I’ve Never Been Alone With a Man Before, Even With My Dress On! With My Dress Off It’s MOST Unusual

I keep trying to write about my grandfather’s funeral and my subsequent post-funeral nervous breakdown in which I became suffused with horror about my own parents’ impending old age and how I need to become a more responsible person so I can take care of them and how horrible everything is. But honestly, I think I will just not post it. It’s too grim, and self-indulgent, and anyway we’re all going to die and it’s not like that’s special info.

Funny things happened, and depressing things happened. Maybe the funniest was when we all solemnly filed out of our Reserved For Family pew and followed the preacher into the little nook where they have these weird drawers they put the burned-up ashes of all the old people in, and the preacher was all intoning and praying and my mom and aunt were crying, and they pushed the little box containing my grandfather into his drawer, and my aunt said “like this?” to the preacher and then the preacher, without intending it to be funny at all, said, “well, we need to leave room in there for Anna,” meaning my grandmother, who was standing right there not knowing what was going on or whose ashes those were or who any of us even were, and we all DIED LAUGHING.

The nursing home is intensely depressing. You probably don’t even need to be told that. Zombieland. Zombieland if the zombies just sit slumped in chairs by the elevator all day, and everything smells like pee. And your grandmother is standing at the nursing station frantically flipping through the phone book and begging someone to help her find her children to come and take her out of this place, and she does that several times a day, every day, and no one pays any attention to her.

I did have a nervous breakdown involving hilariously intense sobbing that lasted forever and ever. Whenever I’m crying a part of me is usually thinking about how funny crying is and how stupid I’ll feel later, but not this time. This time was sheer panic attack sobbing, and yelling things like “WE HAVE TO BUY A HOUSE WITH A GUESTHOUSE! I HAVE TO GET A JOB AT A BANK” and “OH GOD” at my horrified husband, who said he thought I’d been molested when he saw me sobbing outside the airport.

But a grilled cheese and a glass of wine can cure most problems (not true), and indeed this was no exception.


I finally applied to something very close to my dream job, and it was like, in applying to it I finally felt like I cohered as a scholar, I totally nailed who I am and what I care about, and I made it so beautifully clear how perfect I was for the job. And then I didn’t make it to the second round. I didn’t cry though! Crying is for the Real Deal, like changing your parents’ diapers. The thing about it is that I have a great job, now, and I live in a great town and I actually like my life partner, and I have a stupid smelly dog, and anyway my life is pretty awesome. I can’t believe how stupid it is to spend even a single second agonizing over anything that’s not perfect in your life, now that I have really seen what the End Of Life will most likely entail. I can not believe we spend one single moment doing any of the following:
– dithering about whether or not to go to grad school
– staying in a relationship that makes us unhappy
– feeling bad about our appearance
– self-sabotaging
– staying in a job we hate
– etc.

Every day from here until the End begins, I am going to work really hard to just be as stoked as possible about how fucking awesome my life is. Compared to all those people in the nursing home, I am the happiest person who has ever lived. Fuck wallowing; fuck self-doubt; fuck dithering; fuck refusing to make decisions and just going on and on and on about the same goddamn problems forever and ever. Okay, that’s my resolution and my advice to myself, we’ll see if I can follow it (prob not but it’s the journey, not the destination).

Literally just started to complain about this leg injury that prevents me from jogging. Had to catch myself! New life motto!

It’s Saturday, which is very fun. And my grading is done, so I scarce know what to do with myself. And it’s cold and rainy, which is my favorite weather. And I’m sitting across the table from old beardo, who is wearing the scarf I knitted for him nearly 10 years ago. And he is a funny man with long legs who does funny dances for me almost whenever I ask.

I wish to see many movies, and I wish to obtain many new books that I know must have 8 month long wait lists at the damn library. The new Diaz. The new Smith (Zadie). The Beth Ditto memoir. The new collection of DFW essays shall have to be purchased. So many tomes so little times.

The election!
Hurricane Sandy!
Louis C.K. on SNL!
Topical blog

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2 Responses to I’ve Never Been Alone With a Man Before, Even With My Dress On! With My Dress Off It’s MOST Unusual

  1. kim says:

    My grandmother died of Alzheimer’s and my aunt apparently also has it, and now me, and my sister, and my cousin are all horrified at the possibility of also eventually developing it. I figure that it’s a process that takes decades to really get cooking, so if I have it, I have it right now, and there is no cure on the horizon. So. But I do have this memory of watching my mother change my grandmother’s diapers. Yep. I got nothing past that.

  2. Mary R. says:

    Thumbs up! Perfect from now on.

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