America, these are scary times. I get through them just a bit more easily thanks to a few important people. I would say I add more important people every year than I subtract. Then there’s the people I’m out of touch with even though you live across town. What’s your damn deal? Who stops writing back first? Who lets the calls go to voicemail? Many times I’m guilty. Life gets overwhelming.
Like this week. I had to hop in a cab yesterday to get home to take Mr. H to Rehydration Camp. That’s like Guantanamo Bay, with Tylenol and surly nurses. Today the little sucker had to go back again because he couldn’t breathe, and it turned out he has pneumonia. Â He never really gets sick, so when he calls in the middle of the afternoon to say “Can you come home,” it’s a pretty big deal. I had this horrible thought that he might kick off even as I waited in line at CVS to purchase the exciting thermometer with 3 modes. You can tell which mode it’s in because the stick man on the LCD points to his head, his armpit, or his ass.
After all the prescriptions were filled, we sat on the couch and got weepy talking about how neither one of us is ever allowed to die or become gravely ill. I realize how my definition of family has changed over the years. For all intents and purposes, a lot of my blood relatives are nutbags. My own parents are kind and well-intentioned, but they just don’t understand half the stuff that comes up in our lives. Weddings? “In my day, you changed your name and liked it!” When I was busy doing the pee-pee dance about getting laid off, released from 1999-style hell, my poor mudder was unsettled. Until I put it like this: “I motherfucking retired. Like Coolio.” Retirement, that they get. “Oh. Well, CONGRATULATIONS!”
But I’ve got my boo, and we’re a family. We make big scary adult decisions. We are getting life insurance. We use the cat as a child substitute, because she’s people too. And then there’s the rest of the tribe, the friends we can count on no matter what. Sorry to be a sap, but it’s true, and you know it. Don’t underestimate what you have for a snot-covered second. It’s worth more than a job or a new car or even shoes. Sure, work kept me in cartoon underwear for a while, but there’s more to life than lame-ass pyramid charts and capabilities presentations. We’ve got empires to start, hairstyles to try out.
So thanks for being my people, people. All those rude conversations about other people’s outfits, all those rounds of drinks, oh, those times we paint each other’s nails, they mean so much.