Saturday, August 04, 2007

appearances

Here is a post I started to write a couple of weeks ago - right after the trouble with NCM...

July 23, 8:41am

I am having a thought that no wonder people try so damned hard to keep up appearances.
It's so people will leave them the hell alone, and not scrutinize what is going on on the inside. Maybe they think that if things look okay on the outside, no one will see the darkness (self doubt, pain, unworthiness) on the inside.

That's not how I choose to live my life.
I pretty much live my life on the outside. (aside from some messes around the house sometimes that I'd not want others to see. - vomited spoons and all that)
I feel I live my life truly and well, and I have nothing to hide, or be ashamed of.
I am confident.

But this has disturbed me. Made me feel like all of my choices and faults might be things to be ashamed of.
Made me think of every word that I've written here. Made me think of all my controversial choices regarding my children. Made me think of things I've said to intimates that could be held against me.

Made me doubt - even if only for a moment or two - all that I believe in, all that I am, and all that I attain to be.

I resent that.

I'm not attempting to put the blame for my own reeling emotions onto another.
What I'm angry about is that the thought of living a false life - one where flattery, keeping up appearances, presenting one's self as a friend, or "the same" as another in order to "get along in this world" appears to be the better, and easier way to live in this world (at least in this particular moment).
Eric said yesterday after NCM left something about "It's to be expected, babe. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."

I'm not railing against natural laws, or against modesty. I am called to raise my children in freedom, safety, and love so that I can protect them and encourage them to be Who They Are.


(August 3, 10:58pm)

I didn't finish it, and I didn't publish it. Eventually I dropped it, as I got over the feelings, and resentment.
Until today.

I was sitting on the front porch, reading and writing, as Maddie wanted to be in the front yard earlier, so I set up camp on the porch.

"Hello!" I hear, but I couldn't see a thing, as I had been looking at the screen, and was blinded in the darkness. But she called again.
It's a neighbor. This one lives across the street.

"Hi. I just wanted to come over and talk to you.... are you having problems with us across the street?"
"No." What?
"Are you still upset about all the traffic from Cat's place?" There are two duplexes across the street from me. It's always been like a strange little commune over there. But aside from the people calling dcfs this winter, I've never had a problem with anyone.
However, we are suspecting (ahem) that the neighbor in the rear is dealing something despicious, as there are -no kidding!- like 25 cars over there a day. Every day.
"Well, I notice the traffic, but...."
"Nancy and I want you to know (Nanc has lived there forever) that it isn't us!"
"I know that."
"Well, someone said they saw you taking pictures at cars over there the other day."
What?
Fence rail!
"Was it the day it started raining?!?" I'm starting to get pissed. (Sam will be proud that I said pissed. She always takes pleasure in such things.)
"I don't know" says nice neighbor. ""We would just like you to come to us if you have problem with anything."
"I wasn't spying on you, I was taking pictures of the damned fence. And rose bushes. I write and take pictures." Unbelievable.
"Oh. Well, I don't want to get in the middle of it... " the middle of what? "I just wanted to talk to you about it."
"Who said I was taking pictures?" As if I couldn't guess.
"That lady that lives there." Yup. You guessed it. NCM. Hereafter known as Mrs. Gladys Kravitz.
Now know friends, that I had planned to write a note to you and tell you that I was no longer suspicious of NCM, and that I had changed my mind, that I did not think her harmful. I just kept forgetting to do it.
I was feeling like I was unfair, and wanted to set the record straight.

The thing is.... she mentioned to me, too, that she thought something suspicious was going on across the street. (next door to her.) But today I heard her over there visiting, just as if she hadn't been speaking ill of her house a few days before.
Neighborhood gossip, I know... and you don't care.

The thing is, neither do I. I've never even considered that it was a problem.

Then Nice Neighbor says something about "Nancy wanted you to know that it wasn't her that called the dcfs last year, it was the people that lived in our place" (before them). Which I suspected.
But - Oh, lovely. Now the neighbors are talking amongst themselves about it.
Perfect!
And let's tell Mrs Kravitz about it, too, so that she can make sure and tell the new (potential) neighbors before they even move in!

I'm not trying to be a whiner, folks, but I am thoroughly disgusted.
So what did I do?
You'll be verra disappointed with me, of course, but stay with me - my sense prevailed in the end. I have lived in this house for four plus years, and never closed my front room curtain. Never. Day or night. Never saw a need to. I have to go to the little girl's room, and I notice Trev's door open, and think, "Prime spot for some binoculars to come traveling through." Shut the door. (wouldn't dream of shutting the door to the potty, no one is around!) Visited the bathroom. Go walking past the livingroom, Trev is four inches away from the tellie set. "Not so close, Bub," thinking Mrs. Kravitz will see him. Kid up past ten. Eating an icecream bar. Watching television.
"What?" he asked.
"I said... " what the hell am I thinking? "Never mind, son." Closed that damned blind down, instead. "Do you want me to pull the chair over?" so he can get a better view without being an inch away.
"Yeah!"
So that's what we did.
And my front blind remains closed.
Eric will wonder what in tarnation happened... but then he'll remember, as I've already told him the sorry tale.

There is some learning to be done here.
I'm not sure what it is.
Could be remembering that spell to halt gossip.
Could be to not trust people so much.
Could be to plant more trees/bushes along my southern (street) border.
Could be to stand even taller, and remember "screw 'em".
Could be that I need to win one over at a time, not with gossip and ondits, but with appreciation for whom they are, and acceptance. (that one feels pretty difficult at the moment.) But I don't mean Gladys.
I read a post of Laura's at Wistful Wanderlust. About this very thing. ("there are the people who ask questions in search of faults.") It saved me today.
lol - Eric just got home and said "Why is the blind closed?"

Ah, well.
It's midnight, and I'll not be resolving this tonight.
To be continued.

3 comments:

whimsigal said...

hoo boy! That Gladys is a real peach, ain't she?

Banish gossip: Chill-out spell

1. Write the target of the spell's name on a slip of brown paper and place within a small glass cup or dish. If one specific person isn't the problem but rather it's a situation that's gotten out of hand, then explicitly and concisely name the situation instead.

2. Place an ice cube on top of the paper.

3. Break an egg over all and put in freezer to chill out.

It could work! Or you could try this:

Clove Banish Gossip Spell:

1. Grind cloves into powder.
2. Sprinkle the powder onto lit charcoals: fumigate your body, clothing and premises to halt malicious gossip about you.

Aren't neighbors grand?

Laura said...

I don't know anything about spells (though I do have a spell book - perhaps this is good inspiration to crack it open!) - but you could take her a plate of cookies. :)

Truth is, you cannot change her, you can only change you. This feels bad right now, and that's perfectly reasonable. But it's making you stretch and grow and analyze your life and your reactions to this and in the end, that's a very good thing! How lucky for your kids - you work through this and they'll benefit.

I'm sorry you're going through this, but it's fascinating to watch you evolve through it. :)
You could just move to the cornfields, like I did.

Oh, and thx for the shout-out!!

Kim said...

Could just move to Maine where people are people and thet just let others....BE!!!
After reading this post last night, Mom, Mike and I had a discussion about it at the dinner table. I jokingly mentioned that we wanted you to live in Maine....(it just seems so much more compatible to the way you want to raise your kids, for that is why we live here) and she said (yelled)..."Now that's a bunch of BS (in front of the kids) you better not tell her that, I don't want any more of my babies to be away from me!!!" It was quite comical, as it seemed like she thought I had all the power in the world to influence you to move here. Maybe she doesn't want you to know the "secret" of our life style because if you did, you would be here tomorrow. I will start looking for a house for you. Oh, by the way...land is $1,000 an acre. Have I convinced you yet? I promise, there are not any NCM's around these parts. Just wild animals, trees, rivers, beaver dams, and thousands of acres of woods.
KKS