Saturday, February 4, 2012

Reflection on a Sunday

Defining Demographics of the Matron's Household

Control Freaks Living in the Moment

Matron John

He Who Cannot Be Named
(HWCBN) Merrick (aka Meatloaf Head)

Scarlett (Diva)

Above would be the blueprint of the Matronly life.

Yours truly doesn't wake in the morning and wonder what the day will offer: what bounty, what trial, what unexpected surprise? No.

She wakes to the tune of the Master List. The goals! The tasks! The small pleasures! Everything tucked up tight into a timeline and made Reality just because she wrote it down and said it should be so.

Have a conversation with the Matron? A need, desire, query? Why that's easy because the Matron KNOWS WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SAY. And if you don't say it as she anticipates, she'll pretend you did anyway so it just doesn't matter.

So the Matron has the world by its tail, tucked in and ordered. Welcome to it.

The only problem is . . . so do Scarlett and HWCBN.

Let's just say that when you have three taut, immovable parallel universes spinning in a single family home there is bound to be collisions.

Here goes the Matron running her ship. Here comes Scarlett steering hers. HWCBN navigates down the middle. Take any topic! It's fun! Really -- it's very, very exciting when any everything in the universe is subject to consternation and contention.

What's for dinner?
Who's running for city council?
Why can't the Green Party ever win.
Time for laundry.
Satan's Familiar needs a hefty cloven hoof clipping
Time to vacuum
Where's the pizza cutter?

"Mom, why is your shirt untucked?"

"I like my fork slightly to the right of my plate and not the left."

"This cup has a little smudge on it."

"Where's my yellow shirt? That's the only one I'm wearing on Mondays."

"Can we move the shade up a quarter inch?"

"There's a thin film of grease on this piece of chicken. Who made it?"

"Is this a new kind of water? From the faucet? It tastes funny."

Matron to John: "This is making me crazy! Why can't they be more like me?"

John: "You said that on purpose, right?"

Matron: "What do you mean? Of course I said it on 'purpose.' Of my own volition."

John: "I mean, you crafted the sentence for ridicule, right?"

Matron: "Hmmm."

John: "Because they are exactly like you."

So three in the household barrel through each day Agenda and Idea writ large, battling for command of the universe. All of the universes, that is.

While the other two?

Living life from their psychological hammocks. Well, well outside of Matronly Control.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

(Un) Grateful

Yours truly woke up: off.

Not on the wrong side of the bed. No, she was all cozy in her proper little corner, Satan's Familiar at her feet and Merrick (He Who Climbs Into the Parental Bed at 5 AM Daily) at her side.

Mind you, these three bodies were on 1/8th of the king-size bed. John somehow requires the rest.

She digresses. The message? The poor path was established early on. The Matron was grumpy.

The outfit she had carefully mapped out the night before? Entirely untenable in the daylight. Ugh. After some closet ransacking, just ONE skirt and shirt out of a closet of dozens would do. Clothes didn't fit, purse was wrong, earrings blah-blah. It was like PMS without the actual time in the cycle.


She felt smug with her eventual wardrobe success. There's nothing liking looking good when you don't feel good. It's a narcotic. Until she was walking into her classroom and noticed the Grand Canyon-size hole in her purple wool tights, a convenient inch above her knee and well below her skirt. No amount of tight scrunching would do.

And one of her braids had come out.

The Matron spent quite some mental energy on Mood Arrangement. She reached into her little Self Help Toolbox for the big guns: gratitude practice, living in the moment, calming breath, guerrilla meditation.

Until she started preparing her Women's Studies lecture with its statistics on female life expectancy and childbirth rates. Let's just sum up the day's lesson: live in one of many African and Asian countries and you have approximately 6.8 children and die at 43.

Ah, but the Matron was not to be deterred by reality! She recalled a theory that the psyche follows the face. Smile, and if the world doesn't smile with you, at least your mood will improve. Alas, smiling while reporting said statistics to Women Studies students is bad pedagogy. Instead of feeling better, everybody (including the Matron) was just confused.

But the Matron was determined to be in a good mood. Goddamn it.

Pushing through to the positive is exhausting but yours truly persevered. Not to be beaten, rise up, think happy -- even as Utter Futility made itself clear, she continued. Red lights, dropped purse, forgotten lunch, lost keys? Be in the moment, Matron : -).

Sitting through a loooooong middle-school choir concert (but Scarlett had an amazing solo!! certainly everyone else loved it too?) and later tedious parent meeting about a mishandled school crisis ? Radiate loving kindness. Good practice opportunity, right?!


Wiped out from all that feigned happiness, she was trudging toward her house when. .. . really: she was attacked by a dog.

This was not Toto on a rampage, folks, but an enormous German Shepherd breaking free from a semi-shut door to maul the intruder (this would be the Matron) on HIS sidewalk. Maul, he did. The Matron oversize dense wool sweater saved her but not her shirt underneath, which was ripped to shreds --oh, and the bleeding bruised meatball bites on her arm.

The Matron? NOT HAPPY.

Sometimes you just get to be pissed off. And she realized that's just where she belongs, in the bleeping moment. Throwing off that serenity mask felt wonderful.

And the canine menace next door? Work in progress . . . rabies vaccine documentation en route (supposedly up to date) and big promises of more secure home fortress. Animal Control has been queried (they're useless). The Matron's arm is bandaged and soaked in antibiotics. She sees the doctor tomorrow. Still. As far as she's concerned, the Devil Lives Next Door.

Next to Merrick. And yes, she's in a Bad Mood.