Taj Mahal

science says, silly goose

An emperor of some sub-state of India back in the day built the Taj Mahal as the tomb site for and in honor of his favorite wife named someone-or-other Mahal.

I learned that on Jeopardy.

My garish lack of detail and the flippant use of favorite brings me to the following:

One-Jeopardy moves really fast, but 1/6th of the time I totally nail it.

Two-I’ve always had a curiosity about having sister wives, except with lots of stipulations about their cooking abilities and that they generally looked like an Oompa Loompa.

Three-It’s been years since I binged all of Big Love, back then I used to put myself in the shoes of the young beautiful wife who had the most gorgeous of the babies and drove Bill wild with a simple glance. As my years tick by, and these wildly hypothetical situations arise, I see myself more as the original, oldest wife. She was composed, rooted in her love for her husband, above petty jealousy. Okay, so maybe I’m elevated these days in most areas save matters of the heart. But hey, I’d burn every ounce of that young beautiful woman and every other potential young beautiful woman to the ground and then rub the ashes across my face like war paint, I mean… if I were Barb.

Four-Really what Barb, Mrs.Mahal and every other wise women in all of history and modernity know is that it’s never the other women. (Save all the implications of vastly different cultures and social norms, that’s not the kinda thing that I’m writing here, this time around).

Five- Once Stacey said to me, that she had found the fallacy of long-term committed romantic relationship. It’s simply that we put too much pressure on our significant other to be everything that we need. When really what we need is a community. She’s right.

Still, I keep a ledger of all the ways that we’re keeping pace for favorite, or not. Hard to shake what you grew up on.

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Goodbye moon

Ever Sophia, Love, pretty things, therapy

I spent my whole childhood imagining what it would be like to be a mother. I would have three kids, all named after early 90’s sitcom characters: Blossom, Clarissa, and Tapanga, respectively. At least one would be a boy.

I was to be happily married, but also an ultra bad ass working mom, like an astronaut working mom. I’d tend to the children between missions to Saturn and stuff. I also magically was going to be there everyday when the kids got home from school. I’d bake pies for snack time, be the room mom and be the biddy basketball coach.

My babies were going to be five times as smart and a light year better at making good decision than me, but also have blonde hair and blue eyes because did you see me as a child? (Okay not those unfortunate ones where I was a morbidly obese infant the other ones).

Let me count the ways that I fabricated what I was sure would be reality: family vacations, family dinners, family meetings, family game night, family sized packs of fruit snacks, pretty much the word family before any noun makes it bigger and better, and who doesn’t like bigger and better things???

I now know that the word family not only makes you look like less of a glutton in the check out isle but it also allows you to share the burden. It creates a home. Relief on the hard days and witnesses for the great ones.

Absolutely none of those things happened. Happily married evaded me the more I chased it. Three artfully named children turned into one artfully named girl. Being an astronaut turned into being a therapist, though I’m pretty sure that I’ve had an alien or two as clients. I can’t even remember a single time that I wasn’t rushing around in traffic at five o’clock trying to pick Ev up before her after school care closed. Last but not least I have no time to coach anything, other than the rousing peptalks that I give both of us to crawl out of bed and even still our morning routine makes it into double overtime pretty consistently.

The moments of feeling like I’ve balanced single parenthood, work, school, romantic partnership, dog ownership (my eulogy to who I thought I would be as a dog parent is next), has been far from eloquent. I’m inclined to say it’s the hardest thing that I have ever done, but also that it’s never once felt impossible.

I haven’t yet gotten to be the mom I dreamed to be. But I did get to be Ever’s mom over and over and over again. Couldn’t have chosen a more majestic little creature to negotiate this family thing with until the day I die, and then some.

There’s a whole other part to this but I’m keeping highly classified information about the most beautiful thing that happened today, so I’ll wait on until the photo deal goes through with People magazine and the gag order is lifted (I’m impatient, you know this).

precipitating events

Love, pretty things, soulfood

Trying to stay present. Soak in all of the glorious sensations of new love. Let go of my instinct to recoil when a man sings my praises. Silence the voices in my head ringing the warning bells of, that’s what they all say.

Somewhere deep down I’m confused as to why the beginnings are filled with eloquent soliloquies about how I’m an angel and so much of everything that they’ve ever wanted. The ends come riddled with stone cold projections about things that I have never been. We both know the truth, and it’s not their version of the story most of the time. But, I let go these days. Remember.

Today, the place that I live now.

Today, I dig claws into my reservoir of optimism, syphoned and over tapped some time ago. Just a woman naked under the full moon of lust. Dancing for heavy rains of abundant care. Prayers that this time, he really means it.

Tempering my heart with intentional inner dialogue: even if it doesn’t work out, I will be a better person for loving.

Just here, now, balanced on the edge of fear, attempting to translate this visceral feeling that somewhere between our mutual words of adulation is an incredibly viable promise of lasting love, and still, me, searching for words.

Living in incredible awe of you, of me, and the phenomenon of falling in love. Kissing good night my attempts to rationalize magic. I am so sorry for doing that to you.

Humming bird

Love, soulfood, therapy

When I showed my ex-ex boyfriend my archetypal piece, where through tears I explained the parts of my destiny that I could not yet understand to a room full of people, he sat there silently. It was a turning point, I would tell my therapist. He didn’t even care enough to say anything at all.

When I showed my ex-boyfriend my archetypal piece, I was explaining that it was a turning point last spring. The image that clarified that I want to be married, I want more kids. My vision of a very wholesome commitment to a joyous man. Someone really sweet. My professor was really hung up on it having this big all seeing eye.

I said I think it’s you. He said, it can’t be me, I don’t have blue eyes.

Turns out it couldn’t be you, you’re not sweet. You are not the promise of eternal love. And both of your eyes are sewn shut.

You know who has blue eyes.

silly rabbit

Love, pretty things, silly goose, soulfood, therapy

Ya’ll know I’ve been kissing frogs, for a while. I’ve officially been single for a year. Let me do some finger counting like a 1st grader realllll quick…. I’ve been on dates with TWELVE different men in a year. Of those seven made it to second dates. (That’s actually way more than I thought, now that I review the facts). Surprisingly decent odds, but I’m also just a really nice person who likes to give people ample opportunity to let their pretty little personalities shine. For only three of the seven was there any real potential for a meaningful relationship. One out of twelve made it to official boyfriend territory that quickly corroded into a land mine of manipulation, deception, and horrors, but who’s counting.

And then there was lucky number twelve. 

Twelve is an auspicious number meaning that this dude if wholesome as fuck. Someone that I look at and think, now here’s a man who stands up to the grandpa test. 

So, what’s the grandpa test?
My Papa who is absolutely the love of my life. The corner stone of positive male influence for me. The man, who when it comes down to it, I’ve been desperately trying to find. (Uhhh huh, that’s how attachment to our opposite sexed caregivers work, if you’re lucky, you try to recreate healthy relationships in your life and not toxic or disregarding ones… been there too.) I’ve been working on my daddy issues like it’s my job for years, ’cause it is.

This past summer I had the absolute blessing to spend a few days with my Papa. Time crawled by, I savored every moment of it. One summer Kansas evening, we were sitting in lawn chairs on his back porch, and my Pops was telling me about how he had made a number of loans to people who blatantly did not pay him back based on their agreement. My grandpa is savvy, it’s not that he didn’t understand that there was risk in loaning friends money, it was that he couldn’t fucking believe that people were systematically so God-damned shitty these days. Long held acquaintances. Family friends. People from his tiny close-knit community. Ohhhh you gonna do me like that. (That’s what my grandpa sounds like in my head, not reality).

He just explained it all really sadly. Like right in front of his eyes as the decades ticked by he watched as morality completely eroded. Disbelief. But, still he shows up to the next person ringing his doorbell in a terrible bind, with the benefit of the doubt. Still helping people. Still hoping that there will be a few more someones that behave honorably.
That conversation has been a lump in my throat ever sense.

Maybe that’s the word, the sentiment, the everything: honorable.
For a year I have been searching high and low for an honorable man and I didn’t even know it until it was just right there staring me back in the eyes.

I’m learning and learning and learning to listen to my intuition. To stay tuned into my senses. To be careful about getting ahead of myself, be careful about having too many drinks, being careful about over sharing, over promising, over fantasizing about how wonderful it all could be. Learning because the reverse of all of those things is like playing with matches in a kerosene bathtub. And I’ve taken many a self-induced fire bomb bath over the years.

Number twelve, who I shall now rename to number one, because it’s a new year, and a new even more intentional and present me, truly seems like a really good person.

My mantra/prayer/manifesting process before meeting him had gotten super clear:
I just want to find someone who is good to me, consistently.

That’s all. Time will tell. But you know, I’m me, and he’s probably the one.

Successfully took another bullet in the name of love

Love, soulfood

Picked up the box you sent me today.

The man at the UPS store hit on me,

“When I saw the name I was expecting a big burley German woman, but look at you.”

“Hum”. My signature response to the strange things men feel propelled to say.

He said, “This didn’t come very far, but they sure packed it good”.

“Yeah, I’m not even sure how there was this much stuff”.

 

I had forgotten that I gave you a key to my car,

a key to my house,

a key to my soul.

takes up a lot of space I guess.

utttttt oh

Love, pretty things, soulfood

Just there. Always. Last year. Next weekend. Today with 30 minutes notice.

What do you want to do?

Let’s explore.

Opened door.
Up a mountain.
Side of the road, head thrown back, star gazing. Beaming blinding moon.

His arm must have been just floating behind my back. Asking sweet gentle permission, is this okay?

Okay, well there’s the Big Dipper you know that. And then where there would be a line that goes to Polaris. The North Star. The one that all of the other ones rotate around. But that’s some old time sailor stuff.

Over there, you see that cluster of stars with the bright one in the middle, that’s the one on the Subaru logo. Pleiades.

There’s Orion and those there are his belt of course. And the one that looks like a sigma that’s Cassiopeia. And then there’s this one and I know I was supposed to remember the shape, but I’m not sure anymore.

Later he would say I’m not very good at stars. I’d say you did pretty well.

Scratch That

Love, soulfood

You know what, never mind. I just got so caught up in my little girl emotions, that I forgot who I was.

 

Girl you are a mastermind of the interpersonal relationship. You are an artist, a poet. You are a student of psychology and resilience. You are living an authentic life. You are thirty years old. You have made all of the strange turns in life. You have learned through blood sweat and tears how to negotiate, respect and care for a partner. You are selfless and you are fierce.

 

Yeah but still every time that I see you I wonder if it will be the last.