Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Never eat before bedtime

Okay, my dream. There was a prelude up to the meat of it, something about getting lost in San Francisco, but it wasn’t really San Francisco – it looked like a set on the back-lot at Universal. Anyway, after some random meandering, I get to my cousins apartment. (It is actually her old apartment manager’s apartment, from a long time ago, where I spent many an underage drunken night. Damn those parties!)

I get there and we’re just talking. She leaves the front door open, because in my dream the apartment complex abuts a forest. Outside I see a pack (gaggle? pride? murder? group?) of chimpanzees. I get up to go to the bathroom and as I’m walking down the hall, the chimps come in to the apartment and follow me to the bathroom.

What they do after is what makes me doubt my sanity and am now really curious to know what my psyche is trying to tell me … I’m in the bathroom and each chimp takes turns to fart at the door. What the hell?

I leave the bathroom and come back out and the chimps are all back outside, pointing at me and doing the weird chimp head-bob laugh thing that they do. I’ve had some strange and random dreams, but this one takes the cake.

My brain is a scary place.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My genes. Her jeans.

Not many of you know that Alzheimer’s runs in my family. (Gee, great.) Anyway, Nana is afflicted with this disease. I’m truly learning that if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, so I continually look for bright spots in otherwise dark situations. (Typically this is in the form of humor laughing at people. I’m mean. Deal.)

Back to Nana – growing up, and until she started developing dementia, she was always very anti-naked. A point of pride with her was that Popi never saw her fully unclothed. She held the concept that sex was only for procreation and never fun. (And you people wonder where I got my body/sex issues. Exhibit A: Nana.)

Knowing this, the next part is really kind of sad and amusing. Earlier this year, my cousin (who is Nana’s caretaker) would come downstairs in the morning to get coffee started and there would be Nana at the counter, reading the newspaper wearing a turtleneck, socks, and … that’s it. (Granny ass isn’t the first thing you want, or need to, see without at least one cuppa in you.) Apparently she LOVES her new-found freedom from pants.

Sunday my cousin calls and tells me, “We have to change Nana’s name.” I’m thinking something’s wrong, or we have to do it for legal purposes or something, so I hesitantly ask, “Whhhy?” It seems that good ol’ Nana has been stripping in the dining room. And I don’t mean stripping wallpaper. The woman is taking off ALL her clothes and not wanting to put them back on. (She will, but it takes some persuading from what I understand.)

My aunt thinks we should call her Bubbles La Rue. Any other “granny stripper” names come to mind? Another friend said Nana Rose Lee. I was going for imMoral Millie. (I’m afraid of what I will do when I’m her age. Run around wearing undies on my head?)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ani inspired

Recently I've had a revelation: I'm angry. I'm angry with my mom. Angry with my dad.

She's been gone for almost 26 years, and just now am I allowing myself to admit that I am angry with her. Mad. Furious. Angry for leaving us. Angry that my dad allowed himself to fall into such a deep and dark place after she died. Angry that I felt that I had to be the life-line for Dad. Angry that her parents tried to turn me into their dead daughter, instead of just being okay with me as ... me. It's actually not HER that I'm mad at, just the situation that her death created. There's more to it that I am not saying, but that's all I can really put into words right now.

This catharsis though has an upside - it is making me re-evaluate my needs. Not my wants, my needs. For about 2 years there has been this unknown feeling brewing in me, and finally I realized that it is my "needs" voicing their concerns. Screaming at me, "Hey! Dipshit! Focus here, we are not to be ignored!" For a long time I always thought of others first, put their happiness and THEIR needs first. Now, there is this realization, one of, "hey, this really is MY life. Perhaps I should start living it. Enjoying it. Reveling in it. Bathing in it. Being okay with ME. Knowing that I have value, in and of myself, and not as the offspring of my mom."

The realization that it is okay to demand attention for me, and not as a watered-down version of Mom. A version that could never live up to others expectations. Though some life situations may be untenable right now, the knowledge that the SITUATION sucks, and NOT ME ... that is truly liberating.

The song that has been stuck in my subconscious for the last two years is Asking Too Much, by Ani DiFranco.

And no. I am not asking too much.

Now ... back to your regularly scheduled programming.