To You From Failing Hands

I’ve talked about grace before.

How much I aspire to the state.

How difficult it’s been to achieve, in the past.

In recent years, I’ve thought I was doing better, learning to accept good things, good people.

But every now and again: a hiccup.


A little background:  My PVR is dying.  (It’s dead, I just can’t admit it.)  The cable box would stop in the middle of a show, shut itself off.  Recorded episodes of Parks & Rec would turn into one prolonged stutter, until we gave up, utterly resigned and deflated.

I like TV.  So clearly, this was an issue.

My boyfriend started scouting out new PVRs on the internet.  And then announced he had been looking for them at Best Buy.

And I lost my shit.


I am horrified by what I did next, but I did it.  I got uber-scary-calm.  And talked to him like he was a not especially bright 3-year-old.  “I do not have the money to replace it right now.  You know that.  And no, you cannot buy one for me.  Because I cannot accept that.  And I am extremely unhappy with you for putting me in this position.”

He looked like I had just kicked him in the junk.

And I immediately felt an overwhelming wave of guilt.

I suck at money.  I suck at managing it (My own, that is.  Other people’s?  I’m awesome at.  But not mine.) And I am especially terrible at talking about it.  I’ve always reserved it as my “no-go” zone.  Something I will never be good at or comfortable with, so don’t make me go there kind of thing.

But that kicked-in-the-junk look made me reevaluate it.

This amazing man, who loves me and my kids, and is just a generally all around good guy who would help nearly anybody out at any time if it was within his ability to do so, (and who just happens to spend an awful lot of time here and was just as frustrated by the fuckery being perpetrated on us by the failing PVR as I was) was trying to help.

And I was putting my own shit up as a defense mechanism.  Any “reason” I threw in the face of his gesture was a lame attempt to preserve some bullshit sense of dignity? independence? who the hell knows.

I apologized.  Freely.  Whole-heartedly.

He went to the store.

Came home with a PVR.

I thanked him.

He unpacked it, started the installation process.

The kids saw him doing this.

The Boy Child: “How much did that cost?????”

The Girl Child: “You just went out and GOT it? How much did you pay?”



I am passing on my bullshit.  Neither child could just say “Hey, that’s a really nice thing to do, and it’s cool that TV is going to work better.”  Nope.  I’ve raised kids who automatically worry about the ramifications of a nice gesture.


I’m sorry, little dudes.  I will try to set a decent example from here on out.  Promise.

5 responses to “To You From Failing Hands

  1. Don’t sweat it. We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves, and that we’d like to be better at for the sake of example to our young ones. Never forget that life is a learning process; you’ll be fine.

  2. It never hurts for kids to know that stuff *costs* money. Don’t lose that part of it because that’s a good thing to pass on. It’s not all bullshit…

  3. I feel like we all have things we aren’t comfortable talking about. AND I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU.

  4. I agree with Tara! Then they can truly appreciate kind gestures:)

  5. They are mirror those ones. My twelve year old was bossing his younger sisters and I stopped him, he sounded downright nasty, perfunctory and a whole hell of holier than thou a bit familiar, yeah, he was talking to them the way I have talked to him when I’m irritated. Gah, put another twenty in the “therapy jar.”

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