It’s a wild ride.

I was thinking about the time I was manic. Picture it: August, 2004. I got hired to work at KidsPeace in Bowdon, Georgia, and it made me feel giddy with success. This was what I was supposed to be doing with my life! Working full-time and supporting myself! Now I could feel good about my efforts.

The job started at the end of the month. Before I moved to Georgia, I was living here at my dad’s house. An old high-school friend invited me to a party up the street, where several mutual acquaintances were living and sharing rent.

None of them (including the young man who I’d always thought of as my soul mate and childhood sweetheart) were glad to see me. I was ignored and scorned, so I decided to leave the party. After all, I hadn’t really been invited in the first place. [Blush.]

But when I left the house and found my friend outside to tell her I was going to go home, she begged me to stay. “Please! Please stay at the party! Don’t leave!”

She was buzzed. I told her, “No one’s happy to see me, and I just want to go home.”

“No!! Please, you can’t leave!”

I had to get somewhat forceful with her, because she was literally hanging all over me begging me to stay. Once I finally separated myself from her and wandered home, I could tell that the last nail had been placed in the coffin of my relationship with high-school friends.

I was manic, so my response was to shove the bad thoughts from my mind. Bye bye, bad thoughts. It doesn’t matter. Life is good!

So I packed up and moved to Georgia to begin my new life as a full-time late-night youth counselor at a residential treatment facility for mentally ill and unhappy teenagers. I was so freakin’ high on the fact that I was working full-time that my good mood didn’t deflate.

I made friends with my neighbors, who introduced me to a man the likes of which normal, non-manic Meg wouldn’t give the time of day. For some weird reason, we were all hanging out in his mobile home one night, and I urged my neighbors to skedaddle so I could be alone with him. They seemed hesitant, but they eventually departed.

The next thing I remember, it was morning, and I was back in my apartment, alone. I was thinking, “It’s no big deal. It doesn’t matter. Life goes on.” To this day, I have no clue what he and I did together. I have a hazy image of his dark, mysterious bedroom and of his bare chest. No clue.

One of the residents at KidsPeace asked me, “Are you always in a good mood?” And I said, “Yeah, pretty much, I guess,” with a shrug. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

I’d go to wild parties and play truth-or-dare with abandon. I’m ashamed to write the dares I partook of, but my neighbor, who later became a coworker as well, was quick to tell everyone at KidsPeace about my exploits in graphic detail.

I never locked my apartment, and I allowed my beloved spaniel, Echo, to run free by a major highway instead of taking her out on a leash. I don’t know what I was thinking. It’s likely, too, knowing how evil my coworkers were, that they broke into my apartment on their off-nights and went through everything to find info they could use against me. (I’m not exaggerating their evil ways. I wish I were.) The ringleader was one Gail Teresa Lackey, a lowlife cretin who is lower than primordial ooze mixed with sewer waste. Just worse.

Then there was a crash. In late winter, early spring of 2005, the situation with my bullying coworkers collapsed around me. I went off my antidepressant. I’d been taking it out of habit because a general doc had prescribed it a few years prior after a five-minute visit. (Why, why, why, why, why do doctors always guess “depression” before anything else? Use your brain, doctors! There are other mental illnesses in the world!)

I figured I didn’t need the drug and that taking it was pointless. In retrospect, going off it may have been a mistake.

My coworkers started making casual comments around me about the “trigger” spanking issue I have. To be clear, I never told them it was an issue for me. But if they broke into my apartment (which I can see them doing), they could’ve read my diaries or something.

But I thought the universe was conspiring against me, that Evil Spirits were making everyone in my presence mention the issue. (“Did your daddy ever spank you?” This was a clueless male coworker who laughed mirthfully when he randomly asked, as if he was in on a joke. “Oh, my kid misbehaved last night. I let her have it with the hairbrush.” That was Gail. She’s really a sad waste of humanity. I know this is probably wrong of me, but often, I pray that she’s dead. It’s possible. She’s nowhere on social media. It’s also possible she’s doing hard time. She was the one who poisoned me with Alka-Seltzer for laughs. That’s actually a felony.)

That trigger situation repeated itself with maybe six or seven coworkers in rapid succession, and I lost my sanity. The Evil Spirits wanted me to suffer. It took years to realize that the true darkness lies within the hearts of humans.

I didn’t get good psychiatric care in Georgia. The psychiatrist I was referred to was the walking ego type. I explained that my coworkers were out to get me (true), and he didn’t believe me one bit. He chalked it up to mental illness, rather than its causing mental illness. He sort of said, “You’re just paranoid. I’m sure your coworkers aren’t really out to get you. There, there, little crazy person.”

I moved home from Georgia. My parents, who must’ve been clueless, kept saying to me, “You need to find another job.” And I kept explaining that the Evil Spirits wouldn’t allow me to function at work because they didn’t want me to succeed. You’d think my dad would’ve realized that was crazy talk, but he kept pressuring me to find new employment. I tried my hardest. After all, it was what was expected of me.

So I went back to work part-time at the reading center in early 2006. I was working with a bright five-year-old girl one day when her little sister got a spanking in the lobby. I heard it. We all heard it. That night, I tried to kill myself. I didn’t even know why, because I’d already blocked the incident out. I thought I was just embarrassed over something silly I’d said to a coworker. The spanking incident was a hazy memory in my mind, as if it had happened years ago and not hours ago.

There I was in the mental hospital, bored senseless. I attended a learning session on the unit about how to journal. It was excruciating. The man told us, “You can write in a blank book. You can write in a notebook. You can use your computer. You can write a poem. You can write a letter. You can write to a friend.” I’m surprised he didn’t teach us the alphabet. Afterward, when I met with my doctor on the unit, I swore I’d never try to kill myself again if he’d just release me.

After I got home, I went back to work at the reading center for the rest of the summer (as had been our employment agreement). I had no memory of why I’d tried to kill myself, and I still expected myself to function in the workplace and be successful.

About a year later, after a handful of other failed job attempts, I talked myself off the ledge of suicide and finally realized I needed to quit working. Yes, it was expected of me, but who the hell cared? I’d never go back to work, I vowed, unless I darned well wanted to. I applied and was approved for federal disability within three months.

Recently, I filled out their paperwork that they use to determine if I’m still disabled. My perky, upbeat attitude had them saying, “We want you to meet with our psychiatrist, because you seem as if you might be fine.” See, I have a great attitude, but it makes people disbelieve what I’ve experienced and how I still perceive reality.

So I had to meet with this guy maybe a year ago. I had to get really personal and tell him stuff about my childhood. He asked, “Which of your parents committed this abuse against you?”

“Both.”

He flinched. “I see. You want to keep your disability? Run along and get outta here. I got it covered.”

Anyway, I was discussing mania, right? The only other times I’ve been manic were brief and usually involved my foolish decision to quit taking all my meds. But that’s another story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great news: Mr. Kitty and Luna Petunia kissed each other, and then Luna Petunia took an innocent sniff as Mr. Kitty sauntered away! It’s love! They’ll be best friends forevermore!

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I attended my best friend’s sister-in-law’s wedding, several years ago, it was during a time of unemployment, and I was not able to buy the new couple a gift.

Instead, knowing that they would be visiting my hometown during their honeymoon, I arranged to have a lovely bouquet of flowers placed in their hotel room on my behalf. I also offered to take them on a tour of a well-known tourist destination, as I had a pass and their tickets would be comped. It was my way of making up for what I felt was the faux pas of not getting them a traditional gift.

Several weeks later, my best friend phoned me. Apparently his sister-in-law and her husband felt very uncomfortable with my gift; my best friend noted that mine was the only present in their suite and that it was “weird” and “super awkward” of me to do that.

Needless to say, I was mortified that my altruistic gesture would be so horribly misinterpreted. While I assured my best friend of the best of my intentions (I fully explained the situation, my unemployment, etc.), and offered my profound apologies to the new couple, I have never fully forgotten this incident.

Looking back on it now, was I wrong to do such a thing? Should I have taken a different route altogether?

GENTLE READER: While normally Miss Manners would have flocked to your rescue to defend the sweet gift of flowers and a tour, she does admit that something is a little weird: the offer to join them on their travels.

In this age, when couples may live together for 10 years before getting married, honeymoons may well have lost their original romantic intent and meaning. But you rather explicitly pointing that out will not likely produce the gratitude for which you were hoping. (c) MISS MANNERS

Really, Miss Manners? This woman has been beating herself up for years, and you have to be RUDE and tell her she was wrong? THAT’S NOT MANNERLY!!!

I’m steamed. Geez.

I think it’s awful to spend years feeling embarrassed. AARGH. Once things are said and done, you can’t go back and undo them; for that reason, Miss Manners should’ve tried to put this letter writer’s mind at ease. It’s surprising to see Miss Manners be rude, given her name. On the other hand, her manners are “miss”ing. Maybe that explains it.

Here we have Dear Abby:

DEAR ABBY: I am currently dating someone, and although it hasn’t been that long, so far everything has been great. We each have two children from previous relationships. We have discussed the topic of marriage, having a child of our own and have even considered adoption.

One day he told me he wanted to tell me something. He ended up saying that before going into the military years ago, he “had” to marry his ex. Problem is, although they have lived apart for three years, she isn’t his ex. They are still married. He said they have no interest in being together and have both moved on. When I asked when he plans to divorce her, he said he hasn’t had the financial capability to do so. I don’t know how to take this news. Any advice? — THROWN IN NEVADA

DEAR THROWN: You need more information. Has this man been supporting his ex all this time, or is she self-supporting? Who is supporting the children? How much money does he think he will owe her if they divorce?

I’m not familiar with the divorce laws in Nevada, but an attorney who is licensed to practice there will be. It would be very much worth your while to make an appointment with one to discuss what your boyfriend has told you. You should do it before becoming any more involved with him. (c) DEAR ABBY

There’s actually an easy way to handle this situation. “Oh, okay. Well, if you’re ever legally single, you know where to find me. Keep in touch, all right?” It doesn’t have to be said with snark unless you’re really pissed off (which would be justified and entirely understandable).

And Ask Amy:

Dear Amy: Ever since my stepson announced his engagement to a lovely lady, his father and I have been treated like third wheels.

First, my stepson told his father that he shouldn’t bother showing up at the rehearsal dinner, but told us which part of the rehearsal dinner we could pay for.

His mother, “Jocelyn” (my husband’s ex), took charge of the location and arrangements.

Now married, the couple is expecting a son soon. The bride’s parents are utterly awesome and, like us, want a big happy family who loves and supports each other.

Jocelyn comes from a huge family with sisters, nieces, nephews and babies galore. She seems to be hell-bent on diminishing her ex’s role in both the son’s life and now, the joyous gift about to be brought into the world.

What her motives are won’t change how awful I feel both for my husband and for myself: due to severe beatings by an alcoholic first husband I never could conceive children.

I had prayed that I could transition from everyone’s favorite aunt to bonus grandma. My husband is somewhat resigned to his ex’s controlling behavior, but both of us hope to have some equitable quality time with our future grandbaby.

Moving forward, the next steps are unclear.

— Lots of Love Waiting

Dear Lots of Love: I can’t explain or excuse your stepson’s behavior, although if his mother is a bear, she will be even more bear-like and possessive during these big life-moments. He is quite obviously choosing the path of least resistance. So is your husband. Nice job, guys.

Yes, the next phase of your family’s life is unclear. You should enter it with an open and enthusiastic attitude. Your new daughter-in-law and her parents sound like nice people. I assume that their dealings with Mama-Bear-in-Law may already be challenging; you should be opposite. Befriend them, include them, invite them to get to know you better, and be a loving, generous and low-pressure “bonus” grandmother.

Your husband needs to find a new way to advocate for himself. (c) Ask Amy

I don’t like the idea of extended family members staking claim to a newborn baby. It’s sad that this letter writer was rendered infertile, but hasn’t she heard of adopting, fostering, volunteering, and/or mentoring? Why is it that most people only want a brand-new baby when there are so many needy children of all ages out there? I know babies emit addictive, delightful, gush-gushy newborn-baby pheromones, but come on. This letter writer needs to do some brainstorming to figure out how to get what she wants in her life while sidestepping the family drama altogether (which I’d wager anything she’s contributing to).

 

Fixations.

DEAR ABBY: My 22-year-old sister is unhealthily fixated on a particular cable TV channel. She will only watch this channel and is obsessed with the love stories and relationship movies. This goes far beyond a simple “like” for something, and I’m afraid she’s using it as a way to avoid developing real relationships. She has few friends and has never been in a relationship. I have tried to get her to stop watching it, but it never ends well. How can I help her move away from the television set and into the real world? — FANTASY VS. REALITY IN FLORIDA

DEAR F. VS. R.: Watching romantic movies with guaranteed happy endings (if only life were really like that!) is your sister’s “safe” way of vicariously enjoying idealized relationships. Continue encouraging her to take some risk and join the real world by inviting her to join you in social groups. But until she realizes for herself that she needs to do it, it won’t happen. Counseling could help her, but she won’t accept it until she admits to herself that she needs help to develop the social skills she lacks and is willing to reach out for it. (c) DEAR ABBY

I don’t think fixations are the end of the world. I’ve had several in my life, and they always help me work through something. It’s possible that the letter writer’s sister is trying to come to terms with the reality that Hallmark movies aren’t realistic. While she works through that and overindulges in movie binges, what’s the harm?

I once spent over six years of my life doing nothing but watching television. It was during my uncreative period. (I was taking Geodon, an antipsychotic that took away my creativity. At the time, I just thought I was bored.) But while I was watching one episode of Frasier after another, I was internalizing the storylines, and now I’m a writer.

Back in college, which was in the late nineties, my campus therapist once asked me why I watched so much TV. I explained to her that I was trying to absorb the storylines so I could create my own stories one day. (Back then, I hadn’t written anything fictional at all.) She scoffed. I’m not making that up. My admission was downright prescient, but she didn’t buy it.

I don’t think those six-plus years were wasted. I’ve never taken any sort of creative writing class, but I have an innate understanding (I think) of several aspects of writing simply because I spent all that time watching TV and internalizing the plotlines, pacing, characters, etc. Would my advice to aspiring writers be to spend six years doing nothing but watching TV? Probably not. It makes me sad in retrospect. I had no friends, even though I’d spent my whole life wanting friends. I literally feared I’d run out of television entertainment and have nothing to do for the rest of my life. That was my reality. And I was young and healthy, and it seems so wasteful now, but it wasn’t my fault. My paranoia was off the charts, and the only person I was able to trust was my dad. Everyone else seemed sinister.

These days, I only watch TV as background. I still love Frasier and The Golden Girls, but I don’t watch them too closely because I know them inside out. It’s just a way to relax at night rather than a way of life.

Where was I going with this? I wouldn’t be too concerned if I were this letter writer. People work through stuff in their own time. It’s just TV.

One step at a time.

I wanted to share some photos of the carpentry I’ve been working on nonstop all week. It’s meant to make the stairs accessible to Luna Petunia, my massive beast of a doggie friend. I wish I’d taken some before photos, but this is what I have now:

DSC00651DSC00652DSC00653

See the third step up? I created that landing. What used to be there were three or four steps down with sharp diagonals and no maneuverability at all. It all used to end at the doorjamb. (I removed the door and no longer use it due to the redesign. The screws were stuck, so I had to use a crowbar.) So I turned those sharp lower steps all into that third step, and then I added the first two steps, extending into the kitchen between the fridge and the cabinetry. It’s been kind of a rush job, so it’s hardly perfect. (If I need a creative project in the future, I’ll make it look pretty and better assembled.) I went out today and bought a huge, 39-inch-square carpet tile from the local carpet-tile store to put on the new landing there, as you can see. I figured it would help Luna feel secure so she can get some traction under her paws. I attached it (and all the carpeting on the stairs) with a staple gun for safety’s sake. (When carpet tiles, in particular stair treads, claim to be self-adhesive, don’t trust it.) Unfortunately, I can’t remove that vent because it’s an air return. If I were to move it farther back, the air would have to travel a sinuous pathway to return.

That hallway paint is indeed phosphorescent. 😀 It lights up the house at night, and you can see it from the backyard! I’m a color maniac. I’m going to have to redo it, though, because there are chips and scratches in the plaster; and for some ungodly reason, I think the paint company discontinued those lovely shades of neon green.

If you closely inspect the third photo, you might find the issue that had me wanting to kick myself a few days ago: there’s no headroom. I have to duck about a foot to come down the stairs now. However, I’m not going to blame myself, because whoever designed this house a hundred years ago did a really bad job. (I love this house, but certain aspects of it don’t work well.)

Since I’ve got photos up, in the third photo, the grayish-purple door with the two blue handles is a pull-out trash container I built into the existing metal cabinetry. I put a wooden frame inside and ran some huge drawer glides. The plywood drawer holds a huge plastic hamper, laundry-style, which we keep a trash bag in. On the other side of the sink is an identical pull-out for recyclables. They both pull straight out, not at an angle like most pull-out trash areas. This affords way more space to throw stuff away!

I didn’t make the blue cabinets, but I did put top-quality blue shelf paper on them and new hardware.

I realized I can’t blame Luna Petunia for fearing the stairs the way they were. She’s ginormous, and her long, spindly legs couldn’t get traction on the sharp turns. However, she still hasn’t made it up here. But–and you will not believe this–she’s downstairs practicing on her own right now. She’s working on reaching the landing and going back down from that point. I’ve been giving her loads of encouragement and praise, and for the moment, I’m backing off so she can practice on her own a bit. I’m very proud of her! Until today, she didn’t make it to the landing. (Wait, Meg. The landing didn’t exist until today. Oh, yes it did, but it wasn’t carpeted. Gee, it’s been a busy few days!)

Oh. I also built the butcherblock blue-stained countertop. There used to be a hideous, peeling, sagging Formica countertop. I ripped it out and build and installed the new one after the plumber took out our shallower sink and then installed the deeper one. (He agreed to do those things around a week apart.)

Being able to demo and remodel the house has been very fulfilling to me over the years. I whine about how certain aspects of the house don’t work, but that fact has given me numerous satisfying projects. I’ve done the bathroom and my second-floor room up here: floors, walls, paint, ripping out poorly made cabinets in the bathroom and putting in a closet, etc.

So life is going well. This just in: Luna’s made it a few more steps up! YAY!

 

The codependency misconception.

My dad and I were walking Luna Petunia today when we encountered a very nice neighbor of ours who loves spaniels. (He has a house full of them.) He oohed and aahed all over Luna Petunia and inquired into Sammy Samson. We explained (as we have to so many neighbors) that he has rage disorder and is now staying with the rescue organization for spaniels.

I feared this neighbor would be critical, but he said the same thing happened to him once. Several years ago, one of his springers, who had thus far been a good dog, became massively stressed when the family moved to California. He explained that the whole family had been overwhelmed, and it was a difficult time; and it was more than the poor dog could handle. The dog bit both him and his wife on the hand in separate incidents.

It sounds so violence-free to say, “The dog bit him on the hand,” but it’s not like the dog is saying, “Excuse me, kind human. Please allow me to bite your hand.” I’ll tell ya, the tantrums Sammy Samson would throw were terrifying. And that was without his ever biting any of us (to the best of my knowledge–I still think my dad covered for him one time, but he won’t cop to it).

The man told us that he took the dog to the vet, who said, “Your only option is to euthanize him. If you find him a new home, he’s just as likely to go off on his new owner and do serious physical damage to someone.”

The man said it was the hardest thing he ever had to do.

“I’m so sorry you experienced that,” I said politely.

He nodded. “It was awful. Fortunately, our current spaniels are wonderful, but one is quite old at fourteen. We fear every day might be his last.”

True. Our spaniel, Echo, made it to just a few months shy of fourteen.

We discussed how Sammy’s with the rescue organization, and our hopes for him to have a happy life; we talked about how awful it is to breed spaniels to be tricolored rather than friendly; and eventually my dad and I walked on.

“What the hell was wrong with our vet that made her demonize me instead of telling us the same thing?” I hissed.

My dad, Mr. Equivocator, hemmed and hawed about how our vet had been in a bad situation with my request to have Sammy euthanized, and so forth. Blah, blah, blah. 

I’m afraid to contact the rescue organization for spaniels. I’m scared to death of what they’ll tell me by means of an update. None of the possibilities seem all that good. But often my dad and I weave tales of Sammy Samson’s perfect living situation in which he makes friends with the other spaniels in the rescue and stays outside at night (his notorious bad-behavior time) instead of getting in trouble for terrorizing humans. Going into the future, my dad and I might prefer to hope for the best rather than to ever ask for an update about Sammy.

The other man’s dog was also named Sam, the dog he had to put down. Go figure.

It’s amazing how supportive the neighbors have been. I’ve feared they’d be like, “You got rid of your dog? How unconscionable. I scorn you!” But no one’s been like that.

I finished the extended-stairs project for Luna Petunia, but she still won’t come up!! Groan. Maybe we’ll try again tomorrow. 

Dear Annie: I’ve been with my significant other for five years. We’re each other’s “person.” I’m more comfortable with him than I’ve ever been with anyone else, but there’s a catch. We’ve noticed a trend: that I’m better at taking care of myself when he’s not around. It’s not a conscious thing. I’m not intentionally sulking. But it seems that my depression and anxiety come out of the woodwork — I’ve been stable for quite a while — when I’m alone with him. When we’re apart — for example, one of us goes out of town — I flourish. I’m confused by this pattern. I don’t understand why someone I am so comfortable with seems to hinder my growth and well-being. He is a wonderful, loving partner. I have no complaints about how he treats me. We have awesome communication and talk about absolutely everything. And yet, a part of me feels trapped. I don’t want us to break up, but maybe we’re no longer a good fit. — Dating but Drifting

Dear Dating but Drifting: Perhaps what you’re feeling is the result of codependence, counterintuitive as it might sound. It’s possible you only feel like you can give yourself permission to focus on your own well-being when he’s not there. Check out Mental Health America’s “Characteristics of Co-Dependent People” at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/co-dependency, and see if you recognize yourself in the list of traits.

Alternatively, maybe your relationship is simply in need of a refresh. Take a trip with your boyfriend; try a new hobby together. Sometimes, all it takes is shaking up the routine a bit to remember why you fell in love with someone.

Finally, it very well could be that this relationship has run its course, and your anxiety is telling you it’s time to move on. If that is the case, it is better to rip that Band-Aid off sooner than later. (c) Annie Lane @ Creators.com

Oh my. I’m not sure why there’s such a misconception about codependency.

What codependency is: getting involved in dysfunctional relationships where, for example, you constantly clean up the messes made by an out-of-control addict instead of putting your foot down and insisting that if they don’t take responsibility, you’ll leave.

What codependency is not: being emotionally dependent upon relationships. Um. We should have relationships. They’re good for us.

I think Annie Lane is confused here. There’s no indication that the letter writer’s significant other is a user, an abuser, and/or an unmedicated mentally ill person ran amok. (Not that I judge. I’ve been there.) (And I got that info from the link Annie Lane herself provided.)

Annie Lane’s advice is horrible. I’d urge this person to do more things outside the relationship, which feels a bit cloying to me. Go out into the world! Make other friends! And then come home and talk all about it with the significant other.

Her advice that they should maybe break up is absurd. PLEASE don’t throw away such a good, solid relationship because of this! I think it would be better to set goals about getting out and about and forging other relationships (friends, family members, coworkers, etc.). Annie Lane agrees with me, but it isn’t codependency. (Oh my gosh, that rhymed.) It irks me that anyone would yell, “Codependency! Break up with each other!” just because the two rely heavily upon each other and don’t have many other close relationships. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water! These two just need some space to breathe. A couple’s therapist might help them set one night a week to go off and do their own things.

I also sense that her anxiety and depression act up around him because of some flaw within their dynamic. For example, maybe he’s unintentionally feeding her issues by giving too much concern over little things instead of just saying, “Nah, it’s not a huge deal. Don’t sweat it! That’ll resolve itself.” Again, therapy might help.

In fact, as opposed as I am to therapy, this is one rare instance in which couple’s therapy could help. Like, if you try to get couple’s therapy and one member of the couple is a domestic abuser, that person will fleece the therapist and act all charming. But in this instance, getting therapy could actually help them shift their dynamic a bit.

So You Know by Revenge of Eve

For fun while I wait for my nappytime pills to kick in (they’re allowed during times of exhaustion), I thought I’d answer Candace’s fun questions!!

 

  • Do you see a therapist? If so, how does doing so influence your life?
  • What is your favorite part of adulthood? Your least favorite (besides bills)?
  • Are the government officials of your country trustworthy?
  • How important, scale of 1-10, are leprechauns in the evolution of humans? 1-of least importance 10-required

I don’t see a therapist, and I have a basic mistrust of them due to numerous bad experiences! 😮 I’m happy for anyone who has a good working relationship with a therapist, but I’m a bit cynical of it for myself. I do, however, see my psychiatrist for regular medication adjustments (although we usually don’t make any changes).

My favorite part of adulthood? Oh, everything. I’m so glad to have worked through all the crap that was piled onto me as a younger person, so now I can express myself creatively and feel fulfilled!! My least favorite part? Hmm…. I’m not sure! Probably my frustration with myself for being unable to quit eating cake.

HA HA! I doubt any government officials are trustworthy. The best ones try to do what’s right for the community, but there’s so much money and greed involved that it’s hard to trust any of them all that much. At least here in the US, they’re not all that corrupt!

Leprechauns? Oh, definitely a ten! Where would we be without little green men? My favorite thing ever, out of all the things, is a rainbow; and I realized last March that St. Patrick’s Day is actually a rainbow holiday! And I was like, wow, I’ll drink to that!!

 

 

Why euphamize?

So, I’m still braindead from exhaustion and behind on my interneting. I’ve been sleeping downstairs for three nights because Luna Petunia wants to be with me, but she can’t navigate my stairs. Fortunately, I devised a plan that will involve adding a landing.

The bottom four stairs, collectively, shift the angle you’re walking up by 45 degrees with sharp, scary diagonals and narrow places to step. I tried to force the issue with Luna Petunia this morning, but she escaped her temporary collar, and I realized her apprehension is legitimate. Her long, spindly legs couldn’t find purchase on the narrow strips of stairs.

Here’s what I’m doing: the lower two stairs will become part of the third stair–it will increase in size, large enough to become the landing where you can stand and easily reorient your walking direction. Extending from the doorway and into the kitchen, I’m building two new steps that will stretch from where my door used to be (I pried it off earlier today with a crowbar while wearing some safety glasses) to the cabinetry. Tucked behind the refrigerator, it won’t seem too obtrusive and should improve the staircase experience.

“The staircase experience.” HA HA HA. Yeah, I’m still demoralized that my story didn’t win, but then I looked closer at the results. Here’s a link to them, and I’m in group fourteen. I have to admit that the stories placing above mine look really good. Only one posted on the forum, the winning story. It was very creative, but I thought the writer took too many liberties with the concept of a reading teacher. He used detectives who were “reading” the room for clues. Hmm. But that quibble aside, it was a very creative and unique tale! For one thing, its use of noise pollution (for which I used an irritating lawnmower) was a sonic boom.

The other stories above mine, like I said, didn’t post in the forum; but their synopses look really killer. So I think there was just a lot of competition. On the other hand, I’m not sure if the judges liked my story:

”Murder and Mayhem at the Killingsworth Learning Center” by Meg Kimball – WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY – {1955} Funny story. The action moves along nicely and the situation, especially the discussion during the staff meeting, is comical. The lawnmower interruptions are also funny. And nice job tying “Hey” into the story throughout. {1651} I enjoyed the world of the story and how you’ve developed the main character through her experience of this tedious pronunciation meeting. The gentle humor adds to the enjoyment of the story. {1788} The narrative was populated with distinctive and amusing characters, a lovely asset in a mystery work, with Luanne’s honesty and inquisitive nature setting her apart. Additionally, the author did an excellent job switching the mood of the meeting from a convivial one to a suspenseful one. The clues were dispensed skillfully in the well-paced plot. In particular, the EpiPen was a very telling hint about Schubert’s role in the mystery.

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK – {1955} Consider using imagery to describe how “slightly” overweight Ingrid is (and cutting that word), so the reader can see her. Also, consider replacing other uses of -ly ending adverbs with body language or imagery to deepen the sense of setting. Consider revising “Flo seems angry” to a description of her body language, so the reader can see her “seeming” anger. Consider stretching the range of emotions (what about one hysterical character?) in the scene where Schubert and Rhiannon pass out and adding more physicality to the characters. Also, revising the line, “Flo is in full angry-lecture mode now,” into body language would help the reader get a stronger sense of character. {1651} “To die for” traditionally means that you love something, which makes your opener contradictory and thus, confusing. The confession that Suzanna has been sleeping with Schubert makes Suzanna the most likely suspect, which makes the reveal obvious. I’d recommend finding a way to divert us from the path by bringing up other suspects in the classroom and giving them equally solid motives for hurting/killing the owners. {1788} To deepen Schubert’s motive further, the author should consider depicting or addressing the animosity between the couple before revealing the affair. This would steadily show that all is not well in their marriage before Schubert’s accused by Luanne. What if Luanne heard the two of them bickering the morning of the meeting? What if she noticed that Rhiannon was distant whenever the two of them were in the same room? If the right seeds get planted in the beginning, then the reader will see the affair coming, laying the foundation for Suzanne’s emotional response and Schubert’s duplicitous plan. “Murder and Mayhem at the Killingsworth Learning Center” is a rewarding mystery with much to applaud. Once the author amplifies the animosity between the married couple in the first half, it will be that much stronger.

AARGH!! Oh well. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.

Image result for figure skating fall

(Sasha Cohen makes it seem so glam, doesn’t she? She’s sort of saying, “I’ve fallen onto the ice, but I’m still multihued.”)

I took some nappytime pills. (It’s allowed.) I really need to take a nap up here in my own bed. The pills should kick in within the hour, I’d hope.

I should’ve gotten rid of the door a long time ago. It really opens up the space. The door used to hit the cabinetry and only open partway. Now that it’s gone, it’s a massive improvement. Whenever I walk down the stairs, it feels so much more open.

Luna’s going to the new vet tomorrow! The receptionist sounded really nice on the phone. We’ve encountered many neighbors who want to know all about Luna… and Sammy Samson. Gossipy tongues are wagging. 😀 We’ve just been telling everyone that Sammy has rage disorder… which is the truth. Why not scandalize the neighbors with the colorful truth, after all?

Like, “Say, I haven’t seen your husband lately.”

“Oh. He was having an affair with the nanny, so I kicked him out.”

HA HA HA! Why euphamize?

I’m tired. Those pills might be kicking in at long last. I need some tea. To my blogger friends, I promise to catch up on your blogs as soon as my energy is restored! 🙂