her own driver’s license test and OH MY GOSH, MOM, HOW COOL IS THAT?
And then I said something about Santa going out on permanent disability with a hernia and how I no longer loved her best.
And then we stopped talking.
When Zoe returned from her test, she and the instructor spent a full five minutes in the car, discussing the results of her test.
Coincidentally, I spent that same five minutes yelling WELL? WELL? WELL? WELL? and having a myocardial infarction.
And then the verdict came in and as I did with the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and the 2000 presidential election and the rumors about Anderson Cooper, I went into immediate denial and demanded a recount and threatened to become a lesbian and move to Canada.
MAKE ROOM AT THE TROUGH, PEOPLES.