Tuesday, August 23, 2011


my household has been rather a hot mess of late.
everyone is getting on everyone else's last nerve.
i have been working like a mad woman all summer, to try to reach for the brass ring. 
aka, tuition monies. 
my husband is working too, but has endured a couple of injuries. 
thus keeping his own bad attitude of frustration within arms reach and on the sofa. 
the older two kids are wrapped up in the mysteries of their jobs.

the elder is getting her feet wet with all the weirdness that is both retail sales and food service. 
if anyone should be appreciative of quirks and eccentricities, 
i think it would be her. 
she is an artist. 
and it is all fodder for her future. 
it is also great for her to see how many different people are out there that we as her parents have tried to cope with over the years as two independent workers. 
flexibility of scheduling is a plus when you have kids, so as hard as self employment is, this is a definite job perk.

i know this access to flexible living is essential,
 as it has been the cornerstone of my experiences over the past two decades.
just this week, 
the boy called me to pick him up from his job, which has been a little dicey,
 but approached cheerfully each day. 
i have dreaded this pick-up consideration, since there is a lot of traffic at the front circle of the hospital where his chosen meet-up spot has been.
there are city buses, transpo mini-buses, wheelchair bound patients, a steady flow of folks coming in and out to visit or to work. 
oh and there is a testy woman who stands guard
 over this always busy intersection of activity. 
she is one of the security guards at the hospital. 
and she is very happy to ask me to move along in her very gruff manner. 
seriously, i appreciate her having to do her job, but could she just be a little more ....
i don't know, uh pleasant about it? 
we seem to go at it every day. a little politeness would surely go a lot further...that and she does not remember me at all. 
i think the big shaggy dog in the back seat might be a tip off... 
but it seems that she is already set in her ways, 
and i need to minimize confrontational interactions at all costs. 
it helps in the big scheme of things. 
just get in and get out asap. 

 the boy called me as i was tucking an important task into my weekly to-do lists.
he wanted to know if i would do him a favor. 
it was the kind of favor that required being at home.
i was not. 
he had forgotten to take his dental retainers with him that morning to work with him. 
because he had an orthodontist's appointment. 
it was scheduled for 3:20 p.m.
it was then 3:23 .
so i finished up my stuff as quickly as it was possible...
drove home, got the retainers,
zipped as fast as was possible to the hospital to reclaim the boy, 
(in late afternoon quagmire traffic)
forfeited the tangle with the cranky guard,
dropped him at the ortho's office,
and crumpled in the front seat of my car. 
it seemed like it was time for a nice iced coffee.
 so i went over to my haven at Starbucks just down the street. 
did the parking lot tetrus game, 
in my crapmobile without power steering, 
and got the phone call. 
the boy was done. 

he is a lot of work some days, in spite of his general good nature. 
and he does hold back on some of his daily interactions... but sometimes he shares. 
generally he is pretty sanguine about them... at least for a nearly 18 year old guy. 
his summer has been filled at work, with folding laundry, feeding the elderly, putting dentures into older folks' mouths, answering phones, and wiping geriatric butts and lady parts. 
i gotta give him chops for this. 

so flexibility is key to being a parent to these folks. 
but sometimes, such as last night and the night before, i was duly challenged. 
ridiculously so. 
the details are not as essential, although basically as interesting as anything i may prattle on about here. 
it is the legendary stuff that mother and daughter relationships are hinged upon. 
it is now very tense generally in my home, as has been mentioned. 
just to put the cherry on the sundae,
my daughter wrote a snarky little piece on her blog about it. 
just enough to send me over the edge. 
my sarcastic self was tweaking with the rage that it inspired in me. 
for years, i have stated that one ought NEVER, EVER, EVER post anything on the internet that you do not want someone sometime to read. 
i know i have said this a hundred times at least. 
but my darling daughter shared with her friends ala tumblr... that her parents had a fight. 
this is normal for anyone in a relationship to let out all the pressures on their mate.
this is what happened between my husband and me. 
i still am pretty angry about how it happened.  
but i have enough experience with this to know that , 
it is how it is resolved that is important. 
and talking about what is not your business, or intellectual property,
 is gonna have a "volatile" outcome. 
this house is one match strike away from an emotional powder keg exploding.
not that everyone doesn't feel this way sometimes, 
i just wish i didn't these days.

another thing that happened earlier in the day,
 was that i went to the market to buy some dinner ingredients. 
as i went back to my car to drive home, 
i saw a glint on the asphalt. 
it was a brand new, freshly minted credit card. 
i had ridiculous thoughts asap... 
that went in a full circle to opening up the computer 
and looking up the name on the card via the internet white pages. 
naturally, there was no one by the name of the card owner 
showing its face on my computer screen. 
so i took a stab in the pile and went for one of the three options. 
i called one woman, thinking the card may belong to her husband or a relative. 
i wound up getting her daughter-in-law. 
this woman was actually related to the card holder. 
she was his step-mother. 
so i gave her directions to the powder keg house 
and agreed upon a time to have her come and collect the card. 
i somehow did not trust the mail on this one.
she passed my phone number on to her stepson's wife, whom she thought owned the card. 
i spoke with her too. 
it turned out that the card belongs to yet another member of that family tree. 
who then called me as well. 

so i am awaiting a mystery member of this family tree to pick up the card in an hour. 
i think i am going to have to check id for this to pass. 
all i know is that i have played telephone with a bunch of folks from the same family.
and here is the odd part... 
as is often the way of my world, 
the last name on the card is deeply ironic to me. 
i have been giggling about it since i found it. 
it is 
seriously, i could not have found a better name or word to describe my life right now. 

and on this note, i shall defer to the wisdom of a cup of coffee and a shower. 
should try to look like a human when a Volatile family member comes to reclaim their card. 
(i hope it is a peaceful exchange!)
and yes, only in Rhode Island could one get to pick one name out of millions and have 3 family members play "telephone" to ultimately get the right message. 


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