Pollyanna Wastes the Day

Lyda here. I’ve been doing a bit of catching up on my blog reading (though obviously not my blog writing). As a way to escape the uncertainty of my life. Where the hell am I moving? What’s it going to be living away from my son? On my 50th birthday, what state will I be living in? And what will be the state of my mind? And will the state of my finances ever be better? 

And of course, as a way to escape the sorting and packing.

I just read Laurie‘s post about her Procrasticleaning. I feel like I’m doing Procrasti-purging – getting rid of stuff as a way of avoiding making decisions about my life. The cleaning will come later, because no matter how upset I am about my situation and the way my landlord is handling all this, I am too proud to leave the place a mess. In that post, Laurie also talks about wanting to look into other people’s spaces as a window into their life. I totally do that too. So often she writes stuff like this and it sounds like it is coming out of my head. But a lot funnier, and with more cat-hair references. But I digress.

Right now, I’m purging. I’m going through everything I own. Every book, every knicknack, every stick of furniture. I’m getting rid of things, moving boxes of books and piles of stuff into the “sell” section of the garage. Which is taking over the garage, and soon will threaten the entire world.

I’m only keeping what I love and cherish, what I need, and what will fit in one bedroom. Because at this point, I may end up in a friend’s spare room for a while and I’m so grateful that I won’t be sleeping in my car which I was afraid would happen.  

So – I’m keeping my bed, my TV, and my Terry Prachett books. My sewing machine, fabric, yarn, and computer are non-negotable keepers. Pretty much everything else is being evaluated. Do I like it enough to move it? Is it useful? Is it small enough to fit it in one room with the bed?

If I were moving straight into another apartment, I would probably take everything. But I don’t know if I am going into an apartment, or my friend’s bedroom, or moving out of state. The not-knowing is driving me nuts, even though it is my own doing – just make a decision already!

But I’m choosing to use this as an opportunity to purge with a capital P. How many vases does one woman need? A woman who does not often get flowers from admirers and by “often” I mean “never”? Not a zillion, that’s for sure. I only get flowers when I buy them for myself, and because of the four-footed demons I live with and also my finances, I haven’t bought myself flowers in a very very long time. I used to get myself daises – they are cheerful and inexpensive and they last a long time. Perhaps I will do that again after I move.

The other day I was upstairs doing something at work – probably filing, I have such a glamorous job – and when I came back to my desk there was a vase of lovely flowers and also three helium balloons. One of the balloons said “Happy Anniversary!” I was very surprised and also rediculously pleased because I just recently had my one-year anniversary at work, and I thought one of my bosses had sent me flowers.

But there wasn’t a card, and I was puzzled by that and I kind of knew they weren’t for me. I moved the vase – which was blocking my work space – and got back to work. And about 15 minutes later, one of my coworkers came into my office and picked up  the vase and asked why I had moved her flowers and “did you think someone had sent you anniversary flowers?”

Oh, I don’t know. They were sitting on MY desk.

She had put them there for some reason she did not explain – because my desk is just a waystation for random items that people need to set down for a few minutes? – and then come back to collect them as she left the building for the day. At 2 p.m., but who am I to notice such things?

It was stupid, but it hurt that she was so dismissive of the possibility that I could receive anniversary flowers. I could have had a torrid but brief love affair with a man romantic enough to send me flowers every year on the day we had met. It could have been the anniversary date of my Pulitzer Prize. It could have been the anniversary of my sex-change operation. How would she know? This casually cruel remark of hers cut me too deep. I know I’m tender right now – what with my whole life going up in flames and not knowing where I’m going to live or if I can keep my cats or see my son regularly, or if I’ll get hauled off to debtor’s prison at any moment. But still – what is wrong with people being just civil to each other? Especially someone who is using  my desk as their dumping station? But I digress again.

And then, on November 10th, I was wondering all day why the date seemed significant. Important work deadline? No. Family birthday? No. Historic milestone? Nope.

And then I remembered.

Twenty-five years ago, I married the father-to-be of my child on November 10th. Weird to think that it could have been my silver wedding anniversary. Perhaps in an alternate reality, it was. Perhaps in that other universe, we happily toasted each other and our lives together and made plans for the next twenty-five years of our lives together, and our son and his younger siblings rolled their eyes but secretly enjoyed seeing mom and dad be all romantic together.

And for a bit, I was sad that we all aren’t living in that reality. And if that isn’t a Black Valentine story, Marin, I don’t know what is.

See? I have anniversaries.

Weird, science fiction alternate-universe anniversaries.

But anniversaries nonetheless.

So there.

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2 thoughts on “Pollyanna Wastes the Day

  1. Anna-Liza

    Wait, what about *our* anniversaries! The blog one, and the one when we met … although I couldn’t tell you the exact date, it had to be in the fall of 1980, because that’s when we put on “The Shadow Box” and we met because we were the sound crew. (Not “in” the sound crew, “were” the sound crew).

    Reply

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