Saturday, September 22, 2012

Well. Soon-ish ...

By order of HRH Princess Snarkerella, Halfglassistan is undergoing renovations. All of the populace are alive and accounted for, but undergoing their own various reconstructions. Any inquiries should be addressed to HRH and will thoroughly reviewed by the second assistant to HRH's third assistant and replied to at HRH's whim.

So, you know, you should feel damn lucky if you were to hear back from her. I guess that you would mean you were pretty flippin' special, huh?

Um. Well, yeah.

See you on the flip side, kids. Be careful out there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Special Burn On Sunsets

"There are days when solitude is a heady wine
 that intoxicates you with freedom
others when it is a bitter tonic, 
and still others when it is a poison that makes 
you beat your head against the wall." 
-Sidonie Gabrielle

I have not always been a loner. In fact, another quote describes quite well my emotional evolution into solitude. From Albert Einstein: "I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity."

In my youth, particularly adolescence, I feared nothing more than to be alone. While my sisters slammed their doors and sulked with typical teen angst, I chose to remain in the most populous rooms. Oh, there was angst aplenty, no doubt; in fact I was probably angsty enough for the two of them combined, and then some. (Credit that strike-through above to my typing fingers becoming possessed by one or both of my sisters. Or parents. Or our childhood dog.) I. Hated. To. Be. Alone.

It wasn't until post-college graduation, upon moving into my first solo apartment after a multitude of roommates (known and unknown; sibling and stranger), that I developed a passion for privacy that was as unexpected as it was unquenchable. But it was glorious. Everything was mine. Mine to do with what I wanted, how I wanted, when I wanted. Silly as it may sound, the first night I realized I could go to bed without doing the dishes, picking up the magazines or straightening throw pillows was a major turning point. I'm not kidding; we are talking a fucking life event.

At least five years passed before I ever contemplated sharing space with anyone. In fact, I was in an intimate relationship with someone for the better part of a year. He never once stepped foot in my home. Part of the reason was a devastating end to my all-through-college romance. I trusted no one. Part of the reason, especially at this point, no one had proven themselves worthy enough to share my space.

Until Jamie. It took less than a month for me to give him a key. My hands were shaking and he asked if I was certain I wanted him to have it. I replied that they were shaking because I'd never been more certain. By summer of that same year, we were planning a wedding and I was giving up my lease so we only had one rent to pay. And we were nervous as hell.

Both of us treasured our solo havens. Sleepovers, weekends, vacations together -- none can prepare you for this-is-it-we're-both-stuck-here-even-if-we-run-away-eventually-we-have-to-come-back-here. To you.

I hope none of you reading are looking for tips on how we made it work. I don't know how we made it work. But it did. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't always easy. It was sometimes ugly. But it worked. And it worked very, very well.

So well that my first voiced fear (The biggest ones went unsaid. They were obvious and unsolvable and not worth wasting the precious days and hours we had left.) when I knew for certain his death was imminent was, to my sisters, "Who am I going to talk to? Oh my God. Who am I going to talk to?"

They responded, as they held me, "Us. You'll always have us." I cried out,"No-o-o... who am I going to talk to about you?"

And that's the worst thing. The absolute worst. The one person on the planet who knew me better than anyone else, who knew just what every little look, tone of voice or lack of it meant, is gone.

And I have never felt more alone. It's unyielding. I have so many people who love me. I do. And I know well how very blessed I am to have them. But even in the most comforting, safe, loving moments -- I have never felt more alone.

It's been almost 18 months since Mr J died. There is no more coming-back-to-you.

I praise God for whatever strength with which he infused me that prepared me to be on my own. I also praise God for the beautiful gift of the 10+ years he gave me when I wasn't.

I praise God for my darling Jamie no longer being in pain, and I praise him for the strength, the love, the support and the many people with which he's blessed me thus far.

But I also raise my cracked voice, my wet eyes and my pained heart to the Lord and ask for more. 

For more strength when I feel I can't go on.

For the strength to speak up during the times I'm not okay with being alone and I'm too proud to admit it.

For the strength to understand why the people who have silently left my life have done so.

And for the strength to forgive those whom I never thought would leave, but have.

But mostly, to keep the strength of solitude with which He's blessed me more freeing than bitter, more comfortable than tormented, and more understanding than anguished.

And yet ...

"Loneliness adds beauty to life.
It puts a special burn on sunsets
and makes night air smell better." 
-Henry Rollins

... is still true, too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I am not ashamed to say that, at 43, I still call my father Daddy. Neither of my sisters, 40 and clinging-to-49, do. (And knowing the way we sisters are, they don't even make fun of me for it. That I know of ...) In fact, they probably can't remember the day when the two-syllable title that so easily rolls off my lips did the same for them. I'm not sure why I do it; it's certainly not a regional or cultural thing for me. There's just something about it that makes me feel safe. Maybe that extra "-dy" is a mental hug. God knows his actual hugs can provide soothing and a feeling of safety like none other I've known.

And that's good. That's what Daddies are for.

On the flip side, I can't remember at what age I made the transition from Mommy to Mom. I do know when I made the transition back. Not all the time, mind you. Just when I'm scared -- which has happened a lot in the past 14 months. Scared for me. Scared for her. Scared about the stress of her being scared for me. And scared because I'm feeling absolutely and utterly useless to she and my sisters right now.

At this moment, she is on a cardiac recovery unit after having a blessedly uneventful femoral heart cath. At this moment, I am on my back, feet propped up and feeling pelvic pain breaking through the prescribed narcotics I've ingested.

When I spoke with her this morning, I apologized for not being there physically, but that I was metaphorically holding her hand as tight as possible.

And when I spoke with her this morning, I told her "I love you, Mommy," and it felt like the most natural thing in the world. I hope she could hear with every breath, every utterance, every crack in my voice how very much I cherish her, even when I don't show it enough.

I'm not even sure that she caught it; but for me, that extra "-my" has a lot of power in it, too.

I love you, Mommy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Semi-Wordless "You-Wanna-Put-That-WHERE?!" Wednesday

March is colorectal cancer screening month. 
Speak with your doctors about when colonoscopy is right for you.
It's not particularly pretty, and it's not exactly easy; 
but, all in all, it's really pretty easy.

Do it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From Me to Me

©2012 ccw/halfglasistan

Because I'm just that awesome.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dream a Little Dream of We

So. I just posted last week that I do not often dream about Jamie. More to the point, I shared that if I do, I prefer the nightmares. Ghoulish as that may seem, my reasoning was that at least when I woke up from a bad dream in which my Mr. J was dead, it was no different than my reality — and easier to let go. The happy dreams? The ones in which he was still alive, we were happy and life was as it once was? Those I dreaded. To wake up from those was infinitely more painful, as I was reminded upon waking that nothing is the same. Reminded twofold, in fact, as I'm faced with the painful reality every morning when I awaken.

Until this past Saturday. I don't know why I was so drowsy. No drugs. No drink. No illness. No particular reason to be exhausted. Nonetheless, I found myself sleeping off and on all day long. I don't mean a snooze here and there. I mean a two-hour nap, a half-hour to an hour waking, then another two- or three-hour nap. Odder still? Every time I drifted off, I fell into REM sleep.

And Jamie was there. Waiting for me every time. I can't tell you what the plot of each — or any — dream was. Just that I was there, Jamie was there and it seemed blessedly normal. And I didn't feel sad when I awoke. I felt grateful.

Grateful because I'd not experienced this unconscious series of dates with my darling since his physical being left me. Grateful because his metaphysical self had chosen to spend the day with me in such a way that I could see, feel and smell him. And interact with him.

Don't misunderstand. I have felt his presence. But it's been ethereal. This? These Saturday afternoon drowsing dates with my deceased husband felt earthly and otherworldly at the same time. And I didn't awaken crying and with a tightening of my heart, a rapid pulse and short breaths.

No. I awoke — each time — calm, smiling and one time laughing.

And instead of self-pity that this is the only time this has happened, and — quite possibly — may be the only time it ever does, I will not mourn its absence.

Rather, I will rejoice in its happening. And if it happens again, I will praise it for the blessing it is.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Little Things

This morning when I woke up, I picked up my iPhone and held it about 1.327 inches from my face so I could see the time. It was 8:32 EST. Meh. Too early on a Saturday to get up. Too late — more to the point, too awake — to go back to sleep. I picked up my glasses so my astigmatic eyes could focus a reasonable number of inches from the bridge of my nose. As is the case most mornings, there are those familiar red dots on both my e-mail and Facebook icons.

I click my e-mail to see if there's a message from the bank that all my money is gone. Or from my mortgage company to say they're foreclosing on my home. Or from my investment firm to say that my little egg has cracked and rotted all over its equally little nest. It's important that I point out — and quickly, given that right about now, every member of my immediate family has a racing heart and thinking "What the fuck?" (Yes. Even my mother is thinking "WTF." In fact, my mother is thinking it the loudest.) — I have no reason to be worried about any of those catastrophic scenarios. It's just that I've never had reason to worry about it. Mr. J did. I never even knew how much money I had in my account. I just knew there was enough. I didn't get degrees in Journalism and English to reconcile a checkbook. I got them so that one day I could do, well, this.

The daily deep breath of unreasonably paranoid poverty averted, I was ready to move on to the red dot hovering over the familiar lowercase "f" icon. I scrolled down my news feed and The State (South Carolina's largest newspaper and the one that I marketed for six years. You know, back in the days when newspapers had marketing departments. Or newsrooms, for that matter.) had posted a story of a man catching a catfish. Not just any catfish. A 136-pound catfish. That's a big ass fish. In fact, that's what the photo caption said: "Man catches big ass fish." (Not really. The newspaper industry hasn't gone that far south. Yet.) This is an eminently shareable story, though. It just cries out for a "Holy crap! Check out the big ass fish this guy caught." Doesn't it?

So I looked around. There's no one there to hear my "Holy crap!" I knew there wasn't. There hasn't been for more than a year. And it never gets easier to wake up and realize that all over again every morning. We'll see how tomorrow, day number 400-something, goes. I don't expect it will be any easier than today, yesterday or last week to awaken to this new reality. (Please notice I did not use the trite "new normal." I despise that term. There is nothing normal. I accept that it's not the reality I chose, but the one that I have; however, I will never acknowledge that anything about it is normal.) It becomes more bearable. Less crushing. Tolerable. But not easy. Every day I make a choice to be here. To be present. To strive to live the life I know I'm capable of living. The life he wanted me to live. 

At this point, it's 8:43 a.m. I scrolled to my contacts, knowing that it's about a 70-30 chance I'll hear a groggy hello as I awaken the person I'm calling. I hoped for the 30 percent odds that would deliver an alert, coffee-already-consumed "Hey. How are you doing?"

And it did. When I heard it, I asked my father, "Hey, you ever fish in Lake Moultrie?"

"No. Why?"

"'Cause some guy caught a big ass catfish."

"How big?"


"Oh ... about 110 pounds." (Which brought a fresh "holy crap!" to mind. Who knew?)

"Nope. One hundred and eighty-six pounds," I said, drawing it out for effect. (And now is where I admit that fact-checking lowers my declaration by 50 pounds. You can take the girl out of the newspaper ...)

We continued talking, Dad pointing out that such big catfish are known to inhabit that lake. I pointed out that it wasn't your standard fish picture with human hand in icky fish mouth. The big ass fish was, in fact, on the ground in front of the angler looking like a seal. And a big ass seal, at that.

Then Dad says, "Hey, is there an award they give for Off-Broadway plays? You know like the Tonys? But not?"

"Hm. Yeah. Yeah they do. The Obies. O-B for Off-Broadway."

"O-B-I-E-S? That fits."



"Ah. Yeah, that's it. The Obies. Okay. I just wanted to tell someone about this big ass catfish. I'll talk to you later."


"I love you, Daddy."

"I love you, too, honey."

A choice. Every day I make a choice to be here. And I did today. I will tomorrow. And it's not really my bills or my bank balance that challenge me. (Even though I have to do math. Damn it — I really thought I'd figured a way out of that.) It's the little things. Like having no one next to me to ask why I'm saying "Holy crap!" first thing on a Saturday morning.

It's the little things. Which really aren't little at all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thank You, Betty Kirby

I stood up against censorship when I was 17 to my high school principal over the content of a fictional story written for Belles Lettres, our annual literary publication.

My voice — internally and externally — was shaking, and I didn't think my fellow editors and I even thought we'd be able to include our response statement, even though we had the full support of our adviser.

Our little fuck-you statement, was in retrospect, much — much — milder than that hypenated adjective I just used to describe it. (Well of course it was. We couldn't go getting our censorship response censored.) It simply said, at the top of an otherwise blank page:

"The Belle Lettres staff 
would like to say everything good 
there is to say about censorship:"

In fact, just a few years later, once I'd entered The Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, I found myself embarrassed for its mildness. My 20-year-old self was full of I'm-gonna-change-the-world arrogance, and rightfully so. My 17-year-old self had spent a lifetime as an Army brat, 12 years in the DoD education system and was just grateful to be finally doing something against the rules that would bring her praise and not punishment. And rightfully so.

It wouldn't have surprised either version of the younger me that at 43, I'd still be proud of my instincts and responsiveness. Nor that I would have the freedom that I do to express myself in myriad public ways. Whether it turned out to be a column in The Chicago Tribune, or my own little nation that I've staked out on the Internet is irrelevant. This is America. My father fought to ensure we'd all have that freedom.

It would have shocked the hell out both of them, however, that at 43, I'd still be faced with censorship.

And it should shock you, too. Please check out the facts, and please vote.

Thank you. From every single one of me.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday the 14th. Still Here.

Um. Yeah. That counts as a victory 'round these parts.

In fact it counts as a big ol' "WOO-FREAKIN'-HOO!"

We take our triumphs where we find them these days.

And now Percy and I are going to settle in for a long (painless) winter's (it actually is cold) nap (yeah — snooze, sleep and snore — the whole shebang).

Carry on. 

Wait. What? Yes. Yes, of course with your bad selves. Is there any other way?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

So far, so good.

All necessary business done for the day. Clean, soft, smell-good outfit (READ: PAJAMAS) on. Any knocks on the door shall go unanswered. Any unknown phone numbers will be siphoned to voice mail.

If you really need me — you really know how to find me.

It's not that we're that superstitious (Really. Well, kinda sorta maybe not ...); it's just that odd, unusual, unexpected, unwelcome and what the hell, we'll just say it: Really. Fucked. Up. Things have somehow found their way to Halfglassistan over the course of the last 13+ months, and a random message from one of said things (READ: THE LITTLE BITCHES THAT PASS AS OVARIES — WHOOPS! — OVARY SINGULAR. ONE WENT BYE-BYE LAST SUMMER. HER TWIN HAS DECIDED TO DO A LITTLE CHA-CHA DOWN BY MY HOO-HAH THIS PAST MONTH.) was interpreted this a.m. A distraction that was most unwelcome, as we have plenty of other ... well ... really fucked up things to deal with already.

And now, the girl who looooooves alliteration is taunted by the two words, when used in tandem, she despises the most.

Watchful. Waiting.

Considering everything is on the inside and not on some nifty balcony below my bellybutton, I find the term "Watchful" especially taunting. I'd be much more relaxed for the "Waiting" if I had a little closed circuit TV down in my business so I could actually watch it. As it is, it's really just Waiting Waiting, which I typically despise in most any context.

(insert indignant snort of derision HERE)

It's 4:10 p.m. EST. I'm going to park my ass in bed, with Nurse Tilly, a good book, remote controls and magazines for at least the next eight hours. At least. To be on the safe side, I'm thinking ass-parking may be done the majority of the weekend. Especially since our buddy Percy is here to soothe the savage beast bitch doing a polka in my pelvis. And, being as controlled as he is, he does a rather good job of keeping me in one place.

Come midnight, and it's Saturday the 14th, I have a pretty strong feeling that Percy will have set the tone for weekend. It's the other twenty-odd days that follow.

My prediction for Halfglassistan: People will be Watching us as we put our fingers in our ears, close our eyes, sing la-la-la-la and continue Waiting.

Meh. It could be worse. It could always — always — be worse.*

*Holy crap. 
Anyone else catch that flashback to the early days of Halfglassistan? 
Where the hell did that come from?! 
I. Don't. Know. But I like it. I like it a lot.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Surreality Bites

You know those dreams that are so real, you find yourself convincing your conscious mind that your brain essentially just Punk'd you?

Yeah. They suck. Worse yet, they stick with you.

Carry on. I'm gonna go scrub my cerebellum with Clorox.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Smack My Ass & Call Me Sassy

I? Am feeling cheeky. And feeling hair that's a lot less brunette around my sizable cheeks.

Something spontaneous in me (uh ... CatCon) decided we needed an adventure. Posted above is not the best photographic evidence, but I was, well, feeling spontaneous (impatient) and snapped it in the parking lot while there was still available sunlight.

There aren't many pictures of me here in Halfglassistan, which is in direct correlation to the reason I'm starting Weight Watchers next week. Yeah. Haven't been happy with the way I've looked and felt for a while. However, the ones that do exist show my natural chestnut brown haircolor. I have experimented — poorly — with peroxide in the past (An almost-platinum streak down one side in high school. In the eighties. Oh. And at my sister's wedding. Niiiiccce.), but never told a professional to go for it.

Until today. 

I love it. It's a blend of caramel and honey and a little creamy milk chocolate. I didn't want anything to clash with my brown Irish eyes, and my stylist didn't let me down.

The only downside? I came home and Mr. J wasn't here to say, "Oh. Yeah. Yeah. Turn around. I like it. She did a good job. Wait. Come here. Yeaaahh. I really like it. You look great." Insert kiss here.

That's just one typical male stereotype Mr. J didn't fall into. He never missed something new. That might have something to do with the fact that I made sure he knew something new was coming (I never understood girls getting pissed off because their significant other didn't notice that they just had an quarter-inch trimmed off their hair. Turn the tables. You wouldn't notice either.). Or it just might have something to do with why I love him. And miss him beyond description.

I'm going to be writing more about that. I'm going to be writing more, period. Those of you who are still out there reading — I'm hoping there are still folks reading — know that I've not chronicled much of life in Halfglassistan for the past year.

The reason is simple. Since Mr J's death, I've spent an awful lot of time in the other half of the glass. It's something he wouldn't have wanted. But — and this is up at the top of the list of "Reasons I Love Jamie Wedding" — he would have understood.

So I'm going to show up around here a lot more, regardless of in which half of the kingdom I'm residing. And I hope you will, too.

I need you.

And don't think that mention of Weight Watchers was inadvertent. No. A fab new 'do can only take me so far. I'll be posting WW progress here as well. (Aw hell. I've really gotta do it now.) 

Hopefully, as time passes, my cheekiness will be more attitude, and less assitude.

Keep coming back. (See three paragraphs up. Really.)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Well. Thank You, Captain Obvious.

Above is a Christmas gift from my sisters.

In case you can't clearly read below "Middle Sister" (Yes. Me.), here's a closer look:

Yes. Yes it does say "drama queen." (Yes. Also me.)

However, you also must have noticed the disparity in fashion:

Yes. Yes, also me.
In fact, I am currently watching bowl games while sporting a chic little trench (um, grey yoga pants and black t-shirt), a classic black handbag (er, my iPhone in my pocket) and my hair in a chic twist on top of my head (uh, a ponytail contained by a Goody(TM) elastic) and pumps and Jackie O. sunglasses (no, really; that's the truth ... it's tres fetch).

I'm also holding a glass of the clever California vintage above. Oh, yes. And sipping it. Today's still officially a holiday, so daydrinking isn't quite as risque. But still ... there's a little thrill. 

So Happy New Year's and chin-chin, my friends. May the coming year bring us all much more laughter, fewer tears and more love than you can possibly imagine.

Oh -- and plenty of high heels, comfy clothes, ponytails and tiaras, relaxing beverages and a diva attitude. All at once. Whenever you want.

Why the hell not?

Cheers, my dears.

(BTW, as far as accuracy in labeling goes, yes, my little sister does have bigger boobs than my older sister. Just in case you were wondering.)

Related Posts with Thumbnails