Tag Archives: mom

Life is still hard.

The other night I had to go back to work after a week and a half hiatus. I was so distraught that I called my mom from outside the office before I went inside. I whined. And mostly she didn’t listen. She was in a good mood about napkin rings or something and wasn’t indulging my compaints at all. At one point I started to say, “I feel like my soul is dying,” but she cut me off.

At the end of the conversation she said, “Go to work. You have to do it.” And hearing those words reminded me of all the times she’d told me similar things–when I didn’t want to go to school, or softball practice, or Abby’s ninth birthday party at the roller rink. I’m not sure there was anything I did want to do as a child. Many times I’d sit beside one of our cats on the floor and feel the strongest envy towards its lifestyle. All you have to do all day is sleep. You have it so good, Smokey. So hearing my mom say, “You have to do it,” triggered that same old whiney response from growing up. “I know. You don’t have to tell me.”

As soon as those words came out, though, I realized I needed to pull myself together. It was disgusting. It was like I’d forgotten to take my dignity with me when I’d left the house that day.

Anyway. Work was fine. I survived. Just as I survived school, and softball practice, and Abby’s ninth birthday party.

Funny story–one time at softball practice I was playing catch with one of my teammates to warm up. We’d separated from the group a little bit and gone by the fence at the edge of the field. My dad came over and was watching us from the other side of the fence. My teammate saw him and didn’t realize it was my dad. She thought it was a stranger and a threatening one, too. She told me to follow her to another part of the field, away from the fence.

I didn’t tell her it was my dad or that he was nothing to worry about. Which I would feel guilty about, except…I didn’t want to be at practice to begin with.

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Crises (and the Ongoing Saga of My Mom and Tommy Lee Jones)

It’s daunting to come home from work around 4am and have an urgent email waiting for you, especially one from a friend who is still trying to master the English language and is asking you to answer a question that might appear on their midterm in the morning:

How did we get into the financial crisis that the world is currently facing?

“This is hard.  I’m going to watch TV, instead.”  That’s what I wanted to say, but instead I produced a few sentences that could be mistaken for some semblance of an answer.  (The word “semblance” reminds me of Harry Connick, Jr. because he said it in an interview once and I was like, “Gosh, he has a nice voice AND a nice vocabulary.”)

Turned out the professor didn’t even ask about the financial crisis on the midterm, so all is well in the world (except for the financial crisis).

Speaking of crises, I’m in the midst of my own personal one.  Aren’t we all, always?  So last night I did what I usually do when I can’t deal with the seemingly important, unresolvable things in my life–I called my mom.  Only she was watching a Tommy Lee Jones movie, so she had to call me back.  (Which will be my excuse next time I want to avoid a conversation.)

When she called back I was on the street.  I had walked down to the coffee place I normally go to, but it was closed.  The only other coffee place is several blocks in the other, more trendy direction of my neighborhood.  Naturally it’s a Starbucks.  And naturally the semi-trendy people have made it their meeting place.  Not one, single time have I been able to find a free table or oversized chair in that location.  Not one.  What I do find are people who look like they’ve been camped out there since the Taft administration.  Only young and fresh-faced as though they just came from yoga.

So anyway.  Coffee at 11pm didn’t pan out.  I continued walking and whining to my mom.  And after an avenue of that, I came face to face with a bit of perspective– a car crash.

It wasn’t a big one.  Just a squealing-tires-fender-bender deal, but still.  You see that, not 10 feet from where you’re standing doing your whoa-is-me routine and suddenly you realize you’re sort of a whiny little bitch.  It’s like that moment in this week’s “The City” when Jay and Whitney are (spoiler alert) breaking up and he says, “I just feel like you have to be a little bit stronger.” 

Beautiful people who wear expensive clothes and can afford to feed themselves regularly are lame, especially when they’re on MTV reality shows, but just for the record…Whitney is a strong, savvy woman and Jay just ain’t ready for all that jelly.