Who’s Your Daddy?

June 16, 2019

 

Being SuperDad to a bunch of squirrely girls is not for the faint of heart. Very grateful for my two stand-up dudes. You brown-eyed rascals are my favorite.

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I am honest about my shit. I’m finding it tempting to lie, even now, when it’s too late.

My proverbial and never ending garbage makes me feel dirty; it always has. But I feel even filthier trying to hide.

My shit belongs to me, and when I admit it, admit to every neurotic, anxiety-filled moment–I’m marked. Some people call that bravery. Some people call that “Don’t give a Fuck-ery.” Some people call that “Don’t pick up my kid from school because you are nutjob unstable.” It happens.

I have to be okay with that.

If you expose the clackity bones–the tar underneath the feathers–you asked for it. Didn’t you?

You didn’t need to go there. You clean up pretty good. You could have swept it all away, no one the wiser.

You didn’t though, and here comes the sting. Even though I understand it, it bites.

You think the truth will set you free but you’ll be surprised. Opening your life for all to see does NOT come easily and it does not come without regret.

 

You should hear the things they say.

There are plenty of other things said–lovely and supportive things–but underneath everything there is a rumble and you are not sure if it’s you or if it’s them or if it’s everyone. You know it is there. A fast subway underneath your feet.

Rattle.

 

So I guess, if you aren’t sure where on Earth to go, you tag along with your daughters and your husband and you drive, drive, drive. Through forests and over bridges, through rain and unexpected blinding sunshine. You watch as your daughter sticks close to you at the beginning of the college tour. You watch at the end of it, when she’s forged ahead on her own.

You worry. Not about her future but about the legacy she’s been given, because she is old enough to understand things now. She knows why sometimes you are gone for weeks and then asks, “Does this mean M. and I are going to get this, too?”

How do you answer? In this, I am never tempted to lie. The answer is: I don’t know. It’s a truth that I almost choke on, but it’s mine.

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Underbelly

May 16, 2019

Confession: I thought about telling y’all that I’d been in the Seychelles.

I did, I honestly thought about it, if only for a minute or two. Because telling you that story would be so, so much easier. But lying to you isn’t doing myself any favors. Lying–to everyone and myself–is what got me into this mess in the first place. The truth, ugly as it is, at least serves a purpose. At bare minimum, it is honest and I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of being lied to by dang near everybody nowadays.

I live in (what I not-so-fondly) call Stepford. It’s a lovely place to visit, to take a scenic drive through. It backs up against the mountains, with views so striking you almost can’t believe they’re real. The lawns are perfectly mainicured, flowers in full bloom. The homes are tidy, the closets carefully Marie Kondo’d (Marie Kondo’d is a verb now, did you know?) People leave for work in their shiny, environmentally-friendly cars. The women, in their Lululemon gear, have painted nails and sleek bodies and thick hair that looks elegant in a messy bun.

It’s a beautiful place to visit. But living in it? It’s Hell.

At least it is for me, the deeply flawed.

It’s hard to be flawed in a neighborhood that really doesn’t allow it. Ask anyone how they are and they’ll reply that all is just boom-smackity wonderful. The kids are great, they’re so dang smart and athletic. We’ve just started Whole 30 and even though we don’t need to lose a few pounds, we have so much more energy now. You should try it. When is the next book club? Want to meet at Starbucks?

The cookies don’t crumble here and if they do, we certainly don’t talk about it. Because everything is fine and dandy, just fine thankyouverymuch.

Everything here shines like a brand new silver dollar.

 

And me? I tried to follow along. I rubbed and rubbed, trying to make my life shine. But guess what? The shine on the outside is worthless when you are in tatters on the inside. It doesn’t work, at least it doesn’t for me.

My Mama used to say that “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” which means actually I don’t know what but I think it means that if you’re ugly in your own skin you can try to hide it, but people see right through you. Or if they don’t, YOU see through you and you know you’re a fraud and you feel ashamed.

Shame sucks. It eats you from the inside out.

I think I’ve been eaten alive enough, so I’m not playing anymore. Take that, Stepford! You have an underbelly. It’s dirty and it’s messy and it’s broken into sharp, rough shards. It’s me. No worries, you don’t have to air your dirty laundry or bare the skeletons in your closet. You are safe. I’ll be your poster child so you don’t have to reveal one little thing. Wipe your conscience clear. Keep shining, keep winking in the noonday sun.

I wave the flag in surrender.

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Humpty Dumpty

April 8, 2019

Riding the Train

March 27, 2019

The Summer She Saved Me

March 14, 2019

The Un-Birthday

February 24, 2019

Serenade: a sister poem

January 28, 2019