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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28
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1:16 p.m. - 2012-10-07
The afterglow of a fine day.

To clarify one thing about my previous entry- Miss Steph isn't my ONLY friend with whom I feel safe and loved unconditionally. In the friend department I am truly blessed. It's more that with Steph we have a 'No Obligation To Fix It' pact. Each is free to bitch and whine and get frothy angry at people and situations without the onus of having to DO anything more than that. And the one on the other end is absolved of having to offer advice, cheery philosophy or moralizing. So if I moan about how my clothes don't fit right anymore I don't have to apologize and promise to eat better, and she doesn't have to tell me how great I'll feel when I start going to the gym again, that youth is a state of mind and that I need to buy new bras. We simply listen, nod, hug and put our messes out there in total freedom. This is a rare and wonderful thing.

Especially for me the lifting of the obligation to 'help' is an amazing relief. I am Ms Fix-it-pants. Mick sometimes turns the tables on me and gives back the same turn-that-frown-upside-down, self-empowerment rah-rah I am always giving him and you know what? It's annoying as all hell. I've always said I couldn't live with me and never do I understand this better than when Mick is quoting me back to myself. Good gravy, what a pain in the ass I am! Have an answer for everything, don'tcha, Ms Fix-it-pants? To be let off the hook from my eternal make it all better thing and just give Steph what she really needs- a place to say it aloud and a caring ear to hear it...ahhh.

My fix-it obsession is why therapy was such a bust. Too busy in group helping everybody else and never dealt with my own stuff. Even in one-on-one therapy I ended up giving my goddamn therapists advice and moral support. Sheesh. I know what a happy little defensive mechanism this is. No worries on that score. Every drunk's kid knows this one. Keep the volatile one happy and you'll be safer. And I've taken that coping strategy to the Nth degree by doing my best to make EVERYONE around me happy. All the time. Plus if I deflect people back onto themselves and keep them busy with my loving concern then they won't have time to give me any shit about my own screw-ups and problems. YAY! I am so necessary and wonderful! And I never have to deal with my own crap. Bonus!

Speaking of looking at myself, Steph passed along a compliment from her mother this morning. On the way home yesterday Anne kept saying to Steph how beautiful I am. I sent back my thanks, but also found Anne's notice a little strange. Not on her end, it was a lovely thing to say, but on mine because I never think about how I look anymore. No, that's not right. I mean I never think about how I look to other people. Odd, eh? I still take care of my appearance, you know, comb my hair and brush my teeth and dress appropriately for the weather and where I am. No going to Shoprite in my nightie or whatever. But as far as wondering if people think I'm pretty or sexy or stylish or think I'm a big moo cow, it's simply not there for me anymore. I wondered why this was, for Pete's sake my looks have been a matter of outside judgment and inward angst my whole life! I made my living (or at least my mother's hefty side income) from my looks since I was in pre-school. Sales? I know I was good at my job, but if I'd been Hildegard the Green Toothed Hag I'd have been hard pressed to get clients to listen to me long enough to get my pitch across, being Barbie was a definite asset. I've used my looks to disarm, shock, outrage, manipulate, state my political and moral beliefs, get attention and approval, attract potential mates, soothe my battered ego, punish myself when I felt bad on the inside, to get out of traffic tickets and into bars without paying a cover. I cared A LOT about the tidiness of my eyebrows and the cut of my jacket. It hurt and yet secretly satisfied when other women hissed at me and drew their husbands close at parties. All that and so much more. For all of my life my looks were who I was. How the world saw me was how I saw myself.

And now...POOF! All gone. Is it nice when someone says they like my hair? Sure. But how I wear it these days is my own gig. I don't spend a single moment fretting whether my silver will make others think I'm old nor do I feel the impetus to be big badass LA with the cool, cool pointy purple hair. My mop is no longer a declarative statement of how I want/need you to think about me. It honestly doesn't matter what you think.

I'm trying not to be strident here. Nor issue any jut-chin statements to be challenged later. Frankly to have something which used to be such a huge honking hairy deal go missing after all these years is a wonderment to me. In thinking about it (something I've done on and off for months now) I've come to understand that all of that fret and fuss and angst was about one thing: "Want me! Please, please, please want me! Be my friend! Be my lover! Tell me I matter to you! Oh lord, won't somebody tell me I count?"

And now I do. I sit in the exact middle of Mick's heart. That's enough. More than enough. It's everything. It's the only thing.

Yesterday while we ambled through the craft fair the discussion turned to celebrity crushes. Musicians, mostly. It had started with trying to remember where a certain lyric was from and it turned out it was a Sting song. Hence the yummy music types. Bowie, Robert Plant and Eddie Vedder, etc. And in scorning Sting and Bono for being too vain and accessorizing too well I snorted and said I had no need of a man who thought more about himself than he did about me. POW! I understood again what exactly I had with Mick. This was no one-way street where he thought he was King Shit and I was supposed to too. Being the willfully subservient geisha to his overweening vanity. Blargh! Been there, done that, have the miserable scars to prove it. Finally I had someone I could take care of who takes care of me back. He loves my messy perpetual motion inside. My fluffy ageing outside. My annoying fix-it dealie. My good cooking and dopey physics jokes. And I love him. His muscles and furry chest. His attention to detail. His fixation with vintage VWs. The way doing everything he can for the people in his life is as important to him as it is to me. His short temper and smushy heart. How our relationship is a sacred thing and what he bends his entire life around.

I was bowled over with relief and gratitude. And knew Steph would get it and not think I was bragging or trying to be one up on her when I said as much.

My hungry years are over. So do I give a warm crap whether some chick at the store thinks my ass is too wide or that Wolf's gym coach ogles my boobs? Nope. Is my life all smooth sailing and problem-free? Nope to that too. But I do have the best-est of things. A good loving son. A best friend. A husband who is an equal partner in all the ways which truly matter.

Finally, finally I have this:


Hoping it's like this for you too, ~LA

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