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Big Hands and I were watching a documentary about old people when he abruptly shut off the television and rolled over.   “Old people depress me.  They make me think of death.” said he.  This is the conversation that followed:

Me:  You’re just scared of death because you’re going to Hell.


Me:  I’m kidding.
Him:  You may be right.
Me:  Hmmmm…wouldn’t you feel so much better if you were like me and knew where you were going?
Him:  Where are you going?
Me:  Heaven.  Der.  I mean, remember how much fun you had at Disney?
Him:  Yeah.
Me:  I bet Heaven is just like that.
Him:  Oh yeah?
Me:  Yeah.  That’s why Jesus died, so you can go to Disney when you die.
Him:  Maybe that’s why Walt Disney died.

He makes a point…

I’m not sure if I’ve always been compulsive, or if its one of those things that you get later in life like arthritis or hot flashes.  But let me tell you!
Since we Santa got Holden that DS for Christmas, all we’ve been doing (and by “we” I mean BH and I) is playing that stupid Brain Age game.  Competitively.  With a fierceness.  Have you played this “game”?  You should.  It helps you figure out that you really are not as smart as a fifth grader.  It gives you a series of tests and lets you know what your actual brain’s age is.  The first time I did it, my brain was in its seventies.  Way to go.  Now, I fluctuate between 32 and 46.  One time it was twenty six and I was bonkers with excitement.  And, then my husband had to go and get twenty three to show me up because he sucks, and is obviously a sore loser.
But, back to my compulsiveness…This game also comes equipped with Sudoku.  A little numbers game that, at first, I thought was a) scary (because of all the numbers), and b)scary  (because of all the numbers).  So I never tried it.  Until Brain Age.  Now?  I’m playing it all day long.  Remember, dear friends…I’m living the life of liesure with my being laid off and all… I’m completely addicted.
And then there’s the spider solitaire.  Really.  See, but its not like I just pick up the game and play a little sudoku.  Or I get on the computer and try a bit of solitaire.  No.  I have to play til I win.  And, for those of you who are not adept at Sudoku (those of you who are Normal, like me) it takes a fricken while to solve those damn puzzles.
And, the Spider Solitaire thing.  I have to say that usually, usually, I win.  But lately, I’ve been on a very depressing losing streak, and so I’m just at it for like an hour (exaggeration) because I Need To Win.
So there.  Maybe its not that my personality is compulsive, its just that I like to win.  No.  Need.  I need to win.
And, it weren’t always that way.  I was so non-competitive when I was growing up.  I will tell you who has done this to me, and that is my husband: Big Hands, himself.
I need to win stuff so that he doesn’t.  Like the day I whipped his ass at cribbage and Battleship (the Greatest Day of My Life).  I was so happy I could have done a little dance.  But I didn’t because I didn’t want him to think I’m the same Sore Winner I know him to be.
But, no.  I really think its a sickness that goes deeper than a competitive spirit. 
I have a huge great big thick book of New York Times Crosswords.  If I can’t finish one, I will move onto another until its finished.  Also, I can’t do just one load of laundry.  Its all or nothing.  I can’t just throw out a leftover without giving the fridge an entire once over.  I can’t put down a book until its finished.  Stacks of “stuff”?  Oh, do they bother me.  BH likes to keep every magazine that he’s ever gotten on the coffee table.   I read mine, and recycle.  Read, recycle.  It bothers me so!  Though, it also makes me thankful that I can live with it.  Because I don’t want to end up washing my hands three times before and after I pee.  (Though I can certainly see it going there.)
I think growing up in a household full of chaos will do that to you.  Make you neat and organized and fixated on tidiness.  Whether it be a finished crossword or an empty coffee table, its all the same. 
My mother always used to say that your bedroom is a window to your soul.  That has always been one of those sayings (like Dr. Phil’s “you teach people how to treat you”) that has really stuck in my head.  Though it always makes me laugh somewhere inside because my mom was never the best housekeeper in the world.  So how in the world that advice ever stuck is beyond me.
I’m obsessed with making it appear that everything is How It Should Be.  Just like those crosswords.  See that 988 of them that are not finished?  Oh, you silly!  There are four that are completely done!  See how clean my house is?  Well, that is because everything is thrown in the closet!
At least I know I’m this way.  And so does Sudoku.  So, there will always be that…

I think I’m having a major identity crisis.  I’m a wigwam, I’m a teepee.  I will sit here in front of this screen for an hour and not think of one thing I actually want to commit to writing.

There are four thousand things running around in my head, of course.  But, I can’t pin one of them down long enough to get at least four hundred words out of it.

See, I like to be the Funny Girl.  Or at least the Mildly Humorous Gal.  But, just not a lot is making me laugh these days.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  Lots of stuff is making me laugh these days…My dad and my husband were on a roll yesterday, and we all laughed a lot at them.  They were being truly funny, and it made me really happy to see my dad laughing.  And, it made me really proud of my husband for making that happen.  Because lately?  All my dad does is cry.  And, that is Not Funny.

I guess I really just thought that God was going to take this cancer away.  I mean, I KNEW that that wasn’t going to happen, but I kind of did.  Because she appeared to be doing Very Well.  And, she was chatty, and bitchy, and funny, and moving around.  But, now she’s not any of those things.  Now?  She is things like: swollen, and fally, and sitty, and Quiet.  And sleepy.  These things are also Not Funny.  Or Fun.

I mostly find myself thinking about all the stuff that’s really going to suck when she’s gone.  She will never see Rachael’s new baby.  She will never see Holden graduate from high school.  Christmas will never be the same without her.  Christmas is going to suck.  I hate that.  Who is going to clean up after my dad?  How am I going to feel?  How is Holden going to feel?  How is my husband going to make me feel better?  How am I going to help  Rachael make Chloe feel better?  Am I going to be able to help any one feel better?  Are people going to want to touch me?  Will I hit those people?  What are my Grandparents going to do?  I think my dad, quite literally, might die of a broken heart.

And, I just sit here and think of those things until I just can’t think anymore and then I do some Sudoku on Holden’s DS.  And I do that until I can’t do that anymore and then I do some crossword puzzles.  I just sit around and do stupid stuff.  And, that is not good for me.

I don’t feel quite like myself.  The truth is I don’t quite feel like anything.  I feel empty and vacant.  I feel a Suzy shaped hole in my heart.

Then I try to give myself these little pep talks like Shake it off, Jen.  You’ll be alright.  Everything will work itself out like it always does.  You’ll all lean on each other and you’ll all make it through this okay.  The thing is: I don’t believe me.  Because if there’s one thing my family sucks at, its leaning.

I’m borrowing from tomorrow.  I’m perfectly aware of that.  This whole ordeal has been that way.  Surreal.  Like its happening, but not really.  And, certainly not to me or to my mom.  Its like a dream that I’m waking up from right now, only to find out that it really wasn’t a dream after all, and like I’ve wasted all this time pretending it wasn’t happening and now I need to get a grip.  But, my fingers keep slipping.

And, GOD, I hate hate hate being this person.

And on top of all this shit, there’s a primary to vote in tomorrow.  The hits.  They just keep comin’.

When I was a kid we used to watch Soap Operas.  My mom worked days and my dad worked nights (still does, actually…) so we were home with our dad for a while til he went to work.  He likey the Soaps.  Especially Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful.

I don’t watch them anymore.  Not since I left home.  Saying that makes me think that you might think that I actually left my home…I just moved out.  You know…because I was a big girl and stuff.  But I do occasionally listen to them on the radio when I go pick up Holden from school.  I listen to Guiding Light.  Because that is whats on at that time.  I love listening to the Soaps on the radio.  Love it.  I have no earthly clue what these people look like.  Except for Allan Spaulding, Reva and Josh.  I have no idea whats actually going on either.  Really?  I just like to hear them kiss.  Its absolutely disgusting.  Sounds like tongues sloshing around.  I hope I don’t sound like that when I kiss BH.  Because its gross.

Still, even though I only am half paying attention, and don’t have any real interest in the plots, I do find myself siding with the people that I have known pretty much all of my life.  Reva and Josh are right.  Will is a nasty little boy who should be put down.  When will Cassie realize this?

My youngest sister is pregnant.  Again.  Fourth Child, third baby daddy.  I mean, really.  Her life IS a soap opera.  I’m really just waiting for The Boyfriend to come out and tell us that he really is his own sister’s father because he had a brain transfusion from their dad.  Or something as equally weird.

Four kids!  I can’t even believe it!  It astounds me!

Still.  I find myself a bit jealous…even though the circumstances are a little less than ideal.  Her tummy will grow bigger.  Not mine.  She will have another little baby.  Not me.  I hope its a boy because that’s what I would want.  And, I hope she names him Jack Henry.  Because that is also what I would do.  I find that to me?  Her pregnancy has very little to do with her and her situation, and more to do with me, and my lack of a situation.

In reality, I am super glad that I only have one kid.  And, really, I don’t even want another one.  I am perfectly happy with the decisions that I’ve made.  But every time someone I know tells me they are pregnant a little part of me wonders…

And, then I wake up and remember what a drag it is to haul your ass out of bed at 2a.m. to feed a crying baby.  And, how babies can’t say anything or walk for, like…EVER.  And the diapers and the formula and the baby food.  Gah!!

So, good luck, Sister Rach.  These, I guess, are actually the days of YOUR life!  Sucker.