The warm parrafin felt so good on my hands that it brought tears to my eyes. I fought hard to keep them from flowing down my face. I was in a public place. It was a gift of luxury that I don’t usually allow into my life. The monthly manicure that is a part of the budget is enough. It has to be enough. But on that day, the manicurist, my regular, favorite manicurist took my hand and led me over the warm purple smelling melted wax, and encouraged me to put my hands in. My hands usually sore from Fibromyalgia pain, the feeling was beyond any word I can think of at the moment.
I literally fought back the tears. If I could change one thing about myself, this would definitely be on the list. From the time I was a child, I could cry so easily. Just about anything could make me cry. Scaling back on the anti depressants has not helped. Tears come too easily now. Why would I cry if something felt so good?
When I was able to afford such luxuries, I never participated. Somehow, I never felt worthy of self-indulgence. My ex husband never encouraged me to do such things, though his own mother certainly took very good care of herself. I never asked. I went with the flow. I am sad to admit that I just let it go.
I was not the wage earner.
I was the one who had to do more because I was NOT the wage earner. Whatever I did, whatever I bought, wherever I went, was simply by virtue of the fact that someone else was earning the money to put in into the bank. He never failed to remind me how hard he worked to allow me to live in a beautiful neighborhood in a beautiful home.
Being a mother was an expectation.
You are at home, you be a mother. It is included in the job description of the wife.
I earn the money, I make the decisions, and because I cannot really relate to the importance of paraffin, I will stare you down if you choose to indulge.
I carry that glare with me today. It is kind of a double whammy though, because I can’t afford to do those things anyway. When I could, I didn’t and now I don’t because I can’t.
The budget is tight; the budget is firm.
As I took my hands out of the warm wax, it cooled and dried almost instantaneously into a warm, fragile being. Like my marriage, it would crumble if moved in the wrong direction.
And crumble it did. Like the wax that was slowly rolled off my hands, my marriage was removed from my life and left to die on its own.
One day, it no longer existed. My role had changed. Like the wax swept off the table to the trash can beneath, my identity shifted as well. Too dramatic to say I was pushed aside like garbage, but maybe I was.
No longer feeling the need for the family life, it ended. Who wouldn’t feel like garbage?
He did not believe in therapy; it suggested he was a victim of the mental illness that plagued his mother.
Strangely, this is what I thought about as the wax was removed. Like my marriage, it felt so good until it was gone and left in some sad pile of bills, china and unwanted bedding.
Suddenly really angry at myself, I wanted another chance. I wanted to go back to that shallow bucket of wax and allow myself a chance to feel good, without feeling guilty for feeling good.
I never worried about joy when I was a child. People should seek joy in their lives, right?
I colored because I wanted to color. I ate because I wanted to eat, and I indulged in fun because I wanted to have fun. It has little to do with money; it has to do with allowing one’s self to engage in the here and the now.
Somewhere along the line, the here became a wish for someday, and the now became too much to handle.
It is the vacation without the watch.
It is the paraffin without the guilt.
Why is it that the sensation of that wax reminded me of that feeling that is missing from my life? Warmth has been missing from my life for so long, that most hugs turn to tears. I am reasonably sure that I confuse the heck out of my kids. I thought it made you happy when I hug you. It does sweetie; Mommy is very happy. Can’t you see that by the way the tears are pouring out of me? My eyeliner running down my face… does that not show you how happy I am???
Please just hang on a little longer I think as I hug them… I cling especially tightly to my son who will be leaving for University in a few months. Thinking pleasant thoughts to attempt a smile, I think back to the wax.
Wishing I could submerge my whole body in the memory of the melted wax, I let go of my son. I don’t want him to worry about me. He has become the man of the house, and I know he worries about what he will be leaving behind when he goes.
I will be fine, I assure him. I can handle whatever is thrown at me; I always do.