Tonight’s the board meeting.
I’ve planned my day. Chill. Take a shower by noon so my hair has a chance to dry before I leave. I know what I’m gonna wear. I’ve practiced my make-up. Even printed up a newsletter rough for them to look at and a list of topics we need to discuss.
Not thrilled to find the meeting turned dinner party is being held at a place where main courses run €20. Yeesh! Couldn’t we have sat around a room at the University and ordered pizza? Plus they want drinks… Planning on sticking to water. May have one beer, but honestly, drinking just isn’t worth it anymore.
I’m loaded up with pertinent facts and interesting ideas. Undoubtedly that means the ‘dinner party’ will degenerate into a ‘drinking party’ and little to no work will actually get done. Will do my best to get answers on the most immediate needs and then back off, if that’s what happens. Don’t want the reputation of the wet blanket in the group.
My bro came back from choir rehearsal last night so wound up I had to sit up with him ’til 12:30 – and even then he was still manic. Yeah. This is why I went with him the very first time, to avoid what happened last night. Hoped that it wouldn’t happen like this. But there he was, walking in, that half crazed, half desperate smile on his face that says “See? I’m dealing with this,” when in actuality he isn’t dealing at all. Then it came: the outpouring. An hour and a half of talking, complaining, bitching, whining, pointing out a thousand arguments he probably should have said to them and not me. His frustration led him to lash out, too. I heard what had him worked up: pressure to perform, to bring in money via the company. So I got a “hit”, too: a very loud complaint about the play and how it wouldn’t do him any good. I think differently. I think it’s a great way to get the word out and build a solid reputation. But the play was bashed, and I was bashed for getting caught up in it rather than concentrating all my efforts on promoting my brother and his work.
Now, I’ve tried to explain ad infinitum to my bro how his frustrations put people off. How his voice raises, his face grows angry, and he looks bleeding intimidating. I’ve tried to teach him some tact, too, pointing out easier ways to phrase things that wouldn’t be so offensive to others. But, no. He wants to be offensive when he’s wound up. He wants to be confrontational. Then after he calms down he comes back to me and whines about no one wanting to be his friend, no one wanting to work with him, etc. But somehow it all comes back on me; I’m not supporting him enough and that’s why he doesn’t have this or that.
Worse still: if I hold his hand through life, he gets angry at me for that. If I let him handle it on his own, he gets angry for that. I can’t win. He won’t listen to my advice, he never tries to do anything different.
It’s not my fuckin’ fault, dude!
…Class yesterday was mixed. Fun to be back, fun to find my brain more focused on Dutch. Did well on homework, even scoring 100% on one of my papers. My teachers said I didn’t have to keep doing the verb conjugations, but I will until 100% becomes common place. A few mistakes during dictation, but not too bad. I even managed to slip in a Dutch turn of phrase during the lesson (which P, the woman who did our summer lessons, noticed and praised me for). Loaded up with letters to write, along with a warning to keep my letters to one page only. Gotcha. Brevity. I’m all for that. I enjoyed everything that happened in the classroom. It was the time during the coffee break that was the problem.
No one was at the front desk when I entered the building, so I still had to sign in and collect my tickets for free coffee or tea. The woman at the front desk was on the phone when I went down. I stood quietly to the side of her, waiting. Then two other students joined me. When the woman finally got off the phone, she ignored me and served the two other students first even tho I’d been standing there at least 3 minutes longer than them. Why? Well, they were all from the same country, of course. They knew each other. Okay. Not happy about that. Missing some basic Dutch courtesy. Sat down at the table with everyone else, a little to the side. Tried to open up their tight conversation ring, but it didn’t work. I sat there, sipping my tea, listening. No eye contact, no word sent my way, until one of the women touched me on my knee (I later described it to my bro as if she’d reached out to stroke a dog that had been hanging around the table) and offered me a bone. I said two sentences, and was then promptly ignored again.
Now, if I sit there and read my book my teachers come over to ask why I’m not talking with everyone. But when I try joining the conversation, this happens. They all sit there talking about their homelands and children, two topics I can’t really join in on other than as an interested by-stander. I dislike this break time. I only need ten minutes to pee and get a tea. Then I’d like to return to the lesson. But, no. Talk. Socialize. With people I have nothing in common with. With people who ignore me, week after week. It’s not fun.
I’ve a few short hours to drop all of this and concentrate on today.
And now my brother just woke up.
Joy, joy. Here we go!