I am my mother’s child

Another blogger, ABM, has been writing about the strain that has affected her relationship with her mother since she decided to adopt from foster care.  She has been a voice of transparency of how adoption is not only a decision for you but ripples out through your entire family.  Sometimes those ripples look like huge waves, threatening to take your relationships underwater.

It made me think about how my mother and her parenting will inform my relationship with Nana.  I am my mother’s child.  In some ways, that is a very scary statement.  I’m afraid that our strain of motherhood has been damaged so much that perhaps the seed shouldn’t be given the chance to take root and grow again.  I mean, our generational history doesn’t give me much hope that I’ll end up with a loving mother/daughter relationship with my child, let alone add in the complexities of adoption.  On the flip side,  when I look at everything holistically and consider who I am now, I think, eh, she did pretty good.  I turned out alright because of and in spite of.


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Sitting Pretty

My husband and I recently traveled to Puerto Rico to meet up with some friends.  Beach and weather was fine and whatnot…it was a nice getaway but not a place that I HAVE to return to.  We can talk about that later…any whoooo….

While taking a stroll to explore San Juan we happened upon a vendor selling homemade ice cream.  The hubster is a bit of an ice cream junkie so he couldn’t resist.  There was a lot of pointing and guesturing since then ice cream man barely spoke more English than my husband spoke Spanish – which is to say, absolutely none at all.  He could count though and had those English numbers down pat.   Unfortunately, they didn’t figure out that the ice cream man didn’t have enough change until he had already scooped some mango ice cream into a little plastic cup and handed it over to me.

So now, what to do?  I’m standing there with the ice cream running down my hand while they attempt to figure this out using their limited language skills.  I didn’t want to eat the man’s ice cream in case they couldn’t figure this transaction.  I’m trying to balance the ice cream and  fumble around in my purse for change while simultaneously look around for strangers to help. 
Finally, the ice cream man gets change from the parking lot guy, my husband gives him a tip for his trouble, grabs the ice cream out of my hand and proceeds to admonish me for letting it melt so much.When I told him that I was trying to help, he gave me a look and told me that it wasn’t my business to fix it and that he was handling it.  My only job was to look pretty and eat my ice cream.

It was such a minor thing but it struck me as a blessing and a good lesson for me.  For the past 30 plus years, I’ve cultivated the fixer mentality.  I an  the planner, the maintainer, the advisor in many relationships with my friends and family.  Before Wood and I were married, if something wasn’t working right, I had to figure it out and make it happen by myself.  But I am blessed to have someone by my side who is ready, willing and more than capable of sharing those concerns.  And in many cases, he feels it is his role to take the lead, allowing me to sit back and look pretty.

I appreciate that.  While I was in my younger dating days, I longed for someone to make me feel like a lady. Someone that made it okay for me not to have to be strong all the time. Someone that felt encouraged, or even esteemed to do for his woman.  I know this is all kind of wrong to some women but l’m grateful for him.

Getting Closure

Yesterday I met up with some friends for Happy Hour at Trulucks. Apparently they have very nice seafood but we were all about the drinks. Plus they also had these carrot and malted chocolate cupcakes. They were delicious. They also have this bread that tastes a bit like raisin bread. It’s yummy!

Of course being women, the conversation eventually focuses on men. One of my friends is having a hard time. An ex (one of the significant ones) recently married. I’ve never had this experience but I am empathetic to how I might feel if I found out Bear had married. Even though we weren’t together at the time, it would still hurt. So my heart ached for my friend who in a sense is wanting closure. She thinks that maybe she missed a cue when he was trying to gauge interest in a rekindling, or she should have called him one more time when they stopped speaking after a stupid text fight. Maybe if she had done something differently, she wouldn’t have to wonder if it could have been her posting Facebook pictures of her ring or making wedding plans.

We’ve all been there. It’s not even that we want HIM in particular, we want him to want us. As she peeled back the layers of the relationship, we realized that she didn’t trust him, didn’t trust who he was and his actions immediately before his marriage showed that the core of who he was had not changed much. Another round would have only been delaying the inevitable.

We wondered aloud if she was having a problem because she didn’t have any closure? What is that any way? Who came up with this idea that we need the other person to explain their shortcoming and failings, that they need to detail what they were thinking as they were breaking our hearts, that they have to apologize for being who they always were.

The reality is that people don’t owe us closure. And as one of my girlfriends pointed out, everyone can’t give you closure. They just aren’t capable. You are asking them about a situation and they end up creating more questions than answers because they don’t know themselves. So then what?

Sometimes you have to create your own closure. Here are couple of things that I’ve heard or tried before that I suggested to her.

The Unsent Letter: Write/type a letter to the person with all you feelings, frustrations, love declarations. Write until you can’t write anymore. Fold it up, save it in a drawer, or save it in a misc folder on your hard drive. The point is that you’ve said all you needed to say. Plus you’ll also be able to reflect on the relationship. The good and the bad. The more clarity on the relationship helps you to reframe the situation so you don’t either idealize the situation and what could have been or hate the person so much that you can’t forgive and move on.

Reclamation: Sometimes we tend to stay away from situations that make us remember the ex but you should go back to your old spots and make new memories. She can make the alone or with someone else.

How have you gotten closure in the past?

He Could Get It

You know what’s sexy?  Coming home from work and seeing the Hubster folding freshly washed clothes.  And then seeing the Hubster bring clothes up to the bedroom and attempt to put the clothes in the right drawers.  And then watching him completely giving up and telling me that if I can’t find something I should look in his closet because it might just be there.

Yeah…he could get it.

 

Because its not just about this moment.  It’s about knowing that I have a true partner in all things, including washing and folding clothes.  And that right there is real sexy.

Reason Why I Love Bear #236

Last night I had a nightmare. In the dream, I was supposed to be going to a conference and I was at home, hurrying around and throwing things into a suitcase. My mother drove me to the airport and as we drove up I realized that I didn’t put any business attire into the suitcase, only casual attire. Apparently, I thought I was going to party. So I asked my mom if we could stop at the store – for some reason I think it was K-mart, a store that I remember from my youth as we did most of our school shopping there, true working class. Anyway, she said she didn’t have any money and couldn’t help me. So I said, fine, I’ll buy some things in the airport.

I made it to the gate where the rest of my classmates were. I didn’t see any faces but it seemed to me like my traveling buddies from business school. Anyway, I left my luggage with them, and somehow started getting asked to do different things, run errands, fix problems, very much like a typical day at work. It was very exhausting and overwhelming and I just felt like I was being pulled in too many directions. When I finally got done, I went back to my luggage. My traveling partners were gone. My cell phone was sitting on top of my luggage and I saw that I had four missed calls. I tried to return the call but the calls wouldn’t go through because the phones had been switched off. I had been left.

I woke up with such a profound feeling of helplessness and loneliness. I was stressed from all the activities in the dream and just sad at having been left. It was about 4:30 AM so I called Bear. He was clearly sleep but woke up enough to listen to me. And when I finished, he said through his grogginess, ” Baby, I would come get you from the airport. You don’t have to be there by yourself.”

It gave me such a feeling of peace because I knew he would. I knew that if I got left at the airport, my baby would come and get me. And I just loved him because he knew the right thing to say, even though I woke him up from a dead sleep.

It’s the small things…

As an added note – I figured the running around and stress was my subconscious letting me know that I needed a mental health day. So I took one. Yay for me!

What a Difference a Year Makes

I am the worst….really. I find that I always return to this small piece of me on the internet but the times are far and few in between. I’m just lazy. Now I have so much to catch you up on….

  • I broke up with BK – that happened in July of 2009
  • I got back with Bear – can you believe it? We took a cross-country trip at the end of July to drive my car to my sister before I left for Nigeria and decided that we wanted to try again. We stopped in Vegas for a small getaway and to see his brother and just had a good time again – him and I on the road.
  • Bear and I are engaged! – He asked me on New Year’s Day at the stroke of midnight. We were in my hometown watching television and I asked him to hurry up and get up glasses of champagne. He started fumbling around in the bedroom – luckily I was too high to pay much attention to him. We are both holding glasses of champagne and counting down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!! Happy New Year! I scream out and turn to him for a kiss. He is down on one knee holding this beautiful garnet and diamond ring. I was so surprised I didn’t even say yes. He starts to get up off the floor and I finally tell him yes. The wedding is in September.
  • Bear is moving to Nigeria! Do you see the pattern here? Forward movement – yes!
  • Bear and I are having a baby! Just kidding! No seriously, not yet. But we are ready to start a family as soon as possible

What a difference a year makes. A year ago at this time, I was so excited about the newness of a relationship with BK. I just knew that my life was moving forward in a positive direction. And it has, but in a completely different way. My relationship with BK, along with some interactions with Alonzo, helped to finish refining my ideas on what I wanted and needed in a husband. The funny thing is, Bear had those things all along.

I appreciate our time apart because it gave me time to travel, to date, to discover more of myself and what I wanted out of life – how to be happy on my own. That completeness that one needs in order to truly settle down. And I’m grateful he had the ability to forgive and the generosity of spirit to let me back into his life.

That’s the update. I guess I can check in a little more often. We shall see…

Be Yourself

BK and I are still struggling. We seem to suffer from misunderstanding each other. I’m starting to see where I aid the misunderstanding. I find myself waffling with me, changing myself to fit him, wanting to be understanding and sometimes overreaching and he doesn’t like it. He gets frustrated. He’s gotten the notion in his head that I say one thing when I really mean something else. It doesn’t help that sometimes I do exactly that. For instance, he is supposed to come visit but his money is funny. So I say, well, maybe we should just postpone. And he says, so you can then complain about us not seeing each other, how hard it is to be apart, how you can’t do the long distance thing. So I had to explain to him that yeah, emotionally, I am feeling one way, but intellectually, I know you need to save your money. It’s possible for me to be split that way but verbalize the thing that will be best for him – it’s a compromise, actually a sacrifice from my perspective. But I find myself being too compromising instead of just being straight with how I feel. And I think he knows that. I told him, well, maybe you want a woman who is more like that, more compromising. He said, be yourself. I better do just that.

Conflict Averted…

I talked to BK this morning. He seemed to be very upbeat while I was sitting on the phone waiting for something like, “I missed you so much Melodi and I’ll never go 24 hours without talking to you again!!” I’m still looking at this situation side-eyed but I’m willing to wait and watch and see. I will tell him at a later time that I’m not cool with non-contact. For now, conflict-averted.

 

48 Hours

That whole bet thing isn’t working. My stomach is as big as ever…and I am not even eating crazy. That’s bs. I tried but can’t sustain it. Booo…

BK and I are going through. He’s works shifts, which is crazy work anyway because it changes every 2-3 days. He’s also studying for a certification, worrying about some personal issues and just generally having a hard time of it. Its a transition time in his life right now. One of those times that you look back and say man, things seemed so hard now but I made it through. I get that. But homeboy told me that he was going to take the next two days that he has scheduled off to do a intense study marathon, so I shouldn’t expect him to call *blank stare, blinking rapidly* See, no. Not feeling that. It’s already very hard for us because of the 8 hour time difference. By the time I get off of work and get home, it’s 1AM his time. When I wake in the morning, he’s usually at work or sleeping. Making time to talk to each other is already a struggle without a self-imposed hiatus.

So when he’s acting like he absolutely won’t have any time, I’m not feeling it. Because I’m of the mindset that people do what they want to do. In 24 hours you can’t call, text, send an email? Nothing? At this moment, it’s going on 48 with no communication. I’m trying to put myself in his shoes – tripping out because of all of the aforementioned stuff going on. And I’m trying to be supportive – not calling but sending periodic text messages and email saying “Go BK, you are so smart, study hard, have a good day, hugs and kisses!”

But this is 48 hours, man. My emotions are starting to heat up and I keep trying to talk them down. Saying wait another day. Give him some space to work some things out. Be supportive and available. But I don’t know how long I can go without feeling like a sucker. If my girlfriends significant told her that he would be offline for two days so don’t expect him to call, I would be giving him the prolonged side eye. And sucking my teeth at her for going along with it.

You don’t want me to get to the point where I can go for 24 hours without thinking of you and not being compelled to reach out to you. You don’t want me to get where I don’t need to talk to you about my day or ask you one of a hundred mundane questions. You don’t want me to not send you quick emails with links to stuff I thought you might find interesting, or send text messages, or comment on your Facebook page. Because if we can go for 2 days, and then 3 days, and then 4 and the only thing that ties me to you is that once a day phone call or text message is no longer happening, then it’s real easy for you to just do a slow fade out. I’m doing my part to not let that happen. We’ll see how the next 48 hours pans out.

I Met Someone

I met someone. *blushing*

Friday night was “Girl’s Night Out.” My last full weekend in Nigeria and the last time to really kick it with my girls. I was having a hard day. I planned to get out of the office by noon, but didn’t make it onto the road until 2PM. I went to get my hair done and it took my almost an hour to get to the salon with traffic. My hairdresser was sick, so I had to walk someone else through the process. I didn’t even get out of the salon until close to 8:30.

Then traffic on the way back. Then I was having a fat day, feeling not so cute. My hair wasn’t done the way that I was used to and the hairdresser had given up on styling it. I was supposed to be in VI by 11:00. Needless to say, after having a full-blown pity party and subsequent pep talk, then having to shower, get dressed and made up, I didn’t make it to the club until after midnight.

But my homegirls were there and looking fly. The had cake and balloons. We had our own little spot in the club and full access to request whatever songs we wanted. The night was in full swing. We moved from spot to spot, kicking it, drinking for free and every place we entered until we finally entered our last spot for the night, Auto Lounge.

I saw him as we walked by. Him and his friends were sitting, drinking a bottle of wine. I didn’t pay that much attention, just noticed they were cute. But he obviously noticed me because he stepped over my friend, held out his camera and asked me to take a picture of him and his boys. I understood this not-so-subtle flirting and responded in kind by asking him to take a picture of me and my girls. And conversation ensued. Which was followed by him and his people meeting us for early morning eats at a Chinese restaurant. And then meeting him for drinks on Saturday night. And then spending all day Sunday with him. And now I’m pricing flights to London to see him. I’m absolutely giddy. We shall see what happens.