Saturday, July 31, 2010

Things My Parents Taught Me

I’m not sure if I was even born yet when the incident I’m about to relate to you occurred; however, I’ve heard about it for years and my parents claim it is true. A comment Becca left on my last post made me realize it might make for an interesting blog story and I’ve received permission from my parents to post it.

My parents were in their early 20s and hadn’t been married long. Mom had given up the security of her family and home near Baltimore to move to El Paso, TX where my dad was stationed at Ft. Bliss. Dad had gone out with his Army buddies for an evening of cultural enrichment in the lovely border town of Juarez.

Many hours later, his buddies poured him out of the car onto the front lawn of our quarters. As he crawled to the front door, no doubt clutching the sparse grass firmly to keep from falling off the earth, I’m sure he was considering himself quite the party animal.

The next morning was a completely different story. He woke up with a marching band practicing maneuvers in his head and a sneaking suspicion that a cat had shat in his mouth.

I need to explain something here. My mother is a kind, caring, lovely woman. She’s volunteered for the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Hospice, and a number of care and compassion groups in her church. She is a good woman.

When Dad woke up groaning late the next morning, his darling bride had just walked into the room to check on him. She leaned over him, lovingly laid her hands on his shoulders, and quietly whispered, “Oh, honey. Do you have a hangover?”

“Yes,” he whimpered.

“GOOD!” she yelled, as she shook the daylights out of him.

I don’t know if my dad ever had another hangover. I do know that he’s never complained about one.

Mom and Dad will be celebrating forty-five years of wedded bliss this August. They’ve had good times and bad times and, for the most part, been fair with each other.

What this story illustrates is one of the valuable lessons about personal responsibility that my parents taught me: If you knowingly do something that causes you pain, you lose your right to complain about it.

I won’t run down the list of my flaws and virtues but I have a fair amount of each. I’ve claimed for a number of years that I am both the very best and the very worst of my parents.

I’m good with that.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Atlas Shrugged

I want to post more. I'm strangled by my work obligations. However, I had to let you know...

Atlas Shrugged is being made into a movie. I'm not Jewish but I just might plotz.

Reading this book is going to take time out of your life. It's a fucking brick. It is the most amazing book I've ever read. It's better than Erica Jong's Fear of Flying. It's better than George Orwell's 1984.


It's important. It's prophetic. IT.IS.REAL.

I know... I don't post much these days. For that, I apologize. I'm busy. Fifty to sixty hour work weeks combined with school (eek! I'm an old student!) and then add home improvement projects... Ack. I'm overwhelmed.


I just hope the movie does it justice.

Be a producer. Please don't be a looter.


(obnoxious enough? I can do more!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Promises, promises

Damned promises.

Okay, so I promised some mind-numbing blather that would probably do nothing for anyone but me. Here goes.

I was a really obnoxious teenager. I excelled at arguing whenever I thought I was being treated unfairly. At thirteen, I protested what I thought was an unfair wage for lawn mowing. My protest was complete with marching and signs. Really. There’s photographic proof.

Shut up. It was the early 80s. You can't see the sign on the right but it says, "Unfair Wages."

You’re probably wondering why I’ve posted a really embarrassing photo from my awkward teenage years, right? I thought a visual would help explain how far I’d go to protect my rights.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped arguing for myself and started just accepting things. A portion of that is due to an appreciation of Eastern religions and being Zen, Al-Anon and all of that. I’ve learned to accept the things I cannot change. That is a good thing. Another rather large part of it is due to a flying queen-sized bed, ripped out phones, and spackle. Lots and lots of spackle. Spackle and fear. (I’m having a huge struggle here between sharing this and protecting the privacy of others.)

While I’ve always hated discord, I was taught through some extremely unpleasant experiences that I should only stand up for what I believed was right if it wasn’t about what was right for me. In that, I tried to keep and make peace. I have a friend who once told me, “I don’t need you to be a fucking peacemaker.” Fair. She didn’t need for me to be a peacemaker. I needed to be a peacemaker. There was an awkward time in our friendship because of that. I think/hope we’ve moved beyond it.

As I said in Thought Garden, “I’ve compromised myself, not because it was demanded or requested or expected, and I’m trying to figure out why and how I can change it.” In the relationships that followed after the one with the flying queen-sized bed, I accepted a lot of things I shouldn’t have accepted. I excused things that hurt me (not physically, never again physically) in the name of peace.

I shouldn’t have done that.

On the rare occasion that I spoke up and said (admittedly, rather timidly) something, the fact that I said ANYTHING was a big, freaking deal. In my last relationship, I even got to the point where I could say “If I say anything at all, it’s a big, freaking deal.” That wasn’t strong enough. Another lesson learned.

I’ll never be the woman throwing a glass of wine into her companion’s face at a restaurant. I’ll likely never cause a scene. It’s not my style.

I will speak up. I will say, “No. That’s not okay with me.”

Baby steps.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Viagra and Casinos

It's not that I don't appreciate gambling and hard-ons but, seriously, the spammers are getting rather annoying. I apologize to those of you who like to comment on my random (and, recently, infreqent) postings... I'm going to have to put some of those anti-spammer restrictions on this blog.

I feel the need to post my bloggity, DIY psychoanalytical ramblings but life is getting in my way. In Thought Garden, I started getting into my angst. There's more of that coming but I find myself overwhelmed with details. I promise (damn, that's hard... that means I have to do it) to post something mind-numblingly boring and pertinent only to me within the week.

Please, bear with me. This is an unusual time in my life.