Monday, July 22, 2013

Roy / Christine: I don't care what you say, this is my life

That's a Billy Joel lyric. But I'm not sure if it's true.

I think, to varying levels, we all resent the idea that we "have" to do anything. James and Derek were particularly annoyed with me when I insisted we "had" to go to Canada, for instance. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I want to go along with this whole thing. But looking in the mirror, I know it would be impossible for any of us to do anything but act out the lives of the people we appear to be. James and the others should consider themselves lucky they weren't given the kind of responsibility I was.

I'm not just talking about Christine's marriage, although that is something that sticks in my side. The idea of being forced to be married to someone is just about as bad as being told you can't marry someone. But this isn't about me, my beliefs or even my preferences. I am bound an determined not to undermine Christine's life. She isn't to blame for this. I don't relish spending my nights with her husband poking into my back. The other guys have leeway... from what I hear Derek has literally just sat on his perky little butt all week while Cal is out there earning rent money. In every case, there are other people in our lives we have to treat as if we are who they think we are. That sucks. But that's, in a sense, the rules. Sadly, there's no guide to "If you run into so and so at the supermarket, you have to seem excited to see her."

Terry was annoyed by my late return. He was already in bed, and I had to walk into this place where I've never been before and act like it was mine. All I did was find the couch and plop down on it. When I woke up in the morning, he was getting ready for work and I realized that was what I should be doing too. He seemed equally pleased and annoyed to see me, asking why I got in so late and why I didn't come to bed. I said I didn't want to wake him up, and reiterated Christine's cover story about one of the girls getting sick and that being the earliest flight we could get. Over a week late. I don't know if he buys it. He's been pretty passive aggressive about it, from what I can tell, so I've been tiptoing all week.

When he leaned in and kissed me, I wasn't ready for it. But that's going to happen. I'm in character as someone who loves this pudgy, balding man with the unevenly-trimmed facial hair. I don't want to rock the boat but at the same time I don't intend to play docile housewife for him and make breakfast in bed or anything. I have my own problems.

Work. That's the other thing. Christine is a Supervisor at a book chain at a mall in Vancouver. Okay. Not hard, just find where everything is and help customers. No big deal. I just need a crash course in inventory, receiving, and whatever else. The real problem is in personnel... specifically, James, aka Keisha, aka someone with no interest in being a good employee. She showed up late and screwed around the entire time. It was lucky it was just her and me all afternoon, since we're both already on thin ice due to the extra week's unannounced vacation. I told her she has to at least try to work while she's here, and she gave me the whole "I didn't ask for this" spiel. Big whoop. The sooner we all adjust our mindsets, the easier time we'll have. I'm all out of pep talks for these kids.

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