Friday, December 15, 2006

Fleshbot and Positively Therapeutic

The week’s Sex Blog Roundup at Fleshbot commends the cats who stay light on their toes, keeping their minds clear and ready for whatever may come their way during the holidays.

Speaking of minds, I need a better frame of mine.

Beginning this weekend, and for the next three weeks, my den of iniquity will be transformed into a cheery bed and breakfast as I host a stream of family members. This means putting away the sex toys, condoms and lube, scouring the tiles and assigning sleeping arrangements that will often find me on the couch. This doesn’t bother me so much; I’m glad to welcome family home for the holidays.

However, it does make me grouchy that every time I say “see you later” to my friends and lovers, I have to add “some time next year.” With so many family obligations, it will be nearly impossible to socialize. Don’t even ask about sex—let’s just say that Rosie and I will be getting reacquainted.

Even that isn’t so bad. I mean, please, the action at my place during the other forty-nine weeks of the year leave me little room to complain about a holiday break. Why, perhaps I’ll even find it . . . refreshing.

What has me in the doldrums are the days I’ll spend with my ex. There’s no way around it: for three solid days, Christmas cheer will be mitigated by her icy stares and frosty words. She will make no special effort to put aside her rage to make the holidays more comfortable for the family. On the contrary, we can all brace for her annual outbursts and tirades, with yours truly joining her mother as a favorite target.

Even that I can stomach. Why, until the other day, I was preparing myself to laugh it off. Really, her hostility is so over the top, and so unwarranted, that it really is kind of funny.

But sometimes, I’m reminded that it’s not so funny at all.

Last night around one, I closed up shop to retire for the evening. The kids were nestled and I had passed a pleasant few hours writing, plotting a threesome, and cruising YouTube for Bing Crosby clips at Madeline’s suggestion.

With bedtime calling, I brushed my teeth as I reflected on my day.

Five minutes later, I was sitting on the toilet trying to calm down.

I had just cussed out Lucy in absentia, but good. My mouth was frothing with toothpaste as I watched myself in the mirror, lip synching an imaginary screaming match with the maniac it was my misfortune to marry.

I had hoped that the time of waking nightmares had passed, but apparently a few remain.

What sparked my sotto voce outburst was the upset of a recent encounter with Lucy and anxious anticipation that the coming weeks promise more of the same.

Jason has just turned thirteen. That’s right: I’ve now got a teenager under my wing, in addition to my distant teenage daughter Rachel.

For his birthday, Jason wanted a sushi dinner with the family. His mother and I arranged to meet at the restaurant he has favored since he was in diapers.

Jason was to arrive with his mother. They showed up late to find me waiting with Collie and Lillie.

I kissed my man and ignored Lucy’s look of evident displeasure at my presence.

We ordered California rolls for Collie, a spider roll for Lillie, and platters of the good stuff for the rest of us. As we waited for the meal, Collie picked up an earlier conversation with his mother. He wanted to talk about leadership.

“So you know how I’m a team leader in class?” he began. “What’s so hard is that when you are a leader, you have to listen to so many people. Everybody has to have a turn to talk.”

“I know!” Lucy agreed. “And it doesn’t matter whether what they say is smart or dumb. You have to listen and nod . . .”

“Exactly!” Collie said. “It’s so frustrating because you can be thinking ‘this doesn’t make sense, this is dumb,’ but you just have to wait and listen.”

“Well, you can also paraphrase,” Jason noted. “You know, that can help to summarize and make people get to the point.”

“What’s ‘para’ . . . ?” Collie asked.

“’Paraphrase,’” Jason repeated. “That’s when you repeat what someone else says, but in your own words.”

As the boys discussed leadership skills, their younger sister sat between them, listening but not quite following. She smiled blankly.

I was impressed by the quality of this conversation between two fine young men.

Evidently, so was Lucy.

“You know,” she leaned to me. “Lillie’s just not going to be as smart as the boys. She’s just not.”

I was taken aback. “Well,” I stammered. “She’ll always have her looks.”

Lucy raised a menu to her face so that the children could not read her lips. “No, really, I’m serious—she’s just not going to test as well. It’s a problem.”

“Hmmmm.” I sipped my beer to buy a moment. I changed the subject by asking Collie a question. Lucy joined in the boys’ conversation.

I smiled at Lillie.

Her seven-year-old face was frozen in a thought that she will one day articulate as what the fuck?

Of course she had heard the conversation. It was a small table. Even when hiding her lips, Lillie’s mother hadn’t bothered to lower her voice.

I regretted making a joke of Lucy’s comment, but I was at a loss for what to say. I only knew that it was an extraordinarily inappropriate comment to make about someone in her presence, much less if that person happens to be your child.

The comment was so outrageous that it needed to vanish. It needed to go back to whatever place spawned it and reconsider the possibility of its birth. I could not allow the comment to enter into conversation, even if only to refute it.

We simply could not have that conversation in this context.

Thankfully, the sushi arrived moments later.

What baffled me about Lucy’s comment is that it was so unwarranted. Lillie is a bright, precocious child. No one—no teacher, no family member, no one—has ever suggested that Lillie would fare any differently than the boys in school, or in any other facet of life.

I once heard someone say that if you raise a girl after having had boys, then it doesn’t matter how smart the boys are—you will realize they’re retarded.

That’s an old parenting joke, but I will say that once Lillie came along, we realized that the boys had completely ignored toys that were then newly infused with rich lives and multifaceted relationships by a girl who saw that everything is connected to everything else.

Still, if you had asked me which of my four children might possibly be the least mentally acute, I could only stare at you blankly. They are all very bright kids.

Forget how rude it was for Lucy to say such a thing. Where on earth did she get such a notion?

A little later, Collie proposed a toast “ to Jason and puberty.”

Lucy laughed and echoed, “To the first teenager.”

“Well, the second,” Jason said, holding his glass aloft. “Technically, Rachel is the first teenager.”

“Yeah,” Lillie chimed. “Rachel is our sister.”

“Your half sister,” Lucy corrected. “Let’s hope Jason turns out better.”

Collie looked at me and shrugged.

“We should all be so great and courteous as Rachel,” I said, a little pointedly.

“Yeah, you did a fine job on that one,” Lucy sneered. She sipped her beer and returned to her conversation with the boys.

If she had been anyone else, I might’ve called her to the alley for a fight.

How on earth could she find fault with Rachel? Assuming she could, why would any of those faults be attributed to me? Rachel was raised by her mother and stepfather, and Lucy had also been an adult in her life. I was in no special position to influence her for ill. My primary advantage in my relationship with Rachel was biological, and because I am her father, my daughter had always seen Lucy as a member of her family.

Then I realized the trait shared by both Lillie and Rachel.

They are girls.

I flashed on Lucy’s consistently argumentative relationship with her own mother.

Holy fuck, I thought.

If my life were a movie directed by Luis Buñuel, at that moment hooded terrorists would have stormed the restaurant, machine guns blaring. Patrons would have scrambled for cover as bullets pocked the walls overhead. The children and I would have sat unperturbed and quietly eating while beside us, Lucy’s body twitched with the impact of uncounted bullets.

In the next scene, Lucy would be fine. There were no terrorists. She would sit as before, talking and laughing with our boys, sure in the knowledge that her daughter, like my elder daughter, would never measure up.

After dinner, we said goodbye to Lucy. The kids and I began to walk home.

“Hey, Dad,” Lillie asked. “You want to hear a joke?”

“Sure, let’s hear a joke,” I smiled.

Lillie stopped and reached into her pocket. She pulled out a carefully folded Post-It Note. On the outside, she had written the word “joke.” She opened the note and read aloud.

“What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?”

“I don’t know. What time is it?”

“Time to get a new fence,” she laughed. “Get it?”

“I sure do, smart girl. That’s funny!”

That night, as my mind screamed at Lucy, I told her that this was it. Three years after the separation, we are finished. I had once hoped we could be friends again. But now, I’m biding my time. We have to raise these brilliant kids, but once we are done, you can go fuck yourself, you sorry, sick shit.

You don’t get to abuse them the way you did me.

I didn’t want to go to bed furious, so I returned to Bing. He brought out . . . well, you know who.

It was positively therapeutic.

Visit Jefferson’s holiday wish list at Amazon, brought to you by "a great game of golf, fellas."

My Wish List


BMJ said...

Reading about her cruelty knocked the wind out of me. It is, however, comforting to know that your kids have such a powerful ally on their side and that you will never give up on them, even though their mother seems to give up on anything she doesn't deem up to her "standards". Pathetic and absolutely contemptible.

On a positive note, "Elephant" was h-o-t hot. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

How could a mother say that about such an adorable, lovely child?? Horrid.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for fathers like you, sweetie.

Bad Kitty said...

I'm sorry she's so mean, and that you often have to be the bigger person. I am glad, too, that your children will have you to lean on when they realize what a bitch Mommy is. . .
Self esteem is such a fragile thing, it sucks when our own parents can't even foster it. Here's hoping that Lucy will realize how she's taking her issues out on Lillie before she can do too much more damage.

Jerry said...

Your ex-wife should be glad that your blog is written anonymously. Let's just say that some CSI team somewhere would be all up in my bidness when the body turned up if she were not granted the blanket of anonymity. She can be as bitchy as she wants about me or any other grown person to my face, but I will beat a bitch down if she talks shit about her own kids.

Asian Big Girl said...

She wants to be Bitch Extraordinaire? Fine.

The girls are *mine.* Well, as much as you let me.... ;)

I swear. She doesn't even *know* Lillie. I bet she doesn't even know the mexican hat dance.

Please. Just once. Let her say something in front of *me* about my favorite.

Beat her. With a STICK! A STICK, I tell you!!!

I mean, we all know I'm in love with your boys, but it's *obvious* who's *really* got me wrapped around her finger.

Lucy makes me beyond livid.

One day, you'll let me loose on her. I'll just sit here and go to my happy place thinking about how fun that'll be.

And then I'll buy Lillie that life size HK doll.... :)


Anonymous said...

Considering Bing's (lack of) parenting skills, including that clip with this post is sort of ironic (although I enjoyed it).

Maybe you could gain some solace by thinking about waaaay into the future, when anonymity is no longer an absolute necessity-- when you can give Lucy the link to Google's cache for this blog.

Jefferson said...

I added Bing for his art, not for his parenting, but I had considered that irony, Anonymous.

These days, you read that his late son's allegations are not entirely justified and largely a product of their times, as a troubled alcoholic cashed in on the flurry around "Mommie Dearest."

I'd certainly prefer my dad to Bing, but Gary Crosby's book is a poor legacy for the crooner.

Go right ahead and hate Joan Crawford, though.

And Asian Big Girl, you and I have a date for Lillie's eighteenth birthday.

Jefferson said...

I should also explain the phrase "that was a great game of golf, fellas."

These were Bing's last words, spoken as he walked off a golf course near Madrid. He had shot an 85.

How cool to be so cool you even die cool.

Asian Big Girl said...

Beloved, you know I've penciled in the date. ;)

Here's a frightening thought: We'll have lived through *each* of the boys turning 18 by then.

But oooh, I can't wait. It'll be like a super duper bday/xmas present all in one!

I'll just start making a list of what I'll say, starting with, "First off, you were a lousy wife and partner...." and go from there.

You can just sit there w/your buttered popcorn and watch as I rant at her for awhile.

But I solemnly swear that *until* then, I will restrain myself in public. I'll just stare at her like she's vermin. It'll make her paranoid. But no...I'll be...civil.

Unless she makes one of the kids cry in front of me.

Then all bets are off.

My. We have so much to look forward to in our older years, don't we Snooks?

At least we'll have a lawyer to bail us out of jail. ;) He'll be juggling his own kid in his arms and have to explain how I got into trouble and be amused by it all.

Firestarter said...

Is Miss Lucy jealous of her own daughter?

Envious that Miss Lillie has her whole life before her to conquer the world, and is therefore competing with her for your attention and, in turn, trying to bring her down (through character assasination) to boost her own sorry ass?

Miss Lucy sounds pathetic and insecure to be competing with her seven year old daughter.

Severine said...

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

--Philip Larkin

Viviane said...

You told me about this, and I am seething after reading this. They are great kids who have great parent(s). Lillie is going to grow up and do great things, in spite of her mother.

I had huge battles with my mother. I remember reading R.D. Laing's 'The Politics of the Family' and finding it really helpful to my situation at that time.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the bastard that is my father who said I couldn't get in to Brown when I was eight.

I'm sorry she's so rotten, baby. Lillie is just cute as a button, and from the stories you tell, seems as smart as a whip.

And Emma and I totally agree you're going to have to beat the boys away with a stick when she's older.

Collette said...

I'm sorry for both you and Lillie. And the boys--it's not like they won't/don't notice this behavior. I'm glad Lillie know that you're on her side and that you'll be her advocate when her mother pulls this shit. (Although I too am looking forward to the day Bridget is let loose...)

Lolita said...

I read this earlier today and it stayed with me and bothered me. I am so sorry that Lucy is so cruel to Lillie. I'm crying.

Anonymous said...

Lucy may be Momzilla, but Lillie is Kidzilla. I'm gonna make a Tshirt for her that says that.

Anonymous said...

These days, you read that his late son's allegations are not entirely justified and largely a product of their times

Could very well be, although two other sons did commit suicide. He probably was not the best of fathers, but... that voice! Time to go watch White Christmas I think.

Callie said...

*Tries to say something appropriate and helpful* Mentally smacks Lucy *Goes back to making the WTF face* Just... Damn.

Jefferson said...

I don't know your name, Anonymous. But you bring the Bing, so I like the very thought of you.

Anonymous said...

I was so saddened to read this, reminds me of when, at 8 my own father refused to continue seeing me because I didn't want to see his new family..... I can only be glad that Lillie has at least one parent who sees her potential. Because in the longrun, it's that faith that will help her to be the best person she can be!

Anonymous said...

Rosie: Hello, Jefferson!

Jefferson: Oh, hi Rosie...

Rosie I'm here to give you a handjob.

Jefferson: What?! Where's the pussy?! I want the pussy! Waaaaaaah!

Rose: There, there, dear...just let me hold you for a bit..

Jefferson: (sniffles), ok. (pauses)
hey, that feels pretty good. Move it a little to the right would you?

Anonymous said...

I don't know your name

Susan. Sorry about that.

But you bring the Bing, so I like the very thought of you.

You always accentuate the positive! I think he died not too long after this one, and the voice was still there. ["I do indeed." Swoon.]

Anonymous said...

If she had been anyone else, I might’ve called her to the alley for a fight.

So maybe that is what you should have done. Not scratch her eyes out, but at least let her know that she was out of line.

It's like raising kids. If you don't tell her, she won't learn. Sure, if at her age she still doesn't know, apparently she's a sociopath, but I still think you should confront her on those issues, not try to be mr nice guy.

Don't get me wrong, I think you deserve a medal for staying calm. But stilll... think about it.

marcus said...

i know the anger and frustration you deal with. i know it all too well, baby.

jefferson, i have found it helps to repeat a little phrase when MY ex rears her ugly head. perhaps i can pass along this nugget, and it will help you, too. it's amazing how inspiring some words can be. they really have the power to heal, to get us through all kinds of things.

"i am going to go do a line now."