One: I [heart] my new blog background. It is so very me. Quite possibly, it is my forever blog background. Okay, probably not. But it will be my default in between major holidays.
B: My insurance company really, really wants to get sued for bad faith. Seriously - it's, like, inexplicable. Don't want to go into detail right now, because I'm working through issues in my head, and, also, I have instituted a 48-hour rule - I make myself sleep on things for 48 hours before reacting. Once upon a time, 48 hours seemed like a humongous delay, but when you have been out of your home FOR SIX MONTHS AND STILL DON'T HAVE A FLOOR . . . your perspective changes.
How am I doing with the 48-hour thing? Clearly, not well, given that I am, sorta-kinda, blogging about my frustration. It's moment to moment:
Moment 1: Seriously. Am I on "Punk'd"? Do these people completely not get it? Because I have now explained the structural engineering and "laws of physics" issues involved to, roughly, eight hundred people, occasionally demonstrating said principles using pens and other debris on my desk, and ALL EIGHT HUNDRED OF THEM SPOTTED THE ISSUE IN FIVE SECONDS.
Moment 2: Calm down. Call the adjuster tomorrow. Move on to something else for now.
Moment 3: It's National Margarita Day. I should have a margarita tonight. That will cheer me up.
Moment 4: Seriously? A margarita? How frivolous is it to celebrate National Margarita Day in the face of (pick one) a void of logic/complete lack of courtesy and/or basic human dignity/NO FLIPPIN' FLOOR?
Moment 5: Is it cool to have a margarita on the first day of Lent anyway?
Moment 6: But I really need one.
Moment 7: Because, M________F_________, I HATE MY F___________ INSURANCE COMPANY!
By the way, for the record: lesser people would become alcoholics in the face of all of this. If anything, we have consumed less. This fact was actually brought to my attention by my twelve year-old:
C: Mom, why do you and Dad buy wine?
Me: Um, because we're adults, and we like to drink wine?
C: But you don't.
Me: What do you mean?
C: You don't drink it. I watched you put the wine in the racks when we moved into the apartment, I walk by it multiple times a day, and IT'S SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS WHEN WE MOVED IN.
Hmm. I investigated: by my count, factoring in bottles acquired since the beginning of September, we are down ten bottles. But at least one of the ten was given away as a hostess gift, and my dad appropriated a Riesling the last time he was over. Fairly sure we took one to a party and served one when we had folks over for dinner. That leaves six bottles, which we have consumed over a six-month period. No, that's not accurate: at least one of the six I opened because I needed red wine for cooking, and somehow the cork didn't get put in tightly, and it turned to vinegar before we remembered to drink any of it. Okay, that's not accurate, either - that happened TWICE.
Four. FOUR bottles over a six-month period.
What does this tell about us? Well, apparently we only drink wine when we are celebrating, or entertaining, and over the last six months we have done precious little of either. I guess it's reassuring to know that we don't drink when we're depressed. Because depression, WE HAZ . . . courtesy of USAA.
Tres: Back to National Margarita Day falling on Ash Wednesday. I was a cradle Catholic (because my mom prevailed over my Presbyterian dad), but as a mother faced with the challenge of bringing up my first child as a child of faith, I decided that I would have a better shot at it if I had a better attitude about organized religion, and to get to that point perhaps I should consider a belief system whose tenets halfway overlapped with mine.
For the record, the straw that broke the Catholic camel's back for me was the concept of the infallibility of the Pope. Weird, huh? It was never about birth control, or divorce, or the run-of-the-mill stuff, although I did take note that a lot of my fellow Catholics were talking the talk but not walking the walk, and I didn't particularly take comfort in that fact. I was actually told by more than one person that I should take comfort in the safety-in-numbers thing: it's okay that you don't believe that the Pope is infallible, because most of us don't agree with a lot of the stuff that the Church tells us. Ohhhhkay - then, seriously, what's the point? And, also, what's up with never reading the Bible? I went through years of religious education, and no one ever suggested that I open a Bible. Catechism, yes, Bible, no. What's wrong with the Bible? Fairly sure that there's some good stuff in there. (Editor's note: Suspicions confirmed.)
Anywho: I went around feeling like a hypocrite most of the time, and assumed that not believing what the Church told me that I should believe meant that I wasn't cut out to be a Christian. Then the light went off: nope, you just aren't cut out to be Catholic. You have very strong, personally-realized beliefs about religion, but they don't happen to coincide with the beliefs of the denomination to which you (nominally) belong. You aren't the first person to be in this position. See also: Martin Luther.
I always admired the people who went out, as young people or adults, and tried on various religions for size, and then ultimately identified the one that they could embrace with their whole heart. Seemed more meaningful than simply being what your parents were. Stupid that it never occurred to me that I, too, could do just that. The whole guilt thing at work, I guess. But I finally came to terms with the notion that leaving a faith and actually committing to another faith couldn't be less wrong than belonging to Faith #1 in name only. Also, I knew first-hand that parents who are ambivalent in their relationship with a church don't stand much of a chance of cementing their kids in that faith. I wanted my child to have a different relationship with God, and with his church, than I had growing up.
So we went out on a church hunt (but I did most of the pushing - Spouse, who has an excellent personal relationship with God, feels no particular guilt communing with the "Sports Reporters" on a Sunday morning). We considered Episcopalian (or "Catholic Lite", as Methodist Spouse likes to call it) as middle ground - but it wasn't, not exactly. Non-denominational wasn't our thing, either. I started taking note of the people around me, and what they believed about religion, and what they believed about other subjects that were important to me. And I started to notice a CUH-RAZY amount of overlap between "people who thought like me, and who I would pick to be my family if I had the option" and "Methodists." It just about took a Venn diagram to show me the light - but, ironically enough, it was the cradle Catholic in our family who made the decision that we should all belong to Spouse's childhood faith.
And we have never looked back.
Nevertheless . . . I still have a tendency to observe things like Lent (although, for those of you who aren't aware, Methodists are known to get ashes, too, and fast, and give up things). So I didn't eat meat today, and I didn't snack between meals, not because anyone told me that I shouldn't, but because it seemed like the right thing to do.
And - for a second - I considered ignoring National Margarita Day because it was inconsistent with a fast day. But then I decided to check. Because I really, REALLY, need a marg. (And I can't have a rum and Coke, or a 7 and 7, because I gave up carbonated drinks for Lent. Believe me, Coke is a bigger sacrifice for me than liquor. Specifically, Coke Zero - in the giant economy size.)
So I hit the Interwebs, and on a Catholic Web site, I found a tip on fasting - specifically, that you should drink adequate fluids while you are fasting. It didn't say what type of fluids, and it didn't specify that the type of fluid should be one that keeps you well-hydrated. (Fully realized that tequila can have the opposite effect.)
So I am having a margarita tonight. To buoy me through the remainder of my fast day, and to keep me from calling our adjuster before the requisite 48-hour waiting period has passed.