When I feel used and beaten and spit back out from the underbelly of a cockroach carcass, your presence comforts me.
It draws me out of my pain; up from down; in from out.
It elevates me and makes me better a better woman and a better human being. Just because you listen to me.
Because you held me when I shed all of those tears that I just needed to shed in front of a man. I always had my mother, but I never had my father. I’m comfortable opening up amongst women, but I’ve never had many platonic male friendships,
You knew that about me. And since you’d done your own therapy and self-reflection, you were the first man who brought emotional weight and awareness to the negotiation table.
I ended up winning the lottery when I met you. I knew it when you let me cry in your presence.
The first time we met, you let me cry.
It didn’t scare you off. You were man enough to handle it. You knew that women cry sometimes. You knew that little girls who were told to stop crying still cried on the inside.
And still needed to be comforted.
Even when they found themselves in a grown woman’s body. They still need to be comforted.
For what felt like the first time for me, you loved me first. You somehow knew I needed that. That for this final go-around, I needed that.
That I needed to be courted and treasured; that just once, I needed to feel like a princess.
I needed to be one person’s “one person.” One person’s Greatest Love; First Choice; Deepest Bond.
Since I was always a second wife, you stepped up and loved me with an Adult Love.
The way a Grown Man loves his Greatest Treasure.
Only your criteria for what defined a “treasure” (a “gem”) was different than most men’s criteria: you complimented me on my physical attributes, but your love wasn’t skin-deep. You had eyes that saw me at my best; at my most radiant.
You loved The Lover in me, The Fighter in me, The Child in me, The Woman in me, and The Mother in me to (you told me that my 3 pregnancies made me a mother and that one day, I would be reunited with my children).
You also loved the Daughter in me, the Friend in me, the Cheerleader (with official cheerleading outfit) in me, and the Soul Mate in me.
You said it didn’t matter that we were meeting late in life; that a few years of what we had cancelled out any prior misery,
You said we could still redeem and restore each other, even if we only have a few years.
Your love enhanced me rather than diminished me; it radiated rather than obscured me; grabbed me close rather than pushed me away.
I had already done most of my mourning, so I was free to love you from a better place. But your love and acceptance energized and catalyzed me in a way I deemed impossible – at least for me.
You did all this just by being there. And listening. When I woke you up in the middle because I had to talk to you, you didn’t mind.
Our love was also a laughter kind of love. We laughed so damned much! I don’t think I laughed that much in all of the preceding years combined.
You let me be all of the things I needed to be when I needed to be them.
You never shamed or judged me. You accepted me. Welcomed me. Desired me. Just me and Only me. You wanted No One But Me. Ever again.
You said I was more than enough. That even if we only had five years together, that would be enough.
That we could die happy and fulfilled.
I had been so lost. Not in a bad way; just in a “lost my bearings” sort of way. You were my Lighthouse. My Horizon Line.
Thank you for Loving Me First.
Because you did, I was able to love you from my purest, unfiltered place. From my reserves. I went to my wine cellar and brought out my best and most expensive Cabernet for you. I carved, scraped, toiled and mined to find my Ruby-Sapphire love for you.
Rubies for passion and sapphires for loyalty. All for you.
My purest, most extreme, and most terrifying (for me) private love, I gave to you. Loving you made me a better human being and a better spiritual being.
My once “Lifetime Love” stole my whole identity, And all the while, right there in front of me, He dangled with pride his shiny new love Who, he proclaimed, fit as snugly as a glove On the hand of the fam’ly who now said I was too small. After years of gifts aplenty, I had given them my all. My fam’ly’s new adventures were no longer shared with me, All access was cut off, and my presence sold as cheap. I was barely out the door when the new Queen took my place Taking on my name and usurping my old space. With barren, empty pockets, I was banished from my home, And told to hurry up so they could shine the new Queen’s Throne. As this richer, clever Queen with great cunning took my place, The nine years of my footprints were summarily erased.
Is there room in my life for you? Is there room in your life for me? You know I don't come to you pristine, newly minted, or shiny and new. I have felt hurt and caused hurt, I have been broken by the random and the cruel - and by my own choices. My body has been ravaged, charting atrocities visited on it by plague and progress. Yet you love it - even desire it - all the same. You don't love what I once was; you love me now, scars and all. Of this much I am certain: where our lives intersect There's a special space; a pocket of air, a sea of calm, a place of rest That quickens the war-torn and restores its vigor. You've fixed your circle on me: Rounding out my sharp angles and smoothing the rough edges, Like a balm against chafing. Like sand against glass. All without any intention of "fixing" me. In answer to this gift, I will fight my baser self to love you back, with honor and devotion. I know myself; know this will surely be a struggle. But I am committed to it. And in the giving and receiving, I will be transformed into the beauty visible to your heart's eye. Thank you. Bless you. I love you.
Effective immediately: I have officially “put out a shingle” with my latest career effort. Since it won’t bring in a dime, my motivation may be inconsistent, but I’m wiling to put my best foot forward…at least initially.
I have officially begun an “Agony Advice”/“Miss Lonelyhearts”/“Dr. Ruth”/“Erma Bombeck”/“Miss [Dating and Relationship] Manners” column which will be penned by two contributors: Miss SmartyHearts (for natters of the heart) and Miss LonelyPants (for matters of the body).
I’m advising you in advance that this advice of which I will be advising you will be from an unequally rare and rarefied point of view: that of a once-highly intelligent, well-travelled and -educated woman who is now equal parts:
1) Old, 2) Out of Touch, and 3) Immature.
But with good hair & nails and a lovely complexion (if I do say so myself). And of course, a winning enthusiasm and eagerness to advise you of my advice to your queries!
On the rare occasion I do not feel qualified to answer your question with my personal wisdom alone, I will conduct primary research in the form of: first person interviews, mall/bar/date/karaoke “intercepts,” video surveillance, long and irritating telephone surveys, and if necessary, “transferential experience.”
TE (copywrite) is a technique I developed after many years of serving in my capacity as a highly-esteemed market research professional (actually one of the best in the business, just ask 3 people I knew in 1996).
TE basically means: if all else fails, and I still don’t know the answer: I will go find out for myself!
And then share My Lessons Learned with all of my Beloved Readers! Because I possess bountiful generosity. Which will drive my desire to provide you with my best advice birthed from 1) my experiences, told from my 2) [again] uniquely qualified, broken down perspective. Always with my signature spunk and stubborn unwillingness to learn from my mistakes❣️
So, feel free to start addressing your queries regarding “matters of the heart” to Miss SmartyHeart and “matters of the physical body” to Miss Lonelypants (who will try to draw from her long-term memory, so no promises about anatomical accuracy). I only ask that you specify in the Re: line which Expert Miss is the recipient for your inquiry (because these can easily get blurred, difficult to read, and then who knows what kind of answer you’ll get?)
The Misses are also a bit jealous of each other, so if you have a preference, you should ask. If not, those old harpies might both answer your questions!]
And I’ve got to advise you of one last bit of advice:
Begin submitting your burning questions immediately because Miss SmartyHearts and Miss LonelyPants could begin sending letters to each other; and I honestly can’t predict what that might look like.
So you’ve been warned. And, my pledge: I will always bring my 💯 % authentic self and former work ethic to this incredibly humbling responsibility I am agreeing to undertake on your behalf.
Lastly: MEN❣️ You are also welcome to write to the Misses with your burning queries. I will change all names to protect the innocent – both yours, my beloved readers, and all research assistants, interviewees, and participants.
I would suggest you get your money’s worth [especially since it’s free]!
Oh, I may look like a Republican senator’s wife. I’ll grant you that.
But appearances can be deceiving, can’t they?
Yes, it’s true: I’m a tall, skinny white chick.
But I’m a FREAK. In the absolute Best Way Possible.
Most men are intimidated and terrified by a Sexually Adventurous Woman. Well, I’m the version of that woman who will send you running for your life, in a raining puddle of little boy tears, frantically searching for your mama.
I can even BE your mama if you want or need me to.
I can be your teacher. I can be your student. I can be the blonde cheerleader you never got to sleep with but used to jerk off thinking about. I can be the fucking blue-haired organist at your Southern Baptist church.
I’ll call you Daddy and let you call me by the name of your teenaged daughter’s best friend.
(Tammy, am I right?)
And we haven’t even started on my bucket list of fantasies yet.
If you’re dealing with a broken heart, I suggest this mini-manual (monograph, really). It is broken into several sections.
1. Cry a bunch of sloppy wet tears. Make sure to put Kleenex on your Amazon Subscribe & Save list. You’ll need them. And you might want to buy some extra mascara or false eyelashes; just in case your current supply gives out.
2. Listen to a bunch of Toni Braxton songs (loop “He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me”; it’ll make you feel better). At least it did me. I listened to it over and over again, along with lots of what my younger friends call “Emo” music, or something like that. No one’s ever been able to explain the actual time period that defines it, so I’m just going off my own personal understanding of “Emo Music” here. I think its Poster Child is Alanis Morisette. So that would be what, the ‘90s? Okay, enough about her.
3. Tell at least one person the whole ugly story, soup to nuts. You have to get that shame out of you, sister! It helps if you have a “help-you-bury-the-body-and-give you-an-alibi” friend like my friend Gina. Who I met on Bumble Friends of all places! Can you even believe that? I find these kinds of conversations often require a solid stomach with some greasy Mexican food and frozen margaritas coating it. That’s your stomach and the conversation: they’re both better with margaritas. Unless you have too many, and then you’ll have a hard time with tequila, and you definitely don’t need an adverse relationship with tequila if you’ve got a broken heart.
4. Try to go out with your oldest and dearest friends, but you might want to make some new ones, too. I’m just saying that “Sometimes new friends ask really good new questions.” And can provide a whole new outlook on you and your “situation.” They can also gently force you out of your comfort zone in brand new, buttery soft kid gloves. The kind that never ever go on sale at Macy’s. They just don’t, and neither does the crystal or china. I can understand why with the china because people are always getting married, but surely there’s an off season for gloves in San Antonio, Texas?!
5. Also, try to do something you haven’t done in a really long time. The activity should be something you used to do easily as a child or adolescent. This is to help you avoid too much over-thinking. And you know how easily we can do that when somebody dumps us! I personally have a tendency to sit around and obsess about what I did wrong, but I’m sure as shit getting sick of that song and dance (and you know how I love the combination of song and dance). Especially since I have been getting therapy every single week for the last two years, so I don’t think it’s all about me. But whatever. You can’t fix everybody. Okay, so we were trying to get you to stop overthinking by avoiding activities which require overthinking in the first place. It’s got to be something you can lose yourself in on a visceral level. Like riding a bike, going swimming, miming if that’s your thing and you’ve been doing it long enough that you can honestly say you’re on autopilot when you’re miming and NOT over-thinking it. In fact, shoot for an activity which requires no analytical thinking whatsoever. For me, this state is achieved through immersion in music; music I have loved forever as well as new [to me] music. And a teeny tiny little bit of marijuana in moderation, but I really do have PTSD, okay? So let’s go ahead and stay away from that topic: I’m most certainly not advocating lawlessness here! But Girlfriend, there isn’t a Heartbreak Alive without a soundtrack! And if yours doesn’t have one, you need to get one yesterday, so go ahead and sign up for Spotify now. Trust me: you’re going to need it. It’s only $10.81 per month and you can cancel at any time. You’ll also need a decent pair of earbuds if music is also going to be your “visceral thing” (a good soundtrack is a fluid concept, so you’ll need to be listening to it practically 24/7). Just remember to take the earbuds out before you shower or go to sleep, as I had two ENT appointments in as many months because those plastic ear cover thingies came off and got stuck deep down in my ear canal. Yikes! The same ear both times, because I always sleep on my left side. Isn’t that so gross? Not to mention it felt like the guy was poking an icepick into my ear both times to fish them back out. Not to mention, I even had to take antibiotics, I shit you not! But if YOU are willing to be responsible with your earbuds, you won’t need to spend more than $35.99 [in my humble opinion, okay, and this is just my opinion!] for a decent and relatively durable pair. Especially if you’re an Amazon Prime Member ($10.99/month). Plus, if you add an Audible membership ($16.99/month), the earbuds practically pay for themselves. Except for the fact the analogy doesn’t work because you’re getting nothing back, but Amazon ($0) always offers rebates and sales on earbuds, so that’s where I recommend you start. And REMEMBER: these are merely investments towards your recovery, so garbage-in/garbage-out❣️ Or is that FIFO vs. LIFO? I can never remember the difference.
6. Okay, we’re upping the ante and hitting our crescendo now, so buckle in, girls. Do one thing – just one tiny little thing – that you’ve never ever done before. Just to say you did. And to see what happens. For me it was Actually Going To A Bar By Myself. I’m 54 years old (I know I don’t look it), and I literally had to talk myself into it 4 times [out loud, that’s why I said “literally”] in my car before I was able to Walk. Through. That. Front. Door. I had to psych myself up for it like the worst session of arachnophobia de-sensitization training ever! But what’s really important is that Idid it❣️ And guess which bar I chose for This Little Experiment? I chose the karaoke bar down the street. I chose it because it was [like I said] down the street, next to the sushi place I always go to (literally always because I’ve been there 25 times in 2 months), and the parking was and is extensive and “up close” (think 7-11 vs. Kroger). Which is important if you’ve shellacked your hair and makeup in preparation for your Terrifying New Adventure and you live in San Antonio (aka “Little Hades”), Texas. The windows were blacked out so I googled it first to make sure it wasn’t a “gentleman’s club” for my first-ever “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” experience. Yes, some people and a throuple-in-waiting gave off a weird vibe, but the female bartender made sure nobody slipped roofies into my drink. And the miracle of the whole night is that I had such a wonderful time! I got up for my virgin karaoke performance on my virgin “night to a bar by myself” and belted out, in my terrible voice, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC. I found my muse in Karaoke and She is Me! A fellow female patron videotaped my performance, and I can tell you that empirically and undeniably, it is SOLID! Nothing like what I’m capable of now, but it was A Night of Two Firsts, so I couldn’t be prouder. Not to mention, I looked totally hot (or at least that’s what a grubby looking guy at the bar said).
<<put your finger to your tongue, get it slightly (just slightly!) wet, put it back up in the air, and make a sizzling sound; yes, that gesture>>.
7. Take solace in familiar comforts which have soothed your abrasions in the past (because those comfortable things are indeed comforting), but also:
8. Make the decision to spice up your heartbreak this go around. Be willing to switch things up a little bit. At the very least, be willing to just do one or two things differently. C’mon, let’s say it together: We can and will heal our hearts better/quicker/deeper this time❣️
If I were your Official Love Doctor (that’s an OLD, so you know I’m highly qualified), I’d write you a prescription for “Karaoke On an Off-Night”. Which is the perfect time to practice for an “On-Night.” And look: what started out as a new Guilty Pleasure for me has now turned into my very own YouTube channel called Karaoke Konnection with 15 captivate-ated subscribers to prove it! I like to go to MY “local karaoke place” as often as I’m able (anywhere from 0 to 2 nights per week) to video-capture both talented and artistic local Karaoke performances. I don’t know what differentiates the two, only that no one would mistake my karaoke performances for either one. But the Big Picture here is that now I’m starting to envision myself as the Restaurant Critic of the Karaoke Industry: the one who’s known for spotting the hidden gems. Kind of like social media’s version of American Idol. With me hosting❣️ My mission will be: To travel the world in search of the Best Karaoke Performances. I’m fully aware there’s a decent chance I’ll get picked up by the networks, but I know it probably isn’t likely. As in 100% guaranteed. But at the very least, I have a good reason to go to ALL karaoke bars by myself now❣️ And I make sure someone videotapes me when I get up there to conduct my performances. Then, as the channel’s Founder and Visionary, I get to bury my videos among the videos of the truly talented and artistic. Don’t let anybody tell you the company you keep isn’t important! At the end of the day, my last heartbreak just might be responsible for revolutionizing Global Popular Music. It’s an indisputable win for humanity❣️ And that makes me feel personally fulfilled in a whole new way. I know it can happen to you as well. Dreams really can come true at any age. ❤️
III. Q & A:
Question: You don’t think you ever stand up and sing in front of a room full of strangers. Answer: “Where better to find out?”
Question: You’re worried you’ll make an complete and utter ass out of yourself. Answer: “Where better to find out?”
IV. PARTING WORDS:
No one will care [too much] if your voice is horrible when you go out and do this New-Old Thing. Mine certainly is! In fact, I have objective proof that one Karaoke Jockey [referred to as a “K.J.” by those of us in the Biz] in particular always turns off the mic when it’s my turn to sing. And I don’t blame him! He’s working for tips, after all. And for me: it’s all about the “dancing and prancing in front of a crowd” [gerund] for me, anyway.
But regarding YOUR Passion Process To Be: continuing with our Karaoke metaphor (you didn’t realize it had become a metaphor yet because it hadn’t before now), don’t forget that you’re PAYing to PLAY the rock star in this fantasy, so why not maximize your investment?
Oh, wait, I do have one final piece of advice for you before you all head out to your local Karaoke bars tonight, all alone and by yourself: Don’t try to sing any of The Dark Child’s songs yourself because then you just will be making a total ass out of myself. I’d suggest avoiding songs by Beyoncé as well. Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit, shall we?
Oh! To be known and yet loved for my flaws, Fills me with hope and gives me great pause. To think that these gifts Come without any "ifs" Makes your words start to stick, Building trust brick by brick, And truth day by day, And all of the while, the words that you say Begin to sink in; they seem quite sincere, Both arousing my trust and ousting my fear. I’m feeling new things that I’ve never yet known, Could they, just this once, be my very own? I don't have the words to describe all this new Emotion and Growth and Questions without clues. I only know this mystery transcends my go-to speech, Its translation is a language grasped only by us each. When I speak in silence, we both understand, And volumes are shared when you take my hand. It is true I feel safe when I’m wrapped in your arms, Free from all danger; free from all harm.
In you I’ve found treasure. And exceptional pleasure. All beyond measure.
My Summer as a Big Girl in Austin, TX., circa summer of 2021
Okay, you folks didn’t ask, but I can’t not tell. So here’s what Cooper and I really got up to in Austin in July….
I’ll try to tell it in “categories”, which makes perfect sense to me:
A. WHAT I TOOK WITH ME:
B. THE DRIVE UP THERE:
Was horrific, as All Time Served on Highway 35 is horrific. Particularly about halfway between San Antonio and Austin in this little town called New Braunfels. Why? Because The Powers That Be decided that 6:00pm on the Thursday before July 4th weekend would be a good time to take I-35’s 8 lanes down to 1 for construction. So technically, Cooper and I spent our first night parked on 35 in New Braunfels. Which made us so happy to arrive at our new home❣️
C. WHERE I STAYED:
A 500 square foot “college apartment” as I like to call it. One I wouldn’t have even considered living in for a month in my 30s but positively adored in my [very] early 50s (why does it always hurt to say that, even after all these years?).
Anyway, aside from being on the second floor, which neither Cooper nor I liked much, everything else was fabulous❣️ Okay, and the parking did kind of suck, but why are we quibbling when I had such a good time??!!
Anyway, there was a bathroom with a bathtub (thank you!), a galley kitchen (all I needed with Amazon Fresh and Uber Eats), a TV (with free Netflix- score again!), and most importantly to me, a bed (any bed). Because that’s where I intended to spend most of my time.
D. ALL THE NEW PEOPLE I MET:
I met plenty of boys, but I’ll just tell you about the one named Lucas. Lucas was 7-years-old back then (3 months ago), and I’m pretty sure he still is. Despite his young age, Lucas became my friend. He was the older son of my Airbnb hostess, and she was a single-by-choice mom of two kids. At my age, people! I think that’s pretty badass. She was really open about the fact that she got this wonderful guy to donate his sperm to her and about another couple hundred women for the purposes of making intelligent, charming, and beautiful babies no matter who’s X was attached to his Y. And Lucas was – is – all of those things: intelligent, charming, and beautiful.
Anyway, the 3 of us (me, Lucas, and Lucas’s mom) struck up a little deal. Since they lived a few houses away from my apartment, since my apartment was on the second floor, and since it was hot outside (more about that last irritant below), Lucas came over every couple of days to take Cooper for a quick walk. Then, he “literally” (good way to use it for a change) had to stay and talk with me while we waited for his mom to pick him up. The only wisdom I shared with him all that time was about the correct use of the word “literally.” Then I quizzed him about 5 different ways to make sure his understanding was comprehensive, and I was gratified to hear it was. I got a dog-walker, a friend, and a captive (I mean “student”) to listen to my interesting lectures for the bargain price of $2 a visit❣️ Best money I’ve spent in a long time!
E. THE RESTAURANTS I ATTENDED:
My Apartment, Truluck’s, and this typically-pretentiously-Austin restaurant called “Hestia.” Details are below, and hey, I’m doing them a solid with the viral exposure I’m giving them for free, so don’t worry about them! Plus, at the prices they charge, they’re laughing all the way to those crypto-currency sites.
Anyway, I think this was the vibe they were going for: something along the lines of “Quick Dirt-to-Table Time” or somesuch nonsense like that. The guy in the tight mauve velvet suit who spoke with an unplaceable accent (and people: I’ve seen the world!) got really excited when he started explaining this concept, but I fell asleep about 3 hours in. Fortunately (and there are several “fortunatelies” to this tale), I came to as the cocktails arrived. Good thing at $20 a pop. And then there were something like 48 miniature courses, all of them explaining that concept I told you about that I was fortunately (there’s another one!) able to snooze through. But I woke up when those expensive drinks hit the table! And can I say that the courses just kept on coming? I mean, like loooong after I’d taken the Uber back home, brushed my teeth, and fallen back asleep. Fortunately (!), my friend Julie watched my dog Cooper so his separation anxiety wouldn’t get separated when I left for this meal from The Early Roman Orgy Period. You know: the ones that lasted Forever And A Day?
The final fortunately of this particular evening, and it’s the biggest one of all folks, is that I was not required to pay a dime towards all this “Beautiful People in Velvet Suits” luxury.
And am I ever grateful for that! Because I saw the prices and was awake for at least 5 of those courses, so I’m absolutely certain the bill was somewhere in the middle 300s. Damn! Was I ever glad to escape that one!
Plus, the Uber driver on the way up there was very friendly and talkative and when I told him the exact year I had been born in Austin (19XX, and that’s all I’m saying publicly; he’d become a friend by then). Anyway, what he said – as he looked at me through the rear-view mirror – was “Well, don’t worry; you don’t look anywhere near that old.” Which in Austin qualifies as a “fortunately”: trust me, it was a compliment! And I take them whenever and wherever I can. I’m particularly fond of forcing them out of captives, though the Uber driver swore up and down he was being truthful about it. And that it had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with his tip. I’m inclined to believe him, aren’t you?
I totally forgot where I was going with this post again! Menopause is really hitting me hard, Friends❣️ I think I’m getting wiser all the time, but I’ve got all this teenage angst and vanity hitting me up at the time, and I’ve got to say: it’s really magnified in a youth-centric town like Austin.
(I’m doing it again! I keep forgetting Austin is no longer a town!).
I know, it was the last “category” on my list: What I Did. So here you go:
F. WHAT I DID (while there, a little ironic this chapter comes with a grade of “F”, since I think I finally mastered it):
Absolutely nothing!! And it was so wonderful! No one there to collect my trash 25/8, no real worries (other than my standard ones), and my freedom. YES‼️ My FREEDOM‼️ 🎉🇺🇸🇹🇴🇬🇧 (I tried to choose flags from known supposedly-free countries to reflect my point).
Anyway, all I really wanted to do was Whatever I Wanted To Do Whenever I Wanted To Do It. Is that really so much to ask? I mean, is it?? Was it excessive? Because aside from the Amazon Fresh deliveries, I thought I kept this whole adventure pretty frugal and peace-loving: sort of like a summer in an old VW bus.
The ultimate luxury? Keeping the thermostat on 65 degrees! With only 500 feet of living place, it cooled down in a real jiffy! And let’s face it: this was South Central Texas in July. I’ve repeatedly confessed to some rather vexing hormone imbalances that often show up in unbearably hot ways.
But again I digress! I must be a Digressor. I’m also a Preparor. I had my hair coiffed, nails painted, and waxing waxed beforehand. Because you know those people are hard to find in a new town! And I fully intended to look gorgeous every single day! I actually refused not to. So even though I was referred to as “middle-aged” in that police report I told you guys about earlier, I knew I was killing it.
At least my little brush with the law had nothing to do with my marijuana consumption (which I always think of as “recent,” but if I’m painfully honest with myself, “recent” is about the last 3 years). Please don’t tell the cops about that, okay? I did say “What happened in Austin stays in Austin”: I just need to amend that to include “especially if the Austin Police Department are involved.”
So between Lucas helping me out with my Cooper walks and my Determination To Do Nothing, I pretty much accomplished my goals! Not to mention, I really sharpened up my Solitaire game while I was up there. Do you see how well I did in that screenshot below? Do you have any idea how many games it takes to land on one you could potentially totally dominate? Let’s just say y’all would’ve been mpressed by my determination (there’s that inner determination showing up again!)
Anyway. I won’t say anymore about my score (we all know how impressive it is), but I will say that I am a member of the Fewest Moves school of thought. And I’m a very deep thinker. I know some people just want to get it all over with as quickly as possible, but I actually prefer Perfection to Speed. Honestly, it’s a mystery to me why Everyone’s always in such a rush!
And I’m not even addressing the “Quality vs. Quantity” debate here, let me make that perfectly clear. I’m just fine with Quantity – in fact I’m quite the fan. But never, and I repeat never, at the expense of Quality. I didn’t go all the way to Austin just to eat McDonald’s, now did I?
Or to play so much Solitaire, for that matter. Because let’s be honest, we all know that’s why I went up there in the first place! I will never [purposely] mislead you here. Because I’m very transparent and honest and value those qualities in others. Unless they’re opposing me on Solitaire or have apparently become so offended by my parking that they felt the need to call the Austin Fucking Police Department about it! Let’s just stay away from this whole topic, okay? I’m starting to get a little uncomfortable.
Anyway, deep breath taken and we’re back to the topic of Why I Love Solitaire So Much. One: it’s both consistent AND reliable. Two: I don’t have to put on that insufferable magnetic eyeliner just to play with it. Three (and these aren’t in any order of importance): as long as my iPhone has juice, so does my Solitaire.
Which was always very comforting to me when I’d go [back to] bed, iPhone next to me charging all night.
I have another idea. I know the current situation with the parents isn’t ideal, but you know that’s temporary. So consider:
What do we need, like 15 minutes, 10? Seriously, I think we can safely say we only need 12 minutes total for this.
I will start to mention to my elderly mother and stepfather that I am “seeing ants again.” I’ll mention it a couple of times max.
My Poor Mother’s OCD will be so activated by this alarming news that she will immediately want to call an exterminator. I will tell her I’ll take care of the details.
In the meantime, you go to Home Depot and buy one of those hose apparatuses (apparatusi?) that you use when you have to put Round Up on the weeds.
We set the date and you show up with the Round Up thingy and a dark polo shirt (preferably one with someone’s name on it if possible) and a pair of khakis. Your name can be “Jose.”
You’ll discover an area of intense concern in my bedroom. You’ll say the ant hive is located immediately beneath the flooring just over the door jam in my bedroom. So you’ll have to shut the door for at least 20 minutes, certainly no less (always under-promise and over-deliver).
I’ll claim to be so violently ill that I couldn’t possibly leave the bedroom that long in my current state. And that if Jose is okay with ME and his chemicals aren’t going to kill me, then he can stay and we can just go ahead and close the door.
Both of them are partially-to-completely deaf, especially my OCD mother, which is a mercy for us.
At that point, we have 10-15 minutes to “get rid of some ants.”
You just have to promise to TRY to keep it down. My mother could potentially feel the vibrations and begin collecting trash bags throughout the house, as is her preferred process when having one of her OCD “attacks.” And she’s particularly worried about the trash in my room, what with the ants and all.
But still: what a deal, right? Fifteen minutes of PURE ME for all of $29.99. I’m pretty sure that’s the best damn special Home Depot’s EVER had!
Booking a private karaoke room so I can sing about 6 hours’ worth of songs in my shitty voice to ONE OTHER LIVING PERSON. And not freaking out if I cry in some of them. I’m talking about the kind of tears that come with some snot.
I know it will be hard to recover from the snot part, but should he find himself able:
It really bothers me that I can’t see the stars at night anymore. I used to see them every night when I parked my car in the driveway when I was a teenager in Atlanta, Georgia.
I just want to go see the stars in the sky again. That’s the key.
P.S. The Karaoke comes with lots of dancing. So there’s always that.
I don’t want to sound paranoid or racist, and I most certainly don’t want to insult sensitive Nigerians in ANY way. But can someone out there explain the recent explosion in my Nigerian “audience?” I can assure you I am seeking illumination only. I’m actually BEGGING YOU to school me on my ignorance of how my admittedly-externally-privileged upbringing between two Southern United States between the late 1960s and mid 1980s, experience with chemotherapy and similar exhilarating adventures, and feeling abandoned by my husbands after choosing personal relationships over my career actually RESONATES WITH YOU??
I’M. ON. MY. KNEES. LITERALLY. BEGGING. YOU.
To tell me how my experiences with those experiences resonate with YOUR experiences of your experiences over in Nigeria.
Because I want us to collaborate on a book. Apparently we are kindred spirits, true soul mates, in spite of the fact we have absolutely nothing in common. I mean, you could pretend to be someone you’re not, but why would you want to do that? No, if my words RESONATE WITH YOU, YOU MUST BE TRUSTWORTHY.
So don’t be afraid to step forward, Sensitive Nigerians❣️ I want to provide a safe place to “connect“: a virtual community for those processing traumas from childhood, breast cancer, and divorce. And other VULNERABLE, Middle-Aged Women. Divorcees and the like.
All of us sharing freely and openly. Right here. Just waiting.
I’m simultaneously the most insecure AND the most intelligent person I know.
No wonder I’m no good at Marriage.
But what are the alternatives for a woman, aged 54, who still desires connection and love? When I’m being serious, people think I’m interviewing for a husband. When I write “I’m not interviewing for a husband; I have no set agenda” on my online dating profile, I get NO responses (or if I do, I’m asked what I’m wearing).
I don’t mind admitting I’m very confused by the dating scene in 2021 for middle-aged people (God, am I going to have to call myself a “senior” next year?). I seem to be very attractive to WOMEN and COUPLES these days, which kind of freaks me out. I think these women want to be my friend, but they don’t: they want to be my friend. I don’t even know if they want me for themselves, their husbands, or both.
This really weirds me out because I’ve relied on my gut instinct my whole life, but it seems to be failing me these days. I admit that, as a heterosexual who came of age when gender was a binary concept, I’ve become a clumsy reader of the signals and vibes I get “out there.” I’ve also been accused of being things I’ve never considered myself to be, like: •a tease •overly flirtatious •too uptight •too liberal, and [in the absence of closure, I’d have to go with] •too damaged.
How does a person who religiously goes to therapy every week fix being “too damaged?”
I honestly don’t think I’m the problem. I’d love to go out with a male version of me. I think maybe the ones who think I’m too damaged are too damaged themselves to see my [inner] beauty?
I surely don’t want to have to fish for compliments and ‘status reports” all the time in my next relationship. In fact, let’s say it out loud together:
WE ARE DONE WITH THAT❣️
WE WANT AND DESERVE ONE GREAT BIG MESSY, DESPERATE PASSIONATE LOVE AFFAIR BEFORE WE RELOCATE PLANETS❣️
WE ARE FASCINATING – just think of all the boring first date conversations we’ve carried and made interesting. Not everyone can do that!
LET’S JUST TRY TO LOVE OURSELVES FOR A WHILE, because:
WE ATTRACT WHAT WE PUT OUT, and what WE put out is highly unique. It probably takes decades for huge Humpback whales to find their mates-for-life. I don’t imagine they have mixers and matchmakers. And they must be practically extinct or there wouldn’t be “Save the Whales” bumper stickers everywhere (maybe not everywhere NOW, but everywhere ONCE).
I think I’m comparing myself to a Humpback Whale now, which reminds me that I use metaphorical language a lot. I’m just not a typical, normal person.
And you know what? I’m so frigging glad❣️ The worst type of lonely is being anxiously attached and disconnected from the person lying next to you in bed. In a dry and dead marriage with someone you never should’ve married in the first place.
Been there, done that, paid my dues.
We’ll just hang out here with the Whales for a while, Thank You. 🐳
Reading my revised 2016 profile on my 2010-created blog makes me sad for some reason. The photo was taken after I had done my “civic duty” by voting in the November elections that year. That Jennifer still lives with me, but she’s enjoying taking a rest, soaking in the sights from the back seat of our car.
I’ll just let the Great Howard Jones speak for me today…
I love you whether or not you love me I love you even if you think that I don't Sometimes I find you doubt my love for you But I don't mind Why should I mind? Why should I mind?
What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? Can anybody love anyone so much that they will never fear? Never worry never be sad? The answer is they cannot love this much nobody can This is why I don't mind you doubting
What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway?
And maybe love is letting people be just what they want to be The door always must be left unlocked To love when circumstance may lead someone away from you And not to spend the time just doubting
What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway?
When the soul breaks, it tells us we’ve lost our missing puzzle piece – it’s human manifestation represents a unique shape – the ONLY shape which can return us to wholeness. We will reject people who don’t conform to the missing negative-electron-pull of that void into our Adult lives. This wound-activated expulsion of others doesn’t result in the relief we seek because it does so by what our brains are able to understand at the times when our heart was broken; at the young age we made those decisions. Puzzle Pattern Recognition at young ages doesn’t allow us to consider alternate shapes, other options all together. Since we’re closed off to these other mental paths and self-protective limitations, we stay trapped and enprisoned, jerked around by the terrifying cries from our inner Little Child – and trust me: she lives in you whether you believe it or not!
After a lifetime of consciously or subconsciously forcing other individuals to conform or leave, we die, lonely and alone.
If you want to avoid this fate, MY fate, you have to go back to the original wound, even if it isn’t a single traumatic experience. Expecting children to remember the specific events behind the heartbreaking emotions is unnecessary in my opinion. You know what first broke your heart. First and foremost, let me tell you I’m so very, very sorry that you suffered that way as a child. It wasn’t your fault, and it was wrong. I wish I could’ve comforted you then, and I know there are many decent adults out there who wish they could’ve as well. I’m sure if they heard your story, they would want to rush in and scoop you up, dry your tears, and listen as you told why you were sad or afraid. Afterwards, we’d try our very best to keep you safe from harm. If you were failed before, let’s try to heal it here and now.
You are loved, you are treasured, you are infinitely beautiful and huge-hearted. You are whole and perfect just as you are. You have individual worth and value. You are precious. You are a pearl beyond all price.
Surely you can understand we are not feeding an entitlement mentality if any human adult has never heard these words from another living soul. So you will have to be your own Another Living Soul.
In this role, you will be the Adult who then must unapologetically love, nurture, and re-parent Your Little Child to achieve the emotional stability you desire, require, and truly need to grow into the kind of Adult you want to be.
It may sound circular or ‘fluffy’, but it’s what is working for me. As long as you are seeking external solutions to this now-very concerning internal source of distress, you’ll never be free from the haunting of Your Little Child. You can INVITE the Guide, the Helper, the Guru, or even the Consultant to help, but you will always be the General Contractor for the job. No: make that the Owner Footing the Bill.
So spend your money well, do your research, document it, celebrate it, and don’t let Anyone or Anything deter your commitment, other than basic self-care. Remember: place the oxygen mask on Your Adult Self before you place it on Your Little Child.