Single-Lady Dinka-Drudge Scuttbutting Surrounded by Shoes...

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation:  Noah's Ark had nothing on the bed and purse that underwent the full cleansing typhoon of coffee and (later) milk, Phone Book snake oil salesmen warned us of the coming Canadian mediator-siege, and legal careers questioned. Coming up: Early Birdie's Singles Morn beats all but that mountain of Asics bestrapped with various laces, legs were kicked and bridge disasters overcome with bread at the rescue; and finally gossip dissected from a collaborative vantage point. 

Because it's Ladies 'Morn and the Feeling's - er - Right-ooorrrn So as apt as timing can be, just after my lengthy discussion of our further DINKY domesticity (as manifested in gender-stereotypical apportionments of some tasks, like breakfast), Track Night's move from pre-season to just plain season moved my Track-Widow-singles-night from Friday to Wednesday night. Naturally, I enjoyed my temporary singularity last night by reenacting the wild and crrrrrrazy of my single years: I went to dinner with my mom, watched The Daily Show and made - prepare for this, because the details are a touch lurid - pinto bean hummus.

But the fun doesn't stop there! Oh no! See, the thing about Track Night (why do I feel there ought be spirit fingers employed whenever discussing this event?) - other than its recondite rules and rewards, and the utter quirkiness of its several race-formats - is that it's a bit later in the evening. By a bit, I mean that +Andrew Wright was definitely "out all night" in his little spandex number, crowing about Redmond with all his little rooster pals (those cocks, how they crow!).

As I've mentioned, I usually wake him up sometime around 5:45 a.m. with breakfast mostly ready and his lunch packed; he then gets a start to his packing and dressing and meets me for breakfast a bit later.

 Since he fathomed that he may be returning home from track sopped in sudor and roiling with testosterone a bit later than usual, he had pondered the idea of sleeping in a bit on Thursday mornings. I was fine with this (other than grumbling about inevitably being woken up on a Wednesday at midnight when he - quite cheekily, I think - thought he should be able to come to bed or something). I did mentioned he'd better set an alarm, as 6:45 was getting plain old cuncatory in Adella-world. As such, I figured I might as well just go into work at my single-lady time of obscenely early. We bandied about the alarm idea, but for part of this week he came to the conclusion that it would be better to maintain our usual schedule, stay on track (har har) post track, and just have a quick nap at lunch. 

Last night, I stirred at about 11:00 and noticed I'd received a text from him saying "thanks, don't wake me up tomorrow." Uncertain whether he was expecting that the alarm "situation" had been sorted out, I degrogged myself long enough to - maybe - figure out my alarm clock... maybe. Since my insidious circadian rhythms have indubitably ensnared his sanity, he actually woke up without an alarm and was likely gone when the alarm was slated to go off. So, I'm really still not sure what I may have done with the alarm. It may be going off every morning after we've both left! I couldn't say! As a result of the attempt, I naturally wasn't quite asleep when the garage door opened a half hour later and then wasn't quite asleep when Andrew stirred upstairs. As married couples share things even when they're playing-single, I am indubitably having sympathy exhaustion for his long grog of a day. 

Since I was unaccompanied at breakfast this morning, my single-lady-night has effectively extended into single-lady-morning (well, ok there was a warm body in my bed when I got up, but I've read that this happens to single ladies too sometimes). I unloaded the dishwasher, made coffee, changed, made and ate breakfast and got to the office about twenty minutes after getting up. Since it's June and the sun rarely sets hereabouts in June, I've risen to the office atweeting and achirping with the morning birds. No worms for me yet, but some good strong coffee. 

My music is blasting, the treadmill-desk is at full throttle, and my list of projects that just won't go away (because I just won't do them!) is open and ready for some X-marks. I really do love this time of day in a most singular fashion, even if my breakfast tasted a little less tasty absent the spice of a good half-conscious colloquy with my very (W)right consort. 

Lest Anyone Think I'm the Shoe Fetishist in the Wright Household... I may point out that if you include his cycling shoes, vibrams, boots, blue-collar work shoes, white-collar work shoes, hiking boots, water-shield sneaker, dance shoes, etc. I think he actually does own more shoes than I do even accounting for the vestiges of my tango-shoe empire. The bright and clean ones are brand new. Andrew's intending to try his feet at a duathalon or two and has been doing fastidious research about ways to minimize transfer times between cycling and running. Trust me, triatheletes care deeply about this issue. Apparently elastic laces are the best thing since caffeine inflused B-complex sugar gels and wedgie free wet suits! So, yes, those jaunty little lime laces are elastic. In theory an athlete can simply slip his feet right into them without sacrificing the snug fit of traditional laces. We are all quite thrilled to discover if this is the case. Quite. 

Last night, I repurposed out date-night into a slog-around-in-sweats night (except I slogged in sporty satin), as I anticipated we'd both be fairly tired and those leopard pants were calling my name. The only downside of having date-night at home is that it's pretty much impossible to untether the same way that we can if we go out. Andrew's smart phone accompanied us to the dinner table. Both of our tablets were on the couch. My computer was in the kitchen... they are all quite insistent little beasts and the time involved in silencing every single one of them would have left our dinners gelid and underappreciated.

I continue considering more stringent screenless-time periods. I've found that if I designate an hour or two to going off the grid, my mental health benefits substantially. Conversations may involve more awkward silences, but we also capitalize on those silences to go somewhere interesting and more qualitative. Breakfast has been the de facto no-screen time so far. I am a little insistent on taking about an hour on weekend mornings to connect with each other (maybe through mutual staring and the occasionally interminable silence as we practice parallel pondering) before we link into the inter-webs. It's just too easy to open for one thing and suddenly realize you've spent the last three hours hopping from little icon to little icon in a world of your own. I love my internet time, but it itself is more savory when it's consumed with intent and solitary focus. 

So, we will be resuming out-of-the-house-dates next week, but I do think we both needed the down(load) time yesterday. Besides, there had to be sufficient time to (1) appreciate the shining new sneakers, (2) wait for the slow stream of likes and comments to the photo of said sneakers that Andrew posted to facebook. 

Some people post food, some post babies... our family has a foot fetish apparently. 

DINKADATE A D'AFTERNOON OF DIAMONDS (AND BREAD) - Yesterday was the final performance of our 2013 Season Subscription to the lovely Pacific Northwest Ballet. In other words: Date Afternoon in Seattle! We have certain little rituals... some of them are quite regular and perhaps involve the occasional morning when my rather serious-seeming husband plods deliberately down the stairs full of portent and clad in a robe I've affectionately called "the wizard robe," to proclaim in a very sombre voice "Rejoice, for your Husband has Arisen." (And there was much jubilation!)

Sometimes, are rituals are more strung across months and involve attending Bamboo Garden, the vegan Chinese place across from McCaw Hall, before lingering in the lobby area and judging various ballet-goers' attire.  And they often involve Mr. (W)right nodding off to the first piece pre-intermission, to be met with a $2 self-serve intermissionary (on A MISSION to keep those eyes open) coffee that is a little bit too hot to actually comfortably finish during the twenty minute intermission break. It usually also entails a fair amount of smiles and soulfull head bops to the music. Perhaps, even, some strained promises from me that I will not go into Thompson mode upon attempting to leave the theater (Thompson mode would be the mercenary behavior exhibited by my father and me at the end of operas, during which time, we will eagerly push old people and little children out of the way and possibly into oncoming traffic in the desperate attempt to beat the crowd letting out... apparently this behavior makes Andrew uncomfortable, despite his penchant for racing). 

Yesterday, it also involved a bit of a side trip into the country. As perhaps you've heard, there's a major bridge connecting Skagit County to Whatcom County that decided it didn't feel like bridging so much anymore. There's a new temporary bridge on its way, but until then, traffic can snarl just a tad... When Google Now started prophesying hour long waits, we decided to go adventuring off into the wilds of Whatcom County ... or was it Skagit? Or County Kildare?  We ended up - intentionally - in a quaint little yippie "town" called Edison (or was it Bow), which nestles at the foot of the perilously exquisite Chuckanut Drive. Andrew's second cousin not-once removed (or something... I always get those wrong) is a baker at The Bread Farm, so we stopped in to say hi (and get free cookies, apparently!). 

The drive back was sunny, peaceful, long and winding... (cue Beatle's tracks and tell me again about Paul and how his pet Walrus, Binky, ate him back in 1960-something). A rather perfect cap to a surprisingly langorous and leisurely day. 

Time for some more Collaborative Law Meeting Minute Snippets - When is it Gossip and When it is Constructive?... After a healthy dose of #bluesday   #shoesday  visual frippery. Ok, I'm in a black books a la the 7th kinda mood today. But trust me the color on the 11th boots is gorgeous. Photos don't do it justice, but I'd happy rub my cheek on that boot (before it's been worn by people anyways).

Back-story. Thought I'd give you a peep into some of the other ponderings I might do and see me a bit at play with my other Collaborative Professional Buddies. We've been having this whole dialog in our practice group about conflict between members and setting up protocols to address this before the writhing viper pit death-matches take too much of a toll on our referral base. Recently we had a retreat and addressed some issues. One of the discussion topics that came up then and yesterday was gossip and the  insidious bar it can pose to group cohesion. I was feeling candid yesterday and admitted that I didn't find it always easy not to avoid tricking myself into gossiping in the name of problem-solving or other convenient phrases (and as somebody who actively avoids gossip and bristles at that particular gleeful voice people get just when they're about to say awful things about a mutual acquaintance, I imagine I was not the only one finding this dynamic difficult)... Yeah, these minute snippets will be sort of The Adella Show Transcript (I was chatty yesterday!): 


Adella admitted that when she goes to somebody to complain about her loved ones (which she, of course never does, because her husband and immediate family members - hi mom! - are perfect, of course), she may be seeking that initial bonding-through-kvetching inferno of zesty alienation and absentee recrimination. If she receives that energy and feeds upon it, she may find catharsis and lose the desire to address the underlying complaint.

But if she is not getting that feedback within a few venting percolations, the energy to continue steaming dies and she becomes more comfortable re-framing the energy into something a bit more productive. Perhaps it's a true spiritual transformation or simply the civilizing force of a third party on good behavior. 

 Gossip can be a bit like a cheesecake pact (I'll eat the tasty torte of choco-lover's calumny if you will...). It's sort of guilty pleasure that does not survive when that pesky abstemious friend shrugs and orders a decaf coffee instead. She knows that if she does have a great big mudslide of cavil-cake, she has no further energy to address the initial issue. When she sticks with water, there's that reluctant "ok, ok, I'll look at myself and the situation, and maybe hit that yoga class later..." that kicks in for her. As with the decaf coffee-swiller, that model of "good behavior" provides such a stark contrast to any continuation of her unhealthier indulgences, that it is hard to continue without potentially painting oneself in a socially unfavorable light. As social animals, even at our most irrational, we like to see ourselves as part of the community ethos (upstandingly so, if possible), so that influence can be quite strong. Wow, anyone else want to hit Bliss Desserts about this point? I hear we're thinking of alternate places for summer meetings...  

I later reflected that it's a bit of a shame that we dismissed gossip entirely as simply a caricature of a far more complicated social phenomenon with both positive and negative aspects. There is such a thing as positive gossip - discussing the merits of a third party - that has been shown to have significant salutory effects to communities, interpersonal relationships, and the psyche of the conversationalists. There is also neutral or informational gossip, something of my favorite past-time. I love stories. I love people. I love hearing and telling stories about people. As fascinating as I am, I think the people around me are as much a part of *me* and *my story* as my experiences in a vacuum. I think this is true for those who surround and fill out the lives of my loved ones.

Even negative gossip can serve to reinforce community norms in a powerful way. Of course, for better or worse, it can create personal intimacies in a slightly indirect manner. And I will never let go of my occasional gossips about stars and other abstract characters who don't directly influence my life.


We also did a role play to demonstrate what Child Specialists do in Collaborative Divorces

As every one always mistakes Adella for Penny's daughter, it was only appropriate - or suitable for the upcoming new David Lynch's Play Therapy - that she play Penny's mother in the scenario. Fortunately, that role mostly involved leaving and sitting in a chair. Unfortunately, she did not get to play with any of the toys. As somebody who is the child of divorce - and at the time seemed to think it was just great that her parents were splitting up and giving her double the holidays and homes to infest - she maybe thinks actually she needs a little play therapy for her inner child about now...

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