August 16, 1998
The *Wahhh* Factor

Assorted stuff, in no particular order of importance ...

Another ridiculously domestic, tranquil, solitary weekend. I was up this morning at 6 a.m., noisily defrosting my freezer: I'm sure that Downstairs Neighbor Guy must've thought it was The Big Meteor, hitting our crappy little apartment building. I didn't care. I was on a mission.

Yesterday I took the money I'd set aside to pay the phone and electric bills this month, and I bought myself some (are you ready for this?) actual groceries, for only the second time since I've lived in this apartment. (I was down to one blue PopTart and half a hunk of cheddar, both of which were sporting full heads of luxurious "hair." Gack.) I bought wheat bread and salad stuff and chicken and bagels and cream cheese and spaghetti stuff and coffee. I bought a jar of dill pickles. I bought aluminum foil. I bought eggs and milk and lemon sorbet and horseradish and ground beef and Parmesan and paper towels.

So then of course I needed some place to STORE all of my precious new groceries, especially the expensive frozen stuff. Hence my frenzied 6 a.m. defrosting activity. (Every time another huge hunk of ice hit the floor, I shouted "ICEBERG!" Downstairs Neighbor Guy must seriously hate my guts, right about now.) When I was done, I felt absurdly proud of myself. I just stood there for awhile, gazing fondly at my neatly organized, full-to-the-brim, newly-defrosted freezer ... feeling like someone who has just invented the cure for ingrown toenails.

Then I did something equally unthinkable: I cooked myself breakfast. Thanks to one of the best people on the face of the planet -- my incomparable pal, Feef -- I now own a complete set of brand-new pots and pans. She sent them to me from Louisville; they got here just a couple of days ago. (Plus a new teakettle AND some oven mitts, thank god.) So I scrambled myself some eggs and threw a raisin bagel into the toaster and made another pot of coffee, and then I sat on The Ouch, eating my breakfast, looking out the window at the sunshine through the trees, feeling very, very happy to be alive ...

*Someone,* of course, is totally disgruntled by the pots and pans thing. He calls this "The Wahhhhhhh Factor" ... as in, I go online and whinily complain to my cyber friends that I don't have any pots and pans/I don't have the money to pay for my writing class/I don't have a computer ... and voila!  They send me this stuff, as if by magic. He sees it as me getting something for nothing, I guess. I honestly believe that if it were up to him, I would still be sitting here on the floor of this apartment with three plastic forks and a borrowed air mattress to my name. He doesn't want to even consider the idea that someone can be blessed with a circle of caring, open-hearted friends who genuinely care about what happens to me. Sigh.

Fortune Cookie, taped to my computer monitor:

"You will always be surrounded by true friends."

Now it's Sunday evening, and the sun is setting behind the trees. I've got a pan of Buffalo Wings (extra hot) baking in the oven, and a salad sitting on the counter. John Hiatt on the stereo. My teeny tiny apartment is neat as a pin ... my clothes for work tomorrow, ironed and hanging in the bathroom ... candles burning from strategic points in the living room and around the computer ... Christmas lights twinkling merrily in the windows.

This is about as good as it gets, folks. It isn't exactly "happy." "Content" doesn't quite describe it, either, because now I'm gonna worry about how the hell I'm gonna pay those utility bills. But at least I'm not thinking about sticking my head in an oven anytime soon ... unless it's to CLEAN it.

(Adding "Easy Off" to the grocery list for next time ...)

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