No Wire Hangers!

Woke up on mother’s day, lazy. Jack and Fiona were already upstairs having breakfast with Alan. I make my bagel with Salmon, brew my coffee, sit on the couch, turn on the T.V… Mommy Dearest is on starring Faye Dunaway. It is a biographical movie about the life of Christina Crawford, Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter. The most famous line in the movie is “No more wire hangers”; Joan Crawford despises wire hangers in the movie, she feels it is disrespect to Christina’s fine dresses.  I have no wire hangers in my closet! I remember watching the movie when I was a young girl; I really wanted to watch it but my mom didn’t want me to. Eventually, one day when it was being shown on T.V. we watched it together. As I sat on the couch, this mother’s day, watching Mommy Dearest, Jack and Fiona join me. I have to keep explaining to them how the mommy is very upset, that it is only T.V., I can’t turn it off. My coffee is so good and the movie has me completely engrossed. In one scene, Joan Crawford serves her daughter, Christina a piece of rare steak. Christina doesn’t want to eat it like that. Her mom makes her stay at the table until she eats it. Christina does not and the next night her mom puts the same piece of meat in front of her. Eventually the meat is thrown away. It reminds me of this time in my childhood. I was at my dad’s girlfriends house. She had a bunch of kids and lived in a massive apartment complex. We used to roller-skate all around, visiting other kids houses whose parents were out, or we’d hang out in the parking lot. I thought it was fun, but dangerous. There were older kids who were bullies, I was always a little scared and wanted to go home to my mom’s house.  This one night my dad’s girlfriend cooked dinner. We were all at the table and she served a big piece of liver to me. I remember it sitting on a white plate, it almost looked burnt. Nothing else was on the plate. I told her I didn’t want it. She said I wasn’t getting up from the table until I ate the piece of liver. The whole table was excused but me. I could hear all the kids playing upstairs. I just sat there, miserable. Finally, I forced myself to take a bite. I felt sick immediately and ran to the toilet to puke. My dad’s girlfriend was still mad at me, she thought I forced myself to throw up, but I didn’t. It was awful. My dad’s girlfriends were always horrible. They were like poor Joan Crawford’s. Maybe it was just because I was the step kid. Jack didn’t watch the whole movie, but Fiona did. I tried to teach her what crazy was. That the Joan Crawford character was really crazy and I would never treat them like that.

Jack and Fiona are sleeping now. The house is quiet and the afternoon wind has settled a bit. It feels very relaxing. I only worked in my studio for a short time today. I love what I am working on, the direction I’m going! Even though I have so much work to do for my upcoming solo show and book publishing I feel a strange satisfaction and ease. I don’t feel stressed like I have before a big project like this. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working so hard on my material, my content, my line and color, my thoughts, my spontaneity, my ability to walk away, to let go, my ability to be proud and hum out load and dress in my own quirky style and not be shy about who I am. Maybe I feel liberated and excited. My only complaint as of late is the lack of time, the massive amount of work it is being a housewife, especially when it feels half my month I am either sick or having cramps or PMS or ovulation pain or hot flashes or just plain wiped out. But I have to be grateful for the good weeks, the feeling good times, love my body times, yoga three times a week times, no insomnia times. I’ve learned a new technique to deal with the hard times though, just accept it and treat myself like a Queen. REST! It totally works, it means I let it all go, I take a bath instead of cleaning or going in my studio. It means I communicate to my husband and my children I’m on light duty and I’m off no later than 7:30PM! And that works to. The old me pushed on through and felt terrible and bitchy. It’s 4:00PM, now comes the hard part. Do I wake the babies up so they don’t stay up till 10:00pm? Or do I let them sleep as long as they want and take a hot bubble bath now?

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins