empresspatti (empresspatti) wrote,

Stumbling through life


I am the Crap Fairy. 

Sunday I convinced my oldest friend to hike the Billy Goat Trail.  I had done the hike earlier in the summer and it was lovely.  Since we usually do some type of hike a couple of times a month, I pitched it as a special treat for her birthday.   

Who knew I was proposing the day from hell?   

First off, the toilet paper roll holder attacked her during the pre-walk pee.  Cue blood and oozing finger.   

Then we embarked on the actual hike, which is strenuous.  I’ve known this person for 45 years.  How did I not know that she was squicked by heights?  The whole damn hike is climbing along cliffs near the Potomac River.    

She had such a hard time with the heights and the difficulty of the route that we had to take the emergency exit from the trail.  Happy Birthday.  I wasn’t trying to kill you but I suck. 

After giving my oldest and dearest friend a miserable Sunday, I hit the gym Monday morning and bumped into a woman I knew in college.  We haven’t seen each other for at least a decade and were delighted to run into each other.  We sat down for a catch-up chat. 

Within minutes she brought up her college boyfriend.  He and my bad boy lover had been best friends, back in the olden days.

“We should take a day,” she said, “and go visit him.” 

I must have flinched.

‘What?’ she said. 

My brain was doing the hamster dance because he DIED a year ago.   

What is the etiquette for telling an old acquaintance that her once true love was gone while sitting in a gym lobby waving occasionally at buddies walking by? 

Yeah, I didn’t know either.  I just told her the truth as simply and gently as possible.  It was awful for her.  She left immediately.  I watched her walk across the parking lot crying.  Yeesh.   

So early this morning, the phone rings.  A good friend is hysterical.  Can I come over?  I got right in the car.   

She was standing in her driveway crying.  Her husband, who had left them 6 months ago, had just sent her an email saying it was time for a divorce. 

Needless to say, she hadn’t been stoic for the children.  Inside the house, her boys (6 & 11) were sobbing.  School was not an option.  It was time for triage.  

“In honor of this craptastic day,” I told them, “you guys are staying home from school and watching Eight Legged Freaks, which is the cheesiest horror movie ever.  What do you want for breakfast?”   

It took a while, but I got them calmed down, fed and planted in front of the tv.  I went back outside and spent the next 70 minutes listening to the sound of a heart breaking.  Then I made everyone lunch. 

I have never been so far out of my depth.   

Tags: stumbling through life
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