Sunday, January 25, 2009

4a.m. Follow-Up (How to and not to respond)

Yeah, more insomnia. This is fun. I am steadfastly ignoring that I was up at three in the morning when I had fettuccine alfredo (and wine), and now I'm up at 4a.m. after having fettuccine in a Gorgonzola cream sauce (and wine). This is pure coincidence.

But it is also giving me a chance to read your comments here and on Facebook and in emails. Perhaps I was a bit strident in my directions on the "care and feeding" of "cancer person." Perhaps. But it's working! Here is what may be my favorite response to date:

"...[I] was led to your blog which made me cry and laugh and cry. But I am glad I found it because I would have said something foolish to the effect of 'my grandma beat it and you'll beat the odds too.' But that's not what you said you need, you need numbers tipped to your side and she is just taking away from your chances. The bitch!

So here goes (remember, I am Holly's child and with that comes her sense of humor)

'I am so sorry, especially because the ten people I have met with breast cancer have all died.'

I hope that helps to put the numbers back on your side again! And if you need anything at all, just ask. Especially chef services, I'll whore Brein out to you and Chris any time!

That's from Roryann Clements. And it's my favorite for two reasons: 1) it's damn funny, and 2) she and her husband Brein are the owners of my favorite Riverside restaurant Omakase, so I'm all over that chef services offer!! (He is unlikely to prepare fettuccine in any kind of cream sauce, so I'm okay there).

And then there is my least favorite response to date. Both of my parents (who have agreed on precisely two things ever in life--one resulted in me and the other resulted in my brother) suggested that I should tell my ex-husband about the breast cancer. So I did. And three days or so later, here's the email I got in return. Get the tissues ready:

Sorry to hear about your health issues. I had no idea. I really do hope that the doctors at UCLA and the science we have today will be helpful in treating you successfully. I wish you all of the best.

Okay, now wad up the tissue and throw it at the computer screen!! I promise you that is the entire response. I spent ten years of my life with this man! Clearly he has been beseiged with emails from ex-wives recently diagnosed with life threatening illnesses and he was forced to develop a form response so he could just hit "send" as necessary. But I'm not bitter. I understand. He was raised to think emotions are like dirty underwear--you don't display them. I know deep down though he's worried. He's worried I won't be able to pay my medical bills and this will damage his credit report since I still have his last name.

Oh good, I feel better now. And it's 5:15a.m. and I can hear that in the other room Chris is now wide awake and watching TV. Poor baby. This is going to be a long 8 months.


  1. And yet, had you said that your carpet was dirty ... oh, the emotion!

  2. Now THAT was funny BFF/Maid of honor! ...Poor Joe :)
    Hey, I suddenly have the urge to go to Pizzaioli. Is Tom paying for space here?

  3. Tom was plying me with wine and Fettuccine. The ad was gratuitous on my part at that point!

  4. Wow! Did he have to dig DEEP for that? You know...I'm starting to really get a glimpse into THAT former life... Sheesh, if Francisco told me he had a life threatening illness, I think I could at least muster up a "I'm shedding a tear for you...Oh, I'm done". Thanks, Joe! For summing up your humanity and not being bitter at all! Bastard. WTF, Teresa???? I hope you responded to that!

  5. No response seemed necessary. I sort of took that as "we truly have nothing left to say to each other." Oh, and I posted his response on my blog. That's sort of a response in and of itself don't you think? ;-)

  6. Joe has the emotional IQ of like, a toaster. You should respond with a "Wow, that pretty much says everything about why I divorced you. P.S. I'm still Preeeettty."


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