I do not feel like writing today.
I’m grumpy, mean, and blue.
I do not feel like writing today.
Don’t really want to share my gloom.
And so I’m going to grumble alone
Snuggled deep on my petulant shelf.
Plant myself in the world of someone new
And read, till I get over myself.
I had a brilliant idea to sort our files and get ourselves organized for the year. Yes, I know its October but better late than never, right?
Well, it wasn’t better. It was awful. It was piles of paper falling into piles of paper when they got run over by Tigger the Dog. It was me, getting lost in memories in letters I’d saved for reasons unclear to me now and then putting things in the wrong pile and having to sort all over again. It was me, totally overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we keep that doesn’t even rate a thought late at night, stopping and leaving the room, only to coming back and find I’d completely forgotten my sorting system.
It was a mess – in more than the obvious way. But in that mess, I found some lovely memories.
I found my Kenyan birth certificate filled two days after my birth. And then I found the American birth certificate filled seven months after my birth. Say what you will about Obama, I know they make it freaking difficult to get an American passport without proof of your red, white and blue blood. In my case, seven months worth of difficult!
I found this awesome passport photo where I’m pretty sure my hair is the star. I’m not sure how the poor photographer got it all into the picture and then got the staple in just the right place. AND, how pleased do I look at the process of capturing that style on camera for eternity and the amusement of countless customs agents? And, if you’ve not noticed, let me draw your attention to the lovely pair of MENS glasses my then boyfriend/now Husband picked out. It is truly ironic that you can’t see and need glasses to pick out glasses but can’t see to pick out glasses.
I found pictures from the Hen night my work buddies threw me when they found out we ran off and got married in Vegas without telling anyone. I found a billion different headshots with as many different hair choices – all of them wrong. So very wrong I am choosing not to share.
And I found this, my favorite photo of me on stage.
I’ve been acting since I was a kid. Husband would say I act every day but Husband is an ass. Anyway, most of the time I can look at a picture of me and see the process playing across my face. No matter the makeup or wigs or costumes, I can still see ej in the character. Not here. I lost myself in her here.
Today is a new day and I should finish what I’ve started but… I don’t want to. Good thing I’m very good at filling time well spent with things I shouldn’t spend time on. Because today, I want to be that girl.
If you read this regularly or know Husband, you’ll know he says some really brilliant things sometimes. And sometimes, he says things that are not brilliant but are so dang funny; I can’t catch my breath for laughing. And almost every time, I grab my phone and make a note about his little gem of wisdom for follow up later. Like, for example last week when I was having a particularly bad hair day and all my little twists were sticking out in every direction but the one I wanted and I said, “I'm going to shave and all off. I look ridiculous” and Husband responded “You shave it all off and your head will look really fat.”
Or when we were discussing a mutual friend who is a hot mess of neediness and I said, “Dude, I'm pretty easy going…” and he replied, “Nah, you're crazy as hell.”
See, I remembered what happened there even though the bare bones of the conversation were written down. But more often than not, I forget to write what the context was that Husband dropped his wonderful piece of insight or insult disguised as honesty and I end up with a note that says -
It's like living with a hooker; eventually you're going to have to sleep with her
Now that makes absolutely no sense. What in the world were we talking about that could lead to a statement like that? And apparently I should be worried if we ever have a hooker come to stay!
Yesterday, I found myself with some time to kill and no interesting people to watch so I went through my notes on the phone and the following are few Husband’s little bits of joy I found that I do not understand. And I have no clue when they were said or why they were said at all.
I can't even button my shirt. It's more of a cape. In fact I think I'm just going to start wearing cape
Dudes drink Sherry
I can’t always be right.
Me, by myself, I can conquer the world.
At least that's what my mum told me.
Isn't that the greatest melted cheese ever? It's like laying down in a comfy bed for your tongue
Say you have a dog that can only go left, well, don't go right.
And finally, this one:
Tom Cruise would play the cantaloupe.
I know he’s taken to telling me what famous movie star will start in the long boring stories I share with him but cantaloupe? Not a clue what I was talking about that made him say that. And, looking these over, I’m not sure if I’m losing it or if Husband was never really sane to begin with.
Well, something to ponder as I go about my day waiting for the next bit of wonder to fall from his lips. Good thing I’m easily amused.
High school was filled with crushingly embarrassing moments that I was sure I would never live down, let alone forget every painful detail. Like the time that guy heard me telling my girlfriend I had a crush on him and then put his arm around me in front of everyone and said something mean. I was sure I would never forget how utterly mortified I was. I was sure I would never live down the shame. And yet, here I am twenty-five years later and I can’t remember the name of my friend who witnessed the trauma. And I can’t remember what it was my crush said to me. And I bet he doesn’t even remember my name let alone that one moment I was sure I would never live down.
Life is like that; full of moments that are so big, so important that life as we’d known it must change. But these important moments become memories that fade with time and fracture in the retelling.
I can’t begin to imagine how many times Mom told me then that something wouldn’t seem as important as I grew older. That the multitude of embarrassing episodes I’d suffered, moments I was sure I would never live down, would fade over time. That the boy I “loved” with all my heart, the boy who crushed me with his words would just become “that boy” and the mean words that broke me, words I thought I’d never forget, would just be remembered as “he said something mean.”
Despite loathing to admit my mother was right, things do fade with time.
In high school I did my best to pretend that I was indifferent to the cool kids and their cool parties. That I didn’t care I wasn’t invited to sit on the benches in the middle and that the sides with my back against the wall was a choice. That those little hurts weren’t crushing me and marking my soul forever. Every moment, every hurt, and every party I didn’t attend or fun time I was sure I was missing was important. And yet, twenty-five years later, I can’t remember the specifics of any one story. I’m not saying I wasn’t marked, wasn’t scared, just that in the scope of my life now, high school and those little hurts just aren’t as important now as I thought they would be back then.
There was a reunion this past weekend and I chose not to go. With the remodel it was hard to justify the cost but mostly I just didn’t have that need to fit in that fueled me in high school, to fit in and be one of the pretty crowd. I have enjoyed looking at the pictures online of folks that I used to know and now only socialize with on Facebook. I had a great time trying to remember people’s names but rarely did a story come with the face. All those moments I thought I would never get over, never get past, had disappeared with the passing of life.
Ten years ago my mother had a bone marrow transplant. Her tenth birthday – for that’s what they call it when you get a transplant, a birthday - was, ironically, the same day as the reunion. Ten years ago, I can remember being in the room, watching them side the bag of marrow onto the IV pole. I can remember that Mom was in pain. I can remember that the room smelled of hard grain alcohol because of one of the major drugs they’d used to nuke her body. And I can remember that I was terrified and sad and sure that this was going to be it, that I was never going to be able to “Mom!” her again. But the weight of that day, the actual smells, the visceral emotions I was feeling have become nothing more than part of story I’m retelling. So much so that, for the second year in a row, Brother, Mom and I all forgot her bone marrow birthday.
Don’t get me wrong. The whole experience was - and still is - massively important. My mother was dying and, ten years later she is still here. It matters. It just doesn’t bring me to blubbering tears the way it did then. It doesn’t make me shake with fear they way it did then. It has become a mark on my soul, much like the faded tan lines that mark my skin, but that fresh burn of the sun has eased and I am no longer wincing from the pain. It has faded with time - just like Mom said it would.
If I had a dollar for every time Mom said something wouldn’t matter in the long run, I’d be rich.
If I had a dollar for all the times I spent fretting and fussing over stupid little hurts and slights and embarrassments I thought mattered, I’d be Bill Gates rich. And probably not as grey and wrinkled and stressed.
I’d like to say lesson learned but I know me. Something is sure to happen today that is utterly embarrassing and that “I will never get over”… until tomorrow. Life is like that, full of memories that fade with time and fracture in the retelling. Thank goodness for that!
I was going to take the rest of September to Un Fu*k My Life. I had a list of all the things that have been on my ‘I should…’ list for ages. I made a point of clearing the schedule so that my ability to succeed would be uncluttered by real life. And yet, I got only one and a half things done on the list; I took the car in for an oil filter change and I went to the dentist about my wonky tooth.
And that dang car is where things went tits up. Because, when I got out of the car at the service area and handed the dude my key, he looked at my car history and recommended “strongly” that I get my 20,000-mile check up. And they always “strongly recommend” things like that in a way that implies if you don’t do it, pieces of your vehicle might fall off while you’re driving and kill you or others around you. So, sucker that I am, I reluctantly agreed that the 20,000-mile check up would be a good idea and that I’d do it if they could give me a loaner car for the day. But they couldn’t give me a car because I’d only scheduled an oil change and, despite the fact that my Smart has a Mercedes engine and I was at a Mercedes dealer and there were plenty of Mercedes loaners, they only give like cars with like wallets and there were no Smart loaners on offer so I was out of luck so we had to reschedule the whole stupid thing and off I went. That makes it no oil change and an upcoming check-up that will cost more than $500 but I’m counting that as half done because I actually made it to the car place despite nothing getting done.
The dentist was equally unsatisfying but at least there I feel like I made some progress. My tooth pain is apparently not from anything they could find on the x-ray they took of “number four or number five” – that is the some progress part - but I was giving a syringe to squirt water at the gums and some sticky paste to coat the teeth with each night. Since going the dentist is such drama to deal with, I am counting this as a win despite the fact that I'm still in pain. So I can’t chew on that side of my face. My goal to lose weight might actual come to pass.
And that little productive nothing is where the list stopped being something I would accomplish in two weeks and became a list of crap still taunting me.
What happened, you ask? Well, I got knocked down by a vomit inducing migraine and that, was the end of anything slightly productive. Three days on the couch dying and two days walking around pretending I wasn’t moaning and dizzy and pukey and the list and my “get ‘er done” attitude was a thing of the past. Nothing got done. We were down to crumbs and whatever was frozen in the freezer for food. Large piles of dog hair were rolling around the house on their own because they knew the vacuum wasn’t coming for them. Husband didn’t even bother asking me how I was doing because the whimper coming out of my face was constant. It was pitiful.
And then suddenly it was October and I had officially failed at finishing my UFML list by the end of September. Or had I? Because October started mid-week, if I squinted my eyes and pretended, I told myself this week still counted as September. There was still hope. I could still win at life…
And then I got a head cold. One of those drippy nose, burning eyes, throat on fire head colds. And the last thing I wanted to do was go to a bra shop and stand in front of a lady in my all togethers and have her fit me for a bra. Oooh, wait - that sounds like I’d enjoy getting a bra fitting if I wasn’t sick. Let me be clear, I NEVER want to go to a bra shop and stand in front of a lady in my all togethers and have her fit me for a bra BUT, with a head cold and some really awesome hot flashes that seem to be attacking me on a regular basis, I really REALLY don’t want to do it. And I think I can be safe in saying that I’m sure the last thing the sales lady wants is a sniveling mess of a woman standing in front of her with her jiggly bits on display.
And now it is Friday and the week is over and September is officially done. Heck, the DIY stores have their Christmas decorations up, trees lite up and weird blow-up animals in Christmas colors dancing on the shelves. I have to come to terms with the fact that my UFML list is a fail. I’m just going to move everything back over to the ‘Things I should do at some point’ list.
Let’s be honest, I am more comfortable with them over there. It’s a more acceptable form of pressure for me. “I should…” is my happy space. So what if I can’t see because my eyeglass prescription is out of date and I’m reduced to wearing sports bras that make my boobs into one solid shelf of boob. Without my glasses on, I can’t see how hideous I look and with them on everything is blurry. It’s a win win situation.
Now off I go to ignore a bunch of things I should do but wont. Life is good when you squint away the icky stuff.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me