Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I did not pack any socks.

Thursday, my boss walked into my office at 4:15 and asked me what I was doing next (this) week. I thought we were going to set up a meeting, so I flipped through my three calendars and said, "Nothing really. My schedule is pretty wide open."

"Will you go to Tacoma and represent me at the big U.S. Programs Summit?"

So, I'm in Tacoma for the week, washing my socks in the bathroom sink and blowing them dry in the morning.

However, the bed is good and I brought my yoga mat and my stuffed frog, Melvin. The wireless is free and the food that the hotel catering provides is excellent.

So I have to talk to people for 12 hours a day. So what? Actually, I could have stayed with them longer tonight but I know I have to pace myself for the rest of the week. Keeping myself from getting peopled out is serious business.

Also, it's a little hard to be in Washington, so close to Orcas Island. I'm still feeling too fragile about Matt to want to go up and meet Jeffrey's new love and to see the utopia that I can't have. Talk about upheaval. But, it'll be OK.

I just wish that the white socks I wore onto the plane with my jeans and gym shoes didn't make me look like Jake and Elwood Blues when I wear them with my professional clothes.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Last night I ushered at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and got to see their production of Hamlet from spectacular seats for free.

I haven't been going to church much lately.

What do those two have to do with each other?

Before I answer that, let's throw a few more ingredients into the pot.

Matt seems willing to hang out with me even though we broke up and although I know it's a terrible idea, I've decided to continue hanging out with him because my heart is happier when I'm with him and I'm giving it (my heart) permission to hope that there's a chance we can get back together. "Why not?" I tell myself, "I've never been Ducky from Pretty in Pink or Skippy from Family Ties." I say, "Life's an adventure and it's good to experience new things."

I will be 29 years old next week. This didn't seem like such a big deal until I saw a commercial that asked, "Are you overweight and over 30?" Connecting those two states of being drove it home that some things - like losing weight or finding happiness - might actually be more difficult in another year. Before that commercial, 30 was just a number.

In two weeks, I would have been married for 7 years.

When I called Jeffrey - the man who was my partner for a year and half while I healed from my divorce but who I never fell in love with even though I really wanted to because I was pretty sure he couldn't fall in love with me - he was twitter-pated with happiness now that he's finally found someone that he can fall in love with. Needless to say, she's not me.

Although my job is just fine, I'm not very passionate about it and I wish I had a better work ethic because it's good work that needs to be done. I will do a competent job but it will only be competent, not brilliant. This makes me wonder how I'm ever going to be content. I'm starting to worry that I will be content when I have a relationship to work on and a family to raise. But that leaves me pretty S.O.L. because one can't manipulate a personal life towards that kind of fulfillment like you can if a good career is what will make one happy.

My new friend Jess got a roommate and forgets to call me now.

I quit the music team and no one has noticed. The music director didn't even respond to my letter of resignation.

My new haircut requires glasses with rhinestones in the corners or black eyeliner to be anywhere close to sexy.

Judge Mathis sent me a letter today trying to get me to take my ex-husband to small claims court on national television.

Hamlet says, "To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished."

The heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. Not shocks that are out of the ordinary. Natural shocks. In fact, these slings and arrows are so expected that they are our inheritance, something that we are bound to get, like an heir is bound to get family fortune once the patriarch dies.

Now, my uncle has not killed my father and married my mother. I'm not feeling suicidal. But Shakespeare is the greatest writer ever because 400 years later, I can explain why I haven't been to church lately. It is so much work to take arms against a sea of troubles. I'm tired. I can't see how all of this outrageous fortune will resolve itself and I don't know what resolution I want to work toward. Hamlet does not seek out the ultimate sleep because he does not know what awaits him after death. He is cowardly. I am home tonight rejoicing that there is a fifth episode of Grey's Anatomy on the DVD that I started 4 hours ago because I do not know what awaits me after all of this shit sorts itself out. Wisdom tells me that it will sort itself out. Wisdom tells me that this melancholy is not merited: this is not that hard when compared to other times in my life and definitely not when compared to the lives of others. But sleep, it is a consummation devoutly to be wished. I want not to be for a little while.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Above your eyes your hair hangs

I have my nightmare for a haircut.

Thick bangs, cut straight across the brow, which causes them to curve a little. The party in the back of my head falls just below my shoulders with almost no layers at all.

I look like a 12-year-old.

How do I know this?

My boss, who is also an old family friend, told me that he wanted to just pinch my cheeks and tell me how cute I was.

The pre-menstrual pimple where Cindy Crawford's beauty mark should be doesn't help the I'm-not-an-adolescent! vibe either.

All of these things seemed very reasonable when I asked for them at 8:15 last night. And, normally, my stylist is perfection itself in translating my totally dorky needs - like not wanting to blow dry my hair ever or use any kind of product - into a fairly stylish look. But last night I was her last appointment of a 12-hour shift and the appointment before mine didn't show up and so I bet her brain started to relax.

All I would need would be braces to complete the completely uncool picture that I present to the world.

Or, I could braid my hair in two braids and go out into the world as Wednesday from the Addams Family for Halloween. Every day.

I have a back-up appointment already scheduled for two weeks from now, just in case I do not follow what I assume to be a normal progression of emotions for women who get bad haircuts and ultimately get used to it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Of Jamokes and Poetry

My family is not a family of name callers. My parents only insisted upon a few things when I was little. The most important rule that we had was that we couldn't say, "shut up." To this day, my mother will look at people who aren't even related to us with dismay that they would be so hurtful and disrespectful with their syntax. The second rule of the house was that we weren't allowed to call each other "stupid." The third and final rule that I can remember my parents laying down absolutely was that we had to replace any can of Coke that we took out the fridge with a new one. Everything else was negotiable.

I have distinct memories of my father correcting us when we were very young and called each other "stupid." He made us call each other "silly goose." That was such a rediculous phrase that we just changed our way of fighting altogether. I don't know what we did instead of name-calling. We still yelled but I don't remember using names or hearing one of my brothers or my parents calling me names. In fact, even when I would come home in tears because the kids at school wouldn't let me into their groups, my mother never said, "Those kids are just spoiled brats whose parents don't give them enough attention," which was probably the truth. She just held me and said, "I just can't figure out why they don't see in you what I see in you." Her voice communicated that she was just as hurt and bewildered as I was, which turned out to be all that I really needed.

My father believes that no one is bad or good inherently. He believes that we are all capable of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. This is because no one is irredeemable. Christ died for everyone's sin, which means that everyone can be redeemed. This means that no one's behavior is based upon an inherent good, bad, stupid, or intelligent indentity, only good, bad, stupid, or intelligent choices.

So when my father referred to my ex-husband as a "jamoke" only once and only recently, I knew that Dennis had reached a new height of insensitivity. For my father to resort to name-calling meant that, in that moment, my dad thought that Dennis was incapable of choosing any other behavior than that of a total idiot. It must have seemed to my dad that Dennis was irredeemable. I am astounded at the love of my father for me that would allow him to voice such an inconsistency in what he believes to be true about human nature.

So, today when I was in the County Clerk's office filing the paperwork to sue Dennis for the last $1000 that he owes me because his check bounced, I came out of the heartbreak that I'm feeling and laughed at the five-foot-tall, balding, Italian man in a shiny, olive, pin-striped, double-breasted suit holding a cigar and standing in the middle of a empty part of the floor shouting, "Of course, on the day that I don't have anything to file, you jamokes are just standing around with nothing to do!" But then, the pro se help desk man was finished cutting out the crossword and photocopying it and was ready to help me so I didn't get to see what happened next.

The other entertaining irony about my morning in the Richard J. Daley center was that when they stamp documents pro se, which means "in one's own behalf," it is simply block letters with no space and reads as the word, "prose," which is the opposite of poetry or verse. It's a simple irony but since Dennis was never actually the poet or poetic scholar that he claimed to be, I took what I could get from it.

The best part of the morning, by far?

They are sending a sheriff to the Whole Foods where he and his new wife both work to deliver the summons.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Emotion Salad

I was giving my friend Meena the play-by-play of the breakup conversation that I had with Matt. Since it was of the unilateral declaration variety and so only took 3 minutes, I can pretty much remember it verbatim. When I was finished, she said she admired my ability not to lose my temper. I called my brother in and made her say it again since he is the person in the world who has always borne the brunt of my fairly vicious temper. Instead of praising me for having grown so much emotionally, he just looked at Meena and said, "Well, it's not like the two of you can form a club or anything." Meena is also Daniel's girlfriend. He's such a charmer.

I realized that I can stay calm in a situation like that because I only had anger and hurt to choose from. I could have gone either way. I could have gotten totally pissed and ripped him a new one. I'm good at that. And that would have been honest. But it was equally honest to be wounded while trying to retain my dignity.

Because hurt and anger are the same thing, just at different stages. I was trying to explain what I meant to Meena and found this pretty organic metaphor: the relationship between hurt and anger is like the relationship between green peppers and red peppers. They come from the same plant.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This one will be entitled, "What the fuck, Mister Doctor Man?"

Luckily, I'm in the middle of reading an epic fantasy.

I have been dumped and it is no use listing the misgivings that I was having before because they weren't deal-breakers for me yet.

I was just getting to the point that I was admitting to other people that I liked him. I like him still. He broke it off as well as could be expected and that makes me like him even a little more.

There's not much to say more on the subject. One of these days, I will be able to discern which man actually believes that I'm as fabulous as I know I am.

Until, then, I will read Phillip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass and try to ignore the small ache that is left behind as the fantasies that I have spun about our future have fled.