When I Dream

Planning is half the fun

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Do you remember, my dear one, the dreams we shared?  Our list of someday things we were going to do and places we were going to see?

Even though life happened and we haven’t done or seen very many things on that list, I have to tell you that I’m not disappointed.  It was fun to just talk and dream about them with you.  I think of them as our dream dates.  And since we’ve already dreamed them together, I’d like to believe we’ve already shared the best part of the experience.

Besides… we’ve had our own fun right here, haven’t we?  Camping.  Bonfires.  Little festivals nearby.  Our small town Christmas parades.  Picking blackberries.  Playing Evil Uno.

Being wrapped in your arms.

Thank you for dreaming with me.

Me too

My experience

I was 17 and a freshman in college.

I met him in the computer lab.

He seemed very nice, but I was also naive as hell, and quite taken by his handsome looks.

He asked me out to dinner and I accepted.

It was nice.  Casual.  We had a good time talking.

Then he drove me back, taking a way I didn’t recognize.

He stopped near an old barn.  Told me I was going to pay for my dinner.

I tried to fight, but when I couldn’t, I just went limp.  Numb.  Kept telling myself, “it’ll be over soon.”

Then I heard whoops and hollers from outside the truck.

This guy was taking advantage of me for a fraternity stunt.  He was going “hogging” and had to prove it in front of the other fraternity members.

After he was through with me, he got out of the truck and joined the other guys.  I got myself rearranged and just sat there.  Humiliated.  Violated.  I didn’t know where I was, so I had nowhere to run.

After a little while, he drove me back to campus.  Never said a word – neither one of us did.  I never saw him again.

Not long after that, I had a mental collapse and dropped out of school.

#MeToo

When I Ruled the World

There’s not much a few rhinestones won’t cheer up

Sometimes at 2 a.m., you and your best friend place a crown on each other’s head and decide to rule the world.

That’s exactly what we did.  

I have a collection of crowns and tiaras.  Did I win them in beauty pageants?  Hell, no.  But they’re mine nonetheless – bought and paid for.  And I treasure them, every one.

When I was a little girl, I (like many other little girls) wanted to be a princess.  There was actually a particular princess I wanted to be… the Irish Princess.  Every year my school held a beauty pageant: The Irish Princess pageant for girls in grades 1-4 and the Irish Queen for girls in grades 5-8.  

I went to a tiny parochial school.  In any given year, there may have been 16 girls competing for each title.  Our little pageant wasn’t a glitzy one.  This was WAY before the Toddlers and Tiaras things were happening.  We dressed in Sunday dresses and patent-leather Mary Jane shoes with lacy white ankle socks, walked out on stage as our church organist played some tune like “My Wild Irish Rose” or “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” then we twirled in front of the judges and walked back off stage.  The judges picked the winners, the Princess and Queen were crowned, and there was a dance afterward for the whole parish.

I never won, though I dreamed I would some day.  I prayed hard about it.  Practiced all year long.  But it never happened.  Of course, it never would have, no matter how hard I’d prayed.  I lived with my grandmother who kept my hair cut short (easier to take care of).  I wore coke-bottle glasses.  I wasn’t bubbly and adorable.  Definitely not pageant princess material.  But I sure tried hard for it.  

I never did give up the dream.  I swore that one day I would have a crown, even if it meant I bought it my own damn self… which is exactly what I did.  I have several crowns now.  They’re pretty, they’re sparkly, and they’re fun.  

I’ve been known to give tiaras to my girlfriends on their birthdays and you know what?  They all LOVE their crowns.  Every one of them has let out a delightful squeal when they opened their own royal gift.  

There is not one thing wrong at all in a woman flying her own royal princess standard.  I’ll tell you – for all the ladies I’ve seen who have done it, it feels pretty damn good.
And for you guys… if you’re ever in need of a pick-me-up present for your lady, a tiara can go a long, long way in boosting her spirits.  

Happy Birthday, Navy!

Go Navy!

Today, 13 October 2017, is the U.S. Navy’s 242nd birthday.  

To all my Shipmates around the world, I raise a glass and wish Fair Winds and Following Seas.  Happy Birthday to the world’s finest Navy!

The photo is of the USS Curts (FFG-38), a Perry class guided missile frigate.  She was named after ADM Maurice Curts.  We called her the “.38 Special”  

Fraud:  One Word Writing Prompt

“You’ve taken my life, so take my soul. That’s what you said and I believed it all.” – Three Dog Night

One Word Writing Prompt

“Fraud,” I remember saying to myself as I watched him preen himself on his pretended business acumen in front of the group.  He lied about everything to everybody, myself included.  I swallowed his bait, hook, line, and sinker.  And then I was trapped.

Even when he was caught, he always managed to twist things around to make it seem like it was your fault, never his.  He was, in his mind, stainless.  Superior.  Infallible.  Perfect.

He carefully crafted every word he ever spoke or wrote.  In private, he rehearsed his stories over and over until they rolled off his tongue like velvety honey.  He spun his web with engineered precision.  He studied situations like a chess master.

And he was evil in its purest form.  

In public, he was the man’s man.  The ideal husband, envy of all the women.  Wasn’t I just so lucky to have him and obviously didn’t deserve him.  

Behind closed doors, he was a monster.  Controlling. Manipulative.  Violent.  Sadistic.  Humiliating.  Domineering.  I lived in isolation and in fear.

With the aid of the police and the court, I was able to escape.  

I experienced the most powerful, soul-consuming feeling I’ve ever felt:  hate.  I was filled with it.  It seared through me.  Rage came with it but eventually dissipated.  The hate remained… and remains to this day.

I wouldn’t let my dog piss on him if he were on fire.  In fact, I’d hunt for marshmallows to toast over his coals.  

I suppose that’s a contributor to my vendetta against frauds.  I can’t abide them.

I Bet You Think This Post Is About You

“I don’t care what you think unless it’s about me.” – Kurt Cobain

There are some people whose supreme self-absorption makes it impossible for them to empathically identify with others’ feelings.  They lack concern about how their behavior might adversely affect others.  They have an unquenchable thirst for confirmation and validation of their perceived importance, power, attractiveness, popularity, and/or success.  They constantly need to display themselves in egotistical ways, and they thrive on others stroking their hyperinflated egos.

To deal with such people is extremely draining.  They can be soooo charming at first.  They know how to say the right things to draw you into believing their syrupy sweet persuasions.  “I care about you.  I love you.”  They’re often quick to profess such things.  In reality, it’s not about you.  It’s about them.  They want something from you. They’re really more enamored with the seduction process – with the thrill of pursuit – than with you.  In reality, you’re the trophy.  The conquest.  

Once you’re hooked, the vampires come out.  They systematically drain you of your love, your peace, your empathy.  They need it all.  They’re indifferent to who you are or what you have to say unless it specifically relates to them.  They’re terrible listeners when it comes to your needs, unless they can gain more evidence of superiority with proof of having solved your problem (especially if they can add it to their ever-growing lists of accolades).

It can be a source of embarrassment when they inappropriately and shamelessly parade around their awards, titles, degrees, certificates, attaboys, ad nauseum.  They take advantage of every opportunity to flash their curriculum vitae and drop names and positions of those in their social circles.  All you want to do is scream, “NOBODY GIVES A SHIT!  This is just a friendly conversation, not a fucking job interview!”  But, at best, your protest would fall on deaf ears.  At worst, you’d need to prepare for World War III.  You keep silent.

When they do fail at something, it’s everyone else’s fault but theirs… and they won’t let it go until you or someone else in their self-amassed fan club agrees with them.  They need your support and your validation.  They suck you dry.

In the past, I was a magnet for these narcissists.  As a co-dependent, I sought “love” wherever I could find it, even if it was one-sided, which it often was.  

But not anymore.

With age has come not necessarily wisdom, but an increased awareness of the sting.  I may not be the brightest bulb on the string, but I can now tell the difference between the smell of roses and the smell of shit.

Life is too short to spend it smelling shit.  I learned that, too.

That means, of course, that I’ve had to cull out a few versions of Narcissus from my life.  Some were eliminated outright.  Others are kept at a safe but frigid distance.  I’m cordial, but I won’t engage or invest myself.

Red flags still pop up on occasion.  I’ve even found myself feeling perilously close to being drawn in.  Fortunately the warning bells were loud and clear.

I’m not going to fall into this.  I don’t have the energy to spare for you, and I’m not going to bathe my heart in your toxicity.  I listened to you with genuine concern… but you completely ignored me when I shared my own secrets.  Friendship’s a two-way street. If you’re not going to play by that rule, then you can go find another game.