Nothing to See Here, Folks. Move Along

One of our priests used to say “folks” all the time in his Masses.  I kind of heard it, but never really let it bother me.  Then one day someone told me that their family used to count the number of times he would say it in an hour.  After that I had a seriously hard time NOT hearing and counting the “folks.”

I just learned this morning that this same priest has been diagnosed with colon cancer.

Devastating.  He’s a great man.  Top notch.  And cancer sucks.

And that story is about how everything’s been going in my life lately.

What’s been happening?  Nothing.


Fun stuff, like that story up there, with sadness and sometimes overwhelming feelings of responsibility mixed in.

Middle age, I suppose.

Though when I crossed the threshold into BEING middle aged, I’m not so sure.

4 friends have lost a parent since April.  Two acquaintances have lost an adult child in the past week.  People MY AGE are fighting cancer.  A 10 year old in our community has cancer.

Everywhere I turn, it seems people are being faced with mountainous hurdles or tragic loss.

And then I sit in the Kumon waiting room listening to two women discussing LOUDLY AND AT GREAT AND MIND NUMBINGLY PAINFUL LENGTH the challenges they’ve been having with the same contractor they’re using.

“I mean, seriously, how could he THINK I could want that tile? ”

“Well, the work itself is top notch, that’s the only reason I’m putting up with his total lack in taste.”

“I don’t know when he’s going to finish, but it better be soon, or we’re going to have a reckoning.”

I want to scream “SHUT THE FUCK UP!  People are dying.  People in this room with you have just lost a loved one and you’re bitching about tile?”

Truly, it takes my favorite phrase “first world problems” to a whole new level.  I don’t give a SHIT if your husband is constantly working and poor little you have to make all of the decisions.  Welcome to the club lady.  Get a backbone and quit yer bitchin’!

Anyhoo, that’s my world right now.  In life, sometimes you’re the dog shaking the the shit out of the toy and sometimes you’re the dog being swung around by the tail.

Summer vacation starts next week.  My girls need it so badly.  I need it so badly.  I need to be with them so badly.  I’m just praying their current level of bickering is more “end of year stress” and less of “this is what summer’s going to look like.”

Because if it’s the latter, I may be finished with summer before it even starts.



  1. I have learned that some people (I’m not one, but I know plenty) need something small, BUT OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT (to them) to focus on. It’s how they deal with the way life throws curveballs at them. People are dying, my house if being foreclosed upon, but dammit, I have a hangnail. People cope in different ways — but it sounds like you’re coping with quite a lot right now — so you certainly have my sympathies & hugs.

    Here’s hoping for a quick end of the school year & a bicker-free summer 🙂

  2. I so hear you on this. It drives me insane when people complain about inane things like that. Hope you and the girls have a wonderful summer!!! xoxo

  3. I think sometimes people deal with the major real-world horrors (like cancer) by retreating into their own personal shells. The people who bitch about the high quality contractor with no taste simply lack the coping skills to address the serious problems in the world. And that fucking sucks, too, in its own way. They live in such a way that they remain isolated from the worst problems of the world.

    And when those problems hit home, it’s as though nobody else has ever experienced them before.

    Sometimes, though, one of those people will get such a real-life reckoning and figure out what petty shit they’ve been putting out there all this time and make a real effort to rectify it.

    So I make sure I mentally copy down every word such people say in order to assign it to characters in my novels in the most snarky way I can. Hopefully, they’ll recognize themselves. Most likely, they’ll empathize with the characters. 😉

  4. The pain of the world is so big, isn’t it?
    Overwhelming, really.

    I hope that soon, you’ll get a reprieve from all these direct hits or, at the very least, have moments where the joy is even bigger.

  5. My father fought cancer, my godfather is fighting cancer, my husband’s cousin is fighting cancer…
    So many people fighting cancer, so many winners, so many losers who are being mourned…
    I wish cancer would take a hint and get the F**** away…

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