The hatey stories are so bad, I've started just interrupting with interested questions that divert the topic to harmless areas. For example! Suppose it's a story about how this person smoked for sixty years and of course she got eighteen kinds of cancer, it's her own stupid fault. (I've heard that one about ten times in the past week.) What you do is divert to some side topic. Where does she live? Does she have family nearby? What's that town like? Have you ever been there? Someone told me there's a beautiful old library nearby!
Otherwise it's pretty much grit the remaining teeth and spend as much time as possible elsewhere.
Though I am sort of interested in the pathology of it all. What makes old people go into HATE FM mode? I know it's pretty common, all that bitterness and anger and condemnation, plus the braggy superior side where they tell lots of stories about how they did it RIGHT unlike those other dopes.
D. and I have speculated that it's insecurity, defensiveness because they feel judged, a feeling of superiority that comes from sitting in judgment on others, and so on.
My feeling is: think whatever the hell you want, but I don't want to listen to a litany of hate, thanks! I generally have to focus on the positive to keep my head above water.
Which is an apt metaphor given the outrageous amounts of rain now falling on the outrageous amounts of snow. Double the fun! So much water under the bridge!
Oooh, I should fight hate with platitudes. Especially Biblical ones, speaking of floods. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Love thy neighbor. And other King James things. Or even just: to each their own. It takes all kinds. Bless her heart. Whatever floats her boat. Nobody's perfect.
And so on. I like it! All I need is a strategy other than banging my head on the table.
It all happens in the kitchen. She just NEVER leaves the kitchen these days, I have no idea why. I need to go down there to cook and eat although fasting is starting to sound really good right about now. I have an electric kettle! I have instant grits!
I don't know, there's a self-preservation line there somewhere. I'm not in the best shape lately and the Litany of Hate (TM) really gets me way, way down, not least because I know that as soon as I'm out of earshot, I'm the star of it. Oh yes. But that's always true with gossipy haters. Whoever isn't there is the target.
So anyway! I spent a bunch of time packing my dishes and kitchen stuff today, things that have been stored in the basement and have been variously dug through and disordered and have become disheveled. Get it, dish-sheveled? Ho ho!
I got most of that done before it got too basementy down there for me.
I have a plan, maybe, sort of? I think so. Pull the trailer up out of the barn tomorrow, set it up with those pads and a good solid tied-down tarp roof over the very high tarp floor, and get started loading it up.
I think Friday is the earliest I could imagine scooting out of here but Monday is much more likely. I'd love to be at D's in Madison by New Year's Eve and spend a couple of days visiting. Then it would be a matter of assessing the weather to determine which route to take. The Great Plains are a force to be reckoned with, but going across on 40 isn't too much of a fun time either, really. I mean there's all of California to drive up in that case, which is just ridiculously exhausting and endless seeming. Though the 5 is really a very easy drive. The thing to avoid is the Rockies.
Of course, depending on weather, it might be feasible to make a fast run across 90, if I could be sure I'd miss out on any crazy storms. That's by far the most direct route, though even thinking about Montana makes me very, very tired.
States that make me tired just thinking about driving their length: Montana, California, Kansas, Nebraska. And Pennsylvania I guess but I never have to go the whole length without a stop in the middle.
Packing is brutal. Oof! There's the disruption, and then there's the heavy lifting--ask my back about that right now--and then there's the existential despair of contemplating each item you own one by one. Why this spoon? Why?
Then there's the traileresque issue of what will fit, which is to say: not everything. I did look into trucks with trailers but it was stupidly expensive. And then they called me every day for a while, wondering why I didn't rent one, which was also annoying, though you can't really blame them.
You've got your clothes and shoes. Your dishes and pots and pans. Your furniture. Your oddments like Christmas decorations and action figures. Your kayak and canoe, of course. And your books. And tools. Oh yes and guns. I wonder if they would fit in my big blue trunk, which can be locked up tight?
No bed, no tv, only about half the furniture, half the clothes (the half I actually wear, ha ha!) and only the books I have with me, which might even mean the whole thing is realistic. Yowza!
So anyway that's what I've been up to these days. Whee! Thinking, packing, contemplating spoons, trying to tune out the constantly blaring Hate Channel. Shredding all the old bills and things. Considering maps.
And trying to get my glasses fixed, ugh! No success there. The latest incarnation drags at my right eye so badly I had to stop wearing them. It still hurt the next morning from the night before. Madness! Now I'm wearing my old ones, which hit the same spot, of course. I need anti-gravity hovering glasses that stay the prescribed distance from my eyes but do not poke me in the nose, squeeze my skull, or drag on my ears. Honestly, glasses. Is that so much to ask?
My mom's hand mixer and sewing machine both just turned up their toes, so I got my hand mixer out and fully intend to sneak off without it. I offered my sewing machine, but it's so effed up, it's really hard to sew anything with it. It goes out of adjustment every five minutes. Dude, maybe I won't even bring it! I would definitely replace it at long last if I did that. It is *very* heavy and unwieldy and also did I mention it doesn't work right? Yes!
See, that's my frame of mind lately. Yay, I can leave it behind! I'm not remotely taking everything. I have a vague plan to drive out in the summer and visit and collect everything else, but of course I'll have a new bed by then, won't I? My mattress seems to have taken a sudden turn for the uncomfortable, not sure how that happened. Don't they usually get uncomfortable gradually? Not suddenly? But it's like it just gave up the ghost. Welp, it said. I quit.
I might take the frame, though. I like the frame.
Guess what was in the attic? A mouse! Yes! But guess what else? My old easel from when I was a kid! It's awesome. It's BLUE. It has two blue chalkboard sides. I adore this thing. I was in there getting some unused flat cardboard boxes that I'll need to render three-dimensional and got the easel out too.
Don't you think your possessions should totally make you go OH BOY!!! and/or YAY!!! instead of "Ugh, why do I even have this?"
I'm pretty outrageously excited about the whole thing, I have to tell you. SERIOUSLY EXCITED. But I'm also aware it'll be extremely stressful in the brainpan and I know I don't have a lot of resiliency in the emotional/whatever area these days. It's true. I get all wigged out over little things, never mind zooming off into the wild blue yonder with nowhere to land when I get there. Though actually I have a bunch of friends out there who would totally put me up, including dog and cat. So that makes it a lot less stressful.
It also helps that it's pretty awful here lately. I know holidays are hard and whatnot, but I'm pretty tired of being the punching bag and getting a constant stream of criticism and comment and negativity poured on my head. Because it also means THAT WILL STOP which is a major energizing factor to get me out out out of here. I really really need it to STOP.
Like this: my new glasses fitted my face fine for what, three weeks? Four? But everything went parallelograms when I turned my head, which made me dizzy and sick, so I got them adjusted. He made that go away, but they hit my cheeks with the new angle. That was uncomfortable, as was the new head-squeezing, so I went back, etc., and now they're unwearable. But what is the comment I get repeatedly? They would be okay on a normal person's face but mine is TOO BIG, meaning too fat, and that's why they don't work. Never mind that they were fine for weeks and weeks with my same face, right?
If there's any way to turn anything into a nasty reflection on me, she does it. What a miserable way that must be to live. It's plenty miserable just being around it!
Let's think things like: if I do this right, I can be out in a week. A WEEK. Ten days! Two weeks! It reminds me that I'm in control of what I do and when and where I go and how I get there. Which is true and always has been but I think I forget when someone keeps hitting me on the head with a hammer.
Anyway. Happy Solstice and all! I baked a cake! You can totally have some! I'm way too full for it but maybe later, and then certainly for breakfast. Oatmeal cake for breakfast, gosh, it's practically the same thing as having oatmeal! I know!
Maybe the antibiotics are kicking in or maybe it's the prozac but today I'm feeling much more like an actual person than yesterday. Yesterday I wanted to smash everything. But instead I read a book and knitted and snuggled the housepets. Good girl!