Carry on Tuesday: My Favorite Things

Daffodills in St. James', close

Daffodills in St. James’, close (Photo credit: existential hero)

Don’t you know that it is human nature to be able to list the worst memories in your life more easily than it is to remember the best ones? Why is that? Why do we all remember, more clearly, things that we don’t like at all instead of all the things we do?  Maybe because sad things leave us scarred emotionally, we remember them because they wound us like a deep cut into raw flesh. Your skin is deeply cut, blood seeps out, you’ll probably have that scar for the rest of your life and it will remind you, forever, of what happened to cause that pain.

When I am feeling lonely or blue I try to think of peaceful things, the things that make me happiest, my favorite things: the ocean, dogs, collecting seashells while walking on the beach, the mass of yellow daffodils that come up once a year in the same place in my neighborhood. This year I only saw the start of the meadow of yellow flowers, when they barely started to bloom. It rained every day for a week after that, it wasn’t an auspicious start to summer.

It is harder for me to remember the happiest days than the worst days. There have been moments of magnificence in my life, with my husband, certainly the birth of my two children, but other than that, my head is cloudy. I can’t blame everything on Fibromyalgia,or Fibro-Fog as we call it. I don’t think I could have come up with this before anyway.

Perhaps tonight I’m steeped in self-pity, oh yes, now I know why. I just figured it out. The great unconscious, the biggest moment, months, years of grief: the death of my father. Father’s day is two weeks away. It gets to me every year around this time and every year I forget. How on earth could I forget that my father is dead? I know he is dead. What is wrong with me? Every year since his death, eleven years ago, I still go to the Father’s Day section for cards, or this year I picked up a new pen that I knew he would love, forgetting that there was no physical him anymore. I guess I will never stop doing that.

I will make a concerted effort to continue to think of past, happy, moments and will jot them down. The word “magnificent” sounds like an over-rated French movie. I’ll stick to happy but the point is, my memory can remember the pain first, the pleasure, second.

For all those women* who do not have a Father on Father’s Day, this is for you. I know how you feel, from my broken heart to yours. Do whatever you can to make your own life a little easier, a little happier, whatever it takes. Or honor your dad with a special memory or flowers, a drink, anything to help ease YOUR pain. Buy yourself some chocolate or ice cream or both. I feel for all of us, I really do.

*should say women and men

Father's Day 2009

Father’s Day 2009 (Photo credit: Paul Allison)

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Trying On Bathing Suits Or Buying A House: What’s Worse? 6/2013

"Mermaid Club, Philadelphia." Member...

“Mermaid Club, Philadelphia.” Members in bathing suits circa 1920. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I tried on about 80 bathing suits yesterday at a nice store, oh fine, I’m exaggerating, I tried on 8 bathing suits but it certainly felt like 80. I have lost weight so my excuse that nothing fits because I’m heavy does not hold water (pun intended). Someone described me as “tiny” and “slight” the other day, I literally looked behind me looking to see who they were talking about. There was nobody behind me. I may have lost weight but in no way do I feel slight or diminutive. What are they thinking? And no matter what I weigh, or anyone weighs, trying on bathing suits is a horrifying experience. Am I wrong?

Have you seen the bathing suits THIS year? If you have, there’s no need for you to read any further. What has happened to a regular one piece swimsuit: a regular bathing suit with straps and a back?  The suits I tried on either had no umm, support in the front, and no straps ( I don’t count those little stringy things as straps) and there was no backs, one literally went down to my backside. Who wants to see THAT?

Today I went to two other stores, same results. The suits are either not in my size (though I bought one  that is too big for me and one that is too small for me out of pure desperation). The others in the store are skimpy,  poorly made and junky, not even my daughter with her cute figure would wear them and they are all mix and match. Ugh.

So, my personal conclusion is that trying on and actually buying a bathing suit is MUCH WORSE than looking and buying a house. Ladies, do you agree? I would talk to men too but let’s face it, they really do not have the same problem. Small, Medium or Large? Hawaiian print or solid blue? Am I right?

Buying a house? Seems pretty simple to me. Not even 100th of one percent close to the agony of the bathing suit selection. Buying a house: Know the limits of what you can spend, know which coast/states/towns you want to live in, do research on different areas and look at some houses with your new best friend, your local realtor who wants nothing more than his/her commission. Select a house, sign about a hundred checks, move in, done! To me it sounds like  a piece of cake. But, please, remind me of that before the next time we move……

Carry on Tuesday: I have wiped the slate clean

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: wakingphotolife:)

There was so much anger and resentment in my past, in my youth, it piled up like a bloody automobile accident on an icy winter day. Black ice that you can’t even see, like feelings that you didn’t know you still had. They snuck up from deep inside me and burst, like popped balloons. Years and years of self-teaching and negotiating and drawing lines and speaking up and creating boundaries had finally come. There had been teachers and books and confrontation to arrive at this peaceful place now, a place of breathing and thinking, forgiving and living in the present. It took a lot of work but I was proud of myself, finally.

I had wiped the slate clean and all the baggage of my past was behind me. However, I look across at you, my lover of five years and I fear it is still in you. I begged you for years to come to therapy with me, to work on our relationship but you refused. Does it mean anything to you that I have done all this work for our relationship? You shake your head back and forth and say in a low tone: “Not really.” You scratch your beard and stroke it, a habit that I have come to detest. I shudder from the cold temperatures in the room and in your answer which is void of emotions. You do not like change, I know, why would you like change; you haven’t noticed anything was wrong to begin with. I sigh deeply. I don’t know what to do, how to respond to you, you are a creature of habit and you annoy me now, this highly predictable presence in MY artist’s cottage. I don’t know if you belong here anymore, I mutter that under my breath but you don’t listen to me, even if I had shouted it out loud. You never listen to me, do you? You just hear what you want to hear, as if you were a five-year old boy, plugging his ears with his fingers and screeching some vile noises, getting louder and louder by the minute. I want to slap you but I have to control myself because that would be getting nowhere and I abhor physical violence in every form. Look what you have almost made me think of doing!!

I get up from our scratched wooden kitchen table, I feel sick to my stomach and head to the sink and heave into it, my long brown hair falling far into the sink. I am trying to vomit the destruction out of my body but nothing comes out. I want to look at the decay, describe it, name it, show it, but I can’t. I can’t even do that right. Nothing comes out of my body except the decaying dry heaves of a woman starting to become undone. No, I will not let myself do this. I stop myself and breathe. Slowly.

I lay on the sofa, with a red and blue crocheted blanket tucked around me that my mom made for me years ago. I’m tired, confused and feel very much alone. I don’t know what to do right now. I know in my heart and deep inside me, just one thing, we need to separate.  I need to be free, he is stifling me and I feel I can’t breathe anymore. “He had” no idea, he will wail, I’m sure, when I would later say this a mere week later. But, it was in the room with us for a very long time. He just wasn’t paying attention.

Never, Ever Do This

Lioness and cub (D2A_4116)

Image by swh via Flickr

NEVER doubt your gut feelings. If you think something is wrong, it is wrong. My gut instincts are usually sound and solid and I pay careful attention to them. Once, many years ago when I was much younger I decided I was being too critical or too “in-like” so I gave a second chance to a man who lied to me. I loathe lying yet somehow he managed to sweet-talk me into a very credible excuse. WRONG. That was a big mistake and I should have known better. Listen to your gut instincts and follow them and don’t question yourself or let your emotions get in the way. Pretend you are a lioness protecting your cubs. Follow your gut instincts. Always.

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A Heart Broken

broken vase

Image by Leonard John Matthews via Flickr

I remember the first taste of flirtation, just a whiff, like the softness of a pink rose petal; it was enough to intoxicate me. A feeling that went straight from my head to my toes, a fluttering. Eyelashes blinked at a slower pace, my deep, green eyes  warm, sexy and coy, sending messages. It was the attraction that comes from nowhere and heads straight across an apartment, from the front door to the living room, in two seconds.  I was wearing a white cabled sweater, my hair was long, brown, full and curly like gentle ripples in a slow river.

I miss those days of how just thinking about someone could make a flush run deep in my cheeks, and I would smile openly in the air, not caring what other people thought. My feelings became so intense that I ended up getting jealous of my own fantasies. He had eyes of brown velvet, there was no denying the attraction that happened at first sight. No getting away from it either, the pull of a fierce rip tide tugging at my heart and body.

This kind of physical attraction was new to me and it frightened me as well as consumed me. I was 18, home from college and met him at a party. Only later did I find out he was married with a wife back in Alabama about to give birth to their second child. I stopped cold and the sensuous side of me changed to brittle cement that settled in and stayed.

I did not want to become that person that snuck away to a hotel, I was young but not stupid.  Back in my dorm room I wrote his first name down in sketchbooks, a soft blush of pencil,  angry strokes of red and black. I had fallen in love with someone who was not available; I felt betrayed, angry and unhappy with the world, with him.

It was nothing and everything. It was waking up a side of me I had not yet known. Attraction, the physical energy with a stranger. His eyes locked on mine and we did not leave each others’ side after that. It was a party yet no one existed except the two of us. He was my first love, my first introduction to sensuality and feeling wanted. It did not have a fairy tale ending but it gave me an education, it was a glimpse into the future from a very brief, innocent, romance, one that I could not forget.

Pop Cop: Celebrity Apprentice

I’ve sunk to a new low, although I seem to say that quite a bit. Watched a rerun of The Celebrity Apprentice tonight, a show that we watched when the children were little and loved it, we all used to watch as a family. If someone wasn’t able to be home to see it live we would tape it and then watch it the next day together. Family time. The only thing that was missing was a big bowl of popcorn.

Tonight, however, I have bronchitis, feel miserable and was in bed. Nothing I wanted to watch on TV, my “shows” Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice were repeats last night apparently because of some (stupid) basketball game. The clicker on my TV found its way to a repeat performance of the first Celebrity Apprentice of the season. Famous women vs famous men. It set women’s rights back about 50 years.

I could say that I was watching the show for a Sociology Project but then I would be lying. I would, however, not be lying to say that watching the men and women work and fight together should have been a Sociology 101 course. It was sad. Sad and true. The men when confronted with who was to leave had no problem looking at each other in the face, calling a name and there were no hard feelings. The women? They were pathetic and it was not their fault. It is how women are socialized in this world. No woman could name another woman who should leave, it was too hard, they all worked together, they were a team. What they really were was a pathetic mess and it was hard to watch. Finally, one brave woman, meekly suggested a name after Donald Trump cursed his way to finally get an answer. Then, the women suddenly became more empowered with the exception of Cyndi Lauper who kept shaking her poufy and disheveled blonde hair head from side to side, unable to utter a word.

Buck up women!  There is no time for this in business, in the corporate world. Men/boys will fight with each other and three seconds later they stand up and begin to play basketball together. Women/girls have hurt feelings and will start whispering and attacking the other girl behind her back and act all catty and upset. They don’t shake hands and continue to play together, they side with one girl and pretend the rest of the girls are invisible.

That’s no way to run the world. Show the men up with your independence and strength, dominate the world with your power. I know it’s only The Celebrity Apprentice but it gives us women a bad name. I know it’s not easy but please, for the sake of all women, man up!