Monthly Archives: May 2009

Show and Tell: A boy and my dog

The rest of the class is over at Mel’s showing and telling to their heart’s delight–you should check them out.

When the nephew happens to be here when the school bus drops off his sister, his excitement is a sight to see.  Miss Famous is always here at that time and her excitement is always palpable.  When you get them together for my niece’s arrival?  Well…see for yourself:

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Pesach flashback #3: freedom time

♦I have just a few more thoughts about Pesach that didn’t really fit anywhere else, but I didn’t want to neglect them.   I also wanted to wrap up these Pesach flashbacks before the next Jewish holiday, Shavuot (Pentecost), which starts, um, tonight.  Nothing like getting it in under the wire.  I’m kind of looking at this as my omer project.  (The omer is the period of time–49 days–between the 2nd day of Pesach and Shavuot.)

♦The first Jewish holiday I celebrated was Pesach (when I was first learning about Judaism).  I was totally overwhelmed.  Totally.  Nobody told me that I should eat BEFORE going to the seder (because we wouldn’t actually get to the food for hours), and nobody told me that we would be there until well after midnight.  Like I said, totally overwhelmed.

♦I became Jewish on Rosh Chodesh (first of the month) of Nisan.  (Nisan is the month in which Pesach occurs.)  So, the first holiday I celebrated as a Jew was Pesach, as well as the first holiday I celebrated while just learning about Judaism.  Now also the first holiday after getting my own freedom, my own voice.

♦Pesach is called zman heruteinu–the time of our freedom.  It celebrates when we went from slavery to freedom.  I believe I will be celebrating my journey to freedom, which began at Pesach-time for the rest of my life.  The haggadah tells us that we are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus as though each of us were personally liberated from Egypt, from Mitzrayim, from the narrow place.  I have been.  And I will.

♦Now, on to Shavuot, which with its being known as the “converts’ holiday” (for it’s connection to Ruth, the convert), and focus on dairy foods (mmmmmm, dairy…), is also a big favorite of mine.  Chag sameach!

ETA:  Many apologies for the non-user friendly nature of this post.  I’ll try to be more careful in the future.

stupid stupid stupid

So let it be a lesson to you that a little bit of fa.cebook stalking can soon lead to worlds of regret.

Mr. X and I are obviously no longer FB “friends,” but we have mutual “friends” in common (30 or so?), so it is inevitable that I would see his tiny profile pic next to some asinine comment about something.  And when I did, I just had to click on it and see it a little bigger, as it was a new photo, and he was WITH A PUPPY.  Yes, I know, none of my business…this is why it’s called stalking.  So I did this several times (and there is no way I would admit this if this were not an anonymous blog–the shame is too, too deep).  Then, I realized that I could see a bit more of his “profile” (so sorry for those who are not familiar with fa.cebook), and the curiosity was just too much.  Too, too much and I was way too weak.

So I saw 16 new photos that he recently uploaded, mostly of his new puppy.  The whole time I was looking I was thinking, “This is bad, I am going to feel very bad, I need to stop now.”  Of course, I didn’t stop.  I even called my friend, Cherry, so that she could tell me to stop, get off line, berate me*, whatever, but she didn’t answer.  So I looked and looked.  And later (i.e., now) I felt really bad.

And the feelings are mixed up and contradictory and I’m trying really hard to not be too self-condemning on this one (and there are many reasons I am finding to be self-condemning, it seems).  The mixed up-ness kind of goes like this:

  • He has a puppy…I kind of want to be there with him and that puppy.
  • Fuck him and his stupid puppy!  I’ve got Miss Famous and she’s better than any cute little puppy any day!
  • I shouldn’t care what’s going on with him, anyway.  He hurt me so bad I should turn my back on him and never look back.
  • Remember those pictures?  The ones with our married neighbor, D, who he was hanging out with X all the time before I left?  Wow, that one photo shows one of her big harps actually set up in our house.  I’m, um, not sure how I feel about that.
  • Oh, yeah, that was jealousy.
  • Jealous!  Over that bastard?!?!  What are you, crazy?  What, are you ready to go back to him or something?  Pathetic…
  • How come he didn’t look sad in these pictures?  Didn’t I mean anything to him?
  • He sure seems to have moved on rather quickly.
  • What would he think if he saw how I was doing?
  • Why do I care?
  • Why did I look at those pictures?
  • Why did I do this?

And on, and on, ad infinitum…

So, I am trying to get the words like “should” out of my vocabulary.  Like, “I shouldn’t care about him,” or “I should be over this,” etc.  Sometimes this feels like recovering from abuse, and sometimes it just feels like a regular breakup.  It’s kind of a mind-fuck, so I guess that part of our relationship hasn’t changed.

I’m working, working, working on the self-kindness, and waiting for the day when, if I run across a random group of photos of Mr. X’s new life, I won’t be overwhelmed by curiosity.

*Of course, she would not berate me, but she would be pretty convincing to get me to stop looking, which is why I called her.

Crazy 8s

Kristin, who makes everyone look a little bit lazy by how much she squeezes into the day, tagged me for this.  The post I was working on wasn’t quite ready, and this seemed like a little more fun to do, so thanks Kristin, I told you I’d get right on it!

To do list (i.e. “the rules”):

  1. Mention the person who tagged me,  check.
  2. Complete the list of 8’s, check.
  3. Tag 8 bloggers & tell them I tagged them, check.

Eight things I am looking forward to:

  1. the time when I am no longer surprised by random moments of grief and pain over Mr. X and my time with him
  2. having my last name back after the divorce is final
  3. having my house sell (please somebody buy it so there is nothing else holding me to him!)
  4. the day I feel strong enough to move out into my own place (well, mine and Miss Famous’ place :))
  5. my parents’ surprise 40th anniversary party on June 14th
  6. having a job so that I don’t have to ask my parents for money all the time (sounds like high school, no?)
  7. my next dinner out with the Bread Maven (my only friend in the close vicinity)–as yet unscheduled
  8. going back to the lake (I went a few weeks ago with my sister and her brood), but this time with Miss Famous in attendance (I didn’t know dogs were allowed when I went the first time)

Eight things I did yesterday:

  1. helped my mom buy rugs
  2. helped mom clean the old rugs and decided where to put them
  3. made dinner for my niece
  4. gave Miss Famous a bath
  5. talked on the phone with a good friend
  6. jumped on the trampoline with the niece (my first time in a LOOOOOONG time back on the trampoline, much to her delight)
  7. picked up my car from the mechanic–it was having the horn repaired for the inspection so I can get my car registered here
  8. cleaned the kitchen, after convincing the niece (I was babysitting) to help me (the payoff was that I would jump on the trampoline with her)

Eight things I wish I could do:

  1. Go visit my friends in the Netherlands RIGHT NOW.
  2. Turn off my feelings at will.
  3. Show people the truth about Mr. X.
  4. Know who is worthy of my trust, and who is not.
  5. Stop worrying about money.
  6. Have all “my” people live close to me and not scattered around the world
  7. Stop worrying about what people are thinking about me.
  8. Move on to the next phase of my life already–the one where I feel strong and successful.

Eight shows I watch:

(This was kind of hard as I don’t watch TV right now.  When I have watched in the recent past it’s usually been DVDs of shows; but it’s been awhile–well, since the Great Escape, anyway.  The following list are shows I have seen and liked.)

  1. The Wire
  2. The Closer
  3. The Shield
  4. Weeds
  5. Entourage
  6. Flight of the Conchords
  7. Mad Men
  8. Big Love

Eight favorite fruits:

  1. persimmons
  2. figs
  3. white peaches
  4. honeydew melon
  5. rambutan (only once, but mmmmmm…..)
  6. dates
  7. coconut
  8. cantaloupe (only if properly ripened)

Eight places I’d like to travel:

  1. India
  2. The Netherlands (see above)
  3. Mexico (all over the country)
  4. Peru
  5. Argentina
  6. Chile
  7. Ireland
  8. Eastern Europe

Eight places I’ve lived:

(in no particular order)

  1. Utah
  2. a place or two in Texas
  3. Tennessee
  4. Jerusalem, Israel
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Guadalajara, Mexico
  7. Torrejon AFB, Madrid, Spain
  8. A couple of other places in Texas 🙂

People I’ve tagged:

  1. Wiseguy
  2. Victoria
  3. Beautiful Mess
  4. Nina
  5. Jendeis
  6. Billy
  7. Dragonfly Mama
  8. Callie

Pesach flashback #2: spring cleaning

I’ve talked about Pesach (Passover) a bit before, and these thoughts about chametz (leaven) have been rattling around my mind ever since, well, ever since I packed up and left.  As I said before, when I was packing up and leaving was the time when I would normally be preparing the house for Pesach.  Said like that, one doesn’t really get the significance of the task.  Suffice it to say, there are many jokes made about going back into slavery in the days and weeks before Pesach in order to get our homes ready to celebrate our freedom from slavery.  Ha, ha, ha.  Jendeis has a good description of her what her Pesach prep entails.  Pesach prep in my house with Mr. X was generally a little more intense than her list portrays, and every year he would change what level of cleaning he was comfortable with (so some years were definitely harder than others), but her post should give you an idea if you are interested.  Basically–clean everything really well, use different dishes, kasher (make kosher–often means boiling) utensils or other items that are able to be kashered.  Clean entire house of any crumbs of food, etc.

This year, around the time that I would normally start planning out the cleaning schedule, I was figuring out if I was going to leave my husband or not, so my regular Pesach concerns were kind of out the window.  At the same time, I was aware of the time of year and that I wasn’t making those plans.  So during the time that I would normally be vacuuming under the couch cushions for crumbs, and scrubbing out the cabinets, and ridding the house of all foods with chametz in them, I was instead deciding what items I was going to take with me in my Great Escape.

I already made the connections to the journey out of Egypt elsewhere.  The actual preparation for the journey, however…as I said above, I was very aware of the time frame in the Jewish calendar, and somewhere between the subconscious and the conscious I knew that this packing, this preparing to leave, this was my Pesach preparation.

So what is chametzChametz is leavened bread, bread (or bread products) that have been allowed to rise.  Spiritually, chametz has been likened to pride, anger, even death.  Traditionally, one is to literally burn the last bit of chametz in possession before Pesach begins.

After I knew I would have to leave, in the few days before X left for his out of town trip that would give me the opportunity to escape, I found myself looking at all of the things around the house, and I realized I could leave them all.  I realized it didn’t matter at all, all of this accumulation that had seemed so important just a few months before.  If I had to, I could have walked away with nothing.

I didn’t walk away with nothing, but I took very little.  Just today I spoke with my homeowners’ insurance company.  I almost laughed when they asked about my possessions at my current residence.  The things I took fit in my car’s trunk and the back of my mom’s truck (cover closed), with room to spare.  If I hadn’t brought Miss Famous and her varied necessities, my trunk would have been empty.

I hadn’t realized how cathartic it would be to go through my things and say, “No, no, no.”  No, I’m in too many photos with X in that outfit, no, I’ve always hated that shirt.  No, I’m not bringing any of this, any of that, thank you, but no.  And it felt like with every item I left behind, I was freeing myself a little more, stripping off the chains one link at a time.

And it didn’t stop with the physical items.  It seemed in those days that I was literally breathing him out of my body, sweating him out, crying him out.  All of those years that I was pushed into a smaller and smaller space with fewer and fewer choices, all of those insinuating sighs and cruel words–I sloughed them off with my skin.  This was my chametz:  the daily dying that comes with needs deferred too, too long, the deep wound of a love returned by hate, the exhaustion of avoiding unavoidable landmines.  This was the year I started seeking out and burning the chametz.

um, I’ll take it…

My older sister has a nineteen-year-old step-son, my step-nephew (?), who has many, many problems, all of which I will not go into at this time, but I will say that he has been less than kind to his girlfriend (which has been highly upsetting to our entire family–especially his dad, my brother-in-law).  My sister and brother-in-law have offered to let her stay with them, have offered her many kinds of help, etc.  Anyway, it’s a long dramatic story.

Yesterday, while driving in the car with my sister, she told me that my step-nephew’s girlfriend is pregnant.  Our conversation of course went ’round and about many paths, but my first thought?

“I’d love to adopt that baby.”

Family drama aside…there’s not really any way I could handle taking care of another human being right now, particularly an infant (and the devil on my shoulder whispers, “But in nine months, won’t you be much better?”).

Some dreams don’t die.

an unexpected encounter in a place long thought gone

Today I got a silly song in my head and my thoughts wandered down a bunny trail, as my thoughts are likely to do, and I ended up in a place I did not expect ever to be again, which was a place of fond feelings for Mr. X.  Fond feelings and affection, which soon lead, of course, to feelings of hurt, shock, and dismay, that this person for whom I felt such love could have treated me so horribly (and for the duration of our relationship, for the record).

And this is what it comes down to really:  I really want to hate him.  I want to wish him harm.  That would be so much easier.  And today surprised me so much, because I haven’t been longing for him, I haven’t been thinking of times with him with anything at all like nostalgia–more like disbelief.  My good friend, H, put it this way:  I have been reacting much like one whose loved one has died after a long illness; it is as if my marriage died after a long, brutal illness and I have been feeling mostly relief and not mourning over it’s loss.

Until today.  Which is why it surprised me so.  And I don’t want to feel anything positive for this person who still would hurt me any way he could (just ask my divorce attorney).  Today I was right back in the middle of the questions of how this person who said he loved me could treat me like his…I can’t even think of a good analogy.

Fuck the questions.  I’d rather hate him.