Thursday, December 31, 2009

Not The Worst Thing

Okay yeah, it’s official…I want the holidays to be done already. There has been no merriment, no gushing of emotion and joy, this season has felt perfunctory, down-right obligatory and I for one hate that crap. I’m not one of those, “toss a grin on and smother your discomfort” kinda chicks. When and if I am pissy, you’re gonna know it…I like wear it on my face and junk, but working retail during the holidays has forced me to perform this, this face cracking, fake ass task…the grin and bear it one, and I have felt every ounce of bullshit weighing me down. Counting down the days, I’m simply counting down the days at this point…hell, we even tossed the poor tree that sacrificed its life, you know…for the festivities and all, in the garbage days before New Year’s Eve. The reason cited, “It was kind of blocking the TV” um, happy birthday Jesus, now move the hell over because I can’t watch the Laker game.

I know I’m not alone; my little Grinchy post assured me that we are all kind of in the same boat this year. It snuck up, was in our face and now it’s pretty much over..just a couple more days and we can look to a new year, a clean start, a do-over. Damn, just writing that, just mentioning that 2009 is about to be swept under the rug, well…it made me feel just a touch better. 2009 ended up feeling like one of those survival years, like all of us were just dropping our heads, busting our asses and doing our best to just make it through. Nothing tragic, nothing horrible really, but nothing really codifying or unifying either. Even the swearing in of our first black, and wicked cool president couldn’t keep things bubbling, sure we were all fired up for a bit but that goddamn reality sunk in and dag-nab-it if we weren’t right back in the, funk. Tugging that feeling along all year inspires little more than an exhausted sigh, stunning that shoppers didn’t turn out in droves right?

The shop was pretty slow yesterday, left me plenty of time to clean up the online store and what not but the sound of my nails clicking away on my keyboard only reminded me that there were no customers in need of my help…so depressing. I got home and found that my little funky mood had followed me. The boys were making dinner, I had nothing pressing to handle and I could just chill….um, being alone with your thoughts when you are in a crappy mood, well it just stinks. I pouted a bit but tired of my own whining and after pouring myself a rather sizable glass of wine I shuffled to the bathroom….a bath, a hot bath would help me clear my head and my somewhat heavy heart.

The hot water on my bare skin made me suck in my breath, but in that, “Oh God that feels good” kind of way. I sat there letting my skin turn pink, scooping handfuls of water into my cupped hands, watching the steam dance between my fingers, letting the warm liquid trickle down my wrists as I splashed water over my shoulders. Big glass of Pinot Noir wearing, “girl in the tub” droplets that puddled at the base of the glass, Dave Matthews, (Google alert) crooning words of love, rebellion and want in my ears, “Red is the color, of the sun with my eyes closed, I can still taste you…and I will again”. I felt like a jackass for being such a freaking baby about everything and asked myself the question I always do in times like these… “Is this the worst thing?” and the answer was, as it always is, Not even close.

“I’m five months pregnant” those were the last words that escaped my terrified lips just seconds before I was ever hit by a boyfriend. That hit was the last time I was ever hit as a girlfriend. I was 17, stuck in a relationship with a man that treated me horribly….had never hit me before, never even threatened to before, but went out of his way to make me feel like the most disgusting human on the planet. Now before you go feeling all sad for me keep in mind that I allowed this, listened as he told me he was embarrassed to be seen with me in public, made fun of my misspellings in my love letters and told me that he preferred a certain sexual position because he didn’t have to look at my face. I took all of that and as horrible and pathetic as that is, I think I was seeking something, trying to ignite something within me…

That first hit and accusation of, “trying to ruin his life” was in fact exactly what I needed to pull myself out of the self loathing goo that I found myself submerged in. Trying to ruin your life?! I hated him, think I always hated him, but at that second, looking at his gapped tooth face seething hate and rage at me….I knew, I deserved more. I knew it would be my life that would be up heaved by having a baby, my mother that would not speak to me for months and ultimately, my pride that would keep me from asking this sorry son of a bitch for anything. My son was born two months later and his fight to be here, well it inspired a fight in me unlike anything I had ever known.

Ten years, ten years after that first hit and I was still being held hostage by hate and pure evil. The kind of evil that would track someone down, smack a bat against a woman’s face and body in broad daylight, the kind of evil that would run her car off the road, break into her home and remove all the doorknobs and locks…leaving a calling card scrawled in lipstick on her bathroom mirror, “You’re a selfish bitch and you will pay”…I stood there shaking, terrified and not knowing what to do while reading that message. I knew I was afraid, hell I had spent ten years being afraid….didn’t go out, rarely left the house for things that were not work related and spent every second waiting for that other shoe to drop, and that’s when it hit me…I cannot stop any of this. Didn’t know when or if it was coming, couldn’t stop it if I did…so why the hell was I spending whole days, months, years worrying about what might happen?

That final night, (final for the me that was paralyzed with fear) I thought about the women in my life, my mother, my grandmother…both beautiful women, smart women full of raw talent, (my grandmother could sing, my mother could draw…I can do neither dag-nab-it) but they spent their whole lives being miserable and afraid, lived that way and died that way. I knew I wanted more for myself, more for my son, more for the people whose lives I was a part of…that was the night that I decided that I would no longer live in fear. No more sitting at home waiting for the bad shit to show up….it would or it wouldn’t, me putting my life on hold or living within the confines of my home wasn’t going to stop it. No the only thing my self imposed lockdown was doing was stopping me.

As I washed the evil lipstick note from my mirror and waited for the maintenance people to come install new knobs and locks I made myself a promise, “I will not spend the rest of my life….however long it might be, in fear nor do I want to wake up one day and realize that I had a life full of Wednesday nights”. That night set in motion the life that you all see now, the life full of laughter, love, passion and slightly wild behavior. I often hear things like, “Wow, you’re crazy” or “You drank all that on a Tuesday night?” in varying tones from admiration to fear and all I can respond is, “I would rather hang it all up, sleep the rest of my life away than live in someone else’s idea of what MY life should be”

Sitting in the tub reminded me of my promise, reminded me that a year that was less than stellar, is not the worst that can happen….not even close. This year is nearly over, there is light at the end of the tunnel and today, while less than perfect, is a brand new chance to live in my life, laugh in my life and love in my life….I’m gonna.

Tonight I will bid a farewell to 2009, try and remember all the amazing moments I spent with it, toast its demise with R.H. Coutier Grand Cru Brut and 2000 Camille Saves Grand Cru Brut, and tomorrow morning I will shuffle my more than likely, hungover ass to the fridge and pop a bottle of Godme Grand Cru Brut Rose. I’ll raise my glass, crack my slightly evil grin and say, “Okay 2010…what ya got?!”

Happy New Year to you all
Thank you for sharing your time with me
Now get away from your damn computer
Drink something amazing


k2 said...

Amazing. Revelatory stuff. I have never understood the men that work to make the women in their lives feel so terrible, when without them, we would be the ones who are nothing. I've tried hard these past ten years to be the best husband I can to my wife, who like you, had been in abusive relationships. While at times, we argue and say harsh things, I always remember that without her, I am just another sorry bum. Thanks for an amazing post and hope this coming year brings better things for you and for all. Cheers!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

This is brilliant. There's little else to say.

2009 will always be, for me, the year I met Samantha. For that alone it's been one of my best years. I'm sorry to see it go.

I'll be toasting to Us tonight. And dreaming what 2010 will bring. Happy New Year, Love!

I love you.

Your HoseMaster

Thomas said...

Just when I was feeling sorry for myself, you go and write this.

Now I have no choice but to look forward to 2010.

Bonne chance, Sam!

Benito said...


Living well is the best revenge, as they say, and I think you've certainly shared your joy and love of life on these digital pages.

Here's hoping to a 2010 full of living well. :)


vickibarkley said...

Thanks for the post. For me, this is a great reminder that life just gets better and better! What's one bum year, when we've made so much progress??
As for my house, we're having a flight of R.H. Coutier: first the Grand Cru, then the vintage. Tomorrow, who knows? I'll go shopping in my wine cellar. Whatever it is, it will be something beautiful that you turned me on to!!

K.Mahoney said...

This is why I love you blog. Your writing is truthful, raw and honest. As always I admire your ability to share with us, leaving us wanting more.

Can't wait to see what 2010 brings...


Samantha Dugan said...

Keep loving her as you clearly do, very sweet.

The only truly great thing about 2009 was finding you. Thank as always for your kind words. I love you.

Sorry kid. Happy New Year darlin'.

Have a great New Years sweetheart and be sure to let me know, (or I can wait for the blog post if I have to) how that Champagne treated you! I adore you my sweet friend.

happy New Year sweet girl, I've seen your cellar so I know you will be drinking well.

Thank you so much. You flatter me...shit, you all flatter me and I feel spoiled with love and admiration. Have a Happy New Year my 3 Dirty Martini friend.

Charlie Olken said...

Sooner or later, in every life, shit happens. And if it does not hit you diretcl yat any given time, then your best friend will have cancer or one of your grandkids will have problems or the neighbors you have lived next door and loved will get sick and die.

And there is nothing you can do about any of it except to fight back. Not in the nasty evil sense, but in the way you finally did. It's hard but the best way to overcome the bad shit is to out and create some good shit.

As my favorite news commentator used to famously say at the end of every broadcast, "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own".

Amen to that.

Amen to this year and asta la vista, baby, we got new news arriving in a couple of hours--accompanied by freshly cooked cracked crab, copious quantities of bubbles and best of friends.

I'm ready.

Keep fighting, Sam.

And Happy New Year.


Nancy Deprez said...

Wow! Okay, when I started reading this post, I didn't think I was going to get all that, the story of your being abused at a young age by a awful, angry human being. :( Wow, what a powerful story, about how you lived that and now you live free and happy. This story is so free and from the heart.... yes, when we really think about where we have come from and where we are going, we can no longer lament about a crappy 2009 full of financial stress, doom and gloom. Life could be much worse. At least now we have family, friend, and in general a great community to live in, and at the end of the day, that's really what counts.

Happy new year, friend. You've been great in 2009 and I look forward to seeing you often in 2010!

The Woo said...

Dude. What else can be said? Seriously well written and insightful post my dear friend. Right now I am in the midst of printing it out for Tammy to read. I'm certain she will be as touched and moved as I am right now.

Courage is defined as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear". You, my dear are one hell of a courageous woman. It is even more admirable that this courage is unseen and not worn on your sleeve, but rather manifested in your life experience and, prior to reading this, known really only to yourself.

Thank you for sharing this touching profile in courage. I hope my own daughter will be able to face the challenges in her life with this level of courage and dignity.

Samantha Dugan said...

Sir Charles,
Guess I made some new last night but dammit....can't remember it! Hope you had a lovely crab filled, (you inspired me, I had crab legs last night. Now that I remember!) evening my dear friend.

Happy 2010 girlie! May this be the Year of Riesling!

My first tears of 2010 my friend. Your kind words touched me and mean more than you can know.

Eric V. Orange said...

Write on Samantha, write on.


Samantha Dugan said...

I'm Fixin too me amigo!

Anonymous said...

I'm so moved by your post and am reminded of how important it is to get some perspective when life seems unbearable. I definitely had a quick shift in perspective after reading your revelation...yeah, I guess life isn't so bad and, in fact, there's a lot to appreciate. Thanks, my friend, for being one of my highlights of 2009. Your blog has always been an instant mood changer for me. Cheers to 2010!

Samantha Dugan said...

Thank you my dear friend, for your being one of my longest readers...flattered that you continue to bump along with me here...and for being the first person to ever tell me, "I love your blog" I still remember that afternoon like it was yesterday.

Looking forward to a new year, new wines, new friends and fingertips and drive willing, new posts!

Marcia Macomber said...

Rock on, girl! Indeed, that was more than most of us expected...but awesome!

Here's to another year of fabulous posts. Cheers!