It is odd living OTP*. I’ve been saying, “We are trying to learn the language and customs of these odd and different creatures”, and I mean it. It is very different in Tucker.
For one thing: there’s nowhere to eat out. There’s a Longhorn, Applebee’s and Los Hermanos and the rest is fast food. There are no bars that I will go into. Tucker is all about the High School – it’s the prominent feature of Downtown Tucker. Families are the norm OTP, I know, but it’s still weird to me. Oh, and NO LIQUOR STORES. What is that about? I would think with all these kids around, the adults would NEED some liquor! LOL Driving all the way to Oak Grove for a liquor store? Really? I must be missing them…
The sounds are different here, too. It’s mostly very quiet since MARTA does not run on Norcross Tucker and there are no firehouses nearby. But there are noises, typically very early in the morning. There is a train crossing nearby, apparently, I hear the train’s horn every morning in the wee hours. Then there are the white people noises: yapping dogs, heavy equipment, howling dogs, chainsaws. Unfortunately, the yapping dogs are our next door neighbors’ who let them out so they can sit under our bedroom window at FOUR fucking a.m. and bark endlessly. There is a dog that howls 24/7, who we thought had been shot, but is back, so no luck there. The other morning, I was serenaded by equipment and chainsaws from the house behind our asshole neighbors’ house. ::sigh::
White people make very different noises than black people. In the old ‘hood, sirens, hoopdies with bass that rattles the windows, people honking at the curb and loudmouthed black people were the typical noises. Oh, and the copious gunfire every weekend and more so on July 4 and New Year’s. I got used to it and learned to sleep through most of it, so I assume it’ll be the same here except for the goddam yappy dogs. THAT can’t be slept through, we know, we’ve tried 3 times now. Gotta speak to the asshole neighbors about it. Bleh.
It was odd to be home on July 4th and hear NOT A SINGLE gunshot. Not one! Weird! I wonder if New Year’s will be the same?
I also feel safe enough to leave my radio in the car. I just read that there has been a string of older car thefts in Decatur. Can’t say I miss that shit. No MARTA makes a big difference, I’m starting to see why people really don’t want it.
The weather is different here, too. I’m serious! The city dome effect is VERY real and I can tell I’m not in it any longer. It rains a LOT more here. In the summer, the city dome typically diverts afternoon showers around it and I can tell it definitely rains more outside that bubble. THAT is very odd.
There is a Kroger right up the road, but no gas station. They are trying to convince the Shell station to sell to Kroger, but the owner won’t do it. Which sucks. The shell would be fine IF they gave the same discounts, but they don’t, only the 10¢ gallon discount. I think I’ll still shop at “my” Kroger in Decatur a bit. Both are being renovated, so I can’t catch a break. The Northlake store really sucks, but I still stop there for small things.
The 10 minute commute is making Nick VERY happy, so I guess it will all work out. I really do love this house and yard, but the rent is soooo high ($1300 for a $1100-1200 neighborhood). We went down to Decatur last night for a meeting and it was SO FAR. We are about 9 miles from downtown Decatur now (as opposed to 3 miles). I don’t think I like that much. I feel very removed from everything here. But it’ll do for now.
It’s not that I miss the ghetto, I DO NOT, but it’s more of a distance thing. Even DragonCon will kind of suck this year because we are so much farther out. It’s going to take about twice as long to go back and forth which will be a real drag. Plus, I don’t know what we’ll do with the Chernik Traveling Circus vehicles. They can’t get up the drive, I’m sure. Gotta work on that.
So, that’s my impression of OTP so far. If the asshole neighbors would keep their little shithead dogs INSIDE until a reasonable hour, I think it’ll be swell here. For now.
*Outside The Perimeter for non-Atlantans. I-285 is the circular bypass of ATL which we refer to as “The Perimeter”. OTP is where the uncool live. Or just those sick of ghetto and gunfire like we are. ITP (Inside The Perimeter) is rife with hipsters, homeless and thugs. You know, the Cool Kids™. ;)
So, I was in the shower exfoliating my face and legs when I thought “exfoliate” would be a GREAT Dalek word. Then I got an image of a Dalek at a salon with scrub and a pouf saying “EXFOLIATE!”
Then this happened.
For someone with zero drawing skills, I thought I did an OK job! LOL You’ll never exfoliate again without thinking this, I promise you! :D
We decided to move, as you all know. We needed new energy and a new base of operations. We started moving stuff the last week of May and it all culminated in the movers showing up on Sunday to get all the big stuff. We used Big League Movers (Excellent, big shout out to them on Yelp.) We’d wrangled Comcast on Friday the 13th with a full moon during a Mercury retrograde without incident and staged all our crap on Saturday. Sunday went well, but it was a long day. We were exhausted in every sense.
Monday we had DirecTV coming out in the afternoon, so we decided to go get the fish tank that morning to get it over with. Moving a fish tank is a royal pain in the ass. We stopped at Chick Fil Hate for some breakfast and that’s when my brother called me. I knew it was bad news because he’d never call me during work unless it was. He told me that his best friend had been electrocuted on the job that morning. We’d known Aron Pack since 1978 or 79. Aron and Ricky were like peas and carrots.
I cried off and on most of the day Monday. My poor brother had lost his one solace from his shitty life. He and Aron would work on their Harleys together and Ricky would go to the lake with them. My brother was closer to the Pack family that he was to ours for sure. He and Aron were brothers in a very real sense.
On top of all this, Rob went on vacation for two weeks, leaving me “in charge” (HA HA!) of the bills for the taqueria. Of course, this normally would be no big deal, but with all the exhaustion of moving and the emotional upset of Aron’s death, it’s been VERY hard. The girl that is basically in charge of the store has fucked up all the orders and keeps asking me for checks EVERY GODDAM DAY. We just got back last night from the funeral (in TN) and she’s calling me asking that I drive over there to bring her a check for some beer that “just showed up”. I told her to send it the fuck back. We’ve never gotten along and she is being a total bitch to me since Rob isn’t around. Ugh.
Aron’s funeral was a typical horrible Southern affair. Open casket (even though he’d never wanted that), receiving line, public display of grief, wails from the wailing room, the whole thing. I refuse to approach the open caskets in general, because I want to remember the person alive, not dead. If I see the body, that’s the only thing I’ll remember. I know, because it’s happened with my cats. I didn’t see my granny and I’m not sorry about that. Anyway, I sat next to my brother for the funeral service and felt the hurt and sorrow flow from him. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m actually very empathic, but I tend to keep it turned off as much as I can because I find it clouds my judgement and causes me to take on others’ drama. But in this case, I let turned in on and tried to take as much of my brother’s pain as I could. Probably not the best thing for me, but I did it anyway. I’ve never seen such hurt in his eyes. Never. (I did pay for it, as I completely broke down last night, again. Nick did his best to comfort me. Thank the gods for xanax.)
My poor brother is a very good guy. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he would (and does) do anything for anyone who needs help. His life is a shit sandwich. He’s got a job he doesn’t like and is low paying. He’s got a 17 year old daughter that is hell on wheels, who has done nothing but cause drama for the last several years – especially since her drug dealer mother was murdered. She got knocked up on purpose and is now shacked up with some idiot 20 year old that she’s known for, oh, three months. My brother lives with two parents in their 70s who are in declining health. My father has dementia and emphysema. He remembers nothing. He’s asked me at least a dozen times where I’ve moved to, if it’s a bigger place and if it’s more expensive. My mother has been hospitalized for several weeks for an as yet unnamed neurological disease that has rendered her 75% immobile.
And now my brother lost his best friend. It is heartbreaking. As we stood graveside in the boiling heat yesterday morning, I looked up at the clear blue sky and heard birds singing. It made me even sadder. The world goes on. The most horrible things happen and the sun rises and the birds sing. We adapt. But it sure does HURT.
Aron’s death has scared me, badly. Aron’s wife Tina has lost her husband of 17 years. Just like that. In the blink of an eye. She said goodbye as he left for work like any other morning and now he’s gone. I can’t help but identify with that. If I lost Nick like that, I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t have family support. I’ve got a few close friends, but I am pretty self contained. I tend to not rely on people very much since I’ve had so many people fuck me over (especially the family). I can’t help but be afraid of what would happen to me if I lost Nick. I think I’d sell everything and move overseas. I’d be lost, that’s for sure. Or maybe I’d choose to check out as well. It’s a definite possibility, I won’t lie.
So that’s what’s been going on the last couple of weeks. It’s been hard. I’m physically and mentally spent. We are missing Heroes AND the Atlanta Gaming Expo. I still feel emotionally fragile, like tears could happen any minute. ::sigh::
So, be careful when you poke the Universe, folks. You just might get more than you bargained for.
We’ve got to go to Maplehurst today for the final items: fans, plants, bird feeders, etc. I just want all this to be OVER. We’ve not even touched the boxes here. Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me much for the next month or so. I just need to regroup and set up my house. Please don’t call me. You can text or message on FB, but just don’t call. I’m over the phone right now.
And to offer a counterpoint to that last post, I want you all to know that despite the horrors of my family, THIS IS HOW I ACTUALLY FEEL:
IOS people, go to youtube: http://youtu.be/Q-GLuydiMe4
I know it seems oddly counterintuitive, but this song is my theme today. You got bad news? Bring it. Because I’m happy and you’re not going to bring me down. I don’t have to take on the horror of my family. I’ve got to rise above it.
My anger and indignation has calmed somewhat from yesterday, but I’m still deeply disappointed by my niece and my whole family.
I get a call from my niece’s grandmother (mother was murdered, remember, more on that later) yesterday and I knew it was bad news. People you’ve never met don’t call just to say HI. So she tells me that “she doesn’t know what to do” about the niece. I ask “do about what?”. And she tells me niece is pregnant. Wish I could say I was shocked.
The niece has been running rampant for the last year. Once she got her drivers license, she hopped in the car my brother handed over and that was the last vestige of parental control divested. My brother has never been much of a parent in the first place. Niece has always ruled the roost and my brother has never been much for rules. She had sleep over boyfriends at 14. Any wonder she’s pregnant?
As I informed the grandmother of what I thought should happen, which is to get rid of the zygote and never tell my family about it, she let slip that this is not the first pregnancy, but the second. The first one spontaneously aborted due to niece’s severe fibroids. Now, keep in mind that the treatment for said cysts is birth control. And my niece has the gall to say that the reason she’s pregnant is that she “couldn’t afford” her birth control that is FREE from the health center. Oh and she can afford $500 tattoos, but not free birth control. Riiiight. No, what the real reason is that she purposely stopped taking birth control with the intent to get knocked up. Any other assertions are LIES.
Apples don’t fall far from the tree. Niece’s mother “didn’t believe in” abortion, or one can assume birth control, either, since she had two illegitimate children before marrying (briefly). Niece’s only response to “Why won’t you get rid of it?” is that it’s a “personal belief” that abortion is wrong. Right, just like your mother and your grandmother, having random children that you have no way of supporting is a family tradition. Niece’s mother had a total of three children, none of which she could afford and lived off of welfare and Rx drug sales. She was murdered while selling said drugs. Isn’t that a lovely lifestyle to strive for? Apparently my niece can’t rise above it. She’s had every opportunity.
I was stupid enough to think that my niece would manage to break the cycle like I did. I was wrong.
So her “belief” (that she has no logical reason to have and can’t even offer a defense for) will bring another illegitimate poverty stricken child into the world, continuing the long white trash traditions of her mother’s family. My only hope is that this zygote can’t survive the cysts and also spontaneously aborts. Not that it will matter ultimately, she’ll just get pregnant again. I’m betting she’ll have several children by the time she’s 21. I guess the double shot of white trash genes were just too much to overcome. My father’s family are welfare riding white trash and so is the niece’s mother’s side. It was just too much.
You can take the girl out of the white trash, but not the white trash out of the girl.
I guess I just got lucky. Or my stubbornness saved me. Or both. My brother and I certainly were NOT raised in the white trash tradition. My mother’s side of the family are hardworking, honest Christians who really do walk the Christian walk. Salt of the earth. Solid middle class folks. We were raised in a clean, orderly house with working parents. I got more of that than my brother, obviously. My brother was allowed to do as he pleased, including having his girlfriend live with us and having anything he wanted handed to him. I was harassed if I had my boyfriend in my room at all and had to get a job at 16. We were both a bit spoilt with free cars and insurance, but my brother definitely never had the rules I had. Now I’m glad for it, since I turned out to be a non-hillbilly.
Where is my brother in all of this? Well, he’s living with his mommy and daddy, refusing to acknowledge that there are any problems with his daughter or the way he raised her. His way of dealing with her is to berate and belittle her and ultimately let her do whatever she wants. She’s never had a rule. He’ll throw her out and disown her when she tells him that she’s pregnant, though. No question about that. Because all of them blame niece’s mother for everything, not the fact that my brother is a shitty parent. My mother is to blame for my brother being a doormat and being an emotionally crippled manchild. They are all to blame for this situation.
The niece and her grandmother were actually calling me to see if I’d rat her out to my brother, not as a courtesy or to hear my opinion. They don’t give one shit about my opinion! Niece isn’t in trouble with her grandmother. Not at all, they just wanted to know if I’d tell. I promised nothing. Niece has lied to me and used me as a family shield long enough. I’m not going to lie for her or enable her ignorant hillbilly behaviour! Forget it! While I’m not going to seek out my brother, I will not lie if they call me. Little Miss I’m A Grownup can deal with her choices and fix her own messes. What she and her grandmother are trying to devise is a way to get what she wants (car, money, etc.) from my brother without telling him that she’s pregnant. I know their game. It’s the exact same thing her mother did to my poor ignorant brother.
I have to say that I blame my brother for all of this. All this drama and family fighting began when he knocked up niece’s mother. Had he not been such an easy target, the family would not have had to deal with 17 years of drama. Niece’s mother saw an easy mark, got pregnant and blackmailed my brother for more than $28k. My brother is too dumb to see that it was all a play for money, not love. My niece has learned well from her mother and her grandmother. Her mother was always one step ahead of the warrants out for her. She milked welfare for all she could get (which is what the custody was all about, she wanted to claim niece for the money), sold drugs, had her buyers in and out of her house and allowed my niece to get raped by one of these men. Awesome mom. Then she was raped, stabbed and beaten to death by a rival drug dealer. Nice.
THIS is what my niece strives to be like, ladies and gentlemen. And she’s well on the path. Having a kid by one of her many boyfriends at 17 is just perfect. She’ll never finish high school, never get a job and begin her life of luxury on the welfare dole.
All hail the hillbilly tradition!
This will be a major blow to my family. My father would be horrified if he had enough brain power left to even understand what’s going on. My mother will explode in bitter hatred for her granddaughter. They will throw her out and my brother will sit in that house until he dies. My money’s on his eating a bullet once my parents are gone. He’s never had a relationship other than his mommy. Those people are pathetic and sad.
For now, I’m not contacting them at all. I’ve got my own shit going on, frankly, and they don’t want to hear what I have to say anyway. There’s no point talking to them. They treat me like I’m an idiot because I’m not involved with their shit. Righto, I am the dumb one.
I can tell you this: I am the happy one. All ranting aside, I’m pretty happy with my life choices. There’s stressful stuff, but that does not mean I’m not happy overall. Being without family is the way for me to stay happy.
They’ve never done a thing for me, other than tell me how “worried” they are about me, which implies that I’m too dumb to take care of myself. They have never EVER offered to help me with anything. Meanwhile my brother gets handed the family business and mommy supports him completely. He’s never written a check. He’s never been independent or had a relationship, yet they “worry” about me? No they don’t, that’s just a slam to me because I left that hell hole and won’t come back. They have spent every dime they have supporting my brother (and his $28k blackmailing and his daughter) and now that I could use some help starting up a pub, there’s nothing to offer even if they would. But they still have the nerve to treat me like I am so much trouble.
I’m declaring myself an orphan. Family is the worst thing to happen to anyone. It’s nothing but disappointment, lies, hurt and sadness. We’d be far better off if we hatched from eggs in the middle of a field then had to fend for ourselves.
For those (few, very few) out there with great, supportive, non-hillbilly families, good for you. You are an anomaly. Get off my lawn.