Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020 - 3:38 pm.
Friday nights are for Andrew and me to "party". We order something nice, usually sushi, we prepare screwdrivers (vodka + orange juice), and sit at a table for dinner and chat about everything and nothing, with a playlist playing in the background. It's perhaps one of the best rituals that could come out of a pandemic.
Last night, our boss joined us and it's been one of our best Friday nights yet. She's been on the verge of collapse, it's been a year since she's been overseeing the job/sexual harassment case at the university, and the accussed filed a restraining order against her this week. For no reason. They haven't seen each other in a year, and all communication is done through lawyers. He's trying to wear her down. It hit her at first but Lord, she's tough.
We spent the night listening to her and supporting her and complaining about the twisted ways in which this university (mal)functions. To make the night even better, I'd ordered an amazing plate of finger food from this amazing café for which I'm becoming a regular. It was pricey, but we were happy to host my boss and the delightful food was worth it.
My boss appreciated the food, drinks, and conversation and so did we. It was a nice, relaxing way to end the week. My boss has been overwhelmed by the case, and work (research, teaching, admin stuff), and the current conditions in which she has to do it. She and Andrew worked together years ago, too, and they know how dirty university politics can get, so she finds support in the two of us.
Besides that, I think the most important thing about this week was that Andrew and I had our first adoption workshop. It was better than expected, even though it was finally done via zoom, as it is custom these days.
We talked about biological parents. In a nutshell, if you ask me, it addressed how we feel about poor people, and specially poor women who have a kid, give them up or don't want them. The parents of the kids for adoption have gone through a lot trauma and violence, obviously they are not wealthy people, and ultimately the way we think and feel about people in precarious conditions (addictions, abuse, negligence) will have an impact on the kid who comes from that background.
There was a very religious couple that, I'm sorry, I hope they're not allowed to adopt. They weren't openly prejudiced, but some of their comments were very cringy. The rest of the couples were OK. All these couples have a lot of love and good intentions, a few of them (I'd say just one) go beyond that and have critical thinking. But most of them turn to their basic, either hostile or condescending judgement when they encounter a teenage mother giving up her child. Fuck that.
Personally, it made me reflect on some things regarding my own upbringing and the hell that motherhood (or avoiding motherhood) can be in countries like ours. I never strived to be a mother, and I still don't. I'm not adopting because I want to be a mother, as weird as that sounds.
Nevertheless, that same night I bought a couple of children's books on adoption, mostly to read them to the kid and let them know from day one that it's OK we're not biologically related. One book has two stories, one told from the baby who is adopted and the other from the parents adopting him. Both stories end in the middle of the book, with the illustration of the three of them holding each other and the same sentence about becoming a family.
The other one is about a baby parrot who is alone and looking for his mom, and seeks one in all animals that have a feature in common, like wings or color. All animals he asks reject them. He starts crying and a lady bear asks him what's wrong. He tells her his story and she asks, "well, how would your mom look like", and he says she'd be one who'd hug him, and the lady bear hugs him and now I'm crying again.
Anyway, the lady bear takes him home, and the baby parrot finds out that she has other children: a hippo, a pig, and a crocodile. And in the end they're all a family, and look, I'm fucking crying again.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to read this to the kid without breaking down on page two.
And I got another book about a boy with long hair. I got it because it made me think of 17-year-old David Bowie and his crusade for society to accept long-haired men, which was maybe played for laughs but he was onto something, clearly. I want to teach my child to let people be (unless they're fascists and the like).
Actually, I got myself seven books this week. Those three and two other three from Book Depository (one a gift for my boss) and one from the local bookstore. The joy of reading indeed.
My own book is coming out in 10 days. I'm actually excited, and I find myself, dare I say it, believing in it? I wish it does well and people like it.
Onto another subject, it was my five-month anniversary with my girlfriend this week, but she's been in over her head. I'm actually relieved that for once I'm not the one whose hectic schedule gets in the way of the quality of the relationship.
Also, today my mom is getting an award for her life as a psychologist. She was the first female psychologist, and the third person to graduate as one, in my home country. Things have been kind of quiet with my parents, but I talk to them every Sunday afternoon, and they seem to be doing ok, which always makes me happy.
And Niece #1 bought a house? She's come a long way, this one. I've been meaning to send her a message, I'm proud of her.