Eric and I took Irving for a long day trip to the Thousand Islands and Cape Vincent, New York. We had a nice day together, and the car did great. He’s very comfortable and a dream to drive.
As a follow-on to my post of the other day about aging and not caring what anyone thinks, I got an eye opener this evening as to what I don’t want to be when I grow up.
I made a late evening shopping trip to our local grocery super store, Wegmans. Wegmans is a big deal around here. Nearly everyone shops there. It’s more than a grocery store. They offer a little bit of everything, and they do a good job of it.
I was walking in, and as usually happens, people were coming out as we were going in. There was a small, elderly lady, coming towards me pushing a cart. She was probably in her 80’s with dyed, dark brown hair. Her husband was walking along behind her, and he was having trouble walking. He was quite a ways behind her.
She took one look at me walking in with my 23 year old son, and she turned to say something to her husband. He didn’t hear her so she repeated herself. I heard her quite clearly the first time.
She said, “I’m so sick of all these kids with their tattoos; that’s all I’ve seen since we got here.”
I was a little taken aback and didn’t say anything until it was too late. I should’ve either thanked her for calling me a “kid” or I should’ve said, “I’m 60. Bite me, Grandma.” Instead I muttered, “Go fuck yourself” under my breath. (She really ticked me off).
Getting older shouldn’t mean becoming intolerant to everything. What in the hell is wrong with people? It’s 2019. Many people have ink or piercings. If you don’t like it, don’t look, but for heaven’s sake, keep your trap shut about it. She was a narrow minded old bird.
She was talking about me, not my son. I have six tattoos. My son has zero tattoos. I have one on each ankle, two on my left forearm, one on my right forearm and one on my right wrist. I waited until I was 50 to get the first one. I’d always wanted one, but my mother was also intolerant. I couldn’t get my ears pierced until I was 21 because, “If God wanted you to have holes in your head, you would have been born with them.” I was, Mom. They’re called nostrils, ears, eyes, and my mouth. Insert eye roll here.
My neighborhood is full of intolerant old people. I see the hate on a daily basis.
There’s the big-mouthed old lady across the street who complained about my husband’s big truck being on the street even though it wasn’t breaking any laws. She stands in her front window in her bra and panties. Oh, but that’s okay. So is her constant bellowing at her grandchildren.
There’s the wizened old creep behind me who was catching small animals in have-a-heart traps and then leaving them there to suffer and die or he took them into his garage and did God knows what to them. I called animal control and the police on him. They made him stop. Here’s hoping his afterlife involves a big steel cage.
There’s the prissy old jerk beside us who cuts his grass three times a week. Over the years he’s sprayed Roundup on my flowers more than once – the hydrangeas my sons bought me for Mother’s Day, the special variety of black eyed Susan’s my friend gave me from her yard, the sedum my other friend gave me from her garden, and the huge clump of variegated violets from my Gramma’s yard come to mind. I’ve cried over many flowers he’s killed in his zeal to eradicate any and all weeds. He’s the moron who put wooden boards in the gaps in the hedge between our properties to keep my squirrels out of his yard. I’ve let my yard go on purpose just to tick him off. I don’t weed, and everything is overgrown. I stopped caring when he came in my yard and killed things I’d carefully nurtured.
Old age doesn’t have to mean intolerance, cruelty and stupidity. Perhaps these people were asses when they were younger; I’ll never know. I do know they’re judgmental idiots now, and I don’t want to be that way.
Aging brings freedom. It doesn’t have to bring bigotry, meanness and hatred.
My beautiful girl, Ginger, passed over the rainbow bridge today. She had bladder cancer. She was 15. We had her twelve years. When we adopted her in 2007, she was crabby and cantankerous and lashed out at everybody. My hubby worked hard to make her the sweet, loving baby she became. I miss her so much already.
Saying goodbye to pets is always horrible. Unexpectedly, my wonderful hubby was there with me. The timing worked out in my favor. His big truck went in for repair midweek, and he was at the dispatch terminal forty-five minutes away. He is truly a wonderful man. He drove home to be at the vet with me and my youngest son when we took Ginger in. That meant so much to me. Not only was he a strong shoulder to lean on, but he was there to help me decide what to do. Letting the cat go wasn’t a decision I had to make alone.
Ginger was just as much my husband’s cat as mine. When we got her she was terrified and she was not a nice cat. He was the only one who never gave up on her. He’d pick her up over and over, she’d snarl and lash out. He’d talk to her and hold her and pet her. He was the one who broke through her fear and distrust. He held her as she died. I thought that was fitting.
She was always on my lap in my chair or by my side in bed. When healthy she topped out at seven and a half pounds. For such a tiny cat, she had a big, bold personality. She didn’t back down from anything. She was also sweet and gentle underneath her grumpy exterior. For such a tiny cat, she’s sure left a big, empty space behind her.
I miss you, beautiful friend.
I find myself this year in less of a holiday mood than usual. As the years have passed and my boys have grown from sweet little guys into big, hulking, hairy men, Christmas has definitely lost some of its magic. I try not to feel that way, but it’s true that Christmas is more fun and way more magical through the eyes of a child. Being sick hasn’t improved my mood any.
As an adult, Thanksgiving was never really all that much fun. It was a lot of hard work. From my very first one as a wife when the turkey wasn’t defrosted and I stood at the sink, running a cold, dead, frozen turkey carcass under the hot water trying to thaw it out and gagging the entire time, and my Gramma, honest to a fault, declaring my very first from scratch pie crust to be “tough” and inedible (yes, and making me cry), it’s always been WORK. I always had my mother and grandmother over, and I rushed around and tried to make it all perfect like it had always been when I was little. After Gramma passed, I had my mother over and the stress there was always wondering if she’d stay or if her social anxiety would get to her and she’d ask to go home as soon as she’d arrived. I understood her issues. Hell, half the time, I shared them. When I’d worked so hard to make it nice for her, and she wouldn’t even sit down and eat with us I was so very hurt. I never told her because that just wasn’t done with my mom. She’d have gotten angry and the solution to her would have been no more visits ever. So I tried every year. I hoped she appreciated the effort. She’s been gone thirteen years so I’ll never know now.
Thanksgiving here this year was me sick as a dog.
I watched the parade on TV – one tradition kept. My hubby and boys were here. I believe my hubby made himself a Hormel microwave turkey and dressing meal.
I had chicken bouillon and toast and slept a lot. I’m not sure what my adult sons fixed themselves. There was no way I was touching food for anyone else to eat. I was nauseous, and I didn’t want to share the bacterial GI infection.
So now I look forward to Christmas. I know I should decorate inside the house (we always have a tree) and outside (I always put up lights). I drove to the grocery store last night. First time I’d driven since November 15 and my first lengthy outing (other than a doctor visit). I walked the entire store. I pushed the cart; my sons did all the fetching and carrying. I finish the antibiotic this Wednesday. I am supposed to return to work on Thursday if the blood work I go for Monday or Tuesday is clear and shows no infection/inflammation.
So, yeah, Christmas. Maybe our fake tree this year, but who cares about outside. Right? It’s the people inside who count. I’ll work on psyching myself up.