Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do You Have Any Idea Just Who In The Hell You Are Talking To?

Just who ARE you Cymbaline?  Second post I ever wrote, March of last year.  First day in this blog's history, second post. Anyone remember it?

I do.  It's the start of the Cymbaline pity party.  Poor, poor Cymbaline.  Look how she struggled.  Tough life.  Mommy issues.  Society issues.  Jew issues.  Issues issues.  What a mess.  Poor thing. 

But wait.  Now it's April - May - June - look!  Cymbaline is doing better!  Yay.  Now it's 2012 - Cymbaline is engaged!  Yay!  Do you think she will live happily ever after?

Who am I?  Am I just a recovered troubled girl?  Fuck no!!  Or more accurately, yes and no.  I was that.  But that's not who I am anymore.

If I was a dictionary definition - how would you define me?  Lost and Found?  Recovering OTD? 

No, no no.  You got it all wrong.  That's not me.  That's just a small part of me. 

But the rest of me is lost in that isn't it?  Don't deny it.  It's how you look at me when you come here.  Waiting to see if the Cymbalines pity party is back in action.  Did Tova die?  Did David come to his senses?  Did her mom finally cross the line? 

That's not me - it's just a small part of me.

You know who else I am?  I'm the girl kicking ass in school.  Trying to latch down the first job in her career field.  Trying to plan a wedding with the wicked Bitch of the South (Shore).  Spending time with her best friend.  Becoming a Knicks fan.  [That's right bitches - you heard me right.  I went to ANOTHER game last night.  I saw Jeremy Lin again.  I soaked up the sights and sounds of Madison Square Garden and I told David I want more.  I love it and I'm all in. He's buying me a Lin jersey and everything.  (He tells me it's not all big wins and stuff, that it sucks when they are losing, but I don't really believe him)]

I'm reading the new Stephen King book.  Did you know that about me?  Do you care?  It doesn't involve me doing drugs or fucking a stranger.  I know -  but still.

I am ME - hear me roar.

I'm not a pity case.  I'm not just a reformed mess case.  I'm so much more.  And I don't really care if you see it or not.  Or if you are interested in me or not.  I forgot that for a while but a nice lady helped remind me.

Just who in the hell am I?  I'm me. 

And that better be good enough.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Witnessing the Jeremy Lin Experience Firsthand

Now let's be clear from the get-go.  I never cared a wit about sports.  And now, my only true connection to it is that the guy I love loves sports. So let's call it a tenuous connection, at best.

So when I made the deal with the devil (see below) I was really doing it for David.

The deal with the devil - If I agree to spend Sunday going to BOTH the Knicks game (1:00 pm at Madison Square Garden ) AND the Rangers game (8:00 pm at MSG) then Monday is my day for us to do anything I want.  Since I really had nothing planned anyway, I agreed.

And yes - spending the Shabbos before Sunday with David, his family and some of his friends meant we talked about Jeremy Lin ad nausium.  His social impact.  His "skill set".  The way he has "energized an entire fan base".  How his type of rise has "never happened in the history of basketball before".  Extremely fascinating conversations all - though perhaps less so when repeated 200 times in the course of 24 hours.

So there I was, sitting in MSG and experiencing Linsanity for the first time. 

And you know what?  It was really, really cool. 

There were Lin masks.  T-shirts.  Jerseys.  Signs asking for his hand in marriage.  Signs of all types.  People doing the "we're not worthy" bows.  Celebrities (including a douchy Kevin Costner who came in with his girlfriend really really late). 

And Smiles.  Everywhere smiles.  Especially on the face of Jeremy Lin  - who carried himself throughout the whole game like he was genuinely happy to be there.  After a big win by the Knicks (the other team is supposed to be really good), fans streamed out high fiving, hugging - I even saw one guy who looked like he was crying - but many remained after to watch Jeremy being interviewed by the TV station covering the game.  Young kids begging for a wave, fans screaming his name. 

The Rangers game was extremely anti-climactic - almost an after-thought.  They won 3-2 in overtime.  And another goal was taken away even though it was scored with time left in the game.  No Jeremy Lin on the Rangers? Whatever, yawn.

I will never completely understand guys' crazy love of sports.  But on this day - listening to not one, but two fan-bases cheering crazily as their teams won close games (especially the Knicks game where the fans were really going bonkers) there is this sense of heart pounding excitement that you feel as the players do their thing.  Every time Jeremy dribbled the fans were ooh-ing and ah-ing.  Every time he hit a shot they went mad.  Every time he got a teammate a pass, they cheered.  And he seems like a genuine, down-to-earth guy who believes in God and doesn't do bad stuff.  The type of hero we can all get behind.

And how are we spending Monday?  MY WAY.  Waking up late, going out for coffee, and then getting back into pjs for the rest of the day.  I just sent David out to get stuff so we can make a nice dinner.

Oh yea, and he's gonna have to buy me something REALLY nice too. 

After all two sports games in one day?   I'm not that LINsane.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

All You Need is Love, Love...Love is All You Need

The gooey message of Valentine's Day - all you need is love.  Even the twistedly fun Gossip Girl had images of every couple in New York getting their flowers and chocolate and bracelets and declaring their mate to be the most wonderful friend/lover/person ever.

Wouldn't it be great if it was really that easy?  That once a year you could shower your significant other with trinkets and treats and thus strengthen the bonds of love.  Or a few times a year - "Happy Valentines Day!"  "Happy Birthday!" "Happy Anniversary!" - three days - everlasting love.  Pretty sweet deal, especially for lazy guys.

Wouldn't it be great?

But doesn't that fly in the face of the whole "love is really, really, really hard work"?  Of course it does.  Because love is really hard work.  And struggle.  And arguments, (hopefully) followed by sorrys and compromise.

But you know what? Having a day where you wake up to a 6:30 am delivery of roses to your door is pretty awesome too.  And maybe, just maybe, love - while a struggle and hard work - is supposed to be fun and enjoyable too.  That there's nothing wrong with some whimsy and carefree as well.  Who doesn't love them some good old fashioned whimsy every now and again?

Yes, yes - I know - Valentine's Day isn't for Jews.  It's Saint V's-Day and all those who partake are really doing a great evil against the world.  So forget V-day. Birthdays, Anniversaries or even just for the Hell of it Day.

Is love really all you need?  Course not.  But it certainly is part of what you need.  No (wo)man is an island.  Everyone needs to feel needed, wanted, loved.  Anyone who says different is a liar.  Even people who are islands are really island chains.

So do it. Tell 'em you love them.  Buy them flowers.  Guys, you have no idea what flowers can do. 

After all - All you need is love.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Control

Control.

Out of control.

"Being in control is the opposite of being out of control." (Some genius, 2012)

For many years I was  a bad kid.  I did bad things.  I made people disappointed.  I engaged in activities that labelled me "off the derech", "at risk" and "bad".  Let's not forget plain old bad.

In other words, I was out of control.

I righted the ship.  I got help and took control of my life.  That word again, control.  I fought VERY hard for it (there are no short cuts in turning your life around, chillun) and I got it.  I EARNED it.

Control.  Control over my life.  Over my friends.  Over my decisions.  Work hard, do well, make progress and move forward.

Now I need that control.  I need to know that the evil forces around me, that so effectively helped take that control from me to begin with, no longer wield control over me.  I need to decide when I go out, when i come home, where I go, how I get there.  How much money to spend on the credit card to punish them for hurting me to begin with.  I need to know that i have control over my life, at least with regard to thing inside my control (though if I had the power to make it 75 degrees and sunny every day, chillun, I would -  Though I guess I could also move to San Diego if it was that important, but I digress).

Out of control.

But now there are simply too many things in my life that are out of control.  Tova just got out of a long hospital visit (she was there since we got home, got out yesterday), which has been stressing me to no end.  There's this thing we are planning for this summer - my mother is trying to take control over the entire thing - that's her way - she doesn't even like me but she's running to take control of this because that's her way.  Tova and I call it the Way of the Monster.  (Of course, Tova and I refer to our two mothers as The Bitch and the Witch so....). 

The other side is stoked -  as this is the first thing on their side.  They want to be a part of the planning and seem genuinely excited to be a part of this process.  I see where this is going.  They will butt heads.  They will fight.

There will be is a loss of control.

This isn't me worrying about what could be.  This is reality.  Tova sees it.  David sees it.  He doesn't want to be too involved in planning the thing.  He says tell him where it is and he'll show up looking handsome.  He says someone needs to not hate my mother when this is all said and done.

Loss of control.  On egg shells.  That knot in my stomach all the time.  There's school.  There's Tova.  And there's this thing.  It's a constant feeling of being out of control.

Deep breaths in.  Deep breaths out.  In.  Out.  Get control.  Don't let them win.  Don't ruin what you have spent two years building.

I have done something I haven't done in quite a while.  I scheduled a visit to my therapist.  I need to talk to him.  I need to hear what he has to say.  I need him to tell me all is not lost.  I need to feel his hands all over me again (haha just kidding chillun, I just wanted to see if you guys were paying attention!!).

But what I need more than anything - is to feel like I haven't lost control - or to know this is simply something outside of my power to fix.  That I have no control over it because I cannot  control something outside of me.

But right now I'm spinning, spinning, spinning out of control.

And I don't like it one bit.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Helping a Loved One Through Tough Times

He sulks.  He pouts.  He pushes away his plate, gets up and paces.

All the time muttering, muttering.

He is surrounded by friends and family in this, his parents home.  Surrounded by his parents, his siblings, his friends and his fiance. 

But he is miserable.

They have prepared this get together to celebrate life, liberty and the American way.  All the necessary accoutrement's are there - food, drink, festivity.

But he refused to enjoy it.  He mutters.  He sulks.

I hold his hand and tell him it will be ok...that maybe, just maybe...

The Jets will win the Super Bowl next year.

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Ok, ok, so it wasn't really that bad.  But seriously?  His parents throw this monster Super Bowl party every year and he was so freaking unhappy because "[O]oh my god!  The Giants AND the Patriots?  This is like a nightmare.  And now it's happened twice in four years!"

I know, I know.  The Giants!  The Patriots!!  However WILL we go on?

My dad isn't really a sports fan.  He and my brother like the Giants, and I remember them being happy-(ish) a few years ago when they won, but Super Bowls weren't exactly huge deals in my house.  Very different in David's, though.  His family have been Jets season ticket holders forever and they take their football (and their Super Bowl parties) extremely seriously. Men watch (and bet on aspects of) the game while women critique Madonna's halftime performance and the commercials.  And a lot of food is consumed. 

Poor David kept muttering that he hopes "neither team wins" yet grudgingly agreeing that this was a good super bowl.

I agree.  It was a great super bowl.  Not the game (I'd have no idea) but the whole time.  The atmosphere.  The feeling of family and friendship (I love David's friends and their significant others - all of whom have taken me in as one of their own) that quite honestly I've never had before.

So congrats to any Giants readers.  Good win!! 

As for me - I'm going to find time to watch Ferris Beuller's Day Off.  After seeing the reaction of every adult in the room over the age of 30 to that commercial, I'm assuming this movie was one for the ages.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Love You, And....

To say that I'm "kvelling" is probably appropriate, and perhaps even an understatement, but since I have no idea what it means, let's instead say I'm bursting with happiness. 

You will all remember the challenge I laid down to blog comment-er and internet friend "Malka" about writing a guest post.  Well she did it! (See how scary and bossy I can be???)  And not only did she do it, she has nailed the point I was trying (very heavily handed) to make in my last post - but in a sweet, funny and really smart way.

So here it is - my first guest post spot - hopefully not my last, by Esteemed Reader (and writer) "Malka":

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I want to write a sweeping, universal, game-changing post. I want to explain why some people are more open than others; I want to explore what boundaries we all share.

But I don't know "people": my husband is the extrovert with the masters' in social work. Me? I'm just an engineer. But I scored better on verbal than math on every standardized test I ever took, and my mother is an editor who handed me a copy of Jane Eyre when I was in fourth or fifth grade and told me to "read it for the sentence structure." Moreover, I got through the entire first half of Jane Eyre before I laid it aside until junior high, so I have the necessary qualifications to write.

And perhaps, being over-analytical and living in my head as I do, I am even qualified to write about people. But I certainly cannot write sweeping universal truths about all people. Because it was only after high school that I discovered friends, as opposed to acquaintances and family, so I'm rather behind on the learning curve when it comes to how "all people" think and feel. Incidentally, "friends" are when there are 150 people that you know and like well enough, but there is still a subset of those 150 with whom you'd rather share a bus. That select group consists of your friends. Most people have friends, and that is the main reason that loading three buses with 150 girls takes so long. You probably knew this, but that was a life-changing epiphany I had one morning at the age of 18.

As a child, I got along with my classmates, but we didn't have enough in common for me to have any desire to hang out with them outside of school. Books. Books were awesome. People in books didn't want to talk and talk and talk about stuff that bored me. So I read. I wondered with Scout, hated Tom Sawyer with a mighty passion (still do, the jerk: how on earth could he go around with Jim all that time without telling him???), cried with  Billy Coleman, and was scared witless by Dracula. It was awesome. I had unlimited adventures with all sorts of people that I could empathize with, love, and respect. And in my imagination, I never did anything stupid near them, so I could be perfect, and they would appreciate me in all my perfectly human imperfection. So I got my social highs from my family and my books, and that was enough.

Then I went to seminary and met people who were smart and quirky, just like me. I didn't quite realize what had happened until I came back for Shana Bet, alone among the quirkiest and smartest. It didn't occur to me that I might not be as happy without them: I didn't need friends. I had my family on my phone and my copy of Lord of the Rings on my bookshelf. Then suddenly, a week into my second year, I found myself sitting on the steps, crying. I missed my roommate/chavrusa from the year before.

Better to have loved and lost? Ridiculous! This sucked! But I wiped my tears and nose and moved on.

I always got along with people, and I'd simply email my old roommate and that would be that. But then some shana-alephers started hanging out in my apartment (why? how did they find us?), and shortly thereafter I had the epiphany related above. I had friends. This is what people had been talking about for the past 18 years. Oh. Sharing such a fundamental trait with normal people was something of a blow to my ego, but friends... friends were really quite pleasant.


Still, one had to be careful. With friends, just as with all my amenable acquaintances from forever, I still knew to hide myself. We could laugh and chat and do silly stuff. I could admit I was scared of this and incompetent at that, but my essence? That's mine. G-d only knows what would happen if I showed that to another person. They'd know how I'm vulnerable. They would be able to hurt me, to threaten me, to control me. So I hid whatever irrationally presented itself as an Achilles heel, and I was fine. I still do, and I still am. So while I'll show my essence in the safety of Family, I hide it before the danger of Friends/Acquaintances.

Do you remember that third category from my childhood? People from books? Yeah, they're still cool. They understand stuff. Even when I'm stupid, characters are cool with me. I can totally let go in front of characters, who are ultimately only words, and words are beautiful and fun and safe. So these Internet Friends of mine... I am a character constructed entirely of words, and they are characters constructed entirely of words. Beautiful and fun and safe! We are characters to each other, and yet we can magically reach through the Fourth Wall to touch and change each others' lives. And since we reach across with the written word, the Fourth Wall remains a mighty bulwark, protecting us from each other, allowing us to share our essences with a minimum of hurt and no possibility of the Other... the Other... with no chance of the Other doing that horrible scary thing that makes me afraid of people who are fully dimensional, who are more than just words. And that, my Internet Friends, is what makes the Internet the Safest Place of All, as long as it all stays on the Internet and doesn't leap out of the screen and run rampant through my life.