Monday, July 13, 2015

Ghost Turds

My curly hair is thick, long, wiry, frizzy, akin to wearing  a heating pad on my head and neck.  But if I cut my locks short, they are kinky, frizzy, thick, and untamable.  When I had short hair, I struggled to keep it in some form of a style (this was before flat irons, which I’m convinced were a gift from God himself.  They basically fry your hair into submission).  Instead of obeying my futile attempts at control with aqua net and hair gel, my hair would immediately curl and frizz the moment I walked out my front door.  The Oklahoma humidity shows no remorse.  The protection provided by the dry air within a home with central air conditioning was only temporary, and just as my glasses would fog up upon walking outside, so my hair would frizz.  I remember driving to work after painstakingly working to get my hair under control, blasting the car air conditioning with the vents turned on my hair.  I seemed to think that would protect it from the humidity.  But it never did. 


When I wear it long, the weight of my hair allows the curls to fall in a spiral instead of a tight curl against my head.  I learned in high school that taming this mane is a full time job and I’m much too lazy for it.  So it has been kept long for many years now.


Another bonus of having these tresses is that I shed constantly.  In the shower I can barely tug on the ends of my hair and pull out a handful of hair that has already detached and is waiting for freedom.  My husband is disgusted by the piles of hair that collect in the corners of the tub (yes, I do eventually collect them all and throw them away).    I have to clean out the drain every few days.   Ponytails are a saving grace for me, as they pull hair away from my face and they hold in those loose strands.  A bald man would gasp at the hair I waste.


My hair gets everywhere in the house—even in places you don’t think it could get.  Also, we have a yellow lab who sheds worse than I do.  And we have 2 long haired cats that shed.  Basically, my house is full of hair of every color.  My wood floors—okay, fake wood floors—are dark, so they show all dust particles.   I can sweep the floor and as soon as the vacuum is put away, there is more hair and dust.  Using a broom gathers the big clumps of hair and dust, but the teeth in the broom merely disperses the individual hairs in a more random pattern than before.  So it feels very futile.  Keeping the hair off the floor is an unending feat that I have learned to not worry about too much.  Dust Bunnies, as I have always heard them called, are an unending saga.


One day, Jeff made a comment about the ever-growing ghost turds.  Um, excuse me?   Did you say ghost turds?  He said that in the military they were referred to as ghost turds.  Why ghost turds?  He’s not sure, except to ask, “Have you ever seen one form?  No?  Then how do they form?  They are turds of ghosts.”   Sadly, I think this sounds more realistic than dust bunnies.  My husband, who likes order,  is learning to let go of the ghost turd issues.  He is learning that he may win a battle or two, but he cannot win that war.    And some wars are not worth winning.  They call for more frustration and effort than is truly worth spending.  Sometimes, we have to raise that white flag and say, “meh.  You win this time.  I’ll battle you next week.  But this week, well, my family time comes first.”


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Life of Bryan

Dear Bryan,

I only recently learned you had passed away.  Today in fact, 2-1/2 months after you took your last breath.  I have checked the obituaries a couple of times in the past several years—and I had a feeling I needed to look you up again.  The last time I did, I saw that your father had passed away.  Although you two never saw eye to eye, he was the one person in your family, outside of yourself, that I related to the most.       

When I read the obituary, my heart sunk to my intestines.  You were so young.  So full of life.  Life had been so unfair to you.  When I think of your last few years on this earth, I imagine a pure hell.   I question the existence of a God who would allow his people to exist in such a manner.  However, in contrast to any disbelief, I also like to think you are walking freely in heaven with your dogs…..running like the wind, feeling the earth under your feet and the grass between your toes, stretching your limbs, feeling the air graze between your fingers, laughing, and……  Free from wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen tanks, feeding tubes, stiff muscles, and all the hell your disease brought you.    And if heaven has a place for potheads, I’m betting you are frequenting that place, too. 

You taught me how to trust, to let go, to remove my castle walls, alligator moat, and 100 padlocks.  You made me feel alive and beautiful.  But you also sucked life out of me.  I had promised to love you forever, but I never imagined the future.  I wanted so much for God to heal you.  I wanted so much for a better diagnosis to arise.  As you lost control of your world, you worked to gain control of mine.  You wanted more of me than I could give at a time when I was working 2 jobs.  I think your dad loved you more than you ever imagined, but he had no freakin idea how to express that.  He was angry at God, and he took it out on you.    Your mom loved you, but the codependency was so deep, and it wore me down.

I left, and although I never regretted leaving the angst and drama behind, I have always regretted leaving you behind.  I knew I would be hated.  I knew I would be looked down upon.   “She’s not strong enough.”  “What did she expect?”  “How cruel of her to leave him in his weakness!”  I didn’t actually hear any of this, but I am certain such things have been stated.

It has been 7 years since I walked away from you, and I felt the sting of guilt and heartache all over again today.  May you run.  May you dance.  May you shout your freedom from the heavens.  I’ll be listening for you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Oh, what a year it's been.  One year ago, I was chatting with a gentleman who intrigued me.   He was very straight forward, almost brutally honest.  He didn't mince words.  He seemed pretty cool.  Exactly a year later, I'm living with him and his daughter.  We are a family.  And my life is dramatically different.

Now I drive a child to school some days, and some days I pick her up from school.  I make dinner most nights.  I make breakfast some mornings.  Every nook and cranny of this little casa has an object nestled into it as we are constantly trying to make room.  The hot tub is running again, the kitchen lights work again, and the yard stays mowed. 

But more than all of that--I have someone to come home to.  I have purpose again.  In a year, I've watched his child grow dramatically.  I have seen him through job changes, and we have dealt with financial burdens, exes, child drama, and monotony.  But I love him more each day.

I see him, and I consider myself fortunate.  He encourages my hobbies (guns, fishing, etc) and he is someone I can talk to for hours.  He gets me.  He has seen my most inner being and still loves me.

I find him irresistible, and I'm thankful I didn't settle on any other man before him, becuase he has the qualities I most wanted: humor, honesty, integrity, strength, a hard worker, a go-getter, a god lover,  a music lover, and a little rough around the edges. 

It has been hard at times, but it's been more than worth it.   I am smitten.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

39, but turning 21

“So, when is your birthday?” My ob/gyn asked as she flipped through my chart.

“September 6th.”

She looked at me for just a moment, and then looked back at my chart. She flipped a page and then announced, “This year you need to have a mammogram.”

“Now, why did you have to bring my age into this?” I asked with feigned exasperation.

My doctor grinned, “I didn’t say a word about your age.”

“But it’s implied that since I’m turning 40 I am going to need mammograms.”

“Where has the respect gone? I used to be your doctor, but after your hysterectomy I’m just another person to you. You are finished with me, huh?” We both laughed.

When I was young, these appointments made me nervous. I didn’t like the idea of being so . . . exposed. I didn’t like having a piece of metal that was freezing cold used to pry me open. I was overly concerned with the pre-appointment preparations—legs shaved, hairs trimmed, all areas cleaned, empty bladder, light-weight clothes for the weigh-in process, and the age old debate of “socks on or off?” I undressed and dressed as quickly as possible so I wouldn’t be walked in on without sufficient coverage. I didn’t want to look like I never took the time to trim up my pubic area, but I didn’t want to look like a porn star wannabe with either no hair or an odd shaped shave. Besides, paps always hurt me. The “little pinch” was always more of a stab, due to my odd cervix. Ah, the build-up to a 10 minute appointment, and the anxiety I used to harbor over the experience was ridiculous.

But eventually, I had so many of these exams, sometimes 4 a year, and at times they involved biopsies, that these appointments no longer make me nervous. They are more of a nuisance. I didn’t even think about my legs being shaved, or my trimming practices. I’m obviously an old pro at it now, and I don’t sweat the small stuff in the gyno’s office.

I’m about to be 40. I’m on hormones. I have to color my hair. I pluck silver eyebrow hairs in disgust. I use wrinkle cream that I’m sure isn’t working. My skin texture is less smooth, and my eyes feel more tired. I have had to see a chiropractor about a pinched nerve, I take meds to help me poop, and my joints make cracking noises when I stand up. Being 40 means all of this crappy stuff. But it also means I’m experienced. I choose my battles more often. I work not just because I have to, but because it gives me purpose. I don’t sweat things like gyno appointments. I don’t panic at the slightest bad news. My boundaries are stronger and my filter is intact. I feel like I’m actually at a good age. I have always had a bit of an older soul, and I think my body has grown into it.

But in my spirit and sense of self, I’m still 21. I’m just a smarter, wiser 21 year old.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Read My Soul

I see them all around me—parents. They have a connection to their children. There is a genetic code transferred, an adoration shared, a bond that is not easily broken. There is a family tree that may one day be traced, and future generations will wonder what their ancestors were like. But for me, this will not happen. I have no chance to pass on my DNA. I have no money to adopt a child—and adoption is extremely expensive. My family tree ends with me. Even a step child will look to its real mother for history. I am merely a footnote.

This sounds extremely melancholy, but it’s something I stare at every day. No matter how hard I work, how good of a person I strive to be—my grave will be forgotten. I look at my boyfriend and his ex wife with envy, because they have something that has been denied me. And I wonder if they realize how fortunate they are. I wonder if they could grasp a life without the legacy of a child.

I look for some sense of legacy, and I come up empty-handed. I long for someone to love me with the strength and vigor and unending commitment that I would normally receive from a child of my own. But that’s a lot to ask of an adult, and I’m too old to still long for such things. I long to be a priority to someone, but I will always be 2nd unless I put myself first. I too easily put others first. I want someone to notice me without huge efforts on my part to get attention. “Love me enough to read my soul”, I should tell people. But I want someone to WANT to read it, and not at my urging. Think of me, is all I ask. Think of me on a deeper level. Consider my world, my sacrifices, my needs, my desires. Don’t know them? Care enough to ask. I am a complex person. I have complex thoughts and fears and concerns. I don’t even understand most of them. But I’ll tell you what I can.

It has been 2 years since my hysterectomy, and I still wake up every day and think about my future. I wonder who I will be in 5 years. I’m not anything close to who I thought I would be today. Will I have made peace with God by then?

I saw a quote today, “I teach others how to treat me”. It’s so true. Today, I put myself first. Today, I stop taking the back seat to everyone else. And hopefully tomorrow as well.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A New Season

I look at my life and am amazed at the changes the past 7 months have brought my way.  They are changes I longed for, but couldn't really fathom existed.  I look forward to coming home now.  I used to count down the minutes at work to hang with my friends, or bum a meal from my family, or to check in on my niece.  I can now be found rushing home to cook dinner, or going to hockey games or ball games or to her karate classes.  When home, we are either helping with homework, watching family TV, or working on various home projects.  Those nights we are not bound to obligations are uncommon and glorious.  My closest friends have found relationships as well, and we joke we are all married off and have to find time to get together now, comparing work and home schedules to plan to right time to meet for dinner and a drink. 

There are Christmas lights on the house for the first time in years, and lights inside the house for the first time ever.  The Christmas tree was erected a month ago, out of excitement for a new family to share the holiday with.  As I type, he is asleep, the cat is nuzzled on the sofa, the hamster is running in his squeaky wheel, and the dog is cozied up on her cushion.  This is a peaceful home.  Sure, with a growing young lady in the home, there is drama with hormones, strong wills, and exes.  But it is full of love, and he finds no joy in drama.  And so, the peaceful home I grew up in has managed to creep into the house I've inhabited for 9 years.   That has been my dream.

I look forward to the day we can sell this house and move to a nicer, larger home.  So much must be done to this one first.  But he has the will and the drive to make this everything we want it to be for now.   His ability to adapt to this tiny, rickety house has amazed me. 

He has the endurance and commitment I need in a man.  I don't need touchy feely--I need to know he is content in this relationship, and he is willing to make it work.  Love that lasts takes work--it's not magic.   I am not exciting and I cannot fake it--God didn't give me that charisma that allows me to misrepresent myself with a clear conscience.  I need a man that can be content with who I am, and not try to make me more trendy.  I don't need a trendy man--I need a man who longs for stability as much as I.  I need authenticity, and I need to be authentic.  I don't care about the material part of a man--his job, his income, his vehicle, or his ability to take care of me.  I care about the heart.  If I'm not sure where I stand in a relationship, then I will suffocate in it. 

I have found myself in a true commitment, and it's liberating and comforting all at once.  He is the man I wasn't sure still existed.  He was worth the wait.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Her beauty entrances all who gaze upon her. Her milky skin belies her hardness. I too was smitten. Her stature is to be marvelled, as she towers over terrazzo with her gaze through blank eyes.   Her dancing waters calmed me. Her mosaics entertained me. Her smooth features welcomed me each morning.  She is a beauty to behold, for sure.  She is not from around here and it shows.

Over time however, her beauty no longer lures me. My initial gaze of admiration has become a glance of frustration.  Her pedestal is worn, and her waters no longer dance for me, but seep onto the terrazo and stain my patience.   She is never satisfied.

A man asked me about her the other day....his admiration for her had waned as well.  We have tried to help her, I explained. We have spent time and money and had specialists in to see her....all left baffled.  We tip toe around her these days, making every effort to placate her, so that newcomers are still smitten by her gaze.  Instead of recognizing our efforts, she mocks us.

I now wonder if she holds power.  Has she hexed us with her presence? Or has she merely aged and lost her strength? If so her beauty still hides her age. I believe she holds power over her location. I believe she is surrounded by spirits. Now there is talk of banishing her.

I am torn.  I love her, yet I hate her.  I will miss her beauty, but will welcome the calmness of her absence. 

To her new employer--good luck.  You will need it.