So, it turns out today is November 30th. I though it was the 29th. I’ve been off by a day this entire week. I keep checking the calendar on my phone because I’m sure it’s wrong. I even checked the On This Day tab on my facebook page, and I’ll be damned if everything was from November 30th. That’s today. National Blog-Posting Month officially ends tonight. And I hung in there, despite the challenges. I even found some cool new stuff to read, and got some positive feedback, which I totally love. I mean, isn’t that what a writer wants? To make an impression on a reader? I only manged to keep up with the Cheer Pepper page until the 21st, I think, but considering the emotional & physical chaos of this month, 3 weeks was pretty good.
I also still have seven saved drafts, so… there’s that, too. I’ll have to spend the next week getting ready for my upcoming poetry event. Thanks to the NanoPoblano challenge, I’ll have some fresh new stuff to read. Meanwhile… I decided to go ahead and post what I thought was going to be my last post tomorrow, when I thought tomorrow was the 30th and today was only the 29th.
I’ve been writing a lot about my Mom lately. It’s this time of year. No matter where I go or what I do, everything is intended to remind me how sad it feels to be without a family during the holidays. This blog is my new coping mechanism, my only option since marriage counseling and psychiatric therapy are not cover by most insurance packages, and money is too tight for me to be able to afford to be that sick. So… I’m going the Hemingway route… er, wait, bad example… I’m taking the Plath path… oops, no, that’s not a good… hm, wait, I’ll think of one…
I wish I’d known more about my Mom’s past. I didn’t know enough to ask, because talking wasn’t something my family did. See, before the Internet, there was thing thing called people keeping their private business private. Back then, you’d have to wait for loved ones to die, and then accidentally stumble upon some shocking secret while boxing up their stuff. Those are the best. Then you have even more questions and no one to answer them, so you keep quiet too, and hide the information where your kids will find it after you die. The circle of life(‘s embarrassments & atrocities).
So, yeah… my Mom liked to knit. Although, on second thought, I don’t really know if she liked to…. she was good at it and did it a lot. It’s just now occurring to me as I think about it, knitting might have been my Mom’s version of surfing the web. She could sit in the room with my Dad while he watched his favorite television programs, and when there was something on which she might not have particularly cared for, she’d knit as a way to combat her boredom, but still be keeping her husband company. Hm… I may have to revisit that at some point.
Like I said, I didn’t know my Mother very well. And now it’s been too late to ask for almost 20 years.
I’m glad I never had kids. It would have been terrible to pass on my family’s depression. It’s like having a zoo where I’m supposed to have a brain. It’s a lot of work to keep it running smoothly & humanely.
It’s always been obvious how my personality is more like my Father’s than my Mom’s. So, I guess it’s pretty textbook for me to have married a man whose personality is a lot like my Mom’s. It’s creepy, and icky… but it’s, like, SO obvious. But, that’s not all me. My husband is pretty fucked up too. He has own completely dysfunctional set of issues. Clearly we’re each other’s enablers. We made our peace with that a long time ago. We decided any functioning long-term, intimate relationship is maintained by mutual enabling one another to a certain degree. So, essentially, we’re no more fucked up than anyone else. Good news. The devil you know and all that…
So… yeah… if you lived near or worked with my Mom anytime between the late 70’s and early 90’s, and you had a baby, there’s a good change my Mom knitted you a baby blanket. That was her thing. She would knit everyone an afghan.
She was crafty in a lot of ways. She did the ceramics thing, and she sewed and used McCall’s patterns to make clothes & costumes. I envy that. I started to learn to use her sewing machine when I was a little kid. But then I discovered drunken sex, so… my priorities were measurably askew. Now, I’m so overwhelmed with how many kinds of sewing machines there are I can’t make a decision. For years I’ve been saying I’m going to take a sewing class at the Michael’s, but I have a million good excuses for not following through on my good ideas. Did I say excuses? I meant reasons. Perfectly reasonable justifications.
My Dad went through a macrame phase. His groovy wall-hangings and plant-hangers were still all over the house when he died; where they’d been for twenty years. He even kept all the how-to books, which I thought my husband might like, because he’s into knots & stuff like that. It would be nice if he had a hobby. He doesn’t have a hobby. It’s annoying. I can’t shut my head off, and he can’t get his started. Yin & yang. Great.
So… yeah, I think the last think my Mom knitted for me what a little throw blanket, in this new open-stitch-thing she learned. I don’t know what it was, but it took a special needle to do it. I was living in California and had just bought this used Capri convertible. I loved that car. It was red, and I named her Lucy. She had a black & gray interior, and my Mom knitted me a black & red & white & mauve throw to keep in the back seat. (That might be a Pittsburgh thing – the always-have-a-blanket-in-the-car thing.) I still have it, though poor Lucy’s been gone some 18-years now. I use that blanket as a cat bed. My companion felines adore it. It’s like their Taj-Meowhal. (Oh geez… sorry.)
I also still have one of her big, king-sized afghans. She’s make those to give as wedding presents. She liked baby blankets better because the bigger afghans were a lot harder on her arthritic hands. But the blanket I have isn’t one she made for anyone, or for any special occasion. It’s my favorite blanket she ever made. And it’s uproariously ugly. She made it because she had a whole basket overflowing with old, partial skeins of yarn – none of them very big, but enough that they were taking up too much room. So she made this afghan to try to use up all her old yarn. It’s crazy ugly and has never gone with anything, ever. Until now. I mean, I kind-of think it goes with this whacked-out concept I’ve got going in my bedroom. The afghan is on my bed – it’s SO warm. It’s had a hole in it on one spot for years. It has to be folded in a special way so it won’t show. It’s one good pull away from reverting back to its former pile of yarn status. I handle it with care, though there’s probably no need for that. It may have supernatural powers.
All the cats love it, and I’ve had three who left this world while lying on it. If I’m lucky enough, the same thing will happen for me.
I wish I liked to knit as much as Mom did.
Thanks, dear readers, for indulging me. It feels good to write this much, and have it get read.
And I still feel incredibly horrible for the comment I accidentally flagged, and couldn’t figure out how to undo.
Yeah. That’s how I’m going to end this 1300-word blog post. Sorry I’m a ding-a-ling.