Single People Deserve to Die

A coworker of mine found out that their spouse (a salesperson) was scheduled to take a trip out of the country to an area that had been on the news lately because of outbursts of violence. Among the many reasons they came up with as to why this was a horrible idea (which I agree it was) was “It’s not like (they’re) a single person, they have a spouse.”

All of a sudden it became so clear. Since I have not married, my life is expendable. Phew, now I don’t feel nearly as bad for spending the weekend watching “Deadliest Catch” and eating dip. I probably will stop wearing my seat belt, start running with scissors and perhaps I should take up smoking or a nice heroin habit. Seeing as I am a 34 year old single person, it’s not like it would matter as much. I mean really, I’ve only got one ovary and fallopian tube left and at my ever advancing age, the likelihood of me procreating gets smaller every day.

Sure, I have pets, but they are just animals. I have family and such, but no one has chosen to be legally tied to me, therefore, I’m expendable.

I mean really people, how easy is it to be single?!?! I have one salary with which I pay for all my expenses. Luckily I have the opportunity to buy engagement, wedding, baby shower and other gifts for those people who have found someone who wants to have legal ties to them. It makes me understand that not only is my life not worth as much, but that all milestones in my life aren’t worth as much because Target doesn’t have a registry for “Single Girl’s New Place” or “Heather Needs a New Handbag” or “Dog and Cat Toys are Free.”  I don’t mean to imply that I begrudge my married and baby-making friends, but damn y’all, with a life as non-momentous as mine apparently has been, it hurts the ego.

I have the strength of one person to carry groceries up the stairs.  If a bug needs killing, it’s all me. If someone invites me to do something, pretty much no other person on the planet gives a shit if i do it or not. I mean, hell, I’m SUPER expendable since I don’t even have siblings. I’m like the SUPER SINGLE PERSON. I was born single, grew up single, hit mid-life (ish) single and at this point it’s looking like old age is going to be single for me too. It’s almost selfish of me to have a job. A job that could go to a married person with a family. But that’s how we single folks roll……

The single person really hardly even deserves a vacation, unless to go to a wedding, baby shower, funeral or other occassion. Once we hit our 30’s it gets hard to find a group of single folk (or open minded marrieds) who are apt to want to take the same vacation. Luckily for me, being an only child and all, I can take vacations with my parents….that isn’t pitiful at all!

I hate to sound like a whiner. I suppose I’m lucky that I haven’t been put in a home for spinsters by now. I’m fortunate that I’m allowed to walk the same streets and pay the same taxes as those who have legal ties to others. Maybe I’ll take the route of this lady at least I’d be married.

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Single Girl’s Guide to Taking a Compliment

OK, there’s no way in hell I can actually write any sort of guide for taking a compliment. It is something that I simply cannot do.

Prime example, this morning one of the account managers on a particularly pesky client came in and praised me for keeping so on top of things. I immediately go into some random rant about how it’s just my job and the client is insane and it’s no big deal, etc… Fuck that. I’ve worked my ass off for this client. Bending the rules of the time/space continuum to get things done, worked vendors to the point of breaking. Damn right I’ve been on top of things. I’ve been so on top of things that it’s sickening. If given the chance to respond to his praise again, I hope I would say “Thanks for noticing. It’s been a lot of hard work.”  But I probably wouldn’t.

If someone happens to compliment something I’m wearing,  I simply must point out something about that item that makes it “less then”; the price, where it came from, how it doesn’t really go with something else I have on, blah blah blah. Why must I do that.

My favorite thing I do when presented with a compliment is basically argue with the person. Let’s say someone says, “Hey, your hair looks good today!” I will proceed to tell them that it needs to be cut or colored or brushed or something. Essentially, I am telling this kind person that they are full of shit and need to get their eyes checked. Nice!

Do I do this because I’m female? Insecure? Because it’s not nice to think too highly of one’s self? Because humility is best?

I blame global warming……..

 

Maybe it’s just a phase….

In addition to the family drama of this past weekend, I got to spend some time with my cousin’s three little boys, Jackson (6) Joshua (almost 3) and Lucas (almost 2) and it’s got me thinking about kids again. While it was exhausting just watching my cousin’s wife take care of their every need at all times, it was heartbreaking to watch them cuddle up to her and look at her like she was the most wonderful person on the planet. No matter how much I love my dog, it’s just not the same.

From watching Jack play little league to helping Josh learn to play the wii to watching Luke run around in perfect circles on his tippy toes, it all was so wonderful. I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling then having little lives like that be around you, and molded by you. But I’m almost positive I don’t want to do it alone.

So, it gets back to the whole marriage thing. Well, perhaps not marriage, but at least a committed relationship, committed to the point that I would want to have children with this man. I guess, pretty much marriage.  Will I wake up at 50 years old in a cold sweat feeling like my life has been a total waste if I don’t do the husband and kids thing? At this point, I’m pretty sure I will, and this scares the hell out of me. What is the point of a life if you leave no physical legacy?

I’m happy with my life right now. Things are going well. I’m in a better place in the universe then I have been for a long. long time. But will this contentment make me complacent as to moving forward with my life? Will I get comfortable and never marry or have children? Or is it better to be comfortable and let things happen as they are meant to then it would be to actively pursue marriage and children, which may result in them being scared off?

I don’t know, but it’s pretty much consuming my mind these days. That, and the face below, who could SO be my kid and I totally should have snatched when I had the chance 🙂  My cousin has two more kids, would he really miss one?

A death in the family

My Uncle Jim died a few weeks ago. Before you think “Oh—how sad” let me tell you a few things about this man. He abused my father’s sister both physically and mentally for who knows how long. Even when her debilitating depression and MS was at its worse, his wrath did not subside. In addition to his dubious skills as a husband, he also had some interesting ideas on parenting. His oldest son apparently made a good punching bag and his youngest child, a daughter, was a sex toy from the time she was 8 until she was 13. Only his middle son seems to have survived youth with minimal physical abuse at the hands of a parent. But, the mental and emotional scars are all over all three of my cousins.

 

For the last 11 months of Uncle Jim’s life he was in the hospital. Heart surgery, constant infections and pretty much anything else you can imagine was what he dealt with on a daily basis. Karma was doing its thing on this one. Shortly after my aunt died, my uncle remarried and this woman was by his side through all of this time. She ingratiated herself with my cousin’s wife (who knew nothing of the “ways” of this man) and took the role of Grandmother to their three boys. She blogged almost daily about her husband’s condition and often mentioned the “grandsons” and occasionally my cousin’s wife. Rarely, hardly ever really, did she mention her husband’s children.

 

About two weeks before my uncle (I have yet to come up with a term for him that shows no real connection to me) died, his wife emailed my cousin, the middle child, and once again chastised him and his siblings for being so uninterested in his father’s condition. She went so far as to say that Jim had always told her that his kids abandoned their mother when she was dying (a falsehood!) and he expected them to do the same to him. This set my cousin off in ways I can’t even believe, yet completely understand. He directed her to contact his sister and see what some of the reason that they have issues with their father might be.

 

My cousin was contacted and she spilled the whole story to “the wife” who retorted with “Oh yeah, I knew that.”

 

Really? She knew that and still asked why the kids weren’t holding vigils at their father’s bedside? Seriously, who in the world did she think she was kidding? If she did know, she is as twisted as her husband was!

 

If you ever have the opportunity to go to the funeral of someone who was hated by most who really knew him, do it. Be prepared for surreal moments. There will be very apparent “sides” taken at the gathering after the service. There may be no flowers at the church….NONE! The widow will probably be sitting alone until she gets pity from her 6-year-old “grandson” who decides to sit by her. Discussions of the deceased won’t be about shared happy moments, but more likely comparing notes of how they messed up with nearly all of the people there. Everyone will be asking themselves why they came and most will come up with the same answer “For the kids.” Then you realize that the kids are asking themselves why they are there. I guess the answer on that is a societal obligation, or perhaps it is to make sure the bastard is really dead.

 

Folks say death is final….but it’s not. There are numerous things to be dealt with after the death of a family member. Many of these things have financial ramifications. In the case of my uncle, he apparently made sure that his wife was taken care of….and no one else. Not his children whose lives he nearly destroyed, not his grandson’s he claimed to love so much. No one but the woman who was stupid enough to marry him at the age of 49. He was her prince charming. Never has life as a “spinster” been more appealing to me. This woman is making sure that her husband is able to get one last jab in at his kids. His kids who have done the best they can with the hand they were dealt. A hand that was dealt with anger and inappropriate behavior and fear.

 

I know this whole thing is far from over. But I feel that I will be closer to my cousins now and they will be closer with each other.

 

Upon my departure for the memorial service, my boss gave me a eulogy to give to my uncle.

 

Ashes to ashes

Dust to dust

You’ll burn in Hell

For fucking with us

 

Adios Uncle Jim, you monstrous bastard.

Eddy Arnold RIP

Eddy Arnold passed away this morning.

Not only was he the number one selling solo artist in country music history, but he’s also been a sort of common thread in my life.

My paternal Grandfather was from Manchester, TN. He wasn’t a huge music fan, as far as I knew, but he always had some Eddy Arnold 8 tracks around and played them when I would spend summers with my grandparents in South Padre Island, TX.  When you’re a kid, you tend to think a lot of that type of music is stupid or bad, but it definitely laid the groundwork for some of my musical tastes later in life.

Jump to 2001. I started volunteering at the new Country Music Hall of Fame. I hated it. Well, not at first, but pretty quickly I realized that spending 4 hours of my Sunday helping people find the bathroom and hearing snippets of songs OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER wasn’t my cup of tea. However, there was one film that I loved to watch and when it was slow I would sneak in and watch the short documentary on Country Music in Television as many times as possible.  Eddy Arnold was featured in it and he was so handsome. Handsome in that 50’s tv kind of way. Handsome in the way that can only be captured in black and white. He had a soft drawl and a sweet face and I couldn’t believe that this was the same person my grandfather had listened to for so much of my youth.

Shortly after I became enamored with this documentary, I went to lunch at Melpark (now Sylvan Park in Melrose). Eddy Arnold was there. He ate lunch there pretty regularly. He looked nothing like the suave TV persona that I thought of him as. He was, rather, a frail old man. But there was still a twinkle in his eye. He was so sweet to all the staff there and they loved him right back. I’ll never forget one day he walked past my table and told me I had “lovely, shiny hair and amazing blue eyes and a silly laugh”….I wanted to say “Um, you’re Eddy Arnold!” But I think he already knew that and it’s Nashville, we don’t do that kind of thing here.

I continued to see him there at lunch time quite often. Just a few months ago I was sitting in the booth behind him and two other men, who had obviously been in the music business for a long time, and they were discussing Britney Spears….I loved it! I made it a point to make eye contact with him when he would walk by and he would always smile back.  Years simply don’t change a person’s smile.

A few weeks ago I heard his wife had passed away. I had seen her with him a few times and she always looked even more frail then he did. I worried that her death would speed up his trip to the end of his life. Turns out I was probably justified in my fear. But this man lived a life that few can imagine. He entertained countless generations of people. Sang songs that became a part of the patchwork of our American culture and always had a smile for those he passed, even at the little meat & three on Franklin Rd.

I’ll miss Eddy Arnold being on this planet. But I’m sure thankful for the numerous memories I have of him and the interesting role he played in the first 34 years of my life.