what a mess

2004-04-02 - 3:48 p.m.


1. Meeting today with this guy -- sort of a famous guy around here. I'm sure I have his signature on something or other of mine. I'd always placed him as a faceless beaurocrat. But he's not! Kind of gorgeous, with opinions. Sort of magnetic! Sort of an accent --


Kind of beautiful, as I believe I may have implied.

And another committee member, when I found out all his family was in the military but himself, suddenly made more sense, too.

A day of revelations.

2. What I'm mad about. A friend of ours is doing us a favor. It's not a trivial favor. It's a big favor, but it doesn't really cost them anything. Maybe it's a minor inconvenience. But now, apparently, they want financial compensation. I don't really mind -- in fact, it puts it sort of on a business footing, which is maybe even easier. I sort of hate to be indebted to people, and now we're sort of not. Okay. (It's a little wierd, though, I'll admit. I don't mind paying, but if the tables were turned, I don't see how I would have asked for compensation.) But the even wierder thing is Kevin's behavior about the whole thing. He called me yesterday to tell me he was meeting with X. about this. I sort of said something like, "You're kidding!"

But he refused to talk about it then. He was too busy, and then when he came home he was too tired --

I don't know. It is an irritating thing about him that he can be quite hard to talk to about anything. I don't think he particularly likes talking. He doesn't even like it if you're thinking about a project, say, moving the deck, and one week you think it should go here and then upon further reflection you change your mind. Reflection and discussion are not things he really likes.

Although to be fair, he does reflect on and wish to discuss many things, generally of a political or musical nature, which don't interest me all that much either.

I think he doesn't have the interest in people and their motivations that I do.

3. For some reason, lately most people drive me absolutely crazy. I'm pretty sure it's me and not them, but for instance, Maddy's bossy friends! I hate it when kids act like grown-ups. I hate it when I go to pick Maddy up, in a desperate tearing hurry, and one of them says, in nurse-like tones, "Maddy can't go right now, because she has to lead Nancy around." And then the day-care guy (who I also find bossy in a creepy sort of way) says, "It's a bonding thing. You know how they need to bond." And then Maddy picks up the mannerisms of these awful people. I hate it! (This sort of fake-ironic supercilousness that if we pulled on her she would CRY.)

I can read this over and see that I am completely failing to convey the awfulness of these people, which I think goes to support my conclusion that it's me, not them.

Except that they really are annoying, and I mean it.

I told you about the exchange with the parents about this trip the girls are taking. In the first place, they can't go to San Diego because one parent is worried about flying, and thus does not want her child on an airplane. (This is not discussed, but stated.) It also has to be on these certain dates (inconvenient to me, who am chaperoning) to avoid conflicting with POSSIBLE s*ftb*ll tournament dates (same parent). (And the dates are not discussed. I am just presented with them, as I am with the fact that I am chaperoning, although Maddy says I don't have to.) Another parent feels that they shouldn't be pampering themselves, and wants them to go visit the University so the trip will not be a total waste. University? HELLO!!!! Where do we live? I WORK at a University. I don't really need to travel to see another one.

Actually, I suggested that they go to San Francisco. Museums. Cultural sights. Maddy was all for it, but her friends thought it would be boring. More interesting than the stupid boardwalk, I would think.

But again, I am just being horrible. The phobia parent can't really help having phobias. It is interesting that it is her kid, and the kid of the socially conscious parent who are most bossy -- I think they're used to being the parents. The socially conscious woman works all week a few hours away, so her kids are left behind with their not completely aware dad. He's very nice, but sort of spacey.

Partly, maybe, it's that they all seem so very needy. But what they seem to need is for me to admire them, and I don't want to.

I think I know what I need. I need to be able to have a long conversation with a friend. It will have to be a rather old friend, who can bear hearing about how the world's been mistreating me, in great and particular detail.

Other people have been bugging me, too. People I work with. People I meet in the street ...

4. Which brings me to one more thing. I live in an area which probably has a reputation for having a lot of people of a certain mindset. Well, I work in a town which is full of people who know all about just how everything should be done. This is a town with a foreign policy. It's not really a bad thing, but I will confess that it drives me crazy. These are people who will come up to you on the street and tell you that your baby should not be sleeping in a stroller with a blanket on its head. And not really tell you in a nice way, either. More like tell you in a very self-righteous sort of way. And then you will sort of sheepishly have to conclude that the are right, but secretly you will be quite pissed off.

It's a town that thrives on conflict of this kind.

I'm not really a person who thrives on conflict of this kind.

Anyway. I was sort of pondering my professed desire to get the hell out of here and move to Maine once the kids are out of school, but then I realized that I've always felt like this. I remember wanting to get out of my parents' house when I was in high school. I actually liked where I went to college, and I could have stayed there, but I sort of wanted to see California, and here I have lived for 20 some odd years just waiting to get the hell out of here.

I'm not sure that's so very healthy, really.

Hmmm. I suppose I should think about this. I don't really want to spend the few remaining years of my life wishing I was somewhere else all the time.

So that's what I'm thinking about. Actually, there was some kind of link back to the guy in topic 1 in my head, but now I've forgotten. Oh, I know.

I think it's important, as your kids grow up, that you have things of your own to do, so that your kids don't feel like you are counting on them to live out the life that you wish you had lived. I think you have to leave it up to them, so they can figure out what they want to do. But this is not so easy, especially if, like me, you've kind of put them at the center of your life. I mean, I think that's totally appropriate, and actually, as they grow up, one keen regret is that there aren't more of them because I have really enjoyed being a parent. I mean, I am enjoying it still -- they aren't completely gone.

Anyway -- guy no. 1 seems to be a pretty self-confident sort of person who is pretty happy and pretty good at doing what he's doing. He also seems to be doing what he wants to do -- it seems difficult to imagine him following the party line. (I could be completely wrong here -- but this anyway is my ideal)

Anyway, I can't draw it all together -- but I'll leave it like that, I think.

So there -- and now I get to ride my bike home.

And we can have leftover chicken for dinner, tonight, with leftover lentil pilaf. Yay me!


out of print - new releases

find me! - 2008-02-12
where I've gone - 2008-02-07
Where I've gone - 2008-02-05
where I've gone - 2008-02-01
New - 2008-02-01


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