Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers who celebrate. Bill and I have very casual plans for “turkey day”. In fact, we’re not even having turkey. I mentioned that Bill had dental implant surgery the other day, so he can’t yet chow down on things that aren’t soft. Because he’s a sweet, thoughtful, kind husband, he stopped at the store and bought a duck leg, which he planned to sous vide for me. He was going to eat macaroni and cheese.
When he told me about his plans, I kind of rolled my eyes. It’s not that I don’t appreciate his plans to cook a duck leg for me. I just didn’t need him to go to such a special effort. Thanksgiving is historically my favorite holiday, but in Germany, it’s not a holiday. Most of my family is in Virginia, which is thousands of miles away from here.
I suggested that instead of cooking a duck leg just for me, Bill use the leftover chicken in the fridge to make a chicken pot pie. That way, we can both enjoy the same thing for dinner. It’s soft enough for him to eat, will get rid of leftovers, and is the perfect kind of food for a cold, blustery day like we have today. Bill liked that idea, so he’s planning to do that, and he’ll cook the duck leg later. He’s also making a cherry cheese pie. I don’t need to be eating that, but I won’t turn it down.
Yesterday, I decided to put up the Christmas trees. I was a bit tired and cranky by the time Bill got home from work. I asked him if he’d seen the email I sent asking him to pick up a couple of strands of lights. One of the strands we had was kind of dying. The lights were really dim on the tree and looked terrible.
Bill hadn’t seen my email, so I told him to forget it and I’d just make do. He said “Why don’t you wait until tomorrow to finish this.”
And I said, “Because I just want to get this over with.”
He said, “I could help you with it.”
I responded, “Yes, but you plan to cook tomorrow. Besides, you get in my way.”
He sighed and shook his head, then cracked a smile. Bill is truly the perfect man for me.
I mentioned yesterday that decorating for Christmas isn’t that much fun for me anymore. I’m not good at it; it wears me out; and makes a big mess. However, I do really enjoy seeing the lights and having our living room look more homey and lived in. For that reason, I keep decorating. I think when we move out of Germany, we’ll ditch the smaller tree we bought in 2007, after we forgot to pack our Christmas decorations in our baggage when we moved here with the Army.
Bill finally said, “I’ll go up to the Rewe to see if they have any lights.”
So, while Bill was looking for lights, I continued to decorate the larger tree, which had fully functioning lights. Bill came back later with two strands of German lights that make our smaller tree look like something out of Clark W. Griswold’s most fantastic Christmas wet dreams. Now I wonder if we shouldn’t have just bought all new lights for both trees, because the smaller one is showing up the bigger one. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next year.
This morning, I had vivid dreams of Yerevan. I think it’s because I’m writing a very intense travel blog series about the city, where I lived from 1995-97. Those were considered part of the “dark years” of Yerevan. It’s certainly not a dark place anymore!
I also woke up to a nice Thanksgiving greeting from one of my cousins, who has repeatedly said he wishes I was in Virginia. That’s nice to read, although I think if I were in Virginia, we’d just be black sheep together. 😀 Then he posted that he wants to visit us in Europe. I told him to come on over. I’d love to see him! My home and my heart is always open to those who love and accept me for who I am… and he is one of the people who does.
Anyway, I miss my family, in spite of everything. I hope they all have a good time at Granny’s house. I’m with them in spirit. And I can’t believe it’s been nine years since I was last home with them. Maybe 2024 will be the year I go back over the pond.
By the way… last night, we did another Champagne bucket drawing last night to decide where we’ll be going next… I think 2024 will be a good year for travel, if we’re able to do these suggested trips.
Thanks to our trip to Yerevan last week, the holiday season has kind of crept up on me. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and because Bill just had oral surgery, it may not be much of a celebration for us. I used to love Thanksgiving. It was my favorite holiday for many years, but in Germany, it doesn’t mean that much. I know some people celebrate Thanksgiving here, and there are even a couple of restaurants that offer Thanksgiving dinner for the American crowd. But since it’s just the two of us, we don’t always make a big deal out of it… and this year, Bill has stitches in his mouth.
I used to love decorating for Christmas, but now it seems like a pain in the ass. I do like putting up the trees (we have two), because I like how they look. They make our living room look more lived in, and the lights are pretty. But it’s an ordeal to decorate, because I don’t necessarily enjoy it, nor am I very good at it. Nevertheless, I have started the process. Yesterday, I started bringing up the decorations. This morning, I brought up the trees and ornaments. I’ve already put up the trees and put out the decorations. I just have to add the lights, garlands, and ornaments. I may do that later today. There’s no need to rush.
Then there’s buying gifts and wrapping them. I don’t mind the buying part, but I’m not very good at gift wrapping. Some people have a real knack for making packages look perfect and festive. Not me! I didn’t inherit that gene from my mom.
Speaking of my mom, I talked to her yesterday. She said she’s been suffering from vertigo lately, but is otherwise doing fine. She was going to to go the family reunion in Natural Bridge, Virginia, where my dad grew up, but decided to cancel because of the vertigo. She also realized that a lot of the people she’d like to see are either dead or not coming to the party. So, being ever pragmatic, she’s staying home. Pragmatism is one gene I did inherit from my mom.
Bill picked up our Czech paintings yesterday. They look fabulous. I’ve already hung them. He also dropped off our new Armenian paintings to be framed. I’m thinking I’d like to have a few more of our unframed paintings framed. Maybe after Christmas, we’ll do that. I think we have a couple of new stools being made for our wine barrel table. I love how the bird painting turned out!
The one thing I would like to do very soon is add a new dog to our family… But I have to find the right one, and that could take time. Now is a good time, though. We have no trips planned.
I guess I can be grateful that we have no holiday drama. That used to be an annual fixture of both Bill’s and my holidays, before we were married. Now, we can just celebrate together, and be assured that there will be no fighting or other bullshit to contend with. Just good food, good humor, good music, and lots of booze. 😉 Maybe there won’t be as much booze this year. Don’t want to upset my stomach.
Christmas is a nice time in Germany. I should just enjoy it, if only for the Christmas markets. This time of year makes me a little crazy, though. I’m not gonna lie. But it’s coming. The undecorated Christmas tree in our Dorfplatz is already up.
I’m about to write a post that I think may resonate with a number of people. This is a post about “going home”, and how complicated it can be. I understand that for some people, home is where they want to be. I have friends who have never left the place they lived when we were children. They are perfectly happy living where they grew up. I’m not one of those people. I’ve had a number of “homes” in my lifetime, but only a few of them affected me so much that the idea of going back there makes me feel apprehensive.
In less than three weeks, I will be visiting a place that unexpectedly changed my life years ago. I won’t lie. I’m a bit nervous about our upcoming trip to Armenia. Sure, I am looking forward to going there and seeing how much it’s changed. I can’t wait to show Bill some of the places I’ve talked about for years. I worry that our trip might be too short, because there’s so much I could show him. And yet, I’m also feeling worried and nervous about this trip, more so than any other I’ve taken.
I first heard of Armenia when I was in the fourth grade, and my teacher, Mr. Almasian, told us about his heritage. At that time, it was 1981, and the United States was deeply entrenched in the Cold War. Armenia was then part of the Soviet Union, which was an enemy to the United States. I distinctly remember Mr. Almasian telling us about how Armenia was a Christian nation– the first in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion. And yet, now it was part of the Soviet Union, which highly discouraged citizens to adhere to religions.
At that time in 1981, I never had a clue that one day I’d move to Armenia to live for two years. Back then, I assumed Armenia would always be out of reach, because it was behind what we knew as the Iron Curtain. I didn’t think that curtain would ever part for someone like me. But I also remember getting a kick out of how Mr. Almasian told us that most Armenians’ last names ended with “ian” or “yan”. I later found out that was true.
I also remember my teacher playing Jesus Christ Superstar for us. When I later moved to Armenia, I remember hearing all of the bootleg cassette tape sellers blasting music from Jesus Christ Superstar from their stereo systems. I ended up buying one of the tapes and listened to it long enough to memorize the songs. My parents actually had that album on LP at home, but I always refused to listen to it, because I didn’t like religion. It wasn’t until many years later that I came to appreciate religion more, although I’m still not a church attendee.
My two years in Armenia were difficult for me, but not in ways that a lot of people would have expected. I think a lot of my problems came from a lack of good communication, a lack of assertiveness on my part, and perhaps a lack of maturity on many people’s parts. I was ultimately successful as a Volunteer, but perhaps not in the ways I thought I should have been. When I left Armenia in 1997, I was really ready to go. I was bitter, burned out, and legitimately depressed to the point at which I needed medication.
And yet, every day, I think of the time I spent in Armenia and just how incredible the opportunity to live there was for me. It really did change my life on so many levels. I wonder if I deserved the opportunity I received… and I realize that I was extremely lucky on many levels. Other than some rather serious recurrent skin infections and moderate depression and anxiety, I finished my service relatively unscathed.
I’m now over double the age I was when I arrived in Armenia in June 1995. I was about three weeks from turning 23 when I got there. When I left, I was 25 years and 2 months old, almost to the day. I’m now 51, and this will be my first trip back there… the first time I’ve dared to go back. It’s changed so much since I was last there, but I know there are some things that haven’t changed at all. I wonder if I’m ready to face it.
When I’ve told people we’re going to Armenia, some have expressed concern because of the situation in Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh. I’m not that worried about that. I expect we might see protests and refugees, things I saw when I lived in Armenia in the 90s. I don’t worry about being in any physical danger, because we don’t plan to go anywhere near the dangerous areas by the borders. I suspect we’ll mostly stick to Yerevan. Maybe we can arrange a day trip somewhere outside of the capital, although this might not be the best time of year for that. I don’t think we’ll be physically unsafe, though.
I’m more worried about how I will deal with this visit in an emotional sense. Genealogically, I’m not Armenian at all, and yet I feel like it’s an intrinsic part of me now. I don’t know if this is a common response to Peace Corps service, but for me, it feels like this trip is akin to going “home”… and going “home” can be a very stressful undertaking. I feel somewhat less apprehensive about going back to Armenia than I’d feel about going “home” to Virginia. I love Virginia, as it’s my home and birthplace– but going there is always stressful, because it means confronting crap from the past. And that’s kind of how I feel about Armenia, too. There’s stuff from my time there that makes me feel worried… because it wasn’t all sunshine and roses.
In spite of what some people might have thought of me and my service in Armenia, it truly changed my life. Being there made me a better person and made me grow in leaps and bounds. Maybe going back to Armenia will be edifying and enriching, and my feelings of apprehension will forever abate, because I do think that ultimately, I did fine as a Volunteer. Or maybe there will be tension and unrest, like there sometimes is when I go home to my family of origin– people I will always love, but with whom I share a complicated and difficult past.
In 1997, I left Armenia feeling somewhat like I’d failed. I didn’t think many people liked me very much. I wondered if I’d wasted my time there. I now know that none of those things are totally true… and what was affecting my feelings had a lot to do with clinical depression and the anxiety I felt about going home to the United States. Put it this way… I do think there were a few people in Armenia who didn’t like me and thought I was a waste of space. But I don’t think that was how most people saw me. My feelings were highly magnified by depression, which always distorts things.
The truth is, most people’s feelings were probably either neutral or they simply didn’t care, because they had their own shit to worry about. Moreover, everywhere I go, there are people who wind up not liking me. For many reasons, I’m not always a very likable person. But not being likable doesn’t mean I’m not a “good” person, just like being likable doesn’t make someone a decent or honorable person. Plenty of likable people are perfect assholes underneath the facade. And plenty of unlikable people are actually really fine folks, if you just take the time to get to know them. But, when you’re not super personable or charismatic, you can feel like an outsider. That’s how I often felt in Armenia. I often feel the same way when I’m with my family, even though I love them.
I worry that going back to Armenia will make me feel like I do when I go home to my family. However, I feel like I have to go there. If I don’t go, I will regret it. And I worry that if I wait much longer, I might lose out of my chance to go when it still somewhat resembles the place I left more than a lifetime ago– as I am now more than twice the age I was when I left. I’m going to try to be brave and open-minded, and see Armenia with older, wiser eyes and a willing heart. Maybe, once I’ve done this trip to Armenia, I’ll find the courage to go back to Virginia.
I’m sure if I thought about this some more, I could come up with a more concise post that makes more sense. I think I’ve waited this long to go to Armenia because the idea of going back there made me feel anxious and stressed. I wanted to go back, just as I’ve wanted to go home to Virginia… and yet, just like going to Virginia, I feel like I’m going to dive into a conflict from which it’s going to take a long time to recover. Does that sound crazy?
You see? I really am deeper than I appear…
I took the featured photo from a window in the school where I taught English to children aged 7, 11, 15, and 16… It was a rare day when the air quality was good enough to see Mount Ararat. There was also a train coming. I don’t know from where. I probably took the picture sometime in 1996.
Happy Thursday, everybody. I’ve been waiting all week for today. It should be the last day of the home invasion. Once they’re out of my house, I can clean up the last of the mess and get back to a somewhat normal life. Tomorrow, we’ll be visited by a carpenter who will do some minor work, and then I can go back to being my usual, cheerful, plucky self, free to pursue all manner of happiness and spiritual fulfillment. Edited to add… I caught the invaders sitting outside with their feet up on my outside chairs, today. Maybe I should have learned a trade instead of going to college. Clearly, they aren’t expected to be professional or have basic manners when they work.
I’m being silly, of course. I’ll always have a gripe about something. It’s my nature. 😀 But, there’s one area where I have few complaints, and that would be in my choice of spouses. I truly adore my husband. No, he’s not perfect, but he’s pretty damned excellent. I often can’t believe how very fortunate we were to find each other. But I know I’ve mentioned it plenty of times in this blog, so I won’t go on with that topic today. There ain’t no need for that.
Today, I want to write about Ex. It’s been awhile since I last upbraided her, and we’re long overdue… and besides, writing about her will keep me from complaining about the window guys. I do know they’re working hard, and they do good work. I just get freaked out by strangers in my territory who step on boundaries. In that manner, I’m not unlike our recently departed beagle mix, Arran… however, I do manage to do my business where it belongs. The hot weather this week is reminding me that Arran never was the best at peeing outside.
Ex was recently on Twitter, posting once again about the wonders of Outlander, and its male star, Sam Heughan. Someone had uploaded a clip of the show, gushing about how romantic and beautiful it was. I didn’t watch the scene myself, because I don’t follow that show. However, I did take note of Ex’s comment, which was this:
“To have hubby stroke my face and love me with his eyes just like that… would be a dream come true! I know he loves me… but this is just pure tenderness and genuine intimacy!!!”
Mmm’kay… Now, I don’t pretend to know how deep the love and commitment levels are between Ex and #3. I’ve heard stories, though… and I kinda doubt that what they have is a love match. Whatever. That’s between the two of them. What I do want to comment on, however, is Ex’s tweet about a clip from the show, Outlander, and her declaration that her real life husband loves her… but what she’s seeing on a television show is “genuine intimacy”. She declares that she wants what she sees on TV, claiming that’s “genuine intimacy”, but the man who has, in real life, spent 21 years with her, dealing with her many, many financial, emotional, and mental health issues, does not show her his love in the way she wishes he would.
The above comment Ex publicly made to the masses on Twitter– expressing starry eyed admiration and appreciation for an actor’s depiction of “genuine intimacy”– is very familiar to me. You see, I’m married to Ex’s second husband, and he’s told me many stories about how nothing he did for her was ever enough. She was never satisfied with his efforts to please her, and, in fact, her requirements for happiness would change on a daily basis.
I’ve mentioned before that when she was married to Bill, Ex used music, books, and movies to try to “train” him on how to behave in the approved way. She weaponized other people’s creative pursuits in an attempt to mold her spouse into her perfect partner. Because Bill is neither an actor, nor perfect, he inevitably failed. Add the pressure of performing to Ex’s standards to the stress of working, paying the bills, raising the kids, and just basically living life, and you have an untenable situation. I wasn’t there when this was going on, but I can imagine that it must have been very, very stressful and difficult.
Ex often pontificates about who she wants her perfect partner to be and how she wants him to behave. Based on what I’ve seen– her choices in movies, books, TV shows, and music– Ex wants a sensitive, romantic, kind, caring man toward her, who is also strong, sexy, edgy, handsome, hard working with a large paycheck, but having plenty of time to lavish attention on her… until she gets tired of his attention and wants to be left alone. Then, if he doesn’t immediately turn off and go away, he’s “abusive”.
She wants a man who will be tough and rugged, with an exciting edge in the bedroom expertly mixed with tenderness and sweetness. But he can never threaten her in ANY way. He can be strong and edgy, but only to the exact point at which she still feels comfortable and safe. Beyond that, he’s an “abusive bastard”, and she will find some way to punish him. And that point of when she feels safe enough, from what I’ve seen and heard, changes daily with Ex’s moods.
In order to be Ex’s perfect husband, her partner has to be a great performer in all ways… but especially in acting. He must be Oscar worthy… but he can’t have ever actually won an Oscar, or any other award, because that would threaten Ex. She doesn’t like it when people around her overachieve or otherwise show her up in some way. She wants the trophy husband, but he can’t have any trophies… and he can’t be disloyal in any way, although she will proudly try to show him off, even as she cuts him down on a daily basis.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Ex considers a scene on a fiction TV show to be an example of “genuine intimacy”. I don’t think she’s ever actually seen or experienced anything akin to genuine intimacy. She just knows what she’s seen depicted on the big screen. Bill told me that he often tried to behave in ways that he thought Ex would appreciate. Sometimes he would get it right and she’d praise him, even effusively so. More often than not, he would somehow fall short in some way, and she’d be disappointed and try to punish him. Or she’d get a hair up her ass and decide to offer him a “training session” on how he should behave, using a song like “Have You Really Loved a Woman” by Bryan Adams to make her point. UGH… I’m sure #3 has suffered similarly, only with scenes from Outlander as Ex’s muse.
Acting is basically the process of presenting a false image in a convincing way. Acting is the opposite of “genuine”. For something to be genuine, it has to be real. Great actors cause people to believe something is real when it’s not. So how can a televised love scene between two people on TV be called “genuine intimacy”? I doubt Ex has ever really stopped to consider this point. In fact, it seems to me that she’d like for real life to be like it is on TV or in the movies. And as I write that, I actually feel a little sad for her… because it means that off screen reality can never be enough for her. Since real life will never be enough for her, Ex can never be contented with what she still has.
Yesterday, younger daughter told us about her middle child’s reaction to the birthday gift we recently sent to her. A couple of months ago, we sent the kids little gifts we picked up when we visited Hohenzollern Castle near Stuttgart. While we were visiting the gift shop, I noticed a “princess dress”. It was purple and white and had a metal hoop in it that made the dress splay out voluminously. She loved the dress. So, although I kind of hesitate to push the “princess” persona on girls, I decided to send her a little purple tiara for her birthday, along with a new copy of a book I had loved when I was a kid (the main character was a princess who finds a unicorn who needs her help).
Younger daughter said that when her daughter received the present, a couple of days after her actual birthday, her face lit up with joy. She and her siblings, like Bill and I, had been suffering from a cold. But she overcame the heaviness of the cold and said, “For me?!” There was no video to prove it, but it sounds like she was truly grateful for what she had received. It was “enough”!
I’ve been with Bill for going on 21 years myself. I’ve seen him “love me with his eyes” plenty of times. The first time I really noticed it was when we got our wedding photos. The photographer, who was a little eccentric, had snapped a picture of Bill listening to me sing. It wasn’t even a particularly good performance, as my nervousness that day had cursed me with a cough and the constant need to clear my throat. Nevertheless, the photographer had captured the look of sincere love and appreciation in his eyes, along with my late Aunt Betty resting her head on Bill’s shoulder with her eyes closed. I’ve seen that look of genuine love from Bill many times over the years. All it takes to receive it is a dose of reciprocal love, regard, and appreciation from me.
Granted, our relationship is different than Ex’s was when she was married to Bill. Bill and I are simply a better match on all levels. The fact that I’m more compatible with Bill than she was isn’t Ex’s fault. But I know Bill, and I know she complained about him not giving her enough love and attention. I know she wasn’t satisfied with anything he tried to do to make her believe that he loved her and was committed to making her happy.
I don’t like #3 at all, but I have some compassion for his situation. It’s an impossible thing to try to do, appeasing Ex’s bottomless pit of need for unconditional positive love, regard, adoration, and what she thinks is “genuine intimacy”. To unlock that achievement is to do the impossible. She lacks the skill– the concept– of being contented and satisfied with what she has, and the efforts other people make to please her.
Maybe it’s time someone used music to “teach” Ex a thing or two…
Here are the lyrics to “It’s Not Enough” by The Who…
It’s not enough Whatever you give
A little bit more You always need A little more man A little more seed
It’s not enough It’s not enough Whatever I give It’s never enough
I gave you cash I gave you love All that I heard Was “It’s Not Enough”
I work so hard It gets so tough Whatever I give Never feels like enough It’s not enough It’s not enough Whatever I give It’s never enough
When I’m on my knees I keep taking your stuff Make sure that you know It’s never enough
You said you’d go as far As to turn to my friend Who once warned me of you Said you’d hasten my end Because I have lent Every ounce of my juice My essence is spent
You’ll always want A little more pink I’ll always need A little more ink
It’s not enough It’s not enough Whatever I give It’s never enough
However I praise However I puff Though you may smile It won’t be enough
Right at the end When I start to bluff An’ the lift’s going down An’ I start acting tough
It’s not enough It’s not enough Whatever I give It’s never enough
I’ll find someone else To finish filling me up I’ll smile and admit You were never quite enough
Like Brigitte Bardot In Godard’s Les Mepris I can’t love you enough To make you complete You appear in my dreams With some new courtier You need me there to see What you need to convey
It’s not enough It’s not enough Whatever I give It’ll never be enough
No hysterical scene You will never play rough I’m the one who will scream But it won’t be enough
It’s never enough It’s never enough
It’s not enough It’s not enough Whatever I give It’ll never be enough
I’ll never hold you How can I scold you?
It’s not enough It’s not enough Whatever I give It’ll never be enough
Good afternoon, ladies and germs… Today, on this Wednesday, and the third day my house has been occupied by inconsiderate clods, I have an old Kate Bush song in mind. It’s a song from her brilliant 1982 album, The Dreaming, which also happens to be the very first album I ever heard her do. The song, quite appropriately for my mood today, is called “Get Out of My House”.
Here are the lyrics…
When you left, the door was (slamming) You paused in the doorway (slamming) As though a thought stole you away (slamming) I watched the world pull you away (Lock it) So I run into the hall (Lock it) Into the corridor (Lock it) There’s a door in the house (slamming) I hear the lift descending (slamming) I hear it hit the landing (slamming) See the hackles on the cat (standing) With my key I (lock it) With my key I (lock it up) With my key I (lock it) With my key I (lock it up) I am the concierge chez-moi, honey Won’t let ya in for love, nor money (“Let me in!”) My home, my joy I’m barred and bolted and I (Won’t let you in) (Get out of my house!) No stranger’s feet Will enter me (Get out of my house!) I wash the panes (Get out of my house!) I clean the stains away (Get out of my house!) This house is as old as I am (Slamming) This house knows all I have done (Slamming) They come with their weather hanging ’round them (Slamming) But can’t knock my door down (Slamming) With my key I (lock it) With my key I (lock it) This house is full of m-m-my mess (Slamming) This house is full of m-m-mistakes (Slamming) This house is full of m-m-madness (Slamming) This house is full of, full of, full of fight (Slam it) With my keeper I (clean up) With my keeper I (clean it all up) With my keeper I (clean up) With my keeper I (clean it all up) I am the concierge chez-moi, honey Won’t letcha in for love, nor money (“It’s cold out here!”) My home, my joy I’m barred and bolted and I (Get out of my house!) (Won’t let you in) No stranger’s feet (Get out of my house!) Will enter me (Get out of my house!) I wash the panes (Get out of my house!) I clean the stains (Get out of my house!) (Get out of my house!) (Get out of my house!) (Get out of my house!) Won’t enter me (Get out of my house!) (Get out of my house!) (Get out of my house!) (Get out of my house!) Yeah! Won’t let you in (Get out of my house!) (Get out of my house!) “Let me in!” “Woman let me in! Let me bring in the memories! Woman let me in! Let me bring in the Devil Dreams! “I will not let you in! Don’t you bring back the reveries I turn into a bird Carry further than the word is heard “Woman let me in! I turn into the wind. I blow you a cold kiss, Stronger than the song’s hit. “I will not let you in I face towards the wind I change into the Mule “I change into the Mule.”
I know not everyone appreciates Kate Bush. I think she’s an incredible singer, songwriter, piano player, and all around goddess. I’ve loved her music for about 40 years– that is, since I was ten years old. Kate Bush is pretty intense for a ten year old, but even back then, I loved how creative and gorgeous her music was, and how interesting and intelligent the lyrics were. “Get Out of My House” even incorporates a mule, complete with braying, which as a former horse girl, I can totally get behind.
I’ve read that this song is really not about a literal house. Instead, she’s referring to her psyche– not letting anyone in to get to know her, or what’s deep inside of her soul. She is the master of herself, and she won’t let anyone in “for love nor money”. She protects her heart and her mind by becoming very stubborn, like a mule, complete with “hee haws”. She keeps everything under lock and key.
Well, I’m not as much like that with my psyche or, at least this week, with my house. Yes, it’s a rental, and yes, as I’ve pointed out, the work being done this week is for our own good. And I have seen a little bit of progress. For instance, the two workmen have stopped habitually leaving the front door open, and they have turned down their god awful dance music, so my head doesn’t pound incessantly.
However, the two guys who have been here all week have really been annoying me. Every day, they make messes that they don’t clean up. They move my stuff and just leave it wherever they put it. Yesterday, they left chocolate on the floor where Noyzi could get to it. I think my landlord brought it over for them with the customary German coffee break, but they just left it on the steps. Fortunately, Noyzi doesn’t eat things he hasn’t been invited to eat. If Arran were still here, we’d really have a problem. He would have eaten that chocolate in a heartbeat. Chocolate can be very toxic to dogs.
This morning, the guy didn’t even ring the doorbell before he came barging into the house. I mean, where I come from, if you don’t live in a house, you don’t just come in without at least knocking. At least not the first time you show up during the day. It’s common courtesy and basic manners. Tomorrow, I won’t be deactivating the door lock before they arrive. They can ring the fucking doorbell like civilized people. I may be a tenant, but this is still my home.
And, sorry, I know this is going to sound really petty and kind of mean, but right now they are outside at my freshly oiled teak patio table, sitting on the chairs with new cushions on them, eating lunch, while listening to their industrial powered radio. Much to my shame, when I saw that, it really pissed me off. I wish I were a more laid back, less territorial person, but I can’t deny that I feel like telling them to get off my patio and get back to work, so they can finish up and get the fuck out of my house. It’s an irrational response, I know… but it’s the one I’m honestly experiencing right now.
It’s not so much that I mind them using the patio or even the table and chairs. It’s the fact that they didn’t even ask, and they have no regard for the fact that they have invaded my home, and are messing with my things. I can’t speak to them, because we don’t speak the same language. I didn’t hire them, and have nothing to do with their employment, other than the fact that I live in this house and they have invaded it, as they take their long coffee breaks. I’m sure it never even occurred to them how annoying they are to me, nor would they even really care. But they can have lunch on my table and chairs without so much as a “do you mind?”. Earlier this week, they ate in their van.
The two guys reek of pheromones, inconsideration, and sexism, and I want them OUT of my life. I feel like I used to feel when I waited tables and was forced to be nice to people who were assholes. But this time, I’m not working for anyone. I just have the misfortune of being a tenant.
And y’all, before anyone leaves me a lecturing or shaming comment (cuz it’s happened before), bear in mind that I do have some idea of how difficult it is to do this kind of work, especially when it’s hot outside. I do have some empathy for that. I wish I were a more compassionate person than I am. I guess it comes from being treated with little consideration for most of my life and, in turn, not necessarily being taught to be considerate myself.
Yes, that’s right. I kind of had to learn from people other than my family to have regard for others. But even when I try to be hospitable, it comes off as kind of awkward and weird. Usually, people don’t accept, anyway. At my age, I figure I might as well be real. And I want these dudes to finish their job and just beat it. Get the fuck out of my house! NOW!
Just one more day… just one more day. Hopefully, I won’t emulate Marguerite Perrin before tomorrow…
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