Week 15: Year Of The Fire Cock

December 31, 2016 — Ready to kiss this year goodbye! Friends and family share how done we collectively feel with 2016. I write to express¬†my journey so far, after all, if I hadn’t worked hard to heal, I might have missed out on Mario. My kids are still out of school, so I read up on the new year (2017 is the Chinese year of the “fire cock”!) and feng shui.

“I need a gold wall in the power corner of my living room,” I tell Mario. He laughs. “Why do white people love feng shui?” he asks. “No idea,” I say. “Because I have horrible interior design skills that rival only my terrible cooking talents?”¬†Note: my birth year is the fire snake; everything I read says this is my lucky year!

I drag all three kids to Home Depot to check out paint. Mayhem. Paint swatches everywhere. My eight-year-old running down aisles. My six-year-old playing with tile samples. “Touch with your eyes only,” I instruct, “You’ll break that.” I grab a marble tile brick from him and set it down so hard it snaps in half. D’oh!

Fine. I’ll be decisive so we can get out of here. I pick a gray, a red/tan and a gold. Later I paint walls while the kids play in the back yard or their rooms. Mistakes are made: my one red power wall looks a little, uh, sickly.

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Yesh. That picture really looks bad. Mario video calls. “Uh, maybe it looks better in person? But it sort of looks like that weird skin color they use for ‘Indian Barbie’ — it’s just not right,” he says. We decide to dub the color “Indian Barbie.” My mom is less delicate:

 

I’m warned by my first efforts. But still, I persist. Oh, do I persist. The gold power corner is more like a mustard 1970s zone, and the gray is really a dreary blue. Oh well, it covers up a few years of children’s dirty fingerprints. “We can always paint it later,” says Mario gently.

Not sure what else to tell you about that; just learn from my mistakes. I am tempted to put “Indian Barbie” in the other corner by the sofa but I haven’t had the time or energy since the holiday break. My living room is colorful but I’m not sure it is feng shui approved.

Finally, New Year’s Eve is here and I’m invited to my friend Tara’s annual NYE at 10pm party. Kids are invited. They raucously play and trash Tara’s organization, then we all count-down for the New Year at 10pm. For a few years now, I’ve seen Emma and her kids at the party. But this year, we haven’t spoken since November when she invited me to have a superficial outing with her. I think about what I might say if I run into her — what I want to say and what I refuse to say. I’m not sure what you say to someone you thought was a sister when she hurts you like that.

But, Emma doesn’t attend the party. After some reflection, I decide that the best I can hope for is “civil acquaintance” and I’ll always love her kids. I decide to try and extend an olive branch so I text her a happy New Year message wishing her family well. She doesn’t respond. I wonder if I should have reached out earlier. Sometimes I guess we all lose friendships for various reasons. She and I used to joke that we could be like Kate & Allie (but I suppose even Kate got married, or was that Allie?). We used to joke about one day becoming the Golden Girls (I called Bea Arthur — her eyebrows amaze me!) Oh well; time to let it go.

When we get home, my kids are wired. But they settle in and go to bed. Mario and I FaceTime and watch the ball drop together. Next year we decide we are going on a trip for the break without the kids.

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Happy New Year!

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