Love and Friendship, Burning Bridges, and Red Dragons
Posted on 31 May 2016
Today I managed to get my little family downtown to see Love and Friendship. “My mother is REALLY excited about this,” pH explained to the ticket-taker. (I totally was, but as if she hadn’t watched the trailer four times the previous night on her own?) I did score a free poster. I also cried at the Lowe’s commercial before the film.
I am such a sap.
We almost never go out to films. For one, we don’t generally like the same films, and for another, $30 for three people at a matinee before concessions?
(Overall review: It was funny–as wickedly so as Lady Susan could have been–but I had the sense there was so much more in it that had been cut, and I hope for an extended DVD when the time comes. pH–who has watched the BBC P&P–had asked the night before if Darcy would be in it, but although not, she didn’t get bored until the last ten minutes or so.)
As for the rest of life, well, it progresses. All three of us spent six weeks taking archery classes together, which was a lot of fun. There is no grand end-of-school planning, because it doesn’t end…it just takes breaks while my daughter is at various camps. (That has always been when I’ve done my best writing, which is why I have pH signed up for three camps plus one week of fencing.)
I will be relieved to not have to interact with one of the local mothers. Twice I’ve run across women who diagnosed their children with spectrum disorders (and when I say I think it’s complete BS, I’m not saying it casually, but based on what they’ve told me) and who helicopter–no, not helicopter. Smother. (In both cases, the children are obnoxious little brats who act completely differently in the presence of the other parent.) A couple of weeks ago, one boy–we’ll call him Spoiled Brat, since he is–threw a ball in my daughter’s face during dodgeball and then laughed right in her face. She was in tears. (This would not have been his first inappropriate behavior toward her, but it was the most blatant.) I comforted her, and then SB’s mother wanted to talk to me about it. Not have her kid apologize–she wanted to explain to me (and, if I’d let her, to pH) that it’s okay for him to act that way because he sometimes laughs inappropriately. Like, you know. When he hurts someone.
Oooookkkaaaaay. I managed to abandon that conversation without committing a felony. I call that a win.
The next week, right before a class was due to end, Mom and SB arrived and interrupted everyone else who had already been there nearly an hour. SB went to my daughter and attempted to confiscate the equipment she was using. I was half the gym away and my philosophy is to monitor and not interfere unless there is clear and present need. So I watched. I learned Mom told pH that SB should have her equipment and that pH should hand it over. From what I could tell, pH didn’t, but walked away from it later. (For anyone else, she would have said “sure.”)
Then, coming back to where I was, SB’s mom decided to talk to me….about SB’s behavior the previous week. She started to launch into SB-justification. I said it was over and done a week ago and it wouldn’t do any good to rehash it now. (pH and I had already debriefed: last week after the class, I asked pH about it and she said she can’t stand SB because he’s mean and none of the kids can; since I was feeling, uh, mature, I said none of the moms could stand his mother, either.)
Back to SB’s mother. I said, “But I’d appreciate it if you didn’t run interference with my daughter. You’re welcome to talk to me, but please don’t address her.” (The last thing I want is my kid internalizing some crazy lady’s justification for her son victimizing her.)
Next I was told how I was not open or receptive to communication (she actually tried the “It seems as though perhaps you are feeling…” crap). I said I didn’t think it would be a good use of my time, that I didn’t want her interacting with my daughter, and it was pretty clear cut. After learning more about how close minded I am (and how open she is to discuss things in the future) and that I obviously didn’t know the circumstances of what she said to pH a few minutes before, I said, “Actually…I think I’d be happier if you never spoke to me again, either.”
And I am.
I feel slightly guilty. It’s not my usual way of handling annoying parents or children, but I recently was confronted with the knowledge people I thought were friends weren’t, and the lesson I came away with was not wasting so much time being nice to people who don’t reciprocate. Or I’m just tired of this routine and ready for a change of pace. Or both. Whatever.
In any case, I am so over crazy mom and SB.
When I started homeschooling pH, I made a point of modeling learning and studying for her (I didn’t really learn to study until I was in college) and I started with relearning German. I added Welsh a few months ago, so every day I practice Welsh and German. (Everyone asks Welsh? Really? Yes, really. It’s been on my bucket list. No, I don’t expect to use it. I am completely astonished when I manage to spell a sentence correctly.) It means I watch whatever is available on S4C for international viewing, work from four different workbooks, and…well. It’s not German. It’s really hard.
I did get myself a motivational mascot for my desk…and–bonus–pH now refers to all dragons as “ddraig.” We spit on each other when we say “y ddraig goch,” but that’s half the fun. I think. (My husband settles for singing Men of Harlech.)