"The strongest predictor of unhappiness is anyone who has had a mental illness in the last 10 years. It is an even stronger predictor of unhappiness than poverty - which also ranks highly." Polly Toynbee
In the dawning of the day I felt all my failures had seized, was as short lived as the life of a gnat.
The night before was euphoric, the next day, not so much.
Bootsie had taken me to work, in my car. We didn’t “dally”, but quickly showered and left. Having the keys to my car also meant she had the keys to the house, and as anyone who knows Bootsie would say, she is a habitual snoop. Just a quirk, not an accusation. And in reality, aren’t we All voyeurs? The day lagged unlike my love life which was habitual serial, monogamy. But 5 o’clock came and I was out the door too sweet. Bootsie was already waiting, top down on my convertible looking like she had that car all her life. She looked good, and the combination of her and that car that I mightily loved, I felt blessed. For a second.
“How was work?” a terrifically stupid question. And those who say Oh I loved it need a life ... Or a lifestyle change. And that wasn’t her real question.
She had gone back to the house, to be expected, and had noticed things were different from the night before. Apparently in all our lust she just skimmed past the two doors immediately preceding the love den, in practical terms, the mistress bedroom. Upon returning she took inventory of who else may be living there.
“Di, there is no delicate way to put this. She started “You have children?” .
More a statement than a question.
“Yes, my daughter is still living at home, but, not to worry, she really is a 60 year old in a 10 year Old’s body”.
Bootsie doesn’t do competition of this sort. She’ll go head to head with every dyke and man on the universe, but children are another thing altogether. The sad thing was, she had not even met the child. I made a point of adult proofing my children. I always warned that the first opinion would essentially be the ONLY opinion, and they should always be certain that when they left said house, they would be welcomed back. And I did this without physical damage. My daughter was especially cautious when it came to others opinions. She had high self-esteem, but she yearned to be a few steps higher than the average child her age because she craved education. Life experiences were interesting to her even as a very young child. She was an innate listener, but had the shortfall of being argumentative when she absolutely knew she was correct. It was not often she was incorrect, when she was, she offered apologies. But woe to whomever offered opposition. That was a problem if it was anyone but family. Bootsie felt that children should not argue ANYTHING, no matter how encyclopedia the issue.
I explained this to Bootsie at length. I really cared for her, but, in ALL cases, my children made the final decision. I know there are many out there that have guffawed at that statement, but to have a harmonious household is conducive to good health. And children can be formidable.
The sad thing is, Devon liked Bootsie. As opposed to most of the women I had been with to date, she had remarkable intellect. Devon craved this in people and had little patience for issues of no context.
In spite of all of that, I still looked forward to their meeting and felt it would be a wonderful meeting of the minds.
We picked Devon up from daycare, and she was still the small adult in the making though only seven. She came running to the car ready to share the day’s events. She immediately liked Bootsie, but who wouldn’t. So, being introduced to new “meat” her life story began. And Bootsie did her best in Bootsie terms, to placate the child.
But this fell apart over something as trivial as a pink liquid.
While eating dinner, I coughed, Bootsie clichéd
“Must have gone down the wrong pipe”
This sent the child scurrying to the medicine cabinet, bringing the bottle of Pepto Bismal with the detail of the human digestive system on the back, explaining how it would be impossible for it to “go down the wrong pipe”.
And the war was on.
I thought it was rather assertive of Devon to make a point with detail. I honestly felt Bootsie would find this clever.
She did not.
Bootsie felt children were never to argue with an adult. Even intellectually. She was raised in that fashion as were most baby boomers. There is an extreme in either discourse and I will admit, I favored Devon because, frankly, she was already light years ahead of the average human being intellectually. And being a baby boomer as well as the much unpopular middle child, I knew how not to raise a child. As it goes I didn’t get it right either way.
So day 3 of Bootsie and my relationship went something like this: .
Sheryl decides she wanted to move home...AGAIN. She argues this while Bootsie - for whatever reason - hides in the garage holding our cat cloudy. To this day I have no idea what either of us were thinking.
Sheryl leaves, Bootsie and I make an appointment to discuss this during daylight hours.
Either en route or at work. Uneventful until ...
Bootsie calls, seemingly upset. Her tires had been flattened. She was certain it was Sheryl.
I was equally as uncertain it was Sheryl. Sheryl was at work, I was certain. And truthfully - she wouldn’t have had the gumption much less the knowledge one would need to put together that scenario. Her adversary’s name, not too difficult, but it can take a bit of time, then her address, where she would be when and what kind of car she had.
So I offered to pay for new tires. She demurred and was especially pathetic in demeanor. But, NO, I insisted.
“Just a minute Diane” She says as she covers the phone’s mouthpiece “My sister, Diane has already come here from work and taking me to get new ones, and she wants to pay for them”.
Well, I have an almost surreal sense of memory. Surreal in that I remember the most inane things but forget the important things. I recalled Bootsie telling me about her family, her father’s steel company and her sister working for him. And of course she just gave me her sister’s name. Luckily Diane was the sister that worked at her father’s company or this case would never have been solved.
After I hung up with Bootsie, I found the number to her father’s company and asked for Diane. Luckily she wasn’t on break or in the powder room. She picked up and I made some lame excuse about being mistaken to the wrong extension, something of that nature.
Of course a call to Bootsie was in order. And she was home ... still. Not very quick thinking. No caller ID much less cell phones. Still, wouldn’t you think she could follow up that lie with equal action? .
“Bootsie, I just spoke to your sister...
” And she was off, like a friggin tire fire. I let her take it away until she ran out of steam. Pretty much pissed off that I called her family. Not even recognizing the lie she was just snagged in.
As soon as I could get a word in, I told her I didn’t give a shit about one word she said, because it was offensive to think I could buy into that narrative. What was the REAL story here? My heart was breaking to think that this person I felt so treasured by, was not the person I celebrated. Fortunately she picked up on that immediately.
“It’s the kid” She sounded like she was reading a Robert Evan’s script “I just can’t take you having a child” .
So there it was, and considering my track record, I shouldn’t have been surprised. But that didn’t stop the sensitivity lobe from making the leap of faith. And she was speaking of my child. That not only closes the door, but it pretty much seals it, nails it, boards it, and cinder blocks it. Closed for good.
But it didn’t necessarily close any windows. Well, ok, I'm being ambiguous. You will understand.
Beginning of Book
Yes, this is absolutely positively true. If you lived this wouldn't you write about it? Some of the names of characters in this blog are fictitious. This is an account of actual events. Some of the events have been compiled together for the flow of the story. Even when I read my own work, I wonder how it could be so. But if you study your own life and compartmentalize it into less than 200 pages, you would be surprised how interesting it really is!
TRUTH HAS WITNESSES (Dianne Lindsey) This material is the copyright Dianne Schuch Lindsey and cannot be duplicated in any fashion without the express permission of the Author. All rights reserved ©