Dropping like flies…

Made a double batch of Elderberry syrup tonight.  Middle daughter, husband and youngest daughter have been/are sick. Sort of a PU situation because our church has their annual picnic on Sunday.  We’ve all been looking forward to it, but my husband put the kibosh on us going tonight at dinner.  Said we’d all (excepting him) be staying home. He’s got to open up, turn on lights, etc.  He’s better, which is wonderful, and three of us have stayed well, but, it’s his call being that he’s the hammer at our home. Figures the rest of us will be carrying sticky germs on ourselves. I’m good with that. He’s got to be the wise one.

Oh well.

Funny thing.  I tend to enjoy our home being quarantined.  It’s restful.  We eat soups and peanut butter and crackers, drink lots of juice and hold up. The world is ‘out there’ and we’re all preoccupied in resting and sleeping, watching old movies and taking medicine. So simple.

Thinking the increased iron I’ve been taking has helped me stay well.  Fingers crossed. Plus I’m all tensed up, fearing the sore throat they’ve all talked about getting. Nope. Will stay tense, because as soon as I relax, I’ll catch it. I think moms are famous for not getting ill.  We stay all worked up, and it works to our advantage.

Listening to Francesca Battistelli’s If We’re Honest and Hillary Scott’s Thy Will. Good stuff.

Round and round I go…

There’s this mental game I play with myself where I constantly second-guess myself and scold. Surely others know better than I do. The adults have this figured out. Hold your temper. Don’t express your opinions too loudly. Put a lid on it.

Being Southern doesn’t help.

My brothers are passive-aggressive, most likely learned from my parents who didn’t allow arguing. The silent treatment instead. Now when I get frustrated with my brothers, I’m called a drama queen because I question how they do (or don’t)  do things, always in regards to our mom’s care. My husband is of Irish descent, so he’s loud. I didn’t come from a loud household, but live in one now.

So I mentally sit on my hands. And when folks repond to me in silence, I take it as a rebuke, no doubt learned as a child that the silent treatment is punishment. They’ll begin talking to me when the silence has stretched far enough. Or when I’ve apologized, thus ending the abuse, which is what it is, if we want to be honest. Then we’ll be friends again. The instigators of the silent treatment always hold the cards, because you just can’t make a person talk if they won’t participate.

My husband, on the other hand, has taught me how to get back into his face when we disagree. Not always to his benefit, since I’ve proven to be a very good student of his technique of debate.

This is exactly why I don’t have open comments anymore. When I’ve written about controversial topics and have gotten no response, I’ve felt, once again, that old childhood feeling of getting it wrong. Shallow maybe, but it’s my shallow.

Folks need to be able to express themselves, and sadly, sometimes Christians can be the toughest in terms of self-expression, always wanting to be put together well, but in reality being as confused as everybody else. It’s okay to not have all the answers.  The bad part is behaving as if you do.

Don’t make me mad…

I’m teaching our girls to not put with cr*p, being at a loss to call it anything else. Oldest daughter has written ‘be heard’ on her wrist as a reminder.  Don’t want little feminists running around, but I do want our girls to feel empowered.  To be strong, both in the Lord and in themselves.

So, in keeping with that theme, oldest daughter and I ran an errand last night and I bought us chocolatey chip frapps as a treat.  I was driving us around while we drank them (in her car because it was parked behind my van in the driveway) in a neighborhood some of my friends used to live in.  A nice neighborhood.  Well, we’d been driving around about 5 minutes or so and I noticed a car following us.  Every turn we’d make, they’d make.  I got to a stop sign and they got close enough I could tell it was an older couple.  Well, older in terms of being a bit older than me. Figured it was a coincidence them following, but then I put on my blinker and they did the same.  And then I’d change my blinker and they’d follow suit.

By this time I’m getting a bit antsy. My heart was beating so fast. We were getting to 10 minutes of this nonsense.  I turned into a parking lot nearby with lots of cars and a couple of restaurants.  Lots of foot traffic.  Stopped the car (left it running) and they pulled up behind us.  Both of them got out, the woman in the passenger’s seat looking hacked off.  I lowered my window just a couple of inches (doors already locked) and the man came up beside my door, like a cop, sort of back, and once he got a look at my face he looked shocked and said they were looking for an old woman.  I said with as much anger as I could muster the first words that came to mind, “Don’t you EVER do that again.”  He sputters and begins apologizing and I raised my window on his words. Took off.  Didn’t give a rip as to his excuses. Our daughter said it was surprising (as she was laughing) that I didn’t run over his feet.  I was so mad.  Furious.

Okay, make excuses for him, because that’s what folks do.  We’re not allowed to get in people’s faces.  Our daughter’s car has a Snoopy sticker in the back window, identifying it as a bit different.  Old woman my a**. And these folks came out of the blue.  Suddenly following us.  Wrong is wrong.  And even now, I’m so angry.  To make me, as a woman, feel threatened, even if you’re making a mistake.

They could’ve been looking for an easy target (that’s happened to my mom with her car), maybe telling me there was a problem with the car, getting me to open the door. Anything is possible.  Or maybe they were just plain stupid.  Or looking for Grandma with a Snoopy sticker on her back window.  Which I doubt.

I don’t fall for the excuses anymore.  And didn’t believe a word of what he said.  What I think was that they were looking to hit on someone.  I just didn’t look so easy. I can make mad look pretty darn good.