I missed your 100th birthday, my bad

First, two picture, one is of us together, you’re doing your trademark thing and hiding as much of your face as possible in the picture. I’m maybe a year old? The other is the cover of the Betty comic you bought me one of the times I was staying at your apartment and I waited there while you went to the grocery store to buy things to please me. I didn’t know what Betty was, but it seemed okay so I acted like I knew it and acted excited when she said “I got you a Betty.” She got my brother Mad Magazine so we were both happy. 

Well, just like last year on November21st, I was going to write this huge long sentimental blogabout my Grandma, since that’s her birthday. But you know what I failed miserably at that in 2017 and 2018 so I’m going to do it todayto make up for it.

I saw a meme the other day, one of those long ass ones that tells a story, about how when someone dies, they go into spectator mode, like in a video game. So your deceased relatives can watch whatever they want, either POV or from above. At the end of the meme, it showed a Pilgrim-esque looking guy standing behind the meme’s main character with the thought bubble “Holy shit he figured it out.”

IF I could find this meme, I’d fucking show you rather than describing it. But it’s one of those ones I thought I saved, but instead, I didn’t, and it has no relevant keywords. So here we are.

BUT, the spirit of this meme is what interest me. Because. What is that IS true? That’s how it in The Lovely Bones, the dead immediately go into full omniscience.

If that is true….

uh…..

Well, you know what, if the dead do watch us, Lord knows my Grandma has truly been enjoying herself judging me all this time. That’s what she liked to do anyway. I grew up thinking talking shit/criticizing was a completely normal mode of expression.

But also, yeah, I could see why she would choose to watch me and not her daughter, or her grandson. Maybe she spends a lot of time with my cousin’s out west. Both of them married and had children and are normal, successful people with Ph.Ds and houses and etc. etc. They lost their mom young, really unexpectedly, to cancer. I’m related to their dad (Grandma’s other son whose still living, there was a third one, another Uncle, and his death when I was 12 marked the exact end to any semblance of security, stability or happiness in my life. I had 6 more years to get through and my fuck they weren’t easy) and it came as a shock to us all when the drinker/smoker of many decades outlived his wife. He was the only person at my wedding who was related to me who wasn’t my W, my mom or my brother. At our 300 person wedding, FOUR of the guests were my relatives. But I digress.

So, if you’re watching this, well, first of all, things are different now, Grandma. You were born in 1918, you’re not going to understand the world of 2018. And if you don’t want to see a foursome don’t watch a foursome. It’s better than observing mom though, isn’t it? I guess the dead can’t do anything to harm the living…because….if they could, I’d frankly be really angry with my Grandma for not car-accidenting that guy out of our lives.

Well. That’s it. It’s Thanksgiving, and I’m pretty preoccupied by the notion that my dead Grandma can see me and is judging me. I mean I don’t care, I’m just saying if SHE could do that, that’s how she would use that ability. But that’s just how she was. I’ve said before how I find it a little hard to criticize even the times she was being horrible, because like, should I find fault with the only reason I’m even a little bit normal? Like whatever part of me wants to fit in and for people to like me…that didn’t come out of nothing. LOOK at my brother. HE’S what happens if someone is over-exposed to W and has no other adult influence. But I spent a ton of time with my mom and Grandma, and my Grandma alone. My brother was taught that W the great I Am and that to even think of listening to someone else, doubting W in the slightest, was a sin on par with damnation.

OH YOU THINK I’M JOKING?

Okay I need to fast forward to the Easter when I was mmmmmm 16. This was when, now that we were teenagers it was 0 hassle to get us up and into church (my mother did this job solo ages 0-15, you know, when there’s work involved in doing so) and suddenly it was life and death importance that we attend his church as well. 1) He started attending a church in a city nearby because his trashy skank coworkers he definitely wanted to fuck and might have at some point (I mean he cosigned on a car with one of them….what does THAT tell you, friends???)

Well I went to a Lutheran high school, so naturally I had Good Friday off from school. W insisted my brother and I go a Good Friday service at his church. His penecostal church. Do you REALIZE what those people are like on Good Friday? AGH, such uncomfortable weirdness.

But of course, when I protested, when I said I didn’t want to go to his church because it made no sense to me that suddenly at 16, despite being a regular attendant of my own church, going to a Lutheran high school, and being an active member of my youth group, I just HAD to start going to HIS church too. Of course his religious bent just works into his narcissism too perfectly, and it was one of the many things he used to put down my mom and I (to a lesser extent). He loved talking shit about that church and how it was (remember this term? I know I’ve told you before) a dead church.

So this GF when I’m 16, he outright asks me, “What’s telling you that you don’t like going to that church?”

As in.

He thinks I was being told, spiritually, by a demon, that I didn’t like that church, because this demon that was allegedly inside me was frightened by the true spiritual power of his superior Pentecostal church. YES. REALLY. That was W’s favorite go-to when you didn’t want to have anything to do with his church.

To him, to his tiny, narrow, tiny, NARROW mind, there could be NO other reason for my not wanting to suddenly be dragged to ANOTHER church. Especially one where I know NO ONE and my dad’s dragging my brother and I along to put on a show for coworkers he’s having shit with or wants to have shit with? LIKE SERIOUSLY. This was my life at 16. Being accused of demon possession because I didn’t want to help my dad nail some skank. Like Jesus fuck. IS IT SURPRISING I have such issues with religion? I mean it feels like I’m going against everything I was ever taught but…JEEZ. Sometimes it feels like you need to? Other times you’re like well there’s no accounting for human error/flaws, and you KNOW W didn’t just come into being one day, that someone whose THAT fucked obviously went through deep trauma himself. Not that that’s enough to like, ever speak to him again, but I’m capable of thinking the thought, at least.

My mom would always hide as much as she could during these exchanges while W had me cornered somewhere, typically my room or the corner of the room he was in if he was awake and not on the toilet, rocking in front of a TV super fucked up and chewing tobacco. Yep. That’s my mental image of my dad. That and him yelling. ANYWAY. My mom would also always just tell me to go along with what W wanted because it made her life easier.

Yep.

And you may be thinking, wow, Cassie, way to go, you turned this tribute post about your Grandma into talking mad shit about W on a different national holiday. Well let me tell you that’s precisely the sort of thing Grandma and I would be talking about if she WERE here, so *tongue sticking out emoji*
I’m going to write and smoke weed all day. At some point we’ll make like bacon and eggs to tide us over. Who the fuck knows when my husband will get up, he went to bed at 5am reeking like vodka. He shaved his pubes in the bathroom sink. I didn’t see him do it, but I can assure you it happened. Oh well. That’s really not that bad it’s just like…okay THIS is why the house can never be up to my personal standards of clean, set by none other than, you guessed it, my Grandma.

I guess my memory palace is mostly just her apartment, then the playground at my grade school in the spring. Then my room when it was filled wall to wall with stuffed animals and Barbies and my Lite Brite and my enormous Fischer Price dollhouse. And I think about her apartment the most. It was like…eerily spotless. The carpet was always perfect. The bathroom was always perfect. I guess I run through the whole place A LOT.

That salmon pink candy dish on the glass and wood end table with the seasonally alternating candies. Root beer barrels. Anise squares. Chocolate peanut clusters. Those squishy pastel after dinner mints. Spice drops. Tiny Reese’s peanut butter cups. Individual Andes mints. It’s strange, for being NOT fat (she was about 5’7” and 140#, so like not a tiny old woman by any means, but she talked about herself like she was 340#, it drove everyone crazy) herself, my Grandma was surely talented at making other people emotionally connect with food. But I also never eat candy. Because it’s bad for your teeth. My teeth need all the help they can get, I can’t control myself from grinding them. I mean I do, but I fucking catch myself doing it all the time. So I can’t be so good then. But, it definitely wore off on my mom. To be certain. When I was a kid, she described overeating after dinner as a “release” I would, years later, realize just how fucked that was of a thing to say. Like. EGH my parents were way too like “Let’s be friends and confidants” with me, and that KIND of fucks up your perception of propriety and boundaries and makes you really grating to some of the other adults in your life, because to them you seem like a petulant, spoiled, arrogant little shit who thinks they can say and do whatever they want as their doormat mother and absent father do nothing. That was a little true, but I don’t think anyone would stop to wonder why my mother and I had that sort of relationship. Plus I was a good kid. I wasn’t fool enough to try and get away with anything under W’s watch, in that tiny house. Besides, I knew I was getting out soon.

It’s it hilarious that I didn’t even like start getting fucked up until I was 21? Like I’d been drunk on rare occasion before then, and I started smoking when I was 19 (weed and cigarettes) but I didn’t start drinking on the reg until I met my husband.
I’m not blaming him, at all.

Because I don’t blame anyone for my actions. Because, that’s stupid. I’m just pointing out these things coincided.

It wasn’t until I started getting fucked up that I realized I could get away from them.

What the sweet fuck does that even mean though?

Like does growing up in a fucked situation make your brain want that feeling, even though it knows it’s bad? Because I fucking promise you, I’m the last person to cause drama. Like. That’s just NOT an activity I participate in. I do everything I can to avoid it, BUT, I’m not great at backing down if I get challenged. I feel a little bit like a proverbial bulldog with something in its jaw in those moments. But anyway.

I think I might just be trying to blame my drinking on my childhood. What shocking, new behavior, for an addict.

Can’t figure out if I’m a sex addict. Probably not? I feel like I’d be getting laid more if I were, right? Pfft.

Just like I tried blaming the fact that I was married and had my side relationship with R happening right at the same time as my final break with my parents. Like I wanted a distraction from thinking about shit, and boy spending three nights a week at his dad’s house was definitely that. And to me the whole time my husband said it was okay, to him the whole time he was begging me to stay and I was doing what I wanted anyway.

Well whatever.

Wow this does not have a Thanksgiving theme to it at all. Sorry, anyone in the festive spirit who reads this. I honestly don’t like this holiday. It’s about “giving thanks” but also overeating and consumerism? Bleh. We’re going to my sister-in-laws. I am not pumped about the email I’ll probably get from my mom on Monday. But that’s awhile from now so whatever.

I was shopping online for Christmas gifts and kind of drunkenly bought myself three pairs of black boots……………whoops. I kind of remembered it this morning and was like…wow Cassie, maybe a bit excessive. But also, they were on hella sale because Black Friday started like a week ago, sale wise. So whatever. I went on innocently enough to get a scarf to match my new coat with rewards I’d earned from buying the coat. But, alcohol. So three pairs of boots, a hat/glove set, a velour/sherpa scarf and moisturizer later….i was done. But I also finished my best friend’s birthday and Christmas shopping too, so, actual gift buying also happening.

Jeez, I sound like I have a shopping problem. Well going shopping and eating were the two joys in life, so my Grandma taught me. So maybe I’m more like her than I realize. Plus I don’t do this often. Of course I earned another reward..so….we’ll see….I WISH I had a fucking reason to need sexy lingerie. Younger Cassie would be distraught over how far my undie situation has fallen. I mean for one, I weigh a great deal more than I did when I was 21, so the all Victoria’s Secret collection I had going pretty much all had to go, a loooong time ago. I used to always be wearing matching underwear/bra. Now, the only time that happens is when they’re both black, which is likely, because black is practical when you’re me and pretty much only wear black clothing. The underwear I brought out of special hiding to wear that one Saturday back in October worked their way into the normal rotation but now when I wear them I’m like….well some luck you were. Not that I really believe in having “lucky” objects, I’m really not superstitious. I own a book entitled The Encyclopedia of Superstition, but never mind all that. That was a Barnes and Noble find when I was a child, that had a spooky dust jacket that I threw out because it scared me more than once at night. I’m actually proud I kept it all this time. My copy of Homeless Bird, my SIGNED copy, was water damaged from my transporting it to and from work for Halloween. That made me sad.

Okay. This has been a WEIRD blog post. Enjoy your holidays, and your families, if you are so inclined. Just because I seem to sneer at “normal” people doesn’t mean I don’t get why it’s fun to be normal. I just…hate football, and the Pilgrims were murderers, and turkey tastes like napkins. That last part is a Brooklyn 99 quote, before I get sued.

Well, enjoy your long weekends. Fuck knows I am. Yesterday I got the hashtags of death with my book. I corrupted the file of it I had on my laptop beyond repair. BUT, I had it on a flash drive, so all was not lost. I need to buy Microsoft Word. Yeah I get I know I bought all the boots, but that was with a store charge (duh). I need cold hard cash for Word. I refuse to use “real” credit cards. Store charges make it worth your while, and honestly buying small increments of make up and work clothing isn’t SO bad, now is it? Anyway.

I need to get back to my real writing, that I now back up A LOT more frequently. I spent 1pm-4pm yesterday BARELY holding my shit together. Like just barely. But it’s all good now. Yet again, my worst freak out recently has been over nothing. Which is funny, because I DON’T freak out over the shit I should. Soooo funny how that works….ahhhhhh.

When this new insurance from my husband’s new job kicks in, we’re both looking into therapy, don’t worry.

Peace.

~Cassie

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