vendredi, novembre 04, 2011

A woman who needs kissing

"You need a lot of kissing."

That's what you said to me. And other things that will remain between us.

Boy, are you right.

Just in case you are wondering, I don't kiss and tell. Even if we could right now, I wouldn't. Odd as it may seem, given what I do disclose, I'm careful to protect the identities and hopefully the self-esteem of friends and family.

But I just wanted you to know how much it meant to me that you recognized that.

Because my first responsibility is to my family, and my children as they grow, I can't afford to be impulsive. My close relationship with my kids has a natural cost -- a lack of time for adult companionship.

Perhaps I've been too wary -- although, sadly, I look around and have little reason to question my choices.

As the parent of kids from a split family, I want them, paradoxically, to believe in love that lasts.

Even if mine didn't -- or if it morphed into something closer to friendship and respect.

The past few months, in spite of a fair amount of male attention (which can so easily disappear) I've felt as though I didn't have time to be feminine. Loss can do that, too -- cause women to feel as though they can no longer evoke desire. Sometimes it's hard to find the truth amidst the remorse.

And so it's liberating, in a way, to admit, as I did yesterday, that yes, I do need lots of kissing, holding, and (private) sweet talk.

As perhaps we all do, if we are willing to admit it.

It's wonderful to be seen, and appreciated. Really seen.

I hope that someone does that for you too, readers.

Now where the heck is my mascara?

jeudi, novembre 03, 2011

Kindness: could it really be attractive?

Worn out with care-giving -- between my ex-husband and my children, and concerns over animals essential abandoned during the last month, the dilemmas never seem to end.

Night after night I tumble into bed, some problem stewing in my brain.

And a few things came together this week, and not in a good way, to raise some big questions in my mind.

Does it pay to be patient, and caring and a good listener? Sometimes it seems as if the people who find material and even "spiritual" happiness in love and in work are those who focus on the path before them, and not the needs around them.

Maybe blinders, or rose-colored glasses, aren't such a bad thing to own.

Sometimes "good" seems wimpy, inept, and weak.

Good, as my son might say, is for losers.

Recently, however, someone (you know who you are) planted a notion in my head.

Could kindness actually make you more attractive to someone?

Could a mature attitude towards love and relationships make you more appealing?

Could it actually be sexy?

Honestly, I usually think of my character traits (and trust me, there are many arenas in which I'm not mature) as a defect.

It hasn't helped me "win" at love so far. I'm not clever enough -- or possibly I'm far too analytical to plunge forward on the strength of overwhelming emotion.

Those who say that virtue is its own reward, I often think, must have been smoking something.

But for what is perhaps the first time, I'm wondering if perhaps some guy will come into my life and appreciate my stability -- may even, after much heartbreak, find it intoxicating.

Maybe I'm the one who is smoking something. But what's the alternative? Not like I can dig the miniskirts and weed out of the closet.

If nothing else, my friend this week helped me see something I think of as a deficit as a potential plus.

And for that, I thank him.

mardi, novembre 01, 2011

Meow! Hiss! Why catty is so high school

If he ever heard me say something mean, a friend once said, he'd fall over.

Maybe he's toppling right now -- but possibly for entirely the wrong reason.

Generally, I try to avoid snarkiness - except about politicians.

Members of Congress.

Doctrinaire conservatives -- actually, I'm really not nuts about doctrinaire anything, except maybe within the pages of a theology text.

I can get downright cutting when it comes to people like Jon Corzine. Whaling away at liberal hypocrisy is also a sport. I turning into Oscar?

Jon Corzine...what's he doing in post about women and cattiness?

Back to your cage.

For the past few days, I've been pondering the whole subject of female jealousy.

Fear and hurt can evoke female insecurity -- and thus, cutting comments about other women.

I don't think it's healthy.

But does it flatter a guy who is its supposed object -- or subject?

On this subject, my daughter is probably my most reliable source of observation. And from what little I can figure, possessiveness and cutting down other women doesn't seem to make boys, or guys, feel particularly valued, or special.

Or perhaps the drive for security, or to take down others to make yourself feel better may begin that way, and then start to get, well, messy.

Honestly, I don't know. All I can see is that it amps up the drama factor.

I'm capable of it -- but I can't recall having been in too many situations where I felt tempted. Oh yes, I've blurted out secrets (thankfully,these times are rare). And I've been critical, straight up directly critical, when I've felt someone is a DSM diagnosis waiting to wreak havoc.

But generally, I'll go out of my way to avoid saying nasty things about people who may matter to those who matter to me.

I believe that in some way mean actions, and words, come back to hurt you. They pop up in your path, and memory, when you least expect to see them, and cause more destruction.

Having thought about it over the past few days, I'm coming to the conclusion that it's all about the company you keep.

Compassionate, responsible, mature people with high standards for personal interactions challenge me to be my best self -- and to want to bring out the best in others.

Let's leave it at that.

Because, yanno, as much as I'd like the skin sans laugh lines and hair without a trace of grey, I don't want to play those teenage games. I'm not good at them -- and I never want to get an "A" in meow.


Trust: if you don't have it, can you ever get it?

Or can you get it back?

I've been thinking about this issue on and off.

It isn't a constant preoccupation - more like the finger you broke playing volleyball in college that nags at you when the weather is cold and damp.

Just like it's been the past few days.

I am not a person who trusts easily -- it takes a while for me to share my secrets with others, let down my guard, admit others to the nightmares and dreams that are in the background.

I''ll share a lot with you upfront -- but it's what I'm holding back that is perhaps more precious.

On the other hand, I am going to trust you -- to the extent that I believe you are genuine, sincere, well-meaning.

I'm not a jealous person -- living in dread has got to be such a drag. As many times as I've been burned, there are so many other times when my confidence in friends and family has been rewarded.

I try stay open -- feeling that the more confidence you have in someone (someone sane and healthy), the more she or he will live up to your expectations.

Perhaps it's my philosophy of life.

I see us, so often, as driven by interior forces we don't understand, the demons and angels of our nature.

Sometimes what seems to be an opposite reaction will, in fact, be the same old same old pattern of relationship.

It's easier, much easier to forgive the clueless than the malevolent.

But that doesn't mean that it's easier to trust them once that trust has been violated.

One can like someone, wish them well, even be their friend, without trusting them completely. I suppose that there are degrees of candor and of vulnerability.

I look around me, when I have leisure to contemplate, and ponder what will happen to friends and family in relationships where there has been a rift.

Can it be mended?

And what about in my life?

I don't know. But I remain, behind the wide gaze and the warm spirit, in general, exceedingly cautious.

lundi, octobre 31, 2011

Saturday's Phoenixville Phrolic

eFor most of us who were looking forward to a lovely fall weekend and got more than six inches of snow instead, Saturday's weather was a big hassle.

More than a hassle. The weight of the snow brought down not only power lines but branches of beautiful old trees, and some more recently planted, that were not able to withstand the wet flurries.

I feel for all who had to deal with power outages and the loss of their lovely old trees. And then there was a fire in Phoenixville on Sunday -- frightening for neighbors who live near that area.

So it wasn't a great weekend for a lot of us.

But for me, Saturday was the first chance I'd had in more than a month to carve out a day uniquely for myself.

Mr. C was in Harrisburg with a teacher at an anti-torture conference (they came back by bus when the trains were canceled in the late afternoon). At the last minute, the DQ got asked to attend a retreat up north.

Their dad had a lovely visit with his daughter.

And moi?

I began with a massage -- I'm trying to be more intentional about shedding stress.

Then it was off to Phoenixville and a meet-up with a friend at Steel City Coffeehouse.

I'd never been to the coffeehouse before -- I loved the slightly industrial, slightly dark, hipster vibe.

After chatting for an hour or so, we wandered the streets in slush up to our ankles. A stop at Bridge Street Chocolates and a nice chat with the owner kept us warm enough to contemplate a brisk walk through the backstreets of the town.

On our way back to Bridge Street, we stopped at the Black Walnut Winery store -- where the self-described "grouch" manager told us about the live music and BYOF dinners they have on Saturday nights.

As I said to my pal, I don't get to do things like that very often. And I'm really ready to nail some adult time.

After we parted, I stopped at the Stove Shop and talked pellet stoves with a true believer who sold me on getting one once the house is ready for it.

Then it was down to Wegmans -- and back to the kid's dad's house to drop off groceries and talk to my step-daughter..

There is more, gentle reader, but no need to share it.

Sometimes life surprises you. Lack of control isn't always a bad thing.

Perhaps that's a lesson I need to keep on learning. At any rate, I don't seem to have a choice.