Friday, May 15, 2009

Ramona's Mother

Last night, the Matron saw Ramona Quimby for the second time.  Alone.  

She had an excellent center seat, five rows in.  Perfect!  

As she was settling in, Much Ado transpired.  A young mother with four wee ones in tow (the youngest a baby) appeared next to her, confused about seating.

Young mother to the Matron and four people next to her:  "I think you're all in my seats?"

Within a few minutes, a dozen people were attempting to figure out why so many people had tickets for the same seats until the ever-observant Matron peered at the young mother's tickekts and deployed her doctoral skills:  "Why, your tickets are for Wednesday night,  not Thursday."

That poor mama brought her children to the wrong performance!   She practically burst into tears.  One of the children, did.  With two minutes to go until that curtain opened, the crowd stood frozen, deer in headlights all.   

Young Mother:  "I guess we'll just go, then."

Over the Matron's dead body.  That woman deserved a medal for getting out of the house with three children under seven AND a toddler (all with strong family resemblence).

An experienced audience member and General Control Feak (just ask Stryker), the Matron took quick command, noting that there were many available, open seats if people just ignored their assignment and scooted over.

Matron to those sitting in the disputed seats:  "Why, I'll move back one row to that seat.  If you two move down one and if your family shifts a seat, they can all sit together, here."

The Matron had to BATTLE two armies in order to enforce these last-minute decisions.  First, the young mother could not possibly allow the Matron to move BACK one row to a theoretically farther-away view (she's talking ten inches).  Second, the rest of the pack were hell-bent to be rule bound and anxious about moving out of their assigned seat.

Involved Audience Member Concerned about Moving:  "Are you sure it's okay?  How do you know so much?  Why don't you mind moving backwards?"

Matron:  "I've seen the show already.   And I know it's truly okay to move.   There's plenty of space.  Look -- even if someone comes in late and needs any of our seats, there are so many throughout the theatre and nearby. It's totally fine, I know it."

IAMCM previously mentioned:  "Why have you seen the show before?"

Matron:  "I have a child in the show.   I've been here enough to know that this kind of thing can happen -- it's no big deal."

IAMCM:  "Who is your child?"

Thirty seconds to go! The Young Mother looked positively panicked.  There was no way in the world the Matron was going to allow for the possibility that this woman and her children could not sit down.  

So she outed herself as Ramona's mother.

IAMCM:  "Remind me where you wanted me to move again?"

Why did she know this would work?  Thus established as a credible authority figure, the assembled patrons reassembled according to the Matronly design and that poor frazzled Mama was able to sit down in her good seats and watch the show.

And the Matron?   She got a completely unanticipated reward for her actions.   First, Scarlett's performance was about 100 times sharper than the performance from which these reviews were penned.   Coincidentally, the reviewed performance was the OTHER show the Matron saw, as well.  The Matron's not sure if time has been the ticket for her daughter or if the critics came on a down day.  

Regardless.    She was happy!

Scarlett has auditioned for three shows in three weeks and hasn't landed a role yet.  With just one role secured for next season, that child is genuinely worried.    That's the world the Matron is currently living in.   Between the new commercian work and the theatre, all of Scarlett's life is about showing up and asking:  "Please let me in!"

Which that child has shown a propensity to do, over and over, rejection after rejection, success, success, rejection and rejection again.  

So last night, the unexpected reward?   During intermission and after the show, all those theatre-goers showered the Matron with unfettered and genuine--slightly amazed--praise for her daughter.   In the midst of the rejections and critical reviews, the Matron let all the worries go and just enjoyed the show.  Really.

And the Young Mother said this, afterward, with feeling.  "Watching my own child up there?  I just can't imagine how that feels to see your daughter performing like that in front of hundreds of people!"

Last night?  Without her critic's hat or fear of the future, she was just Ramona's mother.  Present. And it felt terrific.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All Things Satan's Familiar

Yesterday, per the Matronly request, Stryker made this Video Tribute to Satan's Familiar.  Please forgive the not infrequent F word in the lyrics.  This is her 7th grader's favored left-wing social protest music.   Not unlike Joan Baez.  (middle-aged mamas, it might help to keep the image of Baez in mind)

That dog can jump FOUR feet.  Really.  No counter top is safe.

The time he spends on two feet, waving those front paws?   About 20 hours a day.  The dance means:  I need Treat or Attention.

However, the Matron has been actually (gasp!)   enjoying  S.F.'s antics regarding the mail.   In addition to attacking letters as they arrive, Satan's henchman has begun hording them!  That's right.  He whips the letter about and then trots it off to a spot behind the couch.  The Matron is hoping he'll learn to recognize Bill and Credit Card Application.

 The last mailman did not like S.F.    Yes.  The dog received a warning!

The current mailman?  Yesterday, the Matron caught a strange glimpse out of her kitchen window.  The postal carrier, bag tossed off, carefuly inserting something awkward into the mail slot.

It was a dog treat.  Two of them, which the waiting Satan's Familiar ate wtih glee.

Friends, the Mail Man?  Was having a blast.  He carefully inserted letter by letter, timing each so that S.F. had plenty of time to reposition himself.  Why, that guy even teased the cloven creature by wiggling an envelope and not letting go.

The Matron is glad somebody loves that damn dog.  . . .  . who is the reigning expert on vomit, (which followed)   poop,    engorgement and escape!  

But maybe he'll solve that credit card bill problem.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Look in The Mirror, Matron

In yesterday's comments, the ever-insightful Witchypoo pointed out that the astrological winds have been whipping about a bit and perhaps the Matron was caught in said tailspin.

Such logic pleases the Matron.

She's better now.

She got to the molten fetid core of the 'mother's day' issue. This blog post led her there. Thanks, Aaryn!

You see, there Aaryn Belfer complains about her mother's eccentricities. Her bold approach to life -- her mother's show-stopping, attention-getting, larger than life ways. Her mother's Out There Approach takes Aaryn aback.

Here is the photo the demure dear Aaryn submitted to Derfwad Manor, potentially to be seen as representative-- and by millions.

Aaryn? The apple is wobbling dangerously near that tree. She says this in the most loving way, because she thought Aaryn's mother sounded like someone the Matron wanted to BE and the Matron was a little like 'wow could I be so groovy' when she first saw this picture.

But this allowed the always soul-searching Matron a little beacon of light into her own recesses. She was wobbling near that maternal tree, too. Only she was a rotten apple.

Today, the Matron was able to understand -- in that gut, illuminating, aha sort of way--how some qualities central to her own self were very similar to her mother.

The Matron was looking at her own life as trap, sieve blocked up with the gunk, bottleneck - burden. She felt put upon, over-worked and underappreciated. Mother's Day? She took no joy in her children. Life felt like work, work, work. Heck, she didn't even WANT children.

And the light!

She realized that, when she was a child and teen, this shoulder to the grindstone, life of Labor and pine, was a quality she saw (real or imagined) and most disliked in her mother. And now the Matron was wearing the exact same hair shirt!! (in a smaller and cuter size)

Indeed, not only was she wearing this frumpy little frock - it had become a second skin.

The Matron has the good sense to understand that if she had been a penniless, single mother of three, returning to college and sometimes holding down THREE jobs, she would be all shoulder to the grindstone as well. Her mother had no other options. It was 24-7 Shoulder that Burden.

The Matron? Not so much.

So the Matron took her own fine life out of its box again and held it to the window, where the late afternoon light came in -- just so--and the trees popped a brilliant green background to the blooming while lilacs.

And where yesterday she saw Burden, today she saw Luck and Light. And no small degree of self-creation.

Sure, there is Scarlett's bedroom.

But there is also beauty.

And order in that same home

No, he can't read yet.

But he's here. Present. Not hung up or in a hurry or stressed because there's no time or money. And the Matron wants him to stay that way. That hairshirt isn't the kind of garment she intends to pass down.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Morning Grouse

The Matron is out of sorts.

Yesterday was a bad day!  She and John groused at one another and the Matron spent most of her free time, cleaning.    Sure, the family agrees that Mother's Day is just one more cash cow for Hallmark, but she felt, well, neglected.

Scarlett and Merrick did make her a beaded necklace.

It broke.

This morning, her jeans were tight.    There might be a direct correlation to the amount of chocolate and chips  consumed by a certain someone over the weekend.

There's a fun little item in the Matron's life called 'the dropbox.'  This is where students 'drop' their final assignments.  Guess how many items are in the Matron's box?  Over 150.   Sigh.

Here's the kicker.  She tried, tried, tried to practice Naikon yesterday.  This is the practice of gratitude that she's written about before.    She tried to consider the pain she's caused her own mother, what gifts she received and what she (the Matron) received in return. 

Instead, all she could conjure from her childhood is that when she was a teenager living in Germany as an exchange student, she wrote home requesting chicken, fried rice and corn on the cob as her welcome home meal.   This request was sent via more than one letter and was more like "oh my god if you love me you'll make me my favorite foods I am DYING with the sauerkraut."

She's still bitter about the hamburger helper she got instead.   And more. . . . 

Friends, shall she consider today an experiment?  She is going to practice loving kindness -- relentlessly.  With ferver.  Starting with herself.  So whenever the great big swell of General Unpleasantness that has currently consumed the usually optimistic and upbeat Matron bears down?  She is going to greet this with love, kindness and sympathy.  Maybe she can get to a better place and start extending that feeling to her mother.

Let's see what happens,  shall we?

Given that her entire family is just one click from discovering this blog (hello to those who are already regular readers! she's sorry she's still wearing these warts),  this post will probably be removed tomorrow - -let's hope her mood goes with it.