Friday, June 1, 2012

But First

I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't seem to get anything done. This is not to say I'm sitting on my ass and not doing anything because I am not. I am not not doing anything. I have done plenty.

I just can't get past the But Firsts. You know the But Firsts. I've talked about them before. Like, you're going to mop the floor but first you have to dust the piano. This is life. Life is one big but first after another.
Until death, I suppose, at which point it doesn't matter what but-firsts you might have.

I bought a new welcome mat today, a pretty one at the World Market and when I checked out, the woman asked, as they always do, if I am a member of their Explorer Club and I said, "God, I think so," and it turned out that yes, I was, and she rang me up and I said, "What did it save me today?" and she said, "Nothing. But there's always tomorrow!"
"Not always," I said.
"Well, I guess you're right," she said. "When it's your turn for the good Lord to come and take you, there will be no more tomorrows."
"Or you just...DIE!" I said, almost gleefully.

I'm so mean.

So it took me all damn afternoon to run my errands and on my way to Publix it was pouring rain and I saw a boy, perhaps nine or ten, riding his bike on the big sidewalk and he was grinning as if this was the most balls-out fun thing he'd ever done- to ride his bike in a rainstorm. I had to grin, too, he was just so full of the joy of it. Right after I saw him, I saw an older boy, walking on that same sidewalk. He was probably fifteen or sixteen, that age when cool is everything and he was just walking along with that hitch-walk that white boys do where they are trying, I think, to walk like the uber-cool black kids, and he was naked except for a pair of low-slung shorts, holding a drink of some kind in his hand, acting for all the world as if he were just SO DAMN COOL that he didn't even notice the rain, nope, no rain was going to mess with his coolness, uh-huh, and that made me smile too.


And then I came home and there was a message on my answering machine from my mother's social worker and she wanted me to call her so that she could meet with both me and my "Mom" at the assisted living place and she gave no reason and I called her back but she was already gone for the weekend, I guess and so I left her a message and shame filled me because what does she want to talk to me about with my Mom? Does she want to do some sort of counseling thing because it is glaringly obvious that I do not go to visit her the way I should and my stomach knotted up and I was filled with the horrible feeling I get, that fear, that anger, that shame whenever I think about how cruelly I treat my mother.

I unloaded my groceries and it was time to clean but first I had to take the trash to the trash place and I had to check on the chickens and I had to clean up dogshit in the hallway and I had to transfer laundry and then I had to make up the bed and also I wanted to, and did, make meringues with the egg whites I had leftover from the Key Lime pies for tomorrow. And wash the dishes and I did all of those things and I haven't started cleaning yet and if I could just stop doing But Firsts, I could finish it in an hour, it's not so much.

Sometimes I feel like I need to live my one true life but first I have to figure this thing out with my mother and that seems impossible and if that's truly true and what the social worker wants, well then...

I am screwed. I am so very, very screwed.


  1. I hope that social worker just wants to tell you something good about your mom, ya know like maybe she successfully finished a crossword puzzle or something..??

    You take good care of everything and everyone MM. You spread more love in a day than I do in a month. And even though I'm in a different place with my mom.....I'm still looking for my "one true life", it doesn't by any means solve everything. Just keep loving the ones who are in front of you everyday and you will be fine.
    I think you are wonderful, just the way you are, I truly do.

  2. The thing re your mother seems like a load to drag through your weekend. Hope you can set it down and watch the figs grow until Monday.

  3. liv- See? You made me realize that if my soul was big and sweet enough, I COULD get through this shit.
    But I am not sure it is.
    Not sure at all.

    Denise- The rain keeps coming and the figs keep swelling. If I can't get figs to make preserves out of, I will pick some damn blackberries and make preserves of them and send a jar of THAT to Rebecca. Whatever. Blackberry preserves do not suck.

  4. The figs are really numerous here. Not ripe but numerous. I visit my FIL about once a week, but I don't stay long and sometimes wish that I wanted to stay for a longer time. Oh well...

  5. But first...There's a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, Dear Liza. Wow, do i know the but firsts.

    Social workers can be told, in so many words, to go take a flying leap if they are asking something that crosses your boundaries.

  6. Ms Moon - so many but firsts I can relate to. I can also relate to never feeling like whatever i do is good enough but it seems that when you are with your mom, you are really present and so the quality of the visit for her is good. It is so complicated and it is so hard. I did not do everything I could have for my parents but I did the best I could and I bet that is true for you too. I wish I could wrap you in protective loving arms.

  7. There is always guilt with mothers. I spend so much time rushing from one thing to the next and thinking how I should call my own and then I don't. I don't call often enough because my attention is fractured by all the hither and fro ness and I can't marshall the stillness and attention she deserves and the day passes and I think well I'll call tomorrow and I feel guilty as hell. Does she know how much I adore her am grateful for her all that? Probably not. There is always guilt.

  8. Can we start a secret grown daughters of mothers blog? Your grown daughters, of course, are not allowed to join.

  9. It must be the completed crossword puzzle or perhaps a completed wooden bead neckless. But whatever it is write about it.

    And know that it isn't about you. Whatever the drama, it is someone else's' drama. The state of Florida is in no condition to force guilt on anyone until it takes a good look at itself. I am hoping Texas does the same soon.

  10. Syd- But you go. You go. Even if you don't really want to.

    messymimi- That is good to remember.

    Anonymous Jo- If I do everything I can for my mother, I am not capable of much. This is the truth.

    Angella- Your mother knows you love her. Because you do.

    Elizabeth- I'll be the recording secretary.

    Jaye- I don't think the state of Florida has anything to do with this at all. But you're right about the State of Florida.

  11. I think the Social Worker has a lot of fucking nerve to leave a message like that on your machine. Seriously. Bad move on her part. When you talk to her you can ask her where she was when you were a child.


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