Building Mr. Right

I have been thinking for a while about diving into the waters of the dating world again and as always, I ask myself what kind of man is it that I’m looking for? If I could build Mr. Right what parts and pieces would go into his creation? Kind of like a puzzle but with body parts, personality, moral and ethical laws and whatever form of spirituality he may possess. That led me to thinking about the men in my life; past, present, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, sad, bad & everything in between. What was it about the Bad Boy that made me so weak in the knees? What was it about the Desperate to Please that made me so irritated? Why did I immediately like that guy, only to find out that he was a liar, (note to cheating married men – we can go online to see if your “divorce” actually happened, so quit being dumb asses and telling such pathetic, easily verifiable lies) why is it that the perfectly available, ready to settle down, single guy makes me want to jab my eyes out to break the monotony of listening to this safe, clinically sane man who is more in love with himself than he will ever be with any other human being bore me to tears with his painfully dull monologue about how great he is? All these things considered I came up with the following:

My dad, was of course, the first man in my life and to say that we had a complicated relationship would be akin to saying the sinking of the Titanic was an unimportant event in history or that the parting of the Red Seas was a neat trick (ok atheists – settle down over there) neither does them justice or tells the whole truth. At any rate, my dad had some outstanding traits such as he was a “thinking man” who loved the Greek philosophers, debating pretty much anything and had a thirst for knowledge that was unquenchable. He spoke to me as an adult, even when I was a child. He gave me the belief that I had something to offer in any conversation, regardless of content or who the participants were. He never treated me like I was “just a girl” or “little Princess” (thank God!!!!) so I grew up a tomboy, blissfully unaware about gender roles, as they applied to me. I was able to hit the speed bag just as well as my brothers when I needed to blow off some steam; Dad knew that my temper would be my downfall and tried to give me healthy ways to deal with it. However, Dad was also an alcoholic for the first 20-some odd years of my life, was an unhappily married man for most of those years (yeah, my poor choices in men are no longer a mystery) and I’ve been there, done that and have no desire to return. So married would go to the top of my “Non-Desirable/Deal-Breaker Traits” list.

All of my five brothers were the next important men in my life and I could fill a book with what they taught me. But the traits I admire the most are their very unique and individual senses of humor, their tenaciousness and ferocity in protecting those they love. They are good husbands, fathers, uncles, friends and of course, brothers.

My first husband, who taught me that I was worth loving, that there was a man in the world who could look past all the Crazy and see something worthy of love; that man had patience beyond saintly. He was the first man who would have stuck by me through better or worse, in sickness and in health; truly until death do you part. So naturally, I was terrified that I was responsible for yet another person’s happiness and blew that relationship to smithereens. However, all I need to do is look into our son’s eyes to know that it happened for a beautiful reason, a wonderful gift of life and love. He has since remarried and is living happily, hopefully drama-free and enjoying the life he chose to live.

Along with my brothers, my dear friend JJ would be the next hugely important man in my life; because of him I found the courage to seek out sobriety, to see myself in an entirely different way and to appreciate the small, beautiful, everyday things that I’d always taken for granted before meeting him. His friendship was solid gold, true blue and forever; no false platitudes or sugar-coating from him. You never had to ask him what he thought because he would just tell it like it was, the good, the bad and the painful to hear because it was true.

The other men I’m just going to let them remain nameless, to protect the guilty and the innocent alike. One of them, let’s call him Walt, always loved taking off on spontaneous trips (which I would never even consider) to places nearby for a weekend or even just a day. On the down side, he was a freak off his leash, meaning he couldn’t keep “It” in his pants. Another man, who we will call Tom, taught me about living life Post Divorce, how to survive when your kid is in another state, with another woman raising him, who is a complete stranger. This man had infinite patience with me and more love and kindness than I could have ever hoped for. On the down side, he was married, so yeah. You see the pattern, right? Good stuff, not so good stuff. There are more men who taught me to enjoy fine wine, music I had never listened to, books I’d never read, movies I’d never seen. The varied and infinite degrees of love, the different chemistry, the short or long lasting fascination with each other; all different, but all playing important roles in the Story of My Life.

So, to sum it up, I would love to meet a man who is patient, fearless, loyal, kind, generous, not married, hopefully sober with a great sense of humor but doesn’t take himself too seriously, is forgiving, loves and appreciates the small things in life, has some battle scars and war wounds but is a survivor, a fighter fighting the good fight. Of course, he can’t be perfect, so he’ll have some flaws or some issues he’s working on, as we all do. Or he snores, leaves the toilet seat up, turns the toilet paper roll the opposite way I do or doesn’t put a new roll in when the old one runs out and instead sets the new one on top of the empty one? Maybe he has a Man Cave that no cleaning products or vacuum cleaners are allowed in. Maybe he likes gangster rap (hold on; that may be a deal-breaker) or listens to Fox News (ok – maybe another deal-breaker) or maybe he cross-dresses. Who knows? The point is that there is no Mr. Right; there certainly is Mr. Right Now but we’ve met and he’s not for me.

I guess I’m looking for Mr. Right for Me.

Liam….I Love You More Than I Did Yesterday

Now those of you who have known me for more than a couple of days will know how much I absolutely LOVE and ADORE Liam Nesson. Not only because he’s tall, Irish, fantastically intelligent, an insanely good actor and wonderful husband, father and I would imagine son, uncle, friend and overall Great Guy (not Nice Guy – they are totally different) and just an all-around good human being who I would love to meet someday. Never mind the fact that I would more than likely be speechless for the first time in my life (family members and friends would probably pay to see that!) and I would more than likely faint and drop in a heap to the ground/floor/sidewalk. At any rate, I could go on and on about my love for the man, but there is a point to this post. I came across an Opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times regarding the horse drawn carriages in Central Park (I have never been there, but it’s certainly on my Bucket List) and I decided that I now love Liam more than I did yesterday and I’ll bet he’ll do or say something that will make me love him more than I do right now. Could some scientist (mad or otherwise) please create another Liam, just for me??? Please?? I’ll be your best friend forever, I Promise!!

Note to Liam: I will not stalk you, I promise. If I ever make it to New York I promise not to disguise myself and attempt to enter your hotel room/home/vacation place, etc. If I see you on the street, I will do my best to not run up to you and throw myself at you, crying hysterically, going on and on about how much I love you. I will do my best to maintain the illusion of a sane person, I promise. However, if you ever find yourself in California, please feel free to look me up. I’d love to take you out on a tour of my little town. Seriously.

I’m not sure if that link will work, as I’m kind of challenged when it comes to technology. The article appears in print on April 15, 2014 on page A23 of the New York edition or you can find it online under the title “Carriages Belong in Central Park” by Liam Neeson.

Happy Pre-Hump Day!






Clean Up on Aisle 23

One of the things that I dislike the most about getting off track is cleaning up the mess that I’ve made whilst (great word, isn’t it?) being off track. Getting behind in my assignments for school, putting off things that shouldn’t be put off, such as filing tax returns, getting the oil changed in my car and taking care of myself. That encompasses a huge part of my Eternal To Do List, as I’m sure it does for every person on the planet. How best can I plan so as to ensure success? That is the question of the moment for me. I’ve tried with varying degrees of success before but situations, times and attitudes change, so I can’t keep using the same tactic every time.

Exercise has long been the one thing that I cannot seem to successfully make a part of my every day life and it is without a doubt one of the best things I can do for myself and my mental, physical and social health. I’ve tried many times, but always with a half-assed effort and the petulant attitude of a rebellious 9 year old asked to clean the toilet. Not exactly jumping with joy and enthusiasm. Well, now I am a little more willing to admit that I do not always know what’s best for me and if my past performance is any indication, I should really seek assistance in this area. So today I am calling about some ballroom dance lessons I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m going to see if they offer something in the summer I could take since I won’t have school. That will also get me out of the house, so that would be doubly-good. (Not a real word, I’m pretty sure but I like it)

The other part of the clean up goes to forgiveness. As I told you in a previous post, I ran into someone that used to be a friend and I am still feeling the ripples of that episode of Freak Show Comes to Your Life and it had reignited some smoldering flame of Yuck that just needed a little stoking to once again become a raging wildfire of Bad Feelings in me. More like Unresolved Issues that I have zero desire to face, put to rest or especially forgive, if it involves me communicating with said group of Ill Will bearers. But I also know if I don’t forgive, I will be the one who suffers, not them. So this is one of my big clean up items. I look forward to it less than I do cleaning a toilet in a frat house of 20 guys with chronic diarrhea. Sorry for the visual, but that sums it up.

I look at this like laundry or dishes; you will always have to wash clothes and clean dishes. I will (by nature of being human) always have clean ups on Aisle 23 so I might as well suit up and get to it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Are We There Yet?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately (a dangerous past time, indeed) about stress; good stress, bad stress, stressed out, stressing severely, stress-free. I would love to say that I identify with the latter, but not so much as of present day. I’m working on it, as I think we all are.
When I was in recovery and learning all about cognitive distortions, mind/body connection and all of that, I began to understand just how much my thoughts drove my moods and my perception dictated my level of responsibility in my current mood. Once I started delving into that whole experience, I (temporarily) was becoming better at conscience thought and a level of mindfulness that was so much more than before. Long’ish story short’ish, the honeymoon has ended and I find myself feeling the stress, the hamster on a wheel, the rat rushing through the maze where is the damned cheese??! so I had to ask myself what in the Sam Hill was I doing? Clearly, something was not working and I needed to take a little look-see and fix it ASAP or things were going to be B-A-D, not good. I have too much to lose if I overload and fold like a house of cards. So, investigating I did go and I found that there were a few key practices that I had let lapse and a few others I hadn’t implemented yet (hello Exercise!) so I did what I always do when I get a plan together and I made a list. Pen to paper, old-school, face to the paper, laying your head on your desk like in 6th grade. Pouring from the heart, I don’t want this anymore, I want this. I want to stop doing this and start doing this. I am now this person, I am becoming this person. Real conscious thought, real soul searching, just like when I was first in recovery. Hungry for serenity, aching for a cleansing of the soul, a rebirth, a new beginning. Willing to do the hard work and never quit trying. That list is my contract and my road map to realizing my True Self. It’s not carved in stone, as the road may change. It’s my starting point but I’m taking all I’ve learned thus far and with the people the Good Lord has already blessed me with and those He will place in my path in the future, this journey is certain to be fantastic. I can just hear little 3-year old Michelle – are we there yet?!

When the Teacher Needs to be Taught

I am currently sitting in my morning class, with my teacher who reminds me of a squirrel on a steady diet of meth. She’ll start a sentence, not get even three words out, then takes a sharp left and leave the road of Understanding and Coherence. Trying to follow her is like being drunk, blindfolded and thrown into a carnival ride; everything’s spinning, I have no clue where this will lead and there is an overall feeling of anxiety and impending doom. The subject matter should be interesting, as we are studying Women in History, which is all about strong females, working and fighting for their freedom and protecting their way of life, as well as the lives of their children. Sounds good, right? Sounds like something that would have incredible stories of heroines and acts of bravery as well as out-witting the enemy. All of those things are included in the book (one of seven!) that we are reading about. So, basically, the lecture is just a regurgitation of the facts of the book, laden with her personal opinions and biases. Woe to the student who begs to differ, express another possible motivation (different) or even worse still – question the authority of the Professor. We spent a good 15 – 20 minutes this morning while my Passive-Aggressive Professor spoke in general terms about “a incident that occurred in class last Wednesday” and just went off about how she will not stand to be disrespected (apparently she’s the only one that is allowed to distribute disrespect generously to her long-suffering students) and that we are welcome to speak with the Dean; however, nothing would come of it. Good to know that our complaints will not only fall on deaf ears, but that she’s so certain of it, she puffs up with pride as she tells us that, much like peacock adoring their reflection in a mirror. I have to believe that my suffering will be rewarded, that these lost hours/days/weeks will amount to something greater. If nothing else, my tolerance for double standards and unreasonable expectations will increase. Needless to say, this will be a class I will celebrate my ass off, once it has ended. Nothing like a teacher asking a question and then completely shutting that person down, if their answer doesn’t line up with hers.

It reminds me of what my dad used to remind me of often – There are two things you can learn from your parents (or teachers, in this case) what to do and what not to do.

Someone really should teach this professor how to be a decent human being first, then a decent teacher secondly. I would gladly pay to see her schooled as she attempts to “school” us – condescending remarks, making differences of opinion personal matters and running to the Dean if someone has the nerve to call her on her inadequacies.

I hope your Saturday is going well and your heart goes out to me, poor little long-suffering student of an ill-prepared teacher. (sarcasm intended)

Time for prayer –

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can

and the wisdom to know the difference.

This Someone

As I stand inside my mind

The colors of darkness I do find.

The blackness of extreme depression

Brought about by lack of possession

of clearer, lighter, brighter thoughts

of sunshine, beauty, things I have not.

To see the sun halfway in the sky

Think of it as rising to a greater high

See it not as setting, as to an end,

but rather a new day, ready to begin.

If the colors in this mind

Were lighter, sweeter, more sublime

I believe I would have achieved

the inner peace of which I’ve not yet received

Is there hope for this to be?

Can I ever truly love this person that is me?

Will I ever feel that happy glow from gorgeous dreams

Of touching clouds, embracing sunbeams?

Or will I always be so tightly wrapped

in heavy blankets of gloom; so completely trapped?

I do not wish to feel forever down

To hear only the drumbeats of lonesome sound

But change is pain and pain is growing

I cannot keep this all from showing

In weighing the fears of what is to be

Against the measure of this person that is me.

Can I rise above the fears that bind me

and let the truth at last find me?

The courage to do what must be done

is hidden deep within me,

this someone.

-October 1993, Gulfport, MS