Jan 29, 2011

when the past comes around...

met my old lover in the grocery store / the snow was falling Christmas eve
i stole behind her in the frozen foods / and i touched her on the sleeve

when i was in 9th grade, i fell in love/developed a crush/had it bad for a guy i had gone to school with since kindergarten.

it was bad.

the guy and i were friends. always had been. but it killed me when he would date my friends, leaving me alone on the sidelines with my secret crush.

ah, the stuff Hollywood romantic comedies are made of.

she didn't recognize my face at first / and then her eyes flew open wide
tried to hug me and she spilled her purse / and we laughed until we cried

we recently reconnected again, like so many of us are, via Facebook. we've texted back and forth, as is the custom of the day. he's married. kids. i'm married. no kids. two cats. 

he emailed a while back, to let me know he was changing jobs and would be out here in the Smogberry Trees for training. we need to get together for dinner and such.
bring la-la too, he said.

la-la is my code name for his old girlfriend, my friend in the day. suddenly, i was 15 again, with my feelers hurt. 'um, hello? what about me? am i so invisible to you that you can't see me standing here?'

went to have ourselves a drink or two / but couldn't find an open bar
we bought a six pack in a liquor store / and we drank it in her car

it's amazing that, no matter how we age, or how mature we are, or even whether we're married, single or other...that all it takes is one blast from the past, and we are immediately transported back to that age, that situation...that feeling that you had then.

the three of us sent emails and decided on a date for dinner. being that we're all Mexican food freaks (and that he, having lived WAY out from the Smogberry trees, does not have the best access to good Mexican food), decided as well on a place the Husband found with killer food and a open access refrigerator with beer. help yourself, be honest and tell your server how many you had.

the date approached when la-la came down with the flu...texting to say that we would need to reschedule for a different date when she felt better. i passed the message on to him, feeling that pit in my stomach. dang it, i was so looking forward to that night...to seeing him and to take that oh so fun trip to Yesterland. 

imagine my glee when he said he didn't want to cancel. he wanted to see me.

we drank a toast to innocence / we drank a toast to now
tried to reach beyond the emptiness / but neither one knew how

so the Husband and i met up with him  - and like the lyrics from this Dan Fogelberg song, it was was another auld lang syne. we're both the same...and we've both changed. time has worked it's evil magic.

we've lost parents. loved ones. had heartbreaks. job change & loss. and while time for us has stopped from where we last saw each other, it has marched on and left its scars.

we laughed - all three of us. the Husband has things in common with him...they talked. i would look at him and think that his eyes were still as blue as i remembered. he talked quieter than i remembered. i could still make him laugh...hard.

we drank a toast to innocence / we drank a toast to time
we're living in our eloquence / another auld lang syne

dinner was long...we ate slow (for a change), talked, talked, and in between beers, talked.
i found out about his kids. talked about the high school reunion we had last year. he talked about how he didn't have many friends in high school.

i didn't realize that. i seemed to be the social butterfly, flittering between different friends that brought different colors to my page. i, in my cocoon of innocence (read naivete) just assumed he did the same.

youth can be oh so self centered.

although i didn't share with him, i remembered a time where he & i went to a ball game and we cuddled and semi-made out in the back of the bus. i thought it was a turning point. apparently it wasn't, but i wondered if he remembered or thought about it.

i was sure he didn't hold it in a gossamer-lined box in his heart for a good part of his adolescence like i had.

we finished dinner, paid the bill and walked outside, still talking. he said the next two Thursdays would work for a rematch of dinner...hopefully with la-la this time. my 15 year old heart soared and then plummeted. but i looked at him, and at my Husband and realized that a) he wanted to see me even without la-la and b) despite issues every marriage has, that i got to go home with my Husband and not be hundreds of miles away from a family i missed.

we hugged. and kissed. my 15 year old self was happy. my 48 year old self was happy as well. happy to reconnect. happy to be where i am in my life. happy to be the Husband's wife.
happy. and still a little bit of 15 again.

the beer was empty and our tongues were tired / running out of things to say

just for a moment i was back in school / and felt that old familiar pain
and as i turned to make my way back home / the snow turned into rain

'Same Auld Lang Syne' - lyrics Dan Fogelberg

Jan 17, 2011

happy new year.


new year. new beginning. time to start a new life.
(the Husband laid that on me when he proposed waaaaaay back in 96)

i feel like i spend a lot of time whining. wishing for more. wishing for it to be better and sometimes (OK, a lot of times) not seeing the Big Picture. that things aren't as bad as i perceive. that there IS sunshine behind the clouds.

or that the clouds aren't really there.

2010 sucked.
we lost our cat, after 14 years of purrs and pissiness.
the Husband's kick-ass Solara got rear-ended. and totalled.
the Husband had countless interviews. the majority of which went nowhere. therefore, he ended 2010 the way he began: unemployed.

on the other hand...
new furbabies entered our lives: Abby & Fletcher, belonging to friends of friends, had to get rid of them due to their kids' allergies. these two are ying and yang. they fight, they play, they love on us and the feeling is mutual. they have healed our hearts and are filling the void in our hearts left by Elvis da Wunderkat.

insurance paid off what we owed on the car. with enough left over to buy two new-to-us cars - my sister in law's Avalon and his friend's neighbor's Honda.
two cars and no payments. righteous.

doors closed. windows opened. God's hand in it all.

i just needed to look at it.

and a reminder...from my faux commencement speech last year:

1) You will make crappy decisions in your life. Guess what - that's just the way it goes. Like the song says, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. Some of the choices you make will rock the world. Others, not so much. Just try to remember to learn from all and glean something out of the experience.
And while we're talking about bad decisions....

2) You will fail at something. What - this isn't the happy feel-good commencement address you were expecting? Wait....
You, you, you and even you waaaaaay in the back, will fail at something. Some will fail miserably while others will fail spectacularly. As the Husband will frequently say - 'you're gonna step on your dick'

Colorful, no?

Here's the good news: despite what the media in all forms will tell you - failure IS an option and is not always bad. After all, a chemist at DuPont failed in an experiment he was working on and ended up creating Teflon. Failure is good - learn from it and move on.

3) Love what you do. Some wag once said if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. Those people also have money up the wazoo. It's very likely you will have to work, and you ain't gonna love it. But find a passion. Find something that makes you happy and excited to get up in the morning. Photography, writing, gardening - whatever trips your trigger - if you find your passion and aren't lucky enough to make it your life's work, you can still be lucky enough to do it...and to share with others.

4) Happiness is not a birthright - it is a daily choice. If you ain't happy, guess what - it ain't your parents fault, not your siblings, your friends or even your dog's fault. That blame, my friends, lands squarely on your shoulders.

Every day we make choices, remember? You can choose happiness, too, even if your situation sucks. You don't have to be happy with the situation, just know that optimism goes a loooooong way in this world - you will live longer and not only that, you will be a thorn in the side of the nay-sayers who will lose their minds wondering what you're on because you're so damn happy all the time.

I'm not saying you should go around with a maniacal smile all the time, plucking daisies like some Ophelia, but choose your attitude daily. Choose to be optimistic. Choose to be proof positive that smiling people are up to something.

There you have it. Four little nuggets and only four because I'm somewhat OCD and I like things bookended. Go out there. Fail. Step on it...and in it. It's the only way you'll really learn, and besides, the adventure is so much more exciting living it than reading about it.

hey...2010 wasn't all that bad.
bring it, 2011. i'm so ready for you.