Monday, April 12, 2010

Nutcase Behavior

One of my new favorite blogger is The Feminist Breeder.  She is an amazing woman with a talent for making a point in a way that speaks to me. 
In Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah there is a part where he talks about how you can find the answer to any question you have by just randomly opening a book and the answer will be there. I find this same concept to sometimes apply to the blogs I read.  Tonight it did.
I have been suffering through a rather awkward social situation over the last few days. I have been called out and ostracized for speaking my mind and holding people to the same standard that I expect of myself. I am angry over the whole incident and have been trying to decide how much and what to share here. I do not want to resort to a "public" bashing. While I am choosing to take the High Road in the whole situation there is still that voice in the back of my brain that shouts for me to lash out and call out the people for their behavior. I'm angry. And truth be told I'm a little hurt - in a what'd-I-ever-do-to-you kind of way.
Before taking any kind of grand action I decided to clear my head in the blog-o-sphere.  It clears my head and helps me to put my words in order. That's when I had my Illusions moment.  So, instead of trying to put together some kind of witty blog on my half-mush brain I think I will let TFB do it for me HERE. Thanks for the help, Gina. To those that know what's going on Hell Yeah! and Suck It! depending on which side of the fence you're on.  If you don't know what's going on, too damn bad - but I hope you enjoy it anyway, it's a good read.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Airport Fiasco

While I am generally a fan of going to the airport, tonight was an exception. I find airports to be highly amusing places. It's the best place in the world to people watch.
I went to go pick up Allie and Jane from their flight home from their visit to see their dad. This is something I do about 3 times a year so I'm fairly well versed in how the airport works. Tonight they threw me for a loop.  Allie is old enough now that the girls don't fly as Unaccompanied Minors and technically do not require escorts to and from the gate. However, we still do this. It's not a big deal. I go to the ticket counter when I drop them off, let them know that I want to escort them and get a gate pass. I leave my ex-husband's name with them as the person that will be picking them up on the other side and he checks in when he gets there and goes through without incident. This process is then repeated in reverse on the way home. This generally runs rather smoothly. When you do this six times a year you get pretty good at it. For instance, I know that flights to Milwaukee are generally about 20 minutes early. Flights into Seattle are generally about 20 minutes late. Depending on the time of day I know how early I need to get there to get through security in a timely manner and which point to go through.  We've had a couple mishaps (like the time his wife forgot to leave my name at the counter) but all in all we've got the process down.
Tonight was a different story. When I got to the ticket counter they were closed. How the hell am I supposed to get a gate pass if there's no one from the airline to help me? I asked a representative from a nearby airline what I could do. She pointed me to the customer service number and suggested I call them. Well, it's Sunday. It's also Easter. The automated line informed me that they had closed for the day some 8 hours earlier. Shit. The arrivals board said that the flight had arrived on time at 10:07, not at 10:57 like it was on the website when I checked earlier in the day. SHIT! I tried the counter at baggage claim but there wasn't a counter for the airline they were on. I called Doug in an obvious panic because I was on one side of security while my kids had possibly been sitting on the other side for close to an hour. He suggested I find our nearest friendly TSA person and explain the situation and see what they could do.  So I found one and explained the situation. Thankfully she was what one would expect from our highly trained government employees and was next to no help at all. Was I sure that there was no one at the ticket counter? Um, yes. I could try to talk to another airline. Done. I could have them paged. I'm not even sure the plane has landed but thank you for your "help" and don't strain yourself getting off that stool on my account. I left wondering what exactly the punishment was for punching a government employee for being stupid was.
Then I saw a Port of Seattle officer and decided he couldn't be an less helpful than I had encountered so far and asked for his help. Bless this man! He listened to my story and said that he would meet me at the exit from the terminal once he had his "vehicle". Apparently he was living out fantasies from his youth while watching CHiPs. This little scooter thing was hilarious but I kept my snarky comments to myself since he was being so helpful. He scooted down to the gate where they would be arriving and talked with the ticket people there and found out that the plane was just coming in.  He came in and assured me that they would not be left to wander. When I explained that they were not listed as Unaccompanied Minors he zoomed off with the assurance that he would bring them back to me in one piece and that everything would be OK. And he did.
Thank you Mr Port of Seattle Officer. You made an incredibly worrisome experience turn out good in the end.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some things we never leave behind

It's funny to me how sometimes there are things that we expect to leave behind us because we are adults. There insecurities and the sometimes incomplete sense of self that you expect will go away once you "know who you are". As we get older we are able to look back over our lives and see things that were the "end of the universe" to us as children and teenagers, with the clarity of experience, and understand how inconsequential those thoughts/feelings were. In the grand scheme of things the problems of Then are so small in the Now.
Once we have children we watch them go through some of the same situations that we did. While the circumstances are never the same, the situations are. I watch my daughters go through the same struggles that I did as a young girl. While it breaks my heart to see that they are having to fight with these things I know that the experiences are going to make them The Woman She Will Become.
Sometimes though, it doesn't happen like that. I am that Woman.  As we age we are (or at least should be) constantly evolving. We are learning from our experiences and forming new relationships. Our personalities are like a muscle that is constantly exercised. While the same basic shape is there, the abilities are forever changing. Every once in a while though, we are forced to come face to face with the fact that we have not overcome things that we had expected we would or even thought we had.
I had a conversation with Krysty last night that brought this very thing to light. While getting the basics of what was going on was a slow and painstaking process getting to the root of the matter was much simpler. I watched as she looked at me with increasing sense of awe as I was able to put exact words to her feelings. Feelings that she couldn't quite explain herself. "You're feeling like this, and this, and this". "This is a problem here, here and here. What other people don't get is THIS". No, I am not a mind reader. But I am Mom. I come with my own experiences and yes, sometimes those experiences will mirror your own, Kid. I know from experience exactly how you are feeling because I went through that, too. I have the wisdom that comes from living through it and being able to have the hindsight of an adult to look back and understand what is going on with you now. Unfortunately there is nothing that I can do to change it. I can't stop it. Here are some tools, some tricks, and the best words of advice I can offer you but that's all I have.
I hope for now that it is enough. I hope that one day she can look back at this conversation and understand that I am doing the best that I can. Maybe this will stand out as one of my finer moments. A mom can dream, can't she?
In trying to explain the situation to Doug I realized that this is not only something that I Once dealt with, but is something that I Am dealing with. I know that it was difficult for him to understand what she was going through. I know he doesn't understand and doesn't know what to do to help her because he is unable to recognize it or help me while I struggle with the same issue. Intellectually I understand how his brain works and where the discrepancy is in the situation.  It's not that he's  unwilling to help. It's that he does not recognize the problem as I do and sees no need for resolution. There's no need to fix something that isn't broken.  If he does acknowledge the problem there is still little that he can do to help because he lacks the skills necessary to be part of the solution. The old adage holds true here that "If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem".  This is something that we have struggled with for the entirety of our relationship. For me, it's like having something stuck under your contact lens.
I would've rather hit the corner of something hard with my pinky toe than have had to come to this realization.  Finding yourself racked with the same insecurities as your 15 year old daughter is difficult. Facing those insecurities while struggling with the shortcomings of someone you love sucks.
I went to bed with a head full of questions and problems there seems to be no solution to or chance or resolution for.
It was a long night.