Saturday, June 24, 2017

Knowing When You've Had It

Yesterday was put it mildly.  And somehow that made me think of my oldest friend's late daddy. 

Her daddy was Old School.   Mr. M. was the kind of man that you see sometimes in classic 1940's movies but never ever meet for real anymore.  Think Robert Mitchum in some of his grittier roles--what my mother would have called a "real man."  He had Opinions, and he would let you know that without doubt but he would understand that you had Opinions of your own and fully expect you to stand up for them, too.  He would never be caught short in any way; but he'd help you out if you were.  He was not always likeable but he commanded the admiration and respect of anyone who ever met him.  I wish there were more men like Mr. M.

One day when Mr. M. was in the hospital with his final illness, my friend called me and she was laughing.  She had to tell me what her daddy had said this time.  Apparently he had been calmly discussing his death, his final arrangements, and his will with the family.  The male nurse heard him and said, "Now, Mr. M., we shouldn't be thinking that way.  You should stay positive.  You can't talk about dying right now."  Blunt and pragmatic as always, Mr. M. said, "Son, I've had the weenie."   

Now I can't rightly explain that statement but I guess you understand it as easily as I do.  He was saying that he'd heard the truth and accepted the reality of his situation.  He knew he was staring death in the face, and he wasn't gonna dance around that fact.  It was what it was, and he was gonna deal with it head on, the same way he handled everything else.

I'm not good at handling things head on.  I admire those who do.  Tremendously.  I tend to come at matters sideways or, worse, try to sneak up on them from behind.   Yesterday, I had no choice.  There were Big Bad Problems that I had to deal with, and they couldn't wait another moment.  Somehow I did it. 

And I thought about Mr. M.  He knew when enough was enough.  That's kinda why I stopped to buy a pizza and a little bag of potato chips on the way home.  Enough was enough.  I've been squeezing every penny until it screams.  I've been doing without everything (including toilet paper!), and I reached my limit.  I had had the proverbial weenie, and I knew it.  I wasn't dying like Mr. M.; I was just tired of my situation and done with tolerating it quietly.

There was just $5 to spend and 50 places where I needed to use it.  So I bought a dollar store pizza for me and a bag of chips for the cat.  Yeah, I know it was a silly expenditure.  So what?  We both needed a treat.  I've been longing for pizza, and potato chips are the only treat that Daisy likes.  Don't warn me that it's bad for the cat.  She's 14, and she nearly died a month a go.  If she wants a darn potato chip, she is gonna have a darn potato chip and I won't apologize for giving it to her.

Wow, maybe Mr. M. has rubbed off on me after all!   It's kinda refreshing to face the limit and know it for what it is.

Life is good.

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