Archive for April 4th, 2009

Piano lessons


Last night I drove my girls to their dad’s for their weekend. He was flying back from a business trip and ended up delayed, not only in the air, but on the ground because some bonehead was late for their flight at Logan and ran through security. So they shut everything down. I was sitting in front of exhusband’s house when he called to say he was trapped at Logan.

Red has been home sick this entire week, she had what I had and the poor little thing has been pretty miserable about 90 percent of the time. The rest of the time, she was fairly comfortable and unfortunately it was never at night. So, we didn’t get much sleep this week. So, I am sitting there in the pouring rain outside his house, with a sick kid and Blue complaining in the back about how hungry she was, despite the fact that she just ate half a can of Pringles. And I had plans back at home with some other artist friends to have dinner at 7. There was no way I was going to make it.

Exhusband called again and said he called his parents and I could bring the kids there, he had ordered them dinner and he would be along within the hour. I was relieved because a) Red would be more comfortable b) Blue would no longer be whining in the back seat and c) I would make my dinner function.

We got to my ex-inlaw’s house, I have seen them often enough over the years and things are fairly comfortable, as comfortable as they can be between people who used to be close and then all of us disappointed each other in the end. There’s a grand piano in the entryway and the girls went right to it and started playing. Red can play by ear and Blue remembers all the exercises that J taught them before he left in November. 

My ex-mother-in-law looked at me and goes, “have they been taking lessons?”

I stammered and stuttered a little bit because how do you get into a comfortable conversation with your ex’s  parents about your boyfriend being a piano player and teaching them to play?

Well, I just did.

“The man I am seeing is a professional piano player and he’s been giving them lessons.”

And my mother-in-law’s eyes got wide and she goes (impressed) “oooooh, wow, like, a CONCERT pianist?”  

And I laughed and said, “oh, no. like NIGHTCLUBS and stuff.”

Granted, he plays classical and specializes in 40’s and 50’s music believe it or not. The old people love him. And his last yacht gig was merely hours of classical music, French and Italian classics interspersed. 

But then, I go for the shock value with the ex and his family. They think I have sinned. They think I am rotten and cheap. They think I am below them.

A few days ago, exhusband called and asked, “Is he moving in with you? The girls told me that he was going to be ‘home’ soon, for good. Does that mean he’s moving in with you? Are you sleeping in the same bed with the girls in the house?”

I confirmed his questions and he was silent. 

Now, I know that a father’s worst nightmare is likely another man coming into their kids’ life, living with them, stepping in. But J is the least likely man to go ahead and “replace” their dad. But ultimately, due to the amount of time J will be here compared to the amount of time the girls are with their dad, he will be filling a place in time for them that had their dad and I stayed married, he would have filled.

I said to him, “well, I know it probably makes you uncomfortable, you’ve only met him a few times in passing, but when he comes home for good, perhaps you can get to know him a little, see him with the kids. We can meet at a playground or say hello at their dance recital coming up.”

This was a stretch for me, a challenge to offer this, because exhusband is such a jackass and I can hardly stand him. J actually suggested it, being sensitive to exhusband’s feelings and wanting to somehow help him feel like he can know a little bit about J, who was spending time with his children.

Exhusband’s response? 

“I have NO respect for the guy. Moving in and sleeping in the same bed with you with the girls under the same roof without being married? I can’t believe you would let them SEE THAT!”

I was appalled. “Gosh, it’s not like we’re having sex in front of them!”

Our discussion went downhill from there. He said that I was surrounding myself with people here in my town (which he thinks is filled with the low-class) who set bad examples for the kids. “You surround yourself with all these sorts of people who live together without being married.”

To which I replied, “Well, they seem to be more functional and stable than most of the married people I know. You know, what works for people, works for them and you have to see it as that. Look at your children and see if they are happy. Are they happy? Be glad for that. ”

Exhusband spat into the phone, “You know what? I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR YOU.”

Then I calmly hung up.

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