Baby Monkey at 21

We are a strange crew, The Girl, The Boy and me.  i was only a year older than The Girl, now 23, when she popped* into my life.  The Boy appeared two years later to complete our rag-tag hippie family. 

He’s a December baby, born on the 14th.  His first act of defiance, in fact, was to ignore his “due date” of December 3rd.  Smaller than his sister**, he was always the cuddly kid.  As a little dude, he’d hang on me, arms wrapped around my neck, clinging like a baby monkey.  Probably stopped this sometime around three years old, it was his favorite way to be carried.

Tomorrow?  He’s 21.  A milestone birthday for sure.  Our family tradition is fairly simple – the birthday kid (or parent) chooses a restaurant and we go out for an evening of silliness.  Tonight was the night, and it was much less shitty*** than last years event…

Before dinner, though, we had the goofy present bash.  The Boy isn’t much on “stuff”, really has simple needs, so finding an appropriate gift is a challenge.  Asking what he wanted or needed?  A book, a DVD… but then it finally hit him.  “You sort of owe me a knife, for the one that got stolen last summer…”. 

He had me there.  When i was in “Trailer Park Musical”, my character needed to strap a 6″ hunting knife to her leg at one point in the show.  Not being a “weapons” person, i borrowed a knife from The Boy.  There was a breach of security during rehearsal, and my knife was stolen.  Once i’d acquiesced to the knife, The Boy pushed the envelope a bit. “Well, how about a cross-bow?”.  When that was met with a glare, he replied “So, I guess shotgun shells are out of the question?”

The best gift of all, though, was one that didn’t cost much.  Living alone, about an hour away at the university, The Boy sometimes gets a little lonely.  He’d casually mentioned that he’d even thought about getting a cat for company, but wasn’t sure if his lease allowed pets.  i was one step ahead of him – having already ordered live companions to soften his lonely nights.

An ant farm!  The perfect gift for the isolated college student!  Discussing it with The Girl, she decided to pick up the perfect companion gift… a magnifying glass****!  When he tired of his pets, an even better way to pass the time!

Naturally, we’d been screwing with his head over these gifts.  Taunting him with hints, raising his curiosity.  Opening the magnifying glass first, we tested him.  “C’mon, guess what the other gift is!  They go together perfectly!”  He struggled… coming up empty.  Until i said “What’s the best thing you can do with a magnifying glass?”

The Boy:  Set shit on fire?

daisyfae:  [smiles, nods head… encouraging him onward…]

The Boy:  An ant farm?

My baby monkey.  All grown up… sort of…


* Wasn’t no “poppin'” about it… She was 11 pounds 2 1/4 ounces at birth.  No, it was NOT a “natural” delivery.  There would have been nothing “natural” about that…

** He was the little guy, weighing in a a mere 10 pounds 8 ounces.  Despite his diminutive size, he was also a ‘fillet’ delivery.  And though they were getting smaller, i said “Fuck This Shit” and had my tubes tied, cut, super-glued, stapled and duct taped shut a few years later. 

*** The shitstorm from last year was epic…

 **** The Girl works in a bookstore, and bought the magnifying glass there.  A customer asked her about it – and she explained that she was getting it for her little brothers birthday, to go with his Ant Farm.  The customer, a little surprised, asked “How old is your brother?”  He was even more surprised when she said “Twenty one…”

A Separation Agreement

Beyond the age of 10, birthdays suck ass.  Well, there have been perhaps a few along the way that weren’t horrible, with pleasant moments – mostly mellow “hang time” with my ex and kids.  Basically, for the past 20+ years, i’ve adopted a “lowered expectations” approach which has worked well*.

Today i turned 46.  That would be on the downhill slide toward 50.  Not expecting much, i was rewarded with even less…  Some highlights:

Gifts:  Mr. Pickles continued to leave steaming piles of liquefied love last night.  Genuinely concerned that he’s become a canine bile factory, i scheduled a visit to the vet first thing this morning.  He got an anal probe and some drugs to stop the pukage.  i got a bill for $200, and an invitation to bring him back to make the vet’s next car payment for x-rays tomorrow if he keeps ralphing.

The Mysterious Visitor From Beyond: While at the vet, watching Mr. P politely take a gloved finger up the tailpipe, i got a call on my work blackberry from a “Staffer”.  It was a hang up.  Upon returning to the office, i called him back – he asked if i’d be at my desk for awhile.  “Yes, i get paid to sit here like a brick, c’mon down”.  He showed up shortly thereafter, pulled out a flash memory drive, asked me to open some files.  He then proceeded to show me a spreadsheet, and a word document, with information i’d provided him last week.  Rather than ask questions for clarification, or ask me to add/delete information, he seemed quite content to just look at them with me.  He’d say “ok, now open this one” – i’d open it, and he’d say “OK, now, go back to the spreadsheet”.  He left about 20 minutes later, seemingly satisfied.  I was confused.  Makes me wonder who’s the brick**. 

Insurance Claims Adjustments:  Talked with an insurance adjustor, who explained that upon further investigation, my daughter’s car had been a total loss (frame was bent), and that i’ve got 3 days left on the rental car (provided by the insurance company of the other driver, who was at fault).  This means either renting another car, or buying one within a couple days.  Brain melting by 10:00 am.

Liquid Lunch – Respite:  A friend took me out for a quiet birthday lunch.  Rather than have cake for dessert, i ordered a shot of Jack Daniels as an appetizer.  Hey, it was 11:30.  That’s afternoon in Nova Scotia.

Car Quest:  During lunch, i talked myself into just getting on with buying a car.  I’m ruthlessly efficient, know what i want, can do quick research and have RAD MATH SKILLZ.  It’s not rocket surgery.  Surfing the web between meetings this afternoon, i discovered that used Honda Civics are currently in short supply, as yuppies across the region are getting a bit tired of burning up their cash to fuel their Hummers***.  Found two at a local dealer that would work.  By the time i got home from work and called, one had already been sold…

Household Nitnoids:  The month of May was pretty fucking sucktastic.  My house has been neglected****.  For the past two weeks, my garage door has required the application of a complex strong-arm maneuver to open.  i really need to fix this (or contract it out) but it’s just not made it to the top of my to-do list.  Tonight?  Extra strong arming required.  i wrenched my shoulder.  i’m out of whiskey*****.

The Mail:  Granted, i tend to downplay the birthday thing.  But it’s nice to have a few folks remember…. especially family.  My friends did a good job of sending e-mail, calling (leaving a few deliciously twisted voicemails), text messages, dropping by with amazing silly gifts, and even a personalized powerpoint slide show from 3000 miles away******!  That’s all it takes – a moment or two of ‘hey, thinking about you’.  From my family?  Squat.  These are the people i used to call, e-mail or send cards to – and reliably sent cash to their spawn (rarely with acknowledgement).  When i realized they’d stopped remembering my kids b-days?  Fuck it – i stopped bothering – and no one seemed to even notice.  There was one card today – from my ex-sister-in-law – the one i like.  Made me very sad… i don’t get to see her these days. 

And so it went… more nitnoids, more annoyances, more aggravation.  Nothing huge in the mix.  Early in the day, someone asked me what i wanted for my birthday.  Took until now for me to figure it out. 

A separation agreement.  “Reality”?   i’m sick of your shit.  i refuse to deal with you.  A temporary parting of the ways is in order – you go off and take care of your needs – your boring, relentless, soul-crushing needs – and i’m going off the grid for a few days.  Don’t bother me.  i’ll be under the covers with a book.  My attorney will be in touch…

Post Script:  Done whining.  Goal is for it to last 24 hours or less.  Damn – i’m turning into my mother. 

Thinking about this makes my brain wrinkled

* Rarely do i sit and weep – unless i decide to drink myself into a stupor.  Mostly, i’ve adopted more of a sullen, withdrawn blue-funk posture…  And i whine.  Sorry.

** To my friend, T – Where the fuck do you find these people?  Are you running some sort of “support program for the differently-abled”?

*** That’s slang for “Humvee”, rather than slang for “Blow job”…

**** i bought a mirror to replace the one i lost when my ex collected the family heirloom dresser.  i bought the mirror 6 weeks ago.  it’s still on the floor of my bedroom – and every day when i leave for work, i stop to check to make sure my ankles look nice.

***** But there’s gin.  All is not lost.

****** And some festive imaginary gifts from my imaginary friends in the blogosphere – tagged onto yesterdays post comments (thank you for ratting me out, Ms. Vita)