Saturday, April 11, 2009



I have complained a lot lately, and I should (perhaps) explain myself. Or at least elaborate on certain circumstances that (sometimes, but not always) threaten my equanimity.

Issue the first: Living situation.

After my dad died and the final round of bills associated with his illness and death hit my mailbox, I realized there was about 25 cents worth of financial cushion between me and total ruin. Many people, including you, helped me avoid actually presenting myself at the courthouse for judgment with my remaining one (or two) quarters. Instead, I moved in with a couple in their 70s who needed help cleaning out their house so they could move to a smaller one. Result: Nina starts getting financially better off, and the couple has someone around to do basically whatever they can dream up for her to do. Go ahead and notice that "help cleaning out their house" was about the last thing they actually wanted Nina to do, and forgive Nina for not elaborating on what they really wanted. Use your imagination. (Stop that! Don't be so gross). Result: frustration. But also a fair amount of comedy, because whenever you move in with new people who are absolutely nothing like you, funny things happen. Like the day when I brought Liam over and Bob refused to believe Liam was boy because Liam is so pretty. And so for the entirety of the visit, Bob called Liam "girlfriend" - which offended Liam so much he just sat down and cried. Awesome.

Issue the second: Bob's untimely exit.

Death finds me. Bob and Kate were on vacation in Montenegro, Bob came down with a little itty bitty infection and as sometimes happens when people are 76, the infection got really big, and Bob died. If you read the preceding paragraph, you know that "cleaning out the house" was low on Bob and Kate's list of things for me to do for them. In fact, it never made the list. So you can infer that a good portion of the preparations for getting Bob properly memorialized and publicly adored were left to me. Now, to be fair, I didn't do that much because there was a mountain of things to do. I only did what a person could do in twelve hours a day for the 10 days leading up to the funeral. Did my job get done? Oh, sure. But only because I skipped the heavenly sleep inducing medicine and crammed it all in - or because I snuck upstairs for 10 minutes here or there to grade a test or a paper. In the end, we buried Bob a month after he was repatriated - an event that turned out to be just about as dramatic and emotionally wrenching as the funeral. Here's another picture for you:

Issue the third: My sister.

Since my father died, I have removed my step mother and every other person associated with her from my life with surgical finality and precision. My sister called me last week, and she was hysterical because she had just found out that my dad stopped contributing money to her IRA when he got married. When she told me this, I said, "Duh. You didn't know that?" And then I carefully and tactfully explained to her that our dad really did disinherit us and that I thought she might really might be able to get her brain around it if she simply read the will, of which I have a copy. Then suddenly she said, "I am less and less ok with the will." To which I said "Then perhaps you should remove your nose from that bitch's ass crack and join the rest of your family -- you know, the other forty or so odd people who are united in their hatred of the bitch dad married. And then my sister said, without a trace of irony "If I do that she won't leave me any of dad's money when she dies."


And then I had to carefully and tactfully explain to my sister why I can have no further contact with her as long as she continues to betray her entire family all for a chance at getting dad's money. Her response was "Well, you and I have never had much in common anyway. Bye."

Issue the fourth: my job.

I had a great meeting with my boss this week. Awesomely good. It turns out that despite all my fears to the contrary, I am not on the short list to be laid off. And they are not even that annoyed with me because I live in New York. Whee! Except not. For those of you unaware of the history, my dad met the woman he eventually chucked us in the wood chipper for because I introduced him to her. She was my boss at the job I still have. Think about that for a minute. Ok that is enough; you can stop now. After my current boss gave me all this good news about my job security, she told me that I have a new supervisor (which in this case is a mini-boss). And guess who it is? It is the only person at Sweet Little College who still keeps in touch with my step mother. So it's clear: I have surgically removed everyone connected to that bitch from my life - even my sister. And now, because God is apparently not done shredding me yet, I am FORCED to have professional contact with one of my step mother's best friends. And I can't do anything about it. Not one thing.

And so that is why lately I am dramatic and self pitying. I guess you didn't need all this explanation and I suppose I could have written more stuff about being attracted to inappropriate people, but hey, at least now you know why I still require big piles of sedating drugs to sleep at night. The fun just keeps on coming.

Oh but in case it is not clear: I am fine. Those meds really work.




Catherine said...

Holy crap. That's all I can think of right now; will write a proper comment when I get home. Meanwhile, Yay for meds that do the trick.

ByJane said...

Comment the Second: Whooohooo--God really is messing with you! Karma, kiddo, karma is kalling.

sybil law said...

Damn, Nina!!!!
You wouldn't want to say, "Fuck it all", and move to Ohio, would you? I would let you stay here for free!!!
You so need a change of everything right now!
And I know - Ohio is not remotely enticing.
Still - things are BOUND to turn around for you, right?!!!!

Finn said...

Holy hell child. What did you do in a past life to have this shit flung your way?

Thank goodness for good drugs. xo

Kate P said...

Man. I am so sorry to hear--especially the latter part. I have been remembering you in my prayers at Mass during Holy Week.

Catherine said...

Okay I still can't think of anything. If I were in any sort of position to say 'something' regarding your sister, I probably would.

I don't fear for your equanimity. If you were ever gonna topple, it would have happened long since. You've been through some dark chapters, here. You're wired for grace. Hopefully you've got some privacy and opportunities for exercise and alcohol-imbibing. Glad you're sleeping.

Maggie said...

I want some of your meds.

Also, there's always your bro and Liam! And us, of course.

In other news, now that the funeral et al is past, what's the status withyour living situation? Are you going to stay inteh big house and not exactly clean up? Are you getting more financially stable, digging out of the hole? I certainly hope so, and I send you love and good wishes in this Easter season.

Maggie said...

PS: Is ByJane saying this is your fault somehow? or that the folks who make you miserable will get theirs in the end? I honestly can't tell what that comment meant...

Avitable said...

It's a sign that you need to move from New York to somewhere more affordable. Like Florida.

LizB said...

Like Maggie, I'm curious about your living situation now. Atlanta is a nice place to live, if you ever feel like moving. I'm sorry that the shit steamroller keeps rolling over you!

Mrs. Who said...

Bless your heart! Just keep the professional face on at work...make that woman wonder why your stepbitch dislikes you.

The shitsteamroller is so much easier to handle on the beaches of Florida. Just sayin'.

Catherine said...

@maggie - I wondered that same thing. Jane's been genuinely friendly in the past, couldn't quite reconcile that comment with her other ones, if it's meant to imply blame on Nina. Hopefully, it isn't.

Dagny said...

Uhm, your sister sucks ass. I hate people like that. My brother also falls into that sort of category. ugh.

and holy shit, I'm so sorry about you having to deal with anyone that knows that cunt of a stepmother you have, let alone having to work with them. that sucks donkey balls. :(


Neil said...

I'm sorry you had to go through so much.