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???

 

 

Brown Eyes

so many of you stopping by these recent days.

gosh.

thanks ever so.

did i tell you

i am taking care of mr cowboy’s dog this week?

she’s a goof.

big dopey dark brown eyes

70 lbs of  very german shepard-ness

she’s blowing coat.

that’s code for

dog. hair. everywhere.

she needs to be really near me

she talks in her sleep

she gives gentle dog kisses

yes i have photographed her paws.

up close.

i walk her more than i walk me.

 

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Dear John Thank You

i was trying to decide what to wear for a date.

it was a super hot sticky hot sweaty hot summer day.

did i say it was hot?

he lived hours away

but as luck would have it

he was doing business 30 minutes away.

he asked could he take me to lunch before his gig began?

sure.

we met in a neutral location

in a park actually.

drove his mothers car

to a local taco place

and brought it all back to a shaded picnic table

at the park.

first glance

he was wearing a rock concert t -shirt

with a very loud hawaiian shirt over that unbuttoned

his hair style was circa ’80’s

he was chewing a double dose of banana bubble gum

like a serious wad of yellow.

he was missing teeth.

oh dear.

all said, he was very easy to be with conversationally

I had a nice time.

time flew.

the timer on his phone bleeped

and he was off to his work function.

he asked to see me the following day for lunch.

sure.

the following day our time together was short

he ended up getting food poisoning.

he was still chewing more of that gum.

hmmmm

what i noticed in speaking with him

is that he lived for his past

friends, the town he lived in, where he grew up in etc

and that he spoke a LOT about his daughter

now an adult, and not living nearby.

and of all things  he spoke a lot about his ex wife.

i just got a sense of some strong co-dependence

a hunch

cruising his FB profile

that was exactly the case

his ex wife and he hung out.

FB also shared a rather bizarre even sick sense of humor.

like not the kindof thing that tickled my funny bone.

sigh.

as it would happen he wrote me a polite thank you note

super complimentary

but no thank you.

he also said he didn’t have time for me.

i felt a sigh of relief

who writes dear john thank you notes??

some time later

i got a call from him

we spoke of many things

one of which was him sharing that he had just completed a bunch of dental work.

perhaps that was the need for the gum wad??

he then told me with great affection ALL the things he enjoyed about me, i was flattered of course and he was rather enthusiastic.

he then blurted that he loved me.

what ??

he was totally totally drunk.

YIKES.

The call ended.

thank goodness

i have not heard from him since.

had i

I would have said his instincts regarding no thank you were probably best.

i do not make this stuff up.

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P.S.

long weekend ahead hope yours is memorable – see you tuesday.

and gosh if you miss me, leave a comment, send an email…

we’ve had some pretty intense weather here…reminds me of this story.

I have a memory when I was 5 of watching a tornado funnel drop to the ground – I had straddled a clothesline pole – my mom was fighting the linen flapping in the winds.  I was completely enchanted by the contrast of the whipping white sheet against the churning deeply colored sky – clouds were literally reformulating before my very eyes.  They were low to the ground. I wasn’t afraid.  I was mesmerized.  My mom was screaming at me.  The air was weird feeling and a puky green. About a mile away away the cloud wall paused and then POW the funnel poked it’s windy finger to the ground.