Calvin Trillin wrote that all families have a message. In Trillin’s family it was, “You might as well be a mensch.”
For me, in my family, the message was, “We were counting on you.”
As a child, I sought to make good. To swoop in and save the day.
Power outages. Tornado warnings. Poor television reception. Standing water. Any excuse to prove my worth.
I recently solved the swooping part: TSA PreCheck, loyalty miles — sometimes enough that my economy tickets get upgraded to business class and I have to pretend I’m not that guy. It feels like a superpower.
I also figured out that saving the day is never going to happen. We don’t get to save our family or friends, and days are ephemeral. What I have remaining with my mother is a decade, plus or minus a decade.
She had three cardiac incidents in June. She has other issues, some chronic. She’s in pain much of the time. It affects her sleep, demeanor, activities of daily living.
I’ll never have enough money to giver her the cultural experiences or the home or the medical care I want for her. I’ll never have the time to be as present in her life as she was in mine. It’s a debt I’ll never repay.
I call her most days. I try to do things that, when I tell her about them later, will make her proud.
I suppose I might as well be a mensch. They were counting on me.
Welcome to June 2022’s Disappearing Moment, an inventory of my experiences. I hope you enjoy it.
No Place Like Home (I Liked It): Dorothy's ruby slippers are the ultimate American cultural icon. Their theft and recovery frames a compelling story about Judy Garland and the Wizard of Oz.
I often sift through Expired Domains when I can’t fall asleep. Every domain was once important to someone. I love filling in the backstory.
I rely on my Nokia Steel watch, now discontinued. A minimal analog display with a simple complication that counts my steps. The band is comfortable.
Personal Finance and Investing
Go to the credit reporting agencies' websites and Place a Credit Freeze. It's quick and free, and freezes are simple to lift when needed.
- Susannah Cahalan, The Great Pretender (2019) (I Loved It): A journalist exposes a scholar's exposé. You're wrong about... psychiatry, the DSM, and sanitariums.
- Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (2014) (I Liked It): A comedy about a misanthropic dentist besieged by members of a dying religion. I adore Joshua Ferris, if a bit less with each novel.
- Astrological sign
- Demographic cohort
- DSM diagnosis
- Enneagram number
- Favorite sports team
- IQ score
- Myers-Briggs type
Thanks for spending a few moments with me. I look forward to corresponding again next month.