Friday, December 19, 2008



Last night? Was a rough one.

Dr. Matron had a long night. She closed out her Thursday night class. She learned how to slide in and out of the front seat belt -- in boots and bulky jacket at 3 degrees---without unbuckling said seat belt because it is broken. She carried around her equally kerplunked laptop, wishing and praying for it to reboot (sometimes it does).

So she gets home, weary.

There, Stryker is completely blissed out! Dog-sitting, shoveling and general house babysitting mean that child earned $150 for upcoming work. Money he had in his hand! Hooray!!

He had big plans for that bonus. He was going to buy the first thing on his Christmas wish list -- a Nintendo Virtual Boy -- the original Papa to Game Boy and all things gamey. These are vintage, folks, and nearly impossible to find.

But wait! He found one on e-Bay! For just $27!!

That child begged and pleaded to make the purchase. Remember, it is now 10 pm at night. But his parents put down their respective feet -- no purchases for one's self until after Christmas.

He refused to cease and desist. Indeed, he started raging. Yelling. He's heading the corner to his 13th birthday and he acted just about like you might imagine. Then, he informed the Matron that his plan was to be as OBNOXIOUS as possible and beg and hurl insults until the parents gave in. The other two children blinked, collatoral damage. Merrick couldn't sleep.

So this is what the Matron said. She gave this some thought; this was not off the cuff and she said it (fairly) calmly.

Matron: "Stryker. The reason we're saying no is that this is your Christmas gift from us. I spent 4 hours tracking one down, driving around to the northern suburbs and retrieving it. We already bought you one. Sometimes when your parents say no, they have good reasons you can't see. This was one of them."


He remains devestated this morning -- his Christmas ruined AND he feels incredible guilt AND he's furious with his mother!

She's not sure she made the right decision, but the deed is done. This whole mama thing isn't easy sometimes, is it?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Despair, Delight, Da Day

Yesterday, the Matron experienced Global Travel of the Psyche.

First, she woke an irritating reminder of her complete stupidity. A few weeks ago, the Matron burned her tongue, mouth and throat by drinking scalding hot coffee. More than once. As in, over the course of a couple weeks.

So there she was, with heartburn and a numb palette, querying her husband about said conditions. John stuck his finger in the steaming coffee cup and screamed (pretty much verbatim): "Oh My GOD this must be 212 degrees!"

A month later, and she's still healing. So her stupidity annoyed her, as she's not skilled at the masochism boogie. Anymore. But that's another blog post.

So one part of the day is a gray layer of "how stupid can you be?" which isn't much of a party.

Here's another overlay to the day: she has one million and three student essays to grade and nearly as many psyches to soothe. So this weighs as she drives Scarlett to rehearsal number two for the Miracle Worker.

Digression! The perils of being Helen Keller!

Thanks, Tom, for that giggle!

But this leads us to a Matronly fear. She has--upon more than one occasion but not in an obsessive way quite yet (but she is working up to that and plans to embrace this particular Stage Mother neurosis) --considered that the reviews for The Miracle Worker will go, so: "The production was stellar and the cast, perfect, with the exception of Helen Keller, who sucked."

It does NOT help the weak Matronly psyche, that this show? Rehearses for like 90 seconds before they go onstage. The Miracle Worker opens for previews on January 8 and there have been ZERO real rehearsals. Those start Tuesday.

But last week was a special, early week for just Helen, the director and Annie. Mostly, it was to orient Helen. Scarlett. However, the director CANCELLED the remaining four rehearsals after the first two, saying that Scarlett "simply does not need extra rehearsals. She is amazing." Well, whew. But the Matron remains dubious, terrified and on the edge of her seat regarding her child's ability to carry a show with less than three weeks of practice. So add that worried overlay to the day, too.

The other part of yesterday was anticipation! Saturday night was the First Ever Minnesota-Wisconsin Fabulous (Female for Now) Blogger Get Together, at Pop!! in downtown St. Paul!!!

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

Could she refer to herself in the third person all evening?

Wait! Then there's Christmas. How could she forget? There's the Holiday Tome to pen, presents to buy and relatives to placate! Oh dear.

Now, imagine the dear intrepid Matron, full of these complexities. She is worried about her body, her mental health (for being so stupid!), her students, her workload, her daughter, her upcoming scheduled psychological emeshment with said daughter and subsequent psychological collapse, and then there are the other two children who are also on her mind for their inability to walk past one another without attempting to prove whose testosterone levels were raging more potently at that moment.

She is having hot flashes.

Thus fully loaded --and in a coffee shop working while Scarlett is at that second rehearsal--the Matron turns on her laptop to get down to grading. Because she has those one million and three essays and all the rest.

That's right. Nothing. The screen stays black no matter how many times she removes the battery, thumps the keyboard and prays to St. Jude. That computer is over. Conveniently, all that downloaded student work, contact information, recent letters of recommendation, email address book -- lost-- just as the long dark descent into the final Student Research Paper begins.

Sample thesis statement of the day: "A mental illness is like an attack on the brain."

The real tragedy here, as the Matron sees it, is that she is now longing for the very essays that undo her to magically reappear on her computer screen.

Sitting in the coffee shop (where dripped espresso on keyboard had no visible effect), she did what any completely defeated woman would do. She called a girlfriend, who said "Mope or party, sweetheart."

So the Matron chose the latter, fully giving herself over to Saturday night's First Ever Minnesota-Wisconsin Fabulous (Female for Now) Blogger Get Together! She snapped, cracked and popped along with all the rest! And that wise friend? Came along in solidarity -- and support that the Matron didn't need.

Because these women rocked! There would be pictures, but that broken computer has many, many ramifications as she sits at the 'children's computer.'

So try some of these for Narrative and Visual.

From Wisconsin we had Angie of Are We There Yet? She is, friends. In every way. And, she's the photographer.

Bayou of born a girl. First-rate graphic designer!

Bayou brought along the lovely Kathleen, who just might be the ticket for Satan's Familiar!!

And from Minnesota!

A fellow colleague in the community college system, blogging from The Philosophy Factory. Good luck with that dissertation, sweetie!

There was Jennnifer of Stitch Simple. The Matron is SO uncrafty that she sweats in the presence of needle dexterity, so imagine her anxiety! You will salivate and fall over on that web site, if you're yarn-inclined.

Marti from Standing Still! Better yet, visit her online store. Oh my goodness! This is exactly the kind of thing that adorns the Matronly ear.

And Marti's friend, the lovely Liz. Don't be fooled. She handled her likker well. (yes, she did that on drunken purpose)

The best part? Despite being semi-strangers, with that virtual relationship and such, this handful of women? Immediately agreed to NOT blog about the conversation and dug, deep. Throughout the evening, a genuine, warts-anxiety-imperfections-and-all, woman to woman Discourse took place.

The Matron would be amazed but she has long known--that's the way the Female Organism works.

Mrs. G? A little artillerary of The Women's Colony started breaking ground on their cabins, last night.