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4:49 p.m. - 2013-11-20
Twelve Things

Over on FB there's a meme running around. A challenge to list an assigned number of things that no one knows about you. I was given '12' by NASA Paula (so designated to separate her from the other two Paulas in my life). This Paula admitted beforehand it might be imposs for someone who's been blogging for as long as I have to come up with twelve wholly new unknowns but she encouraged me to try. So I did. And am cross-posting here with additions. You know me- a single declarative sentence won't do when I can go on for an entire paragraph. Essay. Novel. Multi-volume treatise. Etc.

12 Things

1) Statistical oddity- Of me and my three sisters I am the only right-handed one. My sons are one of each- Alex is a lefty and Wolf a righty. And both my ex and my current husband are truly and honestly ambidextrous. (Handedness is interesting to me. Why? No clue.)

2) I can't abide the smell or taste of gin. Alcohol is a touchy subject for sure. Mick insisted I give it up a couple years ago or forfeit our marriage. He loves me but could not/would not live with a lush. I get it. Both of us being children of alcoholics I'm the one who unknowingly became a drunk. Mick funneled his pain and rage into bodybuilding. Me? I never found my own safe outlet and in my 40s began tumbling into the 80 proof bliss of forgetfulness and ease which is booze. It's been hard, but my child and my husband mean more to me than the dulling of my emotional pain with vodka. Besides, my resume is sketchy enough that I don't need to add 'fulltime drunk' to it.

3) I have only knit one thing. A scarf. And I only knit during 1st period Latin in 10th grade. It helped keep me awake. I gave the scarf to the Latin teacher at the end of the year for being a good sport.

4) My very first boyfriend broke his arm doing a risky bike stunt trying to impress me. Another boyfriend accidentally set himself on fire- also in an attempt to impress me. A third fell off a roof. Yet another one got a black eye and a split lip 'defending my honor'. For many years I assumed physical injury was a normal part of the male courtship process. 'Proofs of love' was a biggie with my mother and unfortunately I inherited her mindset. To be 'real' and 'true' a man's love demanded sacrifice. He must make some tangible declaration. Give up a best beloved activity. Forgo a friend. Maim himself in the name of love. In my younger days I honestly believed 'the more pain inflicted equaled the more love given'. Not only on his end but on my own too. For far too long Love was about pain and doing without. Love was all about how much you hurt. Yes, I know how dopey this is now, but it made sense back then. In the day I had no concept of love sustaining and encouraging and adding to one's life. Committed love was about just how much pain and loss you were willing to stand.

5) My boobs are so big that during mammograms each breast gets a triptych of images- they simply do not fit in a single x-ray. My breasts have brought me many things. Mostly negative things. Twice now they've performed their biological function of feeding my kids, but mostly my boobs have been a nuisance . They made it difficult, if not impossible to participate in my preferred sports. Buying tops and blouses has been a nightmare. Gay men are jealous and straight men go stupid when faced with my cleavage. I have calcium spurs on my collar bones from bra friction. My posture is a struggle. And nobody, and I mean nobody- gay, straight, male, female- takes you seriously when you sport a 42DDD. No woman with a rack like mine will ever be Secretary of State or win a Nobel prize.

6) I recently stopped biting my nails (again!) and my current nail color is a lively medium blue shade called 'Super Hero'. My usual nail colors are in the deep pink/crimson range. French manicures are tacky. And I don't feel comfortable with corals and oranges. So from whisper pink to arterial red when I've had enough fingernail to decorate it's been in the pink-red family. I have tried other 'off' colors like yellow, green, and other blues but mostly they look like corpse fingers. But this particular blue is amazing. Please ignore the spotty and over-painted cuticles. They've since been fixed.

7) I like spiders and encourage them to live in my home, but millipedes and palmetto bugs will send me screaming from the room. It's ridiculous for a person who's 6 foot tall to be afraid of an insect. Yet I am. It's a squick thing.

8) Being a genius and a polymath has in no way contributed to being financially successful. I'd trade 50 IQ points to have a truly marketable skill. Sigh...I know my lack of monetary success has been mostly a character defect not actually one of smarts, but it's all the same to me. I know darn well I'm good at many things but those skills and competencies don't feel important or valuable. My open market worth has always been in question. I know it's long past the time I stopped caring, but when your own parents don't want you and have told you so by word and deed it's fricken HARD to believe anyone else thinks you have something to contribute. Especially in exchange for money and security.

9) I've given up trying to understand or enjoy most forms of jazz. It mostly sounds like atonal self-indulgent nonsense to me. Jazz?...bah.

10) After salt the most used spice in my kitchen is garlic. Gorry, I love to cook. Something so solid and satisfying about turning out a delicious meal. Especially one that is nutritionally sound and budget friendly. See above about not being valuable enough to make my family financially secure, uh huh. Worthless on the open market. Yet with my shopping prowess and cooking skill and scientific understanding of biological needs that I can make meals which satisfy not only the palate but health and bottom line too, wow. I take pride in this.

11) While I don't think all means justify the ends, I care more about the results than why things happen. Mick's fascination with conspiracy theories mystifies me. Does it really matter who shot JFK? The man still died and we all had to deal with the aftermath. Ditto 9-11 and whether FDR knew about Pearl Harbor beforehand. Knowing exactly who to blame later on doesn't help. We're still stuck with what happened, you know?

12) If I could have meaningful conversations and/or be friends with any famous person it'd be Stephen King. All y'all know this. But second on the list are Lily Tomlin and Fannie Flagg. I find it telling that both of them are lesbians. And comedians. I wonder if it was being free from the onus of being accepted by, approved of, and desired by men that was the key into tapping into their power to be funny and strong with their words.

I believe it is.

Look, I could write volumes about my struggles to be a whole person and the harsh lessons I learned about thwarting the patriarchy. Shoot, the fact that I exist at all is Lesson One. That my teenaged parents made me at a drive-in in the backseat of a Nash Rambler is a given. Add to it the dictates of the Catholic Church and the illegality of abortion in 1962 and instead of me being neatly vacuumed out of an 18 year old's uterus two youngsters with nothing in common except some horny grappling in a car on a mild spring night and going their separate ways afterward were forced to do the 'right thing' and get married...feh.

What lesson was learned from this? What good to society was gained?

Not a hell of a lot.

Please don't insult me by insisting the Fates needed me here.

No one needs me to be here.

Not my kids. Not Mick. Sha. I am welcome and I am loved. I understand this. But I also understand that I am just a speck amongst all the other specks which fall under the heading of 'Shit Happens'. An accident of circumstance doing the best she can. But 'Child of Destiny'? Not hardly.

It is what it is. And I yam what I yam. Sometimes funny. Sometimes a bore. ~LA

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