Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Don't ask

Don't ask me how I'm doing.

Not if you don't really want to know. Not if you're in a hurry or on your way to an appointment or there's ice cream melting in your car or your kids are waiting for you at school or you have to pee or you really were just being polite and you really don't care.

Don't ask me how I'm doing.

Because, like it or not, I just might tell you.

I just might tell you what it feels like when the company you've worked for and that gave you a career you loved for 26 years tosses you aside like a two-day old newspaper with no reason, no explanation and then pretty much ceases to be. I might just tell you what it's like to not only have to find a new job, but an entirely new career. And how it feels to go through the classified ads and realize that you are qualified to do virtually nothing and  to be rejected for half-a-dozen positions.

I might just tell you how terrifying it is not to know what you want to be.

I might just tell you how much fun it is to stay home every day and take care of an ornery  82-year-old woman with a beeper, who can barely walk, who has a sore butt from sitting all the time, who wants her grits just a bit runny, her oatmeal a little soggy, her toast burnt and her eggs soft boiled. Who bruises when you touch her and lets you know it. I might just tell you that it's just like having a baby again, who needs a sippy cup and a bib and her food cut up and to be lifted into and out of the car three times a week to go to dialysis.

I might just tell you how guilty it makes me feel when people tell me what a good person I am for doing it.  That I don't always do it with a smile or a soft heart. And that I tiptoe around my house so I don't wake her up.


I just might tell you how miserable I was throughout Super Bowl week in New Orleans. That it was hell for me -- not because I was downtown working my ass off, but because I wasn't. But all my friends were. All my former colleagues and co-workers were downtown in this massive media center with television personalities and professional athletes and celebrities, and I was making oatmeal. They were writing award-winning stories about the boy I covered in high school who came home to play in the big game and left with a Super Bowl trophy clutched in his hands, and I was making oatmeal.

I might just tell you that the one day I did get to go down there to "visit," they looked at me like I had two heads, and the only "famous" person I got to see was the guy from "Swamp People."

I might just tell you how frustrating it is to want to drag my snarky tween to a Mardi Gras parade or a concert or a movie, or to go out out to dinner with my husband -- or just upstairs -- but we can't because he's living at the ballpark now and there's no one else to sit with Grandma most of the time because everyone else has a life even if I don't.

I might just tell you that I'm losing my mind. Because I am. That I'm stuck, because I am. That I don't know what I'm going to do, because I don't.

And I hate that I'm this person who just might tell you all of this, instead of just smiling and saying, "I'm just fine! How are you?" That I'm the kind of person who will look you dead in the eye and lie to your face. Who wishes you would just hug me. Or buy me a drink. Or two. Or fly off with me to the beach. Where we would have a drink. Or two.

So, don't ask me.

Unless you're willing to listen, and let your ice cream melt.

7 comments:

  1. I feel like I just read a large part of my life. Hugs are good - when you can get them or.anyone offers. No one offers anymore.and my pain, like yours, is palpable. My ice cream can melt but, God, do I understand your pain.

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  3. Thanks Tammy. I appreciate the hug from far away. Sometimes, I just have to let it out.... (and you double posted, so I deleted one. No worries).

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  4. Rarely does anyone talk about how hard it is to do what you are doing for Jane. Venting is very therapeutic. Dont want to read the TP's headline.... former writer loses it with mil.....

    Give yourself permission to be resentful cuz you are (and should be for many reasons)... its hard and only getting harder. Then give yourself a great big hug... whenever you need one.

    But most of all continue to blog cuz I enjoy reading your writings (or ramblings if
    needed!!!)

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  5. Thanks Jane... And thanks for telling me this is you!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this. I should have known this was harder than you were letting on on Facebook. My heart is with you.

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  7. Sometimes you just have to let it fly. Thanks E.

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