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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear Abby

After listening to break-room talk today, I decided to come home and compose a letter to Dear Abby that may have come from any one of the conversations that I witnessed.  This is in no way to be a reflection on my marriage.  I have trained my husband much better than this.  Enjoy the read and have a best day!

Dear Abby,

Today is the day I have chosen to finally sit down to write you a letter.  I have been married to Jack Ass, (his real name) far too long.  When we met he was a perfect gentleman.  He always opened the car door for me and waited on me to be settled before closing it.  I in turn would reach across the seat to unlock his door and open it for him as a sign of returning my love.  When we would sit down at the dinner table we would hold hands and gaze lovingly at each other, sometimes forgetting why we were there.  It was bliss, I tell you, pure bliss. 

We have been married for one year now and suddenly that has all changed.  Oh yeah, he still opens and closes the doors but not necessarily for me.  He now opens the door before me and closes it on me; and usually before I’m in the car.  At dinner time he resembles a vulture swooping in to grab up road kill before he flies off to selfishly devour his rotten catch. He eats so fast that when he finally goes to sleep, he grinds his teeth because his jaw is still trying to catch up.  That’s another thing!  His teeth!  You never start the flossin’ while you’re sittin’ at the table, there’ll be time enough for flossin’ when the eatin’ is done! I was paraphrasing some gambling song.  Gambling is what I did when I married this chump, I guess. 

Anyway, when I married, Jack, (his real name) I said that I would stay with him in sickness, health, poverty, wealth and until death would part us.  I plan on keeping that commitment.  I am not asking you to advise me on how to make my marriage better.  I am simply asking that you would advise “Jack” on how to protect himself.  Although I am committed to staying with him until death, it is quite possible that if he doesn’t find the gentleman within, he may suddenly meet the end of that commitment.  I’m just sayin’. 


Homicidal Honey

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What is Real?

I didn’t know as a little girl that I would find myself relying on the profound words of a children's book when I was grown.  But many times when I look back at where I have been and who I have become, I can’t help but to remember the words of Margery Williams in “The Velveteen Rabbit”. 

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you.  “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.  “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”  Does it happen all at once…or bit by bit?”  “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.  “You become.  It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

We begin our lives in the simplest form. We come out of the womb with nothing but the hands that hold us and nurture us and sometimes those hands are broken.  Maybe it’s not the hands that are broken, but the lives to which they are attached. We live and grow because of the care of others. We are dependent upon others for everything. With each day, year we become more independent to the point of making our own decisions. Often those decisions are an effort to find out who we are and how we fit in this world.

Sometimes even the most loving and protective hands can’t save us from ourselves.  We hurry through life trying to become the person that we think others want us to be.  We do this in an effort to hide who we truly are, or maybe who we are becoming.  Why?  I’ve asked myself this many times.  Why did I dress a certain way when I performed?  Why did I use alcohol for so many years to hide my pain and loneliness? I was, like many, afraid to let people know the person inside.  I was afraid that if someone saw my emotions, my frailties; that they wouldn’t like what they saw.  I was afraid that those who had become my friends would walk out of my life; maybe even forever.

You know what?  When I came face to face with my alcoholism, and began to uncover the things that led me there, I began to realize that the person hidden inside all those years was really a beautiful person.  I am beautiful just the way I am.  I have a limited understanding of the world of antique investing, but what I have learned is that if a person refinishes an antique, the value is decreased.  Original is the key.  I am almost an antique and I have made a lot of changes, walked a lot of paths.  Some of those paths were not the best choices.  Today I am grateful for the woman whom I have become and I am comfortable with the fact that I can never be ugly except to people who don’t understand.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Gift of Exuberance

I walked into the building at approximately 5:55 a.m. today with the usual spring in my step.  I greeted the security guard and each person I passed on the way to my desk.  One lady said, “Amy Potts, do you have to be this happy at six in the morning?”  I smiled, said, “I suppose I don’t have to be, but it’s easier than being crabby” and kept walking.  It was a rainy day in Kansas today and it is also Monday, both of which make for a gloomy day for some.  I happen to like Monday and I love rainy days.  

I had already spoken to several customers with routine requests when I got “that call”.  That call that I am referring to is the “angry caller”.  The one who starts the conversation with, “I want to know why you people…”.  After I listened to his concerns, which were colorfully communicated with insults, I began to understand the real issue at hand.  He indeed was angry, but the root of his anger was fear, and with good reason.  We talked for several minutes and I remained as positive as I could, trying to consider how I would feel if I were him.  By the time we wrapped up our conversation, he was in better spirits and I was too.  I learned today that exuberance is more contagious than the common cold and it feels better too.  

After work I went to the gym.  My enthusiasm was not overwhelming when I approached the sights and smells of my fellow gym-goers. Physically I did not want to be there.  I felt tired and overwhelmed at my fitness goal and how far I am from that mark. I was discouraged.  Yes, the same woman who started the day with obnoxious enthusiasm now needed a boost of vitamin E as in encouragement. 

There is a woman who works out at the same gym who drives me crazy.  She talks non-stop and flies from station to station.  There is only one situation in my daily life that I prefer not to talk to anyone and that is while I am exercising.  That is my time to think and to clear my mind in preparation to talk non-stop when Mike comes home. Well today I experienced an unexpected blessing.  That woman who drives me crazy approached me and said, “I like you”.  I must have looked shocked because she felt as if she needed to explain.  She said, “I’m not a lesbian or anything like that, I just like you because you smile when you say hi to me when most people are rude”. Inside my mind I was feeling a thousand degrees of guilty because of how I have complained about her to my husband.  What she said had nothing to do with my fitness goal, but it gave me the strength to finish my workout.  I needed that today.

The gift of exuberance given to two people gave back to me much more than I could have imagined in one day. 

Tomorrow as you approach your day, consider giving something as simple as a smile.  I promise that you will receive much more than you gave.

I need to shower now or Mike's enthusiasm may be lacking when he comes home to greet me.  :o)

Have a great week everyone!


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