It's just as well, I suppose, because the demands of my personal life are overwhelming at this point.
For those who came in late, or who haven't been paying careful attention, here's where we stand (in no particular order of priority):
- Younger Daughter graduated from college Saturday. She's getting married four weeks from this Saturday. Her baby is due in early October. Nothing like cramming several years' worth of life events into the span of a few months.
- And Younger Daughter, her husband and, in due course, their child, will be living with us for the foreseeable future: Younger Daughter has part-time work at her old school, but Olaf didn't quite graduate -- and he has to start studying for the exams that are the only way he can be successfully launched into a career as an actuary. We're really hoping he becomes employable before their kid is born -- that way the little guy will have insurance.
- Older Daughter, meanwhile, is not pregnant. She's been undergoing IVF treatments; this was her second attempt at implantation and everything seemed to be going well -- much better, certainly, than the first attempt -- except that, suddenly, it wasn't going well at all. These have been a couple of very busy, emotionally draining weeks in the Curmudgeon household.
- Older Daughter is, however, buying a house. She and Hank are stressed beyond reason -- Long Suffering Spouse is concerned for their marriage at this point -- but their dog was chewing the carpeting in their apartment. The only solution, in their view, was buying a house. House hunting has brought another problem to the surface in their relationship: Hank is perfectly content to stay in his native Indianapolis forever; Older Daughter somehow thinks that means he's ready to relocate to Chicago at any moment. There are other stresses in their relationship, too -- Hank is more devoted to his church choir than to his marriage. (Of course, Older Daughter did date this guy for about 60 years before they finally married -- and before she was married, she too was perfectly willing to sing in the same choir. Not since, however. And the fact that the choir director expects people to rearrange their careers, their families, their very lives around his sometimes random choir schedule hasn't helped. But surely Older Daughter saw this before the marriage, too, didn't she?)
- Older Daughter was at our house this weekend for her sister's graduation. Hank stayed behind. It wasn't just the choir that dictated that he remain; he's involved in a project for his father that necessitates his staying close to base. I can't describe the project without potentially compromising anonymity. Older Daughter will be dragged into the project tomorrow, however, on her day off, for at least 12 hours. She was furious about it -- and none to pleased with me when I tried to explain that she absolutely should paste a big smile on her face and help out tomorrow. She kept arguing with me (of course). I finally told her I could offer absolution, but I wouldn't mean it.
- Long Suffering Spouse is stressed beyond reason as well. She wants to mourn and comfort Older Daughter; she wants to be happy for and with Younger Daughter at the same time. It's a tough balancing act; she's shed a lot of tears, mostly when she thought no one was looking. And, have I mentioned? Long Suffering Spouse is cooking most of the dinner for the 100 or so wedding guests. (Our financial circumstances don't allow us many other options.) My wife won't even be through with school until the wedding -- the graduation Mass is only a few hours before Younger Daughter's nuptial Mass.
- Middle Son is taking another part of the CPA exam at the end of this month. Maybe. He's waiting to see if he passed his most recent test -- a retest of a part that he'd previously failed, but only by a little. He hasn't passed any of the tests yet. Some people test better than others; he knows this, but it's beginning to gnaw at his confidence. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Margaret, the one who's just graduating from college and will start at a higher salary than he makes three years out? She's working half-time this summer in order to prepare for her CPA exams. Middle Son fully expects she'll pass it all first time out of the chute. There's pride in his voice when he says this -- but there's something else in his tone, too.
- But Middle Son has been a trooper: He's been scouting for employment opportunities for Younger Daughter and looking for pitching opportunities for Youngest Son. Middle Son had a good collegiate pitching career -- until his back served notice, in no uncertain terms, that he could not hope to go on. Youngest Son, meanwhile, has had a pretty good freshman season -- he's gotten a fair amount of innings pitched, although his results have been mixed. We spoke last night: He's trying to prepare me for decidedly mixed results on his report card as well. Long Suffering Spouse wanted me to mention -- again -- how many hopeful history teachers were turned loose on an unsuspecting world at Younger Daughter's graduation. Long Suffering Spouse is certified as a history teacher, but she's given up hope of teaching that subject; there's no demand. She sometimes feels trapped as a Spanish teacher (she's also certified in Spanish) and she's increasingly worried that Youngest Son won't be able to find work when he gets out. Especially if he gets 'mixed results' in his coursework. Youngest Son is not entirely receptive.
- And then poor Abuela. Long Suffering Spouse's older sister, Dr. Doom, and her husband came to stay at Abuela's house last week. They brought with them their older daughter, her husband, and their two children. Abuela's oldest great-grandchild is now firmly in his terrible two's -- and my mother-in-law's house wasn't exactly child-proofed when my kids were toddlers. Dr. Doom and her family can easily afford a hotel, but they invited themselves over to Abuela's house because... because... because.... Well, I have no clue why, come to think of it. Abuela is (if memory serves) about to turn 79; she didn't need a house full of guests. (And, no, we didn't see these out-of-town visitors. Long Suffering Spouse and her sister haven't spoken since Abuelo died, 14 years ago. I spoke with Dr. Doom, via Skype, at the wedding of Josephine [Long Suffering Spouse's other sister] and Ferdinand in July 2010 -- I was at the church early, or the start of the Mass was delayed, or maybe both, and I was walking around trying to stay out of trouble when heard a disembodied voice. You ever want to get a good healthy startle -- just start hearing disembodied voices when walking around a church! Dr. Doom and her husband live in Cyprus [you'd really have to be an attentive, long-time reader to remember that] and Florida; I think they were overseas for Josephine's wedding and monitoring the proceedings via laptop computer. All I know for certain is that Dr. Doom wasn't happy about Josephine's newest husband either; it was the first time she and Long Suffering Spouse had agreed on anything in years.)
- Anyway, Abuela's house-guests were hardly gone before her sump pump began making ominous giving-up-the-ghost noises. Yes, Abuela's sump hole also had a guest-starring role in the "family way" posts I put up earlier this year. This time, though, unlike when the sump cover crumbled, I agreed she should call the plumber -- and she did -- and, even though she had to pay a stiff premium for service on a Sunday, with the rain in the Chicago area in the last few days, it seemed like a smart idea. The plumber left, however, before black sewer water began backing up in the basement bathroom. He'll be back today.
Long Suffering Spouse has often said that we should write about our lives -- but no one would believe it.
She doesn't know that I already do.
And it's our 30th wedding anniversary tomorrow, too. No, seriously.