Wednesday, February 04, 2009

me. now. 42.

A little photo shoot just for you, taken on the way out the door for the birthday dinner:

Me, normal.

Me, forced smile.

Me, scowling.

Me, vamping you.

In the middle, looking forward, looking back.
Glad nobody tried to put that many candles on my cake ;-)

Monday, February 02, 2009

zen and the art of furniture maintennance

Ok, so I have no idea where I left off, and I'm not going to go back and read my own blog. I cannot stand to be faced with the rambling. I think the last big thing that was happening over here before my hiatus was that I was trying to learn how to parent MyFavoriteKid through his troubles in school, particularly with math. I'm going to tell you all about that for sure, but not today. Today (because apparently venting is an integral part of my emooooootional process *snivel*), we're going to talk about an odd little outburst of tears I had last night.

TheMostImportantGuy had come to visit for the weekend (as he most often does) but it was Sunday, and it was time for him to go.

Now, let it be known: I hate "The Going" part. Once he's actually gone, I'm okay. I mean, he's missed, but I'm not behaving ridiculously. But during "The Going" ?? Egads it's bad. It's so bad that we even have a well established ritual that is intended to lessen the drama. Right before he heads out the door, he pops a hard-candy into my pouting whiny mouth (sugar free or I'd be toothless by now---we've been doing this for years). The sweetness of the candy and his kind gesture keeps me distracted long enough to be keep me relatively happy until he has left and has some distance behind him. Odd, aren't we. I know.

Anyhow, he was headed out the door last night, and I somehow managed to get quite weepy and clingy. It was oddly over the top. About an hour after his departure I started feeling all sick to my stomach, and that's when it finally dawned on me that it wasn't his leaving that was causing the upset. Something else was off kilter. That is when I realized that what was realllllly upsettting me was the dining room table.

Let me rewind and give you the backstory about this table. I've had this table for a long time. It was given to me back in 1994 as a thank you for helping a neighbor move. I'm not sure how long my friend had it before then or how he'd come to have it. I have always loved this table. It's a drop leaf and folds down into a narrow 2-seater. If you pull up the wings up and it seats 4-6 people. Pop in the additional leaf and it seats 6-8. Solid wood. Worn from much use even before it came to me, but lovely.

As much as I love this table, there has always been a part of me pining for something different. Even before this table, I have never owned a "grown up" diningroom table. I either didnt have the space in my apartments, or I couldn't afford one. And this table of mine, being a hand me down, came with a few quirks. One of the pop up wings is a little loose and unstable, and it also always requited a matchbook (or two or three) underneath it to make it even.

When I moved here to the new house a year and a half ago, I only brought 3 pieces of furniture with me, and this was one of them (I went on a rampage and refurnished the whole frickin' house). I have been bitching ever since I got here that I even though I love this table, I really wanted a new table, I just couldnt find exactly the right thing. What I really desire (and maybe I've been watching too much Barefoot Contessa), is a round pedestal table that expands to an oval.

Well, leave it to the fates. Or mercury retrograde. Or something. As of last week, one of the legs of my dining room table is officially falling off.

Like, the wood split. Repairable, if someone has the skill. But I don't. Repairable if I just brought it to someone with skill, but I decided this was the universe telling me that my ideal expandable round table is now out there waiting for me, and so I went looking again, and lo and behold, there it was. By yesterday afternoon, I had found my new table. I ordered it, and it will be here next week. Huzzah.

Immediately after ordering the table yesterday, I took the pictures you see here of the old table, and I posted them on CraigsList. I offered the table for free, provided that whoever took it promised to fix it and love it and not turn it into firewood. Of course, I got a pile of replies, and by the evening, I had made plans for someone (who sounded like a nice woodworky sort of guy who said he would keep it and use it) to come pick it up on Monday (today).

Okay. So this brings us back to the point in the story where TheMostImportantGuy is heading home and I am snivveling with candy in my mouth. Sorry for not giving you the reader's digest version. Thanks for sticking with me if you got this far. Reward yourself with chocolate, my compliments.

So there I was last night, clutching my stomach feeling like I was going to be sick, and that's when I realized what was really going on. Clearly, I am attached to this old dining room table. Rewind some more, and I can tell you that earlier in the week, I also finally disposed of a beloved bedroom lamp that had been shattered beyond recognition, and it was a lamp that I had since I was 19 and in my first very first apartment. I broke the lamp 3 months ago. I didn't have the nerve to toss it out until last week. And right after I tossed it, the table leg broke. Rewind some more, and I can also tell you that earlier last week, I realized that I am all of the sudden feeling very middle aged. I am in my early 40's, but I have close friends in their 50's and 60's (and then some), and I also have close friends in their 20's and 30's. I can totally see where I am going, and I can totally see where I have been. It's an interesting vantage point. I like it. but I feel very "middle-ish" and I'm not exactly sure yet how this is relevant, but I am damn certain that it is.

Then I start tossing out furnishings I have bonded with big time, and well...all hell breaks loose, and I get all emotional and am crying and feeling nauseous, and it's all over a table that I couldn't really wait to replace.

Ahhhhh, The Dining Room Table. So many parties, and so many stories, and so much laughter, and family times, and making food for people and and and ....

You get the drift. Break out your tiny violins.

The bedroom lamp? The one that I used to drape with vintage sheer scarf so it would cast a lovely romatic glow across my boudior? It's now toast.

Having done a tremendous amount of purging of clutter in the past couple of years, I know for a fact that what I am attached to is the memories, not the lamp or the table. In fact, the more I think about it, I might not even be attached to memories. I think I might just be attached to the feelings these objects represent. And that feeling is intimacy.

Figuring this out is making it much easier to let the representative objects go (replacing my lamp with a new one that casts an even rosier glow has not hurt any...and once this new diningroom table is here, y'all are officially extended an open invitation to join me for dinner so I can make me some new memories. You just come on down now, ya' hear??!)

But going through the whole process of figuring out why I was so upset?? What an interesting little pile of internal research that was last night. And shifting from feeling sick inside to being ready to let go, and doing so quickly (in just a few hours) was kinda fun to watch. I hope I can do it at this speed more frequently.

The punchline to my little story, though?? The guy from Craigslist flaked on picking up the table today. I did all this internal work and finally got to the emotional place where I could really let it go....and the table is still here.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

watch out....

....she's baaaaaack.

I have lots on my mind and nowhere else to put it but here. You'll be seeing me more over the next few days. The dust has settled, and I finally have time to type.

But not right now. 'Cuz I'm knitting and watching Sense & Sensibility on PBS (Yay, Masterpiece Classics!! WooHoo!! I've been watching every Sunday since the run started in January).

Anyhow. If you missed me, stay tuned. If you preferred the silence, well....consider yourself forewarned ;-) I've missed the blog, and I'm happy to be back.