Dear Dear Diary
OT and OOC:
Jeannie may be taking a sebatical for a little. I have my mind caught up in other things.
I am an avid The Sims2 fan, where I have an alien breeding program going. But here's some humor lifted, that amused me. I didn't write it, but I likes it.
Clothes never need washing.
Food doesn't get put away after a meal. Rather, it just sits there until it stinks up the house.
It's okay to keep the carpool waiting for an hour while I eat a leisurely breakfast or play games on the computer.
Babies enjoy being immersed in steaming hot water.
If my neighbor hugs my wife or asks her to dance, I should immediately beat the shit out of him.
Dirty dishes should be stacked on the floor.
I can have this awesome stereo system, with a huge stack of blinking components, but all I ever seem to do is listen to the same five stations on the radio.
If I happen to notice my toddler is glowing bright green, that's okay.
All females dress like Britney Spears. Even grandmothers!
It's not odd that I know the local firefighter on a first-name basis, and see him more often than my parents.
The entire fire department in my town consists of one guy with a hand-held extinguisher.
I have never seen a garden hose, nor can I imagine what one would do that a watering can can't.
Watering cans are bottomless.
Pulling down my pants when using the bathroom is evidently a waste of time.
If I'm hungry, rather than go to the pantry and look for something to eat, it's wiser to cry and point at my mouth.
If I'm tired, rather than lie down on the bed that's three feet away, it's wiser to look up at the ceiling and wave my arms.
Books are meant to be read upside-down.
I can get into the back seat of a cab when I leave my house, but when I arrive at my destination I should be up front.
Babies can be left on the floor or the sidewalk.
If there's a molehill or a small slope in front of my hedge, I can't trim it.
I do not need a lawnmower, but should expect to spend my entire life weeding.
The only suitable places for sex are the bed, the hot tub and the public dressing room in the mall.
I should talk incessantly when I play chess.
You can spin a baby around like a basketball and it doesn't puke.
It's all right to, upon being invited into someone's home, turn on their big screen TV, eat their food, watch the game, and ignore them.
If I cook a meal, I should make enough for the whole neighborhood, since they're no doubt coming.
I must remember to call everyone I know once a week and remind them that I haven't seen them in a while.
If my kid asks me for help with homework, it's okay that I get distracted while walking into the next room and start dancing for an hour instead.
People vanish as soon as they leave my property.
There is no junk mail. Only bills.
Wiping is unncessary. So is flushing.
All headmasters are balding.
All maids look like blowup dolls.
Playing Myshuno with a pack of llamas is apparently not fun.
Teenaged girls can't get pregnant.
It's okay to keep my doors unlocked, because burglars always announce themselves with creepy music.
There are times that are surreal- like a flipping of the switch things go from ordinaire to extraordinaire- and I know at this golden moment in the yellow of the evening sun, that everything I can do will be all right. I know that all the lights will be green very soon, and that anyone in a rush will move around and through me like I am not there. No one will be hurt by me and all that I touch will be golden. I float on, surrounded by angels and I can feel my wings unfurl.
We went for ice cream again this evening in another perfect moment in time. I looked at the menu so I know what to order next week. I always feel there are too many people at the table- ourselves have been there before, will be there again- and all of my memories of every time I have had ice cream before with my grandmother the year after my grandfather died and later when she barely remembered herself, with my parents when they were happy, with my cousin in happier times, with my first awkward date, with my first time for ice cream with this confident man opposite me now. And yet it is just us two, and that is enough. I love ice cream. It is cold, but colorful, and seasoned with more than sensuous vanilla.
And there was a woman there in the restaurant. I knew her well enough to remember listening to her complaints, about her husband, and her children, and her miserable job. I had seen her competence as she packaged something for me. We had talked of creating things, of making things with our hands and the understanding of being that gives us, but her name, the place, eluded me. I knew this woman well. She had laughed at my jokes. She had made me smile in turn, and we had felt a kindred bond of sympathy. This I knew well. But I did not know her. I smiled and exchanged a greeting, then walked on.
It will be a popcorn sky tonight. My dreams are troubled by what I have not done, what I could not do. I may not sleep until dawn. I take my tea out to the porch and greet the moon. Maybe, if I sit here long enough, I will see halos on the moon, or catch a glimpse of Tony among the lilacs. Our modern days are not fit for the like of Byron, Shelley, or Keats, but I know them well. I long for pomegranates and ribbons for my long dark hair, tonight.
Have you ever wanted to really go back to a certain date and time and knock yourself-then out and played at stand-in, just to change the course of your personal history? To prevent one event from happening or maybe just a warning of what might be to come? Or even just sit down with yourself and say, "Hey, stupid! These were the warning signs! You knew what they were! Why didn't you do something about them then!"
I probably would have ignored me. It's all just little things. Tiny things. Insignificant things that didn't mean much at that time. But wind and rain are usually little things too, and they can move mountains given enough time.
I have tried to think of all the times where I may have met Tony before. Where we almost did. I could have sat by him on the bus, or gone to his first show in the coffeehouse, if I had lived in that neighborhood at that age. I would have, if I had done what I wanted to straight out of high school- head for California and try to be a star. It could have been me he took to the last Award show. We probably could have had a really good time.
But what would that future self warn me about? Don't sniff the flour? That other person has only got a casting couch and no cast? Don't take your clothes off when you dance on the tables? Who knows what I would have could have done.
The only way to find out what I am capable of doing is by actually doing. So we shall see. There must be change, because I cannot continue like this.
Some people would like to win the lottery or be spotted by a bigshot movie director and find fame and fortune on the silver screen. Some people would rather play the cut throat world of business and earn their success on the backs of others.
I know that these things (except perhaps winning the lottery) are a bit beyond my grasp. I have not spent the years chasing these dreams, so I must let them pass me by. And perhaps the odds of them ever happening are on par with winning the lottery. My mother did the math once. It's something like 1,000,000! (the ! denotes multiplying each number like 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 (and keep counting until you get to 1,000,000) so it's a very large number that can easily boggle the mind- and maybe I'm easily Boggled. I hate that game) to one.
But what I really want that I know I truly cannot have is to go back to the wonderful summer when I was 5. My best friend at the time used to propose to me every other day, coinciding with when my mother drove us to day care, and she gave us flavored tootie rolls to eat on the way there or back, and he would tell me how much he loved me for them, and I thought that was a fine idea of marriage and of love. But on the other days, he told me he hated me, because his mother drove, and grumbled at it instead of bribing us to be good with sweets. But we got to ride behind the back seat of their VW bug, and I've had a fondness for the car ever since. I would giggle with him and we would hide from his mom so she could not see us. And I would tell him I loved him and didn't care if he hated me or not. I had cable knit blue sweater that I tried to wear every day regardless of the temperature.
Sometimes I dream of the day care center and its extra high door knobs. I wonder how much of the place was real, and how many rooms I have imagined. Did the nap room really stretch on for every with nothing but cots as far as the eye could see? And were all the blankets powder blue? Was there a kitchen that I could only enter when invited and a fishbowl play room with windows on three sides, none of which showed out of doors? Or do I just dream it still?
I want to find out. But I don't remember the names of anyone except my friend, Matthew Hawkins. I wrote him, after we moved at the end of that summer, but he never wrote back. I don't think he knew how to read. ANDICOULDNOTWRITEBETTERTHANTHIS.
I wish my parents had saved a copy of that letter. I would find it very poignant now. I think I promised to come back some day, find him, and marry him. But at 5, I'm sure it wasn't a binding promise. I do miss him sometimes in my dreams, and I wonder what became of him.
I wonder what became of my youth. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeping forth still.
But I dream. I still dream.
This morning when I went to brush my teeth I stumbled into the bathroom and didn't even look at myself properly as many people to first thing. It's never truly a pretty sight with your hair mussed and the wrinkles from the pillowcase still embedded in your face.
But this morning, I didn't see my face. I saw Tony instead, mussed and groggy, and altogether adorable. I had to splash water on my face, because I didn't believe it.
When I looked again, it was just mousy me as usual. How dissappointing.
Today I read yet another article about Tony online.
It was personal interview, not of the kind where the interviewer is exclaiming, "Look! I spoke to Tony! In Person! Just us two in the same Room! Couldn't you just Die of happiness!" which drives me nuts, because I can't imagine anyone ever dying of happiness. If people actually died of happiness though it might possibly explain the wretchedness of our existence.
No, this was a personal interview in that the interview tried to pry into his personal life, and he came unzippered. There was a definite glimpse of his private parts, and I had to look away because I did not want to know that much about her personal heartaches. And yet, I did. I'm married already. The odds of even meeting Tony are slim. And yet, he is very, very attractive. I feel as if we could know each other on a deeper truer plane than I have ever known any one before. We could meet heart to heart and connect through any superficial stuff and truly understand one another.
He spoke of hoping to meet his soulmate, and of knowing her once he had found her. But I know how unrealistic it must be to meet a fan and find what you are looking for.
Yet surely, I dream. I close my eyes, and I can reach out and just feel the stubble on his cheek.
It is easy then, to fall in love with an ideal. To believe in the vision implanted. To read the meaning you really wish to see behind the words. To dream the impossible, and believe, holding on with your whole heart.
But this is cut by reality, like a razor blade on a mirror, and the daily grind of being face to face always falls short of dreams. Like granite, it weighs on the soul, and caught between the millrind and the base, what spits out is just chaff.
I listen to Tony while I can, but then I have to sit with Frank and watch him clean his toes. Moonlight and flowers weighed against the substantially solid one dirty sock.
Yet there is little alternative. I am right where I have put me. I cannot blame someone else. I wore nothing but scarves today for all of 5 minutes... like the faerie. But then I thought what if the postman or someone else came to the door, and I had to run and change into prosaic and ordinaire, like my mouse brown hair.
It has gray in it now. My summers will fade too.
I think I will tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a woman named Lily, and her best friend was a dragon. He was a special dragon, because he guarded the valley in which they lived. He made sure that the farmers shared the resources equally with the wild animals and plants of the area and lived in harmony with everyone. Everyone was content with their work and their lot in life, and Lily and the dragon still found time to play a little every day.
But one day, a strange man entered the village. He saw Lily playing with her dragon friend, and he was struck by how beautiful she was when she smiled. Lust grew in his heart, and he wanted Lily's smiles just for himself. How could she smile at this monster when he was there? So, in his ignorance and greed, he slew the dragon, and took the maiden away.
The farmers did not have the dragon to check them any more, and they cut down more of the woods and declared their own dominion over the valley. The wild animals were hunted or driven out, and none cared whither they went, or if they lived or starved. Soon factories came to the valley and pollutants were rampant. And few people were content with their lot and many were miserable, while a lucky few grew very rich, they weren't content with their lot either.
And what became of George the slayer of the dragon? I assure you this; he never saw Lily smile ever again.
It's days like this make me wish I was a lumberjack. I found this poem. It sums rather nicely my feelings. Wish I was 24 again. I wonder what I would do differently. Hopefully, not throw out that winning lottery ticket.
THE chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers
Stream from the hawthorn on the wind away,
The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers.
Pass me the can, lad; there's an end of May.
There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
One season ruined of your little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
But ay, but then we shall be twenty-four.
We for a certainty are not the first
Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled
Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed
Whatever brute and blackguard made the world.
It is in truth iniquity on high
To cheat our sentenced souls of aught they crave,
And mar the merriment as you and I
Fare on our long fool's-errand to the grave.
Iniquity it is; but pass the can.
My lad, no pair of kings our mothers bore;
Our only portion is the estate of man:
We want the moon, but we shall get no more.
If here to-day the cloud of thunder lours
To-morrow it will hie on far behests;
The flesh will grieve on other bones than ours
Soon, and the soul will mourn in other breasts.
The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
In retrospect, perhaps I am unfair. I have not commented on the effects of the women's liberation movement on men.
And no, it is not fair to say that there hasn't been a change, just because Frank expects his dinner every night and the house cleaned every day and a shag every now and then. He would have expected it then, and he expects it now. But Frank is not modern man. Frank very much lives in the 50s and his mother was on valium until the day she died of an ovedose. It's easier for us- He has one role. I have one role. I clean. I am very good at cleaning. And baking. I just can't escape the pressure of being more.
Young women are on the hunt for the more "sensitive man" who will do his share of the housework (if not all), not be afraid to help with a dirty diaper or other bits of children, encourage her to work while he works on his career and still be a damn dynamo in the sheets. In short, they are looking for a wife too. And men are feeling the stress of "oh shit I have more than one task to do too" and are taking the happy pills in record numbers, instead of making fun of couch doctors as a bunch of hooey like my father used to. Men have to be it all just as much as women do- and of course there is a strain there. Too few couples treat marriage as a partnership like two oxen plowing a field- when they work together it's much easier for them. No- inevitably they both want to be the farmer with the whip and the steering mechanism, but you only need one of them, and not all the time.
It's only the couch doctors and the pharmacies getting rich these days, I know. Take the blue pills- they're prettier.
My cousin stopped in today. You remember her- she is the one who for her 40th birthday party gave herself a divorce. She watered my shoulders, but my head doesn't grow when she does that. Only my anger.
I am not angry with her. I don't think it is possible to be angry with her. My cousin has Charm and truly that and her sense of humor are her best assets. Sometimes I know she knows this. Sometimes, I am not so sure. She cannot get by with a wink and a flash of boob and saying, "Because I am pretty!" She must smile and look at you as if you were the only person in the world- because you are, when she talks to you. This is her charm.
But she has become lost somewhere between motherhood and being a wife and holding a job. The sense of fun was pushed aside for responsibility, and to a certain extent, life must be like that. I want to tell her that she pushed aside her own joy in the quest to be something everyone expected to be. I think the feminists of the 60s and 70s would be horrified at what women have become now- this superwoman who now does everything she used to do in the 1950s and before, and also has to hold a full time job. No wonder the little happy pills are so prevalent in our culture today, and if you don't have a happy pill, you have alcohol or other things, or a lot of therapy to feel guilty about being just like everyone else- stressed out and on the edge of snapping. Something has to give if an outlet isn't found.
But I don't think finding oneself on the arms of someone else isn't going to help discover oneself. It's just another drug to dull the pain, really. Complaining how this new guy is worse than the old, and thank goodness neither were her ex. I want to tell her dating across the marriage line is something she knows is stupid, but she doesn't want the obvious pointed out, so I just take her in my arms and hold her while I can. Because I can get my own needs filled by a simple hug from someone who loves me too. No, this isn't sexual. It's just simple acceptance and unconditional love.
But later, you know I will, and I will hate myself for it, when my mother calls to talk about my cousin, we will both talk about the futility of expecting anyone who is breaking their marriage vows to keep their courting promises- they made them before to someone else and broke them to you... so why do you expect them to be true? You aren't different. You aren't special. You are just you.
So just be.
I have to wonder if men ruminate on their mistakes like I do. I know other women do- I have participated in the maudlin pissing contests of guilt that a group of women share as a bonding experience when they all want to feel sorry for themselves at the same time. Fortunately this is rare. But they are the same. One woman starts by complaining about how she lost her job. And the next in the circle has to top it with something worse... This dynamic is the same if the mood of the group was up- because then everyone has to share happy news or a funny story, and they have to top it. Or complaining about ill health, and they have to top 2 broken legs and a black eye because her husband punched her when she was drunk last night. I want to stop the circle right then and hustle that woman to a shelter to get her away from her husband- I don't want to tell the circle about the time I tripped while running on a grassy slope and landed face first on the paved parking lot below, skidded 5 feet and then got run over by a car... but I feel the story warming up inside of me and out it comes. Circles of Hell, that's what they are.
But I ruminate. I think about every job I have been laid off from- what a fancy name for fired so we don't sue. Doesn't matter really what they call it- I was still a failure. And whenever I have a job now, I have to do it watching over my shoulder with a familiar haunted look, when are they going to catch me now? Surely, I am no good at this too? Surely they will find any excuse to cut me loose and I will have failed again. I don't notice the subtle sabotage of damage I do to myself- too much time worrying and not enough working. I obsess about the wrong things. Will they notice I forgot hose this time? These shoes do not match my purse. I wrote a note in purple ink. I misspelled my own name, dammit. It's a slippery slope from here to vomit all over their shoes, and I don't know how far I will slide.
I remember every cutting word I ever said to deliberately hurt anyone. I remember the small slights of rudeness, the deliberate manipulation so I could have the bigger piece of cake. And I really no longer know what good is left in me, or what sort of impact I could leave that would in any way possible be positive. Why must I think only of the bad? Why can't I focus on the warm sunshine and a pleasant cup of tea? No, I must think of tea spilled, and the nervous flush heating my skin.