I’m certain that there are at least four places in the Bible where we are admonished not to delight in the misery of others. I’m not sure if any of them clearly indicate that you go straight to Hell if you do but I’m hoping there’s still time for redemption- right after I finish reveling in Abby’s father’s current situation.
In my own defense, I’ve paid my dues. In spades. For years. You don’t fetch up a child like Abby without more than your fair share of calls from the counselor, trips to the ER for sports injuries, lost keys and bumped fenders. Why, even today…
I thought that rather than dwell on Abby’s absence I would try to recoup a tiny bit financially before the tuition bills start showing up. I tried to sell back her text books that we bought last year when she made a false start at the local Lutheran College. Those first few weeks cost a bundle and if I had been a bit more flexible and less anxious and she had been more organized we would have realized that she just plain needed a year off. We also would have realized that the conservative and closed small environment, land-locked here in Michigan, had nothing to do with her, but ah well. Hindsight.
Anyway, the textbook business is a racket akin to drug companies as far as I’m concerned. A book gets used for exactly one year before they’re on to the next edition. (Why, Mamacita is already teaching out of the 2006 version of her textbook!) This means that the 187.00 Chem AC textbook with CDs was not available used when you had to buy it and it is worthless the following year. This isn’t true across the board but it is for an awful lot of these horrendously expensive books. Today I lugged 30# of textbooks over to the small bookstore at Concordia only to find that none are being used this year so they didn’t want them. To add insult to injury, I thought the self-righteous clerk was just a little too judgmental about the fact that stuck midway through the pile was a Latin textbook clearly stamped, "Property of Ann Arbor Public Schools."
"We certainly wouldn’t buy this book now, would we? I believe this book belongs somewhere else ."
Oh. Great. Now it turns up after we had to pay 56.00 for a replacement 2 years ago. Abby has a history of "textbook divestment disorder" as Mamacita would put it, and I certainly wish someone would recognize this for the disability it is and give the child chits for endless free textbooks, sooner rather than later.
I digress. This evening I was as free as a bird: no one here needing food, money or emotional support. So it seemed a good opportunity to finalize a "bird swap" and enjoy dinner with Judy and Amy. The not- so-free-as-birds birds in the aviary are as prolific as what? Bunnies? Mice? Birds, I guess. I say goodnight to those twittering little cuties and the next morning they’re waiting on eggs to hatch. Most of the time I remove the eggs, feeling sort of like a chicken farmer, but sometimes I give a pair a nest and let them party down. The babies are very sweet and I always find good homes for them but this assumes I’m not letting the little twits inbreed. So I had to swap one of my males for one of Judy’s and we went for dinner, too.
I had no sooner ordered a Long Island Ice Tea (now I have a Long Island headache) than my phone rang and there was Abby’s smiling face grinning on the screen (bless her heart; she programmed this in before leaving). I have to admit there was a momentary wince and a fleeting thought, "what now?" before I remembered that she was en route to Florida with her dad and the Putz. He went along "to help." Bwa-hah-hah-hah! I answered and she sounded chipper enough. Considering her dad was losing it somewhere in Tennessee where the giant U-Haul towing her car is broken down by the side of the road. Let’s see: the hills of Tennessee. A U-Haul full of poorly packed apartment furnishings. Abby. The Putz. Dad.
How happy am I that I have been left behind? Can you spell HALLELUJAH? I’ll take another Long Island, please…