When I was growing up, my mom had some issues.
Any of the family I have earned over the years can attest to this, but they will also agree on the next point.
She was a pretty fantastic mom, and I miss her terribly, and I wish I had been a better son, but that is for another Chop’s Guide… let’s just say, I was crying like a little girl with a skinned up knee when no one was around for a while and just recently when I was on the phone with Angelina but I love her, and she is my safe space, I guess… I still felt like a jackass.
With all this being said, I spent a LOT of time with my Nanny and Papa (you may know them as Grandma and Grandpa).
Not only because for a large portion of my younger days, we lived right behind their house and I was over there constantly but because when these issues would arise, I would spend a lot of time with my Nany and Papa.
Mostly my Nanny because Papa had not retired yet.
I was very close to them both, I think I may have gotten my love of cooking from watching that lady… or it is genetic from my dad, but I certainly did not get it from my mom.
I was in Iraq in September of 2008, and I got word from my mom that my uncle died (this is not exactly relevant to the story, but it paints the picture that this was a bad six months.)
My uncle Tom was the coolest.
He lived in San Francisco and rented studio equipment to movie studios.
I used to love when he would visit, the guy was funny as hell, I miss him.
I had to find out he was gay in a terribly awkward way though…
Tom sent us a VCR (I am old, fuck you) and a box of movies.
Being the excited kid that I was, I dug through said box and saw one hat had a pornish title to it.
Being the horny kid that I still am, I hid that shit.
For like a week.
I finally got the chance to watch it and WHAT THE FUCK?!
WHERE ARE ALL THE GIRLS?!
WHERE ARE ANY GIRLS?!
WHY WOULD MY KICK ASS UNCLE HAVE PORN WITHOUT ANY GIRLS?! (You see, I was smart)
WHY ISN’T MY DICK THAT BIG?! (I still ask this one and cry)
What made matters worse is that I had invited my best friend Henry over to watch the porn… that was an embarrassing night…
Henry there, me jerking off, fast forwarding it trying to find girls…
Ok, all of this really happened besides the jerking off thing… I don’t even like seeing my own wiener.
Back to the story.
December Rolls around and I get an email from my dad telling me to call home.
My Nanny died.
I lost my shit.
I am completely unprepared for the people close to me in my life to die, like I start choking up thinking about it now even.
I deal with death like a champ around people, but I can not wait to get alone so I can lose my mind… I could not contain it when I heard about my Nanny.
There was one big, burly, bearded, tattooed bastard bawling his eyes out in front of everyone and God in Qayarrah, Iraq for about an hour or more, I could not function.
They got me to my buddy Marlon’s office just to get me away from everyone… I was embarrassing.
When you are in Iraq, if there is an emergency situation, Red Cross will fly you out, but they will only fly you to your point of origin, which in my case is St. Louis, Missouri.
(Red Cross is still a horrible charity, do not give them anything but blood)
My Nanny and Papa lived in Grants Pass Oregon.
My mom could not afford to get to Grants Pass at that time, so I bought her a round-trip ticket to go ahead of me because I was still a day or so from getting out of Iraq.
I was going to fly to St. Louis, pick up a rental car, drive to Jefferson City, Missouri, grab Chris and drive with him to Oregon.
I say drive with him, but I was awake until about the end of the driveway and slept a good portion of the way there.
It took us WAY longer to get there than it should have.
Chris drove as long as he could (about 0300 that morning), and we got a hotel.
When we woke up at 0800 that morning, it had snowed like six inches and ceaselessly snowed the whole way to Oregon.
Needless to say, the trip absolutely sucked even more so than me going to see one of the closest people in my life in their coffin.
It was a terrible time although we try to find the humor in everything.
Including the ticket Chis got driving 80 in the snow trying to get us to Oregon.
My mom decided that while we were still driving through the blizzard to get there, she would forego the money I had spent on her ticket back home and would just ride back home with us.
I told her that was fine, but on the way through Utah, she had to lick the salt flats.
Every five minutes and anytime she complained, I told her Utah was coming up.
She would get all bent out of shape and yell things like “I can’t believe you would make your poor mother suffer like that”
I would tell her that is the price she had to pay for throwing my money away.
I never really intended to make her do it, I just loved giving my mom shit.
But we kept the gag going even getting out and walking to the Salt Flats before I told her she didn’t really have to do it.
She said, “Oh hell no!, I have had to hear about me licking these damn salt flats this whole trip, I am doing it now.”
She was a fucking trooper, she got down on her hands and knees and licked the salt flats… Chris and I felt bad, so we did it too, though we just got some on our knives and tasted it standing.
The salt flats lives up to it’s name.
My mom helped make that horrible time better, I miss them both.
I flew back to Iraq a few days later.
May 2008, I get a call from my dad, my Grannie Annie died (Fuck you and your regular names for grandparents)
Grannie Annie was awesome, she taught me how to play poker, she drank, she smoked, she was a hell of a lot of fun.
She was a biker chick from way back and ended up being a super cool old lady.
She got married six times, five of those times was to my Grandpa (he didn’t get a cool name, he died when I was really young, but I hear he was pretty cool too)
I did not spend nearly as much time with her growing up, which I regret, but I loved her dearly.
Same deal, Iraq to St. Louis, then I rented a car and drove to Amarillo, Texas to meet up with my dad, aunt, and uncle for Grannie Annie’s funeral.
Her tombstone says “No fishin, don’t ask” she was funny.
I ended up staying home after this trip because everything was drawing down in Iraq and I thought I was about to get shitcanned because the new base manager didn’t like me due to a previous run-in…
I have regretted that decision since I loved Iraq and the travel it allowed me.
All of this has been leading up to something, and it is not nearly as fun.
My Angelina just lost her grandmother.
I feel as if I have lost another one based on the stories Angelina would tell me about her and because my love for Angelina encompasses her family, through them, I have her.
Angelina did not get to meet her grandmother until she was almost a teenager but even with the long absence, they became very close.
Her parents were already in Israel, and Angelina has visited while her grandma was ill so it was somewhat expected but this is Angelina’s first big loss like Nanny was mine, and it has put her in a bad place.
My initial reaction is to be there for her, to take as much of the pain from her as I can, to shield and protect her. That is my purpose and one that makes me sick that I can not fulfill, not because I am a prick or just can not afford to be there, she is determined to do this alone.
She is pushing me away, to the point of trying to turn me off of being absolutely head over heels for her and it is fucking killing me.
She says she knows she will regret, that I am the best man she has ever called hers but does not want to waste my time and I should try to not feel as strongly as I do because she is so fucked up over this and life in general.
Best man ever and still seems to be losing the girl… I am not sure is that is a compliment or an insult
She also feels trapped being in Turkey, but it is yet another thing she has decided not to allow me to help with.
I want to go to her in Israel or back in Turkey when she goes back to work, and it is utterly destroying me.
She does not think she needs anyone and I know in my heart she needs me, but she is being so stubborn that I fear I truly will lose her if I push.
If I haven’t lost her already.
It is hard not to push when you feel like your world is caving in.
It is funny, when we first started talking seriously, she read Chop’s Guide and was afraid of being with me because she didn’t want to be just another girl I write about, generally about them flaking out on me and disappearing or showing me how little I matter and how I just give up trying.
She made me love her by making me feel like I was worth something and making me feel like I found a partner and in general, she is amazing (not so much this week) and I do love her with my whole heart.
Now she is flaking on me, I feel less and less like I matter and I am writing about how I am trying to fight what is, with my luck and being the loser that I am, most likely a losing battle.
So, I am not really sure if her wish is coming true or not…
My job just ended in North Dakota, and I am headed home.
I have nothing but time and money to go see her.
She has had to battle this demon mostly alone because my work schedule had afforded us very little time to talk for the last month and it has taken a toll on her.
She said I should just go back to Missouri because she knew I hated being up here and she just wants me happy, and we would figure something out even if I did not make as much money.
I should have left, I should have listened harder.
I was going to try to stay up here until our trip to Japan, but with the way things are looking now, that trip may not happen.
So I am leaving the job, and North Dakota, hopefully forever.
I was planning on looking for jobs elsewhere after Japan, but she is more important than the job or the trip. I hope being more available for a while will help her get through this and, with any luck, allow me to go to her and be the shoulder to cry on that I want to be for her.
I can understand her not wanting me to meet her parents under these circumstances, although I absolutely would but when she gets back to Turkey, I wish I could be there for her.
I wonder how many other guys feel like they are dying inside because they aren’t allowed to be the boyfriend they should be.
I have a little money coming, and I can afford to go see her and look for things that are closer to her including going back to Iraq… although, if I could find a job in Istanbul that paid enough to get by, I would take it in a heartbeat.
She doesn’t want me in a war zone, being there would bring me much more joy than I have had this week… but honestly, catching a bullet there is preferable to how I feel currently.
It wasn’t easy giving my heart out, I had fully planned on dying alone and was ok with it so long as it was soon if I could not travel.
I am past the age of accepting refunds so I do not think I will be able to give it again so I will fight as long as I can to keep the woman that I love.
I believe the job shutting down the day I received her bad news and subsequent destroying of my heart was a sign that I can get away from NODAK and hop a plane.
For whatever reason apparently, the pure joy of doing this alone and pushing me away feels much better than having me by her side, where I should be.
Try to remain positive but fuck this is frustrating.
I talked to my brother Chris this afternoon, and he really helped me with this whole thing, he carries much more wisdom about relationships than I ever will, but it is still tearing away at my heart.
Please, if you have any advice or words of wisdom or anything, this is the post I need it on because I can not figure out what to do besides showing her that I care and I love her and need her while simultaneously wanting to run myself into oncoming traffic.
She says that I am impatient and that I should calm down and be peaceful for her.
I say impatience is a virtue, I have dealt with enough bad things in my life to know tomorrow is not guaranteed.
I just want to spend it with her.
I had a grandma too.