Know When to Fold Them
The old Gambler song by Kenny Rogers says, “You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run…” I seem to have a problem with knowing when to fold em. Basically, my being a creature of habit and my refusal to quit, sometimes have me spinning my wheels unnecessarily. Case in point, since my return to NYC I have rented the basement apartment in my sister’s house. The apartment is far-too small and the proximity to my family, living just two floors above me, can sometimes make for uncomfortable scenes. We are simply privy to too much of each other’s private lives. Issues such as knocking on my door when her calls go unanswered are not foreign to my sister. To give a brief background, I have not lived with my family since I turned 15-years old – several centuries ago – so my privacy is something I hold very near and dear. I believe that your home MUST be a safe haven where you are able to unwind, relax and regroup. If your home becomes a place where you feel tension, discomfort, etc., it’s time to roll. Well, that time has come. Without giving too much personal information, my sister and I don’t see eye-to-eye on a personal issue involving her choices in life. In cases like these you must look at the BIG picture. First, it’s her house. Second, it’s her problem. Third, she’s not going to change. With these three factors in place, it is pointless to attempt to come to a reasonable solution that could allow us to coexist and cohabitate. Sadly, I actually believed that I would be able to be closer to my family now that we’ve all matured. Since I’m single and have no major responsibilities, I thought I could offer support when they needed it and help them when they were down. This is not the case. Some issues are not water under the bridge, but chasms that can’t be crossed. So, as much as I hate moving and as scared as I am for her certain tragic future, I fold em. After moving I will evaluate whether it is healthy to continue a relationship with my sister or if it would be best to recognize that sometimes you have to also “know when to run…”
Last Monday a group of about 12 of us took the first of a month’s worth of 2-hour Salsa lessons at the Champion Dance Studio, in midtown Manhattan. Since the bulk of the students attending are Latino, you would think that we would have the Salsa thing down pat. As it turns out, we don’t. Luckily, Sonny, our extremely talented, graceful and black (!) instructor is teaching us that just because we come equipped with a naturally dislocate-able trick hip, doesn’t mean we are Salsa pros. Sonny has an amazing background that dates back to his working with Salsa legends – including Tito Puente. Our Salsa lessons take place each Monday, 6-8 p.m., and they have proven to be an instant hit with the group. I am so excited about donning my leg warmers, tights, dance shoes and head band next Monday. I was especially glad when Sonny mentioned that both the men and women in his class would learn how to lead AND follow. …it just spoke to my versatile side.
Bendito, Ma and Pa; A Cold Reception
My parents arrived from 85 degree Puerto Rico on Saturday and have been overwhelmed by the cold spell that has blanketed the rotten apple. Since their arrival, NYC has not even reached the 32 degree mark! Dad now has a cold and Mom is enraged that she hasn’t been able to really run the streets and shop until the credit bureaus holler in disgust. To keep themselves occupied my parents are resorting to dissecting the lives of everyone in the household and informing us what we’re doing wrong that prevents us from being happy. As of this morning, I’m bossy, abrasive, selfish and need to spend more time taking care of my inner self than my physique at the gym… uh, thanks mom. You always know how to make me feel like a bow-legged, nappy-headed, nervous 5-year old again.
Some would argue that family MUST be your number one priority in life and that any sacrifices made for family are always worth the trouble. In my experience, my friends played an intricate role in my development and survival, so any gratitude afforded to my family is somewhat my attempt to be gracious. I have found a lack of acceptance, a lukewarm introduction to their friends and even the moronic reasoning that maybe my brother’s womanizing is his overcompensation for my being gay. All to say, my family have not always been kind to me.
Do you believe family is family and therefore an added amount of compromise and effort must be undertaken to maintain relationships alive OR can individuals who are family simply break connections and recognize that they are too different to continue a healthy relationship?
Keep passin’ the open windows…