Public Rants

September 15, 2009

Seems like everyone is having meltdowns lately. Well at least some public people are which exonerates us normal folks whose breakdowns are not publicized.

Serena Williams ranted at an umpire’s call and lost match point based on poor decorum. I’m all up for maintaining a sense of dignity when playing a gentleman’s sport. (I’m using the term gentleman despite my Smith education and its masculine inclination to describe well behaved and civil.) While Serena should have been penalized for her outburst she did not deserve to lose the round. The same way that the World Cup revisited its tie breaker rules after a game was won with penalty kicks, the US Open should revise its poor sportsmanship rule. This is of course coming from a mom who does not play tennis and did not have the opportunity to watch the video, although I may go to youtube shortly.

I don’t want to watch the video while the babysitter is making bottles in the other room. Having her work in the open apartment and be able to glance at what I am doing or at least hear sounds from the computer forces me to at least appear productive, hence no youtube or crossword puzzles.

Kanye West stole Taylor Swift’s spotlight at the VMAs Sunday and later went on Leno to apologize. He admited to being drunk that night and responding to Jay’s question said he had not had time to mourn his mom’s passing in November. I never thought I’d have so much in common with a superstar rapper. I know we lost our mom’s in different ways but the tragedy still stings. I miss my mom so terribly. I believe she would be proud of how I am conducting myself professionally and personally.

I know she would delight in my kids and wants to be here for them and for me. But I know she does not *need* to be here. She has given me tools and skills to help me tackle it all. While I am freed from her definitive and sometimes oppressing opinion/ advice, I want her here.

On a recent afternoon I could not get my daughter to sit in the stroller or walk home and I was expecting a visitor. Walking along the river promenade past tables and chairs littered with people who were free at 4:00 in the afternoon I lost my temper. “It’s enough! It’s enough! It’s enough!” I screamed lifting my daughter in my arms. Strangers from every direction put down their books, paused on their computers, interrupted a cell phone call to stare at me. That was plenty of witnesses for me. While it was not a huge deal I’m glad I do not have to answer for that moment or watch it again or cringe knowing my friends could view it on youtube.

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To Be or not to be

September 9, 2009

Labor day has come and gone without much fanfare which was more than fine. Usually the holiday was just a reminder of everybody having more fun than me but this year I did not feel like I was missing out.

My husband had the week off leading up to the long weekend and he encouraged me to treat it as a true vacation. It was bliss to really just be together as a family. Naturally, I miss my mom more than anything and the awkwardness of being in her house without her and knowing she will never come home is subsiding. I am more in love with my husband than ever and not just because he helps me cope with my dad.

I constantly struggle to be with my father. He is my dad. He did change my diapers and come to my school plays (then comment how insignificant my role was and wondered what I did at all of the rehearsals). He has a tally for all of the selfless things he has done as my father and believes that I should be indebted to him because he answered the call of duty, or doodie when I was a baby (Bad pun, sorry.)

But it’s not selfless if I am forever indebted to him. While he remembers every positive thing he has done and has virtually no memory of the negatives or gets hyper defensive when I mention them, he remembers the opposite in others. He can still cite feeling slighted when my brother over a decade ago did not spend time with him because he chose to be with his girlfriend. Now my dad will have some greater explanation on why this is, our cousin was in town and blah blah. And in my dad’s memory my brother is completely in the wrong and he, my father remains infallible. It ceases to be fun.

My dad can justify insulting and demeaning his kids. “I didn’t call you an asshole. I said you are acting like an asshole.” Regardless of his word choice, I don’t want to be around that berating.

Yes, I know I’m lucky to have a father who does love me and shows me in his convoluted way and wants to be with me, hence the struggle. I just don’t like putting myself into situations which I know bring out the worst in me. I try not to let it get to me and keep everything in perspective, but I’m a fallible human being.