Not gonna lie. I'm about to be really lazy here, and just post an email I sent my family today.
Hola, mi familia!
I think Mick has reached a new pinnacle… While the bartenders at Rubbie’s recognize him as a regular, the regulars have now accepted him as one of their own. When I walk in, whoever is sitting by the door will let me know, “He’s waiting for you. Saved you a seat and everything.” Ah, but recognizing his “old lady” (their words, not ours) isn’t enough. Last night, one of the regulars offered to sell him moonshine. A couple of the other guys there looked shocked and said, “Whoa whoa whoa, you’re selling to him? You don’t know him!” The moonshine seller maintained that Mick was okay… So, in case you were wondering, apple pie moonshine is the yardstick of being a regular.
So, only one of Stella’s sisters is coming this weekend. The older sister, Victoria, owes her father money and can’t miss the hours from work to pay him back. Apparently the girls have to buy a lot of their own clothes and school supplies. She didn’t have money for something, so he paid for it and she has to pay him back. This guy, her father, is a piece of work. So I asked what she owes money for… She went to an ROTC camp a couple of years ago, and still owes her father $100, her grandmother $50 from it. It isn’t that he expressly forbid her to go – he’ll point out that she has obligations and she makes her choices, then he’ll make her life miserable for weeks afterward. Victoria leaves for boot camp in June – I’m doubly determined to help make a weekend work for all three of the sisters between now & then. So, only her youngest sister Libby will be here this weekend. I’ll pick up Stella when I get off work and we’ll drive together to Mount Sterling. I think she wants Will to go with us, but he & Mick had plans to go to the Moth tonight. This is a special extra one this month as part of the Slant Culture Festival.
Stella is doing really well at Target – they’ve already been offering her additional hours, and a ____ (some corporate doublespeak word for manager) suggested that they’d be interested in keeping her after the holidays. Last night, a raccoon walked in the front door. It went for a clothing rack and started yanking clothing off hangers, trying to make a nest. Stella was one of the people trying to help corral it – they used a croissant from the Starbucks up front of the store, but the raccoon outsmarted them. It lunged and grabbed the croissant, ran into the dressing room. One of the customers complained about the raccoon, why didn’t one of the people working there just pick it up and carry it outside? They finally coaxed it out of the store. Stella thought they shouldn’t have rehung and sold the raccoon nest clothing as new.
Will is still looking for work – he has put in an application at another temp agency but specified he wants office / call center work and not factory work. He was told those jobs have a long waiting list. He has heard back about some other things he applied for – he even put in an application to be a cook at Rubbie’s. I sent him the link for jobs at Kroger just this morning – I hope he can find something soon. He is getting frustrated - he is trying to work with his brain, not his back, but he is having a hard time getting his worth recognized as such. He’s a sharp guy – I’m reaching out to friends, trying to help him find something. He occupies his time at home playing guitar and working on his bicycle – he’ll play video games once in a while but rarely. I was more nervous about him living there than Stella – he was more of an unknown – but he is helpful around the house and pays attention when I ask him to do something differently, point out something about the way the household is run. So far, so good.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t bumps now and again, that we don’t get frustrated or wish things would go differently… but it works more often than it doesn’t. I’m trying to be very consistent, clear with my expectations, even-keeled. Having said that, I’d like to offer a few apologies to Mom & Dad:
I’m so sorry every time I didn’t log off the computer, or I downloaded something without asking first.
I’m sorry for every single time I ate the last of something and didn’t put it on the grocery list.
I’m sorry for every time I said I’d do something later because I was too busy lounging right then to take care of it… and then maybe I took care of it later, but more likely I didn’t until I was reminded again.
I’m sorry for being a know-it-all.
I’m still sorry I never logged off the computer. I know I already said it – I feel like I should say it twice.
I’m sorry for leaving my things strewn in common areas of the house and not cleaning up after myself.
Whew. I feel a little better. However, I suspect the apologies will continue to flow as I realize what a colossal idiot I was in my early 20’s. Rather, as I really explore and plumb the depths of said idiocy. Nothing like a refresher course in being twenty to hold that mirror up to your own behaviors.
Sometimes, when one of the kids does something particularly bone-headed, Mick will declare that we never did anything that dumb… and then we try to recount something in the same vein that we did that was even dumber.
It has never failed yet – we have ALWAYS done something even more dumb. It helps keep a little perspective.
Our Thanksgiving dinner looks like we might be up to 13 people – Brian is trying to get his kids to accompany him that day. Exciting but a little daunting. After the girls leave, I’m starting next week on prepping dishes and planning out timelines to get everything done. I’m glad everyone in my house is willing to help out in the kitchen – it makes things so much easier. I wish I was able to join you all in Texas, but even without that, I’ll have a memorable day!