Here's where I'm at these days:
I've been a suck-ass blogger. Instead, I've been manhandling (womanhandling?) my mother's living situation into something that might make it possible for her to survive the winter. Unfortunately, that also puts us both into "the system". I'm becoming a connoisseur of social workers, bureaucrats, political appointees, and lackeys of every stripe. As much as I tell myself that my tax dollars pay their salaries, when I say "Jump!" they say, "Of course. But first, we'll need you to fill out these 90 forms, and provide 100 kind of unattainable documentation. Then there will be a series of interviews determining your eligibility to request a jump. You'll receive a letter in the mail in 6 to 8 weeks, outlining your rights and responsibilities with regard to your jumping request. If you fail to sign and return the documents included within 72 hours, it will invalidate your jumping request and you will be considered ineligible to petition for another jump for 12 months. Have a nice day."
Or my other favorite: "I know it says on the door that we're the Department of Jumping, but we just collect the requests and record the actuarial data. Actual requests for jumping are processed at our office in Springfield. A caseworker has been assigned to evaluate your mother's jumping status, however unless you have documentation that states that your mother is dead now or plans to become dead in the next 3-5 business days, we can't begin to process her request for at least six months, as there are many more qualified people ahead of her who have already died. Have a nice day."
I, who hates the phone more than just about anything (except my mother, who stubbornly refuses to join the ranks of the dead no matter how much I encourage her), have been on the phone a lot lately. Rep. David Phelps' personal assistant is my new best friend. If I survive the next 6 months I plan to offer her sexual favors in exchange for favorable legislation on the Elder Self-Neglect bill.
So friends, fellow bloggers, and lurkers hoping for lurid descriptions of hot girl-on-girl action (and you know who you are), prepare for a winter of hand-wringing angst intermixed with explosive filial frustration. Or a tragic gun accident, perhaps a novice deer hunter mistaking a tiny-headed elderly woman for a 12 point buck. A daughter can dream, can't she?