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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Introspective (8)

Friday
Aug052011

The Candyman Was Right.

So my friend Michele called me on the day I wrote my whining post about how hard every thing is. I thought for a second she’d read it and called to check in with me (as several of my Blog People did, which I so appreciate). Alas, I know she doesn’t read the blog so knew that wasn’t it. (P.S. I find it sort of strange that my very closest friends rarely read my blog though I don’t speak to them on the regular. Anyone else got this going on?)

Then I remembered that I’d called her over the weekend while The Candyman and I were fighting. I wasn’t going to talk to her about the fight because I just don’t do that. Inviting anyone other than The Candyman into any part of my marriage isn’t something I do. However, I did want  to talk about nonsensical girl-things to get my mind off of the fight while I was getting myself a revenge-pedicure (I’ll show HIM! I’m going to step out of my own self-imposed moratorium on pedicures and get one. That will totally show him. Humph!).

Now Michele is a smart cookie. Really smart. I have no idea what she does, but it’s like behavioral management type shit. She used to work for this company where she traveled the US and coached prison wardens on management styles and such. And she’d go to the prisons. I can’t ever imagine this because Michele is the girliest of girls and trying to plop her into a prison setting, pretty much telling wardens what to do is not something I can see in my mind’s eye. Anyway, she has this ability to listen to what someone says about who they are or what they are struggling with and then BLAMMO! she sees straight through to the bullshit and totally calls you on it. It can be unnerving sometimes.

So I told her about how I think I am the suck and unaccomplished and basically feel like a big, fat, stupid cow munching away on my cud all the live long day. She asked me a few questions about how I spend my days, am I exercising (not enough), what kind of groups am I involved it, etc. Really basic, almost job interview types of questions. And then BLAMMO! she says, “Louise, you need to take more time for yourself. You need to do things for you. You need to take this time and enjoy it. You may not ever have it again.”

There are all sorts of feelings of guilt associated with chilling the hell out on the couch all the live long day, or for even an hour or two. That’s just not me. There’s guilt associated with not bringing home the bacon like I once did, versus frying up The Candyman’s turkey bacon like I do now. And The Candyman knows I’ve been infusing his dishes with resentment, a la Like Water for Chocolate style. That’s just rude of me.

But the point of this post is that The Candyman has been saying the exact same shit to me for the last nine months. “Take more time for yourself, honey” he says, and “Why don’t you skip the blog post today?” or “You should look at this time as a once in a lifetime opportunity.” I totally ignore him and consider him a moron. Then other people, including my really smart friend Michele, start saying the same thing and suddenly I start listening.

Why do we do that?

This scenario has happened in the reverse too. I can’t remember the exact issue, but there had been something I was hammering The Candyman over and he simply would NOT listen to me. It was infuriating. Then we went to one of our pre-marital counseling sessions and our therapist said what I’d been saying to him, like exactly and suddenly he’s all, “Oh, I get it!” and I wanted to clobber him over the head with my shoe. Repeatedly.

So why does that happen? Why do we not hear the people who are closest to us? Why does it take outside counsel for us to hear things our partners tell us all the damn time? I mean, our wives and husbands are the people who committed themselves to us: to have and to hold, till death and all that. And are our partners trying to sabotage us? Make us unhappy? Are the trying to give us false hope and fill our minds with bullshit rhetoric? Well, from a simple strategy position, that would be dumb. There’s a lot of wisdom in that horrid saying, “Happy wife, happy life.” Unless I married a complete asshole, there’s no reason why The Candyman would intentionally do anything that wasn’t in my/his/our best interests. And I didn’t marry an asshole. I married the sweet Candyman. He’s got my best interests at heart, yet I fail to see that or truly listen to what I’m hearing from him.

This doesn’t mean that I’ll be taking every damn thing that comes out of his mouth as gospel. Not my style. However, I do think I need to be a better listener. I hear him all the time, I just don’t internalize what he’s saying unless I am super-focused. Most of the time, I am decidedly unfocused because I’m too damn busy worrying about all the shit I’m not, my failures and lack of current accomplishments. This is where I need to practice some basic listening skills. However, it’s hard to push aside the heavy, musty, dirty curtain of your own self-doubt and see that there is an  audience filled with your biggest fans, The Candyman sitting in the center seat of the front row.

The Candyman, basking in the glow of my epiphany,  suggested I write a post about how he was right about all this stuff. So I am. And just to make him feel really good, I’ll admit this too: we totally should have gotten a gas mower. The electric one blows.

Saturday
Jul302011

Closing in on 30.

No, not me. Puh-lease. I clearly passed that ages ago. But do you know who's turning 30 on Monday? MTV, that's who. THIRTY!

Wait. Thirty? You have got to be kidding me. I mean I feel like it wasn't all that long ago when I sat with my across-the-street neighbor Jeff and his younger sister Jenny, all of us cross-legged on his mom's king size water bed in anticipation of the first MTV video.

For those of you not in the know, MTV first aired on August 1st, 1981 at midnight. Midnight in NYC was 4pm in Kailua, Hawaii. Cable was new and there was no such thing as time delay.

I was always over at Jeff's house. His mom worked all the time and was never home. It was me, Jeff and Jenny and sometimes their older brother John. Jeff and John cooked dinner for themselves, which I thought was fascinating. Jeff taught me how to make banana bread from the bananas we picked out of his back yard. Jeff tutored me to the highest final exam grade in our Alegra class - even higher than him. Even higher than the smart kids who took special classes at the high school. Booya.

Jeff was the second boy I ever smooched, on a dare from his sister Jenny. The first boy was a creepy friend of my brother's. I was invited by his friends to play a game of Spin the Bottle at a party at our house (my mother, tucked discreetly and quietly back in her room). I thought I was with the Cool Older Kids. It turns out to be kinda weird playing Spin the Bottle with your brother there. Simply awkward. I got a nano-second smooch from the boy who was NOT Zane Syden, who was totally the boy I would have been happy to kiss. He was hot. But I smooched the creep and ran. I high-tailed it outta there, buddy.   

But the kiss from Jeff was just more funny than anything else. It was a dare, in front of his sister Jenny, in the evening dark of my front yard. I have some strange memories of that moment: the hum of the TV playing inside my house. The tickle on my bare arm of the hibiscus plant leaf, a neat row of them growing up the length of our porch. I remember holding my breath, the smell of Jeff's warm, slightly oily skin and the flush on my face when we parted faces and laughed at ourselves. How brave we were and how silly his sister was for even thinking of daring us.

But all that happened after those first videos that aired on 8.1.81. We had just met, really. Our family moved onto their street that very summer. School hadn't started yet. We were still young enough to play outside all day. We weren't quite old enough to start getting into a little trouble, like stealing kisses on a dare. Or sneaking out into the street after our parents had long been sleeping, just to stand under the street light and whisper and try not to laugh too loudly. Sometimes his siblings were there, sometimes my brother came out too and the five of us would sit on Jeff's lava stone wall and just talk. Talk away the night- of what? I have zero recollection. No, that's not true. I remember talking about that all new girl band The Go-Go's....they all played their own instruments! COOL! And how super-cute Simon LeBon was, but like, totally not as cute as the boy Brooks who I had a totally rad crush of for like, all of eighth grade. Fer sure, like y'know? 

The first video ever played on MTV was, as most people know, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. What most people can't seem to recall is the second. I always do. It was "You Better Run" by Pat Benatar. I remember sitting there with Jeff and Jenny watching this second video in awe. Pat Benatar was a woman and she was strong! Not a hippy like Janis Joplin or a country singer like Loretta Lynn or a folks singer like Linda Ronstadt. Pat Benatar was a Rock Star. My rock star. A rock star for the girls who wanted to be just as strong and fierce and as unabashedly wear red lipstick. Yeah, I wanted to be just like her. Still do. 

I miss the innocence of that time in my life. Sometimes a little too much, methinks. But when I do, I just listen to a few songs from back then and that feeling fades. I listen to songs like "Saved by Zero" by The Fixx. "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper. "Sexy and 17" by The Stray Cats. "Girls on Film" by Duran Duran. "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar. "Open Arms" by Journey. I love those songs. 

Today the TV is playing all kinds of crazy retro, 30 year old MTV clips on VH1 Classic. Martha Quinn was so cute. The music and the videos remind me of so much. It brings a smile to my face. It made me look up my friend Jeff on Facebook, just to see what he was up to. We've remained friends, though distant ones, after I left Hawaii in 1984. I kept up with him as I tended to do: an always-moving Marine Brat made me an excellent pen pal. Now Jeff is a tall, tan and chiseled athlete. He's successful and attractive and has been together with his partner Jeff, for longer than I can remember. Jeff and Jeff. It's kinda too cute. 

This vintage TV has me in a remeniscent sort of fuzz today. I won't tell The Candyman though because he has no patience for my little girl tales, no patience for youthful longing. It's okay though, because it's the music that I need in times like this, nothing more. So in honor of these 30 years since that king sized water bed at Jeff's house, I give you the coolest chick I knew in 1981. Happy Birthday, MTV.

 

Wednesday
Jul202011

Perspective

Sometimes when I have super-bad cramps (like this week) I get pissed and argue with God. Then I speak to an old friend, his wife’s cancer is in remission. Every little pain or cough is a trip to the doctor for fear of the cancer’s return.

Perspective.

I consider myself unemployed, mostly by 2 measurements: I’m not making any money and I don’t have a corporate sponsored health care plan or 401K. Then I realize that I am able bodied enough to in fact, go to work, I have health care (though it ain’t cheap!) and that we can make due on one salary just fine.

Perspective.

I see things on the internet and berate myself with the fact that I am a creativeless boob “crafting” junk for people who don’t want it and that I’m probably charging too much for said junk. Then I see shit like this and feel better.

Perspective.

I know very few people in Charlotte and don’t feel like I have any friends. At all. Anywhere. Ever. Then today I get three phone calls from old friends. And the Asian lady at the dry cleaners remembers my name and phone number.

Perspective.

That is all. Today’s word is clearly: Perspective. I have some now. Do you?

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