Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Promise Never to Take for Granted the Awesome.

Spring is having a bit of a failure to launch problem around here, apparently. Stuttering and sputtering, like your dad's Super 8 projector, trying to dazzle us all with breathtaking Cinemascope and just not quite up to the challenge. A few days of promise, the sun for a couple of hours, warmth on my skin for an all-too-brief spell, then blah. Back to the drear of cloudy, windy, chilly winter. The azaleas are so so soooo confuzzled. Who threaded this spool, anyway? I have tomato plants that are now limp and listless. It's mid-April, we're in the temperate zone, fercryingoutloud.

I keep trying to get full-on Spring Fever, but even that isn't taking hold. I seem to be more contemplative, rather than bounding about like the April Fool I usually am. Well, this is a matter of the course I've been on, but I do feel the idiocy beginning to win over the drear. For instance, this First Love thing. I continue to be just completely taken with this boy who has become such a loving, wise and adorable (in all aspects of the word...) man. I am blown away by the awesome that we are. Before you draw your own lines, let me explain how I go from the idiocy returning to the loveliness of the relationship we're building. I find myself more and more drawn to just completely abandoning my post and traipsying off into the sunset with FL, just letting things fend for themselves for an undetermined amount of time, and come what may, I would like to just spend as much time as possible staring into those amazing eyes, canoodling, petting, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

There are some things I've let slide, but when we are together, miraculously, we do make things happen, other than the drooly gooey romantic (and you know....) stuff. Oh but there is a lot of that drooly gooey you know stuff, and that's the way (uh huh, uh huh) we like it. Yay. And maybe the fact that spring is taking her own sweet time is a good thing. If it was full-blown pollen-busting season, I might find myself completely insane and yeah, I might just let go of the rope and let the universe drift for a while. But I promise I will never take for granted the - yours, mine, ours - awesome.

Monday, April 14, 2014

She'll Never Wear the Pearls.

My mother. Such a piece of work. I am sure you've read some of my musings (read: RANTS) concerning her and the differences we have, over everything. Everything, everything, everything. Religion, politics, child-rearing, love; if you can throw a dart at it, we have a conflicting opinion about it. Even how I wanted to wear my hair as a kid. You would think there would be some picking of battles here, but no. I never seem to be able to couch her approval, especially when I am following my instincts and trying to contribute to the greater good, or those times when I am stripped down to my essence and am just looking for support and consolation. She can never shut up about the pitfalls of everything. If I get a new job, they're going to use me and abuse me. If I have a bad day and I'm sad about something, she plays devil's advocate instead of lending a kind ear and a little sympathy. There are so many people who have it worse than me, you know. If I am excited about something, she pokes a pin in it. When I have time to give her, it isn't ever enough. When it comes to my son, if I scold him, it is too tough. If I let him be over some issue, why am I not punishing him or doing something other than what I've thought about and chosen. Enough to drive Aladdin sane.

And now. Now it's First Love and me. We had planned to take her to dinner Easter Saturday night and let her in on our life we are building. FL sent her a note -- very nice and old-fashioned, we thought, extending the invitation for Saturday night dinner to talk. Well. She wants no part in it. She is not going to have dinner with us, she wants to spend the holiday with her children, and that is all. Of course, she replied to HIM and not to me, although she did mention it on the phone. not wanting 'to be secretive' about it, implying that somehow, I WAS. Okay, I have not been telling her everything, but who can, with all the monopolizing she does of phone calls, and why would I, knowing that this sort of a thing would await me...? So, fine. She can just be the last to know, and the last to join in to our plans, fine with me. She wishes I wouldn't jump into anything so fast. Again. She made sure that was emphasized. I jump into things,  Just. Too. Quickly. Every. Time. Dear heavens, I am 54 years old, after all. I know my heart, and my brain works well. There are choices I've made that didn't work out, but hey. I don't have regrets and my life has been my own creation.

Of course, there is such a line to tread here. She has been assisting me financially since my husband died, and I am grateful for that. I have told her I'd really like that to stop, and she has refused, saying she likes to give me money. I think she likes to give me money because it gives her something to lord over me. Something else on the list. I have the First Grandchild, and I know he has seen her true colors, so he wants very little to do with her. I try to encourage him to be nice to the old people, but there is only so much he will tolerate.

For a while in my thirties, when I was married to the Gay Hippie Sociopath, (hi, Rodge!) I pretty much cut her off. We didn't participate in many family events, I limited my contact to maybe a couple times a month. We went down to New Orleans for fun, not for obligation. It was selfish, and I probably won't replicate it since there's the Boy and other less objectionable relatives to visit, but. I have to admit, it was rather lovely to be relieved of that burden. I may take a bit of a cue from that time in my life, and limit my exposure. I've been talking to her several times a day, to and from work, and sometimes other conversations other times in the day. But I think I would be happier if we talked less, every couple of days seems about right.  If there was some crisis (hers, not mine -- always) we could communicate more frequently. I think I would enjoy life more, and worry less about her take on things. And mostly, learn better not to expect her to be June Cleaver. Because, like it or not, she will never wear the pearls.

Friday, April 11, 2014

180 Days

It's been six months. 180 days. What a difference that can make, in such a short time. The blink of an eye, a turn missed on a foggy country road in the middle of the night. Six months since my husband died. It still seems so surreal and strange. Sometimes I forget what life was like when he was here, and others, I find myself listening for the door, knowing it is time for him to be home. The forgetting is slowly taking over, but the listening for the door comes in moments that jar me to my toes. I hear other women who have lost their husband talk about the daily routine -- how different it all is for them now, having to adjust to dinner for one less, sleeping in their bed all alone, all that stuff. This is the case for me too, but in strange ways. He was always here, but not. He and I rarely shared the bed. He slept in the evenings, so I was in charge of keeping things quiet for him. Even today, I reach for the remote, wanting to keep the TV low so as to not disturb his slumber. He didn't regularly eat dinner with the Boy and me, so I'd laid in rations he could nibble when he got hungry. There's a jar of peanut butter that hasn't been broken into in months, and a pack of 'his' hot dogs making their way towards penicillin in the fridge. Other remnants -- his deodorant and shave cream still stand in the bathroom, along with the Jovan Musk cologne he insisted on dousing himself with -- I have not found the gumption yet to rid my life of all that. I feel it getting closer, though.

I still need to start the succession, to send my brother all the information he needs. Still need to get with his parents and make plans for his headstone. Still need to empty his closet, go through his shoe boxes one more time, decide what to do with all the stuff in the garage, all the physical and psychic closure of his life. Still listen for the door, still miss him in strange ways and mundane. I guess that is just the way it will be for a while, or maybe always.

On the other side of the equation,  I still need to live my life, and I relish all the lovely new but old, fresh but familiar things that are happening. I thank the universe and God and whoever and whatever sent FL back into my life. He has been an incredible source of love and support, and I look forward to the future we plan together, our little patchwork family as such. So there are nice differences, rising out of these harsh, sad ones. 180 days.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I Got Baby Fever.

Just for a moment, in the afternoon festivities, the other day. FL and I were at the Boy's Theatre Showcase, and there was an adorable small baby girl bouncing on her aunt's knee riiiight next to me. We'd cooed at each other, and gurgled and smiled, and she started doing the 'baby wants to be held lean'. Well. Having full faculties as a mommy, I immediately responded and grabbed that candy uh baby girl and got a full on full body leap into my arms. To make the fever even worse, she stretched out on my shoulder like she was mine, all mine. Oh, the estrogen. Oh, the flowing of maternal instincts. I didn't dare look at FL, because that would have been it. We would have had to escape the theatre with a purloined baby in tow and we would have messed up our perfect 'no baby kidnapping' records. I think her aunt got a whiff of the hormonally-induced crazy, because after a very (oh, so very) short visit, she repossessed the tiny bundle and life went on as it should. But just for that moment... yi!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Memory Is Constant

I am currently reliving my young adulthood with First Love. Now, I say that, because even though we are living in the present moment, we do have History. The early story underlies our present blissful coexistence in many ways. It is wonderful, with intermittent moments of horror. It is wonderful to revisit so many lovely memories, moments of horror when long-repressed or seemingly buried feelings bubble to the top.

Of course, I mention that there are just moments of terror, because these feelings are mere shadows of their former selves, as we've grown past them, lived so much more, learned how to deal with them, and generally become more grown up and able to handle stuff. The bubbles pop, and we go on about being grateful to be here, now, and maybe have more understanding and tolerance for what was really going on back then, when we were young and crazy and foolish and all that.

I guess we will always talk about those times. I know that all this talking is also part of sharing our crazy story with the world (as in, y'all aren't gonna believe this crazy story...) but I find myself getting a little afraid that we might get stuck in a rut from way back then and have things go south, tired of rehashing the past. But the fear lasts only for a second, and I shake it all off and go back to enjoying the continuation of our crazy story, right here and now. I remind myself that the History makes it all even sweeter. We know each other from formation, we are more than just-new friends. He knows my tone with no explanation, I see things in his eyes someone else could miss or misinterpret. This is amazing and wonderful and adult and kid and everything I ever wanted all rolled up in one. And the memory is constant.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stripes, claws and red meat.

In a former life, I was a tiger. Majestic, sleek, meat-eating, your friendly neighborhood source of natural selection. Definitely a tiger, no lions here -- too much really bad hair, and not enough stripe. I believe this, because there is enough residue in my nature to point to it. For instance, meat. I like it raw. Well, I do. I do the socially acceptable medium rare thing, but truth be told, I could probably eat it just over room temperature, no char, no turning from red to pink, no problem. I also think I could probably field strip a zebra, or at least an Angus. Another factor, the tiger is the largest of the cats. I am of considerable size for a female: tall, voluptuous, and well, those breeder hips just don't go away. Tigers are good swimmers and like the water. I love love the swimming.

I miss my tail. The long stripy one, that is. I can slash a human into ribbons quickly, so quickly they don't realize I've downed them until it is all over. I can be solitary, but also social. Ah, now. Here is where I think I have lost some of the tiger heart that once beat in my chest. I really like people. And I relate to them. Oh, maybe that's it -- I was once a man-eating tiger, and got so much human flesh into my body, I developed a peculiar affinity towards not just human flesh, but human spirit. There's a Nambibian folk fable in there somewhere. Kumbaya, fair tigress. Or not.

Well, okay, maybe I wasn't ever a tiger. I do feel a sympatico and respect for them and would probably go free them all into the wild if I could. If they wouldn't eat me in the process. There is that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Current Energy Crisis, or Procrastination May Produce Anxiety.

This, ladies and germs, is what we have at the House of Whatever. An energy crisis, as in, if The Boy exerted as much energy on things he really should as he does on video games, mountains would be moved, large boulders crushed to dust, and at least Cs achieved in core subjects. Grrrrr. Instead, he's on level 463 of Whorls of Weirdcraft and begging me for 20 bucks so he can continue in his quest for alien blood and better armour. Meantime, I am negotiating the 2014 Treaty of Eighth Grade with his guidance counselor and have been informed that I must wait until May 16th to find out how it all will fall -- out or into place. Have I mentioned lately that I have the patience of a beagle with ADHD? Squirrel! Yeah.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I, too, am somewhat in the midst of an energy uh, misplacement. Er, um, displacement. All my energy seems put into two buckets at the moment: dealing with stress and royally effing off. No positive or productive output, or at least the amount is minimal. Not that there aren't things that I should be accomplishing -- my taxes are due, I need to get things to my brother to do Chuck's succession, there are plans to be made and discussions to be had regarding some of those details with his family, I have news to share with mine, a letter to write to my son, dustbunnies to capture and kill, closets to clean, garages to clear, dishes to wash and put away.  Shoot, I have yet to make some bank deposits that I need to make, and physically carry stuff to Goodwill that lounge presently in my bedroom in giant black bags. I did a lovely slalom on a yet-unused black bag the other night and my knee reminds me of that maneuver when I bend it. And those anger-holes in the wall still need to be patched, paint matched. Just listing all these things makes me simultaneously nervous and very tired. Which leads not to the doing and crossing off of said list of anything. Oh, and isn't it a crystal example of a day today? Sun. Breeze. Temperatures over 50 but under 80. I could blow it all off and sit and drink wine under a tree in a field on a blanket.

There you have it. Could you possibly wonder at all why The Boy has such a lackadaisical attitude?  In my case, all of the list will eventually get done. It has to, there is no alternative. I guess this is the platform on which he has learned: two procrastinators in one house, one professional and one aspiring. It does not make for a calming or orderly landscape. But chaos is a natural state, I always say. Squirrel! Yeah.