Marital Perception

Weddings, marriages, vows, ’til death do us part’ has left a sour taste in my mouth. Promises to God first, one another second, seems to be some sort of fairy tale our grandparents and their parents told through black and white grainy photos–smiles beaming under fedoras and church furs. The spouse caring for the other beyond their own selfish needs and wants seems to be nothing more than a bedtime story told to children in shapes of handsome Princes doting on beautiful Princesses–super heroes saving the world for more than just humanity, but for love. Marriage, vows, ‘to honor and obey’ left me feeling cold and bitter….until….

If I may be honest, I hate weddings. I always have. The whole ceremony seems for the benefit of others. The celebration is more about the guests than the people making the commitment. Her dress, the cake, his men, her girls….it seems to be a show. I have been to several and participated in a couple (both of which have ended in divorce…not sure how to feel about that) and it all feels the same. An expensive show with little real thought about the next 364 days.

This past weekend I made the trek to attend a wedding. It wasn’t just any wedding, though. My brother was getting married. No matter how much I abhor weddings, I was not going to miss this one. I sat in a garden chair trying to ignore The He as he walked down the isle and stood beside the other groomsmen stealing glances in my direction. I watched the beautiful bride with her fiery red curls make her way up to her groom, both all smiles. My mother leaned over and whispered how she had never seen a bride so happy and suddenly bitter became nothing short of amazement.

She was one of the happiest brides I had ever seen, too. He was one of the surest grooms I had ever seen. There was no nervousness, no sweaty, clammy, thick tongued exchanges. No one else was there–just him, just her, just God. It got me wondering if I was wrong for feeling so angry…so bitter. I watched them through out the evening and saw how insanely ready they were to just….be. Be together. Be one. Be under God. Be forever. Can love be that? Can marriage, vows, ‘to have and to hold’ be that? It scares me to say I want that so I won’t, but my perspective on it has certainly been clouded a bit more.

~SM

His Girl

I’m his girl. No, not in the girlfriend sorta way (that would be both disgusting and illegal), but in a I-will-never-be-far-from-his-heart kinda way. It is a scary thought–to think of yourself as a permanent fixture in someone’s heart. What if you break it? What if you make an irreversible mistake? What if you just simply don’t do the job right? What happens then? Am I still his girl then?

I noticed it one September evening as he stood on first base. I have seen him do it so many times I just forgot to notice. He picks me out of the crowd. No matter how large the crowd, no matter how far away I may be–he finds me. He sees me. There is a silent communication, once he finds me. Sometimes its a thumbs up on my part or a nod on his. Sometimes it is a roll of the eyes or a shrug of the shoulders, but no matter what–he sees me. I am his girl.

He stood on first base during an easy game. The kind of game where the coaches didn’t really say much to the boys, they just let them do what they came dressed to do. He stood there, his back to second, hands on hips and winked. He has been doing it for so long it never registered until just then. I had had a long, odd day of stress, sadness brushing the edges, and at that moment it all got lost. I was the only one that mattered for a split second and he saw me.

It occurred to me, right then, he would always see me even when he wouldn’t. He would begin to see his girlfriend or his wife or his daughter or his son vs. me and, one day, I will no longer occupy a seat in Life but in Heaven instead–yet I would always be a permanent fixture. I am his girl.

That is a huge job to carry out–the protection of the heart. It is a delicate affair of knowing which threads to cut and which to leave untouched…when to walk away and when to stand guard. On the way home from the game, as we talked girls and teenage relationships, he put his hand on my shoulder and thoughtfully said “My girl has to be just like you, Mommy.” He paused, I smiled unsure of what to say beyond ‘okay’, and then “…only….prettier.” I guess that says it all, doesn’t it?  😛

~SM

Freestyle Friday: Absolve Elsewhere

no-1

Nope. No. No sir. You don’t get to absolve your stuff here. You don’t get to clear your conscience with me. You don’t get to say sorry and expect absolution. I am not the judge. I am not the jury. I am a by-stander who just happened to get hurt standing in the crowd. I do not get a say in your heavy hearted matters, and to be quite honest I don’t want a say.

Silly me, standing too close. I should have stepped away. But instead I stood looking on thinking it would not be me…Silly silly girl. But that doesn’t mean you get to apologize. Your words are thin and easy to tear. They are transparent and dangerous. That’s the most lethal thing you know….that which can be seen.

They make you believe it’s the monsters in the dark that will get you, but it’s all lies and fairy tales. What gets you isn’t the bump in the night but the thing in broad day light. It’s safer that way, for the thing that is…to get you when you can see it plain as day. It doesn’t have to creep up or devise a plan, it can just do it’s damage and point blaming fingers because…well…you saw it coming, right?

Nope. No. No sir. You don’t get to drop your guilt off here. This isn’t a Safe Place. This plate is full enough already. You don’t get to dip your soiled rags in my already muddied water, trying to cleanse yourself. You don’t get to ask questions or make comments. You don’t get rights to my happiness or my friendship.

Nope. No sir. Absolve yourself elsewhere…not in my lap.

~SM

TGIT: No Looking Back

It appears that every year the theme of Thursday nights (Scandal anyway) fits my life. Last year it was “The Secret Is Out”. That explains itself to my particular 2013 situation. This year is no different: “No Looking Back”. Cudos to you Ms. Rhimes…no wonder why I have a crush on you.

Every Thursday for the last I don’t know how many years, I grab a bottle of wine, a naughty dessert or fancy cheese, and curl up on the couch with tissues in hand. For two hours I allow myself to get lost in the genius that is the imagination of a woman who is no different than me. She has a life, children, a job (a little more glam than mine, but we are talking loose comparisons here), big boobs and jiggly bits. For two hours, wine works to loosen my brain and fog the thoughts of broken budgets, late rent, cheating husbands, argumentative kids, the price of gas and dreams deferred. For two hours there is…..nothing.

Last year, Thursday night was a saving grace. Friday through Wednesday I lived to get lost. I needed to get lost. Lost in fiction. I needed to unravel the tight knot of Life and breathe. The secret was indeed out and I needed to blur the loss.

This year it will be different. Different from the years before–blindly watching and sneaking into bed next to my husband…smiling about the cliff hanger or the tears cried over fictional people. Different from last year blindly watching and collapsing on the couch refusing to sneak into bed next to my husband. This year I will slip into bed alone, still smiling over a night that solely belonged to me. No tiny annoyances pulling at the frayed edges, no restless sleepy thoughts of what I was trying to run away from. This year there is no looking back. There are only decisions and consequences. There are no second looks and there is certainly no glancing back…for the characters…for the fans….for me.

It could be crazy, being this connected to fiction, but it’s my crazy and I love it. I love being connected to the fiction, the work, the genius behind it all. I love being linked to the crazy, twisty, good of the genius–the crazy, twisty, good of the unraveling of the knot of Life. Cheers to Thursdays. Cheers to Rhimes. Cheers to never…not ever looking back.

~SM

The Difference A Year Makes

A year ago, I can honestly say, I never thought I would be here…in this space. A year ago I was chasing my tail, perming my hair, trying to gain acceptance, doubting myself, attempting to grab life as it zoomed past…one year ago I was thrust into a section of statistics and uncommon tales of infidelity and woe. A year ago I was racing to patch holes in a sinking boat that was never meant to be saved in the first place.

It is funny how time flies and wounds heal when you think none of that is possible. It was a cloud, at first. A dark, confusing ‘what now’ kinda thing. I spent the first three months of the ‘oh poor wife’ existence in a fog of confusion and hatred. I was reduced to blubbering cry fits and rage induced bouts of fighting. I had been worn down to nothingness.

Empty, hollow, zombie like. I gave up the fighting and the pretending and looked forward to pouring large glasses of white wine on Thursdays getting lost in the fantasy of Meredith Grey and Olivia Pope–just to numb…just to stop the tears and the constant flux of mental playback. At some point, though, the conversation turned, the tears stopped, and Thursdays became less and less of a saving grace. Thank God for healing.

It is hard to believe it has been a year. It is hard to believe I am here…still here. It is hard to believe I can be a parent without faking it. It is hard to believe I can drive from point A to point B without thinking of driving past point B and starting over. It is hard to believe I can make it through the day laughing, smiling, forgetful of the hurtful things said and done–no longer scratching and biting at the anger eating me alive. I can be…correction: I am free. I am free. I am free of shame, doubt, rage, tears, sadness, hopelessness….I am free to be 9000% happy, healthy, hopeful and….well….me.

~SM

The Job

Over dinner with the children (and the He…He stayed to hang with the kids I guess), the subject of me working on my day off came up.

“Enjoy your day off,” He said. “I know I would.”

I pointed to the children playfully and said “Even when I’m off I’m never really off…I have another job to tend to.”

“That’s what parents do,” the He said very matter of factly, as if I was wrong to have the audacity to want space…a real day off. If looks could kill he would have been dead.

I am very aware of what parents do. I’ve been doing it for quite sometime. No, not as good as others and most likely better than some. But my children (I do hope dearly) aren’t violent or mean or rude or hateful. They aren’t just floating through life with no goals or ambitions. Sure they have a problem with not leaving their shoes in the middle of the floor or not walking empty water bottles to the trash, but that’s not out of the ordinary.

I suppose my statement at dinner came from the unspoken realization that I’m on 24/7. At least when I was sharing a household with their father, I could sneak away and have a stolen moment to myself, but those days are long gone. Now it’s a constant barrage of teenage attitudes and the sibling push and pull. The constant reminders to do homework & change socks & take a shower fall on me to deliver to half-deaf ears. The daily tiffs over front seat privileges and pouting over things I don’t get the privilege to pout over (like new shoes and allowance) all fall on me to sift through.

This isn’t to say the He doesn’t do what’s in his job description. He does what fits him and his life. I, however, don’t get the luxury. Someone has to make trips to practice and manage to cook dinner in one fail swoop.

This weekend was suppose to be not my weekend, however, it is (previous approved plans). A music festival is in town, Young Gun finally has a free Saturday, & Trinidad is itching to go dancing. I wanted desperately to enjoy some company of someone over the age of 13 who could appreciate a stiff drink or an R rated movie. But…Someone has to keep watch right?

Instead of wishing I could be a carefree adult for 48hrs at least…coming home in the wee hours of the morning, girl chatting at a restaurant, or talking under the stars about everything and nothing at all, I grabbed some pizza and a couple of movies. We sat in the living room stretched out and carb wasted, safe…sound…happy. On my way to bed, I looked into The Boy’s room only to find him curled up still in his school clothes, mouth open, lightly snoring. His sister curled up in her bed, in her room, only hair peeking from beneath the covers. As I closed their doors one by one, I smiled. The He was right…this is what parents do. This is what parents get to see. This is what parents get to experience. I couldn’t ask for a better paying job. It’s rough and tumble. It’s nerve wracking at times, but in those moments of ease and simplicity it all seems worth it.

My hat tips to those men and women who take it on alone…who get the daily load of raising children–whether divorced, widowed, military spouse, business spouse, accidental parent, and everything in between. You do a great job and you are doing exactly what God intended…giving yourself in service out of love. That’s the Job. That’s the real job, isn’t it?

~SM

Today I AM: Praising God

Today I AM breathing God. I am packing Him in my lungs and holding on tight. There are times when I can’t breathe or speak or sing or walk or see, praying or not. There are moments when clouds hover and mist rolls in, blurring the path to clarity. But He never stops putting breath into me, or speaking to me, or singing to me, or walking with me, or seeing me. He never stops clearing the path–blurry or not. I make space and stop time to say thank you daily….but sometimes….it deserves to be shouted.

~SM