I think my virtual ship may have arrived in the bitstream. Xfinity sent me a letter and is advertising likewise on TV with the following offer. For only $19.95 a month, for the next 12 months, with a 12-month contract, I can have “high-speed” internet, faster than DSL, with “speeds up to 15 Mbps with PowerBoost” (a registered trademark). Other goodies in the basket include Norton Security Suite and On Demand “online and anywhere.”
I refuse to pay more than $25 a month for high-speed internet so I’ve been dialup for a few months now. This is good news. My next official act after I post this entry may be to call Comcast and find out: “How fast is it really?”
Back when it seemed my parents were doing OK, I don’t think I spent a whole lot of time with them. They had their own things to do. I remember helping my father with his houses and spending holidays over there, but I had my own things to do, too. I had hobbies. I had girlfriends they never liked. I had a career. I went fishing. I had a wonderful dog that I took hiking with me in the hills. I went windsurfing and kayaking and rode my mountain bike. I had my own house to take care of, so I didn’t spend so much time at theirs.
But the dog developed tumors, and my father developed Parkinson’s disease, and one year everything changed. The mom talked me into things I’d never done. I made up my mind that I might as well plan to spend every Sunday at the mom’s, helping her do things she couldn’t do herself. Various yardwork, changing light bulbs, bringing in bags of cat food so heavy she couldn’t lift them. I’ve been pretty consistent with this and it’s very rare that I beg off a Sunday and don’t go over there. She definitely needs more help than I can deliver, but I can do this with my Sundays and not suffer a whole lot for it. Right? It’s called “being a good son.”
Whenever anyone tells me I’m “being a good son,” I cringe. I know what it means. It means I am screwed. Anything I do means I have to put something else off, and it turns out my hobbies are what has suffered consistently for the last five years. I can’t say it’s because I spend every Sunday at the mom’s, but if I didn’t go over to the mom’s every Sunday, I might find out.
Yesterday in a 48-minute phone conversation with the mom I was told that I do not go over there every Sunday. I think any normal person would be pissed off to know that spending damn near every Sunday for five years doing anything would earn them a flat out denial from the recipient of their efforts. But that’s the way the mom is. Fortunately I found this tidbit from MountainWings in my e-mail this morning that puts the whole thing into perspective.
People are often unreasonable,
Illogical and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
People may accuse
You of selfish motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
You will win some false friends
And some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
They may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
People will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.
~Keith M. Kent~
Note: This is often attributed to Mother Teresa. It was
posted on the wall of her children’s home but actually
written by Mr. Kent~
It’s true, too. You wouldn’t believe the conflicts that have come up just because I go over there every Sunday. Being a good son is often a pain in the ass.
I think one example should be sufficient. The mom persuaded me to go up into her attic to replace an ailing fan. I went into the attic two Saturdays in a row and replaced the fucking fan. What we learned was that my father and possibly others had been screwing around with the electrical service, and there were five different kinds of circuit breakers in the panel, some of which did not fit. They were sparking and arcing and scorched and the electrician who had installed the panel had thoughtfully left a sticker with his name and phone number on the inside of the panel.
The mom called the electrician and for a really huge fee he replaced the entire service and made a few trips into the attic to replace the fan a few more times. Nothing I did in the attic two Saturdays in a row remains. You learn from this.
Well, it’s Sunday again. I may as well be consistent and go over there again, even though I may catch hell for something while I’m there. That happens quite often. You just go with the flow, see what needs to be done, get it the hell over with, move on to the next thing. Try not to remember it’s called “being a good son.” our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come thy will be done please don’t let me end up on the news