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March 16, 2006

Pionta Guinness, le do thoil !

May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

For those of you that are not Irish, I hope you enjoyed your day. If you didn't wear green, I hope you didn't mind the pinching. If you wore orange, well, I hope you got what you deserved.

The Irish are a people of traditions and the pinching thing has always flummoxed me. It wasn't until I was working in an elementary school that I even remembered that little kids would pinch each other if they didn't wear green. It never came up with my kids because it was never an issue with them. They have always been into the silliness, except for that year when the boy insisted that he wasn't Irish, he was Egyptian, but I think that was his father trying to brainwash him. Yes, the kid is half Egyptian but he is also half ME and 100% American. But I digress ...

I think they loved it most because I always did the food up right. Corned beef & cabbage, carrots, Colcannon, homemade soda bread and, for the adults (me) a pionta Guinness or three. I made sure to slip a drop of green food coloring into the glasses they would use for their morning milk just to see their faces when I poured white milk out of the jug and it magically turned green. That was the sign that the leprechauns had visited and blessed them with good luck. Sweet how they fell for it year after year.

This year wasn't as smooth as I would have liked it. Yesterday, my mom called to find out what time we could come over for dinner today. Now, we had never planned to go over there. She didn't mention it ahead of time. The boy was planning on spending time with a friend from out of town and the girl was going to Friday night youth group with a friend. I was planning on some quiet time alone to do my homework yet suddenly she had booked my night and laced the invitation with a healthy dose of guilt.

I could have gone over, made her happy while I sat there miserable, stressing over my homework, knowing that my Saturday was a goner because of a workshop I have to go to and suddenly my weekend was down to Sunday and when was I going to do homework, nevermind laundry and clean the house and sleep late and watch movies and play video games and read and do ANYTHING that remotely resembles having a life? When I mentioned my homework, she said she thought I was doing too much, even going so far as to say that I was ignoring the kids for my school work.

Well, I'm really sorry to say that did it for me. I cracked. I pointed out that while, yes, I am busy, I'm never too busy for my kids, that everything I am doing right now is so that I can get a better job and give them a better life because no one, NO ONE is responsible for making our lives better but me. Sure, someday, things might be different, but I don't count on somedays. I can only count on myself, today, and what I can do today to make tomorrow better.

In my head, I was thinking of how hypocritical she was being. When I was little, she didn't do anything to make our life better. She worked hard, yes, but she didn't try to get a better job or go back to school to improve her skills. She just went out to singles dances trying to meet a man that she could marry who would make everything better. Each of these men came and went and never made anything better, they only helped push the emotional rollercoaster we lived on higher and faster.

I understand the divorced dating world but I date one person, one stable person. We don't go out drinking and carousing until all hours, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. We don't drop the kids off alone at the movie theater or the mall with $10 so that we can have a drunk afternoon alone in bed. We actually come up with things that we can do WITH the kids rather than try to pretend they don't exist. We actually take them on trips with us so that they aren't left behind to fend for themselves.

Of course, by this time, I was in tears. I had already had a very emotional day and this was the last thing I needed. In a short 5 minute conversation she had cut me to the quick on the most sensitive subject she could and I would be damned if I went over her house for dinner after she did that to me. That would only give her the message that using emotional manipulation would get me to do whatever she wants me to do and, while that is true, I don't want her to know it.

Our St. Patty's Day was low key. I drove to work listening to the Dropkick Murphys (thanks, Skillzy!), spent the day trying to keep my head above it all, spent a huge wad of $$ at the bookfair for the library, went grocery shopping, baked brownie bites and watched The Empire Strikes Back with the boy while the girl went to her youth group. Dinner was pizza. Not a drop of Guinness or green milk in the house.

A rather anticlimactic day. And now I have to get to bed so I can wake up early tomorrow and go to work. On a Saturday. So I can make our lives better.

Sláinte! Have one for me.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on March 16, 2006 11:22 PM.

Mere words do not feed the friars. was the previous entry in this blog.

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