I’m feeling it again

I answered a personal ad and met you at a bar and oh boy I had met other men before through personal ads but when I looked at you and you smiled and said something funny and I was on the barstool next to you I had to sit on my hands to keep from touching you I didn’t want you to think I was loose I wanted to wait until I knew you better and wanted you to know what I was really like so I held on and I didn’t want to but I did because I thought you were so special here I go again stirring up the pot of chemistry lust love sex desire and hoping I can get it all into the same package so far I have not been able to but I will try and after a few times you came to my house and we did it in the big red chair what is it about you you got to me right away I was lucky to make it out of the bar the first night honey and I still talk to you all the time and I love you in some crazy silly way but our timing is horrendous just horrendous and maybe some day we will get the chance to take a chance I feel really good about you.

I met you through a personal ad too and I wasn’t sure about you at first but I liked you even though I didn’t have an immediate physical reaction but you were so smart and such a good writer I was hot for your thoughts really remember LOVE on AOL I love smart men and we had so much in common with the writing and the not drinking and later the cancer and I remember the first time we were together I was recuperating from my big surgery and I had lost so much weight and it took me about 4 hours to eat a sandwich my throat hurt so much and I had trouble swallowing and I sat on your living room floor working my way through a hamburger and you were fixing your bookcase and we talked and laughed and I was wearing my new red sweater with the big buttons and it got later and later but I didn’t want to go we were so cozy but finally I decided to leave and it was raining and cold and dark and you walked me to my car and then it happened when I went to hug you goodbye and slid my arms under your jacket and wrapped them around your back I didn’t plan on that it just happened it felt so intimate and you kissed me and I said I would like to stay right here meaning inside your coat but you were all over that one really quick you didn’t miss that opportunity and you said I would like that and we didn’t even plan on saying that but we did so we went back inside and got into your bed and holy cow it was pretty amazing and it stayed that way for a long time years actually and then you left bye.

I remember the first time I saw you how could I have such a strong reaction to a person it’s your smell I can’t stop thinking about wanting you I want to lick you do you feel it too I think you do but I’m not sure I could be imagining it you’re probably just nice to everyone you smell so good when I stand next to you the scent of you gives me a jolt I want you so bad do you feel it too if you don’t touch me I will die and if you do touch me I will scream I am sure please touch me just stop jumping around Susan and let me do what I want I will try to be still for a minute and oh my god let me put my mouth on you and you are making me scream you are and you are laughing and I am laughing and crying at the same time and I’m so happy you made me stop jumping around and let you do what you wanted oh my god oh my god oh my god.

And now I am beginning to feel it again after the last one I thought I was through but desire brings me back every time and this time is no different no matter how old I am I still feel it and I’m looking for it and I will find it and it will be even better this time because I am better I have never been better I feel so good and I am almost ready to start again oh this is funny the next guy is going to be a lucky one I have a lot of energy stored up so to speak come on baby let’s go and let’s be good together I’ve got something to give you love and happiness let’s do it and laugh and be happy just us.

Thanksgiving

For many years, my friend Colleen has come to Connecticut Thanksgiving week and stayed with me.  This year I named the occasion Girly Week.  Girly Week is always fun.  It was fun even before it had a name.  But this year, it was so much more.  I love my friends.  I take these relationships as seriously as I take any including those with family, spouses, lovers.

So this week.  Laughing, eating, cooking, cleaning up the messes and starting over again.  I think I ran my dishwasher at least twice a day every day since Wednesday.  Phones ringing, people running in and out.  More laughing.  Staying up too late.  Designated driver – me – whowouldathunkit?  Driving back from Teddy’s late Tuesday night – it is DARK up there in no man’s land where he lives – someone in my car saying repeatedly – I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!  This is our new mantra.  MORE laughing.  Scones and coffee breakfast.  Dad splitting the wood in the backyard and bonus – blowing all the maple tree helicopters off the deck.  Thanksgiving dinner – I love that meal.  I love cooking it too.  Chiminea fire in the back yard for the smokers.  Fried dough pizza and Chocolate Brownie cheesecake.  Friends AND sisters!  Going to Mystic for the picking up the boat debacle.  Great lunch overlooking the water.  Lovely long walk.  The sweetness of my good friends – teasing and giggling and being generally noisy and busting each other chops and poking through the shops.  Delicious lunch.  Getting back way too late and frosting that cake and chopping all those peanut butter cups for cake garnish – Colleen please help me open all those freaking peanut butter cups.  Hurry!  Hurry!  Hurry!  More laughing.  Rushing to Supper Club.  Lobster Bisque.  TFS AKA That Fucking Salad.  The salad is delicious.  T & SB – Sheree please make us that salad.  SM – Again?  Okay.  T & SB – We love that salad Sheree.  Can you make it again?  SM – Again?  I guess so if you really want it.  T & SB – Sheree.  We want that salad again.  SM –  I’m so tired of making That Fucking Salad!!!  SB – Hey Tom!  The salad has a name now.  So TFS was born. Cutting the cake which turned out too high to stand up straight so it fell over – TIMBER!!!  I looked messy but it sure tasted good.

I’ve been dieting like a good girl for months.  I’m feeling a little chubby today.  And who cares!!!???  Not me.  I needed a break.  Every bite was delicious.

I had a wonderful week.

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

The milk of human kindness doth flow

As a serial reader of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, one of my favorite things to say is that many of the expressions with which we are most familiar came from the Bible or Shakespeare.  One night several years ago, my beau and I lay in bed during a mutual spell of insomnia (having exhausted all other options first) and gave each other “the Bartlett’s quiz”.  That night, my Bible/Shakespeare theory was born.  And indeed, the phrase “the milk of human kindness” came from William Shakespeare.

Well this one came from Amelia Earhart, apparently a well-thought woman in her own right.

“No kind action ever stops with itself.  One kind action leads to another.  Good example is followed.  A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.  The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”

I’m sure Amelia was right.  And I love the root analogy.  Like mint in the garden.  Mint spreads and spreads, popping up every few inches.  Kindness was not something with which I was surrounded growing up.  It was something I had to learn later in life so it did not come naturally to me.  Therapy again – the great teacher – and I am nothing if not a gifted student.

So kindness.  I work on being kind.  I think about it always.  Part of my struggle with kindness is that I really want to be unkind to those who are deliberately unkind.  I can’t believe I wasn’t raised Catholic with the amount of guilt I carry around.

For example…   Is this wrong?  Today at work, I was trying to solve a problem of miscommunication that led me to not get what I wanted from another department.  I was not upset by this problem; I just wanted to fix it.  Unless proven to me otherwise, I figure most people are doing the best they can.  So this other person is getting all kinds of upset because she felt I did not communicate well.  I did not set out to deliberately confuse her but I’m not such a bonehead that I can’t see her point.  I have always said that if you give someone instructions that can be interpreted 100 ways and only one is wrong, all angles will be considered and the only incorrect option will be chosen.  But I was not upset about this because I figure we are discussing it and next time there will be a different outcome.  But this person wants to argue.  So I patiently respond several times but she is escalating and it is only 8:05 AM and I’m starting to think what the fuck is your life so bad that you arrive at work and start a fight with the first person you see and then I say and I quote “I think you need to take a chill pill.  What is the big deal here”.  And I didn’t say it loudly or in anger but afterwards I felt bad because I thought I might have been unkind but then I thought she was unkind and then I felt guilty because there ought to have been some way I could have approached this that would have kept her from launching.  And would I be a better person if I didn’t say chill pill?  I could have said many worse things.  I should be given some credit for that.  Out of the 100 conclusions at which we can arrive, I think the best option may be that I’m a pathetic guilt-ridden sucker who feels bad about anything that goes wrong in the room from which I am consuming oxygen.  Hey Amelia, I tried to be kind so she would be kind but this is life and we don’t always get what we want.

Now this kind of thing does not happen to me very often but I have to tell you, I spent way too much time today feeling like I may have been “unkind” because someone woke up on the wrong side of their bed.  Is there any hope for me?

I try every day to be nice to people.  I spend a lot of time thinking about that and choosing my words carefully.  I don’t want to offend anyone at work.  I like to confine offending people to my personal life by making disparaging remarks on Facebook that refer to organized religion.

I’m all over the place here.

I try to be nice.  Good.  Kind.  I try to keep my mouth shut and count to ten when I’m ready to punch someone’s lights out.  I try to be patient.  I weigh and measure my words.  When someone around me is acting in an “unusual” manner, I try to consider what is motivating their “unusual” behavior.  Wasn’t that a kind choice of words?  Now I’m making a joke, but I could hardly be more serious.  I think about these things all the time.

So soon it will be time for New Year’s resolutions.  I am going to make just one.  I will continue to try to be kind to others every single day of my life.  And the number one person I will try to be kind to is me.  Because I learned something else in therapy.  One must be kind to one’s self in order to be truly kind to others.  And then I’ll take it from there.

Call me Zoe. Please.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.  Helen Keller

There are lots of kinds of love.  This is a story about one of them.

I don’t know if I love my sister’s son more than other people love their nephews in general, but I think that answer may be yes.  And probably because I don’t have children.  I’ll admit it.

I had been trying to have a baby for 4 years.  When I found out my sister was pregnant just 4 months after her wedding day, I thought my heart would break.  Right in half and just fall out of my chest.  Quietly.  Poof.  Just like that.  To say I was not happy would be a gross understatement.  I wasn’t mad at her.  That didn’t even enter into my misery.  But then I saw him.  And it was love at first sight for me.

When he was little and he would cry, I could make him stop.  His mother could too, obviously, but so could I.  It was an amazing feeling.  He used to sit on my lap facing out at the “crowd”.  I would sniff his head.  Baby-head smell.  Is there any lovelier perfume on earth?  My sister worried he would grow to be an adult man paying hookers to sniff his head but so far so good.  As far as we know.  When he got fussy, I would sing the Yale Fight Song softly into his ear.  Boola boola.  Boola boola.  I don’t know why it worked.  But it did.  He probably dreams about that song and has no idea why.

Jake was about 5 and we were sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table.  There was a party going on and there were these little hot dog thingies wrapped in dough.  He picked up one of the thingies and waved it very close to my face.
J:  Do you know what this looks like?
S:  Yes I do.
J:  Well I’m not eating it (as he throws it back into the serving dish).
Grandmother:  Not gay.

This one’s about Dave, my very little cute poodle boy.
J:  If Dave and I were both hanging onto the edge of a cliff and you could only save one of us, which one would it be.
S:  (Looks around room and finds her dog and smiles.)
J:  COME ON!  HE’S A DOG!!!
S:  You should never ask questions to which you do not want to know the answer.

He had a well developed sense of humor.  Right from the get-go.

He can’t be more than 8 or 9 for this one.
J:  I think I’m going to give you a nickname.
S:  Really.  What are you thinking about?
J:  Either Zoe or Turdbucket.
S:  Well if I get a vote, I’ll go with Zoe.

He is bright, funny, well-read, a thinker.  When he was a teenager I used to like to put my arm around his shoulders and look at him very seriously and ask him if he wanted to talk about his “feelings“.  I believe I got this idea from my sister (tag-team torment).  Always got the horrified reaction I wanted.

When he was 12, his parents put him on a plane in Texas and I took him off the other end in Orlando.  I had vacationed in Paris for two weeks and spent less than I did on that kid in 8 days in Florida.  Not kidding.  He wanted me to rent a convertible.  I told him they were too expensive and they were.  About three times the cost of a little sedan.  But the more I thought about it, I felt he needed a convertible.  So I rented a little red Mitsubishi Eclipse.  Sunshine and sunglasses.  He was happy.  I was happy he was happy.  Whatever he wanted, if I could do it, I did.

A few years later.  He’s about 15.
J:  What ever made you become involved with BARC?
S:  Well I have a mentally-handicapped nephew and I wanted to do something…
J:  (interrupting) I’m your only nephew and I’m not…  HEY!  That’s not funny.
Grandfather:  Yes it is.

So now Jake is a young man.  He worked his way through college.  All by himself.  A couple of years at community college and then he transferred his credits to a state university.  And now he’s in grad school.  Most kids don’t work and put themselves through school at the same time anymore but MY nephew did.

Jake lives far away but he and I have had a lot of laughs over the years.  I wish he was closer but that’s not the way it has worked out so far.  We have done the best we can.  I turned him on to sushi.  And sake.  I always take him out for a feast when we are together.  I don’t care how broke I am at the time; I don’t have the kind of money I used to back in the Orlando/Paris days.  But there’s always sushi money.

Jake is often in my thoughts.  But I don’t call him all the time.  I don’t stalk him on Facebook.  He’s a big boy now and he doesn’t need his auntie calling him all the time.  But truthfully, I had to edit the crap out of this thing so I didn’t sound like my Great Aunt Elsie, may she rest in peace, talking about my 4-year-old father back in 1937 Abba Abba I cut my hair.  I would love to dote on him and talk about him incessantly but I control myself.

So Jake.  Here’s the thing.  I couldn’t love you more if you were my own.  I’m proud of you and you can always count on me.  If I can ever help you, I will.  We live far apart and I love nothing more than seeing you and spending time with you.  And taking you out for sushi.  Always know that I’m pulling for you and you‘d better call me if you need anything.  You know, besides money.  And I’d give you that if I had any.  OXO.  LYB.

Little House on the Prairie

When I was little, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder.  And this was many years before the world came to know her only as Laura Ingalls and she morphed into Melissa Gilbert and her father turned into a smiling, crinkly-eyed ex-Bonanza hunk Little Joe Michael Landon.

I read those books over and over and over.  My mother took me to the library week after week and I took them out again and again and kept reading and reading and I actually bought the whole set about 10 years ago to keep for myself and read them all again.  Now that I’ve been thinking about Laura Ingalls Wilder all week – “The Long Winter” in the Dakotas was 1880-1881 – I think I’ll read them again when I’m finished with “The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner“.  Love love love those books.  By the way, I only call her Laura Ingalls Wilder, as I knew her when I first fell in love.

So one week ago today here in Connecticut, we had one whopper of a blizzard.  October 29 as many of you know.  Now I am used to exaggeration and downright lying by local television and radio about weather predictions in order to generate ratings.  Scare every frigging, cretinous moron and lots of non-morons as well into thinking every dusting of snow will be a 4-day blizzard that will SHUT DOWN THE STATE and they will keep coming back and watching and listening and ratings will rise.  These pathetic individuals, morons and non-morons alike, will talk about it too ad nauseum till you want to poke a fucking fork into your fucking eardrum.  As you can tell, another one of my pet peeves/rants – could have put it RIGHT UP THERE WITH THE POTATO SALAD!!!

Ergo, I love that word ergo, I ignored all the warnings.  October 29?  Right.  I even went grocery shopping Saturday morning.  Threw most of it into my condo dumpster too around Tuesday I think.  The only concession I did make is to do poop patrol (65 lb. poodle in residence).  Thawing dog waste buried between layers of ice and snow is not a good thing.   I do have half a brain.  Oh and one more concession, just in case…  I got the shovel and ice breaker out of the shed and put them on the outdoor-furniture-covered deck just outside the slider.  Unlike the first year I lived here when I unthinkingly left them in their summer home.  Then the storm came and the snow drifted up the front of the shed and its door was frozen shut and I went out and bought another shovel.  See?  I’m not too old to learn.

So the power goes out Saturday night about 7:00.  It’s been flickering on and off for a couple of hours.  I figure I’ll lose it for a while.  I decide to sleep on the couch.  Mike Dog Bunn slept in his chair in a red sweater.  It’s always much warmer on the first floor of my condo than upstairs, as my friend Colleen can attest.  Years in Florida have thinned her blood.  I bought an electric blanket a couple of years ago so she can use it during her annual Thanksgiving week visit.  But I digress.  What else is new.

My power was out for almost exactly 4 days – within an hour or so.  I am luckier than most.  I have city water and a gas hot-water heater.  Hot showers in the dark.  I didn’t bother to shave my legs but I didn’t stink.  City water means running water so I could flush.  I also have a gas stove.  I could cook and clean up the dishes after.  I cooked a nice marinara sauce Rita, a pile of shells and all the chicken breast I had bought Saturday morning; and combined it in a huge Tupperware bowl that I stored in a snow bank along with my milk for my coffee.  By the way, the new gas ovens do not light with a match so I couldn’t use it for heat.

I could however, fill my outdoor lanterns with Coleman fuel and set the kitchen counter on fire.  Here is how that goes.  Insert funnel into hole in lantern and pour in the fuel.  It is dark so you can’t begin to see by the “glow” of the dimming flashlight clutched under your chin because you didn’t buy lots of extra batteries because whoever heard of a huge power outage in October from a snow storm, right?  Overfill and let extra fuel flow over surface of counter.  Wipe up overflowed flammable liquid with paper towels.  Even a wet one too.  By the way, my sister was in attendance.  She apparently is possessed of a larger brain then her elder sibling.  She and her man had stopped in for hot showers in the dark.  The conversation went like this.

K:  What are you doing with that open flame around all that fuel?
S:  I don’t worry about things like that.
K:  I’m going in the living room.
S:  Shit!  Shit!  Shit!  (Beating flames with dish towel.)
K:  Get out of the way moron.  (Throws kitchen rug over fire.)

So where was I.  Oh yes – Laura Ingalls Wilder.  When I was sweet little girl, I thought those books were so romantic.  Oh how I wish I could have crossed the prairie and lived “On the Banks of Plum Creek“ in a house dug out of the dirt side of a hill and been Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s BFF.

The Ingalls family crossed the prairie.  Because frigging Little Joe had wander lust?  He had a wife and four, count ‘em, four daughters.  And he didn’t have them all when he left.  They were born along the way.  And the oldest one went blind.  So across the prairie they go, not to mention the friggin’ frozen Mississippi which broke up the day after they slid across the ice.  In a covered wagon.  Made of wood.  Pulled by a horse.  Followed by their dog Jack.  Who incidentally, Little Joe didn’t invite into the “floating” wagon when he crossed a huge white-water flowing river.  Luckily the poor little bastard by what miracle I don’t know did not drown and caught up a couple of days later.  And the women were menstruating and birthing and not bathing and there was no hot running water and no gas stoves and no Pampers or tampons and no flushing toilets and no heat and no generators and not even a book of frigging matches and no washing machines and they had maybe two sets of clothes each tops and they couldn’t buy their blankets or their electric blankets at Walmart they had to make quilts of the scraps from the one or two sets of clothes they had made with their own hands and there was no toilet paper and no canned dog food and no canned people food either and if they were hungry Little Joe had to go out and leave them to the Indians while he shot dinner and doesn’t that sound romantic.

So I tried not to bitch too much this week.  I made out OK.  I was cold.  That was my only gripe.  But if I had lived on the prairie, at least I would have had a fireplace.  And Little Joe could have chopped some wood.  And another thing, no wonder they had so many freaking children.  They were freezing.  And they got in bed at night and snuggled together to share body heat and well you know how men are.  Even Little Joe apparently.  My parents did offer to let me sleep in between them in the big bed like I did when I was little and we had no power.  I regretfully declined.  But truly I didn’t want to.