So here I am on a late March afternoon, watching the skies drop eighteen feet of snow on the ground.
(OK, maybe it's only an inch or two, but the fact that I'm going to have to put shoes on and find the snow shovel and then perfectly sculpt a path for Little Lord Fauntleroy to go outside to do his thing makes me think that the eighteen feet would actually make all of this silly fuss worth it.)
I'm thinking about men.
Before you call the Spinster Union to have my membership revoked, I'm not talking about "thinking" in the filthy and perverted way that a spinster of a certain age should be. I'm thinking about the fact that at the ripe old age of 48, I have only known men who can easily be classified as extraordinary. And I'm thinking this because, only very recently, I've been dealing with a man who is most definitely NOT extraordinary, and it has me stopped cold dead in my tracks trying to figure out how to process things. (And again, before you place that call....I am in no way talking about dealing with a man that would in any way jeopardize my status of a single gal that wouldn't know what to do on a date if said date came with instructions neatly printed on his forehead. I'm dealing with this fellow in a VERY non-biblical sense.)
The easiest analogy I can provide you, dear reader, is if you were a regular visitor to an animal sanctuary, and you enjoyed looking at and interacting with pretty turtles. You talked to the turtles, went on long and leisurely walks with the turtles, laughed at the turtles' funny jokes, and even found enormous comfort in the company of the turtles. In short, you came to believe that turtles are wise and wonderful and generous and kind and lovely creatures that you're just happy to be around.
And then the next time you go to the animal sanctuary, you don't find turtles, you find a screeching, viciously- fanged, feces-throwing heina. This heina is mean and nasty and cruel and very very unkind, and every time you get within ten feet of the damn thing it makes you start to question your worth as a human being and makes you silently pray for death or a fast trip out of the animal sanctuary.
Wait a minute.
I'm starting to see that my analogy would imply that I somehow think men are animals. Whoopsie. Didn't mean to open THAT particular can of worms, I swear. I'm just trying to explain that for some stupid reason I've had the pleasure and good fortune to know brilliant and wonderful men and now I'm trying to figure out one that's not so brilliant and/or not so wonderful.
It's not a big secret that my dad was my hero. He was at once the smartest and kindest and most perfect person I've ever known, and the fact that he and I could be the same species, let alone be related to one another baffles me. Dad was one of only a handful of people I've ever met that was entirely without ego. That didn't mean that he didn't have a sense of self or that he lacked confidence -- quite the opposite. His understanding of who he was and what he stood for was so firmly implanted in his brain that he didn't feel the need to explain it every seven and a half minutes. He just lived it -- by example and how he treated people and how he loved and provided and acted and thought and worshiped and talked and...was. He was the cat's pajamas, I tell ya, and if I could figure out how to emulate one small part of him I'd punch the clock and call it a day.
I've also been blessed with uncles and cousins and great uncles and second cousins who were and are great men. I've tried so hard to find one that causes me to say "Eh..." but I can't. Each and every single one of them were and are men of honor and integrity and kindness and decency. Whether it was my Uncle Connie teaching me how to color with my left hand, or my Cousin David taking me to the movies and then not leaving me in the parking lot when I was stupid enough to leave the car door unlocked and his radio was stolen (I'm still so sorry for that, by the way)...every single one of my male relatives made it easy to love and respect them.
My guy pals are a little nuts for entertaining a friendship with Yours Truly, but as hard as I try, I can't find a scoundrel among them. For some stupid reason, I found men to be friends with who are smart and funny and kind and decent and lovely. I've never once had to question why I would want to know these guys, and on more than one occasion, I've secretly wondered if I was worthy of the friendship. My men friends are the brothers I never had, the protectors I never thought I needed (turns out, I did), and the gifts I definitely didn't deserve.
So this brings me back to Mr. X. I think that the reason why I'm having such a hard time trying to navigate the waters of my interactions with him is that I haven't seen this particular animal before. He's throwing me new material (and by that I don't mean pretty patterned fabric with which one might make a sassy little lap quilt). He's throwing abuse and terror and cruelty and havoc into my world and I'm stumped as to what the h-e-double-toothpicks I'm going to do about it.
I'll ponder and I'll fret and I'll ponder some more, but I can promise you that the moment my hands go to my ample hips and that "look" comes into my eyes and the word ENOUGH crosses my lips, you'll be the first to know about it. I am, if nothing else, my Mother's daughter, which means that I can be rather determined once I get my moxie up.
Stewey and I (oh, crap on a cracker is THAT another male figure in my life, or WHAT!!) send our very best to you and yours. We've been doing a whole lot of nothing lately in terms of stitching, but that is going to change very very soon. The Spinter Stitcher SpringTide Barrel O' Fun is almost complete, and as God is my witness, the Big White Wall of Nothingness is going to get a new Easter outfit if it kills me (which it just might).
Thanks for coming back after such a long absence, my friends!