Denial is Not a River in Egypt, (Though I May Be Its Queen,) and Interesting Words

I would never describe myself as “optimistic,” “naive,” or “trusting.”  On a good day I am pragmatic, jaded, and wary.  On a bad day I am pessimistic, burned out, and paranoid.    Today’s prevailing emotional state lands me somewhere between a good day and a bad day, a perfect neutral on the scale. 

Admittedly, in my ongoing effort to maintain some semblance of mental health, I overlook quite a few realities.  I am pleased that Steve-o is gainfully employed and I hope and pray he stays that way.  Even so, I am worried about the upcoming birth of his offspring.  The whole grandmother thing doesn’t bother me too much- I am old- and far younger women than I have been first time grandmothers.  What does tug at me is the fact that the two of them aren’t married, and that fathers of children have precious few rights in such a situation.  Fathers don’t have much say in their children’s lives even if they are married to the children’s mothers.  If they decide not to get along, Steve-o will have to a.) pay support out the wazoo, and b.) fight for what little rights the state does accord fathers. 

Maybe some of my worry is actually my bad habit of guilt tripping just a wee bit.  Then again, the male contributor of Steve-o’s DNA wasn’t particularly interested in him, (or any other child, unless- like his current wife’s children, it came with a monthly government check) and I think it was the happiest day of my ex’s life when he learned he could sign off his parental rights and never pay child support again.  Perhaps I am just cynical- or my ex was not normal, or a combination of both- but I had always been under the impression that most guys deep down really don’t care that much about their kids. 

I have to admit that one of my fears is that I will be cut out of my grandchild’s life in much the same way that I rescued Steve-o from enduring weekends and holidays from hell with my evil ex mother-in-law.   Granted, I know better than to give a 20 month old an entire box of graham crackers .  I have more sense than to collect highly breakable crystal figurines and display them within the reach of a toddler (I have large dogs…my house is Sheena-proof-duh),  and I’m just not cruel enough to make a three year old sleep alone in the basement, but, should the baby’s mother decide to give Steve-o the heave-ho, I might never get to see my grandchild. 

The difference might just be that I don’t think Steve-o will give up on his offspring without a fight.

I am astonished by how much he really seems to care.  He’s been to the Dr. appointments and the ultrasound.  He makes sure she pays attention to her diet and health and he doesn’t smoke around her.  He even bought a four door car and is trolling about for super safe car seats.  Again, I am not prone to mushy sentimentality, but for a guy who didn’t plan to become a father any time soon he is getting with the program and on top of that, I honestly think he is looking forward to the impending birth.  I don’t think she is going to allow him to record any video, but I know he’s going to be right in there watching every gory detail.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually observed “natural” childbirth.  As far as my own personal experience, there is absolutely nothing natural about childbirth, but some women are able to give birth without surgical intervention.  When my sister had her first two kids, both times my poor brother-in-law couldn’t handle the sight of blood, and he passed out pretty early on in the proceedings.  I went in with her for lack of another warm body, and partially out of my own morbid curiosity.  Thankfully, she always had her kids quickly and with very little trouble, most unlike me.  It’s not that terrible to observe the birth process, but then I have had automotive technicians call me “iron guts.”  Once I had to retrieve a finger that one of the guys got chopped off in a fan blade, ice it down, and then drive his sorry ass to the ER, while the rest of the guys stood around freaking out because there was blood.  Pussies.  At least they were able to reattach the poor guy’s finger, although his hand looked pretty nasty for a long time. 

I don’t know if Steve-o has gotten the “iron guts” tendencies from me or not, but I get to find out soon enough.  I get to do one of my favorite things, which is to be a fly on the wall and observe from a distance.  In the matter of giving birth I far prefer being an observer versus being a participant any day. 

The medical profession has its share of tantalizing, technical words that baffle outsiders.  I know quite a few medical terms (especially the more gross ones) so I can catch a few snippets here and there that most people won’t get.  I’ve probably spent more time in doctor’s offices and hospitals than the average person too, although camping out in medical facilities is one of my least favorite activities. 

Here are a few of my favorite medical terms:

eviscerate: to rip the guts out of

co-morbid: along with, as relating to diseases that like to travel together

gynecomastia: man-boobs (really, you can look it up!)

exsanguination: bleeding to death

pruritus ani: butt itch

 

It’s not necessarily a medical term, but, piles: old time word for hemorrhoids.

I’m a veritable fountain of scatological information today!

Tires, Testicles and Trouble, with Some Pent-Up Angst Too

Sometimes old pics are creepy, especially if they are high quality color pics.  The above postcard of Downtown Marion from the early 1950’s reflects that not terribly much has changed other than the cars and a couple of the buildings.  I know exactly where that pic was taken- right in front of the south side of the Courthouse looking west.  I can see the cigar store (on the south side of Center Street, on the east corner of the intersection) and what is now the Ohio State Bank across the street from it.  Further west on the south side of Center Street is the Harding Hotel, which is also still there but has been made into senior citizen apartments.  The Taft Hotel (on the north west corner of the intersection) was torn down in  1969.  The National City Bank built their ugly boxy windowless monstrosity of a bank there (which burned down in 1985 or thereabouts) and rebuilt another hideous modern architectural disaster piece there on the same exact spot, which PNC Bank inherited.  The Bank Fire was almost a funny thing to watch as the digital thermometer on the outside of the bank skyrocketed to over 500 degrees (F) before it melted.  Then again, when you live in a backwater town, excitement is where you find it.  One would think a bank of all places would be built of relatively fireproof material, but I guess as long as the vault holds, who cares?

The WWII In Color episodes are fascinating, but they are almost too personal, as if they are bringing something too antique and faded into real life.  Some things are better viewed through the distance of black and white.

Some things are just too powerful and frightening to experience in all their details.

Admittedly I have been more depressed than usual lately.  Part of it I know is coming off of the Late Winter Funk that lasts from the beginning of February until usually the middle of April or so. I just can’t get enthused about much of anything as the snowbooger grey days drag by, overcast, rainy and dismal.  My perpetual state of poverty does nothing to brighten the picture, especially when Jerry’s groundbreaking suggestions for “saving money” include options such as getting rid of my car, and cancelling cable except for the basic channels -so he won’t miss any sports.  At no time were curtailing beer-drinking, eschewing gambling or getting serious about quitting smoking put on the table.  Then again, I don’t drink beer, I hate gambling, and thanks be to God I quit smoking several years ago.  Jerry isn’t going to address cutting back on his vices but it’s OK to cut back on my base essentials.  Imagine that.  I am disappointed, but not surprised at his zeal to make my life as miserable as he possibly can.  He wonders why I absolutely can’t stand to ask him for anything- not even basic, common sense things like paying for his own scripts and for a reasonable amount of his own expenses.  However, I am not going to give up the car. If worse comes to worse he can cram the cell phone where the sun don’t shine. I can live without the electronic leash, but as far as I can help it I am not going to put myself in a position that I have to beg for the use of his truck.  Being at his mercy for transportation is just not a good idea.  Not happening.

But as I said yesterday, I am thankful that things aren’t any worse.  Maybe I can beat some sense into his head if he’s sober- or just ignore him as usual if he’s drunk.

I don’t know why he is so jealous of any social contact I have with people other than him, even women.  It’s a fight for me to go to church and other activities at church.  Maybe in his mind he sees that he’s missing his “live-in maid” or gopher and he resents not being able to order me around or bitch at me for an hour or two here and there.  Maybe deeper down he’s afraid that I’m trolling for his replacement.  Being with Jerry is sort of like driving an old hoopty. You get none of the options that make having a car fun or comfortable (no A/C, no stereo, etc.) but all of the problems inherent to an old POS. (POS: Piece Of Shit)  He reminds me of my ’79 Rabbit that I spent $800 in repairs on in one month.  It did have a good stereo but no air conditioner, and it was a crap shoot as to whether or not it would start and run from one day to the next without something major failing. Why the hell keep on dumping money, time and frustration into a lost cause?

If I’m going to pay out the ass to drive a car,I want one that works, and one that doesn’t give me fits.  The same goes for men. I had enough of nickel and diming away my life on pathetic hooptys in high school and college- and enough of nickel and diming away my life on mooching trolls from there forward.  I hate to admit it, but Jerry has simply followed the pattern- taking advantage, draining me dry, and browbeating me into feeling like a total shit every minute I am not actively kissing his ass.  It gets old.

I take responsibility for this in so much as I allow it and I have allowed it to continue for years.  I don’t know how to make it stop other than simply disappearing, which I can’t do because I have no money and nowhere to go (also my fault) so it’s a catch-22.  The vicious cycle continues.

I’ve never been able to find a trouble free man.  If anyone could find me one who isn’t a complete troll, please let me know by commenting on this post.  Seriously.  But then again, perhaps I would be better off alone.  I would be, if I could afford it.

It’s not that I am inherently anti-men.  I love men.  I love to look at hot dudes.  If memory serves me right, I like a lot of activities involving men.  I simply have a problem with being used and guilt tripped and ignored and made to feel as if I only have value if I’m either earning money or doing endless chores.  The minute I don’t have enough money to just pay for everything or I’m exhausted and can’t do anything else then the hell with me as far as Jerry’s concerned.  Steve-o treats me the same way.  As long as Mommy’s footing the bill everything is roses, but the minute Mommy’s broke it’s F.U. this and F.U. that.  At least my poverty and lack of stamina have served me in two important ways: to let me know I am not worth a tinker’s damn to anyone, and I’m pretty much destined to die alone.  If the dogs don’t eat me, I’ll be left to decompose for months until the guy who comes to read the water meter can’t get in and as he’s banging on the door he notices a funky smell.   That’s what happened to the creepy old lady who lived across from Mom and Dad.  She used to bitch at us kids for “stealing her snow” if you scraped up a handful of snow from her yard as you went down the sidewalk.  It was thought she died sometime in February, but they didn’t find her body and fumigate the house until high summer- the middle of July.  It took two weeks for the health department to fumigate that house.

I wonder if the “I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up” alarm people have an alarm for old people who live alone and whose relatives are either dead already and/or don’t give a rat’s ass about them?  If I live to be old, I will be one of those people I am afraid.  When said geezers die in their sleep the alarm could go off and call the coroner to come and get the corpse before it festers and rots for months or the deceased’s dogs start munching on it.  I’m going to need one of those, or should I say the poor suckers who eventually happen upon my remains would probably be grateful for an early warning.

Maybe that could be the invention that makes me rich- the Dead Geezer Warning System.  So the coroner gets to you before the smell gets to everyone else.