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

Marriage of Convenience

poison-coffee-1393811431I used to say my marriage was held together by my husband’s great sense of direction and common debt.

Really, I used to say that. Maybe I’ll keep saying it, who knows. You never can tell with me.

Upon reflection, there are probably many things that hold it together. For example, everyone talks about how love will keep us together, but then Captain left Tennille or maybe Tennille left Captain and if those two stalwart denizens of love didn’t have all the answers, what hope do the rest of us have?

I’ve watched a few of my friends reenter the dating world after divorce and witnessing this has given me some insight on what really holds my marriage together – pure, unbridled fear.

It’s true that I have a divorce behind me, but I was 26 when that happened and my body was still under factory warranty. I was a certified preowned human. But now I’m 50 and the transmission could blow at any time.  I don’t go past 2nd gear and rarely can hit the highway speed limit anymore. And one of my headlights is pointing straight down.

The truth is, I can’t even reach some of the places a single person would need to shave before going on a date.

So while love may keep us together, it’s more than that. It’s more than common debt. And now that we all have GPS on our smart-phones, it’s definitely more than just his good sense of direction.

Getting back into the game is terrifying to me. And it’s more than just the thought of shaving the back of my thighs, it’s breaking in a whole other person about all my many many foibles and flaws. About where that itchy spot on my back is. About how anxious driving in the rain at night makes me. About how I have to eat my Kraft macaroni and cheese right out of the pot while it’s still very hot because if it gets cold, gross, just throw it in the trash. About how the sound of someone chewing can make me homicidal and IT’S CALLED MISOPHONIA, LOOK IT UP, IT’S A REAL THING, I CAN’T HELP IT – IT’S SCIENCE!

And we won’t even talk about my body. Holy hell, the thought of putting my 50 year old body back into play is enough to leave me rocking in the corner catatonically, if only my body could still squat down and assume the required fetal position which it can’t so I’ll be rocking figuratively in my Barcalounger.

The truth is I’m not confident enough to handle a hip cramp during a first-time sexual encounter so I guess I’ll just be married forever, over here cushioned in the safety of my unshaven thighs and my screaming hip-cramps and my unapologetic misophonia.

None of that sounds very romantic, so we’ll just call it love, OK?

Love. Love will keep us together. Just ask Captain and Tennille – they know.

ps: I don’t even have a Barcalounger. I’m 50, I’m not dead.

By |July 10th, 2015|Indiscriminate Drivel, Married Life|Comments Off on Marriage of Convenience

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

cocoa puffsToday is it. The first day of the rest of your life. WELL? Are you going to do something with it, you lazy bum? No pressure.

Still, keep in mind that tomorrow is also the first day of the rest of your life. So is the day after that, and the next one and the next one. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself today is what I’m saying. Plenty of time… plenty of time.

I quit my job. You might have read about that. My last day was Friday, just a couple of short days ago. This is my first Monday without a job so, of course, my brain was up at 5AM.

Brain: Hey, Linda? Linda! Wake up.

Me: It’s 5AM, Brain. Go to sleep.

Brain: But no. Hi. Wake up. Guess what? YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB.

Me: Yeah, I know. Kinda the point of quitting.

Brain: You said you weren’t going to squander this time off. You were going to write, you were going to exercise, you were going to clean your closets. Why are you sleeping? GET UP!

Me: Plenty of time for that. Maybe 7AM would be good – pencil it in.

Brain: But 7AM is 2 hours from now. I can’t wait that long. I neeeeeeeeeeeed you, Linda. Get up!!

Me: I swear to God, Brain, if you don’t go back to sleep, I’m going to take the blue pill!

Brain: No, not the blue pill! Whatever you do, don’t take the blue pill! I’ll behave, I swear. I’ll just be over here mentally alphabetizing your spice rack. You go right back to sleep. I’ll be quiet as a church mouse. I won’t make a peep. I solemnly swear to stop having anxiety attacks over your chickens before they hatch. I shall serve no wine before its time. OH MY GOD THE WEIRD SWIRLING THOUGHTS WON’T STOP!

It might sound like I regret quitting my job, but that’s not true. I mean, look at all of you having to wake up right now and shower and get ready for work while I’m sitting here with no pants on writing on my blog. No regrets. I may forgo pants all summer. It will become known as The Summer of No Pants, and after a 72-hour involuntary psyche-ward hold in September, I might be ready to join society again as a productive member.

Part of quitting my job was to write more, so here I am.  I meant I would work on my book (I intend to finish my book, but shhhhh – I don’t want you guys to hold me to such a lofty expectation so let’s stick with ‘work on my book’) but I want to write here on my blog too, because writing is a muscle and you have to work it or some stupid thing like that. Hey, TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

I’m going to get me some Cocoa Puffs and then jump right into it.

So far, the first day of the rest of my life has been pretty OK.  It’s early though so check back with me at 8AM to see how it’s going.