Friday, May 30, 2008

Just another modern American family

Whew. The wedding is over, and it was divine. No gumball wedding here, thank God. I don't think I could have survived another one, especially on so little sleep. The ceremony was flat-out perfect, from the exquisite outdoor setting in a gazebo in the hills of southern California, surrounded by jacarandas, tropical flowers, and ferns, to the elegant sit-down dinner with champagne toasts and strawberry cream wedding cake.

The backstory on this one is more interesting than the details of the wedding. As I posted earlier, my lovely stepdaughter was a bridesmaid. The bride is her half-sister and my husband is the father of them both -- only he didn't know about the existence of his first daughter until she was 13.

The story is - my husband, while in college in California, had a relationship with a woman for a short while, which he broke off when he moved back to Indiana. After a few years back in Indiana, he married Wife 1.0, had a couple of kids, etc., you know the drill. He and I were working at the same company when we met, and one day I noticed a note on his calendar that he was flying out to San Diego. I asked him why he was going there, and he replied "I'm going to meet my daughter." The college girlfriend had been pregnant when they broke up -- and she kept the baby but never told him.

When the girl was 13, her adoptive father and her mother told her the truth about who her father was, and she wanted to meet him, so they tracked him down. She is a beautiful, terrific kid -- even more so because when she met her (bio) dad, she was immediately loving, accepting and mature about the entire chain of events. It was remarkable that at such a young age she was able to handle the upheaval of discovering that the father she'd known since toddlerhood was not her biological father, AND that she had two half-siblings she'd never met.

Couple this with the upheaval of my husband's divorce from Wife 1.0, due in part to Wife 1.0's inability to accept that her husband had had a previous relationship that produced a child, and drunken rage and wild accusation that he may suddenly leave her to go back to California.

Then I come into the picture after the divorce from Wife 1.0. After a couple of years, we marry, and suddenly we are the Brady Bunch with two kids each from previous marriages, working hard to mesh the whole thing together with the fewest possible snags. It's never been easy, but it's been worth it.

So there were numerous players at the wedding: the MOB (who my husband hadn't seen in over 20 years), the adoptive father (who was friendly and kind and just about to break down as he walked the bride down the aisle), my husband, (who was also weepy because he was torn between being happy she was marrying but wishing he'd known about her from the beginning), my stepdaughter (who loved suddenly having an older sister but was freaked out about being a bridesmaid and explaining to everyone in the wedding party about who she was and why she was there), my stepson (who is sweet and loving, but cluelessly focused on keeping his droopy pants above his skinny butt), the now 22-year-old bride (exquisitely balancing her extended family, new husband, and in-laws) and me -- watching the whole parade.

Isn't life strange. What looked like just another wedding was a family drama that you couldn't make up. This is why I can't get into daytime soaps -- what could be more entertaining than real life?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Here we go again

We're flying out to San Diego tomorrow to attend a family wedding. My lovely stepdaughter is a bridesmaid, so she is all freaked out about her dress and shoes and which bra is the right one to wear and how will she get her nails done, and zillions of other things related to her personal person. Me? Oh, I only have a few things to do before we leave the house tomorrow at 6:00 AM.

Work all day today
Laundry for me, Mr. Diva, Diva SD and SS
Pack for weekend
Take the dog to the Pet Hotel (!)
Cook dinner for guests coming from Tampa for the race
Lose ten pounds

OK, that last one is not going to happen. But it should, given the number of tasks I'll need to complete once I leave work. All I can say is I'm looking forward to falling into bed by midnight and getting up at 5.

It's a wedding, at least, so my hope is that I'll have something blog-worthy to write about. My neural synapses are misfiring by the dozens these days so my writing is pretty turgid, but something about the spectacle of a wedding brings out the zany in people and I can't wait to see what will happen. Will it be a repeat of the famous Gumball Wedding? We shall see!

Have a fabulous, lovely, relaxing Memorial Day weekend, y'all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hanging by a thread

Today is one of those days where I am just barely hanging on to my sanity. I'm afraid any moment now I'm going to do something crazy like stand on top of my desk and scream, or walk off a roof, or grab a bat and start smashing dishes. I am disgusted at work, frustrated with my daughter, and just seething with irritation.

You would never know this if you met me. I am calm and patient on the exterior (at least I think I am -- maybe I'm not fooling anyone) and I am 99% in control of my display of emotion. It's just my personality -- I don't do big shows of emotion. I think they're overly dramatic and queeny at best, and frightening and manipulative at worst.

I've learned over the years not to actually repress my emotions -- I allow myself to feel them, but in a way that doesn't force the world to observe. I deal with it by exercise, yoga, and relaxation practices, but today it just isn't helping.

It's just one of those days when I feel like I'm spending 90% of my day doing things I dislike. Is this all there is? Spending 23 out of 24 hours a day dealing with shit just to have an hour of peace?

Being a working mother is SO GODDAMN HARD.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Random frustrations

  • I either have time or money. Not both. If I'm working, I have no time. If I'm not working I have time, but no money.
  • I have a ton of the most fabulous materials now to create more of my jewelry, but hardly any time to do it. My creativity is drying up like a used condom.
  • I want to plant a nice garden and mulch all my flower beds this weekend. The deck needs to be scraped and re-stained. Both of these things could be done by hired help, but Husband 2.0 wants to do it himself so it's "done right." Gah.
  • Trying to cook healthy meals from scratch so my kids have some semblance of what a normal home-cooked family dinner is -- is stressing me out. Could we all sit around the table and drink Ensure together?
  • Parenting teenagers is at least as hard as parenting toddlers. I adore my kids, but their incessant needs make me want to go hide my head under the covers and say "go away, your mother was kidnapped by a group known only as 'Elves for Elvis' and is being held captive until you are 18 or away at college, whichever comes first."
  • I want to work out five times a week and get thin for my trip to Playa Mujeres this summer. I could get up at 5:00 a.m. every day to do it, but I am as sluggish as a horseshoe crab that early. Plus, sleep deprivation turns me into a raving bitch.
  • Desperately need a tan, hate self-tanners, have no time for tanning booth, plus it will give me wrinkles. Solution: caftans?
  • I can do my job at work in four hours a day. But I have to work eight. The other four hours are a waste of time, which makes me insane because time is what I need more of!! If they'd pay me twice as much, could I work half as many hours? Answer: No.
  • Blogging my frustrations makes me feel and look like a negative, pessimistic whiner. All of these are First World problems. Solution: move to the Third World? Answer: no (see kids, above.)

Suggestions are welcome.