Tuesday, September 25, 2012
No One Is Carol Brady Except Carol Brady....And She Had Alice
I gotta say sometimes this blended family thing blows serious chunks! OK, that being said, I remember reading some advice once about it being good to buy a new house together that way everyone can't claim territorial rights...good in theory but it doesn't take into account that in some ways, Xing Fu & I are kinda like a newly married couple, with all of the angst that comes in the first year of any marriage & subsequent moving in together issues. And yup, the added smooshing of families also adds more angst & the loss of the only house my kid has ever known, and, and, and....well, y'all get the point. So why can't I be Carol? The ability to smoothly glide into her step-children's lives (and Tiger's) & become the loving, cheerful, smiling stepmomma that everyone loves. Maybe it's easier since they were both widowers & didn't have to deal with intrusive exes & confused loyalty issues. I'm sure the exes must have a bit of schadenfreude whenever there is perceived "drama"--the desire to see the house of cards come crashing down on the household & the vicarious, "I told you it wouldn't work.", while giving that little shake of the head & little half smirk of superiority...Well dammit! I ain't Carol & I really don't have Alice to smooth the rough edges. And sometimes, just sometimes I get oh, so tired of playing the part of something I'm not. Stress fractures appear in the supposed calm mien & I need to "light out for the Territories" as Stephen King or Peter Straub might say in The Talisman. Which is exactly what I did on Sunday. I disappeared for 6 hours--I couldn't breathe, I felt unwelcome in my own new house where there aren't supposed to be territorial issues, & I didn't want to scare anyone...so I lit out. My son knew that I needed to get out & wasn't worried (he knows me so well) & I needed to get perspective & get away from a toxic dump. I just needed to remind myself that "this too will pass" & that things will get better....in about 4-7 years! as the experts on blending families like to point out. And in reality, even though we've been in this house together since late May, it is still very new to all of us. Sometimes being a Brady is just much easier!