Saturday, December 9, 2017

Positive Female Role Model

I was over at my younger sister's place this evening, helping babysit my older younger sister's kids while she and her husband went out on the town in a party bus limo, on a holiday lights tour. My help wasn't really needed--my sister and brother-in-law had things mostly under control, and the kids spent a good part of the evening looking over the shoulder of my younger brother (who lives there) while he WOWed them with a tour of a video game fantasy land...Even so, the kids were happy to see me and I had a good time playing with my youngest nephew, who's just a little over one year old now, and definitely in the top percentile of babies when it comes to cuteness, intelligence, storytelling, and quality of giggles. (He also learned to say name before anyone else's, after mom and dad of course. Granted, it was partly by accident, but it's still the absolute sweetest thing to hear him say, and get excited about.)

After dinner and dragons and such, it was time to get ready for bed. I was asked into the bathroom by my niece, who is six, and while she was getting into her PJs she (rather unexpectedly) asked me: why didn't you ever get married?

After a beat, I replied: (I guess?) I never had the chance...

She's smart, and she's seen a lot of Disney movies, so she took that in and rather quickly changed the subject to something else, like getting stuck in her pajamas or something goofy like that.

It wasn't technically true, I suppose, but it seemed like the most honest thing I could say. I didn't think about it much--I just try to keep it real with the kids, as much as I can.

She's probably asked me that question before, actually, although I feel like I'd have remembered it, much like I remember her asking me, a few years back (and when it was still a possibility, albeit distant), when I was going to have a baby. When I told her I probably wasn't ever going to, she asked why, and all I could say was: because a baby needs a dad, and that's something I don't have in my life.

I still recall my older brother's kids, too, so long ago, asking when they would have cousins...They have just three, now, and none anywhere near their ages.

This really doesn't get easier. I wish it did. I really, really wish it did, but it really, really doesn't.

On the bright side, I don't have to make anyone breakfast tomorrow morning! Not even myself.

Friday, December 1, 2017

In a manner of speaking

I've spent so much time these past few years, looking for something to wear, as if I've been looking for who I want to be, when really: who I actually am is obviously of considerably more importance. I've spent so much time thinking that who I was, was better. Whether it's true, or not, isn't inconsequential, or irrelevant, or a matter of no concern, but it is increasingly difficult to fathom the apparent distance, between the expected result and the actual outcome of this little experiment.To be kind, it's not that I'm getting worse and worse; it's just that I thought I would have learned a few more lessons, by now.

This evening I was watching the late news on tv, and found myself musing on the sportscaster's habit, or way of speaking, and how this particular fellow seemed like a man who must have had a dream in his youth of becoming a sportscaster. He was still young, but overweight and middle-aged beyond his years, and spoke with a seemingly effortless intonation, on key and on point. Listening to his lilt, I had a minor recollection of pursuing a dream, however briefly, right before it occurred to me that it must be so much easier, truly, to play a role which somebody else has already invented.

My house is literally littered with costumes I've made and worn, for a long-running one-woman show with a sparse audience."Clothes don't make the man", they say, but I'm not quite sure the same holds as true for women. I suppose a lot depends on how critical it is for the person wearing the clothes (e.g., pants?) to manipulate their environment in order to gain advantage, or favor, or perhaps simply to create a more pleasant experience, or even for more altruistic reasons, if there were such a thing. And here we are, once again, as I digress...

The point I'm trying to make, or to get to, is that--actually, there is no point. There's no point in putting lipstick on a pig, which is not to say that I am the pig or that this post is, but only to employ yet another questionable idiom in an effort to convey how truly pointless an undertaking it is, going to pains to appear a certain way (together, for example), if that way is other than we actually are, or--more futile yet--other than the way we want to be. Then again, what's perceived through the senses, of appearances and such, can be a strong determining factor in how we assess situations, and people--even people we know quite well (including ourselves, sometimes). The way your love looks to you, is this something you can know without seeing? If the eyes, as they say, are the window, then in many ways it really is true that what you see, is what you get. 

What's my conflict here, and where's my resolution? Where am I going with this? Is this an actual story, or just another late-night journal entry? You may be asking yourself, what am I doing here?

That's just one of many questions I ask myself every morning, while I'm looking for something to wear.