Archive for February, 2006

kristoise, i saw this and thought of you. if i were a better friend i would have bought you the t-shirt…if anyone more generous than me is interested, check out this site.


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Moving On

it’s funny how attached you can get to a house, even one you never lived in. four walls and a roof, a floor, some windows- that’s all it is, really. but a house and the things in it come to stand for so much more. memories, both good and bad, that color the four walls so much more thoroughly than paint. the couch you used to take naps on when you were a child, as ugly as sin, but still so important; the rickety dining room table that you would never really use, but you’d never have the heart to give away; the old fashioned looking desk where you found your first dirty magazines, stuffed away under stacks of useless papers. these things and this place mean so much, though they are in actuality just that- things and a place.

as some of you know, for many complicated legal reasons my late father’s house- which now technically belongs to me and my sister- can never be sold, so for the past few years we have been renting it out. the first couple we rented it to were wonderful tenants and took great care of the house and all of the things in it. they rented it furnished, so all my stepmothers and i had to do to get the house ready for them was clean out drawers and pack away valuables, stuffing everything else- all of my father’s towels and sheets and knick-knacks and books and memories- into the attic and leaving the house not terribly unlike it had been when Dad was alive. easy, on so many levels. last summer those tenants moved on, and for the past eight months the house has been vacant, a silent shrine in the woods to my father, as if he would be returning any moment from the duck blind to light the woodstove and watch a basketball game on tv. in other words, just how i wanted it, though knew it could not remain.

a few weeks ago my uncle Robert called to tell me that he had found tenants for the house, a couple of nice older ladies who loved the place and wanted to sign a 5-year lease. they had excellent references, Robert loved them, and they wanted to move in right away. perfect. except that they had their own furniture and they didn’t need Dad’s, so we would have to empty the house- immediatly. this was the hard part i had been hoping would never come, my shrine was being torn down never to exist again. though the new tenants did very graciously agree to vacate the premises for the week of my wedding so that we can use the house, i had privately hoped that the house would remain unrented until after the wedding, leaving my shrine intact for that highly emotional last unmarried week. no such luck- my last single night will be spent sleeping in a stranger’s bed.

to make matters worse, Robert had originally told me that the new tenants were understanding about the quick move and the problems it presented to me and my stepmother in terms of getting there to clean the house out. he said that they were willing to “work around” the old furniture or possibly store it in the basement until we could get there to move it, in march. today i got an email from Robert that, in fact, everything needs to be out of the house by the 27th- 10 days from now. my uncle is a relatively clueless man when it comes to other people’s feelings, but this just goes above and beyond all levels of common sense or consideration. even if i was unemployed and in possession of a private jet to fly me to maryland at a moment’s notice, it would still take more than a few hours to go through my dead father’s house and pack it up for the last time ( by myself, as my stepmother has a demanding 50 hour week job and my sister is in school).

basically i just feel overwhelmed. angry and frustrated and sad and overwhelmed. my hero of a stepmother found a moving company who would pack up the house and drive everything to richmond to a storage unit, but that means that strangers will be packing up my father’s house and i will never see it intact again. then all of his things- which now belong to Rachel and me, but which neither of us currently have a place for- will be sitting in some depressing tomb of a storage unit in richmond, a town i rarely visit. all of my memories, all of his things, all that i have left of him, just sitting in a climate controlled box among many other climate controlled boxes, being forgotten.

why can’t i just keep my shrine? why do i have to be the one with no parents? wasn’t losing my mother enough, did i have to lose my dad too? it’s not fucking fair- i don’t want money or furniture or pictures, I WANT MY FUCKING PARENTS BACK!!!! everyone gets to have parents, why don’t i? what did i do? WHAT DID I DO????

i suppose this post was misnamed- i’m not doing a very good job of moving on at all.

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Lamest Holiday Ever

i hate valentine’s day, have always hated it, from my elementary school years (when i was forced to send valentines to kids who had either ignored or made fun of me all year) to my middle school years (when i never got as many stupid paper hearts as my more popular classmates) to my high school years (when those ghastly ‘heart-with-arms-and-legs’ floating mylar balloons entered the picture). it is a needless, useless, ridiculous holiday that reinforces the stereotypical idea that love is better expressed through scheduled meaningless material gestures than through spontaneous and regular expression of true caring. stupid, stupid, stupid.

and i AM in a very happy and romantic relationship now, so this is no mere bitterness. we just don’t happen to need a calender to tell us when to be affectionate.

J and i very deliberately do NOT celebrate valentine’s day, and this article i read this morning on cnn.com does a very nice job of summing up just why we don’t. why are people such sheep that just because the card and candy companies tell them that today’s the day to express their love, they DO IT! and, apparently, to make matters more pathetic, they all express their assigned emotion of the day THE EXACT SAME WAY! why not tell people you love them on some random thursday in march? or- better yet- why not say it every day? and why not do it in with your own words, actions or some creative form of self-expression, instead of with cheap, mass-produced hallmark sentiment?

okay, i’m getting off my soapbox now. i have to go glare at the lemming couples who are coming to my job to ‘celebrate their love’, which is clearly so much stronger today than it will be next week.

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The Color Quiz

Take this quiz– very interesting results. Here are mine:

Your Existing Situation
Working to improve her image in the eyes of others so as to obtain their compliance and agreement with her needs and wishes.

Your Stress Sources
Has an unsatisfied need to ally herself with others whose standards are as high as her own, and to stand out from the herd. Her control of her sensual instincts restricts her ability to give herself, but the resulting isolation leads to the urge to surrender and allow herself to merge with another. This disturbs her. as such instincts are regarded as weaknesses to be overcome; she feels that only by continued self-restraint can she hope to maintain her attitude of individual superiority. Wants to be loved or admired for herself alone; needs attention, recognition, and the esteem of others.

Your Restrained Characteristics
Circumstances are restrictive and hampering, forcing her to forgo all joys and pleasures for the time being.
Clings to her belief that her hopes and ideas are realistic, but needs encouragement and reassurance. Applies very exacting standards to her choice of a partner and wants guarantees against loss or disappointment.

Your Desired Objective
Desires a tranquil, peaceful state of harmony offering quiet contentment and a sense of belonging.

Your Actual Problem
Needs to achieve a stable and peaceful condition, enabling her to free herself of the worry that she may be prevented from achieving all the things she wants.

Your Actual Problem #2
Wants to be valued and respected, and seeks this from a close and peaceful association of mutual esteem.

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