Monday, November 12, 2007

Medical cabin fever, mixed mental ages and Thatcher in a tank

Linda reminded me it was a three day weekend this morning by…..still being around when I woke up.

“Three day weekend?” I asked in puzzlement.

“Yes,” she replied, “so people don’t have to go to work today.”

“Work?” I asked in puzzlement.

Anyway, in Canada it is “Remembrance Day” and in the US, just to prove they are an independent break-away colony that doesn’t follow anyone’s lead, it is “Memorial Day.” Over here they fire of guns at 11:11 on the 11th, which I was about to say is what might have woke us up today only I realized it was the 12th today (and so I would look a right arse if I wrote that where everyone could see). In the UK, they don’t have the day off at all, I am not sure why, but I think it probably has to do with Margaret Thatcher. The way they tell it in Britian, everything odd or repressive is because of Thatcher: “Back inna day..” The guy at the pub will tell you, “if ‘they’ heard you saying that you thought the coal miners hard done, then they’d drive a TANK over your house.....that was Thatcher.” Then they usually cry and talk about how they’ll miss her and how small third world countries used to fear the UK because while the US went to war over oil, human rights and world peace; the UK went to war over an island of sheep. Any leader who is willing to do that might do absolutely anything (since it was also the only country other than the US to have an aircraft carrier….a very SMALL aircraft carrier but one nonetheless).

I really don’t want to talk about remembrance day because a) I am WAY too depressed today already and b) since most people don’t even know why it is on November 11th or which war it is referring to I seriously doubt, with the genocide’s which occur annually somewhere in the world, that the general population can even conceive of a day, much less a world, where you DON’T go to war. Bah! Humbug! See, now I am all irascible (yes it is a real word….go look it up!).

This is also the last day before my bandages on my gum and jaw surgery comes off, and it is pulling on my gums something fierce. Kind of like your little brother giving you a twisty on the arm (where you twist one hand one way and one hand the other) ALL DAY LONG. And this morning Linda decided to make us a smoothy. Which was nice except it was a “chunky” that had all the smooth running of hentz ketchup. She handed me my pills, I upend the glass and then I am like, chewing my way into the smoothy, with my pills choking me at the back of my throat. (at this point I am sure everyone is appalled at my UNGRATEFUL ATTITIDE toward Linda).

I put it down and demanded from Linda: “Go drink a pill with your smoothy!”

She said, “I haven’t drunk it yet.”

“Go drink down a pill with it!”

“Are you saying I should add some milk?” She asked.


She went over and picked up the glass while I was already enjoying the gagging and choking scenarios in my fourth grade/child like brain. She drank, or tried to and finally put it down and said, “That is a bit thick.”

“Did you try and take a pill…..did you? Did you?”

“No,” she said, “I had my pills when I woke up this morning with water.”

“Cheater!” I was totally obsessed by this, “Go take another pill!”

She of course refused and at some point I left elementary school and had the rest of breakfast. I just thought you should know why Linda often works so late. And why she tries to get me out of the house more often around ADULTS. I think I am getting the “mommy” syndrome where the mother is home with the small child so long she starts using words like “poo-poo” and “boo-boo” and while everyone talks about some late night TV show she chimes in about Spongepants. I am at home with the various parts of my brain which are given free license to go wild in reinterpreting reality. So now my nine year old trickster self, my 15 year old pouty self and my 30 year old, “I am a strong independent mature woman…who sleeps with stuffed animals” self are all so integrated together none of us is sure who is speaking when anymore. I am not sure if this is some medical version of cabin fever or if I am just having fun!

Anyway, some part of me has to go now because my home care worker is here and I have decided to tell them that I want my entire lunch to be….animal crackers. Oh, that is going to be so sweet, a zoo for lunch!



JackP said...

[Not sure how you stand on swearing, so I won't be offended if you don't approve this!]

For me as a left-of-centre Brit, the comedian Alexei Sayle perfectly summed up my view of Thatcher saying:

"People say, 'Oh, well at least you knew where you were with Margaret Thatcher'. Yeah - you knew where you were with Margaret Thatcher. You were fucked!" yes, I'd guess you're pretty much spot on about us Brits :-)

Sara said...

Mmmmm...animal crackers...

What's that old saw? "It's never too late to have a second childhood"? :)

Isn't it fantastic to be loved even as your real self? I am grateful every day for such things. I've been especially grateful lately, because I've been tantrumming pretty hard.

See, it's gravity. gravity sucks, it's totally getting on my nerves, and I'm tired of f*cking with it. Naturally, in my exhaustion over that whole thing among others, I'm taking it out on my true love, who is being quite kind right now, but will get his own back in time.

But that's love. Love is fantastic.

kathz said...

I don't think 11th November has ever been a holiday in Britain - though between the wars there was a big silence (all two minutes of it) when the traffic and work would stop. Perhaps that would count as a 2 minute holiday. There's been an attempt to bring back the 2 minute silence under New Labour and there have been attempts to make 11th November an official veterans' day - probably a celebration of war and an excuse to create more veterans. I expect it will happen too.

There was film of Thatcher in a tank which used to be used in parliamentary election campaigns. And before she came along it was sunny all the time - but actually she did signal a pretty dreadful change. In 1980 I was shocked to see people sleeping in doorways in New York because I'd never seen anything like that in London. Then I came home and within a year or so there were homeless people everywhere. Soon there was a carboard city on the South Bank, until it was demolished, and a homeless man started to live in a telephone box near us. (They got rid of the telephone boxes too.) Mind you, it's got a lot worse since. We were allowed to wear badges and even carry placards near parliament without prior permission in Thatcher's time.

Must stop, or I'll start going into a rant about "When I was young ...."

Elizabeth McClung said...

jackp: Shit, I am completely fucking against the degredation of the english language being dragged down the crapper by foul language, damn them! Haha, now that Thatcher is gone, only the vaguely mysterious powers of Euro are left to blame (actually I was sort of appalled by some of what she had done, and then more appalled when people would get misty eyed - can you imagine what SHE would have done with the terrorism acts? Outside of Northern Ireland I mean.)

Sara: I am not sure to be insulted that a petulant mood swing "your piece is bigger than mine" type of girl is "my real self" - maybe you are a little too spot on there. I agree though, love is fantastic - when Linda carries me to bed and make sure I am sleeping, she isn't my PA, she's my lover.

Kathz: I dunno, you can rant on if you want, I was the one that brought up the dread T word (Thatcher). I really miss those telephone boxes since I think I was the only person in 2006 in the UK WITHOUT a mobile phone: I was running after the boxes being hauled away shouting, "Hey, some of us use those......for other than sex!"

Sara said...

Ha ha ha -- no insult intended. I meant your real self who is both good and bad. It is a great privilege to have someone who can love you no matter which one or what combination of degrees of each you might be at any given moment.

Tom P. said...

In the US, November 11th is "Veterans' Day", a day to thank all the veterans who served in the armed forces. It's a government and school holiday but most Americans don't have the day off. "Memorial Day" is the last Monday in May and that is when we remember our war dead by taking the day off, having barbecues, and watching baseball games.

Elizabeth McClung said...

sara: Oh, okay, that's better - it was another "exactly how do people view me?" moment. I decided I should try a few posts in the mature high ground...then decided that was WAY too much bother

Tom P: Oh crud. I just read your comment out to Linda who went, "That's right!" - I'm like, "That's right? How come you didn't mention it earlier when you read it so I could change that and look less like an ignorant jerk!" And she said, "I didn't remember till Tom said it." Sigh. Anyway, thank you for the heads up, I am guessing that you "Memorial Day" there because you don't celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday in May like we do - please don't ask why we have a national day off for a queen who has been dead over 100 just IS. Does this mean you don't sell or buy poppies to wear on the lapel on and around this weekend (sorry, see how truely ignorant I am of these far and distant culturals like.....America).

YummY! said...

I didn't even know it WAS a holiday until 1) the library was closed Sunday when I wanted new books to read and 2) the store I work at had a half off coupon and way too many customers for a Monday.

My dad was in the Navy once. I called him today. Does that mean I celebrated?

Ah, well, I hope your animal crackers went down easier than your smoothie did. Next time I suggest taking your pill with something that is proven to be swallowable. (Yeah, I'm pretty much just making up these words as I go along.)

em said...

Sorry in advance. This is one of my favorite rants.

Yes, now it is Veteran's Day in the
US, but it used to be called Armistice Day. And I always think it is beautiful in a naive way that it was on the eleventh day of the eleventh month and the eleventh hour and the eleventh minute that they decided to end the "War to End All Wars" except that it wasn't.

I was wondering what they called it in Canada though, thanks. Remembrance Day is a nice name.

Your description of your different selves made me smile.

Kay Olson said...

I just came here to swear:

I fucking love animal crackers.

Casdok said...

No its not a holiday over here in the UK.
Hope your bandages come off and all is ok. x

lilwatchergirl said...

For us, Remembrance Sunday was on, well, Sunday... We often do the two-minutes' silence in offices, schools etc on the Monday afterwards, or on the 11th itself. All very confusing. I'd quite like it to be a holiday. Mainly because I don't like work much.

I can relate to the way your mind regresses in all sorts of odd ways when you spend a lot of time alone at home. I think my brain's turning to mush (but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays - I am, of course, a hard-working and responsible Support Teacher on Mon/Wed/Fri. This occasionally confuses my poor brain, though. Hmm).

Tom P. said...

Poppies are not part of the American celebration on either Memorial or Veterans Day, for the most part. Sometimes you will get a veterans group standing outside of a supermarket selling little plastic red flowers which I assume are supposed to be poppy-like.

And you are correct that we don't celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday.

And don't feel ignorant for not knowing America's customs. Most Americans, unless they live near the border, have no clue what goes on in Canada. Even my mother-in-law who grew up in Newfoundland has no idea what goes on in Canada!

CHRYSTA said...

I just wanted to add to Tom P's comment. Not only do most americans (or US citizens) not know Canadian holdays it also seems a rather unfortunate fact that most americans/ U.S citizens don't know our own holidays and memorials. Shame on the Walmarts and other commercial giants for not reminding us with anything but plastic wreaths to place on our loved ones graves. Shouldn't we have electronic dancing soldiers that sing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to place on our mantles? As a side note I always remember these holidays because my grandad bought his grave site and memorial stone on sale about two decades before he died. Who has sales on grave stones? (Clearance...last season's favourite, marble, is right out...ladies and gents this season it's all black granite. Get your marble headstone half off) He always insisted that we honour him on these days by placing real flowers on his grave...he though he'd enjoy it more if he was alive.

Lisa Harney said...

Wait, they have holidays in Canada? I thought they just ripped off all of the American-invented holidays like Halloween and Christmas, and put Thanksgiving on a different day.

. . .

I'll get my coat.

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

That smoothie sounds nasty!

Tom said...

My favorite Canadian Holiday is the completely unrelated to anything day off in August holiday. Because everyone should have a day off in August.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Yummy: good suggestion - I will try something that is actually a liquid. Animal crackers are yummy!

Em: Thanks for the description, I think Rememberance day is a good name too - though the firing of the cannons seems a bit over the top if you know what I mean (they still do that here).

Kay: Doesn't everyone just come here to swear! I know I do!

Casdok: Thanks for your well wishes, the bandages came off but all is not well - you can see in the post above.

Elizabeth McClung said...

lilwatchergirl: yeah, I talk to myself at home and now I've noticed that I talk to myself in stores too so I think I becoming one of the "those women" (the kind you avoid at bus stops) - have to try and keep those parts that are "professional and public" seperate if at all possible.

Tom P. - Well, I can't say I have a great idea of what goes in Canada either, but I know we have a lot of holidays! But the poppies are very much pushed, and I don't think it is just because the WWI poem about poppies in the field was written by a Canadian - the money goes to the Legion.

Chrysta - well, if you like your grandfather (I like my grandfather so that is how I am interpreting it), then I think the flowers are more of him giving a gift to you, in that you get to remember all the good things and that he DID enjoy flowers (amoung many other things). Actually, I kind of want to know this guy who sought out gravestone sales - I mean, that is some pretty specialized and dedicated shopping, it isn't like window shopping - how long does one wait for a sale like that? And do you want to shop at a mortuary that is having a "Clearance" sale?

Lisa: Yeah, I agree, I used to live in the US where Thanksgiving is a 4 day orgy-like affair where one ends up spreading pumpkin pie and whipping cream over your body - and there is a decent story to go with it. Here it is just a day, with no story except; "Thanks for not being American?" I dunno - it makes no sense - it is like they found a month without a day off, knew Canadians would revolt and made the holiday (but then why does a Buddist country like Japan keep Xmas?)

Marla: Yes, she is usually very good with dessert smoothies but this was a "breakfast" smoothy and thus wholesome - ug! But made with LOVE!

Tom: Exactly - it is summer...give us a holiday! Woo hoo!

Zephyr said...

" So now my nine year old trickster self, my 15 year old pouty self and my 30 year old, “I am a strong independent mature woman…who sleeps with stuffed animals” self are all so integrated together none of us is sure who is speaking when anymore."

Bwahahahahaha! Welcome to my life!

Elizabeth McClung said...

zephyr: Cool, we should meet, if we can get our age personality in synch - that would be so fun!