Archive for the ‘television’ Category

Unfortunate Timing.

February 1, 2016

broken There was a television show I liked very much called Once and Again. It was a quiet show, basically a family drama. In one of the last episodes of the series, a character named Karen, who has had a rough time of it, gets very depressed. Unable to help herself alone, she eventually seeks the help of a therapist. It’s a slow process, climbing back into life, but she does it. One day, near the end of a therapy session, she laughs about something inconsequential, and she knows she will be okay. She knows she will be happy. But before she has a chance to announce her return from the dark side to her family and friends; before she has time to enjoy the lightness of being she has worked to achieve, she is hit by a car.

This was on my mind last night as I struggled to feel comfortable enough to sleep with my recently broken shoulder.

I’d spent the last 4 months trying to regain my sense of joie de vivre. I had been so sad, so crushed by an unexpected event and for a while there, even though I knew I would be okay, it seemed to be taking much longer than it should have. I was scared of never feeling really joyful again.

Then, like an unexpected delivery of flowers, there it was. I felt a surge of inner strength, a desire to move forward and a belief that I could not only heal, but be BETTER. Feeling this was was joyful in and of itself. I’d come home during an 8 hour shift to walk Alice, check e mail, and head back to work. It was dark, but not the dark of December. It was cold, but not icy cold. I was happy to walk my dog and I was enjoying the pop tunes playing in my ear thanks to my trusty old i pod. I was aware that I felt happy the way you are aware of health after a long illness. Alice and I were just a few houses from our own red door. There was some residual snow and ice from Rhode Island’s one real snowfall, but for the most part the remaining patches were almost pathetc. They certainly were no match for this new me, drunk on happiness. I had boots on, with treads. My left hand held Alice’s leash and my right hand was in my coat pocket, wrapped around the I pod. I stepped on one of those small spots of ice. I lost my balance and fell forward. I knew I was broken.

This is the first time in my life I have ever broken a bone. It is the humerus, a common break according to Google. During that four month period when I was so sad, I kept hoping for some small something bad to happen to me. Nothing too serious, or too long term. But something that would allow me to have time to cry, to be weak without being seen as weak. I wanted a little t.l.c., a little extra kindness. I craved a chance to just step out of my life for a few days. It’s ironic then that on this day when I was glad for my strength and resolve, I was taken out by a 6 inch circle of ice.

There is no moral to the story. It was an accident. My plans for moving forward are put on hold. I did not break my arm because I was under stress. I broke it because I fell on cement. I know I’ll be able to resume my plans when my bone heals. I was happy and that happiness is not going away. In spite of the pain I have now, and the weeks of recovery ahead of me, I know that happiness is inside of me. It just has to wait a bit longer to reveal itself. I can wait.

 

Moral Compass

October 7, 2015

Inspector Foyle

Inspector Foyle

Daddy

daddy

I have been knocked off course.

I need an ally like my father, or D.C.S. Christopher Foyle, to help me find my way.

My dad was the only person I have known who could actually change a person’s mind about something they thought they believed without ever raising his voice.

When I was in first or second grade at St. Hilda’s & St. Hughes Sister Mary Margaret was angry at me. I was terrified. She can’t have been more than 4″5″ but she was a nun, and nuns are fierce. I was afraid to go back to class. My father said he would come with me to school and clear up any misunderstanding. That prospect terrified me even more than the tiny but furious Sister Margaret. My dad was insistent. He was at least 5’10” and he had on a suit and tie. He looked impressive, strong, tall. He held my little hand and we walked into my classroom together. I sat at my desk. He strode up to Sister Margaret’s desk and leaned down to her. I don’t know what he said because it was a quiet exchange, but I had no more trouble from Sister Margaret. And I felt the way every child lucky enough to have a parent who believes them feels. I felt stronger.

My dad died in 2007 and I have found myself thinking of him, needing him in a way I had not when he was sick. His illness was long and by the time of his death I was not stunned. I was exhausted. Our whole family was tired, depleted by the medical community, by mismanaged care, by faulty diagnosis. I felt grown up, fully adult. I was a wife, a mother.

I have been thinking about my set of adults because certainly I should know some heavyweights by now. But somehow when you are supposed to be the wise grown up you feel small. When something happens to knock you for a loop you want to turn to someone with wisdom, gravitas, inner strength, and age.

Thus my love of Christopher Foyle. Nearly every night since I have been engaged in this dilemma I sit with my husband to watch 90 minutes of Foyle’s War. Last night he sent a priest off to be hanged. Of course, the bad guy was not really a priest. He was a German spy. But Foyle was not intimidated by the irritation of the clergy who tried to shoo him away, nor by the idiot superior who had to beg Foyle to come out of retirement to fix his blunders. He was quiet, wise, kind, strong, clear, and ethical. I want to reach inside my t.v. set and pull him out into my world, just until this is sorted out. I know he would immediately see wrong from right.

Alas my dad is not alive. Mr. Foyle is really Michael Kitchen and he is not available to help me.

But I know right from wrong.

I, along with my husband and my very excellent friends will have to be the adults. I have to be my own compass. My dad gave me the tools I need. I just have to find true north, and follow the arrow. It will be okay. And when my son finds himself faced with his own Sister Mary Margaret, or something more formidable, I’ll be his adult.

compass+old

It was the worst of times, relatively speaking.

October 9, 2013

It was the worst of times, relatively speaking..

The Truth About Me

July 26, 2012

People who know me, including some of my closest friends, think that I am always brutally honest to the point of tactlessness. They believe that I always tell the truth when asked for my opinion, whether it be about a hairstyle, clothing, art work, or moral and ethical dilemmas.
I am sometimes tactless, but the truth is that I hate to hurt anyone’s feelings. Maybe if I were face to face with Dick Cheney or even Mitt Romney I would tell them what I feel in my heart (it would not be good). But if I care at all about a person, I am not going to be honest about an issue that isn’t life or death if it means making you cry or feel unhappy or feel lacking in any way.
I think I got my reputation because I can rant about things large and small with a fiery passion. I can get worked up over politics (obviously), television shows, fashion, unions, public schools, climate change, books (obviously) and even ugly yards. That’s because I have no power over any of those things. No one really cares what I think. I am not a critic for the Times, or a blogger for Huffington Post. I’m not a news anchor, a talk show host, or a teacher.
So, here is the truth.
When I was in my teens through my late twenties I was sometimes very depressed, and thought about suicide (has anyone ever gone through life without once thinking of ending it all?) but I was always stopped in my tracks because of the mere thought of what it would do to my parents. It felt irresponsible and cruel and so I turned to junk food instead of death. (And eventually I turned to therapy).
I would never be able to write a searing memoir about my childhood while my mom is alive because there is no way I would want her to feel the sort of hurt I know she would feel. Not that there was anything horrible, but you know, everyone can paint a bad picture of their lives if they want to.
I could tell a friend if I thought an artwork might be better if they did this or that to it, but I could never outright say that I disliked something completed.
I have one friend who dresses so badly that I have fantasies about calling the team from What Not To Wear. It’s a television show hosted by Stacey and Clinton who show up as a surprise and toss everything in your closet AFTER telling you why each piece of clothing you love and own is disgusting, outdated, and unflattering. Then they teach you what to buy and send you off on a shopping spree worth five grand. I just can’t be the one to make that call to the show, even though I know my friend would be right up at the top of the list of people to make over.
So, if you’re looking for real honesty of the sort that can leave you under a blanket for days, don’t ask me, especially if you are my friend. I’m not who you think I am.
If you want an opinion about politics (I loathe Mitt Romney and am terrified at what would happen to our country, and the world in four years if he is elected), books (Fifty Shades of Grey: kind of funny), television (I love it a lot), famous artists (Sean Scully leaves me completely cold), fashion (I like low waist skinny jeans, crisp white shirts and Louis Vuitton), adultery (I’m generally against it), Capitol punishment (against it though there are people I would like to kill or see die), and ugly yards (what are these people thinking?), I’m your woman.
I don’t give a shit about being vegan, eating gluten free, or following a paleo diet. I don’t want to talk about composting, worms, or owning chickens though I’m fine with anyone who wants to compost or own chickens.
If I could ban a book it would be The Secret.
I hold a grudge. But I also change my mind about things.
You can ask me my opinion on anything and I will be honest, as long as it isn’t personal.
And that’s the truth.