Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Mary moment

In August I'm spending the weekend with that dear old friend. No, not Cathy. This is the one who, since mid-April, has been so overwhelmed by big issues with her career and her family, and by the dramatic and over-the-top issues of some of her new friends, that she hasn't been able to hear or retain any of things I've told her about my life: Like how unpleasant it is to read in the morning paper that your job may be on the line, or how my former boss almost died and still (more than three months later) isn't anywhere near well. It's been suggested that I tend to take things in stride and perhaps she finds surrounding herself with others who have even bigger problems (or who are at least more hysterical than she is) may be a comfort to her right now. I can understand that intellectually.

I don't really want to do our annual getaway. I will spend it listening to her on her cell to her kids who, due to lack of supervision, will be having one crisis after another. I will hear how broke she is. I will hear how ungrateful her kids are, how her boyfriend takes her granted, what meds she's taking just to get through the day.

I have tried to convince her that her daughter still needs a sitter, but to no avail. I have tried to help her come up with ways to increase her take-home pay. I have done my best to point out that while her boyfriend may not be as wonderful as she thought he was at the beginning of their relationship, he's also not as crappy as she sees him now. It's as though my suggestions are unwelcome -- like she doesn't want help, she wants an audience. I don't know how to do that. I want to make things better.

Today I bought her a $25 Visa gift card. She can either use when we're away together or save it to pay for gas and back to school. I want to make the gesture because 1) I do understand that she's frightened about money and 2) maybe it will elevate her mood a little, so I can have a nice time. It seems like something Mary Richards would have done, doesn't it?

I know I sound like a bitch in this post, but really, I'm just hurt. She's my oldest friend and it's painful to know that unless I am hanging on a ledge by my fingertips, I'm simply not worth listening to.

I'm used to being the lumpy, funny one. Mary is an uncomfortable role to play. But till my friend gets through this period in her life, I don't know what else to do. I just hope that when this is over, we'll go back to being "the very best of friends" and I will feel the same way about her. Mary would, right?

Whatever happened to Don Johnson?

I'm watching the Kevin Costner golf movie Tin Cup. Don Johnson has a supporting role and he's really very good. Smooth-voiced. glib and, in the words of Costner's Roy, "a soulless robot." Johnson seems like a natural villain. The kind of guy that things always go well for, even though he doesn't deserve it. I wonder why he doesn't work more … Maybe because of his long-ago Miami Vice fame, he's only seen as a hero?

Sweet Lou goes sour

For the first time all season, I woke up to find my Cubs in a TIE for first place! We are sharing our place at the top of the heap with the Brewers. Our pitchers are doing just fine, our fielding is at times heroic, but our offense is, at best, sporadic. When men are on base, the bats go cold.

The frustration is getting to us all, including our skipper. There's something so cathartic in watching Lou go after an umpire. When he vents, he vents for all of us!