Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good Morning, Starshine

Velvet did not move home last night as planned.
I was exceedingly disappointed, furious, and an argument ensued.  Apparently he didn't realize I was making a "holiday" last night because I was under the impression he was spending Christmas Eve and morning with his dad and Christmas Day with Cupcake's family.  Not wanting to add more pressure to Christmas, on Wednesday when all this information was coming to light I said that Christmas is just a day like any other, and we'd have Christmas another day. Velvet appreciated that, but evidently did not notice when I said we'd celebrate the new age last night upon his return.

He went out drinking with friends from high school.

I have no problem with Velvet going out to party after he's been studying diligently for a couple of weeks.  I do have a problem with Velvet ditching me at the last minute when I've been excited and making small preparations.  The important word there is SMALL.  My kid has ditched me enough in the past so that I've learned not to go too far out of my normal way unless he's personally involved in the preparations.  I'm convinced the only way he knows something is actually going on is if he's personally involved in the preparations.

As it happened, I appealed to Buzz Kill to help sort out the trouble, and Buzz Kill did.  There's evidence of a consciousness shift of galactic proportions for you.  Buzz Kill being a sympathetic advocate for both my position and Velvet's is a big deal in and of itself.   That I appealed to Buzz Kill is particularly significant, although at the time, I was just following an instinct and didn't really notice I was on a different path.  During the course of my conversation with Buzz Kill, and subsequent conversation with Velvet, I learned that I was not spending a solitary holiday after all.  Velvet is planning to be here, and wants a tree and everything.  He was surprised that I didn't realize he'd be around, and that since I thought he'd be gone, we were having a holiday last night.  He remembered no talk of a solstice holiday at all whatsoever.  I pointed out that he didn't remember because he was so busy being a smart ass to Cupcake about the end of the world instead of paying attention to what I was trying to communicate when we were on the phone to begin with.

I'm not pissed off anymore because the lesson here is that Velvet and I need to set up some ground rules.  Reentry can be a tough period in relationships, and it's been six months since Velvet and I lived together.   Setting rules and defining expectations was pretty easy when Velvet was a little kid and even when Velvet was in High School (examples:  Grounding Velvet, Stonerdate 06.11.09; My Son the SPED, Stonerdate 05.16.10; and most memorably Hot Boxing the Bathroom, Stonerdate 05.11.10).  Now that Velvet is practically grown to be a man, I find that instead of just flipping my lid like I did when he was a kid, I get all bent out of shape because he's acting like every man who disappointed me or let me down - which is to say:  Every man I've ever known.

*Note* No disrespect to men.  My reactions are my own responsibility, so the issue is not men.  The issue is my reaction.  *Another Note* I'm willing to wager most men could say the same thing about every woman they've ever known.  Disappointment is not gender specific.

I need to deal with Velvet like Velvet - not like I would deal with a man even though Velvet is a man.  Further, every man I've ever know was not my child, although I'm sure there are plenty of men out there who feel like women in their lives treat them like children.  God knows Velvet is bent because he believes I treat him like a child.  I would argue that I treat him like an asshole, and there's a big difference between children and assholes.  Children act like assholes occasionally, but those instances are generally mistakes or accidents.  Accidental Assholery, if you will.  Assholes (or Ass-Wholes, as my buddy Woody likes to say) are complete assholes all the time.

Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters in Harlem is an Asshole Free Zone - that's why Notta Goodman, should he turn up like a bad penny in a few months when he's gotten tired of banging bimbos in the flyovers, is not allowed to cross the threshold.  His assholery may have been stress induced and therefore temporary instead of Complete Ass-Wholery, but from where I sit, it looks like he's as narcissistic as The Narcissist.  Interestingly, I noticed the other day that when I got involved with each of those AssWholes, I was on heavy pain medication.  I had just gotten thrown off that horse and dislocated the shoulder in a major way when I met The Narcissist, and last year when I met Notta Goodman, I had just had surgery and a biopsy on the very same shoulder.  With The Narcissist, it was Vicodin.  Percocet with Notta Goodman.  Not to mention the level of pain in the first place or else I wouldn't have been on medication at all.  With The Narcissist, there were all those psychotropics, too.  You have to wonder if my judgement was altered by all those meds - although I have to say that until I met The Narcissist, I had never been involved with a complete asshole before.  I had known a few assholes in my time, for sure, but they were people from work and stuff so I was able to keep my distance.

By the time I met Notta Goodman, I had enough sense to recognize an Ass-Whole.  In retrospect, he turned out to be a lot like Doublewide (Shatiking Strikes Again, Stonerdate 11.15.08).  When I first met Double Wide, I had something to say about his behavior.  Because he hated to be seen as an Ass-Whole, he took steps to change my perception, but only because he didn't like being seen as an Ass-Whole.  He didn't mind BEING an Ass-Whole at all.  I'm sure his wife would concur.  The same applies to Notta Goodman.  When I raised an issue about him treating me as if my house was the drive-through window at Dairy Queen, he jumped into Damage Control mode and sucked up to me for a little while.  Once I bought his story, he reverted to his typical behavior.  From there, I saw enough similarity to The Narcissist to understand I was working out my own shit on Notta Goodman.  Narcissists are great tools for working out your own shit because their egos are so impermeable that no one can do any lasting damage.  The damage was done when they were kids, most likely by narcissistic parents.  In any case, there's no reason to be involved with a Narcissist unless (1) you're related and can't get out of it or (2) you get off to being a supply source for an emotional vampire.

It's also interesting to note that narcissism is developmentally appropriate in teenagers and young adults, so it's difficult to make a definite diagnosis of narcissism until the age of 25 or so - which brings us back to Velvet.

When I went to sleep last night at 11:00ish, I set the alarm to wake me in time for the great galactic alignment from 2:56 to 3:04am eastern time.  I woke up when the alarm went off, but then I closed my eyes for a minute and didn't wake up again until 3:18.   I figure that was the Universe telling me that the energy burst lasts for three days, so it's no big deal if you tap into it at midnight or at noon.  In fact, the energy is there every minute of every day.  We may be getting a direct hit from the black hole at the center of the Milky Way at the moment, but the Force is always there.  It always has been and always will be - or from a quantum perspective, it simply IS and there is no such thing as time.  We connect any time or all the time.  Ergo:  if 3:18 is just as good as 2:56 for The Force, then Saturday morning is just as good as Friday night for Velvet.

There's also a certain symmetry to Buzz Kill being the first man in the apartment (not counting contractors or Velvet, who I still have trouble thinking of as a man despite all this manliness).  It's a good thing that the conflicts between us have been resolved.  The Buzz Kill cycle is complete, much like the 26,800 year cycle our solar system just completed.  The men who passed through my life in the time since the divorce are part of the Buzz Kill cycle, too.  I think The Man fits into the cycle which could be called In the House of My Father.  My dad always looked at my marriage to Buzz Kill as a transaction in which I was moved from his payroll onto Buzz Kill's.  That's Patriarchy in action, and I confess I like the level of protection and security that goes along with being under the protection of a Patriarch, especially someone like my dad who considered himself a Benevolent Monarch.  He wanted his grandchildren to call him Most Revered Patriarch, but they just call him, "Scott."

Dad will be the next man in the new apartment.  He's coming up shortly after January 1st to take care of some carpentry and decorating details I left to him and my mom.  I'll go down to Texas at the end of January to get my mom.  She doesn't fly, so she and I are having our first Mother/Daughter road trip.  Whenever we've gone on a road trip before, it was a family event.

I'm glad that Dad and Buzz Kill have been the first men to cross the threshold because it establishes that I'm a Nice Girl - which is important in the Patriarchy.  And even though last night we shifted into the New Age and are in the process of leaving the patriarchy behind, facts are still facts when it comes to social conventions.  Now that we've established that I'm protected by patriarchs and am not to be trifled with - we can get on with the rest of the story and see just who will be the first man in there new apartment as a romantic interest.

Woody says that some famous academic believed that there are only two types of stories:  A Stranger Comes or A Call to Adventure.  I've issued a call to adventure to that artist who lives up in the woods, but I'm not sure he noticed.  I try to be subtle which means I'm so indirect sometimes that my message is unclear.  Or then again, I may have been bold as brass, and the artist isn't into the idea, or isn't ready or whatever.  It's hard to know what's up with people you've never met in real life.  It's hard to know what's up with people  you've known for twenty years.

I was talking with Gwendolyn and Nicole the other night on Here Be Monsters about how we ground ourselves to connect with The Light.  From what they said, it sounds like both Gwen and Nicole imagine the Light coming from their hearts and going up to the stars, around the planet and back to their hearts again.  For me, it's more like the Light starts to shine from my heart, then it expands so that my body dissolves, becoming Light and joining the Light.  There is no me, no Gwen, no Velvet, no artist in the woods - there is only One of us.  We're all The Light, and the Light is Love.  So like Bob Marley says, we're all One Love, One Heart.

I figure the best thing I can do is let light shine, and one day, someone will see it and show up at my door.  We'll make a story - mine begins with A Stranger Comes and his with A Call to Adventure.  Since I always like to go back to the intersection of Real Life and Fairy Tale, I'll use the movie Stardust as an example.  Yvaine provides a model for letting that little light of yours shine like a star.


Since it is Christmas time, after all, we may as well take the star idea on back to Jesus and with Wise Men.  All I have to do is shine, and a wise man will turn up.

Another story that resonates for me right now is Under the Tuscan Sun.  After her divorce, Frances restores an old house just like I am.

By the end, her every wish has come true but her life doesn't look a thing like she initially imagined which shows that when you get stuck on form, and time is a form too, the universe can't respond with any accuracy.

From a feminist perspective, it's kind of a drag that Yvaine only starts to glow because of the prince and that Frances' happiness is not complete until there's a man in her life.  Nobody can make another person happy.  We do that for ourselves, and until we're complete in and of ourselves, we can't fully relate to another person.  Nevertheless, theres'a lot to be said for steady, emotionally connected sex with a person you respect.   

Addendum:  Woody has informed me that the second kind of story isn't A Call to Adventure.  It's Someone Goes on a Journey.  I expect I've just come home from a Journey which is why when I think of a romance or a partner, I think A Stranger Comes.   Peter Pan tells us that all of life is an adventure, and I nearly always subscribe to lessons learned from Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the rest of the crew in Neverland.  Dorothy proves that everything you need is in your own backyard, and we can always rely on lessons learned from The Wizard of Oz.  

Now that Velvet is home and we've discovered that the Chinese restaurant we liked best at our old home on Central Park West delivers to our new home here on Sugar Hill, we're settling in nicely.   We got the Wii hooked up to the TV in his room so we can stream Netflix and watch whatever we feel like whenever we feel like it.  It comes to my computer in the dining room/office too, so that's all the TV there is in the house.  Velvet and I like to watch movies together, and as it happens, he likes Stardust too.  I'm betting he relates to Tristan, the handsome, harassed young shop clerk who is truly a heroic king.

He and Cupcake spent the night here last night.  I have to roust them soon because the artisan from the tub refinishing company will be here at 9:00am.  The advance woman - a knowledgeable Latina about my age who gave me a hug when she heard this apartment is the first time I've had a home of my own instead of one dependent on my father or my husband -- convinced me that the tub should be refinished.  One single word sealed the deal:  Fungus.  Fungus grows in all those little cracks.  My mother says I can just squirt them with bleach - but I'm not comfortable with the idea of my bare ass on bleached fungus.


Blogger Cali said...

I thought my son was going to be at his Dad's for Christmas Eve, which is the "big deal" part of Christmas in my family. English matriarch, English traditions, I guess. But we ate turkey and ham for Christmas dinner, probably because it costs a lot less to feed 20 people turkey than it does to feed them standing rib roast. But I digress.

The Kid told me yesterday that he is going to be here for both days of Christmas, which is great, but not what he told me last week. Up at his Dad's house there are half- or step-brothers, their wives/girlfriends, their kids, a whole bunch of friends, his step-mom's family, and all tolled up over 20 people. As he said, "It's not like I actually get to spend any time with my Dad, he's too busy hosting a huge party. Besides, it leaves you here alone."

Honestly, I hadn't thought he'd noticed that part. I didn't complain last year when he was gone for BOTH days of Christmas, I just rolled with the flow. I didn't see a single other human being in the flesh either day. And it wasn't really awful, it just wasn't really Christmas, either. Nonetheless, I'm glad Velvet's going to be with you for Christmas. And I'm glad Kendall's going to be here with me. :)

You know, I've always wondered why men have treated me like a Dixie cup, and I think you gave me the answer: I didn't have an involved father or even any brothers. There was nobody to answer to when they hurt me. The only one to ever run off a nuisance man for me was my mother. I'd picked him up at the bar shortly after I turned 21 and hadn't yet developed my skills in letting certain men know that they were one night stands. He drove up to my house one day and my mother heard me say, "Oh, god, not him!" and asked me if I wanted him to be gone for good. I said yes, and she went out on the porch and told him she didn't allow her "underage daughter" to date men twice her age and that he should get the hell out of here before she called the cops! Yes, she lied, but he sure was gone! He couldn't get out of there fast enough, and actually squealed his tires on the way out!

But then, I recently got sent in a new direction with my mother. I was half paying attention to Dr. Phil as I was rambling about online. He was talking to some woman about her awful mother. And then he did a little assessment test for narcissism. I played along. Turned out my mother had all but two boxes out of eight or ten ticked. It was as if someone had turned on the lights and I finally was able to see for the first time! I FINALLY understood the reasoning behind her competitive behaviors. She was always prettier than me, so at least that wasn't a competition. But everything else sure was. She made sure I knew that she as smarter than me (+3 IQ points,) her divorce was nastier than mine, even though my father was in the Army in North Carolina when she divorced him. Her miscarriage was more horrific than mine, even though she hadn't even known she was pregnant at the time and it was solved with a D&C and I was 18 weeks and had to give birth prior to my own D&C. She was better at everything, blah, blah, blah.

Any conversation, no matter how benign, often ends with her sneering and me crying. She will tell me that she is willing to cover my medical costs that Medicaid won't, but then hems and haws and makes me beg. And then she complains that I don't want to spend any time with her. Well what sane person WOULD?

So now that the situation has been made crystal clear it is much easier for me to deal with her. I set limits, and she either follows them or she doesn't see me. At Thanksgiving, for example, I told her that I didn't want anymore crappy casino buffet food--ever. Her birthday was two weeks ago, so where did she want to go for her birthday party? That's right, the casino buffet. But I didn't go. And I will stand my ground on that, too.

December 22, 2012 at 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I read this yesterday, and there were lots of things to say, but none came out articulately. So I YouTubed "Good Morning Starshine." At the risk of sounding trite, thanks for that. xo

December 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

I'm with you 100% on the casino buffet boycott, Cali. It's a perfect place to draw the line.

Thanks, Jennifer. Sometimes it's impossible to say what you want to say without sounding like a Hallmark Card. Broadway Musicals almost always provide a solution!

December 23, 2012 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger intelliwench said...

Thank you for stopping by - I appreciate the gold star, and I'm sure you don't award them at every whim.

So glad you are getting settled into your - YOUR - place. What an excellent way to begin a new year. And best wishes to you during the Mother-Daughter road trip -- I'm good for about 25 miles in the car with my mom before I feel like driving into a tree!

Love, light, and holiday cheer to you, m'dear!!

December 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

Nevertheless, there's a lot to be said for steady, emotionally connected sex with a person you respect.

You got that right sister! I hate that getting sucked into the story only to find out the story is bullshit.

Also, I want emotional connection AND sex and sometimes the emotions are there but not the sex. When momma ain't happy--NOBODY be happy--that's all I'm saying. :)

December 26, 2012 at 1:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I enjoy your writing so much. I'm glad Velvet and Cupcake were there for Christmas.

December 26, 2012 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Intelli - it's the very BEST way to settle into the new year, and the new age

Libs - I'm glad to see you! Here's to having BOTH very soon

Susan - I am very eager to meet you in real life next week. Imagine!

December 26, 2012 at 9:11 PM  

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