January 20, 2013

Twenty-two years, rambling about "free" money and a bit of family drama (otherwise known as: Go ahead and go to the bathroom; this is a long one)

Because I took the time to blog about my utter forgetfulness the other day I was able to recall that yesterday was my anniversary (thank you for all the well wishes by the way).  Yay, me!  Guess who forgot this time?

The look of utter confusion and the slow dawn of realization that crept over his face after I wished him a happy anniversary yesterday morning was the best gift I could have received because it means we are now even and I no longer am the only one that ever forgot.

As Julie so aptly put it, yesterday we painted the town beige.  And it was perfect.


I have some gift cards that I received for Christmas burning a hole in my pocket - but I can't seem to find anything that I love enough to actually buy.  It's extremely frustrating.  Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?

I want to use the cards for something extravagant.  Something I wouldn't normally buy for myself.  But when I hit the shops I can't find anything I like enough or the price is so outrageous that I can't bear to buy it even with "free" money.

I find that I struggle with this every single time I receive a gift card.

I did see some cute winter dresses out there marked down as the retailers make way for the spring merchandise.  The only problem?  They are sleeveless.  Sleeveless, winter weight dresses.  ????

I considered buying one but I knowing that I would freeze, even in the office, I had to pass them up.  We have one woman at work who wears them - sans a blazer or cardigan; the better to show off the pretty details on the back and she looks great; although I shiver for her every time I see her.  And a few other women wear them with a long sleeve shirt underneath and it looks ridiculous.

So the quest to spend my "free" money continues.


Today I got a call from my dad.  This is rare.  It also caused me to feel all kinds of guilt because I don't call as often as I should.  But, in my defense (and it's a lame one) I can't stand talking on the phone under normal circumstances.  And with him, half the conversations consists of him saying, "What?" and me repeating my statement/question by shouting into the receiver.

Now, if I recall correctly this is where I left off the last time I mentioned my dad when I informed you that he had split with his wife and was living with her daughter and son-in-law.  Everything was fine for a while.  And then, apparently, it all went haywire a several months ago; as I discovered after he called to give me his new phone number.  From what I can gather Dad and the son-in-law had a falling out - over what I do not know and Dad refuses to talk about it - and he moved out.  On his own.  In poor health.

Over the past year I have asked him several times to think about moving here - it would definitely set my mind at ease knowing that I could keep an eye on him.  He just tells me he'll think about it and moves on to another subject.

Today when he called he mentioned that he hasn't heard from, nor been able to reach my brother...again.  This is normal.  But he was concerned because my brother had told my dad to let him know when he set up a medical appointment - one where he will need a driver or the hospital will refuse to do the test and/or release him on his own and now he couldn't contact my brother.

After talking to my dad for a bit I hung up absolutely livid.  For the life of me, I cannot understand how my brother can be so cavalier about checking up on his father.  I waited until I had calmed down, so I wouldn't say anything rash, and sent him a message via Facebook.  All I said was "Call Dad, he's been trying to reach you."

About forty-five minutes after I sent the message I saw a response saying that he'd been on the phone with Dad for about an hour.  Which I doubt, simply because my father doesn't spend that much time on the phone.  Sure, he'll talk your ear off if you are in front of him but because he doesn't hear so well the time he spends on the phone is minimal.

At any rate, after all this I sat down and drafted a letter to Dad explaining why I really want him to come here.  I even threw in some guilt for good measure, telling him how much his grandson would love to get to know him better.  I told him that all he has to do is say the word and I will fly down (somehow) and drive him back; because I know he won't fly.  And because I know he doesn't want to be "dependent" on us, I even told him, if he wanted, we would find him his own place.  Unfortunately, I can't mail the letter until Tuesday, as tomorrow is a holiday.

As I was writing the letter, Hubby commented on how "old fashioned" I was to which I responded, "I have to be since he doesn't "do" computers."

Hopefully, I can convince him to come since, obviously, my brother cannot be counted on to check up on our father with any regularity or without prompting.  And shoring up my earlier lame defense regarding calling - at least I call more than my brother does which is, apparently, never.

I realize that our family was/is completely and totally dysfunctional but for the love of Mike, does my brother have absolutely NO compassion and love in his heart to spare?  He makes me mad enough to spit nails.

He doesn't seem to realize, or care, that our family is split into a thousand pieces and scattered far and wide. We need to pull together and make a concentrated effort but I think that trying to explain that to him would do nothing but push him further away.  So I tread lightly.

If I could just get Dad to relocate then I wouldn't have to worry so much.

And then I can't help but compare my mother-in-law (who is at least ten years older) to my dad and she seems absolutely spry in comparison, despite the recent hip replacements she's undergone.  While I do worry about her living alone, I don't worry about her nearly as much.  Which just goes to show, if you take care of yourself, even a little bit, the difference is huge.  (I might be seeing a message to myself somewhere in that paragraph)

And with that final nugget of wisdom, I suppose I have held you captive long enough.


  1. I hope you hear something one way or the other from your dad soon, to put your mind at ease. What a dilemma... it does seems that if he were close by, you would have more control and worry less.

  2. The long distance worry is awful!

    We were so excited when my brother in law moved in with my mother in law. However, for some reason she doesn't trust him to help, so it's still pretty much up to hubby. She used to live about 5, or 6 miles away, but now she's about 20 miles and it's surprising what a big difference even that distance makes. I don't know what the heck we would do if she was in another state!

    Good luck getting him to move! Hopefully he's not as pigheaded as my MIL.

  3. Are you saying we have to give up cigarettes and booze so we are not a burden to our kids? Not on your life darling. After what my sweet daughter has put me through she deserves to have to take care of me in my old age!
    Hope your Dad changes his mind so it will ease yours.

  4. So understand those feelings, sending much love from this side of the pond xxxx

  5. Gift cards- ditto. Still have one from my birthday last year- a year old next month!!

    Dad- off. Such a tough part of life we are heading to. My mom was in the hospital for a few days last month due to COPD/pneumonia, and it was a real eye-opener. I wonder - what happens when we buy a house and move out? grr. Good luck.

  6. Gift cards... we still have one to a restaurant from 3 years ago. :( But I agree. Free money is no good if you don't have anything to spend it on. If you reach a point of no return with them, you can sell them online for 80% of what they are worth.

    As far as your Dad, you are doing your best. He'll either come around or he won't. All you can do is try.


  7. You are a sweet sweet daughter. I don't know if this will put your mind to rest, but will tell you I think that every single family functions in their own crazy and uniqe way. There really is no normal! I wish you luck with your Dad and your gift cards :)

  8. This is such a hard road to walk with our parents. They want their independence and we know they need us more than they realize. And to try to let them keep their self-respect and dignity all at the same time...so hard.

    Glad you painted the town beige, I'm sure it was a lovely, DARK shade of beige because you did it up right. :)

  9. Oh and the giftcards- I am the same way! I want to buy the PERFECT thing that I never would buy otherwise, but it is so hard to find that ONE thing. :)

    I have a $20 bill that was in my dad's wallet when he died almost 5 years ago. I decided to buy myself something special with it so I could remember him and the $20 bill is still sitting in my jewelry box untouched. Chris saw it a few weeks ago and I told him to keep his hands off it (in a not so nice way).