Wednesday I got a grand total of eight hours of sleep: from around midnight until 4:30 AM; and then from six thirty PM to ten thirty.
It might have been more if my brother had not been on such a wild tear to save money on the funeral that he had to come down here before noon in order to make a 3:30 PM appointment with the funeral home. I was about to go back to bed Wednesday and get more sleep, but no, he had stuff he wanted done! So I didn't get back to bed until after 3 PM, didn't get to sleep before 4:30, woke up at 10:30, and was wide fricking awake after that. I had been about to go to bed at five, when my sister and brother-in-law arrived from Louisiana.
It was my brother's idea to have my crazy sister's kids fly out here from Maine; his wife made the arrangements for that.
So what happened?
I got to bed after 7 AM Thursday morning, becuase my sister and brother-in-law are normal people who can't go right from driving to sleeping; and I was awakened at about 10 AM by my sister starting to do some cleaning and other things. And I cannot sleep when someone is banging stuff around and making all kinds of noise.
None of this is anyone's fault. I'm trying to get sleep when I can get it, and I'm even popping Xanax; but the Xanax (which normally knocks me out) is not knocking me out and I cannot seem to sleep more than four hours. When I wake up, it's all the way, and immediately; when I go to bed, I toss and turn for at least an hour before I fall asleep even if I'm dead tired.
So this morning, my brother calls up my sister--who had had about an hour or so of rest before habit got her out of bed--and asks her to pick up the niece and nephew from Midway.
My sister didn't want to do it; she'd driven for 17 hours and got no sleep. Okay, fine; my brother rung off.
A few minutes later, my brother called back: Ed, can you pick up the niece and nephew?
...guess I have to. I mean, what choice do I have?
Putting it that way apparantly offended my brother. He started berating me with all this bullshit about how much he'd driven down here over the past few days, and how it would be different if the kids were coming into O'Hare, and his kids have final exams on Friday, and his older son was up until 1:30 AM writing a paper for school, and blah-blah-blah, bullshit bullshit bullshit....
You know, asshole, you were the one who had the grandiose idea of buying airplane tickets for the niece and nephew to get them out here. We didn't have to have the wake on Friday; we could have had a wake on Saturday before the funeral and your precious kids wouldn't have to worry about their final exams at all. You made all those arrangements; you insisted on spending all the time and effort to shop around for funeral homes and compare prices; you insisted on the nonsense with the fucking CostCo casket, necessitating yet another trip down here; you were the one who wanted our sister's kids out here for the funeral; and you were the one who got them flights into Midway. Don't try to act like you somehow made a big noble sacrifice and are asking me to do one little thing, because that's not how it is.
My plans for the day: totally shot to shit. Because of that, I had to run all my errands and then go to the fucking airport with almost no break at all. My brother-in-law and I left the house at around 2 PM and it was go, go, go, go, go, go, go--got everything done and back to the house by 5:30 so we could almost immediately turn around and go to the airport. No time for dinner; I'd have to wait until we got back from the airport to eat.
Did I mention that I had three hours of sleep?
Traffic around Midway airport is a fucking nightmare. I have never been to Midway before. I had to slug back an energy drink in order to function.
And it was snowing.
It's always like this, too: my brother and/or his wife have some big idea to do something, and everyone has to hop to it and help them do it to their specification because, gee, they're just so busy and there's so much that needs doing....
We didn't have to have the funeral on Friday and Saturday, you know? We could have pushed it back to Monday or Tuesday and no one would have minded. That would have given my brother plenty of time to shop around for caskets and vaults. That would have given us plenty of time to get my sister's kids here. My brother's kids would have been finished with school and there would have been no distractions. And, what the fuck, even if we had the funeral on Tuesday and sent my sister's kids back the day after, they'd be home by Christmas and everyone else could just hang together for a few more days until the holiday was over.
But no, my brother decided the funeral had to be as soon as possible, so here we are left scrambling around to get things done.
To make it even more entertaining, then, my sister-in-law calls up my sister and asks if my sister can take the kids shopping after they arrive here, for dress clothing.
Their flight got into Midway at 6:30. In the best case we would have been home by 8 PM--and "best case" never applies. Just about everyone around here closes at 9.
And who the fuck wants to go SHOPPING after traveling all fucking day?
The stress of all the asshole drivers in the city, coupled with the snow and slick conditions, did not help one iota. I needed to concentrate, because I was on unfamiliar ground, in the dark, in the snow, in a demilitarized zone, and I asked everyone in the Jeep to be quiet so I could do that. My niece told my nephew to make two phone calls and we decided that the rest could wait until we got home.
...we're about three miles out when my idiot brother calls, asking where we are...and at that point, I just fucking lost it.
My patience had been hanging on by a thread for two hours, and that did it. I didn't go ballistic, and I didn't start screaming, but I did say, "If he doesn't trust me to do this right, why the fuck did he ask me to do it in the first place?"
You know, most people will assume, "Oh, they just got held up in traffic." Not my brother. Oh no! He's shredded the transmissions in three of the last four cars he and his wife have owned, because he drives like a total fucking idiot. This is the guy who can't get more than 30,000 miles out of a clutch. He speeds--I mean, 20+ over the limit--brakes hard, weaves through traffic, tailgates, stands on the gas; he's one of those morons who--seeing that the left two lanes are not clear but the right lane is--will dive across both lanes and get behind the guy in the right lane and tailgate him.
So the next time he offers me one of his dickhead choices--"do this for me, or else you're an uncooperative asshole"--my answer is going to be, "Nope, can't do it. Sorry." The next time he has this huge grandiose plan, I'm not going to help him execute it: "You made those plans, and you're never happy with the way I do things, so it's just better if you do it yourself."
I do not need this kind of fucking bullshit. I especially do not need it right fucking now.
* * *
...so after getting home from doing my brother's chore for him, I had my dinner, brushed my teeth, and was in bed shortly after 9 PM.
Look at the post date and time, above.
I slept for two fucking hours.
I almost fell asleep, and then it felt like a cat jumped on the bed. I haven't seen Luna since last night, because of all the people and the noise; I have no idea where the hell she is and she's not coming when I call her--so I got up and looked around the room, but there was no cat in here. Turned out the light, almost fell asleep--felt a cat brush against my foot. Got up, looked, still no cat; all these phantom cats were just dream fragments. I didn't fall asleep until after 10:30.
...woke up at 12:30.
So I got up and had a Xanax and the dose of Paxil I forgot to take this morning, and I am finally beginning to feel a bit more relaxed, 1.5 hours later.
My brother is coming here tomorrow morning with the clothes my sister-in-law bought for my niece and nephew. I told my sister: "Please see to it that it's not too noisy tomorrow morning. And make sure [my brother] doesn't start playing the piano. I'm not kidding: if I get woken up tomorrow morning by that piano, I am going to blow up, and it is not going to be pretty."
My brother has a $14,000 grand fucking piano at home, and a nice Kurzweil synthesizer; he can play all the goddamned keyboard he wants there--yet whenever he comes here he has to start playing the upright in the living room all the goddamned time. (And he never puts the goddamned bench back, either.)
Like I said: I have not made a secret of the fact that I HAVE NOT BEEN GETTING ANYTHING LIKE A NORMAL AMOUNT OF SLEEP and this fucking asinine bullshit last night DID NOT HELP ONE GODDAMNED FUCKING IOTA. I told everyone:
I AM AT MY LIMIT.
("Normal amount", by the way, for a regular person, not me.)
I haven't been able to go to bed and sleep. I haven't been able to tell anyone, "Shut up and don't make noise and don't call me!" because stuff has needed doing, and in general I have tried to be cooperative. But I can't go any fucking farther without getting some sleep, and I mean more than a couple hours here and there. A lot of my sleeplessness has been the direct result of my brother's need to save a few bucks on the funeral, and his (and his wife's) utter inability to fully consider the ramifications of the plans they make. "Let's have the funeral as soon as possible! We don't need a couple extra days to let everyone get here! Oh, let's get [sister's] kids out here! Oh, wait, our kids have final exams that day! Let's make someone else do the hard part, because we're too busy!"
...Christmas Eve, last year, Mom and my sister and I drove two fucking hours to get to their house because my brother was on call and he just had to have his family there for Christmas! He was going to be soo lonely because he'd only have his wife and children there!
We told them we'd be there around 8 or 8:30; my sister-in-law didn't get home with the kids until almost fucking 11 PM. If my brother hadn't given my sister the alarm code, we would have had to wait in the fucking driveway for about forty minutes for my brother to get home from some last-minute shopping.
I am getting fucking tired of their complete lack of consideration for others.
* * *
While we're at it, why the fuck did my brother's kid have to stay up until 1:30 AM to finish writing a paper? What the fuck else was he doing that kept him from writing that paper earlier?
If your 13-year-old has to stay up that goddamned late to get his schoolwork done, he has too much fucking bullshit on his plate. That, or else his parents are doing a shitty job of making sure he's getting his homework done in a reasonable time frame.