Hello again. It's the start of another winter here in Southern Ontario. The snow and cold, along with political and financial turmoil in the wider world, serve as an unnerving backdrop to our lesser catastrophes. Michael and Deanna have had three unpleasant reverses to deal with. First, he broke his foot trying to be helpful. Second, he was the victim of identity theft. It's going to take a while for him to reestablish his cybernetic credibility; the president of my gardening club's sister in law had the same thing happen to her and she's still dealing with the odd hiccup a year or so later so he's in for a rocky time. This makes the disappointing realization that he can't simply have his mother committed the perfect end to a perfect month.
You see, the thing is that Elly simply isn't a danger to herself or others so the law's hands are tied. We can't even get the Board of Health to step in because the mess in there isn't bad enough. It's somewhere between "university student" and "antisocial grade school teacher dating a bookkeeper at a gas station" on the filth scale. They don't have enough stuff to make a real mess on their property; the only thing that we could really cite John for is disobeying the pooper-scooper bylaw. This means the dumb bastard is allowed to get away with letting his wife imagine that it's some weird melange of the present and a distorted past. Mike tells me that as near as he can figure out, this has actually been building for years only he didn't realize it. This leads me to ask if they still say "Well, DUH!!" It's as if her mind were like a rotting tree. It seems solid but is actually falling apart from the outside in. When it collapses, people are always shocked to know it was never what it appeared to be.
The one that is most shocked is someone I alluded to earlier: Elizabeth. It's only just now that she's allowed herself to realize how bad things are at her parent's house. Her fury that her father let things get like this shows. It, for instance, makes her see a mess like her old apartment as a mountain of filth. Ah, well. It makes her departure for Vancouver easier for her, I guess. I asked her why she'd go all the way off to Vancouver to follow her husband's beige little dream of being a cog in a corporate machine. She said that it seemed a lot better than having her step-daughter and unborn child be subjected to the stigma of having two loonies for grandparents. Listening to her wish that English had a pronoun for "person or persons of a gender yet to be learned" was more entertaining than list places where she'd made an ass of herself because she was (in her words) too busy feeling sorry for herself or worried that she'd die alone. It's good to know that she's not going to suffer financially; even though Vancouver is more expensive a place to live than this, it's going to work out that they're going to be able to afford much the same lifestyle they do now. It's a starting-off point. The odd thing is she doesn't quite see Anthony as the savior she used to. She never said it but it looks to me that she's willing to contemplate a post-Caine future. Not only did he get all hysterical when he found out she hadn't waited for him carnally, he wasn't as ready to lynch John. His listing of the dry and depressing facts clashed with her need to get back at her dad for "betraying" everyone. Odd. I never thought I'd side with the appalling drip but our hands are tied. John's plan to get her brother Phil to help him snap Elly out are probably going to fail so we're in for a bleak Christmas in Milborough. The only good thing is the surprise that Deanna and Mike have lined up for Meredith (who's tired of being terrified by Elly) and Robin. Maybe their trip to the Magic Kingdom will finally make up for a succession of lousy Christmases. Deanna says that she and Mike will be doing all the babysitting so April can "chill" and maybe "make the beach scene" in Orlando. As long is it doesn't involve her showing up on a "Liquored-Up Underage-girls Who Strip Butt-naked for a free T-shirt" DVD, it's all good. They're almost as enthusiastic about that as they are the plan to summer in Colorado. They won't be earning as much but they think that the resultant simplification of their life will make up for all the turmoil of the last five years.
We'll have to see if that works out for them. We'll also have to make plans for April for when that happens. As I said, I doubt that John and Phil can get Elly to live the same world we do so I really don't think that she's going to be able to spend her last summer before University at home, housekeeper or no. As it stands, they've worked it out that she spends the summer with her aunt Bev in Manitoba. You see, they want to give her a break from babysitting and the turmoil at home while allowing her to watch over the remaining pets. She was the first to point out that she couldn't do that with Elly racing around getting everyone's name wrong. The Cruikshanks have no real opinion about this mess because nobody in their town has heard from John in ages; they've pretty much forgotten he existed so nobody cares what happened here.
That's pretty much all I have to say so until next month....