I’m Mad.

I found out yesterday that a friend in recovery died. He relapsed, and was found in his car, covered in vomit, in the fetal position. Dead.

I know this is not how you start a blog post. I guess. But I don’t really care.

He was young, and he had boys, and he had a smile that lit up the room.

And he’s dead.

Last Sunday I was helping in the yard, and it was hot. I had been working with the hubs and the boys for hours. The sound of the lawnmower hummed in the background as I pruned and weeded and raked. It was a glorious spring day.

And I was mad. I was mad at the grass and the fact that it made me itchy and that we had run out of bags and that my rose bushes had the audacity to have thorns.

I was mad at our blackberry vine because it needed to be cut back and I was mad at it for that. I was mad at my boys for giggling.

I was mad at the sun for being so hot.

As it happens, others around me felt the madness. This is always the way. Mad doesn’t like to be quiet or sit by itself, so, logically, I got mad at Brian.

I think it was because of the way he asked me about lunch. His tone was wrong and I got mad about that. And he blinked at me a bit which also made me mad and then I stomped inside because I was also mad, it seems, at the ground.

And then I did this:

I said, through gritted teeth: “God I don’t know why, but I am TICKED OFF. Please. Help. Grant me the serenity, Ok? Oh, I don’t even WANT to say the rest of it! I’m SO MAD.”

And then I stood there and waited for some sort of God miracle of goodness and light to come fix it. No such miracle. My dog circled my feet a few times but I felt no better. Still mad.

“Fine. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the FREAKING DIFFERENCE I AM STILL MAD.”

And, as usually happens after the serenity prayer, I stood still with my feelings, and turned them over in my hands, just for a moment. And as I turned them, I saw what I was mad about.

I wanted to take my husband a beer.

Back in the olden days, when I drank, on hot summer days I used to always take the hard working yard husband a beer. This meant, I was a good wife.

It also meant I was ok with beer- it was a harbinger of good will and slaking thirst after hard work in the sun. It was like all those Bud Light commercials with hikers enjoying a beer at the summit because beer is the next thing to Gatorade. It’s got wheat in it. IT’S GOOD FOR YOU.

And that beer that I brought to the husband also meant, evidently this past Sunday, that I was still very much an alcoholic. Because? It had taken up a whole lot of head space and had drug along with it a whole lot of negativity and emotions that don’t really belong anywhere near me anymore.

So, I realized all that in the kitchen on a hot Sunday. And I had to smile because every once in a while I try to tell myself that I am really ok. That surely I’m not an alcoholic. That I’m probably just fine… And that memory of that beer made it all very clear.

I walked out to the husband who was now trying to fix something broken in the garage. I stood in front of him, and said, “I’m sorry.”

He tilted his head to side, all labrador retriever-ish, and said, “Why? What did you break?” And I thought, he doesn’t even realize I was being a putz earlier. I should leave now.

But instead I said this:

I wanted to bring you a beer. I remember how I used to do that. And a part of me wishes I could still do it. We used to do fun things like that.

And he said,

Well,  I miss it too, a little. But not all that much. And we do lots of other fun things now, that we never could have done before. So that’s better.

I totally don’t deserve him. Also, he will make me mad again and he won’t nearly be as cool about it as he was in this post, I promise you. But for now, he said the perfect thing.

I hugged him, and spoke into his sweaty tshirt that smelled like cut grass, “I am so an alcoholic.”

He didn’t answer because I think he was realizing this was one of those Dana moments where it is very very much about my self-therapy, but I’m pretty sure he was thinking,

DAMN STRAIGHT YOU ARE.

So there was all that therapy last Sunday. Because of the sound of a lawn mower and some sun rays.

And then my friend, Jesse dies.

And I guess? I am still mad. Not mad anymore at the wrong people or the memories of long ago, or my own tangled brain.

I know who I’m mad at now. And today my anger feels like a loaded gun.

I hate you, alcohol.

That’s all. Thanks for listening.

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Everything’s Perfectly Fine Here. How are You?

This post was sponsored by:

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And:

GUILT.

This should be fun! So let’s get started.

Ok, one of my favorite scenes from Star Wars was when Harrison Ford has that cute conversation with the dude on the intercom. I love it because he is SOOOOO cute! The cuteness! The cute swagger! And he fits in his Storm Trooper outfit really well!

Yes, little ones, I am referring to the real Star Wars. The one that I watched in Glenwood Theater in Overland Park, Kansas in 1977. I was 8. Harrison Ford was a bit too old for me. I had feathered bangs, and Glenwood Theater had a chandelier, people. And velvet seats. And a deep red curtain that opened before each showing. It was an EXPERIENCE, y’all.

The other reason I love that scene is that I kinda feel like Han did in that controller room all the time. Sorta, erm, on the edge a bit and also: TOTALLY FAKING IT ALL THE TIME.

So here’s an update on my week:

The gigantic box from Netflix? Remember that?

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Well, it was just a tv. No biggie. Just a gigantic tv. Because, you know, I’M AWESOME.

Here is how my family reacted to this:

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Husband is blurry because I was giggling.

Ok, also: we had Halloween. So we have ONE picture of ONE child. I don’t know why. Just ONE child evidently was photogenic enough (barely, you’ll see) for me to point and click at him.

Here you go:

photo

Riiiiiight. I know. You can’t see him. Someday I am totally going to get fired for lousy photography. But, also…

(Wait for it…)

“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?”

BOOM. I have been waiting my whole LIFE to be able to channel my inner Leia and say that! And now I can! With a blurry, dark photo of my cute, and short, son!

Oh, and by the way:

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WE WON THE WORLD SERIES. There is such goodness about this I can’t even use words. Well, no, I CAN use words, but they just won’t really do it justice. It is wonderfulness. It is nail biting games and extra innings and Salvie messing with us whenever he talks and stealing home and just a sprinkling of Paul Rudd, for flavor.

Oops, used words. Sorry. Can’t help it.

By now, I bet you’re wondering… where does the guilt part come in?

Well, and also:

I abandoned my child. I KNOW. This post took a rather abrupt turn, didn’t it? We were all happy and celebrating holidays and big screen tv’s and then, WHAMMO.

That’s called a plot twist.

Here’s the deal. My sweet Red, who is wonderful and adorable in every way, is also, well, how should I put this:

Slow. He’s just really slow. He likes to do things slowly. All the things. Eating. Pooping. Walking. It’s all slow.

This totally doesn’t bother me at all.

So, this morning, for some reason, Red really really had a rough time with some basics: I told him to get dressed and I found him, in his underpants, staring out the front door at the sky as if he were contemplating his life choices for his long five years.

Socks. Same problem. Found him upstairs in the train room, just standing there. It was creepy.

Brushing teeth? I don’t even think we got there because we were still stuck at socks. Poor teachers.

Anyhow, finally, I snapped. I uttered these fateful words:

“Red. We are leaving. You have one minute. If you are not ready to go then Blonde and I will have to LEAVE WITHOUT YOU.”

And. Well. To cut the suspense, I’ll just tell you. He got left. We left him. I LEFT him. I took Blonde, grabbed the dog, and walked AWAY FROM MY BABY.

And then, he proceeded to lose his #@!.

But I think he did hurry up a little. He made it to a block from school and I spotted him. He was sobbing and all the mothers of the entire town were surrounding him. I think a few cars had pulled over. Police helicopters were circling overhead and Fox News had been called.

I walked up and said, “He’s fine.” Not the best thing to say. I then explained (because he was NOT fine, but he was “learning a lesson” from his “evil mother” who had to “not relapse because of this morning” and needed to, no matter what, “stick by her words no matter how much it was gonna freak her and the entire community OUT.”)

I explained the situation, and Red headed off, with me behind him. One mom gave me a sympathetic smile, but I swear another one has decided to shadow my house now.

Sigh. I know. All of this kinda puts a pall over the new tv.

Mommies. I’m doing the best I can. We had done the morning dawdle routine just one too many times. I decided to stick to my guns. I just didn’t expect this:

He broke my heart. Seeing him here, all sobbing and sad. I just don’t know. The kid learned a lesson but I did too. If I am going to leave my kid to fend for himself I need to figure out a way to do it with in air surveillance and nerves of steel. As I have neither of these things I am going to try out one of two options:

  1. Get the kid up at 5 am so he will be on time.
  2. Just carry him everywhere.

And that was my morning.

Everything’s fine here. And… How are YOU?

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