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Day 341: Way Better Than Sauce

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I am quirky and I love it. It's taken me all year to own that...

I like returning things more than I like buying them. I just like the feeling of getting my money back. It is WBTS [way better than sauce.]

The other day I returned bagged lettuce. Why? Because. And I forgot I hate lettuce more than going to the gynecologist.

Aren't those good reasons? I thought so. The lady at customer service - not so much.

And I don't like crunches because I don't like lying on the floor in the gym. There are germs down there. If I am lying on the floor at the gym - it's because I fell - not because I am perfecting my 12-pack.

The only crunches I like are Nestle's [hermetically sealed in its wrapper, of course.]

Because I don't like throngs of strangers breathing on my food.

This is why you would have to sedate me or shoot me with a tranquilizer gun to get me to eat at a buffet.

However, I love giving speeches [and I think I read a survey that said people fear speeches more than actual death.]

I fear driving at night and driving in the snow and people putting their naked butts on my toilet seat and the parking lot at Target during Christmas - because I am pretty sure someone would run me over if they knew they could get away with it.

But speeches - eh. I am convinced people lose interest after 30 seconds. I do.

But it seems the more comfortable I become with who I am the more uncomfortable some "friends" [and I use that word looslely] become with me.

And the past several weeks, I was way past the hurt part and I got stuck in [insert pig Latin here] issed-pay part. I was angry everytime I saw a "friend" who said something crappy to me

About the boots, about the dresses, about the food, about everything - just freakin' shut up. I think I prefer the ones who become cold and distant, but that sucks too.

And then I lashed out at a D-bag [duffel bag] and she cried. [I know. Right? I'm gonna get coal in my stocking...] I felt chez crappy because duffel bags are people too - even if they're rude.

So I hit Introspection Road yet again. I am not really into the whole angry girl thing - like ever - plus it is bad for my skin.

And I ended up at this Christmas tale over and over again. I wasn't sure why and I didn't want to go... [sigh. Introspection sucks.]

It was dark outside. "Grab some stuff and let's go," she said urgently. I was sleeping.

Fleeing in the middle of the night was typical. I just threw as much as I could carry into a knap sack and off we went.

This part sucked though - I could never take all of my toys, but it was so close to Christmas and I was sure that I would get new ones.

While we were on the Greyhound bus, she said we were going to my aunt's house in New York. I didn't know how far New York was from California but the bus ride seemed like forever.

With each new state, it got colder and my flimsy jacket felt flimsier.

"Do you have it?" she implored at a rest stop.

She meant the change jar where we put quarters and extra money. We used it to buy food at rest stops.

It was my job to grab it. But I forgot.

Immediately I knew what she meant and immediately I felt a knot in my stomach. She knew from the look on my face that the answer was "no."

I knew that she would've beat the crap out of me if we weren't surrounded by people.

Instead my mother called me "stupid" and "useless" for the whole trip. Even so, I was happy to learn we would arrive in New York on Christmas day. That would surely make up for this horrible trip.

When my aunt drove us from the bus station to her house, opening her front door was like walking into Santa's work shop - mountains of presents were everywhere.

Sweet! And she had food. This was going to be great - I thought.

My cousin, her daughter, opened the first present. She dug and dug until she found a gift with her name, first she squealed with delight, and then ripped the paper off. She did this over and over again.

I kept wondering when was it my turn.

As the morning progressed, I realized there were less and less presents to open and I sank deeper and deeper into my chair in the corner - no one even acknowledged me.

My aunt finally said, "Oh," as if she remembered something and she reached behind a chair pulled out a paper shopping bag and gave it to me. There were 3 cans of peanuts [not 3 individual cans, a 3-pack with a red label.]

Yup. Peanuts. [Just for the record, I like cashews and almonds.]

But neither is a great gift for an ten-year-old.

I wish I could say this was my worst Christmas as a kid - but it wasn't. [I know. Right?]

The reason I keep ending up at this story is not to lament my childhood. I have triumphed many times over and I am one seriously lucky chick. I am alive. I am sane. And I have a freaking awesome life with many people who love me - for me.

But to realize I see friendships as sacred because I picked them. I couldn't pick my family.

And when friendships become indifferent or suddenly cold, it is hurtful.

I was angry because I want them to see me, love me and not simply change their mind in the middle of the night.

The seeming casual nature of the exclusion simply blows my mind.

And it is my weakness because my friends are my family. And I don't want to just toss them away or treat them like they can't be human or like they don't matter or like an afterthought

Like I was treated.

I want to be surrounded by my sassy, hot friends when I am old [like on that show - The Golden Girls. My cats are sassy, but it's not the same...]

I had to acknowledge this so I was no longer controlled by this obligation

To put my friends' feelings first

And I had to figure out how to identify negative "friends" in my life [this brilliant blog by Linda Benedict really helped me www.sparkpeople.com/mypa

Because I always view friends as precious gems - when they are just people.

Like I am people.

And this is the reality

Sometimes people can't give the love and support I need or want

And I had to learn to give it to myself

Some friends will not make it to the end of this journey with me

Some friends will get left behind as I grow past them

Some will not embrace my new life and body as I have

[And that is their problem.]

And the most loving thing I can do is say good-bye

Because everytime I do I feel so much lighter [I can't even explain how free I feel right now]

But I am free

Good-bye is not the end

It is the beginning of putting me first.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sometimes I feel you lived my life!

    I Choose my friends for the same reason as you. and I treasured them like you do to. But now I'm willing to release a piece of jewellery that is tarnished and simply cannot be restored... or doesnt fit me anymore or is just not my style!

    There was a time I kept every broken piece of jewellery because it was precious in some way. Now I acknowledge its value and acknowledge my right to choose to not have it anymore... so freeing!
    3247 days ago
  • TMB2816
    I couldn't pick my family either. I tend to think things like that make us who we are today and I think we are two amazingly awesome people.

    Plus you love cats.

    And you're almost as funny as me.
    3269 days ago
  • TRISH2229
    I feel you. I live by this expression: If it doesn't enhance my life - it takes away from it. This applies to just about everything - critical people, relationships, food, shopping, work, life decisions. I've probably repeated this phrase several hundred times in my life but it always rings true. Once I acknowledged this regarding a person or whatever, I could choose a different path. Very empowering for me.

    You rock I never get tired of reading your blogs. emoticon
    3269 days ago
    Thanks bunches for the link to this article .I'm in desperate need of this checklist .Have already had to distance myself from a friend and family member .Realistically and regretfully there are a few more with whom i need to do the same.

    Going through the hurt to get to the healing. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3278 days ago
    Wow, you're so brilliant and insightful.
    3279 days ago
    I just found your blog today, and like so many other women who left comments, I can say it sounds so much like my own story... but more engagingly written than I could ever have done it. Thanks for a beautiful blog.

    I lost my two closest friends during 2010 as the long drawn out result of having them change toward me over the past two years because they were gossiping about me with each other. WOW, so rotten. I spent years being careful not to do that to them, but neither of them could do it for me. Starting over lonely is way better than having 'friends' who treat you like crap, but it's so, so sad nonetheless. emoticon Hugs to us all.
    3283 days ago
    Fellow Warrior! i concur and relate to your wonderful blog and the comments left by everyone else too.

    I believe if we dont get what we want we will get something better and i hope you have had wonderful xmases, gifts and love you deserve - all beyond your wildest dreams - that quash Aunt Meanies peanuts into oblivion.

    Related very much to the growing up stories, and letting go of negative folks too. Nowadays my friends cheer me on and celebrate my successes with me and vice versa- or they arent friends- right!

    Im totally glad you returned the lettuce too- with the exception of Arugula- lettuce is on my 'life's to short to eat this %^&*' list. I also recently returned sliced roast beef to the deli at Wmart as on closer inspection it was green and shiny. But im lucky that way - i even got a surprise hair included in one of my redbox dvd's- i kid not! It's like winning the gross lottery most times i shop.

    Oh and BTW cashews are on my 'list' too,I always pick them out of the mixed nuts and give them away- ill send you some if you like- anytime- and no it won't be a xmas pressie either.
    3284 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/21/2011 3:50:26 PM
    Thank you so much for sharing, and directing us to Linda Benedict's also-wonderful blog post. You're the best!

    (Seriously. I fell off of the Spark wagon for a few months, and one of the first things I'm doing now that I'm back is catching up on your blog. You're awesome.)
    3284 days ago
    Wonderful, wonderful blog......and astounding to see the person you have become and the obstacles you have had to surmount in your life that could have buried you....but didn't. What a testament to overcoming.....
    3284 days ago
    once again "LOVE IT" in my singing voice
    3285 days ago
    Profound blog. Thanks. I, too, have a family of "choice" and it is painful when friends pull away and give us no reason as to why or means of renewal. But, as one of my friends said, "There are a lot of sick people in the world and some are sicker than others" and she wasn't referring to the flu.

    Nice to be back and reading your always beautifully written, touching, funny, and provocative blogs.
    3291 days ago
    Ok, so truth of the matter is.... I'm on a binge right now. A binge of reading your blogs LOL. I started at the top and am working my way down. You should truly write a book. I'm not even joking around. You could pull it off without any problem. Your writing style won't put readers to sleep, you're sense of humor is awesome, and you speak truth.
    3293 days ago
    hmmm...i don't like your aunt..or the whole darned, sad Xmas story...i want happy, story-ending Xmases, especially for kids...this makes me want to cry...and smack your family...i hope things are better for you now...you seem like you have a good head on your shoulders...good luck to you
    3293 days ago
    I just found your blog on here and let me just tell you, reading your blog is like hearing my own voice for the first time. So many things you say are things I have been through or felt and had no idea how to put into words. You are truly amazing and are an inspiration to so many. I look forward to reading your future posts! Congrats on your journey so far, and good luck on your future paths!
    3293 days ago
  • M0PPET
    I wish I had a good friend in publishing. Because I would send them this link in a second. You definitely could write a book. Fer serious.
    3293 days ago
    I am sure that I am voicing a sentiment held by many who read your blogs - I wish like hell we lived closer together because you sound as if being friends with you at this part of your life (and that to come) would be amazing.

    Keep up the inspiring post, but most of all, keep finding your inspiration in the very best place....your very own self.
    3294 days ago
    I can't decide if you should be writing a novel or doing stand-up. You are amazing! Not only did you survive the difficulties that presented themselves in your life, but you thrived and continue to do so regardless of what is thrown at you! I love how you love yourself. Amazing, that is the word, awesomelly amazing!!
    3296 days ago
    You could get published, girl! WBTS!
    3297 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/8/2011 9:37:57 AM
    Banging on those cupboard doors! Keep on banging to another beat! Let the beat go on... Hey I would love to be fed Bonbons by Denzel Washington, but not in the buff! lol I am like youl; I have my own plan for fighting the bulge and Fat! I told you all, I was a Lazybutt! I figure, like you, I do enough cardio just cleaning my house and taking care of my pets (Have two of them, Hubby and my dog, and rightly cant say who causes me the most work!) and I go up and down stairs all day, maybe thats why my Butt doesn't look too bad! But I prefer to walk in the park or go for a stroll down memory lane than go to a sweaty stinky gym and work out on a stepclimber or treadmill, any day! I orefer to stay helathy and away from other sweaty butts! Just keep beating your own drum, I will toot my horn with you! Susana emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3298 days ago
    I "heart" your blog!

    Like you, my friends ARE my family. And it has been a long road of hurt feelings and misunderstanding that my friend-sisters don't necessarily have the same loyalty to me that I have to them... because they have real sisters... and husbands, and mothers, etc.

    I have sisters and a mother - but that's a whole story in itself.

    It feels good to hear someone has struggled with this unique struggle as I have. I agree with the liberated feeling of releasing the people who don't support you for the sake of WHO YOU ARE.

    Cheers to the New Year, new friends, new goals, smaller dress sizes, and NEW CLOTHES!
    3299 days ago
    Wow. Thank you for sharing something so personal with all of us. I can't imagine what that was like for you. You are such a strong and amazing person. I already knew that, but how you have persevered through things like you wrote about here proves it even more.

    It's too bad that your friends can't embrace this wonderful change in your life. I think quirky is one of my favorite personality traits about my friends. It keeps things fun and interesting. How boring it would be if we were all the same.

    I really admire so many things about you. You have inspired me over this last year more than you know.

    Hope you have a wonderful 2011 - I know you will!
    3299 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/6/2011 3:07:46 PM
    emoticon For sharing your personal story of some of the hurtful things that happened in your childhood! I admire your courage and strength. I went into the link you had in your blog and read it. I have a few toxic family members but thank goodness I have learnt to ignore the hysterics and don't get involved any more! emoticon Livung on the other side of the world helps too!......lol emoticon
    3299 days ago
    thanks so much for entertaining us!! Your blogs are the BEST!!!!
    3299 days ago
    WOW! another great blog but your tale is that of many women. I have one at work that I am going through the same thing. I could not figure out how one day, she just stopped talking to me. For.months. I am not kidding, at least six months. I would ask on occassion what happened and she said that there was nothing. Finally, one day, I asked again, (I am kind of persisitant, in weird things) and she that I had an attitude one day and she just did not like it. I thought, my gosh, really? All of this is because I had a bad day and instead of calling my attention to it, you wrote me off? Ugh! We are on slight speaking terms now because we work together, but that really hurt me on a level I never knew existed. It felt as bad as a break up because like you said, I let her in, for seven years, I let her into my life and overlooked her faults and was a friend to her. I have a bad day and you throw all of that away? I am not saying that I was not at fault but c'mon? I had just had a baby, a very demanding job and no sleep for the last, um 10 months and you just want to quit talking to me? I learned people have there own issues and that some people, no matter how old they are, have never left high school!

    You are doing great, you are learning more about yourself and the world and its people in it. You are improving yourself, your life and your mental status and those around you will either embrace ir or be envious.

    Keep up your hard work, keep being yourself, keep loving yourself (despite what others say, it is not selfish) and keep reaching for new goals!
    3299 days ago
    WOW! I would never have known that someone with your positive, upbeat energy went through that as a child. It's usually the other way around. Good for you! That's why you're such a fighter! And how in the world can anyone be anything but nice to you?? I don't get it. but I'm so glad that you're past all of that and that you're the GREAT person that you are today!
    3300 days ago
    Wow that was amazing!! As usual! I am so impressed by how you have risen above your childhood and become an amazing woman. Keep pressing and don't let anyone, "friend" or not, stand in your way!
    3300 days ago
    Hugs to you my Friend!
    Yes, you have had a past filled with hurt. Many of us have.
    But what sets you apart is that you will no longer allow that into your present life. Instead of dwelling on the past and allowing it to influence you in the now, You choose to make your life positive by surrounding yourself with positive people. It is a hard decision to make. We have this little voice in the back of our heads saying, what if I have no friends left after this; or can I really be so choosy, maybe I am just oversensitive and keep making excuses for their pettiness.
    You are amazing and insightful. I am doing the same thing. There is only so often I can be hurt before enough is enough.
    Hugs to you my friend. You will find that for every negative friend you erase, you replace them many times over with a positive one.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3300 days ago
  • LOGNSMOM0114
    you are brilliant!! This blog really hit home for me even with my awesome family there is truth to everything you say!
    3300 days ago
  • SML1122
    beautiful. thank you for benig brave enough to share some of your personal past with us...for giving insight into your childhodd and the adversities that you've risen above.

    i think we tend to forget that everyone has a story. everyone has some dyfunction in their past. no one is perfect. for the longest time - and still on occsion tend to think everyone else has got more on the ball.. and thats ahrdly the case.

    congrats to you for finding your inner peace along this journey and thank you for sharing your introspections.

    im not where you are yet, mentally, happy, peaceful... but hoping to get there in time.

    you taking the time to share your experiences is wonderful. cant thank you enough.

    3300 days ago
    Real friendships will last.
    Good-bye is not the end, It is the beginning of putting me first. I like that!!!
    3301 days ago
  • MAIA2011
    It feels terrible to ditch friends but when they start to treat you like your family of origin then they got to go! Really, what's the point?

    As always I admire your strength and beauty and now I admire your character, too!

    Happy New Year!
    3301 days ago
    You still rock the house!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your blogs! emoticon
    3301 days ago
    I soooooo....enjoy reading your blogs. And for the record, buffets are disgusting.
    3301 days ago
    You go girl!
    3301 days ago
    you are a very smart woman, teeny!
    3302 days ago
    Wow, what an awesome blog. My b/f years back came to that conclusion and called every one of his "friends" that was a negative in his life and told them why he was ending the friendship and never looked back. He is one of the most positive people I know. Last year, (2010) he lost part of his foot (his pinkie toe and part of the side) due to an infection of stepping on some rusty nails in his job (he has diabetes). Instead of 'whoa is me" attitude, he feels extremely blessed that he still has his foot and has made a complete turn around on eating healthier and taking his meds like he should. I'm very proud of him. Losing part of his foot though is only one of his life's obstacles, he's overcame way too many to count. So I think you're such an inspiration and awesome writer for all the trial and tribulations of your life you have conquered and won. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3302 days ago
    Great blog. True friends are hard to come by - they love you through thick or thin :)
    3302 days ago
    wow thanks for sharing your blog, my mother was also a very negative person, and often portrayed herself as the victum, she made this into an art form and I have spent my whole life trying to make sure I am not one. Good luck on your journey, I love reading your blogs you are always so honest.

    3303 days ago
    Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. ~Edna Buchanan

    True for a lot of us I guess, since that pretty much sums up your blog and fits my life pretty well too : )
    What stuck with me reading your blog was the line "And the most loving thing I can do is say good-bye", and while I don't know if you meant the most loving for you or for the other person, I'll bet the reality is for BOTH of you thats the best course of action. Although the situation leading to my current predicament is different, you're totally right on the mark in that the most loving thing I can do at this point is just to let go. Finding the courage to do it is another challenge, but knowing thats going to have to be my end result is oddly calming.

    Thanks again for sharing!
    3303 days ago
    YOWSA! Love it, you go girl!
    3304 days ago
    Great blog!
    3304 days ago
    What a great blog. Happy New Year!
    3304 days ago
    WOW......you truly are amazing. emoticon

    Know you will achieve greater things this year. emoticon
    3304 days ago
  • 1D1W1Y
    I think there is a significant reason I am reading this 10 day old posting on NY ;)

    Thank you for being more than you will ever know :)
    3304 days ago
  • no profile photo GONNA_BREAKAWAY
    I'm going to paraphrase something I read onetime. Sorry that I don't remember the source. "Everyone is in our life for a reason. Some are in our past. Some are in our present. Some are in our future. Some are in our forever." Enjoy the friendships of today and try to remember the good things about the friendships that are no more because they make up the fabric of your life.
    3305 days ago
    And as well you should. Happy New Year, sweets. I hope it is good for you.
    3305 days ago
    You are so very special to many of us on Spark People, Keep doing what you do!! I love it and YOU!! emoticon
    3306 days ago
    3306 days ago
    You always make my day. Thank you for such a unique perspective on friendship. Keep on inspiring us. Best wishes for a beautiful new year! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3306 days ago
    Rock on, Sassy woman! Do you have any idea how many hearts you touched with this blog? I'm just one of a gazillion million, I bet. Happy New Year to you! emoticon
    3306 days ago
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