I knew it wouldn’t last forever. Six dutiful years of our on again, off again love affair, then a recent and turbulent turn revealing a truer self… not sure of one’s footing and, starting to waiver. I had faith. I thought we could make it last. I pushed a little harder, made it work a little more. Smothered it with cheer as if to say that if I ignored the deep seeded problem it would miraculously remedy itself knowing that it was an integral part of my being… but my “Sister Mary Sunshine” approach just didn’t work, we hadn’t seen eye to eye for a while.
I had pressured too hard. I had forced my hand and the retribution for piling on the projects was utter mutiny. One morning I found my relationship in shambles. Every thing and every emotion on the floor. A demeanor that can only be described as awkwardly downtrodden. As if slumped over in a fit of despair whimpering “enough”. It had given up. It had given out. And, oddly, it took me 10 minutes and a cup of coffee to catch my beaten breath and register that I had (uncharacteristically) lost. This stark pre-holiday realization was a devastating upset, reminiscent of a one time boyfriend’s epic and heart wrenching disappearance.
Despite my cursing, despite my furrowed brows and pursed lips, it wasn’t going to buck up. I had worn this relationship down to utter collapse and, in the process, was forced to come to terms with the hard reality that I just can’t force beings into doing my bidding without riotous reciprocity.
A disastrous mess frustratingly abated, I set to fixing this affinity. As if to say that I could TRY and be less harsh. I audibly promised not to be a bitch and to try and treat our partnership with respect and kindness.
Filled with the remorse of the unfaithful I found myself asymptomatically begging the bejesus out of my compatriot with the hope that it was enough of an apologetic effort to make our relationship persevere through the holidays. It was a viscous dichotomy… tying to be forgiving, supportive and simultaneously holding back the frustration of having our lives resort to this, a heavy handed reliance on the glue and strappings that would only be an attempt to piece our lives back together.
Would it hold? Would my loving restraint be enough to enable us to withstand the clang of passing plates, the leaning in to revel in raucous banter into the wee hours, the heavy lift of never ending celebrations, the reaching over for seconds and ‘please pass the peas’? The daunting weight of heirlooms and linens. My heart says yes. My head says that I don’t stand a chance, that my efforts will be futile and fraught with the fear of failure in the face of family and friends. That the entire scape will come crashing down. A virtual calamity of crushed crystal and a pitiful pile of porcelain left in nothing but pieces because I didn’t care ENOUGH.
With all hope my efforts will not go unnoticed. My willingness to concede some of my usual expectations will, with any luck, be enough evidence of my desire to continue our relationship. That the process is part of the healing. Knowing that being the foundation for family and friendships is a herculean mission. That our relationship is built on the trust of knowing one can carry their own weight in times of extreme measure. That it will take the kindness of others knowing the precarious precipice that each gathering hinges upon. That we must be more tender in our treatments and, respectful of the fragility of each of our existences.
This week of Thanksgiving and the coming weeks ahead we will remain on tender-hooks. Never knowing if this will be our last time together. Never able to truly foresee if the glue and screws used to piece our partnership back together will hold or, if the cracks in our facade will yield deeper disappointment. After all, I suppose one can only ask so much of a Dining Room Table.
Happy Thanksgiving my dears. Be thankful, be loving and above all be sure to treat your furniture with the same respect you do your dear family and friends lest you end up like me and find yourself grabbing the Gorilla Glue less than a week before the holiday kicks off!