Archive for May, 2010

Conversations with Joe

(watching an episode of Robot Chicken)

Me:      Seth Green just got married,   you know

Joe:      I know

Me:       Read my silly magazine in the bathroom,  didn’t you?

Joe:      Uh huh.     Wonder if he got a prenup…

Me:       Wonder if she got a psych examination.


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I’m pissed and angry and hurt and frustrated and goddammit,  I’m sick and fucking tired of the melodrama!



Otherwise,   feel free to ignore everything everyone who loves you is trying to get through to you,  and welcome yourself to the land of “oh crap..I’m an ass.  I just lost everything”.


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Me:    Is it true that people are comforted by the smell of their own farts?

Joe:    ….You’re so weird at times.

Me:    I’ll take that as a yes.

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If sniffing envelopes became an Olympic event I’d take the gold medal for sure.

This is what happens when you’re in love,   I suppose,     though admittedly I’ve never been much of an envelope sniffer before.

There is a skill to sniffing envelopes.      You cannot simply rush in there willy-nilly and have at it.   No no no no no.   You must first take time to savour the texture.   To run your fingers across the opening.    The stickiness must tease you and entice you into probing further.

You might even be tempted to lick, at this point.     But first, you will slowly inhale that gorgeous scent.   It might be musky.   It might remind you of sandalwood, or amber.    Or perhaps something you can’t quite place.

Either way, this moment should not be rushed, and should be committed to memory  . But even if you do so, you’ll find yourself wanting more, craving, yearning for and obsessed with drowning in that scent.

I am a certified, qualified expert at sniffing envelopes.

Carry on.

(it occurs to me that if you take out “sniffing envelopes” and insert any number of body parts that this entry would carry quite the different connotation. Try it…go on, I dare you…)

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The path of widowhood is,  to bastardize a cliche and abuse the hell out of several metaphors,   paved with thorns and fraught with peril.

Losing a spouse (and for convenience I’m including “boy/girlfriend”, fiance/e, significant other etc in that label) rips you apart and leaves an empty shell where your heart once resided.

You are devastated, distraught, helpless, bewildered, lonely, lost and a million other things – grief threatens to drown you in relentless waves and there are times when you really, truly aren’t sure whether you’ll make it through the next ten minutes, let alone the next day, or week, or month.

It is all you can attend to, and it takes every last bit of willpower to even get out of bed in the morning.   You can’t sleep,  can’t eat,  you forget  things, and your emotions resemble a Picasso painting after a really bad argument with Salvador Dali with Charles Manson as referee.

But as with everything, these feelings do change over time.     Grief isn’t something you ever get over;  rather you adapt to it, and it becomes a part of you.     You’re not broken, no – though it will feel as if you’ve been shattered into a million shards of agony – but you’re changed.

Everything changes.     Without change, we’d atrophy, we’d fade away.     We’d lose.      Change is simply change – in itself it carries no baggage, no “good” or “bad”.      It just is. How we react to change is what defines us.

The initial period of being shell-shocked – truly an essential coping mechanism to protect you in those first excruciating days, weeks and months – eventually changes and gives way to a familiarity.    Not necessarily acceptance yet,   but at least a sense of knowing that this is your new normal.

Then one day and often  from out of the blue  the sun does appear again.    A smile,  a laugh,  a giggle will break through those clouds.

And then you notice more things.       You remember to smell that rose.       To actually taste that food,     to see people again.        You begin to live, instead of simply existing.        You begin to pick yourself up a little bit.       Out of zombie-mode,      life continues.

Your perspective has changed – perhaps suddenly, perhaps slowly and imperceptibly.        You see things differently now;  you’re far less likely to take things for granted, and you do realise what’s really important, and what’s not.   You appreciate things – your feelings, your experiences, your loved ones, your life – in a more intimate and mindful manner than before.

Gradually you begin to notice…well…people again.     And lo and behold,  you will eventually be able to feel happiness.     To feel a kinship with others again.     To flirt a little, to smile that secret little smile again.

And yes – you will fall in love again….which is often where the difference between widowhood and nonwidowhood become most screamingly, painfully apparent.

Dating, falling in love, is complicated enough when you’re single and relatively normal.  But when you’re a widow – oh, you’re not just on a different dating page.  You’re not in the same dating book.   You’re not even in the same library.

You’re on an entirely different Dating Planet, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

But it reminds you that you’re alive.

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(this is from a fellow widow who felt the need to share)

This is a great example of “did I say that out loud?” This happened at University of the West Indies in October last year. In an OESH class, the Professor was discussing the high glucose levels found in semen which gives the sperm all the energy for their journey.

A female Masters’ candidate raised her hand and asked,  “If I understand you correctly, you’re saying there is a lot of glucose, as in sugar, in semen?”

“That’s correct,” responded the professor, going on to add statistical info.

Raising her hand again, she asked,   “Then why doesn’t it taste sweet?”      After a stunned silence, the whole class burst out  laughing.      The poor girl’s face turned bright red, and as she realized exactly what she had inadvertently said (or rather implied),  she picked up her books without a word and walked out of class, never to return.    However, as she was going out the door, the professor’s reply was classic.

Totally straight-faced he answered her question. “It doesn’t taste sweet because the taste buds for sweetness are on the tip of your tongue and not in the back of your throat.”

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Caress, praise, pamper, relish, savor, massage, make plans, fix, empathize, serenade, compliment, support, feed, tantalize, bathe, humor, placate, stimulate, jiffylube, stroke, console, purr, hug, coddle, excite, pacify, protect, phone, correspond, anticipate, nuzzle, smooch, toast, minister to, forgive, sacrifice for, ply, accessorize, leave, return, beseech, sublimate, entertain, charm, lug, drag, crawl, show equality for, spackle, oblige, fascinate, attend, implore, bawl, shower, shave, trust, grovel, ignore, defend, coax, clothe, brag about, acquiesce, aromatize, fuse, fizz, rationalize, detoxify, sanctify, help, acknowledge, polish, upgrade, spoil, embrace, accept, butter-up, hear, understand, jitterbug, locomote, beg, plead, borrow, steal, climb, swim, nurse, resuscitate, repair, patch, crazy-glue, respect, entertain, calm, allay, kill for, die for, dream of, promise, deliver, tease, flirt, commit, enlist, pine, cajole, Anglicize, murmur, snuggle, snoozle, snurfle, elevate, enervate, alleviate, spotweld, serve, rub, rib, salve, bite, taste, nibble, gratify, take her places, scuttle like a crab on the ocean floor of her existence, diddle, doodle, hokey-pokey, hanky-panky, crystal blue persuade, flip, flop, fly, don’t care if I die, swing, slip, slide, slather, mollycoddle, squeeze, moisturize, humidify, lather, tingle, slam-dunk, keep on rockin’ in the free world, wet, slicken, undulate, gelatinize, brush, tingle, dribble, drip, dry, knead, fluff, fold, blue-coral wax, ingratiate, indulge, wow, dazzle, amaze, flabbergast, enchant, idolize and worship, and then go back, and start again.

Show up naked with food.

(sorry,  guys)

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