“Male” as a Foreign Language.

I have been married – and divorced – three times. Two of those marriages were of respectable length and maintain civility even now. I have a handful of male friends who are closer to me than most others. I have a son with whom i share a good relationship. And yet i am clueless as to how to deal with men. I can’t speak their language. I’m not even talking the fine art of being fluent in Male. I’m talking Male for tourists here. So much time amongst them, and i can barely ask for directions to the subway.

To make matters more complicated, just like the formal and informal “you” pronouns of most European languages, Male has two distinct dialects: “Romantic Interest” and “Friend”.  And tho you may long to be bestowed with romance, once you’re deemed worthy of the friendly informal, your chances at ever being more than their friend get tossed out the window with the formal language phrases like, “You are really amazing.” or “How did i get so lucky?” They are replaced by phrases that require you to lie with a straight face and agree that the woman who got the role you wanted is perfect. Faster than he can switch from “vous” to “tu”, your hopes are dashed, and not even your aching, begging eyes will change his mind.  Hell, not even a night of award-winning sex will change his mind. You are “tu”. To be anything more would go against the laws of testosterone

They say that there are some men who are bilingual and can speak both dialects at the same time, transitioning seamlessly from one to the other when speaking to a woman who is allowed both roles, but i have never met one personally. I think those men are like Sasquatch or Nessie… Real only to the few who believe to have seen them. Men, God bless them, are limited. One girl, one dialect. Friend or potential partner. Never both. That would be like a fruit that was both chip dip and hair treatment. (Incidentally, if you are reading this and you are male – Avocados are both. Duh)  Anyway, the point is, tho there are men who swear they married their best friend, those men are on the same list as unicorns and flattering bathing suits – on the “Shit I’ll Believe When I See It” list.

Not that i mind being the friend. It’s nice to have a man in your life that you don’t need to worry about impressing with your unceasing awesomeness and sexiness. Or, if you’re like me, giving the impression that you have those things. It means you can be yourself. You can be flawed. You can be real. And they will love you regardless. Just not the way you want them to.

Unique and Unique

November 17, 2009 at 8:21pm

glass shards
beveled edges
no rhyme or reason.
but i want to fit
no gaps, no cracks, no holes
angles and sides together seamlessly
seems unlikely
but i really want to fit

we weren’t carved by artisans
not cut with a template
colors not chosen to be complementary
so we can’t fit
molded by tides
worn by the weather
polished by harsh reality
so we can’t possibly fit

and yet…

sometimes we do
side to side, front to back, top to bottom
two sides, one coin
sometimes we fit

if we grind just a little and
use the glass dust for fill
be gentle with each other
maybe we can fit

Fun With Glue

June 13, 2014

Ready for work! Grab my purse, keys & glasses, and…. Oh, hell. I split a nail. No problem. I just bought a new tube of superglue.

I’m late, so i run quick to the closet, reach inside my tool belt. TaDa! Rip open the package, drop the applicator cap on the floor (happens every time…), and rush to grab it before the dog does. Screw it together…

Holy crap! It’s oozing out like Momma BooBoo’s muffin top! I’m trying to catch it all so it doesn’t get on my new dress. Obviously, this isn’t very smart, and it only takes my fingers being stuck to the tube to figure it out. Where’s the acetone? Oh, in the bathroom, of course. Spin around… Well, kinda. A graceful turn except for my right toes which are now glued to the floor.

I don’t suppose i need to add that this is where i access my multi-lingual supply of curse words.

Plunk down before thinking that i may have just stuck my tookis to the floor. Grab a flat head from my toolbelt and start prying.

How will i explain this to my girls at the nail salon? My foot looks contagious.

Up i go. Thankfully, my dress and cheeks come with. Bathroom. Scrub with nail polish remover. My fingers are separate now, but the texture of day-old flakey pastry. So glad i spent half an hour painting my nails yesterday. I now have the hands of a well-kept leper.

Now i’m REALLY late. But at least my coworkers will get to start their day with a laugh.

Next time, i’ll just use Elmers.

The Little Brown Man

October 28, 2014 at 8:22pm

I kiss and hug my friend, Superman, at the rotunda and we each head down our respective concourses. I am exhausted. My feet hurt. My chest feels like it’s been filled with the stuff that makes fart noises when you pack it into its container. But i’m smiling. I’ve had a most awesome weekend, and i’m on my way home to my weedlings.

I stop at the Starbucks and order a tea-latte-formerly-known-as-London-Fog and a scone. Make my way to the gate. It’s pretty crowded, 30 minutes to boarding, but there’s a seat by the windows. I plunk my tired arse down, smile and nod to the other passengers around me, settle my bags and dig into my scone. It tastes good, but as scones are wont to be, it is rather dry. I start to cough. Take a sip of my TLFKALF, but it’s piping hot, so it doesn’t help. Still coughing. It sounds terrible, all wet and gunky and crumb spewing. It hurts even worse. People are staring. My abs, or what passes for them anyway, are clenching. It stops long enough for me to catch my breath and grab a pack of kleenex from my purse.

Then it begins again. My eyes are watering, my nose is running, and i think i may have wet my pants. This is the cough to end all coughs. I can’t see. I can’t breathe. I’m so hot that i’m certain my clothing has caught fire and my own sweat has put it out. My rib cage is ripping in half and my trachea is exploding. People are picking up their bags and moving away as i cough up Jimmy Hoffa. Pleasegodpleasegodpleasemakeitstop.

And it does. For about 15 seconds.

Then it’s a tsunami of force from my gut so hard that i nearly blow a hole in my sleeve where i have buried my face. All of my senses have deserted me, i most certainly have wet my pants, the other passengers are cowering in the corner no doubt thinking i have ebola, and the ticket agent is on the phone, i am certain, with the TSA. I cough until i there is so much negative pressure in my lungs that if i could breathe, i’d likely suck in the racks of chairs around me with my next breath. I desperately try my drink one more time. It helps. I sip again. it starts to wane. I wipe the snot from my face with my kleenex, stuff all the icky ones into my starbucks bag, wheeze in some blessed recycled airport air and slump down in my seat. Then i hear the voice.

With a backdrop of horrified passengers, a tiny man appears in front of me. Indian, Armenian, something short, dark, and kindly like that. And in his sweet, lilting voice, he says, “I think you need this.”

He drops a Ricola into my hand, smiles with genuine empathy, and backs away.

I am so stunned by the smallness, and yet hugeness, of the gesture that i am at a loss for words. I clasp the cough drop to my chest, look at him, smile and nod, and then gather my things. I will clean myself up, drink my tea, and the world will be right again. All because a little brown man gave me a piece of Swiss corn syrup.

It isn’t the medicine that heals, it is the kindness.

Musings on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2014 at 9:39am

Ok. I’m not a traditional Christian. Perhaps i have no right to expound on the meaning of the holiday. Perhaps my ideas are off base and totally wrong. Perhaps no one gives a flip. But i’m going to write it anyway because in the wake of the violence and chaos of the year, i need to put out some good stuff to the cosmos.

So here’s a holiday with two large scale traditions. One religious, one secular. The birth of a man that started a whole new faith of peace and love. The dedication of a man who wanted happiness for all good children. Both present concepts that make us better people.

First Jesus. Whether or not you believe he was the Messiah, consider this. The history / tradition / faith of this man was about the one simple thing that makes us human. I don’t know that there is an adequate word for it. The Buddhists call it “Lovingkindness”. Be good to each other. Take care of each other. Stand up for each other. Respect each other. Protect each other. And above all, Love each other. And on Christmas, we mark the birth of the man who reminded the world that these things are our purpose. Not as Christians, but as people. Not to simplify it too much, but i believe that the goal is to treat people like our dogs treat us… With unswerving love and forgiveness and gratitude. And each year at this time, we all take that message closer to heart and try to live it. (Unless we’re looking for a parking spot at the mall… Then all bets are off). And this spirit is infectious. Each bit of warmth we share, it has the potential to go viral like the latest Miley video, but with less tacky and more love. Especially in this era of war and heartache and division, we need more love. As much as we can stand. And Christmas helps to inspire that. This year, i hope to keep this message in my heart and my actions for as much of the year as i can manage. After all, as a Theist, i can celebrate the concept of Christmas whenever i want 😉

As for Santa – Well, in some ways, he’s a secular example of the same tradition, isn’t he? Reminding people to be good to each other, reminding children to be respectful and do what they should. Would that he’d remind adults to do the same. (Can we say “Politicians”?) Tho granted, especially by the time we’re adults, we shouldn’t need the promise of presents to walk our talk. We should do it to preserve our humanity. But we don’t. Or at least I don’t. Not as often as i should, anyway. I see so many selfless acts in my day to day life and know for certain that i could – and will – do better. And to note – Since there is no such thing as a perfect human, take solace in this, one of my favorite holiday books… How Murray Saved Christmas ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdC6cxUeQZo Not the best reading of the book, you really need to buy it and read it for yourself 🙂 )

All in all, what i get from Christmas is a renewed sense of purpose. Of charity. of Humanity. Sort of like a spiritual New Year. And all of my shortcomings from last year… Well, i get a chance to do better. A renewed vow to myself and my God. A karma do-over. Break out my existential chisel and sandpaper and gorilla glue and do some improvements on my heart and soul. And just as importantly, allow others to do the same. The birth of a baby and the charity of an old man are the benchmarks for the best of Humanity. The spirit of Christmas brings the hope that we all can meet those benchmarks. All humanity has a chance to clean their soul windows and let their love shine. Lets see how long we can make it last this year.

Love, Light and Laughter, my friends. For this Christmas and for Always.