Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Where it stands, a year later

Please enjoy this pic of my sister from about 6 years ago...
 Back then she was so thin.  You could cut yourself on that chin, for real.  Always very stylish and well dressed, hair and makeup, the whole nine yards.  It's something I always admired about her.  She was very feminine and put together, on the outside if not the inside.

I figured it would be a while before I saw my sister again - heck, I thought it would be at someone's funeral.  I figured she would at least acknowledge me the next time I saw her.  I was at her house recently to pick up my mother and got there a few minutes early.  My mother answered the door, not my sister.  My mother said "Have you seen Melissa's new house?" and showed me in, not my sister.  Instead, she stood with her back to me, making a sandwich in the kitchen.  {I'm guessing she was trying to get that done before I appeared.}  She answered one or two questions from my mother without turning around to face us, then gathered up her plate, said she had to get back to her desk, and beat a hasty retreat without so much as look at me.  Pretty rude when you consider...
But here is what I was struck by:  I wasn't even 100% sure it was her, at first.  She was thin, but not painfully so.  Her hair was very short, very thin, and white.  Had I seen her in public, I'm not sure I would have recognized her.  Aside from that, I got the very real feeling that she is done with me forever.  She couldn't put on her game face and say hello, even in front of her mother.  It felt strange to me, maybe because for all of these years, she's done just that - pretended like she and I were close, when that was never really the truth, at least for her.  So, at that moment she felt like just another person off the street to me, and I was ok with it.  And, I guess this is where I will leave it - for now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


     Spencer approached me about a month ago, wanting to move back home temporarily.  His apartment is upping his rent, as apartments in this town do, and its a terrible apartment anyway.  Small, shabby, loud.  Plus, the electricity has gone out several times.  He has no closet, no washer and dryer, a teeny tiny fridge and stove.  But,  I am torn up about the whole thing.
     I want my son to have a decent place to live and not struggle to afford it.  I want him to have  working appliances, a place he can safely do laundry, a reasonable commute to where he works, and room to relax at the end of his long day.  He works long hours in an un-airconditioned building for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.  But I don't know that I want him to move back to Camp Rustown.  I know it's not unusual for adult people to move out on their own in fits and starts, but this is his third apartment.  And it feels like he is not making progress towards adulting.

     He signs a one year lease, then realizes it's too "something" - expensive, far from work, whatever.  Then he moves back in for a month or so, then starts all over again. The last  time I am sure he lost his deposit because he left the place a wreck, depending on the roomie to finish cleaning it up.  {Shockingly, said roomie was not on the lease}  And the last time he moved out of our house, it took me a couple of weeks to get the room back in shape.  It had stains on the carpet and a funk in the air.  I'm so not down for that this time.
     I'm sure it's very stressful on him, too.  Austin is a hard town to live in if you are blue collar.  The cost of living is high. And the places he can actually afford are in unsafe neighborhoods, yet their rent continues to go up, too.  Wah, wah, I know.  Everyone has to struggle a little when they are young, right?  At Spencer's age, I had Mark, and we had been married a year... I didn't know what I didn't know about life, so I didn't stress it.  I just assumed we would raise a happy family and everything would work out.  
     It really sucks that he cannot make a clean break from us and live life on his own terms.  I don't want to legislate how much beer he brings into the house, or how long his hot showers last, or whether he has incense going in the bedroom, but dammit I also want to be done raising him and let him go on to adulthood.  I still have a 17 year old to finish raising, along with everything that comes  with that, plus I have another that I need to start shoving closer to the edge of the nest.
     I want to be done raising kids, and get to the part where you enjoy them as family members, with none of that other stuff.  I know that's unreasonable, life comes with problems.  I wish I had the answers to some of them.