Alas, my morning rendezvous had to be rescheduled. There is nothing like the breakfast of champions to get a girl back on her feet and into the game once again! I have something extra special planned for this one. 🙂
He came last night to pick up the rest of his stuff. I waited with a mixture of anxiety, sadness, and relief. I had learned a valuable bit of truth: in time everyone eventually reveals who they truly are inside. Even me. Although he wanted me to continue to store some of his stuff, I let him know that was not an option. I needed to have this thing over and done and as it turned out, that is exactly what happened. It is better to be single than to be in a relationship that based upon need. I had to face the fact that it impossible to love what you need because the fear that it one day might not being there influences every thought and decision. Only within the parameters of freedom based upon self-responsibility and self-care does it become possible for a mutually beneficial liaison to exist.
At the time he came into my life, I was facing an inevitable vacancy and despite my awareness, I rushed to fill it at the first opportunity. He, on the other hand, had nowhere to hang his traveling job hat and I was only too willing to invite him to hang it at my address. At first glance it appeared that the romance was fortuitous for both of us however, looking back and being completely honest, I know differently. He needed a place to stay and I needed to fill an emptiness. As time went on, I began to resolve the vacancy by stepping up and taking responsibility for my wants and needs and at the same time he began to come to a decision of what he really wanted and needed to do in his life and neither of those solutions required the continued involvement with each other!
Now that I have identified my part, I can be on the lookout for the signs of need that masquerade as romance and perhaps limit the casualties caused under the camouflage of friendly fire. I know I sound completely at peace and mature and philosophical, however, honestly I am still a little pissed. His deception was overt and ignorant and I can’t help but hear Donald Fagen singing, “You wouldn’t know a diamond if you held it in your hand…” He definitely didn’t know and I should have had a clue when he threw my cashmere sweater into the washing machine…what a dumbass! In any case, I have had to unlearn and relearn a lot of faulty information in my dealings with men and the learning curve has been humbling and painful.
So what does it mean to be “complete”? For this woman, being complete means that the lesson was learned, the casualties were minimal, and both parties walked away without the involvement of law enforcement. I really couldn’t have asked for more except that if only he had let me keep that 60” television…?!
One of my beloved chick friends (coincidentally, also my Muse) told me one day, “Lady, you are a fucking Viking!” Stunned by this comparison, given that the Vikes were notoriously fierce, ambitious, and mofo tough, I did a little research on these blond-haired beauties and found that I concur 100% with the Muse’s estimation. So in the spirit of observation, education, and affirmation, here are a few relatively similar facts between myself and my beloved Vikings! (Cohen 1)
First of all, Viking women accrued property and had the balls to get a divorce and reclaim their stuff if the blondie in question was not true to his horn. Check!
Second, the men got the groceries. Now, this is what I’m talking about! Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I hate the dreaded grocery store. Check!
I do not wear a helmet (sorry to burst anyone’s fantasies!) and apparently, neither did those vicious Vikes cover their beautiful tresses with such a ghastly style faux pas. Check!
I am resourceful to the bone; perhaps this talent was acquired by the combining of creativity and uncertain finances but I can make a gourmet meal and a stylish outfit from nothing more than what is in the fridge and a couple of yards of cloth. I guess the Norse Lords were a bit more pragmatic because they used their urine to cure stuff to make it flammable. (Damn!) Check!
I know that Bettie Page is my Gravatar but that is because she is absolutely fabulous and sexy and everything that I want to be when I grow-up. However truthfully, I have always been a blonde. I have the natural shade and coloring of the true blondie with the exception of my hazel-green eyes. Check!
Of course the Norse 🙂 were known for their courageous and seafaring spirit and could kick any tribes’ ass when it came to adventuring. They slept out of doors wherever they chose to lay their blond locks and I love the outdoors too! I love to camp and hike and run and cook outside (we all know how much better the food tastes when cooked on a campfire). Check!
Those blond-haired beauties were also known for their independent and nonconformist lifestyles. Entrepreneurs to the bone, they marched to the beat of their own drums, never mind what those other tribes were up to, the Vikings lived the Frank Sinatra life and did it their way. As an INFP, bam sucka—Check!
Everyone hates smelly, sweaty, unbathed humans and the Nords were no exception. Maintaining an unusual degree of personal hygiene, the Vikings were known for their daily bathing and grooming rituals. I am known for my love of bathing. In fact, I do not take showers unless I am out of town. Nothing compares to a long, hot soak in a garden style tub with candles burning and the scent of bubbles—sublime. Check!
I know that my Muse was being facetious when she compared me to a Viking but after hearing my life story at a speaker event, she must have been overcome and appreciative of her own upbringing and experiences. I have to admit that I rather enjoy thinking of myself as one of those savage Nordic types and I know that I am exploring strange and unknown territory in regard to my family of origin. I have lived through the sixties with teenage parents, a kidnapping and molestation at knife-point, a rape, and twenty-plus years with a compulsive gambler; I have had my own struggles with booze and sex and come out on the other side; I have raised three beautiful and intelligent daughters, all three college educated and I just completed my degree last year. Through it all, I have explored, obtained wisdom, learned empathy and compassion, and now I sit here doing what I love: writing. Yes, I have to admit that I am a fucking Viking!
Cohen, J. (20130. http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-vikings
Today’s prompt is one of the reasons that the English language is so hard for second language speakers to understand. It is simply too vague. Totally subjective, “better” rests soundly on the individual’s perspective of what preceded and is the equivalent of junk food in the English vernacular. Is that a “better” explanation…?!
I took a walk on the wild side by diving into a relationship. Congratulating myself on my ability to be vulnerable and independent simultaneously, I dove in with both feet. Subtly, imperceptibly, I began to make a movie in my head about the possibility of a happily-ever-after ending with this man. My creative fantasies began to take over and I imagined that this man was everything that I had been missing. Time for a reality check. For one thing, I am not missing anything and although we laugh and have great sex, these things do not qualify as a foundation. After living together for some time, it became evident that this man still has a lot of growing-up to do and I have already raised my children. As delightful as some of his antics were, he was high maintenance and I no longer choose to expend my energy in that way. I succumbed to temptation and examined this issue in order to uncover why I am still drawn to these types of relationships—superficial, physical, and temporary. Not having come any closer to the answer, I am taking a break. The female/male dynamic is difficult at best and I have found that the highs and lows are exhausting! I have decided to recharge my batteries (heh heh) and crawl into my bed, solo, and let this shit settle. As Freud once said, “Sometimes an ashtray is just an ashtray.”
I have been going through a series of difficult transitions. First, the acknowledgment of being a maturing female in a youth-centered culture; secondly, the awareness that there are no “do-overs”; and third, that some precious friendships have reached a crossroads and are destined to travel a different path. All of this has me pondering my finite human existence and the difficulties I encounter when preparing to make way for imminent change.
As an end-stage baby boomer, I have had the advantage of being young enough to remember the sixties and seventies and legal enough to have embraced the eighties and nineties. In essence, I have been blessed with four decades of bad-ass music, social and political turmoil and upheaval, and iconic trend setting fashion (not to mention the sex and drugs!). All of the aforementioned has fostered an attitude within myself of “I will never be that old” in reference to previous generations and I have remained true to this philosophy, however, the world began to change and despite my lack of permission, I entered another age demographic.
Although I have been told numerous times that I do not look my age, I subtly began to notice that something had changed when men began to look past me and focus instead on one of my lovely daughters. This was a shock at first and I had to recognize that my girls were growing up and that I was becoming older whether I looked my age or not. This rite of passage was not so difficult due to the motherly pride I possessed in my beautiful and intelligent daughters, however when I noticed that my expensive anti-aging moisturizer was now being modeled on a teenager, I had to draw the line! I wrote to that company and told them how ludicrous and insulting to have chosen someone so young to market a product obviously geared in development and price to a more mature and prosperous audience but they didn’t respond.
One of the more important revelations in this life juncture has been the awareness that “someday” is today. I will not have a “do-over” and I had better make the most of my remaining youth and ambition while I still possess my blessed health. I took up running and ran my first half-marathon four years ago and I am planning my next within the year. I have always wanted to travel and I am still single so becoming a solo traveler is a little intimidating but I am up for the challenge. I have reached the stage where I am unwilling to compromise my values but wise enough to not sweat the small stuff. I have developed an infallible voice of knowledge and maturity that allows me to choose my battles and not make mountains out of mouse turds! I wouldn’t trade this priceless facet of my experience for ten more years of youth and knowing and embracing my convictions is an invaluable state of being and has been a more than acceptable trade-off.
The transitioning of friendships has been by far the most difficult. This is not to say that the friendship has ended, it is in the changing of the dynamic that is so clumsy. On one hand, the point of the human experience is to grow and change but on the other hand, not all humans are destined to grow in the same ways or at the same pace and in some cases, the path may take such a turn that you are tempted to go back but you cannot, it is not the same. The best option available may be to wave once in a while, shouting out a word of encouragement or two and all the time reminding yourself of how blessed you were to have shared that part of your journey.
He said: I miss you.
She said: I miss you, too.
He said: When are you coming to see me?
She said: When do you want me to?
He said: Are you serious?
She said: Of course!
He: Hmmmm…let me think about this; there are no hotels; Matt is my roommate…
She said: Nevermind…I know you don’t really want me to visit you…I was just fuckin with you
He said: You fucker…No, I really do want you to come and see me but how would you get around? I am working 12 hours a day and you would need to rent a car and then the closest hotel is 40 miles away…and you can’t stay here because I am sharing a room with Matt…
Never underestimate the importance of your chick friends. These are the women who hold you when your heart is broken, when your kids have you stretched to the point of snapping, and when that special man (or woman) in your life has you fantasizing about punching them in throat if they say one more word. These supportive sisters are what keep domestic violence rates in check, don’t break the bank with therapy bills, and keep otherwise sane women from committing hare kare when feeling like you cannot take one more step. In other words, they are the lifeline that tethers to solid ground and helps to restore our equilibrium without creating damage to ourselves or others.
I have been fortunate to have several women in my life who have been a stabilizing factor when the Shit Fairy comes to call. At those times, my chick friends have been a shoulder to lean on, a voice of sanity, and everything else of which I am incapable during times of extreme stress. One such woman uses these opportunities to remind me of facts about myself that seem to be common sense but elude me when the weight of life is feeling heavy (for instance: You are a fucking Viking!). She asks me rudimentary questions such as: What are five qualities of your sober woman? Your feelings, are they fact or fancy? If it’s true, where is the evidence to support it? Are you posing a request or a demand? There are many such questions posited to me during these times and although I know the answers, I am unable to recall them on my own. I used to think that I was a pretty self-contained unit, however, I have discovered that without these women, I cannot see the forest because of the trees—I lose all sense of perspective and I need my peeps to help me remember who I am and what I need to do to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I could not successfully navigate this Life Journey without the aid of these women who have chosen to link arms with me and together we form a chain of resilience and substance.
To sum things up, all of the struggle is real but the illusions and delusions very seldom represent anything close to reality and this where my “true blue’s” are most vital. These are the women who have taught me about friendship through their actions and I have been fortunate enough to be able to reciprocate the same support and encouragement to these chicks, when needed. In fact, the paradox in all of this “we” stuff is that I often receive so much more than I give when I am called upon to help a fellow sister sift their way through the shit. We become like the navigation system on an airplane: never on a perfect path but always in a constant state of correction. The same is true of growing and evolving humans and the only difference between arriving at our desired destination or being stuck, is the inclusion of others in our lives to help us correct our path; in turn, we may be equipped to help others when the occasion arises.
More important, this is where the rubber meets the road in my chick friendships and gone are the days when my life was filled with energy-drainers and tour guides to Crazy Town. I celebrate my chick friends as often as possible because I wouldn’t be who I am, or where I am, without them. These are the women who I have chosen as my family and they rank of high importance in my life; after all, the dudes will come and go but my chicks will be there until the day I die!
Update: this is so much harder than I anticipated! After spending countless and compacted hours together, the irritation could not be denied. Those little habits, and big ones, (you know, those that first escape notice) are now glaringly in full frontal view and not only make a female want to scream but their realistic human-ness does not allow the luxury of being able to avoid looking at myself and certainly helps to explain why I have consistently chosen such a rich fantasy life! The casual liaisons do not require so much work or soul-searching and their impact is minimal; however, this relationship is a different animal and I don’t know if I have what it takes to hang in there. Someone once said that if you really want to see where your spiritual maturity lies, get into a relationship. Apparently the saying that “if you spot it, you got it” is more than a euphemism, it is a rip-the-band-aid-off truth…ouch!
To be continued…