Monthly Archives: May 2014

The family that doesn’t really fight together?

My sister and I consider ourselves pretty funny. Okay, we consider ourselves REALLY funny. We sometimes joke that we should have our own reality show – the problem is, it would be 98% complete and utter boredom rounded off with 2% comedic brilliance.

We don’t exactly DO a lot of stuff.

And when those WACKY shenanigans DO happen, we’re sometimes too dry and nonplussed for what would be considered DRAMATIC REALITY TV. We also don’t really fight with each other. Or rather, if we do fight, it’s a cold war – everyone knows there are nukes, but no one is quite willing to be the one to set them off.

But mostly, we just get along. Even when things go pear-shaped

Take for example my burned fingers on Tuesday of last week. I burned them BADLY on the lawnmower. If this was a reality show, there would have been TEARS. AUDIBLE SOBBING. FRANTIC TRIP TO THE ER. TENSE MUSIC. EMOTIONAL UPHEAVAL. WOULD I EVER PLAY THE CELLO AGAIN???? WHAT ABOUT MY WRITING CAREER? WOULD I NEVER BE ABLE TO GET A MEDICAL DEGREE AND JOIN DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS???

What happened instead was, I ran for the cold water, soaked it and then decided this was not helping Jenge mow the lawn, so I held a cold piece of rock-gravel against the burn while we finished mowing the lawn.  Okay Jenge did the mowing. I watched and offered moral support, frantically dashing to get another rock when the one was holding wasn’t cold enough anymore. But I did help empty the bag! with my one good hand! We’d already started the lawn! It needed to be done! The next day was garbage day and I wanted to get that grass in there!.

Then we had a lackluster trip to the Shoppers Drug Mart for First Aid supplies [What about this one? No, I think that’s for sunburns. This one? Well, I think that’s just the no-name brand of this. Should we ask the pharmacist? IDK, that seems like a long line) and only when THAT didn’t to work, did we go to the Urgent Care center. Which is ANYTHING BUT URGENT. It was, like, 3 hrs of my sis and I sitting there on our phones for me to finally get called into the back and then for a nurse to finally say all they were going to do was put polysporin on it and send me home (REALLY WISH THEY’D SAID THAT WHEN I CHECKED IN). And then I STILL didn’t see a doctor! Actually that’s not true. One came in and said, “What have we here?” and I said “Burned fingers” and he said, “Are you Shelly?” and I said “No” and he left and I never saw another doctor again. After 3 hrs and then hearing the nurse say they would just bandage it and put poly on it, I checked myself out and had to sign an AMA [Against Medical Advice] form.

Then we went out to Jenge’s car and CLICK CLICK SPUTTER.

Again, in reality TV land, the car not starting at 10.30 at night after 3 hrs at Urgent care would be met with SHOUTING. CRIES OF OUTRAGE. SHOCKED FACES. WOULD WE NOT MAKE IT TO THE RANSOM DROP IN TIME? WAS SOMETHING RIGGED TO OUR CAR TO EXPLODE?

We turned and looked at each other. I shrugged. Jenge turned the key again and then she shrugged. She pushed the button on her radio. I pushed the button on the radio. She said, “I’ve been good to this car. Dammit. I took it for all it’s service appointments. I JUST GOT THE LETTER TODAY THAT SAID IT WAS PAID OFF.”

Me: Like, today-today?

Jenge: Like at 4pm today. I just opened it and was all happy it was finally paid off. It’s still sitting on the table. Figures. BASTARDS.

Me: That’s shitty. [clutches gauze to my fingertips – they still aren’t bandaged because I was going to do that AT HOME]

Jenge: [presses overhead light that won’t turn off now]: ugh. Do you have AMA?”

ME: [presses same light that jenge just pressed] No but I can sign you up online right now.

Jenge: Yeah.

Me: Well, we’ll call Darren [our bro in law], I guess.

Jenge: [shrugged again]: “Yeah. I guess so.”

So we called him. And he came out. There was no hollering. No shouting. No, “YOU BETTER GET HERE AND HELP US.” No GNASHING OF TEETH. The conversation was sorta like

Me: Um, Darren? You up?

Darren: Yeah, what’s up?

ME: We’re at the urgent care center and Jenge’s car won’t start. Can you come down?

Darren: Yep.

Me: We’re not sure what it is. Maybe we just need a boost. OR should we call AMA?

Darren: I’ll come down and take a look and then we’ll see. Be about ten minutes.

Me: Thanks, man.

Pretty anticlimactic.

So maybe we DON’T deserve our own reality show. At least, not on network TV. PBS? Can you only get a reality show if you fight desperately and meanly with your family?

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Stupid is as stupid does

So. A night spent at the urgent care centre when nothing really seems urgent.

I burnt two of my fingertips bad. Real bad. Bad enough that I had to cancel cello. And yes your fingertips are full of all kinds of nerve endings so it hurts like a mofo.

It happened on the lawn mower. Ugh. I just feel dumb. This is three hours of my life down the drain waiting for someone to check if I need a tetanus shot.

Le sigh.

Jane Eyre Readalong – Jane as a child

As I mentioned in my previous post, I quite often forget the beginning of Jane Eyre when she is a child, focusing mostly on her time at Thornfield when I think about the book.

However, the beginning of the book, as told from Jane’s younger self, is very powerful. I think we get a better sense of Jane and her surroundings because of her youth. Maybe it’s because we assume children are more truthful, or lack the artifice and intelligence to dupe us. But there is definitely something more tangible about how Jane suffers emotionally and physically during her life with the Reeds. In particular, I was struck by this sentence:

“For me, the watches of that long night passed in ghastly wakefulness; strained by dread: such dread as children only can feel.”

That sentence really stuck with me. I regularly have nightmares and always have and while there are some from my adult dreaming life that scare the crap out of me, I don’t know that any of them have stuck with me as much as those from my childhood. There was something different about being afraid as a child – maybe it’s because you’re smaller and less able to protect yourself and lack the reasoning that’s often required to pull you out of your fright.

 

 

Jane Eyre – Readalong!

Gentle Reader, I have started reading Jane Eyre again.

Jane_Eyre

Jane Eyre was, is and will always be my favorite book. I love it. I love reading it, I love thinking about it, I love to stare at it. I love to own a paper copy and an e-copy. I even own a copy in French. I don’t know why. I just… had to have it. I thought I would blog about it as I read it, and I invite anyone that wishes to do the same to join me.

 

Though I’ve read it many times, I’m always surprised when I start reading it again that I’ve forgotten exactly where it begins. I suppose I expect it to begin sometime at Lowood, the school where Jane is sent. But of course, the narrative starts before that so we can see Jane’s life living with her aunt, Mrs. Reed. We learn so much about Jane’s surroundings from this introduction. Her isolation, her fiery spirit and the constant onslaught of abuse from her cousin. I’m immediately sympathetic to Jane from this beginning. I think the thing that hits me the hardest is how matter-of-fact the entire set of characters seems to be about Jane’s treatment. The servants and the family think this is all fine and acceptable and that leaves me, as the reader, wanting to rally even more FOR Jane.

 

Reading this book again is always like coming home after a long day, putting on my most warm and comforting sweater and curling up in a corner next to a window. Outside there is a grey sky and I’m warm and safe, with a hot cup of coffee. That’s the feeling this book gives me.

 

If you’ve never read Jane Eyre, I cannot recommend it enough. If you HAVE read it, I invite you to join me and read it again!