Saturday, August 06, 2011

Maria explodes....

Well, not like I'm getting fat or anything. Well, maybe I am. There is that skirt that I wore to work last week that kept pinching me in the waist all day long and when I finally got home, I finagled myself out of it like a snake shedding skin. It somehow got tangled up with the necklace that I was wearing when I was trying to shuck it over my head and I wandered around blindly stumbling and knocking over wastepaper baskets, trying to disentangle myself. When I finally got free of it, I kicked it...hard...into the corner and gave it the finger. Because that is just how I roll. Such a badass, that's me, alrighty.

I lost my temper this morning. Y'all are yawning now, right? Like, I mean, Maria NEVER does that.

But, this was...big.

It's been a stressful week and now a stressful weekend. Work has been difficult, lots of child abuse cases that I am trying to navigate through, but sometimes it just gets to me, ya know? So many children treated as if they are doorstops by the people who are supposed to love them the most. I can't even go there yet on this blog, so...just know that there is stress.

And I have been getting steadier and steadier more angry with Bing all week. Her messes. A few days ago, I came home and I swear that she had cluttered up EVERY single table surface in the house. She goes back to school next week and because she procrastinated about getting the furniture in her room removed (they are installing new carpeting), she had to get it done in 2 days, and for some reason she decided that she didn't want some of her "valuable" school stuff (piles of keyboards, two table lamps, and the contents of her desk) out in the hall, she brought it all home and threw it all over our house. This is in addition to the everyday messes of hers. The new computers that she bought for all of us that have yet to be installed ("It's on my list, Maria! I will get to them soon, promise!"...Give me a fucking break.) and are sitting out of their boxes in the dining room. The wedding video she is working on for her niece with boxes and boxes of family photos that she needs to scan. Other video making paraphernalia that is all over the place. Ugh. Liv and I keep tripping over cords and knocking into things.

Bing has a music studio in our basement and has turned our parlor into a junk room already but she doesn't seem to have any interest at all in putting her new junk in those rooms. NO SIRREE BOB. She needs to make new piles of clutter. Everywhere.

So, there was that making me crabby.

And then it is my oldest sister's birthday this weekend. Patrice will be 62. My other sisters decided that it would be so fun to come down this weekend to have a big family party for her. So, they brought their families with them.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my sisters. I love my various nieces and nephews and their families too. But, I feel as if this summer has been one long family love fest already.

Ok, I'll just admit it. I am sick of my family. I am under a lot of stress at work and I need my downtime on the weekends. I do not really want yet another big family party. I don't want house guests. I say this with love in my heart. Truly. And it isn't like we have A LOT of guests. One of my sisters is staying with us. Celia. She is quiet and sweet and is no trouble.

But, I am feeling very Greta Garbo right now and I just really, really want to be alone. And Celia LOVES to shop. She comes from small town Iowa and they don't even have a grocery store in her town. She has to go to the next town over to buy milk. So, shopping malls and the Old Market district call to her.

I am not a shopper. I detest shopping. Plus, I have spent the last two weeks school shopping with Liv and even though it wasn't hard (she will be wearing a uniform this year), I have had my fill. I don't want to spend my down time meandering around a shopping mall.

Next weekend will also be busy. Bing's niece is getting married. I also love Bing's niece. She is 29 and been around the boy block a few times and she is one groovy chick. And her betrothed is a great guy. But, again...this means...

All together now!


And guess who is coming down on Wednesday (the wedding is on a Saturday) and staying with us? Bing's sister, Francesca. Who I am convinced is seriously bi-polar and un-medicated. The last time she stayed with us, Bing was in Africa and Liv was on vacation with her Father. It was just the two of us for a week.


I promised myself. She spent the entire week alternating between being 1)A Stepford guest (she cleaned out my fridge, washed all my windows with newspapers and would have re-arranged my closet if I hadn't put my foot down) 2) A pouting teenager ("What do you mean you are too tired to go out for pizza? How about trying out that roller rink? I've never skated, have you?") 3) A weeping woman scorned ("And then he just LEFT me, after all I did for him. I cleaned his apartment every weekend and washed his clothes and even cut up his steak for him. What was not to love?") 4) A scold ("You and Bing never did enough for mother when she was alive! Oh, no. You were too busy having your lesbian lifestyle and raising a child who doesn't know the stations of the cross..." this all said to me while she busted out a move with an in-your-face finger wagging gesture right out of Housewives of New Jersey...) and 5)Battle of the MDs warrior ("I spent just as many years in school as you did and I make twice what you do, I also have eleven million thousand trillion in savings and still do all my own cooking and cleaning because let's face it, those in-home workers will rob you blind if you let them..." this was until I beat her at Jeopardy three times in a row with one brain tied behind my back and she finally shut up.)

So, no. I don't like her. Plus...Bing PROMISED me that she would NEVER, EVER stay in our house again. She could stay with Bing's other sister who lives here in the city and is an empty nester with FOUR empty bedrooms. When I found out that Bing said that she could stay with us, I put my head in my arms and groaned. But, since Bing had just attended yet another family party with me for my side of the family, I didn't have much wiggle room. Then, when Francesca called me to ask me how big my oven was, I wasn't my usual wise cracking self (the old me would have said, "It's big enough, darling" and laughed) but simply bleated out, "Why?"

"Because I am baking the cupcakes for Tina's wedding and I need to use your kitchen to make 12 dozen of them the day before the wedding. I plan on bringing all my tools and baking ingredients so you won't have to buy a thing! You do know that I just finished taking that class on cake decorating, don't you? Well, I just told Trina not to worry about buying a pricey bridal cake, I would bake her up the most scrumpdiddlyicious cupper cakes in the world!"

I do confess that when I played the answering machine message back for Bing where Francesca referred to cup cakes as scrumpdiddlyicious cupper cakes, I did burst out laughing when Bing looked at me vapidly and repeated, "Scrumpdiddlyicious CUPPER CAKES!" We both just cracked up.

So, not only is she going to be staying with us but she is going to be baking in my home in the dog days of summer?

These next two weekends will be packed. This weekend with my family and next weekend with Bing's family.

Get me out of here. Now.

So, last night was my sister's big birthday party which, unfortunately for her was staged at HER house (her home is HUGE and she has a big pool...seriously...they're loaded over there..) I was tired from a long week at work and then had to sit through my brother in law warning his granddaughter not to be going out with any Jermaines from the hood when she started high school this year. Did I mention that my brother in law is a total and complete racist ass? So, I piped up with "And no dating ignorant, racist pee butts either, missy!"

Bing said that she was afraid that she was going to have to hold on to my waist to keep me from clawing him. "But, then you know how inflamed I get when I hold you," she drawled. "I probably would have insisted on a big make out session in front of your family and they would have all been disgusted with our deviant lesbian PDA in front of those innocent children..."

So...this morning, it just was all too much. I was down in the basement putting our sheets in the washer and happened to look around me at the mess that has Bing's name all over it.

Unfortunately for her, she came downstairs to kiss me goodbye before she left to go to school to start putting her room to rights.

I immediately began my bitch session. First, I told her that she needed to make more of an effort to be more tidy. Then, I complained about having to spend the day at the mall with my sister (Celia, you KNOW I love you, but SWEET BABY HEY ZEUS, must you be such a shopaholic? And if we stop for an Orange Julius, I would be less cranky...just sayin') Then, I said that I couldn't bear summer one more day. I was sick to death of it being hot all the time. I felt like we didn't even get summer this year, but like I lived in some stinky swamp world.

I will take the time right here and now to apologize to all of my hardy prairie land ancestors who managed to work like dogs all summer long without ice in their water or air conditioners in their homes. I KNOW that I am a whiny ass baby and I am so so sorry.

I went on to blubber that I DID NOT WANT Francesca, the bi polar wonder baking in my kitchen or staying in my house. I also told her that one of my bottom teeth had been aching all week and that periodically, it sent a shot of pain through my jaw. I detest DENTISTS. And I just knew it was the tooth with that porcelain cap and I didn't want to spend a thousand lousy bucks on a new cap. And then, I am ashamed to say that I burst into tears and sank to the floor with the dryer at my back and my legs splayed out like a toddler. Since I was acting like one, I should look like one, I suppose.

I was prepared for one of Bing's pep talks. Bing is not good at being my shoulder when I get like this. For some reason, she goes all mannish on me at times like these and starts saying things like:

Well, at least you aren't crippled. You have two good legs to walk on and a mouth full of good teeth except for that one.

We both haven't lost our jobs in this economy and we can afford to get teeth fixed and if the roof leaks, we can get that fixed too.

We are so, so lucky to live in a pretty house and have a beautiful daughter who is healthy and happy and we have each other too!

Except she didn't say any of those things. She sat down next to me and pulled me into her lap and kept her arms around me tightly and tucked my head under her chin just the way I like it.

And then she hit the nail on the head,

"This is all about Liv going to junior high, isn't it?"

How does she do that?

Get it right, just like that.

Because, at bottom, I am freaking out about other things because of this one thing.

I am scared to death about Liv having to leave her soft, safe Montessori school and go to a large junior high, albeit a private, parochial school. And that makes me feel like a hypocrite too. I am sending her to a CATHOLIC junior high. When I have so many problems with the Catholic church, left it in the dust years ago because I disagreed with their stance on gay rights, women's rights and birth control. And now, well lookee here. Maria is allowing her daughter to attend a parochial school.


Plus, it is a large school and a conventional school. Liv is accustomed to a very small, very diverse, very green, very liberal school. I feel like I might have made a huge mistake by allowing her to choose her own junior high. And what if she doesn't make new friends? I remember how mean junior high girls can be. What if she gets made fun of or ostracized because she has two mothers? I've tried to talk to her about this, but she seems strangely quiet and far away these days, just keeps telling me that she is FINE. It will be FINE.

I am scared to fucking death.

And leave it to Bing to know that.

So, we didn't do any problem solving. Nothing really to do. The decision is made and the uniform is purchased. We will just have to see how this plays out.

I cried in her shirt for a few moments and let her kiss my hair and gently rub my arm. And then we both got up and stood in each other's arms for a while, enjoying the comfort of having one person in the world who loves you warts and all.

And she left for school and I sighed and headed up for my coffee and to wait for Celia to get up so that I could take her shopping. Later we will all gather at Patrice's house to have a family swimming party and BBQ. It will Well, as fun as it can be with my pee butt brother in law there.

And next week, Francesca will be here. And then the wedding.

I'll call the dentist about that tooth.

I'll work with that abused child who tears my heart out each and every time I see him.

Life will go on and we will be okay.

Just like everyone else on this planet.

And you'll be fine too. We will do what humans do. We will have good times, wonderful times, bad times, horrible times and we will live. And love.


ChiTown Girl said...


That's all I got.

sybil law said...

If I didn't explode now and then... I'd probably spontaneously combust. Then who would clean that up?

Liv is right - she will be fine. And you're right - we're all going to be just fine.

the only daughter said...

A friend is having similar anxiety about her son leaving the relative safety of his local elementary school for junior high on Monday.

Unlike you though, she doesn't have a "Bing". How so very special that is. How so very special she is to you, for you. How so very special you are all are together.

Liv will be fine for you'll all work together to make it so.

Happy Birthday to your Patrice. Enjoy the party.

Anonymous said...

She knows you, deeply. You are loved woman.

kristi said...

Yes I have had a few meltdowns of my own, mainly it is money stress...TC starting back to school. I am not worried as much about Sara, but TC, I do worry so much b/c school stresses him out!
Hope things get better for you. I hate to shop too! And I would rather be home with hubs and the kids and that is it!!

Earth Muffin said...

Stress has a way of building up like that, no? How nice that Bing was able to get to the root of it and give you the affection you needed. (And without all the pep talking first!) Of course I only know Liv through what you've written about her, but she seems to be such a smart, confident girl. She'll be fine, better than fine, I bet she'll do great!

Posts like this always make me think of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day..."My mom says some days are like that, even in Australia." We all have days, weeks, sometimes months like this. I hope you can find a little time for yourself in the next week or two, and still find a way to enjoy your family, warts and all.

MB Partlow said...

I have a daughter Liv's age, going into 7th grade, which is the middle year of middle school for us.

But her older sister is starting high school this fall. HIGH SCHOOL. Where there are boys with facial hair and sex and drugs and cliques and bad drivers glued to their cell phones.

I'm a nervous wreck; she can't wait to get started.

Kids--they break our hearts just by growing up. And we have to let them.


Anonymous said...

So glad Bing was there for you.

If you can, let others be there for you... I know that is hard for you.

Liv is your what got you into the best part of yourself and your life... it's the same for me and my girl... having her begin to grow away from you and into her own bloomage is scary.

But you're gonna be okay. We know it. Bing knows it. And the mother in you knows it, too.

It's just effing hard right now.

Much love and strength -


heartinsanfrancisco said...

I hope your last paragraph refers to me, too, because I badly need to know right now that things will be okay.

I remember Bing's sister's unexpected visit because you wrote about it, and I don't see why she can't stay with the empty nest sister instead. That's about the worst planning ever.

Keep in mind that if for any reason Liv's new school doesn't work out, she can transfer to another one next year. And meanwhile, she'll have lots of support at home. Hang in there, and if you get a chance to accidentally knee your idiot brother-in-law in the nuts,it will make me unreasonably happy.

C said...

i understand, i felt that way each time my kids left home, it will be ok tho, maria, your livvy is one of a kind and will thrive and bloom where ever she is planted. when you see that with your own eyes, your fears will slip away.. and all will be good.


Annemarie of Holland said...

I like how you built up this post, including the twist that completely changes the story around and lifts it up from being a mere rant to a tale of, well, love I guess. And psychological insight. Great writing.

And ah, yes, you'll be fine. Everyone is entitled to their moment of hell-I-can't-STAND-it-anymore, but you being who you are, you'll manage just fine.

Except maybe for the dentist thingy. I'm sooo with you there! *shudder*

Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

You know, before I walked away from a very simmilar job because of total and absolute compassion failure and burnout, I'd occasionally come home and totally freak about a newspaper left....somewhere, didn't matter where.
When you work in the trenches you want to come home to, well, home. A calm serene place where nothing of the evil of the job creeps in.
The husband called these outbursts "sense of humour failure days" and naturally I wanted to take to him with an axe, a) for understanding and b) for just breathing in general.
Everyone and everything used to p*ss me off, the weather, the dog, people in general and loved ones most especially.
That surly, cruise missile attitude that sneaks up on us and then engulfs us - know the feeling well hun.
It's ok to be fed up, its ok to worry about Liv, its ok to hate the site of clutter. And its ok to yell and put on a song and dance about it occasionally, that's how welfare workers cope.

Much hugs to you Maria, I recognised so much of myself in this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, for telling me that i'll be fine too. Really needed to hear that! :)

Camille said...

You are a lucky woman...but you don't need me to tell you that. The post was brilliant and a good reminder for those of us who sometimes accumulate far too much on our plates. We're all going to be just fine. Thanks Maria.