Archive for October 8, 2011

Clothes Shopping

Son called me last night inquiring as to what I was going to be doing today. Whenever one of my children (or any other relative, in fact) calls inquiring as to my schedule, they’re not really interested in my schedule. They’re interested in how soon I can rearrange my schedule in order to accommodate whatever it is that I should be doing for them if I would have been a good enough mother/aunt/daughter/former mother-in-law to have thought of it first. Luckily for them, I’m rarely involved in anything really important like robbing convenience stores over the weekend.

My weekend revolves more around restoring the house to minimal standards of cleanliness in order not to have a big ol’ sign posted outside my house announcing “Condemned: Not fit for human habitation”. It is a close thing, though. If a house inspector person would come through here Friday evening, that sign would go up for sure. Which is why I would use the 12-gauge on said person rather than allow them into my house for an inspection on Friday evening on account of I’d rather go to prison for murder than having my house condemned. Around here, killing a government official nosing around where he ain’t wanted would be forgiven, even applauded. Having a messy house, not so much.

So when my son queried as to what I was doing tomorrow, I was able to tell him that whatever it was that I was gonna do was obviously wrong, and he could just go ahead and inform me as to the error of my ways. Son informed me that he needed some new clothes and asked would I go shopping for him?

Ah. Son has been working 12 and 14 hour days for awhile. He left specific instructions with me as to the clothing items (from Carhartt). He left $200 for me to get him a couple new shirts and pair of pants. He left a pair of old raggedy pants and a shirt of the specific type he wanted on a bag on the porch. Simple, right?

WRONG! I got to the store and the specific shirt that he wanted had been discontinued. They had another shirt to replace it. I felt it. It felt slick and uncomfortable. Ick. I wouldn’t want to wear it. It wasn’t in his size, either. FINE. I went on to the pants. The specific pair that he wanted was no longer made. An alternative pair was available, but nothing anywhere near his size. In fact, they didn’t even make his size anymore.

Maybe there just aren’t enough working men left in the country that need sturdy working clothes.

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Hitler Finds Out CBS is Reporting About “Fast and Furious”

ROFL! Yep, that’s pretty much what happened, as far as I can tell. A big ol’ American gun grab because it’s easier to continue to infringe on the rights of unarmed citizens.

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How Do You Say Goodbye?

I went to a “retirement” ceremony for a casual friend this week. When I say “casual friend”, I mean that we knew each other for years through association with outside agencies, and we spent a year working at the same place, although in different areas. We shared a common enthusiasm, agriculture. He had the greenest of green thumbs, but my enthusiasm was for livestock and my knowledge of plants is pretty much limited to the pasture (grin). We also shared an enthusiasm for good food and, during the brief time we worked at the same place, met at the track before work every morning and put in some miles. He was an interesting man, enthusiastic about his profession, and a good conversationalist. The miles passed quickly and didn’t even feel like exercise!

I’ve been working across the county for a few years now and, with the different job and lack of time, I’ve not kept up with folks around my neck of the woods. My “spare” time tends to be taken up with mundane things like cleaning out chicken houses, ironing clothes, going up to Georgia to visit my mom and stepdad, and playing with the grandkids. I haven’t even spoken to very good female friends now for two or three years!

I was shocked when I heard that the big, strong, vital, enthusiastic man that I had known was in the last stages of cancer and was ‘retiring’ to spend his last days with his family. How could this be? He was too young! Young people that exercise and have a healthy lifestyle are not supposed to be dying of metastatic cancer. Except that they do. He wasn’t old enough to be doing the suggested yearly “screenings” when symptoms sent him to the doc, and by that time it was metastatic. He’d gone through all the chemo and radiation and nothing worked.

I raced across the county in order to make it to his ‘retirement’ ceremony. I got there, spoke to several acquaintances, searching the room by eye for my ol’ friend. It wasn’t until I was about to leave that I realized that the gaunt stranger sitting quietly beside some other folk was the person that I was looking for. I recognized his profile.

I made my way over, grasped his hand, and heard myself asking “How are you?” Aaaaack! After that inauspicious start, we exchanged banalities, and I slunk away, the words that I really wanted to say left unsaid. How do you say goodbye? How do you say that when you saw somebody at a meeting, your heart lifted because there was somebody there that was a kindred spirit? How do you say how sad that you are that he won’t be there for his kids’ milestones and grandchildren and how sorry you are to his wife that she won’t have his support and comfort? How do you express what a great man he is?

I suspect that if I WOULD have said those things, I would be sobbing my eyes out, no dignity at all left, and perhaps so would he and his family. Maybe it was better that way.

SwampMan had been there earlier and came inside with me just in case I should lose it. He didn’t want to because he was afraid that if I cried, he would break down and start boohooing too. He was grateful that I just exchanged a few words and a handshake and didn’t create a scene, something that he really hates, and I don’t mind at all.

I saved my tears for driving home when nobody could see me.

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