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Archive for the tag “perspectives”

“HeyMs.Parker…..”

Anyone who knows their way around the “Friday” franchise is familiar with that quote. I can smile as I think of my younger brother’s friends who charmingly referred to me with that greeting from time to time. I was amused at the time and feigned flattery. Now as I look back, flattered is exactly what I should have been. I recall being told that the actress who played Ms. Parker, Kathleen Bradley, was a former Miss Black California and had been a model on the Price Is Right. I “tahtahed” that off, because as a part of the cult-following of the movie itself, almost all of the characters were special in their own rights.

Over the years there have been remarks some complimentary others had undertones of jealousy, judgement and judgmental. Being tall a lady makes one stand out. Yes, I emphatically consider myself a lady. I do not believe I have done anything to exclude myself from that classification. I am mostly amused by the reactions of my contemporaries and counterparts. I can only imagine what goes through their heads when a person who falls in the average category sees me (standing 5’10 in my bare feet) wearing heels and a dress that reveals my legs. Legs that probably look like they are far longer than they actually are. The standards of size, beauty, what is and is not acceptable, varies from one being to the next. Then the judgements begin.

When I used to deliver mail, female carriers had uniforms that included an item called culottes (split skirts). Doing a physical job like that, it is imperative that one is comfortable. The culottes were my choice. Neat, clean, and in approved standard attire I was still subject to snide little off-color comments. I was younger so not only did I not care, but I also had answers back for my critics and commentors. Years/decade later I still meet with the same types of critiques. I am fortunate enough to have decent health, I also try to stay healthy, I eat fairly good, I go to the gym daily, and I follow my physician’s advice. When I walk past the ladies in my community, a senior community that I bother to pick up trash around (that other have not so courteously dropped), and I greet them I am well aware that they do not approve of my look. If I am honest, I have to say, I STILL really do not care. I am not harming anyone and just like my old letter carrier uniform; neat, clean, and within the approved standard of… in this case decent. What I wear has all to do with MY comfort; how I feel and how I feel I look.

In my mind see Ms.Parker bending over in her shorts watering the grass, I wonder if I appear that way to people in the neighborhood. I am not even close to her image, but when we talk about perceptions who knows. One thing for certain, no one around this community will be invited in to “pray with me or “prey” upon me.

Just Somebody I Used To Know

I was about 18 years old and madly in love…with a young man who was NOT in love with me. One day while I was sitting at my job looking sad, likely just finishing my daily cry, one of my friends who was quite handsome himself, came to me and asked what was wrong. I told him of my lament. He sweetly told me, all you have to do is stop letting him have the power to hurt you, all you have to do is let him go. While that sounds like it is almost too simple to work, it was good advice. He was right. That’s another story, however it sets the tone for this piece.

In the wake of political decisions that seemingly are hurling us into our backward pasts, our friends, family, associates are polarized and vocal. It is happening in places and with individuals you could never imagine. Mine occurred in a subtle, innocent conversation with somebody I used to know. What started off and was, I believe was intended to be a casual, friendly talk and possible meet-up/reconnect became an eye-opening startle. The arrogance and entitlement came blustering through. I guess he thought he was being funny and cute. He may not even be aware that he was coming off offensive to me, for it was the undertones that came blaring out at me, even though he was not exactly directing his smug thinking at me.

Perhaps he had a bad day, maybe it was a direct encounter that prompted the talk. He could have been coming to someone he felt was close enough to in order feel something other than what he conveyed…end result is he unwittingly, unknowingly showed me something that made me feel quite happy we were no longer involved, and our contact was sporadic. Furthermore, he made me know that we cannot be ANYTHING even on the most miniscule level. I don’t even want to be in the same room with him. In my “eyes” he is a cretin. He disguised himself well, but the truth is any one of us can behave ourselves for a short period of time. What I find so ironic is that he did not consider the consequences of him revealing himself to me or affecting me in such a way that was not positive. Therefore, he had no reason to think I would not want to be in his presence. He clearly sees nothing wrong with what he said and that makes “us” having interaction even more ridiculous.

I thought maybe being around me, my ways, my points of view made him consider things outside his norm. There did not seem to be any communication issues, we talked a lot. However, once we were no longer involved, he was allowed/forced back to what was his comfort zone, the small narrowminded spaces he occupied along with the same type of people overtook him and returned him to something he had considered venturing away from.

I wish I was a big enough person to want to “pull his coat-tail”, I wish I could get beyond my being offended to try to inform and enlighten a once seemingly good person. I am not, all I want him to do is go back where he came from, no longer invade my space and allow me to forget I ever met such a human. Then if I ever by chance run into and cannot avoid him completely, I can tell myself he is somebody I used to know, with a question-mark.

Translation…”I Don’t Care”

I’m not jealous or insecure… You can tell me anything…” Has anyone ever uttered those words to you? How did you react, what did you think? Let’s explore some possibilities here.

The era of no-contact everything is here. Touchless entries, download the app to expedite BLANK, keep at least this much distance between yourself and others, and mask according to CDC and local guidelines. However, this is not about protection from the pandemic, this is about protecting your heart, mind, soul, and bank accounts.

As we navigated the terrane of this thing called dating, we found a common ground. We communicated in the traditional fashion. We decided to keep moving forward in spite of the obstacle of distance. In all due honesty I am NOT a fan of long distant relationships. I do personally know of a successful one. I just KNOW that I am far too…whatever. I require time and attention, no matter how I try to downplay it, sooner or later my unwillingness and/or inability to tone that down shows up and shows out.

Of late more individuals have appeared and have been checking off the boxes. I began feeling hopeful. Then in he walked (not literally). I did not believe he was real at first and truthfully until later when he walked into the restaurant, I was still skeptical. Great time, great conversation, great guy… great possibilities???? Well, no not really. There were plenty of red flags, they did not matter because I was certain he would disappear and be placed in the “round file” as so many others have been. Now be clear his red flags were simple; I do not believe his intentions were anything really dubious. He was merely exercising his options and he could do that safely without vesting much of anything into our contact.

See you don’t get to be given priority and treated special, yet I continue of occupy the “cheap seats”. What had to happen was for me to recognize that this was exactly what was happening. Remember I am steadily being blinded by those blasted checked-off boxes! I never took myself off the market, if-you-will. Now that the smoke has cleared, I dusted off my brain and there it was, I saw it clearly. I did not want to admit to it but, I had to pull back or be sucked-in and filled full of regret. This way we can part ways civil, he will either not notice or try to feign NOT understanding. in either case I know that we are here, at this place because he does not care…or let’s say he does not care enough.

You Romantic Fool You

Once upon a time we used to pick up the phone and call individuals we cared about. We enjoyed things like hearing their voices. The sound made us aware of their mood, what kind of day they were having, if they were annoyed, and if they were glad that we called.

Now we exist in a communication “black hole” everything is text or some silly form of social media. What type of catastrophe has to occur for one to actually let another hear their voice?

Dating in the early autumn of your life is an enigma, one that really would be better served if it stayed that way. Honestly, it is scary to think what some of the answers might be. I wish I could forget what the norm was the last time I found myself in the land of “single ready to mingle( and YES I know that phrase dates me”). It is difficult to know how to formulate a plan when the ultimate goal is in a constant state of revision.

In our youth we were looking to have some fun and eventually settle down. However, as our autumn leaves continue to turn, one finds themselves in the crux of urgency. In a society and culture where being a couple is ranked in a higher status than being an individual, we are tossed in an arena that tells us we are or should be on the road to finding that ONE suited for YOU. No one wants to feel like their choices are limited, but one does have to be realistic…time is not necessarily on our side. So how much of it do we care to devote to games. Yes games, the things everyone SAYS they do not have time for, yet they ALL participate in, one way or another.

Truthfully, it is not anyone’s fault that we ended up here…honesty, intentions, goals are all subjective. Meaning the fact that any and all can change from moment to moment is no surprise. One of my personal issues was I continued to expect something wonderful and fantastic to come along, because something pretty damn fantastic and wonderful was taken from me. It made perfect sense that I would get a reasonable facsimile of a “replacement (no matter how impossible this is for one being can NEVER replace another)”. I guess by virtue of exposure to the generations of entitlement that mindset had worn off on me, in spite of the fact that I did not belong to said generations… EXPOSURE to that thing called entitlement had/has affected me.

I found myself gravitating toward that Disney fairy-tale romance filled land the moment I ran into a guy who met a few of the standard that I set. Standards that I knew were high but NOT impossible to attain. Plus, we must remember time is NOT a commodity we have an abundance of. Disappointment after disappointment, failure after failure has slowed my enthusiasm down but it has not brought it to a complete halt. Why one might ask, well the answer is simple. I AM that romantic fool.

Now Don’t Get It Twisted

The one that voices their opinion without concern for those who have opposing views. Yet, giving respect accordingly. The title or name that gives identity to someone in your life or presence. My late husband and I would often take notice and revel in the need of our society to give everything a label. Oftentimes the name alone did not suffice, it had to have a catchy little phrase to draw much more attention to this person or thing. Why? you ask…because it is our feeble way of trying to appear as though we truly understand. Remember the word appear.

This may already seem to be a collage of rambling thoughts. Thoughts of confusion; thoughts of disappointment and “being let down”, thoughts of anticipation and the need to “hurryup“, thoughts of “gut-wrenching pain” from loss and grief, finally thoughts of reflection forgiving and “letting go”. Each of these categories worthy of time devoted to them individually but instead tossed about in our psyche in no particular way, with no rhyme or reason that we can pinpoint. Well, it is understandable that one might not be able to make “heads or tails” of anything

The feeling of, “I’m not gonna show you mine until you show me yours, can sometimes overtake us emotionally. Yet it also serves as a warning. We have to preserve our dignity, our ego and that which is familiar to us. For without this familiarity, we are lost; and at this juncture in our lives, we can ill afford to be lost and possibly have to start over. The thought is ridiculous. Yet it plagues us. Is your head spinning yet?

Here it is the real twist. This piece is twisted because at times that is just what we are. We are bobbing and weaving through our lives. Afraid to move or sit still because we may miss something. Being painfully aware that we do not have our entire lives ahead of us, because our chronological age tells us odds are we now have a very finite number attached to us. Yet once again, things have always been like this. Our navigation process may have changed, but our ultimate destinations remain as they were when we began our journeys. Whether we see ourselves as taking a direct route, wandering off the beaten path, or floating about into oblivion many of us find ourselves questioning where we have ended up.

Good, bad, or otherwise it IS in our very nature to say, “What if….” That does not mean we want to or would change things; it just means that we entertain thoughts of the possibilities.

Wishful Thinking

Played like a beautiful piece of music, or should I say like the beautiful music I sent to him. Just because I could or I simply could NOT make up my mind what I wanted to do with him/us.

This was not done with malice, though it could be considered self-serving. On those summer evenings, while we were miles apart we’d talk for hours. At first it was the meeting of the minds, familiar quotes of Shakesphere or Socrates. We soon moved from one type of art to another. I am reminded of a scene in Tombstone where Doc Holiday calls out an outlaw as he played Nocturne 19 by Chopin. What may have seemed like a part of a dating ritual, without being considered dating was a carefully thought out plan, a plan meant to captivate and control. Before long he would be in love AND he would think it was ALL his idea. The truth be told a man chases a woman, until she catches him.

What do you tell your people about me? Your people, your family that is close enough to know your secrets… Your friends… the ones close enough to know your flaws along with your wants and desires. When you have a free moment or when you make moments free and I cross your mind, what do you tell yourself.

I take your calls, does that mean no one else is calling?

Then there is the trust factor. It takes time and exposure for trust to take hold, if we are being logical. In this case we possessed neither. Yet, you trusted me anyway. I know your secrets, hopes, and desires. You needed someone to share them with and I was but a click away.

It may not seem like it now, but you were lucky. You still had presence of mind in spite of what you thought you were feeling. When I played my “trump card” you withdrew. It was like someone gave you smelling salts, or you just came out from under the ether. As hard as it may seem now, it is far better that it ended before I totally took over. Perhaps that was part of your thought process, when it came time to let go… something inside of you said, ” Wait a minute, hold on.”

Now you are left with nothing that resembles what you thought you had, what I tried to convince you was real…but you are whole. That is something you likely would not have been, had you let me complete my cycle. You now have time to relive and go over the mistakes and miscues. That is all you have time for, because you have to get back out there and continue your search. The right one is waiting for you, looking for YOU to arrive.

We all make concessions in our quest for the right one. How many, how extensive, those concessions are depends on how much finding the individual means to you.

I’m So Empty I Could Burst

It occurred to me a few nights ago. As the holiday rapidly approaches, those who are happy only get happier. The others, the ones like me, vacillate between hoping it will come and go versus it not coming. This challenge is one I prepare for in recent times but never have been able to get it quite right, at least NOT to my satisfaction.

As someone who has lived through decades of holidays, one’s memory carries one through. Traveling back and forth through the milestones, only stopping at the ones that bring about the sense of being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with happy, overwhelmed with anticipation, overwhelmed with sorrow. The others fly by like pages of an open book on a windy day. Yet you need something, you need to feel some little thing.

It seems possible to recreate the good, we will fix that same favorite meal, we will play those old familiar songs and we will give way to the memories that brought us this immense joy then with hopes we can sample that same joy today.

Reliving the sorrow is seemingly an effortless act, you simply need to BE. That moment when it happened, the pain in your heart, and of course what the source of this unhappiness was. Ideally you want to come away from this place, but it is NOT so easy. There is a mark on your heart, and it is NOT fading.

Numb and lifeless, but startled back into the now you go along, you perform as though everything IS alright. No one around seems to be the wiser, but in actuality they are choosing to believe you are strong, strong enough to withstand all. You play your role; because they like you, need to be able see that which they believe. There you sit in a room full of others, but you are isolated and no one even notices.

These empty feelings, this sense of being alone, give you a vastness that overtakes your soul. The emptiness is like air in a balloon as it fills up, becoming tighter until it can take no more and then it bursts.

Because I Live Here

On the heels of Earth Day, one may find themselves in activist mode. It certainly seems that way for me. I look around the community, my street and I see signs of folks that are selfish and unconcerned. That distresses and annoys me. I remember a time, not-so-long ago when the airways were flooded with warnings and pleas for US/Americans NOT to litter. While in many places I travel to as well as where I live littering is NOT a huge problem one has to be aware that it wouldn’t take much for the scales to tip the other way.

Why should one take time out to concern themselves with such a matter? I will tell you as I tell strangers and neighbors alike when they see me picking up trash “out and about“; simply, “Because I live here.” Look I do NOT enjoy picking up after others, but the flip side would be to let the trash and debris sit there or blow around. It takes away from the aesthetic of the area and it sends other offenders the message it is okay to toss their trash out in this area too. Thus, the problem becomes unsightly and unbearable, when one can provide a quickfix. We have to feel responsible for the place we live in, not just our small little space on a street, but in the grand scheme of things, for the planet. My hope is not just to get others involved in the clean-up but that the perpetrators will simply stop adding to the breakdown of civil awareness and civic duty. They will see first-hand that someone does actually care even if they don’t. The human subconscious is a peculiar thing, guilt, remorse and responsibility can work together in order to produce the desired effect and/or being. Now this may not work everywhere, it may not be for everyone, but so far it is doing what I want to do for now.

One cannot be sporadic or easily discouraged, this is a battle which will not be won overnight. However, the cause is worthy, and everyone benefits. Be it your neighborhood, the office you work at, or a public park; these places are ALL a part of the community of the planet Earth, and after it is all said and done, we live here too.

But If I’m Honest

His head dropped when he saw her now. She seemed unaffected and indifferent. However, not so long ago he looked forward to the chance encounters, even though he timed her moves. But if honesty can enter this discussion, he’d have to admit she really had not changed. The only thing that changed was they actually had a conversation and they knew each other’s names.

It is not always received well, one insinuating themself into the life/space of another. I think it is easier accepted if there is a not-so-nice interaction, but if one is in the most remote fashion civil, there are individuals who basically take the kindnesses and run. What I mean is all they need is a crack in an open door and they proceed with not sense of caution. These are the same individuals who will look/be butthurt when they are stopped in their tracks.

Many of us were taught as children to be respectful and polite. Then there are the others. Unpolished and unrefined their experience is often self-taught; this does NOT always translate well. Truth is there are people you should just leave alone. That is not saying they are bad/stand-offish/mean. That only says you have to make informed decisions about who and how you approach. There are people who are just EXTROVERTS. They enjoy people and interacting with. What one has to do is NOT mistake a polite greeting as an invitation in. Extroverts attract us; their magnetic personalities make all of us feel like it is not so bad to just be out there, because what comes easy to them, they manage to make appear easy to us. The INTROVERTS may not have the outward appearance of being shy but read the body language. If they turn away rather than speak, the folded arms. They do NOT want you in their space, if they did/do they WILL invite you in. This is by-no-means a clear, concise character study, just things I have seen.

Personally, I am neither an introvert nor an extrovert, defined. I believe I can and do come off a bit (we will call it this for arguments sake) distant. I also believe I do not send mixed messages. I speak and keep moving. In my mind, in my world, that is an example of what my dad characterized so many decades ago by saying Even two dogs on the street have the decency to bark when they see one another… a greeting should be a given. I do not want you to be upset with me by what YOU perceive as implied. I do want you embrace the obvious. Here is where the honesty comes in. If you pay attention and read the signs, you will get an idea of who you are approaching. You will be able to determine how to approach…or not. Finally, you will begin to realize if you had taken a moment or two more and paid attention, you would have made a better/different decision. If you are honest, you will see who is to blame for that butthurt.

Do You Think We’re Sexy?

Remember that song by Rod Stewart…”Do You Think I’m Sexy?” How many of us danced to, sang aloud, whispered the lyrics into the ears of a lover and even laughed at the idea certain individuals would even suggest the mere idea came to their head? Let’s be honest here sexy is not just a look, it IS a state of mind. Back in 1978 many of us were teens and young adults; we were in our most perfect forms and at the height of our sexuality…of course we thought we were sexy!

I recall having a discussion with a “sister/friend about a Human Sexuality class she was taking in college. I remember being absolutely repulsed when she described a film/video the class watched in which seniors were interviewed. Plus, they not only discussed sex at their age, but there were also visuals. I could not imagine why people that age would want to have sex. My immature mind could NOT wrap around the idea of folks with their particular type bodies would want to see one another naked, let alone be aroused by such a sight. Keep in mind I had seen a grand total of ZERO naked seniors. My opinions were solely based on what I could see in their respective faces and therefore I figured the bodies had to have a similar look.

Fast Forward: here I am now that person that I imitated throwing up at the thought of, facing the question of sexuality. We must couple the idea of physical beauty, with physical limitations. Pregnancy has gone from being covered up like a nun (which was in direct contrast to the condition) to painted and bared bellies. Perhaps a better question for “US” would be… Do you think we’re sexual? The answer is as varied as we are, but once again our numbers draw attention to us. Senior dating sites are as prevalent as ones focusing on the young. Why is that you may think…short answer is because we as human beings still want to connect and to be connected. As life progresses things happen, spouses/partners leave us either through death or through divorce. Then we are left to do what our very nature tells us we must do…find a mate/companion/love.

Sex is everywhere on one level or another and that is NOTHING new. Yet as we move forward and evolve, we cannot help noticing the changes in ourselves, our contemporaries, our environment and society’s attitudes. I have said this time and again as I have written in this blog we “baby-boomers” are a group that none of the likes have been seen, we are trendsetters by virtue of existence. Our numbers alone call for recognition as we draw attention to what it looks like to live, grow up, and age in a modern society with instant access to record and catalog it all. Have we changed our minds about sex and being sexy? I say,” YES absolutely”. When you see a muscular young man at the gym or a toned young woman at the beach in a skimpy swim suit, do you judge them or do you fondly recall when that was YOU or someone you would set your sights on? Don’t be creepy or forgetful, it can be easy to fall into those pigeon-holes. Do you think we’re sexy…HELL YEAH WE ARE!

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