When we talk about the Joneses…do we mean Desmond and Molly?

Does it make a difference which Joneses you’re trying to keep up with?  Someone (maybe Erma Bombeck?) wrote that when we’re keeping up with the Joneses it’s necessary to make sure they’re not trying to keep up with us.  Desmond and Molly, I would hope, are still a couple and are currently happily surrounded by grandchildren equipped with iPods and who play video games.  They would, hopefully, still be singing Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…even if it’s in the middle of an onion field.  This is what we’ve been trying to do all weekend.

The $8K mistake will be resolved (one way or another) by tomorrow morning.  Mind you, I’m not feeling smarter about it this morning, but my anxiety level has ebbed somewhat.  J made sure he emulated Florence Nightingale during our anxiety-laden weekend, and seeing him so solicitous made us feel better.  Of course, he sort of forced us to spend the morning in bed, lifting our feet back on to the mattress, covering us with blankets and vigorously tucking us in; being strong-armed into a more calm state of mind is an unexpected approach, especially coming from J.  Rather than pick up on the anxiety (which we though we were hiding and handling rather successfully) and exploding, J opted to be helpful, calm and soothing.  I had to wait until he was back in his room to finally dash to the bathroom to pee because if he heard me step off the bed while he was in the hallway he would come in and tut-tut me back to my prescribed “happy place.”

Although the weather threatened snow overnight, we woke up to rain and no delays in the school schedule.  Amen for that!  J had been worried when, due to the distracting financial circumstances, we failed to update the weekly schedule, and the announcement of “tomorrow is a school day” as he stepped into his bath elicited great joy.  J sat in the tub surrounded by bubbles and doing a little dance we call the “I don’t have to stay at home with mother tomorrow” groove.  While I sat sipping coffee, Mr. Nightingale made me go upstairs to find a comfy nightgown and my robe to wear once he had gone to school.  All this love can be overwhelming, but it is appreciated.

Sunday came and went with repeated replays of the scene I’ve described.  We would try to do something and J would send us back to our room.  We felt it necessary to oblige.  OK…it was nice being able to go back to bed and be lazy, even if the sound of J moving up and down the stairs made us wonder if he was re-arranging the pantry, consuming unauthorized snacks or letting the cats out of the house with a steak tied around their necks as bear bait.  We decided to just go with it…

In the evening we had the by-request birthday dinner for TGG.  He doesn’t work on his actual birthday (which is a Wednesday,) but we figured we’d have a nice, elaborate, relaxed dinner.  We also took the opportunity to give TGG his birthday present so he’s been walking around the house with a Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker light saber since last night.  J’s face when he saw it was priceless (yes, it’s been jotted down as a “possible” for Twelve Days) and they even spent time in the under-the-stairs closet turning the thing on and off and on and off while giggling.  I can’t say I blame them…my husband and I had done the same thing when it arrived and we were installing the batteries.  🙂

Look…I admit I wanted to cry on Saturday.  I wanted to cry yesterday, too.  Had I been able to afford it, I’d have bought two gallons of ice cream and you wouldn’t have seen my head out of the containers until I was well and done consuming their contents.  I’m sure my husband was less than pleased with my banking mistake.  I’m sure the kids questioned their parents’ ability to care for themselves if they couldn’t handle one little bank transaction without causing the equivalent of a nuclear meltdown.  If we had ANY OTHER Joneses to keep up with this weekend, we’d have been royally screwed…

And that’s where Desmond and Molly Jones come in.  Life goes on.  It does.  You can throw the bra in or not…but it does go on.  My husband, bless him, put it in perspective by reminding me that, thanks to my hurricane-preparedness mentality, we had everything we could possibly need to make it through the weekend, the gas tank was full and -callooh! callay!!!- we didn’t spend any money this weekend.  When I tried to interject that we COULDN’T because we didn’t HAVE any, I was peremptorily shushed and told “that’s beside the point, my dear!,” but with a wide smile that made me love him all the more…

Is that what Desmond does to Molly?  Does Molly still sing?  Old as they must be by now -in their sixties?  Early seventies?- I’m sure they’ve figured it out because they knew life goes on…in spite of the hiccups, the bumps, the jagged edges, the fraying.  I’m sure their kids must’ve run in from running in the yard and seen the elder Joneses wondering how to tackle life…and then what?  So many ways to lend a hand come to mind, and the kids were always allowed to per the song, right?

So, here we were all weekend…keeping up with THOSE Joneses and realizing that life goes on…even when someone has to put down four boxing gloves and a Slinky to properly tuck you into bed.  Even when the highlight of the weekend is a light saber and a baking pan full of delicious meatballs that suddenly seem like more of a luxury because you made a banking mistake that has rendered you flat-broke until Tuesday morning, mercifully, rolls around…

In this household of Luke Skywalkers, Florence Nightingales and the right kind of Joneses, I guess lunacy is part of what makes ever after happy.  Lest we forget, even unintentionally self-inflicted emotional chaos builds character…  We’ll work on skipping the “unintentionally self-inflicted” part the next time.

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