Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oops, I did it again

I sit here, in my home office, with the door closed, Beagle at my feet. Not because I'm feeling particularly productive, but because I'm feeling very sorry for this dog. This.... BEAGLE. I'm not so sure I can live with my decision to add him to the family. What do you call it when your pet is making you crazy and you kill it? Are we talking hard time or just an ankle bracelet that would go nicely with my large supply of black clothing?

Greg was supposed to be my sons dog. I love dogs. I love all dogs. Except this one. This one I have nightmares about, hear howling while I sleep (yes, he's actually howling, it's not just nightmares) and yet he's so damn cute, I can barely believe I would ever get rid of him. Until he digs up another one of my plants, eats something that should not be consumed by dogs: (so far chocolate, a sock, a shoe, every leaf that has fallen in the back yard... did I mention I have a LOT of trees?)

He's gorgeous - the saddest, most soulful eyes. And, if I don't do something about this, I will completely lose my mind. I can picture it now. My son goes off to college. There's no place he can find to live with his dog. I HAVE TO KEEP HIM. Wait a minute... did I sign up for this?

So, I had "the talk" with him. Not the sex talk - that was 7th grade. The "if you make a mistake and adopt a crazed beagle that doesn't fit well with your family and the stress makes a bad illness even worse, it's ok to take him back" talk. Oh, and I'm giving him back him adoption money (adopting a cute but sickly beagle that sleeps all the time: $200. Vet bills to make sick beagle healthy: $697.00. Son admits its time to take the beagle back and spend that money on a nice dinner with a girl he likes: priceless.

Any questions?

klutz: noun. A clumsy, awkward person

Clumsy and awkward. That would describe me to a tee. My ballet teacher LOVED me because I was 5'8" tall at 12. Fortunately for me - and also for the WNBA - I didn't grow that much after grade school. Unfortunately for her, I was beautiful, fluid, with movements that would make her cry one moment - then I was a complete geek and would fall over my own feet without provocation the next. No warning, at least at 12. By 15, I was winning regional contests, dancing 4-5 hours a day and basically proving everyone wrong. Later, I earned a living for a while dancing, and that is a rare and wondrous thing.

But I've always been a klutz at the bottom of my soul. Gangly, unsure of where my feet might be, unaware of my surroundings. My mom tells me today that I used to always be looking at the sky, like I was waiting for something from outer space. I'm sure I was just daydreaming - about love, no doubt, that was oh so elusive for me when I was young. A safe place to rest my head. Someone I could trust. I used to sit and watch the clouds go by, wishing for some secret code to be written there that I would understand and be able to follow, like a treasure map. "He's the one. Your heart is safe with him."

I sat in downtown Portland today, watching the faces of everyone that passed me by, just in case. And it was an odd sensation to think that out there, somewhere, is someone else like me, that just wants a safe place to rest their head.

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." ~Carl Jung

Maybe Carl was right. I think it's time for another transformation.

Monday, September 22, 2008


You know how it is when you connect with someone... feel like you've met someone for the first time but known them all your life - perfect friends kind of connections. Not hot, lusty, rip your clothes off now or I can't stand it kind of connections. They don't happen all that frequently for me (even though I'm busty - thanks RK for the reminder!!) I have finally come to the conclusion that moments are supposed to be just that - things we can walk away from and remember and hold close to our souls when everything else turns to shit. They may not mean it's time to jump in some new crazy routine, but they can also mean "Don't forget - life isn't all bad." Tonight was that. Nice. A connection. Here's to many, many more.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back in the same old dull routine

In case nobody told you, sometimes things run in families. In our family, all the oldest kids have slight OCD behaviors (thus bringing into question the whole nature versus nurture debate). My daughter is slightly wacky and won't eat chips unless I give her 3, 5 or 15. Really. She just won't. God forbid I give her two of something. She laughingly asks for hand wipes after touching any number of things and washes her hands meticulously. Especially after being in public.

But what happens when something more sinister runs in a family? You see, my dad has never been completely well. We grew up wondering if today was going to be a "lets go get donuts for breakfast and then hit the archery range" sort of day or "hide under the covers, Dr. Jekyl has left the building" day. We liked the first kind, were terrified of the second. I spent the first 16 years of my life on a roller coaster.

I remember getting yelled at occasionally. I probably deserved it most of the time, just like most kids, but I grew up faced with an ever increasing sense of fear that everyone in the world is like him - unbalanced, unsettled... unsafe. So, I work hard to keep the world as safe as I can for Sean and Sara.

When things got hard with their dad and anger was the order of the day, I blocked him, started to insert myself more vocally and physically in his little "moments" and made off with the kids, leaving him to his own devices. Now, when he's playing well with others, he's FUN. But not always.

The worst part of all of this? I think my original fears have somehow been proven correct by a majority of the people I know. I am drawn to the slightly off-center. Maybe too needy or not needy enough. So lacking in self-awareness that they make a certain president of the free world look like Mr. Rodgers.

But do I have to believe that? I have friends and family that LOVE me. Would do anything for me. Think I'm always calm, always in charge, always rational. They laugh with me and cry with me and love my kids fiercely.

Is crazy contagious? Is it something to be avoided, like I always did with Dad, or embraced, the way my daughter embraces her anxiety disorder, proudly displays her anxious moments with a loud "hey, I'm anxious!!" and shows the world that yes, she's scared, but no, that won't stop her. Do we get to pick our crazy?

If I have to pick, I want to be like Sara today.