Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us! #3

Marriage is the basis for family and family is the basis of community. Unfortunately, it is evident that most people base their choice for marriage on something other than any sort of thoughtful process. It used to be that the old song 'Making Whoopie' was right ~ people married for sex. Nowadays, it could be to have a party. When the party is over so is the marriage. I also know that people think they need to be married in order not to be alone anymore. Three Dog Night sang 'two can be as lonely as one' meaning you may not be alone but you can be very lonely.

I can't advise anyone how to find the perfect mate/spousal equivalent. I only know my own truth. I believed with absoluteness that I couldn't be in a relationship where anybody would be happy. I couldn't make anybody happy and they couldn't love me for more than I could give. Different people have different opinions and it isn't possible to have matching personalities. This is all true. Nobody can make anybody happy, the responsibility for that is on the individual themselves. There is no absolute match. Mr. or Ms. Right is a fairy tale that resides in a Disney Fantasyland.

Michael had already been married twice before I met him. I gave up on that whole picture a long time before he met me. I was open to new friendships and so was he, having recently moved here and not made the acquaintance of people he could value. I only valued people for what they proved to be 'Actions speak louder than words' and, in a lot of cases, that amounted to 'not a whole lot'. He proved to be what he said he was ~ he had a dog and he loves animals, protector of people especially those he loves, capable of jumping into a project and taking the bull by the horns to get it done with the know-how to get it done right, likes things simple and slow and appreciates people like him probably because he can understand them best. We have a lot of the same opinions which he voices where I don't and preferences he makes the most of and I'm learning to do more. He is a real man in that he is capable of displaying his affections and emotions without thought that such displays make him less than what he is. He can make me cry tears of joy and that's far beyond most of humanity.

Three years ago today, we promised forever and always to love and honor. It is my honor to keep that promise.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rapunzel? Not me

I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair for most of my life.

I think every kid starts out that way. We never saw it but it never made anybody else happy. Mom would brush it, tearing at the tangles, cut it when it got too frustrating. When I was 12 she cut it off. That began my hate of it. I tried to take over from that point, but being new at it and maybe she wasn't ready to lose control, plus again, she had to look at it ~ I never saw it once I walked away from the mirror ~ taking over my own hairdo was easier said than done. Most of the next few years she kept it short, once it was a Dorothy Hamil style, which was fun at first but needed more work than I wanted to give it.

When I was in high school I had a bad perm job, which thinned it out plenty because it was burned in. In my senior year, I finally started getting some length but it never grew past the middle of my shoulder blades. I really wanted the hair the girls had in the shampoo commercials but I would lose faith that it could ever be that way and do something stupid to it again. Like maybe another perm. I colored it, starting when I was in my mid-twenties but never with a permanent color, always the kind that washed out in a month, and always something close to my natural color because I just wanted the grey I've had since childhood to disappear.

Apparently, I'm not the only one in the world with hair anxiety. Some of my favorite movies have big major life changing haircuts. For instance, Audrey Hepburn in 'Roman Holiday': 1933 'Roman Holiday'

And then there was Jo's dramatic donation to her family's effort in 'Little Women' (I like the Katharine Hepburn better but I couldn't find a clip of it, even June Alyson would have been better than this but you get the idea from Wynona Rider): 1994 'Little Women'

Not to leave out the guys ~ I remember laughing myself silly over Ice Skating Olympian Scotty Hamilton's exhibition performance to this song: 'Hair'

The last fifteen years or so, I just pretty much let it go. I wash it, let it dry, if it's not behaving put it in a pony or a braid. I quit coloring it when I turn 40, I figured I deserved to let the whites shine. I also have discovered I have severe trust issues with stylists doing their own thing or their interpretation of what they thought they heard me say.

My hair never got very long until about 18 months ago, I started using a shampoo & conditioner that said it was 'made for fragile or hard-to-grow-long hair'. Finally I got some length. It's still fine, the braids were pretty teeny, but it was waist length or longer. I think last week it was to top of the pocket on my jeans. I loved the way it felt silky on my skin, feather touches on my elbows and forearms . . .

This is me in the chair at the salon. I had the stylist use my camera to photograph it before he cut it off.

This was a really hard thing for me to do. I kept thinking about little kids with problems, like cancer or alopecia (can't verify that's the correct spelling) that don't have any hair, little girls wishing they had the hair the princess movies all make such a big deal about and thinking they are less than . . . Little Superheroes with nothing on their noggins. I had to donate it.

The really cool part of my little story is that my co-worker also donated hers the same day without my knowing it or she knowing I was donating mine. Her final cut is much shorter than mine so perhaps her sacrifice/donation was greater than mine. She has a 7-week-old baby and said it was getting to be in the way all the time. Her hair was that healthy mommy hair, and when I saw her the day after it was all gone.

Mine's about shoulder length now. I miss it so much. It feels stubbly and hard. So, I can't wait for it to grow back.

Because it will, you know.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Checking in? Not much happening

There's really not much going on that I can talk about. I just wanted to update a couple little things.

1. Self Storage: Such a weird time right now. Every crime show has done a storage unit episode and there is reality shows becoming popular about the auction process, so the daily phone calls have increased: people are calling to find out when we are having one. Well, I have worked very hard to make it so I'm NOT auctioning people's stuff. Desperate times, I guess, mean people try to take advantage of other people's desperation. Something like that. We've only had to auction about three units this whole year. In fact, we've been able to accomplish something we'd not been able to do before ~ we ended the month with EVERYBODY paid, no one went 30 days delinquent. So, not only do we know we have no auctions in December but we also have no units in line for auctions in January.

And while I was hoping that made our bosses happy, I got myself in trouble. Every time I need to communicate with my superior, I pause to think 'is this an emergency or shall I not interrupt whatever or wherever she is and send a fax or e-mail?' and if there is no urgency except some feedback would be appreciated, I opt for the e-mail or fax. And wait. And wait. My cobwebs accumulate and the dust becomes embedded in my scalp and still no return message. Days go by and my messages do not get returned.

So, when we knew we had the zero delinquencies, I sent off an e-mail because I was so very excited. Two days later, she called all excited because I'd also achieved 101% of expected gross income for the month. I was in shock, because this wasn't what I was hoping to hear. She found my response greatly lacking and chewed me out for 'bursting her bubble'. I'm still unimpressed. The thing she was excited about was about having something that would impress her boss, about money. That bit of news actually screws us because it was achieved through prepaid clients paying for the next year, and means that it will now be VERY hard to achieve the base income expected of this facility, which, in turn means little to no bonuses for us.

Not only did I piss off my boss, I'll need to find a second job to make ends meet. Yeah, me.

2. Knitting: I have so many projects in queue, and can only go so fast. I have a hat here for my sister, and some scraps for beanies waiting to create and send to her son in Afghanistan, trying to finish off another big project and my Mom brought me some wonderful ANGORA! I was about a third through a sweater when I realized that the pattern wasn't falling straight and I need to rip out. . . Got some sweaters for the dogs done, so now we walk in woolly warmth, in case of rain, but if it's raining we don't get to go. Which means mommy doesn't get the exercise she needs and so

3. Diabetes: Pretty sure my blood sugar is wonky and too chicken to check it. I have confined myself to meat and veggies, but the regular everyday stress is making me want to bite the heads off of little idiots because they came into my view. The frustration with my boss, the depression that comes with dark weather days, the anxiety over money that doesn't stretch far enough in winter. My husband can't hear what I'm saying and I don't seem to be speaking English created some heated discussions. . . All keep me up at night, I look and feel terrible all the time. I wish I could just have chocolate scent in the air to help adjust my attitude and not whack at my blood sugar. I wanna do the happy dance again.

4. The dogs are having a rough time. The rat terrier's nails got so long her pads were sore and every different day she limped on a different foot. That was probably my fault too. We purchased a nail trimmer tool that is a little sander, and seems to work pretty well, but it won't hold enough power anymore to do more than freak her out and the sander parts are not rough enough to get it done quickly when there is power. She's almost ten so this entire mess makes her seem old now. The Jack Russel rescue girl has had her schedule thrown off, mostly due to the inclement weather, she seems confused about what she should be doing when she's outside and has had to make messes inside. She can't indicate when she needs to go out because she's so afraid of everything. On the positive side, she seems to be more accepting of us all the time, she's chosen to sit closer to me on several occasions, has actually crawled up on the bed with me a couple of times.

5. Family: Well. My timing with the previous post (see Skeletons) about stuff I don't seem to cope with very well couldn't have been worse. Unbeknownst to me, my paternal grandmother died the day I posted that. I'm sad that she died, but only just a little. She chose how our relationship was to be, and I hadn't seen her in nearly thirty years. Then there was the funeral gatherings and my brother expected we all go, in attendance with my father. After it was all over (no, I didn't go, but my sister did and my brother who lives on the East Coast made the trip, I've seen pictures of different ones that were there) I sent the link to the post to my brother. I hoped we'd be able to talk about it, to see if there was any more he needed to know and to ask for his protection, EVEN though it is not the same experience for him. But so far, he's not spoken to me or answered my messages.

Part of what may have prevented him from doing so may be that my maternal grandfather suffered a major stroke over the holiday weekend. And of course, I was intolerable and didn't behave concerned enough and a few more family members are avoiding me. (By that I mean, I didn't travel to see him in the hospital, didn't get in on the 'what should be done' conversations except that when people needed to vent I let them, and then pissed them off because I didn't take a side. My only concern was that people not fight because all have health issues that make stress downright dangerous.)

And, of course, I can't tell if my daughter, who I was thinking of when I wrote that has even seen it. I've seen her a couple of times, once because I was being the overprotective Mommy I wished she'd always had and went to where she works and hung out while she closed her store by herself. The week before she worked the last seven hours of her shift by herself, including the close which she'd never done alone. Mommy was sickened to discover that her little place of work is right next door to a mass transit stop and wondered why this employer was willing to jeopardize the safety of her one-and-only . . . and there I go again. Agh!

That's all. Everybody is doing their best to just get by, but nobody seems to be getting anywhere. Even me. Hope you are well, I will try to post something thoughtful and unprovoking someday soon. I anticipate I will have something to write in a couple weeks as our anniversary is coming up. Prepare for that by purchasing your antacids now!

Good night, I wish you peace.