Monday, November 12, 2012

Some Things Never Change

My dad sounded a little too cheerful when he asked to take me out to lunch tomorrow. I am, as a result, filled with dread.

How can someone sound too cheerful? you may ask, and why does that frighten you to your very core?

It's rather simple, really. Whenever my parents had really horrible news, they would try to temper that news with a treat. They'd act a little too casual, and the treat would be completely out of nowhere, because usually it was something they'd been trying to hide. For example: My sister has never watched the movie Forrest Gump through to the end.

One fine spring day, our parents pushed the couch up in front of the tv to make things cozier, told us we were going to have a movie and ice cream sundaes later, then sat us down and announced that my mom was moving out. My sister had no clue until that moment, and she did not enjoy her sundae, nor did she watch the movie all the way through.

I loved my sundae, and I loved the movie. Of course, my bedroom was directly across the hall from my parents' and I was a bit older, so the announcement was wonderful for me. No more being unable to sleep until 3 am listening to them argue! And a sundae on top of it all!

Once in a while I'd wake up and find that my father had taken my sister out for the day, and that announcement was always met with dread. It meant that my mother wanted to tell me something truly horrible, perhaps break my spirit and remind me what a horrible person I was for having repeatedly done something wrong over the previous weeks or months. The problem was me, and she needed several hours in which to set me straight, while my sister went bowling or fishing or out to the park.

So any time I get an unexpected treat just for me, I'm thrown into anxiety. I asked my dad if my sister and brother-in-law were also invited to lunch, which is always the case, but no, it's something just for us. *shudder*

So, what am I so afraid of?

Well, number 1: homelessness. I've been living in someone else's house as a favor to me since December 2009. My then-best-friend kicked me out after three and a half months because I was still unemployed, and she and her boyfriend had decided that not only did I not actually want a job, or I'd have one already, but that I was never going to amount to anything, and I should give up and try to get on disability.

I then moved into my aunt's house. She didn't actually have room, but I had just been kicked out, and it was that or let me live in my car. I stayed with her for about two months before I managed to get into Grad School. Unfortunately, I flunked out after two semesters because I couldn't wrap my mind around Accounting, and my school did not offer any kind of Master's degree in any kind of art or design.

So it was on to grandma's house. I was there for several months before I was notified (by my father) that my grandmother wanted me to leave, because I wasn't the companionship she'd hoped for. I'm an introvert, you see, and sitting quietly in the same room with someone feels like good company. I don't like to fill the air with words unless I have something to say which I think is important.

My grandmother was terribly injured, went into surgery, and ended up staying with my father, because his house is wheelchair accessible and hers is not. This extended my stay at her house to nearly two years, because I took care of her pets and kept the house from being abandoned/broken into.

My sister kindly, generously, amazingly, asked me to come live with her for reasons such as the horrible heat wave, horror at my living situation, and hope that she could help me out. I've been here four months and I'm still unemployed, even with her tossing every job she hears about my way (yes, I apply for them all), and now it's into autumn, which means the Seasonal Affective Disorder is kicking in. I'm sleepy all the time, I'm no longer oozing the hope and enthusiasm I was when I first got here.

So, back around to lunch with my dad tomorrow. There's a chance he just wants to have lunch with only me, though we don't get along for more than the shortest amounts of time. There is also a chance that he wants to pass on a complaint from someone else because he thinks it's helpful.

I'm taking bets.

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