We're going to our vacation house in the desert for the weekend. I'm looking forward to it. I miss the cats but I love being able to just lay around and relax and not feel the intense pressure to improve things around my home, like I do when I'm here. Here at home there's always the pressure to do something, there's always something that needs doing, and when we're away there's only so much I can make myself feel guilty for not doing. For example right now I'm thinking about how my friend, the magazine editor Sunday called and I know this means she wants to come over to shoot the house for Woman's Day magazine.
There's no way our house is camera ready, not even close. I have to order new blinds for the windows and sew window treatments and have someone build valances, there's Beau's bathroom that's been waiting for a year to be completed, my bathroom needs to be repainted and I have to iron the ribbons on the storage baskets and retie them. All of my paper lanterns need to be taken down, dusted and rehung. My bed needs new bedding, the bookcases need to be sorted and dressed, all of the dining room china storage pieces need to be sorted out, arranged, and made pretty. In the living room I need to have new slipcovers made for all of the furniture and there are the bookcases on either side of the fireplace to arrange and prettify. Every one of my three green glass sinks is broken and I've been waiting for an estimate from the plumber that I know will be more than I can afford to pay for. Then there's the nightmare of my back yard. I don't even want to start having to face what an entire season of rain and weather has done to all of the things, furniture, toys, collectibles, antiques, linens, photos, suitcases -- oh God it goes on and on -- that we took out of the garage and just left out there barely covered with tarps. I'm just dreading this and I know I always make more of things than I should, that nothing is ever as frightening as I make it out to be, but I just don't want to face having to sort through and throw away so many of my ruined things, so I keep putting it off. At least in Palm Desert I won't have all of this hanging over my head like it does here.
I do take things along with me though and I never let myself off the hook completely, I could be on a cruise, aboard a ship in the middle of the ocean, and I'd find something I had to do, organize my suitcase, write postcards home, something, anything that would keep me from being completely at ease in the moment. This weekend I'll be taking a collage card project that has to be completed and postmarked by the first, but I'm looking forward to doing it. I hate that I'm so driven while being so stuck because I'm such a neurotic perfectionistic fear girl, bleh. Help me universe please?
I'm looking forward to seeing The Day After Tomorrow, tomorrow. I like anything having to do with extreme weather and I love special effects so this should be a fun lollipop adventure flick. While I am concerned about our planet and I've been listening to Art Bell for ages and read The Coming Global Superstorm, I just don't think things will go down like they do in this movie.
Oh and speaking about global warming, I just read that Ford is going to release a hybrid SUV this coming summer and I'd love to trade my gas guzzling monster (that I got so we could tow a trailer, haul antiques around in, and drive Irma's four kids and Beau to and from school and play dates), in and get it. I just don't know if I'll be able to swing it financially and then there's still my unrequited dream of owning an Airstream that we can tow behind our car, travel the US with, and take to Burning Man so we won't have to spend a fortune renting an RV. Everything depends on my either getting a loan or persuading my mother to free up funds from my dwindling trust and Beau's, and I seriously doubt this will happen.
Irma, who left her van here for me to tow or drive to Boston for her this summer, has changed her mind and decided to have her aunt come and pick it up in order to sell it to settle debts she has here. I'll be sad to see it go because it's my last remaining physical connection to Irma, but it'll be a relief to me not to have to worry about having to get it Boston. I don't know what this will mean in terms of our trip, it definitely takes the pressure off of us, but I'd still like to go. I feel like this is my last summer with Beau, he's fourteen and already getting kind of fed up with being with me, I doubt he'll be wanting to hang with his mom next year, he'll probably have a real girlfriend by then or want to stay here with friends. I'd like to take him around the country and show it to him before he won't be willing to do this with me. I'd love to take him to Europe, to show him London and France but that's not gonna happen : (
Last night when I came home Beau was completely freaking out over these two mean IMs that he was getting from supposed friends. I came in the front door and Beau shouted to me from the top of the stairs, "Mom! Chris Lord is IMing me and he's being a complete fucking asshole! I want to kill him. If he were here I swear to God I'd punch his face in!" Okay, hold on, my son was supposed to be doing this big video project and instead here he was swearing and yelling about a friend we hadn't head from in more than a year and well, the whole thing was kind of weird and shocking. Chris Lord is the son of friends of mine and my mom's, and the grandson of old friends of my parents. He and Beau used to play together when they were little but then he stole a bunch of Beau's Pokemon cards, (remember that whole crazy insane expensive card collecting thing, well, he would take them from Beau and resell them at a store near our home), and when I confronted him about it that was pretty much the end of the friendship. sad but true. Anyway he and his family moved to Spain about a year ago and we haven't heard from them since. Although I still love them and miss them because we were so close once.
So I rushed up the stairs and into Beau's room and tried to read these IMs that kept coming in fast and furious. Whoever it was had written to Beau from out of the blue and just started being really cruel to him, picking on his weight and my weight, scaring him by telling him he knew where he lived and was going to come beat him up, calling him gay, picking on our bald cats, and so on. Beau, being the super mature young man he is, completely freaked out and started trading really nasty homophobic insults with whoever this was who was writing to him.
I HATE anything homophobic and it really bothers me that all of these teenage boys call each other gay and fag and make comments about taking it up the butt and so on. It hurts me to hear it, and even though I think I've done the best I can to educate my son, to help build his compassion and understanding for everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, their skin color, their social status, and put him in the most diverse, liberal, all inclusive schools I could find, it still goes on -- this crap, this hurtful, divisive, macho crap.
My little boy who once loved pink as much as he loved blue, who played with Barbies as much as with Hot Wheels and took such good care of his baby doll, this sweet, innocent, great big hearted kid, is trading "Fuck you gay boy," insults online with someone pretending to be an old family friend. He tells me that these are just words and don't mean anything, that he doesn't dislike anyone gay, that it's just the way his friends, (or enemies), talk to and trade insults with each other. Whatever it is, it horrifies me and makes me want to call his school and get them to hold a town meeting to discuss the prevalence of this kind of hurtful language and homophobic behavior. He doesn't get that he could be talking like this with other kids, just posing and acting tough, while one of them might just be gay and be hurt badly by this.
I would have come down harder on him for his part in this, for the way he handled himself, for the way he chose to respond to whoever was flame bating him, but I could see how hurt and frightened he had been, and that all of this tough guy posing was just his way of protecting himself and standing up to this other kid who had been calling him a fat ass and a fag and insulting me, saying, "Hey fat ass, if you're so hungry why don't you go eat your big fat mother, she ought to have a little extra fat on her for you, like, say five hundred pounds or so." He kept taunting Beau about his weight, writing pancake, pancake, pancake, over and over again, and then saying stuff about cake and mayonnaise and it just went on and on in this really mean way. He said he was Beau's old friend Chris but then, way too coincidentally, a troubled jerk of a boy who lives up the street, IMd Beau and started saying that Chris was IMing him. I think it was all this one boy because he'd sign off just as the other one would sign on.
I called to try to talk to his parents but he intercepted the call so I'm going to try to reach them again tomorrow when he's at school. I saved the IM so I'll be able to print it out and show it to them, but I'm not holding out too much hope for a happy ending. I haven't had much luck in dealing with Beau's friends parents. I've never had a single discussion with any parent who ever took responsibility for their kids behavior or ever took my upset seriously.
I've always been so good about this kind of thing. If anyone ever complained to me about Beau I would just dive right in and start sorting everything out, but not these parents. I don't know if it's an LA thing, I'm kind of starting to think so, but the parents I've dealt with have been really irresponsible, nasty and defensive to a one. It kind of blows my mind and makes me wary about taking problems to people. If my son had instigated a big flame war with another kid, scared someone or made them cry, or done something unkind, I would want to know and pronto.
He was already really stressed out to begin with because these are the last couple weeks of school and he has all kinds of projects and papers hat are due, and this huge portfolio he has to assemble, and like me, Beau is a perfectionist who puts things off rather than do them a little bit at a time until they're done and out of the way. He had this final project that was due in his Spanish class today and two papers and a bunch of other homework so the timing couldn't have been worse. He came into my room crying and saying he just couldn't handle the stress so after a bit of arguing and going back and forth between my room and mine he gave in and let me help him break it down into small pieces that he could handle.
He wound up making a cute video in Spanish using his sock puppet -- the dog with the mike that pets.com used to use -- where he interviewed our cats. We'd practice his sentences and then he'd lean the sock puppet into the frame with a cat and talk to it. In one shot, one of the cats that he was pretending to interview, (Chippy), got sick of Beau putting the stupid sock puppet in his face and just hauled off and attacked him, he was wrestling with the cat, who was pretty much biting into his head, saying, "Ay! Ay! Alluda me! Alluda me!" -- Oh! Oh! Help me! Help me!! -- in Spanish and it was just so funny.
Oh, a friend of our family is on Conan, (I admire this man so much, I wish he'd run for president again), I have to go.
Love you guys,