Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bag Lady

My car was broken into earlier today and the thieves took a purse and a tote bag from the back seat. Even though I should not, I feel like an idiot because I should have done so many things differently, but in the end, my stuff is gone.

The purse was a gift from my mother. It sucks that it is gone because I had just recently begun to carry it again so that I could stop toting all the shit I keep kept in the tote bag. It also sucks because it was among the last gifts she gave me before the dementia. And it sucks because I only got sentimental about the purse today after it was taken.

The tote bag was a recent acquisition, purchased to carry all my stuff. I carry carried a LOT of stuff. And in hindsight, half of that stuff was makeup. So the thieves got a tote bag full of makeup. And a rain hat that I just wore the other day. And a wallet that held a bunch of business cards, my expired library card, and two (cancelled) credit/debit cards. And my journal that I had not written much in lately, but still. And some snacks including the Babe's Cheerios.

Sometimes you get premonitions that shit is going to be bad; yet, I decided to proceed with my plans for the day in spite of ample warning in the manner of giant flashing fluorescent neon light signs telling me not to go there. It started when the Babe was too restless to sleep and thus, I was caught between consciousness and delirium this morning when I should have been in the shower. It continued when I realized that I was running way too behind and left the house way too late to travel across town to get my mother ready for church but went anyway. Then she was uncooperative and I considered my options--continue ahead with my plans to take her to our church an hour after service began, or go somewhere else. I chose to go to our church and ran into massive traffic in the tunnel, delays driving through the city, and then had to circle the neighborhood for a parking space, which I found and considered myself lucky as I escorted her from the car and set the alarm (which after malfunctioning, earlier, miraculously worked as usual).

I told myself as each obstacle presented itself that while my morning might be going poorly, this morning was not about me but about God. And as we walked to the church, and as Mom seemed quite animated during service, and even as we approached the car and I noticed that my drivers' side door had been opened...I still believe. I do. I just lost a lot of stuff.

I have lost a makeup bag before and though it sucks, ALL of that stuff can be replaced. The rain hat can be replaced, and I have a similar purse that my Mom bought me. The iPod was old and so was the phone charger. The Cheerios will soon go stale and I have another snack bag. Locks can and will be changed. And that Macy's gift card that I was saving, well buy yourself something nice.

And God Bless You. Seriously.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Join the Club

I was having a rough day: the Babe was busy and all over the place; the house seemed to look worse than usual; I had not eaten anything since breakfast; nor had I showered or changed clothes. I was feeling lonely and isolated and desperately needed an outlet, so I began searching the internet for playgroups or spaces where I could take the Babe, but also where I might meet and mingle with other women who could relate to my plight.

And I found something promising! But after a few clicks, I learned that there was an undisclosed cost for access, which might not have been a problem except that it seems ridiculous to pay for a class that meets early in the morning across town. So I kept on searching until I found a 'local' playgroup and was excited when someone emailed to acknowledge my interest, and got even more excited when I saw a follow up email this morning...

"Thank you for your interest, but we only serve this side of town. Try somewhere else, loser." (OK not an exact quote, but close enough. At least someone took the time to reject me.)

I might be overreacting, but this happens to me all the damn time. I look for services or activities for myself, my mother and now my daughter, and I encounter the same obstacles. Either I am not poor enough, or I live in the wrong neighborhood.

I told the hub, whose response was merely a shrug and an off-handed comment about not wanting to expose the Babe to such snobbishness, but as usual he missed the point. He has no idea how frustrating it is to feel so alone. All of my friends work. Only a few have children. My mother has dementia. The Babe is almost a year old and her most consistent playmate is me. And on most days, the only person I talk to is her.

Am I mad that the playgroup is restricted or am I jealous of those women on the other side of town? YES and yes. While I am always willing to take the Babe anywhere to leave the house, something tells me that I did NOT need the anxiety of membership amongst the Housewives on the Other Side of Town. There have to be resources and activities in my own neighborhood. Or I will just have to start my own group.

So stay tuned!