Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Beware of Getting Your Groove Back say I'm stunned is an understatement. To say that I feel a bit of embarrassment (and it's not even my drama) is, too. One of my literary sheroes, the chick who put the 'sister' in 'sistergirl' books--Terry McMillan is getting a divorce from her younger husband of almost 7 or so years. Turns out--he's gay.

Now, we all know about the DL (down low) and all that jazz, but this was a relationship that Terry 150% believed in, gushed about, wrote about in HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK and then in the movie. Though she does live a fairly quiet life (she's admitted to being the mom that takes her son to soccer games and actually STAYS and watches him play), this relationship was a BIG thing then and even now because Terry will always be known as the author who wrote WAITING TO EXHALE and the author who penned a loose 'autobiography' in STELLA.

If I could, I would give a big hug to Terry for this drama. Not pointing fingers. Not saying anyone is a victim over the other (except for the kid--he can't help the situation he was brought into). Drama is Drama no matter how you slice it, and who wants THAT?

As soon as I read about the divorce and then heard specifics this morning on the radio, I thought, "I wish there was a way to really know if the person we're swooning for, thinking love was meant just for us for IS the one, true person for us."

But then, I remember that life is a game and if we knew the outcome of the game before we even, well, how fun would that be?

Keep your head up, Terry. This, too, shall pass.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Three's Company

I sit at my laptop, grimacing as I hear the fridge open, as I hear juice being poured, as I hear the fridge being shut. Anna's in the shower, so I know it is Cliff, the boyfriend, the 'hubby' who has his freeloading hands in my fridge. I bite the inside of my cheek as my fingers tapd harder on the keys.

I can feel him staring at me. I can hear his slurps of my juice. My bedroom door leads out into the living room and I keep the door open to circulate air.

"So," he says, "whatcha doing?"

I don't turn to face him. "Nothing," I answer.

"Working on a story?"

"Nope. Checking e-mail."

"Cool. Cool."

The bathroom door opens and Anna burst into my room, towel wrapped around her, her hair dripping onto her shoulders.

"Can I use your baby oil?" she asks.

"Didn't I just buy you baby oil a week ago?"

"Yeah, but I use up a lot when I shower, and..."

"It's in the drawer over there."

I keep typing, slowly, listening to her open my drawer.

"Hey, you have an extra perfume bottle here."

Yeah, because if I put it on my dresser, you will take it, I think but don't say.

In a flash, she and Hubby are gone, in her room, and I shut my bedroom door, fall onto the bed, and scream.

I shouldn't be pissed. It's my fault. I mean I offered to let Anna come down for a while before going to collegel. That was over two years ago. One semester of school and two weeks of work ago. Since, I've been...well, for the lack of a better term: her BITCH. I pay rent, the utilities, give her money when I can, and now, it seems, I'm running a B&B for wayward hubbies and their visiting little kids.

I groan.

And it doesn't seem to matter what I say to her...I don't think she gets how "there" I am with her and this situation. After yesterday, I thought she had it, but the way she bounced out my room with my oil, I'm taking it that our argument was truly yesterday's news.

I was sitting in the living room, reading the Classifieds, when I blurted out, "So, when you getting a job?"

"Are you going to ask me that every day?" she responded. She threw her hands up on her hips and cranked her neck.

"Not every day. Just wondering. I might not be here forever."

She laughed. "Divanna, you are 30. Surely you ain't going to die no time soon."

"Dummy, not talking about dying. Talking about moving."

She leaned against the doorjamb of my bedroom. "Moving where?"

"Somewhere. I don't plan to be here forever. I told you I wanted to move to Maine. I may do a Ph.D. there. I may go away where I can fend for noone but myself."

"Then what's going to happen to me?"

"Yeah, that's why I asked about the j-o-b, sis. You get a job, you could swing this place. Hell, your hubby lives here enough; he could come over, too, and help."

"Is that what this is about?"

I drop the Classifieds and stare at her. "That, what?"

"Cliff. What, now I can't have a boyfriend?"

"Hey, you can have a boyfriend. Please do. I heard boyfriends are fun."

"You need to try it sometime. Might not be so uptight."

I was offended. Still am. I hate when any of my friends equal getting some with not being so uptight. I'm doubly offended that Anna, who is dating someone who though he does seem nice is a bit questionable, would tell ME about men.

"Well you know," I replied, "Would be tight with someone else here when I'm already living with Jack and Chrissy."

Neck cranked again; head tilted to the side. "Oh, now you trying to be funny."

"Nope. Dead serious. If I HAD a man, I would want to live in my own space with just him and me...not my sister and her man, too. Then my man and I would be taken care of all of us, like you and Cliff our kids." I shook my head. "There's a reason I don't have children."

"Because you ain't getting any."

"No, smart ass, because I don't want the responsibility of taking care of someone other than myself."

"So now I'm like your child."

"Or I'm your bitch."

She just stared at me, not saying anything. She turned and left the room, and for the rest of the day, I got either the silent treatment or the evil eye.

I thought, She might've heard me this time. She was angry. She heard me. It sank in, and she would react to it.

At 4 this morning, when I woke to have a pee moment, I heard Cliff in her bedroom talking about something on TV, and I knew she would be chipper today. And she was, as if she had forgotten about our Get a Job/Life talk.

But I hadn't. It burned in my gut, mixing with my ulcer. Between looking for a second job and popping antacids, it was a wonder I got anything else done.


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Women who Let Others Orchestrate Their Lives

Okay, so last night while I was organizing my weekend activities, I was watching Lifetime Movie Network. Yes, I watch LMN. I ADORE LMN and the regular Lifetime TV.

Anyway, so I'm watching this movie titled "Betrayed: A Story of Three Women." Brief synopsis: Two women have been best friends since childhood. Both have children who are either in college or about to go to college. One is married and lives the typical "happy life" (Meredith Baxter-Birney plays her). The other is a widow (Swoosie Kurtz plays her--LOVE her name!). Swoosie's daughter is having an affair with Meredith's husband. Swoosie's character finds out and battles to decide whether to keep the secret (though she's pissed off with her daughter and orders her to leave the house) or to tell her best friend. It doesn't matter because the husband breaks down and tells Meredith. She's pissed, of course, and makes him leave.

Sounds typical and normal for her to do this. Well, here's the kicker. Her husband, when trying to get back into her good graces goes into this "conversation" about how lying has been around forever: husbands do it to wives, wives to husbands, sisters to brothers, friends to friends, children to parents, parents to children. It's life. But he's there, trying to apologize, trying to make it work between them.

Meredith goes off, telling him, so that's supposed to make it right? People lie and so we're supposed to accept it?

Later, when Swoosie is trying to patch things up with Meredith (who found out Swoosie kept the secret), she tells Meredith that the world she lives in is gone. Being truthful, being honest--those are things of the past. This is real life. Life is a mess. People lie. We can either live in our "boundaried" worlds and keep our morals, or we can open our boundaries, forgive, and keep people in our lives.

THIS PISSED ME OFF TO NO END. I understand the whole concept of forgiveness. I try very hard to practice it myself--to an extent. But I thought it was SO BOGUS that this woman was given the option to keep her morals and beliefs or to forgive (at someone else's timetable) and keep the people in her life.

In the end...of course, it looks like Meredith may "talk" to her husband to see where they stand, and she and Swoosie become buds again. I couldn't be happy about it because it felt like Meredith wasn't allowed to fully grieve over her situation and decide on her own what roads to take. Her friend and her husband made her feel like she was the wrong person for not hurrying up and giving them chances.

I think this pissed me off MORE because in many books I've read in the past, women often have to deal with things like infidelity, who they want to love and when they want to love that person, parents telling them what to do, life telling them what to do, and it seems like the women are often NOT living "their" lives but lives coordinated and orchestrated by others, and as a woman who hates for anyone to tell her what to do unless she ASKS them, that just infuriates me.

But yeah, just wanted to throw this out into the universe to get off my chest. Now back to my regularly scheduled program of grading English 090 papers.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Runaway Bride Cashes in on Her Crime--GOTTA LOVE AMERICA!

Yep, big eyes has done it, and she has rejuvenated me to make a post on my blog. First, to those who placed comments about my stolen laptop and e-mailed me, THANK YOU. It made me feel good to know you felt my pain. I'm slowly coming out of that, more so because I have a lot of work to do with teaching my classes and helping to revise a developmental English book and helping to develop a grammar site for our uni and a new English 102 book.

NOW, back to the great Ms. Wilbanks...if I needed yet another piece of evidence that proved bad people consistently grabbed the brass it is. I can't believe this woman, who I cried about and hoped was not hurt and who ended up duping the Georgian people and America in general, and now she is inking a deal to tell her story. Sadly enough, someone WILL bite at the opportunity to splash her story in a book or on TV. It's the way of our world; we enjoy looking at badly done imitations of badly-lived "real" lives.

I'm just trying to figure out what I can do to get a slap on the wrist sentence and get me a nice little deal. Probably could do that faster than I ever could write a great book and have someone in PubLand want to publish it.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

Well. Guess what? Had something good happen this week and almost immediately, something horrible happened.

Good thing first :: I've been offered a promotion of sorts at work. Will be teaching at-risk students starting in the fall, for a year, for a grant the VP for the university received. Things are still a bit sketchy, but when I know all the details, you'll know some of them, LOL. I felt proud, knowing that my supervisors believe in me and my dedication and my teaching enough to have me be the English representative for this new program. I felt validated even if I have my "moments" still when I wonder if people truly believe I can get the job done.

Bad thing next :: Well, I road high on the above news for about two days, and then bam, Friday, my house was broken into. I was off, taking my mom to work that night and my sis was across the street at a friend's house. I was gone for not even 20 minutes. When I got back, the door was busted in and the ONLY thing taken from my home was the laptop, which was in my bed under pillows and a blanket.

Needless to say, I'm overly numb. Everything I've ever thought, designed, wrote was on that laptop. Some, many of those things were not saved because they were recent, and I hadn't gotten around to saving on keys and cds. I will be starting from scratch with a LOT of things, and right now, I'm trying hard not to break.

I haven't slept in the last couple of days, watching the door. The first night, we had to move a heavy bookcase in front of the broken door. I stayed up, mace and knife in hand, waiting and hoping someone would come back. We have a door now, but I still feel unsafe. Can't sleep. When I do manage to close my eyes, I have bad dreams. Any sound has me up and running from room to room. Now, though I was ALREADY OC about checking doors and locks and keys, I'm even more so now. Every once in a while, I tear up, let a few fall because my baby is gone, so much is gone.

I'm physically tired, like somebody kicked my ass, I have tight pain in my chest, I'm just "quiet" and tired and about ready to say, "Okay, I give up. Every time I try to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make shit happen, another thing occurs to make me question whether I just need to lay down and not get up again."

This weekend, I've tried to break out of my slump. Prepare myself for class this week, figure out what I'm going to wear tomorrow, study up on some Latin so I can begin my tutoring in about a week or so, read...basically do the things I would normally do if my world didn't fall apart around me. People will say, "Now come on. Worst things have happened to people." And I would agree. But this is me. This is now. And this is how I feel. Period.

Thing is, I'm angry, I'm pissed, I'm scared, I'm numb, I'm violated, I'm so many things, and yet, the world keeps going, the swishing sound of the hands on my clocks and watches keep moving forward, and I have to prep classes, and come tomorrow (well, later on today), I have to stand in front of my students and smile and teach, and say hi to people when really, I just want to be, FUCK THE WORLD and all the ignorant asses in it who can't stay off drugs and keep a job and get their own shit and must steal from others (if you had a "notion" of the person who took your shit, you would say these things, too).

But of course, I won't do that. Can't do that because I'm me, the world keeps moving, and I'm a cog in its system, destined to move forward and let the pain and heartache accumulate until one day I suffer a massive at work, while grading essays, prepping classes, and revising an academic book because my laptop is gone and I have to work at school. *sigh* Alas.

Tomorrow, I call pawn shops to see if they have any laptops and wireless cards. Tomorrow, I teach exemplification. Tomorrow, I sit in on a meeting for online education. Tomorrow, my aunt and uncle come for a few days (more time to act like I want to be around people). Tomorrow, I say good bye to my friends for two weeks as they go to Kansas for the summer. Tomorrow, I lock the door of my home and worry that when I get back everything will be okay. Tomorrow, I hope to get some sleep and not be too scared to sleep in my bed knowing that someone was in there and touched my stuff and stole the main tool for my creativity. Tomorrow, I hope to make it through the day--each hour, each minute, each second.


And then the tomorrow after that one until hopefully, things get "almost normal" again.