Archive for June, 2011

# 21 – THE SPORTO I-MAKE-JEWELRY-GUY…

Posted in Family, family battles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

The next morning, I took my Escalade back to the dealership, and I was told it was overheating because there were air bubbles in the radiator. Charlie said that was total bullshit, but whatever.  Just make my car run without the engine’s temp reaching volcanic levels! They put my SUV in a service bay and let it run for about 10 minutes. I was told it could take as long as an hour. I got bored, so I asked the manager, Tom, if someone could give me a lift back to my Grandmother’s, which was TWO miles away. “I need to finish packing,” I said.

“No, but we have a shuttle that goes to the mall,” Tom replied.

Why are all men so thick-headed that they think a trip to the mall is a goddamned cure-all? I didn’t say—Hey, I need some new pantyhose/shorts/undies, can someone run me over to the MALL? No, I said, I WANNA GO HOME AND PACK….

Tom gave me a rather impatient look, complete with tautly drawn eyebrows. “No, I need to go to my Grandmother’s and pack, but, yeah, the mall’s a great substitute for that.” With an annoyed eye roll at Cindy, who smiled, I strutted over to the showroom to wait on the shuttle.

Upon arriving at the mall, I bee-lined over to Barnes & Noble. I bought Catching Fire, the second book in the The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.

I bought a bottle of water at the Starbucks inside B&N, sat down, and started reading. A few minutes later, I could feel someone’s eyes on me. I glance up from my book, and there’s this guy approaching me carrying a laptop. He’s tall and built like a redwood tree with legs. With an 18-inch neck, he was a real sporto dude, except for the fact that his light brown hair is shoulder-length, and he was wearing smallish hoop earrings and a silver cross studded with turquoise chips. A definite identity crisis—as if he couldn’t decide if he’s a hippy, wanna-be-musician, or a professional wrestler.

A good-looking man, but I just wanted to read MY BOOK until my car was ready. I did NOT feel like dealing with some individuality-conflicted schmoozer who didn’t notice my wedding ring…or didn’t CARE that I’m married.

He gave me a slight smile and said, “Would you mind to plug in my laptop?” He nodded toward the electrical outlet beside my table.

“Sure, no problem,” I replied, hoping that was REALLY all he wanted. I plugged in his laptop and went back to reading my book. But, NO, Sporto Guy is still standing there, awkwardly staring at me.

I looked up at him with a quizzical expression, doing my best to convey the attitude of: What the hell do you want?

“I like your earrings,” said Sporto Guy.

I was wearing my peace symbol necklace with earrings to match. “Thanks,” I said, turning my attention back to Katniss Everdeen, the main character in The Hunger Games/Catching Fire.

“I make jewelry,” said Sporto Guy as he sat down at the table across from me. With a flicker of my eyes in his direction and a polite, rather strained smile, I, once again, went back to the throes of Katniss’s dilemma.

At this point, thankfully, Sporto Guy started typing on his laptop, and he left me alone. But, of course, this ISN’T the end of my tale.

Sporto Guy went over and got himself a cappuccino and came sauntering back toward me smiling. “So, do you live around here?”

I could feel my face tightening, my jaws clenching, and I really just wanted to FLATTEN this guy (like Wiley Coyote in the cartoons :)). But, not knowing if he’s a mother-hating/just-got-dumped-by-someone-who-looks-a-lot-like-me/Hannibel-Lecter-Wanna-Be, I didn’t want to antagonize him. “No, I don’t.” I replied politely with a sigh that was supposed to indicate, I’M NOT INTERESTED! GO the fuck AWAY, but it didn’t work. I guess some guys need a SLEDGE HAMMER to their hand before getting the hint.

With a goofy grin, he glances around the bookstore scrambling to think of something to say. He sips his coffee and continues babbling, “Some of my jewelry is being showcased at the arts and crafts fair tomorrow at the VFW on Spring Street, and then, I’m leaving for another show in North Carolina.” As if this was really supposed to WOW me, as if he and his WORK were going on tour.  “It’s a benefit for paralyzed veterans. You should stop by, see some of my stuff,” he said with another TOOTHY smile.

“No, I’m…” then, luckily, I was SAVED BY THE BELL, literally when my I-Phone started ringing. I glanced at the caller i.d., thrilled to see it was someone from the dealership. “Hello?” I said, looking away from Sporto Guy, who shifted his feet nervously. “Okay, thanks, Tom. I’ll be right there.” I said, hoping maybe he’d think TOM was my husband or something.

But still, Sporto Guy stood there, biting his lip, followed by a nervous grin. I hung up my phone, set it on the table and started to stash my book in my purse when Sporto Guy grabbed my phone and….

Photo taken by the Sporto I-Make-Jewelry-Guy

Yeah…took my picture. By the look on his face, it was obvious that Sporto Guy just realized he’d wasted $20 on whatever how to pick up women manual he’d bought because obviously I was rather non-plussed by his impromptu photo session, and DOUBLY NOT impressed by his Don Juan textbook manner of trying to score.

With an annoyed frown, I grabbed my I-Phone and my book and slid them both into my purse. As I stood up to go, I saw Sporto Guy’s business card on the table in front of me. I picked it up and glanced at the card, which read:

Jensen Hart
Jewelry Artist/Poet
P.O. Box 543
Savannah, GA  31402
(800) 556-7298
jensenhart99@yahoo.com
 

“Maybe, you could email me that pic…” he began, but my giggle preempted the rest of his speech. I couldn’t help it. Despite my attempts to STIFLE my outburst and with all the stress from Danny, the urge to laugh was all the more difficult to control. I looked down and again, squelching another belt of laughter when I saw him slither away toward the coffee counter out of the corner of my eye.

I’m sorry, but POET? Have I suddenly been transported back to 1967? I guess seeing the word POET, I was supposed to follow him home and tumble into his bed like a $4-dollar whore.

I glanced across Starbucks where he seemed to be pretending to look at the carb-laden muffins in the glass case. With an embarrassed glance at me, he ordered a really big chocolate muffin from the barista. A good choice, I thought. Chocolate always makes ME feel better after I’ve made a complete ASS of myself.

I shuffled out of Barnes & Noble, feeling rather sorry for the Sporto I-Make-Jewelry Guy. I wondered maybe, if he’d been over in Iraq or something, given his thick-necked stature. And, maybe, he was having difficult acclimating to being back in the states. He looked like he was late 20s/early 30s, so such was possible, or MAYBE, he’s just a tool… 🙂

However, the REALLY funny thing was….

The NEXT day as I was driving back to Ohio

, I stopped at an outlet mall in North Carolina to grab lunch at the Food Court. As I was standing in line to order some Kung Pao chicken at the HUNAN LION, I saw Sporto I-Make-Jewelry Guy sitting at a table next to several other artists (all women), who were hocking their homemade quilts, hand-painted pots and wildlife drawings, etc. He was talking to a 20-something, rather skinny young blonde, who was giggling and obviously rather intrigued by his silver bracelet, studded with Turquoise chips.  Turquoise chips seem to be a theme in his ART.

I quickly RUSHED to the other side of the Food Court to the pizza shop before he could see me. I didn’t want Kung Pao chicken badly enough to risk Sporto Guy seeing me and thinking I’d followed him or something, instead of the REAL LIFE coincidence that I just happened to stop at THE discount mall where he was showcasing his stuff ☺….and I truly hoped that the young blonde would fall madly in love with Jensen Hart, Sporto Guy, a.k.a. the Jewelry Artist/Poet….so he would stop hitting on married women in bookstores….just DON’T show her your business card… 🙂

PEACE OUT from my Stop and Smell the Crazy Life…

~Kennedy

#20 – My life on the cutting room floor Part 2, aka my last night in Georgia…

Posted in nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

First of all, my apologies for my absence lately. I’ve been embroiled in a legal quagmire with Danny for three months, and it has consumed a lot of my time lately, which I’ll get to in future posts. But for now…back to where I left off…

It was almost 10:00 p.m. when I hung up on Charlie after our verbal brawling about the mysterious overdraft problem.

I glanced at the assignment for my online class, which had FOUR parts to it. I sighed knowing that at BEST, churning out a half-assed project would be all I could muster, and that’s NOT me.

So, I decided to do something I haven’t done since finding out I was pregnant with Tim, in 1986…

The words EPIC FAIL flashed across my brain as I emailed Ms. Jackson, the instructor and explained that with MUCH regret, I had to drop her class due to family issues. She was very kind and replied immediately that I could still audit the lectures, which I did.

I didn’t drop a course or miss FIVE minutes of a class during my clusterfuck divorce in 1988 during my senior year at Marshall. But this time, I just had to say UNCLE. Dropping that class was worse than waking up to find Danny hovering over me with a gun in my face because…

Unlike Danny, I’m an education junkie. And cyberspace classrooms have helped me keep my sanity for the last five+ years, so Danny’s bullshit is depriving me of MY only vice (other than Merlot, of course). I was morphing into someone I don’t want to be, and I HATED IT and HATED him all the more.

Five minutes later, I heard Nana’s walker creaking down the hallway toward me, and I was filled with dread. I didn’t BLAME Nana. I tossed the blame on Danny’s no-good ASS. Even still, I HATE living the Southern CODE – acting like everything’s fine when my life’s on fire. But I didn’t want to upset her by telling about dropping my class.

“Kennedy, you okay, back there?” Nana asked in a weak and concerned voice.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said, wiping the tears away with my thumb. And I SO wanted her to go away. That’s a terrible thing to say about a harmless, albeit crotchety member of your family, but I just couldn’t deal with her chatter right now.

She appeared in the doorway of the office smiling, completely oblivious.

“I’ll get your night pills and your tea in just a minute, okay?” I said.

“Okay,” she said. “American Idol was really good tonight,” she continued happily. “Had some really good singers.”

Her jovial voice hit me like jagged shards of glass digging into my forehead especially since I don’t give a fuck about American Idol!

“Nana, I need a few minutes alone, okay?”

Of course, she wanted to know what was wrong, and I just shook my head.

“Okay,” She nodded, frowning. “Well, you’re working too hard. It’s almost ten o’clock, and here you are, still working. You need to slow down and get some rest.”

PLEASE, NANA, GO TO YOUR ROOM. Go watch a re-run of Joel Osteen. Go ALPHABETIZE the canned food (which, btw, she’s actually done)..! Just GO… PLEASE – were the thoughts pounding through my skull, but instead, I said…

“No, I’m finished. I’m just shutting down my computer.”

With a slow nod, she FINALLY toddled away.

After a wretched, mostly sleepless night, I woke up feeling like shit, which totally sucked because I had to drive Nana to the airport in Jacksonville TWO hours away.

Right after breakfast, I dissected our bank account in Ohio. Turned out, they had withdrawn funds from our overdraft in ANTICIPATION of some automatic payments, which were DUE to post to our account TWO days later, the SAME DAY Charlie’s paycheck would be direct deposited. WTF? How can they legally do that? It’s mythical math in cyberspace! Just as awesome as Hamilton Bank and their unicorn (see Post #8 https://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/04/05/hamilton-national-bank-unleashed/).

I HATE BANKS! But I didn’t GLOAT since my husband thought I’d created the mysterious overdraft (see the previous post #19 – My Life on the Cutting Room Floor). I just sent Charlie (my husband for those just arriving in Crazytown) an email explaining the whacked out banking error. To-wit, he called me 90 seconds later.

“That’s completely retarded,” he said when I answered the phone.

“Yes,” I said laughing, “it is.” Whereupon he apologized for accusing me of financial philandering.

After all that, Nana, thank God, got to Ohio okay without her plane crashing or any other calamities occurring.

So, that was WEDNESDAY, and on THURSDAY, my car still had NOT been repaired.

I stormed into the dealership at 5:30 on Friday, and when Cindy, the office manager said it wasn’t quite ready, I went ballistic.

“What the hell do you mean it’s not ready?” I screamed. “This repair was supposed to take ten days. It’s been THREE, very long weeks! You swore to me yesterday that TODAY I could drive it back to OHIO!”

She stared at me WILD-EYED, not knowing what to say. She started to reply when, Tom the manager, piped up from the office behind her saying, “I’m really sorry for the inconvenience, Miss-”

“No, an inconvenience is having to take the BUS to work for a day or two. A month without a car is a pain in the ASS!”

“I’m sorry, but your car is in detail. They’re just getting it cleaned up.”

Realizing that I had just UNJUSTLY lambasted Cindy, all I could was say, “Oh.”

Is there any wonder people call me Tenacious BITCH…ya think FOUR Hail Mary’s would suffice for penance? I think not…moving on or GOING FORWARD for all you corporate slaves, LOL…but I did apologize the next day with a box of expensive chocolate, but ANYWHO…

Fifteen minutes later, my beloved Escalade was returned to me that evening, yes, but as I drove to Nana’s house, I noticed the TEMPERATURE gauge was off the charts! Yes, the goddamned car was overheating! HOW CAN THIS BE? Jesus, H….I was beginning to wish that Danny would just put a BOMB under my car and END it all!

I called Charlie, who knows a lot about cars, and he said they probably just forgot to put antifreeze in it. I PRAYED very loudly and fervently that this would be the case.  And I told him I’d take the car back to the dealership in the morning.

After eating some Chinese takeout I’d bought on the way home and two glasses of Merlot, I crashed, dead to the world until…I was awakened by this HORRIBLE BASHING on the front door, and a very ANGRY voice….

I stepped out into the hallway and listened, my heart threatening to choke me with its unhealthy rhythm.

“Goddammit, Kennedy! Open the fucking door, you fucking bitch! You stole my goddamned car! I want my damned money!” And, of course, it was DANNY, who slurry speech was steeped in both alcohol and CRACK, judging by the force of his fists hitting the front door. “Open the goddamned door! I want my MONEY!”

I grabbed my cell and called 911 as Danny continued THRASHING and screaming,

“I’m gonna kill you, you fucking bitch unless you give me my 1500!”

“Stay on the phone with me until the Deputy arrives. It shouldn’t be but four or five minutes,” said the annoyingly calm 911 (female) Dispatcher. You say it’s your brother?”

“Yes, can you hear him?” I asked holding out the phone as Danny wailed on…

“Fucking bitch! Open this goddamned door, or I’m gonna knock it off the fucking hinges, right fucking now!”

“Yes, I hear him. Is it just him?” Ask the Dispatcher.

“I didn’t look out the window, so I don’t know, but I don’t hear anyone else,” I replied when I heard the unmistakable sound of Danny’s STEEL-TOED boot hitting the door.

“Open up, right now, Kennedy! Or I swear to Christ, I’ll knock this door fucking flat!” And it sounded as though he was body slamming the door.

“Oh, my God, he’s gonna knock the door down!” I shrieked.

“Car 24, what’s your ETA?” said the Dispatcher over her radio.

And before she answered, my rage took over for EVERY rotten thing Danny’s ever done, and I ran to the front door yelling, “Go away, you goddamned lunatic! I called the cops! They’ll be here ANY minute!”

But I guess he didn’t hear me over his own enraged diatribe because he took a couple steps back, charged toward the front door and crashed against the door with all his might with a WHAM.

I heard a slight groan, then silence.

“Did you hear me, Danny? I called the COPS! I don’t think you wanna go to jail tonight, do you?”

I crept into the kitchen and peeked out the window. I saw Danny standing at the front door, ALONE, thank God.

“Fuck!” Danny blurted out. “I’ll be back, and you better have my money, you fucking cunt!” Then, sauntered away toward this really old beat to shit Hyundai, probably borrowed from some girlfriend.

“This ain’t over, Kennedy!” he shouted out the window as he sped away, tires squaling in the Hyundai just as the Deputy Sheriff pulled into Nana’s driveway. I took a deep breath and went outside to greet the tall, handsome officer, who was watching Danny drive away.

“Was that him?” asked the Deputy, nodding toward the Hyundai disappearing into the darkness.

“Yeah, that’s my brother, Danny.”

“Deputy Evans,” said the broad-shouldered lawman extending his hand.

“Kennedy, Kennedy Smith,” I said, shaking his hand.

“So, why was he threatening you?”

“He’s a crackhead. Does he really need another reason?”

With a slight chuckle, he replied, “No, not really.”

I explained the whole sordid business, anyway, not that it mattered….

And two hours later, after another belt of Merlot, I finally drifted off back to sleep, with the golf club at my side, and the dresser once again reinforcing the bedroom door.

And that’s how I spent my last night in Georgia….

Over and out from the headquarters of – TIME TO KILL DANNY.COM…:)…just kidding. If I killed him, WTF would I write about THEN? 🙂

~TB/Kennedy

#19 – My LIFE on the cutting room floor…. PART I

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

At this point in my complicated/FUBAR life, Nana and I were just wading through the daily BOG, waiting for my beloved Escalade to be repaired at a nearby Nissan dealership(after a major fender bender-see Blog 10: NOT arriving at my destination…). Upon the initial evaluation of the damage, the manager of the garage told me that my car would be ready on January 31 (2011).

However, on January 31, I was told, “I’m sorry, Ms. Smith, but we’re waiting on parts. So, it won’t be ready until Wednesday (Feb. 2-ARG!).

“What? I told the manager if it was GOING to be later than the 31st that I had to know BEFOREHAND. Why didn’t someone call me on Friday?”

“I don’t know. I’m sorry, Mrs. Smith, but we’re having trouble getting parts because of all the bad weather in the Midwest.”

“Really?” I asked with heavy SARCASM. I had DIFFICULTY believing that parts for an AMERICAN car could not be found anywhere in the South.

Fearing the WORST, I rescheduled Nana’s flight for Thursday, and the airline didn’t charge anything because I had bought FLIGHT insurance even though Charlie asked me NOT TO. Damn….I’m such a rebel. Some women go GA-GA for shoes, but I committed monetary infidelity paying $17 for INSURANCE, which SAVED us $150 later…

However, WEDNESDAY at 4:00 pm after no CALL from the dealership, I called Cindy who said, “They re-painted the hood because they were concerned it didn’t match the rest of the car.”

“Are you fucking serious?” I screamed. “My Grandmother will arrive in Ohio TOMORROW, and there will be NO ONE to take care of her on FRIDAY since I’m stuck here because some asshole went all Van Gogh on my paint job! Without even ASKING me to look at it? I don’t give a shit if it’s purple and green. I NEED my car back!”

“Well, most people do care,” Cindy lamented.

“Which is why you DIDN’T ask me to check out the paint job first?”

The stench of CYA in this conversation (covering your own ass) was getting really THICK.

“I’m sorry, I-” Cindy stuttered.

“So, what’s the ETA on my car now? April? May?”

“It should be ready tomorrow.”

There are NO words for how angry I was when I hung up, and it seemed nothing would ignite the ASS fire of these people, no matter how ANGRY I got.

However, THANK GOD, Sarah, my mother-in-law, said she could stay longer to take care of Nana if I didn’t get back home until Friday or Saturday b/c Charlie had just started a NEW JOB in November and couldn’t take time off work.

….Meanwhile, I was getting tired of looking over my shoulder/out the window, etc., every time I heard a car door slam. Why? For fear Danny would show up, steeped in crack, mega attitude and possibly weapons, ready to make me a bloody smear upon Nana’s white walls.

Other than that, you’d think spending the winter in Georgia instead of the dreary Midwestern snow would be a welcome change for me, yes? Except for the LIFE-SUCKING/brain MUSHING temperatures.

No, not the Georgia climate either. I’m referring to Nana’s habit of keeping the HEAT on 80 even when it’s 75 outside. I walked around in tank tops and cotton shorts – sweat rippling down my back 24-7 while Nana was buried in afghans and flannel…

Aside from that, the CONSTANT struggle of trying to work on my consulting projects and do the homework for an online writing class I was taking from one of my favorite writer, Maxx Jackson….Not to mention the exhaustion of taking care of Nana while handling the never-ending fallout from Danny’s thievery.

For example, I walked in after making my 800th trip to Walmart for a few MORE things needed for Nana’s trip, and she was ready to STRANGLE Danny (again) with her bony little hands.

“He canceled my insurance, Kennedy,” Nana shouted… her usually pale and almost translucent skin taking on that blood vessels BOILING – shade of RED. “I just talked to Janet at Homestead because I hadn’t gotten a bill from her lately, and she told me Danny CANCELED my homeowner’s insurance in December and didn’t even say WHY.”

I’ve learned with Nana, that it’s best to seek out the SOURCE of her shit-fit before PANICKING because she gets so easily confused. So, I called Janet a little later when Nana was taking a nap. And it wasn’t exactly as Nana had thought. It was WORSE….

“So, she missed a payment due on October 31st of 2009, and her policy was canceled in January 2010?”

“Yes, that’s correct,” Janet replied. Apparently, after my Dad died, Nana FORGOT to pay the premium or something…before Danny moved in with her in February of 2010. 

“Then Danny called last July after that pipe burst in the kitchen. And that’s when he discovered the policy had lapsed?” I asked.

“Right.”

“So, he just paid to replace the tile and everything and didn’t renew the policy?” I half mumbled to myself. Well, that explained the hefty homage to Home Depot last summer on Nana’s debit card.

“I assume so,” Janet replied. “I gave Danny a quote for a new policy, but he never got back to me. So, I just thought Maude took her business elsewhere.

“No,” I said with a chuckle, “she didn’t.” And given the fact that Danny liquidated the last $50K of equity in Nana’s house in JUNE, he COULD easily have paid the new premium, but now buying toilet paper puts a strain on Nana’s budget!

“So, how much to start up a new policy?” I asked, my heart CLANGING against my ribs, knowing that NOT having insurance for so long knocked Nana into a MUCH higher premium bracket.

“Well, let me see,” Janet replied as I heard her keys clicking away. “The best we could do, I’m afraid, would be around… $4,200/year.”

HOLY SHIT! When I explained Nana’s financial situation, Janet kindly gave me a list of other agencies that might be cheaper. I thanked her for the info and decided to call them in the morning. I had digested ENOUGH bad news for one day….so I THOUGHT until…

I was almost finished reading the lecture from my class when Charlie called.

“Hi, honey, what’s up?” I asked yawning.

“Your business account’s overdrawn by $372.”

“No, it’s not,” I said, hurriedly clicking my way over to our online banking website. I logged in, however…. “Charlie, it’s not my account. I’m in the black by 189 dollars.”

“I’ve accounted for ALL the charges to our joint checking, so you’ve gotta be missing something on your account.”

“No, I’m not!” And now I felt like strangling someone with MY BONY little fingers because I KNEW he thought I was hiding some egregious, frivolous spending as if I had time for a shopping spree!

So, after 12 rounds of the fiscal blame game, I shouted, “Look, I’ll call the damned bank in the morning and find out what that fucking overdraft is REALLY about, okay?” And for the first time EVER in 15 YEARS, I hung up on my husband, SLAMMING the phone down in his ear, followed by a tsunami of angry tears. I felt REALLY guilty about it and had trouble sleeping that night, but there’s only so much ONE human can take. And I was RIGHT…but I’ll go into that later…

After hanging up on Charlie, I wanted to get in my rental car and GO….didn’t matter where, just AWAY….and let someone else handle the pissed off spouse/cranky grandma and the mounds of CA CA left after Danny’s year-long CRACK party…

And NOW—SIX months later, I’m STILL faced with MORE collateral damage because of Danny’s TREACHERY.

However, TA for now, boys and girls….stay tuned because this is NOT an episode of Lost. I will eventually leave my tropical PRISON, but I, unlike the fictitious babes in Lost’s toy land, I won’t be copping out by crossing over to the land of the DEAD in order to escape…so, there’s more torture AHEAD as pieces of ME get hacked up on LIFE’S cutting room floor…

Peace out~

Cinderella and Company

aka Kennedy

 

# 18 – The OATMEAL incident.

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

For those who aren’t aware who just started reading my blog feel free to read the RECAP*. At any rate, I had an accident in my BELOVED Escalade in Georgia, on January 14, whereupon I hit a large truck, etc. (see Post entitled: NOT arriving at my destination…) and almost totaled my car.

Meanwhile, the next week or so was actually pretty peaceful after selling the BMW and everything, not a whole lot to report. But there was one EVENT… I just had to share that I had emailed my brother, Ben, and his wife, Alicia, about…which is below…. ENJOY!

From: Kennedy [mailto:kennedy40@yahoo.com]
Sent: January 28, 2011 7:55 PM
To: ‘Alicia’; ‘Ben’
Subject: The OATMEAL incident!

So, as of NOW, my car is supposed to be repaired and good to go by Monday (January 31). Nana Maude is scheduled to fly home (to MI) on February 2. I’ll be leaving, God willing, on February 1. I won’t get home until very late on February 3, depending on whether I hit any snow or bad traffic. Luckily, my mother-in-law, Sarah, is going to drive out from Cleveland and help take care of Nana until I get home since my husband, Charlie, can’t take off work right now. Sarah will take care of Nana during the day, etc., until I get back.

While Nana LOVES Sarah, I still hate it that Nana will be there w/out me because it’s take ME awhile to figure out/interrupt Nana-speak…much less someone who hasn’t been around Nana that much.

For example, Nana TOLD me to make her oatmeal according to the directions on the box but to please put the butter and the milk in the oatmeal as you cook it. However, when I fixed it for her, I figured out NOT so true…. and I still have yet, FIVE MONTHS later, figured out how to make her oatmeal…. except it HAS to be QUAKER oatmeal b/c she won’t eat ANY other kind.

I don’t eat oatmeal. I don’t like it, never have liked it… NEVER WILL.  That said, I have NO clue what it should LOOK LIKE or taste like. I was a MARTIAN infant making CEREAL for my fussy QUEEN.

I made the oatmeal EXACTLY the way she told me to, and then, I set the bowl down on her lap. She was sitting in her recliner, as always, with the TV on The Today show. I set a glass of milk for her tea on the end table beside her.

“Thank you, honey,” Nana said.

“You’re welcome,” I said smiling while PRAYING she would like the oatmeal. I went back into the kitchen to make my breakfast.

It was only 8 a.m., but it was already 80-degrees outside and 102 in Nana’s kitchen. I snatched a clean dish town, ran it under the tap and applied it to my face… as a gaggle of SWEAT STREAMS started their rapid descent down my back in search of my behind… YEA for me….

I was pouring myself a glass of grape juice when Nana said, “Kennedy, honey, this oatmeal needs a touch more sugar.”

“Okay,” I replied grabbing the sugar bowl from the counter. I went back into the living room AGAIN and handed it to her.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Nana said with a smile.

I smiled and went back into the kitchen AGAIN to heat up my leftover turkey bacon and make myself a piece of whole wheat toast.

A few minutes later, I sat down in the other recliner across from Nana and started to eat my bacon, etc.

“I guess I’m just gonna give up on oatmeal….” Nana lamented with a sigh.

“Oh, why is that?” I asked absent-mindedly watching the weather report on TV, knowing SOMETHING WICKED was going on with the oatmeal, but I just didn’t care. It was now 8,000 degrees in the house, and I was starving and WORN OUT, and it was only 8:20 a.m…. and I just didn’t have the energy to try to FIX the oatmeal problem at this point. I’d also made her a fried egg and some sausage, so she wasn’t going to starve.

“It’s just too mushy,” Nana said.

I look over, and I noticed that she had dumped all the milk in it that I’d given her for her tea, which was about ¾ a cup of liquid! I never know how much milk she wants in her tea, which seems to change day-to-day….but anyway…

Her oatmeal now looked like your average cereal bowl AFTER you’ve eaten all the cereal, and only a few scarce and soggy crumblets from the bottom of the box are left! 🙂 It was now 97% milk. Her face was all pinched as she played with it –  filling up the spoon, then dumping the unappetizing oatmeal DRINK back into the bowl.

Later, Nana told me she cooks her oatmeal for THIRTY MINUTES, but Charlie (who loves oatmeal, btw) says that if you cook it that long, it’ll turn into a rather THICK paste….so who the fuck knows… I give up!

I started laughing. I couldn’t help it. She’s like a two-year-old who makes a mud pie and insists on eating it, and then starts crying b/c it’s so awful! 🙂

“What’s so funny?” Nana asked smiling, YES, TOTALLY blank-eyed! Thank heaven!

“Matt Lauer. He just said something funny about Kim Kardashian.”

“Who?”

Uh….. how do I reply now… DIVERSION…..I need a DIVERSION….b/c I do NOT want to discuss reality TV with her-especially regarding a show she doesn’t watch b/c you’ll have to explain it 1,000…not that I watch the Kardasians, but I’m familiar with the premise just from watching the commercials and/or from watching Kathy Griffin, who LOVES to make fun of them… but anyway…

“Matt Lauer. You know he went to Marshall (University) just like Mom and Dad?”

“Really? Isn’t that something? I like him. He wears lovely ties. I like that red one he’s wearing today, very nice, very fashionable.”

“Uh, huh,” I said, almost CHOKING on my juice as I stifled a laugh!

“You forgot my milk for my tea, honey. Would you mind to get me some, sweetheart?” Nana asked, HANDING me the EMPTY glass, that had, IN FACT, held the MILK for her tea that was now drowning her oatmeal. So, I guess she thought the milk she poured into her oatmeal had just fallen from the sky… or she THOUGHT she had asked me to give her a glass of milk in case there wasn’t enough in her oatmeal, but SUCH did NOT happen at least not in my universe….

I smiled, again restraining my laughter, “Sure, Nana, no problem.”

Just had to share, and if I had already told you the oatmeal story, disregard and accept my apologies, and I guess I owe you your co-pay for your next visit to the eye doctor for ALL THE EYE STRAIN from ALL my long emails.

TA!!

Peace out from the OATMEAL swamp…

Kennedy

* THE RECAP:  Danny is my 39-year-old crackhead brother who plundered Nana Maude’s life savings (Nana Maude = 96-year-old grandmother).  After our Dad died in 2009, Danny started driving his BMW, but he didn’t register it in his name nor did he insure it. Our older brother, Ben, said I could sell it and give the $$ to Nana Maude since all of her utilities were about to be shut off thanks to Danny, who hadn’t bothered to pay any of her bills in 4-5 months. However, Danny SWIPED the beamer via his friend Connie (see blog 6 – What about those bank statements?)so to see how THAT turned out, check out Posts 13 and 14, entitled: “The Bait and Switch 1 and 2”