Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year and all that jazz...

Greetings patient readers! I have not kept up with my blogging duties as well as I should, but, as usual, it has been a crazy, crazy holiday season for Susan and me.

First, Susan had her much anticipated concert with the Our Song choir, here in Atlanta. In the weeks leading up to the concert, Susan had a terrible sinus infection. We were not sure if she was even going to be well enough to perform, but with 'better living through chemistry' she got on the right meds and was able to perform magnificently, if I do say so myself...and, well, I do.

She was as beautiful as I have ever seen her, and as many of our friends and family commented too.

I will post a picture. Her voice was in good form, and she got through her solo bits and a beautiful trio flawlessly.

For me, I was on a holiday deadline with three articles due for one publication--which I am still on today, with one article due by New Year's Eve day--and I took over as "gift buyer" this year, since Susan says I am the one who knows what to get everyone.

Add to the mix that I had to spend a week in Savannah, making my stubborn and ill-tempered father go to the doctor.His feet have been swollen twice the size as normal, and when we went to see him in October, he couldn't even walk without a cane!

I made him take of his shoes and socks and I thought I was going to scream when I saw his feet and ankles.

My father gets on my last nerve, for many reasons, but the fact that his pride makes him refuse to see a doctor, when he has Diabetes and other issues, rankles me to no end. I was ready to lay into him, but Susan--realizing that my head was about to pop off, and knowing that it would only make my father more stubborn--stepped up to the plate and calmly told my dad that he really needed to see a doctor.

He finally admitted that he was scared, so I told him that I would find a doctor for him, come down there and take him to the appointment myself, etc. That's just what I did.

I stayed a week, and while I was there I managed to get an interview with a convenience store owner that I had been trying to wrangle an interview from for months, so that was good. Anyway, I took my dad to "Dr. Arrogant," as I call him

Don't get me wrong. The guy knows what he is doing, but he was a real jerk as far as his ego is concerned. It was a stressful week, because my father has a knack for lying to doctors, and I kept catching him lying, so I would tell what was really going on to the nurse and doctor, and my dad was getting really angry with me.

I didn't care.

So, my trip culminated with my father having a blood clot in his right leg, and him yelling at me on the way home from that visit, when I told him he was going to have to be careful and really do what the doctor told him to do about his feet, legs and the blood clot.

He went off on me, as if I were a 12-year-old kid, telling me that I needed to "shut up" and that I "didn't really care about him."

Oh boy...let me tell you, I quickly stuck my car in park, locked the doors and let him have it. I don't think I've ever done that with him before, when he's been an abusive jerk, but there was no way he was going to talk to me like that.

Though I don't like to do it, I had to yell over him over and over, until I was the loudest one, and he had no choice but to listen to what I had to say.

For the first time, my father was speechless. As well, as I dropped him off and left Savannah, he was very worried that I would never speak to him again. I assured him that I would, but that I would not allow him to speak or to treat me that way ever again.

When I got home from Savannah, I had an email waiting for me. For the first time in my adult life, my father apologized for his actions, told me that he loved me for coming down and taking him to the doctor, and he said that I was right all along. He did need to see a doctor.

Now, I don't hold my breath that the man has changed completely, but I was surprised that he 'got it' about his health and my concern for him.

So, reeling from that week, I went right into to deadline mode. As well, we had to sing with our church choir, bake cookies for the ladies in the shelter at the church, make Christmas bags for our friends and neighbors.

It was an E-ticket ride up until we left to go to our cabin on the 23rd. Both of us were completely worn out, but once we got to the little town of Murphy, NC, and to our cute little cabin in the hills, it was like night and day.

Both of us were able to relax--there was a private jacuzzi on the back porch--and have a nice, quiet Christmas--just the two of us and no dysfunctional family--together.

I surprised Susan with rings this year. I had not planned to do that, as I had been turned off on the idea, after a friend of ours kept collecting rings from her multiple "partners" after knowing them for a month or so, then the relationship would not work out, and she'd keep the ring.

It just seemed so silly and 7th grade, when I watched what she was doing, that neither Susan or I wanted it to have so little meaning. However, when we went to Savannah in October, Susan kept looking at Celtic rings, etc. I knew that she wanted something, since the black vinyl rings we had previously worn, to symbolize the fact that gays and lesbians cannot marry in this country, had broken.

I relented and found some rings that I could afford, as well as being rings that I knew Susan would love. We both are not into diamonds, given how most diamonds are harvested--read a book entitled Blood Diamond, if you want to know the real story--and how so many folks in Sierra Leone and other areas of Africa have lost limbs and their lives over the harvesting of diamonds. Diamonds are lovely, but they represent total greed to me.

I settled on two sterling silver bands, with the following words--I believe it's in Gaelic-- etched into each ring:

One ring to show our love
One ring to bind us
One ring to seal our love
And forever to entwine us

Susan loved the rings, and I had an "Elvis" Christmas, which suited me just fine, along with a boxed set of Johnny Cash songs!!! It was great. Along with the rings, I gave Susan a "Melissa Etheridge" Christmas, which suited her just fine. I was able to find and buy some Missy E concert T-shirts, and a sweatshirt, along with Rufus Wainwright's tribute to Judy Garland. She loved it.

So, here it is New Year's Eve 2007, and it's been a year of surprises and change, some good, some odd, and some that needed to occur even though I didn't know it at the time.

I've moved up in the writing world. I haven't won the Pulitzer, but I'm finally starting to make a respectable living at freelance writing. We've made new friends, which is great, and even with the bumps in the road, all in all, I am happy and I know that I am loved.

It's a good feeling.

Here's to 2008.

Susan, looking very beautiful:

1 comment:

MMM said...

So cute...I love that you guys exchanged rings! And Susan looks beautiful. Sending you much love!-MMM