Sunday, October 18, 2009

Drama in Riverdale

Every mother has known mommy rage ... you walk in the house and think, "How many times have I --?" or "I thought we agreed that you would --" Most mothers play roles as mini-dictators in the house. We are anal, we are organized, we are Time Nazis. We expect the trains to run on time. When they do not we ... freak.

Yesterday, I had an episode of mommy rage of volcanic proportions. We had a busy day planned. We needed to be in Markham for a special birthday lunch by 12.30p. J had her first babysitting gig that night and she was a bit nervous. I had another commitment with friends to celebrate a birthday so R was going to act as reinforcement for J who was to go to a neighbor's house to sit few doors away.

I left the house early to run some errands and attend to some girl stuff because I am vain and selfish. Yeah I said it. I wanted "me" time after a brutal week.

This is what I saw in my mommy rage when I returned: as I strolled in the door at noon, I quickly realized that things might have gone awry. J was not feeling well and was sitting on the floor of her room (not dressed, thick pretty hair uncombed) quietly weeping because she could not find her other dress shoe. Her dad had placed it near the door but she didn't see it.

R was not dressed and was annoyed that I was having a Time Nazi fit about leaving for Markham. Yelling ensued. I yelled, he yelled. Then I shamelessly cried. For no apparent reason. R dressed in silence in our bedroom and refused to speak to me. He looked great, I felt I had to upgrade because he looked so nice in his black shirt and vintage tie. I went to change too.

We marched to the car in single file. R fuming, J sniffling - not feeling well, resentful that she had to go to this family event - me sulking and weepy. I felt my mommy rage begin to subside a little bit.

We snapped at each other a few times as we made our way up the DVP until J wailed in a fit of despair, "Please stop fighting!" That knocked it out of us. Even though R kept saying very formally, "Michelle, could you please hand me the cell phone?" or "Michelle, could you please put this in the back seat?" He was trying to provoke me a bit. (FYI - he never calls me Michelle in private, he always calls me Li, my family name. It's a Sicilian thing which I will explain another time).

We reached the country inn where the lunch was being held. There were lovely place settings and assigned seating by family. I switched name tags so that R was not sitting beside me.

My s-i-l said, "Why are you doing that?" I said, "I don't like R and he doesn't like me." I looked over at him; he had a beatific smile and looked gorgeous. She laughed, "But you are always so lovey dovey?!"

We all started laughing. Ha! Don't make me Kathie Lee Gifford the world sister. I don't want to keep yapping about how great my husband is. We have our days too. I don't want to pretend that everything is perfect. Look where that leads you: public humiliation when things go wrong.

Flash forward to the other birthday celebration at the end of the night: myself and three female friends are sitting in a quiet bar in Kensington Market. We are talking about men, of course, the perfidy of men, the dopiness of men, the inherent annoying masculine maleness of men. I had not told tell them my story about the fight because I realized in retrospect how unreasonable I was being earlier.

One friend turned to me and said, "But you hit the husband jackpot didn't you with R?" I guess my look was startled because we had had a difficult start to the day. She then said, 'Well ... didn't you?" But then I gathered myself and said, "Yes ... I think I did."

And I continued to think that all the way home.

No comments: