Friday, July 23, 2010

Headin' to the 01060

Friend w/sock puppet @bar

What a great birthday it turned out to be. Had a chocolate frappe for breakfast--'cause I can. Spent an obscene amount of money treating myself to new clothes that are not my typical style. Made my way slowly down to Boston. Met up with friends in Somerville for pre-dinner champagne, Indian food, and after-dinner drinks at the Precinct. Home well after midnight. Good stuff.

Part of what was fantastic yesterday, and I can't really explain this, is that I felt very confident. I had a bright smile for everyone. I spoke to strangers (unheard of--I'm a cold yankee to the core), struck up conversations, and made a lot of eye contact. Even with the perfume ladies at Macy's. A big smile and "No thank you." And I felt the rewards. It was contagious, the world felt good, and everything went...smoothly. Don't feel alarmed--I'm still a cranky girl. I don't know that I could have that kind of verve every day. But I needed it yesterday, and my super-human powers kicked in.

Now, heading west. Does everyone hold such adoration of their college town? Northampton and the rest of the Happy Valley speak to me, and I don't care if it rains or snows--I know I'll have a good time. My primary focus is go to the Peace Pagoda, the first Buddhist temple built in the United States. It's in Leverett, MA, which is a bizarro little woodsy town that I think of as a highly educated Appalachia. Happy sigh.

Anyway, I always cherished my time there--it's surreal and beautiful and calm. And I feel that I need a little time sitting on a mountain top, looking out forever, and breathing. Must go pack.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Today, rather than clean my apartment or shave my legs in mad preparation for a visit from a Midwestern boy, I find myself accepting the fact of being newly single two days before my 35th birthday.

My 30s have been a weird ride. When I turned 30, I decided to clean house. I left a long-term relationship with a man, a job, and a state and moved to New Hampshire to start fresh. It was the best decision I ever made.

Now, halfway through this decade o'mine, I'm feeling an odd surge of strength again. I'm picking myself up and dusting myself off and looking to myself for answers. I've decided to step outside myself and watch--to see who this person is and what she's going to do next. I'm tired of being unsure and hopeful and sad. I'm interested in being confident, determined, and feisty. I need to take the wheel and drive.

I am going to get to a place where I no longer have to hear the sentence I've heard more than once this week, the worst sentence I've heard so many times over many, many years: You can do better than this. What's heartbreaking about it is that it hits the gut and between the lines I hear, "We think more of you than you think of you." That will no longer do.

Recently, I was at a cookout with a couple girls I know and several new acquaintances. Many beers into the night, a girl in her mid-20s turned to my friends and me and told us she wants to be like us--strong, confident, bold. I laughed inside, thinking, Girl, you have no idea. But it was also an incredible compliment--one I needed more than I knew.

Birthdays are up there with New Year's Eve and September as times for reflection and renewal. And the things I'm thinking about for the future? Well, they all fall under the heading of Being Authentic. Though it may appear to those in my circle that I'm pretty authentic to begin with, I feel boxed in. Dear readership of three, I am not entirely sure what shape this will take on, but it's bubbling up and I can feel it. I sense more travel, more reading, more writing, more crafting, and a wider net and support group. And what I hope to glean is that self love that I've never possessed. I told myself 2010 would be a good year. Maybe what I really meant was that 35 is going to be a great year.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Farting, like a lady, mid-pirouette

Almost 10 years ago, a former coworker gave her notice and said she was moving back to Idaho. As we talked, it became clear that she had missed out on many awesome experiences to be had in New England. So a friend of ours joined us on a three-day tour of delights (Northampton, MA; Burlington, VT; and the White Mountains of NH). I think it was well into day two, heading up along 91, that she said, seriously, from the back seat, "Can we stop talking about poo and sex? Please?" I checked the rear view. She was looking out the window and her huge sunglasses covered all hint of emotion, but she meant it. I looked at friend #3, and she looked at me. We winced and said, "No promises."

I haven't changed.

Yesterday, in Portland, I was day drinking with the gals. Some of these gals I don't know so well. Some of them I've known a very long time. Bonding topics? Poo and sex. Well, actually, I think we shared age of first period and someone talked about poison ivy on the vag. And, oddly, it seemed the majority of us were fairly puritanical in our high school years. Maybe that's why we're such dirty broads now?

Driving from the downtown to the rented apartment (after police-sponsored sobriety checks--kidding, I was fine), I looked in the rear view and saw one gal digging through the debris in the back of my car--a Christmas stocking, a dumbbell, and . . . a duster. M: What do you have this in here for? Me: It goes with the French maid outfit back there.

I was kidding, but thus ensued a conversation about role play, during which I openly admitted to playing patient in the past. And, to my shock, appeared to be alone yet highly regarded for such behavior. None of these bitches had done role playing?! I believe that made me mayor of kink in that car at that moment. Sweet.

Blame it on Bukowski. Blame it on Ginsberg. Blame it on any number of excruciatingly honest writers, poets, and madmen who entered my mind during college. But there's something about going to that dark place, the lowest common denominator, that bonds us and makes us choose for ourselves, truly, whether we are comfortable with the people around us. We're animals, after all. Full of instinctive, visceral responses. So, when one of my friends runs into the living room of said rented apartment, pirouettes ungracefully, and farts, it is the instant reaction from the audience that says it all. My friend in the backseat 10 years ago couldn't make eye contact while discussing her disgust of poo. But when my pirouetting friend cut wind last night, we all laughed to tears and applauded. I can't imagine life any other way.