Yesterday, we cleaned the house from top to bottom. There wasn’t a single cat’s hair or dog’s hair anywhere, and for a while there it was entirely hygienic to eat off them floors. We even washed and whipped and vacuumed the cloth cover we have over the sofa. Then Watson started eating, and it was all for naught.

George has a cat friend now, and they’re terrorising the neighbourhood together. It seems that as soon as George leaves the house, his cat friend will appear in our back lot, and they’ll play fight and tumble and hunt things together.

This infuriates Watson, of course, who is so much more territorial than George, and the dog stands upright with his paws on the window of our back door and barks at the intruder. It’s like an early warning system, as soon as he starts, and as soon as we see where he’s at, we can look out and see George and his little mate out there.

Lady, the other dog, just ignores the loud boys and snoozes on all lady-like. It’s funny to see how different the personalities the dogs have. Dogs have much more pronounced personalities than cats do. George just ignores everything with an air of indifference, but the dogs are much more assertive somehow.

There’s a point to talking about the dogs and the cat, and that is that we cleaned the house after them. This because this weekend Mark’s parents are coming over from Wiltshire for the entire weekend, and everyone will congregate here: Auntie, my Brighton cousin, Mark’s parents, Mark and I. We felt like we should clean, or we would have to listen to Mark’s mum moan about us being lazy and all.

Mark’s mum takes a familiarity that is a bit annoying sometimes, as if we were both still eight and not eighteen. She has no problem ordering us about, and telling us what she really thinks. None at all. I like her a lot, but sometimes she can be a bit much, compared to my own quite aloof and hands-off parents. She just gets stuck in, and points with the whole hand, and makes no secret of her approval or disapproval.

Speaking of my parents, my dad is nagging me to go to Sweden this Christmas so that he can show off the new woman in his life. Yes, he’s still doing that, and I’m still so non-committal. Now I’ve found school work to be a good excuse to put off any sort of decision, but I suspect that both Auntie and Mark’s parents are going to complain about it, and tell me (or us) to go already.

I know I’m not being fair to dad, but I can’t actually help myself, even though I want to be grown-up about it. My head is just complicated, it feels like, and I feel like I’m being childish and immature and bothersome. Maybe I actually need Auntie and mum and Mark’s parents to shout at me and force me to go.

Or maybe it is so that I’m not being fair to the new woman, because obviously she’s important to dad, and it’s been quite some time since the divorce now, and mum does ask me about her sometimes. Questions which I don’t have any answers to, really, except for third-hand accounts from dad.

Is that a strange to hope that someone else forces me to decide something that my illogical head or heart doesn’t want to bother with? If I go, I’m convinced it will be all right. Well, dad will be his usual self, but after eighteen years I’ve learned how to mutter in my milk and shut my ears to his banging on about things I don’t want to deal with. He’ll be sure to want to impress me, or impress her, or impress us both with his better nature. Façade is important to dad, after all.

My own crafted façade is apparently different now than it was back in college. I was talking to one of the other people in class, and she went on about how quiet and reserved I was, and it struck me how different that is from a year ago when yours truly could be told off for being loud in the hallways, jamming with people from the Drama faculty, or just exploiting the momentary spotlight I got when singing.

And here’s this woman telling me that I shouldn’t be so shy and quiet and speak up in class and all. I apparently have good things to say, according to her, and I’m interesting. Praise is always welcome, but it’s funny how different people can read you differently, and how different contexts can show you in totally different lights.

I mean, I’m not any different now than I was back in my college. I just haven’t had the chance to do any of the things that I did back then, and some of the things I did just doesn’t suit this place, or seem right for it. Sitting on my school bag with a gaggle of girls around belting out tunes doesn’t fit this place. I also think they’d escort me out of the premises if I did that. This place can be so stuffy.

All this is true about Abbie and Ben too. We’re all the same, but viewed differently. Abbie’s high-strung nature has been read by some as being ambitious and keen about things. Ben is not the taciturn observer but a rock solid supporter of things.

We’re all the same, but we all seem different, because people look at us with different eyes and expectations. That makes me wonder how true any of our observations are about anything. Maybe the colour of the light shone on something make you perceive it as something else. Maybe the same people can be totally different while having the same traits?

Otherwise things are quieting down now. I have been able to catch a breath. I expect things to pick up ahead of the holidays. It’s just a month left now. Where did time go? I have no time for NaNoWriMo this year, but I think I’ll have my very own race once school starts. Let’s see if I can finish a novel in three four weeks then? 🙂

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