Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Ongoing Saga of Golden Manor - At least the knick knacks are all perfectly lined up on the mantel
And so the settling in to the new home continues. We're up, we're down. We're stabbing things with carving knives. You could say it's a smorgasbord of laughs, or an unidentifiable pain in your eye. Either way - we definitely packed The Crazy into the one of those big boxes and brought it with us.
Okay - so it's not horrible. I can rattle off a list of pros and cons with the old house versus the new house pretty easily. May I start with DSL? What a beautiful thing it is, too. We've been so long in the wilderness, that I forget that I can now upload photos to flickr, delight in all sorts of jackassery on You Tube, indulge in a few "after hours" of private video, download itunes updates and still not blow the bandwidth. It's like seeing light for the first time or something.
And there's the crown molding, the chair rail in the office, the dogwood trees blooming in the front and back yards! And don't forget the Love Tub. Which warrants its own damn post. If ever we get some bubble bath. Although, MathMan nixed my idea to live blog from the tub with webcam.......
MathMan and The Spawn are on spring break. I made the mistake of working from home yesterday. While I attempted to do summary of some new FTC rules that I have to distribute to the organization's members, the madness went on around me like a maelstrom. Let us review:
(1) The Dancer learned that she wouldn't receive a much hoped for scholarship from the University she really, really, really wants to attend. I am not so hard hearted that I can't understand the resulting tears, but the gloom that descended upon my darling girl did not dissipate the whole day. By 9:30 p.m., I had announced that if anyone sat down in the chair opposite from me and dare to do anything other than smile and giggle, I would commit some horrendous act of violence.
I am now in the process of writing a groveling email, asking the University's admissions office if they can see any way around the out of state fees. After all, MathMan and I are alumni of said University and we still have plenty of relatives - like my parents and siblings - living in that particular state. (Thank you in advance to those who will suggest that The Dancer take a year off, live in that state and work and then go to school. It's been discussed. We fear that if she does that, she'll lose the other scholarship money she's been offered.) She does have other options. I'm simply indulging her desire that we exhaust all possible methods before chucking the idea of attending that school. It's all I can do since MathMan and I have not saved the money necessary to allow her to go to school anywhere she damn well pleases.
(2) Garbo has decided that she wants to move back to the old house. I don't know what else to say about this except "change is hard." She tosses out barbed statements about the new place. She cries bitter tears of sadness. She threatens to run away "back home." I try to comfort her while firmly reassuring her that this will eventually feel like "home." But this is a kid who refused to rearrange her room back at the old place. Change? Let's just say we'll have her talk to her therapist about it. In the meantime, I've offered my lap, hugs, to check out a book about moving from the library and a trip back to the other house, now standing empty and full of echoes of our time there. Nothing will solve this. And she can't have her way.
My sympathies for both girls will be short-lived, I fear. At some point, soon, I will be telling The Dancer to buck up and carry on with one of her many other options. I'll be offering to pack Garbo's suitcase. As their mother, I see my role to offer comfort, yes, but I will not lie to them. The whole "life's not fair" thing is a painful thing to learn.
(3) Humming to myself because my work day was done, I opened the drawer that holds our kitchen utensils. My nonchalance came to an abrupt halt as I spotted something skittering around and screamed. I grabbed a carving knife and started waving it around, thinking I would stab whatever it was running about in the drawer. I actually thought it was a little mouse.
Upon further examination, and with two alarmed Spawn peering over my shoulder, I poked around in the drawer with the end of the knife blade. Discovering that the massive creature inhabiting the drawer was a roach, I did the only thing I could do besides faint. I uttered the magic words...."get Daddy."
(4) Because tears, madness, and a cockroach the size of a chihuahua aren't enough, we also learned that the lovely patch of winter rye growing at the far end of our new back yard is a restoration project being managed by our neighbor. A very nice man in a corporate logo shirt brought a nicely typed letter in an envelope with a stamp* on it to the door and explained that there was an ash escape a few months ago and they were finishing up the restoration after clean up.
Huh. Well, then I guess we won't be planting vegetables in that raised bed right next to where that ash went sluicing down the little creek bed behind the house......
Always looking at the bright side, I am. I mentioned to MathMan that perhaps we could solve all our problems at once. We could abandon the new, arsenic contaminated place, move in with my parents, send The Dancer to that school she wants to go to and tell Garbo that she may be losing her old home, but she's gaining grandparents and wouldn't that be nice for a change!
MathMan looked at me as if he were glad I'd put down that carving knife.
Later it occurred to me that when The Actor appears to be the most sane person in our household, we're lurching about on some pretty shaky ground. Oh, sure, we'll get through it. Compared to many, we have precious little to whine about, but the challenges of the last week and the ones that lay before us have me feeling a tad anxious.
I know we're all feeling it and we'll each process the anxiety in our own way. Some of us mope, others cling, still others yell and behave manically. There will be tears, flattening of tires, food fights, short-sheeting of beds, defiant stares, hidden television remotes, ignored orders, accelerated consumption of sweets, threats, excessive fluffing of throw pillows and more than our share of slammed doors.
For my part, I've noticed my OCD kicking back up again. You want to set off a neat freak? Move her. Oh, yes, that's the trick.
Just today, as I stood at the copier in my office, waiting for it to warm up, I noticed that a couple of adding machines, abandonded to the bottom storage shelf were quite dusty. I took off my shoe and dusted the display of an adding machine with my stocking-clad toe. Then I saw the crooked stack envelope boxes, the slightly off center painting of the Georgia State Capitol, the not quite lined up logo on the water cooler, the flecks of dust on the copier display.......
*Note to self - pry off that uncancelled stamp