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A Day in the Life of the Family of Cups.


John Gottman: "In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships."

-- From Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

There is a family that lives at 21 Arcana Street.

Sometimes the neighbours watch them from behind a twitching net curtain. The Cups are colourful and vibrant, unabashed at being themselves and even the children seem somewhat feral. The neighbours, who like petty voyeurs, desire to be them. In the Cups’ home the walls are adorned with bright artwork and each picture has a meaning and significance. The BBQs in the summer are legendary, musicians have turned up and played until the small hours. Rag, Tag and Bobtail have turned up at the door often staying for indefinite periods and can be seen swanning up and down the street in all possible assortments of cultures and fashion sense. Who could forget Uncle Nick, a notorious lady’s man who came down the street every day for a week with a different woman on his arm. Not to mention the bell bottom trousers and trench coat which were 30 years out of date and had seen better days, of which the same could be said for Uncle Nick. Everyone, including the family marvelled at his ability to capture the heart of any female, it really was quite remarkable.

Yet despite their apparent bohemian appearances Mr and Mrs Cups still had the traditional domestic rituals so obviously borrowed from their own parents.

Monday was wash day and without the need for a tumble dryer the clothes were pegged out on the line, yesterday’s dirty washing, blowing pristine in the wind for all the street to see. Sunday was for cleaning the car. Occasionally the youngest child could be seen chucking buckets of water over frothy suds, such a pastime was a joy for this kid much to the bemusement of the more sophisticated teenagers. It was a wonder they took any notice at all as their eyes were more often than not screwed tightly downwards into their phones. A cat held court perched gamely on a windowsill, the advantage of this was the cat could see in four different directions at once. This was especially useful when anticipating the arrival of dinner; any would be ambushers could be spotted long before an attack could take place, not that it ever did of course, but just in case. A scruffy dog lay horizontally on the floor by the front door, waiting...he was always just waiting…

Mrs Cups.

Let’s call Mrs Cups Edie, she sits on the edge of the bed gazing at her feet. It had been a difficult time of late. Her mother had recently moved away in search of sunshine and adventure in her twilight years. She had taken up with an old soldier that she had discovered through a dating site for over 60s and the pair had sailed off into the sunset to see the world. The last Edie had heard of them they had got as far as Folkestone and that was it. Edie sighed, she should be pleased, at least her mother was one less worry now that she had a partner. Then there was her best friend, Delia, who had phoned her at one in the morning pleading abandonment and cruelty from the boyfriend. Delia then turned up half an hour later and proceeded to empty the contents of Edie’s stock of red wine, only to disappear some hours later to go back to the boyfriend. This was swiftly followed by a call informing Edie that the boyfriend was very sorry and that they were now talking marriage. Edie sighed again.

Mr Cups.

She glanced at a photo of her husband, we can call him Joe. He was smiling at her. She loved that smile and right now it soothed her heavy heart and she felt her eyes water; he had always been there when she needed him. Edie knew that she could be very clingy and she had worked it out that it may have come from the time when her father severely chastised her and then left the family home for good some days later. For years she had thought it was all her fault. She could not even remember what the misdemeanour was in the first place but she was convinced it was the cause of his departure. Her vulnerability had made her a target for the takers of this world and Edie was glad to have found Joe, who despite his flights of fancy and his need to be noticed, he was her everything.

Psychic and spiritual abilities of the Cups.

It was Joe who encouraged her to develop her psychic and spiritual abilities.

He loved the way she could dial in and get to the heart of a matter. It sometimes unnerved their friends when during the dessert at a dinner party, she could tell them about what was occurring in their lives. One time she could see the bright colours that sat like a shroud around the body. So she embarked on a journey of spiritual practice and it gave her the space inside herself to work out the problems from her childhood and to own that she was maybe a little bit different. Edie loved the idea of the spirit world and as she explored it she realised that she was a healer and that was what she was going to do. She was going to get to grips with her emotions and she was going to do something with that healing streak. She so much wanted to be of service, her spiritual self was driving her forwards with the conviction of a nun and the power of a warrior.

Musical passion.

Edie’s fingers trailed over the guitar case that belonged to Joe. Music was Joe’s passion, he had been playing since before they first met and it was part of the package - no music, no Joe. He was very good, he really should have been more famous but he didn’t always believe in himself. Perhaps it was due to his mother having had a choke hold on him that lasted until he left home. Even then Edie had to insist that the mother stop her meddling. So instead he had chosen small gigs and mini tours which helped pay the rent. He didn’t always enjoy his job in graphics but at least it was something art related which is where his talents lay, that and remembering information. Edie and Joe were often at the top of the list for party invites because Joe knew lots...well little about lots. He also had this knack of telling a good story so their glasses would be filled and everyone would sit around comfortably, cheering him on. Edie would not have it any other way even when Joe got angry and yelled at her which didn’t happen often, he just needed to play and to be loved for what he did.

Their son, Charlie, mostly went with the flow.

He was quite laid back and it had been a struggle to get him to see the point of achievement. He had dropped out of college, hit the booze and other types of contraband and generally fudged some important years. Girlfriends had come and gone and each one had broken his heart especially Dinky, so called because she was so tiny! Edie smiled when she thought of Charlie. He had been a beautiful baby and she was pleased that he was now in a good job, something in property. She knew that eventually he would meet somebody new, when he was ready to commit again, and he would forget Dinky and his life would begin again. In the meantime he was working hard, perhaps a bit too hard. Edie knew that in the end all would be well.

Her greatest joy came from her daughter, Mona.

There was something quite special about her. Mona could read people in a way that was way beyond her tender years. She was curious about everything. She was very keen on scientific facts but she could also hold her own in a deep and meaningful conversation. So wide was her range of topics that it meant that others could not keep up with her and so she spent many hours by herself. But she was never lonely as the whole world had meaning and form for Mona. Her ambition was to travel and she pored over travel books and maps. Such was her inquisitiveness that Edie was sure that one day Mona would travel the world, soft and artistic, Mona would then paint her experiences. Edie looked at the clock, time was not standing still today, she pulled her thoughts together and went downstairs, a stack of emails awaited her and she wanted to write a story…

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