From the mouths of…idiots

This is some of the shit I hear at work when my sign says “closed.”

“Oh you’re closed? Well, would you be able to whip up a burrito for me anyway? Do you have gluten free tortillas?”

“You’re closed? Are you sure?”

“Your sign says “closed”?”

because I am, dumbass

“Are you really closed? Reeeelly?”

“I know you’re closed but can I get a sandwich?”

Hello people?



Two years ago – almost exactly – a pregnant friend went into labor.

“What do you need that you haven’t taken care of yet?”


“On it.”

So her mom and I ran off to T.J.Maxx to procure jammies.

While wandering the aisles, I found, oh holy moses, a cashmere bathrobe.

It wasn’t exactly pajamas and she hadn’t specifically asked for a robe,

or cashmere for that matter,

so I got quite close to justifying buying it for myself.

But her mom and my conscience got the better of me and she got a baby and the warmth on that day.

Since then, I have scoured the racks at T.J.Maxx every time I have shopped there in search of another one of those luxury items.

Yesterday, I was headed to T.J.’s to get a couple of pampering items for my mom and her upcoming hospital stay; I bought foot massage cream, nail polish, lavender essential oils, and a gorgeous sea foam throw that’s as soft as chocolate mousse.

I stopped to see a friend on the way there and said to her, “Last time I went shopping for someone else, I found a cashmere bathrobe.”

Totally manifested it.

There, yesterday, the one day that I wasn’t looking or hoping, I found one. It’s so soft and yummy.


So unbelievably priced too.

Yet more than I should spend when I’m about to take over a week off from work to travel and I was already spending a bunch for this trip.

Well, I thought, I should give it to my mother. I mean, she’s the one having surgery, right?

Then I can justify the money.

I took everything else out of my basket – except for the stuff for mom and the dog treats and the valentine’s candy for MCB.

I was so disciplined and proud of myself.

I paid, had a few moments of buyer’s panic, then left the store, robe in hand.

I send a text to the pre-shop friend, “I found a cashmere robe! Can you believe it?”

And then, “Do I have to give it to my mother?”

Response, “Haha, you’re funny.”

Oh, not being funny. I was seriously looking for an okay to keep it.

Maybe it’s too hot in Florida for a sweater-robe?

Never mind that everything and everywhere is air conditioned and I usually freeze my ass off down there.

I stopped by another friend’s and silently beseeched her for permission to keep it as my own.

“Wow, that’s a tough one.”

Come on people – where’s the “Obviously it’s yours”?

Guilt, conscience, greed, desire; they all battled it out in my head.

Do I really need it? Will I really wear it? Would my mom really wear it? Is it too hot in Florida?

And then, like a lightbulb in my head…

Mom only likes long nightgowns and robes. She told me that in the sleepwear department of Macy’s last time I was there.

This robe’s above my knees.

Would she wear it anyway?



She wouldn’t?????

Well, now we’ll never find out because I slept in it that first night. I slept in it last night. I’ve worn it to feed the chickens, the dogs, the cats, the children.

I’m never taking it off. Ever.




My mom is sick. My dad is not well.

I mean, if you saw them, they look pretty darn healthy and for 80 and 85. They are. But 80 and 85 are up there in age and everything is relative.

Macular, compressed discs, heart failure, excessive lung fluid, cancer, and a diabetic dog.

I’m going to Florida to help out next week when my mom has surgery.

My folks are still vibrant. They get outside as much as they can. They live on their own. They have an active social life. Mom walks a couple of miles a day and is still funny as shit. My dad hit golf balls the other day and is still loving as shit.

No one is dying today.

But we are all facing their mortality and I am not doing it very gracefully.

I’ve been crying a lot.

My dad’s heart has been deteriorating for a while now and I’ve been “preparing myself.”

The thing with my mom came out of left field and I was completely unprepared to think about it just yet.

And thinking about it makes me realize that I haven’t done shit to “prepare” myself for either one of them to die.

Let’s just say this:

My dad has been a rock of love and kindness for me all of my life. My world feels safe because I know that Preston’s got my back. He is the wisest, most integrous, patient man who I have ever known. And he’s fun. My time with him last fall was such a privilege; I absolutely adore my dad.

My mom? Well, she’s my best friend. Hands down. I don’t know how to breathe without my mom.

So now, mortality.

I am so ready to be with them for this next ordeal. There’s no place that I’d rather be.

And yet, I have fear around it. Fear of either one of them being frail. My parents are NOT frail people.

Remember, my mother just went to Paris in the middle of Hurricane Matthew, even though she’s legally blind. What’s a little vision problem to my badass mom.

My dad was repainting pool furniture and cleaning up post hurricane like a 40-year-old.

Quite honestly, they put my lazy ass to shame.

But heart failure and lung cancer? Game changers.

And if I am afraid, can you even imagine how they must feel?

And then I think that if I can’t imagine my world without either one of them, how must they be feeling about their world without the other?

That just cripples me.

My parents are still in love, madly, after, like, 200 years together. They still flirt, they still laugh, they go out to coffee together daily.

To quote Bridget Jones’ father, “I just don’t work without you.”

That’s how they are.

I have a friend whose father is managing similar issues (at a much younger age). He said to me the other day, “I know my dad’s going to be okay but this is fucking with my head.”


And I’m trying to figure out the balance of being optimistic (everything’s going to be fine) with being realistic.

What I keep coming back to is that yes, everything is fine for today, and hopefully for quite a while, but they’re 80 and 85; we all know that someday, probably sooner rather than later, everything won’t be fine, so trying to wrap my head around that is being realistic, not morbid.

Terrifying really.

I’m also struggling with navigating friendships through this all. I have amazing supportive incredible friends who love me and hug me and cry with me and give me rocks. And while I want the support I also want to push everyone away and crawl into my cave and lick my wounds, alone.

I don’t want to be a burden and a downer. And yes, I can already hear everyone telling me to not be ridiculous.

But the bigger piece of leaning on people is that is makes it so much more real.

I am feeling like this is a really big deal, and then I try to convince myself that I am being a doomsday drama queen who dwells in the negative, and then a friend will say, “No, Suzanne, this IS a really big deal,” and I can’t hide from it any longer.

I’m scared.

That’s the bottom line.

My heart is breaking for my parents.

They’re scared. Who wouldn’t be.

So there’s my dump.


hot mess

i’ve been dealing with allergies all week: hives, itchy throat and eyes, runny nostril (only one) and a sniggling little cough that doesn’t allow me to be prone when I want to sleep

my parents are having new health issue developments; a situation which gives me more cause to imagine how miserable my life will be without them

interpersonal relationships, as always, present challenges that I would sometimes like to avoid

not everyone sees me as a positive addition to their world

my dog is fat

i wonder when I will finally be able to chew on the right side and then I realize that the answer is never; one needs teeth to chew and if there isn’t a tooth…

now my other nostril is dripping

i have been crying all goddamn day

which sets the nose to gushing

my brittish friends have abandoned me

and this morning when I braided my hair there were a couple of weird longer-that-the-rest pieces at the ends below the elastics so rather than deal, I cut them off and now I’m scared to see the damage I’ve caused so my hair will stay braided until I grow dreadlocks