2005-03-28, 10:32 p.m.
Much to my surprise, the weekend went amazingly well. Given the circumstances, anyway.
I got my hair done on Saturday...and to be honest, I'm not all that thrilled with it. It came out a lot darker and less red than I wanted (I was trying to get the blonde/mahogany look I had in September again), and a lot less blonde on the top. I didn't want to say that I didn't like it after three hours of work and all the money and it was Way Too Late Now to fix anyway, but...meh. It's just meh. Mostly really dark(vaguely reddish) brown with a few blonde streaks.
Though on the good side, I ended up ordering another pair of clip-ons AND prescription sunglasses.
I always wanted sunglasses as a kid. Big, dark, BLACK ones so that I could look cool and no one could see me. I used to buy those crappy $3 plastic ones in drugstores and try to slip them over my regular glasses. (Which doesn't work all that well, mind you.) I've always been jealous of people who could wear regular sunglasses, especially since darkened regular glasses just looks funny, or like I'm trying to be John Lennon.
So I was running around like a kid in the candy store in the eye doctor's office, trying on half the glasses there. Grabbing all the big black pairs that weren't some sort of funny shape, moving into the Designer Label glasses (oddly enough, a lot cheaper than the ones that looked like the cheap pairs you'd see at the drugstore), etc., etc.
So what did I end up with, you ask?
Wire-rimmed red designer ones. Pretty much like the usual glasses, but red and a bit bigger.
Once I got told that "we can't adjust the sides of any of those plastic ones, so they'd BETTER fit you well right from the beginning," I realized that most of the plastic ones would hurt my head after awhile...that's what I ended up with. The adjustable kind.
They look good, but at the same time it's kind of sad to not be able to live out one's childhood fantasy when you finally get the opportunity to.
I also got to do a wee bit of shopping. One of the post-Christmas presents I got this year at the Gottschalks in Tracy somehow managed to NOT get its anti-theft tag taken off, nor did it set off the alarm when we left, so we had to go by there and get the thing taken off (yeah, this got put off late). Naturally we set off the alarm going into the store, but nobody noticed.
While we were there getting the thing removed, we each found some $5 sweaters, and I found a gorgeous teal/lavender skirt, which I decided I was going to wear for Easter. I didn't end up doing so because well, it was pouring rain (another reason why I hate Easter in March), but there was another problem. You guessed it, we came home with yet ANOTHER anti-theft tag that didn't set off the alarm in the slightest. So while I'm trapped at home for the next 2-3 weekends (more on that later), we'll have to haul ass to that store AGAIN to get the damn thing off. I swear, do they WANT us to steal here?
Easter at Aunt Susie's was low-key. Most of the time we all just laid around the living room watching crappy movies (Saving Silverman, Orange County, the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap, King Arthur...etc, etc.) and/or possibly eating candy all day. I got a massive amount of knitting done on the skirt I'm making, and it is almost done. I may actually get this sucker done by the end of March the way I wanted to. This is so exciting to see it go and go. (Though I'm not looking forward to blocking the sucker while the CC is closed and I can't easily borrow an iron. Leaving wet skirt on the coffee table for a week since the kittens got more hyper will not be fun.)
It definitely helps to have other people around during Dad's daily disasters. Finally, SOMEONE ELSE can help wrangle the wheelchair indoors. SOMEONE ELSE can actually carry heavy objects can wrestle Dad's cushions into place before he sits (you would not believe the drama that comes from his cushions not being Absolutely In The Right Place). SOMEONE ELSE can tell Mom that Dad really shouldn't be being picked up by her all the time now and that he's obviously unable to help her in any way. Not that she'll do anything about it beyond wait for disaster to definitively occur, but Aunt Susie has more credibility than I do, at least. She kept telling Mom, "What happens if your back locks up? What if you have to call the ER? You don't want to wait until it's too late and you have to put him in a home."
Mom's responses to this were along the lines of, "But it costs $25 an hour to get help!" and "If he can just hang on till the end of tax season..." And everyone else can't help but see that him making it without disaster until April 15...isn't likely. Hell, he already toppled over out of the shower Saturday morning (I selfishly have to admit that I'm glad I was at the hairdresser's and missed this or else I definitely would have been forced to see Dad naked), and she told me she's afraid to go home and be alone with him any more. I think that's part of why she's begging me to come home more, so she's not alone. Course, I pointed out to her that I'm even worse in a Dad-crisis than she is, still can't pick him up, and get kind of uselessly hysterical to boot. But as usual, that boiled down to "I have nobody else but you, sweetie"-type talk. (God, I hate being called "sweetie." Any time "sweetie" is pulled out, it means Very Bad Things will soon be happening.)
I am now obligated to go home and "help Mom clean" for most of April, except for the weekends (sadly, only two of these) where I am obligated to be in my town. Because Cousin Pam is coming to visit for Mom's birthday and for whatever incredibly insane reason, Mom said she could stay at our house. (Why she can't get a hotel, or stay at Aunt Susie's which can hold tons of people, I don't know.) There's no way that guest bedroom can be cleaned out. Every space is filled. Hell, in the living room alone, you can't sit on the furniture because it's all covered in papers except for Dad's wheelchair and handicapped armchair. She is obviously deluded that this can be cleaned up to Family Standards in a couple of weekends with just me "helping" in every wrong way possible and Dad having a crisis every 10 minutes. Hell, when I got home last night I found that Heather'd been having a party (alcohol stash from the night before still out on the table, out of toilet paper, trash can obviously having been played in by the cats recently) and the place was quite nasty even for us. She was so pissed off that I hadn't had the place sparkling for her, but since even when I clean it's never correct or good enough or right, I no longer bother trying to impress her. I was all, "Um, you want ME to help you clean?" Admittedly, I did do some cleaning after Mom left the house (the bathtub...well, ew, you don't want to know what state that was in), but I know we won't get anything done even if I spent a month at home cleaning, since I clean "wrong."
Plus she wants someone to be with her if/when things go wrong with Dad. Dear god, I don't want to be there when/if the bad things happen. I'm horrible in a crisis. And I think the crisis will come soon. Any day now.
Found out an ugly thing this weekend: my grandmother was on a feeding tube before she died. My grandfather wanted it out (and got his wish)...and Mom and Aunt Susie didn't.
This unnerves me no end, given the similarity to the you-know-what case. I'm not necessarily anti-feeding tube, I had to explain to Mom, but I see no point in keeping someone physically alive when their brain has permanently left the building (as Grandmummy's had by the time she died, when I was in the fifth grade- hence why I didn't know what was up with her, they never told me anything beyond "she finally died."). I'm not sure if she "got" that.
It freaks me out to think that whoever'd be in charge of me should my mind turn to mush would want me to live on no matter what. This was something that scared the shit out of me about Dave- he's one of the few people out there who would want to live as a vegetable if that's all there is. (Then again, he's agnostic.) And he said he'd want to keep me alive as a vegetable too "in case a cure came in 20 years." I in turn would argue, "They won't come up with a cure! There's hardly any cures out there for serious diseases anyway!" (Well, you know what I mean. No cures for the things my family comes down with, anyway.) This made no difference to him.
Now, stupid me, I thought my mom might be more realistic on the issue. And to find out that she isn't... I had planned on discussing my living will with her this weekend, but I ended up not doing it. I don't even know if she would respect my wishes or not. And what happens if my mind goes mush and she decides she won't listen to me no matter what? And if she's my only advocate (and she would be- and the next closest after mom would be my aunt, who feels the same), and she can still talk and I can't...who'd listen to my paperwork?
And then, of course, there's my dad. Who's careening towards needing a feeding tube anyway. He can still swallow, but he has to be fed by hand for 10 minutes per bite at this point. I pretty much know that he won't be going the quick and easy way- he did get raised Catholic, after all, and Mom would support hanging on for as long as possible, evidently. I'm not looking forward to seeing how long things can drag out when they're really bad.
But I guess it's good that those two agree, at least, even if it's not the same for me and Mom. Dad's situation is a lot more urgent.
I was going to write a cheerier entry than this, honestly. Maybe later. I think tomorrow I'll try to discuss something like scheduling dilemmas instead.