Indiscriminate Drivel

Emancipation Proclamation

LincolnI’m getting divorced.

That’s kind of hard to say out loud. We’ve told family and friends and now I’m trying to get comfortable forming the words to others. Trying to settle into this reality. So, yeah. Divorce.

I’ve spent countless hours with it, twisting and turning all the whats and whys in my mind. I haven’t slept very well for many weeks and often prowl the house cleaning things in the wee hours of the night. My house has never been so clean.

I have the mind of an analyst in that I need to poke and prod something until I understand it, so I’ve been poking and prodding my life quite a lot lately. You see, this is my 2nd divorce.  I feel like I should have to walk the earth with one of those big pointy hats. DUNCE! FAILURE! What the hell is wrong with you, lady?

That first one I found a way to forgive myself for. After all, I married him at the wise age of 18 while I held our baby in my arms. And while 18 year olds think they know everything, they rarely do. Marrying was a poor choice then. He and I were not on the same page. Hell, we weren’t even on the same planet most of the time.  So, on that one, I’m calling a mulligan.

This one has been very different. Eyes wide open and all that. I wasn’t an innocent lamb when I married him. And we have been married for over 22 years. So clearly a lot of poking and prodding has been necessary to try to understand this.  You may get a pass in blaming one divorce on the other party, but don’t try to pull that shit with two divorces. Time to look inside and figure out your own culpability, missy.

Don’t worry – I’m not brave enough to tell you all the things I did wrong, all the ways I fell short. My ego isn’t strong enough for that and, besides, you have things to do – you can’t sit around for days reading about my many shortcomings. (Right? Because if you can, tell me if you want them alphabetical or grouped by category. I’ll get right on it.)

As I travel through this 2nd divorce, I have thought long and hard about a few things and have made some decisions for myself. This, then, is my emancipation proclamation. It’s not about being emancipated from the marriage; it’s about emancipating myself from the some aspects of me that were (are) not working.

I’m going to be more selfish and less apologetic about it.

I have spent my life mired in the grey areas. I see both sides, always. And so I waffle. (Yum, waffles. BRB.)  That grey-area thing makes me very empathetic to others. This is often seen as a very good quality but it can also muck things up. It can make a person wishy-washy. It can cause a person to do what others want instead of what is best. So that’s gotta change.

I’m going to do what is best instead of what others want.

I am going to trust my gut more when it screams “No!” and second-guess myself less.

And when my gut screams “Yes!”, well, I might get a second opinion just be be careful.

I am going to work harder to see things more black and white. Not completely black and white, I will always leave a margin of error, but I can’t stay stuck in the middle. I have to pick a side.

I will no longer, from a position of pity for others,  make decisions that negatively impact me or my family. I will stand firm with  the choice that is best for us.

If I have made a decision that I later realize has a negative impact on me or my family, I will be brave enough to rectify it in spite of the fallout that may come from doing so, even if it causes pain to those I love. We will get through it.

I will stand firm in my own beliefs and, because of that, I will be more consistent and dependable to those who need consistency and dependability from me. They may not always like my positions or my decisions, in fact I can guarantee they will not, but they won’t be surprised when I stand firm inside them.

Lastly, if I’m hungry in the middle of the night, I’ll get something to eat.

OK, that last one has nothing to do with the emancipation proclamation, but I thought I’d sneak it in because sometimes I get hungry in the middle of the night. All this 3AM cleaning works up an appetite. I want waffles.

Anyway, this proclamation probably doesn’t impact you in any way unless you were going to ask me to borrow money or to foster your pet monkey for the summer or something.  And if you were? NO!

(How’d I do??)

 

 

By |December 4th, 2015|Indiscriminate Drivel|Comments Off on Emancipation Proclamation

Linda Gets Religion

poltergeist-1982I’m a pretty practical person, not prone to whimsy. I don’t really understand, much less believe in, things I cannot lay hands on. I wouldn’t consider myself terribly emotional, I’m not spiritual. I’m sort of a meat-and-potatoes person from the standpoint of the soul.

I’m not a believer in matters of religion. (All my Catholic school friends reading this are thinking “Awww, I’ll miss Linda when she’s burning in Hell with Satan and I’m up there eating chocolate truffles with Jesus. She was really nice. Too bad she didn’t bet on the right team.”)

Historically, I have not held any belief in the supernatural at all.

Seriously – I would take my sleeping bag and sleep right on top of an Indian Burial Ground cuddling with Craig T. Nelson using a black cat as my pillow just to prove to you I’m not a believer in any of this stuff.

Well, until now.

The older I get, the more strange phenomena I become aware of, and given that there is no earthly explanation for it, then by process of elimination, I have decided to embrace the supernatural as the only possible answer.

Let me explain.

When in the car driving to work in the morning or home from work in the evening, my brain is in tip-top rocket-science sharp-acuity mode. I am organized and on the ball. I remember about the field trip form that my daughter, Jadyn, needs sent in, about setting up a meeting with Mary Pederson before my New York trip, about putting the basketball registration dates on the calendar, to call about CYC cards and the orthodontist. I remember that there are some really old dill potatoes in the back of the fridge that need to get pitched, that I promised Becky I’d come by and pick up some Girl Scout paperwork, and that I need to call Abby’s mom to see if she can spend the night because I promised my daughter, Raena.

I remember that I should print that Eckard’s coupon for apple-picking this weekend, that I need to order the Dove Creamy Body Wash from Amazon because all Dove products are 15% off, that I need to remind my husband to return the ladder he borrowed to Terry. I remind myself to charge my camera battery, to put soccer uniforms in the washer, to fill out the Scholastic book order form, to call my older daughter, Amber, and tell her her credit card came in the mail, and to make dentist appointments for everyone.

I make a mental To Do list for house stuff. Have the kids take all the shoes from the front hall up to their closets, water the only live plant in the whole house before it dies again, take the stuff in the upstairs hallway and put it in the donate pile, put a new battery in the clock on the patio, make Raena clean up her My Little Pony mess from the front porch, clean the loose change out of the cup-holder in the Camry.

While in the car, I remember a million things that need to be done once I’m no longer in the car.

I even think to myself “Hey, maybe I’d be better at my job if I just drove around all day remembering all the stuff I need to do!” I’m brilliant – I come up with these great ideas. Remind me to tell you about the No-Muck-Duck sometime. But then I realize if I’m in the car all day thinking about the stuff I need to do, there would be absolutely nobody to do the stuff I need to do. That’s a pretty big glitch in the plan.

And here is where it gets spooky. I mean, if you’re home alone now, turn on the lights and lock the doors. I don’t want you to get too scared, but this is the part where I prove there are supernatural goings-on, phenomena that we cannot see or hear but are there and messing with us.

Ready? Do you have your Snuggie on? Have you closed the shades?

I think there is an invisible paranormal force field around my house and my office because, see, I do all this brilliant, clear-headed, organized thinking in the car and then I pull into my driveway at home, ready to conquer the world, ready to do all that needs doing, ready to be efficient and organized and caught up. I walk in the front door and suddenly I can’t even remember my own name. I stand there all slack-jawed with drool leaking out the left side of my mouth and I forget what I was supposed to do.

“Uh.” I say. Because it’s really about all I can say, “Uh.”

My husband, bless his heart, leads me over to my corner of the sofa where the laptop sits and since my brain cells are all dead or, just stunned maybe, I can only manage to do what all the other idiots like me are doing right now – surf the ‘net.

(Hi, Idiots!!)

By the time I remember all those other things I have to do, both my legs and my right butt check are sound asleep and I cannot move from the sofa. Only my nimble fingers can still function. So here I am, sharing my tale of woe with you.

These supernatural beings are messing with my sanity. I don’t know what they want. Should I burn incense? Pray? I was thinking of sacrificing a virgin, but then who would wash the dishes and feed the dog?

How can I be so brilliant and organized and efficient in the car and then have it all just disappear the moment I step out? The only possible explanation is a supernatural one.

I’m at a loss for how to end this note. Seriously. I had it all figured out in the car – it was brilliant and funny and brimming with satisfying closure. But then I walked through the force field and now all I can do is drool.

Thankfully, it’s nearly bed time.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I hope and pray my mind I’ll keep
If I forget all when I wake
I guess I’ll be the same ol’ flake

God bless Liesel and Frederic and Louisa and Brigetta and Marta and Gretel, and oh – what’s his name. Oh, well, God bless what’s-his-name.

Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Originally published on Facebook in 2009

By |September 17th, 2015|Indiscriminate Drivel|Comments Off on Linda Gets Religion

I Love You

I Love YouWell, not you – I hardly know you!  Unless… Mom? Is that you? If that’s you, then, yes, I love you.

I’m not sure who all is out there reading this, so it’s hard to say whether I love you or not. I might. You never know. If you’re not sure, buy me gifts because that could totally seal the deal. I love gifts.

But this blog post isn’t about who I love and who I don’t love. Not specifically. It’s about those three little words in general.

Thanks to Hallmark or prime-time TV or the liberal media or something, we now believe we have to say those words all the time because our loved ones could drop dead without any notice whatsoever and what if the last thing we said to them was “You put the toilet paper on the roller wrong.”  How tragic would that be?

We seem to have over-corrected, though, because now it’s become so common as to be mundane.  It’s tossed out as an addendum to things like goodbye and goodnight. It’s expected at the end of a phone call or when someone leaves the house or the room.

Pass the salt. I love you.

I wonder if we’ve done a disservice to those words, if they have lost their emotional oomph from over-use.

Listen, I’m not opposed to saying I love you. I’m not. I know you’re picturing me as some ice-queen of a woman who has her emotions all locked up inside. While that may be true, that’s not what this is about.

I love you should never be an expectation. A rote declaration. A habit.  I love you should be most often be said without any words at all. Said through your actions, how you show up for the person. And occasionally, when it wells up inside you and cannot be suppressed, through words.

That’s my belief.

My brother told me he loved me once.  It was many years ago. He hasn’t told me since, but I know he does. The night he told me, we were dancing at his wedding reception. We had just done a rousting family performance of Don McLean’s American Pie and hearts were full of joy and he and I danced and he told me. I treasure that memory because I know that, in the moment, he told me because he felt he had to.  Sure, 50% because he was super drunk but the other 50% was because it was an insuppressable declaration of what he felt in the moment.

I wonder if he were to say it at every goodbye, at every event, out of habit, if that time would stand out as special like it does.

Here’s the deal, people – if I show up for you, if I come when you call, if I make you meals, if I forgive the harsh words you didn’t mean and even the ones you did, if I put a lot of thought into the gifts I give you, if I say yes when you ask for a favor even before I know what it is, if I give you my time – then I love you. Those are the ways I tell you. Every day, those are the ways I tell you. And I know those are the ways you tell me, too, and it’s all good.  We’re good.

If, occasionally, you’re drunk (or not) and it bubbles up, well, hell – tell me. I’ll do the same and when I do, you’ll know that I said the words because I felt them, not because you expected them or I habitually spit them out on a predetermined schedule.

And if you drop dead tomorrow and the last thing I said to you was “Get your shit off my kitchen counter.”, then yeah, I’ll probably hate myself a little bit that I didn’t end every conversation with I love you, but I expect that someone who loves me will sit me down and remind me all the ways I showed you I loved you even if I didn’t say it enough, and that matters. It matters.

Now, get off my damn lawn. Oh, and here… I made you a bologna sandwich.

By |August 21st, 2015|Indiscriminate Drivel|Comments Off on I Love You