the right eyes
Maggie has this particular personality trait that--and I mean this in the kindest, most heartfelt way--it drives me a little bananas.
And it is that...
Well...did you ever see Apollo 13?
You know that one part where the crew, communicating with NASA, receives instructions to center Earth in the side window, then fire everything up and put on the thrusters for, like, sixty seconds--keeping Earth in the window. Then just as quickly shut every single thing back down. That part? All energy. Then no energy.
That is what my sweet Mags does when you disagree with her. And, let me be clear... it's not EVERY time you disagree with her. It's only when you disagree with her on a topic that there is no real way she can know for sure if she is right or not. It's a defense mechanism.
She isn't sure if she's right,
she hopes she's right,
she doesn't quite know if she's right,
but she wants you to tell her she's right.
And any dissenting voice (usually mine) makes her put Earth in the window, put on the thrusters for 60 seconds and then she shuts whole thing down before you can even get a voice in edge-wise.
And if this was your only experience of her, let me tell you, you woukd never tell her she is wrong because it is un-com-fort-able, with a capital uncomfortable.
But I am sensitive to the roots of this--it is when she is feeling very powerfully desirous of something and does not yet feel equipped to deal with what the challenges might be. So she shuts down on me--the Challenge Suggester.
So this is not a time--ever--to force her to acknowledge my right-ness, toe to toe. Why? Time will tell. There is a time to insist. But there are far, far more times in life to be graceful and sidestep. Plus--to be honest--if Maggie is wrong about something little, something tangible...the world will likely prove that to her. She doesn't need me in the mix proving all my rightness.
But, her toll for this grace of mine, is a hefty one. Because when she is wrong and just flat out wrong with no emotional root--oh, honey, I am ALL OVER my rightness!
"I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong," is a favorite quote of mine, and that drives her bananas.
Today, we were in the Nashville airport getting ready to leave. Our flight was on Southwest. Her boarding number is C7. Mine is C8.
A1-30 went through.
Then A 31-60 went through.
The B people filled in as those other lines filed into the plane.
When B1-30 boarded the plane, I stood up and went to take my C8 place in line. The screen had yet to change over to "C1-30" from "B1-30" but...we all know this. We all know how to board a Southwest flight.
Maggie looked at the screen, then glanced up at my standing self. "What are you doing?"
"I'm getting in line. B one-through-thirty is on the plane."
She looked back again, quite a few "C" people had already taken their spots.
"No." She said. "That's the B line."
"It's C." I said.
"It's B." She said. "Look at the screen."
"Those are C people. The screen hasn't changed yet."
"Mom. You are wrong."
"I'm right." I announced. "I'm walking away from you." And I proceeded to roll my little self away from her and her cinnamon roll.
She shook her head and started packing up the debris of her airport breakfast and stuffing cords and electronic back into her carry on. I could tell by her quick and slightly sloppy movements that she was annoyed that she had no choice but to follow me. I could tell she was starting to do the thrusters. Which I knew would be followed by the shut down. But I did not even care because I was SO right.
Then, suddenly, in perfect communion with all my mom-rightness, the man at the ticket check in counter said, "Sorry folks...the screen didn't change there for a second...but it seems like you guys all figured out that C needed to line up..." then he gave a hearty little chuckle.
And I just starrrrrrrrrrrred back over my luggage-dragging shoulder as I walked away from Mags. She glanced at me ever-so-quickly, a furative little glance to confirm my location, only to find I was giving her the big eyes.
The "lookee who was right" eyes.
The glittery smile that goes with the "WOW, did you just hear that?" eyes.
She arrived to the line soon after me, rather disheveled, but we can't all be right all the time, and I took a very purposeful, one might even call it graceful, step back and let her in front of me.
"I'm C7." She said.
"Yes. I know." I said to the back of her head.
Her shoulder laughed a little and her ponytail did a quick twitch from side to side, a denial of attention.
"I refuse to even even look at you," she said.
The smile on my face came through in my answer, "Oh, you don't even have to." I assured her.