We Hogabooms approach a degree of economy in worldly possessions such that – only in comparison to our peers and many neighbors, mind you – it occasionally seems less a display of conscientious living, prioritizing family, community, and creativity over material gain, and an eschewal of consumer oneupmanship and more, well – fucking Shabby. It doesn’t really matter today which thing fell apart in the public eye or how soggy our clothes were at the time or who was staring at us or how much under $10 cash I had for a lunch out with the boy or how negative my little bank account was. Let me merely state it as so: I feel the sting of class shame now and then and nothing much makes it go away – and I’m wise enough about myself not to chase money to alleviate the discomfort. Lately I’ve decided to accept my attendant class shame, and I don’t expect everyone can understand it (and I hate it when they try, or claim to know how I feel!). But that’s life; I come from a working-class background and, because we need one of us home for the family, we’ve chosen a working class income with lots of kiddos and cats and chickens and – well. It’s hard sometimes.
A benefit to holding my experience of class-policing with a kind of a quizzical and humorous disposition is the deep, deep gratitude I often feel for the most simple and yet stunning gifts that come our way – for instance, yesterday in the grocery store with my husband and son, buying tomatoes and sourdough for late-night sandwiches (a new little ritual for Nels and I) and wine and apples, and feeling so grateful we can afford food, good food, and these days it is so rare to run out of grocery money. Then there’s my mother, who is so instrumental as a family resource – in more ways than one – that each extention she makes to us, each gift she gives, often of time and love to our children, is appreciated by Ralph and I – and, I’d imagine, our kids feel the same. Example: today she took the kids and I out for hot dogs, then by the office supply business to order me a Mother’s Day gift: a sewing room table (w00t!). Awesome-lady hat trick: she dropped Nels and I off in piss-ass rainville Montesano for my doctor’s appointment – which saved the kidlets and I a rainy and (for myself) car-sick bus ride.
Then I got to feel grateful for my son and my son’s good health; he played with me in the waiting room and poured me a coffee and assiduously wiped up a small spill, and was so friendly to the staff and waited in the waiting room talking up the receptionist while I was able to meet with the physician for a rather involved consultation. Before my appointment we waited an hour, but these things happen and I didn’t mind because my boy was good company (OK – so is my phone). Trapped inside, an absolute downpour and a nearly vacant waiting room, just he and I to be together.
So yes, I visited a new doctor and left with a new prescription, my most recent attempt at pharmaceuticals being a very small dose of a tricyclic for two days and a microdose of an SSRI for under a week. I don’t mind telling you, I feel like a coward and a fool for not being able to commit to those medicines, but they had bad enough side effects immediately that I felt alienated from myself (I’d rather be “me” and anxious for a couple hours at night, kthx). I think I am rather sensitive to medication – I guess, anyway (my hat is doffed to those who cope with stronger dosages, something I clearly would have a very hard time with). I don’t mind telling you, these tiny pills I have now are causing me a little fear. Maybe if I take one that feeling will go away. It’s almost Pill O’Clock anyway.
Tomorrow I’m packing up a pair of too-small jeans for credit at the recycle clothing shop, and hopefully disappearing into the sewing room to make something for a friend. With a return of darkness and shit-weather I’m back to practicing patience with myself. I can’t always experience peace, but I can try to make peace with that.