I’ve seen it all before and it’s never been true love, so you can put down your feathers.
Not a single butterfly.
No goose bumps, chills or constantly daydreaming about his eyes, or his touch or his kiss.
There isn’t a single thing about Mr. Ellen DeGeneres that makes me get all starry eyed and think thoughts of happily ever after as I ram into the back of a stopped car.
And that makes me really want to storm the offices of Disney and pull down all their pants and spank the crap out of them while screaming, Stop programming us to buy your Ego-driven version of drama-filled love!
I’d rather have the creators of South Park program The Dudes instead of Disney. If there was a battle of hearts and wits between Cartman and Cinderella I am totally going with Cartman. I bet his take on love is closer to what it’s supposed to feel like. (It’s here that I would explain what romantic love is supposed to feel like, if I had a clue.)
Cartman: Look, Princess. Love is never having to share your cheesy poofs. Love is knowing that nobody’s gonna get shifty. True love means never having to say I’m big-boned. Or have an 80-foot satellite dish emerge from my ass.
Cinderella: Oh. My. I thought love was about being a Queen! And sparkly shoes! And having the handsome Prince whisk me off to his castle! And never mopping again!
Cartman: Chicks. This is why I stick with bikes and the Lord of the Rings.
It’s stunning to me that I am STILL rewiring myself from the nonsense that society force-feeds us about love. And this is coming from a girl who didn’t rush off to every Disney flick or sit in my room and play dolls with Ken waiting at the end of a red ribbon laid out like a carpet, dust bunnies as guests and torn tissues the rose petals scattered ahead of Barbie the Bride. I had one Barbie and thought she was creepy. I never dreamed of being married. It wasn’t a goal.
Probably because I didn’t think I was worthy. I didn’t think I was wife material. Wow. It was my own low self-esteem that kept me from desiring a life partner from a young age. Not some Miss Independence gene as I have proclaimed. Mid-post epiphanies rock. Need to take a breath and sob-sit with that for a minute…
Maybe that’s why, when I finally got my self-esteem act together, I jumped at the first shiny guy, taken with the excitement of living an unconventional life, in love. I don’t need to go into details about how I completely misread the situation, used the wrong criteria to choose a husband and then spent fifteen years having my self-esteem shredded back down to low. I’m going to fast-forward to today.
Without all the buzzy, shiny, hyper heart beats a la Mr. Perfect Timing, I’m having a hard time identifying with what it feels like to fall in love with someone. True love. Not manufactured because of ticking clocks, or his ability to rescue me or how I’m viewed being on his arm. I’m questioning what I feel…Is it enough, can it be sustained, will it grow or fade…and then I think, I can’t have it all.
I’m not capable.
I can be a single mom. I can work. I can earn a living and take care of my children. I can make a hot breakfast and get creative with vegetables. I can get myself to the gym. And meditate. And clean the liter box. I can be patient with homework and find the funny in the battles that The Dudes engage in. I can occasionally (Do NOT ask me to define occasionally.) mop my floors. And when I can’t, I never fail to wash my filthy feet before I get into bed.
Well, never might be a stretch.
Last night I did the Elf stuff (a battle between gingerbread men complete with foil bullets and wooden shields) AND the tooth fairy stuff, using different handwriting for each so as not to blow their, or my, cover. I will admit, though, that as I was writing as Dieter, Senior Tooth Fairy from Germany, I thought about how to lift the veil so I could just hand over cash and be done with it. You know, like accidentally sign the note, Mama.
I can (and love to) dress up, socialize, talk into the night, hike all day, create a sweet meal, light the candles, pour the wine. But when it comes to sustaining a committed relationship and knowing when I’m in love…well, let’s just say I’m consciously incompetent.
Which makes me want to bail on the whole prospect.
But I am not a quitter.
Mr. Ellen DeGeneres is right out of Central Casting; he’s everybody’s version of a really, really good guy. The guy us girls toss away because he’s not a super model or a super earner or super confident. Instead, he’s sweetly handsome, quietly successful, and humble. He has brought me flowers, but it was the surge protector he gifted me when my power was running amok that made me swoon. While our first ‘date’ was via text, it’s our nightly PHONE calls that are so romantic. Texting is reserved for spontaneous compliments like, Hey lovely lady…
We have chemistry. But the clear front-runner is our shared sense of humor, which is not a sense of humor shared by all. I still carry a smudge of east coast sarcasm (thank goodness), a pinch of the juvenile, and a soft spot for guys who can be goofy. Mr. Ellen DeGeneres is absolutely goofy. He reduces me to silent laughter with sound effects alone.
He experienced infidelity and betrayal and then a solid ten years of dating and having fun before meeting me. He would never be unfaithful. This I KNOW. He’s played on a lot of fields, so conquering the next pair of breasts is not his driver. He’s an old-fashioned romantic man. A risk taker – he didn’t pause to say YES! when I asked him if he would like to climb Mt. Whitney with me. And when I asked if he could commit to be my friend no matter what happens to our relationship, he did not hesitate then either. Absolutely.
His favorite movie is Groundhog Day. He likes it because Phil Connors (Bill Murray) never gives up hope that Rita Hanson (Andie MacDowell) will fall in love with him. I identify with the elements of self-excavation and unconditional giving that come from a desire to do things differently in order to affect the outcome. In the case of the film, make it not February 2nd anymore. In my case, learn to love myself and not let betrayal destroy my desire to love another.
Clearly, I’m pondering our compatibility. What I realize is that the challenge lies not with who Mr. Ellen DeGeneres is and how he matches up to some list, but with my doubts that I can sustain a relationship. And that I can make a good choice in a mate. I doubt my ability to spot the right kind of love that can go some degree of The Distance.
Self doubt. Fear.
…maybe the real Ellen DeGeneres would be able to tell if we have what it takes to build a life together…
My fantasy, when considering having a committed relationship with a man, is that I would have NO issues with my former spouse – that he would be almost a non-entity. (Go ahead. Laugh. I deserve it.) And that my whole world would be operating like clock work. That way I would have the time and space to invest in a relationship with proper attention.
I’m going to define the above for you:
My fantasy, when considering having a committed relationship with one man, is that I would be perfect and everything around me would be perfect so that I wouldn’t do anything NOT perfect or be involved in anything less than perfect.
Now I see why I feel incapable of sustaining a proper relationship. I’m afraid of being seen at my worst. Or any version less than perfect.
Like the other night when missing my Mom collided with the Christmas tree falling over, leaving me in tears. When the tree fell I promptly picked it up and dragged it outside. Just like I did 25 years ago when my Dad died. I had put the last ball on the tree. Plugged in the lights. Hung each strand of tinsel separately, without missing a branch, just like he would do. My goal was to decorate the PERFECT tree. In honor of my Dad. And then Bear, a twenty-pound Maine Coon cat, did his lap around the house, beginning upstairs and gaining speed as he careened down the hall, through the kitchen and took to the air at about Mach 4. Aiming right for the tree. He did not miss. It hit the floor. Glass balls shattered. I didn’t make a sound. I just picked up the end of the tree and dragged it outside and left it in the driveway.
My Mom and I decided we’d light a Poinsettia plant that year. It was all just too much. I was so sad.
Mr. Ellen DeGeneres held me as I cried Sunday morning. All I could think of was, I am ruining his day. And I don’t want to go through this hard stuff with someone else. I just want to deal with it on my own.
Because I can’t be vulnerable? Because I can’t be seen as being anything other than having it all together?
This is the stuff that got me in trouble before. I am NOT starring in Ground Hog Day. I want to do things differently this time around. I’m tuned in, aware, conscious.
And it’s still so very freaking hard.
If I don’t stay on top of my Ego, distracting it with pretty pictures of far off places, so my Observer Self can have an unobstructed view, I will self-sabotage this encounter. I’ve nearly mastered remaining centered and seeing the magic when I’m alone. Keeping my Ego in check and my body worked out and The Dudes safe and happy and well-fed is doable. Adding this layer of what could be a committed relationship has me breaking out in a cold sweat, which is how I know it’s different from my hot flashes.
I don’t know how it’s going to work out with Mr. Ellen DeGeneres. But realizing that I am still, after three years of supreme effort, still excavating and unraveling and crying and breathing deep and finding my way, erecting boundaries, being vulnerable (ish) has me finally figuring out something my Mom has been urging me to do for the last several months.
Connect with the kittens in the absolute most perfect way. (I’ve got to stop it with this ‘perfect’ nonsense.) I’ve had some misfires in this area, but she kept whispering SPEAK UP. I thought about my days on the radio. Which led to thoughts of a magical Sunday morning call series I used to be part of many moons ago. I cherished starting my week off with an hour of inspiration and breathing and joy. Which leads me to this:
A weekly call series – Yoga for Your Being. Your emotional body. A way to take the blog interactive via fiber optics. Not a retelling of my story, but breathing life into the concepts we collectively unearth here. One hour to recenter, recalibrate, ground, be inspired, held, supported, and encouraged as we all move through betrayal to magic. I need this to continue making progress. Do you? More details to come later this week. Where ever you are and what ever your resources, you will be able to gather with me and make magic.
Thank you, Mom. Thank you, kittens. As tears fall, taking with them my attachment to needing to be perfect in order to be worthy of love, I am relieved to know that we have each other. So grateful.
And if you need a magical and affordable gift please head to Amazon and download His Giant Mistake, Year One – Spinning Magic out of Infidelity and Divorce. Thank you, love you, owe you.