Wow...thank you for all the happy Easter wishes. I am very pleased to say that we will not be having dinner at my sister's home this year. We decided that instead, we would go to Bing's gig at a church downtown's Easter service, go out for pancakes and then go to another Hitchcock film at the new Film Stream Theatre. This time it is North By Northwest.
This will sure beat listening to my brother in law talk about how he is sick of those wetbacks trying to get into his country. He has already sent me a disgusting e-mail today with the subject line "Why Obama Will Loose The Election." I replied to his e-mail telling him that he might want to check his spelling as it made him look even more ignorant than he already is.
I think my blood pressure deserves to stay down and not trying to choke down dinner at his home and having daydreams of smacking him in the head with an entire leg of lamb will help....
Tonight we are having a small dinner party. Just six people from Bing's school. All gay. All women. So, it should be fun. Of course, I am the one running around worrying that our house isn't tidy enough. Bing is the one who will invite them in and instead of taking their coats will tell them to "just throw them down anywhere..."
Her idea of playing hostess and my idea of playing hostess are two very different things. I am in charge of the pork roast, rolls and dessert. Bing is in charge of the vegetables, drinks, and rice. Liv is in charge of setting the table. Suffice it to say that I will be the one getting shriller and shriller as the day goes on. Bing and Liv will be comfortable and easy going. My pork roast will be too dry, the rolls too hard and my brownies will be too gooey. Bing's green beans will be crisp and delicious, her rice perfectly seasoned and her drinks cold or hot and perfect. At the end of the night, I will be totally exhausted and my face will hurt from fake smiling. Bing will be perfectly at ease and say something about how great that was and let's do it again soon. I will look at her with astonishment.
She is an easy going entertainer. I am not. I will compensate by drinking too much wine until I sort of loosen up.
Liv's father, Tinton is coming to stay with us from Thursday until he and Liv leave for the Indian Reservation for a spring break visit. I never worry about HIM being company. He is used to sleeping in a tent (is a geologist) and drinking water out of a bucket. Our house will seem like a fancy hotel.
So...on to the questions:
What are five characteristics you most admire in other people and five traits you dislike most?
This was harder to answer than I thought it would be. But, I decided that these are the five characteristics I admire most in others:
1) A sense of humor. I know that sounds trite. I mean, EVERYBODY says that. But, in my case, I have grown to really value humor much more as I grow older. Not because I like a Don Rickles personality, I don't mean THAT sort of person, but someone who takes life with a grain of salt and has a sense of humor about life's totally bizarre curve balls. I get weary of worry warts, people who simper and fret about anything and everything.
2) Trustworthiness. I like people who keep their promises, who can be counted on and don't yank me back and forth with their lack of reliability. In my old age, I have grown to appreciate stability. In my younger days, I was much more receptive to surprises than I am now and I was actually attracted to people who were sort of jaunty and unreliable. Now, absolutely not.
3) Intelligence. I don't mean that they have to belong to Mensa. I mean, that they have to have curiosity about the world or about SOMETHING. I tend to really dislike people who are political idiots. I am not talking about just republicans (as some might think.) I am talking about anyone who has political opinions and no facts to back them up. People who simply hate democrats because they are "bleeding heart liberals." Or people who hate republicans because they are "uptight, racist assholes." Nothing sets my teeth on edge more than seeing some idiot write a blog that is all about slam dunking candidates. Slam dunk all you want IF you have a factually based argument for your opinions. I like a good debate and I don't mind being one upped now and then, and who knows, I might learn something new from you.
I also tend to like people a lot more if they are readers. If you haven't heard of Catcher in the Rye or Travels With Charley or Walden, we are probably not going to like each other much. I am not a snob, in general, but about reading, well....okay...I AM.
4) The ability to forgive. I have known people who were so bitter and angry and trussed up with rage that they were just very hard to like. They had so many chips on their shoulders that they found little joy in life. It is very hard to like someone who is angry all the time and unforgiving when you mess up a little. The happiest people I know are those who understand that people are basic fuck ups and give them a lot of compassion.
5) Wit. This is different than a sense of humor in that someone who has a sense of humor sees the world with a wide lens. Someone with wit can take that scope and put it into words. Wit is a very seductive tool with me. It works nearly every time. It even wins out over kindness, although I know very few witty people who are not kind as well. True wits are generally kind souls.
Traits that I dislike:
1) I dislike arrogance in people. Arrogance is sarcasm without warmth and wit without kindness. Arrogant people tend to have a sense of entitlement, seem to feel as if they are somehow better, smarter, worthier than the average Joe. They aren't. And underneath arrogance usually lives self doubt.
2) Bullies. You don't just find them on the playground. They are the people who try to manipulate you into doing things or saying things that you aren't comfortable about. They push. Hard. They use belittling phrases and mocking body language. I find them odious. The thing is, they come across as very tough, but if you fight back, they usually run away fast. Bullies are actually cowards underneath all that swaggering.
3) Passive aggressive fighters. This one is hard because it is me in some ways. I have learned that sometimes in order to get what I want, it is best to be passsive aggressive and I will perform that way if I have no other choice. But, you know what? I never feel good about myself when I do that. And I don't like it when others use it as a tool to manipulate me either. So...hey, let's all just speak up and say what we need, what we believe, and I think the world would go round better....
4) Racism. I detest any sort of prejudice or racism. It goes against my nature and I am proud of that. I would never judge anyone because of their skin color, their religious preference, their sexual preference or their ancestry. Yet, being a lesbian, I have seen it up close and personal in a way that only someone who is different from the norm can. To watch someone like me just fine and get along with me well and then see them move away from me in disgust because I am a lesbian...not only hurts me, it angers me. We are all around you. And until like Martin Luther King preached, we judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, we as a people will not advance far.
5) Rigidity. I like someone who will admit that they are wrong once in a while. Show some flexibility. To be rigidly attached to all of your belief systems is to be stuck your whole life. It is good to have principles. It is not good to never question them.
Were you involved with Liv's father or just into his sperm?
I nearly skipped this questions because although I am pretty out there on my blog, this is a very personal part of my life. So, forgive me if I just give the facts and don't give much detail on this one.
Liv was conceived by accident. A one night stand with a first year graduate student, barely twenty two years old, in the geology department at a local university. His name was/is Tinton. He is a full blooded Lakota Indian. The first time I saw him, he reminded me very much of a character in an old television show I had seen called Centennial. He strongly resembled the character called Jacques Pasquinel played by an actor named Stephen McHattie. Too much was had to drink. The condom broke.
He had no interest in parenthood. I had a great deal of interest in it and in fact, had been trying by artificial means to get impregnated and was unsuccessful.
Liv was a huge wonderful surprise for me and a huge terrible one for him. When she was four months old, he signed away all parental rights and I was frankly, thrilled. When she was about two, I got a letter from him asking if he could see her. After much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands, I allowed it.
They took to each other, well....like father and daughter. Liv resembles him strongly. She has his deep dark brown eyes and her skin, while not as dark, is that kind of creamy color that tans like a dream. She is tall and very lean, very long legged, like he is. Only her hair is from my side of the family. It is golden.
By the time she was four, he visited whenever he passed through our area (about twice a year at most) and they saw each other. Tinton and I decided that she could know that he was her father.
Now, she is nearly nine and they are very close. He is a successful geologist and teaches sporadically at different universities in America and Europe for short intervals of time. He mostly does geological research work with his assistants, Nirand and Joe. He has never asked to be officially reinstated as her parent and he is very, very respectful of my parental rights. He dates a woman, but I have no idea how close they are. She lives in Colorado and breeds terriers. Socks is from one of her terriers.
Tinton and I have an easy going relationship and are closer now then ever. He calls frequently to talk to Liv and sometimes he and I will chat afterwards for an hour or so. He sees Bing and I as Liv's parents and has thanked me for letting him have a part in her life.
Next up.....Mme. Benaut (also known around our home as "the queen of the fairies.")