past tense: faded; past participle: faded 1. gradually grow faint and disappear.
I know we all meet sorrow in our own way. For me, it’s looking for the silver lining. Much easier said than done, but hope is always doable.
At first, I thought I might have some sort of super powers. Somehow going about my daily routine like a badass. I went to work without missing a beat. I even went out socializing without a care in the world trying my best to squash the memories. Guess what? Even the baddest of asses have their moments.
For over a month now I’ve been trying very hard to kick my sorrow to the curb. I hosted Thanksgiving like a pilgrim! I channeled my inner Martha Stewart to deck the damn halls! I got all gussied up to attend an amazing Christmas party, and I’ve been working out as if I’m being considered for the Olympics! But guess what people? IT DOESN’T WORK!
When the family leaves, the work is done, the sweat is showered off, and I come home, do you know who is waiting? Yep, just like that annoying guest at the party who never seems to realize it’s time to hit the road …. sorrow is there to greet me with open arms. It’s really beginning to be a huge pain in the ass!
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that if sorrow is going to hang around for awhile, I need to do something about it. I think t’s time we become friends or form some sort of relationship. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m tired of fighting this weightlifter of an emotion.
Wait a minute, “friends” might be a little strong, maybe I’ll start with a roomie and work my way up to besties. I’m only human.
So, for now, it looks like I’ll be chillin with sorrow. I’ve set up some free space in my head so he can get cozy. Yes, sorrow is a man …. because I said so.
I must say since he’s been hanging around, I’ve been learning a lesson here and there about myself, so at least he’s earning his keep. If only he cleaned bathrooms.
Who knows next maybe he’ll show me how to be strong as him. Stranger things have happened…look who is our new prez.
Maybe he’ll even wine and dine me as he leads me to that silver lining. Where I can only imagine unicorns are running free.
Better yet … maybe one day I’ll be able to sit by a nice sunny window, sipping a hot cup of coffee, listening to Marvin Gaye while I watch all of this just fade away. Goals!
Enjoy the Ride!
You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation.
Kids: In unison …. G R E A T!
Me: Today I’m here to fill you in on some truths about being a grown-up. Oh, no not the lies the world is selling you, the TRUTH. Growing Up Is A Trap. How many of you already knew it was a trap?
Kids: The sound of chirping crickets filled the air.
Me: First of all don’t be in such a hurry to get there, you’ll be very disappointed. Honestly, it’s not that great. Of course there are some perks like driving, sex & drinking….but, you know what kids? They don’t last forever and if we’re being honest here, which we are, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be…seriously. All of these things can be great, but they can also get you in BIG trouble. Not the “go to your room” kind of trouble, but the “time to go back to your cell” kind of trouble.
Kid: My mom said ….
Me: Your mom is lying.
Me: But nothing kid! I told you I’m here to fill you in on the big secret of life. Are you ready? Every grown-up you see, even good ole grandma & grandpa, mom, dad, teachers … all of them, wish for ONE thing….Interruption…What? You with the hand waving like you’re putting out a fire…what?
Kid: My grandma wishes she could walk faster.
Me: I’m sure she does kid, I’m sure she does. Do you know why? Put your hands down, there is no need to guess because that’s what I’m here to tell you…All grown-ups wish they were kids…just like you. That’s right guys, they want to play in the dirt without a care in the world.
Kid: My dad doesn’t like when I get dirty.
Me: Yes he does, he’s just jealous. I bet your parents don’t like when you run around the house like energizer bunnies do they?
Kids: In unison …. NOOOOOOO!
Me: That’s because once again they are jealous. Do you get it kids? Every time you do something they can’t do, because they’re too big and it’s no longer acceptable, they get angry at you. Have any of you ever destroyed something in your house, but because you are so darn cute you got away with it? You, all the way in the back with the pointy tail and horns..what did you do?
Kid: One time, I um, emptied a case of bottled water in the driveway to make mud for my trucks and when my mom asked me “what happened to all the water?” I told her “I drank it” with a straight face and she smiled.
Me: Great example kid and kudos for the straight face…well-played, well-played indeed. Now, just imagine if your dad did that, what do you think would have happened? Ok, don’t get your pigtails in a knot, what would your mom do?
Kid: First she would tell my dad how stupid it was, then she would probably post about it on Facebook so all her friends could agree that my dad did a stupid thing and then she would just talk in “one words.”
Me: Your mom sounds lovely and pretty much dead on in this case. See, when you’re a grown-up you’re no longer cute…your just big, hairy and well, stupid. So, do you understand the message here kids?
Me: Do you see how important it is to be a kid as long as you possibly can?
Me: So what are you going to so about growing up kids?
Kids: Respectfully decline. Never forget our inner child. Learn how to act in public. Have the courage to become who we really are and Enjoy the Ride!
This week’s writing challenge: Tell us about a character in your life.
Where the heck do I even begin with this challenge? My dilemma isn’t a lack of material, it’s narrowing down the list. I’m not sure if it’s my overly curious nature or keen listening skills, but my path is always crossing crazy. Never a dull moment that’s for sure.
For this piece I decided to share the likes of Kathy MacDonald, a coworker from my very first “real” job. You haven’t experienced characters of the real world until you work for the Federal Government in Center City Philadelphia, at a meer 18 years old. This was similar to dropping a lamb off into the center of the jungle.
I’m not certain of Kathy’s age at the time, considering 30 year olds appear ancient when you’re 18, but if I were to guess, I would place her around 60 at the time. She had white cotton candy shaped hair, large glasses with over exaggerated features. Her cleavage doubled as a clutch purse and her voice was that of a well seasoned smoker, however Kathy never smoked. Kathy’s wardrobe consisted of nothing from the current decade and everything from the closet of a retired 60’s go-go girl, complete with colored plastic beads & baubles to match any shade on the color spectrum. She stepped right off of a Far Side calendar and planted herself in the desk behind mine.
My first day of employment was 6/14/1982, better known as Flag Day. I will never again forget this fact due to Kathy MacDonald, who was dressed as a human american flag in honor of the holiday. As if the red,white & blue ensemble weren’t enough, it was accessorized with flag earrings, a red sparkly headband, all sorts of red, white & blue plastic beads and bangles with blue socks that donned stars and of course, white sandals. I was in awe!
She introduced herself just as she headed out the door at lunch time to partake in the festivities over at Independence Hall. I had never met anyone who celebrated Flag Day with such enthusiasm in my life. To be honest, at 18 I probably had no idea there was a holiday called Flag Day. I quickly learned that ALL holidays were celebrated equally in true Kathy fashion.
Kathy always had a story that my 18-year-old ears had no business hearing, but I couldn’t help but be completely absorbed in her tales. One day she called me over to her desk to discuss the discomfort she was having with her “girdle”. I patiently listened how this “girdle” was pinching her skin, yet she didn’t feel it was doing its job. I had NO IDEA what a girdle was up until this point…I was just coming out of diapers for god sakes! She proceeded to raise her dress to reveal this torturous device that spanned from her neck to the middle of her thighs. It was covered in metal zippers with these elastic ribbons that held up her stockings. It’s really a shame that cell phone cameras weren’t around in 1982.
As you can imagine the girdle sighting stayed with me for quite some time. My mother tried to reassure me that it was only an undergarment, but I probably should have undergone some sort of therapy at the time. To this day I have questions about those zippers. Not to mention this went down in the freaking office!
I have certainly witnessed a large cast of characters over the years, most that left Kathy appearing almost normal. Looking back on Kathy’s character, I must say she certainly lived life with a little spice adding flavor wherever she traveled. She certainly made it easy for me to go to work every day…I never could risk missing an event.
The world can be amazing when you’re slightly strange, so be yourself and Enjoy the Ride!
Your challenge this week is to practice your powers of observation. Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.
As I sit on the oversized chair in my living room trying to relax from a long day of labor. I can’t help but be calmed by the last beam of sun breaking through the front window. The natural light bounces off a pink antique dish leaving a magnificent collaboration of colors on the floor. My big beagle Chester is laying in its bright center, no doubt enjoying the warmth it is providing. His breathing is calm, as the colors seem to dance about his body. He remains unnerved as he snores his peaceful snores in the center of a sunbeam. Life is good!
In the background of this peaceful scene President Obama is delivering his Inauguration speech to our nation. I can hear the strength in his voice as he reminds us of our duties as citizens. I can hear the passion in voice as he eloquently reminds us of the importance of compromise. I hear the hope in his voice as informs us that “peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.” My heart begins to warm, my mind begins to ease and I become settled with the confidence that our future will be bright. Life is good!
The sun is about to turn in for the night. Chester begins to stir as if a warm blanket has just been removed when the last of that sunbeam makes its way back out the window. The scent of sautéed onions begins to fill the room with a sweet aroma. Onions? Dinner? Shit! Shit! Shit! I got to the pan just in time to turn off the gas flame, rescuing those caramelized beauties from a tragic demise. My pot of boiling water was now on the edge of extinction, but quickly resuscitated with a new batch of fresh water. The poor baby carrots appeared to be involved in some sort of rapid dance-off. As I lowered the heat they all seemed to collapse to the bottom of the pan surrendering to their exhaustion. They showed no signs of life until I drizzled them with honey and they began pleading to be consumed. Life is Good!
Life is full of surprises…Enjoy the Ride!