Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Final Gift

When I was at my dad's house in February, I was cleaning through some stuff, just like every other time I've been down there since my mom died. This time, though, it was with a little more urgency, because Dad wants to sell the house. So I spent the week down there packing things into boxes, and deciding which portions of my childhood were to be kept and which portions were to be thrown away.

I threw a lot of stuff away. I mostly kept photo albums and books, a few housewares -- finally, an improvement over my college silverware from Walmart! -- some knick-knacks. I left the stuff I didn't know what to do with -- the collectible dolls, the artwork, the furniture.

I gave my Barbies to my friend's daughters and I brought some Beanie Babies for my nephew and cousins to play with, but I put the rest of the stuffed animals and Cabbage Patch Kids in a green Rubbermaid bin with a note that said "free to good home."

After all that, I went through some files. In the drawer, I found my birth certificate, my parents' ketubah, other various and sundry mementos that my mother held on to. I also found a red box with a pair of tiny, gold, hoop earrings. They were not my mother's taste, or even my Nana's or my sister's. They were clearly mine. In all likelihood, my mother had bought me a present and forgot where she left it. But in that moment, it was as if she knew that one day I would be going through all of the stuff, and wanted to leave me a token of her appreciation, a thank-you for coming in and trying to make order out of her chaos. A final gift.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pain Meds

I hurt my knee and my hip, basically doing nothing. Maybe it was because I wore the wrong shoes, maybe it was because I tripped while walking, maybe it's because I'm getting old and fat -- but for whatever reason, I've been in pain since Sunday night.

It interfered with my sleeping a bit on Sunday night, but it got worse on Monday. In fact, I was in so much pain when I woke up Tuesday morning that I literally cried. Instead of pouring myself a bowl of cereal or drinking the coffee that my boyfriend was attempting to hand to me, I just sat on the couch crying like a baby. If I weren't in so much pain, I would have smacked myself.

So last night, to avoid a repeat, I took a pain pill. It was the good stuff -- the addictive stuff. Twenty minutes or so after taking it, I was relaxed and mumbly. A few minutes after that, I was asleep. I slept well, deeply. I had the most amazing dreams. I woke up refreshed -- although, admittedly, my knee and hip still hurt when I try to move.

If these pills were available without a prescription, I would probably take them all the time. I can see why they're dangerous.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Things Better Left Unsaid

A few weekends ago, the boyfriend and I spent the weekend visiting his family. For reasons involving late-night pouring rain, a puppy, and his niece, I wound up forgetting my cute little polka-dot umbrella. When I told him about the umbrella, he sweetly volunteered to ask them to send it to me.

I declined.

I should have stopped there. Instead, I explained -- which is a rookie mistake.

Here is what I said:

"I have another umbrella. Plus, I'll see your family again, and I'll get the umbrella then. Or whatever: if we break up, oh well, it was only an umbrella."