Sorry I’ve been away so long. You all probably think I won the lottery or changed to a better job or went on vacation with Mrs M to someplace warm and steamy, with the emphasis on “steamy.” Nope. Not yet. I’m still hoping because there’s still a slim chance if I buy a ticket.
I got a little advance warning on the impending crash of the wave of depression, so some of you were perceptive enough to pick up on it. I think. I may have mentioned it. Because it sucks. Well, crash it has. I like Christmas, I just hate that I have to ride around in this semi-animated corpse pretending everything is great including me. Yeah, you’ve heard the cheer on your radios because it’s after Hallo-fucking-ween: “Voices singing let’s be jolly, fuck the halls with bouts of folly.”
Well, everything IS great, on the spreadsheet. Except finances, and my job, and my car’s check engine light, and my teeth still not fixed, and my wife and kids demanding indentured servitude without the terms of severance or the income. Wikipedia says “The employer is often permitted to assign the labor of an indenture to a third party.” And it’s true, we have a new dog the kids have named “Scruffy,” and my labor has been assigned, on an as-needed basis, to serve “Scruffy.” And this without relief from the other duties two of my friends tease me about. They say I’m “a good wife.”
On the spreadsheet, I have a job. I have a car. I have a house. I have a family (and a dog). There is food on the table. The house has heat for winter (now) and air conditioning for summer (now). I also have time-released amphetamines for my depression. They keep me awake sometimes, they might help me focus a little better than the coffee. Oh, and I have coffee, which is excellent. Coffee is one of the best things on the plus side. These are great on the surface. Scratch it a little (because “Scruffy” likes that).
Under the surface a little, the wisdom of another “Scruffy” shines through:
That’s right, about the time I’m ready to kick life’s ass and take its’ name, life, or my feelings, or my whatever the fuck the opposite of mania for a cyclothymic comes along with a great big rainbow of
And it IS a gray rainbow.
I thought I was done with a project and it popped its’ ugly little head up again and said, “Remember me? Good, now prove you did everything right, all over again.” So after I half-recover from the stress of this week I get to go through all that shit all over again, prove my numbers, search for the one thing the one person wants me to find, and if I find it, figure out why the rest of my numbers worked out right, and if I don’t find it, deliver the bad news to the guy who loses $200 dollars and does not get to pass “Go.” I was very careful and I’m 96% sure I’m right. It’s just a tiny “fuck you” from a universe full of those. Duck, or the universe will hand you a few too.
Remind me to never volunteer for shit again.
It’s been a rough few weeks for me, not from the plus column because I’m truly grateful for everything good in life: I have good friends, three in particular who have been extremely supportive. There are people who would murder to have that kind of morale support, and their lives tear them down regularly to a point where even my bitching feels like encouragement to them. And I offer it.
Add to the plus side: I have a car. It runs, and it depreciates, so therefore it costs me money. Depreciate is a big word that’s code for “shit falls apart.” I have a house, and I like it when it’s cool in summer heat and warm in winter cold so therefore it costs me money. I have a family that likes to eat, and I’m the biggest culprit for that. I have a laptop computer that likes to spontaneously highlight what I’ve typed and delete it in ways Ctrl+Z won’t recover, and despite this, I still like to write. Mrs M and the kids have their electronics, and we like Netflix too. The stove runs on electric too, so we have a bill to pay or three there. We also like it when the trash is carried away once a week, and we like our hot and cold running indoor plumbing. To handle the expense of these things, I have a job.
My minus column might not be bad if it weren’t amplified by depression and loudly broadcast through a few other things. Amplifiers take the existing signal and push it up. Amplifiers are good because they boost what you can’t hear and make it audible. It’s the speakers I dislike. The minus column by itself is fine, I guess. Nothing a little humongous lottery win, or death, wouldn’t eliminate forever. (I’ve got no immediate plans for death, just in case you read closely enough to grow concerned, so the only thing left is that HUGE cash windfall. Bring it. And AMPLIFY THAT shit to 12 out of 10 on the dial.)
1-The grind – I fucking hate the grind. I have a job, but there’s no reward beyond a sub-minimal paycheck. There’s no such thing as team. There’s “I,” if you want to promote yourself like hell and there’s “they” if you want to finger point and make other people look bad in order to make yourself look better, see also, “I.” I was temporarily under another supervisor’s thumb for a week. During that week of assigned indentured servitude, I was scheduled to be in early, and I was late once. A half an hour, which I realize was my fault because I didn’t observe the schedule change, and I was in at my regularly scheduled time. And thereafter, I had two days of adjusting to a new, earlier traffic pattern when I was in the office on time but not on the clock until 3 minutes late. And because this alternate supervisor is one of the “they” people, he reported my tardiness, all six minutes over two days, which my company treats to punishment, as if I had missed an entire fucking day. The remaining two days I was early. But I have a job. Would other people murder for my job? I think not. Just so Mrs M can hold her exhaustion over my head (see below) Mrs M has to have a job because my job is shitty and pays shitty. I’ve been there for several years and recently things have taken a turn for the decidedly worse (see above). There used to be grace, a few minutes, no big deal. But now, even though I always give a little extra in between and after just so my desk stays under control so my name and my conscience are clear too, and then try to help people get theirs done, there is only punishment and fear of more punishment, and stress, and accusation, and “I” and “they” thinking instead of mutual respect and consideration and mercy. In light of worsening weather and us getting a dog, I asked about working from home in addition to asking for a raise. Others make the same (new people) or more, others doing the same work are permitted to be home-based, but my request is denied because I didn’t jump when they originally offered it. I wasn’t ready for such a big change, and who among you with a touch of Asperger’s if they’d relish a huge change in their life. I didn’t toe their line, when they wanted me to, and how they wanted me to, so now work is dishing out “fuck you’s” and second helpings of “fuck you’s.” I’m supposed to be grateful and ask for thirds and dessert courses of the same.
Anyone hiring, looking for a guy who just wants to come in, do good work, and go home, or better still be home, satisfied at the end of good day’s work? I don’t mind staying late or coming early if the expectations are clear. I don’t mind working hard, and I do a good job, not that anyone I work for would confess to that. I do good work because I value my name and I want my company to be profitable because if they’re profitable it’s supposed to trickle down. But no, if minimum wage is “raised,” I get a tiny “raise,” but ultimately it represents a 50% pay cut because I’ve worked hard to be almost up to the newly proposed minimum above the minimum wage and I’ve almost reached the newly proposed minimum wage because I’ve been faithful. So go ahead and raise that and knock my feet out from under me, why don’t we ask the government? But the idiots who don’t understand basic economics WANT the new minimum wage, not realizing it moves a bunch of struggling almost-middle-class people who’ve worked their asses off to earn anything close to the proposed minimum, JINGLING ALL THE WAY back down to the new poverty level. I don’t mind telling you it’s frustrating as fuck watching the idiots who want to run our country…into the pits. Why am I despairing? I don’t know! (Is my sarcasm showing?)
Does the boss appreciate good work? With her lips she audibly says yes, but with her unrealistic, unmerciful expectations and her daily pittance, like some kind of Ebony Z’You’rescrewed-ge, she screams a silent, yet somehow much louder, FUCK YOU! (Oh, yeah, just for all the citizens and illegal fucking aliens of the United States of the Too-Easily-Offended, the name is not racist, and fuck you very much if you thought it was. Not that I should have to explain my intentions as this is my fucking blog, I’m feminizing and characterizing the name “Ebenezer Scrooge.” You try it and see if you can do any better.) But hey, I’m accustomed to being taken for granted, which brings us to broadcaster:
2-The family—I fucking love/hate the family. If they were any more “supportive,” I might drive into oncoming traffic as fast as my crap car would go. With my luck, and with my car, I’d probably survive, which deters any such thinking pretty fast. And again, that’s not a plan. You worriers! All three or four of you.
My friends say I’m a “good wife,” and they’re right. One night I was so cold I washed dishes just so my hands would feel the hot water for a while. My children do chores only when we are angry and demanding, which sucks for parenting. “I have homework!” is a popular excuse. Among others. I do chores because I’m sick of the excuses bullshit and because Mrs M sighs and says she works so hard and doesn’t have the energy for anything more. And she doesn’t have the energy. She falls asleep hours before I do and gets up maybe 30 minutes before I do. There’s no time or energy left over for Mr. M., which is just great. Wait, is my sarcasm amplifier still on? And if there is time or energy, there’s no enthusiasm. I’m another fucking chore to sigh through and endure. And in spite of this, please cue “All I want for Christmas is You.” The Mariah one, but pick your favorite if you have one. I like the album one, to be honest.
Sure, she’s lovely live, have you seen those beautiful red dresses? Of course you haven’t. Because there are no pictures of the lovely Mrs M online, and I’m not sharing. (I don’t mean Miss Mariah, although she’d be a hell of a catch. That SINGING!! Sadly, I’ve only really come to
wanton, reckless desperation wanting Mrs M for Christmas (and every other day of the year) for years, since I determined she only loves me her way, not my way, and only when she feels like it. There’s certainly no joy in doing anything extra that would make Mr. M. overly happy. If I beg and plead, it’s an even worse chore, “sigh, sigh, sigh, you’re horrible and I hate you,” say all the nonverbal cues, which makes me not want to bother, which seems to fit the agenda.
And yet, she’s beautiful and pretends she means well and loves me some of the time. I just wish it seemed a bit more real all of the time and was a little more freely shared with me without the stupid dynamics that I don’t bring to the bedroom for offering the same treatment, freely, because it makes her pretend to be happy for a little while.
When she feels like pretending I’m reasonably happy and I can almost forget she’s just pretending. It’s been more than 20 years, and I can’t exactly pinpoint when I realized she was doing that, but it really pissed me off and despite my efforts to recapture her heart, alas, I am only taken for granted and more is expected and demanded. Fortunately I “make a good wife.” My fucking friends are right. But I know she’s the one I want.
This is 100% true, so far, no matter how hard I flirt online with all you fantastically hot bloggers. You know who you are. Yes. You. Fucking beautiful souls and hearts, trying to tempt me and ten percent away from succeeding…because I hide in my bunker to keep you at fingertip distances away from the true depths of my heart, once plumbed by the lovely
3-Because this is a list of amplifiers, I feel obligated to have a third item for my amplifier list. I’m stressed out. I’m discouraged. I’m riding the wave and it’s cresting over my head. It’s so cold in the office I can practically see my breath. I wear layers to stay warm enough to keep working because my clients deserve good service despite the way our system and our management don’t help me. I asked for a raise because of all the talk about raising the minimum wage nationally, also because I found out that I earn the same amount now after my years of experience as they are paying new people. I wasn’t supposed to say anything. I wasn’t supposed to ask, so now they are punishing me for saying something. I’m not supposed to be upset about feeling punished, and I’m not supposed to be upset that my systems don’t work and I’m not supposed to be frustrated that my management is punishing me for little picayune things and for asking for a raise. And I’m not supposed to be angry and convey any frustration to anyone at the office. I’m not supposed to believe that I’m being punished.
I’m not supposed to be discouraged in life, in work, in my relationships. I’m supposed to suck it up and be a good wife and be a good indentured servant to wife and work and family and dog and volunteer organizations. I’m supposed to think positive. I’m supposed to continue working and believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Well, like they say in the Metallica song, it’s “just a freight train comin’ [my] way, hey, hey.”
But indeed, I am horrible, and I earn and deserve every discouragement I get. AND, the scary thing is, other people struggle with worse things than me. Other people have worse dental situations, worse financial situations, worse work situations, worse relationship situations (some people are fucking physically abused, for fucks sake, by losers who should be shot to death as slowly as possible.), etc. If I had a shred of manly courage I’d have a better job and earn enough money, and I’d also be able to fix the cars and the things around the house without routinely having a panic and rage attack when it falls apart, and wishing I had the cash to just call the guy who knows how to fix the fucking thing right the first time.
Lately it’s hair and fuck knows what else stuck in the drain pipes, and I don’t know what happened except a miracle: I’ve been able to fix that, after the panic attacks subsided and the desire to rage-quit was replaced by a strong desire to not have to pay someone to do it for me. My teeth are still an issue. I already need two implants, or the cheaper alternative is to have them just pulled, maybe a filling or two too. Maybe in March I’ll get the courage and the cash to have them out, and then decide if I want to, or if I’m able to, save and spend it on myself. I love doctors (see below) almost as much as dentists.
I can do little things, not big things like afford to put $3.5K in my face, or $700 in a doctor’s pocket for a blood test AFTER fucking insurance, or $1K into my car. I only want to help people, and be helped in return, so the universe in all of its’ fallen glory shouts a great big FUCK YOU at me and deals the shit cards out. I’ve taken to just calling the jerk who makes the universe suck, because I lack a more polite but accurate literary term, an “ass hole.” To spite the universe fucking ass hole, I decided to treat some dear people as nicely as I’m able. You know who you are, you know I love you very dearly, and I hope what I did was practical and useful and fitting… for you, however impractical and impulsive it was for me.
Because if the universe is an ass hole to me, it’s an ass hole for others too, and if I can lash out and flip two great big birds at the universe fucker by doing something nice in spite of my situation, then that is what I want to do. Fuck you, universe fucker. Until you stop treating people like shit, including me, I’m going to randomly try to do nice encouraging things for people. And if you slow down on fucking me over long enough for me to break even or get ahead, I’m going to do MORE whenever I can. What I did was so small, but it was very significant to me
Because I keep asking a question. I wish I knew where I should look to find a little, perhaps lingering, taste of the answer for myself, but I also ask for Mrs M and for my family, despite everything. Maybe if I figure them out they’ll learn and eventually have enough to share. I also ask for people I want to somehow help or encourage, in spite of the universe. Because if I need it for myself, I know my family needs it too. And if I frequently feel so empty, my family might feel that way too sometimes. I know it’s true if I need it, that everyone else needs the answer, too, whether they’ll admit it or not.
When I look in the mirror I realize, even though I don’t really have a clue about how to fix very many things, I know I’m staring at a tiny part of the answer. I don’t know what to do about work. I still want to maintain my standards, but I’m past the point of giving half a fuck about this company and the people who have me under their thumbs and enjoy the work I do. They seem to just be screwing with me right now so I won’t forget my proper place under their authority. So If you know someone hiring at a decent wage for good work, I’ve done editing and proofreading and writing and research in the past and really enjoyed that. (If I get paid, it’s not as crappy as this blog often is.) It would be refreshing to do what I like instead of what my current employer undercompensates me for.
“Undercompensates” is a big word that means “acts in cooperation with the universe fucker to make life more difficult than it should be or needs to be.” I think the universe fucker abuses the laws of physics and gravity and invented the contrary “laws” of relationships, to break precious things and break even more precious hearts, and cause unnecessary grief to anyone whether they can handle more shit in life or not. Depressed? Moi? Fuck that, I’m busy pretending like fuck to be positive in spite of the shit dealers. Because, for one, the boss wants me to smile while she’s fucking me over with barbed wire implements, and if I don’t like it, she wants me to pretend I do, and tell her “thank you” for the attention. And not tell anyone about how I feel, or how it, and the tools the company gives me to try to do my job, that fail to help me fully succeed induce panic and rage. At least I haven’t heard anything lately at church that pissed me off. But give it time. Christmas is when the gospel is love from God through scandal-an illegitimate child’s birth- and angels singing “comfort and joy” and “peace on earth.” After Christmas, I’ll expect it. If I get blindsided I might let you know. As for Mrs M, Christmas and New Years give me a better shot at being loved how I want to be loved. And I’ll keep trying to do the same for her.
If you don’t hear from me until then, despite how you may sometimes feel about messages either from the Bible or from some pastor (not necessarily the same original source), Merry Christmas, dear readers. Life may not all be “tidings of comfort and joy,” but we can try to encourage each other anyway. Like you encourage me. And if you have a chance, be a tiny part of the answer to someone, even if it’s not very much or appreciated right now. “This calls for patient endurance.” But if I can do it in my tiny, insignificant way, you can do it too. Try. It feels really good to flip off the universe fucker.