Reunion – Part V: Bipolarity

The hardest part of organizing the reunion was getting a headcount – there could be as many as fifty attendees.  It was impossible to pin it down until the final weeks.

Since she’d have to fly into Knoxville to attend, Hurricane T was one of the last to confirm.  Her partner, TK, travels a lot on business, so it wasn’t clear that she’d be able to attend even if Hurricane T decided to go.  Their concerns about making an appearance at a family reunion as an openly gay couple were sitting squarely on top of their decision as well.  She was also waiting to see if DQ and her clan would be there.

DQ, for her part, was waiting to see if any of the cousins of her generation would be attending.  And also waiting to see if Hurricane T would be there — she was willing to defer to Hurricane T if that would allow Mom to have a chance to see her for the first time in two years.Yep.  Another “Trailer Park Mexican Standoff”.

Hurricane T and DQ decided to attend almost simultaneously – and i booked the third cabin shortly thereafter.

Despite her concerns about showing up as a lesbitarian amongst family of indeterminate tolerance, TK decided she had to be there — because Hurricane T needed her.

They’ve been together for about five years.  And been through a lot.  Last year, they did a “soft product rollout” as a couple when they purchased a home together.  It was a rough year – as the renovations to the new place dragged on and on, Hurricane T had a significant bipolar meltdown.  It was gruesome, but TK stayed.

i was blown away by her degree of commitment.  My sister is an extraordinary woman – managing a degree of bipolar disorder that would have most people on full-time disability.  She is not easy to live with, let alone love unconditionally.

And yet TK is there…

On Saturday morning – after the “snake/hospital” incident – i rolled off the sofa around 9:30 am.  Mom was still sleeping in the bedroom, and TK had gone out for a run.  Hurricane T had just gotten up, and was attempting to make coffee as quietly as possible in the kitchen to let me sleep in a little longer.

We filled our mugs.  She asked how BJ was doing.

daisyfae:  It was scary, he was in a good bit of pain, but he’s going to be ok.

Hurricane T:  Damn!  How bizarre!  We weren’t sure what happened – Mom came back and said something about him getting bit by a snake, but she didn’t know what was going on, either.

daisyfae:  Wasn’t his fault.  Filed under “Shit Happens!”

Hurricane T:  How did I do last night?  Did I behave?

daisyfae:  No.  You got pretty drunk and said things in front of DQ that were out of line.

Hurricane T:  SHIT!  I was trying.  But I was really nervous, man!  I haven’t seen these people in decades, and I can’t stand being around DQ.

Just as TK came back from her run, i went through what had happened.  TK backed me up, saying Hurricane T had been rude.

Hurricane T:  I’m sorry.  Should I do something? What can I do to fix this?

daisyfae:  Let it bounce.  And lose the drinking — for the rest of the weekend, we only drink HERE.  This is the bar.  No need to be nervous — everyone’s cool.  Relax and hang out…

She headed for the shower.  TK and i grabbed coffee and went outside to enjoy the rocking chairs and cool morning air.

TK:  Now that T is done with the high-stress job, and the renovations on the house are complete?  She’s bored!  And driving me CRAZY!

daisyfae:  She’s been used to being busy.  Has to be a tough transition for both of you.

TK:  I work from home, and she CONSTANTLY follows me around, wanting an opinion on this or that, or looking for something to do.  I tell you – we’ve been through a lot, but I don’t know if I can take this!

daisyfae:  Is she exercising?  Maybe train her up for another half-marathon?  Find a new hobby?

TK:  She’s going to get SCUBA certified.  My nephew is an instructor, and she can do it in our pool.  And golf lessons.  I need to get her hooked up with a teacher.

Best of times.  Worst of times.

Is it harder to stick around when life is good?

24 thoughts on “Reunion – Part V: Bipolarity

  1. Many people’s marriages revolve around the saying, “For better or worse, but not breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
    Joy and I are the opposite of that, which weirds out a significant portion of the population, including the staff at our family doc’s office, who endlessly try to separate us. But since Joy is dyslexic and I have a fairly significant case of brain fog most of the time, it really works better for us to be together. Kite and string, don’t you know?
    Anyway, to answer your question (finally!), I think the answer is yes, especially if HurriT is somewhat ADHD. Definitely time to get her into something that absorbs her outside the home.

    • Have no idea why this went ‘spamward’, but i found you! i LOVE the “kite and string”. one can’t fly without the other! my ex-husband was perhaps my exact opposite in most ways – and we were good together regarding all things functional. no need to explain away the ‘weird’ – if it works, it works!

      Hurricane T is VERY ADHD. Having a challenge, having a project, a goal… that’s essential. She’s been busting her butt in the gym for the past couple weeks – and i think that’s a great focus for her!

  2. Yes well done to them both–the others have got to at least accept it. The new activities for Hurricane sound great fun.

    • My cousins were wonderful — as relatively conservative fundamentalist Christians (for the most part), they showed absolutely no signs of judgment, and were apparently comfortable and welcoming. i love them… Also looking forward to SCUBA trips with sis…

  3. What they don’t tell us, gay-straight-trans-animal-vegetable-mineral, is that relationships are fucking hard work, oh yeah we all flit through that lets lay around and have sex all day phase and think things will be great forever but then it ends and we have to decide if we can stomach the person next to us, most of us bail at the first sign of trouble, some stick it out longer and some of us are just gluttons for punishment i guess, fact is Hollywood and Madison Ave. shovel tons of shit and 99% of the population have unrealistic expectations, they sell lies and many of us believe them (present company excluded of course cuz you and i Dais know the fucking score), i mean i know plenty of guys that fell in love with hookers (see Pretty Woman) but most weren’t venture capitalists and the ladies usually had habits, oh it worked out fine for awhile but then the roof caved in but hell now i’m just rambling, here’s to the weekenders…

    • relationships are A LOT of hard work. i stuck to it for 25 years before giving up — but i did give up. not gonna be a member of the ‘for better or worse’ club, that’s for sure. concur that many cling to very unrealistic expectations, though. films like “pretty woman”, every worthless romantic comedy ever produced, and bodice-ripping shit-lit have fed those expectations like an endless buffet… can’t say i’m good at relationships, though. but i’m not confused about who i am, or what i need, and i try damn hard to effectively communicate that… and listen to the input i get from my gents and try to do them right. but still… planning to be single for a long damn time. Yep. Weekend. yay.

    • She’s pretty damn amazing! Hate to think of how things would be without her – and am hoping that Hurricane T can stay level and treat her like a goddess more often than not!

  4. “Is it harder to stick around when life is good?” Great line Daisy- It is without a doubt something to think about. How many relationships have a love/hate affair with the drama?

    • we all like a little drama – reminds us that we are alive! nothing like some sort of disruption, or terrible challenge to test our mettle… and there is a sense of accomplishment when you get successfully on the other side of it. maybe this is why i kinda suck at traditional relationships? i’m too tired for that shit these days…

    • TK is a retired LPGA pro. Strangely enough, she rarely plays. The idea for T playing golf is just that – it takes a LOT of time, and you can always keep working on your game! i thought it pretty brilliant.

  5. At least you had a family reunion. I think that’s great. We are all so spread apart across the country, in my family, that we never get to do that anymore. Consequently, I remain calm and anxiety free. ;-)

    • Of the eleven cousins on Mom’s side, two of them can’t or won’t travel. So the idea that we’ll ever get all of us together is pretty unlikely. Hurricane T is the farthest away… but this year? My two oldest siblings didn’t go… we gave up on trying to get everyone. But it is pretty cool. Turns out? i like the cousins as adults as much as i liked them as kids…

  6. TK is awesome.
    You make an excellent point about relationships.
    But sometimes, no matter how hard you work, there’s nothing that can save it.
    Some times, giving up is the only option …. even when you don’t want to.

    Single is good. It works for me. :)

    • yep. you can work a very long time to put frosting on a dog turd of a relationship, but it still doesn’t make it a wedding cake…as my marriage was wrapping up, i found i didn’t really want to do the work it would take to try to fix it. couldn’t imagine a scenario where it would ever be what i wanted and needed. So it goes. Single is good…

  7. “Soft product rollout” is such a elegant way to put it. What a way with words you have!

    You can take T scuba diving!

    T needs a problem. People need conflict in order to feel alive. My mother-in-law, a woman who has lived in the throws of stress-free luxury for over two decades, is constantly creating unnecessary drama because we all HAVE TO fight the good fight.

    See how I turned it around and made it about me? That’s my talent. Thank you.

    Great tags.

    • it was a little treacherous as TK introduced T to her family. no big ‘coming out’ or formal announcements… it really was like a product beta test — to the most important customers. when they bought a house together – and endured a year of renovations – it became obvious to all work colleagues as well. subtle, but a bit of a risk for my sister… it’s really how it should be, though. no fanfare. no big damn deal. love who you love. life your life.

      and we all share that superpower, my dear! all comments are in some way about the author – watch me do it on your wall sometime. but you are masterful. and your mother-in-law is probably a delightful woman, but she’d annoy the shit out of me in short order…

  8. Relationships… all be easier if we all took vows of silence and chastity like monks – but then the human race would die out pretty quickly wouldn’t it… :-)

    • i’m in a ‘avoid people’ mode lately – which is bringing me back to blogging! managing the time/place/degree of interaction is sometimes necessary, and i am currently finding myself overwhelmed with real live humans…. i’ll bet back to my normal extroverted self at some point, but for now? effectively a vow of silence/chastity.

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