Category Archives: Marriage

Thomas Hardy Can Bite Me

One of my ongoing life projects is to slog my way through “the list” of classic books. Also I’m working my way through a list of 100 books one should read during their life that I found somewhere, don’t remember, but it doesn’t matter. Thus Tess of the D’Urbervilles came up on my mental jukebox and I wasted a day of my life reading it.

My overly brief summary is a poor young woman who is voluptuous for her age is brought to shame by a rich man who is supposed to be helping her family. As a result she has a baby and is shunned by her village. The baby dies. Later Tess runs off to get away and takes work as a milk maid on a farm far from her home village. She meets, falls in love with and marries a man she idolizes and thinks is a virtuous and beyond reproach kind of man.

On their wedding night he confesses to her that he had a fling with a woman who tempted him beyond his ability to resist. (poor men,  they just can’t handle us women) Tess is relieved by this revelation and unburdens her sordid past to her groom. He is shocked, horrified, repulsed, decides he doesn’t really love her after all, and leaves her to her own devices. He runs away from England all together to try his hand at farming in Brazil. Yea, yea, finding out your wife is not a virgin on her wedding night can do that to a man. At least it did in the 1800s according to Thomas Hardy. Although today it can still be a death sentence to a woman if she lives in some places in the Middle East.

Tess spends the next few years descending further into poverty and degredation, fighting off the advances of various men who find her looks overwhelming, claiming to be married, but no one believes her. For some reason known only to the author she continues to defend and be true to the husband who abandoned her. She eventually ends up homeless with a mother and sisters to care for and gets so desperate that she finally gives in and  hooks back up with the guy (D’Urberville) who brought her to shame in the first place.

Meanwhile, the husband, after years of illness and failure in Brazil decides that he loves Tess after all and comes back to England to reclaim her. Alas he finds her living with the evil D’Urberville. Tess is so undone by this and wants to be with her “true” husband so bad that –get this- she stabs D’Urberville in the heart with a fruit knife and runs off to be with said husband. He dies and the landlady discovers this fact by noticing that blood is dripping through the ceiling from their room upstairs.

Tess tells her husband what she did and they wander the country side for days hiding in various bushes and abandoned houses. But justice must prevail you see. She is caught of course. The final scene is Mr. Lily White husband and Tess’s sister are standing on a hillside looking at the prison. A black flag is raised indicating the Tess has been hanged for her crime. THE END.

I’m outraged by various things about this book. The main thing being it is yet another book written by a man who seems to think that he knows how the secret heart and mind of a young woman, or any woman for that matter, operates. Another thing that bugs me is that this book is given to our young women to read and touted as a classic. The main message being “see this is what happens to bad girls.” I’m still seething and I read the book over a week ago.

Confessions of a Sports Non-enthusiast

I’ve been re-inventing myself after the soul shattering and untimely demise of my grandson. As mentioned in my previous post I’m in the red lava angry phase of letting go. Fueled by this anger I’ve decided to be brutally honest about a subject that seems downright silly to get worked up about in the grand scheme of things. But so what? This is my one and only life. I’ve used up 59 years of it already and I’m not wasting any more of it doing things that I hate to do.

So here goes; I HATE “TEAM” SPORTS. To me it is a violent brutal activity witnessed by a crazed mob, similar to goings on in the old Roman coliseum. I’d rather crawl on my belly naked across a field of broken glass with a rusty spoon in my eye than watch it, talk about it, speculate on coming events, chose sports memorabilia, or give the tiniest bit of a rat’s ass about it.

Why don’t I just avoid it you may ask? Well here’s the deal. I married into a band of in-laws who are all sports fanatics and seem to think that there is something odd and unsavory about a person who is not interested in sports. They all seem to think that if they just explain how wonderful it is that I will eventually have some sort of epiphany, or personality transplant and see the light.

Also every year Mr. Husband and I are given tickets to various sporting events as Christmas presents so I’m supposed lie to myself and them and pretend to be all grateful and write thank you cards for something that I get the rolling heaves even thinking about. It seems like I’m participating in a big fat charade at my expense.

To me it’s a point of principle. I’ve been with Mr. Husband and his band of merry relatives for ELEVEN years now. One would thing that my ongoing statements that I’m not in to sporting events would have sunk in by now, but NOooOo. I know Hubman wants to us to have something that we like to do together. Violent seething screaming crowds of people foaming at the mouth about who stuffs a ball in some opening or across some line, or in a net, is just not my cup of tea. Now I’d be down for a punk rock slam dance fest complete with crowd surfing. But that’s too up close and real, can’t do that from your kingly EZ boy lounger, or sitting up in the bleachers. You gotta get down in there and do it all out.

To me there is a time and place for violence and “having fun” is not one of those times. The time and place for violence is reserved for a situation where actual violence is called for because it has actually erupted. Examples; suddenly finding yourself swept up in an angry mob that you have to fight your way out of, some idiot comes through your front door with an ax, a crazed car jacker tries to pull you out of your car by your hair, etc. (I actually experienced the attempt to drag me out of the car by my hair thing. It was not fun, but I got away – minus a hand full of hair)

So there ya have it. I hate team sports. So sue me. So sorry Mr. Husband, I know this is a big disappointment to you, but I’ve been trying to tell you this for 11 damned years. It’s not my fault that you don’t listen.

The Seven Stages of Pissed Off

The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

All the death gurus I’ve read or heard quoted claim there are stages of grief. I have to say that at the moment I’m in the white hot lava mountain of rage otherwise known as anger.

It’ kind of hard to deal with because at the moment I’m angry with my family and everyone else I’ve even known who puts themselves in harm’s way to the sorrow and fear of their loved ones and friends.

I’m angry with my grandson for choosing to live a sad and dangerous life; choices that left his 26 year old beaten, drugged up, frozen dead body on the ground in a train station in Boston. Those of us left behind to mourn him are left holding the bag. I’m pissed off because it seems like he got off easy. He doesn’t have to face each day knowing that he’s gone forever. He’s not left with a life time of “what ifs.”

I’m angry at those members of my family who still abuse drugs and alcohol and live on the razors edge of death in a myriad of ways because of their actions. Who will I have to bury next?

I’m angry at family and friends who suffer from an assortment of mental illness and refuse to seek or maintain treatment. I’ve been told by a number of them that well “I’m not hurting anyone but myself.” Excuse me but that is total unadulterated bullshit. Hello but you are torturing those who love you.

Having substance abusing, and or mentally ill friends and relatives is like having a stalker. The situation grinds on relentlessly for years and then decades. Your heart jumps into your throat every time the phone rings. “What  is it THIS time?” Are they in the hospital? Are they in jail? Are they missing…again. Are they dead?

It’s a slow kind of torture that never ends. You can’t do anything about it. Maybe having an actual stalker would be easier to deal with. You can report them to the police. You can take out a restraining order. You can go incognito. If all else fails, you can move to another city or country to get away from it.

But you can’t get away from substance abuse or untreated mental illness. You can hope, you can pray, you can go into denial and refuse to answer the phone, but you can never get away from it.

To anyone who thinks that their self destructive behavior is their business and not anyone else’s….I would like to brain you with an iron frying pan and then lock you in a closet for a year or three. You ARE hurting the people who love you.

I’m Thinking About Going Goth ~~

The reality is you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be, nor would you want to.  Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler.

Lady_AmaranthAs long I have to reinvent myself after a piece of my heart got cut out, I’m thinking about doing something I always wanted to do – go Goth. Don’t waste your time asking yourself if I’ve lost my mind. That ship has sailed.

Now I’m saying this a little tongue in cheek. But think about it. I can wear black all the time now because I have a perfectly good excuse. I can read Edgar Allen Poe in the middle of the night and then listen to Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, the Cult, Rasputina and Siouxsie and the Banshees on my IPOD all day.

I can contemplate death without working up an effort because it’s always there, right at the front and center of my brain. Not my death necessarily. I of course know that I will die someday, but harbor no plans to bring about my own premature demise. Life is much too precious and brief to throw away.

I’m already rocking silver hair and the dark circles around my eyes. All I have to do is slap on some black eyeliner and dark lipstick and I’m half way there. I have tons of black clothes already, because well…I’ve always loved black clothes. I even own a black corset.

The loss is Christopher, my grandson, keeps sneaking up at me at the most inopportune moment. Last night Mr. Husband and I were watching the Patriots vs Ravens football game. I suddenly burst into tears because the thought that Christopher is a Patriots fan flitted across my mind. I thought only men cried when watching football? My poor husband tried to comfort me and said “I’m sure where ever he is he’s watching the game.” The Patriots won. YAY

So if I’m going to be in mourning for the foreseeable future, I may as well have some fun with it. Sounds a bit kooky, I know. But I never claimed to be a “normal” person.

Is there a Video Blog for Real/Mature Women?

Since I’ve been so sick and under the weather from grief at the death of my grandson, I’m running out of things to do that don’t involve much moving at all or any heavy breathing. Come to think of it I haven’t been capable of doing anything that involves much thinking either.

A few days ago I found myself incapable of doing anything more strenuous than lying on the bed and watching the screen saver on my computer cycle through.

Yesterday I started trolling YouTube to find things to laugh about. It’s great for my chest and sinuses to laugh because it sends me into a coughing and sneezing fit that really get things going in the snot department.

One thing I noticed is that there are tons of videos entitled “watch this it’s the funniest thing ever.” Many of them are so not funny at all… it’s almost but not quite funny. Maybe I don’t get it because I’m not a generation Xer or a millennial kid.

I even found a slew of videos called “nut shots.” These videos are made by a select group of young men who are doing us all a favor by removing themselves from the gene pool. They set up ways to have themselves get slammed in the nuts and catch it on tape. One guy sat at the bottom of a skate board tube with his legs spread and had a friend roll a bowling ball down the slope and into his crotch. My faith in coming generations was severely damaged by this.

Then there all the beauty tips by young girls and teenagers. Example: “How to grow your hair long.”

Hi, I’m Tiffany and I say “um” every fifth word, I’m going to tell you how to have long hair. It’s like totally rad, like what you do is not cut your hair, like for a really long time. And then you like run your fingers through your hair 15 times a minute and purse your lips. It’s like totally cool and it really works.

And while I let my hair grow, I’m going to show you how to put on lip gloss. What you do is like (zoom into close up of a container of lip gloss) stick your finger in the lip gloss and like smear it on your lips. Then I’m going to show you how to put on makeup. (More close ups of various drug store make up products)  You like spread this foundation all over your face, it’s probably good to have the color match your face. Then you put on eye shadow, eye liner and mascara. It’s so cool see here I am without makeup (close of up of beautiful flawless 16 year old skin, followed by close up of a girl who now looks like the whore of Babylon.)

Maybe there needs to be a video blog made by and for women who are looking at 50 in the rear view mirror? Without make up on a bad day, especially when I’ve been sick for 2 weeks, I do a good impression of a corpse in a coffin. My lips are shriveled up and cracked. My nose is chapped. I have dark circles on under my eyes that would scare off a raccoon. Will running my fingers through my hair and talking like a valley girl help? Probably not.

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