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Friday, March 02, 2012

Yodeling in the Canyon

Yeah. I've been pretty down, that's obvious. What's not obvious is the effort I've made to get out of the funk. Mostly because I haven't talked about that. I've been out there, hitting the pavement. Literally. I park on a certain street and walk from business to business passing out my resume. I've tried other avenues, to no avail. I was promised a job, but it was far away and I had no transportation. So Charlie and I carefully researched and bought the best used car we could so that I could make that commute safely. Then, what happened to the job? I don't know. I mean, I really don't know. I haven't heard despite follow ups. Now I have a car, a car payment, but no job. Mostly, I don't understand what happened. But I keep going out there. I even applied for a housekeeping position. To speak plainly, a hotel maid. But guess what? I don't speak Spanish. Yesterday, I went and took yet another typing test for a data entry position. I did well, as I usually do with typing tests, but then they asked me if I spoke Portugese. WHAT? Yeah, I need to speak Portugese or Mandarin. I laughed. What else can I do? I told them it would have been nice if they had mentioned that before I wasted two hours with them, but oh well. Typical. That's how I feel about it now. It's just typical. I'm to that point where I don't want to try anymore. I know I have to, and I haven't completely given up, but I'm really getting gun-shy. We've had setback after setback. It gets old, ya know?

Recently, the people that I am closest to in my world have been set upon with hardships. I know I'm not alone. But I have to say, Misery can't love company forever. After awhile, you don't want to be in the same breathing space. There HAS GOT to be some positive to help bouy you and those around you.

Yesterday, someone dear to us called and told us he got his walking papers. This, just after a very long, very scary, undiagnosed for two years illness. He gets the diagnosis, is two months into the treatment and upswing, and BAM! He loses his job. This isn't a job that is in his line of expertise. It was just a job to help out a friend, and get him some medical coverage. Plus, like me, he couldn't find a job, so he took it. He cares for his elderly mother. He needed friends and a drink, so we met with him. He told us about the day and then tells us that his brother-in-law (someone we also know) just got let go from his job of 22 years as well. We were sitting at the table with another longtime friend who is also struggling financially, lost his business, can't find work.

"Look at us! We're pathetic!" We joke, but the reality is we're all in our 50's and we know there is no "retirement" to look forward to. We don't have savings, we scrape by. Our "future" is invested in our kids and we pray to whatever deity might be there, if any, has an ear of compassion that they might see to it that our kids fare better than we have. Our friend has no kids. Just his mom. The Happy Hour drinks taste better and better. But we know tomorrow is coming.

We talk about better times and dream about getaways. But we know that will never happen. We have to make sure we keep a roof over our heads. Before our friends arrived, Charlie said; "You know, I realize that I'm the only one of our group that is employed right now. But I know that any second that could change. I am at the end of the line of what a company desires for the position I hold. If my company doesn't make it, I don't really think I'll be able to find another job after this. I've been lucky so far. But I'm not sure how much longer my luck will hold out." My Charlie doesn't speak like this. He has always been an optimist. He's always been a "glass is half full" kinda guy. I sense a quiver of fear in my belly.

Last week, when I put a desperate cry out to my sister and asked if we could "run away from home", she and I sat on her balcony and talked. I told her that when we had gone out to dinner earlier with our friends Rick and Trent, and the six of us were sitting at the table, I looked across at my husband, and I looked across at her husband. My brother-in-law is 2 or 3 years older than Charlie, but he looks 10 years younger. Charlie's beard is completely gray and he has mostly salt now in his salt and pepper hair. His wrinkles are deep and his brow is very furrowed. He's still so handsome to me, but I see what the years and the worry have done. He doesn't complain, he is always the rock. But lately it seems that worry erosion is taking place. I thought it then, but his words last night verified to me that he has even more on his plate than I had thought. Now, sitting at the table with 3 unemployed friends, reality deals a hard hand.

When does the relief come? What does it feel like to have some grace from worry? I loved Gilda, but I'm really tired of laughing and saying; "If it's not one thing its another!" Because it really IS. And it's not funny anymore. It's scary. Really scary.

Not to sound like a broken record, but honest to Kilwillie, I feel like we have paid our dues again and again and again. We give selflessly, we have sacrificed unwieldingly, we have lived through more pain in our lives, apart, and together, than any two people should have to endure. Honestly, you really have NO idea. In the nearly 9 years I have been writing this blog, I have never talked about some things here that could devastate any other humans. Literally. But we have endured it. More than that, we've come out of it like a sword from a refiner's fire. But honestly, how long? Charlie always says; "As long as it takes."

This group...this sad little ragtag group of us needs relief. I can't smile for others that really need it, if I can't find it within me. I've got no bootstraps left. But I do have a lemon custard cake that needs frosting. I think Jeff likes lemon custard cake.