Parental paybacks…

The Boy and The Girl came to town today to join me at an awards ceremony.   Patient and graceful, they sat through an interminable presentation, which followed a soul-crushing splendid dinner of rubberized chicken and partially thawed green beans, on a bed of Uncle Ben’s Instant wild rice, smothered in completely unrecognizable white sauce. 

They endured the evening, surrounded by about 100 local nerds, their doting wives and a few scattered children, as eight engineers and scientists were honored for geek-tastic achievement.  Presentations mired in scientific minutiae, photos of smiling families on vacation and proud pictures of honorees with grandchildren… oh, and in some cases, every other word was an unintelligible acronym*.

They made the best of it.  The Girl was happy to slug back the house wine while admiring the high style of the attendees**.  The Boy discreetly escaped for a couple smoke breaks to disrupt the drudgery.  The event started early (5:30) in order to finish in time for the overwhelmingly geriatric crowd to be home and in bed before the 10:00 pm news. 

The Boy planned to find a bored spouse and entice her to get him hammered with “Evening, Ma’am.  I’m sure you’d like to buy me a beverage at the bar.  Funny, but i seem to have forgotten my ID…”.  It wasn’t necessary – the guilt overpowered me, and i smuggled a few beers back to our table to help him pass the time and further numb his senses.

Why did they do it?  Why did i ask them to to?  That horrifying moment during the presentation when there is acknowledgement of the loving wife.  Posing for photographs after the event, the supportive and beaming spouse there beside her humble, appreciative man… The only woman in this batch***, it was awkward enough not having a wife, let alone a husband. 

All of those soccer games, school recitals and fund-raising events i attended all those years?  Time to call it in…

Until i teach the fucking dog to wear a tux and hang a medal around my neck, they are going to have to suck this shit up.  I’ll keep buying the booze…

_______

* Guilty.  Mine was probably the worst… 

** Hiking boots with a suit.  Sweet….

*** To pass the time, i counted.  only 10 testosterone-deficient recipients among the 400+ going back to 1971.  She-it…  Still a man’s world…

One man’s digital is another man’s analog…

During an alcohol-fueled bitch-fest offsite strategy session this afternoon, one of my colleagues shared a great “dork boy engineer” story.*  After returning to the office following a doctors appointment, an electrical engineer (EE) relayed to his boss a tale of medical woe…

Informing the engineer that medical testing would be necessary to determine the root of the problem, the doctor said “is digital testing ok?”  Seeing as this gent puts the “EE” in “Geek”, digital is always better than analog, so he consented to the test.

Needless to say, engineer-boy was brought back to reality by the jarring snap of a rubber glove… 

nerds.jpg

* The “boss” in this case is the wife of my colleague, also an engineer, who apparently supervises some extraordinarily geek-erific people.

Metamessages…

During the workday, i’m mostly on the move through a large building complex, spending much of my day on roving patrol, going from meeting to meeting.  i don’t carry a briefcase, and often won’t even have a pad of paper for notes, instead jotting memos directly into my blackberry to provide an electronic reminder of promises made…

On days when i’m not wearing slacks, or a blazer, i find myself without pockets.  Today was such a day… With back to back meetings being held at opposite ends of the complex – perhaps a half mile apart – i had strategically planned to stop at the cafeteria to snag a quick lunch en route.

Without pockets, or a notebook, i stuffed a twenty dollar bill into the most convenient carrying place a woman has in such a circumstance – my bra.  This is not unusual for me, as i have another odd habit -carrying my cell phone in my bra.*  When traveling, hotel room keys, discussion notes, rental car keys and other assorted shrapnel will end up there as well.**

Wearing a wrap dress, with moderate cleavage, i knew i could discretely retrieve the cash on my way to grab lunch.  Arriving a few minutes late for my earlier meeting, i snuck into the back of the room, gathering situational awareness before diving into the business at hand. 

As i joined the festivities, i couldn’t help but notice the gentleman to my left checking me out from time to time.  Since he was of the “non-troll” variety of male***, this was mildly flattering, and sort of picked me up, after the day got off to a bumpy start.

Of course, you guessed it… not only was the twenty sticking out of the right side of my bra, but my phone was clearly visible through the thin fabric on the left side.   i didn’t notice until i went to retrieve the cash as i turned the corner into the lunch room. 

Gives a whole new meaning to “dressing professionally”…

** sort of like a chipmunk.  with breasts…

cashinhand.jpg

____________________

* yes, set on “vibrate”.  some days, i’d like to set it on “stun”. 

 

*** truly a rare animal in my workplace.  we are like a breeding zoo for nerds, dweebs and gentlemen who live in Mommy’s basement until they are 40 years old.

Ripples of divorce…

One of the unexpected issues encountered since the divorce relates to the awkward connection to former in-laws, who have been part of my life for over 25 years.  These are not the garish get-in-your-business, fart-on-your-couch, borrow-your-money, eat-all-your-food, stay-too-long-at-your-house kind of in-laws*, but the pleasant and thoughtful ones.  People you genuinely welcome into your life…

This morning, i received word that my former Mother-in-Law died.  A brief instant message from my former Sister-in-Law saying that “We lost Mom this morning.  E** was with her when it happened”.  At 89 years old, after a lifetime of serious heart trouble and a five year tussle with progressive dementia, she cashed in…

It’s too early to know details, but there will likely be a service this week.  i would genuinely like to “pay my respects”, hug these good folks, and wish them peace… it is not a sense of duty or obligation that drives my desire to attend. 

The awkwardness is in regard to E’s new girlfriend… He’s been involved with a woman for over a year but we’ve never crossed paths.  All i’ve got is basic intelligence from the kids, who say she’s very sweet, thoughtful*** and perhaps a little insecure about me – not fully comprehending the concept that divorce need not be messy. 

So i’ll plan to do a brief “hit and run”, sit in the back and all that good stuff.  I will give E advance notice, and let him know that i can bag the idea if it would cause him additional stress.

Maybe there are small, hidden benefits to a bitter and angry divorce?  When it’s done, you can replace the void with a nice dose of “good riddance”.  Instead of being caught off guard a couple years later by a sense of sorrow, failure and loss…

______________

* That would be the kind my ex-husband had to endure…

** E is my ex-husband.  He moved his parents in with him 5 years ago when they couldn’t manage on their own.  They welcomed the move to Ohio since they were pissed off that their votes hadn’t counted in the prior presidential election in Florida.  Oops…  E has his own consulting business, mostly working from home.  Although he has two sisters, he was in the best position to care for his parents – but it has been very difficult… 

*** Initial description was “Martha Stewart-y” – which would be about 180 degrees out of phase with daisyfae. 

Would you do it on a stage?

Helping with the box office for my ‘home theater’ during the current production of Seussical, The Musical, i was asked to do the curtain speech.  This is that annoying (but legally necessary) bit where the audience is instructed to turn off noisy things, shown the fire exits and whatnot.

Given that i despise overly long curtain speeches, with a director* standing on the stage, reading items from the program (such as next seasons schedule), or whining interminably about the need for money, this was a nice chance to set a new world record.

Also, because this was a Seuss-related event, i took a half-hearted run at a Seuss-esque rhyme for the key messages:

Before our show can truly start,
        some important words i must impart
Taking flash photos with your photo gee-gaw
        is not only rude, it’s against the law!
The show will go quickly, intermission we’ll take!
        fifteen minutes for cookies, and merciful potty break!
In case of fire, danger or fright,
        exits are here and here, on the left and right**
Please turn off your pagers, blackberries and phones
        we don’t need to hear your clever ringtones!
One last thing before i have to go,
        Thank you for coming! please enjoy the show!

There was one other bit of information i was asked to mention, which wasn’t quite suitable for the rhyme.  A key contributor to our theater – the kind gentleman who donated the building we share with a senior citizens center – passed away last week.  I made a short mention, but what i really wanted to say… 

At this theatre, our hearts do sag
        We’ve lost our favorite money bag…
No shotguns or handguns, no terrible fright
        He just never woke up after sleeping all night…

catinthehatdead.jpg

 

_______

* i was standing in for our Board of Directors president.  He clocks in at around 10 minutes every night.  i can’t say much to him because i’m sucking up – there’s a show i must do next year, and he’s directing. 

** Complete with the flight attendant “glued together double finger point” at the exits

the lovely “Cat in the Hat meets Grateful Dead” drawing is from a mural in Illinois (i believe), and was lifted from here….

Calling Uncle Walt…

When i was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, i asked my sister, S – a 6 year breast cancer survivor – to help break the news to Mom.  Her reaction set the world record for self-absorption.  In fact, i wondered if she would simply implode*….

Earlier this week, i encountered it again.  This time, because i was pretty sure she was jacked up on anti-anxiety drugs**, and because i’ve simply crossed my tolerance threshold, i decided to be a bit more direct with her about this behavior…

Stepping out of the cath lab to allow the nursing staff to do icky medical things to Mom’s incisions, she and i sat in a waiting area.  We’d just learned that Mom will need double bypass.

S (shaking, on the verge of tears):  I can’t take this.  I don’t know what I’m going to do without her!  I’m not ready to let her go!

daisyfae: You really need to think about what Mom needs.  This isn’t about you right now.

S (working up some angry tears): You just don’t understand.  I need her.  None of you need her as much as I do.  You’ll never understand.

daisyfae: Look, we’re all circling the drain!  We can’t change the outcome, we can only affect the path.  Freaking out is not doing anything good for the path…

S: I don’t want to talk about this!  She’s not going to die!

daisyfae: Do me a favor.  Rent The Lion King.  Study the part about “the circle of life”.  Let me know what you think.

_____

* oh, if it could only happen this way!

** clearly, an insufficient dosage….

Another conversational snippet…

The Boy has finished his exams for Winter quarter, and returned to the auxilliary trailer park home for Spring Break.  We were catching up on odds and ends, and he dropped this on me.  Well, it’s more like he dropped a big ol’ steamer on my living room floor.

The kid definitely has my genes.  And is uniquely qualified at the art of leaving me speechless…

Last weekend while visiting his sister, he was snowed in due to the blizzard.  He spent the weekend camped out at her apartment, drinking her beer and annoying her neighbors.  Sufficiently bored, he decided to post a comment on my “glamour of motherhood” post. 

The Boy:  Did you like the link I used? 

daisyfae:  It was pretty brilliant – very well done!  Where did you find it?

The Boy:  I needed a recipe for “hootch”…

daisyfae:   [blink, blink…]

The Boy:  Yeah.  I need to learn how to make hootch.  It’s an important skill…

daisyfae: [glaring… waiting…]

The Boy:  When I end up in prison, I better be good at something.  I could learn to do tattoos, but that requires talent.  I’ll never be the tough guy.  And I sure don’t want to end up being someone’s bitch.  This way, if I’ve got a valuable skill, like Brewmaster, they’ll leave me alone… 

daisyfae:  Well?

The Boy:  The first batch sucked.  I made the second with a white grape juice base.  It was better…

daisyfae: [scowling…]

The Boy:  What?!?  Relax, woman.  I didn’t make it in the toilet…

The Clampett’s Take Granny To The Hospital

You’ve seen the episode.  Granny needs a routine medical procedure, but the Clampett’s don’t trust them smarty-pants doctors and them new-fangled doctorin’ machines.  With a show of force that could have changed the outcome at Normandy, the Clampett clan descends upon a poor, unsuspecting hospital staff, unleashing their homespun brand of hillbilly hijinks, and much hilarity ensues.

clampett_clan.jpg

 

 “Hilarity” is one word for it.  My word for it is “shoot – me – the – fuck – now – i – cannot – POSSIBLY – be – related – to – these – sociopathic – mutant – hillbilly – fucktards”.  For the purists out there, yes – i can count.  i tried the thesaurus.  There was no single word that captured the complete sentiment.

Continue reading

Habi-trailer park?

barbie-dream-house.jpg

i’ll be in The Park for a couple days…. Mom’s scheduled for heart catheterization today.  It’s an outpatient procedure, but highly recommended that someone spend the night. 

The plan from my family members was to have DQ, Jr. stay over.  That would be the 13 year old.  On a school night.  My sister, S, was the other option, but she’s had the flu, so that was off the table.

I’ll be spending the night there, under a pile of cheap plastic crap, in a recliner in Mom’s living room, being nibbled by fleas.  And thinking about that nice, puncture wound in her femoral artery… i hate puncture wounds. 

But it will keep my mind off the spiders circling my head…