Thursday, December 27, 2007

Normal (ish)

And we're back.  Thanks to everyone for the kind words of support and sympathy yesterday.  It has truly been a miserable month with so many ups and downs I've considered prescription seasickness pills.  Your thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated after so many weeks of self-imposed silence over the whole sorry affair.

Yesterday was certainly an education.  I learned that it is possible for a human being to cry in one form or another for a full twelve hours.  I now know that "cry yourself sick" is not just an expression.  It seems that it is also possible to cry in one's sleep as I woke up this morning with my eyes almost completely swollen shut.  This lent an added element of va-va-voom to my overall grim demeanor and meant that, when I needed to make an emergency Mountain Dew run early in the day, I couldn't go to The Convenience Store Where They Call You Honey or Dear And You Kind Of Like That.  I didn't want to scare the nice people, after all.  I had to pry my eyelids apart and go to The Convenience Store Where They Only Look At You To Make Sure You Don't Match Any Of The Wanted Posters Over The Register.  I don't much care if I scare them.  

Yup.  It's been tough to say the least.  And while I really do believe that it is important to let the grieving process run its course, there do have to be limits to the whole thing.  As I was cleaning the litter box this morning and suddenly found myself near to wailing over scooping away the last of Desdemona's poops, I wondered if I had perhaps crossed one of those delicate, but important, lines of demarcation.  Specifically, the line that separates "Normal Sad Lady Who Lost Her Cat" and "Crazy Person Who Locks Herself In The House, Requires Talking Down By Trained Professionals And Who Emerges Wearing A Hat Knit From Her Own Eyebrows."  

I am also not a fan of that moment where we all stand around staring at the cracks in the floor, shuffling our feet and periodically cutting our eyes at one another, wondering if there is a right or wrong thing to say.  So, to that end, I am going to put some teabags on my swollen eyeballs, smear a layer of concealer over those blotchy spots around my nose, take a deep breath and give us all permission to be normal.  Or, as normal as is possible.  Or, for those of us who have only ever had a nodding acquaintance with Normal, the opportunity to fake it.  And I can't think of a better way to do that than by backing up a step and giving you a belated Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  Granted, it'll be short.  But it will take us just a little bit closer to the way it used to was.  Here we go!

*Thanks to a lovely certificate gifted unto me by Aunt And Uncle Sheep, I was able to order myself a new book today!  Squeeee!!!  It was on sale even...  Karma, baby!  Sometimes it isn't out to get me, I suppose.

*Look!  I knit a sock:

*I could let the implication stand and allow everyone to think this means I knit a sock today.  (everyone has to be nice to me right now, after all)   But I am an honest Sheep who doesn't do guilt very well.  So I really should be saying something along the lines of, "I finished a sock that I started a billion years ago."  

*Either way,  it's a darned fine looking sock.  I even did some pretty amazing and clever shaping in order that it might fit me perfectly.  I'm like a genius, really.

*Or I would be if I could remember back a billion years ago and recall just what it was that I did to shape this so perfectly.  

*I'll fake it.  I'm sure it wasn't anything too fancy.  This is me we're talking about, after all.  Just how technical could I have gotten?

*To those of you to whom I stated my intention to eat only peanut butter cups today, I have to admit defeat.  Apparently, eating peanut butter cups for several hours makes you a little nauseous.  

*It occurred to me today that I have never knit with some very fine yarns, yarns that others rant and rave about regularly.

*It also occurred to me that I have a very generous Christmas gift certificate to a yarn store.  I wasn't sure what I was going to get...but I was considering getting a lot of one thing and doing a big project.

*But, continuing the theme, it occurred to me that it might be more fun to get a little bit of many cool yarns and play with them.  That actually brightened me up considerably.  I do like to play, you see.

*So I stopped letting things occur to me before I came up with a plan that exceeded the amount of the gift certificate.  

*I'm rather prone to that sort of occurring. 

See?  I'm going to be just fine.   Still sad, yes.  And probably will be for a while.  But fine, nevertheless.  It just takes a little effort and a little time.

And the judicious use of my Christmas gift certificates.  



Mel said...

Well, so long as you recognize that there is such a thing as "normal", then crying is very okay, even if it is over poops. When I lost my George 4 years ago, I cried for days and had to leave work early the day after because I just couldn't do it. And I do this for a living, helping other people to go through this same transition.

I always keep coming back to a line from Torch Song Trilogy where Harvey Fierstein's character and his mother are commiserating over the loss of their respective husbands. She says, in part, "It becomes a part of you, like learning to wear a ring or eyeglasses. You get used to it, and that's good. It's good because it makes sure you don't forget."

trek said...

As I was reading today's post, I heard it in my head in Pooh Bear's voice. He is prone to that sort of occurring, too, you see.

Kath said...

Yes, you do indeed have permission to be normal. And that "normal" is revocable at any time you please, no advance notice required. Just grab kleenex :)

Anonymous said...

You will be sad and that's okay; eventually, the memories will make you smile instead of cry. It won't be overnight, but it will happen.

Gift Certificates are so much fun, aren't they? Samm and I were just talking about how we hate to spend the whole thing because then you don't have it anymore. Half the fun is in the deciding what to use it on :-) I'm thinking I may have to use one of my GC's on that very same book you ordered.

Beth said...

I'm glad that you're feeling well enough to post. And that you're feeling well enough to do some retail therapy. (Let me know how you like that book. It's one I'm thinking of buying, too.)

Your sock looks great!

Emma said...

Just do what you need to do, even if it's crying over the litter box. We love the sad Annie too, you know!

Guinifer said...

So, you really peanut butter cupped yourself sick....

Somedays it doesn't take much to hit the tears, others are better.

Marianne said...

Annie... I'm thinking it's very normal to 'cry yourself sick', this is very appropriate behavior. I've often wondered... where DO all these tears come from? they just keep on and on and on... for days and weeks and months, it's truly amazing and it's cleansing. (not in the way to clean your loved one 'out')... sorry, I realize your post today isn't about all this...
About that gift certificate.. whatever makes you happiest at this time, sounds like you want to 'play' :^)

Jacqui said...

having been there myself, i would advise that:
- cucumbers may help with cried out eyelids more than teabags and
- i truly believe this is why they invented Gerolsteiner mineral water. it helps way more with crying-associated hangover than normal water. rehydrates whilst replenishing those pesky electrolytes necessary for normal cellular function.

know you are in my thoughts and prayers and being sad isn't something you need to hide. cry all you want. i will send you Kleenex and mineral water and cucumbers should you run low.

Norma said...

Oh, Annie. I had no idea all this was going on, me over here in my own little world. I just came back from the vet's office -- a new vet -- with my Vincent, who hasn't been doing so great lately. All seems to be on the upswing, but I want to extend my softest hugs.

mehitabel said...

Unfortunately grief is one of those things you have to work through, rather than go around and avoid it. It does help when you have sympathetic friends who will send you cucumbers and mineral water, and even better when you have a GC to a den of fibery goodness or a nice book pusher. I got an amazon GC and had to put it on my account after I almost deleted it from my computer in a fit of housecleaning... Deleting email is all I'm fit for!

Veggies.... said...

Grieving is very normal,if you weren't heartbroken and sad right now, that wouldn't be normal.

It is just so hard to let go of our dear furry pals, they are with us for much to short a time.I still think of all my (dearly departed)cats and miss them all.

Give Persephone lots of hugs...Im sure she is grieving too.

Huggs and take care Annie, G

April said...

I'm very glad you didn't spend all day eating peanut butter cups. What about Black & White cookies?


Mia said...

Well it's a very fine sock! But I'd really like to see the hat knit from your very own eyebrows ::snicker:: that was a good one :)

And here's ::another hug:: just for good measure.

Vicki in So. Cal said...

As far as I'm concerned, you are acting normally. What's not normal is not grieving when you lose someone who's such a big part of your life. Don't be embarrassed that you care and be assured that while you'll never forget her or stop missing her, your grief will ease in time.

Teri S. said...

It's perfectly okay to not want scoop the last of Desdemona's poops. I didn't the vacuum the back of the couch for the longest time after Jez died because it would remove her essence. And I still have one of her whiskers and a toenail sheath. So you aren't weird at all.

My recommendation is to not buy one big project with the gift certificate. Just think about your attention span. Could you really work on a big honkin' project, even if it was out of the most perfect, beautiful yarn? It's more fun to have lots of smaller projects because it sort of extends the pleasure.

Anonymous said...

You made yourself sick on peanut butter cups? I didn't think that was possible.
It will take time to get used to the new normal.

Bobbi said...

normal is ok as long as you're still ok with crying too. No need to be normal too soon, I think we often don't allow for proper grieving.

Hurray for yarn and knitting and gift certificate and books and anything else that makes you feel a little better.

Cathy said...

Oh good - vicarious yarn shopping. That's always a good thing for my stash. :-)

I recently bought the Knitting America about the history of knitting in America. That's really a fascinating book, too.

Donna Lee said...

I think normal is way overrated. And what passes for normal on any given day can vary so much.

Ronni said...

I love that book. And I'm very glad for you that you got it on sale. That always makes the spending of the gift certificate that much sweeter doesn't it?

I never can decide between the "enough for a sweater" and the "interesting yarns to play with" choices. I dither for ages. I totally admire your ability to decide. I hope you'll share photos of the eventual result with us so we can see what you're playing with too.

For the record, you weren't even close to that line you were worried about.

Alwen said...

I still cry over Sky, the little dog we had before our son was born, sometimes. Somebody told me once when you miss them the most is also when you feel the closest to them. *sigh* Dear little Sky, she was the total boss of our house, and there will never be another her.

So you go be all normal, but lemme tell you, a wet washcloth beats the heck out of dry kleenex when you really have to cry.

Annie said...

So sorry to read that you've lost your lovely furry companion. What a sad time for you.

Hugs from NC.


Knitting Linguist said...

I was the same way when I lost my cat of 19 years. I don't know if that means it's "normal" (I've never been known for normal; one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me was that I am "eccentric"), but just so you know you're not the only one.

The sock is indeed a thing of joy and beauty. And it sounds to me like you have some excellent plans brewing for the perfect uses for your gift certificates. How come no-one in my family was smart enough to give me yarn store gift cards? Nordstrom, forsooth. They never have yarn there, dammit.

knitseashore said...

I just read your post from yesterday (left a comment there too) and once again want to say that I am so sorry about your losing your kitty. It is definitely a process you cry your way through, and the only thing that heals is go through a lot of firsts and cry through each one. There are still times when I talk about Charlie that I lose my composure -- those experiences really show you the kind of people you know and interact with. Chris and I found there are definitely those who are compassionate and/or pet people, and those who are not. If I told you the number of business colleagues who sent me very heartfelt emails (and they barely know me), you might be surprised. It is such a comfort to know people that do understand.

I know what you mean about the litter box. I've saved a couple of whiskers and a few pieces of fur in my jewelry box, and was so relieved to read here in the comments that other people did that too. I also have a plaid fish and a furry mouse on a very old pillow in my closet, and I smile every time I see them. So don't be surprised if you need to hoard a few very strange items in your closet too. ((big hugs)).

Roadside Manners said...

I'm just getting re-connected to the world, and reading your last couple of postings, sorry sis, I know you did everything you could for her. Glad I'm sitting alone in the truck right now, because I'm not looking very truck driver-ly with my box of tissues right now. Glad to see you while I was home. Take Care..

Leigh said...

It's a wonderful sock! Lovely colors. I'm a little slow with things like sock knitting too, and this is a problem for me because by the time I get to the 2nd one, I've fogotten all the little changes I made to the pattern.

And speaking of socks, my cat just ran off with a pair!! Catzee, come baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!