Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hot Air

It's been so chilly at night in our den recently that I began to wonder if heat was actually coming into the room. I pulled my blanket tighter around me as I bent down to check if warm air was indeed making its way up from the heater. After the kind of week I'd had (week? How about couple of weeks? How about even longer than that??), the last thing I needed was a heater on the blink.

Great. Oh, that's just swell. (
The slightest whisper of heat was all I could feel. Totally defeated, I sat right down on the floor and pulled the blanket over my head. ) I seriously can't take this.

Don't worry, dear. It's not as bad as you think. (I peeked out from under my blanket and glanced around to see where Spring Byington's voice was coming from. The TV wasn't on, so I knew it couldn't possibly be a movie on TCM.) You just need to change the filter, that's all. A simple little thing, really.

How...how do you know that?

My dear, don't you know it's usually always something that can be easily fixed? (Her voice was so soothing...exactly like the moms she played in "Meet John Doe" or "You Can't Take It With You"  - see TCM.com.) I suddenly found myself musing that I really could use one of those moms about now.)

Oh, I wish life was like that...always something that could be easily fixed.

Why, what's the matter, dear? Is something troubling you? (Gee whiz, she sounded so genuinely concerned that I immediately began to blubber.)

Oh, if you only knew! It's work, it's money, it's practically everything! (Okay. So I was a bit melodramatic. Stress can do that to people.) Every day I go to work where my co-workers are all shallow women whose main concern seems to be when they will get their next pedicure - "pedi" as they call it. They're going on trips to Alaska, Cancun, Florida and I can't even afford a trip to the grocery store. My car was last washed in 2007, and they go every week! They can tell you who won "American Idol" but not who their senators are. Every day I have to hear about their dogs getting better treats than I can give my own children, and it's so depressing for me. I just don't know how to cope...

Yes, dear. I think I see what you mean. You'd like not to envy them, but you'd like their freedom, wouldn't you?

I was in the National Honor Society, for goodness sake, and I end up like this? Scrounging for every penny? Having to listen to women gush about having jewelry that has a name - just like their handbags? It's tough. And I'm not.

I know it's difficult, dear. But you must remember that just because these women can have and do things that you can't, doesn't make them any happier than you. It is quite true, dear, that money can't buy happiness.

Oh, I know you're right. They all have their own problems. But just not having to worry about money...

You have to promise me one thing, dear...that whenever you start to feel this way, you'll think of "You Can't Take It With You." Family is what really, truly matters. Heater filters, trendy co-workers and everything else are just nuisances, but with the kind of family you have, you are probably the luckiest woman in the world.

(I knew for certain that she was right. I lifted myself up off the floor and decided to head for the basement to change the filter.) Thanks so much for letting me vent.

That's what I'm here for, dear.

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