The ones we love, the ones we love to hate

A TTer remembers a friend; others ruminate on what drives them crazy.

Published December 17, 2004 6:26PM (EST)


The Off Topic Thread VII

Meera Hyphenated - 12:10 pm Pacific Time - Dec 10, 2004 - #4184 of 4291

I had just told Kate about TT last week, and she was thinking about subscribing. She lurked in a bunch of threads for about a week. I'm not sure which ones.

She was a nurse practitioner for Planned Parenthood, a midwife, a therapist, a crisis counselor for a women's crisis hot line, a single mother, and a friend to so many people. She was a healer and promoted communication. She believed that she could fix anything that was broken. This was her only fallibility. She was lonely and was always reaching out to others, not only to help them but also to help herself with her loneliness. Kate wanted to be loved, that's all. She carried around so much pain and had seen so many terrible things, but was still able to put one foot in front of another, juggling her multiple jobs and responsibilities.

And she'll be gone today. I can't believe the culmination of her amazing life ends in a stupid freak accident. It's beyond comprehension.

I just can't believe that she's not going to be calling me anymore to ask me to pick up Parker because she's running late, or I can't call her to do the same for me. She watched the cats over T-giving weekend while we were out of town, and the note I wrote for her is still stuck to our fridge. She and I shared a birthday in April and we were starting to think about how we were going to celebrate it. How can she be gone? How can she just be gone, when we had made plans to get together this weekend? How can she be gone when she just shared with me the photos of her giving birth to Parker, whom she delivered with her own hands? How can she be gone when she was planning a trip to NYC over the holidays and was dying to go to the early collection at the Met? How can she be gone when she and her boyfriend were going to be taking Parker to "The Nutcracker" next weekend?

*shaking head* It's such a loss. I wish we could have gone out for pizza last Monday night when I saw her last, and the kids wanted to play together, and I said no, I'm too tired. She was wearing a very nice maroon corduroy dress that showed off her golden honey hair. I told her that she looked nice.

I could keep going on like this, but I really should get back to work, even though I can't seem to concentrate very well. Gee, I wonder why.

Mothers Who Think

Plain Old Questions, Part Five

Tinsel - 08:53 pm Pacific Time - Dec 10, 2004 - #6753 of 6794

I got my first speeding ticket on the second day of college, pulled over about two blocks from the very tiny liberal arts school to which I was commuting. Because, my chicks, this was the Dark Ages. I was wearing the mandatory freshman beanie (in a screaming fuchsia) and a matching T-shirt with my last name in Magic Marker letters the prescribed foot high. I was going 45 in a 35, and the Cherry-faced Apoplectic Patrolman not only gave me a ticket, but he also made me sit in the back of his patrol car while he v e r y s l o w l y wrote out this ticket, all the while delivering a jeremiad on "so-called young ladies like you" and how I wouldn't be so awfully pretty once I was mangled up in a thousand pieces against a tree driving the way I did and he had to gather what was left of me out of the ditch and put it in a basket and then I'd never get a husband because I wouldn't be pretty anymore and dead besides and the embalmer would never be able to put me back together well enough for my father to show me at the funeral, so I should learn to slow down and drive the speed limit and act like a lady for a change. All the while many of my classmates and (presumably) members of the faculty slowed down to gape at just which freshman was under arrest. As I skulked back to my grandmother's turquoise Rambler (subtle car, that) I decided that my face must already be up on the WANTED posters on bulletin boards across the Midwest.

In those days and in that state, they also confiscated your (paper) driver's license and stapled it to the top of the ticket, which Cherry-faced Apoplectic Patrolman did with great vigor and satisfaction. You were then awarded a chit that indicated you'd lost the license to speeding. Once you paid your fine, your driver's license was mailed back in a window envelope.

I spent the first week of class contemplating what I could do to retrieve that driver's license so it did not show up in a window in an envelope in the mail my mother cased each day with the dedication of a Kremlinologist working in a bunker during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Speeding would be real proof of my possession, this spell of insanity that had taken hold, thinking I was better than everybody else and should waste time in college when I could be earning a Good Living being a secretary at the factory that made ball bearings for blenders or even an assembly person at Caterpillar or the tackle box factory if I played my cards right.

So with a great sense of purpose, I drove to the county seat (proceeding at a sedate five miles under the speed limit at all times and barely surviving the furious horn-honking light-flashing swerving drivers who passed me and conveyed all kinds of good wishes for my long life and prosperity using just their middle fingers).

I rehearsed and refined my excuse-filled appeal for retrieving my license and soon found myself in front of the right person in the right office, and words failed and I blurted, "Please please please I don't want to make tackle boxes for the rest of my life!" Incredibly bored clerk stops snapping her gum, pauses for a heart-stopping moment as she contemplated me, mouth open and gum at rest. Then she nodded and said, "Honey, who would?" Got my license back. Graduated, too.

Private Life

Raised In A Barn -- Rude People Galore

Leesa B - 07:13 am Pacific Time - Dec 12, 2004 - #4315 of 4381

Air travel does tend to transform perfectly nice people into rude b*stards. I swear that there's always a sign bolted to the back of my airline seat that says:

"To rise from your seat, do not bother to help yourself up using the armrests with which all airline seats are equipped. Instead, please grip the top of the seat in front of you firmly in both hands. Ensure you get a good handful of the hair of the person sitting in front of you, for good measure. Using your arms, pull yourself forward while rocking from one cheek to the other, dragging the whole weight of your dead ass to the edge of your seat. Now attempt to stand up using as little leg muscle as possible -- just feel free to hang from the back of the seat in front of you. You may have to reposition your grip for even more leverage, as you will have already ripped the handfuls of hair out of the head of the person in front of you. Their seat may snap backwards a bit under your full weight, but do not be concerned as this is merely a temporary inconvenience to their personal comfort. When you feel that your legs can take some of the burden of your own body weight, release your grip on the seat in front of you and allow it to snap back into its original position. Have a lovely little walk round the passenger cabin and be sure to annoy the cabin crew by getting in the way and make a nuisance of yourself by attempting to engage other passengers in unwanted conversation. When you are ready to return to your seat, make sure you again use the back of the seat in front of you to hang from as you position and lower your lazy ass back into your seat. You are the most important person on this aircraft. Your own comfort and convenience are utmost in the minds of all those around you. We hope you have a pleasant flight. At everyone else's expense."

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