Thursday, December 29, 2016


So we made it through Christmas, with only a few bumps and fractiousness. There was some unpleasant conversations going on between Jim and I as I booked out airline tickets for next month's ten day vacation to the beaches of Costa Rica. I could not pin him down to a date and he kept complaining that the ticket prices kept jumping around. By the time I got him to make a firm decision the week he wanted was booked solid.

What was it my friend the therapist called this trait of Jim's? Decision by indecision? I think it's a feature of the place on the autism spectrum I believe he falls on. I've come to the conclusion that he has some undiagnosed autism, just like I was tested and found to have ADD about ten years ago. It can be quite the challenge to deal with when doing something that takes plenty of money and lots of planning. We're going a week later than he wanted, yes, it took some wrangling to pin him down on where to stay too. We booked at a different set of resorts and different Pacific-side beaches this time. This beach vacation cannot come soon enough!

He'll also be interviewing at three different schools that teach English to professionals while we're there, one right in the area we're most interested in living in, near Manuel Antonio.

Now I understand why we went with a travel agency last time. Booking everything from hotel to hotel, to the flights, and the rental car was quite the task. But it's done, mostly, one place is not booked but the nice young man we got to know at the resort in the volcano area is going to book us back there in one of the villas instead of the suite we occupied last time. Jim's ability to make friends sometimes pays off.

We had a good Christmas, even if there was some not so nice drama a few weeks before involving Jim asking me anew what I wanted for a Christmas present and me pointing to the weekender bags the dept. store had on sale and suggesting a new piece of luggage since ours are starting to fray. I had to throw out by weekend bag this summer finally after a handle broke and it developed a rip I could not repair. This place had quite nice bags that were 50% off, very responsible prices. Less than a grocery run.

He turned to me and said, "You don't need that." and boy, I saw red. It triggered one of our very rare fights. I think it was either the second or third one we had all year. I was so mad, pointing out to him more than once that if someone asked you what you want for Christmas and you already have just about everything you want then it's extremely rude and dismissive to tell them they don't need the thing they asked for.

I had already bought him something rather nicer than a weekend bag for Christmas, a brand new tablet, a nice one. Not something he absolutely needed, but something that would make his life just a little bit more enjoyable.

In the end he bought one of the bags for me when I wasn't around, getting one in my favorite color, turquoise. It's going to come in handy for the upcoming trip because I'm going to be packing very lightly this time. Last trip to Central America I ended up living in my swimsuit with a light cover up dress over it.

We had Christmas Eve dinner with the kids and it was quite nice and relaxing. At least until we called Jim's elderly mother so that everyone could talk to her. She asked each of our adult children when they would be getting married. We pretty much all laughed over that because my son isn't dating anyone since that epic breakup with his long time girlfriend this last summer when we had to rent a Uhaul and move him suddenly from her home. Our daughter told her grandmother it would be a while because she wanted to get her masters degree out of the way first, finish up some graphics training and move to San Diego before she would consider marrying the man she's been involved with three years now. My maw in law didn't like hearing that.

When she spoke to me she told me yet again how happy she was that I'd stayed with her son, and that I'd been the glue to hold our family together and done a good job raising the kids. It was gratifying to hear because as I've said I've always felt like the dogsbody of that family, the one not working a glamorous job or doing great adventures, just plodding on making sure everyone's teeth were brushed, homework done and shirts ironed. I've still never been bragged about in that stupid Christmas letter. I've had to come to terms with that.

One of the things we mentioned during the call was that since we're still planning on moving to Costa Rica this spring we wanted the maw in law to sign up for Skype so we could still talk. She said she'd do that. When we were there last Christmas I looked at her computer and it was new enough with a camera so that all she'd have to do is download the program.

She mentioned it to the unpleasant new sister in law, who now has her very agitated because she told the maw in law that her computer was 'too ancient' and she would have to spend thousands of dollars buying a new computer to use Skype. Such bullshit. This is more of the sister in law trying to control how my maw in law communicates with the outside world. She'd told the maw in law that we're going to have to write letters from Central America.

But... where there's a will there's a way. I'm not about to have her dictating to the maw in law who and how she communicates so earlier this week I ordered the maw in law a simple tablet. When it gets here I'm going to make sure to set it up, preload in Skype, sign her up for a Skype account and sent it on over to the maw in law.

This is typical for the kind of thing my new sister in law does. She's sent us a few emails complaining copiously about the behavior of my maw in law and sometimes the maw in law complains about her. Not even replying.


On a sad control freakish note I discovered today what happened and why so many people have left our mainstream church we've attended for the last ten years. In the last four months there's been boatloads of griping by members of our service, some staff firings and some surprising people leaving. Sad to say it boils down to the usual control freak behavior by a pastor. Some things apparently never change, no matter how they flavor the koolaid.

I'm beginning to think that America in particular is so wrong about anything faith related. At least the churches here seem to be about nothing that Jesus said was important.

I think I'm done with church. I'll likely always still carry some remnant of belief in me, in the spiritual realm, but none of this good old American style country club Christianity. I haven't been to church all month between the recurrence of my mrsa and other illnesses.

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