Mixing things up today..took Madeleine to the doctor this morning and then spent coffee time with her talking about her hopes and dreams and giving her relationship advice - ME, giving relationship advice - now that may be a flawed concept! And this is what I heard coming out of my mouth. "Don't worry about the whole game thing, playing hard to get, trying to manipulate events. If you feel like speaking with him, don't worry that you're coming on too strong, just call and be yourself. BUT, have a ton going on in your life so that you are self-regulating. If you're working on your music, hanging with friends, working, going to school, spending time with family, you won't approach your relationship with deficits and that means your communication will be natural and healthy. He also doesn't want Madeleine to be his girlfriend - he just wants the benefits. I told her that, as much as I love PatrickI, if he came to me and said his feelings were still the same, he didn't envision a future for us but that he missed me and wanted to spend some time together while he pursued other women, I would say no. I wouldn't allow myself to be downgraded to a friend with benefits.
Birthday dinner with Catherine last night. After I wrote the post yesterday, I approached the event with resolve to be the kind of mother she wants and needs. She and I don't spend much time together and I suspect our relationship is a disappointment to her. Her friend Christine joined us and they chatted merrily about their relationships, their artistic endeavors, the non-profit that Catherine works for, their jobs and more. What she wanted from me was for me to sit quietly, admire her, listen to them, keep my mouth shut except to heap praise, make comments of appreciation and then pay the bill. It's not that much to ask for, right? For your mother to be your cheerleader? She doesn't want to know me. She hates it when I sing, doesn't like anything I write, refuses to discuss my personal life with me and is disinterested in my work. So, wow - when I'm with her I have to leave my person-hood at the door. I have only one role - being her mother. I don't know if I can define myself as just someone's mother - it's a fraction of who I am. This is hard. Sarah got a C- last night. I tried to sing her Happy Birthday (to her horror), I mentioned the two Patricks (to her disgust), I talked about my blog (to her disinterest). Sarah=invisible when I'm with her. Fading. Fading.
So weird. NewPatrick and I talked again last night for hours. Turns out he know my brother! They are artistic peers, working in academia with the same focus - electronic arts. One degree of separation! I googled him and watched a video of him giving a lecture and smart Sarah was totally lost....seriously I understood about every 10th word. They say people with a 50 point difference in IQ can't effectively communicate. I'm worried! He is scary smart, and I'm just pretty smart. We'll see - maybe a date on Saturday.
I'm thinking a lot about art lately and specifically art in motion. NewPatrick's focus is performance art, interactive art. The book I'm reading the Family Fang is all about disturbing performance art (making people uncomfortable and capturing it on video). The father Caleb, takes a vase and throws it against a wall and announces to his children, "You just witnessed art." He then picks up the broken shards, holds them out to the children and says, "This is NOT art.". In the Elegance of the Hedgehog, the hero discovers life meaning by witnessing frail changing beauty....a rose petal falling from a flower onto a table, the blooming of camilias on moss - transient beauty. And I always come back to the scene from American Beauty where a plastic grocery bag dances in the wind and the beauty of the wind dance is captured on tape as art. I hate fake flowers for the same reason...they are an offense. The beauty of flowers is the witnessing the unfolding from newness to decay. My friend Carol told me of a party she went to where the stunning decorations were all dead flowers, artfully arranged. Flower corpses. Spent beauty.
I think I know why Joey was given up and sent to the shelter. I think he is a molester. We may have a problem. First, is it normal that he goes into the shower with me and insists on licking the water off my body? It's disturbing, right? No boundaries, that one. And just today, I discovered him with one of Madeleine's old Madeleine dolls in his possession. I'll let you be the judge as to whether he is a pervert or not. This is NOT a doctored photo. This is what he did to the poor thing!
The challenge today for me is balance, balance and more balance. I asked NewPatrick what attracted him to me. He said he loved that I sing jazz, that I am smart and fun, a good listener but most of all that I seem "to be firing on all thrusters". I accepted the compliment but knew that I'm not firing on all cylinders these days, never mind thrusters (which sounds like the difference between a car and a rocket). The loss of PatrickI has been very destablizing, devastating - has made me question everything and not all in a good way. It's time for me to pull out of that miasma and start firing on all thrusters again. I will always love PatrickI, that's a given, but I need to remember, he didn't choose me. Someone else will.
Your challenge is keeping your balance even though the season is changing on you. Accept the loss of summer. Be energized by fall. Get out your fall clothes. Change up your exercise routine. Think about picking apples and going to football games. Get outside and soak up some nature. Look for beauty in motion.
Picture is from last night - Catherine and me. We look a lot like each other, yes?