You know, there's a point in life where one thinks one is ready for a rubber room. When I reach that point, I picture myself,alone, sitting under a tree on the lawn of some sort of sanitarium, wearing my clean Eileen West cotton lawn robe, the one with the little pink roses and the tiny pearl buttons on it, enjoying the shade and a small breeze, making a lanyard. When this image pleases me, I know my wick is about to sputter.
My sister-in-law occasionally tells me about her girl week-ends. Now, her kids are grown too, we had our kids pretty much at the same time. Here's the thing. She never had any qualms about leaving the kids and going away with some friends for, what is now popularly known as "me time." I was a good mother, stayed home, took the kids with us pretty much everywhere and find myself, now, fat and friendless. Oh, I pushed them out of the nest, don't get me wrong. And they grew up tall and proud...every parent should have a picture of themselves flanking their college graduate. I have mine on my desk. My SIL doesn't have one of those.
On the other hand, her girls aren't out on a work furlough and she has her sanity. Today I think maybe it's a fair trade.
The whole melt down started over the Independence Day week-end. It was hot, unbelievably sticky and my apartment is still decorated with the stuff I managed to salvage from my house. The furniture is all too big and it's all too brown and you can't really tell where the cat crap brown industrial carpet we're allowed stops and the table legs begin, it's all the SAME DAMN COLOR! BROWN!
It LOOKS hot. Oh LORD, what I could give for cream color carpet. The place would look bigger, brighter. It would go so nicely with the cat pee. Because the cat is no longer allowed out. He used to go in and out but, about two months ago, he started going out and not coming back for 36 hours. We discovered that management had finally fixed all the torn and missing screens that covered the cat size entrances to the crawl space under the building and so the cat had no where to hang out. I guess he decided to hang out in another neighborhood, I dunno. I just know that, after the second two day long foray into the wilds of the urban village, the hubster stopped letting him out.
The cat doesn't feel this is the appropriate solution. No stupid cat he, it seems that he has figured out that if he pees over everything he can find someone will kick his sorry ass outside. This hasn't happened. It has only served to enrich the people who make Resolve Carpet Cleaner and contribute to my general sense of "to HELL with this."
What I find interesting is that I am currently in a struggle with a human being who is doing the same thing. Crapping all over me in an attempt to make me to freaking mad I will kick her to the curb. Problem is, I can't. I would SO like to, but it's not my decision to make. There is something she has to do for me, one stinking hour, twice a month. This annoys her to no end. It annoyed her when she said "You know, I'm busy, I'm not going to do that anymore, I don't have time" and the guy in charge said, in essence "not my problem." Like the cat, she can't figure out that a campaign to antagonize the person on the bottom of the food chain accomplishes nothing except to antagonize the person on the bottom of the food chain. I'd LOVE to kick her sorry butt to the curb. I KNOW this is what she wants and, if it happens, her whiny ass wins and I don't care. I do NOT want her around.
Like that changes anything. But I digress...
Well, on the 4th of July we made a long awaited trip to the Hollywood Bowl for picnic, fireworks and Hall and Oates. It was hot and muggy. The hubster kept saying he was going to get parking and then kept forgetting so that was out. I had two trays of chicken I could ill afford and a HUGE round loaf of bread, all set for my "stuff the chicken in the bread bowl" feast. I made hummus and Chicago dip and potato salad with red, white and blue potatoes. At about 1:30pm I turned the oven on to pre-heat and got the chicken ready. I smelled gas.
The pilot light was out. Now, the landlord furnishes stoves. They are a model that isn't made anymore by a company that's out of business and they get them at a flea market and have them refurbished. Mine has been down to three burners for over two years now, I'm still waiting for that to be fixed. The pilot light for the oven requires a long match, a metal telescoping wand and a mirror. I kid you not. In short, it has to be done by the gas company. So the chicken is a wash. So's the bread bowl. The hubster has filled out the form on the unemployment wrong for the second time so, suffice it to say, we're sucking air.
I put my last two packs of brats in a pan with a bottle of .99 cent beer and an onion and simmered them. THREE freaking stores and I finally found something that would pass for hot dog buns, there wasn't one left in town on the 4th. I grilled the brats on top of the stove, because I no longer have an outdoor grill, and packed up what we had the we headed to the subway for the one stop trip to Hollywood and the free shuttle to the Bowl.
Sold out, packed to the last bench seat. Not unexpected and we had our tickets for two months now. We had our tickets right next to a large group of the most obnoxious, loud, ill mannered, rude teenagers I have ever encountered in my LIFE and I'm pushing SIXTY. They claimed to be part of a theater camp but what the hell kind of theater people think that talking loudly thought the entire first half of a 4th of July concert because it's all orchestra and you can't expect youngsters to tolerate an orchestra playing crap like "The Stars and Stripes Forever." Really? I've behaved better when I was STONED than these kids did.
We were told, upon complaining the next day, that their behavior was all OUR fault as my husband put a cooler on his head and scared the youngsters. Really? My grey haired, balding, almost 60 year old husband put a cooler on his head? Let's not even get into the 40 ill mannered louts who are, apparently, really nice kids unless they see a beer cooler. Which, btw, we weren't carrying. Although I understand the kids a little better, someone is making the big bucks to run a camp for the over privileged to get them out of mom and dads hair for a week during the summer and is telling them that they don't have to bother with that boring old orchestra stuff and it's all OUR fault for complaining. And putting a beer cooler on our head. Frankly, I'm too damn old to balance a cooler on my head anymore and the hubster is so damn stuffy and getting stuffier as the days go by I'm surprised he even carries a cooler anymore. Oh wait, he doesn't, he hands it off to the boys. We were also told that the charmers were instructed to treat the performers on stage in the same manner they would wish to be treated when they are on stage. I SO want to attend one of their performances, I'd sell one of my kids to get the price of that ticket.
A long, hot sticky walk down into Hollywood to the subway, which we had just missed. Exhausted and miserable, we all sat on the tile floor of the subway station and waited the 20 minutes for the next train. Finally home, to a hot, brown apartment with a hungry cat and about 5 feet of laundry awaiting me. And piles of newspapers all over the floor. And I think the hubster is taking in other people's mail and leaving it all over the dining room table. I crawled over the piles of laundry and magazines and DVDs and CDs on the bedroom floor, went to bed and cried.
It hasn't gotten any better. Although I went back to the Bowl on Saturday, they ran the re-mastered "West Side Story," digitally dropped out all the music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic PLAYED IT. DAMN! It brought me to tears. We were enthralled, from start to finish, as the Jets and Sharks picked up Richard Beymer's cold, dead corpse you could have heard a pin drop. As the last credit came up the audience, about 15 thousand of us, rose as one and exploded in cheers and applause. I was charmed by the little girl, sitting behind us with her family, who I overheard asking "Did they kill him?" Not irritated, enchanted. Made me feel better, I was beginning to think I was turning crotchety after the experience on the 4th.
Funny, that. Personally, I think "West Side Story" is flawed, the film even more than the show. From what I gather, Leonard Bernstein was an ass and Jerome Robbins even worse. The older I get, the more I like Sondheim though. Put a live orchestra on stage with it though, it was nirvana. I don't know if it was because we were in the really, really cheap seats or what, but it was simply beautiful and restored my faith in audiences in general. I'd say there was a better class of people there, but then I would sound like my mother and that will never do. I think though, that when you're with a bunch of people who are there because they WANT to be, instead of because they're stuck sitting through the first half of a program only to get to the second half, well, the good experience spreads like a virus, and all for the better.
Tonight, we go to hear Lang Lang play Prokofiev. May the Lord protect me from field trips and tour buses.