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2004-03-30 | 1:38 a.m.

Well, it's that time of the month again. Oh, sure, I have my period, but that's not what I meant. Tomorrow I meet with Valerie, the teacher whose job it is to peel from my reluctant fingers twelve work samples (four per kid in each of the core subject areas), three monthly assignment logs, and three daily attendance/work logs. She with the pewter plaque over the doorbell that reads, As for Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord. She of the wooden spoon ("spare the rod...").

I actually like Valerie very much. I just don't like to spend time with her because we disagree on everything important, which makes it difficult for me to relax when I'm with her. And then afterward I usually play the "what I should have said" game all the way home. Like last time, she read in my log (under Social Studies) that the kids had attended "a wedding" at San Francisco City Hall while same-sex marriages were being performed there. She did this kind of Maxwell Smart snarky "Oh ho HO" laugh, and "gay and lesbian marriages, eh?" making it clear that she didn't think gays and lesbians deserved to marry, without actually saying anything inflammatory. So then I'm sitting there thinking, Should I say something? and if so, what? I do try to avoid the old rhetorical self-sabotage of "some of my best friends are gay." But I can't think of a suitable riposte so I just pretend not to have noticed her sarcasm and gush about how moving and exciting and historical it all was.

And no, I didn't bother to mention that the wedding in question was my own. Just the idea that she might interpret this, this bureaucratic adjustment, this merest financial stratagem, this ... wardrobe malfunction as a capitulation to right-thinking morality just makes my stomach turn over. Yuck. Seriously, I told I think four close friends we got married and then I just stopped. I feel like it gives people the wrong idea about me. It's easy enough to pretend it never happened.

Now, having said all that, I do want to complain about one thing. I know this will sound sort of insane given my official position, but I don't care. After Duff told his parents and his brother that we got married, we got one postal card (homemade, from the sister-in-law, which was nice, thank you, whatever), and two e-mail congratulations thingies from Yahoo (one from the sister-in-law and another from the parents, but sent by the sister-in-law at the same time she sent hers, because she was on the phone with the mother, who asked her to send one from her, too). So after we got the Yahoo thingies I thought surely the mother would send an actual postal card through the U.S. Mail. Even though they were having their own problems, I still thought she'd manage to choke one out, you know? Just a regular congratulations card. Didn't have to have money in it or express genuine warmth. Love, Mom and Dad would suffice. But she NEVER DID. We're talking about a woman who sends cards for Thanksgiving and Halloween, for fuck's sake. If they made Arbor Day cards, I think she would send one.

So it's stupid, I know, but it bothers me anyway. It's not as if I'm obsessing over it, but it pops into my head once in a while, like when I'm falling asleep, and it never fails to make me feel sorry for myself. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, etc. Nor did they ever ask to talk to me on the phone, either. I haven't spoken to either of them since Christmas. I think they should have done that, even if they don't like me. It wouldn't have to be sincere. I wouldn't have wanted to be on the phone with them either, honestly. But I still think it would have been the right thing to do. You know? It's like, hey, I married your son, hello? Acknowledge me!

Not that I do what I'm supposed to do, either, but they're still shooting for respectability as far as I know.

Bleh. So, a nice pink pity party for me, and I still don't have my paperwork done for Valerie. Hmmm, wonder if they sell Levenger stuff on eBay...

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