Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer's Thunder Time of Year...The Sound of Music In My Ears

Summer thunderstorms bring back a rush of memories:



 - Summer in the country. In the distance, the horizon suddenly darkens. The wind starts gusting as the temperature drops ten degrees in a matter of moments.  The squall is on you before you have a chance to make it to cover.  Flashes of lightning, so blindingly white as the crack of true thunder echoes in you ears.

 - Thunder at home.  Hiding in my room.  The thunder outside dimmed only by the thunder of pounding hands on my door, the thunder of my mother shouts.  The insults the screaming.  Punching the wall.  Pain.  Ragged knuckles.

 - Summer in the country  - laughing in the rain.  Running through a wet field, kicking up puddles with my bare feet.  Lifting my face to the rain and letting it cleanse me - inside and out.

 - Lightning at home.  I.  Hate.  You.  Did she scream it?  Did I?  Did it really happen?  Did it happen 100 times?  Who was the bigger person?  Wrong question.  The right one is who was the smaller person?  Who should have known better?  Who should have loved?

**************************************************************************

When I'm in the burbs, and a storm is blowing in, my first thought is to go out to the porch, the deck, the yard.  I'll sit on the steps and watch it make it's slow progress.  First the sky blackens, then distant flashes and rumbles.  The wind blowing leaves around in empty spaces.

As you might have realized about me, I'm given to great bouts of contemplation.  I like to reflect on things - the good and the bad.  In some ways it's a good thing.  In others, well let's just say some dark things aren't really good to dwell on.

Yet, there I sit, watching the approaching storm.  And my mind will be blown back, with the wind, to certain places, certain spaces. Sometimes the room is light.  other times I'm in such a black place that I feel a sudden dread, one which cannot be attributed to a sudden flash of light or a clap of sound.

And it's in those moments, when I'm back in dark places, and I'm working them through, that I truly find out what I am.

Who I am.

How far I've come.

And where I still need to get to.

Because I know, despite the progress, that the retreats back into the black past mean I haven't yet gotten to where I need to be.  And while I'm not sure I'll ever truly be there, I know that I keep trying.  And the more I try, the more I succeed.  Maybe on day one you can only punch the wall once, but after a while your hands no longer feel the sting.  Such is progress.

*******************************************************************

So the clouds darken, the wind picks up as the temperature drops.  The skies flash and boom.  And I'm remembering my trip to the mountains with David and my friends from two summers ago.  And the memory is delightful.

And that's progress.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Look At Prolific Me - Links and other Things

So last night I feel asleep in bed while watching tv at around 9:45....and slept through until the morning - like late morning.

Which had me thinking back to my Saturday issue with the weird sleep and wake-up I had.  And had me thinking that what I was suffering from was pure unadulterated exhaustion.

I have been feeling very "out of sorts" the last few days - this morning, however, I feel terrific.  So I think ten hours of sleep really did me some good.

It also got me in the mood to share the love.  Here's some stuff going on all over the world and the web.

 - Shout out to my blogging world friend, and one time guest poster, Malka - she hopefully has some big stuff going on in the next few days.  Wishing her the best of luck.  Holla!

 - If you guys wanna see something Jewish themed and cool - check out the Wandering Arbitor - she did a really cool Eicha drawing.  Check it out.  It's totally beautiful.  As I commented on her blog - it must be really cool to have a talent like that!  (I'm not counting proficiency in tennis, of course ;)  )

 - If you like the best J-Blogging has to offer - read this lady.  But be forewarned, once in it will change your perspective on everything you think you know.  Here there be monsters.  But written with such grace and beauty.

 - My least read blog post in ages about the best guilty pleasure show you aren't watching.  Perhaps my readers simply don't watch tv?  If so, whatever dudes.  Enjoy your boring time on earth.

 - If you are ever in Canada or the North Eastern US - and you need some good coffee - go here.  Just saying.  Gotta shout out to Tim Horton's!  Whenever I find myself in Toronto playing the Hockey, eh, I get me some terrific Tim Horton's.  In PA, find yourself this coffee instead.

 - I need a hobby that will take up 6-8 hours every weekend (specifically Friday and Sunday mornings).  Any ideas?  Effnig golf.......

 - Re-watched The Dark Knight Rises on HBO.  Twice.  Still not as good as The Dark Knight.  Bane still doesn't hold a candle to The Joker.

 And now the brain has frozen.  So that's all the stuff we have for now.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Me

Ed's Note:  If you suspect you might be one of the people this is being written for, you are probably right.  In all seriousness though, no offense met.  This isn't about you.



Who am I?  What am I about?

If you've read this journal, then you know. 

I have never pretended to be anything else.  Not a sweet girl.  Or a good girl.  I've never pulled punches.  I've never pulled the wool over anyone's eyes.

So why are you all so surprised when you see me?

Did you think I was making it up?  Did you think it was an act?  That I was really someone else that just longed to...well...longed to be?

Is that me?  Or is that you?

Are you so "shocked""weirdedout""repulsed" because of me?  Or is it because I'm a mirror to places in your soul that you like to pretend don't exist?

I'm not mad.  Let me stress that again.  I am not mad.  You have the right to be whoever you want to be.  I'm not interested in forcing you to be something you are not.  Or to explore the darker places of yourself.  Except to me they aren't darker places.

I'm not mad.  I'm frustrated, yes.  Because I keep climbing up a hill only to get pushed back down.  I'm annoyed - at myself.  Because now there's a sample size big enough to make me realize that it's me, not you. 

And yet still I fail to learn my lesson.

You aren't all cookie-cutter, not by a long shot.  But you were all still pressed from the same Frum mold

I can't fight thousands of years of guilt and fear and repression.  I don't even want to.  It's not my desire to change you.  I don't want the hatred that would follow when you decide that you need to change back.

It all sounded so good in theory right?  A little bit of something different.  It's just harder to pull the actual trigger, eh?

Who am I?  What am I about?

I'm upfront, that's what I am.  I'm honest about me, that's who I am.  You may disagree with my philosophies and my choices - I suspect many of you do (that's not counting the ones who have the guts to tell me so straight to my face)- but you can't deny me my right to have them.  No one can.  The same way I don't deny you yours. 

Just stop leading me on already.

Who am I? What am I about?

I am ME dammit.  Take me or leave me.  But I won't change.  And I'm telling you this upfront. 

Don't start down roads you aren't prepared to finish. 

And don't forget about the other person.  Don't forget about ME.  Because I have feelings too.  And I can be sad too.  And I can keep failing to learn my lesson too. 

But I'll also keep getting up, just the same.

Because I'm Me.  And Me is pretty bloody tough,


Monday, June 24, 2013

A Day In The Life

Saturday, 330 pm

We are home from the lunch we knew in advance would be intolerable and was.  Those slightly older couples who have the newlyweds out of some magnanimous feelings of "oh, what would they ever do without our largess"?  And in this case, largess being the right word.  He, a 40-something hedge fund guy who made a several killings in the good times, she a much younger recipient of all that good fortune.  Their friends, the lawyer/does something for some big company combo couple.  Us?  Tired and bored.

Though the meal was torture, it did feature several triple digit bottles of really expensive wine.

Saturday 3:55 pm

I am into pj pants and a t-shirt.  I'm just going to lay down for a few minutes to clear my wine-spinning head.  Just for a second....

Saturday 8:53 pm

"What the fuck?"

I don't know where I am.  My head is spinning and my mouth feels full of cotton.  And it comes back, slowly, in fragmented pieces.  I must have fallen asleep.  I look at the clock in both shock and annoyance.  I've slept five hours.  And I know what that means.  Any chance of sleeping tonight has been eradicated.

I almost fall out of bed.  The hangover feel more like coming out of drugs than alcohol.  My brain is still fuzzy and I pad into the living room.  David is reading a book.  He looks up at me and smiles.  He's smiling because however long he slept this afternoon, he'll sleep again.

1:30 am Sunday

I've dragged him out all over the town and we've sat through some tv together.  We may or may not have played tennis.  But I've lost the battle.  David is playing golf tomorrow and needs to wake up early.  He's done.  By 1:45 his soft, steady breathing means he's fallen asleep.  And I'm left to face the night - awake and alone - with nothing but the demons in my head for company.

2:15 am Sunday

Checks clock

2:25 am Sunday

I lose the battle.  I roll out of bed and walk silently into the other room.  Boot up the computer.  At this hour there's nothing but trouble there.  Login to old accounts - accounts which i haven't really been to yet. Scanning for familiar names.  But it is, after all, 2:30 in the morning.

Sometimes even when you look for trouble you can't find it.

Except, eventually, you can. 

And all of a sudden I'm chatting with someone I haven't spoken to in a while.  Since before I was married.  And we are catching up.  He's one of those real "fake frummy" types I used to regularly run into in my former life.  He's married, but he's always on the prowl after a new conquest. 

3:30 am Sunday

He's pushing me to know why I'm on at this hour.  I'm explaining to hm that it's my insomnia.  He isn't "buying it'.  It's got to be more.

It's always more, he reminds me.

"Let's meet tomorrow", his IM flashes.  "I'll come to the city for you" (he lives, of course, in Monsey).  It's almost 4:00 am. 

I cannot lie.  I am tempted.  Not because of this guy.  This guy is one of a million guys I've known.  Truthfully, I'd be hard pressed to remember his face.  But it isn't about him.  It's about me. 

My fight.

My constant struggle.

It's a struggle most look down on me for.  They don't get it and they never will.  Which is no excuse, just a cold, hard fact.  Made even colder and harder at 4:15 am after a sleepless night.

4:17 am Sunday

Why not?

That's the question.  He's asking it of me.  And I'm asking myself.  Public place (coffee shop of course).  No chance of anything happening.  David wouldn't be too bent out of shape if i told him I was meeting an old friend for coffee while he was hitting balls around a golf course.

4:45 am Sunday

Except.

Except Fake Frummy isn't an old friend.  He's part of my past. A past that I know I cannot re-live.  A past that always rears its ugly head on my sleepless nights.  And reminds me.  And pressures me.  And pushes me.  "Just do it"  the past he tells me.

Just do it. Just give in.

4:47 am Sunday.

"Nah", I write.  "I can't.  I don't do that nemore."

It goes on for a few more minutes.  But it's already over.  I've won this round with insomnia.  I've defeated my demons and my past this time

He's pretty pissed.  I guess I caused him to miss his beauty sleep, with no payout.  He asks (pretty pathetically) for cam sex  - just so it isn't a "total waste".  "Nah", I write again.  "I'm gonna go to sleep."

And that's a lie.  Because I won't be sleeping.  But I will be lying down next to the man I love.  And it will be a reminder of all the things I can lose if I lose myself.  Even once. 

Even one time. 

Against the the never ending flow of demons who come at me.

Every.  Single. Night.

When you are sleeping.  And I'm still awake.

5:35 am Sunday

His cell alarm ringtone shrills. It's my choice - The Beatles A Day in the Life - cut to the waking up part ("woke up, fell out of bed...).  He jerks awake and I smile.  He tries to be quite as he's fumbling around for his golf attire.  I pretend to sleep so as not to break the illusion of his "quiet".

5:55 am Sunday

He's out the door and I'm out of bed.  No more illusion.

10:15 am Sunday

I go out and sit in the shop I would have met Fake Frumy.  I drink my coffee and stare out the window - like somewhere out there is the answer to my riddle. 

Except I already know the answer.  One step at a time.  One day at a time.  One battle at a time.  Slowly.  Keep your footing.  Don't lose it.

And now I'm counting the minutes until he's back.  And we can go be with out friends and swim and celebrate summer.

Time becomes irrelevant.  It passes.

And he's home.



Friday, June 21, 2013

TV Review Friday - Banshee

Ok, so it's been a long time asince I've reviewed anything.  I've spent the last several posts being all serious and shit.  Time to take a break from all that.

And in that vein, it's time to reveiw the ULTIMATE GUILTY PLEASURE - Cinemax's original TV series Banshee - Season One.

A word of warning before I begin:

 Banshee is NSFW.  it's not suitabole for your buttoned down, prudish spouse who thinks Tennis is a four letter word.  It's also probably not suitable to watch with anyone unless they can be fully trusted with  not thinking you are a world class pervo for watchuing this show to begin with.  So yea, watch it at your own risk.  Seriously, I don't wanna hear from you that your wife now thinks you are a pervert or that your mom caught you watching and asked why you were on the Playboy channel.
***********************************************************************


Banshee is a Cinemax original series.  Usually, that would tell you anything you needed to know about the show.  After all, Cinemx, known as Skinemax by Those Who Know (a reference to their extensive late night soft core porn library) is the bottom feeder of the cable movie channels.  The red-headed step sister of HBO (Game of Thrones!!), Showtime (???!), Starz (the enjoyable Da Vinci's Demons) and, well, the Movie Channel.

I actually fell into this show after reading an article about top-10 new show "surprises". I had watched and enjoyed a few other shows on the list ( NBC's Hannibal and Da Vinci) so I figured I'd take a flier on it.

In a word - Wow.  Banshee is the new standard for guilty pleasure TV.  It's well written, well directed and the action scenes and sex scenes really crackle.  An added plus, the star of the show fights with a fighting style reminiscent of Krav Maga - Israeli developed self defense (which I actually learn once a week).  Go me. 

Another interesting note for J-Blog world.  The show was developed by Jonathan Tropper - who happens to be a modern orthodox Jew who has also writtena  few well selling novels and a graphic novel as well.  That's kinda cool guys, he's one of us!!  Go us!! Who cares if he's got a dirty mind?  He's famous!

Anywho, I will attempt and explain the premise of the show to you, but it's preposterous and I don't want to give away any secrets.  But in a nutshell:

This Guy (the incredibly hot Anthony Starr) gets out of prison after 15 years and locates his ex-girlfriend from that time - Anna (Ivana Milicevic), who now goes by the name Carrie Hopewell.  She's living in Banshee, PA, right in the heart of Amish country.  She's married and has kids. 

Guy goes into a bar where the new sherrif rolls in  - so new in fact, no one's ever seen him.  His name is Lucas Hood and he is being brought in from the "outside" because the town is so freaking corrupt, they needed to bring in a "ringer".  Sherrif  Hood is killed by two robbers, who are in turn killed by the Guy.  Guy, who wants to stay in town to deal with his ex-girlfriend, takes the identity of the dead sherrif and passes himself off as the dead Lucas Hood, with the help of the bartender, ex-boxer Sugar Bates, and his crossdressing gay computer hacker friend, Job. 

Turns out Hood and Anna stole 10 million dollars in diamonds from Mr. Rabbit a Russian Mobster from New York, who will stop at nothing to kill them both - not so much because he needs the money but for the damn principle of it.    So now Hood is dealing with Anna/Carrie, who wants no part of him, while trying to stay hidden from Mr. Rabbit and dealing with the local crime boss, ex-Amish Kai Proctor.

Sound ridiculous?  It is!  Does it work?  Totally.  The acting is tight, the characters are colorful and the action is brutal and intense.  The sex is totally believeable, quick paced and ruthless.  In other words, the anti-porn.

I'd run down the cast of characters, but Banshee's Wiki Page does it for me.  Thanks Wikipedia!  So instead I'll describe why I enjoy the show so much.

Forstarters, it came flying out of left field for me.  No fanfare, not everyone saying "oh you need to watch...." (Like when all you freaking after the fact geniuses tried to get me to watch Game of Thrones.  Um hello, I've read the books!! )  So it had the element of surprise - of totally sneaking up on you with no build-up.

Also, it found its stride relatively early.  It's really humming along by episode three, climaxing with an epic scene where Hood fight a mixed martial arts champ who rapes a bar waitress in his trailer.  It works in, to really great effect, a series of flashbacks explaining the back story with Hood, Anna and Mr. Rabbit (including a few interesting twists).

The acting is really good, as is the writing (as opposed to, say Cinemax's completely dreadful Strike Back which came highly recommended but absolutely blows).  There's a scene in the second episode where sherrif Hood, breaks into a museum in Lancaster to steal a painting (after all, it's hard to eat on a cop's salary) and gets trapped in a room with no way out.  He calls Job (a computer hacker extraordinaire, or course) and while he never says it, his face portrays that "I cannot go back to prison" feeling that would have lost its power if he had to say the words.

The flashbacks add real depth to the characters, really helps fill in an interesting back story.  Depth is also added to Kai Proctor's character - who in episodes one and 2 seems like your aveerage run-of-the-mill local thug but really gets a satisfying depth to him as well.





Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ecclesiastes

Live and learn.

Love and learn.

Learn.

Life is a series of lessons.  The roll in and out like waves relentlessly pounding the beach leading to the sea.  The pound and they pound.

Yet still the people go into the water.  Some get pushed back, while others duck under the swells and move forward.

Lessons learned.

Life is a series of lessons.

They aren't happening minute by minute.  Not even necessarily every day.  But they are happening all around us.  Are my eyes open to them or wide shut?

I am the type of person who learns best from mistakes.  And lord knows I've made some whoppers.  But the question is, have I learned from them?  The next time that wave rolls at me, will I get pushed back or will I duck under?  What have I learned from the last wave?

Life is a series of Lessons.

Today's journal is about what I've learned from getting my ass pummeled by the sea.

 - I've learned to treat everyone nicely, from the most important to the guy in the mailroom.  In fact, sometimes it's more important to be nicer to the guy in the mailroom.

 - I've learned that when you treat your body like a garbage dump, it eventually will become a garbage dump.  I thank goodness, many times over, that I learned this lesson before I became a garbage dump.

 - I've learned that if you want something really badly enough.....well who am I kidding - there's no guaranty you will get it.  But you better try your hardest.  Anything less than that and you can only blame yourself for failure.

 - Don't pine for your true love.  Ask him if he feels the same way.  The worst that happens is rejection.  And the short term sting of rejection pales next to a lifetime of regrets and what ifs.

[By the way, if you are a guy,  switch the him with her.  It still works :) ]

 - Don't try and change people to fit you.  Either learn to adapt to who they are or cut them loose.  You can't change people.

 - Sometimes a lifelong friend means a friend for a certain period in your life.

 - You actually can trust people over 30.

 -  So long as it can't hurt you, try something once.

 - Platitudes are just that - platitudes.  words.  And as we have learned from the great George RR Martin - "words are wind".

 - Tis better to have loved and lost than...oh wait, that's not a lesson, that's a platitude!

 - Everyone should download the Fun album Some Nights and make it their required summer listening.  For all of you who don't listen to music for three weeks, get a move on.

 - It feels good to check off the box on a medical form "drinks socially" as opposed to the "stinking fucking drunk all the time".

 - Idle hands to idle things.  But sometimes that isn't necessarily a bad thing ;)

 - Actually, family is important.  You just have to find the right family.  Or work with the right parts of your own.  But that doesn't mean you need to stay with the toxic ones (talking to you, mommy).

 - It's ok to put yourself out there.  There are so few perks to being a wallflower.

 - Have fun sometimes - Contrary to popular belief, it won't kill you.

 - Sometimes you can never really know how important something is until you have it (a platitude, perhaps, but a true one).

 - Its fucking awesome to have friends.  And I never really knew it.

 - Take compliments if they are sincere.  Throw them back when they are part of someone elses' agenda.

 - Be self aware.  And that includes knowing what your strengths are too.

 - Love is not all you need (but it's a pretty damn good start).

AND.....

 - Regardless of what they tell you, play fucking tennis.  Even if you are just bouncing it against the wall when you are alone. 






Friday, June 14, 2013

And what a Year It's Been

What a difference a year makes, huh?

A year ago today, i was probably basking in the glow of graduation all while entering the last week or so of my summer classes.  My college experience was almost over and the next stages were starting to form in my head.

But I was also probably at a final fitting.  And dealing with my rising apprehension, and excitement, about my forthcoming wedding.

Hard to believe, but it's been almost a year since I was married.

We are getting close to my first anniversary of my wedding day - AKA The Day That Changed My Life For The Better Forever.

So now, instead of basking in the glow of being a college graduate, I'm reminiscing on a year of an entirely new experience for me.

And what a year it's been. 

They say being married is an ADJUSTMENT.  But some people say it like its a bad thing.  Sure, it can be hard.  I had been on my own for so long, utterly and completely cut off from people, that all of a sudden living with someone was a change. 

But a good change. 

The best change.

I sarcastically love:

I "love" finding his towel on the floor after he showers (not always, but juuuuust enough to be annoying). 
I "love" how he tries to help in the kitchen even though he's useless. 
I "love" how he "does the laundry" by trying to flailing around at the machine for 5 minutes before asking for help. 
I "love" how he treats Friday and Sunday mornings in summer like he's Tiger Woods.
I "love" how in his eyes "making the bed" is half heartedly throwing the duvet back over the thing, regardless of pillow location and smoothness. 
I "love" having to literally kick him in the ass to take the garbage out when he freaking knows he's going to do it anyway but he just HAS to give me a hard time.  Like it's in the male genetic code or something.

But I also truly love:

 - How he smiles at me when he's happy
 - How he suddenly hugs me out of nowhere
 - How he cleans the table when we finish eating (always and without having to be asked - we can probably thank his mom for that)
 - How he surprises me with random little things like flowers for no reason
 - How he makes me feel, all the time
 - How he's man enough to apologize when he's wrong (and for not rubbing it in my face when I am)
 - How he understands, at least on some level, what I've been through.  And how he gives me my space when I need it.
 - How he always has my back, especially on our rare visits to my parents
 - How we make each other laugh - even if it's so sometimes we don't cry.
 - How he never lets me go to bed angry (something else we need to thank his parent for)
 - How his friends have become my friends, no questions asked (and no history needed)
 - How, after a particularly hard day, he'll instinctively know to say "let's pick up dinner" instead of having to come home and cook

But mostly:

I love how much I love him.  And how much he loves me.  And how, while I am still I, I have now also become WE.  And how much I love being WE.  And how much better WE is than I.

So yea, happy almost anniversary to me.

And what a difference a year makes!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Interesting Lyrical Choice

"Happiness stumbled upon a chapel last night
And I can't help but back up when I think of what happens inside


I've got friends locked in boxes......that's no way to live
What you calling a sin, isn't up to them
Afterall, afterall I thought we were all your children


But I will die for my own sins, thanks a lot
We'll rise up ourselves, thanks for nothing at all
So up off the ground, our forefathers are nothing but dust now"


(Fun - One Foot)


Just an interesting realization I made post-last post.  The cool chorus of the song I quoted in my last post, about putting one foot in front of the other, is actually the chorus to a song that is extremely anti religion.  Specifically Christianity, but religion in general.

Oops, my bad.

I generally avoid discussing religion (and politics) with people because I've long ago realized that you cannot convince people of your views on subjects like this.  They believe in God or they don't.  They like Republicans or they don't.  There's no middle ground to come to.

I always try to see the other side of all arguments and debates.  A) Because you cannot really "win" an argument if you don't understand the other side and B) maybe I can learn something about someone if I understand their reasoning.

So in reading the lyrics above I can understand why someone, perhaps, say, a homosexual who has been shunned by his church, might feel this way.  Does that mean I don't believe in God?  No.  But it means I can understand why he doesn't.

But it also got me thinking.  That and a conversation I had recently with another blogger.  About rules.  And expectations. 

I have my beliefs and my limitations.  Yes, I believe in God.  Yes I believe in the God of the Jews.  How active is this God in our daily lives?  I don't know.  I honestly no longer know.  I used to believe in the guy who wrote the stuff above so I guess I've come a long way.

But what I know I believe, is that somewhere, somehow, Judaism has gone off the rails about certain things.  At some point, it's becoming more about external values than internal ones.  And that seems to be some seriously messed up shit.

I remember a few years ago some big Jewish concert was banned.  I remember there was public outcry.  But in the end, a concert which was going to be the highlight of the year for many Jewish teens was suddenly not happening.  For fear of......socializing, having fun, being happy.  Pick your poison. 

I remember my thought process at the time - the tighter you make your grip, the more sand slips through your fingers. 

The individual.  Sand.  Each small grain a separate miracle

Except some leaders would rather throw water on it, make it stick together.

Make it mud.

Snuff out the individual.

The latest trend in yeshivish world is for boys to wear outlandishly colored socks.  Why?  Because the shirt is white, the pants are black - as are the shoes.  So the only place to be yourself is the sock (which, ironically, is mostly covered anyway). 

Why is a certain portion of Jewish leadership so opposed to individuality?  Is it really because they are afraid the individuals are so bad?  Didn't Moshe go against the grain?  Didn't King David?  Wasn't Ezekiel an outlier?  Didn't that "weirdo" Noah spend many  years building a boat?  That's normal?

Is it really about individuals being bad?  Or is it a power grab?  Isn't it easier to make a power grab when everyone conforms?  Aren't excessive rules really just about tightening their grip?  Do we truly believe that the rabbis of today know more than the rabbis of 50 years ago?  My dad always says that in the 50's and 60's and 70's all weddings were mixed seating, the sleeves were shorter even gasp sleeveless.  Do we really think we know better than they did?  That they didn't know tznious?  Only we do?

Or is it really just about creating mud?

In retrospect, I'm glad I took that song.  It made me look at the lyrics.  It made me think. 

Which we should all do, now.

Before we are told we can't to that anymore either.



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Step By Step

"I put one foot....... in front of the other one.
I don’t need a new love...... or a new life – just a better place to die.


I put one foot...... in front of the other one.
I don’t need a new love...... or a new life – just a better place to die
."

(Fun - One Foot)
She was a scared, but defiant girl. 

After all, this therapy shit had failed her before.  The first one had been a preachy frummy lady who talked about God.  After one session she told her parents she'd never go back.  There's no place for God at the shrinker.

The second one.  Ah the second one.  He seemed distracted.  Bored.  Disassociated. 

That also lasted one time.

But a deals a deal. Stay in the house, get help or be cut off.  Forever. 

She's defiant, not stupid.  So she'll try again.

The third one came with a recommendation from someone they knew.  Someone who had experience with "similar types".  Male, frum, but not overbearingly so.  Why not? 

The first time they met, it was like a boxing match.  Two fighters circling each other, warily.  Trying to reach in and make some contact.  When the hour was up, she left.  She didn't say anything to her parents.  No fits about how stupid it was or what a waste of time it was.  Rather, she just went back to the next scheduled session.

And again it was two fighters.  Circling.

And again.

Halfway through the fourth session he cut her off as she was spouting some piece of nonsense or another.  A rare thing for a therapist to do.  They usualy just let you ramble on and on. "You know Cymbaline," he said, "I'm not going to be able to help you.......no one is really going to be help you, if you don't learn to trust them just a little bit."

"How am I supposed to trust you?" the defiant girl asked.

A smile.  "One step at a time."

And that's how it was.  One step.  One admission.  One horrible story.  One secret. 

And he took baby steps too.  No judging.  No trying to make me a believer.  Giving small insights into the mind that was me.  Insights so...right on about me, I had no choice but to trust.

Step By Step.

********************************************

I was thinking about this last night because I was talking to a friend about her dating struggles.  I had mentioned to her that perhaps a small part of the problem was that her list of what an ideal guy is was made a few years ago and she's changed since then.

Because people change, step by step, during their adult formative years.  That's 18-30 or so in my book.  That's the time when you become an adult.

What the hell do I know, you ask?  It's a fair question.  I'm a well bit short of 30.  So how do I know.  Because I listen.  I observe.  I see. 

And this is my theory, anyway:

When we hit 18, we all want to be adults.  But we don't know how.  It's something you have to learn.  It's probably not something you learn in high school.  It comes from becoming independent, your own person.  And it's a slow process.  Because all of a sudden there's this whole new world of knowledge that falls into your world.  And you need to see it, learn it, process it.  And it changes you.  Very much.  But in very small, incremental ways.

So when you are 20, you probably have a different way of thinking than you did as a teen.  But that's going to change when you hit 25 and you are out of school/grad school, probably in the workforce, possibly married.  Maybe even with a kid or two.  Or you've had serious relationships with three different guys/girls and it's made you more jaded.

Now you are 30 - five more years have passed.  And those years have given you experience and a whole new prospective on things.

So yes, in my opinion, these are the adult formative years.  And they change you.  And the things you may have held true at 17 all of a sudden seem so far away from where you are now.  You skirt is higher, your ideals have changed.  You no longer see issues black and white.  The birth of your child has made you less selfish.  A job loss when you were on top of the world has humbled you.  A broken heart has made you less of a misogynist.

So you put on foot....in front of the other one....and you learn.  You experience.  You process.  And you change.

The important thing is to make sure that your old ideas change with you.