Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The fine art of Chess
Yesterday was such a day of emotional extremes, pulled this way and that, I only seem to respond with tears for lubrication when my tectonic plates need to shift yet again. Sometimes they're the little tears that just leak and I can laugh at the same time, and others they're the kind of tears that require some sobbing and "hold me." I had both. Six people in a box is bound to create some tension. Six people in a house where two of them are determined to make changes that the remainder don't see as necessary is smoking next to the fireworks. I was burning sparklers one by one last night, deliberately, calmly, and Michael came in with his torch of "no one talks to my wife that way." and ignited a blaze. My sweet shiny knight on his white horse who doesn't always know that I'm not a damsel, that when it's in word-world I'm still in my element and standing on my own two feet. I love him for that. I was mean to him for the very same reason. I cried and cried and Molly stepped out of herself for a moment and held me while I did. In a brief snap-shot of another marriage it may have looked like a fight. In our marriage it was direct communication that was quickly resolved and mended. This is why I love the marriage I chose, because while feelings may run high there is never fighting per se, and we are never truly cruel or disregard each other's feelings. The bulk of our discontent is that we both agree fully on the problem and have such different styles of communicating it, and the problem is not with the way we are with each other, it's with others in our home and the way they share our space. Together, we are an iron hand in a velvet glove, and I am the glove. The often tear-soaked glove who wants a turn to speak without being steam-rolled by a big angry man with the same agenda as my own. I know it seems the same but the last two letters on the welcome mat are not really ME.
We are both really good at conflict resolution, when we deal with only ourselves. We hardly even have conflict when we are alone. What is the famous movie that I could quote that says "We are not alone."? I don't have the energy to google it. Enough about that though. That was just one element of yesterday, although certainly the most emotional of them.
The bead store I love is now only open "For classes, on special sale days and for online orders." They have about one millionth of their inventory online, and when you need to buy beads hands-on like I do it's no help at all. I'm building a necklace around the heart=shaped diamond Michael gave me for our last anniversary, in gemstone beads I got from Holly in all the fall colors of our wedding, and I'm so exited about the project and ready to get going. Closed. Till when? There's no specific date on the door, and it's universal revenge for the hours I have posted on my own door, which at least say "by appointment" and give you hope that you may get to see me, even though the opening time is listed as "noonish" and closing is "whenever we're done." You'd think I had a fear of commitment or something. It was basic supplies I needed, so I ordered from a very dangerous website ( http://www.dickblick.com/ ) which has every art supply ever known to man all in one place, and might as well just go ahead and sell crack. I still have to wait 5-7 days for my stuff, but it only cost 8.40. Immediate gratification would not be fast enough. My God, the tiny garnets and peridots, the citrines and topaz in rounds and barrels, the stainless steel balls and spacers whisper to me and call me to make them into a beautiful string worthy of this diamond given in love. It's ridden on a plain chain for almost a year, but it is meant to be displayed amongst its lesser gem companions, perpetual autumn and laying against my heart. I have everything but the right stringing material and the clasp and the crimping beads and impatience is like a dancing little demon on my shoulder always taunting. Gonna flick that little fucker right off in 5-7 days.
Molly's stagecraft class isn't what she expected. It was listed as "Makeup and costuming" and it was the makeup that drew her to the class in the first place. As it turns out, costuming will end up being a major part of the class, and there are an array of sewing machines in one part of the room. Electronic sewing machines just like the one she got for her birthday from Grandma and Grandpa. They make and alter the costumes for the drama productions at the college there. She doesn't fully realize yet how much this is the sewing class she has been wanting, and although she's excited about that she's just focusing on the fact that she's the only one who raised her hand when the question was posed "Who is here for makeup?" With 7 people in a four hour class, and the fact that there are always some drops she's going to have plenty of individual time with the teacher to learn makeup, but more importantly she's going to learn to sew. I purchased her the two recommended but not required textbooks on half.com with a little money that magically came to me "for Molly and other stuff" and she can't wait for them to arrive. Thank God I didn't have to pay full price for them, one of them would have been 104.00. The class will be costuming a play that takes place in a french bistro in 1904, but also has Elvis as a character (written by Steve Martin, she can't remember the name) and I think she's going to have so much fun. I'm hoping she gets hooked on drama, she was born for it. Attendance for at least one performance is mandatory for class, and I hope we can have a full row of her fans to appreciate her work, even if she only says "Look! I hemmed that skirt! I made that scarf!"
There are two boys in that class, and I told her there's a better than average chance that one of them is or knows the budding Drag Queen she longs to be friends with. She has an interest in that school of costuming, and really needs to start forming that kind of friendship now while she's young so that when the time comes to be old enough to go to clubs for performances and competitions the longstanding bond is already in place. Plus, she's very competitive, she'll need someone to drag with. She's ready to meet that friend.
She reminds me of a little fish who just got transferred from a bowl to an aquarium, the word school just took on a different meaning for her yesterday. I think it was like the part in The Wizard of Oz where it switches from black and white to color, and Dorothy says "Toto? I don't think we're in Kansas any more." College is not high school. She's only sixteen, but she's swimming with the big fish now. I'm already coming to terms with the idea that her first real boyfriend is going to be a college-age guy. High school boys have never been able to hold her interest intellectually, but college boys have cars and sex lives, and may need to be killed more often.
For the first time ever I told her dad yesterday that he's a good dad, that she has the kind of dad that saved me from all the bad things that happen to girls that grow up with no father, that I know he loves her and that I'm so grateful that she and I have the same level of father if in very different men. I was crying as I said it, and I think he got some dust in his eyes. He can help with some of the killing. He's scary in the right circumstances. I've spent ten years locked in a battle of who's the best parent? Who loves her more? Yesterday I dropped my custody request although the case has to die on its own when the one year anniversary passes, there's no mechanism to just end it. Her dad and I shared a long, full bodied hug at the end of mediation because we finally found the answer to that question: We're the best parents she's ever going to have, and we both love her very much, as best we know how. God, he's going to be scary for any boy to meet, if said boy wants to take her anywhere in a car. Good!
I have a second blessed day off today, that only has Molly time in it, and hopefully some solitary book writing in it, maybe a nap. My beloved jobless-one has an interview this afternoon, which I will gladly drive him to if he needs it. Maybe I'll purchase and prepare some dinner, yet again maybe I'll take a nap. Up and down, that's how I roll. We'll be ok, that's the only part of all of this I'm certain of, although I sometimes wish I could see around just the next corner and feel a bit more prepared for what comes next. The world says "no" though, so I just have to lead with my chin and hope for the best.