When good parents go rogue – Horror at Quiz Night

Yesterday was Monday. Yesterday was a fucking horrible day. not a nice word, I know. but it was. It shouldn’t have been – it started so well with a meditation and action. I 5,4,3,2,1’d myself out of bed to do the morning rituals I aspire to do. but then I remembered that I had to take my daughter to school. and as I remembered that I remembered the quiz night the Friday night before. It was an innocent quiz night to raise funds for my daughter’s school. a little Montessori preschool. Why would the memory of that make me cringe and squirm – no one’s general knowledge can be that bad right? We’re not talking a Mensa quiz night.

it all started when my ex-arrived to join myself and my mother to represent our family at the quiz night. when I say arrived I mean kicking and screaming really. id begged him to come with me. It’s pretty crap doing everything alone within a school environment. let me say now if it wasn’t clear – he didn’t want to come. he called when he was on his way to say I d better have a whiskey and a coffee ready for him when he got there. I jumped to it- old habits die hard. Of course, my instinct said that’s a worrying beginning but my mind said ‘you don’t want to go alone, you don’t want to go alone”  needless to say one whiskey turned into him polishing off half a bottle of my finest whiskey before we even left the house.  He’s a huge man with a huge personality and very dominating presence – something that can be very attractive when he’s in a good place and terrifying when he’s not. tonight he was not.

By the time we arrived at quiz night he had laid into my mother, insulted me, dredged up the past and reminded us how he was a hapless victim with me as the evil villainess. sounds dramatic and ridiculous. sounds like I’m making it up? YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS SHIT UP. By now I’m wishing he wasn’t here, hoping he won’t make a scene and behave badly and inappropriately. So what ensued was pretty much in exact contradiction to my wishes. He proceeded to drink a large amount of red wine (always a super combination with whiskey) get loud and belligerent, insult two of the teacher’s assistants, shout, fight with a father at the end of the table, threaten to take it outside to the car park, throw something across the table at him and tell a complete stranger in the parking lot that I had stolen his sperm.  Yip – that was quiz night! So, now you understand why come Monday morning the simple act of taking my daughter to school was the ultimate walk of shame.

As the horror unfolded on that Friday night and I kept trying to appease and placate him I wondered why I had been so determined that he come, why I was doing the same thing I had done our whole relationship which was to try and keep the peace and pacify the monster when he showed up. I wondered why I didn’t grab my mother, walk out of the quiz night and leave him in our dust. I suspect as amusing as this story is on some levels that that question is a very important one for me to answer for myself and may unlock the door to a new and brighter future where I chose a different kind of man.

 

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I Really wanted him to Call…

I really wanted him to call. I really wanted to not want to care if he called. but I really wanted him to call. Suddenly I’m a teenager again not a woman of 40 plus with my own business and a child. Just like that. Overnight. Suddenly all the insecurities crowd in and you remember that love is so very scary, that you’re so very vulnerable, that far from being euphoric there’s a lot that feels a lot more like cruel torture. But then you also realise that you feel alive again. Yes, it may be uncomfortably so, but you’re awake, you’re tuned in again, life has taken on another dimension that you had all but switched off.

He may never call. The fantasies that I had conjured up after one brief meeting in an alcohol fueled conversation over several hours in a bar may be the alchemy of absurdity but it doesn’t matter –  even though it feels like it really does. There are people out there is the message. After years with one person its difficult to believe that there is life beyond – that perhaps I can still meet someone who will love and adore me and right back at them. I’ve got to be brave. I’ve got to resist the temptation to pull my head back into my shell and say ” no no its too scary, i’m too vulnerable, this is bullshit and i dont need it.” I’ve got to keep living authentically, keep striving for what i want, working toward my dreams and love will find me if my heart is open and my soul is true.

but this isn’t just about me. It’s about you too……….

Not Quite Martha Stewart

In my more dreamy moments i imagine myself as a sort of Martha Stewart meets Gwyneth Paltrow. I imagine a home that is perfect – tidy, tastefully decorated, always with fresh flowers, gorgeous scents pervading the air and obviously masterchef culinary delights effortlessly pouring forth from the kitchen.. And some of the time I even come close to creating that. I love nothing better than entertaining – love to have guests over. love to plan the food, try exciting new recipes and create a wonderful environment. The bottom line is I like a good party, so last Sunday i invited some dear friends over for mid afternoon drinks, snacks and a bit of a catch up. I also invited newer friends who are set to become great friends I feel. Sunday morning was crunch time. its a newly bought home so there is a bald patch in the lawn that i’ve been meaning to get grass for, for 2 weeks. Naturally my little tot was duly bundled into the car at 09 O Clock Sunday morning so that we could go and procure some lawn. from there straight on to Yoga while the grass steamed the back window of the car in the muggy heat.

Feeling stretched and ready to conquer the madding supermarket crowds we made our way to the shopping centre. But someone wasn’t feeling it like i was. Someone was in a pretty bad mood and actually pretty darn tired. Someone who is usually an adorable strawberry ringlet curled little girl was very cross. And she wanted a chocolate biscuit.

and she’s two and three quarters and there is little room for discussion when its about a chocolate biscuit. Eager not to give into bribery and a rising crescendo of wailing shouting and face slapping (um thats my face she was slapping btw) and because the queue for checkout was about 3 miles long (well it felt like that anyway) i was forced to ditch the fully loaded trolley and retreat to the car and home.

Angel fast asleep…. time ticking. Right – get the lawn in. Picture it – racing around with wedges on trying to plant strips of lawn. I mean what was i thinking? Anyway its done…guests arriving in 2 hours. no food or drinks. no way i can wake Angel up and take her to the shops. Panicky situation for me. But real panic. Things will not be perfect, I will not be ready. And then I had an epiphany. So they’re all going to know I’m not perfect – but there is nothing I can do about it. It just is what it is.

Reaching for my lifeline i text my bestie and ask her to come a little early so i can run to the shop before anyone else gets here. And she offers to do the shopping for me. My heart melts, I marvel at how blessed I am to have a friend like that and I realise that once you are vulnerable – once you let down the facade of having it all under control 100% of the time the world comes in to help you. Needless to say we had the best afternoon. the shopping arrived after the new friends did which meant i actually had no drinks or snacks to offer them for half an hour and you know it was fine. Infact I kinda think it made the afternoon more special. the pressure was off – the guard was down, the laughter rang out and eventually the wine flowed.

Success all round.