Friday, January 18, 2008

One of His Chickens Died, and His Cat Peed in His Closet Twice

One of the main lessons of my life that I never really learn is: stop creating an expectation and believing fervently that reality will conform to it. Most recently, I believed that Thumper's birth story would go a certain way. It did not. I thought he would be starting to crawl by now. He's not (and he's still not digging the Tummy Time much either). And last night was another case in point.

As I mentioned, I have a friend who's gung ho for the Landmark Forums. He really wanted me to attend one about a week before Thumper was born. I told him I didn't have time for it in my life just then, but to come back in six months, when my birthday comes around. He didn't quite refrain from evangelizing for those six months. A couple of times, he said things like, "I know it hasn't been six months, but there's a great seminar in San Antonio this weekend that I think you'd like." Or Houston.

Well, guess what? Tomorrow's my birthday. Six months are up. Guess who came over for dinner last night? With his new girlfriend that he met at a Landmark Forum? Oh, I won't make you guess. It was BFF.

So for the week or so leading up to the dinner (I made a lovely roast eye of round with a side dish of sautéed leeks and apples. Yes, Martha Stewart may have been obliquely involved), I knew, just knew, that this was going to be the big Landmark pitch. I wasn't looking forward to it. I was restless and anxiety ridden. I got testy with Mrs. Rodius over the menu.

Granted, some of my expectations are spot on. When the phone rang an hour and a half before the appointed time for dinner, I said, "He's running late." When I answered the phone, sure enough: he was running late. He's always running late. When the phone rang again at the appointed time for dinner, I said, "He's just picked her up, and they'll be here in about a half-hour." When I answered the phone, sure enough: he had just picked her up. They arrived about half an hour later.

But you know what? It was a lovely dinner. The conversation was fine. I felt awkward sitting across the table from and making eye contact with the new girlfriend, as I always do around new people. Landmark was mentioned, but never pitched. In fact, it was mentioned in the context of how BFF was taking a break from Landmark to focus on a few neglected points of home ownership and animal husbandry, and his new promotion. No pitch.

When am I going to learn?


Tracey R. said...

I have the exact same problem. But in our defense, it's hard not to with all that New Age mumbo jumbo about "creating your reality" and "what you put out is what you get" - it's trendy now to feel omnipotent in matters of your reality and what will happen.

So when life hands me something that I didn't see coming, well, it shocks the shit out of me.

And happy birthday! A Capricorn, eh? Makes sense.

Lisa L said...

Hey Rodius! I just clicked on the link to your beautiful birth story. Incredible for me, because I am both a mum,(of 3) and an ex-'Newborn RN' at a major birthing hospital in Denver. Oh....sighs of remembrance..taking care of so many little ones as they made their ways into the world. I must be in countless videos.. New dad's would film their babes in the Nursery..being either assessed, or bathed, or measured by me, as mommy lay recovering in Labor and Delivery, or in the O.R. after c-sections...Dads would run back to mom and show them their new offspring on video :) I was always in awe of the babies - their individual beauties, and the love that flew from dad to babe was awesome. I truly loved that job...miss it and would do it again in a heartbeat...

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