When you have a relationship with a person who is not reliable you cannot let yourself fall in Love with a capital L. There are caring feelings and lots of fun but protecting your heart from the inevitable break has to part of the plan for the relationship. The big loves of my life have all been precarious. I knew going into them that there was danger. The test is to let someone into your inner family circle and be proud of your relationship. If that is not possible society says you should ditch them.
Category Archives: Healing
I started this story last Saturday after I took pictures of homes that are now red and yellow tagged and about to slide down one of the hills in San Pablo, CA. For 21 days it has rained and anyone living on a precarious slope in the Bay Area knows the dangers. One of the homes that is red tagged was actually built on the same spot that a former residence in 1973 tumbled down to its final fate. How people can build on hills or on fault lines just for a view in this area boggles my mind.
As I drove by and watched neighbours help each other load belongings into U Hauls I understood the feelings that everyone had. Fifteen years ago my home had been ravaged by fire and I too sat there looking at destruction that I did not have any control over. I cannot begin to tell you how one feels when devastation hits your inner core as you watch something you loved vanish in a few fleeting hours.
It was a cold January day and the kids were flooding the rink outside when I noticed our German shepherd, Snoopy racing in from the greenhouse with a huge plume of black smoke trailing him. If there is an emergency I am not the one to send to an EMT unit as I panic easily. I screamed for someone to call 911 and we simply thought a hose spraying a steady stream of water into the basement window was enough to contain the fire.
In moving a lot I’ve had to adapt to many different jobs. After moving from Idaho to rural Minnesota I tried selling Real Estate again, but the home prices were so low that I was barely covering my gas and advertising.
One night I attended a PartyLite party at the home of a new friend. Lisa, the consultant, showed us candles and gift-ware and mentioned that she averaged $100 in income per party. I listened closely. I couldn’t afford to buy anything, but asked her to contact me. Two weeks later I booked my “starter party” (and the 6 parties I’d give as a requirement to earn a free kit). We were new in a town of under 1100 people. I knew only the ladies who worked at the bank in town so it was a tough start. I didn’t know, at the time, the impact Lisa would have in my life. I was the first consultant she sponsored that made it past the first 6 parties. It wasn’t that I was great at it. I was desperate.
I was honored in my first year when our Sr. Regional VP, Susan, called to ask me to do my first training. She had the national sales averages and said my number of guests per party was higher than the regional or national average. When you have low income women, they don’t spend much so you need higher attendance. I adapted my hostess routine to make sure there were more guests per party. Susan wanted me to train on what I was doing.
What a challenge! Susan had a healthy 6 figure income and a large productive region filled with dynamic Leaders. She was also caring and genuine. It was important to me not to disappoint her. I was nervous about standing at a podium in front of at least 150 women with pens poised. I had handouts of the document I adapted to give each hostess as a checklist, and one I created to ensure I didn’t miss a single extra step. I wasn’t doing anything special, I was just regimented. My goal was that my hostess always got $100 in free product. If I made it happen for her, I earned $100, and my happy hostess would have more parties in the future.
At the podium that day, I forgot my nervousness as I focused on the importance of what I was passing on as I spoke. Later, consultants came up to ask me more questions. The following month something magical happened, many came to thank me for helping them increase their guest count. They were sincerely happy and proud that they had done the work and it paid off. Home sales isn’t an easy business. There’s lots of rejection and though it’s hard work, you don’t get much respect for doing it. You must constantly push yourself but you can never be pushy with others. I had a warm glow for days knowing I helped others meet their goals.
I had found it under your bathroom sink again. I found it behind your printer once. I found it in your file cabinet. I hated that you hid booze in the house. Once you poured it out. Once you let me put it in the cabinet. Once it killed you.
I put the last four bottles I found under the bathroom cabinet in the back closet. Then I cleaned that closet out and put the Vodka in the kitchen cabinet. It has been there a couple months. Tonight I am having a cocktail. A Pineapple/Vodka drunk. An ode to your life. A time to take you away from this world and out into the universe. Unfortunately the crash back to earth is not worth it. I don’t like the payback but you didn’t seem to mind.
It took me all this time to buy some Pineapple juice. Today at Walmart I found some cheap and that is just what I wanted. You and I had wonderful fun with our Pineapple Cocktails. We added a red cherry to mine and you switched to Grapefruit Juice because you were that kind of guy. We loved our cocktail hour. We loved to play but you had to have more. You had to have a pint of this Vodka a day. A pint. You wanted to transcend. So tonight I am transcending in your honor. Tonight I am remembering the joys of alcohol.
I remember standing by the window in the parlor looking at the evening sky in the Blue Hour. It was the winter of our first year and I loved standing in the empty room watching the colors change before my eyes. I never noticed in L.A. or San Francisco, was I too busy, too young, was it smog? What the hell was I doing in middle of nowhere Minnesotain winter on a farm, broke, bruised, tired and so damned cold. Memories that flash like photographs, still frames of my life that suddenly become a movie in my mind.
That day the snow was different, it looked like whitecaps on the ocean from the wind, the sun had warmed the top then nights froze the waves in place. There was a crust and I’d gone out to walk on it earlier, to feel it crunch and see how far I sank. God how you laughed at me, sinking thigh deep and struggling, the stubborn woman who wouldn’t turn back. Get it while I can, enjoy what I have, this new world and life I chose with you. I’m cold and tired but I have a new world. No, we have it.
Like the nights I had off in summer and fall when the colors soften and change, the birds settle in and the world gets quiet, I waited to watch that unbroken ocean of white. There were so few nights off during the Holidays but this night I had my time and my sights, I’m a watcher and magic is free. Slowly the night turned Indigo, deep, heavy purple-blue and the world was still early, no voices, no birds, no tires on the highway. Finally the yard light came on and I saw it, the ground sparkling everywhere I looked. It was as if someone had thrown millions of diamonds across the acre of lawn. It took my breath away and I stayed standing in the dark room, I didn’t want to look away.
I found this through a Facebook “share” this morning and thought you might appreciate it. I do not know the origins of this photograph. All I know is that is was taken at a DC Slutwalk.
Slutwalks are a recent slew of protests by women who are sick of being victim blamed for their rapes by their rapists and the culture at large.
Last night, I volunteered at the animal shelter. I always loved animals but started volunteering around the time I began attending rape counseling. Those memories had long been suppressed and by the time I finally got around to speaking to someone about them, I was in bad shape. I was definitely suffering from some sort of PTSD and was terrified of people as well as the most benign circumstances. In counseling, I talked about being date raped. I felt better after talking to someone and being validated. You see, I blamed myself for being raped, because I willingly entered the situation: I went over my “friends” house to watch the Superbowl and have a few beers. That was twelve Superbowls ago. A night that started off fun ended with a lot of memory loss, inability to determine sequence of events, physical pain, and then a loss of said friends -but not before an inquisition from said friends in which they slyly tried to determine what I remembered of the night, if anything at all.
For the next decade I did what I wanted to do fearlessly. I did not worry about consequences. I did not care. It wasn’t until after rape counseling that I developed a new and unsightly complex. Though I expected the counseling to make things better it did and it didn’t. Though I now felt validated, receiving formal counseling and talking about what happened opened up a can of worms. After going on a date or hanging out with a man alone, I would go home and scrutinize the night’s events, piecing them together again and again worrying to myself about whether or not something happened. The basis for this fear was a fear that during the date, I had some sort of memory loss, though I was fully conscious and sober the entire time. I would agree with most people, that this is pretty nutty, however, the fear was very real and debilitating. Once the anxiety began it took off like a speeding train. It could go on and on for hours and sometimes days. God bless the people around me who patiently listened to me and reassured me that it was unlikely that anything happened, and reassured me that I would remember it.
A while back I mentioned an article I was writing about online dating. I referred to it as “online dating turned unintentional social experiment.” I haven’t posted it yet but I will. For now, I have decided I am done with online dating. I deleted my account after getting one too many pictures of body parts I never wanted to see let alone asked for pictures of. Online dating was more like channel surfing than anything. It got to the point where I ignored 99.99% of the guys that messaged me, even the really cute ones, because I knew they were wrong for me, so why waste their time (and mine). I had been a few weeks without it -before I reopened my account this last time. Those few weeks were boring yet productive. Now what would I do with the time in between doing the other things that I usually do? I still didn’t have a boyfriend so naturally my mind gravitated to the next best thing: shoes.
Money cannot buy love but it can buy shoes! And I found a really great place for people on a sort of shoe budget- a shoe of the month club ran by Kimora Lee Simons. Each month you get a new pair of shoes or boots. Each month a fee of $39.95 is charged to you credit card. This price is what I would consider mid-grade. I am not someone who buys Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos. Even if I could light hundred dollar bills on fire without flinching, the idea of spending $400+ on a pair of shoes is kind of ridiculous…well…unless they were really, really cute shoes. Then it’s a different story. I sometimes bought shoes from Macy’s and Jessica Simpson- those were in the $100 prices range give or take $30. That was until I discovered the shoe section at my local Target and they have very nice shoes in the $30 price range. Continue reading