i feel a metaphor coming on.

so the other day, my foot starts to twinge.  i had not used the boot prescribed to me, and had worn through the bottom of the cast.  i even ran across the street once with the cast.  clearly, i am not treating my foot like it has a stress fracture.

i’m told by my bff that doctors put casts on runners because we will take off the boot and run.  i get that.

the bottom was so worn through, that the technician had to double cast, double stuff, and essentially create a new cast on top of the old one.

she starts to mini-scold me and says, “you know, it won’t heal properly unless you give it the 100% time it takes that is necessary.

last night i’m on the phone and i am resisting this cast thing, and i am counting 3 weeks and 4 days and i just want to be healed already.  but i’m not in charge.  all i’m in charge of doing is following the doctor’s direction.

but i want it done.  i want to run.

and it dawned on me.

because i tried to do something else too early this week too.  before the proper healing i need, i decided that my heart was fine, thank you very much, and i will do what i want, and ignored direction to just …heal.  i spent time with someone before i could.  and i thought i would be fine.  i don’t need the boot, and look ! i can even run across the street.

well.  it turned out great.  but he knows i’m not ready, and i’m not…having given my heart so fully after 4 years of singledom, i am simply not ready to get out of the cast yet.  because even just testing out the waters bubbled up sorrow that i was ignoring.

and i was able to say, no thank you.  not yet.  not now.  and i never say that.  i say what you want to hear, i ignore the orders, and i do what i want…it’s only later when i have this twinge, that i run back to the doctor to get more fiberglass.  the healing laughter of friends hoss and cherry, they soothe me more than i can say.   and texts with my bff in another time zone, and talks with sisters, and unwinding my writing…this is the salve of my recovery.

his response was amazing.  i felt heard.  and blessed. and cared for.

i simply have nothing to give, nothing to offer.  because my heart, like my middle cuneiform…it just needs rest and recovery.

when i run again, my feet will fly, and i will again feel the excitement of being out there.

and so it goes with my heart.

until then.  i’m in the cast, and  i wait.

every girl has her own story.

it’s a small caps kind of week.  month.

my girlfriends know that when i can’t even bother to capitalize my sentences, it’s not a good week.  i have a whole other site of private blog girlfriends…and you know who you are…that hold me up when i cannot capitalize.  in my own defense however, you’ll notice my punctuation is correct.

so.

i sit with my girlfriends.  and they talk about their relationships.

how he came in a tuxedo, with a red rose, and it was march 20, and we met at a french restaurant.  the beginning of the relationship.  every girl remembers dates, places, texts, meeting places.  i sit with them and they all describe the very same thing.  that first moment when they knew he was the one.  one girlfriend talks about the details so fresh, it’s almost like i was there.  another friend describes that football game when he took her hand and kissed her for the first time and the band was playing a bad version of tusk.  it was october, and they went looking for halloween costumes at the mall and he asked her if she would go with him to that party.  and when they went, this guy was there…etc.

see?  that’s how we are.  as i’m listening to this group of strong women, i realize they’re in their world as they talk.  re-living.  re-loving.  re-thinking about that thing that made them fall in love.

love is a good thing.  i just wish lovers never fell out of love, or if they did, they did it before somebody did somebody wrong.  yeah.  that came from a country song.

i’m one of the girls who remembers all of it.  every date.  time.  the weather as i drove home and was floating on air.  and i thought i was unique.  it turns out, that most women i know, know all the details from the beginning.  and the end?  it just ended.  the description is flat and colorless and lacks oomph, because she really just wants to end the story already.

it’s a topic i’ve been thinking of lately.  obviously.

I Am Not A Good Judge Of People

Both of my seat mates are asleep as I cross the continent. I’m on a flight from LA to DC, ending in Norfolk tonight. Nearly the same trip I took last year. Both on the spur of the moment, both with no clarity. My guy and I were having difficulty, and scared to deal with feeling that, I booked this ticket that had to be used or lost. So now I’m in the air.

And I try to divert myself by reading Oprah and drink a full can of real Coke, a treat I love, but mostly, my stomach is gurgly and I need the sugar.

My favorite part of traveling is people watching. I listen to couples, and watch children terrorize each other, and see the teen with Cerebral Palsy trying to escape his seat belt and I can relate. I am always in awe of how WRONG I am about people. My first impressions are incorrect, and I’ve proven it numerous times today.

I am on the BART at 6am next to a cranky looking woman. I take out some apples and ask her if she wants one. She smiles. She says yes she is starving. The flight attendant riding with us is stunning in 5 inch black heels, yet gives me tips on which elevator to take. She says her airline lets them wear comfy shoes in the air, but they want them walking through terminals in pumps.

My first flight. Young married man sitting two seats away. Reading “America’s Ticking Time Bomb of Bankruptcy”, and He never cracks a smile to anyone. Creeps me out with his book title.

Woman in pink. Lovely pink satin coat. Lovely pink roller suitcase. Starts screaming at air crew when she has to check her bag. She becomes a screaming, screeching hen.

As I get ready for flight 2, I post on Facebook that I’m sitting next to a sullen teenager and a weird French businessman. I am so wrong. And so delighted. It’s these moments that I appreciate my personality. My love of mankind. My ability to reach out.

Turns out, he is Persian. Reading from a book written in his home language. He says it’s a play. He is a playwrite. Heading to Toronto to peruse a site for a play he is in. He lives 5 minutes from my hometown. He came from Persia, between Iran and Russia, in 1979. Escaped.

She. The sullen teenager is from Virginia. Her parents divorced when she was 3. Her new father adopted her and has given her a wonderful life of travel and east coast schools, and LaCrosse, and she loves him. She is in 8th grade. She loves to read. We discuss electronics, 8th graders (I have one) and marathons. She tells me she never knew her dad, but he was a drug addict. But she is happy. And sweet.

Save for me opening my mouth to talk to any of these people, I would have erroneously judged the cranky girl, model-quality stewardess, sick child, normal guy, beautiful pink gal, sullen teen and French weirdo.

I drink my Coke. They must think I’m unhealthy. Or stupid because who drinks that anymore? They don’t know the miles I’ve run, the depths of my spirit, the hopes I still have.

And I get to the east coast with fresh eyes. This. This brings hope to me. First impressions? I’m not so good about that. And I am thankful for this.

Cinderella Is A Feeling.

 

Cinderella is a feeling.  All little girls remember watching Cinderella when they were little.  I remember the first time I felt that feeling of awe.  When Prince Charming finally found her and put her slipper on her shoe.  I remember the FEELING of excitement, awe…of, “could this really happen to me?”

I watched the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (now the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge) over the weekend with Harley Guy.  I knew this would be a hot topic button between us, but it wasn’t by coincidence that I DVR’d it. 

For years I’ve been saying NEVER AGAIN.  I run to Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Goin’ Back Again”.  I eschew marriage and all it’s stupid formalities.  Even as I write this, I can remember feeling the disgust about my own marriages and the pain that all parties endured.  That when the FIRST TIME the vows were broken, how it was so much easier to break them again and again.  I became cynical and bitter on the topic.  I went to weddings with hope, only to come away with true gratitude that I would NEVER do THAT again.

So, then.  I fell in love five months ago.  Hard and fast. 

My first husband I knew 2 weeks, and we were engaged.  My second husband I knew 1.5 years and we were engaged.  I don’t have a pattern here.

Yet, falling in love was so unexpected that it knocked me over.  I learned how, awkwardly mostly, and with stepping on toes, how to have only one man in my life.  That’s the model I was raised with, and what I truly want. 

Falling in love was not in my plan.  Not in the cards.  Not wanted.  It was much like the original Cinderella in 1st century BC, where the eagle snatched the beautiful woman’s shoe, and dropped it on the King’s head.  Something like that.  And, he searched high and low for her. 

Falling in love was like something that fell from the sky.  And as I watched Kate Middleton, I realized that even though she is the most magnificent beauty, young and vital and with her life stretched out before her, that even with the tiara and the slippers and the gown and the handsome prince…even with all that, what comes through is the feeling.  That Cinderella felt like she was the most beautiful woman because she was loved by a wonderful man.   That even with billions of eyes watching the wedding, what came through was that Kate had eyes only for William.  That even with 72 cameras in Westminster Abbey, they shared the fairy tale privately and personally.

That even when a slipper falls out of the air, one must go find the girl who owns it.  To see if the fit is good and true.  To watch the carriage turn into a pumpkin, and to still feel the joy of love.  That is the Cinderella task.  For all of us.

Homeland Security. Sorta.

 

I’ve been pondering writing this post for some time now, ever since the Harley man and I started seeing each other, and started dating.  I never was clear as to how to put it into writing, because I didn’t want anyone to think, well, that I was crazy.  (Not that I care, but you know…)

I’ve been plagued in the past with extreme jealousy, and it turns out, I had it with good reason.  Those of you who’ve been reading this blog know the back story, but suffice it to say, I am usually in the dark about someone’s faithfulness.  I never think they will be dishonest or cheat, so I’m usually blown away when it happens.  Because it usually does, in one form or the other.

Lucky for me, I meet Harley guy, who is one of the most honest people I know.  We are also adults, so both of us have had prior relationships, marriages, children, LIFE.  And I know and he knows that we are not immune to outside influence of other men and women…In addition, we never say things like “You’re the only one I’ve ever loved”, or “I’ve never felt like this”, or “This has never happened”, because when you’re in your 50’s, you probably have experienced great highs and lows in love, and as such, you’re not a wide eyed 20 year old.

We’ve come up with a system.   I like it a lot, and in response to SingleMommyHood’s post today,  I thought I’d share it…plus I got Harley Guy’s permission in hopes that it could possibly save a relationship. 

The system is much like the terrorist alert system of Homeland Security…except that those aren’t terrorists.  The only way it works, however, is if you are aware of the people in YOUR life that threaten your relationship.  They are other people.  It works like this.  You see attractive men and women everywhere.  If you have had a problem with jealousy or envy or faithfulness, this will help you determine how safe other people are

·         GREEN:  A person who is coded green is safe.  You are not attracted to him, nor he to you.  It’s maybe like the history teacher who’s really nice, but you have zero interest or flirting or attraction.  He is green.  He is the safest of the group.

·         YELLOW:  A yellow is someone who is interested in you, but you are not interested in them.  Yellow is someone who might wink at you, or pour you a cup of coffee at a meeting, or has made suggestive “water cooler” type comments.  “You look really nice today”, is an example of this.  You have zero intention to them, but they are sort of…interested.

·         ORANGE:  It’s imperative you understand this.  Orange happens when YOU have some type of attraction or interest to the person whether or not they feel the same back and this is the person you find yourself drawn to…you’re making little jokes, flirty comments, etc.  You are convinced that nothing would ever happen, but if you were available…it might be a different story. 

·         RED:  Red alerts are scary.  This is someone with whom you’ve had prior intimate contact, or someone who alerts you so strongly that you know you shouldn’t be alone with him.  Like ever.  Reds are people who continue to come after you even though you’ve told them to stop.  When I told an old boyfriend of my new Harley guy, he kept emailing me saying “He’s not for you.”  Clearly he had other intentions.  But, he was RED. 

The system only works if each partner takes responsibility for the alerts.  You don’t get on a plane without going through security, and you should be aware at some level that people you deal with on a daily basis can be threats to your relationships.  My problem was that I never thought of other women as threats.  “They would never do that to me.”  Well, they don’t.  They do it to themselves.

The goal of the Alert System is to be present.  To be aware.  To be real.  To know your limits, and take responsibility for security measures.    I guess if you want your relationship to be secure, you need to know that you are not immune to terrorists of any sort. 

To answer the question, how do you know!!??  You don’t.  You only know your level of honesty.  That is what is in your control…