Monday, June 03, 2019

live your life now or what are you gonna remember?

i found myself fuming today. last week, the belt on our riding lawnmower broke and i went to the local "tractor place" to get a new one. i brought the old one with me and a picture of the lawnmower, in order to ensure that i'd get the right one. the guy googled the model number (damn, why didn't i think of that at home? <insert sarcasm font here>) and then badly read the number on the very worn out belt i brought in. it was nearly rubbed off and i was pretty sure he wasn't reading it correctly. i said so in the moment, but he was sure. two days later, when i picked up the belt he ordered, it looked much shorter than the original, which i took in with me. a new guy who was there, a bit of a young smartass, assured me that the old one was just stretched out. i had my doubts. but what could i say at 4 p.m. on a friday, other than that i'd try it. of course, it was far too short. so i went there again today. there was only one guy tending customers. he was the old owner of the place. after he tended the guy ahead of me, he just didn't bother to come back to talk to me, me being a woman and all. so i waited, and waited. a woman came out of the office and did some fiddling around and then finally asked me if i had gotten any help. i said, "no, just waiting for someone to notice i'm here." she giggled and opened the door to the workshop. some other rube was sent in and he walked past me, then turned and awkwardly asked me if i needed help. i showed him my belt problem and suggested that maybe this time we measure my old one before ordering me a new one. he took the old one and disappeared. he came back with one that was the same length. proving that they had it all along and that i wouldn't have needed to wait a week. i can only conclude that i received shitty service since i was a woman with a foreign accent and i said as much to the woman in the office. she muttered that they were busy on friday and i said i ordered i wednesday. <insert eye roll here>  and meanwhile, the lawn grew half a foot.

why do i tell this petty, stupid story? for one, because it's bugging the hell out of me. and for another because life is too short for this bullshit. women have taken this kind of treatment for too long. and frankly, i'm too old and too experienced to take it anymore. life is too short.

life is too short because my mother has been lost to alzheimer's. i have no idea who the woman is who is left. even her hands, which have always been a source of strength and comfort to me (mostly because i see her strong, capable hands when i look at my own), are unfamiliar, alien even. who is this woman and what did she do with my mother? why can't i remember the good things about my mother when faced with this shell she has become? and will this happen to me too? will my daughter have to go through this? will she lose her good memories of the mom who went to get tattoos with her and traveled with her and and bought her the coolest shoes?

i don't know the answer to that and it scares the shit out of me. but all i can do is live right now. and that means not doing a job that may someday fit if i'm lucky. and that means living right here, right now. planting my garden, enjoying the kittens, reading a good book, learning new things - like spinning and weaving and dyeing. embracing the creative people in my life and hanging on for dear life. what am i going to remember? i don't know, but i hope it's something.