Phone Thanks

Our phone was shut off yesterday morning. Normally I would be running in circles trying to get it turned back on, but this has happened way too much in the past year. I have decided to flip the company the bird and find cheaper phone services, ones that don’t continuously send a bill that’s $50 more than promised despite how much money I send every paycheck. My husband is up in arms – he says it’s because he has to have his phone for work. But when I point a very cheap phone plan to him that would allow him to keep his fancy smart phone but has limited minutes to talk, he says he needs those minutes. Who do you talk to? I ask. He balks… and after a few seconds tells me that he calls me on the way home. I of course am not fooled and so have been pushed into wanting a family phone plan even less.

I need unlimited minutes because my phone is my portable office. My husband? He does not. He just needs his job to be able to reach him when they want him to come in on his day off. That hardly requires unlimited minutes. Anything beyond that is just confusing the desire to play and a very bad addiction to convenience with needs. Although it is nice that he calls me on his way home to talk. When he calls.

Ha. Well, having a phone got me stuck on it by an inconsiderate client ON MY HONEYMOON and again WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE TAKING MY CHILD TRICK OR TREATING. And uh… we’ll be fine for a few days.  You start thinking that when the slave masters around you realize you’re more bound by your fear of doing without convenience than anything, and you just start feeling tired of waking up every day to put up with it. Or you stop wanting to wake up every day to deal with it. Or something.

In our case a lot of my exhaustion is because the credit holders wield their power beyond that of convenience. For example, our mortgage bill should be several hundred dollars a month less than it is because of a tax break my husband gets as a surviving veteran. Will they fix it? No, no they won’t… thanks to the mechanisms of red tape and government backlog. We have to wait for this bill and that bill, and this tax action and that tax action. The wait time could be anywhere up to the end of July to the beginning of next year. And meanwhile? Meanwhile we’re being eaten alive by this monstrous bill. You just get so tired of being taken advantage of. You get tired of feeling like a slave.

So tired, in fact, that when you realize certain people are nothing but caustic in your life you begin to cut ties. Because you have to get away from the bullshit in *some* manner, and if you can’t get away from a tyrannical tax trap you can at least cut out people who hold you back. Make it so you don’t see their constant emo posts on Facebook… something.

I recently ended a friendship that was over 15 years old – if you could call it a friendship. Now that I’m away from it – far far away – I realize it may have been a one-sided feeding arrangement with a self-centered emotion leech who only treated me like a person when they realized I was at my patience end a couple of years ago… and once they got what they felt like they wanted, they dropped even that part of the facade and if it weren’t for my nature I would have ripped their head clean off at a couple of years ago.

It’s the little things that count. Things like… boyfriend leaves you and they say in a snide tone about your choice in men, despite the fact that their own choices are historically worse. Your daughter breaks your heart in a way children should never be allowed to do, and they make a snide comment about your choices in men. Or how every single time, without fail, you share a business need or traveling dream they manage to purchase the very equipment you wanted for themselves or take that vacation you were dreaming about. And it doesn’t happen just once. It happens almost every single time, to the point that you become afraid to share your most private dreams and hopes for fear of them stealing it.

Sure they helped you out when you needed it during that time they were trying to make amends. Then again you were always there for them, sometimes to the point of neglecting matters with your own family. In fact, there were times you were dealing with some very serious shit and… heavens forbid but you were even a little suicidal… and they managed to always turn the conversation around to talk about their own drama and issues. So although you’re grateful for how they helped you through a tough spot or four, you’re also not appreciative of how they did more than take you for granted.  You’re tired of being accused of control when you know it’s not true, of being told you don’t listen when it’s the other way around. Of being emotionally shat upon. They used you and did not value you as a person. Not in the least.

In the end, when a small disagreement stands in the way of communication, do they have the balls to apologize for getting snide and nasty to you? No. They blame you for their actions, which they’ve done a lot over the years. When you stand your ground, they blame static on the phone rather than swallow their pride. That’s right: static on the phone that wasn’t even there. And they end the conversation rather than be a mature adult.

By then you’re just so tired of their caustic, selfish behavior and one-sided drain you’re glad to hit the end call button. “I deserve better,” you say to yourself. You walk away, and you never. Ever. Look back.

Gratitude should never be a reason to stay in such a passive aggressive, abusive situation. I’m grateful to the Pell Grant for allowing me to become a first generation college graduate – even if literally no one gave a fuck when I walked. I didn’t do it for them. I did it for me.

I’d like to be grateful for food stamps and help with keeping a roof over my head, but I can’t because I’m not sorry enough to qualify for welfare. Not even when I’m a single parent with two small children. But it would be nice to feel that way, yeah. Instead I had to do some pretty base things to feed and care for my children. I had to sacrifice my pride more times than I can count.

I am grateful to the Catholic church for helping me when a boyfriend left suddenly. He even took the blankets off the bed – blankets I brought into the relationship I might add – and took all of our money out of the bank. A lot of that money I put in, I should also add. No one would help me, especially not the organizations that were put together for just that purpose. In fact, when I called desperately seeking help of these places I used to donate to they gave me the number to a homeless shelter and hung up. So much for the Baptist faith. That’s when the Catholic Church stepped in. They not only helped me, they offered help in areas I had to turn away because it would have been dishonest to take it. I didn’t need help with that.

Despite my feelings of gratitude to each of these situations and more I’m too lazy to mention here, my life couldn’t improve until I learned to stop confusing “thank you” with friendship. I won’t tolerate a preacher telling me I should bow to my husband, not when I was raised as an equal and possible tribal leader. I certainly wouldn’t appreciate it if the government came to my home to tell me how to raise my children – which the food stamp program threatened me with as a condition for help when my ex-husband left us destitute. I can’t bring myself to feel good about big government, despite the fact that my college degree is largely thanks to a government provision. I certainly have no feeling of gratitude to a company that overcharges for a service they monopolize. I believe in the separation of corporate and state.

The government confiscated a woman’s business a couple of years ago because they decided she was laundering money. She just proved her innocence and managed to back her right to use cash only in court. Do they apologize? Do they admit they’re to blame? No. Like the situation above, they’re blaming the proverbial static on the phone. They’re filing to sue her again.

How can we continue to confuse gratitude with friendship when it’s always like this? We can’t. We shouldn’t. You can be grateful without allowing yourself to become a vampire’s meal ticket. We deserve better.

Which brings me back to the cell phone. I’m grateful I’ve had it, to a point. I mean, we’ve really been overpaying for it in a lot of ways. And I’m so tired of being overcharged. Fuck the phone. Just. Fuck it. It’s time I started seeing other phones.

It’s something like 0130 hours or so, and I’m awake because I’m going through another one of my becoming-famous PMS migraines. These migraines are very draining, and if I wasn’t the unhireable type before I definitely am now. Still, because working at home means I can crawl back in bed and sob softly into my pillow with greater ease, I’m up because I’m tired of being down and taking the silence of the wee hours to put together some things for the up and coming convention.

One thing I’ve been doing for the past couple of years now is creating refrigerator magnets with my own artwork on them. They’re basically refrigerator art prints. I’ll post some photos of them in the future. I used to do art prints in little mats, ready for framing but I got tired of those. Oh, they sold. People do like my stuff. But I disliked doing them, I’m not sure why.

Sometimes I’ll have posters made of something that’s especially popular, but with work happening the painting I have in the works has remained in the works for months now. I doubt it will be ready by convention time. And the posters rarely sell, I guess because I’m not creating gigantic boobed versions of Wonder Woman and Powergirl.

I had a very small credit with one of my distributors, so have ordered a total of two copies of Heavenly Bride Book 1 for the convention. I have one other book in my box of stock items, so that means I’ll have a whopping number of three copies at the convention to sell. Oh yeah. I’m expecting to sell by big numbers, can you tell?

But I’d like to have Book 2 finally finished by then. I’m ready to crawl back into my sick bed now, but first I shall at least poke at panel 1 of the next page.

Gosh. It’s after o200 hours. Maybe I should try to sleep some more.