To receive or not to receive

You know — well, maybe you don’t. It’s not easy to decide to continue to receive help.

On one hand, you feel like a mooch.

Sure, everyone else is working as much as they can, some, just to survive — without being a “burden.”

Plus, there are the inevitable times when you want to do something. Anything. For instance, we’ve been invited to my brother’s stepdaughter’s wedding in April. It’s being held in New York, on Long Island.

In order for Jim and I both to attend, we would have to find a kennel for Dougie, our beagle coonhound. Our cat Smokey could stay home and our neighbor can watch and feed him. He doesn’t need to go for walks outside. But she could never handle Dougie. He’s a sniffer and when he gets on a scent, you’d better prepare to get pulled along.

I don’t always let him wander all over following his nose, but that’s the kind of two-year-old dog he is … that’s how the Creator made him. He’s got to follow scents. It’s inbred in him and reflexive, just like eating. It’s something he just has to do.

Either find a kennel, which isn’t cheap, or we must take him with us and try to find a hotel that will accept dogs.

Mind you, finding a decent hotel on Long Island that you can afford is hard enough. But to add the extra burden of finding one that accepts pet? THAT really limits a person’s choices.

And it’s the same premise with finding someone you know that you might stay with — Jim has no one he could beg from there and I have two people, both of whom I know will NOT take Dougie even for a day. (He’s a needy kid and has separation anxiety. I cater to him and his anxiety at home as much as possible – after all, we chose him to live with us.) I cannot expect others to like or put up with his idiosyncrasies.

Another thing to consider is Jim’s ability to be able to sit in the car long enough to not extend an eight-hour drive to more than is necessary. And he wouldn’t be driving, so it would all be up to me. Plus, I drive to get there. I eat while I’m driving, drink while I’m driving, listen to the radio, smoke… whatever I can do to stay awake.

Driving sometimes can hypnotize me. I remember one trip, with my kids when I was a single parent, driving from Daytona Beach, Fla., to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to see my parents. Heck, I wasn’t even one hour into the trip and had to pull over to try to catch a 15-minute cat nap. Ugh. It was awful. I knew that would be a long ride. (It normally took around 6-7 hours and that was pedal to the metal.)

Other trip considerations include: should we take his motor-scooter, best time of the day (or night) to drive, how many days can we afford (including the kennel if that choice is made), what gas is costing – here and there, and many more little decisions.

That’s a lot of cons to ponder for just a wee weekend trip.

As for pros in the decision-making process, I can come up with only one-off the bat. Being there for my brother.

It’s a long and involved story as to why I feel that it is necessary to be there for him. But to me, it’s important that he feel like he still has his extended nuclear family getting his back.

So for that reason alone, I will be driving to Long Island, by myself.

Jim doesnt’ think he could handle the ride, plus with Dougie’s neurosis, we don’t want him to be stressed over our “disappearance,” or stuck in a hotel room for hours by himself.

I haven’t yet asked my girlfriend if I might stay with her, but am planning on it. She has her own tribulations going on, so I don’t need to impose upon her, but also, we are Sisters in Spirit and maybe spending some time with her, will help her a little too.

Heck, maybe she’d be my date! Ha ha ha haha!

Before I totally digress on what I was posting today, let me regroup and come to the reason for the post in the first place: Jim and my working part-time, which leaves us having to collect SNAP benefits.

For the last week or so, a mail-order pharmacy that delivers Jim’s MS medicine, copaxone, free on a monthly basis, has called a couple of times to check on refilling the prescription.

I’ve reminded Jim a few times to call them. This morning I asked again, had he called them.

Nope. He’d forgotten.

And he didn’t have their number. I do. But it’s also on his box of shots. Yay!

He couldn’t see it. I pointed it out and he finally called to set a delivery date.

But he also took out the remaining doses (one prefilled shot per day). He pulled 15 doses out!

He was nowhere near where the pharmacy or I thought he should be!

Why? Because he keeps forgetting. And then forgets to employ a system of remembering.

“That’s women’s work,” he always says, jokingly.

But yes, it is, my work. Either I have to “continually” remind him (“nag”) or do it myself as I’ve been doing.

I guess my experiment in letting him handle some important stuff failed.

This is why I work part-time. Plus, I don’t see anyone else stepping up to handle our “business.” Someone has got to do it and that someone is me. It is my responsibility to somehow get it all done.

This is why we accept SNAP assistance.

Thank you, to whomever came up with SNAP. (ha ha! Another post idea!)



About GMFarthing

Gina Farthing is a freelance journalist, writer and graphic designer. She earned her BFA majoring in graphic design and minoring in advertising, marketing and business communications. Gina has worked in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia as a copy editor, ad designer, features editor, reporter, website designer, interim city editor, graphic designer, newsletter editor and photographer for the last 18 years. She has produced various communications materials for local, national and international academic, governmental, public and private organizations, including for news media and public broadcasting service audiences. Prior to going into business for herself, Gina’s most recent employers included. Her work encompassed publications such as The Waynesboro News Virginian, the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, the Reidsville Review, Eden Daily News, Danville Register & Bee, the Draft, Rocktown Weekly, Shenandoah Journal, North Fork Journal, the Shenandoah Valley Business Journal, The Valley Banner, Real Estate Weekly and Bloom magazine.
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