Saturday, March 14, 2009

So I'm thinking about wearing a totally inappropriate button from now on.

It was a rough day today. Well, a rough week overall I suppose. E had his first real sick days - he ran a fever for the better part of 3 days, complete with screaming fits and little sleep for either of us.

Adding to the fun was a student who threw a temper tantrum in my class, was rude to me and to my other students, then argued with me about his behavior when I called him on it. This is college, kids, we don't throw things and yell when we are frustrated. We try to behave as if we are adults.

Anyway, I had a class this morning with a group of adults with learning disabilities. I had expressed concern about this being a safe and reasonable activity (flameworking) when I was asked to teach, and our manager assured me that they would be fine. Well, not really. Half of the students couldn't write their names clearly, primarily due to seeming muscle control problems, which is fine except that you really should have a certain degree of dexterity and fine motor control when working with extreme temperatures. Yeah. Stressful.

But none of that has anything to do with the button. At the end of the day today, I had to tell a stranger about my husband. I hate it. I hate saying it, I hate talking about it, I hate every stupid thing I have to say to make me and them feel like it's ok - like I'm ok. . . and what sucks is I can't talk about Karl in the present tense without feeling dishonest (My husband is a great cook) but can't speak in the past tense (*was* a great cook) without the unavoidable question mark from whomever I'm talking to. (Was?)

It's an ugly trap. Pretend he never existed, and swallow any references to him that come to mind - painfun. Pretend he's still here so I can talk about him but not talk about him being gone - painful. Tell the truth, and relive it, and try not to cry, not to make others feel awkward - painful. How to win?

Well, perhaps just force the issue. Start any and all conversations with people I meet with a gesture to the button. Maybe if I say it enough, it won't hurt.

So anyway, it says (in cheery bright colors, WalMart style) "I'm a WIDOW! Ask me how!"


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