I like fireworks as much as the next person. Usually. But when it goes off RIGHT NEXT DOOR for TWO HOURS when your 14 month old is terrified and can’t sleep because of the BOOMING SONIC PERCUSSIONS, my approval wanes. I watched minute after minute as they shot them off in the air, some of them shooting sideways toward their house and into the crowd, followed by a scattering of drunk people and laughter. Idiots. I kept hoping one of them would catch on fire and then the party would be over. (I get mean when my baby can’t sleep). I waited as long as I could, but then when the inevitable darwinian destruction didn’t happen I marched over to my new neighbor’s backyard party, shook his hand and told him my baby is terrified and can’t sleep, and he needs to shut this down.
“Oh, did you get a chance to see some of it?”
“Couldn’t have missed it if I tried. You’ve got more impressive fireworks than the last city I lived in.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool.” (Men have an oblivious gene, and when they drink, it’s all that’s turned on.)
“Well, normally, maybe, but I’ve got a 14 month old that’s crying and terrified and can’t sleep right now.” I’ve never actually SEETHED with anger before, but I was seething. There was definitely seething happening.
Picture me, five foot one and a half, glaring up at my neighbor, surrounded by his drinking friends, or co-workers, or both. Picture him, six foot body-builder (or massive spinach-eater a la Popeye) with tattoos up and down both arms and onto his neck. Feet planted wide in the kind of ‘man stance’ that men get when they’re feeling particularly proud. Or unstable because he’d been drinking too much, it’s hard to tell.
Being a mom has changed me in ways that surprise me. I was just as alarmed as my husband when I found myself over there in the middle of a party full of drunk people I don’t know (in TEXAS – where EVERYONE has a gun, even the cute blonde mom over there with the bulging diaper bag…) and angrily asking them to shut down the fireworks. I am not confrontational by nature. I will walk five miles AROUND a confrontation if I can avoid it. But when my sweet baby girl is scared, boy you better run the other way.
Anyway I survived that particular incident. No one shot me, except maybe dirty looks. I suppose it helps I’m little. Maybe if I were bigger I’d get into more trouble. I get underestimated a lot, which is fine by me. Less confrontation that way. But, I was thinking maybe I should get like tattoo sleeves and large planform shoes to wear when I’m feeling particularly momma-bear-ish. Although I might be more susceptible to bullet shots that way. Or confrontation in general. I’m not sure which would be worse. At least with a bullet shot I can just like, sit down and relax. No need to participate in a confrontational argument when I’m like, bleeding out.
I’ve never had problems with a neighbor before. Maybe I’ve just been lucky and it happens to everyone eventually. Well, this is our ‘forever’ home and he’s just renting so…i think we can last him out. Not for nothing but he has a big (beautiful) rotti that he does NOT keep on a leash. I’m a dog lover so it doesn’t bother me but when he lunges for my tiny Chihuahua mix, well, you get the picture. No confrontation this time though, he put the dog inside. Leash, people. leash. Dude needs a swift kick in his over-trained heinie, and I’m just the one to do it. If I can kick that high.
Lastly and completely off topic it’s my birthday this week. Last year a certain Mr Man I am married to completely forgot about it until like 2pm. It took him until noon to figure out I was mad at him, another two hours to figure out why. So this year, I have reminded him every day for the last week. Also, I’ve decided not to depend on someone ELSE to make my birthday special. With my parents so far away I have had to figure out how to do that for myself. It doesn’t feel as sad to me as it sounds right now as I write this, I’m actually kind of excited. I’ve given myself permission to buy myself a big ice-cream cake, to go to the mall and buy what I want, to make a totally indulgent massage appointment with all the extra’s. I’m also making him take me out to dinner someplace nice in Houston. Also, I’m going to use my birthday as a yearly check-in to myself. Am i where I want to be? What do I want for the future? (looking at teacher accreditation courses at University of Houston). What about my health? I haven’t had a check-up in a year so I’m scheduling that too. I want to be around for Ellie’s grandkids and that includes taking care of myself now. As long as I survive all the new confrontations I apparently will jump into for Ellie’s sake. Wonder if asking for a bullet proof vest for my birthday would be pushing things too far?