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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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2:22 a.m. - 2013-02-13
This week it's about Love.

I've been on a Larry McMurtry kick. Books and movies both. Amazing how much I loathe Texas yet love McMurtry's stories. His characters are so sharp and naked, perhaps they need the arid wastes of all that empty Texas real estate so they can stand out the way they do. No hiding in the bustle of cities, no softening of the edges with lush verdant hills to cast shadows and keep secrets. Yet from all that empty space Larry McMurtry has found story after story after story. His shelves take up almost as much space at B&N as Stephen King's do.

Speaking of fecund writers, I finally gave in and picked up one of Lisa Scottoline's books. 'Look Again'. I've been off mysteries for a while. In fact I've been off a lot of things. No apologies either. In fact just this afternoon while we were having our Tuesday meal together Wolf asked me about some movie of the shooting, grunty testosterone kind and I airily told him that I hadn't seen it, didn't want to see it, and furthermore my main focus these days is to wrap myself in as much sweetie-pie, nicey-nice, gooey "And they lived happily ever after" stuff as I can. Wolf snorted. "Yeah right, Mom, one of your favorite Christmas movies is 'Lethal Weapon'." To which I shot back a snort of my own and said that at the end of 'Lethal Weapon' Danny Glover has his kidnapped daughter back, his holey house is neatly patched, and Mel Gibson has decided to give over his suicide fixation and actually start to live again. What's not 'happily ever after' about that? Go whistle, kid, your mammy had the last word...as always.

For many years good friends had advised me to wrap myself in the white light. I hadn't a clue what they meant by that. Not surprising, I'd never seen it. I had zero frame of reference.

I get it now.

And, man, am I fierce about protecting my peace! I know I've spoken often over the last few years of being becalmed in my own personal horse latitudes. It was bewildering for a long time. I couldn't not be frigged up about it, I'd never known any peace or safety. Ever. So I got lost. Felt stuck. Was undone by the quiet.

Lately I've gotten a grip on the thing. Turning 50 and the absolutely stellar celebrations put on by my guys and the wonderful warm tide of well wishes from y'all finally pushed me up and out of my fog. I've spent the past few weeks getting solid again. I love this. Really.

For instance, today after a hastily arranged last-minute med review (snow days and Monday holidays wreaked havoc on scheduling) Wolf opted out of his usual time with his counselor, he's doing fine, and he and I were trying to make a quick exit but I got sucked into a 4-way convo about hair. Wolf's counselor usually flat irons her hair and today she'd let it go its own way- masses of gorgeous goldy-red waves. The shrink with her dyed black Wednesday Addams 'do. Ms R the admin assistant and her poufy silver-blonde 80s nightmare of a coif. And me with my needs-a-trim but happily sloppy curls and spikes mess. I gently twitted Wolf's counselor about her flat iron and how we always want what we can't have. She agreed. Then I said how I was finally, finally okay with my hair. And I realized it's not just my hair. (Which, btw, is getting a trim on Friday but will remain uncolored- silver sprinkles in a mostly turd brown mop.) I am okay about many, many things.

I will be tubby for the rest of my life. I accept this happily. The excesses of energy formerly devoted to starvation and guilt have been replaced with a healthier appreciation of a bod which has survived abuse (both physical and sexual), which deals with relapsing auto-immune illness rather well these days, has produced two brand new human beings, is home to a brain that is scattershot but wonderfully stuffed with all kinds of geeky smarty-pants stuff, my gantry self is tall enough to always see well over whatever crowd I might be stuck in and can navigate accordingly, and (despite having my &^%$# period at the moment) is well on its way to shutting down the crazy-making hormonal smiting that has ruled my feelings, behavior, and basically entire life for the past 39 years. Yeah, my bod is fluffy, and my boobs are flappy and long, my scanty pubes are sort of a cellophane clear non-color, and I will always hate and resent my double chin and jowls, but otherwise I'm cool with this bag of blood, guts and bone I live in. I have ZERO facial wrinkles. I love my teeth. So far most of my joints are cooperative and don't give me any shit. It's a good bod.

I adore my husband. I do! Last week I encouraged Mick to buy a big pile of Valentines for his women friends at work. Wee hearts with four chocolates inside. Nothing gross or inappropriate for a married man to give to a friend, yet he sadly agreed with me that the little chocolate hearts will likely be the ONLY Valentines his friends will get on Thursday. Marriages gone stagnant and a little toxic over the years. Husbands who neither take on the roles and responsibilities of their forefathers nor took up the newer, more freeing roles of Gen X and forward. The tail end of the Boomers and the men of my clan, the Jones, are jerks for the most part. One foot in the patriarchal past and one foot in the feminist future the men of our generation opted for neither. Useless gits. Selfish honkers who expect their wives to work and contribute equally to the family pot, yet also take the easy way out when it comes to stepping up and taking on a goodly share of the domestic responsibilities scorning this as 'women's work'. They've settled for being 'guys'. Too dumb to send to the grocery store, too irresponsible to take on the traditional role of provider and fixer and tender of cars/houses/lawns. Too clueless to do laundry, yet demanding a hot meal at least once a day. And forget about feeding/washing/teaching/disciplining the kids. These guys still refer to being in charge of their kids as 'babysitting'. How the hell does one 'babysit' his own children?

So. Mick is giving several of his co-workers/friends a small candy heart to say, "Hello, you are great and thank you for being my friend." And to remind them that at least one man appreciates them as women.

(Me? For the first time ever we are going out to eat on Valentine's Day. Plus there will be sparklies, chocolate, flowers, and hot sex. Who's a lucky girlie?)

I love my house. For the first time in my life I am not at the mercy of parental whim or landlord greed. This is MY place. Nobody can put me off it unless I default on my mortgage. It's mine to fix up, maintain, improve and live in. Until I die. The bedrock beneath my feet is so gratifying! This is also part of my white light. I feel safe.

Oy, there's a word...safe. So many of the people I know scorn it. They equate it with 'boring'. Or 'limited'. But for me it's the ultimate word. The apotheosis. To me 'safe' is neither boring nor limited. Safe is the decades longed for jumping off place.

Now I am safe. I have faith and comfort in myself. I have love. I have a place to be. This is where I take up my own path. I don't have to react to or expiate things from the past. I am not searching any more for the bandages for a near-fatally wounded heart.

Yeah, I read my books and watch my movies and go about the biz of one who's finally doing everything she dared dream......and it's wonderful.


Damn! I knew 50 would be awesome. ~LA


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