Friday, March 9, 2012

It’s all in the Breeding

Last night we went off to a school concert to watch a bunch of nerdy kids, all dressed in black and playing instruments.  These are the kids that back when I was young, may have gone on to obtain greatness however, you know that there is a world of torture going on before they get to that point.  At the half time break, one kid walked passed me actually wearing sunglasses.  It’s night.  You are inside.  Get real.
I’m not overly fond of the whole school concert/play thing.  I never have been.  I didn’t like being in them when I was young; didn’t like going to them when my kids were at school; dislike it even more now that there isn’t any cute little kids dressed as the grub in Alice in Wonderland or Earth shattering talent to be found.  The whole thing is full of nepotism and unrealistic demanding mothers.  I go for the same reason I went every other time; because you need a united front of support for kids. (And when I was young I was forced to.)
I always know I’m going to be in for a fun-filled, thrilling school adventure because the Harridan will be there; and fronting up to any event is proceeded by the never ending list of orders and instructions that come via text message.  In this instance, it was “pick up kid 3 from kid 2’s place (we are talking across the city via peak hour traffic), buy black shirt and shoes and get kid to the venue by 6.15 and then take kid 2 back home to the other side of town; and I still don’t have my epi pen!” (Rather than the 233 characters I’ve just typed, the message would have been 90 given the “ugg-caveman-wot-u-fkwit” speak.
She seems to miss the point where we actually work for a living, and this is surprising, given her “two income” comments that comes out on the occasional monetary argument.  So you would figure that she would understand the implications of us just walking out of work whenever she feels like it...   I mention to the Squeeze that he needs to reply to say “sure, bring our epi pen and we can do the swap”.  I also point out that although the kid’s is in my bag, we are not handing it over without the return of ours – if that occurs, then we are not having him this weekend.  After all, they are her ‘rules’; he wasn’t allowed to come camping with us unless the Squeeze turned up holding the epi pen in his hand like Oliver asking for more – as proof we actually had one.
Although it takes a few more harsh words than it used to, to get him out on that ball performing in the middle of the circus tent; years of obedience is hard to shake, so although he has vetoed the pick up; I notice that new black stuff and am told that when we make our escape, we will be driving back to the city to drop kid 2 off.
In short, she is like any good negotiator.  Ask for more than reasonable, and if you get most, you are winning.
I have struggled in the past when the Harridan has put on her performance for anyone that may be watching.  She goes out of her way to prove that she has no problem with the Squeeze being happy, in a relationship and moving on.  At soccer last year, it was a very chatty and loud “let’s all go for coffee!”  My face must have been priceless and I’m not sure how I refrained from actually saying out loud “I’d rather be dead…” because the week previously, she had inundated him with screaming, abusing, text messages that repeatedly told him what a pathetic, useless, uncaring father he was.
This has every protective instinct in my being rise up Joan of Arc style and I would love nothing better than to whip out my sword or leap across a room Wendi Deng style.  It isn’t like I wouldn’t love to say exactly what I think of her constant demands and spite; I would.  But in the end, it is about two things.  Good breeding and the kids.  I say exactly what I feel via my blog so I don’t need to be either rude or friendly to her.  I remain on the steady course of civility.  Nothing more, nothing less.
So after leaving the soccer, we were literally laughing our heads off at the ridiculousness of her even attempting to pretend that she doesn’t wish us both dead.  Even though we didn’t start seeing one another until 4 years after the final, legal end of the relationship, it is like acid to her.  His happiness is her kryptonite!  She can grin at him like an evil clown and say “I’m happy you are happy”; even while wishing she was pulling his entrails out through his nose.
Last night, it was the opposite.  She walked up to us standing in the foyer drinking coffee.  A happy little group consisting of the Squeeze, myself, Kid 2 and his gal, plus Kid 3 laughing about a television series – and pushed herself in, changed the conversation and was very, very careful to make sure she didn’t look at or acknowledge me in any way.
It is quite simple in my world.  I don’t like you.  You don’t like me.  That’s fine.  But face to face, with the kids, you retain civility.  They are her kids and if she wants to teach them rudeness, that's fine I guess.
I assume the discourtesy was designed to make me feel uncomfortable and ensure I stayed at home (where I belonged) the next time.   Sorry, you have to do a little better than turning on a show of rudeness and ignorance.  Blended families are strange things.  I love and support the Squeeze which means I do belong there.  I like his kids and have spent a great deal of time with them, which also means I belong there.
I have also just spent an hour washing Kid 3’s clothes that were dumped here last night.  Why an hour?  Because they required 2 washes with napisan since the Harridan obviously can’t work a washing machine and they could have stood in the corner on their own they were so filthy.  And if nothing else – that entitles me belong there.
There is a fine line between ‘fake’ and ‘vulgarity’ and the Harridan does not possess the common sense or good breeding to walk that line. 

How do I maintain my civility..?  Because the Squeeze is mine...

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