Tonight, while wallowing in my self-pity that I have begun to think of as an art form in the past two months, I finally had the last straw. I keep saying that every single bad or shitty thing that has happened to me in the past two months is the last straw - but this one, well, this one was the very very very very last straw.
Financially I am just way in over my head. Where I thought I was ahead, I am now significantly behind all due to an unfortunate mishap with the scheduling of my payment with the auto insurance company (As Chris Rock would say... my "in-case-shit-happens" policy).
For God knows how long, my mother has been OCD about lists. And before you try to read that sentence again, don't. It's not worth wasting your time. You read it right: lists. She loves lists. No, no, let me scratch that. She ADORES and IDOLIZES and maybe if one day a magical wizard turned a List into a man she would probably marry that List and run away and adopt babies to supplement his lack of love for her.
It's become this sickening obsession for her and when I was younger, I used to think that it meant she was organized and that I, by being one who did not keep a list, was severely unorganized. However, twenty-three years of living as a terminally SANE human being and a few years of puberty and a month of homelessness has helped lead me to the conclusion that the lists do not help her at all. In fact, I have come to the clear diagnosis that the list itself is a manifestation of her insecurities and her lack of being able to control and handle even the smallest minute detail of her life. So to make up for the discrepency of say........not being able to function like a normal human being like the rest of the world, my mother writes a list. Every day.
AND THEN PROMPTLY LOSES IT AND SPENDS THE REST OF HER DAY SEARCHING FOR THE LIST BECAUSE WITHOUT IT, GOD FORBID SHE BE ABLE TO FUNCTION.
Now in her defense, this does not happen every day. The great event of "losing-the-list" is one that happens often, but not every single day. But she does write one.
So of course, when I first lost my job and realized I was going to be way in over my head if I didn't find a job to supplement my income fast, you could guess what advice my mother had for me.
Mom: "Hi dear. How are you?"
Me: "Lousy. I just lost my job... I have bills to pay this month... I just filed for unemployment but I am not going to hear from them for another two weeks or so and shit is already starting to become due. I don't know what I am going to do."
Mom: "I know what you need to do. It'll solve all your problems." (said very matter of factly)
Me: "Do you know of anyone who might have a job opening? Or do you know anyone I can send my resume to?"
Mom: "No, of course not. You'll have to find that on your own. I am talking about writing a list. A list dear. A list of all your debt. Once you see it all laid out on paper, it'll all become clear."
Me: "Mom, do you realize you're asking me to slit my wrists?"
Mom: "What was that?"
Me: "Nothing. I am not going to write a list. Not now, not ever."
But tonight, Jesus, maybe the stress got to me, but for whatever reason - she was standing over me in the kitchen and I am sitting there with tears starting to form behind my eyes and she kept talking about this damned list writing --- so I did it. I wrote a damn list.
-=Me writing numbers and scribbling calculations on a page then handing it to her=-
"There, Mom. There it is. In black and white. What do you have to say? What happens now? What does the list do now?"
-=My mother stares blankly at the page. Blinks again and takes on an empty look.=-
Mom: "Wow. Didn't know it was this bad. Don't know what to tell you. But don't you feel better now that you wrote it all down?"
Just in case people would like the Cliff Notes version of this story: NO, I DID NOT FEEL ANY STINKIN' BETTER!! I felt crappier actually because I now had numbers and figures that are higher than the year I was born staring me in the face. So much for lists.