Wait, that’s how to un-stress Deon. And there’s only one who is allowed to do that because I promised, although there’s less of that than is needed.
No, I said FUCK because my laptop is finally dead until I get a new charger cable. I ordered it expecting it to ship on Tuesday and it isn’t here. It’s Saturday and I want to write, so of course my son wants help with his homework and my dog needs to go for a walk and my wife wants me to keep on cleaning shit that needs to be cleaned because I don’t have enough on my proverbial plate already. I made a list that literally covered an entire page of a yellow legal pad and I’ve done three things already. Make that four. Between interruptions from the dog and the family, I’ve been sneaking on Mrs. M’s computer just to write, which was also on my list. Because my laptop is dead. I like writing on the laptop; I’ve gotten spoiled. So that was the stressor last night, and I flew into a rage and washed the dishes, because that’s the only thing I can do with rage. I have to clean something. And then I drank something. It was a strong vodka tonic.
I was thinking while enraged, and I remember it, so that’s what I’m going to write about. If you want to stress Deon Mumple out, change something. So the laptop being uncharged and inaccessible last night was very frustrating, more I think than a normal person would feel.
And here’s the thing I thought about. Nearly everything in my life is second-hand, or old and of uncertain lifespan. Except you young things, you bloggers. I’ve had to live an overly frugal life, most of my life. The only people who don’t have to do that, I think, are people who should be paying their employees more, or who ought to have less of a god-complex when billing, or a little of both. Because there’s either rich and comfortable, or struggling, there is no in-between.
The middle class is dead. Have you been to the doctor or dentist lately? Insurance sucks, and doesn’t pay enough to make it worthwhile paying for it. The doctor’s office said, “let’s do a blood test to see what’s going on and get a baseline.” I agreed and went to the bloodsuckers at the lab who were rude to me. Because they probably get paid shit like I do, and have to deal with sick people, infectious people, and rude people, some categories may overlap. And then the bill came in the mail AFTER insurance and the test is costing me $700 out of pocket AFTER insurance. For fuck’s sake, did they use a solid gold needle? And the dentist wants more than a thousand dollars for a crown, not even a damned gold one, and I need two, so I’ve waited, hoping that money would come in. It kept on, keeps on, getting spent. Car repair this. Air conditioner that. Mrs’s car repair this. Kids’ “book rental” extortion that. Furnace replacement this. Homeowners’ association dues that. So what was left of the teeth they wanted to put the crowns on has broken.
When I was a kid, I didn’t know any better. I trusted adults knew what the fuck they were doing, and life wasn’t quite as stressful. Except it would have been nice to have had a nicer house, a room with a fucking door and not a tight space in the attic for my bed and my toys. I shared the attic with my three sisters. I got the cold Northwest exposure, they got the cold Northeast exposure. Dad insulated the top of the roof, but never finished, but what did I know? I was a kid. How was I supposed to know any better? I also trusted my dentist. It would also have been nice to have nicer clothes, but when the Christmas budget at K-Mart or Sears dried up, it was Goodwill if I needed anything extra. My parents spent a fortune on my shoes, it turns out. I had the “Forrest Gump” braces, and a buildup on a heel, so that’s where the money for my nice clothes and cool toys went. Dad made some things, including some of my toys and accessories for other toys, and looking back, despite his ADD which wasn’t ever diagnosed because doctors didn’t diagnose it back then, he did a fucking awesome job. I loved my *brand name omitted* indestructible airplanes and cars where the little people’s bodies are painted cylinders and their heads are painted spheres and they fit in round holes the cars and planes. Back then they were made of wood. One year, to go with them, he made me an airplane hangar and tower. Yes, it was a plywood box, but he MADE it. To go with my indestructible *brand name omitted* very green toy tractor, he MADE a barn to park it in, with room for the plows and furrowing toy accessories, and a farmhouse. Not fancy, but nicely painted. Some kid (my nephews) were playing with the farmhouse and tractor and accessories until they outgrew them. I can still hear my sister saying “John, dear, (AHEM) put away your tractor toys, please.” (No, really, one of my nephews is named John. I think the toys were eventually donated to charity, because my nephews are teenagers or older now. And if you still try to shop, and are getting an idea of how much things cost, You could go on line and Fish-fer-prices (AHEM!) all day, and you probably would NEVER find one of the mechanic garages or airplanes as nice as the ones they bought me. I was one of those play-on-the-floor kids, or a go outside and run around in traffic kids. They encouraged me to be as active as possible.
Because I had a tendency to grow, I sometimes needed new clothes, and for me, my parents made do with hand-me-downs from older cousins or Goodwill things, and I was content. Except at school, when the kids showed off their new wardrobes and their cool shoes that didn’t have mechanical appliances added to them. And when my sisters opened presents for birthdays or Christmas and there was a new dress or slacks or a blouse. If my mum had the patience to darn, if I had a hole in my sock she would have wanted to darn it. And as for “profanity,” that was about as profane as she ever got. As for darning socks, she was frugal, but not THAT frugal. So depending on how much I grew, I could count on one of my presents being socks or underwear, for either Christmas or birthday. And they were NEW.
Beyond that, new clothes were rare. Mum made home-made bread, which is amazing. She passed that skill set on to three of the four. I don’t know if my oldest sister bakes. She doesn’t seem like the type. But I like to eat, and have what accountants refer to as “slow cash flow,” so I cook and bake. About the teeth, I trusted that my dentist knew what he was doing back when I was a kid, and never expected him to be described by a future dentist as “a better bricklayer than dentist.” He troweled in the filling stuff and there were overhangs inside there that caught food particles until the teeth around the fillings gave out, and due to this malpractice, because I’m calling it what I think it was, I have two that now need even more expensive implants, or to just be pulled, and one that just cracked a little the other day. False teeth are less expensive than keeping what I have. Unless “starting at just $400” means they end up at $4000 after you add in the special things like auto mechanics add to pad their wallets. Buying tires? Gotta pay for “disposal fees” (someone has to toss that on the trash pile) and “valve stems,” like those fucking things don’t come as a part of the tire, and “installation” and “balancing” and “rotating,” and then “alignment,” because the mechanic has a kid in college and wants to retire soon. I mean, because your tires need these things or they will wear out right after the warranty expires.
Don’t worry, the point is coming. This is not just another randomly ranting and rambling Deon post.
I learned something about myself in the rage last night.
I learned I really don’t like that almost everything in my life is second-hand. I want new things. (Don’t we all, Deon, you fucking idiot? Put on your big boy underpants and deal with it. Welcome to life.) But no, I REALLY want new things. It explains a lot about my habits and my personality.
I like to clean. And now I understand the reason why: If I can clean something, really clean it, it’s closer to how it was when it was new. My *Brand Name Omitted* vacuum cleaner has a cylindrical sponge inside. When I take the sponge out to clean it, I wash that thing and get all the little dirt particles out until I don’t see any more dirt, and then I put it all back together, and it runs a whole lot better. I try to clean it about every three weeks, and the sponge was, over time, getting closer and closer to being a rectangular object as whatever crappy adhesive they use where they make those uprights that are supposed to pick up Dirt like a Devil (AHEM!) let go. So I did what any ordinary person would do. I got out some damned thread and stitched that thing together. OK, an ordinary person would figure out where to buy a new damned sponge. But I don’t have the time or resources, darn it!
As I was saying before I ran down the rabbit trails, I made a list of things to accomplish this weekend, and one of them was NOT learning a lesson about my quirky behaviors, psychoses, and syndromes. And understanding WHY I want new things and love to clean does NOT make it any easier that I can’t afford new things. Instead, I’ll dull my sensitivities and patch my brokenness with liquor and catharsis. I’ve got the catharsis out of the way. And I hear my coffee pot calling me. I made plain coffee in the morning, but I made weird coffee in the afternoon. It’s butterscotch flavored. It mixes really really well with scotch, which kind of makes sense to me somehow.
Mum got me the butterscotch coffee, and I tried it without scotch first. I really don’t care much for flavored coffee. I like my coffee hot and black and tall and Kenyan. This one is Colombian, not a bad coffee but with the added flavor, not very tasty. Until I added scotch. Yum. So I opened the butterscotch at Christmas and it was brand new. I got a little thrill again just thinking about it. Smells good. Tastes OK, but not a personal favorite. So today I added scotch, out of the brand new bottle I opened some time ago and have been savoring slowly. It’s delicious.
I’m going to have a cup, and then I might get back to my list. I’m expecting to be goaded into a few more things than I would have accomplished. I’ve already added making bread dough, so there’s that. The bread should be done by dinner.