Would you like to discuss my ability to wear shoes for the past five days? It is not that my feet are swollen, or that they hurt. It is not that my shoes are uncomfortable. My ability to wear shoes is being hampered by my son. You know him. He is J. The kid who now realizes he loves me and cannot stand the thought of me leaving the house? The one who has been taking my shoes away because they might propel me out the door much like Dorothy’s ruby slippers eventually led her home after a bit of heel-clicking wishful thinking?
I am not complaining. I am merely pointing out that being in J’s radar has its not-so-cool moments. We have previously discussed his ability to go all Droopy Dog on me.
We have gone a step further. We are now a weird combination of Buddy the Elf and Rhino from Bolt.
Friday evening J’s helper came over so Dada and I could go to the grocery store. We were back in less than an hour. On Saturday we had dinner plans so we had made the arrangement with J’s helper to come over with her husband and, as they usually do, cook dinner for them and J while we went to a restaurant that we’ve always wanted to try. This place is closing for good tomorrow night so we figured we’d sneak in one meal (especially since all their wine has a 30% discount.) After breakfast, we arranged J’s board and put the corresponding picture for our outing and his helper.
J was outraged. J was not having it. J removed the PECS, and I put them back. He removed them again, and I put them back. Once more…and once more again. I waited until ten-thirty to call her and re-schedule for Tuesday. J was satisfied by this…
We ran our Saturday errands, and when we got home J unceremoniously removed my shoes and continued to do so the rest of the weekend. I explained I can’t go outside to water the garden barefoot. I was handed my shoes, sent out to the garden, observed while doing my chore, and -no sooner had I stepped foot indoors- divested of my shoes once more.
I tried being casual about footwear. OH, here I am, sitting at my desk wearing my garden slip-ons.
Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, J can feel a disturbance in the Force quite easily. Propelled by his instinctive knowledge of the sound that shoes make as they cover skin, he came out of the TV room and removed the offending items. Or he came to the garage, guided by his inner voice (which, I’m sure, sounds a lot like Sir Alec Guinness, and not necessarily in Star Wars…maybe more like The Bridge on the River Kwai?) and pointed to my shod feet. This dance has gone on consistently for the past few days…
Yesterday morning J hijacked my closet. Not in a Stanley-Tucci-in-The–Devil–Wears–Prada way. J hijacked my closet so he could hide all the clothes I might wear to go out. Anything I’ve worn out of the house (and not just in the garden or going to the mailbox, mind you) had been pushed back to the deepest recesses of the the closet; all else had been buried under layers of clothes that are at-home garments. We had it out. I put things back. He put them away. I sent him out of the room. He sneaked back in. I raised my voice. He flicked his chin.
We were exhausted by the time we were done, and I had to lock the bedroom door and listen to ten minutes of J pacing back and forth while trying to determine if it was worth it to get a butter knife to unlock the door.
Eventually he age up, and we negotiated a peace pact. He got a very small pizza for lunch, and I found my shorts. When he was pleasantly relaxed after his turn on the elliptical machine (he skipped the intro and the intermission and entr’acte, but he watched the rest of The Sound of Music while working out,) I introduced the prospect of Dada and I going to dinner. The crust, cheese and pepperoni inspired some benevolence and we managed to go out to dinner.
This is good. It cost an arm and a leg to pay the helper, leave ingredients for a nice dinner for them and us going out to dinner by ourselves, but it was totally worth it…
Of course, I had to pay with relinquishing my alarm clock to the deepest, darkest depths of the back of the bottom drawer of my bedside table, but it’s a small price to pay for only getting the once-over and being found satisfactory in my at-home outfit of yoga pants, t-shirt (with holes in it…because that makes it look more sincerely at-home-y,) and no shoes.
Yes, I’m pandering. Yes, I know that’s bad. Yes, I’ll work on being more assertive. Yes, I’m half-lying right now… No, I don’t mind admitting that.
People think J’s behavior is cute. Dada relates these experiences to his co-workers and he invariably gets and “aw!!! That’s sweet! He loves you!!!!” Yeah, he loves us. Yeah, he seems to have realized that he wants to have us around. But…
J IS 21 years old, and he IS tall and big and heavy. This is not a cutely obsessive waif-like figure we’re talking about. He is not dangerous, but being bossed around by a dude who has overcome his Hulk tendencies while remaining entirely capable of performing a haka to convince me that I want to put my alarm clock away…well, it can be overwhelming. I don’t give in because I’m afraid he will hurt me. I give in because not doing so can be tremendously exhausting emotionally and physically.
For the time being J is my bestest friend, and he wants to be with me always. I know this will change. I know he will start giving me the emotional Heisman soon enough. I don’t want this to fray our relationship so I will accept that, for the time being, my shoes are strictly on a “need” rather than “want” basis.
It’s the downside of popularity. I get it. Celebrities love the attention until they hate the attention. I am currently wishing for some mild rejection, but it’s not my decision to make…as long as my entire closet doesn’t disappear…