An Early Loss

6 04 2010

It’s somewhat fitting in a sad way that the last post I wrote about, Dude It’s a Dolphin, was a story told to me by my husband’s ex-best friend.  He passed away on March 1, 2010 one week shy of his 42nd birthday due to complications from pancreatitis.  He left behind his 36-year-old wife and 12-year-old son.  At one time, he was my husband’s best friend and his wife was my best friend.  In fact, it was because of our best friends dating that my husband and I were set up in the first place.  Over the year, we drifted apart as friends sometimes do.  We reconciled with them many years ago and then went our separate ways for good.  In hindsight, stupid arguments gave way to hurt feelings and a break in the friendship that would never be healed.  In fact, my husband hadn’t spoken to his best friend in over 10 years at the time of his friend’s death.  We had some mutual friends, which was how we found out about my husband’s friend’s death.

My husband was completely shocked by how deeply this had affected him.  They hadn’t spoken for almost 4 years, which was the last time my husband attempted a reconciliation with his former best friend in person.  Anyone that knows my husband, however, was not surprised at the depth of his pain.  At one point in their lives, these two had been closer than brothers.  His biggest regret?  He could never “fix it”, meaning their broken friendship.  There was now a finality to everything.  He would never again have the opportunity to extend a hand and have the hope of reliving the great brotherhood they shared so many years ago.

The oddest/best thing to come out of this was that my ex-best friend and I have seemed to mend our broken friendship in the wake of this tragedy in her life.  Out of the mulch buds a rose.  I didn’t want to have this chance to “fix it” pass me by like it had my husband.  It’s just one of life’s lessons, I guess.

B.W.

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Surprise! You’re Throwing a Baby Shower!

2 11 2009

Have you ever gone to a baby shower where the surprise is that YOU are doing the work instead of the people hosting the shower?  This happened to me almost 2 1/2 years ago when I went up to my husband’s brother’s house over 700 miles away to attend his wife’s baby shower being thrown by my husband’s sister and his mother.  I made the silly mistake of thinking I was a guest.  However, when I showed up, I quickly learned that this was definitely NOT the case. 

Like all grand plans laid out by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, they had planned everything down to the last possible cute detail but hadn’t thought about how long it would take to get things ready.  So, the day after driving those 700 miles to my brother-in-law’s house, I found myself alone at the kitchen table making table decorations for a rubber ducky themed shower and following specific instructions on how many of these doo-dads go into the cheesecloth, how many of those confetti sticker thingys get added and how long the ribbon needs to be to tie everything together.  Now, I didn’t start out alone at the table.  Somehow, everyone found other things that needed their attention in the other room.  My sister-in-law (the mommy-to-be) eventually wandered in the kitchen and asked me where everyone else went.  I told her I didn’t know.  So, she sat down to put these little goodies together with me…and it was HER PARTY that was supposed to be done FOR HER.

The day before (on the day we had arrived after DRIVING 700 MILES…no, I’m not bitter), we had piled everyone up into two cars and gone on a scavenger hunt to find all the necessary items to make this the most precious baby shower ever.  We went merrily through the grocery store, snagging this and grabbing the “Oh wouldn’t that be cute!” that and stuffing it all into the grocery cart.  “We just HAVE to have those!”  In the cart they go.  Sister-in-law likes this for the baby.  In the cart it goes.  “ALL babies need THAT!”  In the cart it goes.  Hubby’s sister wants this magazine and those candies for herself.  In the cart they go.  When we got to the register, my mother-in-law heads straight through the line.  My sisters-in-law both dally in the back of the line looking at the magazine rack.  Register rings up the total and the clerk cheerfully lets me know the total (somewhere in the neighborhood of $70).  When I “ah-hem” loudly and ask if that is all they are getting, they cheerfully tune up with a “Oh, yes!” and head straight through the line.  I feel the blood rise in my face while I reach for my debit card to pay for all the stuff, including my hubby’s sister’s crap that had nothing to do with the baby shower.  If I had been asked to do it or even forewarned that it was going to happen, I would have been more prepared.  The blatant gall of it all just took me by surprise and totally floored me.

Oh, but we weren’t through yet.  The day of the shower, we went to the pizza parlor that this shower was going to take place in and started to decorate the area.  My hubby’s sis couldn’t help us decorate because she had to work that day.  She left us that morning of promises to help when she got off work (about an hour and a half before the grand event), but didn’t show up until after everything was set up.  My very pregnant sister-in-law couldn’t get up to hang decorations and none of us expected her to.  But, my mother-in-law sat down to keep her company while I was drafted volunteered to lay out the tablecloths, hang the banners, set up the balloons and place the centerpieces where they belonged.

I had a very tiring few days.  But it was a lovely party, if I do say so myself.  I did get paid back the money for the groceries after my husband got on his mother and sister’s case about it.  They told him that they had told me my brother-in-law would be paying me back (to which I called a “BS”, since they did no such thing).  You can imagine how wary I am whenever it is suggested that we come to a “family function”.  I don’t know how much of the “family” will be helping with the “function” and how much I am supposed to take care of.

B.W.





This is NOT Denny’s!

21 10 2009

Ankle-biters need leashes, too!As I was walking my darling Angel last night through the neighborhood, we came across a woman pulling her trash bins from the street and putting them in the backyard.  In the process, she allowed her ankle-biter (Chihauhua for those of you not in the know) to run freely about the neighborhood.  Being a good dog owner, I had my chocolate lab on a leash.  However, size doesn’t matter to a Chihauhau.  In fact, they all seem to suffer from “Little Man Syndrome”.  This tootsy-nibbler yapped and yapped at my Angel girl and even went in for a little nip.  I kept my girl close to me, calming her down and waiting for the little terror’s owner to get a hold of the situation.  That didn’t happen.  The dog just yapped and yapped, lunged and nipped.  I finally turned to the lady and asked her if this was indeed her dog.  She indicated that it was.  I then asked her as politely as I could to please get a hold of the thing.  She called the dog a couple of times before it came back to her and we went on our merry way.  However, the dog came yapping at our heels further down the street and the owner never did anything about it.

It reminded me of a certain demographic of people who frequent Denny’s, IHOP, Coco’s, etc. who let their children climb all over the furniture and run loose in the aisles.  You know who they are.  They’re the same kind of people that allow their children to run freely about the front yard in nothing but their underwear for all the world to see.  They also seem to believe that a diaper is sufficient clothing to take a baby out in public.  Is it really that hard to throw a pair of shorts and a tank top on little Joey for goodness sakes?  Really?  Maybe it’s not a demographic necessarily, but a certain “class” of people.  Although, most of this “class” of people seems to fall into one particular demographic around my neighborhood for some reason.  I don’t know!

B.W.