Happy Clams (Or are they)?


Why are clams happy? And how does one determine happiness in a clam? I’ve seen clams. They don’t seem to display a broad range of emotions.

Devastated clam

happy clam

Happy clam

happy clam

I mean, I don’t want to aspire to such loftiness as being as happy as a clam, but since it is Sunday, and Sundays tend to be gloomy for me, I am looking for reasons to be grateful.

Reason One

I was going to write a whole blog post about this, but I can’t. I’m processing in a big goddamn way.

I left work at noon on Friday because my mom called and they were at the hospital. My dad had a heart attack.

If you have been around a while, then you know my dad is a malignant narcissist.

Everything about this has fucked with me. I will leave it at this. He is okay. He will probably come home on Monday. Maybe Tuesday.

I fed him food. I wanted him to be comfortable.

I think everything is fine right now. He does have congestive heart failure and walks like Tim Conway as the old man on the Carol Burnett show. I don’t think he’s going to be around a super long time.

I am happy because my mom is okay. And my sisters and I don’t have to worry, right now, about dealing with the death of our father.

Which is awesome because death sucks. I fed him a turkey sandwich and felt guilty about every fucking word I ever wrote about parental narcissism.

Because he is frail and I am not.

Reason Two

I have never, even once, heard the Baby Shark song.

Reason Three

Randy made queso fundido for lunch. I also have left over Chinese food for later.

Reason Four

In just a few weeks, we will have five of our grandkids in the same room. The stars have not aligned like this for years. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I’m glad that our kids and all of their spawn will spend the holiday with us.

I guess it is the season for giving thanks.

I’m going to try to keep this trend going.

So tell me, what are you grateful for?







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  • This is really, really hard for me because every gratitude is weighted with connotations. I’m taking your challenge (it is a challenge) to further my exercise of not saying, “but…”

    My mom is okay.
    I have a support network.
    My favorite friend still talks to me like I’m normal.
    I sold art.
    I’m not dead.
    In fact, I’m healthier than I’ve been in years.
    I have opportunities in the near future.
    I can see.

  • Oh, I am glad that you ended with the grandchildren thing. I am sorry about all the hardship, but what a delight to get all those beautiful little people in the same room. Love, Light and Humor to you, dear Michelle.

  • The devastated clam versus the happy clam made me laugh so hard this morning I have to put your sense of humor on my list of things I am grateful for. And your compassion, your ability to care for someone in spite of what they’ve put you through.
    And I’m grateful for a very funny guy I worked with named Larry, who passed away a few years ago. I work for a library but my office isn’t in the library itself. Sometimes on my lunch breaks, though, I go to the library because I like books and libraries in general. Larry, who did work in the library, would sometimes see me and he’d always say, “Slumming again?”
    I once told Larry I was happy as a clam and he told me the full saying is “Happy as a clam at high tide.”
    Life has ebbs and flows. Here’s hoping you have a high tide soon.

  • I get the mixed emotions when something bad happens to someone who did you wrong for so long…it’s a slippery muthfackah to navigate so virtual fist pump my friend. The clam thing is hysterical. I am having surgery this week on my neck…I’m officially old AND broken. I am grateful that it is a problem that can be fixed and isn’t some shitty disease. Big hugs to you.

  • Sometimes I think it has to be enough to just be grateful for waking up. I am happy that you get to spend the holidays with the grands. They make life worth living. I’m sorry for your dad, for both him being an asshole and being sick. I think that you can feel both at the same time. This is something I’ve been struggling with big time lately.

  • I’m happy to have you and a few others on a weekly basis to make me laugh and think.
    I’m happy that even though my husband has dementia, he’s (mostly) healthy.
    I’m happy that after 6 years I’m still “the C word” free (superstitious, however).
    It’s great that your grands are all going to be under your roof at the same time – what a fun madhouse that will be!

  • The grands will be great but after reading your blog forever I wouldn’t be surprised if your father passed when you have the kids!
    I am grateful to be warm, dry, healthy and happy. It sounds trite but it is sincere. We have so many homeless or those living in their cars that having a warm safe home is not something I take for granted for any more!

  • I’m grateful that the Kincade fire didn’t burn anyone I know up, or even their houses down.
    I remember a Laurie Anderson song about a man who was always “happy as a clam” and the woman who got bored with him over it, but I’m too lazy to look it up.
    OK, I lied about that, the song is ‘Langue D’amour’ from the album “Mister Heartbreak”:

    “And the woman liked the snake very much. Because when he talked, he made little noises with his tongue, and his long tongue was lightly licking about his lips
    Like there was a little fire inside his mouth and the flame would come dancing out of his mouth
    And the woman liked this very much
    And after that, she was bored with the man, because no matter what happened, he was always as happy as a clam”

    When my dad died, my sister dealt with everything. I couldn’t be much help at the time as I was blind from cataracts and living in an old foundry building without a vehicle or enough money to travel. She made sure I got my part of the life insurance and split the contents of his bank account with me, which completely turned my life around at the time.
    I’m reasonably sure that she got two houses out of it, and I’m glad she did. She had a more fraught relationship with him than I did, as he initially didn’t react well to her coming out as gay, but she hung in there and maintained her relationship with him and I just didn’t. I spoke to him once since the late eighties, and that was when he called me in the hospital after my stroke.
    I’ve since come to respect him a little more, but honestly, I probably wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to do it again.
    Perhaps I suck.
    These things are difficult.
    So I hope it works out for you and you have a memorable time with your grandchildren.

  • Sorry about the conflict you have over your dad. But that’s empathy for you. We find a way to live with it I guess.
    I am grateful for waking up to a snow covered wonderland this week :))))

  • Sorry about your dad. This shit is hard, yo!
    It’s been weird to me how little I have grieved my own father (who was a great guy but overbearing in his own paternalistic, patriarchal fashion) – I think it’s bcz in every way that counts, I lost my dad to dementia several years ago. I don’t think my mom is going to recover from the trauma – there again, I can’t even imagine 69 YEARS, that’s more than a lifetime for so many!
    Occasionally now it catches up to me – no, I can’t tell my dad about this or that, or do anything more for him & it causes a minor spasm.
    It’s great you’ll have the kiddos for Thanksgiving, that’s our favorite holiday!

By Michelle


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