Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Surreal Sunday

Yesterday was Father's Day. I was feeling magnanimous, so decided to do the whole church enchilada with The Daddler. Sunday School and worship service. I dressed up. He wore a suit. I considered running to Kroger to get him a boutonniere, but ran out of time.

He's been going to church next door every single week, but this was his first time to go to Sunday School. The first hint of weirdness was when I said I'd go to The D's class, but I was informed that the classes are segregated between men and women. But they'd make an exception for me. I declined. The quintessential church lady, Mary Alice, snapped me up for her class. I asked if the cool lady who's within 10 years of my age was in M.A.'s class. No, cool lady kept the nursery. Which was comprised of her two precious granddaughters.

Not a pot of coffee in sight, dammit. One think I love about Hope Pres is the great coffee bar - lots of versions of Seattle's best coffee. You can even take it into the sanctuary. Crazy, huh? Maybe that's why they have 10 bazillion members. Wonder what would happen if they served mimosas and bloody marys. Hey, that's a novel idea! Just think, if it worked like drunk tips, the offerings would increase exponentially. I really am a genius. In my own mind, anyway.

I walked across the hall to say hello to cool lady and cute little girls. The preacher walked by and they discussed a member who's grandaughter was found dead of a gunshot wound the day before. Then a discussion ensued of which of the member's seven daughters was the mother of this poor dead girl. Then the convo segued into the new baby someone had. Not sure it it was a member's baby or grandbaby. Hopefully, the parents of the baby are members. That would lower the median age of the congregation considerably. Cool lady tried to pull up a picture of the baby on her phone but it took forever to load.

The preacher's wife happened along and said she was on her way to teach Sunday School. I asked her what age she taught and she said they were the older ladies. Whoa, older than M.A.! Could that be possible? So I faced the inevitable. I was a little worried when I walked into the SS room and saw a biblical map. Thank god it was old testament. I detest the travels of Paul. Talk about a weird misanthrope.

It was just me and M.A. until a lady named Jeptha walked in. I said that sounded like a biblical name. It was, but it was a man's name. J was probably within 20 years of my age. Small talk ensued. M.A. proceeded to model her new dress and asked us to guess how much it cost. We had no idea. She said $15 at Ross (one of my favorite stores, by the way.) The dress was interesting - perfect for a church lady, I suppose. It was all white with an eyelet neckline, pleated and elasticized waistband, and a full skirt emblazoned with embroidery and sequins and beads. Thank god they were all white so it was kinda subtle. Jep and I ooh'ed and ahh'ed over it and M.A. was beaming. Finally M.A. asked Jep to pray. Specifically for poor dead grandaughter. M.A. said she'd died in her bed in her sleep. Jep corrected her. They seemed so matter of fact about it. I started feeling sick.

Finally, Jep started praying. I swear, it went on forever. Not only did she pray for dead girl and dead girl's grandparents and family, but she rattled off about 20 other people with no explanation of what was wrong with them. At least she stopped short of the flooding, our troops and the situation in the middle east, Japan, our missionaries... She thanked God for our visitor (me). And finally said amen.

M.A. jumped into the lesson. She asked me to read verse after verse. I wonder i Jep was a slow reader or if M.A. was just trying to get me involved. She'd already told me I could join her SS class even though I'm a Methodist. Wow - hard to resist! Then in comes a lady named Linda. I thought she had her iPod buds in her ears. Thought that was a great idea. Then upon the introduction and her nonsensical answer when I told her I was The D's daughter and we lived in the parsonage, I realized she was deaf. So I repeated myself in a very loud voice. Like I have to do with The Daddler.

M.A. started back in on my bible reading. Thankfully, I know the order of the books of the bible so I was able to find the verses without help. About that time, I started feeling intense pressure in my chest. It hurt like hell and felt really weird. The muscles under my chin were tight, too. And I felt nauseated. Classic heart attack symptoms. This happened to me once before. I was studying for my anatomy and physiology test when I went back to school 4 years ago to get that course as a prerequisite for my stupid idea of going into Health Information Management. I have a feeling that would've been worse than public accounting. I loved the physiology part of it, but the anatomy is just a bunch of memorization - not my strongest suit. One time, the night before a test, I was perched at my computer doing the thousandth question on my practice quizzes when I was stricken with this intense pain. It went all the way through my back. Luckily it passed. I figured it was anxiety and I was right.

Once, when my brother was dying of cancer, my parents showed up at my door one Sunday night. Mother was having chest pains. I rushed her to the hospital. They did a battery of tests and found nothing wrong. It was anxiety.

Since I woke up yesterday dreaming of formatting an Excel spreadsheet, I knew I was already anxious. And since I haven't been to a Baptist Sunday School class in a very, very long time, I'm sure that exacerbated the sitch. So I excused myself saying I was sick to my stomach and that I was going home to lie down. I got the hell out and had walked halfway home (not far since the church is next door) when I realized I didn't have a key. The D had locked up and I'd left mine on the kitchen table. So I had to turn around and go back. I headed to the men's SS class and cracked the door and tried to get The D's attention, but he was looking down at his bible. I motioned to the man next to him to get D to look at me, to no avail. There were about 20 men in there and everything came to a screeching halt. When D finally looked up, I crooked my finger to say "come here" and he made an awful, irritated face at me. So I had to walk across the room, with all eyes on me. I apologized profusely. And since The D is hard of hearing, I had to announce for all to hear that I had a stomach ache and I needed his keys. Three times. Finally, he got the message and turned over the keys. Needless to say, this added to my anxiety.

This time I walked across the baseball field, wondering what would happen if I had to go to the E.R. Should I just put a post-it note for D on the door? Should I drive myself there? The hospital's two minutes away, but it would probably be stupid to drive if I were in the throes of a heart attack. If I dropped dead, what would happen to The Daddler? Of course, all these crazy thoughts escalated my anxiety into a full blown panic attack.

Luckily, I had the presence of mind to know if that's all it was, I could put a xanax under my tongue (it's absorbed more quickly that way), and the pain would subside. But I had to climb the stairs to get to the xanax. So I did. Then headed to the sofa and laid down. Couldn't find The D's blood pressure machine which also takes heart rate, so just checked my pulse with my watch. Low 80's. High for me, but considering the anxiety and pain, not too bad. Within 10 minutes, I was ok.

Then I headed back, just in time for the worship service. More strangeness ensued. We were personally welcomed by the pastor at the beginning. He talked about the suicide (which I thought was a little tasteless). Then prayed. Music followed. Apparently the pianist also played in cabarets. I'm not kidding. The preacher even commented on it - something about the casino. Strange.

Finally the sermon began. Here's where it gets really surreal. I have never in my life had a full-fledged convo with the pastor as part of the sermon. He was talking about the trouble they'd been having with ne'er do wells vandalizing the church around back. Tearing up downspouts, littering with whisky bottles and beer cans, (he left out the part about used condoms, but I'd already learned that on the QT). Then he looked at me and said, "Carol, this has stopped since you and your daddy moved into the parsonage. Have you had any problems?" I responded in the negative. He replied, "God's hand is on you." Whoa.

Apparently, God was blessing me because I was a good daughter, and was honoring my father as commanded on the stone tablets. Then he asked me about my siblings. I told him about my younger sister and my deceased brother and the bitch from hell older former sister. I left out the adjectives, of course. Started not to mention her at all. Then, get this. He asked me if I was married. I answerd with a simple "no." So here I am, being interviewd by the preacher right in the middle of the sermon. Go figure.

Finally it ended and thankfully, we only sang one stanza of the invitational hymn. Then D and I high-tailed it home. Deb came and took him to lunch. I headed over to FF's parents to take mangoes to his dad for F-Day. I was in the mood to paint, so I talked his mom into sitting for me so I could finish the family portrait. This was my third session, I think. Finally I was kinda satisfied, so I'm done. The colors are weird, but actually, that's my favorite part of it.

Then I headed to my holiest of holies. The thrift store. OMG, they had so much good stuff. I got some great things for my trip to Boston. I am, however, going to have to check a bag. Broke the news to FF this morning. He told me I'd have to schlep it. I told him, no, he'd have to schlep it. At least on arrival. I'm on my own when I leave since he's staying an extra day. I can handle it. He doesn't understand. It's like Sophie's Choice for a woman to decide what clothes to bring. Especially since I don't know what the weather will be like or if we'll be going to some nice restaurants. He said we'd work out in the hotel gym, and my running shoes take up half my carry-on bag.

Oh, well. It'll be fine. It'll be wonderful, in fact. Better run. Lots to do before I go. And client meeting at 1:00 to get ready for...

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