So, I’ve finally worked out the “Mystery of the Chipmunk” i.e. why hundreds of people are being directed to my blog every day when they do a search with the word “chipmunk”. I don’t know if this will work on your computer, but if I do a google image search for “chipmunk”, the second picture that comes up is on my blog – the day I wrote about having an infected wisdom tooth and looking like said rodent.
It’s quite heart-warming really. Even on my old blog when I wrote more about sex work and just sex, in general, I never got so many hits.
So, are you all having a very merry Christmas? My Christmas hasn’t gone, um, exactly to plan.
I was – as you will know if you have been following my posts – supposed to have taken off yesterday for the Midwest with “MM” but, shortly after my blog post two days ago, things fell disastrously apart. I am currently sitting at home and “MM” is with his family over a thousand miles away. It’s not as bad as it seems, though. I have spent more Christmasses alone than I care to remember, and it doesn’t bother me all that much. The worst thing about spending Christmas by yourself is telling people you’re going to spend Christmas by yourself. You get so many pitying glances, and then people feel obligated to invite you to their house because they feel sorry for you…when all you really want is to be left alone! Mercifully this year I was spared that because I didn’t know I would be spending Christmas by myself up until the very last moment.
Of course you will all want to know what happened. Well, the short answer is that I was just too stressed and too broke to be able to leave town for ten days. Of course, it wasn’t like my emotional and financial state was a surprise to me or anything. I mean, I knew I was fucking broke and almost at breaking point but I had decided just to take off anyway even though I hadn’t managed to save a single penny of my rent money. There were also several other bills I would have had to have left unpaid and then, of course, there was the matter of the road trip home. I had no money for that – for gas, and motels etc. – and I also had no money to spend in the Midwest either. Of course, “MM”, as my husband, could have given me some money but as he’s also broke, I would have never heard the end of it. Over the course of our relationship, he’s lent me $3000 (a lot of it is my share of our wedding expenses) and, whenever he’s strapped for cash, he bitches about how his life is so hard because he gave me that money.
I knew, knew, knew all of the above, and I knew even more that I would be horribly stressed out upon my return, scrambing somehow to get money together. It wouldn’t have been a good way to start of 2010 at all, but I thought that it would be worth it because the road trip would be so fun…
And then…something happened…which pushed me over the edge, and I freaked out, and realized I just couldn’t go. I had reached my breaking point, and if I left town I knew all I would do would be worry, worry, worry about money and have a horrible time.
The “something” that happened wasn’t that much of a big deal in itself. It involved my pit bull dog whom I was going to be taking with me for the first time ever (my chihuahua came with me last year, and this was the first time for me to take both my dogs). If I had known how much time, effort, money and hassle it was going to cost me to bring her with me on the plane, I would just have left her in kennels, as I usually do, but, well, hindsight doesn’t help you at the fucking time, does it?
Let me describe to you the saga of the pit bull…
(1) “MM’s” parents agree to allow me to bring my pit bull with me. They weren’t too keen at first, but “MM” persuaded them, and they also remembered how they weren’t keen at all on my bringing my chihuahua last year, but really enjoyed having her around in the end.
(2) Our flights to the Midwest were on Continental, and Continental has banned all pit bulls over six months of age and/or over twenty pounds. Like a small detail like that would deter me, though! I did some research and found out that Staffordshire Bull Terriers were NOT banned, so I decided to pass my dog off as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. (Indeed, for all I or anyone else knows she fucking could be exactly that). A Continental employee confirmed, on the phone, that my dog would be allowed to fly.
(3) Take my dog to the vet for an exam, and to get a health certificate to allow her to fly. Cost – around $150.
(4) Buy a crate and accessories for the crate on Petco’s online website. Cost $150.
(5) Despite buying the crate on November 22nd so that my dog could get acclimatised to it in plenty time before the flight, the fucking thing doesn’t turn up. Fedex said they delivered it on December 1st, but it never arrived.
(6) Spend countless hours on the phone to Petco’s customer service in the Philippines (!!) who are fucking useless. They re-order the crate, and this one is “delivered”, too although it is nowhere to be found.
(7) Spend ages on the phone to Fedex, and finally establish that both crates (the original order and the re-order) had been delivered to the wrong address up the street. And this despite having verified my address with Petco on numerous occasions!
(8) Go to the neighbours’ house where my crate has been delivered, and find it sitting on the lawn. The neighbours appear, looking gormless, and say they sent the first delivery back because they didn’t know who it belonged to. Didn’t it fucking occur to them to ask around their neighbours to find out? I mean, jesus, my house is just diagonally across from theirs. Stupid fucking white Americans. I know nearly all of my African-American neighbours but these white cunts prefer to isolate themselves instead of getting to know those around them. Ugh! I tried talking to them once when they first moved in, and they thought I was a weirdo.
(9) Joyously carry the long-awaited crate home, only to find that it is far too fucking small (not to mention a flimsy piece of shit) for my 39 lb dog – despite being advertised as being good for dogs up to 55 lbs. So what do I do now? Spend around $40 on a taxi taking the damn thing back to store for an exchange? Or call a friend in the hope they won’t mind giving me a ride? Choose the latter option. Thank you, friend!
(10) Finally get the new, better and bigger crate home, and call Continental to book my dog as cargo on the 24th, but now, according to the customer service agent, Staffordshire Bull Terriers ARE banned! I explain, patiently, that they are not, and she must be thinking of “American Staffordshire Terriers” (an entirely different breed) but she refuses to book my dog. She even goes off to check with somebody else, and comes back still insisting they are banned. I ask why the fuck Continental couldn’t have told me this ages ago before I went through all of the above hassle and expense.
(11) Call Continental back the next day to make sure Staffordshire Bull Terriers are truly banned. This time I speak to a manager who tells me the last person told me a load of crap, and that I can indeed bring my dog as long as it says she’s a “Staffordshire Bull Terrier” on her health certificate (it does). Hurrah! Book my dog on the flight.
(12) Minutes after booking the flight, receive a phone call from “MM’s” parents who have just received my Christmas card telling them that I, their son, and my two dogs are looking forward to seeing them. “Two dogs?!”, they say. “We didn’t know you were bringing your pit bull!”. What the fuck do they mean they didn’t know I was bringing it?! I was sitting right beside “MM” several weeks ago when he persuaded them on the phone it would be OK if my dog came. “Oh”, they say, “we’d rather she didn’t come…because we’re scared she’ll hurt our little grand-daughter”. I fucking hate this prejudice against pit bulls but, if they had a problem with my dog, why the fuck couldn’t they just have told me, definitively, that she couldn’t come?!
(13) “MM” answers that question by telling me (as he often does these days) that I am so pushy and aggressive and that I “forced” his parents to let my dog come – all of this despite the fact that I never even once spoke to his parents about my dog coming! He was the one who mentioned it to them. He says I’m selfish and that I make people do things they don’t want to do, and that his parents are so lovely and accommodating that they just wanted to make me happy. Make me fucking happy?! Happy?! I would have been sad if they’d told me my pit bull couldn’t come but I would have accepted that (it’s their goddamn house, after all). How is it making me happy agreeing to something, and then backing out at the last minute after I’ve gone through so much trouble to get my dog on the plane?
(14) Realize now more clearly than ever where “MM” has learned his atrocious communication skills and passive agressive habits. It’s clearly the MO of his family to “make people happy” (because they’re so “lovely” and “accommodating”) when it would be far better not to do something if they’re going to be all resentful all about it, and guilt-trip me.
(15) His parents agree to let my pit bull come after I tell them that I’ve spent so much money and time on her travel arrangements.
(16) On December 23rd (one day before we are due to leave), I get a call from “MM” telling me that his parents have just mentioned to their son, “MM’s younger brother, that my two dogs are coming. He had just informed them that his little daughter, who has bad asthma, and will be spending a lot of time at her grandparents’s house, is horribly allergic to dogs. Whether my pit bulls comes or not, “MM’s” brother knew that I brought my chihuahua last year, and could have assumed I’d be bringing her again this year. Why it didn’t occur to him to mention her allergies to me? Why am I only finding out one day before I am due to leave.
(17) Realize where “MM” got his horribly annoying flaky and thoughtless personality from.
(18) Finally have some sort of mini-nervous breakdown due to stress and decide not to go.
(19) “MM” calls me a selfish bitch (as he often does these days), and says I’ve ruined Christmas for him and his family.
(20) “MM’s” mother tells “MM” that I’m a very selfish person, and “MM” tells me what she said.
(21) I call “MM’s” mother and tell her, in no uncertain terms, that I will not tolerate being called selfish especially when I’ve nearly worked myself into an early grave to be able to afford to come to visit her and her family for the third time in eighteen months (when I haven’t been able to afford to go home to Scotland for 4.5 years!).
(22) Crying! Drama! More crying! Drama! Crying! Crying! Crying! Everybody wants me to come, tells me the dogs can come too, but don’t they realize it’s not about the fucking dogs?! The dog situation was just the last straw. It pushed me over the edge after weeks and weeks of stress and worry. I don’t want to go because, quite simply, I just can’t afford it. “MM” tells me that family is the most important thing in the world to him, and that it breaks his heart, and his mother’s, that I’m not going, but I just don’t get why people who claim to care for me would want me to fall into an emotional and financial abyss just so I can come for Christmas.
Maybe I am selfish. I don’t have a family, so it’s hard for me to understand why people are so attached to theirs, and events like Christmas. However, if being part of a family means going somewhere, being miserable, and spending money I just don’t have to be there, I’d rather be by myself, thank you very much. Anyway, didn’t “MM” tell me it was wrong of me to “force” his parents into letting my pit bull come? If this is the case, then why isn’t it wrong for them to force me to come home when I just don’t want to?
Maybe it’s wrong, but I am so fucking relieved to be at home with my cats and dogs. I love them (they’re my family) and I just can’t describe how wonderful it feels to know that I won’t start off 2010 with a lot of financial stress and money.
Why is this so wrong of me? Is it? I tried my hardest to come, I really did. I worked on my birthday; when I was sick and on many other occasions when I didn’t want to, or was just plain exhausted. Why doesn’t anybody get angry at “MM”, too? I mean, part of this is his “fault”. If he would just finally wake up and smell the coffee and get a fucking proper job instead of working in a café, barely making ends meet (so he can write this graphic novel he never gets around to finishing!), maybe we would have had enough money for this trip. I’m tired of him always harping on about the money I owe him. I don’t want him to support me financially, but it would be good if he could help me out a little bit financially without holding it against me.
A couple of days ago, I got an email from a new Mexican friend of mine who also married an American, and she told me how envious she was of me because I didn’t yet have a work permit. She said that for her those days in the immigration process were a bit boring but that, ultimately, she enjoyed just hanging around all day, watching morning TV, doing yoga, going to cafés etc. Well, lucky bloody her! How nice that she had a husband who could support her!
I’m getting rather tired of “MM’s” constant blaming attitude towards me. I’m always the one at fault; I’m always the “selfish” one. When it suits him, he invokes the ideals of marriage to show how bad I am at compromising (and he may have a point), but I just don’t see why his actions can’t also be described as selfish. Even if he does finish his graphic novel, there’s no guaranntee he’ll make any money at it. He has all these “brilliant ideas” for making money as a visual artist, but I never see him put an effort into any of them. As soon as he’s had one idea, he gets a new one, and then forgets all about the first one.
Why the fuck can’t he just be a teacher? Why the fuck can’t he just get a real job and work on his art in the spare time? That doesn’t mean he couldn’t still be a successful artist, and then give up teaching. “Teaching would take up too much time”, he says. He’d have no time to work on his precious “art” (the art he doesn’t really work on anyway….all he does is obsess over pointless details, and re-draw things again and again, getting nowhere and finishing nothing). Maybe a real fucking job would force him to manage his time better and would teaching really take up too much time? I don’t see how being broke, and being constantly worried about money, frees up much time for creativity. It certainly doesn’t for me.
As for my teaching dreams, according to “MM”, it’s OK for me to be a teacher apparently because I’m more passionate about teaching than him. This is true, but there is also this tacit assumption that I’m the least creative one in this relationship. He doesn’t seem to realize that I don’t really want to be a full-time high school teacher. My ideal life would be to teach, yes, but I would much rather do it part-time, and have the rest of the time for myself, to write and do other creative projects. Maybe one day I’ll get myself into that position but, in the meantime, I will be a full-time teacher because I just don’t see any other way to pay the bills. Why do I have to be the sensible one?
I sometimes wonder if “MM” would be better off single or with a much younger woman who still finds “artistic poverty” romantic and exciting. It’s lucky that I have got no desire whatsoever to have kids for a long time because where would he be if I wanted them soon, even in the next couple of years?! There’s no way in hell we could ever afford kids on his wages. And, oh yeah, a child would be too “time-consuming” and he wouldn’t be able to devote himself to his “art”.
Well, fuck, it’s nearly 4:00 p.m., and I’m tired of ranting. I’m going to go walk my dogs, and then I’ll come home, tuck into my “Tofurky” and watch “Barbarella”.
Hope your Christmas has been merrier than mine!
Tagged: broke, chihuahuas, chipmunks, Christmas, Continental Airlines, dogs, loneliness, marital fights, marriage, money, my husband, parents-in-law, Petco, pit bulls, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, starving artist, stress, teaching