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12:17 p.m. - 2011-09-20
A manifesto.

Last night we went to SIL's for a dinner of fresh pasta, party leftovers and a visit with Mick's uncle who'd flown in from Irvine, CA for the party and is leaving tomorrow.

I am pooped and peopled out. Even my fiercest detractors who've always mocked me as an unmedicated bi-polar lunatic with delusions of grandeur and a cowardly streak a mile wide would concede that recent events' upsy-downsy-backsy-forthsy bullshit would produce emotional whiplash in anybody. Even a person who had all the sparkle of cement and was stable as a bank vault would be freaking out a bit with all this fracas going on.

So today I've declared myself off-limits. At least until Wolf gets home. And Mick gets home. And we have to go pick up the Escort and its $600 worth of shiny new brake lines.

But for the next few hours I've set myself out of the bullshit and am insisting everybody figure stuff out on their own. My phone is off. I'm the only one home for a block in either direction and I intend to make the most of this quiet. I've already put in 800 words on the WIP, have cut off those damned too long fingernails and stripped them of polish, dined on coffee and toast, and brushed the dog. My wrecked feet are slathered with healing lotion and covered in thick socks. Now I have a huge mug of my favorite tea here on my desk. Soothing incense in the burner. And nothing in my ears except the slow drip of rain and the chirp of dying crickets.

It's heavenly.

At the birthday party and again last night I formally turned over this year's holiday dinners to SIL. She once accused me of being a holiday hog, and perhaps she had a point, but her wish to be the holiday meal hostess coincides nicely with my desire not to be, so SIL is making the goddamn turkey for Thanksgiving this year. Though she got a little weird about it when I graciously gave her Christmas, Easter, and all the birthdays too, I'm going to be firm about it. I figured out that I've served close to a hundred and fifty special occasion meals over the past 30 years. Time for a break. Somebody else can do it this year. And if SIL's unwilling to take up all of them, well, Wong Fu's is open 365 and General Tso's chicken for Christmas dinner is A-okay by me.

Santa officially stopped coming to the house last year, as have Cupid, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. This year the holidays can be as low key and forgettable as Mick has always craved. His aversion to holiday fuss is more than matched by my desire not to make any. Screw turkeys, stockings, bows, cranberry sauce, holly, pumpkins, hams, sweet potatoes, decorations, fake 'snow' spray painted in the window corners, banners, baubles, festive tableware, dead pine trees in my living room, birthday cakes, King's cakes, and rum balls. I'm done being the sorceress who produces all these miracles. It nets me nothing but a lot of cruddy leftovers rotting in my fridge and a wicked case of dishpan hands. Screw it.

Best I can figure I'm going through one of those volcanic upheavals of priorities and getting a very large clue about how stupid most of the stuff I worry about and hurt over is. I've cared too much about intangibles and trifles for far too long. Shit happens. And you deal. BFD. Thanks to my feckless irresponsible ex-husband my house is in foreclosure, but for now it still stands and is the roof over my head. I've been homeless twice and survived just fine, I'll do it again, no prob. For the nonce most of the stuff still works on my car and now I have brakes again too. For a broke person I still eat enough to be overweight. Neither of my kids is on drugs or in jail. My husband thinks I'm smart, amazing, sexy and beautiful. My dog is always glad to see me. I have wonderful friends. Anything else would be gravy.

(*PSA: Please, no worries to any of my friends who thought maybe their loving advice and discussions about life events hurt me in any way. Not only do I trust in you and your affection for me, I own the responsibility for what I do and think. There's nothing to take back or fret about. Ever. 'Kay? I am dead grateful for you and your friendship, that's all there is to it. xxxxoooo.)

I just need to clear up my thinking. Get things in line to the way it really is.

Just look at Wolf. Over the weekend and into yesterday my son was amazingly well-behaved. He was the only young person at Saturday's bash and last night's dinner and he was mannerly, pleasant, and patient with the inane questions thrown his way by boring grown-ups. The former wild child who made even simple things like me using the toilet alone or going out in public with him such a nightmare is gone. In that wild child's place is a bright young man with a fantastic heart and nothing but kindness and love in his mouth. I'm so proud of him I'm bursting with it. Wolf has done a fabulous job of getting his life in order. He's overcome so many obstacles, so many challenges. Just think! That uncommunicative angry frightened young boy of five years ago has managed to not only get himself back into 'normal' school, he's developed his own sense of style, lives by a moral code to be envied for its honesty and love, and (shhhh!) is slowly easing himself into his first romance.

If my husband feels panic when he can't make everything perfect for me every minute of the day, and that panic manifests itself as anger and fear and he shouts a lot, I have someone who loves me. Loves me enough to want my life to be creamy. And who doesn't scorn, hit, or leave me because he's decided I'm the handy one to blame when HIS life isn't wonderful all the time.

Do you know how new this is to me? I'm LA the Life Ruiner! A role and responsibility foisted on me before I was even born. I ruined my mother's life by being conceived during a make-out session in the backseat of a Nash Rambler. I ruined my Da's life by being born pink-skinned and female. I ruined my sisters' lives by being smarter, taller, prettier, and weird. I ruined my ex-husband's life by loving him, forcing him to be a semi-responsible adult and a father. Okay, not a father, a sperm donor. In any case those kids look and act enough like him to clear any doubt about their parentage. And Mike hates and resents me for this. He's on a vengeful vendetta for my intrusion into his childish slacker lifestyle fantasy and has done all he can to shake himself free of adulthood and responsibility, including putting us all in the street. My MIL loathes me for daring to insist my feelings and body are worthy of respect. For not being complicit in her fantasy that all men are good and women HAVE to make sure the men look that way to others and most importantly- to themselves.

And I ain't dead yet.

So what's to bitch or fret about? Nothing. All that idiot thinking I wasted my life on, wanting to be happy, safe, free, educated, well traveled, recognized. It's just a lot of crap I made myself unhappy with. Always twisting myself into knots trying to be whoever I thought I was required to be to make reparations for my being born. That if I apologized enough and did without enough I'd someday pay that debt off. That it was my job to serve everyone else's priorities and make myself their willing butt girl. Dur. Nonsense. I was the victim of deluded thinking. There's nothing to regret. Nothing to hurt over. Nothing to fear losing. If I want something it's on me to get it. If there's a lack I can work. And if I am feeling burnt-out and overwhelmed it's on me to do something about it.

So. Today my phone is off. My skin is clean and moisturized. My time until 2:45 is my own. I have hot tea. Buttered toast. A good sturdy belt to hold my far-too-big pants up.


It's fine. I'm fine. And if I'm not it's my job to fix it. No one else's. ~LA

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