Round 2

Writers Write

You’re lucky. He’s lucky. I’m lucky. WE’RE ALL LUCKY!

My family can make me want to pull my hair out at times. But other times, they’re brilliant and enlightening. If I told my sister she was brilliant yesterday, I’d never live it down. So I swear I’ll lie my ass off if it ever gets back to her. BUT..

Her husband has some personality issues. She assumes he’s bi-polar. He very well may be, but he’s never been diagnosed. All he knows for sure is that sometimes the tight family thing is too much for him. He wasn’t raised the way we were – with traditions, respect, and family loyalty being prized above all else. Sometimes all those emotions and demands smother him. So he has learned to distance himself during those times. If he doesn’t take a break early enough, he ends up saying mean and hurtful things to people he normally loves. I say “normally” because he admits that sometimes he doesn’t feel like he loves the people he knows he should. It’s more than just a normal feeling of distance. He actually goes numb to his own wife at times – the woman he usually loves more than anyone in the world.

He shuts himself alone in their room for the night (she works nights anyway) when he’s feeling that way. And by the next morning – or sometimes the next night after work – he’s feeling much better and acting better as well. My sister has learned how to handle this. She knows when to give him space, what NOT to say, and how and when to pick her battles. He’s not innocent in all of that – not by a long shot. And sometimes his mouth escalates and things can’t just be ignored or set aside. Still, not everything needs to be taken to heart or commented on when the moods occur.

He knows he’s saying cruel or unfair things, and he even means some of it at the time. But it’s his battle and he needs to get over it on his own. If an apology is required, they discuss that at a later date when he’s in the right mindframe. She loves and trusts him enough to know he’ll accept his responsibility and make amends when his brain chemical levels stabilize. And it’s brought them closer together because he appreciates how she’s learned to handle his needs.

She won’t take serious abuse, though. And if he goes off the rails with trash talk, she’ll take his ass to divorce court or marriage counseling before she puts up with that bullshit. But the improvements he’s made with her love and support over the past fifteen years together give her hope that he’ll never get to that point. He has told her she makes him want to be a better man. And it’s more than words. He’s proven it because of the smart choices she’s made – after learning a few hard lessons. Talking to her about this has alerted me to some of my own mistakes. Maybe my sister is still teaching me about life and love. She made me realize how and when to begin picking my battles better, and that’s so important at any stage.

HOWEVER

Her daughter and I may end up winning a dual battle against Mrs. Know-It-All.

My youngest niece is my mini-me. We look nothing alike beyond being short, having doe eyes, and big boobs. But we have practically identical personalities – except for her super quick-sparked and long-lasting temper when she’s PISSED (she gets that from her mom), and heartbreaking sensitivity (she has my old overly sensitive nature before life happened). Unlike their mother, all of her children love my goofy, campy interest in certain cult movies and plays. After moving back home, my niece found out I have one of her favorite movies. Upon hearing that information, plans were promptly made to go to a live show relatively soon-ish. Her mother cursed as my niece and I screamed – matching pitch – and jumped up and down.

My sister finally said, “Rocky Horror? Really? It had to be that?! OK, who are you going to be?”

My niece looked at her mother dumbfounded after claiming Columbia for herself (she’ll be a redhead by then) and said, “Have you met Aunt O? Have you seen the hair? She’s Magenta. God, Mom!”

Ya know, the idea of portraying a sexy, incestuous, time travelling vamp at 44 years old sounds fun. But the reality.. let’s just say there are public decency laws for reasons. And leg fat oozing through fishnets can potentially land my ass in jail. BUT we went to a party store and found boas, glitter, and theatre makeup, so it’s pretty much on. This means I have most of the year – if we don’t put it off until next year – to ensure my junk stays in its own trunk. Besides, IF I can pull it off.. daaaamn!

Therefore, I’ve been hitting online sites to see what I can piece together. I found an adorable Columbia costume for her. But the Magenta sets are crap. I don’t need the wig, and the outfit is cheap looking and gross. I shall work my magic to create my own ensemble that will look far better than that. Hopefully. So far, I’ve found a great (somewhat short, but not overly trampy) French maid’s uniform, a black corset, fishnet hose (not stockings, though that might change later), black lace boy shorts, and d’orsay heels or sexy maryjane pumps that would look amazing – and probably not kill me as I attempt to walk in them. Once the hair, makeup, and nails are done and the right feather duster is found, I’ll be set. Might not get the boa since Magenta isn’t in the final dance sequence. We’ll see.

A friend asked me if I knew her lines? Um.. 6 lines and a song verse in the entire show. Methinks I can learn the bit I don’t already have memorized by then. Now it’s time to jump to the left and transform the body so I can have fun driving Mrs. Know-It-All absolutely bat shit crazy with this. Oh, it’s been too long since I’ve had such power. I can just imagine the pictures that will inevitably be taken. I feel like I’m about to enter a time warp.

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Yappy Hew Near’s!

I mean, Happy New Year’s. And thank gods there are no more obligatory family holidays for a long-ass while!

In a family full of casual drinkers, I’m the lightweight. Always have been, although it takes more than half a glass of wine to get tipsy now. Still, I’m am basically the anti-drinker. Once a year, maybe. Fine, perhaps twice if there’s a really good reason. But since moving back to the states, I’ve realized two major things – and one was just a reminder. First, the reminder: my family is nuts. Second, the realization: They think it’s hilarious when I drink.

Last night was family night. My kiddo, niece, great-niece, and I went to an outdoor party and then settled over at mom’s house to chill for a while and let her spoil us since she lives for that. My mom came up to me last night after handing me my second glass of champagne, hugged me when I giggled over having to lick the flute because the contents sloshed, and then said “I love seeing you relax. You of all people deserve to once in a while”. Really, ma? Once in a while? Every time I’ve seen that woman since moving back, I’ve ended up with either a drink in my hand or one offered. Last night’s poison?

Brandy Alexander

Brandy Alexander. Tastes like a milkshake. Makes the walls move. It honestly just took the edge off.. at first. Until a second was offered. I was sure I passed on that, but someone said I drank half of it. I think they’re full of shit. But then the champagne popped and I do remember drinking that. Well, some anyway. Good gods. I don’t like champagne – until the middle of the second glass. But then I really like champagne. However, mixing brandy and champagne causes a strange reaction. I forget I have a left foot. Apparently, I kept walking around in circles in my mom’s living room while asking people why I couldn’t feel my foot? I’m pretty sure I only completed a spin or two, if that.

Somehow I ended up on the couch babbling something that made TOTAL sense to me. But my niece’s fiance/designated driver looked at my son and said, “I wanna be HER drunk in a few hours so I get to say whatever the hell I’m thinking at any given time without judgement.” Kiddo looked at the dude and said, “Oh, that’s not HER drunk.. that’s just HER. And she’s not really the type of person to give a rat’s ass over judgmental bullshit anyway.” Pretty much. And so I drank to that.

*Note: I was SURE I had 2.5 glasses of champagne. Turns out I had closer to 5. Why the discrepancy? Well, because apparently draining other glasses when they hand them over and say “Hey, O, I don’t want this. Care to finish it for me?” counts as part of the total amount of alcohol consumed. Whoops.

We left a little after 2 am because the wall kept moving and someone told me we were out of champagne. After I got home, good kiddo helped me upstairs and made me promise not to go back downstairs for ANY reason until I slept at least 8 hours. But just before bed, I realized I only had a few hours to accept a work assignment. So I set my alarm for 3 hours, crashed, and awoke to an extra day added to my work timer.. because my clients love me and totally understand that people here like it when I drink. And it’s a good thing my client adjusted the timer, because the alcohol must have convinced my fingers at 2:30 in the morning that “Yo! These are really good shoes, y’all!” was a good way to begin the next shoe description. The words were staring me in the face when I got up for real at 11:30-ish or so. Yeah, they’re not surviving the final edit. Sorry.

I was supposed to go back today for more family fun, but I opted out using work as an excuse. This afternoon I got texted that two more bottles of champagne were hidden in the house, and if I could find them they’re mine. Fuckers. All of ’em. And for that, they’re waiting another ten years to see me run into walls again. Or at least another year. ‘Tis a plan! Repeat after me: Ona will NOT become a lush. Sorry, ma.

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