At the moment, he's out to dinner with his father and grandmother. Even though I know it's irrational, I'm feeling excluded. The birthday weekend has gone exactly as planned. He had a few friends over on Friday night. Most left when the Dungeons & Dragons game began in earnest sometime after midnight. Two die-hard friends slept over because they were engrossed in the game. By noon, Velvet had started his homework. By 4:00, a different group of friends came over for a serious D&D game that lasted until 6:00 today with a brief recess for sleep from 6:00 - 11:00AM. I made him get up to eat cake.
Before and After
It was a small but festive occasion with very close friends from the Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp. Most likely, Velvet's father was feeling excluded.
Being divorced is a drag. We'd still be married if Buzz Kill hadn't let the apartment go into foreclosure so many times. The only way I could take over the mortgage and protect the property was to get separated. For over a year, Buzz Kill refused to fill out the financial paperwork necessary to separate in NY State. I finally had to file for divorce so that the court would require him to submit the paperwork. Then he lied, and the court sent in an independent accountant to determine how much money Buzz Kill was hiding in his business. That's when things got ugly.
In the end, divorcing was the right thing to do. We may not be together as a family, but at least our home is safe. It's still a drag, though.
When Velvet was blowing out his candles, it would have been nice to share a proud moment with his father. That can't happen, and I'm already dreading Freshman Orientation. If Velvet goes to college in Syracuse and I take him up to school, it's going to be a long, lonely drive back to the city - unless Buzz Kill decides to come along which could be worse. Certainly people who are still married when their kids leave home are just as filled with isolation, anger and resentment as Buzz Kill and I are. Not all marriages are happy, but I wish things were different.
I'm not saying that Buzz Kill is having fun at dinner because Vagina Dentata is there, and going out to dinner with Vagina Dentata is excruciating. I'm afraid that Buzz Kill has brought his girl friend to this family occasion, and that makes me feel like there is a substitute mother at the party.
The worst is having to be mature around Velvet when I'm feeling irrationally disliked, replaced and all together shunned by people I don't even want to be around in the first place. It's more difficult to be mature when I'm exhausted - which makes me teary - because the dang kids kept woke me up every two hours during both nights of the D&D Marathon. They were well behaved and within normal parameters. It's just that when you live in an 1100 square foot apartment, there is no escape from ordinary noises like laughter, doors opening and shutting and toilets flushing. I'm too damn old to be waking up every two hours all night for two nights in a row.
Despite our failings, Buzz Kill and I must have done a few things right because Velvet has turned out fine.
I'm trying to hang on to that feeling of accomplishment right now. There was one very bright spot in an otherwise rough week when the Mad Priest over at Of Course I Could Be Wrong put me on his prayer list. They were having a rough week too, filled with personal loss, but he took the time to ask for prayers of thanksgiving in my behalf after reading what I said about getting out of the Looney Bin (Stonerdate 3.29.09). Imagine folks all around the world thanking G*d for Trish. Even if you don't believe in G*d, it's pretty amazing to consider.