Labor Day Weekend
2005-09-07, 2:42 p.m.
Long weekend. Looooooong weekend.
But not bad, all things considered.
(And would you believe it, this shit WORKED?! My living room doesn't stink any more! For the first time in a year! Between that and getting the flood stuff out of the closet, and the cats and smokers out of the apartment, nothing stinks in there! Amazing.)
He's a pretty entertaining fellow, and yeah, I suspect he's pretty much "family" to us and vice versa at this point, even though I just met the dude. It just worked that way, you know?
Didn't do much that night, really, since we got home around 1 a.m. or something crazy like that.
Did have one awkward moment when Denise called me while I was getting my hair dyed. I only had the damn phone on in the event of Dad-emergency, and when she called, I didn't have her number on me to call her back (and for some strange reason, my new cell doesn't save incoming call numbers. Why the hell not?). I ended up not calling her back all weekend. I really just can't make phone calls when I'm in the Bay Area *sigh*.
(And I feel especially bad about it because I found out today that she was in a car wreck! Car totaled, she got badly whiplashed/damaged/banged about, and without a car she can't do her grad program and will have to drop out for awhile. Good lord, WHEN DOES THE HELL END?! This year so far Heather, Chris, Denise, and Auntie D have all had car wrecks. Makes me glad I'm not driving and causing any myself.)
After the hair got done, it was time for the mandatory guilt visit to Dad. Things still suck there. Mom made us spend something like 4 hours there because she felt guilty. We really had nothing to talk about. (And really, what can you say? We can't tell him about anything happy because he cries and gets depressed. Can't talk about anything bad because, well, same reason.) Lots of falling asleep in the room, staring at the television... for hours and hours.
I asked Mom if she felt any less guilty after visiting him. She said no. I asked her if she felt happy after visiting him. She said no, she feels numb. Nice to know I'm not the only one with those feelings.
This led me onto a path of thinking that most people will hate me for saying, but... is anyone happy to visit someone who's sick and unable to communicate? I can't help but wonder considering I didn't see any other visitors in the ICU in hospital #1, and a nurse told my mother that nobody ever visits in the ICU. And at hospital #2, I've seen three people total. Dad's current roommate, his daughter came in for about fifteen minutes last weekend, couldn't come up with anything to say to him (seriously- she wanted to bring her baby in but wasn't allowed, so she showed him some photos, which he didn't respond to. Then she was out of anything to say), and left.
What the hell do you say to someone when whatever you could say to them is depressing and reminds them of the life they can't have any more? How are you supposed to treat an adult when their body is reverting back to infancy? Like an adult, or like a child? You can't really go with one OR the other, and there's really no good mix of both. What the fuck are you supposed to DO? No wonder nobody visits, or wants to visit, or enjoys it when they come- all you do is stand or sit there awkwardly and feel like crap.
There were a LOT of clan booths there, and we did some chatting around at them. On Mom's side we're (way distantly, mind you) related to Clan (Mac)Donald, so we hung out there for awhile, finding out how one puts on a kilt. I took photos of the process, and have put them online in a photo album. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of photographic proof of how to do such a thing (surprising!), though I did find drawings. On Dad's side, while we're named after a town in Scotland (cool!), there's no clan anything, just a district association. Hm. We went around buying up name histories and stuff like that, and I got some claddagh jewelry (I have a "poison ring" claddagh now, how awesome is that? Heart + poison- that's so me, isn't it) via Mom, and also ended up getting a $5 velvet vest someone was selling off. It was so cheap because they didn't know how to put in grommets securely, but I just stitched around them to keep them in place since I'm not going to worry about purple velvet's historical accuracy. We (of course) went through the shopping booths, and found some funny T-shirt slogans, "cat house" coins, and odd British food too. It was cool. I also did some Scottish dancing when they asked people to come up on the stage, which was interesting.
After that, we had to go visit Dad again. We didn't want to tell him that we'd been off having fun all day. So again, we just sat there for hours.
Monday ended up being a shopping day. Mauricio wanted to hit the outlets in Vacaville, so he came up with us again. I don't think he'd done any major shopping of the likes one is likely to do with Mom around, but he seemed to enjoy it. Meanwhile, Mom was feeling generous and kept offering to buy me stuff all weekend. Considering it was stuff I needed (for example, new tennis shoes, since going to the gym 4 times a week for 8 months was shredding my current pair, and a new vacuum to replace the one I had that died), I wasn't going to object. It was fun.
What also worked that day was finding that my apartment didn't stink, trying out the new vacuum, and managing to get 90% of the cat hair off of my papasan chair cushion with the help of said vacuum.
What was less fun was me being Talked To About at dinner that night regarding Dad. I can't help but kind of suspect that Mom and Mauricio and Mauricio's girlfriend all decided that I needed a Talking To about how bad I'm being, given some of the remarks I heard even before the Talking To occurred.
(*sigh* I really don't want to talk about this part...)
I'll just boil it down to the bare bones topics:
(a) "Your dad is still in there! Really! Honestly, he IS!"
Naturally, all of this MADE ME FEEL EVEN GUILTIER AND SHITTIER that I can't just snap my fingers and magically get over it for the sake of my father. And I just don't HAVE anything to say to him any more, even in a goddamned "letter." Yes, I KNOW I should resolve these things before he dies. But what's there to resolve and how would it be done anyway? I don't fucking know.
He was also going on about being close to your family. Yeah, I know he's from a place where everyone lives close to their families, and WANTS to. But man, I just don't get wanting to be close with mine. Talking to someone beyond my mom ONCE A WEEK? That boggles my mind.
*sigh* So that part depressed the hell out of me. But then again, what doesn't these days.