|I've been taking photos of flowers.|
Such is my cross. There are people without enough food to eat, Lisa, you goon.
But back to my friends. They offer understanding, care, their stories of similar feelings. There really is something to that old adage Misery loves company. It really is nice to know you're not alone while you're in full wallow mode. Unless, of course, thinking you're alone is part of the fun.
I also received a gentle ass-kicking from a friend who's been in and out of my life for longer than I care to mention. If you've read the Ethan stories under the Little Love Stories tab, you already know him. His real name is Craig and, aside from MathMan, he's probably my best friend. While this might seem odd and dangerously dangerous due to my proclivities toward bad behavior, it's turned out surprising well. Plus and bonus, he lives an ocean away so safe gets even safer. Add to that the fact that I've sworn off cybersex because typing all those mmmmms and oh yeah, babies, right there gets so bloody boring. If I'm going to type out a blow job, I may as well - - - oh nevermind.
Anyway, Craig read yesterday's post and got in touch with me via Skype. Shortly into the conversation, he made an important point: If MathMan had gone quiet, couldn't I offer him some understanding? Wasn't there a better way to handle things?
"Let's see, he's working three jobs, money is tight, his wife can't find a job, he can't finance his daughter's trip to England or even pay the rest of her tuition and, you said it yourself, it's that time of year with the end of school stuff. That shit is hard on a man."
Who asked him anyway?
Of course he's right. He then went on to note that we're doomed as a species because of our horrible communications skills. "Someone wants to talk when the other person doesn't want to listen. Women want to vent while men want to jump in and fix things. We're a mess."
When the man is right, he's right.
Thinking about what Craig had said, I did the simple thing. I asked MathMan how things were going. And he told me. I swear this relationship stuff can be so easy if we're not stupid about it.
Which brings me to Mother's Day. I'm just going to say this - I motherfucking hate that day. And MathMan summed up why. "I can never get it right," he growled at me after I fussed that it was just another day around here. No gift, two hand written cards, which were lovely, but I opened them in between running the restaurant and doing another load of laundry. I couldn't go on Facebook because of all the dumbass Mother's Day posts. I pretty much stayed off the blogs, too, because I was busy being angry and giving my family the silent treatment.
We went to a matinee showing of Water for Elephants and on the way there, I read a book because I didn't want to be myself - I'm a terrible backseat driver to MathMan. With added snark for giggles. I thought I did really well, but when I related this bit of family trivia to Craig as an example of how I'm trying to do things differently, Chloe, who was in the room at the time, reported that I couldn't help myself. As MathMan barreled down on the stopped traffic ahead of us, I repeated the word "brakes" without ever looking up from my book. Fuck.
But I really hate that day. Who am I kidding? I a total curmuddgeon. I'm not fond of any holiday and partly because of the highflying expectations for magic and, oh god, I am my father's daughter.
The highlight of Mother's Day may have been dinner on the deck with Sophie and Chloe. Sophie is having trouble finding reading material that suits her and holds her attention. At twelve going on fifty-three, she's a tough nut. Chloe rummaged through the box of books she'd lugged home from school and came up with Jane Eyre, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Eve Ensler's I Am An Emotional Creature. Really.
Sophie opened Jane Eyre, cocked an eyebrow and closed the book. Chloe clucked her tongue in disgust. "You have to get through the first part. And just ignore the marginalia."
"The stuff I've written in the margins."
As an aside to Chloe, I said, "I want to make a joke about the marginalia I added to Stephen Elliot's book."
"Mother, you're forgetting that you're the mom, not the friend," she replied with a hint of a smile.
"Is Stephen Elliot the guy who's into S&M?" Sophie laid the book on the table. Jane Eyre couldn't hold a precious candle to Stephen.
Chloe turned and gave me a look.
"Point taken," I said.
Chloe read to us from Jane Eyre. I really like being read to. Sophie declared the book beyond her grasp and asked if we had any Agatha Christie. What a kidder she is. I also gave her A.A. Milne's The Red House Mystery so here's hoping. Too bad I don't have any adult Judy Blume or Sidney Sheldon she can find and read on the sly like I did at her age. I wonder if my old copy of Flowers in the Attic is in one of those boxes in the garage?
We're watching too much political television around here again. Could that be it? Anyway, Chloe noticed yesterday that Howard Dean appears to have lost weight. MathMan mentioned that Newt Gingrich has gained weight or, porked up, as he put it so eloquently. I keep track of Howard Fineman's haircuts. Frankly, I liked it when his hair curled at his collar. It was middle-aged Jewish guy sexy and I'm into that obviously.
A text exchange with another friend also reminded me of how social media has changed the way peer pressure continues into adulthood. Before Facebook, twitter, and blogging, I suppose, lots of us went to work or did our thing around the house, and at the end of the day, did whatever we did, but most of us weren't interacting with a handful or more of people unless one was lucky enough to be a regular at a bar or gym or a joiner of clubs. Okay, well, I wasn't. I went home, did the housework, lavished my kids with fifteen minutes of attention, watched television, read or dicked around in the garden. Aside from not wanting to assault the world with my face without make up or the stray pube at the public swimming facility, I didn't much care what other people thought about me. Sure I followed the social norms to get by at work, but I didn't much follow the crowd. Hell, I didn't even know which crowds there were. I was in the phase of life where you just don't care. You don't even care that you don't care, you're so busy. Peer pressure was mostly a curse of the teen years.
Now peer pressure is served up in the form of Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media that create the brackets around our lives. Were you a shit heel who didn't offer all your fb friends a happy mother's day? I was. The hell with that peer pressure that can render things pretty meaningless after a while. I called my mother and left her a voicemail. Want to know where I got my attitude about holidays? You don't have to look far. Growing up, we just didn't make a big deal out of things in our household, if you know what I mean.
And while I'm at it - um, listen, it's Facebook - noting the fb is redundant. See, there I go. It's like repeating the word brakes except someone should be saying that to me and my mouth.
And what about this #FF bullshit on Twitter? We sure can take something fun and easy and load it with all kinds of obligations in no time flat, can't we? I mean, I get it. It's a way of giving, but criminy, can't anything just be fun without being weighed down with all this Have to stuff? I quote Steve Martin in the movie Parenthood "My whole life is have to" which was more true when I had a paying job, but you should see the frowny face texts I get if someone's favorite pair of socks aren't clean so I stick by that quote.
Why can't we just leave well enough alone? 140 characters, light, fun, maybe profound, if you're into that, a link to something you found interesting, but do we have to create structure and rules? Yes, yes, we do. It's how we know what to do next and with which hand to do it. And how not to wear white shoes while doing it, too. Unless it's between May and September. Wheat and chaff and all that. I'm chaff, nice to meet you.
I think my inner anarchist needs some Funions and red pop to make her quiet down.
I never should have turned on the television this morning. The things you see. Our elected dumbasses (possibly my new favorite word) running around repeating their new favorite catchphrase "An adult moment." I'm sure someone or three hundred and sixty-seven someones have already made this joke on Facebook and Twitter, but An Adult Moment for me would probably include the typed out blow job (referenced above). And I sure as hell don't want to pay taxes on that. Unless I'm making over $250k and then go right ahead and tax dollars 250,001 and above because I'm reasonable even if foulmouthed and vulgar.
Your turn. Unleash your inner (fill in the blank) because I think I've said more than enough.