Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Yes, Rico, Kaboom."

My PC had a major viral meltdown about two years ago, and I had to reload it from scratch. In it's pristine, baby faced newness it needed a name on the home network, and we had just seen the Christmas short with the penguins from Madagascar. (I love the scene in Madagascar where the penguins finally reach Antarctica, and are standing there looking at the frozen, wind torn flat whiteness...) The moment I had pressed the button to wipe everything off my machine had felt like pushing the handle down on an old fashioned dynamite detonator, so I decided to call my reborn PC "Rico," and it's spot on the home network is "Kaboom." And so it still is.

And today, after all the stress and running around of this July, which was preceded by a fun but overwhelming trip to PA, which was preceded by tribulations with our sick cat and the unbelievable vet bills... we should have been able to predict that we adults would be on edge and Saturday would be the logical day for a different kind of explosion. I said afterward that we should have been able to put it on the calendar months ago, for this Saturday or next.

When we push our emotions or introverted needs down and ignore them for weeks ("no time for those right now") we store up gunpowder for later. At first we put it somewhere safe, deep inside, and it seems OK. But then it starts to be in kegs stacked here and there, under our various pieces of interior furniture, and they start to get in the way. And THEN it's suddenly all over, lying in little drifts in the corners, and blowing down our inner corridors, being trampled underfoot. At that point we ought to know we're in trouble, but instead we pretend we can handle it, that the danger will diminish with some time to decompress... And then there's a lightning strike, or someone lights a match. Or I get in a strange mood and don my hobnail boots and clomp around the inner spaces until I kick up a spark on the stone floor...

Fortunately with age and experience we get the business over with faster than we used to. The time the kids have to spend behind their bedroom doors, before we knock and tell them it's over and we've talked through it, is shorter than when we were younger. We all talk about what happened, and why. And understanding more quickly the underlying causes, we don't hurt each other as much as we used to. Oh there are still bruises from initial POW! when the kegs all go up in a flash, but these days it's more noise than damaging concussion. We usually both need the release when it comes.

And while I was writing the previous paragraphs upstairs, this was being quite independently written downstairs...

>>>> Appendix de Grenouille #5 <<<< There is nothing like a drinkin' buddy. The evening might begin with a claret, and proceed to port or amontillado after dinner... Nothing like red wines to flush the face and bring the laughter.

But there are other nights, and a good drinkin' buddy knows the difference, when stronger medicine is needed. Today, for instance, was a "two shots with lunch" day. A bottle of Patron or Don Julio can last over a year in this house, but when it's called for, it's good to know the location of a bottle, and a pal or two to watch you take your doses.

3 comments:

linda said...

I said EBB in life not war....ahh well, the joys of cohabitation... with children underfoot... at all times ...

storing up powder kegs is one thing I am really good at...and I know the best place to hide them...under my shrink's couch ;)

Steve Emery said...

Linda - What a convenient place to store the explosives. I guess we do that too, but it doesn't help our kids so much - MLight and I ARE each other's shrinks. And best friends. And critics. And security blankets. And masseuses. And... Our teenage daughter frequently tells us how "adorable" we are. When we're not verbally blowing the windows out of the house together.

DCup said...

I came for the drinking buddy and then read this companion piece to the one I'd previously read at moominlight. You guys really do remind me of Doug and me. We share those patterns of stuffing the tension and bad feelings until kaboom! Our kids scatter. The cats take cover. We exchange our anger in words and then it's over and time to move on. Like you guys, we're better at it and able to recover more quickly from it.

I gues this will always be to some extent. It's part of being bound together in love and obligation (the good kind), isn't it?