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