Crash boom bang

By Mir
June 13, 2005

The weather is mimicking my moods, or else perhaps my mood is being influenced by the barometer. The temperature soars to a stifling 95 or so, and just when the air is so sodden it seems it must crash down around our ears, it does. Thunderstorms; brief but intense. One minute, all is calm… the next, the thunder and driving rain are deafening.

The storm passes. The sun comes out again, and the earth dries out. And the temperature begins its slow creep towards the breaking point, again.

Mother Nature has an odd sense of humor.

Saturday was hot and sunny and soothing. A day’s worth of chores that would’ve left me overwhelmed, on my own, turned into a day of great productivity with expert assistance. (We have decided that my sometimes-visitor needs a blog-worthy moniker. As of this afternoon, we’ve settled on DOG*. See footnote.)

Snippets from the day:

DOG: So when was the last time you cleaned out your gutters?
DOG: Have you EVER cleaned out your gutters?
Me: You’re funny!
DOG: You are PITIFUL. Where’s your ladder?

DOG: You have three wasps nests up here.
Me: Get down.
DOG: Eh, it’s fine, I’m over here, I don’t think I’m bothering them.
Me: Okay, well, I’m gonna go mow so that I can’t hear you when you SCREAM.

DOG: Okay, let me do the rest.
Me: No, I’m fine, I’m just taking a break. Having some water. Have some water!
DOG: Thanks. I’ll do the rest.
Me: Noooo, I’m fine.
DOG: Yes, I know, you’re fine. You’ve proven yourself a capable, independent woman! Congratulations! You mowed half the yard! I’m impressed! Now go away!
Me: You’re so cute when you’re a neanderthal.

Yes, it was lovely. Topped off with chinese take-out and a movie, curled up on the couch. Perfect, no? It really was.

Until about ten minutes into the movie. Sudden change of weather, you might say. In fact, I like that. Sounds so much less pathetic than saying “I had a panic attack.” Really, “I experienced a sudden change of weather” sounds much less disturbing. A sudden change of weather could be surprising, and inconvenient, but probably a little less frightening and embarrassing.

See, after that great day on Saturday, I’d figured that maybe I was “over” whatever triggered all that weirdness last week. Guess not. So the day came to a screeching halt. I retreated to bed ridiculously early, unwilling to tempt fate (I might feel better… or I might feel worse).

Sunday was spent doing a whole lot of nothing, and tiptoeing around hoping that I would stay sane. Hahaha! Who wants to come for a visit, next? It’s loads of fun around here!

Well, I may have been freaking out just a wee, tiny bit because it was time for DOG to meet the kids. At the appointed time on Sunday night, we retrieved them from my ex. It was actually pleasantly anti-climactic.

DOG and the ex shook hands. This is one of the signs of the apocalypse, by the way.

The kids bounded into the car, eager to go have hotdogs at their favorite diner. I can’t say they were good at dinner, but I think I only used the phrase “try to pretend you weren’t raised by wolves” just once. Monkey asked me to take him to the bathroom and I left Chickadee with the admonition to keep an eye on DOG for me. When we returned to the table, Chickadee gleefully blurted out, “DOG threw Monkey’s fork on the floor!”

I glanced back of forth between the two of them. They were both grinning and DOG was shaking his head. “Did not,” he countered.

“Yes you DID!” squealed Chickadee. “He did, Mama. He doesn’t have very good table manners.”

“Yeah,” DOG admitted, “she said she’s gonna write a letter to my MOM to tell her I don’t behave well at the table. But I didn’t throw Monkey’s fork! It fell.”

“While you were DRUMMING on the TABLE!” Chickadee was triumphant. DOG had just made a friend for life. We gave Monkey a new fork and all was well for about a minute.

This diner plays loud 50s and 60s rock music. First Monkey started chanting “wiggy wiggy wiggy” and swaying in his seat. Then Chickadee started swinging her head side to side, first with the beat and then just with wild headbanger abandon. “Guys, settle down,” I exhorted a couple of times. They continued. I looked across the table at DOG in frustration, and he smiled at me and joined the kids in grooving to the music.

Well, then.

Home again, I got the kids ready for bed, and we all piled on the couch to read. After a few high-fives for DOG, the kids followed me upstairs and I tucked them in. They were asleep in no time. We adults congratulated ourselves on a successful evening, while recounting the important information the kids had felt the need to relay (Monkey told DOG all about his girlfriend, J, and various superheroes, while Chickadee preferred to brag about school).

This morning, the kids begged to be allowed to storm the guest room and wake DOG. I managed to dissuade them… but I was feeling sort of shaky. I got them packed off to school and came home and went back to sleep.

Today was hard. The day he leaves is always hard, but today was even harder because I’m still waiting for some sort of divine signal that Oh yeah, that little period of INSANITY is over now! (No, I have no idea what that sign might look like. Pretty sure it hasn’t happened yet.) But, I got through the day, made the trip the airport, said our goodbyes, and went to fetch the kids. The evening went by quickly.

Tonight I sat with Monkey a minute before bed, and he worked his fingers into my hair and said, “I am going to MARRY J when I’m old enough. I think when I’m 16.” I suggested he wait a little bit longer for marriage, reminding him that they could probably just keep dating for a while. “Mama, who’s your boyfriend?” Monkey asked.

“Hmmmmm. Who do you think? Do I have a boyfriend?”

“Yes, you do,” Monkey told me as if I was slightly retarded. “I think DOG is your boyfriend.”

“Oh. Hmmm. Maybe. Would that be okay with you?”

“Yeah. But you don’t know yet if you’re going to marry him.” He wasn’t looking at me, but concentrating on curling my hair around his fingers.

“That’s right, sweetie.” It felt like I should say something else, but I wasn’t sure what.

“Yeah,” he went on in that same off-handed way, “because you’re not old enough yet.” I laughed and he was startled, but soon joined me.

“I was already married once, remember?” I tickled him under his chin and he squirmed. “I’m old enough. Just dunno if I’m SMART enough, yet.” Monkey found this hilarious, and giggled his way into bed.

I wondered if I’d face a similar inquisition from Chickadee, but she was only interested in having me try to wiggle all of her teeth to find out which ones might be loose. She’s either still processing or is in fact a Pod Chickadee. But who knows… it’s just been a very weird week all around.

Now I’m alone again; the kids are in bed; the latest storm has just passed and I can still hear thunder in the distance.

I don’t know what happens next, or when. I’d love to believe that Saturday night was my last, er, sudden change of weather. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. I have too many good reasons to get myself together to not just carry an umbrella and hope for the best.

* DOG: an acronym I may or may not clarify at a later date. Also I may send a prize to the person who correctly guesses what it stands for.


  1. fay

    Dating One Guy?

  2. Katie

    Dear Old Guy? (But I’m sure O is really a better adjective/noun than old. It’s late, my brain has turned off.)

    Remember, one storm at a time! Err, I mean one day at a time!

  3. Bob

    Descreetly Ogled Gent
    Determinedly Obliging Guy
    disgustingly oversexed geezer (sorry)
    Diplomatically obloquious gars
    Doggedly Optimistic Great-heart
    Decidedly Omnivorous Gormand


  4. Betsy

    I can completely relate to and/or understand the panic involved in having kids meet new boyfriend (and vice versa.) It can definitely be an event worth freaking out over…

  5. DOG

    No prizes tonight.

  6. alice

    Damn Ordinary Guy

    And yay! It’s always great when the first meeting goes well.

  7. alektra

    I can’t guess. Mainly cos I woke up and it’s 3:00am. But yay for a nice guy!

  8. udge

    Just dunno if I’m SMART enough, yet.

    Now, that is an insight worth recording.

    BTW, I bet it isn’t an acronym at all, but a reference to the drooling, thing-fetching. cookie-scarfing doghorse from work.

  9. Zuska

    Considering I had to google “vorpal bunny” the other day, I don’t think I’m going to crack the “DOG” code anytime soon. But I’m glad the anxiety attacks seem to be on the decline, and I’m even happier that Chickadee and Monkey approve of DOG!!!

  10. Grammahoney

    I’m subject to frequent “sudden changes of weather” myself. The umbrella market is gaining points as I type…..

  11. Carmen

    “dirty old guy”??

    I’m lame, what can I say. But, good for you!

  12. Randi

    Dear Ordinary Guy
    Dear Other Guy (LOL)
    Damn Obliging Guy


    Congrats on the meeting with the kids! I remember my mother dating when I was younger, and how it was always wierd for her to introduce her current guy to me…but trust me, the kids will be fine, they’ll even learn (in time) to soak him for whatever they can! I always used to get the best presents from her dates trying to suck up to her! One of the perks, I’d say. But she always asked me MY opinion, which I thought was really special, and to this day, I still remember that. Congrats on being happy!

  13. Amanda

    Descendent of God?
    He did clean your gutters.

    Wishing you good weather.

  14. laura

    Doing One Guy?

    Dating Only, Gah!

    Digs Out Gutters? (his Indian name)

    Whatever it is, I’m glad y’all had a good weekend.

  15. Cindy

    Damned Odd Guy
    Dude On Girl
    Dirty Old Geezer

    That’s it, isn’t it? Dirty Old Geezer! What did I win?

  16. poopie

    Damned old goat! Lookin’ forward to finding my own DOG someday ;)

  17. K. Brown

    Looks like DOG cracked the code on breaking the ice with your kids…silly goofiness usually sets them right at ease, nothing worse than an aloof adult…seems like a nice guy, hope all goes well with the wedding :) I’m adding you to my are a good writer, thanks for sharing!

  18. MShellG

    Yay for you and the kids and DOG (“Do-er Of Good”)– hang in there with the storms. Methinks you worry you’re not worthy of good feelings and happiness, but OH, you so are! :O)

  19. Sarah

    Mir and DOG…sittin’ in a tree…

    Okay, you’ve gotta give him a new name. Do it for me. The whole time I was reading this, I was picturing DOG the Bounty Hunter from that reality show…Your poor children, having to come home from school seeing a balding man with a frizzy blond mullet dressed in black leather with a giant can of mace clipped to his belt quoting bible passages–all the while cleaning your gutter.

  20. Gina

    I had a feeling, that when I came back, you’d have a guy….digging out your gutters. lol. It’s lovely to know you’re well. :)

  21. Lizzie

    Does Only Gutters?

  22. Lizzie

    Dances On Gutters?

  23. Mom

    Does One Good?

  24. DebR

    Dear Old-fashioned Gentleman?

  25. fin

    The Victorian poets believed that their moods influenced the weather…talk about egocentric! But still kinda cool….

  26. Deb

    Is “cleaning out my gutters” a euphemism for.. you know, sex? Or is it really just a chore. Oh, wait that could still be the same thing.

  27. Carolyn

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who visualized “Dog” the bounty hunter. If it is him you’ll have to bleach out your hair a bit.

  28. Angelize

    Divorced old guy?

    Good luck with the anxiety attacks. You are a great writer and express yourself very well. Take a deep breath, and relax. You are in my prayers.

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