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My Original Post Was Preempted by Something Actually Important

Photo credit: Cutestpaw.com
Photo credit: Cutestpaw.com

I had a very different blog post in mind earlier today.

Something snarky and passive aggressive in response to an awful human being I met and with whom I interacted over the weekend, and it was all superficial and small and, well, funny and light.

Instead, I’m fixated on a story.  It’s not mine, but it’s a story that struck me in that inexplicable way things bash you over the head, as if the universe grabbed me by the shoulders and shoved me up to a fence to look at a captivating scene off in the distance, to teach me a life lesson, shaking me a bit to ensure I’m paying attention to what’s happening a few hundred yards away.  I’m watching.  And I can’t turn away.

There’s a woman. She’s kind of famous. She and her husband made the kind of team that restores your broken faith in love and soulmates and being a parent and living a good life with a crazy family.

Not long after she and her husband welcomed a new baby, she got sick. And, as it happens all too often, she was sick with cancer.  The good doctors in which she trusted her life and care did all they could to fight the evil , but it won out. Her tiny body stopped responding to treatment.  They’re home.  To spend the rest of her days surrounded by family, and friends.  Living.  Hoping for a miracle that will probably never come, but praying anyway.
I’m not a religious person, but if that’s not faith, I’m not sure what is.

I can’t claim to know anything about much, especially when it comes to cancer.  Over my lifetime, I’ve known friends who’ve fought against the disease, and emerged triumphant.  Others haven’t been so lucky.  Some have held the hands of parents, or children, as they underwent chemo and radiation, some still have hands to hold, some had to let go far too soon.

It’s almost hard for me to say, and I feel bad even saying so, but I’m thankful my family and close, inner circle of friends remain untouched by any such tragic loss, even though statistics probably have other plans, and cast a dark shadow that looms ever closer as years pass.

Until then, we have a choice.  Live, or wait for bad things to happen.

Duh, you might say, of course you’ll choose life.  Well, sure.  But what does that mean?  Filling days shuffling to a job I hate? Attached to ingenuous people? Annoyed by minutia that won’t matter 5 minutes later? Going through the motions and calling it a life?

Fuck that noise.  Nope.  Not on my watch.

I don’t believe in coincidence.  Life unfurls the way it’s meant to flow.  No accidents, no wrong turns.  Others may not share my view, and that’s ok, but that’s what gets me through the day.  That everything happens for a reason. Success, failure, love, loss…our recipe for life is uniquely our own.  I’m meant to be in the place I am right now.  Mothering. Loving and supporting my family and friends. Writing.  Creating.  But that’s just the start.

There’s much unfinished business, more I Love You’s, and I’m Sorry’s to be said, and heard.  More spontaneous road trips and meteor showers and 3am kisses and meeting new people and reacquainting with old friends and learning a new language and taking bad pictures and amazing food and burned dinners and risks and huge rewards and disappointments.  I want to experience everything.  All of it.  The good, the bad, the miscalculations and the happy disasters.

Yeah, I was going to write about how I met an asshole over the weekend who briefly made me question my faith in humanity. So what. This may not be the life I imagined, a life in which a douchebag or two must happen.  But, that’s living. And I will live the shit out of this crazy life, be in the right now, and make the most of it, simply because I can.

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To the Douche in the Dunkin Donuts Drive Thru

drivethruMost weekends, you’ll find me working, on the air, at a local radio station.  No, I can’t get you concert tickets, sweet buttery jesus, please stop asking, I don’t ask you for post-its from your office or free food from your restaurant, so just…NO.  Unless, of course, I can get tickets, then by all means you can have them.  It’s a delicate balance.  But, I digress.

Sunday nights, I work until midnight or later, and in order to sound remotely entertaining and upbeat, my body requires copious amounts of caffeine.  Also, smiling when I talk.  Try that little radio trick when you’re on the phone with someone…it really does perk up your voice.  You’re welcome. Part of my routine includes a quick stop at a Dunkin Donuts about 10 minutes from work.  Generally, my spin through the drive thru rarely garners a second thought, save for a screw up in my order.  Otherwise?  No big.

Last night, like clockwork, I stopped at the speaker to place my order for a medium, iced coffee, made light and sweet.  The kids who work at this DD don’t exactly ooze friendliness, but they’re making peanuts to sling donuts and drinks so my expectations are low.  The kid on the other end of the speaker gives the cursory, “Is that all?”  I assure him I’m all set, and he tells me to drive around.  I say, in a bit of a sing-songy, smiley voice, “Thank you!”  Normally, I’d just continue to the pay window, but because I planned to pay for my coffee with an app, I paused briefly to retrieve my phone from my bag.  During that brief stop, I heard the kid who took my order, totally mock my tone of thanks, and say, “You’re welllcome”, then chuckle as if he was laughing with someone else, at my expense.

Aw hell naw, you just did NOT do that, dude.

Just a few years ago, something so minor might send me to tears.  But this day, DD Drive thru douche was about to hear from me.  I drove to the window and said, “Are you the guy I talked to at the speaker?”  He took a coy, slouched stance to get a better look at me and said, “Maybe,” with a shit eating grin that told me he probably thought I was hitting on him.

“That was a total dick move, dude.”
“Huh?” He looked super confused, like, why is the hot cougar not hitting on me and holy shit is someone actually calling me out on something I’ve done because HOW DARE YOU.
“I totally heard you mock me back there, saying ‘You’re welcome!’ in the same tone I said thank you.  Not cool.”
“Are you sure that’s what you heard?”
“Um, yeah.  I’m sure.”
“Because we’ve been having problems with our speaker and people think they’ve heard weird things but, uh, it’s just a weird thing…”
“I know what I heard. That was a total dick move, dude.  Have a good day.”

Here’s the thing.  I come from a long line of black sheep ball busters, so I can take it as much as I dish it out.  On some level, I respect someone who has a quippy sense of humor and commend him on his technique and almost perfectly replicated pitch of my tone.  Well done.  I’m not necessarily upset that he outwardly mocked me, but that when confronted about it, he totally recoiled, like a scared little penis at the sight of water.  A topic I’m sure he knows a little something about.  See, kid, that’s the risk with such behavior, and hopefully you’ll learn this lesson sooner rather than later.  If you get busted, OWN YOUR SHIT.  Don’t deflect and pretend it’s a technological malfunction, because then, whatever points you earned for being witty go down the crapper, and now I just see you for what you really are, a tiny almost-man, who in the face of confrontation would just as well hide behind something as a shield than take your licks like a grown up.  That’s bad form.

This whole scenario should serve you, my douchey friend, as a nice little life lesson, wrapped in a casing of shut the hell up and be nice to people, jerkface, and if you’re going to mock someone, for the LOVE OF GOD, do it away from a live microphone, take it from me, the lady on the radio, I know from experience. So, what I’m saying here is, do your goddamned job and make fun of people on your own time.

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The Diary of my Part Time Cat

When I rented my house, my landlord asked, in exchange for a reduction in rent, would I feed the stray cat who lived under the deck.  Of course, I agreed.  I established a regular routine ofcat placing a bowl of food outside, and cat seemed satisfied.  One rainy night, like something out of an ASPCA commercial, complete with Sarah McLachlan
serenading in the background, he sat outside the back door, meowing to be let in.  Oh, he layed it on thick, enough that I was compelled to allow him into the house, and into our lives.

He’s a vocal cat, a tiny little dictator of sorts, which inspired us to name him Chairman Meow.  He comes and goes as he pleases, and there are times I’d hear him scribbling, but I never paid much attention to it.  Turns out, he’s kept a diary of his daily comings and goings. (What? He left it open on the kitchen floor.  Was I just supposed to NOT look at it?  Of course I did.) Apparently, the good Chairman has much on his little mind.

An excerpt from his journal…

September 15th, 2013

Infiltrated the nest.  God, humans are easy.  A handful of meows and a slight tilt in my head to let the few drops of rain run down my nose and they are putty in my paws.  Targeting tiny, boy human.  Food status: mediocre but consistent. 

September 17th, 2013

Lady human loves me. Of course she does…I’m adorable. She thinks it’s a hoot when I meow after she talks, so, I’ll just go with that and see how far it gets me.  

September 20th, 2013

So, today, lady human was talking to me in this crazy, idiotic, high pitched voice, when she produced this tiny, metallic bag.  She shook it, still talking to me about some nonsense.  No, lady…no idea what the fuck is in the bag.  Why don’t you show me.  Then she sprinkled something on the floor that looked like food, but OMG, they’re SO good.  Good enough to endure her shrieking?  Jury is still out.

October 1st, 2013

It’s been a while since my last entry for a few reasons.  First, I decided to explore a bit.  Found boy human’s sleeping space, and damn if it isn’t comfortable.  And, unlike the lady human and girl human, he’s quiet.  And still.  Nice place to nap.  I tried letting someone know I needed to get the hell out of dodge this morning, but my meows fell on deaf ears. Taking a shit on a pile of clothes left on the bathroom floor seemed to get their attention.  It also got me banished from the house temporarily.  Note to self, don’t shit on their stuff.  Humans don’t like that.  Meh, whatever.

October 3rd, 2013

HOLYCRAAAAAAAAAPLADYHUMANGAVEMEATOYANDITSMELLLLSSOOOOOOOOGOOODZOMGGG

October 5th, 2013

Dude.  Cat Nip bender and I lost a few days.  No idea what happened.  All blank, except for waking up on my side and feeling the urge to kick the crap out of whatever was touching my feet.  That’s all I remember.