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1:42 p.m. - 2010-06-28
The Party Boys and The Real Men

The Best Birthday Party EVER went off without a hitch. I'll get faint if I think too much about how severely I overpaid per head because we had so few guests but still had to shell out for the party minimum of 10. Whatever. It'll still be cheaper than Wolf's 18th birthday which will be tied up with his high school graduation and probably involve some kind of grand adventure and/or a car. So. A wildly overpriced pizza party is a blip. And was worth it anyhow if fun can be measured in dollars because my kid and his pals had a million bucks worth of fun.

Our overnight guest behaved himself. Though his presence did cause a tiffy with Mick. I'd given the boys permission to stay up a bit late and was totally digging what to me was the joyful noise of my kid rampaging around with a friend, being a regular kid, you know? And oh how rare that is! What Mick heard was the noise of misrule, disobedience, and potential accidents. He came downstairs and told the boys to cut out the tomfoolery and get ready for bed. Then came in here to take me to task for my lousy Slacker Mom irresponsibility. Wrangle ensued. Sigh. I don't think I'll ever figure out why Mick needs to make life a joyless slog. What he thinks is so dangerous and unwholesome about fun. Ye gods.

Anyhoodle, everything cooperated to make yesterday's outing go like buttah. The weather was perfect. The water park was spotless. The company enjoyable. Two of the guests were a pair of twins. Their parents stayed and we all hung out. I like them a lot, but somehow we never see each other unless our kids are involved. It was just one of those miracle days when everything just worked. Even the ex and I had one of those days when we could be easy with each other. Since Mick didn't go to the party it was easier just to take one car. Mike and I spent the ride there and back talking about the news and catching up on family and settling plans for the summer's doings. On and off through the day we'd bump into each other and chat and laugh over the kids' antics. At one point the ex said it was nice to hang with people who speak English, his wife and her people mostly speak a polyglot mix of Russian, Farsi, and Uzbek. Nobody should get the wrong idea, I wouldn't be married to the ex again if he were the last man on the planet, but he and I have so much history, plus the kids, and when we're in a situation like yesterday where there's no expectation or agenda Mike and I fall back into the comfortable familiarity of old friends. No strain, no explanations, and certainly no need to translate from Farsi. The twins' parents even commented and congratulated us on our being able to be so decent. Mike and I looked at each other, shrugged, and said, "Wolf's the most important thing" in unison. Startled, we all cracked up.

It's true though, he is. No matter what kind of horrible mess we made of our marriage, Mike and I agree that we MUST be decent parents and do what we have to for our boy. And hell, a pleasant day at the water park is hardly onerous.

To be honest as well as fair, I'll tell you this morning Mick gathered and hauled off all the garbage. While he's out he'll go to the post office and mail the bills (which he wrote out all the checks for and balanced the bank book as he did it), the bank to shift money between accounts and get us walking around money, and he's taking my car in for an oil change. Before he left he put the new insurance cards in all the cars and brought me my new debit and medical cards too. Along with my purse so I wouldn't even have to get up to fetch my wallet. Not a one of those things would Mike have done. The ex would have left everything to me to do on my own and likely as not have managed to lose the envelopes with the new insurance and bank cards too. My new husband might not be Mr Fun and Games, but his participation in the smooth running of our life together goes way above and beyond. As much as I grumble about him, Mick makes life remarkably easy for me. Never leaves me holding the bag, always follows through on stuff, there's no half-done messes lying around, no miserable 'someday' pie in the sky talk that never comes to anything but disappointment. The ex was chaos personified, Mick is orderly and responsible and says, "I love you" in a zillion quiet ways. We'll work on the fun thing. He'll come around, I'm sure. It is a bit unfair of me to demand that someone who's all about doing The Right Thing and being a Good Guy somehow morph into Party Boy exactly when and where I want him to.

With Mick I get clean credit, a solvent bank account, the power stays on, as does the cable. I get a tidy house, a true partner in doing Life's heavy lifting, and someone who'd take a bullet for me without hesitation. Mick appreciates everything from my cooking to my vocabulary. Even yesterday for all that the ex and I could laugh and gas about Uzbek cultural mores and speak the shorthand of 30 years shared history, he'd left it to me to totally arrange Wolf's birthday party and muttered something about tacking his share of the cost onto next month's child support check. And that only when I hocked him about it. My ex might be an old friend, but he's not nor ever will be a good friend. You dig?

Awash in male archetypes, some better and worthier than others. ~LA

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