Pet Peevishness...plus the redeeming glories of the cat in the box
"I'd be a terrible superhero. I'd see the signal calling in the sky from home and be like, 'I literally just sat down.' " Credit: buzzfeed, googleimages, and darling fellow blogger Beth Kennedy!
People who bore us all with their pet peeves? THOSE very dopes are MY pet peeves. Granted that life overflows with inconveniences, annoying humans, political shenanigans, rudeness, put-downs, materialistic impulses, lame attempts at entertainment, underappreciated and abused animals, neglectful kin, self-centeredness, long lines, confusing coupons, junk mail, irritable spouses, entitled white male baby boomers, and smug newscasters and journalists and columnists whose hugest crime is redundancy. I'll give you that. But endurance matters...cataloguing gripes or engaging in whining never moves mountains. So, buck up...or to quote Megyn Kelly, "Suck it up, Buttercup!" Climbing hills only to slide backward is a daily occurrence that connects us all...even with mythological concoctions named Sisyphus...who rivals any Biblical character I ever encountered in Sunday School. Is that name Greek to you? Sorry. I tend to allude to literature I have been forced to read or movies I usually happily attended for over half a century now. I climb hills...I always have...I never stop...I have no time for...pet peeve listing...nor pretensions.
But peevishness is an entirely different beast...and some hot button perturbing issues encountered recently or throughout the "tempus fugit"-ing years never go away...and they really should. IN MY OPINION, the natural emergence of peevishness follows as the night the day:
1) Mothers-in-law who behave cattily, meowing "Why do you love animals so inordinately much?" The impolite yet truthful answer would go over like a lead balloon bopping a well-coiffured henna-rinsed possessive mama right on the bean. Walt Whitman, help me here. "I could stand and look at the animals long and long. They are so placid and self-contained" for starters. And did a mother cat ever once in the history of the world intrude upon her kitten's existence after she chewed the cord and "Let it (the son or daughter) go?"
2) Why does the "groom"-ster, perched atop the over-decorated and stale wedding cake, memorize and totally master all of the character descriptions in His playbook, such as gruff, insincerely charming, condescending, controlling, evasive, arrogant, private, escape-prone, preening, non-communicative, posing, and blowing-off (beyond all sense of reason)? And another incidental question: why is He (with a capital "H") necessarily God (with a capital "G")...a closer reading of the Good Book allows one to reinterpret that time-honored, popular, crowd-pleasing theory into a possible SHe (capital "SH") as that particular gender deserves the following adjectives: kind, sensitive, creative, clever, patient, long-suffering, nurturing, peace-making, and wise ( in spite of pesky and damaging stereotypical put-downs) and jolly well might have whipped up the universe Herself (in just one week!) as well as all of the galaxies and big dippers with one swoosh of a magic wand followed by a big bang. Well, that's my theory anyway!
3) Charles Krauthammer I am not...I was never injured in a diving accident nor am I uncannily brilliant and eloquent. I salute him, the only Fox pundit (and "rag" columnist) worth his salt. However, Joe Scarborough must stop his chauvinistic abuse of Mika Brzezinski every morning on MSNBC--SNL should depict Morning Joe shirtless astride a white horse...Putinize him, tap the equine on the rump, and send Joe back home to Florida! (I truly miss Don Imus these days!) Chris Matthews ought to rename his 7 o'clock hour something other than...HARDBALL? Rachel Maddow equals perfection itself. The State of our Union frightens anybody with any sense whatsoever, and the Donald may be onto something by slamming the media...instead of bashing Hillary who got robbed and probably is delighted to get to stay home. The cabinet picks are reminiscent of Col. Mustard, Miss Scarlet, and Prof. Plum...and Mrs. Peacock ... each so dimensionless but scooting around the board at dizzying, mindless speed. Where is an FBI director exactly and precisely when we need one? As for "intelligence" sadly lacking? Welcome Soviet planes or occasional ships either circling overhead or submarining just off the East coast. Ah, Connecticut -- better duck! Similarly, IF the Donald wishes to casually stroll among the frisky, feisty protestors at Trump Tower, Mar-a-lago or one of his assorted, illustrious golf courses, the Secret Service guys may need to preemptively shout, " Donald, Duck!" And a banished National Security adviser who carries shoulder bags and wears dorky brown shoes (and whose adult, though junior-high-ish time-warped, son) blog(s) misogynistic attacks? Gone with the Wind-Bag...and "Lock Him up", Comey. Sooner rather than later?
4) I pause here at number four to grab my digital camera in the midst of winter to shoot the umpteenth photograph of my Cary Grant-ish (straight from TO CATCH A THIEF...Hitchcock's svelte cat burglar poised upon bright orange Mediterranean roofing tiles prior to those imminent nightly jewelry heists through open windows of nouveau riche' dames) feline who may or may not be a tad autistic. (Am I politically incorrect? How Republican of me!) "Cary" cuddles up wherever there might be a triangular spot for him to nestle; he seeks out such configurations and also bats at the caned seat holes on old rustic chairs. He waits patiently for our Scottish UPS man to deliver a wondrous package that, when unwrapped, provides this cat'o mine with a four-sided box to curl his feline 20 pound body into lasting for hours upon hours. I do not ever grouse about members of the animal kingdom. In another life, I MUST have been a rabbit, giraffe, wolf...and got punished by the gods that be and reincarnated as a...HUMAN...dammit! My peevishness captured in this bullet-point #4 resides in that I CANNOT ABIDE ANYBODY WHO DOES NOT REVERE SENTIENT BEINGS as much as we love ourselves. Sexism, racism, anti -Semitism -- and the greatest of these is SPECIESISM...which is the root of all evil. BTW, needless to say, I do NOT enjoy the Westminster activities...and now they plan to add cats! Supervised Breeding! Playing God whose name backward is...you guessed it! First, puppy mills and soon, cat mills...for the rich and clueless among us.
5) I really and truly resent being blown off...by docs, by snide baby boomer boys, by green-eyed, double-talking women, by relatives, by repairmen, etc. I would be there for anybody who ever needed me to ... be there. My mother spent her last days in a nursing home which actually shortened my life...I did not sign her up for such...nor do I ever wish to be relegated to one if at all possible. The second day of Edna's incarceration was Christmas day, and she still possessed a phone and summoned several family members to visit her immediately, and she really let us have it! (Not unlike Melissa McCarthy channeling Sean Spicer on SNL--- feel free, dear READERS, to google any and all references you may need in order to comprehend more fully?) Good for her! However, she gave me a sad but true after the fact compliment, "Susie, you have never had moral support from anyone and for that I am very sorry." In that way, I take after my dad who himself supported everybody (including me) at all times...with money, yes, and love and enthusiasm and kindness. He should have received some of that attention himself. Often, I know how he must have felt. For two weeks I have been medicating a beautiful Rottweiler/ Black Lab Mix dog we adopted. We provided this shelter dog with her heartworm treatment and all of her shots and now she is settling in just fine but lately needed a total of six Benadryl tablets per day at eight hour intervals and four antibiotic capsules every twelve hours which, needless to say, involved this 70 year old dispensing pills a staggeringly five times per day with an accompanying meal each dosage. Quite an assignment! I bought an alarm clock, and I still have peanut butter under my fingernails from fooling her with a dollop of yumminess concealing the drugs. Not as tricky as giving shots to a diabetic Husky a few years past, but grueling. I am exhausted. And I was asked once by a church lady if my pets or the homeless animals I have saved from death ever "thanked" me? And wouldn't I rather travel and not be inconvenienced by pets dependent upon my everlasting presence? I stifled my response...Jesus generally, when not otherwise occupied with something more pressing, positions one arm around my shoulder and usually places His other hand over my mouth, so I am a slow retorter. Thank You, Jesus! Really, when I stop to think about it, I do not need an acknowledgment of kindness...but I certainly wouldn't mind a gracious lick on the hand and a genuine empathetic response now and then. Thank YOU, Duchess...the look in her sweet eyes as she patiently and trustingly consumed all of those meds was enough for me, church lady. So there. Perhaps, you might unpack your bags and adopt a homeless pet, may I suggest?
6) My final complaint...for the moment? This hypochondriacal, quick-fix, instant gratification, pharmaceutical-popping, vainglorious, idolatrous American culture of which I assume I am a part? I wish to implore that such nonsensical self-serving behavior cease...I yearn to stare not one second longer into blank, clueless, egomaniacal faces...even across the kitchen table. Heated arguments concerning whether a humorous yet skinny valentine's day gift plaque should get shipped in a precariously cardboardish tube with a teensy label rather than placed lovingly inside an oversized bubble-wrap envelope addressed calligraphy-style with a water-proof laundry marker and the mister has his way as usual and the package bounces all over the greater Detroit area for days? Well, such relentless contentiousness is ludicrous. (And I was correct in the first place.) I detest someone barking "Gimme that remote control" without a please or my name perhaps, followed by a comma...bellowed by the "great profile" who also claims to be able to unscrew any lid...and then cannot...after blustering out, " Gimme that jar or bottle or whatever"...again without mention of my Hebrew name "Susan" which means "lily" BTW, once again followed by ...a comma and the word please? I do not care that Chauvinism is alive and well...I do miss politeness, though. In the midst of a hectic spate of days, I mentioned to my kid Roy, my only confidant and a great one, that my older sister Sarah had said that she was glad I was pregnant (some 44 years ago), and that the couple of which I was half would maybe care about somebody besides ourselves and spend less time being competitive with each other. Roy's reply which left me humbled and also chuckling. "Well, we can see plainly that never quite worked out!"
I do love the words "the awful grace of God" which Bobby Kennedy quoted from a Greek philosopher-playwright-poet whom Jackie Kennedy had always admired. She gifted a book, in which that phrase appears, to her brother-in-law who was more than a little bit in love with the former first lady who had become, against his wishes, Mrs. Onassis. Sometimes being alive can hurt so much and so deeply that we can become peevish if we are not careful. We review and lament the scars and remember the slights...and the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". We lose sight of the immediacy of a previously unwanted dog named Duchess who needs her 5:30 A.M. meds...we get out of bed or rise arthritically from a kitchen chair and we unscrew the lid and we bury the pills in the peanut butter, evolve, and we become what being human requires of us...in as many ways as we can and as often as we can while we live...the only heaven we can ever know is at hand...it can and really must be here and it must be now.
"And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."~ Aeschylus (And may my own words as a world-weary mortal not merely become falling raindrops which evaporate upon contact -- might these thoughts instead penetrate consciousness and soak into an occasional psyche here and there once in a while.)
Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in Susie's book Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its follow-up Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels - print and ebook versions of both are available on Amazon (click the title). The books are also carried by these fine retailers: Ann Arbor's Bookbound and Common Language; Columbia City's Whitley County Historical Museum; and Fort Wayne's The Bookmark. And you can download from iTunes. Read her blog here, and meet other like-minded souls at her facebook fan page. Visit her author website at www.susieduncansexton.com. Joi n a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can't ... Or Won't. Roy's blog ReelRoyReviews can be found here.