I want to klonk my sister-in-law over the head with a creche.
I feel hexed and vexed.
And as I lay in bed all agitated and rehashing the Christmas crap that was my day yesterday, the list of my grievances began to sound like psycho names for Santa's reindeer. I could just picture his sleigh being dragged inexorably through the sky towards my house by Vexer and Hexer and Klonker and Spittin'. It made me giggle. And that's a good sign (except that sweet hubby was trying to sleep - it being 3 am and all.)
When I am most aggrieved and can find even a tiny moment of laughter - it loosens something up inside of me and I can begin to let go. A moment of peace or emptiness can signal the turning point too. But laughter is the most powerful predictor of the ebb tide. The first time I noticed this about myself was when I was fourteen. I was awful, and cranky, and unloved, and misunderstood, and achingly lonely ALL THE TIME even though I was surrounded by good friends who appreciated me, a family who loved me, teachers who encouraged me, and a youth minister who opened the doors of faith to me. I was dramatic and hateful, particularly with my mother. Smack in the middle of some HUGE fight with sobbing and ultimatums and more sobbing and apologizing and a renewal of hatefulness (probably because my dramatic apology hadn't changed my mother's mind about whatever it is I wanted to do that she wouldn't allow) and even more sobbing - I wailed to my mom, "I hate you. I hate crying. My head is bursting with pain. My pillow is soaked with tears. My cat is soaked with tears. My blanket is soaked with tears. And it's all your fault!" My mother looked at me and said kindly and solemnly, "I will share with you something that a good friend of mine once said to me ." Through a teary and snot filled silence my mother's friend's wisdom came to me. Mom said, "The more you cry, the less you pee." Completely and utterly against my will, I laughed. I couldn't help it and I couldn't stop. And after that quieted down, I just couldn't muster the spin and churn and spite required to keep the fight going. It didn't 'fix' everything - or anything really. The disagreement was still there: I entrenched in my position and she in hers. It was just the searing rancor in my heart that bled away after the laughter punctured my misery.
So here I am urging 'On Vexer and Hexer and Klonker and Spittin' "with one slight giggle to puncture my latest misery. I'm despeartely counting on it to turn the tide.
- Because today I am going to the bank with crossed fingers and a child support check. I will feel relieved (in the extreme) if it goes through. If it doesn't go through, I will endeavor to feel unsurprised and cynical and I will try not to feel ridiculous for hoping THIS Christmas might be different from the last two. His efforts at trying to take my children away from me have fallen into a pattern. He doesn't pay at Christmas. He attacks my fitness as a mother in January and tries to prove he's 'SuperDad'. In the spring, he makes a legal move of some sort which causes me tremendous anxiety and lots of $$$ to counter. Sometime in early summer he loses either his interest or his ability to pursue the matter. I spend all fall enjoying the temporary civility and waiting for signs of the other shoe to appear. If the check goes through this year, does it mean the rest of the curse is broken? (Or does it mean that even men who use tapioca instead of a brain are capable of realizing judges seldom award custody to deadbeat dads?)
- Because today after I go to the bank I have to go to the mall. The Man in Red got my daughter the PERFECT present (WEEKS AND WEEKS AGO) - which is good because he only brings ONE to each of my five. Sweet Hubby and I get the children little things - always a book or two, usually something necessary (like gloves or a pair of jeans), and a tiny fun thing (like a card game or puzzle.) The Man in Red gets one shot - a big shot - a fun, way cool, it-was-the-number-one-thing-on-their-list kind of shot. And yesterday my step-daughter came home from her aunt's house with her eyes aglow and in raptures, "Look what Aunt Jaci got us kids!!!!! Isn't it great? Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it perfect?" Perfect. Of course if Aunt Jaci had thought for HALF OF A NANOSECOND she might, just possibly have realized that giving my daughter the PERFECT present two days before Christmas without bothering to check with anyone first - might not have been such a thoughtful thing to do!!
- Because today after the bank and after the mall - I have to figure out what to do with the OTHER thing Aunt Jaci gave the Ninja Princessa. The Ninja Princessa is my step-daughter as I've said. Sparing you all the gory details of abandonment, custody battles with the mentally ill, and waxings poetical on what a devoted, stable, and fantastic father Sweet Hubby is - I will explain that the most recent chapter in our history includes Princessa's mother unexpectedly moving out of state (abandoning her daughter again) last Christmas. Even so, SH has been patient and supportive of the importance of his daughter's relationship with her mother. The Ninja Princessa has been across the country by herself to visit her mom several times (once or twice at a grandfather's expense and once at Sweet Hubby's expense). She was supposed to go again this Christmas. But North Korea couldn't "afford it". (You know, North Korea - that country that makes wild accusations, threatens nuclear war, can't feed itself, lies about that fact, makes and breaks international treaties, and in general, wears everyone's ass out?? Yeah, that's her.) Nevermind that NK has known for a year that she would have to pay for the flight - and nevermind that she didn't tell her daughter until the day before she was supposed to leave - nevermind all that. We have been concentrating on how it's important to acknowledge real feelings (like disappointment, sadness, hurt) but ALSO on how important it is to find comfort and positive aspects to the changed situation. Ninja Princessa gets more time with her oldest brother (whom she adores and doesn't get to see but a few times a year). She gets to enjoy the first Christmas in the new house with all of us. She gets to spend more time with her cousin. And her aunt! Her aunt who yesterday dug up this MONSTROSITY of a creche that Sweet Hubby and North Korea bought ON THEIR ANNIVERSARY trip to Ireland. This creche has not been some sentimental, cherished thing. It was brought back and put into the family 'oranament' exchange. Sweet Hubby is from a LARGE Cajun Catholic family - and their exchange is wild and far ranging and uses the word 'ornament' very loosely (and competitively)! The person who got stuck with the creche died a year or so ago and somehow it ended up in Aunt Jaci's garage. The Ninja Princessa knew nothing of it - until her aunt unearthed it - and for some INSANE reason thought it would be a good thing to give her. Right. Just exactly what we want in our house this holiday season and now for all holiday seasons to come: a large (and unsightly) reminder of both a mother who can't get it together for her daughter AND an anniversary trip commemorating a marriage that caused horrible pain when it came to an ugly end. Thank you OH SO MUCH Aunt Jaci!
- And because today I also have to make up with my Very Best Girlfriend. After weeks of waiting for her to come in town, I somehow managed to get in a wad and get my feelings hurt - and THEN I wasn't even capable of explaining it in words even though VBGF wanted to understand and pushed and pushed at me to find a way to explain.
As the sun comes up, is the tide turned? Was the laugh big enough? Am I big enough to hold on to the lesson but not the hurt? Or are there just more fucking reindeer lurking around to be named?