My girlfriend Lucy and I don't live together but we each have a child (hers 12, mine 5) and we spend a lot of time together the four of us so that means sometimes all hell breaks loose as it did this weekend. Lucy and Phoebe were to drop Betsy and I off in Manhattan on their way to Long Island. The kids were looking forward to the road trip. Lucy said Phoebe was so excited to see Betsy that when she picked her up from school on Friday that was all she could say, "When do we pick up Betsy? When do we pick up Betsy?"
Then they came to pick us up. Phoebe waited in the car as Lucy came to help us with our bags. By the time we made it out to the car Phoebe had a sleeping mask on, a wool hat pulled over that, and headphones in. Instead of hello she announced we all needed to be quiet because she wanted to sleep.
Lucy looked baffled.
Betsy was pissed. "I want Phoebe to play and listen to Hannah Montana."
It went from there and got so bad with the five year old purposefully talking really loudly and the 12 year old purposefully sighing and groaning that Lucy turned the car around and back we went to my house.
The adults informed the children that there would be no road trip if it meant five hours of yelling and groaning. Lucy went for a walk with Phoebe to talk with her. Betsy and I conferred in the car. We all decided to try it again.
"Trip to New York Take Two" we called it. Everything was great the second time around.
It was a good lesson for all of us. Funks come and go. Everyone deserves a second chance. Don't hold a grudge. You know, all the stuff I'm absolutely incapable of doing in my own adult life.
Now Lucy wants to know if Betsy and I want to accompany her and Phoebe on a trip to Las Vegas to see Bette Midler live. Geez. Blending families is terrifying enough when you're close to home, but to be thousands of miles a way in a hotel. Oh geez.
But there's Bette, taking life by the horns.
"Come On-A-My House."
I compare the sometimes harrowing introduction of Lucy and Phoebe into Betsy's life, Betsy and I into Phoebe's, with life before separation and think "What have we done?" But there are also amazing times together, mostly amazing times. And life before separation was harrowing in a different kind of way.
Come on-a my house come on I'm going to give you candy.
I've got the Bette Sings Rosemary Clooney songbook in my head.
Maybe this is Life Take Two. Nothing happens if you don't put on a low-cut sparkling red dress and high heels every once in a while.