My own private FestivusFortunately, I didn't resolve to quit kvetching for the new year. I'm not foolish enough to promise something that impossible to achieve. Thus, I bring you, better late than never, a partial list of the things and people who disappointed me in the last year:
1. My foundation. No, not my undergarments, but the porous, 100-year-old underpinnings of my home. Here's to the multiple cracks, leaks, and spots too small for the naked eye to see, through which you absorbed water: drops, streams, and the occasional small flood. Here's to the the rugs you ruined, the furniture that smells like mildew, and the backaches I endured while mopping, mopping, mopping.
2. The weather. I'm an ex-Californian. By necessity. I had always considered myself pretty lucky to have remained on the West Coast. I've grown to love--not fear--the conifers. I occasionally get nervous when it goes more than 3 days without rain. But for the love of God, enough! Hurricane force winds, endless pelting rains, mud and sog and puddles and everything I own wet all the freakin' time. Freezing temperatures. Ice, fer Christ's sake. This is not the global warming I was looking forward to.
3. My in-laws. What happened to the offers of help with home maintenance? What happened to the "we're here to help" comments? The once-per-month visits to help with those routine tasks that feel so enormous when there's only me, with my bad back and my general ineptness? The offers to spend time with your granddaughter? The generous checks just to make our lives easier? I know I'm on their Festivus list, too--too busy, too crabby, too outspoken. But please, offer to help. I won't say no. I never have said no. I need some unsolicited time to myself, without having to pay for a sitter. Your granddaughter needs to hear, from you, about her father as a little boy.
4. My cars. I know, I know, I'm lucky to have them. I didn't pay for either one. But a working defroster is not optional where I live (see item 2, above). And to whatever plastic thingy came loose in the sedan dash, so that it rattles irritatingly in time to the bass, "heal thyself."
5. My pets. You know who you are. You have had ten years, cats, to learn to open the refrigerator and work the can opener. I can only conclude that you are not really trying. Dog, when I say "Don't chase the cats," it means forever, not just "right now."
6. My washing machine. You are new. You were expensive. You are fancy and sturdy and ecologically sensitive. All I ask of you is that you stand in one place (I can't keep shoving you back against the wall) and that you not spew water all over the floor (see item 1; the mopping is getting old) and that you spin the clothes. Even if I don't load them exactly to your liking. Deal with it.
7. My husband. I know, love, but I really, really expected you to stop all this "deceased" nonsense and come home. I miss you. And I need help with items 1-6, above.
8. My big effing corporate bank. Here's to taking an entire year to remove my husband's name (see item 7) from the house title, costing my several thousand dollars in attorney's fees. And to never letting me speak to the same customer service rep more than once, so that I had to start over with the whole effing saga of widowhood over and over and over. And to relocating out of state, and then repeatedly giving me incorrect advice about the legal requirements for putting the paperwork in my name only. For a house that leaks (see item 1). And finally, for responding to my articulate 3-page letter of complaint with a form letter that addressed not a single one of my grievances.
I'm sure there are more items to be honored for Festivus. To be continued...