Patience

Let’s face it, things are not going well in my multi family dwelling. I am so pissed by my brothers continued lack of insight that I am barely talking to him and he is avoiding me for the brief periods of time when I am home.

My grown son who lives downstairs is equally lacking in any sense of fairness and respect for others.

They both must go and I have no patience for either.

I am normally a very patient person so this situation is not a result of me being impatient.

One of the simple examples of how I learned patience is by describing how I learned to make a particularly well loved Christmas cookie~the Florentine.

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As a young, inexperienced wife I bought a rather boring Christmas book with recipes, stories and crafts. I read the recipe for the florentines and thought it sounded good. The directions didn’t seem to difficult but a few simple sentences can be misleading without cues like-you really need to use lemon juice to get a shiny crispy side or 6 tablespoons means exactly 6 level tablespoons.

For several years in a row I tried these cookies over and over again with the same sad results. They all ran together, were burned around the edges or stuck to the aluminum foil.  I threw out lots of inedible cookies but slowly i managed to salvage a few and the results were so tasty that I vowed to give it another try next year.

After about 10 years of trying I had some real success. I managed to have enough to share and everyone loved them so I just kept honing my technique.I am the first to say these are some finicky cookies and take about 3 hours to patiently watch the oven and make sure they don’t burn but at the 30 year mark I can say that today I made a double batch of near perfect florentines. No discards and because they get paired up I actually managed to make an exactly even number.

I just want to say again that this did not happen overnight, nobody showed me how to make these cookies. I just kept trying til I figured it out for myself and most importantly I  I didn’t give up.

Now I have that wonderful sense of satisfaction that I have mastered this recipe for myself, that I know every nuance, every right and wrong way to make these cookies and I can replicate them every year. That, my friends is patience.

Other things

Under stress people cope in different ways. I am increasingly desperate to retire to the country and raise chickens, grow vegetables, gather a collection of pets…waiting for some little people to call me granny.

In the meantime, I have started looking into my genealogy on that popular website.

I knew that 3 of my grandparents were German but thought all my life the key person, my paternal grandfather, was Irish. He and all the men before him back to the 1700’s were Scottish. Renfrew, Glasgow Scotland specifically. I have long wanted to visit Glasgow over its more tourist friendly big brother Edinborough because of its association with Rennie Macintosh.

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So this family tree thing is a little harder than I thought….and it is becoming a feminist thing. Despite having a mostly immigrant family, I can find loads of stuff about the men…the ladies?  more tricky.

Their lasting identity is their married name. Men have naturalization papers, WW1 draft registration cards, ship manifests~~~the women were too busy at home to make any impact on social registers. I have yet to come across a woman in my family that didn’t have at least 5 children.

Anna Weber and Theresa Garber, who were you before you married Julius and Micheal???

Theresa and Micheal are a particularly endearing couple. They arrived in this country separately in 1906, Micheal had $7 in his pocket but they married in 1907 and subsequently had 6 daughters. (#2 being my grandma)

So much more pleasant than reading today’s news~~

It’s different for…

girls? yes, but “dating” and “relationships” are very different for middle-agers, with kids and years of baggage. On the occasions where I browse through online profiles of men my age (50+) I am momentarily attracted by the “never married, no kids” guy but on second thought I think there is something inherently creepy about a 50 year old man who’s longest relationship is under 2 years as some actually admit to.

I am equally repelled by the men who are looking for a date, relationship or even marriage and post a picture of themselves smiling with their children or even grandchildren…doesn’t exactly spell romance~~

I don’t know the details of my friend Julie’s current relationship other than they got along well, spent lots of time together over the last few months and now he needs his space or needs to spend more time with his kids which is squeezing her out. But I know the story and put up with it on a weekly basis.

No matter how good, fun or enjoyable our time together is come Saturday morning at 10am or whatever his designated pick up time is…it’s ta-ta. okay his son is still young, under 15 and I know that very soon his son will want to spend more time with his friends than with his dad but still…

I’m not terribly upset or insulted and welcome the break to do my own thing but still…

Relationships sure do get complicated as you get older.

 

The most important lesson I learned from getting a ring stuck on my finger

If the ring doesn’t slide on easily, don’t force it.
I think this lesson also applies to relationships. I don’t think I am a particularly demanding woman…I’ve always worked, worked very hard and been a decent girlfriend/partner/wife as far as the cooking, cleaning and sex. Men seem to enjoy the benefits of a wife when it suits their needs, forgetting it’s a two way street.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable after years…not months but years of “proving” I’m not a nut case, I should expect the other half of the relationship to step up and c-c-c-commit. I’m not suggesting a big white wedding but how about a living arrangement that doesn’t require me to pack pajamas ??
Okay, I’m not perfect-I can be moody, melancholy, weepy and even angry on occasion but does that make me unsuitable to live with?
Don’t want to be my man? Fine but I’m not waiting around till we can buy a big enough house in a perfect location or you get promoted to Vice President or gold coins rain down from the sky…I’m moving on with my life.
I think this is my last comment about this subject…
The ironic thing about the men who don’t/didn’t want to commit to me when they had the chance? They tend to regret that decision later.