January 22, 2021 – Change of Plans

I woke up this morning with every intention of packing my suitcase and heading over the pass to spend some time with my brother and mom and possibly my daughter. I was up half the night, fretting over all a ‘quick visit’ entails (because it’s a lot). I’m no longer a twenty year old that can walk out the door with a change of clothes, a hairbrush, a toothbrush, and a compact of birth control pills. Things are much more complicated nowadays. First off, in lieu of a little roundish compact that holds my birth control pills, I have to bring along a ‘pill organizer’. My meds are a cocktail of drugs that are designed to keep me alive. If I miss one day, it can start a domino effect that results in me knocking at death’s door. I’m trying to avoid that at the moment so I am vigilant about bringing my meds everywhere I go and taking them as prescribed. And a change of clothes? Well, that’s not such a simple matter either. Are you someone that exercises? If you are, you know that means more than a pair of jeans, a top, socks, a bra, and underwear. If you exercise, you have to bring your workout gear, too.

There is also outerwear to consider because you have to be ‘prepared for the worst’! I have to bring a minimum of two jackets because one never knows what Mother Nature might have in store. Rain showers or snow showers, I will be prepared! And there’s also the matter of bedtime to factor in. You won’t find me running around in my birthday suit, it doesn’t matter what the occasion, especially if I’m spending the night elsewhere. What you will find me in is a nightgown or a pajama top and pants, along with a robe and slippers. Sad to say, I look a lot like my mother when I switch into my bedtime attire. And then there are all of the other accoutrements. Have a business meeting scheduled? That’s another outfit and pair of shoes. What about hitting a club and going dancing? Again, another outfit and pair of shoes. And, if you’re anything like me, it’s important to bring a change of clothes for at least two nights because, for instance, what if there is a snowstorm and I cannot cross the pass, or what if someone asks that I stay an extra day? My God, when does it end?!

We haven’t even begun to talk about all of the other ‘stuff’ that is ‘required’ for an overnight stay. When I was 20 and could get by with just a hairbrush and a toothbrush, no problem. But now? For the hair alone, there is shampoo and conditioner and gel and hair spray, not to mention a brush and blow dryer. And just in case I choose not to wash my hair, a shower cap is essential as well. Thank goodness I don’t dye my hair any longer, then it gets even more involved. For the face, there is special soap and lotion with sunscreen. If you’re a post-menopausal woman like me, tweezers and/or a razor are a must! And then there’s body soap and body lotion, dental floss and toothpaste and a toothbrush (manual or electric) and maybe even a Waterpik, fingernail clippers and toenail clippers and an emery board. My word! I almost forgot to mention deodorant!! Ack! And God forbid, what if there’s an emergency? Well, just in case, I would suggest adding a few more items to the toiletry kit. Alcohol wipes, Neosporin, butterfly bandages, regular bandages, and even a couple of Q-Tips wouldn’t hurt.

And then there are the ‘all important’ nutrition matters to think about. When I was being reckless with my health, I didn’t think twice about bringing along anything ‘for the road’. If I got hungry, I’d just swing by a fast-food restaurant and order something extremely unhealthy. And that’s not just for one meal, that was for all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Not anymore! Now, everything takes careful planning. Every morning, I eat the exact same thing. I know, it sounds boring and a little neurotic. But I do! That means, before I go, I have to cook up plenty of bacon, boil several eggs, bring along my oatmeal packets and a tiny bit of honey, pour some almond milk into a no-leak container, and freeze water in an old milk carton (to use in the cooler to keep the milk and eggs and all of the other refrigerated items at the proper temp). What about lunch? Sigh. Lunch is usually a tuna fish sandwich and chips and half a banana. I usually prepare that the night before and have it ready to throw in the cooler on my way out the door. And then there are the mid-day snacks and the midnight snacks. I won’t go into details, but if I were, that’d take up another half-paragraph.

What am I missing? The all-important automobile! It’s important to have your vehicle ‘road ready’ if you’re going to take a trip. Gas tank full? Check! Tires aired up? Check! Blanket and water in case I get stranded somewhere? Check and check! What if I get a flat tire or what if I need to install chains at some point? Hmm. That might be a problem! I have chains should they be necessary, everything to change a flat, and even battery cables. Do I know how to use them or have I ever used them? No. See what I mean? That might be a very big problem! Needless to say, after providing you with a play-by-play of what I do each time I cross the pass to see my family, I am utterly exhausted. Even before I head out the door, it’s easy to talk myself out of taking a trip. Wouldn’t you? Nothing is ever random or sporadic in my life any longer. It’s all part of the joy of ‘getting old’. Anyway, back to the point I was making (in the beginning), I had every intention of going to see my family this weekend. Why this weekend of all weekends? Why not next week or next month? Was there a birthday or a funeral or an occasion that required my presence? No to all three.

There was a birthday actually but not one that I was required to attend or even invited to. In fact, my presence would have incensed the party girl. The reason I wanted to visit my family was to see my mom (who keeps asking when I’m coming over), my brother Clover and my daughter. My daughter and I had a ‘tough talk’ this past weekend and it opened up some old wounds and I didn’t want to leave things in that state. By the way, mother-daughter relationships are hard!! I had really wanted to connect with her and work through things but she wasn’t feeling it and she let me know that the timing wasn’t right. Ok, I understand. I didn’t want to force myself or my will on her so I respected her request. Even still, I thought it’d be nice to see my mom and brother since it had been a couple of months. With meeting up with my daughter off the itinerary, I still intended to make the trip over. And then the phone rang. It was my brother Clover. Apparently, it’s the Mental Minion’s birthday (M&M). A quick reminder, M&M is Diabolical Debbie’s daughter and just as hateful and hurtful as her mother. Enough said!

Did I want to get ‘mixed up’ in her birthday celebration? I think this should answer your question; I’d rather eat 10 Carolina Reapers followed by a hot sauce chaser than get involved in that ‘mess’. I’ve learned my lesson! I’ve been dealt my fair share of emotional pain dealing with that ‘problem child’. And I’m being facetious when I say that because she’s actually almost 40 but has the emotional maturity of a 5 year old. I’ve been getting nasty grams and hate mail from her since she was ten years of age. The last time she communicated with me, among other lovely sentiments, she said, “You are a piece of sh*t and a piece of trash,” and, wait for it ’cause this is g-o-o-d, “Why aren’t you dead yet?” Awww…so loving and thoughtful and spoken with such tenderness. I sure appreciated that one, NOT! Yep, there’s not a lot of love between us. I don’t know what happened, but one day I was her favorite aunt and then suddenly and without warning, she hated me with such passion that it was downright frightening. She and her mother are like two peas in a pod. The best thing to do is steer clear.

Am I a little disappointed that I’m not going to be making the trip over? A little. It would have been nice to ‘check in’ with my family, even if it was only for a day or two. That being said, am I bummed out that I no longer have to go through the usual ‘prepping for a trip’ nightmare? Not on your life! It is a huge relief. The ‘prepping’ part is bad enough, but with the lengthy roundtrip drive factored in and all of the running around, I’m not worth much. And the irony is, M&M actually ‘saved the day’! She probably wouldn’t like it if she knew that I felt joy and relief because of her. Her modus operandi is all-things-negative-and-painful. It may seem silly that I’m not going because of avoidance but if you knew what went down when she graduated from college, you’d probably understand. Short story? No, I don’t even want to go ‘there’. That girl’s mind is so twisted that I don’t think it’s possible for you to comprehend how sick and disturbed she actually is. I could present you with mountains of examples and I still don’t think you’d be able to see the ‘whole picture’. It’s better to just let sleeping dogs lie.

Anyway, since I don’t have to go anywhere this weekend, I get to do whatever I want. I can knock out some projects or I can just be a bum and binge-watch TV. It’s all up to me. By the way, if you’d like a recommendation, I just watched ‘Lupin’ on Netflix. If you watch it, I guarantee you’ll be hooked! And if you love the main actor who plays Assane Diop (Omar Sy) and haven’t seen ‘The Intouchables’, I’d recommend it, too. It’s in French but it’s so well done. Definitely in my ‘top 5’! Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. I love to write and I try to infuse humor into everything I do, especially when I write. And I hope I was able to make you smile, especially if you had a really crappy day. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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