Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trapped in a Glass Box of Emotion

Classes have begun for our freshman at TCU, and in a late-night phone call after Day One of School, she seemed pleased. The emotion and drama of rush week is behind us, and she has a bid to ZTA tucked safely into her resume. What a minefield that process has been. She’s still treading carefully around the periphery, trying to figure out what membership in a sorority is all about.

After a late Sunday night-into-Monday-morning social foray, she assessed her “first night out at college” as "A++++++++."
Of course, my reaction was “what about school?” She admitted that she started classes on very little sleep, but said a mid-morning power nap really helped.

Meanwhile, back at home….things are not going well. My wife just didn’t make it through sorority stress. It’s one of those things Darrell Just Doesn’t Understand. I’m sure the disquieting emotional displays at my house were the manifestation of an accumulation of factors, but knowing that didn’t make it any easier to witness. I actually share a feeling of helplessness with my wife. Our daughter is making huge decisions and we are not around to help. Even a gesture as simple as a supportive hug is simply out of reach for us.

Anticipating how empty the house would feel, I overscheduled myself during the week. I took three freelance TV assignments which ate up a few evenings.

I also hosted a program at a local church paying tribute to 100 years of Broadway. This required rehearsals and of course a performance. That was fun. I enjoyed the music and spending time with creative, arts-minded people. I guess you could postulate that under stress I defaulted to my media/ arts roots, and I would be hard pressed to deny it.

Oh, but the weekend was the worst. We had some social engagements lined up and we went through the motions; but we were so distracted we could hardly enjoy ourselves. My wife was worked up about our daughter and I was worked up about my wife being worked up. It was pitiful, truly I tell you.

On Sunday evening, we were so restless that we actually just went driving. We jumped in the car, opened the sun roof and drove toward a distant thunderstorm to watch the impressive lightning display.

Now that school has actually started in Ft. Worth, we can hope that our Freshie Frog quickly establishes a routine and finds some social equilibrium. Until then, it seems our day-to-day existence will continue to be alarmingly off-balance.

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