Conversations with C: Leftovers

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Hello all. Hope you're having a good week so far. Believe it or not, I'm only just now beginning to feel better from my bout with the flu. 

I was diagnosed with bronchitis (again) early last week after being sick for over a week already. I wound up being out sick all of last week. I battled bronchitis back in November as well, which leads me to believe it never really went away. 

I spent every day from New Years Eve until Sunday in bed, which is highly unusual for me. Generally even at my sickest I feel well enough after a few days to at least get out of bed; not this time, however.

I managed to go back to work this week - minus my voice, alas, which seems to have taken the brunt of the damage in its pitched battle with my nightly coughing fits. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to my colleague C, who kindly made me a drink combining hot water, honey, and lemon every day this week. It went quite a ways towards soothing my vocal cords. Thank you again, Mr. C! :c)

More below the jump...



I mentioned in my previous post that I saw my parents for the first time in two years the day after Christmas. Because of my brother and his wife, I'm not welcome at family events on the holidays. 

I used to love the holidays, but after the painful events of last Christmas - really, every holiday season since I went full-time in late 2013 - they are now something I endure, rather than celebrate. I hope that changes someday, and I'll once again have reason to celebrate the holidays, but for now it is what it is.

My sister and nephew were also at the "Leftovers for the Leftover" meal (as I refer to it), which went a long way toward easing any tension. For whatever reason, unlike the last time I saw them, my mother used the correct name and gender more or less consistently (her few slips were clearly inadvertent). 

My father, on the other hand, never referred to me by my name; he used the wrong name and pronoun several times, but again it was mostly out of habit, not malice. 

Neither did he look at me directly, unless absolutely necessary, and then only for the briefest the of moments. He wasn't hostile; rather, what came across was a deep discomfort. Not surprising, I suppose, for a male of his generation. He was battling a severe cold, but in all honesty this is consistent with my last visit to see them.

Incidentally, I made it a point to go all out for my visit. I wore one of my nicest dresses - and heels - for my visit. I also spent almost two hours on my hair and makeup before heading over. Neither of my parents commented on my appearance, but my sister and nephew both complimented me afterwards. ("You looked great. Bitch!" was my sister's pronouncement. lol)

There was one telling moment. My nephew gave me a windbreaker from North Face designed for runners (teal, of course; he knows his Aunt Cass well). I had not even finished zipping it up when my mother spoke up.

"You need to return that."

"Why?" I asked, puzzled. "It fits perfectly."

"No, it's too tight," she said.

"Mom, it's fine," replied my sister.

She shook her head. "No it isn't."

C, as is his wont, managed to defuse any tension. 

"Nana, it's not like when you were a girl back in the olden days," he said, grinning. "It's fitted, so it doesn't slow you down. What do want Auntie to do: run wearing a petticoat?" 

"Well, I would if I could, actually," I said. "But running is probably where I'd have to draw the line."

My mother sighed, shaking her head. "Well, I"m not the one who will have to wear it."

C called me later that evening to make plans to get together again. Before we finished, he asked me why she reacted as she did. I asked him what he thought.

"Honestly?"

I nodded.

"You could see your curves," he said.

"That's what I though too," I said, smiling.

"But you're skinny, Auntie!" he said, laughing. "You could definitely see them, but you have a runner's build, you know? It's funny how weirded out she got."

"Well, thinking about it in the abstract is one thing," I said. "Seeing it in the flesh - literally, in this case - is another."

Yeah, he said, thoughtful. "That makes it real. Huh."

He was silent for a moment, then he laughed.

"'In the flesh' - good one, Auntie," he said.

"Thank you, C," I replied.

"I like chicks with a sense of humor."

"Hey, me too," I said.

"See? I'm rubbing off on you, Auntie."

"Yes, you're my role model, all right," I said. "By the way, do all role models 'borrow' as much money as you?"

"Well, being an inspiration isn't cheap, Auntie."

And that is how I've survived the past three-plus years. :c)

***

On a more serious note, as I mentioned earlier, I was quite sick yet again during the holidays. I don't think it's a coincidence I got sick the day after seeing my parents, and two days after the painful events of last Christmas. It's been a stressful year, for a number of reasons. 

Work has been crazy, I had to move on short notice during the holidays, and I've been coping with several other ongoing stressors I'm not able to discuss here at the moment. I'm surviving, but the stress has clearly taken a toll. I really do hope this year is the year I thought last year would be. I'm more than ready to move to the next stage in my life: I just need several events not in my control to finally take place. Fingers crossed.

***

To end on a positive note, I want to thank Miss J for the lovely dresses she gave me for Christmas - even if she spent WAY more than we'd agreed (bitch!!!). They are both absolutely gorgeous, and I cannot wait to model them! Thank you, again, hon; love you to pieces!!! 

(And yes, I will post pictures once I'm feeling a bit better, promise. They're so cute I can hardly wait to get to wear them both! Stace, I think you In particular will love them! :D)

In the meantime, the photo at the top of this post was taken last weekend. There's a story behind why I took it, but, well, I can only share part of it. [coughcough]  Let's just go with me liking how my hair looked (even if I'm wearing a nightie)!

Incidentally, I'm laughing because my landlord's six-year-old son T was knocking on the bathroom door, imploring me to come downstairs so we could race his pet turtles Fast-Fast and Pokey before he had to go to bed, as I'd promised earlier that evening. (I'll let you know who won next post; hopefully the race will be over by then. ;-p)

***

I could only end with a song from The Turtles, needless to say, so here's what it probably their best-known song, a Number One hit in early 1967 - "Happy Together":


One of their other hits was "You Showed Me" - co-written, as I discovered when I saw him perform solo, by the great Roger McGuinn, the singer/songwriter/guitarist from The Byrds. (His collaborator was Byrds co-founder Gene Clark, who wrote "Feel A Whole Lot Better" and "Eight Miles High," among other gems). Here's Roger McGuinn's version:


I've posted this Gene Clark song before, but it's so good I want to share it again. Bob Dylan, not known for praising the work of other writers, has said on several occasions that he wishes he had written this song. It's called "For A Spanish Guitar," from his 1971 masterpiece White Light. 



Since The Byrds are one of my all-time favorite bands, I'll wrap this section up with one of their loveliest songs, "Chestnut Mare," from 1970's classic Untitled album. 



Untitled was recorded by the final lineup of the band, which featured the incredible guitar work of Clarence White. I have a live show from this era, during which Roger McGuinn - who isn't exactly a slouch on guitar - introduced a song thusly: "Clarence is gonna pick a fiddle tune for you on guitar. And I'm going to try to keep up." (Spoiler alert: he did. :-p)

Until next time, have a good week, everyone...

2 comments:

Stace on January 21, 2017 at 11:06 AM said...

Hey Cass, on this side of the pond we are still slowly getting over the naaty bugs going around as well! Beterschap!

And, can't wait to see the dresses :)

Incidentally, running in a petticoat is doable - I was late for a meeting in the old building a d had to run 1/2 mile up and down the steps of a railway bridge in a swing dress, petticoat and princess cut winter coat. Thankfully I had Vans on rather than my heels ;p

(5 minutes was the time btw, not bad for the clothing and handbag that bashed me with every step!)

Speak soon,
Stace

Cassidy on January 22, 2017 at 12:00 AM said...

Good luck with the flu, hon! It has been particularly nasty this year for some reason. Everyone I know has been or is sick with it.

I can just see you in the outfit you described - Vans and all! lol

Believe it or not, I actually received a gorgeous princess cut winter coat for Christmas from my sister. It was scarlet, and I loved it - but the sleeves were simply too short. Sigh. I'm all arms and legs, so this goes with the territory, alas… :c/ The replacement should arrive soon. Then I can take it to be tailored; it's going to be much too big, but at least the sleeves will be correct!

Hugs,
Cass

P.S. I ran for the first time in over two months today. (That's how long I've been sick.) Sore as I know I am going to be, it felt wonderful nonetheless. :c)

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