"But Chance," I hear my non-existent readers roar as one, "You said in the reboot post that you and LD are having ups and downs, yet all we read from you is domestic bliss! What gives?"
Well, there's a lot of backstory and high drama that I've skipped or glossed over. LD's family are all in various degrees of dudgeon about her affair with me. Her parents have given their reluctant, disapproving support; one of her sisters is at this point basically dead to her due to the horrible things she's said about this whole mess. I've mentioned how 74 and Zaftig have broken with both of us in tongue-clucking moralistic horror. And of course there's Kraut's mental breakdown and lucid, serious threats on my life.
These things take their toll.
The other day, we were talking about us, as we do, and I said something like, "Of course we aren't really together yet, but..." LD laughed and said, "In what sense are we not together?" And while it is true that we are quite couple-like at this point, the fact is we aren't together in the very real sense that, say, her kids don't know about us, and we can't bandy about our relationship at work or with certain acquaintances. (In the case of her work, it's doubly touchy since they knew Kraut, who used to work for them as well.)
ANYhoo, today I volunteered to pick up her kids from school again right after work so she could stay late and get some work done. She ordered a pizza from work, and I fed the kids, let them watch cartoons, and then at a certain point made them do homework. All very nice.
When LD got home, she was extremely stressed out, and the kids got all hyper the way they do, and they climbed on me playfully and I read to them, and they got send to bed after much pushing, and she had to clean up Cake's bed because she had an accident in it. By the time we had some time together, she was pretty high strung. In talking about the kids' schoolwork (they're all three behind because in Europa, kindergarten doesn't teach anything, so much as a letter shape, but is just all-day play, and the older one is very bad at reading English), I said something true but foolish about Prestigius being about a year ahead of public school curriculum, and that sort of sent us downhill. She knows she can't afford that for her kids, at least not as a single mom, and said so, which made me pretty hurt because my prime fear is that this life she has as a single mom will be so hard that she'll go back to Kraut. And it got worse from there.
[Yes, I worry. I worry that when Kraut comes here in late December, he will cajole her, "Look, all the things you complained about back in Europa is solved now. You are here in Deviltown, with our friends, and have a job, and I will have a job and make money, and we won't live in a one-bedroom townhouse with my interfering mother and brother and evil bitch sister-in-law anymore, but a four-bedroom palace, and I won't be crazy any more, and everything will be good." And I worry that even though I know LD loves me and Kraut has been a dick to her, she may choose to be persuaded, because after all it is easier and better to make a life with the father of your children; practicality is often more powerful than romantic sentiment.]
Well, the evening got better and we made up, but it is an example of how we can have some badness with the goodness.