Tuesday, October 30, 2007

SLAM!

Occasionally I wonder how I would be and what I would do in a life-threatening situation--like Tom Hanks in Castaway , or if I came face to face with a home invader, or if I were lost in the woods without food, water, or supplies.

When my mind travels on this train of thought, I'm usually thinking about courage. Generally, I see myself as mostly emotionally brave and sometimes physically timid. These can get mixed up, however: I like to think I would fight to the end to protect the people I love, including myself if cornered. At the same time, while I believe I am steady and clear in a crisis, I cry deeply when my heart hurts.
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Why am I saying all this? Well, it's been a hell of a week. Non-stop. I'm hobbling on a childish knee that out of nowhere has the nerve to need surgery, jb, also hobbling, is on an emergency flight to Colorado, my Mother is staying here while we carefully evaluate what's next and best for her, and today my household included a physical therapist, home health aide, cleaner, and a chimney evaluator. To feel and be overwhelmed by all this sounds so petty: no one has died, the house hasn't burned, there's food in the refrigerator. And yet the private me who likes time to think and walk in the park is hiding in the closet, curled up in a corner with my knees to my chest, thinking hard about how to stay above the frey, and how to pull that off with grace and humor.
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I'm mentally videotaping who I am in this circumstance. I don't want to bitch and complain. This, however, remains to be seen. My fuse is not that long. In the meantime, I'm temporarily turning to a joke or two. Here's the first installment.
Little Bruce and Jenny are only 10 years old, but they just know that they are in love. One day they decide that they want to get married, so Bruce goes to Jenny's father to ask him for her hand. Bruce bravely walks up to him and says, "Mr. Smith, me and Jenny are in love and I want to ask you for her hand in marriage."
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Thinking that this was just the cutest thing, Mr. Smith replies, "Well Bruce, you are only 10. Where will you two live?"Without even taking a moment to think about it, Bruce replies, "In Jenny's room. It's bigger than mine and we can both fit there nicely."
.
Still thinking this is just adorable, Mr. Smith says with a huge grin, "Okay then how will you live? You're not old enough to get a job. You'll need to support Jenny."Again, Bruce instantly replies, "Our allowance. Jenny makes 5 dollars a week and I make 10 dollars a week. That's about 60 dollars a month and that should do us just fine."
.
By this time Mr. Smith is a little shocked that Bruce has put so much thought into this. He thinks for a moment trying to come up with something that Bruce won't have an answer to. After a second, Mr. Smith says, "Well Bruce, it seems like you have got everything all figured out. I just have one more question for you. What will you do if the two of you should have little ones of your own?"
.
Bruce just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well, we've been lucky so far."
Mr. Smith no longer thinks the little shit is adorable.

31 comments:

  1. I don't think your joke is funny and hope that doesn't push you over the edge KJ :( I'm not supposed to be NICE as a poltergeist especially after you did a table dance wearing nothing but a hat, socks and shoes. BUT you really didn't have to bust your knee when doing it - oh you have ALREADY gone over the edge!

    *glurp*

    Tomorrow is another day ....

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  2. Oh, I do hope that things settle down. Sometimes it all comes at once and it is so over whelming. But things will get better... and then it will snow:< I hope your mother is enjoying her stay with you, and I hope you find a suitable arrangement for her.

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  3. Good one, KJ! :)

    And you aren't complaining, in my book ... you have not one, not two, but 4 (JB's knee, your leg, your mom, JB's mom) immediate things that cause great stress going on for you ... and with those four things come about 12,836 other things to remember, plan, think about, consider, make arrangements for, decide, and breathe over. I'd be in that dang closet with a bag over my head! I hope things settle down and that you can get regular breaks. Please give my love to JB -- I hope all goes well on her trip. Big hugs!!

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  4. kj, I'm so sorry to hear your world is turned upside down right now, taking in your mother is huge, and all the knee injuries and JB away...whew.
    I complained about my winter chores for heaven's sake. I love to complain, rant if you will. I try to make it funny, and it helps to laugh :)
    Please call me if you need anything I am capable of.

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  5. The joke is very funny, but the rest of this post is not. Hard times you're in, KJ. Maybe the Dutch pictures I sent you will help to cheer you up a bit ;-)
    Hope the situation will soon be better. Take care now!

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  6. kj, give jb my love, please. Hang in there--you guys are doing some amazing and generous things these days. As M said this weekend, be gentle with yourself.

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  7. I do not like the joke. Any joke involving juvenile sex is not funny to me. Call me prude. Jenny's parents should file rape charges.

    You are not complaining. Caring for an elderly parent is a great task, responsibility, commitment and sacrifice. You are doing a great job. You have done a tremendous job since your mother fell and broke her hip. You and JB have taken care of her to the best of your ability.

    I don't think the US has the culture for elderly care in the homes. We have a fast-paced and a performance-driven society. There are very few siblings to help and if there are enough, they are scattered around. I don't think children in the US grow up thinking of caring for their parents. Even if a parent is not very sick, an elderly person needs company to play cards, watch tv, sit in the garden, drink coffee, go to the bathroom, etc. My father was ill for 4 years at home. He was bedridden and there were no nursing homes, nor our culture would have allowed us to send our father to a nursing home. He had 2 full time nurses who worked the day and night shifts, we had three maids, one to just attend to my mother's needs and a driver. There were eight of us children and only one was able to stay and supervise and care for my parents. My sister put her life on hold, even though she worked full time. She could not go on vacation without one of my sisters coming home to stay. It was very expensive and it cost about a $65.00 a day in a country where some people earned less than $100.00 per month. There is no health insurance in the country, my parents had no pension or social security because my father was a self-employed photographer. I am sorry, I took so much space but I just want to tell you that you are doing a wonderful job. It is not easy at all, no matter how good a case manager, counselor, professional you have been. Even with money there is a nagging question whether we are doing enough for our parents.

    It is not an easy task. Part of our planning should include arrangements for our own care when we are elderly.

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  8. hmmmphf!: you'd think anon and ces could LIE about liking the joke, just because i have enough problems already. now i'm also dealing with my insensitivity about this joke. i never gave ces' perspective a thought until she said what she said. but i admit, she has a point....

    otherwise, thanks for all the encouragement. anybody have any good jokes?

    :)

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  9. I don't lie KJ, not even white ones! Blogging is about different perpectives and we two that don't lie have a different slant. I also think a Carer's job is the most difficult job in the world!

    What does a bird give for Halloween?

    TWEETS!

    *tweet tweet tweet*

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  10. HAHAHA!

    If you stop and really think about everything LIFE can be completely overwhelming.

    Aside from humming the Pythonesque classic, "Always look on the bright side", all that you can do is to analyze your Life, compartmentalize each challenge, write it down, formulate a workable plan, set a realistic time table, put it in a drawer, and go for a nice, long, walk.

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  11. Ok, I liked the joke-in fact I reread it after reading the comments to make sure I didn't misunderstand. It's supposed to be a bit shocking, and then you laugh and realize it's a freakin joke. Further, I have things in my history that would cause me to be a little sensitive to "juvenile sex" but I understand that those things aren't happening now, and nothing happened in REAL LIFE re that joke.

    Now, I have to run because my father and neighbor have shown up to haul off the cubicle, but I want to give Sol a picnic table for his kids. I just wanted to say that the world seems to be upside down right now for me and a lot of people I know. Sounds like you and yours are joining in the mad tumble. Remember, we are all knocking around in this together.

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  12. anon, i assume this joke was truly offensive to you, and without hesitation offer my apology.

    he, analyze, compartmentalize, formulate, realistic timetable? oh geez, i'm exhausted already!

    ces, thanks for all your support, as written here and every day. you're always a bright bright star in my sometimes overcast sky :)

    debra kay, why thank you, maam. i like the reminder we are all knockin around together.

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  13. Hey kj. Consider this as just a bump in the road. You're doing fine, it's natural to feel overwhelmed.

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  14. I love the joke!
    I guess it is only natural that these sudden changes in your life make you question a lot of things. And surgery is always impacting, even if it is only minor. But I think you are doing a fine job of relativating all the circumstances, and you know it is all temporary. So I think you have all the answers in your intelligent pretty little head, you just need to share your doubts with a friend and get confirmation that everything will be OK.
    You know what?
    I think everything will be OK.
    Don't you know?

    Ces: you're a prude, it is just a joke. I'm totally against pedophilia and I cannot really appreciate jokes on that subject, children are holy to me. But it is clear that the joke about the 10-year olds is just that. But then I must hasten to add that a case hit the newspapers a few weeks ago here in Belgium of a 13-year old girl having given birth to a healthy baby and she was impregnated by her 12-year old boy friend. I mean: poor kids.
    And then there was the one of the 37 year old woman impregnated by her 16 year old nephew. I don't know, that kind of thing gets me worried about the world we live in. But then likely it has always been like that, only today it hits the newspapers.

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. pieterbie, i too thought the joke was a hoot. i am smitten with you for two reasons today:
    1. thanks for the encouragement, friend.

    2. my "intelligent pretty little head"? **blush**

    :)

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  17. *sigh* KJ, I am not deeply insulted, and the joke wasn't truly offensive. I just didn't laugh, it wasn't funny even though I understood it ... Ces is NOT a prude, just honest when commenting.

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  18. Pieterbie, how dare you call me prude!!! Only I can call myself prude. After I read your comment I got so hot I started stripping to cool myself off. The cop had to stop me!!!

    Hi Anon, I think sometimes, I need to tone myself down. I am lucky KJ is accepting and understanding. I push her with my opinions far too much sometimes. Once while having a pizza and Coke dinner with her she begged me to please stop and just eat the pizza, so I did.

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  19. anon, ces is honest when commenting? is the pope catholic? hahaha!

    ces, what a wonderful moment and memory when you actually stopped opining and just ate the pizza. makes me think of other moments when you ate the pasta, the salad, the pansit, the eggrolls, the corn, the breakfast etc etc etc etc etc when those honest true blue opinions come spilling forth and not even a prison sentence could stop those honest true blue opinions. and ces, i wouldn't change any part of that, you know. :)

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  20. Nobody laughed at MY joke!

    HAHHHHAAAAA

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  21. KJ, I live in a red state. I make the state red!

    Are you saying I eat too much?

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  22. KJ, may I please say this: Yes, Anon, your joke is funny and it made me smile. :-)

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  23. anon.
    ces.

    WHAT JOKE? has anon snuck in a joke here that soared right over my head?

    oh, maybe i should blog surf and see if i've missed something

    :)

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  24. Oh for heavens sakes. Ypu got your b;oomers in a wad over our comments you missed Anon's joke:

    "What does a bird give for Halloween?

    TWEETS!"

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  25. "oh" .... "OH"! I made an attempt to cheer you up again and all you say is "OH!!!!!!!!"

    I like my joke and hjope the corners of your mouths stick ...

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  26. Dear me, Ces, I'd never thought I'd get you to write something like this:

    'After I read your comment I got so hot I started stripping'

    I hope there was someone there to take a picture and that we'll be seeing this on your blog one of these.

    I didn't mean to offend, I respect your values, values are important.
    And as I said: to me children are holy. You don't mess with children.

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