The Worst Thing

My husband once said that the worst thing anyone could do to someone else was to fail to meet that person’s expectations.  I didn’t understand it at first, but the longer I thought about it the more valid it seemed, with a few exceptions.

If I expect my husband to send me flowers on our anniversary or Valentine’s Day and I don’t receive them it isn’t the end of the world is it?  So – not the worst thing.  Of course I’ve never expected flowers so the lack of them isn’t a failure in my mind.  There are times though I wouldn’t mind receiving something at work if only to show other people that I am loved damn it!  But, I digress.

Similarly, I’ve grown to accept that JD isn’t likely to hold a job outside our home ever again.  However, earlier this year he started putting applications in with some of our local stores.  I’m a little ashamed to say that my first thought was he wanted to go to work so he’d have an excuse not to help chauffeur his Mother around to appointments.  Am I bad or what?  But as he continued the search, the possibility of a second income became siren-like, calling me to my doom.

I still wasn’t giving the idea a lot of space in my brain, but late in the summer our daughter suggested he apply where she worked, as part of a call center.  She explained they take just about anyone, there would at the very least be four weeks of paid training, and it wouldn’t begin until some time in November.  Let me just say that I didn’t expect to hear any more about that prospect because she works for the IRS and JD loathes them.

K then pointed out he could get a paycheck from The Man, and her excitement was contagious.  With her assistance he got online and navigated the initial application process.  When they sent him the assessment package K helped him figure that out.  Just a few weeks ago he received an email which gave his rating as “superior” and all we were waiting on was the notification telling him when to show up for orientation.

That excitement mentioned above?  I got caught up in it myself and ignored, for a while anyway, the little voice in my head which said “this way lies disaster”.  I started believing we would soon be a 2-income household.  We might not have to rob Peter to pay Paul!  Maybe we could even afford to make repairs to the master bathroom so I could use the grown-up shower again!  So many possibilities filled my thoughts.

Yesterday JD received an email with more forms to fill out and, presumably a date to show up.  When I arrived home last evening (after my third night of over time this week) he said there was something he was afraid to ask me, and that quickly, the bubble burst.  I knew immediately he wasn’t going to work next month, at least not at that job.  But what exactly could I say? Grow up?  Grow a pair?  Get a job or else?  The reality was that he was meeting my expectations because I’d never genuinely believed he would go to work.

I don’t feel that I can legitimately complain because over the nearly two decades we’ve been together my behavior has allowed this situation to develop.  For what it’s worth, it began slowly.  At first he was merely taking a “leave” to work on the farmhouse we were remodeling.  It was cheaper than hiring a contractor and I agreed to it.  Then he let his CDL lapse and finally, his health deteriorated so that he felt he could no longer safely operate a big truck.  When his dad passed he sank into a depression which lasted for what felt like years (and very well may have been; I stopped counting).  He occasionally sinks back into that morass, but it’s not as often or as deep these days.

So eighteen years later here we are.  One income, a mountain of stress squarely balanced on my shoulders and I have only myself to thank.

Have I mentioned this blog is about therapy?  I am a wuss, hear me vent.



President What?

The 2036 Presidential election result was…hmm, how shall we say…unexpected.  Not the campaign itself; as always the campaign involved slimey, pandering politicos who took every opportunity to demonize or defame their opponents.  Except for the Canine candidate that is.

Canine candidate!” I can hear you thinking, or maybe even sputtering.  And yes, that sort of canine, the four-legged kind.  Is there any other?  Perhaps a little background would be helpful.

Shortly after the 2016 Presidential election the good old US of A took a nose dive.  Not surprising; we’ve been there before, and perhaps will be again.  What was surprising was what happened next.  As you can imagine, people were desperate for some glimmer of hope. REAL hope I mean; not the flash-in-the-pan promises of the new Oval Office resident.  Within a few years science had stepped up to the plate and discovered that beacon.  Believe it or not, scientists learned how to interpret what dogs were saying when they barked, whined, or growled!  And to talk back!

No, really!  It was documented time and again that they could understand dogs and the dogs were just as stunned as the rest of us.  Once the general population learned to “speak dog” it was only a matter of time before the animal shelters emptied.  Well, except for the cats.  Turned out that felines spoke an entirely different language, and when scientists tried to figure that out, the cats made it clear they didn’t want to be understood.  Go figure.

Time passed as it does, and people began educating their best friends, reading to them as pups, teaching them all manner of things.  After Tesla eventually launched its fully self-driven cars it wasn’t unusual to see dogs out for a joy ride all by themselves, heads pointed into the breeze, tongues lolling.  Just catching a glimpse of them made you feel happy.  Anti-depressant use plummeted.  BigPharma was not happy.

In 2032 Joseph Longfellow was elected president and proceeded to turn the country even further upside down. The economy tanked; unemployment soared; and foreign policy was indecipherable even to those who usually “got it”.  Longfellow’s party was apoplectic, and more than a little red-faced.  They’d expected to be able to control their candidate once he was in office, but he’d fooled them all into thinking he was the fool, their puppet.  Instead he took control and never let go.

Unofficial campaigning for the 2036 election began much earlier than usual.  And against the wishes of his party, President Longfellow insisted he was running for re-election.  They tried to dissuade him, but short of assassination it looked likely he would be in the Oval Office for the long haul.  Most of the country thought his opponent wasn’t any better, and it started to look like it would be “the devil you know” sort of election.

Then an amazing thing happened.

Goldie overheard her person Sam chatting about the state of the country, her hopelessness and the futility of ever voting again.  Been there, felt that, am I right?  Being a dog, and a Golden Retriever at that, Goldie lived to make her person happy.  When putting her head in Sam’s lap merely elicited a quick smile and a head pat, Goldie knew it was serious.

During her exercise at the park Goldie rounded up her pack of friends and brought up her concerns.  Mugs, a miniature Doberman Pinscher practically bounced up and down as Goldie related Sam’s conversation.  Jack, a – what else – Jack Russell Terrier ran around in circles but he was paying close attention.  The others were more controlled, but the consensus was that all their people were worried about the upcoming election and what it held for the future.

To make a long story short, Goldie’s friends decided she would make an excellent president.  She was fair minded, wise and caring.  Goldie unfailingly put her person first.  Those seemed like good qualities for a president to have.  They spread the word among their friends, who passed it on to their friends, et cetera.

Dogs all over the country began hinting to their people that it might be time for new blood in the White House – canine blood.  Dogs didn’t understand war and just wanted everyone to be happy.  Their idea of a good economy was plenty of food and treats for everyone.  Dogs also were more inclined to put their constituents first.  It didn’t hurt that dogs loved practically everyone.

The grass roots movement to elect a dog took the country by surprise, and by storm.  Because the campaign hadn’t officially begun there was time to change the law to allow a dog to run for office in parallel with their person.  What can I say?  People were ready for a change!  Politician after politician embraced the movement when they saw their constituents were behind it.  No one was surprised when Senators and Congressmen up for re-election began including their own dogs in photo ops, not to mention press conferences.

President Longfellow scoffed at the idea of a dog in the Oval Office.   He proudly proclaimed he was a cat person.  Now there’s nothing wrong with being a cat person.  Some of my best friends are cat people.  It would be wise however to be sure your cat is a people person before you parade him or her before the national press.  Longfellow’s long-haired Abyssinian, Fluffy was not a happy cat to start with.  Putting her in the spotlight only made her nastier; she took a swipe at the woman from the New York Times and drew blood.  If the President had apologized or even expressed a modicum of sympathy for the reporter it probably would have blown over.  But he had the gall to imply the reporter had been asking for it!  It was probably the beginning of the end for the President.

To say it was a landslide victory is to understate the result.  Of course the Demicans and Republicrats appealed.  Too bad they failed to notice that every single justice on the Supreme Court was a dog person.

So there you have it – the unexpected ending to a tumultuous campaign and the start of something momentous.  Now if we can just get the cats to come to the negotiating table.

There oughta be a law

Or a rule at least…just sayin’.

I was just walking back to my desk through the copy room/kitchen near me when I saw the clock on the wall.  It’s an old fashioned vs. digital clock, and it’s deceptive how similar 10:20 looks to 3:50.  Because I’m supposed to get off at 4:15 (barring the need to stay late) catching that glimpse of what appeared to be 25 minutes before quitting time gave me a quick jolt of happiness.  Unfortunately, my brain decided that would be a good time to kick in its two cents and clarified I was seeing 20 minutes after 10 in the effing morning.  Jeez.

There oughta be a law I tell you!  All workplace clocks should be digital!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled lives.