Balloons, seesaws, chalk and cheese.

So while on our way for a lovely late afternoon lunch Glen tried to open his ginger beer he’d stopped off at the shops for, one of those silly pull tab types.

 The pull tab broke under his mighty strength.

And then we listened to how the world hates him so and how everything is out to ‘get him’ and nothing ever goes right for him. Personally I was thinking it could be worse. There are so many worse things that could have happened in that moment, for example he could have pulled the tab with such force the steering wheel pulled and we ended up in a ditch, or it HAD come off and he ended up with ginger beer sprayed in his pretty eyes. Now THAT would have hurt and probably ended us up in a ditch too.

But it got me thinking about the way people are different. I know this is not new information to anyone but I was thinking more along the lines of how two people are different but fit each other, or compliment each other or not.

I know that I can calm Glen down when he sometimes is irrationally emotional over little things, I can put things into perspective for him. And I know he can make me laugh and see the lighter side of things when I am overly dark and too serious.

I think the best example would be my parents.

Mum.

I watch her dance around her cluttered deck like a haunted banshee to some kind of soppy love song, surrounded in a haze of her own cigarette smoke. Slurping on some strong-smelling drink. Eyes closed, arms waving, swirling and smiling nothing else matters, her hair is the wild kind I’d love to weave feathers and tiny shells into. She’s got a thing for reptiles at the moment so she’s dancing with her lizard, her fat python got away. Her bare feet slapping the purple painted wood, anklets jingling. All her neighbours can see and she doesn’t care. She’ll probably strip her singlet and cut off jeans and strut around naked at some point in the night but I won’t be there for that.

Dad.

I sit trying to talk to him, you can see a wall as plain as the sun. He’s observing but not partaking. He’s slumped in a woven outdoor chair, feet crossed at the ankles and hands clasped in front of his hanging head. He’s got a smile, more of a smirk from left over memories of some time happier. Smoke packet neatly by his side, lighter atop. His silver-grey hair has been there since I was a kid. Even though he is reasonably young. He’s wearing the same thing I’ve seen him wear for years. Jeans, boots and button up blue shirt. One of my girls wants to hug him and he lights up like a blue flame, but he leaves shortly after, afraid again.

Together.

Mum has millions of rainbow balloons tied to the ends of her hair, a smile that can be infectious. Dad has a hold of the string wrapped around her bare ankles. He pulls her down but is not heavy enough and she lifts him up. Not to high just a few feet from the ground. They float there in the middle. Not too high and not too low. Balanced. He catches her smile and she shares his thoughts. She used to complain that he would try to surprise her with huge bunches of red roses -her favorite- he’d ring the door bell and run away and she’d open the door to huge bunches of red…..carnations. Her new favorite. He would always complain that mum was horrible with directions, she had a ‘crooked’ finger, she never pointed where she meant to go. But she got him lost in some amazing places. They’d sit up late and listen to music so loud that when I was little I couldn’t sleep. They’d laugh about stuff as I sat in the back seat and I didn’t even see anything funny.

But they are not together now. Divorced 12 or so years ago. After being together so long they lost sight of the balance they gave each other, or took advantage of it. She wanted to go a little higher, and wriggled her ankles free. He couldn’t see who she really was, her rainbow had faded and her smiles were not so infectious. She didn’t want to share his thoughts anymore, but wanted her own. He let the string slip slowly through his fingers, not entirely letting go but yet not entirely holding on. 

Until one day……

 she finally flew and he finally fell.

 

It doesn’t matter how old or young, how many years married or together, everyone deserves love and respect.

She didn’t feel loved and he didn’t feel respected.

They are happier apart.

Sometimes.

They still search for a balance.

I only wish they could see the little things in between the memory crowding bad things that were magical to everyone else who saw.

Neither have balance now.

She’s too high and he’s too low.

 

But they taught me lessons while watching their love story unfold.

Glen may be annoyed when I say ‘left’ when I mean ‘right’  I may get mad when he thinks my cranky face is cute. He likes flat sheets on our bed and I don’t. Glen and I aren’t like my Mum and Dad, we don’t have the balloon situation. We’re matched a little closer.

We’re on a seesaw together.

Ones up and the others down at alternating times and we’re just lucky we can reach our balance and giggle and laugh as we push-off the ground again to balance the other out.

The ups and downs can be hard but mostly a lot of fun as long as we’re both on together….

We’ll always be fine.

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