Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
I returned from a long weekend in the Schuylkill County of Pennsylvania on Monday. A friend has a camp in Pine Grove; which is about halfway (and a bit north) between Harrisburg and Allentown. I've been doing this Memorial Day getaway for a few years now. Some of them have been absolutely resting. Some of them not so much. This was halfway between those two.
The long weekend always includes my husband, his parents, and a few friends. The most constant might be my friend Janice. We tend to have fun because we create it. Truth is, there is nothing to do here. We barely get cell service. TV reception is close to nil. And there is way too much nature... at least for me. We do get to grill a ton of food. We do get to read as much as we want. We do get to do nothing. And boy do we eat. We eat like mad. I've taken to going on long walks through the campground just to burn some calories.
Anyhoo. This weekend, I came away with a few revelations. First, Janice is a godsend. Thanks for distracting my "in-laws" from my moods. They love you. If they were not paying attention to you, they would be getting on my last nerve. Thankfully, they just got on one of my nerves.
Second, my "in-laws" are getting crazier. I love them. But sometimes I need a break from them. I think I have spent a big amount of time with them in the past two years. More than I really want to. I have one more event with them this Summer. And I think that may be it until the Holidays. Which is going to be interesting since I will be announcing my refusal to celebrate them. Boy, will that be a hoot. And when I say the "in-laws", I don't just mean the parents.
Third, Mike's niece and her fiance are just too young to be married. They spent the weekend with us. They are just so young. I believe 22 and 23. I think that is too young to be married. Mike said that was me judging. I said that that was what I did best. But c'mon. What the hell do you know at 22 or 23? What the fuck did I know at 22 or 23? It was hard for me to socialize with them. Mostly because I was trying to use the weekend as a way to decompress. But partially because I just found both of them young, naive, and intolerable. When you get excited over someone making cole slaw, you don't know shit.
Fourth, my "in-laws" are getting crazier. But I told you that already.
Fifth, if it weren't for my husband, Mike, I'm not sure where I would be. We are two peas in a pod. We really just fit. Even when we don't feel like being around others, we cannot be away from each other. I don't know if that fully describes us. I have a hard time putting words down to do so. The support that we give each other is just invaluable.
Lastly, I never want to be considered crazy by anyone. I asked Mike to promise me that we would never bicker like his parents. You see, my parents don't bicker. They disagree about things but if they ever need to get something done, they would never ask the other person to do it if they did not think that the results would be what they wanted. Does that make sense? I never ask Mike to do the laundry because he does not bother separating. And after some color mishaps and poor folding habits, I decided that I would do laundry always. Get it? Crazy is asking someone to do something you know they are going to mess up THEN getting mad at them for doing so. After years of being together, don't you just know not to?
Mike did promise me that we would never bicker like his parents. I don't know how true that will be. But if we are halfway (and a bit north) between our parents. Things should be fine. Later.
For the past week, I have been in a funk. I know it's a combination of everything that surrounds me. Even though I had fun this weekend with a couple of fun guys
, I still have been feeling low. My co-worker told me that I was normally her beacon of sunshine. But certainly not lately. Today, I spoke to a co-worker who I respect. She asked me to tell her what it was that was bothering me. So I did.
Work has been busy. Not so busy that I feel it is overwhelming me. It's just that I have been feeling that a lot of what we do is just... bullshit. The urgency and fatalistic view my superiors seem to take on all of what we do just seems stupid. Especially since, if you think about it, it all really does not matter. We sit at our desks or stand in our aisles spewing idealistic views of what we are doing but, truth be told, we don't really follow these ideals. All that we really are supposed to do is make a lot of money for the company. And even though we make a lot, benefits are being cut, quantity has replaced quality, and people are becoming tertiary.
I know that it's not just any company's fault. Part of the fault has to do with us. Remember that phrase, "The rich get richer while the poor get poorer?" They should change it to "The dumb get dumber..." Not only do they get dumber but they multiply faster. Meanwhile, the smart are smart enough to not bring more lives into this under-achieving cycle. It's no longer true that if you build it, they will come. They'll come if you shove them onto a cart and push them to it. Then, you have to lift their heads so that they even see it. It all just seems endless.
This isn't about the population who actually reads blogs like this. This is about the population who finds it more important to figure out the lyrics to a song than to be able to compose a sentence with proper grammar. I often wonder why it is no longer a shame to not be able to spell correctly? I often wonder if half the people that work with me know how to read. Cause they sure act like they can't. I wonder how they even wipe their asses at times.
On top of all of that, we have crazy natural disasters in Myanmar and China. Unbelievable amounts of people dead. I wonder if the numbers matter to them? I wonder if they value their lives more now? I wonder if people in this country understand how valuable life is? I have little faith that worldwide disasters make them realize the preciousness and fragility of life. I have very little faith in humankind lately.
And that little faith even becomes smaller when you find out that your good friend is a victim of rape. I couldn't stop crying after she told me. I didn't do it in front of her. I just sat and listened as she told me how she was drugged at a bar, dragged to a hotel room, and raped. He confessed to the police but may be retracting it all. They have him on video. Forensic evidence proves it was him. And now he wants to go to court. I left work and cried. Behind my tears is just rage. Rage for her co-worker that did this to her. Rage for the co-workers that did not take care of her. They are all kicking themselves for not reading the signs. But then again, they were duped by him just like she was. Then again, hindsight is 20/20.
So, I've been in a funk. I find it all just futile. It seems that we all just want our piece of the pie. Yet, we don't want the responsibility of baking the damn thing. And, those of us who have the balls to make the crust, cook the filling, assemble it all, and put it in the oven... well, are we the stupid ones? Are we the ones the rest of society assumes will carry the burden of their apathy? Are we the ones who are supposed to catch what slips through the cracks? It really doesn't seem to change. And, I think, it's because most of us don't want it to. We just want someone else to change it for us. Later.
My friends often joke that when I say that I hate people, I actually do mean it. Actually, I do. I have an aversion to a lot of people. I especially have an aversion to people under the age of 22. But there are times when even my most jaded side softens slightly. Tonight was one of those times.
Everyone must go out and purchase his book
. Especially if you are a homosexual man. Go now. I've known this man
for a few years now and he never ceases to amaze me. Every chance I get, I tell him that he is nothing but a genius. A truly hilarious being of genius who's mere presence on this earth can soften my diamond-hard jaded armor.
Maybe it's the fact that we share many things in common. After all, our partners have the same name. We both taught step aerobics. We have this affinity for chocolate. But most importantly, we both don't like children.
Tonight, at his reading, which was packed, I stood in the back feeling so proud for him. Feeling so proud that my friend is experiencing great success. And for just a moment, my jaded side softened. For just a moment, I felt nothing but unselfish joy for someone. But then, he picked Cher over Madonna.
So, anyways: Congratulations, dear friend. May life bring you all the love, success, and chocolate it can. Later.
I can't stop crying. I can't. I can barely see what I am typing. I just can't stop crying. I'm not normally this sentimental. I just can't stop. There wasn't anything particularly sentimental about Kevin and Scotty's ceremony. But I could not stop crying. I don't know why.
Maybe it's because I am witnessing something special. Maybe because I am not as cynical as I think I am. Maybe it's because something about this whole thing strikes a chord deep inside of me. I don't know.
I know that I can't stop crying. Even now. During the commercial break. I can't stop.
If you ever watch cooking shows, they can't stop talking about using the freshest ingredients to make the best dishes. I do agree... somewhat.
As a cook, I have this thing about using even the not-so-freshest ingredients. I think part of it stems from being so poor at one point in my adult life. What about that limp half-bunch of celery in the crisper? Or those so wrinkly carrots next to that celery? What about that two-week-old chili? I hate throwing away food that is still usable. I feel that it deserves to be enjoyed. So, I tend to find ways of using it.
Those old celery and carrots? Well, use them to make a marinara sauce. That still-usable chili? Bake some Idaho potatoes, split them, top them with chili and some cheddar. Mmmmmmm. Dinner is served.
Part of it could be the fact that I grew up in Nigeria. Don't get me wrong, we always had food. Not the best food but we always had something to eat. I am not sure if I felt that way because my Mom made sure that there was delicious food on the table. Regardless of what ingredients she had. I remember going to stores with empty shelves. Or shelves with passable products. From her, I learned how to not waste anything. Rotting vegetables and bruised fruit was often trimmed. I wish more people would understand that.
Sometimes, when I hear TV cooks blather on about using the freshest ingredients, I roll my eyes. The truth is, most of us don't always have the freshest ingredients. Sometimes, all we have is that three-day old bunch of scallions, that pack of tofu that's been in the fridge since last week, and frozen peas. But if you stop and think, you can thaw the peas, chop and saute those scallions, toss in the cubed tofu, season with any flavorings you have on hand, toss in the peas, and serve it over some rice. Voila. Dinner.
Maybe this isn't about having the freshest ingredients. Maybe what this is really about is making the best of what you have. No matter how old it all seems to be. Later.
I'm am suddenly feeling a heavy sadness. Nothing serious. Well, nothing serious happened with my family. On the contrary, things are good. Just spoke with my parents and they are doing well. They are in the States and will be coming to the City toward the end of June. They seem to be enjoying their retirement quite exceptionally.
I'm not sure why this heavy sadness started. I just got done watching Brothers & Sisters
. Kevin proposed to Scotty
. I should be happy. I am but I feel... slightly less full of joy.
It could be that I had a great time this weekend hanging with my friend, Richard. We went dancing at Splash
. Had a blast. Music was great. And now, I am coming off the the high. I never felt this way when I was doing serious party drugs. I guess I was numb then.
I also just found out that one of my good friends is moving to Atlanta to be with the man she loves. I am happy for her but her moves signifies another "New York City" person moving on. Maybe, I fear that my time to move on is coming soon. Doesn't everybody just eventually move out of this City? I hate that they do. But they do. At least she will be moving someplace that I love. And have friends. So, I am sure we will keep in touch and see each other.
I also got some serious news about someone I work with. Well, I am not sure if it is serious but everything points toward it being serious. I hope everything will be fine. I am not going to be in the store tomorrow, so I probably will not find out anything until I get in Tuesday. I feel dread about this situation. I hope it is not anything I can think of.
The upcoming work week is relatively quiet. It'll give me a chance to shake off this heavy sadness. I hope. Later.