Tag Archives: Love

Open Letter to Sasha, My Dog

Happy 13th birthday, Sasha!   

 

 

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I know you’re disappointed that I took the day off to be with you today because you hate it when I’m all over you.  But I’m a selfish person, and I don’t know if this is the last time I’ll be able to put a party hat on you.   So when the Doodle was sent last week to schedule a meeting, and today was the day when everyone else could make it, I said, fuck it, no.  

Because you’re not ‘just a dog’ to me.  

From the moment I held you, and you nibbled my ear, I was in love.  I had read that puppies that struggle when you hold them will grow up to be stubborn and dominant, and that they are likely to give you grief.   You struggled.  But it was too late.  I got your Ex-Daddy (henceforth: Mindf*cker) to call the landlord to see if he could make an exception on the lease, so that I could bring you home.  That was on Friday, June 11th, 2004.   We waited and waited and waited, and finally, we had to go home.  Because, at that point, we were technically loitering.

The landlord finally got back to him late in the night, and I could hear Mindf*cker say, “listen, Brian… if you don’t let her get this puppy, she’s going to start talking about babies….”  I could have taken that as an insult, but I didn’t care…. as long as that lame joke between men meant that Brian would waive the no-pets clause in the lease.  

It worked.

Saturday morning, I was up bright and early and made the coffee.  I was giving Mindf*cker the evil eye because he was being sloth-like (but not cute), and told him to hustle it.  We arrived early and my heart soared when I saw that you were still there, that nobody had taken you home already.  You were loose and following one of the guys around as he prepared to open up, and it was as if time had slowed down.  But you were there, and I would soon be bringing you home, so all was well with the world at that moment.  

When we got you home, you were a little explorer, into everything.  I remember the sun shining through onto the hardwood floors, and you just lay down and fell asleep.  So I lay down next to you for a cuddle.  And then you got up and moved away.   I was crushed.  That was the first indicator of just how independent you were.  

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First week at home

You were my first little girl; all my other dogs had been boys.   I naively thought that we would somehow be even closer because of it, but you had your own personality and your own ideas.  Mindf*cker cruelly exploited this, knowing how much I loved you, teasing me by saying that you liked him more than me, knowing that would hurt me.  He said that maybe if I tied a porkchop around my neck, you’d come to me.  Jerk.  He was the more ‘fun’ human (mostly because I’m pretty sure he had ADHD), I get that.  

Soon, I learned to respect your space and let you come to me.  And when I would scold you for being naughty, I’d threaten to hug and kiss you if you didn’t stop.  You were so naughty!  Despite telling Mindf*cker not to leave important things lying around on low surfaces, he did.  And then he’d lose his shit because you chewed it.  Like the $150 SD card (when SD cards were the new, revolutionary technology), the arm on his glasses, etc….  What I hadn’t counted on was that you’d chew the corners of walls. :/   Hiding that from the landlord was trickier than when you peed on the floor just as he was walking into the flat to check on something – that fleece toy I bought you really came in handy that day.  

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The Toy That Soaked The Pee

For a couple of months, after you were able to jump on the bed, you would try to wake me up by nudging my head with your wet nose, and, when that didn’t work, you’d sit on my face.  On.  My.  Face.    It was quite a surprise at first, but it soon turned out to be my favourite way of waking up – because you made me laugh.   As you started to get bigger and heavier, it suddenly stopped – maybe you instinctively knew not to smother the face of the hand that feeds you.  

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After you were ‘fixed’ – despite being the responsible thing to do, you would have been an amazing mother

The mischief you got into!

There was the time we were moving into a new flat so that you could have a yard and you bolted up the back stairs into the landlady’s open kitchen, eating the hamburger out of the pan and  the guest soaps in her bathroom.  You stole her tomatoes and ran off with an adolescent pumpkin, small enough for you to run off with, yet heavy enough that it meant you were dragging it as you ran.  You stole an entire quiche off the kitchen counter as it was cooling off… which resulted in having to clean projectile diarrhea at the end of the day.  When we brought you to a lake in Magog to let you experience swimming, you went after the ball, dropped it at our feet, then bolted into someone’s cabin, stealing freshly made cookies off the counter – the wife found it funny, the husband… not so much.  

And how can we forget the time that I thought you had escaped out the yard when the absent-minded landlady left the gate open, and I ran through the entire neighbourhood in tears, shaking a bag of baby carrots, shouting, “Bunny Luv! Sasha, come get your Bunny Luv!”… because that was the brand, and that’s what you usually responded to… only to come back, exhausted and red-eyed, to find that you had been hiding in the landlady’s compost box the entire time, eating fermented crap… which resulted in more projectile diarrhea.  

There was one time when I let you down.  We were invited to Mindf*cker’s father’s farm to see his dog’s new puppies.  We only found out after getting there, that his dad said you couldn’t come into the house because his dog might see you as a threat to her pups and get aggressive.  So Mindf*cker tied you outside.  And then it started to rain.  There was nothing more heartbreaking than seeing you sitting in the rain and having a house full of people say you were fine, that Labs are made for water.  Eventually, Mindf*cker saw that I was really upset and he put you into the barn/garage to appease me.  What I should have done was grab his car keys, and sit in the car with you until it was time to go.   But I knew the grief I’d get for doing that – because he cared more about what his family would think, than about how I felt.  So, I didn’t make a fuss… but the guilt of not having stood by you that day has stayed with me all these years.   

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A rare, precious cuddle

Despite the fact that you’re not exceptionally cuddly with me, you’ve always been there for me when I’m upset.  Always.  While Henry runs away, uncomfortable (men, am I right?), you make a beeline towards me.   You won’t necessarily let me hold you around your shoulders, but you will direct your bum towards me and let me cuddle and/or cry on it.  A lot of tears have been shed on your bum, haven’t they little girl?  

Even when you had your cancerous tumours removed, two years in a row, and you came back all stapled up, like Frankenpuppy, it was you who comforted me because the shock of seeing you like that made me weep.  While Mindf*cker was freaking out about the vet bill, we were busy taking care of each other.  And this time, I stood by you when Mindf*cker tried to bully me into going upstairs to bed, knowing full well that you’d try to follow despite the surgeon saying you shouldn’t climb or try to jump for a while.   So we slept on the floor together – at a comfortable distance for you.  And when he dumped me on the love seat, two days later, two days before Valentine’s Day, 2012, my first thought was:  is he going to try to take the dogs away from me?  That was mixed in with a lot of other toxic emotions that had built up over the nine years we were together, but the thought of losing you and Henry scared me (he never cared about the cat, so I knew I’d be keeping him).    He ended up leaving to stay at a friend’s before he moved his stuff out because things were just really awkward.  Once the agreement to transfer the deed of the house completely to me had been signed, and the cheque I cut to him to get him the fuck out was handed over… I was safe.  I could fight back.  

And then the conversation about you and Henry came up.  He wanted shared custody.  He wanted you on the weekends.  Except for when he wanted to go away or something came up, then I could keep you.  So, you know, he wanted you… when it suited him.  I refused.  He said he’d sue me.  I called my notary and he said that because animals in this province were (at that time) still considered property, by leaving the dwelling, he abandoned his ‘property’, so he had no legal claim.  And, legally,  I could also throw all of his belongings to the curb, since that was now considered abandoned property as well.  When I told him to go ahead and sue me for his ‘abandoned property’, he realized that maybe he hadn’t been dealing with a dumb woman all along, that maybe he just treated me like one.  So you were mine.  All mine.  Still, the day he and his friends came to collect his things (I didn’t toss them, as much as he deserved it),  I boarded you at the veterinarian’s – that’s how scared I was that he would just take you.  Not because he really wanted you, but because he knew that that would be the one thing that would devastate me, one last kick while I was already down.  

And the last five years we have spent, just the four of us, have been amazing.  You’ve been there when I started dating again and making mistakes, you were there for me when mum died and I had to take care of everything myself because my sister is a self-absorbed, lazy coward.  You’ve helped me to keep my shit together and, more importantly, you’ve helped me to FEEL something on those days when I sometimes feel dead inside.  

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Is there anything cuter than a puppy’s belly?

You’ve made me laugh so much over the years, and you’ve recalibrated my priorities and my perspective in life.  Because of you, I’m less selfish.  Because of you, I have more courage. Because of you, my darling little scavenger, I see how much garbage people toss on the ground.   And I’m writing this today because I know there will come a day when I won’t have you in my life- and I want to preserve this now, because I might not be able to later.  I can never adequately express what you mean to me, and, there are so many more stories that I’ll remember later on that I wish I would have mentioned here. 

When I think about not seeing your sweet face and wiggly bum when I come home from work, I feel a hollowness inside that echoes with sorrow.  So I try not to think about it.  Maybe I’ll wake up one morning and find you cold; maybe it will be when I come home from work.  I’m hoping you’ll go on your own terms, peacefully.  But I’m prepared to do the right thing by you if I have to, at home, where you can be in your familiar surroundings.  Where Henry and Harley can also say good-bye.  Where I can wail freely, and loudly.  I’ll stay with you until the end, just as you’ve stayed with me all these years.  You won’t be able to see me because of your failing eyesight, but you’ll sense me.  And I hope that, as you drift away, you’ll somehow know that you were the first greatest joy of my adult life, that you have made my life so much better because you were in it.  

 

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Love you forever, my beautiful girl….

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CTRL + N (Open New Window)

 

Good-bye 2016… don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!   

Despite the fact that I have had many thousands of thoughts I’ve wanted to purge over the last several months, the act of committing them to words seemed laborious and pointless. How does one recount the trauma of dealing with contractors without reaching for the bourbon?  How can one convey the irrational urge to punch people in the throat without sounding like you haven’t been taking your meds?  How does one bitch about pain without making it sound like a suicide note?  You don’t.   

That said, there were some truly profound shifts in perspective I experienced these past several months.

The first and most significant was that something I thought would make me happy, actually makes me quite unhappy – and arguably crazy.    These things are confusing and exhausting, and they are masters of disguise, initially appearing as humble and sincere, but inevitably metamorphosizing into sociopathic cads deserving of further study by PhD candidates in Psychology.  They are commonly known as “Men I Seem to Attract”.  For a while there, I was attracting a few incompatible men (thanks, internet dating circus), and then, after deleting my account and going it old school, I wasn’t attracting any AT ALL. Imagine the sound of paralyzed crickets, that’s how quiet things got.  

Having been single and celibate for more than a year now, I spent the first chunk of that time wondering what was wrong with me, why nobody would chat me up.  I was feeling ugly, fat, old, dorky, unwanted.  Granted, I am all of those things, so that doesn’t help.   But this is where things got interesting: I came to realize that what I mistook for the feeling of being lonely, was, in fact, peace… emotional peace.   That’s when the feeling of misplaced sadness became one of calm and contentment.  I realized that I did NOT like the feeling of being ‘in love’ (or even just being attracted to someone) because my interpretation of being in love has been skewed my entire life.  Anxiety and pining are, like me first thing in the morning,  horrible things.  I don’t like wondering if I’m going to get a call or where things are going.  I hate the excitement of it all.  It’s disruptive and delusional.  It takes control of my senses and makes me a slave to my feelings.  I hate it.  I like this new feeling and, quite frankly, I am afraid of losing this tranquility.  

 

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Handsome Henry

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My Jellicle Cat – seriously the cutest, sweetest cat on the planet

It turns out I’m not lonely at all.  Not only do I have three awesome little animals that fill my life with companionship and inspire me to be a better person and hone in on what’s important, but I don’t like being surrounded by too many people.  Everybody bandies about the term ‘introvert’ these days – like the mason jar, it’s just another thing appropriated by hipsters.  But very few of those people can truly relate to the energy-zapping, soul-crushing experience of over-exposure to ‘people’.  That’s not to say that I’m anti-social or hate people – I just prefer to be by myself.  That’s when I feel most at peace.  Having my dog Henry fall asleep with his head on my chest as he’s looking at me is more fulfilling than most encounters I’ve ever had with people.

 

Could I just be psychologically justifying this so that I don’t feel unworthy of love and attention?  I guess anything is possible; however, I’ve done that before and I was fully aware that I was doing it.  I really wish I was one of those people who was clueless about my motivations, I’d probably sleep better.  But I’m not.  The feeling was completely different when I was lying to myself and others, there was bitterness and resentment.   The feeling I have now is: safe.  I feel emotionally safe and stable.  I yearn no more.  To me, that’s freedom.

The second thing that had a great impact on me this past year was reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the sequel, Spark Joy, and the parody, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck.  Now, some of you might be rolling your eyes at the mere thought of the konmari method and how it’s a bunch of hoopla, but I’m here to tell you that the shift from deciding what to throw away, and what to keep because it makes you feel good, was HUGE for me.  The jerk I wasted 9 years of my life with only kept practical things and would rant and rave about how much stuff I had; sometimes, I would throw things out simply to appease him.  But those impractical things were things that made me happy, so I would be left feeling anxious and sad.  I would panic at not knowing what to get rid of, and then get rid of the wrong things.  If he had had it his way, there would have been no trace of ‘me’ in the house.  But that’s another mentally exhausting story that I would rather not get into.  Suffice it to say that when people roll their eyes at battered women for staying in abusive relationships, I do understand them, the psychology behind the dismantling of The Self.   It’s not easy.  It’ll be five years this February since I was ‘liberated’ from that toxic arrangement, but I still have bizarre dreams about him.  Just last night, I had a dream that he stormed my house with a crowd of his cronies  and wanted me to pay for his new girlfriend’s income tax and that he was getting lawyers and would take my dogs away from me.   The subconscious is one fucked up realm, amigos.  But I digress…

I had started the process last summer, but was then sidetracked by water infiltration in my upstairs windows, the terrible decision to have all windows changed, and a non-stop stream of work and expectations thrust upon me.  Not to mention trying to catch a lost Husky, finding a dying blackbird on my front step, and, then there was the pain and general malaise that medications control, yet do not eradicate.  I was depleted.   But psychologically, I was ready for this purge.  

Being a somewhat sensitive person, I really like the idea of seeing how an object makes you feel and letting go of those that make you feel ‘heavy’ and keeping those that make you feel happy.   I’ve been notorious for keeping things for sentimental reasons – someone gave or made me something, and throwing that thing away was like rejecting that person. I really did feel sad for the lamp when I saw this commercial:

:/

I started with clothes, as is recommended.  I still kept some ‘meh’ items because they fit, and if I got rid of everything, I’d be wearing a dollarama tarp to the office :/  I’m not brave enough to post photos of the before and after, so just imagine a bunch of useless clothing being pared down to a semi-manageable amount of clothing, which I will, no doubt have to redo because I don’t think I was fully committed to the process.  

Next: books.  That was tough.  I’ve always loved books; a passion I inherited from my father.  My first memory of holding a book was watching my parents read, as I sat in the hallway holding one of my father’s books, mimicking him, pretending to read – I didn’t know it at the time, but the book was upside down.   I still have the last book my father was reading before he died, a spy novel by Len Deighton, with a piece of toilet paper as a bookmark.   Relax people, it was clean.  

When I rifled through my books, I had no compunction about getting rid of specific books I purchased because my 9-year-jerk had convinced me that ‘twas not that he was a lying, cheating, sanctimonious piece of shit, but rather that I was insane and needed ‘help’.  At the time, a psychiatrist actually kicked me out of his office because I was wasting his time, so he was pretty much gaslighting me.  I then held my other books, whether read or not, and asked myself how I felt as I held them.  If I didn’t feel comoforted, or excited or any other positive feeling, out it went.  I had asked around if anyone wanted them for book sales, but nobody did.  So, yesterday, FOUR bags of books went to the recycling.  And instead of thinking about it as a waste, I thought about those books as being on a journey to becoming a new book, or copy paper.  Or toilet paper.   I haven’t done the basement, yet, though.   I know you’re supposed to do them all in one shot, in one place… but I just don’t have the energy or sometimes even the strength in my arms to gather all this shit together, so I’ll be doing a modified version of the konmari method.  The main concept is the same: spark joy.  

I haven’t started any of the other categories yet, I’ll save that for the new year.  But I did start purging ‘people’ who no longer sparked joy in my life.   NO MAS!  That’s where the book, The Live Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, came in – I initially got it for a laugh, but it’s quite insightful.  I only have so many fucks in my fuck budget and I’m saving them for people and things that matter.  I don’t want drama or duplicity, and I don’t need people pointing out how negative I can be, or that I swear too fucking much, or that I’m being socially unacceptable… all that flattery will just get to my head, and I think humility is my best quality.  

Also gone: my facebook account – completely, not just ‘deactivated’.  I had thought about it for a while, but it wasn’t until I saw the episode ‘Nosedive’ on Black Mirror that I thought, yeah, that’s what it’s become, what we’ve become.  That was on Hallowe’en, and I haven’t missed it at all.  I keep in touch with a few people either by gmail or by text, and that’s about it.  Despite the decrease in frequency, the exchanges are deliberate and genuine.   I’m good with that.

 

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My beautiful girl… my heart bursts with love when I look at her

The whole purpose of getting myself organized and getting rid of ‘things’ is so that I can have the energy to devote myself to what brings me joy.  I don’t want to waste time organizing or cleaning or whatever; I want to focus on my dogs and cat and being as present as I can be with them, because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be lucky enough to have their loving souls in my life.   I want to free up space in my head to write utter bullshit and start drawing again – do creative things. Essentially, I want to be able to escape… and the only way to do that is to remove the physical things that remind me of life outside my inner sanctum, where unhappiness and bullshit are ubiquitous….  

*** Happy New Year, World Wide Web…***

 

The Good, The Vlad, and The Ugly

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to collect my thoughts and release them on the internet. I suppose I was hoping to make sense of things, to wrap them up and tie them with a pretty, shiny bow. The fact is, sometimes things just don’t make sense and they have no purpose. Sometimes they just are. Sometimes the details are in the devil and he shouldn’t be paid that much attention to. As has often been accused of me, I “think too much….” It’s been this constant thinking that has led me to a sort of mental paralysis. So today, Boxing Day, while others were out trying to get 50% off on that thing they never knew they needed until they saw it, I’ve decided to put the good and the bad and the ugly thoughts I’ve had into a box and put it on the curb with the garbage.

Six months ago, I stupidly ignored my gut instincts about someone. Intellectually and instinctively, I knew that this guy was like that last beer after a night out with the girls – completely unnecessary and likely to be the tipping point whereby you find yourself draped over the cold, sweaty bowl of your toilet, adamantly proclaiming, ‘I’ll never drink again!’ Don’t judge – if you haven’t yet ‘been there’, it’s only a matter of time….

 

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Don’t worry – my ‘Vlad’ looked nothing like this… I’d never date a guy who wears pearls….

I’ll call him Vlad: a) because he’s from Romania and I can’t resist using this cultural stereotype/legend, and b) because our first night ‘together’ really did feel like an impalement of sorts.

 

I met him on one of those unnatural places – okstupid. Freudian analysis aside, there was something about him that reminded me of my father – the shape of the eyebrows and sad eyes.  Turns out those things, and the fact they both grew up under the hammer of communism, were all they had in common.  His profile wasn’t particularly witty, wasn’t boastful; it was sweet and vulnerable and seemed honest. So I took a chance and contacted him.
Things started off a little rocky. His defensive, humourless responses to my attempts at engaging in light dialogue actually compelled me to tell him that he was being a complete jerk and that if he actually wanted to meet women, he’d have to change his attitude. With that, I wished him well and goodbye. If only I had blocked him – but hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?
It wasn’t long before I received a somewhat apologetic message about how he was feeling depressed about his 8-year relationship ending the year before, his language difficulties, being new to Canada, etc…. Having wasted most of my 30s on a toxic relationship, and having known what it feels like to be the stranger in a new town, I wasn’t unsympathetic to his woes. And therein lay his hook – my empathy.
After a couple of weeks of relaying messages on the site, he suggested we chat on facebook. So, I set up a fake facebook account so he wouldn’t know my real name – safety first kids! Despite his claims about his language difficulties, he has a very good grasp of English and English humour. We hit it off and we decided to meet one Friday evening for drinks. He wasn’t exactly as I had expected (they never are!), but then I’m sure they all think the very same thing about me. But he was shy and charming and seemed smart. We continued to message every single day and then I decided that maybe it was time he met the dogs and cat. If it were to go anywhere, I thought, he’d have to like them and vice versa.

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Was I congested?  How did I not notice his cologne before we got naked???

And then we got to know one another in the ‘biblical sense,’ as they say. I’m not sure if it was because the sex was terrible or because of his cologne, but I quite literally felt sick the next day. I had grown to like him, but, after my 9 year relationship decomposed, I promised myself that I would never accept a terrible sex life ever again. No mas! So I told Vlad about the sex… and about the cologne. He vowed to never wear that shit again and that things would be better in bed if I gave him another chance – it had just been so long for him. At first I was adamant that this was not going to happen. But then he came over the following weekend, and…
After some awkward instructions, he redeemed himself.

Things were moving along quite well after that – probably too well. As it always seems to do, the other shoe fell off. First it started with the hidden insults: “you must have been so pretty… when you were younger….” “I bet you had a nice body… when you were thinner” “You have a very pretty face, so it doesn’t matter what your body looks like…” From suggesting that I wear more feminine clothes to how I could easily remove a small mole that I have on my abdomen, nothing seemed to escape his scrutiny. Shit like that. When I’d call him on those things, he would pull the ‘linguistic difficulties’ card and spin it so that it would come off as a compliment.

And then came the lies. Lies, lies, and then more lies. On the one hand, he would talk about running away to Ecuador; on the other, he was still on the dating sites. How did I find this out?  One day, he said, “… you know, if you want to see other people, that’s okay with me….”  That set off a very loud alarm bell.  So I employed a common police tactic that I saw on Investigation Discovery (when I still had cable): entrapment. A sting.  If it’s ethical enough for the cops, it’s good enough for yours truly. When I was a student, I took the Strong Inventory Test – a test to determine what kind of career you should go into. My top two?  Librarian and Police Officer. People underestimate my intuition and my ability to remember the shit they say.   My brain catalogues things, and when something sounds ‘off’, it gathers the clues and puts all the pieces together.

So I created a fake profile, as one does. I knew he liked girls who wear glasses, so I googled, ‘girls with glasses,’ and edited the photo of a pretty enough brunette so that only half of her face was on the site. I christened her, Mia. It was amazing how many guys visited Mia’s profile, considering she only had half a face and next to no personal information. With the worm on my hook, I tossed the line in the water, and wouldn’t you know it? He bit. He used the same lines he used on me and pretended to be single. When he agreed to meet the next week for drinks after work, I let him in on the secret. Especially since he was messaging me on facebook while he was messaging “Mia” on the dating site.  He was confused at first.  In the movies, they often portray these kinds of moments like they are triumphs, tiny victories over the prickdom of menkind. In reality, the sword you swing hits deeper in your own chest than in your traitor’s.

That was the beginning of the end. He came to me that evening, showed remorse, tears fell – and not only mine. What transpired over the next couple of months was more of the same. I tried to go ‘dog mode’, as Querido suggested – turns out I’m simply not cut out for casual affairs. But, apparently, I am cut out for bullshit… because that’s what I seem to let men get away with. When I complained to Querido, he wisely pointed out something like: ‘You act like a sailor but then you complain when the sea is stormy.’  Stop acting like you’re okay with shit and then complaining when things aren’t going the way you really want them to. He’s right. Wise motherfucker, Querido.

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boo hoo hoo

And then, two weeks ago, I took the dogs out for a walk one evening and an inexplicable feeling of calm came over me.  There was no discussion in my head, simply acceptance and forgiveness. No more kicking myself for being stupid (again!), no more wishing things could have been different, no more wondering why I wasn’t good/pretty/young/thin enough. I did what I did and believed what I believed because I wanted what everyone on this planet wants – to be loved.  I’m just a flawed, middle-aged woman who has none of the answers, but tons of questions.  As with every guy I’ve ever cried over, the tears shed weren’t because I missed him – I missed who I wished he could have been, what I could have meant, the fantasy of having been truly loved.

The last time I saw Vlad, we exchanged gifts for Christmas. He had already told me what he got me – Jack London’s White Fang and other stories – so he didn’t bother to wrap it up.  *roll eyes* After he handed it to me, he casually noted that I might get upset when I get to the part where they beat the dogs to break them. This interaction was a clear representation of how this relationship with him was orchestrated all along – a yo-yoing between winning my affections (yay, a book about dogs!) and hurting me (the dogs get beaten). Anyone who knows me, knows my softness for animals in general, and dogs in particular. Deliberately getting me this book, knowing what he did, was either not very well thought out, or deliberately masochistic.

My gift to him? A graphic novel version of Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose (which was, very appropriately, teamed with the tale of The Devoted Friend).  Essentially, it’s about a young man who enjoys the company of a nightingale for the music/distraction she provides. But he falls for a materialistic bitch, and because the nightingale loves him, she sacrifices herself by piercing her heart on one of the white rose bush thorns so that she can give him a hard-to-come-by red rose for the cunt. It’s a beautifully sad tale – Wilde had a profound way of interpreting the pain that echoes in the heart of many a soul, transcending time.  The moral of his tale reaches those who have been at both ends of the sadness.  For who hasn’t taken love for granted, who hasn’t chased beauty over substance?  And who hasn’t been taken for granted, who hasn’t been tossed aside?   The moral is eternal.

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artwork by sakiimi

 

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And so, today, I put these thoughts and memories in a virtual box and send them off for good. Life has too much nonsense and stupidity to ignore.  That’s what I plan on dedicating myself to documenting from now on.  Absolute nonsense.  As for Vlad, and the likes of him, he can’t rent space in my head anymore.*   In the chipper words of Skeeter Davis, “… got along without you, before I met ya, gonna get along without ya now…”

A Corona, a Conversation, and a Crutch Called Querido…

BeerAs I sat knocking back a gorgeous Corona with my equally gorgeous friend ‘CeCe’ the other day, the conversation inevitably turned to men.  Girls + Beer = convos about boys.  CeCe is an absolutely stunning, extremely smart, and confident 28 year old woman who’s happily attached to a wonderful man who makes her happy.  With the exception of one rotten apple, her ex-boyfriends were mostly great guys.  Mine, on the other hand, suffered from something called ‘rapid rot’ – that’s when things start off fresh and hopeful, but quickly decompose into a putrid stench.

As I shared some of my boy stories, I could feel my posture begin to slump back a little more with each tale until, eventually, I may as well have been hugging my knees.  I think I disappointed her with how pathetic I am with men.  You know that feeling you sometimes have when you learn something about someone and you think, “huh…I thought you were better than that…”?  Yeah.  That.

photo from etsy.com: RelicsAndRhinestonesNeedless to say, the conversation veered to Querido, who I’ll discuss in more entertaining detail in my upcoming series of pathetic posts called, “Dating Disasters & Disappointments”.  As I briefly mentioned in my post on drinking, he’s the one I’d sangria-text and shamelessly proposition for some sort of sexual arrangement.  *sigh*  Anyway, it was during this convo with CeCe that I realized that Querido is my emotional crutch. He’s safe because I never see him, and he can never hurt me  – because there is nothing there.  If anyone is hurting me, it’s me.  In keeping… nay, treasuring… this unhealthy attachment to Querido, I am protecting myself from the very concrete probability of being damaged, yet again, by someone who is real, tangible.  The truth is, while this attachment is authentic in my mind, it is just that – in my mind.

One of the most beautiful quotes I’ve ever read was penned by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.  I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.  I love you for that part of me you bring out.”

I don’t know who he is, nor do I know what he has made of himself.  But he brought out such an incredible burst of creative energy in me, so yes, I suppose I do feel something akin to love for him – for that part of me that he brought out.   A deep affection, if you will, for helping me see a part of myself that was hidden under heavy layers of garbage.  And I like this part of myself.

He’s  been very sweet and patient with me.  He understood that he was my ‘safe’ guy.  I’ve shared some bizarre thoughts and somewhat inappropriate things with him – and he never judged.   He could easily have told me to fuck off, but didn’t.  He let me bleed when others tried to stitch me up, to “fix” me.  Yes… the woman who wins Querido’s heart will be very lucky, I think.

Living life safely guarantees that you’ll never be hurt by another- but it also guarantees that you’ll never be loved by another, either.  It’s scary to put yourself out there because you open yourself up to being judged, to being rejected, to being incredibly hurt.  But there’s also a slight excitement stirring in me as I type – maybe it’s just because it’s springtime, or  the extra coffee I had today, or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I’m feeling just a wee bit more hopeful that there’s someone out there who’ll give me not what I want, but what I need.  That, somewhere, there is someone maybe just as fucked up, maybe just as intense, maybe just as worthy as I am.

So, ladies and gentleman,  it’s time to throw myself back into the piranha tank of dating and see if I get a nibble or two.  Let the games (aka: disastrous and disappointing dates) begin!

Song that fits my current mood:

I don’t get the warning about the nudity for this video – what’s the big deal?  Two women rolling around, naked on a beach, and then having a knife fight… isn’t that what happens on black and white beaches?  (But, seriously, don’t watch this video if you have epilepsy – the flashing can trigger a seizure.)

ThE ONe You LOvE is CLosEr THAn yOu tHInk…

I recently came across a fortune that I liberated from a cookie last summer. Not sure why I kept it other than to play the included numbers in that week’s lottery – because you never know. Here’s what it said:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I didn’t realize the relevance of it until much later that night, when my boy, Henry, came up for a cuddle as he always does – on me:
HenryHenry: being camera-shy

Many people despise Valentine’s and resent all the canoodling that goes on. Others are depressed because they’re single. But those people have probably never been dragged out to dinner when they were extremely ill, in the dead of winter, just so this individual could tell his friends and colleagues how great he treats his gal. And then have to, during said dinner, make banal chitchat and compliment him on his divine choice of restaurants (where you can’t really find anything that you like on the menu, mostly because you just want to barf), and compliment him on the great effort it took to pick up a phone and make a reservation… while, the entire time, you’re thinking: “the only thing that could make me kiss this motherfucker right now is if I were the carrier of  a highly contagious, extremely uncomfortable and untreatable virus that was transmissible by saliva….” For people who’ve never sat across someone who has become a stranger, Valentine’s is one hot, sexy romp with some chocolates thrown in – for the extra energy, *wink wink*. For others, it’s a day of showing remarkable restraint… because when it gets to that point, the scab has already bonded to the bandage, and tearing it off is done with great hesitation for fear of tearing off the scab and exposing the infected pus that oozes out of the raw wound that was your relationship.

pepePepe Le Pew and Penelope Pussycat: obviously, before they moved in together…

There’s so much expectation put on couples, and that’s magnified on the 14th of February every year. It has to be dramatically romantic, it has to be lavish, it has to be… it has to be… and if it’s not, you obviously don’t care enough. Unless you’re in the early throes of passion (maybe the first two years, before you move in together and ruin a perfectly good thing), having expectations like these are a recipe for failure. The truth is, going all out with the ‘love’ one day a year doesn’t make up for being a prick or a bitch the other 364 days of the year – or 363 days, if it’s a leap year.

I propose we start a Reverse Valentine’s Day, where we do everything possible to show our loved one that we don’t give an absolute shit about them – just one day of the year that will make the rest of the dumb shit you normally do seem not so bad by comparison.  We could call it Frankenstine’s Day (deliberately misspelled) – not because we’d be assembling random body parts, but because we’d be turning ourselves into little monsters for the day. Some of the following ideas are unisex offenses; others are directly targeted for persons of a particular sex.

  • Offer to make him/her a coffee in the morning, and serve it cold.
  • Take your shower first – and use up all the hot water.
  • Offer to make him/her an egg salad sandwich for lunch… and don’t cook the eggs.
  • Guilt him into watching back-to-back romantic comedies with you – not because you like them, but because you know he hates them.
  • Make him sleep on the wet spot – this is something women often end up doing most of the year, so girls,  make sure your honey gets this treat on Valentine’s.
  • If you have a good mattress protector, pee on his/her side of the bed – preferably when s/he gets up during the night to go to the loo… this will make him/her think s/he wet the bed when s/he crawls back in… it’s all about the psychological damage today, so it’s okay.
  • For girls only, for obvious reasons: If you can arrange it with Mother Nature, try to get your period that day – nothing says ‘I love you’ like having a crime scene in your panties on the ‘most romantic day’ of the year.
  • If you’re a guy, you could maybe offer to do the laundry for your sweetheart… and throw in your red Star Trek shirt with her whites, or maybe throw her favourite wool sweater in the hot cycle and then the dryer.   (I feel this would disturb women more because we tend to have favourite pieces of clothing and are, more often than not,  relatively careful about laundry… guys seem to go with the flow with laundry and wear their pink socks and shrunken sweaters like a badge of honour.)

That said, I must confess that I do find it sweet when I see people showing affection for one another – not the tongue down her cleavage/hand up his ass kind of PDA, but the kind that emanates from someone’s eyes. The look that says, you’re special to me – the look that others intuitively understand just by catching a glimpse of it. It’s nice to see those elderly couples who still hold hands and enjoy each other’s company – they like each other. It reassures me that people still believe in love and that all is not lost.

By contrast, it’s also comforting, as a single gal, to see couples who hate each other and visibly demonstrate it with the contempt in which they glare at each other… that sentiment that Little Britain so eloquently expressed in their married couple skit, where the husband says to the wife: “I really am now just waiting for you to die… ”

Witnessing such destructively toxic couples reminds oneself that there is great beauty and peace to be found by going it alone -that it truly is better to be alone for the right reasons, than together for the wrong.  It can be lonely sometimes, but it’s lonelier to be with someone and feel empty…

And so, this Saturday, while couples everywhere will either be in the throes of passion or plotting the ‘disappearance’ of their beloved, I will be celebrating with the ones I love:

Sashahenryharley

My turkeys, from left: Sasha, Henry, Harley

I’ll serenade them with REO Speedwagon’s ’80s hit love ballad, Keep on Lovin’ You…

… and make eye contact while belting out the lyrics: ‘And I meant, every word I said/When I said that I love you/ I meant that I’d love you forever…’

At some point, I will probably dance with them while doing chores (Sasha likes to cha-cha; Henry likes to slow-dance), watch a couple of episodes of Pepe le Pew (the original stalker) and then probably watch Eagle vs. Shark .  That has become  somewhat of a tradition for me on Valentine’s: watching the former for the witty play with words and determination to find love; the latter for the sheer awkwardness/discomfort that sometimes comes with being in love.

At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter what does or doesn’t happen – what matters is that I’ll be spending time with the ones I love… wearing sweats and noshing on ‘reduced price’ chocolates, because that’s how I roll….