Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Lesbian Trapped in a Man's Body

This is how my husband describes himself.  You see, he's very attracted to women.  I know, try to wrap your mind around it.

As I examined this phrase I realized that he might be right.  He is kind of a girl.

He's not effeminate in any discernable way.  And he does enough stupid man-things that I want to kill him on a regular basis.  But if ever anyone were "in touch with his feminine side" it's him.

Allow me to illustrate.

My husband does not do home repairs.  He has no idea how; he's not allowed to try.  He can fix computers but nothing else.  He does not own any tools.  He is forbidden to touch power tools.

My husband likes scented candles.  Way more than I do.  His favorite scent is lilac.  Back when I used to get invited to candle parties all the time there was always a handwritten note on the invite that said to bring him along.  Please.

And speaking of parties, you should see him go nuts at a Pampered Chef party.  He thinks anything made by Pampered Chef is a godsend.  I was also instructed to bring him to these parties.  The demonstrator would talk about an item, he would gush about how he uses it to make such and such, how he couldn't live without it, and sales would soar.  I'm pretty sure that as long as he went no one would care if I even came.

At social gatherings he is much more likely to hang out with the women than the men.  Those men are just such . . . men.  They are just gross.  He can't stand locker room talk or behavior.  He doesn't talk sports.  But get him with a bunch of women talking about the mini-whip from Pampered Chef and he can hold his own.

And as much as I love him, he is more like a 14-year old girl than I ever was.  Emotionally needy.  Playing mind games to get attention.  Pouting when I don't include him.

I guess it works out well for us because I am more like a guy in so many ways.  I own the tools.  I do the repairs.  I mow the lawn.  I split the wood.  I explain sports to him.

No, I do not consider myself a man nor am I trapped anywhere I don't belong.  I'm just a very progressive girl.

We fit, in our own peculiar way.  My favorite memory of how we're different would have to be as we prepared for a Memorial Day barbeque with my family.  I was up in a tree with a chainsaw while he was in the kitchen making deviled eggs.

Yup, that's us.

If you liked this story, you'll love the one my daughter tells about him trying to do something manly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Smartly Essay - Love

My essay about my love of people is up over at Smartly today.  There is hope for humanity.  People are wonderful.  Maybe we just didn't notice. 

Thinking of you today, Maggie.  You are one of them; may you blossom and soar!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Real Me

Sometimes we choose to put on a false front.  We pretend to be someone we aren't.  We've all done it at one time or another, I'd suppose.

But then there are other times.  Times when you just aren't yourself and it's not because you chose it.

I remember when my grandma was in the hospital the final time.  She was one of the sweetest women I've ever met, but they put her on some medication that totally altered her personality.  She was angry and mean; it was not good.  Luckily, they figured it out pretty quickly and changed her meds.  She was able to be her angelic self for a while before she passed away.  I'm grateful we got to remember her that way.

I've spent a lot of time wondering about the real me.  Who am I really?

For so many years I let others decide what I wanted.  I let others define who I was.  I still hear so many of those tapes in my head when I choose something for myself that I know would not be approved of.

When I let others tell me what to do and who to be I do not believe I was myself.  I believe I was an impersonator.  Pretending to be what they wanted.

The real me was buried inside all along.

I have found her in the last few years.  I have spent a lot of time trying to discern between the tapes in my head and the desires of my heart.  I believe I'm closer than I ever have been to knowing who I really am.

But then an interesting thing happened.  As part of the ongoing Russian roulette that my health has become, I tried a new medication.  Xanax.

A few positives.  Several negatives.  Not a good fit overall.  But an important lesson.

You see, it altered me.  I wasn't the true me.  It made me aggressive, yelling at my family for stupid little things.  That was bad enough.  But the true alteration was more subtle and I didn't realize it until I got off the medication.

It quieted my mind.

I always thought that would be a good thing.  My brain is always working, always pondering, usually processing many ideas at once.  It's difficult for me to sleep because I can't shut my brain down.  It gets really annoying sometimes because I have difficulty focusing on a single task.

I thought I hated it.  Until it went away.

Things were quiet.  There was only one thing at a time.  Nothing of much importance.  Nothing that inspired emotion or deep thought.  Everything was shallow, washed out, muted.

I couldn't process.  I couldn't analyze.  I couldn't think deeply.  I couldn't feel.  I couldn't write.

In short, I wasn't me.

As it turns out, I like thinking deeply.  I like seeing a bird and pondering its thoughts and its place in the universe.  I like wondering about others' motivations, about their psyches.  I like struggling through a difficult emotional problem.  I like deconstructing my past to understand my today.

Even with the noise that has resumed in my head, I am glad I chose to get off the meds.  They served an important purpose and I may need them again someday.  But right now they just aren't worth the cost.  I'm not willing to sacrifice myself -- not when I've just figured out who that is.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thanks for the Sting

Every now and then I receive a comment on my blog that bugs me.  I can't really put my finger on why.  What is it about that comment that irritates me so?  Makes me feel like I need to defend myself?  It wasn't mean, exactly.  So why did it sting?

Well, today I think I finally found my answer.  I got my first truly snotty comment.  It was on an older post.  And a fairly popular one.  It felt like a slap in the face.  A moment of shock.

But there was beauty to it as well.  You see, it was written in a way that helped me figure out what had been bugging me about those other comments.  And in such a way that it showed the insecurities of the woman writing it.  It was obviously her issue and she was projecting.  I am grateful for that.  Because it was so evident in hers, I can see it in others' as well.

So what was it?  What is it that bugs me so much in those comments?  It's someone else assuming that they know what my motivations are.  It's someone else telling me how I feel.  It's someone else putting words into my mouth.  Basically, it's all the childish arguments I've had over the years with people who would rather attack me than argue their point.  It's not debate.  It's not stating your opinion and backing it up.  It's saying, "You don't agree with me so you're stupid!"

I've had way too much experience with this kind of arguing.  Too often I don't see it when it happens.  I am hurt and can't figure out why.  I feel defensive.  I feel like a little girl being chastised for not being good enough.  I feel like I'm being told that everything that's wrong is my fault.

And those are my issues.

But because this woman took the time to comment, in all her snarky glory, I was able to see it.  I was able to see that when a person attacks like this, it's not about me.  It's about them.  And just because they blame me or think I am stupid it doesn't mean I am.  They may throw the label out there but I don't have to choose to wear it.

So if any of you have the need to tell me how I feel, you may.  And I will not argue with you.  You can just be wrong.  And I can be right.  And I don't have to prove to you that I am right or defend myself.  It's okay if I'm the only one who knows.

To that wonderful woman who gave me this gift this morning, thank you.  It may not have been what you intended, but it turned out great for me.  Good luck to you as you work through your insecurities.  I hope some day you can receive a similar slap in the face that helps you become the person you want to be.  And I said that in all kindness and sincerity.

Thanks for the sting.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Smartly Essay - Sex

My essay on sex, slightly rewritten, is up over at Smartly.  If you haven't read it, you should.  Everyone should.  It's a statement about sex that I would love to spread to as many people as possible.  Especially young people.