Eighteen, perspective–the saga of Aunt Trina

The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.

 

The House Across the Street

Saturday is always a drag.  After working all week for wages my dog should earn, I wake up on Saturday morning to face the house and all its chores. Unlike my boss’ family, I won’t be going out on the lake to escape the heat on this blaring summer day.  First, it’s cleaning, then laundry, and then I save shopping for Sunday.  Being single really stinks.  If I had a wife, we and our kids could knock this out faster and have fun and then, on Sunday actually do something fun like going hiking or fishing or just to the park.  But I, Mark Smith, am a slave on the weekend.

All this manual work gives me time to think.  I have thought about work, my ex-girlfriend, philosophy, my aging parents, the state of my thinning hair, the bills, the state of the economy…I even think about the past.  Today, while I was slouched over the toilet, brush in hand with the oven self cleaning, I remembered Mrs. Pauley from across the street!  More or less, about when I was twelve she was evicted!  That and its aftermath were a formative time in my young life.

Now I’m fifty years old and a total failure, but the memories of Mrs. Pauley haunt me.

I was 12 and it was Summer.  Beautiful early Summer long before the worrying about “going back to school”  starts.  Saturdays were best.  My best friend and I went fishing with my Dad almost every Saturday except Winter when he took us sledding or snowshoeing.  My friend’s dad was a real bore and worked even on weekends and loved Saturday with my Dad even more than me.

This morning was different.  I woke up and heard a sound.  At first I thought it was a bird defending its nest, then I thought it was the neighbor girl and her friend playing outside.  I got out of bed and shuffled down the hall to the front door in my jammies and looked out.

Old Mrs. Pauley was screaming.  My parents were already up and on the porch and Dad was wanting to go over there and comfort her.  There were 2 cop cars over there, and a hard eyed man dressed in his golf clothes taking her things out and putting them on the street!  Mrs. Pauley just stood and wept and screamed that they could not do this:  they had no right.  Mrs. Pauley begged them to call her son who lived in another city now.

My father finally walked over and hugged Mrs. Pauley and invited her in for breakfast as her whole world was being put on the lawn.  She was a mess and she stank.  She was wearing an old housecoat, tattered slippers, and carried a sorry looking purse.  Her fake red hair was everywhere.

Mom invited her into the kitchen where she just sat and sobbed.  I looked up at Dad standing at the end of the kitchen and knew we would have no outing today.  I would have to call my friend.  But, now, we would eat breakfast and see if we could contact Mrs. Pauley’s son to help her out.

After 20 minutes of sobbing and Mom rushing around the kitchen, Mom went into her purse and brought out a little bottle and took a pill out of it.  It was a pink pill shaped like a “v”.  She gave it to Mrs. Pauley with water as she sat over her untouched coffee with globs of snot running out of her nose and onto the table.  Mrs. Pauley took the pill and shuffled over the couch to go to sleep.  We ate a silent breakfast alone the only sound being Sparky, my dog, begging for some bacon and eggs.

After that, I went to call Bill and Dad agreed we would just play in the backyard until we knew what to do with Mrs. Pauley.  Instead of the backyard, Bill and I went to the front porch to watch the proceedings across the street.  The cops were gone and the hired men that had shown up later had put almost everything on her lawn except her cat.  Finally the cat came out and I rushed over to get it so it would not go to the pound.  My big sister was away at college doing a summer internship but if we could keep the cat until she got home she would be happy.  She always wanted a cat.

The pound was more than happy to release the cat to me as there were already way too many mouths to feed there.  I carried Mrs. Pauley’s big fat orange and white cat to our house.  Mom was not thrilled but took the cat and put her besides Mrs. Pauley’s sleeping form.  The cat climbed onto Mrs. Pauley and slept too.

Us guys in the neighborhood always thought Mrs Pauley was a bit creepy, but, things had gotten worse after her husband died.  After she died there were rumors passed by the adults that Mr. Pauley had left nothing for his wife, had no will, and none of her kids (there were 6!) seemed willing to help her at all.  At first, concerned neighbors especially Mom and Dad and Bill’s folks were over there helping her out with things, but, after awhile, people drifted away and Mrs. Pauley was left to herself.  Sometime in April, she had stopped getting dressed for the most part.  She’d wander the yard mumbling and attempt yardwork but never finish.

In May, some neighbors said they saw her at the store and she had booze on her breath.  She would talk to no one after that.  My Dad was talking to some of his church buddies and said that Mrs. Pauley had “social security” whatever that is, but it was not enough to live on and the little she had she used on liquor and cigarettes.  They spoke of putting together a fund to help her but somehow it fell through.  They were going to move her into some retirement apartments or something.  I guess that’s why Dad looked sort of guilty standing in the kitchen.  He still walked around the house uneasily.

When I was very little, like 5 or even 7, Mrs. Pauley was different.  She always got dressed and was involved at the church.  She even had a job.  She worked part time at the hospital gift shop.  We kids, 3 of us, even got rides from her once in awhile when Mom was not feeling good.  She took us to movies and even for ice cream.  Then, something changed.

At first, we noticed that her children and grandchildren were not coming over anymore.  Mr. and Mrs. Pauley went on as usual, but, they looked way older and very tired.  She stopped taking us places too.  By that time, I was wanting to hang out with my friends or just my father anyway and I was the youngest.  My older brother and sister had long outgrew the old woman.

Then Mr. Pauley got sick.  He walked very slowly out to the car whenever he went anywhere.  Later, he was in a wheelchair and wore oxygen.  The adults whispered “cancer”.  I was worried I had cancer for a few months.  My Mom called me a “hypochondriac”.  Soon he was never seen at all but nurses kept on coming and going and then one day this Spring, he died.

Us children did not go to the funeral but the adults did.  My mother looked big and scary in her black suit and black shoes but her face was so sad I wanted to hug her over and over.  Later, after the funeral, us kids got to go to the reception which is probably the best part anyway.  That’s where all the food is.  There were casseroles and casseroles and tons of cakes and cookies and chili and other things people brought for her to freeze and use later.  She sat in the corner and said almost nothing.  Us kids got to play with her grandkids. One of them, Gary, was close to my age.  Me, and Bill, and Chuck, and Steve from school and Gary got up into our treehouse to get away from the adults.

Gary told the story why his parents and his aunts and uncles never came to visit anymore.  They had always had a big Christmas and all the six children, their spouses and all the grandchildren crammed into the small 3 bedroom house.  Some slept in the kids’ old bedrooms on the main floor and the one created bedroom in the basement always reserved for the oldest child living at home.  I guess they had four bedrooms.  Others slept on couches and even air matresses.  It was a very fun time.  I went once and got to help decorate the tree.  There was so much laughing and joking I thought maybe our family was lacking.  Plus my Dad’s prayers at meals are lame.

Well, I guess 3 Christmases ago, when I was 9, Mrs. Pauley and one of her daughters got into an argument over something real stupid like a recipe or something.  Instead of the fight ending and everyone saying sorry, it got worse and Mrs. Pauley, “grandma” to Gary, lost control and started throwing things and screaming.  They had to call the ambulance.  I remember seeing it that day and when I asked Mom what it was and Mom said that Mrs. Pauley had fallen and sprained her ankle.  That was not true.

Gary said that Mrs. Pauley and Mr. Pauley went to the hospital along with one of the sons and the rest of the family stayed behind and cleaned up and made the best of things.  I watched as the cars left one by one and by December 28 they were all gone.  Mrs. Pauley had not come home because they had put her in a looney bin.  Some doctor said she was crazy and needed to rest awhile.  Mr. Pauley was around and cheerful then and would tell us kids that Mrs. Pauley needed to rest but would be back soon.

She came home about exactly 3 years before she died and 2 1/2 years before Mr. Pauley died.  The reason the family never came again is that they wanted to put Mrs. Pauley into a nursing home and forget about her as she was now crazy and also was an alcoholic, which is when adults drink booze all the time.  Only her husband, Gary’s grandpa, stuck up for her and wanted her home.

Gary said he could not understand it.  He said his grandma was the best ever and sweet and kind and never forgot birthday gifts.  He did not understand why his folks and his aunts and uncles were so mean to poor grandma.  He even tried to argue with his father over it and was told it was none of his business.  Gary decided to try Dropping Eaves, or listening to others when they ain’t aware you are there.

He tried every night for a week, and kept his hiding spot well.  Finally at about 11pm, 2 hours after his bedtime, the folks started to talk.  Turns out grandma was not always so nice and drank a lot when Gary’s father and his sisters and brothers were kids.  She yelled and yelled and even threw things, and had to go away more than once to “dry out”.  She refused to do housework when on a drunk and would not even feed the kids.  Mr. Pauley had to raise the kids, keep his job, and babysit his wife.  He almost had a nervous breakdown himself.

One day, when Gary’s dad was in High School, Mrs. Pauley decided to go to “AA”.  After than things were better for all of them until she started drinking again as an old woman.  Gary then tried to find out why his grandma started up again.  Turns out she had lost her job at the hospital to a younger prettier woman the boss liked and that people were treating her bad at church even though she had been there for years.  He had to sit crouched in his hiding place for hours for all this.  I told him he should be in the FBI and catch the bad guys.  He gave me a dirty look.

His folks said she had started to talk to herself and act weird.  Mr. Pauley had taken her to a shrink but he didn’t do anything.  She could still fake it for awhile but then it got too much and she needed to drink to get through the day.  She covered it up pretty good to her family that year even though they “smelled it” on her and were going to confront her later after Christmas had ended.  The big fight ended all that.

I used a word my father likes to use and said why didn’t they “forgive” her?  Gary didn’t know.  I heard his mom calling him.  I never saw him again.

The cat, called Baby, walked out onto the porch and rubbed against us.  We pet her awhile and took her in.

Mrs. Pauley was up and showered and wearing an old outfit of Mom’s which just hung on her since Mrs. Pauley was now very skinny.  She and Mom were talking about little stuff like the weather and Mom’s garden while Dad was in the other room arguing with someone on the phone.  It wasn’t going well.

Bill and I went to the door to listen and the cat almost gave us away.  Sparky was in the basement barking and barking.  It was like a “madhouse” my Aunt Polly would say.  A one sided conversation with angry sounding peeps on the other end was going on:

“We could move her into Wild Oaks with some help from you,”

“I know she has problems, but they have social workers on staff,”

“Of course she’d need to be hospitalized awhile.  She has insurance.”

“What do you mean not one penny?”

“Can’t you be the big son and just forgive?  She’s in a weak condition now”

“What about all her things?”

“Just throw them away?”
“Mr. Pauley, what do you intend to do?”

“The state home?!”

“She will never last in there!”

“Mr. Pauley had no will and spent down to his last 500 dollars with his cancer.”

“Your father worked hard all his life.  I’ve lived in this town 50 years.”

“He was NOT a loser.”

“Just try and be Christian about this,”

“I guess we will have to try and help her.”

“He hung up!!!!”

Bill and I ran away before Dad could see us.

The next few weeks at our house was crazy.  Dad and Mom and Bill and I and Bill’s Dad went through Mrs. Pauley’s stuff to see if anything was salvageable.  Most of the stuff smelled and was dirty and needed to be thrown away.  Dad found a few dollars she had hidden behind a wood panel and put it into an account for Mrs. Pauley.  The landlord’s cleaning men came to clean up the house and were rude to us but we persisted in getting anything good out of the mess on the lawn for Mrs. Pauley.  One day a truck came and took the rest of the junk away.

Mrs. Pauley was very nice at first, even helping around the house and even going shopping with Mom.  Dad got Mrs. Pauley’s, whose real name was Trina, old car to work and we parked it in front of our house.  She got better and better.  Soon she started to wear makeup and jewelry and even looked like the Mrs. Pauley I knew growing up.  Then she got strange a couple of months later.  Dad had poured out all the booze at her house and hid ours so no one knew where she had gotten it.  She had been “dry” for 2 months but no longer.  She got way drunk and pitched a rage and started trashing our house.

Mom gave her one more chance and even took and drove her back from AA meetings.  Another month later “Aunt Trina” which we were calling her was found dead drunk in the backyard talking to herself.  She ended up in the home after all.  She didn’t yell or fight.  She knew it was all over for her then.

The State Home was 200 miles away.  She was silent when we drove her there despite Mom’s promises of outings and visits.  Dad looked as if he could cry as if he could have prevented it from happening.

I watched as the nurses led her away.  She never looked back.  We drove in silence for 4 hours not even stopping to eat or use the bathroom.  I had to get my own dinner that night as Mom and Dad were talking quietly and did not want to be interrupted.

In the morning, Dad sent me to the mailbox with a letter for Lance Pauley.  After I put it in I went to play with Bill and Steve and when I got home things were normal again.

A month later we decided to go visit “Aunt Trina” at the home.  Mom packed all kinds of clothing and sweets for her and even a TV.  She threw in a homemade quilt she had made when I was young as well.  The staff had agreed for us to come and visit but not for an outing.

When we got there we walked on back this time.  The whole place smelled of pee and something else I did not know but did not like at all.  I wanted to run.  Aunt Trina’s room was at the very end of the hall.  Her roommate was up in an easy chair knitting and Aunt Trina sat in a wheelchair looking blankly out into space, drooling.  Then I noticed the restraints.  They had tied her to the wheelchair.  We all started talking to her taking turns but no response.  Then we just sat there for an hour.  She never looked at us.  When we got up to leave after promising her to come back, she finally moved and used her arms to turn her chair around and put her back to us.

We had another silent drive home with occasional sobs from Mom.  Mom went to bed that evening early but seemed OK the next day.  After that,  my parents started talking to my grandparents about arrangements when they grew older so a disaster never happened to any of them.  My grandparents are still pretty healthy and don’t need doctors and all that yet and there are no drunks in our family.

I went to bed early one night about a month after our visit.  I got up all weird and dizzy in the dark to hear the phone ringing.  I knew what it was even though I didn’t get the phone.

This time the funeral reception was at our house.  None of the Pauley’s came but lots of Mom and Dad’s friends from church did.  My dad bought her a stone.  We decided to go on vacation because school would start soon and we all needed a break.  My big brother and sister were home by now and helping to take the load off my folks and me.

Now it’s Fall.  School has been in 3 weeks.  The leaves are just turning all sorts of colors.  One of the red leaves reminds me of Aunt Trina’s hair.  I am riding my bike around.  Bill is busy with band practice and my other friends are all busy too.  I have probably rode far out beyond where my Mom lets me ride.  I just turned 13 and my folks took me to an adult restaurant to celebrate instead of McDonald’s.  I have grown 3 inches and my voice does funny things when I yell.  I think a new girl in our school is cute.

I see the graveyard.  For some reason, I decide to go in.  It didn’t take much looking.  I found the stone.  It was large and had flowers carved into it.  It said “Loving Wife, Mother, and Grandmother, Christina Pauley, March 25, 1907-August 22, 1977.  I stayed for awhile and then left, speeding all the way home because Mom was making Spaghetti.

Baby sat meowing for me at the door.  Now I’m her mommy.

 

 

 

 

Summertime

This is the time of year I start thinking of Summer.  There was thunder lightning and hail.  Early summer, the prelude to the real thing.

Summer was fun before I was a target.  I was bullied at school but Summer meant most time was spent with family and occasional visits with cousins at my Aunt’s house.  I liked to do all the Summertime things I would not dare do now because I’m an official Outcast, official Off-scouring–the ti.

It was fun hanging out at my Aunt’s eating myself sick and doing errands for her. Making burnt pancakes on her ancient stove.  Playing with the neighborhood kids occasionally.  Meeting a lost little kitten on my Aunt’s porch.  Watching her grapes ripen and knowing my mother would want some.  Her favorite food of all was Concord Grapes.  It was hot at my Aunt’s but we were thin and wore shorts and tee shirts and it was sort of like camping sleeping in the small stifling bedroom that used to belong to my grandmother.  There were windows way high up and it took hours to get a breeze.  The big window stayed closed as it was a rough neighborhood then.

I could wear shorts before I got fat.  I was actually comfortable in Summer at my parents A/C home wearing Summer clothes.  Ever since I have moved out it has been one a/c less apt after another.  I’m too fat to wear shorts and even feel sort of naked in capri length pants.  I spend three months a year under the relentless 50mph blow of a huge fan.  I do wear tank tops but now they stretch the bounds of decency because I’ve gotten large on top so now I’m paranoid about that and am wondering if I should go back to regular hot t shirts for Summer.  People make fun of my attire and I’m too poor to get nice things.

I used to go swimming at the J CC, at the local High School Pool and the lake behind our house.  As a child I would do dives off the diving board and might dare a forward flip.  There was that little jittery feeling as I ascended the high dive and also the determination I would go off it and not climb back down to my utter humiliation.  I would dive off the high dive and get water up my nose.  At the lake there was not much room to swim for so many people so my mother got us floating rafts to sit in to go out on the water.  I would sit and read in the raft.

As a young trip there were trips to Dairy Queen to get soft serve.  I insisted on at least a Medium Cone which was huge then.  It was 35 cents.  Occasionally my father would let us get dipped cones.  On special days we’d get to go to Baskin Robbins and I would get a double cone of the most odd flavors I could find or the most decadent chocolate flavors or one of each.  I’d get daiquiri, pina colada and every other weird sherbet.  A double cost, what, 79 cents?  My latest forays into ice cream shops gave me nightmares with the high prices and perps everywhere,

We would go to movies and enjoy the a/c before we had a/c at home.  It was a magical world in the dark eating overpriced popcorn and drinking drinks worth their weight in gold, and you didn’t want to movie to end.  Now I’d be sitting in the dark with a bunch of angry perps…I do not remember the last time I went to a movie.

We would go on vacation and sleep in dive motels and eat at greasy spoons.  Dad would drive too much during the day.  There would be fights.  It was the typical American Vacation.  My classmates got trips to various Islands and resorts but we had less than they.  I still remember going to the beach for the first time in San Diego and being fascinated with the seaweed on the shore, the pelicans and the cool coastal air.

I would take my sleeping bag and sleep in the backyard only to be woken at about 6:25 am under the morning clouds and the clatter of my mother’s Cottonwood tree.  I’d walk inside and she’d say “good morning, how did you sleep?”  Like a baby that’s what. NO pills either.

We’d go to the amusement park at night to escape the heat so we’d see the older crowd of teens and adults and not whiny babies and hot ride seats.  I was grateful for that.  We would stay until they closed at midnight.  My mother went on all the fast rides with us girls while my dad played skee ball and fascination.

We would eat before going at an Italian restaurant.  I would get a huge calzone.  It was a family run place, closed now.

We’d beg for sweets at the park later.

We’d pile tired into our big old car for the drive across town to the suburbs sleepy and happy.

I have not been to an amusement park since 1990 and am not eager to go.  Surrounded by people again.  Perps and skits and park security.  Nope.

If it stormed at night we’d go to our parents’ bed and tell them we were scared.  We were told “It’s just a storm” and be told to go away.  To me the great flashes of lightning and window rattling thunder and sheets of rain were the end of the world.

My mother said she saw a tornado out driving once.  My childhood dream was to see a tornado.  I saw one later on but it wasn’t so great.  The dream was already dead.

One summer we joined a hiking club and hiked as a family.  Oh those 5 am wake ups and those breakfasts on the road with the group!  The beautiful forest and rocks and then crossing the tree line and eating the same whole wheat bread and cheese of everyday but it seemed a feast up there.  Falling asleep on a breeze in the mountain meadow before we had to hike down….begging for ice cream in the first town we saw.

My mother’s forays for fudge in any small town we went thru on vacation…

I’d lay on my bed and listen to America’s Top 40 on my little radio with the windows wide open.  I never thought I would end up like this.

The summer crickets would chirp and a breeze would float in.  Life was a summer dream.  The nightmare was out there waiting for me.

My Precious…LOL

my precious

Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem

Do I hold them in high esteem or do I merely exempt them from blame? It would be my cat since the only person who can REALLY do no wrong is Jesus Christ and right now I’m sort of um, mad, at Him.

OK the malefactor that I exempt from wrong is feline. An overweight fuzzy female feline. She bites my toes when I lie in bed, lies down with her ass to me, sneezes in my face, scratches me when I want to pet her, wants to drink my bath water, begs for my dinner then refuses it,, wants to go out at 3am and poundingly kneads me and lays on top of me when I won’t.

But…she’s my precious. She also hisses and growls if you have to cut something out of her fur. Soooo precious.  She also takes over my only chair and leaves me an edge.  My precious baby.

Schmattes!

a.baa-Angry-cat

How important are clothes to you? Describe your style, if you have one, and tell us how appearance impacts how you feel about yourself.

My biggest fashion accessory is now..holes.  Most of my “clothes” come from Wally World and are pretty junky.  I hear you can nab some nice stuff at clothing banks in rich neighborhoods but have not tried it myself.  My mother was a fashion snob and I think I ended up going the other way.

Growing up I used to be concerned with what was in style and tried to dress like the others but gave up in college and wore what was comfortable…jeans and t shirts.  Earlier on, I tried to look “preppy” and even tried for a brief time to look “punk” with odd colored hair. Later on, I tried to look Goth (LOL) with black hair and fingernails and a huge jeweled cross and tons of makeup. Fail. If I had the time, money and freedom I would probably dress in jeans and t shirts still just nicer ones. I would own a few dresses as well. I bought a few skirts a few years ago when I wanted to be “modest” and try wearing skirts only. It only lasted a week. The perps took the skirts as a come on and started propositioning me. I feel safest in pants. I wear too many tank tops and other tops with holes that certain felines have made. I’m too poor to replace my clothes.

So far, this year all I’ve bought is one long sleeved fall top. I made a trip to the Thrift Store to buy some stuff at lower prices and ended up with 3 jeans and 3 tops. One top mysteriously got lost on the bus ride home and the other 2 fit…one is a bit tight and the other is too low cut. The jeans…well, one pair was small as I mistook its size and the other two fit, snugly, but have embroidery on the pockets that are in the “wrong” color according to the perps. One pair has so much blue embroidery on the back I tie a jacket on to cover it up when I wear them the other pair I’ve taken a risk and worn without a covering jacket.

If I was free I’d wear more styled clothing and allow myself to indulge in a fad sometimes. I’d own a leather jacket and a Colombia parka. I’d wear Doc Martens for casual or flip flops when it’s hot. I’d also own special shoes for working out.

I might also own a few skirts and dresses, not like the long dark stuff I bought, that are cute and could be used on social (hahahaha) occasions.  Nothing above the knee.

I think I’d belong to a sort of fashion type that dresses sort of dramatically without making a scene. Standing out without being an asshole. Classic styles with a little extra punch.

Of course, if I worked I could be stuck at a job where I wore a uniform so on my off days I would be wearing the schmattes.  Styled by cat.

Kindness it is high priced around here

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.

Lately, kindness has been a hard commodity to come by.  Occasionally I get it.  Someone helped me out the other night buying cat supplies and giving me a few bucks.  He didn’t have to.  It would have been in a hard spot if he hadn’t.

My landlady was kind after my operation bringing me supplies I could not get on foot.  I could not stand, sit, nor lie down for any length of time.  She also let me pay back a loan slowly as I was slowed down for a month or so.

One of the kitties I know is kind to me.  He shows acts of love all day around me.  I wish I could turn him into a human he’s so nice to me.

Once, a grocery store manager (years ago) let me write a post dated check for groceries when I was out of food and pay day was 4 days away.

Too bad the kindness that does happen is swallowed up in the perp hate all around me.

God has been kind and patient with me. 

Were You Ever a People Pleaser?

Before I was an aware ti I was a “people pleaser” and even now that I know my life is over I still try and “people please” on the off-chance I may impress someone enough to not join the perps against me.

A long time ago, I was always looking for ways for people to “like” me or a place where I could “find my niche” and be accepted. Nothing ever worked for long, but I kept trying…like that mythological creature trying to roll that rock up the hill. It came in spurts. Sometimes I’d leave off and just be obnoxious and live in my fantasy world. Sometimes I’d let my grooming go because it didn’t really matter. I got into a way of dressing down early in life that I’ve never felt I had to overcome since the jobs, the careers, the Husband never came. I was most “dressed” in the 1980s right out of adolescence and before the targetting began. I sort of gave up entirely for a while. Before the shit started in earnest I bought and wore slacks and skirts and clamdiggers and even occasional shorts. I owned real shirts that buttoned, not only t-shirts. I had colorful earrings. I now own 2 shirts that button. One is 12 years old. I wore it to attend a Catholic service to celebrate Pope John Paul II’s life 8 years ago. It was already out of style. I used to like shoes and sandals in different colors and styles and now it’s boots all the time for support after the perps made me dizzy and I’ve had a few falls. I’ve truly forgotten how to walk in heels.

Here is my people pleasing timeline:

  • Age 5–I refuse to be in extra gifted class–I want to be like the other kids.  Fail.
  • Age 7–I get Mother to let me wear bangs like the other kids.  Fail.
  • Age 12-I fast with the other girls on Yom Kippur even though I will not be having a Bar Mitzvah.
  • Age 13-I have a near breakdown when I am refused a “perm” by hairdressers at the hairstyling school since my hair has damage.  I wanted to have curly sexy hair to fit in with the other girls.
  • Age 15-I get contact lenses to fit in.  Fail
  • Age 15-I try and talk like a “valley girl” to fit in.  Fail.  Girls still talk like that, even women.  It’s sooo OLD to talk like that.  Sometimes I wonder if everything creative and new ended up in the 1980s.  Fashion and Music seemed to end up in the 1980s and 1990s.  Creativity is dead since only dead people may apply to be in the entertainment business.  People who go along with the “program”.
  • Age 16-Got pierced ears to Fit In.  Got second holes, too.  I got a third hole much later but it closed up.  Only the first holes work, which is fine since I see women who still do the earrings all up the ear and want to gag.
  • Age 19-20–Hung out with much older people at a bar and got drunk to Fit In.  My friend that took me to the bar was a woman over a decade older than me and turned perp later on.
  • Age 19-21–Hung out at parties where weed was smoked and drinks were served to Fit In.  (the few that there were).
  • Age 19-26–Played the “nice girl” to my pen pals to Fit In.  Eventually Epic Failed.  Wow, all the trouble those little bitches went to to dig up shit on me…those girls were PERPS.
  • Age 25-30–just sort of gave up on life…went on a diet to Please People.  Varied Results.
  • Age 30-40–I was a New Christian and tried to be the “good girl” for real this time.  Failed time and again.  Tried to curry favor with people by cooking elaborate meals and treats.  The cooking bribery worked for AWHILE.
  • Age 40-45–Seeing an aging face I tried makeup every day  for the first time since the targetting began.  Had “success” picking up a police informant in the guise of a pitiful homeless man.  He rewarded me by breaking my computer and sending me into a deep depression.
  • Age 45 to now–Tried to become a “good” Christian again.  Trying to impress or at least mollify God.  I thought Jesus died once and for all for all believers.  I did not know it was a daily thing to show God you mean it.  It is not working that well despite the best effort I have ever put forth for anything in my life.

Well, pleasing God is one thing, but my people pleasing days are OVER.  OK, a few exceptions:  I find myself trying to please the Doctor that I’m trying to be healthy.  I find myself trying to please the Vet by appearing to be the Conscientious Cat Owner.  I still find myself trying to please my therapist by dressing a little better for sessions than I would dress ordinarily…maybe to convince her I’m sane and the stalking is real or that I’m not ready for the looney bin yet.

By the way, where is Neverending1?  Does anyone know?

Stinky Ass gets Shaved!!! Details inside..

Write about something that happened over the weekend as though it’s the top story on your local paper.

This Saturday a local cat was doin it again. Bubba, 6, was draggin’ his ass on the rug and smellin’ nasty.  His owner, Shira Finkelstein,  fortunately took his smelly ass to the vet and got the tangled back hairs shaved so his poopy does not stick to his long fur.  When asked why she did not do this herself, the owner replied she was scared of how the cat acted when they had to do anything “down there”.  Bad memories of a yowling boy held against the bathroom counter with his ass in the sink and shaving cream to take off the poop came up.  The attempted electric shaving of same cat and the eventual huge grooming bill loomed large as well.  Now Mr. Kitty is going “commando” for the summer.  He could not be happier.  Ms. Finkelstein, 39sish and holding, said she still dreads applying ointment to Bubba’s ass for a few days.