Sunday, June 04, 2023

Sunday Stealing


Stolen from League of Extraordinary penpals

1. What are your plans for June? I've got some doctor appointments, some dentist appointments, some volunteer hours to log in preparation for the local library book sale and a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago planned.

2. Your mid year resolutions or goals. To continue with yoga and drinking more water.

3. Are you good at taking care of plants. Yes.

4. What makes you feel nourished. I suspect I'm supposed to give a deep, emotional response here, but what comes to mind is the really fantastic cheeseburger I had Saturday afternoon while dining with my nephew.

5. Which animals do you see most in your area. Dogs, squirrels, sparrows, rabbits, and my cat Roy Hobbs is right here with me as I answer these questions.

6. Books on your summer reading list. I'm looking forward to Camera Girl: The Coming of Age of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy. Carl Sferrazza Anthony is a respected writer/researcher and an expert on our nation's First Ladies, so I expect this study of Jackie's early years to be credible and informative, not salacious.

7. Projects you want to tackle this summer. Nothing particular. It would be nice if I got the caulk around the tub replaced, but it won't be fatal if I don't get around to it.

8. Do you have weddings, graduations, summer celebrations. My friend John's birthday in July.

9. Which summer snacks are you excited to enjoy again. There are three local ice cream shops that can look forward to my business.

10. How much time do you like to take for vacations. Usually 4-5 days is plenty for me. Then I want to get back home.

11. How much has changed since last summer? Since last summer I've had some health problems and I retired.

12. Something that would be out of character for you. Watching NASCAR. Or football. It's a toss up as to which sport leaves me colder.

13. What do you miss about winter? The vibe. People tend to be friendlier in the cold then they are during the scorching days of summer.

14. Your favorite free/cost effective ways to have fun. I love the library!

15. Who do you trust most to house & pet sit. Either my friend Kathleen or my nephew.

I wish I wasn't like this

I am lucky that I have attentive, involved friends. Elaine just sent me a link to a series of concerts in Grant Park that she wants us to attend. I'm meeting my old work buddies for lunch this coming week. Mindy asked me for a list of "open" Friday nights so we can get together downtown for happy hour. Joanna wants us to get together so she can fill me in on her "work transition".* Nancy is checking her husband's schedule so she can see when the three of us can have dinner (she loves it that she has a friend -- me! -- that he really likes). And of course tomorrow is my movie group.

So why aren't I happier? Because of the three not included in the paragraph above. 

•  My oldest friend. I've called her at least five times in the last 7 weeks and she never calls me back. I used to think it was because her voicemail box is always full (she says she likes it that way) but she swears to me that she checks her phone regularly to see who calls. OK, so that means she scrolls through, sees my name, and chooses to ignore me. On Thursday I sent her an email, letting her know that this hurts my feelings. Here it is Sunday morning and she still hasn't responded. I met her in Kindergarten, when I was 4 years old. That's 61 years ago. It hurts to know how little making it right between us means to her, what a low priority I've become. (It must be said that she does regularly send me cat videos via Facebook Messenger; no note, just the videos. I don't consider that communication.)

•  John. He was so grumpy and unhappy when we got together last week and it really disturbed me. He drank a lot and was unpleasant in that so little makes him happy. I worry that he's not OK, but I don't want to reach out because he seemed so displeased with me.

•  Henry. My darling friend is gone to me. With the TBI, alcohol and dementia, he has no sense of time anymore. He doesn't miss me because as far as he's concerned, we just spoke yesterday. I don't call him because I'm afraid of upsetting him. He's often happy in the moment but mercurial and I don't want to be the catalyst that sends him on a downward spiral. I miss him. I have a difficult time accepting that he will never be wholly him again. I'm trying not to be angry that neither Reg nor Henry has received counseling in years. The pain has lessened and will lessen more, I know, but a day doesn't go by that this doesn't cause me pain.

So instead of enjoying the invitations that Elaine, Mindy, Joanna and Nancy are sending me, I look at my phone and I'm sad because there's nothing from my oldest friend, John or Henry. 

I wish I wasn't like this.

*I don't know what it means, either, but Joanna has reinvented her career before so I'm looking forward to hearing what she envisions for herself.

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