So. This happens:
Cinder: Mom! The light in the bathroom burned out!
Jane: I know!
Cinder: Are you going to put in a new bulb?
Jane: Well, I was thinking about it, but the bathroom was getting really grodie, to that “I need to clean it or the world will end” state, and I was starting to feel bad about it, like I should maybe, you know, clean it, but now that it’s dark in there, I don’t feel that way, so now I can get back to that “OMFG-it’s-finished-it’s-almost finished” project and…
Flora: Oh-my-god-mom-you’re-insane. Where are the bulbs?
Jane: Home Depot.
Flora: We have no spare light bulbs in the house?
Jane: Well, they were in the basement, but then there was that flood thing…
Flora: That was two years ago.
Cinder: Are you saying you’re not going to put a new bulb in the bathroom? Do you expect me to pee in the dark?
Jane: Entitled child, how hard is it to get your pee into the toilet? Leave the door open!
Flora: Mom! You have two sons!
Cinder: You will regret this.
Fuck. I will. I know.
Fortunately, when their father comes home and notices the bathroom light’s burned out, he just changes it. Without fanfare, drama.
“everyone feels the inanity of the sad family nucleus”
I am too practical-cynical-critical and insufficiently romantic to be an anarchist. But I enjoyed reading J. Jack Halberstam’s Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2014) enormously.
Sean: Are you going to write about the end of the nuclear family again? Cause that always makes me twitchy.
Jane: No, not the end…
The thing is, what’s inane/sad about the family nucleus is that it’s NOT ENOUGH. It needs to be one part of the web of the relationships that support parents, children. Not the end-all, be-all.
The beginning? The centre? I’m not even sure about that. Because it isn’t the beginning, unless you reject/lose where you—the adults—come from… And the centre? Sometimes, maybe.
And sometimes, not.
And throughout: it’s not enough to have just one other adult watching your back, providing you with support—define support as you will, emotional, physical, financial, other. I know you despise clichés, Internet memes and tried-and-truisms as much as I do… but…
You: Are you going to say ‘It takes a village’ again? Cause I’m gonna vomit if you do.
Me: At this moment, I don’t think even a village is enough. It takes an entire society, culture. Think about it. Everything is related, interdependent…
“Mutual aid or mutual protection or new notions of exchange actually flourish already in the worlds we inhabit and those we are making as we go—open-source exchanges on the Web, cooperative food collectives, subcultures, new modes of kinship, and different understandings of our mutual responsibilities exist already for the purpose of exchange and not profit, and this motion of working with others rather than in competition is probably the only thing that will save us from the greed of free-market economies.”
Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal
You: You’re incoherent, and just kind of babbling.
Me: I know. I have too many thoughts in my head, and I can’t exert any kind of discipline upon them at the moment.
You: How almost anarchistic of you.
Me: Shut up and let me free-form.
Cinder: Mom? Can we turn on the sprinkler in the back?
Cinder: Why not? It’s like 100 degrees Celsius!
It’s not. It’s only 33. Still. For a Northern Hemisphere human: boiling hot.
Jane: Because you will turn the weed patch into a mud pit, get filthy, and then need baths, and I’ll have to clean the bathroom!
Cinder: You said it was so grodie you had to clean it anyway!
I text Sean: Why, why, why did you have to put a new light bulb in the bathroom?
Sean: You’re welcome?
Sean: Are you ok? Is your work not going well? I thought you were at the “OMFG-it’s-finished-it’s-almost-finished” stage?
Jane: But then you fixed the light in the bathroom.
See? EVERYTHING is connected.
There is a mud pit in my backyard, my bathroom is still filthy, I’m proofing that “OMFG-I-think-it’s-finished” project, and I’m planning a party.
I think I’ll clean the bathroom for that. Actually…
Jane: Hey, Flora? Wanna make $20?
Flora: Does it involve taking care of Ender while you write?
Flora: Let’s talk.
Tapping into the greed of free-market economies for the win…