Saturday, March 05, 2016

2016, we talked about this!

This year is not going well.

•  My friend Mindy called. Her husband had an angioplasty. His prognosis is good, but she's scared. They have been together a long time, been through a great deal together, and she loves him very much.

  My florist closed her doors for good. This is a woman I spoke to at least twice/month, maybe more often, over the last ten years. We chatted often when I came in for the flowers I keep on my desk. Over the years we talked about my nephew and her granddaughter, who are about the same age. I knew she worried about her kid brother's checkered romantic and employment history. Suddenly, over the holidays, her husband's health took a drastic turn for the worst and now she had to close the small, independent business they built together. This makes me monumentally sad. I worry about her, about what she'll do after he's dead and she has neither of the long-time ballasts of her life. Last Thursday I slipped in with two tiny boxes of chocolates -- one for her, one for her loyal assistant, Darlene. I came by when I knew she wouldn't be there because I was afraid to face my florist's tears. I feel a little guilty about that. I should have let her cry and given her a hug.

•  I haven't heard from my oldest friend in more than a week. I hope it's because she's happy and busy. With her history of depression, I worry it's because she's blue and overwhelmed.

•  Things are chaotic at work. Not busy, mind you. Politically turbulent. Which sucks.

•  My friends in Key West are broke again. I got a sad email from him. He's despondent over not getting a better paying job at the library. He really wanted it. (Right now he's working 6 days/week at 2 jobs and this library position would allow him to have two consecutive days off again.) He told me of stopping by a restaurant I like down there. Not to dine. He saw a former coworker of his through the window, surprised to see she was waiting tables there. After they chatted amiably, he started to leave and saw a $20 bill on the floor. He pocketed it and headed home. Then he turned around and went back. He was afraid it was one of his friend's tips and knew how hard she would have worked for a $20 tip. I responded with a chatty, handwritten snail-mail note, all about the Illinois State's Attorney race and my confusion about who to vote for. I slipped a $20 CVS gift card into it. I did it this way because I didn't want him to be embarrassed by my help. But it makes me sad. Everyone I know who lives on that island works so hard! And I was touched by my friend's integrity in returning that $20.

2016 better start getting better. It feels like a long year already.


  1. You 2016 is really not off to a good start. I was going to say it's shitty but realized that's been part of the problem!

  2. Seriously, how could I improve on Kwiz' comment? I hope things improve for you and your friends!