Monday, October 31, 2005


I wanted to write about my yoga class, and how connected I've been feeling to my past, and making peace with it after all these years. I wanted to write about singing with my old accompianist yesterday, and how it made me feel connected to my future, and to my inner self, and to all those who loved me who have passed on. I wanted to write about the 10 or so ladybugs who are invading my apartment, and despite my fear of bugs, I don't mind so much. I wanted to write about Samhain, and the ritual I'm planning to honor my departed relatives, and how much I miss them.

But my next-door neighbor is watching "But Can They Sing?" on VH1, at a very high volume, and all I can think is NO THEY CAN'T.

Oh Lord. They really CANNOT sing.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's Different This Time

I have become seized with ambition, regarding my schooling. I have homework for my kinesiology class, and it’s so much fun. I guess you can put a nerd in Prada, but she’s still a nerd.

All my life I was one of those obnoxious kids who got nearly straight A’s without ever studying, until I found myself in a class that required lots of homework. Then I just didn’t care, and was content to scrape through it with a B, a C, or once, even a D (Trigonometry). I still graduated High School near the top of my class, and coasted through college with only a fraction more effort.

I never really thought about what I might have been capable of – my motivation was to just get through school as quickly and cleanly as possible. Being an A student was a way to get my parents and teachers to leave me the fuck alone. Kids with low grades were always being herded into lame after-school programs which made the parents and teachers feel like they were doing something to help, but which were totally ineffective to the kids. But that’s a rant for another time.

I also don’t think I realized how smart I was. I have always had super-human expectations for myself, and the fact that I didn’t get straight A’s in subjects where I never read the book led me to believe that I was pretty average. I knew I wasn’t dumb, but I didn’t think I was really that exceptional, no matter how much my parents tried to convince me that I was. They tore their hair out, trying to get me to work just that little bit harder, trying to get me to care about my grades, trying to get me to live up to my potential. There’s a phrase I never wanted to hear again: live up to your potential! I was such a failure, because I never lived up to my potential. My Mom and some teachers called me lazy, but I wasn’t lazy. I was depressed and sad and felt there was no point in trying to be anything more than… well, I guess in trying to be anything at all. Stage I of not believing in myself.

In college, I realized that "my potential" may or may not have been the same things as "my parent’s hopes for me." I let go of a lot of frustration regarding my parents and teachers at that time, but my awareness of my own abilities remained subdued. I believed for a while that too much had been expected of me. I just wasn’t as smart as everyone seemed to think I was. This led to a new stage of feeling that I was not only a disappointment, I wasn't anybody special either. Stage II.

In the last few years, a number of things have happened to make me aware of my abilities. I just see myself differently. This might be a result of my many job interviews, and all those cover letters I wrote about myself. My temp agent and the groovy assignments I've been given have certainly helped me to see myself in a new light. I've also had some very validating experiences with G and my friends from my old job. Somehow, over the last couple of years, I became aware of myself – of my intelligence, my creativity, my skills... my true potential. (Ugh, that word.) I realize now how much I have inside me. I feel completely differently about myself. I believe in myself.

I know exactly what I can accomplish at this school, and by God I’m going to blow everyone away. I don’t want to just pass my classes – I want to graduate at the top of the class. I want all the extra credits, I want the highest ratings from my clinic experiences, and I want my professors to love me. I want the clients in the student clinic to request me. And I want the Career Counseling Office to have several job offers for me to choose from when I get my license. I want to be a goddamn legend. For no reason other than the fact that I know I can be.

I’m a little bit scared of myself. Is it wrong to feel this way? Am I trying to make up for my feelings of failure regarding other things I once wanted to do with my life? If so, is there something wrong with that? Is this newfound ambition going to turn me into a bitch? Am I still trying to please my parents, or am I doing this for me?

Well, I know I’m doing it for me. I’m really into this shit. But I don’t completely trust myself, I suppose.

If I want to help clients, I’m going to have to trust myself. So here’s some personal development I can work on. In singing, I was told to relax and trust my training and technique, and let the glory of my voice and my feelings flow through my sounds. It was the best advice I was ever given. I’m wondering if it’s the same with massage. I hope it is. I’ve gotten pretty good at trusting my training. And if I really do live up to my potential (there, I said it!) as a student at this Academy, I’ll have plenty of feedback to validate my feelings, and support my ability to trust myself in my work. And then, then I’ll really be able to help people.

And that will make this all worthwhile.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Autumn or Bust

Today was the semi-annual wardrobe conversion. Many women will know what I mean: I went to my storage cubicle and retrieved my two suitcases of winter clothes and box of shoes, and brought them home. I emptied those containers and refilled them with shorts, tank tops, swimwear, sandals, and all my other summer clothes. I brought the suitcases and shoe box back to my storage cubicle, and now, viola! I have a closet full of cold-weather clothes, and my summer duds are snugly stored until next season.

This is an opportunity for me to look at every piece of clothing I own, assess it’s wearability, and select pieces to donate. I thin my wardrobe every year, and enjoy the clean, organized look and feel to my closet and chest of drawers. This year a hefty bag full of stuff, including shoes and belts, went to the Goodwill. Now it will be my responsibility not to purchase as much or more clothing as I’ve given away. I don’t need a lot of clothes, and the pieces I have are very nice.

I have been, for the last two years, simplifying my wardrobe. I like to think of this as a reflection of my life. I have work clothes, and play clothes. I have a wide variety of looks, but I don’t need to have a new outfit every time I go someplace, like my Mom does and my Grandmother did. My Mom always feels like she looks like shit in everything she already owns. My grandmother had a sense of pride about people seeing her in the same outfit twice. I don’t have either of those problems. My problem is a lack of closet space. So, I thin.

I also have this idea in my mind that life would be so much easier if I owned a very small wardrobe.  Two or three suits, about six shirts, and two pairs of office pumps should be all I need for work. Two pairs of jeans, an assortment of tops, one pair of sneakers, one pair of comfy sandals, a few sweaters, and two or three dresses for casual clothes. One warm jacket, one light jacket, one winter coat. Snow boots, tall dress boots (to wear with skirts) and cowboy boots, just because I love ‘em. Really, isn’t that all a person ever needs?

Why do women have to have such enormous wardrobes? Do we really have to have every single color of shoe, in every style? How did we get so dependent on this crutch?

Like I have any business asking that. But, I’m trying to change this. It’s all part of my Year of Truth. Well, ok, the Year of Truth was 2004, but I liked the way things went, so might as well keep the actions going. Let’s face it, having a million clothes didn’t keep shit from happening to me, so I might as well test out the simplify theory. If I have less decisions to make about clothes, I’ll have more time to dedicate to bigger things, like making sure I get a decent breakfast, or checking a map to wherever I’m headed.

What does that have to do with Truth? Well, it’s true that I look fine, pretty much whatever I wear, wherever I go. It’s true that I don’t need all those clothes. It’s true that I used to spend way too much money on my costumes, and it’s true that I don’t feel the need to costume myself in my daily life anymore. My closet should reflect all those truths.

Tomorrow I attend orientation at Massage Therapy School. It’s only two hours. I’ve already got my books and other basic supplies. For the rest of Sunday, I plan to relax, maybe watch a movie, and enjoy my free time with G. Monday, it begins.

I’m currently temping at a pretty cool company in White Plains. I started last Friday. I work 8:30 to 5pm. I have one hour to make an hour and a half commute to class. This may not work, but I’m going to give it a shot. What I do know is that, starting Monday, I’m up at 7am, out by 8, and I don’t return home until shortly before midnight, four nights a week. I won’t have time to stop home in between work and school. Fridays I work. Friday nights, I’m going to be crashing. Weekends should be quiet for the first few months, but in January I’ll have to start working in the student clinic, and that will mean weekend trips to Englewood. Until November of 2006.

Holy. Shit.

So this would be the point when I remind y’all of that post I wrote a few months back, saying I wouldn’t likely be blogging for awhile, because I’ll be too busy. Yep. Now’s the time.

Thank you to all of you who left comments and emailed me regarding my uncle’s passing last week. It was a very difficult wake and funeral for my family, and it left me feeling very empty. I said goodbye to a lot more than just my uncle last Wednesday. Thankfully, I have a great deal in my future right now, and I’m ready for it.

This is the first time I can truly recall being excited for autumn to arrive. G and I will be spending Thanksgiving with his parents, and Christmas with mine. I have a new job, a new school, and a fresh fall closet. I’ve got a trunk full of sheets and anatomy textbooks. I’ve got enough Bio-Tone Massage Goop to... well, I’ve got tons of it. Oh – and my car has stopped doing that shaking thing. Turns out I was driving in third gear all this time. (It’s a “D” for Drive, how was I supposed to know the D with the circle around it was the regular drive gear?) Anyway, the car’s all set. I’m ready for fall.

Bring it on.

Friday, October 07, 2005

So Long, Big Joe

This morning, between 8 and 8:30, one of my most loved relatives passed away.

I have a very large family - there are routinely around two hundred people at our parties. Clearly some of us are closer than others. Some relatives I never remember from year to year, and have to be reintroduced. Some I look forward to seeing at events, and wish I could see more often. Some I see every Christmas, like clockwork, and we take opportunities to drop by whenever we can. Then there's the cousin or two whom I talk to on the phone a few times a month.

One of those cousins is Joey. He shares nothing with Matt LeBlanc's character outside name and ethnicity. My cuz is really smart, not an actor, and is great with engines. We're very close, really the one in the family I'm closest to, as an adult. We agree on a lot of things, and we've lived through some similar stuff (like divorces). He's the second oldest of five kids, and a good 15 years older than me. It's like having that big brother I always wanted. This is odd, because when I was very small, I was closer to his younger siblings. I used to think those kids were far cooler than I could ever hope to be. We all changed quite a bit as we grew up.

Joey's Mom and my Mom are first cousins, but you'd think they were sisters, they're so close. Every time we visit those two women are up until dawn talking. When they get on the phone, its for hours. Sometimes I think my Mom is the only person my aunt really talks to, which is hard to believe, because my aunt is a talker. The difference may be that my Mom listens to her cousin with complete love and acceptance, where others tend to be argumentative or coldly distant when they don't feel like arguing. My mom and her cousin truly love and respect each other, no matter how much they nit-pick behind each others' backs. Like sisters.

My aunt always referred to her husband, Joe Sr., as "the King." We always called him "Big Joe." Daddy used to call him the Don. He's from a family of Brooklyn Italians, and, though we liked to joke about it, absolutely no ties to organized crime. I've met them on a few occasions, and they are good, strong, earthy people, devoted to each other and their church. I said once that my Italian blood flowed more smoothly when Uncle Joe gave me a hug. There's something comforting about being around someone who affirms a piece of your own identity. This was always even more special to me, as my Uncle Joe was not actually related to me by blood - his wife, my aunt, is my Mom's cousin. Big Joe married in. But he sure fit right in.

We used to say the same about my Dad - he fits right in. Daddy, being largely German, and Midwestern to boot, should have had very little in common with these Italian-Irish Easterners with their thick city accents, but he and Big Joe became very close friends. They disagreed on a lot of things - especially politics - but they loved and respected each other. I think the greatest tie that bound them was their devotion to their families. Both these men cared for their aging mothers in their homes. Both married strong-willed, loud Irish women who were far from easy to live with. Both had spunky daughters that they couldn't really control. And both worked hard at their jobs to provide for their families in the best way they knew how, missing out on large portions of their children's younger years. They were successful professional men in the 1970's, who had married women close enough to be sisters. They had a lot of good laughs in the living room in front of the football game, munching on nuts and M&M's and drinking imported beer. Invariably I'd grow tired of the women in the kitchen and toddle out to the living room, climb up on Daddy's lap and just sit there while he and my uncles watched TV and chatted.

It wasn't Christmas without going to Connecticut. Mom and dad and I drove to Jersey City every single year of my life, picked up Grandma (and Grandpa, when he was alive), and drove to Wilton, CT to spend the holidays with my cousins in their enormous house in the hills. My Aunt and Uncle had a family room (a "den," they called it) with a two-story high ceiling, and a Christmas tree that stretched all the way up. When I was five, those Christmas trees were Goliathan. I remember being able to walk under the lowest branches, only needing to slightly duck. The tree stretched easily eight to ten feet in diameter at it's base, probably more. It seemed to have hundreds of ornaments and lights on it, and a huge star on the top. I felt like Clara in the Nutcracker, craning my neck to see the star way up on top of that tree, staring wide-eyed at the ocean of presents wrapped underneath it, knowing some of them were for me. I must have looked like a little doll, with the little dresses Mom put me in, and my blonde curls, bouncing around that room, fingering the decorations around the rest of the room.

That was just such a great room. They had an impressive modern stereo system with a turntable, tape deck, and tuner. They had an enormous TV screen, and eventually a betamax VCR. They had huge couches and lots of space to dance around to the radio. One year my cousins taught my Grandma - who they called "Aunt Mary" - a dance that the high schoolers were doing to a Commodores song. "You are the sun, you are the rain, that makes my life this foolish game... You need to know, I love you so, and I'd do it all again and again..." I could still, to this day, do that dance.

Uncle Joe sat at the end of their banquet dining room table and carved the Christmas meat, be it turkey or beef or goose or whatever had caught my aunt's fancy that year. She always made enough to serve an army, and there were never fewer than ten people at the table. Most years it was closer to twenty, as Joey and his siblings married and expanded the family. The local nuns would drop by for dinner or for dessert and coffee. And my Dad would always be asked to play the piano, and I and Joey's younger brother (who grew up to be a Broadway star) would always be asked to sing.

Joey's sisters are all stunningly beautiful. They all modeled when they were in their early twenties. Their ethnic blood shows strong: one Irish-looking blonde, one Italian-looking brunette, and one all-American girl with reddish brown hair. They were funny, sharp-tongued, wildly independent young women. They were everything I wasn't as a child. They were confident, rebellious, and seemed to live such exciting lives, dating lots of guys, driving (and crashing) fast cars, skiing, smoking and looking sensational everywhere they went. They all had perfect Farrah Fawcett flips in the seventies. They were like Charlie's Angels, I told my third grade friends one year. I worshipped them.

I even remember Uncle Joe's mom, who we all called Nana, sitting in her chair at the small kitchen table, giving my uncle a hard time about what he was eating. She didn't seem to approve of her daughter-in-law's cooking very much, which confused me, as the local gourmet market provided half the meal anyway. I remember her hugging me, and it was like hugging a pillow, all soft and warm and gentle. Nana passed away when I was still in elementary school, but I am glad to have these memories of her.

All of my strongest memories of this family are from when I was quite young. By the time I was in high school, My grandpa had died, and Grandma was starting to act like a little old lady, which distressed me. My mother and I didn't get along, and because of this my aunt gave me a lot of crap. I was too old to climb into my dad's lap for solace, so when the men gathered in the living room, I often disappeared into a bedroom with a tape player and a book. The Charlie's Angels had all grown up and left home, and I wasn't close to them anymore. I felt dorky and childish around them, where I used to be their pet. I didn't know how to talk to their younger brother at all, for whom I suffered an embarrassing adolescent crush that would last for many years. And in those days, mysteriously, Joey was never around. I wish he had been. I was a pretty alienated teen. He might have made me feel more normal, more acceptable.

Uncle Joe was a strong foundation stone for his family. He was very successful in business and provided beautifully for them, though he wasn't around much in the earlier years. Eventually his company became the target of a hostile takeover, and he was forced to retire early. He always talked like a business man though - like a boss. Nobody messed with him. When he was mad, he was positively frightening. My dad seemed so gentle in comparison. And yet I knew that Big Joe was a gentle man himself. He was never violent, just red-faced and loud, and I think I only saw him that way once, when I was about six or seven. He joked about it later - the whole family did. "Don't make dad yell," his daughters would say, with knowing smiles. "Just don't do it!"

Big Joe could pick me up in both of his arms and hug me until my legs were dangling off the floor, even into my teens. He could pick me up, swing me off my feet, and squeeze the breath out of me until I was gasping and struggling. I still love being hugged like that. Nobody has swung me off my feet in a long time, and I miss it.

My uncle has suffered from advanced vascular disease for a number of years now, and has had a number of difficult, painful, frightening surgeries. Last June, he and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My parents and I knew at the time that it might be the last chance we had to see them together. I'm glad I got my hugs and kisses from my uncle on that very special day.

I'll never forget him, and I'll always love him.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Slow Down... Think About It.

Last week I had several job interviews and one trip to New Jersey to pick up school books and materials. G and I spent Saturday running errands and taking care of the house. I spent Sunday in the city. This week, I am actually working. All this sudden business has interrupted my self-care regimen.

Normally, I lift hand weights every other day, attend yoga classes twice a week, and sneak in a cardio workout from Fit TV once or twice a week in the mornings. I also use Burt's Bees pore refining mask three times a week, mixed with tomato juice for my "troubled" skin. Last week, however, I only fit in one yoga class, no cardio, and skipped at least one day of lifting. I only masked twice. I don't think it shows, but I feel the difference. I feel sluggish, I feel greasy, I feel fat.

Being unemployed for the last few weeks, especially after only working three days a week over the summer, allowed me to develop a routine for doing me-things, on my time. I think this is what makes housewifery seem so appealing - the freedom to run your own schedule and fit in the things you like as well as the things you need, according to your own needs, factoring in stressors like "time of the month," etc. When I was home, I always managed to fit in one hour of downtime to watch my soap. I always made a good homemade lunch, and often dinner. I found time to clean the floors or dust the windowsills or some such housecleaning task. I drove to the grocery store at times of day when I knew traffic would be minimal. I played music - any music I liked - as I cooked or cleaned or did other things about the house, rather than have the TV on (and muted) as G often does. I talked to my Mom on the phone for as long as she had time. I made the occasional necessary call to the bank or the unemployment office or EZ-Pass. I made post office runs. I had all the time I could ask for to write, read, research various things, read blogs, and email friends. It was sweet.

It was also lonely, and isolating. I have no real friends in Rockland County. In order to have a social outing of any kind - even just a cup of coffee - I have to go to either Manhattan or Westchester county. Nobody ever comes to visit me here. I whine about that to myself a lot. It's hard. I've tried to meet new people in my town, but I haven't met anyone that, frankly, I think I could stand talking to for more than five minutes. There are a lot of eccentric artsy nut jobs in this town. I invite my existing friends over from time to time, but they always seem to have prior obligations. Isn't that interesting.

Most likely they just aren't willing to drive over the Tappan Zee. I drive over it all the time, jerks. And I have near panic attacks just getting behind a wheel. Jerks.

Yesterday morning my car wouldn't start, so G drove me to and from work. On our way home, we stopped for a few groceries. Upon arriving home, we put the groceries away, changed clothes, plugged in the little car battery jump kit, and walked a few blocks into town for dinner. We were starving. We ordered way too much food, and brought home the leftovers.

Immediately upon returning home from dinner, we fussed with my car, and finally jumped the battery. We drove it around for fifteen minutes listening to Norah Jones. By the time we got back it was 8:30. G briefly spoke on the phone with his parents, while I setup a little repast for Rosh Hashanah. When he got off the phone, we lit candles and said prayers. We had our apples and honey and bread, and managed to relax for a few minutes, reminiscing about a dinner party we'd attended one year ago. I laughed hysterically, as though the events had occurred just yesterday.

Then it was time for bed. One of those days that just slips away from you. Autumn.

This morning, I forgot to bring my leftovers from last night in to work with me. They would have made a luscious free lunch - baked ziti with eggplant, red sauce and lots of cheese. I'll have it for dinner tonight, but I'm already feeling the pinch of having to spend seven or eight bucks in the cafeteria. I never know when I'm going to see another paycheck.

I'll get one check for this week, and it will be enough for next months' loan payments, but other than that, I have no income at all. My unemployment is screwed up - it's taking forever for the state to process my new claim, and I'm not getting any payments. So every penny I spend on lunch or EZ-pass or the occasional manicure feels dangerous. I haven't been to a hair salon in over a month, and it shows. My cut is growing out badly. I tried to give myself a blowout with a brush, my dryer, a straightening iron and some glossy hair product that wasn't cheap. I wound up looking like Cousin It. I just have too much hair to do this myself. Goddammit.

I have always worn my "look" like armor. When I feel truly comfortable around people, or when I'm going someplace where I'm pretty sure nobody knows my name, I don't wear nice clothes. I've just fallen out of the habit of looking fly. I don't get manicures, wear makeup, or even really do my hair anymore. I comb conditioner through it in the shower, which gets out all the tangles, but then I just air-dry it and throw it in a clip or ponytail. I wear sneakers from five years ago, t-shirts that don't really fit well, and jeans that are old and ragged, but not in a hip way. They don't fit well, but they feel soft. In essence, when I don't care about how I'm seen, I don't bother with my appearance.

But when I feel the need for it, I can look great. I pull out the makeup and get the blowout and the manicure and shimmy into clothes that transform and shoes that click, and everything matches from the jewelry to the bag to the eye shadow to the outerwear. It's full-body armor, a bubble of LOOK that I encase myself in. It's intimidating to some, and it's meant to be. It's attractive to others, and it's meant to be that too. Mostly, I decide who I want people to think I am, and dress accordingly.

Don't get me wrong, I dress up for fun too, and any excuse will do. But I can always tell the difference. I wonder if anyone else can. I imagine G could tell the difference by the way I go about getting dressed, as he's there in the apartment, watching my mood, seeing how I choose outfits, the look on my face, the way I fidget and whimper when I'm stressed. But could even he tell the difference just by looking at the finished product?

Only an actress could make a party dress into a suit of armor. Please, hold your applause until the end of the programme.

I noticed this past month that I hadn't been bothering with Looks. I dressed up for the job interviews, but I mostly resented it. I did like getting dressed for one job interview last Monday, but that was a job I really liked the sound of.

The other two interviews were flat-out annoyances. Black suit, closed-toe pumps, one pair of earrings, (not two!) blah blah blah. Sadly, I know I will not get the fun job. Not so sadly, I doubt I'll be offered the stupid ones either.

The last two time the laundry needed doing, it was G who did it. I noticed that my clothes were almost all T-shirts, pajamas, tank tops and jeans. Lots of socks too, meaning I've been living in my beat-up New Balances. I have been very, very comfy for the last month.

It wasn't like this in the fall of 2004, when I was freshly fired from the Siberian Work Camp, and living on severance. I was nervous all the time. My mood swung wildly from serene and happy at being released from that awful job to terrified at not having any income beyond unemployment. Granted, I had a lot of other stress factors at that time - bitchy roommate, uncertain lease status, an old boyfriend messing with my head and estrangement from my church - but I remember busting my ass to find a job, and not ever feeling that sense of safety that allows you to fully relax. I was so afraid of the future then.

It is different now. G said that it would be. He offered to cover our living expenses while I job-hunt, pay down my debt, and work towards getting back on my feet. I agreed. He said that I would be able to relax, that I had good instincts, and that he believed in my ability to get back on my feet. And throughout these eight months of living together, he's pointed out the progress I'd made during those times when I was so stressed I couldn't see it with my own eyes, and told me he was proud of me. Things are different now.

It's easy for me to say that it's G's financial support that has made all the difference, but there's more going on than that. It is true that his financial support has enabled me to successfully manage my meager income, which has enabled me to pay down my debt, and work my way toward financial freedom. However, he does much more than pay the bills. He believes in me, and he tells me so. He says that my primary focus should be right where it is - on moving my life forward, taking care of myself, and getting out of debt. He says he is more than happy to handle living expenses in the meantime. He is confident that I won't always be in this dependent state.

He also knows that I struggle emotionally with my dependence on him, and that I'm not completely at peace with it. He assures me that he knows I'm not taking advantage of him. He reminds me that I will have a whole new career by next year.

I slip sometimes. I lose touch with my own faith. Something unexpected happens, derailing me for a short period of time, and despair oozes in from under my skin. When this happens I can stop believing in everything, even G's love for me. It's happened once or twice. I get angry at him for being human and start picking him apart. I see his caution as fear, and interpret his quiet ways as avoidance tactics, and decide he must be sick of me by now, and surely doesn't love me anymore. I start calculating exactly how he will extricate me from his life. I then proceed to demand grand gestures from him like an addict demanding a pill. I cry and shake and tell him all this, and then I tell him how stupid I feel for feeling this way, that I know better than all this, and then I cry even harder, from shame. Then I tell him how frustrated I am about the thing that happened to derail me, the temp assignment fell through or the IRS lost my tax check or I spoke to my attorney again, or whatever it was. Then he holds my hand and tells me "This is a temporary setback. Something else will come up." And I know this is the only way to get through life.

I downplay how happy I am. I say "At least I'm not living with my parents." I'm afraid to admit that I'm so deeply invested in this relationship. Every time I have in the past - admitted it, reveled in it, believed in it - it crumbled away and I found myself back in the race. Some little part of me still believes in the Other Shoe. Maybe if I downplay things it won't drop.


I lie a lot too, about what I want. I say I'm not ready for marriage again. I say I don't want to rush into getting engaged. I say that if - IF, I emphasize - G and I do decide to marry, I want to elope. I don't need or want another wedding. Lies, lies, lies. All lies.

Well, sort of. I'm probably not ready for marriage again.

I have G on a bit of a pedestal. I admit, I have a need to look up to my man. I want to be with people who deserve to be on pedestals. And not just men - friends, family, bosses, colleagues. The question is: Why can't I put myself on a pedestal, right up there with them?

Oh... I want someone else to put me on a pedestal. Well, hell. Here I go again, expecting others to be like me. I don't know when I'm going to get past that. Maybe somewhere around the time I finally convince myself that no one will ever hire me for a decent salary. Ah... I see a connection here.

Whenever my faith in humanity is tested, I in turn test my relationship. My need to be elevated by my partner is the same as my need to be recognized by my bosses, my choir director, my friends. Whenever I feel unrecognized by the world at large, so I demand that my relationship make up for this. I look to my relationship to salve my basic insecurity and lapses in self-esteem.

This seems, somehow, normal. I think everyone does it. It doesn’t, however, seem fair, or right.

I want to be healthy and strong. I want to be true to myself. I want validation from my peers and from my mentors. I want to be married again, and I want children. I also want to be ok with waiting for these things, even though I’m much older than I thought I’d be when I had all of them.

Again… this seems so normal.

I will take an evening yoga class after work this week, and get my hair trimmed. I’ll lift my weights in the evenings and do my face scrub before bed. I’ll find a job. I’ll lose that little spare tire around my middle. And G and I will last as long as we are good for each other. Someday, whether it’s to him or not, I’ll get married again, and have those kids. Hopefully in that order, but I’m not fussy.

This is all temporary, and I can wait. It's going to be a busy winter.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A bit busy now...

I'm working this week! Back at the company I loved, just covering someone's vacation for one week. I'll probably be too busy to post, which is sad, because I have so much to say these days. The words are just pouring out of me. I've got two more essays in the works, one that's sort of about race relations, and one that's about my ongoing relationship with Judaism.

Today is the second day of Rosh Hashana, and I celebrated the new year (happy 5766) with G last night by lighting candles, saying prayers, and eating apples dipped in honey and challah bread. As usual, my Jewish partner forgot the holiday. It was long after sundown by the time we had a chance to do the ritual, but I think G-d appreciates the effort.

This weekend we drive to Massachusetts to help Slam celebrate her birthday with a homemade sushi party. Hopefully we won't all be sick the next day.

Shana tovah, y'all.