Altering Habits

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Rewinding for “Mission Complete”
2008-09-06, 9:51 a.m.

Day 1475

This is what I had started Thursday:

I breathed a small sigh of relief during lunch today. The family’s Christmas present is secured. We are the proud owners of tickets to this years Trans Siberian Orchestra show, playing here in beautiful downtown Rottenchester Dec. 27. A Saturday evening even. Was going to treat everyone to dinner before hand, but after absorbing the cost of the tickets, I’m not so sure.

Emailed Cindy the news. Not sure that I’ll hear from her. Getting to be time to call BS on her behavior of late. Anti-social, closed off, uncommunicative and uncaring. That’s when she isn’t drinking. After a few drinks she tries to get all friendly and participate in life, but she’ inebriated to the point where it’s just annoying. Then everybody gives her the cold shoulder or lets fly with the ill aimed sarcastic remarks (are they ever well aimed, really?) and her retreat begins anew.

Today stands to be a drinking day for her too. It would fit the old pattern. It’s Thursday so I’m either at Al Anon or bowling. Home by 7 to find her on the way to being passed out on the couch.

Wow. Got a response. 2 words.

Busy. Later.

Eh. It’s something. Still time for a confrontation. A friendly confrontation. But not with just me. Time to ask the boys to have some input. I’ll offer them guidelines (from Annette really) and have them stick to some basic rules. No blaming, no finding fault with Cindy, keep it to how her behaviors affect them personally. If she takes it poorly, it’ll be her problem. My aim isn’t to tear her down, but to show her how her behavior affects more people than just herself and me.

I think that so far it comes across as me whining about her drinking and the kids getting a little (a lot) snarky when they’re around and she’s been partaking of some of Canada’s finer distilled spirits (cough, cough. $10 a quart – how good is that? At least it’s economical).

Better get back to work. Getting down to some nitty gritty in isolating a sporadic error. It’s be cool if we finally pinpointed the cause. Might make me feel less guilty about having tomorrow off.

More pond pics will be coming, as soon as the stream is up & running.

edited to add “and as soon as I locate that *&%#$ memory card. It may have been laundered!!”

Yeah, so that’s how things were going yesterday.

You know how bowling went yesterday. Good for the team, taking 6 or 8 of the 8 points up for grabs, even with u bowling a little under par for the night. Good thing the other team sucked worse than we did.
Cindy was way blotto when I got home. Eric was able to sum up his impressions with one simple facial expression. Somehow, there were some leftovers on the stove warming – so dinner was had – by Eric & I. Cindy slept through it. She also slept through my typing up that entry I did Thursday evening. She also slept through our taking over the remote and switching from some crap on Lifetime to the Giants football game. (Football in HD. Good lord, you can tell when the turf needs vacuuming, or which way the grain is running. And it is entirely possible to sit too close to the idiot box. Farther away is better usually.)

Finally, somewhere around 9:30 she got up, peed (surprise there!), went out for a smoke then came back in and had a fistful of Spanish peanuts and some chips & dip for dinner. I was then treated to the pleasure of her exhalations while trying to sleep last night. That could explain why I slept like crap and opted to skip spin class with Gary the Sadistic Bastard this morning. It’s a sad day when I pass up a chance to let Gary abuse my legs & lungs. (I feel guilty!)

Finally dragged my carcass out of bed at 6:30 (I know! So late!). Went in the bathroom to shave. Cindy came in and grabbed a couple of towels and started grabbing her soap & shampoo – she was headed to the other bathroom to shower. I told her I’d only be a minute as all I was doing was shaving. She asked if I was going to shower, to which I responded “not here”. Because I was riding in to work and would shower there. She figured that out. Instant attitude. Instant bad attitude.

I need to get to work. I choose to ride my bike. Saves gas, especially considering my van gets a whopping 18mpg. Gives me a nice workout – I burn about 550 calories one way. Costs Cindy nothing.

Her problem? “What if the Legacy calls about my dad and someone needs to go over there? I’ll have to leave work to do it.”

I wouldn’t have to leave work? Granted, I’m 5 or 6 miles closer than she is, but my leaving work is ok to take care of her dad? I’ve done it in the past, and will do it again in the future, frequently. But I am not going to base my decision on whether or not to ride to work on the odds of getting a call to go talk The Bob down off the walls.

Then Karma comes and bites me in the ass.

Cindy got a call. Prescription to pick up for The Bob. Needs to have it by tomorrow morning or he’s out of this particular med (Lisinopril for blood pressure). Cindy calls me. ‘Splains the situation. I offer to stop at the store and get the Rx. It’s directly on my way home – even by bike. I’ll just use the drive through (pedal through?) and avoid the whole “do they have a bike rack issue (they do, but Cindy doesn’t know that and I’m not sharing that particular tidbit, yet).

But. Her brother is coming to pick up their dad and have him down for the weekend/evening/some indeterminate time period. So she gets the bright idea that she should call her brother and have HIM pick up the medicine, blah, blah, blah. Fucking brilliant. And we’re having this phone conversation why? (I said that in my head peoples. Not out loud. I hope.)

Anyhow. The whole point of this? Cindy was very contrite, almost pleasant sounding as she explained the pickle she worked herself into. See – the nurse called her 3 or 4 days ago and mentioned that there was an Rx waiting to be picked up. I guess when you’re drunk 3 of the 4 days since said call, you might have a little trouble remembering shit.

She’s supposed to call me back and let me know if I’m to pick up the meds or what. It’s been 3 hours. I still don’t know. (But by the time I post this I should have an update)

Talked to Zach after bowling last night. He’s down with having an informal, family style intervention. I told him the rules – No mom bashing. No blaming. Only relate how your mother’s behavior (re: drinking, dry drunk and attitude) affects you. He’s fine with that. I suggested that he maybe prepare some notes – speaking points, outline, bullet list. It can be tough to do this kind of thing off the cuff.

Next up is Eric. I think he’ll go for it. He’s living with us still, so doing anything to get Cindy to focus on her behavior and how it’s affecting others is to his benefit.

Both boys have also mentioned how their girls are affected by it. Actually, their girls have talked to them about it. They get the feeling that Cindy doesn’t like them because when she’s not drunk she tends to act very cool towards them. When Jill was living with us she was very bothered by Cindy’s drinking. Now with Zach & Jill getting married and both working in the area, I’d like to stay in contact with them regularly. But the kids uneasiness with Cindy’s drinking may hurt that.

A quick aside – Jill finally got her Dental Hygiene license number from the state – she’s an official Dental Hygienist now, working in a pediatric dentist’s office – her dream job. She successfully completed one of the toughest programs in the state university system and smoked the state licensing exam. We’re all proud of her and her accomplishment.

Aaaaaannnyhow. Informal, family style intervention coming soon. Zach & I at first thought maybe next weekend because he’s off to Jill’s homestead this weekend. After last night, I might ask him to move it up to Monday or Tuesday. I’d be willing to miss my own meeting if it meant getting this ball rolling. We’ll see.

Closing in on 4 hours and no word on picking up that scrip. Even with an email chaser. Maybe I should call her brother?

To finish up - - -

Got to be leaving time so I called Cindy, finally. Turns out her brother picked up the scrip. First time in 2 years. Small miracles. I even heard a not so sincere “sorry” from Cindy about her not calling. Also turns out that her buildings server was down (again!!) so her email was kaputski. (kaputski is from Polish Jews – honest.)

So here we are at Saturday morning. Time to go out and work on the pond while it’s nice & cool. Looks like we dodged the worst of the remnants of former hurricane Gustav and Hannah hasn’t quite pushed this far north yet (as I type this, Virginia, Maryland and SE Pa are getting just a wee bit wet. We’re clear by at least 300 miles. Whew!)

That memory card – I remember having it at work, moving some pictures to my thumb drive, than sticking the card in my shirt pocket. That’s the last conscious memory I have of the card. Better go check the washing machine. At least I think I have copies of all the pond pics, and I do have more memory cards so all is not lost. But I still do have to reformat a couple before I stick them in here. Hmmm – A Flickr album would be nice, eh? Next spare minute I get . . . .

Gotta run. Have a great weekend folks!

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old habits - new tricks