Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another First Kiss....

As I've mentioned, I'm hugely obsessed with the Tudors...Henry VIII, his various wives, and really all the players in that drame. While I deplore the lack of historical accuracy in the Showtime series The Tudors, I must admit I own the first two seasons on dvd, though should you ever have occasion to watch it with me, you'll quickly regret it and want to smack me every time I say..."But, that's not how it happened..." and then go on to explain the history as I understand it...and since I've spent quite a bit of time reading history. Not the historical fiction of Phillipa Gregory (though, I must admit I've read those, too) but I own several nonfiction histories, and have read many others. I'm no expert, yet, but I know more than just the basics.

Wow, that's a long explanation to get to the real reason for this post.

Anyway, in the first season of the Showtime series, there's this fantastic first kiss between Charles Brandon (Henry VIII's closest and most constant friend) and Princess Margaret (Henry's sister). And yes, the real history is that Charles marries Henry's youngest sister Mary, not Margaret, however, the scenes between Gabrielle Anwar and the uber yummy Henry Cavill are electric enough to almost let me forget that...

That first kiss...well, that's something I miss. The excitement, the breathless waiting for the moment. The anticipation, the soft, first hestitant touch of lips on lips, accustoming oneself to the nearness of this new and exciting person, the spark that makes you wonder what the next kiss will be like...sigh...It's enough to make me wish I was ready to be looking for that new someone today. And though I'm committed to getting myself into a healthy emotional place where I'm not weighed down by the baggage of the ghosts of lover's past before heading into a new relationship, I am impatient for that first moment, that butterflies that lead up to it. Sigh...I shall simply have to somehow curb my impatience and resign myself to living vicariously through small screen and literary romances, until I'm ready for something healthy and real.

And because I'm the kind of girl who likes to share things that make me's the scene I'm talking about. Tell me this doesn't make you think about the next first kiss. The moment I'm talking about is at 2:26 and it goes straight from that to their first sex's a bit explicit, so if that sort of thing offends, don't watch. Though, if that sort of thing offends you, you likely aren't someone who is reading this blog...

Friday, May 29, 2009

What Next?

Since the break up with the girlfriend, there have been the inevitable questions...What's next? Are you going to date again...are you looking for a man to "take care of you?"

You see, while some people in my life understand who I am and what led me to my relationship with my girlfriend, there are others who view the last ten years as some kind of anomoly. That she was a substiute somehow for the man I was missing in my life.

While I'm in no way ready to find another relationship, I have given a lot of thought to this. It would be far easier for me to decide to simply lead a celibate, loveless life. After all, hospitals, doctors offices and parent/teacher conferences don't exactly lend themselves to romantic opportunities. And let's face it...the wretched statistics for relationships and chronic illness don't exactly inspire hope. After all, it's much easier to ask an already devoted and loving partner to accept your physical shortcomings, finding someone to commit themselves to someone whose life is limited to what her body allows, which frankly isn't a whole fucking lot, seems more than just a tad unfair.

And yet, being who I am, as passionate as I am about my friends and family, and having a partner, I cannot resign myself to being alone. Being ill has robbed me of so much...the plans I had for my daughter...camping trips and hiking trips and trips to museums and the ocean. And frankly, it played a really big part in the demise of my relationship. Why on earth should I allow it to take even more of my life? And what kind of an example would I be setting for my daughter if I just gave up?

Life isn't we all know. And your whole world can change in an instant. But crying about it, accepting nothingness, accepting lonelinees and heartbreak is just stupid...if you do that...if I do that, then I will deserve to be unhappy.

So...I am contemplating what comes next. The surgery was only slightly succesful...and I will most likely be undergoing another one in the not too distant future. And on top of it, my GP (regular doctor) had planned on adjusting my meds to get a better handle on my various diagnoses. But, until I'm healed from the surgery, and a decision is made about the future surgery, it's not really an option. My gynecologist is very reluctant to do a complete hysterectomy, because he thinks that I will change my mind and decide to have more children...Of course, I can't actually get pregnant without the use of in vitro fertilization, and quite frankly, I'm not healthy enough to sustain a pregnancy. Besides which, I don't want more children. I love my daughter dearly, but she's all I need.

My plans at the moment are to get through this surgery, focus on the next and then adjust my meds...I want to spend the next year or so getting as healthy as I can, maybe educating myself in something that could provide me a way to earn a living at home. I want to read and learn and try to really know what I want, and spend time with my daughter and my dogs and my family and my friends. And hopefully...just hopefully, by doing that, what I want romantically will be clear. And then I'll let the rest of the world know.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Going Under The Knife

I had intended to write a post today about the fact that I was scheduled for surgery tomorrow. I'm going to have a cystectomy and adhesions from scarring removed from my bladder and small intestine. In theory it's supposed to be outpatient surgery and I should be home tonight, but clearly will not be in any state to blog.

So, wish me luck...I guess I'll be getting that afternoon nap today, after all.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Open Letter To My Dogs

Dearest Ellwood and Charlie,

I can't tell you how happy I am that you are part of my life. Your antics as you wrestle over that stretchy dog make me smile. I love to watch you plot to steal each other's toys. And your presence late at night in my bed keeps me from feeling any of the loneliness one might feel sleeping alone in a queen size bed.

However, you need to understand that there are limits to the love I have for you. While I don't mind filling your food bowls despite the agony of five inch cysts on my ovaries, and I don't mind waking early to let you to do "your business" while I wait for you to come back in, I have to draw the line somewhere.

You are simply no longer allowed to splatter your bodily fluids anywhere inside of our home. I did not appreciate waking from my nap this morning to discover, Ellwood, that you had vomited on my bed, the bed that I changed last night. I was amazed that you were able to paw my comforter out of the way after vomiting on it, and spew the contents of your stomach on both the top sheet and bottom sheet. And then, when I thought I had discovered all that you had managed to do, I saw that I was wrong, that you somehow managed to vomit down the side of my bed, onto my floor and the shoe that was sitting there minding it's own business. May I ask...has simply chewing on my belongings lost it's appeal? Is that why you are choosing to defile them with your vomit?

And then, Charlie, my sweet little Charlie. After you watched me labor over the vomit clean up, hunched over in pain, you looked at me so sweetly. You came and sat beside me as I curled into a self-pitying ball on my naked bed. You licked my face as if to say, "I love you, and it will be okay." You then wandered off, and I began to relax, watching a comforting episode of Season 3 of Charmed. Then, as I truly began to relax I noticed that smell. That distinctive foul smell of dog shit. I began to explore, letting my nose lead me to my daughter's bedroom where you had just crapped on the floor. Really, Charlie? I thought we had something special, that we understood each other. Why couldn't you just come to me and let me know you needed out? I would have opened the door for you, and stood there and waited for you to come back in. I wouldn't have left you out in the 95 degree heat. But, no. You simply couldn't be bothered with waiting for me.

So, I'm putting the two of you on notice. I don't crap in your crate, don't vomit on your toys, and I demand that you show me the same respect. Yes, I love you, and will do nearly anything for you. But even my love for you has limits, and the next one of you that makes me clean up foul smelling bodily secretions is going to get his ass kicked!


Your Loving Human

The Sort of Thing That Consumes My Thoughts

I am obsessed with the Tudors. Not the Showtime series that makes me want to take Jonathan Rhys Meyers and do naughty things with him all while telling him how historically inaccurate his show is. No, the history, the drama that was Henry VIII, his wives, his parents...the whole story.

My obsession started with a healthy respect for Elizabeth I. Yes, she was the beginning of English Imperialism, and thus perhaps responsible for some very reprehensible history, but she was an amazing woman, nonetheless. She did not bow to the church or to a husband as so many women of her era would have, and as indeed, her sister before her did. She sacrificed the comfort of family and children to rule as she saw fit. She was ages ahead of her time in terms of feminist ideals.

I've spent hours reading history and learning as much as I can about the players in this drama. It is such a fascinating story, such compelling reading. Henry VIII has this iconic standing, and is considered to be one of England's greatest monarchs, which puzzles me endlessly. The evolution of Henry, from sheltered, spoiled second son, to spoiled heir apparent, to newly emancipated monarch coming out of the shelter of his father and grandmother is fascinating. If he had stayed the kind of man he was when he honored his betrothal to Katherine of Aragon, I could see making the case for him as a great king. As a young king, he was concerned about his people, strong in his faith, desirous of governing his people in a humane way, allowing for justice to prevail. But, over time, he became a monstrosity, both physically and psychologically. His reformation of the church was little more than thievery. He twisted the law to define justice as his whim. He persecuted anyone who dared utter an opinion different from his own. This is hardly the kind of man one wants to call a great leader, and when you evaluate him on a human level, his relationships with the people he loved personally make him even more monstrous. Yes, there is the execution of two "beloved" wives, but while that's sickening, it is his execution of his dearest friends that show him as the monster he was. In modern times, he'd be sitting in a prison cell, accused of serial murder, and yet historians want to hang this title of "greatest monarch" on him.

I spend an inordinate amount of time imagining what it must have been like to be one of his wives, the terror that must have lurked in the back of the mind of each woman who knew what he had done to his first and second wife. How could you slip into bed beside this man knowing that if his eye wandered to one of your friends you could be exiled from friends and family at best and imprisoned and murdered at worst? How could a mother or a father stand and watch this man court a daughter knowing the danger inherent in the situation?

I could go on and on when it comes to Tudor history (and I will at the slightest provocation). Every time you think you understand all the undercurrents of politics and religion and intrigue, there is something new to discover, a new element to consider. It makes today's politics seem so dry, so tame. I tell you, if this was the kind of history they'd taught while I was in school, I'd have never missed a day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

No More Spaghetti From A Packet

One of the best things about this new single life is the newfound food freedom. See, the exgirlfriend was not the adventurous type when it came to food. Basically, it was a rotation of spaghetti from one of those spice envelopes (blech), pork chops cooked the same old way every damn time, and tacos. Good food, food that was different and interesting was pretty much out of the question. It was always the same restaurant, the same dish. Very, very boring.

Since the break up, I've been doing much more cooking...less eating, thanks to all those icky emotion things, but more cooking. I've scoured the Archeogoddess' blog for all the yummy recipes she's shared, renewed my interest in Allrecipes and added a bunch of new recipes to my repertoire, much to the appreciation of the midget and my sister, who was kicked out of Canada and had no place else to go, so she's inhabiting my couch.

I've made Rogan Josh, scallop pasta with garlic butter sauce, and my new favorite, caramel pork chops with apples. I'm remembering how much fun it is to cook. You sort of lose interest when you have made the same thing so many times that you could make it in your sleep while standing on your head and reading War and Peace.

So, while I'm not looking to duplicate the Julie/Julia Project I am enjoying expanding my culinary horizons. This summer should provide all kinds of opportunities, what with barbecueing and whatnot.

I'm keeping track of all the good things about being single...having the bed to myself, no compromising on movies or listening to yet another boring work story about a bunch of white trash lunatics. But so far, the best thing about this single thing is actually enjoying eating what I cook.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I Am About To Overshare...You've Been Warned...

Today I had an experience I've been dreading. I tried to psych myself up about it this morning. I said..."Come on, Laura...It won't be that bad, you've certainly been through worse." I think I lied to myself.

See, I had to have my "annual exam" today. You women know that this polite term means that you are going to be violated with cold plastic and have to make small talk with the your OBgyn's bald spot while he peers at your nether regions. Annual exam sounds like such an innocuous term for such a traumatic experience. From now on, I am not going to say, "I am going for my annual exam." I'm going to say, "I am going to be finger raped by a man I barely know." It's much more honest and this way I get to spread the misery around my sharing that appalling mental image.

But, see I have been a bad girl. I haven't had been finger raped by a man I barely know in just over two years. So this was my first official visit as a "woman over thirty." And yes, a tiny piece of my soul died when the friendly nurse (who would also be peering at my nether regions) referred to me as such. What I didn't know is that as punishment for aging, my visit was going to have a much more disturbing component than ever before. You see, my friends who are under thirty, this is the age when they begin what is referred to as "colorectal cancer screening." It should be called anal finger raping. I've spent my entire sex life avoiding having anything put there...and now I've got to experience it every year. And have that same balding man make small talk while his finger is inside my ass!!!

After today, the last few months look like a picnic in the park with butterflies and ponies...

Friday, May 01, 2009

You Always Hurt....

Strangers have no power to hurt me. The kid who mooed at me in high school earns a chuckle these days. Friends of a friend who say or think bad things about me, well...that stings a bit, mostly because they get most of their information about me through an intermediary I assume thinks I'm pretty much okay. But no one, and I mean no one, can hurt me the way that someone I love can hurt me.

Someone you love, when that love goes south, has more ammunition than anyone else in the world. She'll remember the bad a whole lot more clearly than the good and since she knows you...she knows which daggers will be deflected and which will cripple you with their accuracy. She won't remember the time you made mashed potatoes from scratch because nothing else would satisfy. She'll remember instead the time you spent the rent money in a casino and didn't tell her until the day it was due. She won't recall the times you stayed up until the wee hours of the night because she was having panic attacks and only knowing you were awake, watching over her, enabled her to sleep. Instead, she'll remember that you slept late into the day, missing her day off.

Of course, this goes both ways. When I talk to her, I don't thank her for the nights spent in the ER holding my hand and wiping away tears, instead I shriek about the times she wasn't there, didn't believe me, or didn't care. And each time she hurts me, I ransack my mind for more ammunition and use my quick and clever brain to twist my words into blades of derision.

It devolves quickly...she shouting, me crying. Neither saying anything that will make the other one feel like she mattered the way she did.

I hate that I do this, hate that I can't stop doing this. I wish I could fast forward my heart and brain six months, two years...whenever that magic moment when I will be able to see clearly all that was, the good and the bad and appreciate it for all that it was. I wish I could stop myself...or at least find the magic words to make up for all that I've said, to let her know that I regret what I've said almost immediately upon saying it.

I know there is a way to break up that leaves both partners with the dignity they deserve, I just don't how to do it.