Archive for the 'Valentine’s Day' Category


Mama Bear’s First Date

After updating my Facebook status with today’s bit of bitterness, I realized that I still am not ready to watch the news again.  I cannot talk about anything current if I am banning the news – which I am – so gotta talk about Mama Bear and Daughter Number One.

She went on her first date for Valentine’s Day.  I have anticipated this event, expecting to wait another year or two, but Number One has begun to date Mr. Wonderful.  My husband and I adore this kid; he golfs, skis, travels, ballroom dances, and has the most impeccable manners.  The manners have been impeccable since third grade when we met him.  He has also looked at Number One with sheer devotion since third grade.  Did I mention that he’s grown up to look like Christian Bale?  No mother could deny her child a budding romance with this young man, and I had no reason to.  Their match is a parent’s dream, other than the fact that they have not yet crossed the threshold of fifteen, which is why the young man’s dad arranged to drive them to and from the movie.

Enter Mama Bear.  I always think I am rational, but lately I have had to rethink everything, including my sanity.  It started with a phone call from Mr. Wonderful’s dad.  He wanted to check with me because he had been called away on business so he made arrangements for his close friend of over 20 years to drive the kids.  He made the arrangements, he said, because he didn’t want to deprive his son of the first date experience.  He felt it was important that he set a chivalrous standard for his son and ensure that the young man knew it was expected that he pick up his date.

It is evident that this child has been raised to be chivalrous.  The poor boy has run, on more than one occasion, from one end of the school to another to retrieve Number One’s books, violin, lunch box, or otherwise.  He always opens her car door and he greets me with a smile, look in the eye, and firm handshake.  Considering this example set over the past six years, I made the obvious assumption that this man had not made arrangements to ensure these teens had a date.  Instead, I was convinced that he made arrangements to sell them into a life of pornography.  I replayed our entire conversation again and again in my head until it became undeniable.  It never entered my mind that I read too much.

I hung up the phone and went back to my reading.  For a while.  It was only a matter of moments before I had unraveled his plan, so I got to work.  Thank goodness for the internet.  I discovered that Mr. Wonderful’s dad owns a publicly traded company – 10,000 shares issued.  See?  Obviously a bad man.  I read the articles of incorporation and discovered that his company is a subsidiary of a larger, international corporation.  A corporation that performs background checks.  I was convinced that he had something to hide.  Thanks to Google I confirmed the location of his company and the parent company, headquartered in Denver.  Both offices are in high traffic areas.  Definitely a front.  I zoomed in to look for the rear exits.  Found one!  I continued digging.  Board members.  I looked into each one and searched for any off-shore ties.  One of them has written papers on human resource issues.  Likely story.  They are surely practiced in the art of mind control, I determined.  I mulled over whether or not I could live with myself if I allowed my daughter to go on this date and something happened.  I imagined myself, depressed and swallowing everything in my medicine cabinet, unsuccessful in my own attempt on my life.  I imagined the ambulance coming, the neighbors watching.  Nosy neighbor down the street would be shaking her head.  This would be no way to go, with her shaking her head at me, so I went to my husband and explained to him that if Number One were to go on this date, she would be sold into sex slavery.  He tried to send me shopping.

I didn’t bite.  Instead, I spent the rest of the day steeped in worry.  Number One was unconcerned.  She had no first date jitters.  I asked her what she planned to wear and she said “this.”  That was right after she got up and put on jeans and a t-shirt.  I suggested a shower and a shirt with buttons.  Then I changed my mind.  Buttons?  What was I thinking??  Much easier to stay in a t-shirt than a shirt with buttons.

Finally the big moment came.  Mr. Wonderful showed up at the door.  He greeted us, then Number One, then Berlin (if you are not versed in my family tree, Berlin is the vivacious little sister in the story).  He told my husband that they would be seeing a two hour movie, probably two and a half with previews and he would have Number One home right afterwards.  My husband looked at me with that “don’t be crazy” look that I hate so much.  I barely noticed because I was getting my shoes on so I could follow them.  I waited for them to get halfway down the street, then made a break for my car.  Intercepted.  There was my husband, right in the middle of the hallway, waving my keys at me (I only have one car key since I got mugged while Christmas shopping).  He quickly stuffed the keys down his jeans, knowing I would let it rest.  The keys.  I let the keys rest right there.

And I waited.  For two hours and fifty-seven minutes I sat in the chair in my living room window.  Then she came in.  She was flushed and smiling and just beautiful, even in her jeans and t-shirt.  And she was safe.  This is the very moment we worked so hard to prepare for, stepping out into independence and having our complete trust.  It seems she is well prepared, too, but what we neglected was to prepare ME.  Nothing could have prepared me for the gripping terror that came from watching my heart walk out the door in the care of a neophyte.


Driving Around the Big Love Billboard

I have nothing to say.  I don’t even know why I am here, on WordPress, on this day with nothing on my mind.  This holiday, Valentine’s Day, is the worst.  Tension rests over our house today like London fog.  My husband is lying on the couch, not knowing what to do.  He wanted to go to the movies and I declined, obviously hurting his feelings.  I just feel bad about it.  But this day is just a big reminder, a billboard we can’t seem to drive around, forcing us to recognize what we do not have.

For the last few years, well, 14 of them actually,  pretty much since the day we woke up as husband and wife, we have abused, neglected, and mistreated our marriage.  Finally, we decided to stop behaving so badly.  But it’s not that easy to just about face in a relationship.  We tiptoe around each other, praising the progress we’ve made like a cancer patient who finally starts to re-grow wisps of hair.  She is becoming herself again, but it will still take so much treatment and care to restore her that she may not survive.  Those last four words, I think, are destroying the relationship my husband and I have.  As we have tried to mend our relationship, it has been a joy to feel like a family.  We attend events together, eat together, and watch some TV together.  But we both know that if we talk, the pain is going to surface and that is something we just may not survive.  When we go out, we go with books.  When we watch TV, we are each on our laptops. 

Today we have to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Somehow we have to address the state of our feelings.  Overall,they are good  – better than ever.  But if we misstep and are forced to look underneath, we may find ourselves back in chemo and I don’t think either one of us is strong enough to weather it this time.  It is somehow lonelier to be in a tremulously healthy relationship than it was to be in the dying one, the one filled with fighting and selfishness.  Now, all that is exposed is how far apart we are and how difficult the journey will be as we try to find each other again

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