March 2014 archive

Instead of a Blog

Instead of a blog, I just want you to know that Abraham calls the auto repair shop “The Car Restaurant”.

And here’s this picture that brought me joy:

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Millions

Quotation-Stewart-Edward-White-yourself-Meetville-Quotes-232829I got a new job about 2 months ago and it’s been the joy of my life ever since. I love applying what I’ve learned from my other jobs, and from my life, to this one. But I couldn’t kick the feeling (like most of us) that I’m not worth what I charge for my time. When you apply for a job and they TELL you what the salary is, it feels safe. Like you don’t have to make the decision. But when someone asks what you want to make and you tell them, it almost feels selfish. I battle that little demon everyday, trying to remind myself I’m worth what I charge.
Today, my new boss said something to me in jest that made me laugh really hard.
“I’m going to work on back-end inquiries and scheduling today, and once that’s complete I’ll finish up content for the latest offering,” I told her.
“Well, my dear, don’t work too hard. Take some time to relax today,” the boss-from-heaven said to me.
“Oh, I will! But I want to get this stuff finished first.”
“Promise you’ll relax?”
“Promise!” I lied.
“Ok. I trust you. Though, millions wouldn’t,” she snarked.
I laughed. I laughed so hard. It was a silly little comment and I couldn’t figure out why it made me laugh so hard. It was damn near an insult, on the face of it! And I was laughing?!
“It wasn’t that funny!” she chuckled.
It took me a few hours to realize why I reacted to strongly. And finally, it hit me. She’s right. Millions might not trust me. Millions don’t. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether or not they do. It matters if she does. It matters if I trust myself. Do I trust myself to get my work done and leave time during my day to read and write and make some delicious, nourishing meals?!
Yes. I do.
I trust myself where millions might not, and the millions don’t matter. Can I sleep at night knowing I’ve done my best? Yes, I can. And truthfully I can look myself in the eye on the days that I know I didn’t do what I’d set out to do, maybe not even done my best, and I can admit it. And start again at breakfast.
Am I trustworthy?
Yes.
Am I human?
Hell yes.
But in this new phase of my life, and maybe for the first time in my life, I trust myself. I am worth what I charge, I am worth trusting. Millions might not, but I do.

Planet Dog-Ear

When you start making your own decisions as an adult it makes you appreciate how much easier your life was when other people just made the right decisions for you. Or when your life was reduced to a class schedule and packed lunches. No thinking required, and if something went wrong you could just blame the person who made the decision.
But, if you’re me (and a lot of you are in one sense or another), you realize that you’re still often run by other people’s decisions even though they had no intention of deciding for you. This can be something simple as how to hold your fork or something as huge as how you choose a mate.
Here’s an example. When I was 25 I worked at an elementary school in California. I became very good friends with the librarian at the school. We worked together all year, and also during the summers. I loved her, respected her, and just generally enjoyed being in her company. One day she said to me, “Argh! Someone dog-eared this page. DOG-EARED! You never never NEVER dog-ear a book. It’s destructive!” I remember agreeing with her that it was a terrible thing to do to a book.
urlI also remember that I never dog-eared a book again. Even if I really wanted to remember a page, or didn’t have a book mark, I would never dog-ear a page. EVEN IF THEY WERE MY BOOKS THAT I PURCHASED AND OWNED AND HAD NO INTENTION OF GIVING TO ANYONE ELSE, I wouldn’t dog-ear them. An adult in my life made a decision, and I regressed into childhood in order to abide by that decision, come hell or high water.
It was only last week that I was reading a book a dear friend sent to me that I sat, frustrated that I couldn’t dog-ear a page I wanted to remember. And suddenly it occurred to me. This is my book. Mine. I can do whatever the hell I want to this book. Just because my friend, a librarian, one time long ago told me she didn’t think people should dog-ear books, it doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to make my own grown up decisions my own damn books! (And did she even mean for me to take it that seriously ANYWAY?!)
The name of the book I’m reading, Dear Sugar, is a compilation of advice columns written by Cheryl Strayed. It is incredibly raw and honest, and in one entry she referred to the different planets we live on. I’m paraphrasing and changing planet names in case you decide to read it because it’s so. damn. good. But basically her advice column said, “You, my friend, are living on Planet I Just Got Divorced and your friend is on Planet Earth. It’s hard for your friend to relate to you right now because they’re on a different Planet than you are. And eventually when you get back to Planet Earth, your relationships will begin to take new shape. But until then, find other members of Planet I Just Got Divorced to relate to. It’s the only way to survive it.”
After I read that entry, I realized my friend lived on Planet Librarian. Other friends of mine live on Planet Traffic Makes me Angry or on Planet I Don’t Eat Leftovers. We’ve all got lots of Planets we inhabit and just because someone on one Planet tells you how things are meant to be on that Planet doesn’t mean you have to do it…especially when you’re (ahem) a freaking grown up. Other opinions won’t necessarily ever be your opinions because they’re based on different Planets, different life experiences. I cannot make choices based on the lives they’ve led. I have to make decisions based on the life I’ve led. If I make mistakes, they’re mine. And I’ll fix them. 
So I did it. I dog-eared it. I dog-eared the page about people’s Planets. Maybe when I’m 40 I will be fervently disagree with dog-earing. But right now, I dog-ear. Damnit, I dog-ear.
I live on Planet Dog Ear.

 

Abe Can Dress Himself Now

On this particular day, Abe decided to dress as a belly dancer. This lasted until we pulled into the school parking lot.

On this particular day, Abe decided to dress as a belly dancer. This lasted until we pulled into the school parking lot.

This is a conversation between Abraham and myself while he dresses himself. You’ll notice it’s one-sided. I didn’t want you to have to hear the other side because I don’t want to be responsible for you starting smoking.
Hey Abe, time to get dressed. Your clothes are laid out on the couch.
Abe, time to get dressed buddy.
No, sweetie, you have to start by taking off your pajamas.
Take off your pajamas, Abe.
Your shirt goes up, not down. Pull your shirt up. There you go. You got it now.
Take your pants off.
Great job, buddy. Now put on your undies.
No, the other way. The other way.
They’re backwards, they go the other way.
I’m not helping you, I’m just showing you.
This way.
Now you got it. Perfect. Pull them all the way up.
Oops. Too far. Put your penis back inside. There you go. Now get your pants.
Your pants.
You want to do your socks? That’s fine.
Do your socks.
Put your socks on.
That’s inside out.
It means that the inside is on the outside of your sock. So you have to turn it around.
No, not around. You have to flip it.
No, not throw it. Here, let me show you.
I’m not helping you. I’m showing you.
See? You have to pull the inside out.
Out.
You have to pull it out.
Ok, nevermind. Just put it on that way. That’s fine.
Now put on the other one.
No, don’t flip that one. It’s already right-side out.
Just.
Whatever. Just put it on. Fine.
Ok, now pants.
No, you can’t put your shoes on first or you pants won’t go on.
Pants first.
Yes, that’s the right way. You got it! Tag in the back!
Awesome!
You’re doing awesome!
Now get your shirt, and we’re all finished!
Perfect! That’s the right side! Pull your head through!
Nope, that’s the arm hole.
Nope. Still the arm hole.
That’s the arm hole.
Arm hole, you have to put it through the big hole. The head hole.
Just take it off and start over.
Because you’re all twisted and turned around now.
No, I promise. You’ll never find it. Take it off.
That’s. No, that’s backwards now.
Put your…I’M NOT HELPING!
Ok, yes, good. Take it off. Start over. Great.
Head through the big hold in the middle. At the top.
Right. That one. Now pull your big head through.
I’m not saying your head is big, I’m saying…I’m saying the hole is small.
Just pull it through.
Pull. Pull! You got it! Pull!
Nice! Now your arms and we’re ready to go!
One arm….
TWO ARMS!!!
Way to go, Abe!
Yes, I know you need shoes but those are quick and we get can in the…
Abe, why are you taking off your sock?
Yes, I know it’s inside out, that’s what I was telling you but it’s too late now, we have to go.
Abe, please…ok, just flip it around and put it on fast so we can do your shoes.
Flip it.
Abe, that’s not. No, just. Let me have it.
JUST LET ME HAVE THE SOCK I’M HELPING YOU.
HERE. NOW YOU CAN PUT IT ON.
WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES?
WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES?
Here. Shoes. Put these on. I’m getting the keys.
Wrong foot. That goes on the left foot.
No, the right foot is the wrong foot.
Yes, I understand the right foot is the right foot but, in this case, it’s also the wrong foot.
Other foot.
Put it…yes. On the other foot.
Put that last shoe on and we can go. Just put it on.
Please lord, put it on.
Yes, I see. I see. You did it. You did it all by yourself.
Alllllll by yourself.

Fear is Cheap

This picture is way too dramatic, but I liked the quote.

This picture is way too dramatic, but I liked the quote.

I have this nasty tendency to live in the future. I’m not a huge dweller on the past, although I am guilty of it, but I’m way better at forecasting all the horrible things that might happen and then concerning myself with preparing for them. I tell myself to stay in the present, but I have an awesome brain that creates all kinds of amazing thoughts about the WhatIfs that I sometimes choose to believe. And, of course, these thoughts are all fear-based. I never have a WhatIf thought that sounds like, “What if I win the lottery and I’m forced into a lap of luxury and devote all of my time to volunteering?!”
“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d like to see you in better living conditions.” – Hafiz
I heard this quote today and I decided on a new mantra. Fear is cheap. It’s the cheap way out. Sure, I can blame all of my anxiety on the pretend fears that may or may not materialize. I can take an anxiety pill every time I anticipate a difficult situation. But why?! Why blame and pop pills? I’ll tell you why. Because no one teaches us how to process thoughts and emotions. There’s no class on it. It’s not something most people consciously do, so they can’t really teach by example. No one shows us how to just be with ourselves, right now, where we are. Which to me sounds incredibly boring, but I’m pretty sure it’s the key to peace.
“My mind is like a bad neighborhood. I try not to go there alone.” – Annie Lamott
That quote is the truth. It’s not that my brain is boring. It’s that my brain is terrifying, full of ideas that could absolutely destroy me. It’s circulating old stories, old truths, bad messages from the past that we were taught or that we absorbed from our caregivers. And most of the time, we believe them. At least I do. They infiltrate my every decision.
Should I take the leap?
Probably not, I’m not good enough.
Should I tell that person how I feel?
Probably not, I’m not worthy of being loved.
Should I give it a try?

Probably not, I can’t do it.
They’re not real, though. They’re opinions from my judging mind. They’re fairytales from the past I don’t have to believe anymore. Fear is cheap. I can choose to live in peace by simply thanking my judging mind for its opinion and moving on.
(Isn’t that last part adorable? Because it’s just that easy…)
Does this work everyday? Nope. Plenty of days I live inside a tornado of self-doubt and unworthiness. Most days, actually. But, as Jack Kornfield said, “We, as human beings, have the amazing ability to be reborn at breakfast.” So I get up, and I try again. I wake up in the present, I drift into the future by lunch, I’m panicked by dinner time, and I go to sleep remembering that I can try again at breakfast. Sooner or later, with practice, I’ll get better at being with myself in the here in now. I’ll wake up before breakfast and make it all the way through lunch without completely panicking about pretend things that might or might not happen. (Or I’ll just go back to having wine for breakfast. I think that worked. I can’t remember.)

The Gray

1976912_290759281078321_640437899_nToday I became incensed when I learned that a local artist who has been leaving beautiful art work all over the town’s utility boxes was arrested for felony criminal mischief. Turn down any street corner and you’ll find vandalism, disgusting words, foul pictures, but our city chose to hunt down an anonymous artist who, instead, tried to beautify our streets. They arrested him for what they have officially deemed “$1,100 worth of damage”. I sat on my couch for at least an hour wondering why our officials can’t see this as a gray issue. What he’s doing is technically illegal, though it also does nothing to directly harm our city or its citizens. It is also illegal for our homeless population (which is sizable) to panhandle, though never in my life have I seen a single homeless person arrested while asking for someone’s change. The sheriff’s office understands this is a gray issue: it’s illegal and we could arrest every person who panhandles, but then the jails would be filled with homeless people who would, once again, be homeless once released. How do they not see the gray area of an artist beautifying the city?
I got so upset that I started reflecting back on where in my own life I felt frustrated about a “gray area.” It was such a strong trigger for me that I figured there must be something inside of me causing this reaction.
Since the beginning of my Divine Storm back in August, I have been praying a lot. A LOT. I’ve been praying for abundance, for clarity, for peace, for love, for forgiveness. There are plenty of days I throw my hands in the air and ask, “IS ANYONE LISTENING TO THESE PRAYERS?!”
So, as I thought about the gray area, I was reminded about something a friend in Hawaii said to me: you get what you pray for, but not always in the package you’d prefer.
Damnit. She was right.
And as I think about it, I’m surrounded by all of my prayers…answered. Let’s take abundance, for example. While I do not have the money I had when I was married, I am surrounded by people who make me meals, buy Abe toys and clothes, and lend me things like lawnmowers and extra blankets. I do not have a lot of money, but I do live in abundance. I have more than I need and a LOT of what I want. It’s not the package I prayed for (money), but the package doesn’t matter. My life is abundant.
Shortly after learning about that artist’s arrest, and after my little reflection experiment, I started lamenting the fact that I’ve been trying to save up money to get my new blog website up and running. My blog is my art, and it’s been nearly 6 months since I began the mission of starting a new website. Because I am afraid to spend my money on it (instead of, say, food or rent), I’ve put it off and put it off. Instead, I’ve prayed for the money to just magically appear so that I didn’t have to worry about it. I was lamenting SO HARD that I nearly forgot I had a Skype call with the colleague of my new boss, a woman who was interested in throwing me a little extra work to lighten her load. I’d agreed to discuss with her what she needed in terms of assistance, knowing it probably wouldn’t be much but every little bit helps. We hopped on the call and discussed her needs, which in my book were easy and completely doable. She was lovely and went on a bit about what she wanted her business to evolve into. I listened and realized, like a damn bolt of lightening, this woman is a website developer. She is a WEBSITE DEVELOPER.
“So, um, I need a website built…” I began talking and she immediately smiled. Not the knowing smile like, “Oh great, another friend asking me to build a website.” It was the smile like, “We are so going to barter our services…”
“Would you help me build a website if I help you with client communication and organization?”
“Ab. So. Lutely.”
And there it was. Abundance. It isn’t money earned. It isn’t money magically appearing. It is the trade of my services for another…the answer to my prayer delivered in a package I didn’t expect.
I wonder how many times I’ve prayed for something and actually RECEIVED the answer to my prayer, but didn’t know it because I was too busy waiting for the “right” packaging? Everything is not black and white. It’s just not. You don’t pray for a Maserati and then get a Maserati. You get a new job or an investment opportunity that will afford you the money to pay for a Maserati if you work for it. Life is gray. Gray is uncomfortable, but it’s where the best stuff is if you can stay in the gray. And while I do think the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office should have stayed in the gray and let go of the fact that a local artist beautified our city without permission, I also want to thank them for arresting Chip Southworth. Why? Because he now has more publicity than he ever would have received otherwise from our city over the course of the next 10 years. He’s a household name. And he will undoubtedly be commissioned endlessly upon his release.
Heh heh.
The gray.
By the way, if you’d like to toss a little green to that artist and his family, there’s already a donation site set up for him. 🙂

Divorce Class – Part 2

personalityWhile Mr. Nussbam gave his obligatory introduction about why he was qualified to teach this class, I looked around the room. Every walk of life was here and we all had one thing in common: our marriages had failed or ended, and we had children. As the first lesson began, I listened as each of the 35 or so people participated in conversation.
1. The Crier – She brought tissues. She sniffled the entire time. Her voice quivered. You could tell getting divorced wasn’t her idea.
2. The Pissed Ones – Rolling their eyes, muttering “asshole” or “bitch”, letting out loud snorts when the teacher read anything aloud.
3. The “Still Married” Ones – Couples. They seemed like any other normal married couples, except they were in a divorce class. I wondered if their relationships were similar to mine and my ex’s, or if they were putting on a show.
4. The No-Idea-What’s-Going-On Ones – There were about 6 of them. I’m not sure they realized what the class about. They looked around doe-eyed when the teacher asked a question. Shell-shocked.
5. The What’s-The-Point? Ones – They talked about sports during the breaks. They talked about how to do their hair. They drew pictures while the teacher was talking or whispered to their neighbors. They loved break-time. They got snacks a lot.
6. The Know-It-All – You couldn’t tell her anything. She knew more than you. Also, this isn’t her first divorce.
7. The Sleeper – Self-explanatory.
8. The Desperate – There were 4 or 5 people whose spouses had taken their children and ran. This was the most heartbreaking. Whether out of the city or out of the state, these people were desperately trying to get their children back. One man hadn’t seen his daughter in 4 months. His wife took her and ran when she was only 4 weeks old.
9. The Type-A – She was next to me. And I guess, to a certain extent, she was me, too. Note-taking, head nodding, and carefully following along.
10. The Cute One – He was the cute one.
Together, the 35 of us learned about the law. We learned that we shouldn’t bad-mouth our exes in front of the kids. We learned we should give our exes plenty of opportunity to spend time with his/her kids. We learned kids feel sad when they’re put in the middle of divorces. We learned both parents have an equal right to be a parent to their child if they aren’t a harm-risk. So, I mean, you’re saying I SHOULDN’T steal my kid from school and take him to Disney World without telling his father and then tell my kid that his father is a liar and told me he would never let my kid go to Disney World so I had no choice but to kidnap him and take him?! We basically learned everything Dr. Phil says about divorce/children and, frankly, I would have preferred watching 5 hours of Dr. Phil. Not to mention the people in the class who didn’t already know this incredibly obvious stuff weren’t listening anyway.
On our first break, I went to the snack machine to get some peanuts. The security guard followed me because I was clearly a threat. I turned and smiled at him to charm him off my tail, but he didn’t smile back. That’s ok, though. Because in front of me was The Cute One. He was really cute. He was fumbling with the snack machine, pressing buttons and staring at it, waiting for a snack to fall out. Finally, some Peanut M&Ms fell out. He turned to go and saw me. “Ha. Oh, hey. That machine…um…it’s not. I didn’t pick these. They just randomly fell out. I didn’t pick…do you want these?”
“No thank you,” I smiled.
“Ok. Just be careful because it doesn’t give you what you want.” He moved to the soda machine to choose a soda while I fiddled with the buttons until something fell out: peanuts. Fine, I thought. “Peanuts?” he asked me.
“Yeah. I guess that’ll work!” I smiled. He smiled. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING RIGHT NOW?! I CANNOT FLIRT WITH THE CUTE ONE DURING DIVORCE CLASS!
We awkwardly walked back into class, completely unable to make casual conversation because
A. Neither of us were divorced yet and probably felt weird starting up a conversation while we were still in purgatory.
B. What were we going to talk about? Our divorces?
C. The only questions I could think to ask (So, are you married? Do you have kids) were already answered by the fact that he was IN THIS CLASS.
I spent the rest of the class daydreaming about what it would be like if I ended up marrying The Cute One and we told the story at our wedding of how we met in Divorce Class. Long story short, I took my sweet time gathering up my things once the class was finally over in case he wanted to ask me for my number. I mean, I don’t know how to do this anymore. Do I just give it to him? Do I ask him if he wants it? DO I STOP TRYING TO HIT ON GUYS IN MY DIVORCE CLASS?!
I walked to my car feeling a myriad of emotions. I was sad. I was angry. I was mentally exhausted. I was defeated. I was a loser. And all I wanted was a dirty martini, but I didn’t have any vodka. This part of my life was over, and now I had one of the final pieces of paperwork I needed to prove it. What a strange drive home that was.
P.S. If you happen to be The Cute One and you’re reading this blog, call me. ‘Cuz I know you’re single.

Divorce Class – Part 1

u-tablesAs two people with a child getting divorced in the state of Florida, we were required to take a “Children of Divorce” class. We were permitted to attend the class together, which I really wanted to do so that we could be the example of the consummate divorcing couple to satisfy my ongoing need for perfectionism, but that would have required getting a babysitter. Seeing as how it cost each of us $40 to take this stupid, required class, we didn’t want to add insult to injury by tossing in an extra $60 for someone to put our Child of Divorce to bed.
I pulled up to the building around 5:00pm. Somewhere inside I would be trapped for 5 hours listening to someone drone on about how I shouldn’t tell my child to throw a tantrum everytime he’s around his father so that his father will give up all custody (because people actually do that). I began approaching different entrances trying to figure out where the hell I was meant to go. A sign or something would have been nice.
Once I finally found the correct entrance, a man held the door open for me.
“Thanks so much,” I said, nervously, wondering if he was also here for divorce class and whether or not he was as nervous as I was.
Apparently he couldn’t hear my thoughts because he just said, “No problem.”
The lobby was full of people, all of whom (I assumed) were there for the class. Half looked miserable, half looked relieved. ALL looked annoyed. We sat quietly, unsure of whether or not we should be talking about the fact that we were all getting divorced or making small talk, or just feeling badly about ourselves for being a part of this particular group of people.
“Hello ladies and gentlemen!!” A short, black security offer stepped to the center of the room, commanding attention with her booming voice and huge smile. “I’m assuming y’all are here for the class, and I’d like to direct your attention this hallway. Y’all are going to line up in here with your IDs out. Once you get signed in, you’ll enter the classroom on your right. There’s coffee and snacks for y’all to help yourself. Once you’re inside, you don’t leave unless you want to take this class again, and I promise you, you don’t. Now then,” she waved her arm up over her head, “come on, y’all! We’re here to have a good time! This’ll be fun!”
She was just so chipper for this situation, I had to giggle.
I stood in the line quietly between two women, also quiet. All of us felt fairly embarrassed, I think. Then I saw a man up ahead of me. He was cute. Should I think a guy in my Divorce Class is cute? Probably not.
The classroom was laid out in a U-shape, with an aisle down the center and a project screen pulled down in the front. After signing in I found a seat near the front of the class, because that’s how I roll, and I pulled a notebook out of my purse. I’m not sure what I thought I’d be taking notes on, but it was a class. I should be taking notes on something, right?!
Another woman, probably in her mid-forties with colorful jewelry and an orange Vera Bradley bag, approached the chair next to me. “Is this seat taken?” she asked, as if I was waiting to meet a friend.
“No. You’re welcome to it,” I smiled.
“Oh, good. I just want to get this over with. I have so much to do. I have 4 kids and a husband who does nothing. I’m getting rid of that problem.”
“Yeah. Ha,” I said, wanting to relate but not being able to.
The cute man sat a few seats down from me. He was still cute.
Across from me sat a woman, probably my age. I could tell she was just angry. She sat with her long stringy hair curling around her shoulders, which were tense, with her arms folded across her chest. She just stared forward. Mad.
A man and a woman sat down behind me, chatting and snipping at each other every now and again. I listened to them.
“You know they have to go to school tomorrow…” she said.
“I told them they didn’t have to. It’s one of those teacher conference days where they do nothing but sit in the gym,” he replied, casually.
“Gordon, I told them they had to go!” she snipped quietly.
“Well, what do I do about it now? They don’t do anything but sit on their phones. They can do that at home.”
She let out a big sigh.
A guy with lots of tattoos sat down, and another guy in a black, polyester shirt with a gold earring next to him across the U from me. A few large black men sat uncomfortably in the back. Another couple, both in Navy sweats, sat down together in the corner.
“I can’t believe this class is 5 hours long,” the woman next to me heaved.
“I know. It’s long,” I agreed.
“Maybe if I had some help at home it wouldn’t be such a big deal,” she said.
“Yeah,” I said, not really sure if I should try and agree with her even though it wouldn’t be true or if I should just leave it at that.
A short, jewish-looking man walked in and stood near the front of the classroom near a tall, older blonde woman. They chatted quietly. I assumed they were the teachers. A security guard walked past the door to the classroom, peering in as though to remind us all that he was watching.
“Good evening, everyone! I am Robert Nussbam. I am a counselor and a social worker and Sheila and I will be leading this class tonight. I know a lot of you are here against your will, and a lot of you are here to just get it over with. We are going to make this as painless as possible…”
“Is the class really going to be 5 hours long?” someone interrupted.
“Yes,” he spun to make eye contact, “it is. The state of Florida requires 5 hours.” The security guard walked past the door again. It was starting to feel like prison. So, it was a really comfortable experience so far…

Bury-The-Body Friends

db11b627feebd7cf3d2bfaeffe43b657There are friends, and then there are friends. Friends who will bring you ice cream if they happen to be nearby at the yogurt shop, and friends who will help you bury a body without ever asking a question except, “Where do you want to eat after this because I brought a good bottle of wine…”
Everyone needs at least one “Bury-The-Body Friend”, as Brene Brown lovingly refers to them. I am lucky enough that I have several, one of whom moved away last year. Her son and my son were best friends. And I don’t mean they were best friends in the sense that their mommies sat around on Thursday afternoons drinking white wine and eating take-out from the container while the children stuck their fingers in electrical sockets. I mean all of that except the children actually played with each other and loved it and I can’t remember a single time either of them was electrocuted.
At any rate, they came to visit this week and Abe and I were over-the-moon. We spent every waking minute together playing with toys, going to the park, riding on the golf cart, eating sushi, going to the park again, having a picnic, and finally weepy goodbyes. While we sat at the park (for the second time) watching the boys play, we saw a third little boy approach them. He appeared to be about their age and the three seemed to get along swimmingly.
Until the little boy’s big sister walked over. We’ll just call her Snotty Pants McStupidFace.
The little girl, probably 7, began ordering the three boys around. Seeing as how our boys don’t have siblings, they immediately complied. “Oh, we’re supposed to sit down now? Right here? Where she’s pointing? Well, ok then. Good enough.”
After a few more barky order, though, the boys got hip to Snotty Pants McStupidFace. They decided they wouldn’t be following her, now clearly made-up, rules about sitting ONLY under the slide until she said they could get up.
“Is it weird that I want to kick that little girl right at her center of gravity and watch her fall?” I asked my friend.
“No. Not at all,” she replied before swishing a sip of sparkling water in her mouth, because we’re fancy.
It seemed once the boys decided to damn the man, Snotty Pants McStupidFace chose another method: showing off. She started climbing parts of the playground that were NOT meant for climbing, inciting three 3-year-olds to try scaling the underside of a bridge upsided-own and backwards.
“Abe! That’s dangerous, son. Please don’t do that. It’s not meant for climbing,” I said.
“Ok!” he shouted back sweetly because he’s the best child on the planet unlike Snotty Pants McStupidFace.
“Where is her freaking mother?” my friend asked.
We scanned the park area and both zeroed in on a young women seated on a bench, perfectly blown-out long hair, some sort of high-fashion outfit that looked to me like a jumper I wore in 5th grade, a venti Starbucks, a People magazine, and her cell phone perched atop the magazine because what if she missed a text while learning about what Reese Witherspoon buys for lunch?
“The nanny,” we both muttered simultaneously.
Just then, Snotty Pants McStupidFace was at it again. She began ordering the boys around again, only this time it was clear the boys didn’t like it. “No!” they said in protest of her playground dictatorship.
“Good, boys! Say no!” I said quietly.
“Is it wrong that I just want to cut that pony tail off her head?” my friend asked.
“No. Not at all,” I replied before swishing a sip of sparkling water in my mouth, because we’re fancy.
Her son suddenly ran up to Snotty Pants McStupidFace, straightened his “Spidey Arm” in front of him, aimed, and shot while yelling, “YOU’RE WEBBED!”
Abe, not knowing Spiderman very well, followed suit, only he just pointed at her and shouted, “Yeah! You’re a WEB!”
“You tell her, boys,” I whispered.
“And now,” her son shouted, “I’m Dash and I’m running so fast!” He ran off and Abe ran after him, both of them singing individual theme songs. I was so proud in that moment that they became super heroes and ran away from the bully.
“You’re not Dash,” Snot Pants yelled. “You’re not fast enough to be Dash.”
“Oh yes I am!” my friend’s son shot back.
“If you’re Dash, then you should be able to run faster than me,” she snarked with a hand on her skinny little hip.
We watched as the boys stared at her, considering their options. It was pretty clear that neither of them were going to outrun this gangly little know-it-all. Should they try running and hope for a Rudy moment? Should they ignore her? Or should they…
“BAM! YOU’RE WEBBED!” they shouted.
“Yeah!” I whispered.
And then, Snot Pants McStupidFace made a bad choice. She said, “You can’t web me…because I’ll just kill you.”
Go ahead. Gasp. Gasp the way we both did. And then picture me standing up, one finger flailing in the air, neck wagging, eyes wide saying, “Ooooh no. Not even. Nope. That’s not what’s up here.”
“I think it’s time to go, boys!” my friend said, sensing things were getting a little too tense to even try to play peacefully on opposite sides of the playground.
We gathered them up and not a word was ever spoken again about Snotty Pants McStupidFace or her death threats ever again.
My point is, there are few people I can secretly share my desire to kick a small child with, nor their desire to cut off said small child’s hair. When you find those kind of people, you don’t let them go. Not for anything in the world. If you have one of these friends and they do ever ask you to come help them hide the body, please bring red wine. If you get caught you can just toss Merlot all over your shirt and tell the officer it was Happy Hour.

#shareanyway

Design by The Brand Alchemist!

Design by The Brand Alchemist!

A few months ago when my life became a complete and utter shit-storm, I hired a dear friend to help me design my new blog website. She did a PHENOMENAL job and I was just thrilled with the direction I was to be taking my writing, my daily connection to the world.
As wine became more comforting than blogging, sleeping more comforting than wine, and anxiety/depression finding their way to the top of the list, I let it all go. I let my blog go. I let my new website go. I stopped caring about any of it. Like many of my friends who wondered where I disappeared to, I’m sure my blog wondered why the hell I’d chosen now to abandon it.
I vowed that in January I would begin again, blogging daily and getting back in touch with my writing soul. The first week went by, and then the second. It’s not that I didn’t have things to write about. I had a back-log of things to write about. And I missed my blog. I missed it, like an old friend. But like an old friend, I felt almost embarrassed, uncomfortable approaching it again after having disappeared for so long. And the longer I waited, the more awkward our reunion would be. So, like any card-carrying depressive divorcé, I put it off even longer.
As my entire life has now changed (more on that later!), I have a new employer and this week we launched our very first offering to the general public. It has been a complete smash hit, a true soul-deep look into what truly drives a brand and a business. Today, a recipient of the program gushed that she was finally forced to confront the fact that she refused to share anything unless it was done, complete, perfect thanks to our offering. She half-wrote songs, partly-cleaned her room. None of it was finished and so none of it was share-able. And so the world went without knowing her talent for way too long. So when she realized that it was time to begin sharing her gifts despite them being exactly the way she wanted them to be, a whole host of possibilities opened up to her. She began by sharing a song she wrote, claiming it was only “partly finished”, and then hash-tagging it – #shareanyway. Of course, we all cried when we listened and couldn’t understand why she would deprive the world for even a second of her voice just because the last verse was incomplete.
That’s when it hit me. I’ve been waiting to share myself with my blog and the world until I’d redesigned it, had a new domain name up and running, and until I, myself, was back to my “usual” self. Well, it’ll be months before I can invest in a new site and damn if I even know if I’ll ever be my “usual” self again. There’s no use waiting. My website isn’t what I want it to be yet and my personal healing isn’t finished. But guess what? I’m going to #shareanyway.
What are you sitting on, waiting for it to be “perfect” or “finished” before you share it with the world? Take a leap. Put it out there. #shareanyway

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