Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not all gloom and doom

You know, I think a lot of people don't realize that G and I have a pretty good life. They envision us living under a pall of sadness, crying all the time, and we don't -- we do errands and see movies and go shopping and goof around and chill out at home just like everyone else. G is a normal, happy kid who is involved in activities and has playdates and sleepovers with her friends. Our house is a normal house with school fliers on the fridge and family photos scattered around. Sometimes there are moments when we're reminded that other people's families are different -- I'm thinking of a recent letter from the PTA that moved me to send an e-mail pointing out that not all kids have two parents at home -- but those moments don't come every day, or even every month.

Do we miss P? Of course we do. (Well, I do; I'm not sure how clearly G remembers him anymore, although she does make a point of marking his birthday on the calendar every year.) Do I wish he were still here? Absolutely, especially when something unexpected goes wrong, or I want to share something that only he would understand. But I've figured out how to make things run pretty smoothly most of the time, flat tires and cat vomit notwithstanding, and if you could watch us on a hidden camera, all you would see is us living an ordinary life, with an ordinary mix of fun and stress and boredom and excitement.

I don't think people get that - not so much the ones I interact with every day, but the friends and relatives I don't see very often. They imagine that our life is still as grim and joyless and desperate as it was just after P died, but it isn't, and it hasn't been for a while. And I wish I could help them understand that it isn't as bad as they think, and they don't need to worry, but I don't know how. Maybe there is no way.

On a concluding note, here are G's new Halloween toe socks. You can only be so miserable in a pair of socks like these:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Conversations with G

Listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack:

Me: Who would you go with, Raoul or the Phantom?
G (deadpan): I'd pick the one who's not evil.
Me: Yes, it's always a good idea not to have an evil boyfriend.
G: Or a scary one.

Walking through an outdoor shopping center:

G: Are those hats fedoras?
Me: Yes.
G. Oh my God! I need one.
Me: Where would you wear it?
G: To school, of course.
Me: Don't you think people might find that a little peculiar?
G: So?

At the movies:

Me: You have to go to the bathroom before it starts.
G: I don't need to go.
Me: Go anyway. Do it for Mommy.
G: You are not my mommy. You're my annoying mom.
Me: Good! If I never annoyed you, I wouldn't be doing my job.
G: Aargh.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

P would say she gets it from me

Things G is currently obsessed with:

* Marilyn Monroe, and specifically Marilyn's famous rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," which she has watched approximately 20225058 times on YouTube.

* Whether I can make an exact replica of Marilyn's pink strapless evening gown for her to wear at Halloween. (Short answer: No.)

* The title track from Phantom of the Opera.

* Getting a golden retriever puppy and naming it Penny Olivia Ophelia Pauline Stephanie Isabella Elizabeth, so its initials will spell POOPSIE.

Right now she's pissed off at me because I made her stop watching a 35-year-old documentary about the making of Young Frankenstein to do her homework. Life at our house is very strange.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Makes me happy

While cruising around on Facebook, I discovered that the least popular kid in my junior high now has a wife and an adorable little girl, and appears to work for one of the big Silicon Valley tech companies. Yay for him!

And thank God your position in the seventh-grade pecking order doesn't determine what the rest of your life is going to be like. Can you imagine?