Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can I put an earring on a milk carton?

I'm struggling with acceptance today, or for the last 25 years. I lost an earring.

I know, enough said, right?

I got this very fancy-for-me pair of hand-made earrings at the local arts and crafts open-air market, shaped like music symbols (totally not a musician so I can't tell you which symbol. Suffice to say they are sexy).

I feel a deeper sense of loss and sadness than one silly pair of earrings seems to warrant. I mean, come on - I'm no stranger to loss. The life-changing losses I have experienced have taught me how to accept that some things just don't go right.

So why am I struggling? Because I really, really, really want to find this earring while recognising that it is the most ridiculous thing in the world to be sad-faced over. And I am coming to realise that the most traumatic loss I have faced in a long time is one lone, lost earring. The silliness of it doesn't lessen my sense of sad, but I can remember a time when I'd trade all the things of value -from shiny new earrings to every person I've ever cared about- for five more minutes with a dead loved one, or to repair that friendship I utterly destroyed in a moment of stupidity.

Perspective, right? The heart doesn't have physical memory of being broken. My brain remembers more serious losses, but the brick-wall of numbness and time cushions my heart and makes it susceptible to getting bruised because I lost a goddamned earring.

So, acceptance. And, apparently, some perspective. 'Cause, you know, some people can't afford shoes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Up or down?

As a mother of five, with another on the way, my ironing board is always up.

Do you visusalise what you hear? I grew up in old houses, the kind that had cabinets for everything. Open the cabinet, slide the latch, and the ironing board falls down; usually with a crash, followed by my mother hollering my first-and-middle-names from the other room... where she was no doubt scrubbing my school uniform shirts on a wash board.

No, I'm kidding about that last part.

Maybe this is why people misunderstand me. They're visualising, but the wrong things, of course.

Does your ironing board go up or down?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Or, not.

Chrissie Hynde sings words straight out of my own soul. Or maybe my soul is straight out of her lyrics? She makes me think of me, when I was young. Maybe that sounds pretentious, I don't mean it to.

Why you look so sad?

A perpetual question, directed at Colin. What's so sad, you gotta ooze that out of every pore? If you have a feeling, express it. If you're mad, get mad. If you're sad, cry or something. Or, brood. A lot. That works too, but it doesn't really get it out, you know?

Colin was like a time-bomb of rage. Not scary, not in a personal-fear-of-safety sort of way, but definitely imminent. I didn't mind it then. It was because he had big thoughts, I was certain; powerful things happening in his brain that he didn't have words for. He couldn't express it, but I desperately wanted him to. I wanted to understand him, to sort out the cause of his sadness and his anger and his jealousy.

Let me see you through.

I spent a lot of time wanting to fix him. The Wendy Dilemma, no? If there was a cure for him, I would have searched tirelessly. If there was something wrong, I would pick at him until he told me or convinced me to go away. The latter happened more than the former, but that didn't stop me from trying.

When I was young and naive and thought I could fix any problem by simply loving him hard enough and long enough (and not in the way you're thinking, naughty ones), I would have. It was like, my mission. I was standing by my man, ala Mary Wells.

When I think about the me-back-then, I'm a little embarrassed. I didn't feel naive then, but comparatively... I'm not sure how he put up with my bright-eyed freshness, my insistence that he couldn't do or say one thing that would make me turn away from him. He eventually chose not to put up with it at all, something I would internalise for many years.

He really ruined everything. He dried up the part of me that will seek to understand mood swings, a ridiculous temper, inane argumentativeness, and the myriad of emotional responses that normal people have. Poor Husband, who gets so little patience from me. Fifteen years ago? I would have patted his hairs and whispered encouraging things to him as he was wallowing in his self-pity and his un-named demons. Today? Today I'd drop off a glass of water and tell him to grow up some.

When you're standing at the cross-roads, and don't know which path to choose...

He chose a little bit wrong, and I couldn't follow. Or, he chose a little bit right, depending on your perspective.

But The Pretenders... man, that never gets old.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The lost poem

I was watching a movie on the television Saturday with The Husband. Saturday started out lazy, as our Saturdays almost always do, with me lounging in bed with a cup of coffee playing with my iPhone while he went to the market.

  • Eggs? Check.
  • Cheese? Check.
  • Doughnuts? Yes please.
  • We took our time eating breakfast (at 11am) while we watched a movie. Something with bad cops, drug busts gone side-ways, and a main character dying off. Cancer or something that made her bald.

    Sidenote, thanks to Sinead O'Conner I think all bald women are hot.

    One scene in particular stood out for me. The bald woman (from the movie, not Sinead O'Connor) was down on her knees in her children's bedroom crying because she was doing to die and leave them behind. Great big sobs, the open-mouthed kind that don't come with sound. The kind that you know come from nothing short of a soul ripped to shreds; the kind that are silent because your heart is too broken to actually make sound.

    It stood out because I've felt that way, only without the cancer and the soon-to-be mother-less children. Words dropped into my mind, splashing onto my brain. I wrote a whole poem in my head and it was good. I'm sure it would have won a poem-prize.

    Only, it was Saturday and I was powerfully comfortable with a cup of coffee in front of me, a belly-full of eggs and cheese, and a doughnut in each hand.

    I'll write it down later, I vowed to myself.

    Only I didn't. And now I can't remember it.

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