Mar 23, 2015


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.

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!
Woo Hoo!


  1. Coni, you can borrow my teacher voice and look to say 'enough is enough' to this person. Looking forward to see how you dress up your white wall for Easter.

    Robin in Virginia

  2. Coni, I thought you were talking about my dad. Maybe it's Indiana dads. My father was born and raised about 30 miles from you. Anyway, when I meet a Mr. X, I backtrack and go the other way. I do not "deal" with abusers. To me, dealing is thinking and if I am thinking about this ^$^## (expletive deleted) abuser, I'm wasting my precious energy. At my age (65), I am not into wasting anything--especially energy. He is a non entity, a nothing, a zero and not worth even thinking about. So, from a chubby old spinster to a younger spinster--furgitaboutit and waste none of your energy on this idiot. I'm now climbing down off my super reinforced soapbox.

  3. I agree....don't waste your time/energy on him. I'm glad you know plenty of others of that gender who aren't like that.

    I look forward to seeing your future stitching.

  4. Coni - I don't think you wasted any time because YOU LEARNED WHAT YOU DON'T WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP! But call the frickin police! Cuz by your words, I'm detecting violence in this relationship. Unless I'm "detecting" incorrectly. I wondered where you've been. Missed your quips. But please, from someone who only knows you through your blog, please...CALL THE POLICE and find out the next step in getting rid of this guy.

  5. Isn't it something? You have many many wonderful people in your life, yet one jackass puts your stomach in a knot. The easy answer is, he's not worth your time or trouble. Now, how to make it so? Let me know when you find the answer!
    I wasn't much help, except to say been there, done that and I'm in your corner. And so is every other woman Mr. X has come across!
    Glad to see you back!

  6. I am so sorry he turned out to be a bad apple. Don't let the bad apple spoil the whole bunch....throw it out!

    Looking forward to seeing what you will add to your White Wall of Nothingness - your stitching wall inspired me to create one of my own!

  7. Have Stewey bite him in the leg!

  8. As the bible says - dust off your sandals and leave the place. Harumph! He's not worthy of you Coni! Hope your days and other friendships continue to bless you! Cathryn

  9. Some people just can't be nice no matter how nice you are to them. You are too wonderful to be wasting your time trying to be friends with a heina.

  10. Coni: per chance are you speaking of my brother? I did not know you knew each other. He is a bro from hell, but hey what can one do??

  11. You are very lucky to have had such wonderful men in your life. Don't waste another second on this good-for-nothing one. On second thoughts, perhaps you should show him how to behave with courtesy and respect (and then move on!)

  12. My first thought, "Run Coni Run!" Dont look back. If your questioning your self worth, this ones not for you. He doesnt deserve the special person you are.

  13. Coin, I agree with everyone else. No reason to waste anytime with someone who doesn't treat you respectfully. Stop having contact with the idiot.

  14. I say have Stewey bite him on the ankle and then send him packing.

  15. I had a similar situation with my neighbor. Watched him be abusive to a myriad of girlfriends (who all, but one, had a daughter ), to all of the dogs he's ever had, and to some of us neighbors. He has junk all over the place, has been twice divorced in these 10 yrs, and cusses like a sailor. I usually go in the house when he's out, but a while ago we got in a tussle and I stood my ground. It wasn't comfortable and I did call the police to alert them to a possible situation. Believe it or not about a month later he apologized for his behavior. When I stood up to him I saw complete disbelief in his face and he changed his tone somewhat. It's been better but took 10+ yrs to get there. Hoping you have a handle on this soon and can move on to better things. All the best to you and the Stewster

  16. When I was younger, my heart would have urged me to reach out to whatever was broken in him and show him that all women aren't the devil and don't deserve his harshness. However...some people are married to their unhappiness and set on sharing it with everyone they encounter. Protect your sanity and eliminate your contact with him if at all possible. Hugs...

  17. Coni you are about the same age as I. The man you are dating has "been there and done that" to so many other women. He can not be fixed, repaired...he is who he is. Only a therapist can change his behavior. If this man is leading you to low self esteem, questioning your value...please, and I mean please kick him to the curb.

    I was married 23 years. The first 5 years of my ex barking and angry, I thought it would go away. As years went by, it go worse. My kids observed it and finally started disappearing at dinner time. It was too much for me so I divorced him. Just last month, when we were discussing the kids, he still put me down and attacked me.

    The two best things I got from the marriage was the kids. I will tell you that you don't want to live in a life where a man controls, hurts and puts you down. There are nice guys, get rid of this one. He KNOWS what he is doing and he is just seeing how far he can get away with it. Do you think you are the first, or will be the last woman to kick him to the curb. You will not be.

    Be strong and get rid of him so you can enjoy your life once again. Do you really need him that bad? NO. God has a path for all of us, we all experience things..we must in order to survive, but we have the right to decide, so make a decision to the most important person in the world...YOU!!

    God Bless....

  18. Dear Coni,

    While you were raised in the company of turtles, I have been surrounded by hyenas my entire life, and this is what I know about them. Hyenas are happy being hyenas. Hyena's never change, they are who they are - and on some level that is okay -- they serve a purpose, but that doesn't mean that you should spend time with them. A hyena bite crushes bone ... and I imagine a turtle girl would be a savory snack.

    And here's the thing, hyena's aren't neccessarily bad, sometimes something hurt them when they were little - something, broke them ... others were just born that way. But they are bad for you ... so back away from the hyena ...

  19. I was raised by a hyena, and had 2 older brothers who were hyenas to me throughout my childhood. The only way to stop them snarling and snapping at you is to stay out of their orbit. I "divorced" all three of mine many years ago, and I've never been sorry. I only started to become the me I was always supposed to be once I was able to transfer huge gobs of energy away from protecting myself from them and onto constructively building a good life for myself. Run, girl, run.