My brother and mother spent the last five and a half days here. Yes, that includes arriving here at one in the morning Thanksgiving day.
My stove is dead, in a way that requires a trip to the landfill and a new stove, so we made do with sandwiches and reheated soup (I think I’d have cried if I didn’t have a working microwave) and conversation. As is the norm for the past almost four years, I worked every single day they were here–yes, every day of the weekend after Thanksgiving. And after (or before, depending on my ever changing schedule), I trooped around with them all over creation, because my brother is a shopaholic who cannot visit the US without needing to visit every store within a hundred mile radius.
(Okay, seventy-five miles, but otherwise, not exaggerating much)
On top of the natural stress of having someone in my living space (I’m a hermit because I choose to be), my relationship with my mother consists of a hell of a lot of tip toeing around the reality of my life, as she’s worried to the bone because I live alone, am not happy at work, don’t have a man in my life, and live about five thousand miles away from her. I love my mother, but it is stressful (and somewhat annoying, if I’m honest) to have to justify my life to other people, no matter how well intentioned and loving they are.
Then there’s work, which is still sucking, really hard. Not only are more people rude during the holidays that during the other ten and a half months of the year, they are a lot more rude than the norm. Keeping your mouth shut and striving to provide good customer service in the face of a constant stream of shitty attitude wears on even the most cheerful person’s disposition–and we’ve established I’m not all that nice to begin with, so you can imagine what the past forty-odd hours of work have been like for my liver.
Mind you, there’s also the good. My brother helped me clear some stuff off my house that had been sitting there for about a year (some things in life do require two people (and some are simply better with two people *cough* not that I really remember that…)), and my birthday-and-Christmas-and-all-other-occasions-for-the-next-three-years present was a visit to the lingerie department at Nordstrom.
How can I tell you the difference a properly fitting bra makes? Holy shit, it’s almost as significant as being able to see colors properly after my lasik surgery back in 1996–a whole new world. Those suckers are expensive as hell, but at the same time, the comfort is priceless.
My family flew back home this morning (in fact, I just got the phone call telling me they are on their way from the airport) with no major incidents. Everything essential made it, no extra fees for baggage were charged (even though I know for a fact that both suitcases were a tad over 50 pounds), they got to pass customs unchallenged¹, and will sleep in their own beds tonight.
Life should go back to the rut that passes for normal around here now–and perhaps I’ll get some sleep too.
Now if I could only manage to get another job…
~ * ~
¹ This is actually a big deal, particularly since they were here less than a week. There is a limit in dollars to what they can bring home without paying tax, and while they were clearly under it, bringing out receipts and laying everything out for inspection not only can take hours, it’s extremely stressful, and my mother, aged 78, is truly in no state to go through it.