There I am, standing in the enterance into the kitchen. She is shuffling things around to find a simple blank piece of paper. But everytime she thinks she hits the jackpot, it turns out to be a paper with another one of the kids drawings on it. "Damn," she mutters under her breath as she starts to become frustrated. I casually walk into the kitchen and ask "do you need help with something?" She turns around and takes a deep breath as though about to explode and calmly but firmly replies, " a piece of simple paper would be a great start. Don't think I was unaware of you standing there while I was here getting frustrated. God Ray, you are a writer and you couldn't be generous enough to retrieve a piece of paper for me instead of watching me like a hawk? IDIOT!" See, these last couple weeks, Debra has been living in mood swings. Oh sure, she already went through her midlife crisis but that doesn't mean that I'm in the clear exactly. She has been under a lot of stress lately because of her parents sudden divorce announcement and her sister is not making good choices with who she wants to be and how she wants to make money. "Deb, I didn't think about it but I'm sorry," I replied trying to desperately make my apology and scram before another fight started over god knows what. " Ray, it's not just about the paper. Everytime i try to get something around the house done, the kids are yelling and screaming and i get a headache from just that and don't have the energy to finish anything that i have started. I just need time away from everything in my life. Like your parents for instance. They are ALWAYS here unannounced and wreck havock on the kids and me, never go a minute without crtisicing our parenting style and I'm sick of it. I mean, who the hell shows up 24/7 and expects me to be happy about it? Don't answer that but just for once, I want time for me. Time to shop without being asked to leave the shops because the kids are pulling clothes off the shelves and breaking things. I mean god, I can't stand it anymore."
Unfortunately, things didn't take a good turn from there. My mom walked in and greeted everyone with quick smooches on the cheeks. "Mom, what are you doing here? You were here two hours ago!" i said. She looked at me completely shocked that i would try to be pushing her away from the family. " Well when i saw the food that Debra had prepared for tonight in the fridge, it looked questionable as to whether or not the kids would want to even put that in their mouths. So, i brought something over, TURKEY TRETRAZZINI, a household favorite." I couldn't believe that she did that. Debra's meals are great. Sometimes even better than great. I mean, what does that women not like about Debra's cooking? I calmly replied, " why did you do that? Deb is pretty capable of making food for our family ma. She doesn't need someone making her feel crappy about being a working mother and actually being able to find the time to make a great meal. Now if you would be so kind as to leave so we can eat together at the table like a family and eat what debra made." Harsh. I know but it had to be said. " Raymond Albert Barone! Is that anyway to talk to your mother? What gave you the right to even open your mouth to me like that?" she angrily said. " The fact that you won't leave her alone! You constantly criticise her for everything possible. ' oh, debra didn't finish the laundry', 'debra doesn't clean very often', 'debra, you should keep up with the housekeeping', and 'are you really punishing your kids that way? Who are you to even consider opening your mouth to her like that for the past 12 years of her life?" I stated. Debra was shocked and I knew it right away just by the burden that was lifted off her shoulders and the calmness felt in the room. " HOW DARE YOU! I was just trying to be nice and you jump all over me! I guess you don't really know how to appreciate what i did for you all my life. Good bye raymond!" She limped out of the room, like usual, trying to make a guilt trip on me. This time, it didn't work. I felt amazing after yelling like that at her and I was shakey at the same time. Debra looked at me with those romantic 'i want you' type eyes. " Wow Ray! thank you so much. I feel so much better now that she knows the truth about all that stuff." That, ladies and gentlemen, is the nicest, much needed to hear comment i have heard in a couple of weeks. "you're welcome," i added.
That night, the kids were tucked into bed and asleep soundly and that was great news for me and debra. I walk into the room and she is making up her hair and applying her night cream to her smooth skin. We get onto the bed, kiss each other good night, and I raise an eyebrow as she is looking right at me. " I love you ray but I'm WAY too tired to even consider doing that tonight," she said. As I start to roll over with the sad rejection face in full bloom, she turns the light off. " Well that hurt!" i said. No reply. I turned over to see her face and she is sitting up waiting to make her move. " I changed my mind." We made some beautiful memories that night. This moment of paradise was suddenly interrupted by the crying of the boys. "we'll try another night," and debra gets up and goes to the babies rescue.