This post is late. Really late, like “why the hell is she talking about Thanksgiving now” late.
There was a time I could blame the mail carrier for missing birthdays, anniversaries, sorry-your-dog-has-worms and other momentous life events. Now that excuse is a little flimsy, since no one actually uses the mail anymore.
That excuse worked with everyone back then, except my mother that one time I missed her birthday. In the grand scheme of things, missing your mother’s birthday is one step past “oh my god the fiery asteroid is nearly upon us.”
After years of reading me like a cheap paperback, she immediately scoped out my pathetic attempt to throw the U.S. Postal Service under the bus. (Or maybe I was trying to throw them under the stubby little tires of one of those boxy white Jeep-like things they drive.) Whatever I was trying to throw them under, she didn’t buy it. I paid for that screwup for many years.
I did, however, get some measure of revenge on my 40th birthday, when the card from my parents arrived with a cheerful little note written inside: “Hope you have four more years!” Four, 40, whatever. She was mortified. My friends found it hysterical, and have ever since serenaded me upon my birthday with lusty choruses of “Four more years! Four more years!”
That got really funny after I got cancer. My chosen family has a pretty warped sense of humor.
Even now on Facebook, I usually fail in offering deep and meaningful words to my friends and assorted people I don’t remember from grade school. I mean, Facebook makes it so damn easy to send emotional testimonies about the specialness of each person, like “HB2U!” and “Hope it was special!” And I still can’t swing it all the time with any consistency.
Maybe Facebook could make it easier for me. I mean, it can be scary-hard to have to stand over a hot computer, read that complex “Birthdays today” title, then have to actually scroll down with a finger to see all of the names. Today’s equivalent of toting that barge.
Often I’m a day late, or two days late. Or four. Once I was a good two weeks late. Another time I was so late, I offered up a cheery “Happy anniversary!” to a couple currently engaged in a bitter divorce that made “War of the Roses” look like a Disney flick.
Those super-late situations necessitate the marshaling of all of my verbal skills to pour out a heartfelt, combo mea culpa/happy day response. Something with lots of exclamation marks, to show that I really mean it(!), along the lines of, “Hi, ___! Geez, I’m a complete doof who can’t even be counted on to send you good wishes on your birthday! I a scum-sucking friend/acquaintance/frenemy who should be unfriended, excoriated with verbal abuse and then stabbed in the eye with a flaming stick! Anyway, HB2U! Hope it was special!”
Then I add a few of those black, silhouette-y hearts, because in Facebookland, that proves beyond a doubt that I really do love them.
But I really did think of you all on Thanksgiving, and I was really thankful that you read my blog. You know that it helps keep me a tiny bit farther away from the edge of insanity, especially on days when the universe is conspiring to thump me right over that cliff. You stick with me, even when I take canyon-sized gaps away from blogging. I don’t deserve you. But there was method to my madness (in this one instance).
I decided a while back that I really, really need to get off of my ass and finish my novel. You know, write something that might actually help me retire one day. Or even if it doesn’t, will let me drop, “Oh, I’m a novelist” to groups of drunken partygoers while modestly scuffing the floor with my toe.
So fair warning, I’m expecting you to buy my novel, even if it’s a pity purchase and you think it’s dumber than mustard on ice cream. I’ll e-publish, so it’ll be cheap. Start saving now. I’ll even email you an autograph. If you don’t buy one, then I’ll just have to remind you: that’s why you can’t have nice things.
I have a decent start, although you know how my brain works — I keep coming up with ideas for a new one. Maybe I could start a web site offering book ideas for sale, instead of actually writing any of them. Then I could say, “Oh, I’m a novelist suggester” to groups of drunken partygoers while modestly scuffing the floor with my toe. If I mumble on the last word, I could have the best of both worlds.
I figured NaNoWriMo might be just the catalyst I need. But it turned out to be more like a wet fuse on those perfectly good M-80s my siblings and I used to throw at each other.
If you’re not on the creative hip train, NaNoWriMo is sickeningly cutesy shorthand for National Novel Writing Month. You’re supposed to just sit down and write 50,000 words in the month of November. Then, presto, you have a finished novel on Dec. 1.
I’m 49,346 words short. But there’s still one day left!
I blame work and Ryan Seacrest, who really are related in a substantive way, but I won’t bore you with the details. I mean, seriously. Who in the hell picked November for this creative project? A Facebook friend had the right (write?) idea, suggesting that NaMarWriMo or NaFebWriMo would be much less stress-inducing.
I mean, you may end up with a novel with NaNoWriMo, but you’ll be editing it from your hospital bed after they cut you open to cauterize the bleeding ulcer.
Back to Thanksgiving… in no particular order, I am thankful for words. For a loving, kind better half. For finally shutting off relatives who only wish to wound me. For the many members of my chosen family who don’t need to share DNA with me to love me unconditionally. For Chase. For good jobs. For the many opportunities to share our good fortune with the less fortunate. For chemo/radiation/surgery. For health insurance that paid for them. For my camera, which feeds my soul as words do. For laughter. For forgiveness for being late with birthday messages. For you.
So, to every one of you, my heartfelt wish goes out:
Happy Halloween! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
(By the way, so sorry for this post being blank last night. WordPress ate my homework. So this is a rewrite. The first one was better.)