November is not my most favorite-est month. For a lot of reasons. It's the slow slide into the holiday season, it gets dark, and let's face it - Thanksgiving.
It goes without saying I miss Dad. He was the King of Thanksgiving, and without him, it's just a bit of a hassle.
Last night, I had a hard time falling asleep. I was hot, couldn't get comfortable. I started thinking about 1998.
October/November of 1998 was one of the worst periods of my life - and understand, "worst" is kind of a sliding scale - because you have to understand, nothing really bad has ever happened to me. Unpleasant, uncertain, sure - but nothing catastrophic.
Anyway, within the period of about two weeks, the following chain of events unfolded:
1. I celebrated my 24th birthday.
2. Two days later, my company got bought out, and I was laid off. I knew it was coming because, well, as a member of the marketing team, I was putting together a ton of due diligence for the purchasing company. I had even been interviewing, to no success.
3. The next day, my long-distance boyfriend arrived in town, and I believe that had #4 not occurred, he would have ended our relationship on that trip. It was a strained and tense weekend because;
4. My grandmother died. Which meant a lot of different chaotic things. It was more upsetting from a "tasks" standpoint than an emotional one.
5. My boyfriend ended up dumping me within a week of the funeral.
So here I was, out of a two year relationship that I'd put a lot of work into. I had no job, and time on my hands. Dad was in a transition mode of his life as well. That spring, he had been downsized/retired from his job as a health systems administrator, and took a job at REI just to have something to do.
I finally put on my interview suit, went to Rich's department store, applied for a job, and was offered a seasonal gig on the spot. It would not start until after Thanksgiving. In fact, I trained on the Saturday after.
But, that gave me about a three week span of nothing to do. As I was writing this, I would have sworn it was so much longer. Nope, three weeks.
Anyway, Dad and I would have breakfast together most days, and we would plan Thanksgiving. There were, initially, going to be eleven of us, but that number kept slowly creeping down until we got to five. So we'd scale back, and scale back. I remember several times we would have breakfast at The Skillet - a local place where the food was so good. And that they new Dad well enough that they would bring him coffee and water without asking. And that pretty soon, they started doing the same for me. Which felt terrible, because I was a deadbeat.
We got through Thanksgiving. I went through orientation at Rich's. I was good at it, for the most part. Some of the women there initially hated me because I was a spoiled kid living on my parents' dime. I also got some feedback that I hogged the cash register and didn't clean out the fitting rooms as much as they did - so I corrected that. Also, f*** them.
Mom, Dad and I went to Paris (spoiled kid) the first week in December. I came back to an email that my ex had moved in with a new woman and to not contact him any more.
I continued to work and did more cleaning out of fitting rooms. I had two interviews the week before Christmas - one good, one bad. The bad one was bad because the interviewer was triple booked and left me in his office for an hour. I did not get that job.
I'm not naming names, but this is their logo:
|It's Manhattan Associates. Just for the record.|
Christmas was nice, I think. I don't really remember. After the first of the year, I started a new job, one that I loved and stayed at until they closed down. I got Lola. I moved forward. I started dating Matt. It was good. It was all really, really good.
But I was thinking about those planning meetings over coffee and toast or whatever. We had fun. We worked through some "stuff" by making grocery lists.
And what I was thinking about last night is that my father really propped me up during those hard weeks. And many others to come. And it occurred to me this morning, that maybe I was propping him up a little too.
I took him to get his ear pierced during that time. So yeah, I think maybe I was helping him a little, too. When people asked him why he did it, he told them to piss off his parents. That should tell you something.
So, you know. That's what I was thinking of when I couldn't sleep. It didn't really help.
Don't forget to clean out your dressing rooms this Thanksgiving.