At Play at Work

There’s a blog I love reading, but I only get over there after signing in here to my own page, and sometimes it’s so long between entries here that I practically forget the name of that blog I like.

Today I’m at work. Normally I wouldn’t be screwing the dog here at the office, but things have changed a lot in this job and there is literally nothing to do today except be available for customers who may come in. I’ve swept the floor. I’ve handled all the business that needs handling. Now I’ve got two-and-a-half more hours to kill.

I might be one of the few people in this world who hasn’t suffered much from this pandemic. I almost feel badly about that after hearing about the losses and despair of so many. My work is considered essential, so I’ve lost no earnings whatsoever. Health regulations that dictate no visiting between households have relieved me of certain obligations, and I’m thankful for the break. How nice not to feel guilty about not wanting to sit around, jawing! How wonderful to have no funerals to attend!

My father has been through hospital hell over the past five months, and because of travel restrictions and fear of carrying the plague to an older person whose health is precarious, I haven’t made the long trip to see him. That’s been hard, more than once; especially when I feared he might be dying. I’ve shed tears, lost sleep, worried, sent healing energy, sought guidance from my inner self and my higher self, and basically just held on and hoped he could, too. It’s not as if the hospital would have let me in to see him unless he was literally dying; if we get this scare again, I’ll be on the highway making my way there. For now he’s okay and all my family has their fingers crossed that it’s only upward and onward from now on.

I know he has to die sometime. But I still hope it won’t be before he’s 100.

In other news, Himself and I are getting along so well that I’ve actually begun to enjoy our evenings together in front of the TV.

And now, off to catch up on that blog I’ve missed lately.

To a Shaman before a Session

She is doing a distance energy healing on me today, and asked what specifically I’d like her to work on. She asked for an email or a brief phone call, and I sent the following letter. You, if you’ve been here before, have read all about this stuff already and won’t care to hear about it again. Why oh why is it taking me so long to get over myself?

Sometimes there is considerable conflict between what I feel/think, and how I feel I must pretend (at least a little) to feel and think, or try to feel and think, in order to be where I am, where I’m content some 95% of the time. But as I read somewhere, imagine you’ve made a big pot of delicious chili and then someone comes along and throws in a single dog turd. Do you still have a delicious chili, or do you have shit stew?

These aren’t situations I can easily walk away from, or I probably would. 

One is to do with Himself’s son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren; I care for them much easier at a distance than when they’re here, and the moment I hear they’re coming I feel slightly sick to my stomach, try to hold myself together till they leave, though to be honest I don’t welcome them at all and have to work hard to hide that, so am exhausted when they go and I bet they feel it anyway; and am relieved when they drive out of the yard. And this is only a few times a year for a few days at a time AND they sleep over at the old house so that they can bring their dogs; it’s not like I have to put up with the commotion and crowding of small children and their parents in the house 24 hours a day.

Himself kindly goes out of his way to share with me the grandparent thing, even going so far as to take videocalls from the grandchildren and come to where I am so I’ll be part of it. I appreciate his efforts, it’s thoughtful of him, but I really don’t want to be on the phone/videocalls whenever someone else decides to be, or be in the middle of it for more than a glimpse and a few greetings, while he is happy to play on the phone with the kids until they wander off. Me, I get up and go somewhere — anywhere– after making myself pretend to be interested for about 10 minutes, so as not to make it too obvious that I’m bored by the “conversation” with the three-year-old and irritated by the squeals and noise on top of the fawning Himself is doing at this end. It’s not that I don’t find the little ones sweet and entertaining or don’t care about their wellbeing and so on; it’s that I’m not obsessed like he is, but still have to listen to the all-grandchildren-all-the-time channel, right down to their bowel movements. Thus, conflict: I’m stuck with this as it’s Himself’s happiness and thrill, I know it’s a privilege to be called Gran and have children in my life, I do love them in my no-nonsense way with kids, and I hate the way Himself goes so over-the-top all the time and rather than accepting it because it is what it is — another person’s love of kids, especially his own — I fantasize about living somewhere else altogether so there isn’t so much of it forced on me. 

Here are the facts: I don’t enjoy small children; not even larger children for more than a short time if they aren’t well behaved or their parents aren’t particularly good at their “job” but are the kind who threaten consequences, don’t follow up, and use bribery — none of which manage these little ones whatsoever so it’s an ordeal when they’re around. They’re coked up on sugary candy and drinks, from the moment they get up in the morning; and I’m stuck being around them even when they’re not here, because of the goddamn videocalling. I often go into a bedroom or office, close the door, and put ear plugs in after making my necessary appearance; in the summer, I can at least go outside and find something to do, and when they’re here in person I DO go out as if I simply MUST weed and deadhead my flowers RIGHT NOW. Here, now that it’s winter, I pretend I have to do something in the kitchen. Normally the kitchen work can wait, but when I need an excuse to vamoose, it’s handy. When they’re here, there’s no escape. I barely hold myself together while trying not to let them know how I really feel. I keep busy; I’m not one to sit around “visiting” all day or playing with kids. 

So: conflict. There’s who I think I should be (which would make all this easy) and thought I was — open-hearted, accepting, loving, warm — and who I am — a person who wishes all this wasn’t so often forced upon her. I don’t feel the connection that Himself naturally does, and if I never saw them again, I wouldn’t mind. That sounds terrible and maybe it isn’t true, but the thought has occurred to me. Now I know just because I have a thought doesn’t make it true; nevertheless I am not proud of the person who’s having it. Also, it has made me recognize that my dad is exactly this way, except he could always find something to do outside on the farm when there were kids around — even his own kids and grandchildren — and when we visited Mom and Dad with our kids, or they visited us, he usually went golfing! I don’t have those options — women don’t seem to, do they. My mom always had her little nieces and nephew staying at our place, and this summer when I read one of my journals, written when I was 15 or 16, I was reminded that I didn’t get any joy from that, even then. 

I don’t know; can you manage some kind of heart transplant for me?!!

Another stress is my part-time job, where the books and everything else were left in a real mess and even though I have a lovely mentor and everyone knows the mess wasn’t my doing, I’d love a good reason to walk away from that, too; as it is, I keep my eye open for another job that I hope will come along once I’ve helped through a transition that will be easier if I’m there to do some of the work required. I made a commitment and will keep it.

The third area of concern is Himself’s habit of attack, accusation, and blame; he’s extremely skilled at those and I find them impossible to ignore or even to rise above, even recognizing the things he’s saying as illogical and ridiculous. I realize no couple gets along perfectly all the time and many problems are never solved, but let me tell you, I don’t even want to be here at times like that, when verbal abuse comes out of the blue. I stand up for myself and don’t “take it” but am still here so I guess I actually am taking it. He has improved a lot over recent years but when he falls down, it does as much damage as it ever did. It’s always been shocking to me, and still is, even though it’s more rare than it used to be. Still, whenever something doesn’t go right for Himself, he finds someone to blame.   

My resistance to these occasional three realities is such that at times I’m desperate to escape to another location and be out and stay out of it all, and because I feel trapped and frustrated, I literally put my head in my hands and say to the universe “Please, make it stop!” 

Whew! That is a lot of “saying” in order to tell you I think I need help with stress, and inner conflict. 

Over the past year or two, I’ve been working on two things: accepting reality as it is in this moment instead of trying to control it or insisting it should be different; and keeping my thoughts and judgments to myself. I always had a “Say it sooner, directly, honestly” approach, but have learned that this only seems to create more problems between Himself and me, and that it’s often just me wanting the situation or him to be different than they are at the moment. I see that as trying to control things rather than accepting things and people as they are. 

I’ve expressed much of this in writing that Himself will never see, but I figure he can’t help but see the way things are regarding his family, which isn’t very nice for him. I’ve told him most of it, too, if not quite all; and with much of it he agrees, like the way the wee ones are being raised, which irritates us both and won’t make them nice kids to have around. However, grandparents don’t control these things and must hold their tongues.

I know how I’d feel if the shoe was on the other foot. I tell myself that as the kids get older it will be easier for me to cope with, and as Himself settles down about the novelty of being a grandfather, it’ll be easier then too. If not, and the day comes when he wants the grandchildren to come here for weeks at a time in the summer holidays, well … we’ll face that when it happens. His parents had his sister’s boys come and stay for the summers, and his dad would cry — literally weep all the way home after meeting their parents on the highway halfway home; and I can totally see Himself assuming his summers as a grandfather should be the same. That’s not for me, I’m pretty sure, but how far does one need to go in order to support someone else’s dreams?

I feel I know the answers to all these questions, and yet … I suffer with feeling STUCK and often angry. I’m resentful and furious at times. 

I’ve shared these challenges with several close friends and my sisters over the years. They are understanding and supportive and actually some say they’d feel the same in my position, when I tell them about certain events and expectations; it’s not like I’ve repressed these feelings and been tamping them down. 

There, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Would it be simpler to have just said “conflict and stress?” So I’ll know for next time … LOL.

Conflicted

There’s who I think I am, who I wish I was (life would be easy then), and who I really am.

Lately I do a lot of pretending so as not to allow the real me to do damage to someone else or to the peace in my home.

We were sitting in the living room watching an old episode of Green Wing when his phone rang. It was his son calling; a videocall with the grandchildren. Himself got up off the loveseat and came to the couch to sit beside me, to share this wondrous event.

I appreciate his constant efforts to include me. I really do. It’s sweet. But I’m only interested in videocalls with small children for about three minutes; to be honest, not even that long. Once I’ve seen the kids for 30 seconds, I’m done. The three-year-old wants to play with the effects thing that puts graphics over faces, and they start that right away. Himself is into it, and it goes on and on. He keeps turning his phone toward me so I’m in the picture. I make myself sit there for about 10 minutes before picking up my tea cup and book, and leaving the room to go start the supper dishes.

While I wouldn’t want him not to include me in all this, I don’t really want him to either. I’m conflicted.

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My Unpopular Opinion

A friend on Facebook has a regular request: that people post one of their thoughts or feelings that seems to be universally unpopular.

Here’s mine:

Blogs that focus a lot on pets or grandchildren or food … bore me in a very short time.

Christmas? Who Cares

Christmas hasn’t been the thrill it was in childhood (then only because of the gifts and shortbread cookies and lefse and rosettes and time off from school; I never gave a hoot about gathering with the family once teenagerhood was reached, and the celebration of the Christ child? Meh; though I always did like the sparkling lights and shiny decorations, and still do) and the holiday no longer matters to me whatsoever. Actually with very young children in the family now, it’s more of an ordeal. Have I ever mentioned that I only enjoy small children in short doses? (You think you’re a grinch! I’m this way year-round.)

In my family we each used to give and receive about 30 gifts because we had aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents living nearby and we all gathered on Xmas Eve and Xmas Day. It was a windfall of luxury for a kid, even though most gifts were just stocking stuffers. 

Sorry for those for whom Christmas has sentimental meaning, but frankly it’s a relief that I won’t be expected to attend any get-togethers on either Himself’s or my side of the family. 

I’m still working part time at the village office — apparently we are an essential service, as the water treatment plant has to keep operating, the streets need cleared of snow, and somebody has to manage that, pay the maintenance man, the utility bills, collect tax and utility payments, sell garbage tags, etc., and that’s me. However just this week the provincial government reluctantly made it mandatory to wear masks inside all public buildings, so all but one person who entered the office has worn one. Before that, maybe one person did (besides me) and many seemed to think I was being overcautious. They stated that since our rural population is so low and spread out and “There are no cases around here,” we didn’t have to worry about it here. D’uh. I won’t say I Told You So out loud, but am thinking it.

Covid has only begun to be felt (by me) now that infection rates have skyrocketed in the province and I’ve told #1 Son he can’t come out here, as I don’t want to risk spreading anything to him or his household after I’ve been at work in a public office. He has a hard time understanding. The CEO of his group home and sheltered workshop will allow him to come to my place for the weekend. It’s me who says no, not for a while yet. My son phones me on Thursday nights. This week he said “But you do LIKE it when I come out to your place, right? You still want to see me, right?” This mother’s heart breaks just a little to hear him ask such questions. 

Son #2 is probably just as happy if his mother doesn’t drop in once a week, even bearing a loaf of homemade bread. Sometimes it seems that bread’s what gets me in the door. 

Himself’s tried to make it clear, gently, to his son Princely and daughter-in-law in the next province (not that Himself will say it directly; no testicles at all when it comes to his family; if they continue to plan on coming, it will be me who has to tell them not to) that we don’t want them to come here either. Alberta is a hotspot for covid and Princely et al don’t seem to curtail their visiting and travel in any way. They don’t seem to “get it.” They are doing all the things they normally do except come here this month and go out of the country. Otherwise it appears that their lives go on as usual, shopping for something to do, travelling between provinces, having groups of friends over, etc. We’re more shocked that they seem willing to risk their wee girls (ages one and three) getting sick. I guess it’s that most people don’t die from this thing; but that’s not the point. The point is, the hospitals are reaching capacity already. My dad just had an emergency surgery he might not have gotten if things were as bad a few weeks ago as they are now; as it is, the hospital and home nursing services must be understaffed, because more than one serious error in his care was made.

It’s not good. It’s Canada’s turn.

People are a lot less intelligent than I once believed most were. 

I’ve been pleased to hear that friends around the world have been smart, staying home as much as possible ever since March. The news from the States and the UK is alarming. It’s begun to be alarming here too.

Please, people: stay home whenever you can. When you do, you’re among those who are making a difference.

It’s Like Winter

Yes, it is. In the southern part of the province, 20C-below was forecast for last night. That’s about the same as 20-below in Fahrenheit — or maybe you can’t even imagine that. Anyway, we see more of that in January and February, not October! They tell us it’s going to warm up this coming week. Sure doesn’t feel like it. 

Not too sure what I can possibly write that might lift your spirits. 

I woke up at 6:45. It was still dark out and I debated whether to stay up or not (after a trip down the hallway to pee). Since the sourdough bread I make requires two rises for a total of 7 hrs and I hope to take Sonnyoy home for supper at 5, I decided to stay up and get it started. That took half an hour by the time I’d cleaned up. Then I went back to bed and slept again before waking up and reading in bed till about 10, when I made sourdough pancakes for a late breakfast. 

Now where was I going with this. Oh yeah. When I woke up, my first thought was “I’m not happy.” Have you ever noticed that those waking thoughts are often the deepest, clearest truths?

I need to do the things that help me be happy. That was my advice to myself. Get off the pot (have been doing that; I blame it for everything, when in actuality I smoke so little that it probably has nothing to do with anything). Get outside for my long walks again, which I haven’t been doing since the cougar sighting (on a neighbour’s webcam) last winter. The fresh air and exercise may do the trick. 

But it’s so frickin’ cold out there! I have worn my ski pants to drive to and from work. Winter temperature dictates. That could have an impact on my low spirits, too. I believe it does.

Dad’s been suffering with a clinically stiff neck and while feeling better after an appointment with a physiotherapist, last night Sonny phoned him and was told he couldn’t talk because he was sick. I began to fret. He’s 81 after all, though in excellent health and fitness. I texted him; no reply. I texted my sister Trixie. No reply. I phoned her. She didn’t answer her phone. An hour or two later she responded; maybe Dad’s meds have caused some stomach upset, she figures. She’s on the job, and lives just a five-minute walk from Dad’s new place, so there’s nothing for me to do from here. I’m relieved she’s there. 

It would help if the sun came out. 

How’s your mental health, Ms Penelope? Tell me.

She’s a Terrible Blogger

Yup. Any blogger worth her salt posts an entry at least once a week. I’m lucky if I get around to it once a month. Or two. Tsk.

As a kid I thought “tsk” was pronounced “tisk.” It was a long time before I realized that the sound made with the lips — not a word — was spelled this way.

“Awry” was aw-ree.

“Phoebe” was Fo-bee, as in hoe-bee.

“Zoe” was Zo, as in hoe.

Maybe now you see why I post so rarely. I mean, look what comes to mind! Thoughts that pass by in a jiffy if I’m not sitting right here in front of the keyboard. It’s a wonder any of my “deep thoughts” make it onto the screen at all.

This is me just priming the pump by saying hello. I know you’re out there, even if I don’t know who you are or your name. Even if there’s only one of you. It’s not the thing that matters. It’s the pleasure of writing something, anything, and seeing it in print.

It’s a beautiful thing that those who are passionate about writing no longer need to rely on a curatorial publisher in order to get their words in front of other eyes.

The disturbing side is that every fool and bully can amplify their voice on social media. That distresses me. Not that they have a platform, but that no matter what it is, there are plenty who will believe it. That’s the scary part, and tiresome too.

I’ll say no more. My world’s a good one. I’m healthy, safe, warm, well fed, content, loving my loved ones. It’s not a dream-come-true in every way, but my main desire became my reality: living in a rural setting with no close neighbours. I have always tried to, since I was 19, and never felt rooted or free when stuck in a town or city.

Struggles are mostly in my own mind. That must be lived with too, so I work on being aware of thoughts as I’m having them. In response I’ve been saying to myself, at times, “These aren’t very nice thoughts. I don’t have to believe this or repeat it to myself right now. Do I really choose to?” Having a choice follows observing what I’m thinking instead of just thinking it and letting it lead me.

Well peeps, I hope to be back soon but can’t promise, as we both know by now. Now off to read some of your blogs.

Our House This Morning

The alarm on my phone dings at six. I turn it off and snuggle back down into the covers. The alarm on my clock dings a few minutes later. I swing my legs over the side of the bed, turn it off, turn on the lamp, and snuggle back down under the covers. I snooze till seven and get up when I hear Himself in the kitchen making coffee.

He is standing at the counter, looking at the calendar, when on my way to the bathroom I swing by that way to say Good Morning. I see that he has a medical appointment at 10 o’clock.

It’s the beginning of my work week. I run myself a bath, climb in, and am lying there doing a meditation/visualization practice during a quick soak (it’s always quick; I’m not a long-soaker) when I hear something and open my eyes. It’s him standing in the open doorway, giving me the stink-eye.

“Are you the only person who has to use the tub this morning?”

Ah. “You only had to say ‘Hurry up, please,” I reply, irritated that he’s irritated that I never thought of thinking about his schedule before thinking about my own. I quickly shampoo my hair and a couple other bits of bod, stand, reach for a towel, and begin drying off.

Himself comes in and sits on the toilet with his head in his hands.

“Headache this morning?” I ask. No reply. “What?”

“I have to be out of here in 10 minutes,” he tells me.

“And as soon as you asked [in your roundabout, passive-aggressive way, I didn’t say], I got out of the tub. So what’s the problem?”

No reply.

Here is a person who expects everyone’s life to revolve around him and his concerns and plans, and when it doesn’t — when I don’t think about his needs before my own — he is resentful.

That’s okay. That’s human. What’s not okay is me feeling guilty or bullied; I have had enough of that. I’m not going to be cowed by his anger any longer. Don’t move furniture because he will be pissed off? Fuck that. I’ll move it when I feel like it. Make meat and potatoes for supper because he will be pissed off if I make rice or pasta instead? Too bad. I’ll cook what I want to eat because my desires are just as important as someone else’s and I’m the one doing the cooking. When he cooks, he sure as hell doesn’t cook what I’ll like. It’s always what he likes — meat and potatoes — and he thinks he’s doing me a great favour. I’m so sick of potatoes, I take the tiniest portion I can get away with without offending the cook.

He went out the door without breakfast. I guess he woke up later than he should’ve — it’s not like I was in the tub more than 10 or 15 minutes — and was rushed and that’s why he was trying to blame me for his distress. Someone else is always to blame when things don’t go his way.

I’m not going to let it ruin my day, that’s for sure. I’ve been letting myself feel my “feels” even when I wish they were different than they are. This is my current challenge: accepting the way I feel instead of rejecting that part of myself. So I’m aware of my own irritation and the fear that there will always be these kinds of irritations in my life. There is no “perfect” life. And I remind myself that my life is actually as close to “perfect” as it’s ever been, and that I experience intense joy most every day. Yesterday it was while I noodled on the piano a little. Nothing fancy. Very basic. But oh the sound of it! The beauty of the notes, the harmonies!

Life is good. So good that the tiny irritations should be swatted away like gnats. Why isn’t that easier?

Letter to a Man whose Wife has Just Died

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the followup to our telephone conversation, where you gave me the sad news that I won’t be hearing from Elinor personally but that she did receive and appreciate my letter. I’m glad that I did at least get to touch base with her again after so many years. I thought of her so often. How could I not? She was SO GOOD to me! 

You’ll be having a tough adjustment to life without her; it’s not easy, especially the first year or two. Nor is it easy to walk with a loved one through cancer. Our family was there with my mom and though we knew it was better for her to go when she did, so as to suffer no longer, we hated to part with her. Not to mention, personally, how PISSED OFF I was that this could happen to someone so important to us. That’s life, but we don’t have to like it. 

I hope you have good friends and family to help keep your spirits up, and that you make a point of doing all the things a person needs to do to go forward and enjoy the rest of your own life: keeping in touch with people, getting out, eating well, stuff like that. You know what’s on the list! The things a widower doesn’t feel like doing (or feels like doing but shouldn’t), yet feels the lack of if he doesn’t. Right? At least, that’s how it was for my dad who was in his sixties when Mom died. He still misses her companionship but is healthy and living a life that she would’ve wanted for him, even without her. 

Hang in there. Take care of yourself.

When A Friend Sounds Crazy

My friend Bee has been seeing a self-proclaimed healer who has a habit of sleeping with his “clients.” She has refused conventional medical treatment for a diagnosis of breast cancer, and has been well for more than five years with help from a healer who, herself, died from cancer not long ago. That’s when Bee found this new guy, became enamoured of him, and believes all his crap about “entities” and “demons” and so on.

I raise an eyebrow and tell her it’s ridiculous, but she believes whatever he tells her, hoping that he can help her survive breast cancer with root tinctures and dowsing rods.

I have always respectfully supported her treatment choices but when it comes to believing that wherever you go and everyone you meet, you are helpless against being infected with “entities” or “demons” that are making you ill (and that if you don’t believe this is happening, it’s because the entities or demons have already got control of you) … I just don’t and have told her so. I don’t believe we are that vulnerable.

I can believe that there are unhealthy emotions that stay with us or that we even pick up from others sometimes, and that these can affect our wellbeing. I can even believe that, to him, these appear as ugly spirits. I can believe that Bee has seen this man effect apparently miraculous healings on other people; she wouldn’t be making up these stories, though she is prone to enthusiastic delusional interpretations of what she has seen. But I’ve also met him — just the once, and just recently — and I was not impressed by the personality of this man whom she describes as uniquely loving and powerful. I was disappointed to find him small-minded and radiating desperate ego. When I said so to Bee afterward, she explained that they weren’t getting along that day and so he wasn’t himself. That’s why he didn’t overwhelm me with his loving self.

He has got her running in circles and no longer thinking for herself, and I don’t know what to say to her anymore. We’ve had conversations similar to what you’d have with an abused woman who keeps forgiving and staying with her abuser (much like the conversations I have with myself and share on this blog). I responded to her email (which is below) but to her report about her health and what he’s said about it, I kept my words to a minimum. A mere “Sorry, and let me know how things go.” What’s the point of saying yet again “That’s nuts. Get away from him” when she has never followed my advice before? She’s agreed that what I’ve said is true (except for my refusal to accept his word as law, especially about demons and entities), but it doesn’t change her addiction to him.

She doesn’t listen to me anyway; she listens only to him. I don’t know how to help her or even if it’s possible. She seems to be digging her own hole and I’m helpless to pull her out of it.

Here’s her email to me:

Good day My Dear! Thought I better check in with you! I’ve been back in my own house for about 10 days now. I went rushing back to J’s in hope of a self-discovery that would aid my healing but it wasn’t so….anyway now my blood has risen very high and the cancer is in both breasts.  I guess I did something wrong, I was on many websites reading and exploring and they filled me with a lot of negativity (J cleaned me 3 times in 4 days) — negative energy and full dirty chakra. In 1 day I acquired 18 entities….so now for whatever reason J is not allowed to heal me.
  The last video I came across was Eckhart Tolle…’Teaches a Young Man’ …1:38 min., found under Living Luminaries on you tube.  Fairweather, he explains it so well. Now I am re-reading the book and it’s so much easier to understand! (I listened to the video twice and took some notes)!
  I’m drinking hemlock again with hopes it will bring my blood down. Other than that I’m being quite still. (At home.)
  That’s all the news for now! Have a great day,
– Bee

Maybe Eckhart Tolle can talk some sense into her.

If you have any suggestions as to how I might better get through to her than what I’ve said/done so far, please email me at walkerfairweather@gmail.com.

No YOU Shut Up

Have you ever awakened and realized you were not looking forward to absolutely anything in the day ahead?

That happened to me at 7 o’clock this morning.

This is rare. Usually I’m at least enticed by coffee.

Today I thought, as I lay there, “I’m not excited or even contented about anything planned — the usual things I get done on Mondays. Blah. I don’t want to get out of bed. But I don’t want to stay in bed either; I’ve been here long enough. I slept fairly well. What’s the matter with me? Oh well, best get on with it.”

I threw off the covers and swung my legs to the side of the bed, pulled on an oversized warm housecoat and some slippers, grabbed my glasses and the book I’m reading, went to the kitchen, poured myself a coffee, carried the carafe to the living room and refilled Himself’s cup, dropped off my coffee and book nearby, deposited the carafe back in the kitchen, and padded back to the corner of the couch where my book and coffee awaited.

Himself’s face was already in his smartphone, as it always is, from morning to night and even after he’s gone to bed, and he began telling me about something one of his relatives had shared on Facebook.

“That John A. MacDonald was a hero who gave the First Nations people the vote — ”

I gasped. “What??? That’s ridic — ”

“Shut up!”

“Don’t tell me to shut up.”

“You could let me finish what I was trying to tell you,” he said.

“I could, if I wasn’t so shocked at what you were telling me,” I said. “It was a knee-jerk reaction — I can’t believe people are that stupid.”

But all too many of them apparently are. As is this woman who is stupid enough to still live with this man who thinks it’s okay to bark at her to shut up if she interrupts him when he’s speaking. She shouldn’t have, of course; it’s impolite to interrupt people, even when occasionally one’s heard something so dumb that it has thrown her a little.

It was not a good start. I have been cranky ever since.