Well, at last count, I had 33 questions to answer, some easy and some not so much.
I will begin with the one that I found the most odd.
Shazza wonders if I am real.
Um...yeah. The last time I checked anyway.
I suppose it would be sort of interesting to say that I was really a 78 year man in China pretending to be an aging lesbian from the heartland...but no. I'm just me.
No, Shazza, I'm not offended by your question. I did wrinkle my nose a little when you compared my blog to an Oprah pick. (They aren't high up on my to read asap list.)
Your question made me think, though. Do I give you blog readers the impression that I lead a charmed life or something, all aglow with happy endings?
Because it really isn't like that, my life.
Sometimes it stinks like a pig.
I have really bad days where I feel like shit and sort of go into myself and only come out for Liv. I try not to blog on those days....
And I am hardly a perfect person. Bing will tell you that, right up front and loud...
I suck at many, many things.
I am a poor partner. I really am. I don't know how Bing puts up with me (and she just walked by, read what I wrote and nodded solemnly.) I don't work well as a boxed set. I do better on my own. Or at least I think I do. I guess I should just say that while I may come across as a very approachable person online, in person, I am very aloof and not particularly friendly or warm. I can be very witty and sparkly with strangers and then act like a real bitch on the car ride home.
Bing and I are not a match made in heaven. We have problems. Mostly about money and child raising. We don't generally have screaming matches, though, because I refuse to fight in front of Liv and she tends to turn on her heel and leave if things get dicey. She goes out and drives around or goes to a music or hardware store and tries to forget my shrill voice. I simply clam up and give her dirty looks if she even tries to touch me once. So, no...we are hardly role models for a healthy relationship.
I tend to write about things that move me. And I find that the older I become, the more easily I am moved even by small things.
Before I blog about something, I sit and jot down everything I can remember about the event. When you free associate like this, you will be amazed at how much you recall. Also, I have an excellent memory and I am observant.
My Da always said that Maria notices things. Not much gets by her. And he was spot on. It is just a knack I have.
For many, many years I free lanced as a jury consultant. I was hired by lawyers to help pick juries. And I was good at it. I could tell by a certain slant of a leg or a hip or a certain look on a face whether a person was open minded about things or if they already had their mind made up. I noticed the clothes they wore, or didn't. What they did with their hair. Was it carefully coiffed or tousled? And if it was tousled, was it deliberately that way or unintentionally? Just that will tell you a lot about a person. I watched their faces carefully to see how they reacted to different people, if they sat with their arms or legs crossed. How often they blinked. During their initial interviews, I watched them very, very carefully to see if their eyes could tell me something that their mouths would not.
I know it may sound boastful, but I was freakin' good at my job.
My bff, Harriet, once told me that if we went for a walk, she would remember what the weather was like and a few of the topics we discussed but that I would remember the lady we saw who was walking her dog and that it was a chihuahua and that they both had the same expressions on their faces. She said that I would also remember exactly how the sun was slanting through the trees and how it made her leather jacket look shiny.
I think she was saying that I am very observant.
Maybe that is why my stories may seem false to you, I dunno.
I can tell you this: I don't make up things that happen in my life but I do remember details. I think that most people have really, really interesting lives but they just don't realize it. Think about the people in your life and now zone in and think about each person specifically. You know how maybe your Uncle Joe really likes pizza with lots of mushrooms and how he wears a baseball hat because his hair is thinning and he hates that? Well, if you put that in your blog....people get a pop up picture in their heads. It may not be the same picture in your head, but it is a picture even so.
I try not to sugar coat my life when I write about it here, but maybe I do. Maybe I don't write enough about the times when I feel sick at heart, when I go to pick up Liv at school and some mother gives me a look like she can barely stand me and she doesn't even know me but I have heard through the gossip mill that she thinks it is "cruel" of me to "force" my child to live in an "unconventional" family.
Or how I can't ever really forgive my sisters for abandoning me for nearly a decade because my mother threatened to cut them off from their inheritance if they so much as called me on the phone.
Maybe I should write about more of the times when I feel crabby and fat. Because sometimes I do, you know, feel really crabby and maybe not so much fat anymore...but there is always something to replace it. Like the fact that no matter how much moisturizer I use, my skin still looks and feels like rice paper.
My life is not a dew laden journey. Or...maybe it sort of is. I have been rather ill for several months and I have found that the one blessing out of this is that I now take the time to really look at my family, my friends, my life. And things look pretty rosy when you consider the fact that you could lose it all.
I have made so many mistakes in my life, Shazza. For more years than I want to admit, I drank too much, slept around too much, did too many illegal substances and hurt the people around me who deserved better than that from me.
I don't think that I have ever deliberately hurt anyone. But, yes...I have hurt people.
And Bing doesn't always sit around playing the piano for me. Sometimes she comes home from work and asks me why I forgot to take out the trash.
Liv isn't a perfect child, although, to be honest...she comes close. She can be pretentious and too big for her britches at times and it really bugs me that when I go to watch her play her basketball games, she sometimes is so busy looking to see that I am watching her every move, that she misses her shot.
My life is so not perfect and I am very real. Sometimes, in fact, I feel WAY TOO REAL. Sometimes, like Wordsworth, the world is just too much with me.
I am not model pretty, but hey...I am okay looking for a fifty year old woman, I think.
I used to be prettier when I was younger, actually I think I was kind of a looker, to be honest. But now? I don't turn heads anymore. I look like a fifty year old woman who is buying milk and gets halfway through the check out line and remembers that she forgot to buy bread. Once, when Liv and I were in the check out lane at a Walgreens, the clerk smiled down at her and said, "So, how are you enjoying your time with grandma?"
That would be me, I suppose. I look like a freakin' grandma????
When shit like that happens, I do stupid things like go to Victoria's Secret and buy pink silky underpants. Because my frail ego needs it.
So, in my usually verbose way, I hope I have answered your question...
I am so fucking real, Shazza!
I just write kind of...pretty. Even when things aren't so much.
Okay..time for bed. And I will try not to take a fucking blog post to answer the rest of the questions. Another one of my bad habits is that I tend to be um...wordy.
But, I keep it real for you folks, I really do.