Friday, December 31, 2010

"Remember those less fortunate"

Alrighty then. The holidays are just about overwith, the Christmas madness has drawn to a close as loyal Volde-Mart customers strip our shelves of the last few lonely clearance items, now reduced to 25% of their original price to make way for Valentine's Day goods. Blech. But along with it, my nasty mood has abated and I'm feeling myself again. Was I very angry with Pips? You bet I was. Have I let it go, moved on, and re-accepted him as my dumb redneck friend without him being any the wiser there was a problem in the first place? . . . Yes I have. Stupid holiday spirit, ha. I was waiting to clock in on . . . the 23rd? I think, yes. And I while I was trying to play it cool with him standing there, also waiting on the clock, we ended up mutually bonding as two people only can when something horrible and awkward happens. There is a guy who works at Volde-Mart pushing carts. I understand this is a rough job, but . . . none of the other cart pushers smell like this. If life was a cartoon, this one would be like Pigpen from the Peanuts series. And it lingers. I'm sitting on the bench when he walks by and I tell myself "Act normal. Don't do anything. You're just over sensitive. Just like the three people you've already heard in the past complaining about this guy's funk. Don't react. Just don't. It's not that bed . . . OH DEAR GOD . .. ugh, no really, it's not bad . . . " and then I look up where Pip is standing, leaning against the lockers across from me and he looks like he's somewhere between letting tears stream out of his eyes and throwing up right there in the hallway. Our eyes met and then we were faced with the inevitable task of non-verbally communicating the 'dear sweet powers in heaven that is disgusting' reaction we both had and trying equally as hard not to be conspicuous about it. I'm sure our fellow coworkers knew exactly why we both chose that precise moment to scoot off and use the other time clock, however hard we might have tried to be casual about it. I can't stay mad at people, no matter how hard I try. Or animals, for that matter, although I'm still fairly certain I wouldn't mind selling Sawyer sometime this year.

My Dad's been home all week and it's been a little rough on all of us. He gets harder and harder to deal with as he ages. He doesn't remember things very well, he needs to be yelled at because he's too proud (and cheap) to go get a hearing aid. My temper with him this week has gotten a little short on more than one occasion and I've been unkind. Then yesterday he brings something into the house. He's spent the entire day making my late Christmas gift, a DVD tower handmade from solid cedar. From a tree he helped saw himself, and took to the sawmill, and sanded down in his workshop. And I kind of felt like shit. I really should lighten up and pull the stick out of my bum sometimes, shouldn't I? Coming home tonight, I pulled up to discover my dog Strider had once again climbed out of his pen and was running loose in the yard, just like he did last NYE. I opened the door and let him in, and instead of predictably yelling "GAH STRIDER! Get him out of here!", Dad just kind of looked at him and a while later fed him treats with the other two dogs. Strider is currently stretched out beneath the footrest on Dad's recliner. What a brown-noser, lol! I still feel a little like shit, but I'm gonna bake a new batch of cookies for Dad before he goes back to work on Sunday. Cookies make everything better. And besides, now is the time to get to the point of my post title tonight. If I thought my Dad was driving me crazy, it's nothing to what my friend Pip's been through. His Dad drives him crazy, he starts. I told him I knew how he felt and he replied, quite miserably -

"I bet yours doesn't bring crack-whores home!"

Um . . . awkward. No, can't say that he does, thankfully. Apparently Daddy Pip, who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's/dementia has taken a fancy to a less than savory neighbor of theirs and Pip is at his wit's end trying to keep her out of the house, albeit a bit unsuccessful as he said the two of them were in his living room having a full blown drunken argument 1:30 this morning. Pip actually went to the doctor's this week begging for Xanax and bemoaning that he's extremely angry at home, always trying to fight the urge to yell and swear at people.

"And you're not angry at work? Good God, I'd think you'd need Xanax for Volde-Mart, not home!"

And then he suggested Pip just kick out the people making him miserable, but it's not exactly easy to boot family out on their ass. He wouldn't give Pippy the Xanax and suggested instead that he visit his very own Volde-Mart pharmacy and buy some St. John's Wort and one of those weird bracelets. I told Pippy I'd had a lot of requests for the bracelets but that I thought we didn't have any in right now and he half-jokingly spazzed on me. So no, I certainly don't have it that bad. My Dad doesn't bring home crack whores and I never considered actually seeking medical help because of how he annoyed me. I tentatively brought up the subject of putting his Dad into a home and he said he really has tried, but the guy's memory and such isn't so bad yet that he can't function, he just does incredibly stupid things. It's horrible, every time I think my family life is screwy, all I have to do is sit down and talk to this guy and realize that someone has it far, far worse. Apparently after he threw out his Dad and the crack-whore neighbor for the night, his niece knocked on his bedroom window at 3:30 in the morning because she forgot her key and brought the emergency one inside last time. She and her friend then spent several hours doing their hair in the bathroom and further enraged him by filling the bathroom sink with cigarette ashes that were still waiting for him in the morning.

I'm not sure exactly why he chooses to share these things with me. Not that I mind, I just find it odd. And while I know now that nothing is every likely to happen between us, and he's gone from being "That guy I'm trying to win over and desperately want to be with" to just my sweet, dumb friend who also happens to be frustratingly attractive to me. I don't have beachhouse or white picket daydreams about him anymore, but . . . what does it say about me that I can talk to him and have a normal conversation, but still think in my mind how much I'd like to make out with him. What does it say about me that I admit fully to myself and to you that, given the chance, I'd tap the hell out of the man. What the fuck? Ah well . . .

In Volde-Mart news, remember Nature Boy? Nature Boy is no longer with us, according to my troubled little friend in Produce. NB called in the day after Chrismtas. From jail. He tried coming in to speak with our new store manager a few days ago, but due to the points on his record with Volde-Mart from calling in, not showing up, and constantly leaving early, they couldn't justify keeping him on top of calling in from jail, too. Fare thee well, Nature Boy. You were weird. Please make smarter decisions next time and stop being so dramatic, you'll be happy for it.

Meh, new year in a few hours. Not really a biggie with me. I'm only tentative because . . . well, all in all, 2010 was pretty great for me and I'm scared that 2011 will become the flip side and be horrible. Maybe not. One can only hope . . .

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