The Friday After

i grocery shopped monday.

i, like everyone else, blew off shopping on the weekend.

so, the store was stupid full of people,

the store added more inventory so the aisles were more stupid full of all you need for turkey, buy buy buy …stupid

the look on folks faces was one of both panic and ….wait for it, stupid!!!

i needed everything, so i knew I was stupid and it was going to be a long or at least 90 minute shop

add another hour to that.

2 1/2 hours. yup.

and i could only blame myself for waiting until monday.

so… i donned my imaginary big wide brimmed “i am very patient” hat.

and just tried to be nice. what else can you do??

in the spirit of people watching.

a few stood out.

a few who had either a spirit of kindness about them,

or that fuck you get out of my fucking way i need a fucking turkey spirit.

i perused their carts. overflowing, and made up a story about them.

the fuck you dude was wearing a suit. we don’t get a lot of suits in this store. just sayin …

i think he was shopping for his mother. what he had in his cart did not look like him.  i saw him think really hard about buying flowers. he stood considering them for a very very long while. when he picked them up, I thought way to go dude in the suit. someone will feel that long thought. that decision to get. he will brighten someone’s day with those flowers.

the gal who almost needed two carts was i think a mom, or a seriously generous sister or aunt to folks with kids. her cart was piled so high she could barely see over it. she was pretty, dressed smart and rather funny in the way she shopped. she caught me staring at her. i made a recommendation, and then made her really laugh. and then I had to apologize because I almost cried. that sortof cry that comes from the relief of a good laugh. shit. there i am the bearded lady in the grocery store. sobbing. note: i didn’t cry in the grocery store. but i was close.

i did cry earlier though. i mailed off some holiday packages. with a great sense of pride actually because i had saved all year so that i could send something off to the few in my life that i want to gift to. just 3 packages. but i filled them with love. from me. which i haven’t been able to do in a long while. one of the items i sent was “smoked salt”. don’t laugh. if i sent you salt. you would thank me. kid you not.

anyway, earlier i had to parallel park. i can. i am not afraid or avoid that type of parking, i just take my time when i do it. a dude behind me waited. he then stopped next to me with a huge grin on his face and gestured a thumbs up. not an asshole thumbs up, but a real genuine thumbs up. like way to go nice parking job lady thumbs up. it was a gesture from a perfect stranger that caught me completely by surprise.  I totally lost it. big tears down my cheeks, head down on the steering wheel. shoulders shaking. sobbing. which actually felt really good.

i looked like a train wreck going into the very crowded post office and found i was shaking. emotional release and all.  i thought. you are loved somehow. in this world that you do all by yourself. people love you.

perhaps you recall a year ago. my bearded face and i were acknowledged by a room full of strangers. i unanimously won the people’s choice award. it took every single part of me not to lose it in front of that crowd of people who affirmed my courage and my gumption to grow the hair out on my face. pretty great shit.

i am in a mood today because i feel like i FINALLY have found some peace around the topic of solo and holiday. i finally get how to have it be mine. to own it.

when folks ask – any special plans for thanksgiving?? ( the very worst question someone can ask a lonely person quite truthfully ) 

i get to say. “NO. not a single plan, isn’t that wonderful?? I have a new book, and some great meals I plan to make and nowhere to go. It’s perfect!!” 

and it was!!

i had the best day!!

all by myself.

well, me and my cat.

i think i get it now. i get how to do holiday and be completely free around the entire hoopla of it.

where 10 years ago, i felt it. empty nest felt it. new, in a new town in a new house. new. alone. oppressively alone. felt it.  i wasn’t a stranger to not having my children with me, they defaulted to their fathers side of the family for all holidays many years before. we found our way to do celebrations but as they grew older. i was last in the family equation. and i felt it.

i am not sure why this year feels like an “i’ve got this” epiphany. but it does.

i was just having a flashback to the horror of two years of holiday and the meals served from the extended family of mr cowboy. how can anyone ruin a turkey dinner? powdered potatoes in a plastic lined crock pot…..are you kidding me???

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Friday After

  1. How difficult it can be to find ones way to enjoying a holiday. I am happy you navigated there all by yourself.

    The images are lovely. So AN. At least, one side of AN. The second is so deep – a tactile expanse of freckles and cleavage and texture. But the really sweetness is the periphery details. Lace and fingertips and hair.

    And the hair in the first! So much of your story in the image: the underarm, the wet curls, the defiant beard.

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