As I walked my dogs, I could see a woman ahead crossing the street with an empty wine glass and a white, toy poodle trailing her steps. I paused, knowing my dogs are incapable of passing closely to other dogs without pulling and straining. 

Once the lady stepped on the curb, she saw me and appologized for her loose dog. I smiled and told her I wish I could allow my dogs off leash.

I wished that moment was mine. Calm dog, empty wine glass, and preoccupied with a visit across the street.

“Do you like everyone that you meet? [pause] Why would your dog?”

Learning to be a partner to my dog is teaching me things about human relationships. Social conventions are learned abstractly though interaction…trial by fire. Some are adept students. I was not. I am still learning. Slowly.

If I had adopted a dog before now, and enrolled in obedience classes, I don’t know if I would have been ready to learn the things that I am learning now. It seems late in life, but some things we do not learn until we are receptive.

Lately, I have noticed family members trying to avoid unnecessary conflict. Events are not friction free, but body language indicates people are measuring responses carefully, not walking on eggshells, but rejecting passive aggression for thoughtful measured responses. There’s no absence of sarcasm, but battles are selected with care.

From kindergarten until second grade, I was desirable, with a steady boyfriend and a string of suitors. I guess I was something of primary school tease. Boys liked the way I played.

My boyfriend watched soap operas and had an older brother, so occasionally we kissed and held hands, but mostly we played games with wild abandon enacting elaborate imaginative scenarios. His mother arranged for me to go home with him after school. We spent the afternoon eating snacks and playing in the woods nearby.

A few weeks later during show and tell, my boyfriend pulls a Wonder Woman Underoos undershirt out his book bag and announces to the class, I left it at his house.

Our kindergarten teacher was….amused? Shocked? Laughing hysterically? Who knows?

The undershirt wasn’t mine.

This story is tired, and complete. I’m not reigniting indignation, just conveying conclusion.

*****
When my mother-in-law passed away, there were the usual high tensions and family dramas that accompany, though thankfully do not define, loss. My SIL (the catalyst for this blog transformation), communicated to my husband they wanted “things to go back to the way they used to be”.

No.

I (Maybe we?) existed in a state of truce before her attempt to reconcile. We share space like cats. Each refusing to acknowledge the other’s existence.

*******
Props to her for nerve. I never anticipated an olive branch, nor did I have any intention of offering one. I owe an apology for the caustic things I said, but I am not sorry yet and the things said were true.

******
After I relocating my blog my anger faded, and I knew this relationship would remain in disrepair. Its existence was defined by circumstance. Had I not married, there would be no obligatory interaction. Agreeing to go on as if nothing happened is disingenuous and belittles both of us.

It wouldn’t have mattered which words were chosen, but the implication that things were better before the “incident” was false. The only difference was her interference and meddling were tolerated…making it better for her. For me, a farce.

I never spoke with family about what happened. I did not denigrate her…even when family told me she had been using information from his Facebook page to manufacture conflict with other family members. I don’t know what has been said between in-laws. Tension is noticeable, but I don’t care.

There was a generalized plea made for everyone to get along, issued with the plaintiveness of a young child ignorant to the complexity of human dynamics. A relationship fabricated from emotional extortion is false and nonconsensual.

practicing yoga last year. I continue to stretch regularly but have abandoned formal studio practice and study. I made the decision that seemed most appropriate for my circumstances.

Posting here is baring your soul to an empty room as the echo reverberates, yet I don’t want to portray situations unfairly. It is difficult impossible explain things that affect you personally, unbiasedly.

I signed up for yoga because I wanted to meet more people in my community and the desire to stretch comes easily. I’m flexible than the average person my age and deep stretching feels absolutely delicious to me like a good yawn.Yoga was an unburdening. For two hours a week, I was more successful at concentrating, “being in the moment”, than my typical introspective, self-absorbed, navel gazing self, and for hours after I was relaxed, almost pleasant.

As I developed relationships with others, I became more sensitive to what they brought to the practice (joy, angst, drama). It became difficult to function within the practice being distracted by non-practice energy that I was better able to block out before I knew the participants as individuals. Eventually, I changed studios, only to sabotage myself with inconsistent attendance, until I abandon practice completely.

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