Reflections in the Broken Looking Glass

I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure.  I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle.  But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

–Marilyn Monroe

These past days, weeks and months have taught me a great deal about myself.  I had shut myself completely off from life – from feeling, from being close to another, from even trying to solicit a friendship or any relationship.  I think the true reason was fear.  I always thought it was of being hurt by others.

No, I’m now realizing it’s out of fear that what I want and desire is both out there and also not out there.  The risk.  I’m afraid of the disappointment and I’ve been disappointed enough.

Over these past months, thanks to situations I won’t go into or people that have come into and/or out of my life, my heart has been hurt, yes.  At the same time, strangely, the walls surrounding it have come down to allow “more” inside.  More “life.”  That could be joy, sorrow, love, anger, indifference, fear, confidence – any emotion.  I’ve also learned that people…don’t always tell the truth, but I knew that before.  They steal, lie, cheat, destroy all to gain an advantage.  I’ve never understood that one -what people gain by that.  Lying, cheating and stealing through the harming of others is a foreign concept to me.  I don’t understand the gain from that.  Isn’t life about relationships?  Isn’t life about interconnections with the world, with other people, other situations, other cultures, beliefs and ideas?  And yet people do these things anyway.  It’s twisted and sickening.  We wonder why we, as a society, are lonely.  We act in ways that drive wedges between others then wonder why we’re now locked inside of a cage not able to get outside.  It makes no sense at all.

I read Marilyn Monroe’s quote and I laugh.  That is definitely “me.”  I’m stubborn, brash and oh, can I throw my temper!  Many of my writings are either truth or based in truth – I’m starting to head into the based in truth area as my writing develops, just as an aside. The reason I say this is that many have asked about my one piece, The Secret Crush. Truth or not?  Oh, there’s truth in that one.  Yes that boy became a man and he is around.  In fact, he’s the biggest pain in the arse you could ever have as a best friend.  He’s the type of friend to remind you that you’re being that pain in the arse.  He’s dry, sarcastic, obnoxious, yet charismatic and charming in a mixture that drives you NUTS!

Yes, he calls me “Priceless” – even today.  And he has when I have been AT MY WORST – all to get to me.  That’s how obnoxious he is.  The reason I mention him is that when I was getting my results from the doctor, he was not around.  I mean he was AWOL. I send out an email – nothing.  But then, someone else from another of my pieces has now returned….the online romance….blasted past my blocks (I’m getting that remedied right now, don’t worry), and so now I am getting hit by two fronts.  Front number three?  My job is now becoming permanent -what I truly wanted after all.  Now what do I do?  Get the surgery and delay the job?  Take the job and delay the surgery?  See if I can get both? No, I have a better idea…

Throw a major hissy fit!

Now what I’m about to describe is almost word for word from the email I sent to him – I was “yelling” at him, and he knew it – and told me so.  (I can hear some laughter at this)  So, I’m officially disgusted, upset, in pain, been jerked around by the scam artist still demanding money who won’t obey my blocks, and while I’m trying to ignore him, I’m now clearing my email boxes and over 150 of them came from one person – mon ami. It hurt deeply; deeper than I thought it would – it’s just an email.  But it was more than the email – where was he?   He had been wanting ME there for HIM when needed; where’s the quid pro quo?   It’s now the email equivalent of slamming pots and pans everywhere and making racket.  The response?  Let’s just say it doesn’t help his cause:

“Sorry I’ve been out of touch.  I had an emergency in [name of city withheld] I had to take care of.  I am sorry I have not reached out to you about what you’ve been going through.  I did not know if it was my place and did not want to make it worse.  But by your email, I think I did.”

I was lucky I was at work today or else I would have been on a rampage!  I mean I see his position but at the same time, a friend reaches out, and this is what I said to him, “A ‘how are you doing?’ email would have been nice.  Nothing fancy.”  And I added, “The crickets were chirping LOUDLY.”

Oh, I’m definitely out of control like she was.  Definitely….

When I read that quote I think of all of the romances Marilyn Monroe had – or supposedly had – during her storied life and think about how her life was.  An orphan who then rose to stardom and took on a stage name and became the biggest attraction and star in many years only to die tragically and mysteriously; leaving one man forever loving her from afar:  the late great baseball player Joe DiMaggio, who adored this woman when they were married.  Adored her.  The marriage didn’t work out but even after the divorce, he loved her; she loved him desperately.  And after she died, the bouquets of red roses at her crematorium site appeared every year “mysteriously.”  Then it became known it was Joe DiMaggio who sent them faithfully and lovingly.  Sure, there were the “romances” and the scandals but true love?  I’d wager him alone.  He never wanted her harmed, exploited or manipulated in any way.  He treated her the way a man who loved and adored his beloved should treat her – with true honor and respect.

I’ve also learned this – if I’m to expect that from anyone, I must grant that, true honor and respect, to myself first.  Otherwise, I’ll get just the general riff-raff.  Standards must be adhered to.  I must honor me, my true self and that person is still coming and always will be; I am changing even now as I type this.  What I am also learning is this – someone who truly loves you – a friend or a lover – will take you as you are; surgeries or not, temper tantrums or not, despite the fear, the heartache and especially the good times – they’ll take it all.  What’s more?  They’ll call you on things when you don’t live up to your potential – or should anyway.

Hmmm….Impatient, out of control?  Definitely.  Hard to handle?  For sure.  Insecure?  I am, I’ll be the first to admit to that.  But buried with all of that is a gold mine that someone deserves – and it’s me first.  Then, I share with others.

“Are you through yelling at me through emails?”

Silence then…”Yeah.”

“You sure about that?  You going to be ok?”

Silence then…”I’m fine.  Don’t worry about me.”

“I’m going to call you at about the same time tomorrow to check in with you.  Is this a good time?”

“Yeah.  Yeah, that’s fine, I’ll be here.”

“I’ll call you tomorrow and I won’t cut and run on you.”

“Yeah.  Fine. Tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, what was I really doing on the phone?   Crying and thanking God for my best friend.