Why I Like My Birthday

  • Am obviously still alive, duh
  • My awesome friend, Malibu, just sent me a text. “You are a deaf friend.” She MUST have meant “dear”. You did mean “dear”, didn’t you? I’m only 21 … again.
  • Everyone is really, really nice.
  • Earth, Wind, & Fire immortalized this day with “September” … “Do you remember the 21st night of September” No, it wasn’t written for me but I can pretend it was. Because it’s my birthday!
  • Will stay in my pajamas all day and be completely irresponsible. I know this is what I do everyday, but it’s legal today. Will fluff up later for dinner. Maybe.
  • The new season of GLEE premieres. I really did consider staying in so I could watch it. Then I remembered I could record it. Win-win.

Am snarkless and rantless. Just for today. So don’t start thinking I’ll be all sunshine and lollipops tomorrow. Will depend on alignment of stars, etc. Nevertheless, happy birthday to all of you who were born today … and are still alive. My games and trash tv are calling ……

Later.

 

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A Backward Glance While Moving Forward

Reading a number of blogs this morning, I was struck by one headline. “Sometimes your decisions are not yours to make…” by The Reluctant Mom’s Blog. While I love reading all the funny pieces, I also appreciate those that provoke thought.

You decide to have children. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t, maybe you can, maybe you can’t. This decision absolutely changes the course of your life.

You decide to marry, divorce, be a star, buy a house, go to church, take a huge risk, never make any decisions. And, although you believe you know what you are getting into, you don’t. So I think we make choices, which turn into decisions after the fact. Some good, others great, bad, and middle of the road.  Going a bit further, perhaps decisions are the consequences of our choices.  And, regardless of the outcome, those of us who have the freedom to make choices are the lucky ones.

It would not seem so, if we only focus on the mayhem induced by a bad choice or three. But I believe in scale, yin and yang, reasoning. So I have to say that although the end product of our choices can be our worst nightmares, we still had a part in it.

When I made the choice to divorce some years ago, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I was acutely aware of what I was getting myself out of. And no matter what anyone else thinks, divorce is, to quote a friend, “like being in a bad car wreck every single day”.  Those days, whether they span a week, a year, a lifetime, are indescribably atrocious. Individually and collectively.  I would not wish divorce on any couple I know. But sometimes it is necessary.

My ex is a good person. We have two daughters, two very bright stars, to mark the absolute best that came from our union. And I will never, ever be sorry for getting married because these two girls make the world a better place to live in. 

It has been my experience, personally and from observation, that when the woman initiates a divorce, she is the bad cop. Of course there are many exceptions, but I’ve not witnessed more than a few. As the saying goes, “it takes two”, but, in an effort to make sense of it, most friends and frenemies feel they must choose sides, fuel the rumor mill, and unintentionally make the aftershock of divorce so much worse than it needs to be. Choices, all. My exposure.

To make a long story short, the personal gains have far outweighed the losses. And I am not the same person I was. During, after, and since my divorce, I chose to be misunderstood. I am a private person and the inability to remain married was strictly between me and my ex. The toll was heavy in every way. But everything comes with a price to pay. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Divorce scares the hell out of couple friends. It forces them to look at their own situation. And they don’t want to catch the disease. After the implosion of family, I think the hardest, most heartbreaking consequence was the loss of lifelong friends. Individual and couples. While they remained at the top of my grid, they quickly filed me in their “out” boxes. No longer a “couple”, a member of their clubs, a part of their gatherings.  After my family, my friends have always been the most important people in my life.  I was naïve. Loyalty is a given if I’m your friend.  Had no idea they would divorce me.  But good always comes from terrible.

There were the handful of friends who did not waver, who will always have my back. And, I have made so many new and strong alliances with amazing people I might have missed along the way. I now know what it’s like to be truly loved. I am not naïve about people any longer. While I still enjoy the occasional celebration with “the old gang”, I must admit that afterwards I usually wonder why I spent so much time mourning their disappearance. And it always comes back to the same conclusion: I believed them to be people they weren’t. My bad. But my good, because my life now is richer because of the people who are in it.

There will always be those days when my heart sinks, just for a minute. And that is awesome. Hearing about the activities and stirrings of my old life, still raging like a freight train with a full tank of gas, used to send me to bed for … however long. Getting that puppy down to a minute is progress, folks.

Even if it’s made one tiny step at a time. “Sometimes your decisions are not yours to make ….”. But it’s what you do with the consequences. This, in my mind, is what determines the wiggly course of your life. Dealing, learning, overcoming, changing, trying … all survival buzz words.

Later.

 

Dating Application

Back in the stone age, my uncle Harold (of “Hark, Harold, The Angels Sing“), sent me this form. He believed it would be a good thing to hand out to boys who wanted to date my daughters.  While it was a MAJOR FAIL at our house, this application could be of some help to you.  Sharing:

APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO DATE MY DAUGHTER

*Note:  This application will be considered incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a financial statement, job history, lineage and a current medical report.

  1. Name: _____________    Date of Birth: _______________
  2. Height: ____________    Weight: __________  IQ:____
  3. SSN#:___________  Driver’s License: ____________
  4. Boy Scout Rank: ________________
  5. Home Address: ________________
  6. Do you have a van? _______  A monster truck? ______  A water bed? __  Number of piercings? ____  Tattoos?_______
  7. In 50 words or less, what does late mean to you?
  8. In 50 words or less, what does the phrase “Don’t Touch My Daughter” mean to you?  Please include an extra 50 words on your understanding of the word “abstinence“.
  9. When is the best time to interview your father, mother, and priest?
  10. Please answer the following questions.  Be candid.
  • If I were shot, the last place I would want to be wounded is in the _____.
  • If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my __________.
  • A woman’s place is in the ______________.
  • The only thing I hope this application doesn’t ask is _____________.
  • When I meet a girl, the first thing I notice about her is __________. (If  the answer to this one begins with T or A, discontinue and leave the premises, keeping your head low and running in a serpentine fashion.)
  • What do you want to be if you grow up?

I swear that all the information above is true to the best of my knowledge under the penalty of death, dismemberment, Native-American ant torture, crucifixion, electrocution, red-hot pokers and Chinese water torture.

________________________________

 Signature (that means sign your name)

Thank you for your interest.  Please allow four to six years for processing.  You will be contacted in writing if you are approved.  Please do not call or write.  If your application is rejected, you will be contacted by a gentleman wearing a white tie and carrying a violin case.                                                                                                                                                 —————————————————————————————————

This is for those of you with daughters … and all the young hobgoblins who show up on your doorstep to woo them.  GOOD LUCK!

Later.


Save The Drama For Your Mama

Holiday weekend, woo hoo!  Am at home, acting responsible (heavy emphasis on acting). Stayed in town to commune with my people, my tribe, my daughters.  <repeatedly banging head against nearest wall>

Missy #1:  She just finished her first year of teaching. She is leaving for a month.  In four days. I told her I’d be here this weekend to help her gather her gear for Europe.  Alas, she was headed out of town for a three-day party.  Which leaves her exactly 45 minutes to pack for a month in Europe and board the plane. No worries.  Note to Missy#1:  I have your passport.  You are going exactly nowhere for a month if you don’t play fetch at my house. HA!  But the joke is on me because there will be drama.

Missy#2:  God willing, she will blow through my door any time now.  She will have low blood sugar, open the refrigerator, scowl at the lack of all things vegetarian.  I shall ply her with a tub of tofu, which will then allow her to speak.  She’s very busy, seriously.  She just finished third year of college, has an album review and food review deadline for the paper she writes for.  She is all things wonderful, like #1, but she gets stressed.  Nevertheless, she’s coming to town because it is MANDATORY.  Her best friend is turning 21 and bff, birthday girl and all friends are required to party like rock stars all weekend. I mean, duh!  So, I may run into her as she dashes off to celebrate; there is no doubt she will be wearing something of mine.  I mean, double duh!  And if I want to get a good look at her, I’ll need to set my alarm for 5 a.m. and creep into her room. And after all is said and done, you can bet there will be drama.

Must end this post as an imminent hunt for mind-altering drugs is necessary.  Just to handle the impending theatrical histronics, of course.

Later.

Crop Circles of Life

It’s been a Joni Mitchell week.

My head is spinning and my heart is beating, breaking, soaring.  Don’t know what to think … but a few lines from Joni Mitchell’s The Circle Game keep looping through my mind.

“And the seasons, they go round and round.  And the painted ponies go up and down.  We’re captive on this carousel of time.  We can’t return, we can only look behind.  From where we came.  And go round and round and round in the circle game.”

My young colleague had a beautiful baby girl.  My dad made a sad journey home to Alabama, to bury his dear friend from childhood, “the Atticus Finch of Birmingham”.  Walden’s niece is pregnant.  A family friend, younger than me, lost her husband.  My eldest daughter and I are prepping for a bridal shower honoring the first of her lifelong gang of girlfriend’s upcoming marriage. I just opened an email from my childhood friend-her precious mother died in her sleep last night. While trying to process that, another friend calls with a hilarious story and we laugh till we cry.  Sometimes you feel like a nut …

Death, birth, marriage and everything in between … all in overdrive. 

The definition of empathy – your hurt in my heart – is what I feel for my dad and the new widow. So, so sad.  Alternately, I’m delighted about the new baby and the one on the way.  Am thrilled for the bride-to-be. And my funny story friend is literally a major phoenix rising from horrible ashes; laughing with her is truly miraculous. And now I want to hug my motherless friend, but she is in a different city, gathering her troops from all over the country to mourn her mom … and watch her son marry next weekend.  And, once again, another Joni Mitchell song, Both Sides Now, begins looping…

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, it’s life’s illusions I recall.  I really don’t know life at all.”

Surreal, sitting here on the sidelines … cheering, weeping, clapping, wailing. And, while well-versed in most things life, I still don’t get it.

But there is one thing I do get. Love.  Life begins and ends with love …  crazy, sad, joyous, mad, wiggly, mysterious love. Give it, take it, shove it, shower it, push it, pull it …  but make it the most active verb on the journey.

 My cooking partner once said, “You end all of your phone calls with “I love you”.  How can you do that?

My reply, then and now: “How can you not?”

Later.

You Are Not

Read a post this morning.  It was written by a very accomplished woman.  She feels invisible.  I knew that feeling at one time.  It is a pisser.  I don’t know how she feels when she feels invisible; to me, it felt like I didn’t matter to anyone.  Of course I did, but I couldn’t feel it.  And I feel deeply.  Had to turn that around, find my true north, and change my perspective.  Instead of waiting for someone/anyone to come along and define me, I had to do the work – it was my problem.  This woman is not invisible, she just thinks she is. She will have to change her thinking in order to feel visible again.  I left her a comment, “You are not invisible.”  When she’s ready to get down to the nitty-gritty of it all, I hope it will make her feel better.

To become visible, I knew it began and would end with me.  Looking out, instead of uber-focusing inward.  It’s most certainly not all about me, thank God.  It is all about doing the best I can with what I have to work with.  Loving through.  Helping through.  Laughing through. Attempting to give others more hall passes than I give myself;  I know my story but I have no idea of the intimate details of others. Be accountable to everything and everyone I hold dear.  Respect  boundaries. Fall down seven times, get up eight.  Lighten up.

Have had a strange feeling for a week that I may lose my job tomorrow.  Could be wrong, we shall see.  Have lived long enough to know that if it happens, I won’t be homeless, without food or running water, on the street, or even uncomfortable.  How lucky is that? I choose to believe that when good goes, it’s only to make room for something better. If still employed Tuesday, then my vibe is just another kooky mindjob to add to the pile.  Whatever. I matter.

Am not a therapist, but I’ll listen.  Am not a nurse, but I’ll put a band-aid on your hurt while speaking soothing words.  Am no saint, so I’ll tell you the truth, straight-up and dirty.  And if you’re really lucky, I’ll cook for you. I was blind and now I see.  You.  The person to your left.  The guy across the street.  The woman whose words I read this morning.  We all matter.

You are not invisible.  You matter.  I see you.

later.

Whip Me, Beat Me, Call Me Edna

Ha!  As if.  With a deep curtsy and gracious nod to the recent post, Well Slap My Ass and Call Me Charlie  by A Fly On The Wall, that header just had to happen.  And, no one is going to whip me, beat me, or call me “Edna” without my permission, which will never be granted.  So there.  

Sweet Fly, in what can only be considered a moment of temporary insanity, has given me an award.  Blushing with false  modesty.   

 
 
 

  

What? Me? Surely you jest ...

 As with any award, responsibilities follow.  Fortunately, no money required.  If I understand the rules correctly, I am to reveal seven fun facts about myself and pass the award on to 15 other bloggers. So, facts first:  

  1. The only nude photos of me in existence were taken when I was a baby.
  2. Won $20K in a contest.  One of those where you fill in your name, address, slap a stamp on and mail.  And, no, you may not have any of the cash; it disappeared long ago.
  3. With respect of #2, am constantly asked why I don’t buy lottery tickets.  Fran Lebowitz said it best, “I figure you have the same chance of winning the lottery whether you play or not.”
  4. While I stand at 5’7″, my forearms and tibia are the same length as those of a 6′ woman.  I am a spindly spider.
  5. Drove 90 miles a day to and from high school; am not Abraham Lincoln, it was a necessity.  Hate driving as a result.
  6. With one exception to #5, went on a wildly fun road trip with three amigas the summer before senior year of college.  First day out, we discovered “mini” beers.  We consumed many “mini” beers.  So many, in fact, that when we woke up in a hotel room the next morning, we had to go to the front desk and ask what city and state we were in.  The proprietors, Humpty and Dumpty, told us we were in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Do Not Drink and Drive.
  7. If ever served liver, order a large glass of milk.  Smile as you put small bites of nastiness in your mouth.  Immediately reach for milk and deposit liver.  Smile and repeat. Do not drink milk.  Worked for me.

Now, finally, on to real fun and far superior writing for all the right reasons.   I would add descriptions to the following bloggers’ blogs, but am unworthy as they use their words in ways I can only aspire to.  Drumroll, please. Passing the award to the following, in no particular order:  

  • Living Dilbert
  • Blogmella’s Handbag of Wisdom
  • Delicacies …
  • Perpetually Peeved
  • A Day at the Orifice
  • Thoughts Appear
  • Confessions Of A Dizzy Blonde
  • Improvised Life
  •  Its Lisa
  • Eating Through
  • Foodtable
  • Bitten By Reality
  • Delightfuleccentric
  • brknhrt75
  • Chasing Venus

Pass it on, people.  Cheers to you all!  

Later.