I logged on to that site and went through the process. As promised, it took less than five minutes. Rachel and Joan were pleased to no end, and they immediately relaxed into their old comfortable selves. The contentiousness between them dissipated as soon as the issue was resolved. Yet…they didn’t demonstrate much in the way of conflict resolution; they just found their way around the obstacle without any give and take. But they’ll have the rest of their lives to work on that.
Anyway, I’m now allowed to officiate at weddings. As I mentioned last week I just feel there needs to be more to this process; it seems so superficial. Rudy wrote online that I’m over-thinking this and maybe that’s true, but right now I don’t feel qualified no matter what this site says.
Coney heard about all this, and when we drove up for the weekend she asked me to marry two of her dolls. (A frog and a robot.) I accessed the Book of Common Prayer and was reading it aloud for about five minutes when I looked up and realized that Coney had gotten bored and wandered off.
Now I know why Rachel came over last week; she and her longtime girlfriend Joan Hoof announced that they were getting married in June. Ordinarily that would be wonderful news, except that it came with an awful conflict for me.
For the ceremony they chose bridesmaids to flank them on each side of the altar, and I was on both lists. Both Rachel and Joan are strong-willed individuals who don’t back down from a position, and that quality serves them well in most instances. In this case, though, it threatened their ability to make compromises necessary in a successful marriage. In short, what we have here are two Bridezillas.
Each of them offered enticements for me to stand next to them, and I refused to play along. It was an uncomfortable 24 hours, but the next day they showed up at our tree together after having arrived at a solution: having me conduct the ceremony. At least then I’d be right in the center.
They pointed out how quick and easy it is to become ordained to perform weddings by going online. (“Just as fast as microwaving popcorn!” one site says.) However, I’m naturally suspicious of anything quick and easy; this in particular as it concerns the deepest matters of the heart. They still haven’t convinced me.
Okay, Elsa, you can let it go now. We’ve had enough with the snow and ice.
Rare events that occurred this week: (1) Another bout of freezing precipitation, although this fortunately began Tuesday night when everyone was home in bed. (2) The Winter Olympics (once every four years) (3) An actual earthquake Friday evening, which hardly ever occurs in this part of the country, and (4) Rudy doing the right thing with his bacon bouquet. And yes, Fiona had indeed gotten rid of the poodle cut by then.
Meanwhile, I got a surprise visit from my former roommate, Rachel Einhorn. She came over and basically just hung out for a few hours. I wonder what that was all about.
Rudy couldn’t figure what was up with Fiona when she told him she needed to spend Saturday alone. In and of itself that wasn’t so unusual as she often spends an entire weekend on homework. This, however, wasn’t one of those times.
No, she spent the whole day having her fur curled in the form of a poodle in the mistaken notion that she somehow had to “compete” with Caniche for Rudy’s affections. As I said last week Fiona is level-headed most times, but when one is a teenager the possibility of over-reaction is a constant byproduct of hormones.
She avoided Rudy all day Sunday, and got to school ahead of him Monday morning. He saw her minutes before the bell rang, but that gave him just enough time to say the right things to reassure Fiona that she had nothing to worry about from our French visitor. (Like most romance comedy contrivances, it falls apart in seconds when the two parties are finally honest with each other.)
Now Fiona has a…unique…furstyle. Fortunately it’ll be able to be restored to its normal state by Valentines Day.
Caniche Chien has been living in my old room in Domain for a couple weeks now. She and Kell commute to Dewclaws Fine Meats every morning and return home at 6:00. This is tremendously valuable to Kell, as it prevents her from being tempted to stay late at the office. (Before this arrangement she’d frequently stay until around nine.)
As soon as they get home Caniche begins cooking for the family, and dinner is served around 7:30. As it turns out, Kell has found that she’s more productive on this schedule than when she put in twelve hour workdays.
So far there hasn’t been another attempt on Caniche’s life, but everyone is still vigilant. Meanwhile, Fiona of all people is freaking out. (I got this from Corrie.)
Fiona is usually thoughtful and level-headed, but she’s still a teenager and (like me) a child of divorce. It’s only natural that she still has trust issues, which surfaced when she came over to eat as she so often does. When she felt that Rudy was being overly attentive to Caniche during dinner it triggered her insecurities.
This was compounded by her super-hearing, which is frequently a tremendous asset. In this case she became aware of Rudy’s heightened stress levels, leading her to believe that Caniche had captured Rudy’s fancy. I don’t personally see it, but Rudy has been known to be mercurial in his behavior…in everything except his loyalty to Fiona. Corrie tried to convince her of that without success.
Stay tuned. This isn’t over.
At the Happy Little Predator Preschool, about an hour before pickup time, Coney and her friend Lin Lee engaged in a bit of performance art, although one might also call it Messing Around With Paint. While the adults took their eyes off them to see to the two-year-old group, Coney and Lin gave each other makeovers, with spots.
Since their fur is striped and solid, having spots brought them together in their eyes. (Then they both put stripes on Harcourt.) The teacher didn’t see what was happening until the parents began pulling up to the school, and she had to apologize to Kell and Mei-Li.
Kell was bemused, but Mei-Li was upset with her daughter, feeling almost betrayed by that act. There was no punishment (Mei-Li is tough, but *not* abusive.) but one could tell she wasn’t happy.
Now, at this point I’d like to point out that Mei-Li is not the “Tiger Mom” you see on TV promoting her books. That other individual has recently been in the news saying that certain groups are more likely to succeed than others, and her use of generalizations is troubling. In general (See what I did there?), the variations between individuals in any grouping are so vast that the generalizations tend to become rather meaningless.
Sure, she’s going to sell a lot of books pandering to the preconceptions of others, but at what cost? Sowing divisions when we’re already having difficulty coming together to solve problems is not being helpful.
I’m afraid to report that Fenton and I engaged in rather insensitive behavior this week. There’s a site called Zillow that tracks home prices, and even though our interest in moving is less than zero I did check the resale value of Tree without pausing to consider how that would make her feel. She’s part of our network and could tell what I was doing online.
The value Zillow gave was low (to my way of thinking) but considering how everyone is slowly recovering from the bursting of the real estate bubble that’s probably to be expected. That wasn’t what concerned Tree, however.
Instead of being offended by the price arbitrarily attached to her, she was wounded by the very act of our looking it up. She does have a point, and we do take for granted the simple fact of our being able to move around. Someone like her who is rooted in one spot is uniquely vulnerable to the whims of mobile beings. (In addition, she was transplanted once, and that was a traumatic process that almost killed her.)
It took a lot of reassurance to convince her that we weren’t going anywhere. Fenton’s work isn’t bound to any one location, and Beige University has a genetics lab that would allow me to spend my career here. Finally, we pointed out to Tree that, now that she’s fully recovered from the move from Domain, she’s likely to outlive us.
No, the rat’s name was Remy. ;)
By the time the security team arrived on the building’s rooftop the assailants were gone. They only had two boulders in their arsenal, but it’s still impressive that they were able to get both of them up there undetected. During the distraction of the New Year’s Eve party they had been able to gain access to a freight elevator that went up to the roof.
Caniche had not been on duty that evening, but her sense of responsibility was so great that she felt awful for not preventing the danger and bringing it upon Dip and her other co-workers. She thought about leaving, but Kell would have none of that. (That’s Kell; she’s all about family, even the workplace kind.)
That brought up the issue of how to protect her. Living in the same house as a vampire bat, Dip is safe. (Besides, it appears that R.L. actually is honoring his promise to leave him alone.) So where does Caniche turn? She had been renting an apartment, but the assassins had surely located that.
We immediately left the building and drove her to the Dewclaw house where we set her up in my old bedroom. In the morning it became apparent why that had been a wise course of action. Coney had observed the assassins attempting to break into the house, and dealt with them accordingly. She was excused from breakfast on account of having a full tummy.
Analysis of the remains proved that the two were indeed the ones who had arrived from France on a container ship and travelled to Domain to kill Caniche. The company that employed them issued a statement denying all responsibility for the incident but no one believes them.
For now, Caniche stays with the Dewclaws. I hope I didn’t leave too many quills in that bed.
Drama occurred at Dewclaw’s Fine Meats after midnight New Year’s Eve as the party was winding down. Dip and Caniche were leaving out the building’s front door when something compelled Dip to look up and see a large boulder hurtling downward toward his companion. He gathered himself and used his horns to barely deflect it away from her.
It rolled down the street where it crushed a rental car, which had been leased under an assumed name. Everyone at the party heard the impact when the boulder hit the pavement, and we rushed down to the street. Kell called 911, and the police arrived to take statements from Dip and Caniche. (She was still shaken, but responded professionally.)
It seems she arrived in America because she was on the run from her former employer in France, a boulder company that had a habit of using its product for nefarious purposes. She discovered this while performing her security duties, and innocently informed the CEO. He was the one actually behind the attacks (among crimes including malfeasance) and ordered her silenced.
She cleverly avoided the first assault on her by inches, and fled to the US where she hoped she’d be safe. However, it looks like they caught up with her.
More details to follow.