Wearing My Wit

I was on this weekend, like really ON my game. I was flirtatious and well-received, I was having fun and being myself. I was less self-conscious and more confident. One man asked me for my number and I gave it to him because our very first conversation happened to be about Radiolab, my weak spot. I was asked to dinner on other occasions and invited out. I danced. It was great fun. I think there was even a girl trying to flirt with me.

Is my fantastic weekend related to the fact it was Halloween? I was cautious about my choice of wear, ensuring my protest of all things slutty. I did not go unattractive, but played it conservatively. I was witty. I made people guess my very simple costume, “skittle eyes? lifesaver glasses? candy eyes? I don’t get it”

Eye-Candy. Yes, I was wearing glasses with candy glued to them. I was being punny, witty. Actually in hindsight, Maybe ironically slutty?

I was more open because I was presenting myself by my wit, not any overt sexuality.

How do I continue to wear my wit when it’s not Halloween?

 

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde quotes

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A-typical lessons from mom

Love means needing nothing from another person.

You can’t expect anything when you ask for what you need.

Mostly a person would rather be happy than right.

Talking about Feelings is burdensome and inappropriate.

It is your fault if you aren’t happy.


 

dreamt my mom and I were in a library, my dad at the end of the table. I dreamt she was stressed at me and we were in a big group taking a test. I knew the test didn’t matter. She was telling me what I needed to do, how I needed “to be”. She was impatient that I wasn’t like her. I got angry, said “fuck you”, signed “I hate you” and left the library.

This is actually a typical interaction these days, well when she was talking to me. Maybe without the fuck yous, but hostile and unpleasant.

At the risk of self indulgence, I am going to share my process. I am bothered by my mother’s expectation but have tried to communicate understanding, stand up for myself when she treats me like there is nothing worse if more burdensome to talk about my feelings. So, I’ve lived with this my whole life, shoving my needs and cares aside for “the greater good” of sparing the family my feelings unless they were good and positive. Forgiving her temper and taking on her anger, resentments as my own. To validate in hopes of receiving love. That doesn’t lend to developing healthy coping mechanisms.

Alas, this isn’t helping me at 6am to get past my anger and hurt that is the pattern we share.

Library –
To dream that you are in the library signifies your search for knowledge and truth. You may be seeking new purpose and meaning to life. It is also indicative of the need to carefully consider all possible scenarios before making major decisions. If the library in your dream is well-kept, this means that you are saturated with too much information and you cannot find time to prioritize them.To see a library in your dream symbolizes knowledge and understanding that you have gained over the years.

Oh yeah, now I’m feeling better.

Table-
To dream of a table is a symbolic representation of the world that you live in. You may soon be invited to a conference or gathering. It further represents the connection you have to family and friends.

Preach it sister.

Test- When there is not a true test coming up in your waking life but you are having test anxiety dreams, this may occur because you are associating stress in your daily life with the same feeling of stress that you had as a child in school. It is likely that you are feeling judged at work or at home. Perhaps this judgement is actually coming from within yourself. 

Well, shit.

The Blessing of Men Who Don’t Want to Sleep with me

I am fiercely independent woman and do a good job on my own. In my 20s, I was wildly aware of my sex appeal. I insisted on buying my own drinks, never committed to just one place. I was always busy and moved around like I owned the world. I had mostly male friends, knowing full-well that there was a power to my appeal, a tease in my failure to commit or fall for sexual courtship. It felt good to have that power and I used it to my advantage.

In my 30s, I am plagued by men who are not interested in me. A good male friend of mine invited me to an out of town wedding in Charleston, SC. He invited me with plenty of time (1 1/2 months) and he made sure I wasn’t seeing anyone else. It was a good drive, we used Airbnb and planned to stay 2 nights. We are both single, we get along well and I really enjoy his company. I feel his distance from me but thought maybe this was a situation whence boundaries could be blurry. I’m attracted to him and felt he was attracted to me but non-committal.

We had an amazingly intimate conversation on the drive down and into the wee hours of the morning. Sharing intimate details about our lives and pasts, accepting and agreeing on politics and religion. We respectfully challenged each other in our opinions and talked about life philosophies. Then, we talked about drugs.

This is a hot button issue for me and I won’t go into it because it could be evolve into a book. In short, I think habitual pot smoking is detrimental to relationships. How can a person connect and “check in” with a partner when they are always “checking out.” Say all you want about how safe marijuana is, habitual use for mood enhancement is denying you the process and gravity of self-regulation.

Anyway, we went to bed. In the same bed. A full bed. The distance between us could not have been larger for me. Here is a man that I have been open and verbally intimate with all day and he does not even want to accidentally brush his leg on mine.

After hours of not sleeping, and restlessness, I got up to do yoga. This is where my revelation came. I have had 2 previous relationships with men who habitually smoke marijuana. We were physically intimate before we even got to the point of sharing a discussion on it. The physical intimacy was so cold after those discussions, even if he told me my point was valid and I was right. I internalized that (and was often told) it was my fault for bringing it up. It was my fault for having an unfavorable opinion. It was my fault for putting a sour spot in our relationship. It was my fault for disrupting their buzz. It was my fault.

But the thing is, it’s not. This is how an addict talks and reasons. He sees the detriment and the negative effects, but it doesn’t matter. Because it makes him feel good. And that outweighs the need to be present or regulate yourself and your emotions.

This is liberating. My friend and I talked about it the next morning when I had some time to process it. He said things like, “I have a lot of girls that I know and think about, and I think about you the most” and “you deserve someone that doesn’t smoke pot.” I think these things are bullshit. One statement is trying to keep potential alive and the other is detaching from the situation to justify getting high. The thing that is liberating is that these statements do not reflect on me. It is not my fault that he isn’t interested and that “our friendship means too much.” He may be rejecting me because I have qualms with habitual smoking, but I wasn’t deprived of physical affection because of it. I wasn’t required to “work it out” with him and accept responsibility for the fate of our relationship simply because we were never together! We are friends, and can remain such. The thing is, I don’t have to accept responsibility for his reaction or the fate of our relationship.

I am free.

Aside

I have a male, very pleasantly demented, and mostly nonverbal patient, who cheers for you with clasped hands as you walk by. Sometimes he claps for you or makes funny faces. He has recently formed a habit of tickling womens’ feet in the middle of the night.

It’s kinda funny until someone with aphasia that can’t communicate or yell for help wakes up to a strange man playing with her feet. Nightmare.

Living Messages

In the place between asleep and awake, my consciousness is still processing the nether-topics I couldn’t face while I was awake. My mind meditates and sends me symbols to interpret the way the world works and my place in it. I always fit into the in-between with observance and acceptance, with bouts of clarity or sometimes confusion. Around 6am, gentility woke me up with very loud words from the very core of my being, “Its time to grow up.” My mind’s response was, “ok. I’m ready.” It was starkly clear and true, present and undebatable.

I later learned that day that a dear friend had passed away at the same time on that very day. She was not the kind of friend I spoke to often. She was not even a friend of the same age, albeit not above 55. She was integral in my adolescence and so many others as well. She was a friend of my family, my youth and my peers. I was not any more special to her than all of the other people with whom she came into contact. I was one of many, yet I very much felt her genuineness, generosity and care as if it was only addressed to me. It was a talent that generally makes great leaders.

I spent the ceremony welling up and trying to keep strange sounds from eeking from my body. It is all a part of being a lady.

I hesitate to state the circumstances of knowing her as to generalize her death. Listing the tangibles that made up her resume makes it feel impersonal, and she did not live her life or nurture her relationships in that way. I dedicate my practice to her, meditate on her kindness, her magnanimity in spirit.

I don’t find comfort in the theology that believes God needed another angel or that he gave her cancer for any reason. Cancer just sucks. She didn’t need to prove herself, her dedication, confess her sins or do that kind of penance. No one needs to. However, she managed it with as much grace as is humanly possible.

Cancer just happens sometimes. and it sucks.

Good Grief

I saw my neighbor and her dog on Bruno’s walk this morning. We discussed dogs for a while, much like I suspect parents discuss their children. She asked the obligatory, “what do you do again?” I tell her I work in a skilled nursing facility and how it can be sad but also funny at times. She said she imagines it is a dark humor. Humor is important in anything, and I feel that I definitely have a different relationship with death. It is a subject, like race, that is very sensitive to the unfamiliar.

I am reading “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion right now. A perspective on grief, a portrait of relationships and intensely honest experience with death. She speaks about how death has somehow become professional. Death happens in hospitals and nursing homes, everywhere except homes. Didion quotes (of all people) Emily Post. Ms. Post is insightful and gracious, writing during a time when death was present in everyone’s home and family as a part of life. It was relevant. Most readers probably have stopped reading this because they don’t feel it is relevant to them. But Grief is relevant.

Grief from tangible death is something we will all experience, but living grief is perpetual. Whether you are grieving a relationship, an expectation or an innoncence; grief is ever-present. It should be spoken of, instead of avoiding the subject like it is “the-subject-that-must-not-be-named.” That only implies shame and fear. Death should have nothing to do with shame or fear.

Single

I woke up acutely aware of my age today; Wanting to add to my life but feeling the pull of wasted time searching for something I haven’t found. I felt my dog lounging at my feet, possibly awake but graciously following suit in my morning rituals. I wake up and go back to bed several times, hanging my feet where my pillows lay so I can steal a snuggle from my pup. He lounges Continue reading

Tom Boy

I went to my cousin’s baby’s (let’s just call him my nephew) first birthday party yesterday. My mother was the last of 5 girls, my grandmother was the ultimate family administrator. My grandfather never changed a diaper.

I would not necessarily call me, my sister, my cousins, my aunts overtly feminine. There are times we laugh because we can’t help but cry, whether they are sad, happy, or just caring tears. My cousins and I have formed a bond over the conundrum that is distant sisterhood. We are just like our mothers, with mixed wishes within that fruition. We relate to each other accordingly.

My cousin Cassie has this friend, in a seemingly dysfunctional marriage. I have never met the man, but we all know the story. He is emotionally unavailable, she chases him, she excuses him, she serves him, she takes care of him, and he disappoints her. She feels guilty and “just wants him to be happy” while she is miserable but purposeful. She analyzes all the things she is doing wrong, and he, supports those conclusions. He may apologize and be honest with her every once in a while, but somehow the argument always later turns into her fault. And she accepts it. She accepts it because she knows she is strong enough to handle it. She wants to make him strong enough to handle it by supporting and showing him her love. We have always been taught, love should be enough.

Cassie’s friend, for all intensive purposes was considered a tomboy growing up. She was very good at sports, didn’t mind getting dirty, and would rise to any physical challenge. In high school, she turned devoutly Christian and let Cassie know she no longer approved of her choices. Cassie was a very well-behaved teenager and talked about everything with her mom.

These two situations are familiar to me. I have been in both places. I find my self wondering lately, is Cassie’s friend just trying to prove her femininity? Being a Christian and saving yourself for marriage is one thing, it sometimes works and sometimes makes a lifetime commitment mixing up love and lust. This situation is reminiscent of so many that I have seen. Relationships that affirm your own personal beliefs about your femininity. Her femininity is shamed by his lack of capacity to understand her, she accepts that shame and perpetuates it. Now she thinks having a child will help things.

It may help her relationship with femininity, but it will not help her marriage.

A Psychic told me to do it

Aside

I recently went to see a psychic with a couple of friends of mine. Despite how you feel about psychics, (it was donation based which may or may not make a difference) it was a positive experience. She told me to write a book.

I am sensitive to the power of suggestion…

In contemplating the relevance of my story, I realized the stories I love usually have a fable-like quality or irony. That type of writing requires being indirect, something I am not good at. I am good at big ideas and details but not connecting them. For example, I think in book titles. I fight with my mom about emotions (my overflow and her lack of) and all of a sudden I want to write a book about mother daughter relationships and call it “Womb Bomb”.

So, here’s to practicing a craft. Linking the big ideas with the details and not being too long-winded…