Happy (?) New Year!


Fireworks #1

Fireworks #1 (Photo credit: Camera Slayer)

Life is so freaking strange.

Hubby and I had a lovely New Year’s Eve with our neighbors and two of their long-time friends.  We didn’t stay long, two or three hours, and was home long before midnight because we didn’t want to leave Mom for long.  Even so, she was a bit freaked out by the time we got back because we’d been “gone so long.”  We got her to bed, I gave up around 10:30, and dear hubby maybe saw in the New Year before falling asleep on the couch (but he can’t remember).

And then the new year began.

On January 1, I spent the day on the couch feeling like death warmed over with some sort of stomach bug.  Before you start to snigger, no, it was not alcohol-induced.  Those who know me know what a fly weight I am when it comes to alcohol.  A couple of beers or a glass of wine does me in.  I almost never touch spirits because they universally leave me with a raging headache.  So this was some minor bug I picked up somewhere, but it left me feeling like yesterday’s dishwater.  NOT a particularly auspicious way to begin the new year.

On January 2, I got a phone call from an old friend.  Before I tell you about it, let me preface:  Back in November of 2011, I wrote a blog about the first time I fell really IN LOVE.  (https://melissacrandall.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/all-the-wrong-reasons/)  This was a bad relationship on a lot of levels, and one I was not sorry to put behind me (although it took me four years to work up the nerve).  Round about the time the post made its appearance, the fellow in question (who I mention by pseudonym only) was trying to locate me.  He Googled me, found the blog, read the post, and contacted me to apologize for his prior behavior.  A big unexpected and certainly out of left field, you’ll agree, but after some thought I opted to take the high road.  Rather than ignore his message (my first instinct) or castigate him (my second), I accepted his apology.  I also made it patently clear that my acceptance did not mean I wished to have anything to do with him in the future.  As I believe I put it, “There is no room for you in my life.”

That was that…until my father died in May 2012, when I received a short note expressing his condolences.  Fine and dandy, thank you very much, end of story.

Okay, so fast-forward from May 2012 to January 2, 2013 and the phone call I received from the old friend who helped me escape that long-ago, disastrous (for me), abusive relationship.  He tells me that he’s just received a phone call from said ex-boyfriend who went off on him for a) having “betrayed a confidence,” and b) ruining our (meaning his and my) relationship.  Old friend and I conversed at length and shared a few bewildered laughs.  I mean….really?  First off, the so-called “confidence” that was “betrayed” was not uttered in confidence, and it was also a derogatory, inflammatory remark about someone (me) who my old friend valued highly.  Small wonder he came to me and held the mirror to my face that made me finally find the strength to leave.   Second, my old friend did not “ruin” that relationship with the ex.  The EX ruined it — every time he insulted me, threw something, screamed at me, attempted to cheat on me (that’s another story), found me at fault for something-or-other…the list goes on, but some people can’t accept their share of responsibility for anything.   Oh…and did I mention that this all happened close to THIRTY years ago?  Thirty years.  Really.  I mean, there comes a point when you just have to let things go, don’t you think?

On January 3, I received a text message from a young relative.  In some ways, he’s a terrific guy – funny, kind-hearted, sensitive, and deeply devoted to his wife.  I love him a lot, but I don’t like the person he’s grown into.  He lies.  He’s untrustworthy, going back on his word seemingly without any shred of conscience.  I never hear from him unless he wants a favor, although he is disinclined to do favors for others (like call his great-grandmother on her 89th birthday).   This occasion was no different.  He wanted me to co-sign a loan.  (This is when that warning klaxxon from STAR TREK started whooping in back of my head and (to mix television shows) the Robinson’s robot yelling “Danger, Will Robinson!  Danger!  Danger!)  Naturally, I turned him down.  I didn’t bother going into detail as to why I won’t co-sign for him.  I didn’t stress the broken promises, his inability to hold down a job for very long, or any of that.  In his defense, he’s in something of a rough patch since he’s battling a chronic illness, but that’s no excuse for treating your family like crap except when they prove useful.  In his eyes, he’s never to blame and we’re all against him.  That’s an issue I’m afraid he’ll have to work out on his own.

I am happy to report, however, that January 4-6 have been hunky-dory, with some small progress on a variety of fronts and no storm clouds on the horizon.  So maybe this year won’t be so grim after all.  But what a way to begin!

*******************************************

Hey, any of you doing resolutions this year?  What have you decided to do?

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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