“I am going to work on this house! Clean! Organize! rearrange!”
“I need to get this kid out of the house and doing summer stuff which will tire us both out to the max so we can couch-binge Netflix during the evening until bedtime”
Eldest made stew. We do this occasionally… usually as a duo. He made this wholly on his own. Which is why it has okra. Which means I will not eat this.
He was a crucial part of my growing up from obnoxious teenager to starry-eyed young adult. I had met a lot of musicians and actors but meeting him nearly made me faint. I Ardently loved him for what he did. I didn’t want to be a groupie, I wanted to sit at his feet and learn.
I don’t tell too many people this but when I did get to hang with him in person (I’d talked to him on the phone a few times before) (i’d also technically met him in person but at the time all I could get out of my mouth was “that was a great show” while staring) we talked about a lot of things and he told me he was managing a new band in New York. HE ASKED ME IF I WANTED TO MOVE TO NEW YORK TO BE IN THE BAND.
Sadly, at the time I had no desire nor means to move to New York, but I’ll never forget that My hero, Glenn Branca offered me a chance to be his protege. But I was intimidated. Yes, Me. I was so terrified by the notion of failing in his eyes that I said “oh wow, no, not right now… maybe in a year?” I said no because I wasn’t ready for that much change.
The band was named Rat At Rat R and I have two albums by them. I liked them but they never really took off. It doesn’t matter; Glenn Branca did a lot of work and I could have POSSIBLY worked with him. I could have massively changed my life by moving to NYC and joining some band he produced. But it just didn’t seem like a rational thing to do. and I was absolutely petrified at the notion of doing something with that much expectation. I was 17. I was just happy to be considered his “biggest fan…. possibly my only fan haha”
I’d written to him a few times after that and always received cordial replies. I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of the email I was using last time I emailed him.
But it doesn’t matter that much…. I let him know how important he was to me and that’s ALL that ever mattered to me when I met my heroes. Just to give them the validation and appreciation they had earned.
Oh Glenn… I hadn’t talked to you or even checked out your new work in a while but I will always love you. With all of my starry-eyed, hungry, girlish heart.
There comes a time when you are ready to get up into someone’s face and very carefully, very clearly, with all the gravitas possible, say to them “I have had enough of your sadistic shit and I’m not going to put up with it anymore”. I’m certain everyone has that point. Maybe most of you never get to that point. Maybe some of you get there far too often and begin to question your emotional stability. But everyone has that point, somewhere.
For most people, those of us who have a dollop of empathy in our psyche, that point can actually come on behalf of someone else. Perhaps you are an animal lover and have gotten there when you saw a defenseless creature being abused. Perhaps you have a special place for children and got there when you saw someone threatening a child. Maybe it a bit a nature – you couldn’t stand to see someone tromp on something that does nothing but bring joy and beautiful.
Whatever that place is, you are ready to take a blow for your anger. You are so upset, so incensed at seeing this injustice that you won’t even weigh the possibilities anymore. You won’t be worried about being hurt, you won’t care about who will be angry with you or mock you or write you up or whatever, you are just DONE with this crap and you aren’t going to take it anymore. When that moment comes, you will feel many things – fear, defiance and of course righteous indignation and anger. Maybe even a tiny delicious bit of a thrill, because there is a bit of exhilaration at finally reaching the end point and being free of the constraints of mundane decorum. It’s liberating – to use a cliche as it was intended.
This is normal and expected and probably accounts for at least half of the appeal of “good guys versus bad guys” stories. At least. In a way, it’s not even interesting to talk about.
What is interesting, however, is not even what that point is for different people, but how they measure that point, What makes them reach it. It’s not so much what is it that particular person holds so dear as to warrant this reaction – because we all have it in us, so we can all empathize with the turning moment which comes to define a “hero” – it’s how did this person get here? What were the stepping-stones to finally cross that line? And lastly, the question that consumes us becomes “once you cross that line, how far have you swung?”
its weird being single mom again. or rather I guess I should say its weird being a single mom who is *old*. No, I know 50 is not really that old but becoming a single mom is something I did in my youth- I was barely out of my 20s and it was perfectly acceptable for me to go dancing and partying and hooking up every night that my kids were gone. At my age, nobody would look sideways at me for doing the same now I suppose but it would feel different (it wouldn’t be new) and also its not what I want to do. I don’t have the same energy levels or good health that I did back then too so there’s that slowing me down.
WHat’s really different though, what really matters this time around is how I feel about everything else. WHen I was a single mom before, I cast aside the notion of companionship as some kind of luxury item I had no time or patience for. I couldn’t see much advantage to having a partner other than emotional and possibly financial. Eventually I decided to try again for both of those reasons and really not much else. I wanted certain things in life that are far easier to get when you have a decent partner. I also wanted a friend to come home to every night. It was something I had gotten used to with all my roommates and I wanted it again. My second foray into domestic bliss went even worse than my first. I suppose some of that was simply due to our different aims. I got what I wanted from teh arrangement but I had to deal with all the messy details that come with having a partner. I didn’t MIND the details themselves, but I did very much mind the person I ended up with. His version of love, partnership and commitment are very different than mine. So another attempt at partnership failed.
Looking at it now, I realize that what I want out of partnership at this point is a *very* different thing than what I wanted the first time I got married. Its very different than what I wanted the second time. Its very different than what I wanted the two times I entertained the notion but did not complete the act.
So this time around, being a single mom has a very different flavor than it did before I got married the second time. OBviously there’s a grave differnce in how parenting is for me as well: I’m a different age, in a different circumstance and have kids who are very different than they were back then. The world is somewhat different too but really not that much. Not enough that I can point to that as being part of what makes my experiencce feel so …odd.
I often wonder how odd I really am… how many other single moms are there out there who have grown kids AND a elementary age kid? How many are geeks? How many are bisexual? how many are monogamous? How many are starting a second career? How many have experience with chronic health issues?
Its not that I think I am so terribly unique (beyond the obvious) but that I wonder how this oddness keeps me from connecting.
When I was younger, it was easy for me to float through different cultures and subcultures – I was a retail store manager and wore a femme suit every day to work. I was a shooter girl in a strip club and rocked the “whore look” every night. I was a student and threw on whatever smelled reasonably fresh. I was a class mom and wore suburban blah-clothes. I was a weekend Goth and had a good collection of black dresses and boots. I was a baby butch and sometimes stepped out as a man.
Now I just want to find a group I can chat with and not worry about how I look, whether I have the right clothes or attitude. I just want to feel like I already am “there”
So every day I start over with what I’m going to present as.. am I femme? Butch? Tight-ass corporate? slightly slutty? Haphazard egghead? Wise crone? Ditzy student? know-it-all mom?
I don’t know… I wonder if all those years I drifted through groups I was wasting my time.. did nothing leave a mark on me? Why do I feel like i have no culture of my own?
I thought it would at least be parenthood… but that’s not working either… I’m older, uglier, more tired, less intense and less patient than every other parent I meet. Children are the only thing in my life that has never stopped being important to me yet I still don’t feel like I really fit in with other single moms….
…. who will I be tomorrow?