The death of the orange sweater May 10, 2012
I have (had) these two friends–a couple–that I’d known for about 6 years. We’d become pretty close and they’d become close with my kid. We’d been there for each other through some rough times: family deaths, job losses, illness, pet deaths, childlessness issues.
Then, all of a sudden, last December, they stopped talking to me. Both of them. The last time I saw them was at one of their birthday parties. I brought wine, a gift, and even took off my the sweater I’d worn and gave it to the hostess when I was leaving because she loved it so much. (Needless to say, I said it wasn’t a favorite of mine anyway–which was completely untrue–but I figured that after what she’d been through this year, it was just a simple token of my love and friendship for her.
I’m an idiot.
Then one day, I send an email inviting the two of them to a glass blowing experience–on me, of course–as well as updates on the family, asking about the now orange-sweatered gal and her grieving process (her dad just died and boy did we try to be there for her and her partner…AND their dog). I immediately received this curt reply:
“Thanks for the invite, but no can do. Super busy right now.”
(I keep these sorts of things in case I forget who these people are or forget why it is we dropped out of each others’ lives.)
I wrote back and asked if that was all I was worth, a 12-word response without even signing her name.
No response. From her or her partner–who isn’t much of a writer/speller/reader anyway and yet still makes whopping boatloads of money doing…not quite sure, actually, but makes sure that YOU know that SHE makes the sort of money she does. You know, a typical come-from-no-money to now having money story and behavior that I’ve always let slide. (MEEEEOWWWW! Annik!)
And it’s 6 months later. Not even a call on my birthday.
Here’s the irony of this — and it is thick: My daughter is going through, with many of the 4th and 5th grade girls, daily dramas about who is friends with whom and who is being mean and who is gossiping and how the younger friends from last year’s class just don’t understand that when you’re in a different grade and a different class you still love them but can’t always be or play with them because you’re trying to cultivate new friends too, people with whom you spend all day…and so on and so forth. Bian and I have many sit-down chats about how it’s important to TALK about what is going on so that it doesn’t fester and you don’t lose friends over things that maybe aren’t weren’t losing them over. That sometimes it’s scary to confront someone because maybe they’d said something hurtful. I try to teach Bian to not say a lot of “you”s when talking to this person; make it more about how SHE is feeling and not what the other person did or did not do.
And yet two 40-something women can’t even do that. And even if they tried now, it’s too late. I mean 6 months? Really? What could I possibly have done between the time we had a great birthday party to that weak response to my generous offer?
Of course I’ll always be somewhat curious, but I’ve let it go because life is short and people are weird and insecure (insecure is the key word here with that one) and I need to let my daughter understand that things like this happen. Even when we never find out why.
So it’s like mourning a death of two friends.
But more than that…
I want my orange sweater back!
Grammar drives me crazy… March 16, 2012
But this in particular:
I hear people talk–on the radio, on TV, on the streets, even at work–who are (I’ve, in the recent past assumed–maybe correctly, maybe not) obviously not particularly educated, and who don’t spend their time reading, much less writing or considering grammar (just conjecture, of course). This is the one that keeps throwing itself on my mercy
People say (in various contexts)
- “What he must have WENT through…”
To me that sounds wrong. Just WRONG. I’m not a grammarian so I don’t know the rule for this, but to me, what sounds right is
- “What he must have GONE through…”
I’m using this example because I just heard one of the lawyers on NPR–not sure he was for the defense (Dharun Ravi who was found guilty of a hate crime, among other things) or the prosecution (for that sweet, gay, violin-playing, bridge-jumping-to his death Tyler Clementi) say “What he must’ve went though” and I thought to myself, “Hm. Self. THis guy is a LAWYER and you aren’t. Maybe it’s YOU who is sounding like an uneducated, McDonald’s-eatin’-3x-a-week-Jersey-Shore-fan. Oof. That’d be bad. I’d better check my resume.
Am I wrong? Could it be? After all these years of trying to write correctly and working with great editors and copy editors? (Note that at this moment, my job entails NOT having real editors or even copy editors–RAMONA WE MISS YOU– just…well I can’t say or I’d get into trouble and I need this job, as dull and boring and mind/soul numbing as it is. Maybe another time when I’ve moved on (and boy, that time is coming–offers have started to pour, oddly enough; unfortunately they’re in Seattle, Austin, Singapore…). Another topic for another day (and maybe in another location–maybe another continent).
So, what say you, blog readers? I’m going to post my question to Grammar Girl and see what she has to say –if she hasn’t already addressed this. If she has, I’ll post it here. For the 5 of you. Haha.
– Annik (aka Queen Shannikwa, aka Crabby, aka Mommy, aka The Older Human Who Gives Us 4-Month-old-Rats Fatty Sunflower Seeds during the day).
C’mon: Talk to me. Anna? Fran? you’re two fo the smartest people I know. Ask Ryan Warner (whom we met Monday –he’s dreamy, gay, not gay). What’s his take on “went” and “gone”
Okay, it’s the weekend, Bian has a friend over and we’re all making pizza and watching Ponyo. So I’m gone for the weekend. Or…I went. Or I done gone and went. Or I done went and am gone. Huh. English is tricky. I do both Iyengar and Bikram Yoga so I’m pretty sure Sanskrit is trickier.
Title of this blog? January 20, 2012
Maybe clicking on the image will give you a clue…
Back in the saddle again September 22, 2011
There’s nothing like a good fall to rediscover your saddlebags.
Just over a year now… September 18, 2011
I know I already posted something about this but we saw an Aussie puppy today and so I had to write again. (And I’m procrastinating on (for? about?) I have two very important things to write: 1) 3 minute fiction entry for NPR; 2) Blog post to MSN to show them how much they need someone like me. It’s all about this book (which has gotten the press on it ALL WRONG by the way).
It’s been a little over a year since I said goodbye to the best furry pal I ever had. On August 26th, the anniversary of his death, Bamboo and I were walking in the park and a Ry Cooder song from “Paris Texas” came on my iPod. He was so with us (but the geese were glad he really wasn’t… 🙂
Every day I miss him. Less and less? No, not really like they said it would be–especially not with what’s all been going on. Yeah, it’s gotten easier but little memories I thought I’d forgotten keep creeping in (though half the time I can’t even remember what I went into the pantry for…)