Monday, February 27, 2012

Quality over Quantity

Call me stupid, but I’ve always been an advocate of quality over quantity.  It was ingrained to me at a very young age by my mother who would espouse the adage ‘you get what you pay for!’
And let’s face it; it just makes more sense.  Those shoes you paid a bit more for will generally last longer; the hems don’t fall down on pants or dresses; the cloth is nicer so doesn’t pill or drapes better.  And most importantly, you can see quality – the cut is better.
This may sound like a lesson in fashion and finance, but it’s not.
This was the Squeeze’s weekend to have the kid.  Generally, he would get up and some ungodly hour on a Saturday morning and drive the 1.5 hours to velvet land; watch the kid play cricket while suffering through the tirade of what a lousy father he is and what he owes, what he can do, what she wants...  Then he would bring him back to our side of town.  We would get the Saturday afternoon and evening and all of Sunday prior to him loading the kid and paraphernalia into the car again and heading back to velvet land to drop him off to the Harridan and suffer through the tirade of what a lousy father he is.
This weekend, the Harridan decided that as there was a trivia night run by the velvet wearing cricket club, she would keep him home Saturday and the Squeeze could pick him up on Sunday so as to go to a boxing match with us.
All fine in theory...  But the reality is never quite as good. 
Firstly, in the morning, the kid tweaked his back on the way to cricket (don’t ask me how you can injure yourself on the drive there) but he was unable to play cricket.  This would be fine, but neither the Harridan nor the kid had the decency to text the Squeeze to tell him not to bother with the 3 hour return drive.  Why would she?  She had worked herself up into a frenzy over the tent and how the Squeeze is not paying her enough and she needed him to turn up to the cricket so she could belittle him (and regale me afterwards) with her misinformed list of entitlements.
Then they went to the trivia night; and came equal last (gee, there is a surprise...) 
The Squeeze had advised of a station and time for arrival on the Sunday morning because I can’t’ stand ‘disorganisation’ or ‘on the fly’.  I’m a project manager – my planning and time management skills are second to none.  Even if that wasn’t my profession, I was raised with serial killer precision.  My sister has a spreadsheet for everything!   I need my day structured and worked out.  10am, off to train at boxing.  11.30 am home to shower and dress.  1pm, grab kid from station.  1.30pm, attend boxing championships across town.
But add the Harridan into the mix and any organisation goes out the window.  There was no way known that she was going to let the Squeeze actually organise anything, so she shot off a series of text messages attempting to alter stations and arrival times; anything to ensure we had to drive further and guaranteeing that she was the one in control.
They are always worded the same; “if you don’t do what I say, it is because you are a pathetic father...”  Obviously, she is “keeper of the knowledge” and he is “Mr. Retardo” so she must control and explain and dictate the most simple of tasks.  This time, we must drive much further to pick the kid up at a station of her choice...  Why?  Because the kid had a sore back.
Weirdly, his sore back was obviously of a variety that meant he couldn't sit on a train for half an hour, but he could spend a couple of hours sitting at a soccer match later on in the evening.  Go figure...
So we spent 2 hours in a stinking hot car and by the time we finally had the kid, he is snarky because they have planned that he would go to a soccer match with Kid 2 at 4pm – and I’m adverse to this because I’m not driving across town, paying $70 to go to a boxing match and then having to leave at 3.30 so as the kid can go to the soccer; especially given the fact that thanks to the train debacle, we won’t even get there until 2.30.
The Squeeze, sensing my annoyance escalate and noticing the mulish set to my face, understands that when we get to the boxing, it matters not – I’m not leaving until the end.  I will stay there even if it kills me.  I will be the last man standing.  I didn’t arrange the soccer, they didn’t even bother to call and discuss soccer – it was planned and then pitched over the fence at us like a hand grenade.   
So the Squeeze elicits a choice from the kid – boxing with us or soccer with the brother.  There is no “both” happening here.  The kid chooses soccer and we drop him at Kid 2’s place while the clock continues to tick to the point where I almost feel like saying “let’s just go bloody home!”  We had been dicking around going from station to station and across town now for 2 hours!  The kid gets out and we head off to the boxing which was unbearably hot but fun.  Since we are late, it's standing room only and there are a whole bunch of tall people in the way!
The kid get’s in the door about 8pm and heads directly for the bedroom.  That was the extent of what I saw him for.  One car ride.  One walk through.  The Squeeze got to add to that a mix of “Hurry! Move it! Come on!” to him as I was leaving for work this morning and then a 20 minute drive to drop him at school.  Oh, and he got to iron the kid's school uniform that came scrunched up in his school bag; there isn't even a clean pair of undies bought...
Where in all that, was even one minute of ‘Quality’ time?  Given that, why the hell did I endure hours of stress as the witch mucked us around and sent dictator texts into the night, the never ending list of instructions!  Just once, I’d love to reply to one of her “make sure you charge his phone and make sure he goes to bed early.  He can’t be tired for school and the phone needs to be charged to coordinate our pick up!” (Sorry; I wrote that in English.  She actually used her normal “caveman” ‘wot u do fekun idot’ – which seriously makes me shudder)...  
Anyhow, I would seriously love to reply “please shove your advice sideways... up your arse...  with a pogo stick!  And learn English or do not text us!  I find your lack of English skills deplorable!”

Ahhh it makes me smile just thinking about it...

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Thanks. Better check it out but it should be up today!