I haven’t changed one bit since the last time I posted. In fact, I am more like me than I ever was. All this in spite of the fact that things around me are are changing. I may or may not be trekking the path of most resistance.
I don’t think we own any of the planet, regardless of the pieces of paper that say we do. I have never owned a house or land. I’ve never had any desire to own things and become responsible for them. I have always been a tenant, coming and going as I please, without any hounding obligations. I am not a fan of responsibility for anything other than the boundaries within my reach, the stretch of real estate I call The Self. My husband is very different. He has owned commercial fishing boats and houses and stuff out the wazoo. He likes the challenge of acquisition because he is competitive. I am not competitive. I’ve never had to compete for anything because, generally speaking, I don’t want what I haven’t got. My husband, who is much maligned (on this blog) wanted this-
We talked about it and I voted for prudence. Too bad for me. My vote didn’t count. The next thing I knew, I was an innocent bystander at a realtor’s office witnessing a transaction. I never saw it coming. The man, who is much maligned (on this blog) and perhaps a little too foolhardy for his own good, answered a question with “Don’t call me; call elroy, this is in her lap now.” There’s a piece of paper somewhere stating the rock belongs to us. I know that isn’t even remotely true. The rock belongs to the people who collect taxes on it and even that’s not precise, it would take infinity + 1 to figure out who owns the rock or if it can be owned.
I caved. I couldn’t understand why we worked so hard or what we were working for. Belonging to the rock seemed as good a reason as any other. The rock reminds me of The Big Rock in my grandfather’s field. When we were little kids, we used to have picnic lunches on it-baked bean sandwiches and lemonade- and slide down it until we’d rip the bottoms out of our pants and get in trouble for ripping them. There are apple trees on the other side of the rock and there’s room for a garden for someone who has leisure time to tend it. My grandfather had apple trees and a huge garden. He would have loved my husband and my husband would have loved him. They are so similar. Gram deferred to Gramp in much the same way I defer to my husband.
We belong to the rock. It seems there is no point in belonging to a rock. It should be one with the universe. We’re going to put a building on the other side of the rock and we’re going to move the rock to the other side of the driveway. If the rock doesn’t stay, I won’t budge-see how that works? My husband has told the casts of thousands of people, who make their living off people who believe they own the rock instead of the other way around, “My wife is keeping the rock.” He is oddly proud of my affection for it. He dumped the whole thing in my lap, trusting me to make the dream real. There’s an awful lot of ego involved in having so much faith from just one man. Who would I be if I couldn’t do it for him?
His kids, the boys, have come to believe that their dad must be onto something in placing all his faith in me. The eldest will be married in a couple of weeks. It will be an extravaganza. You know, I don’t cotton to displays. I have a very hard time with most of the symbolism in the ceremony and the expense of the affair. It doesn’t sit well. Even though it would be safe to say that nobody there, but me, will find one bit of it objectionable.
I want the kids to have a joyous day. I’ve bought into the magic of the dream. Of course, (you’ve been reading this far to get to the of course because you love it when I’m awful) in making a display, certain opportunities have presented themselves. As you may recall, I have found myself in the position of the heavy on more than one occasion with the boys. I’m not their mother.
I was the person cruising the parking lot with my husband trying to make sure they didn’t get in more trouble than they could get out of. I was the person who tried valiantly to remain calm and objective, the person who donated her time to an endeavor (she never wanted for herself) because it was the right thing to do. I was the person who held the phone receiver and told them to call their mother to apologize for the ugly thing they said to her because what if something happened and those were the last words she ever heard them say.
She didn’t plan on having them, she didn’t plan on guiding them, she didn’t plan for their future. I did. Their mother was a mean-spirited, divisive faction between those boys and their dad. My husband and I will host the rehearsal dinner, we hosted the engagement dinner too. I don’t like pretentious displays but I am, after all, only human. I will utilize an opportunity if it arises.
The bride loves all things spectacular. She believes she is a local celebrity, I can tell. I ordered some lovely, thick, cream colored invitations requiring the real mother to RSVP to me for the dinner she should have been hosting for her son and his bride, the dinner she could have hosted jointly with his father if only she’d planned on it. In an effort to make sure that the evening is as amicable as possible, I ordered escort cards and I’ve assigned the seating with as many tables as possible between us and her. In a supreme gesture of charity, I seated her close by her son. She doesn’t see him very often now because she moved away to be with the man I think of as her “retirement plan“.
I am secretly terrible but well-behaved. That’s what you like about it, it’s a secret and you’re the only ones who know what the truth is behind the illusion of untainted generosity. You know I’m an impostor, with deceitful thoughts and ulterior motives, pushing Sisyphus’s rock up a hill.