Anyone who runs a business knows that sometimes you will get a client who is just plain nasty. You know the type – they don’t know what they want, and yet they expect you to. Everything you do is wrong, despite the fact that it’s obviously brilliant and they’re jolly lucky to have you working for them. And no matter how hard you work for them they are uncooperative and ungrateful (I would say ‘mean’, only I’m too mature and professional for that).
Fortunately I haven’t had much of that, but I did have one the other day. Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt I have decided that he is obviously psychotic and dealing with multiple personal issues – I really ought to feel sympathetic rather than offended.
Anyway, to get to the point, when I got off the phone I decided to cheer myself up by adding a splash of colour to my life. The perfect time to dust off that semi-permanent hair dye I’ve had under my bathroom sink for goodness knows how long. In full “I am woman, hear me roar” mode, I decided to abandon my usual namby pamby self and leave it on for the maximum time; after all, semi-permanents only last a couple of weeks, so how bad could it be?
As I was towel drying my glorious head of bright purple locks I glanced at the box to realize that I had actually used permanent dye. Now my usual reaction to such a disaster would be to collapse in a corner weeping and gnashing my teeth. Strangely, I remained quite calm and even enjoyed a bit of a giggle (my daughter wants to know who I am, and where her mother is).
For the next few days I washed it over and over again until I resembled someone with a personal hygiene fetish and it actually faded quite quickly to a bright, and only slightly pinkish, red.
Imagine my surprise when all sorts of people started telling me how well I look. It may have been because I was unable to leave the house without three extra layers of make-up to avoid the picture of my fluorescent white face framed by a beacon of shining red.
Still, now I’m used to it, I really enjoy being a redhead. I think I’ll keep it for a while.
I have always hated unsolicited advice. In fact I despise the implication that I may not be doing a perfect job – regardless of the kinds of awful self-deprecation to which I expose myself in the privacy of my own head.
And advice about child rearing is the worst. I know that my children are spoilt brats who never have to do a thing for themselves, and I really don’t need other people to go rubbing it in. I get all indignant and console myself with the fact that, pampered though they are, they do all know how to use the stove and the washing machine; even how to find their own closet when it comes time to put some clean clothes away. Really, no one is going to starve or go naked when they leave home.
So, when Mothers Day passed without even a hint of thought or planning on the behalf of the progeny, it resulted in a dreadful epiphany – I have raised my children to be over-indulged and frankly hopeless (and let’s not even get started on their father!). You see, I thought you were supposed to teach by example, and I always lead a brilliant campaign to celebrate special events; thoughtful gifts, cakes and goodness knows what else. When I’m not spearheading the planning committee, guess what happens … not much of anything.
It seems there is a very fine line between being a devoted, caring mother and a doormat. I have, apparently landed somewhere distant of that line, so I’m having trouble spotting it right now.
I’m still somewhat ticked, so the kids have had a hard lesson this week in pitching in or else. I just hope I can make it last – I know from experience that playing the heavy eventually wears thin, and I have a tendency to resort to the more peaceful solution of ‘do-it-yourself’.
I have until the summer to whip them into shape, and then we’ll see what my birthday brings.
I’m guessing it’s not a good thing when you actually resent your children for having more friends than you do.
Yes, it’s quite pathetic to find yourself waiting patiently at home in case anyone shows up wanting some attention. And yet, as the children get older, I’m starting to notice a disconcerting pattern here. They do their own thing, popping by periodically in search of food, money or a ride somewhere; I guard an empty house and an even emptier notion that their lives should revolve around me just as mine does around them.
This weekend, as I surveyed the piles of abandoned backpacks and discarded belongings, I did have a fleeting thought that I should pick up. Those ideas never last long, though, and this one was soon replaced by the conviction that I should really be out enjoying myself in the company of friends. But, what friends? I couldn’t think of a single person who might not be fully immersed in some delightful family moment – or worse still, cleaning their house.
In my bid to prepare myself for the emptying nest, it’s obvious I am going to have to work on liberating a companion.