Sunday, October 31, 2010

English School, Halloween, shower surprise and My China-esque rump

It’s hard to find a starting point when so many little things have happened in the last week.

I’d thought things were slowing down and, although I felt that they were in some ways, the train has left the station and it’s next stop, Weddingville. But, before I launch into that town of chaoitic thoughts & emotions, I want to update you on Karma’s integration process.

Most importantly, Karma started English classes at Berkeley Adult School last week. It's about a 10 minute walk from our house and he is so obviously jazzed about it. He's told me about almost every student in his class and I know the play-by-play of how each day has gone so far. He's also given me the lowdown on his teachers. He LOVES them. One of them lives about a block from our house and she hosted a Halloween party at her house on Friday for the students. He carved his first pumpkin, but was not so impressed by that and said his wrist hurt from digging out the seeds.

His first day of class he was shocked to see Thai Buddhist monks sitting among a group that included Muslim women with headscarves. The diversity was strange to him at first. The Thai monks have befriended him since he's Buddhist and now he wants to go see the Thai Buddhist temple here in Berkeley. I still haven't been there, so we'll check out soon. I've heard they serve great lunch on Sundays and he wants to meditate. Haha! That pretty much sums up our relationship...He's thinking about meditation and I'm thinking about food; he likes to study and I'm ready to watch a movie; I want to put on the electric heater, he's putting on a jacket instead. On the contrary I'm off to the gym and he's ready for a it seems as though we can take lessons in discipline from each other. I love that balance. Sometimes he'll start to annoy me (shh...don't tell anyone I'm not perfect) and he always says something that makes me laugh, which gives me just the tiniest space in my mind to let go of whatever was bothering me.

We also debate continually about who is next time you see us together go ahead and say that I am, okay? ;)

There have also been a lot of "firsts” in the last week. 
Karma learned how to:
  • Use a sponge mop (that you pull the handle to squeeze the water out of)
  • Use the dishwasher (first time he's ever seen one, too).
  • Use the clothes washer
  • Use my Smartphone (it took him about 5 tries to dial the number)
  • Turn on the stove light (the button's on the microwave)- I was only giving him directions in English, but he got it!
  • Work the food processor (magical food mushing machine that it is!)
These are the "important" things I'm teaching him about American culture....(Can you tell we cleaned house?)

I love our banter. For example, he dragged me to the full length mirror in our bedroom last Sunday when he caught his first glance of my leopard print slippers....he said the combination of those and my velour jammie pants make me look like a granny. He went on to humorously lead me around by the arm like I was 29 going on 95. He is such a ham--I love it!

Apparently I’ve been creeping over onto his side of the bed at night. Really what can you expect when two tall people are sharing a double bed, especially after I’ve had this thing to myself for the last year and a half. Seriously, I was spread-eaglin’, ya’ll. Anyways, he told me that I’m “like China” because I’m nice before we go to bed, then I take over the bed during my sleep. Now every time I get into bed after he does, he says, “China’s arrived.”

Highlight story of the week:
Friday we went to a potluck at our friends Kate & Sean’s apartment. Kate was picking up Karma at 4 so they could grocery shop and he could make a big pot of Tibetan “then-tuk” noodle soup. I was planning to come over after work.

Karma got home about 3:55 and figured he had about 5 minutes to take a quick shower before Kate got there. He jumped in the shower and failed to notice that there were no towels in the bathroom (I’d thrown them in the wash before heading to work). Needless to say, when he got out there was no hope in sight....until he spotted the box of kleenex. Two of those is all it took to realize that they’re not designed to absorb more than one’s nose can put out, so he went to Plan B, otherwise known as his jacket. Yep, my poor honey had to towel off with his clothing.  I forgot to mention it was cold and rainy--when we long for that warm, cozy towel the most. He couldn’t stop laughing when he told me this story.

The then-tuk (noodle soup) was a major hit and we had a great time. He’s totally comfortable with Kate & Sean and had met some of our other friends who were at the gathering as well. He’s becoming progressively outgoing, which I just love.

Another highlight from Friday (how could it get any better than a 2-ply towel off, you ask?)--lesbians. So, there was a couple there who were being openly affectionate with each other, although within the normal bounds of PDA that I would define as appropriate...anyways, getting to the point, he had no clue. When we were driving home I mentioned something about them, only because I had a strong feeling he hadn’t caught on to what their relationship was. My hunch was correct. He paused with the most curious look on his face and  said, “well, I saw them kissing, but I thought that was just an American custom.” I would argue that it IS an American custom...but only if you’re a lesbian, bi-sexual or 19, drunk and ready to kiss anyone...I digress.
Today we suit shopped for him, which started out just fine, but by the time we had to decide on a tie I was ready to hurl myself off the nearest cliff. Between his indifference and the overwhelming amount of choices, well I had a little (okay, it was bigger than little) meltdown. Lucky for him (and the salesmen) it was postponed until we'd purchased said goods and were in the car. These moments of eruption and vulnerability are embarrassing upon reflection and simply gross feeling as they're unfolding. He's pretty much the nicest person on this planet and I'm like a cavewoman sometimes. Karma= calm, kind, collected...Caroline (sometimes...okay, many times...)= infantile, volcanic insanity of neurosis. Awesome as he is, he always listens, even if I'm trying to provoke him in my clouded states of judgement. He NEVER takes the bait...which makes me more riled up in the moment, probably because I feel like an ass and he's being how I WANT to be. He's never mad at me and we talk things out and then laugh and then he makes fun of me about it later. Totally fair, I agree.
Okay, this has become an epic-long post and I didn't even dive into the ocean that is Weddingville. That will simply have to wait until next time. =)


  1. "China has arrived?" I just officially snorted tea across my table. Kudos to Karma, and hugs to you - you brave twosome. ;-)

  2. I may suggest that my book club read your blog rather than a book - it would make for a great discussion and lots of laughs! Are you writing the screenplay?