Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hesitation

That tiny moment, a split second really, when you are about to but you don't, and it throws the perfect sequence of events leading to that moment.

I am not going to lie, my entire life I've tried escaping the fact that I can very well be melodramatic. I don't know if it's upbringing, nurture nature potato potatoe, watching all those telenovelas growing up...But I am. It follows me like that green stink behind Pepe LePew.

And I've tried getting rid of it!

People don't like it. They minimize it. It's not a compliment when they point it out.

But I wonder how much of it I am getting rid and taking away from myself. Like when you peel potatoes with a knife and take big chunks out of it.

That's what it feels like sometimes; self-growth. Or improvement. Whatever. It gets so painful and I get so lost that I am not sure at what point I am taking away chunks of myself to be better. And better for whom? myself? those who don't like those parts of me that I don't like myself because they don't like it?

My mom has that funny saying "that's just who I am and you are going to have to love me that way!"

And I reach the point of exasperation because who can be so damned dense!? Who can forgo being better? being more aware?

But there's no loving person like her. And I think that to love that way you have to be slightly self-deluded. And stick to your guns. And to be able to do that you have to be so self assured. And rather than hacking away at who you are, you just accept yourself entirely. And embrace it. And fight fiercely for it.

So look, I had a big argument with my husband (who I am in the process of officially separating from and it's the most painful thing in the world. Sort of. I've gone through entirely too painful stuff. But this is a different kind of painful that I am losing my mind.) and then it turned into that look and words of I love you and shit. And I am sure if I just said the words we would be en route to being married again and officially "trying again" again again again.

But I didn't.

I hesitated out of fear.

Like I hesitated on that turn Friday night during salsa dancing. And it throws the whole damn thing out of rhythm and time.

Because I was scared.

But you know what? my lead is the kindest person I know and completely understands that I am scared. Instead of berating me for it he said "let me communicate that turn better the next time" and we tried again and I nailed it. I was so excited that I missed the next one.

So like my mom, I am embracing my shit and fighting for it. I hesitate because I am careful. And careful is good.

And if I am doubtful is because I have reasons to be.

The only reason I can dance well is because good leads that understand the fear of newbies and exaggerate their communication with the hands so you won't be afraid and you can understand the secret language of dancing. They don't berate when you miss a turn. They adjust themselves.

So I am going dancing tonight again because I have this rare opportunity of a Sunday with no kids and an extra salsa dancing night in town.

And I hope I don't hesitate in the turns. Or that I get the kindest leads who are very understanding and melodramatic with their gestures so I can understand what they are saying and that it's time to turn.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Undiluted

As G pedaled her bike up the street after dinner tonight, she looked so very much like herself that it hurt. The tassels on the handlebars of her Lightning McQueen bicycle fluttered in the wind, and every so often she'd wobble as she let go with her thumb to ring the bell. Her fancy salmon-colored sheath dress with white brocade stitching was caught on the back of the seat, and clashed fantastically with her rainbow sneakers. A lock of green hair fluttered loose from the front of her helmet. Narrowed eyes. Jutting knees. She was her own perfect self, undiluted, and I could have run behind that bicycle for hours.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Accepting Gifts

A. came home with a small brown paper bag in his hand, beaming at me rather than resorting to his usual routine of stomping downstairs to change out of his sweaty workday clothes. I raised my eyebrows as he held out the bag and smiled. "I got you a present!" Well then! I reached inside and pulled out a handful of silky, drapey fabric studded with white polka dots. It was a dress, and not just any dress, but a dress I had seen in a shop a few days earlier and had admired. Now here it was, in my hands. Squealing, I rushed to the nearest bedroom and started stripping off my clothes. I held up the new dress, my new dress, and noticed suddenly that it seemed a little on the small side. A lot on the small side, actually. How had an entire dress fit into that tiny paper bag? I looked at the tag and my heart sank: size 2. My beautiful new dress was not actually for me at all. On the verge of tears, I almost said something to A, but then shook my head. Humiliating though it might be, I was going to try on this gift no matter what the tag said. So I strategized: I removed my bra, sucked in my ribs, and shivered into the satiny fabric. My head was through, and then my shoulders. The bodice slid down over my ribs and amazingly there was no sound of popping threads. Now all I had to contend with was the zipper. I looked dubiously at the long pink V of flesh showing between my hipbone and my armpit. With another deep breath I tugged the zipper upward, expecting at any moment to feel it biting the skin that it could not possibly cover. Two inches from the top I realized that the worst was over and yanked the zipper pull with a triumphant zzzt! It fit. My brand new, gorgeous, size 2 dress fucking fit.

I never would have attempted to put on something so dainty if my husband had not handed it to me with a smile on his face. I would have listened to the voice in my head shouting "too big! too lumpy! too tall! not good enough!" But what I could not do for myself, I could do for someone I loved. He gave me a gift: he saw me through gentle, uncritical eyes. I gave myself a gift: I let myself believe him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I am quivering in the kitchen, utterly seduced by the way molten caramel cools upon a knife.

Monday, August 10, 2015

List of movies to watch

Slumdog Millionaire
Chocolat
Caramel (subtitled)
Anna Kareninna (then read the book)


For right now.

I romanticize watching them alone naked under a blanket.

But anyone can join (just give me a heads up so I won't be naked).

So cliché

Wolfgang Amadeus playing in my Pandora station.

Moonlight Sonata comes on as I'm running past the orchards on the gravel road.

My lungs are screaming "why are you trying to kill me!?" And I ignore it.

Because as I am about to approach the grape vines, making a right turn at the pond covered in pink petals of some sort, the high end of the song kicks in.

And it's dreamy.

I think to myself "no way I'd admit this in court! It's too cliché."

But I love it.

At any rate, I didn't die.