I’d like to introduce you to my grasshopper brain. It is evident in this blog post. Be still.
Sometimes when I am really angry, I see things in a different perspective and it ends up that I feel I am very funny. I am sure some people don’t see it that way and tend to defend (Oh, I’m a poet and I don’t know it!) whatever it is that is pissing me off and becomes hilarious………….after a while.
This time I have been very angry for about a week. I am sure it has something to do with my physical health, which of course comes from stress. Oh yes. I am a strong believer that the number one killer in the Western World is stress. So why am I stressed? Could it be that people are telling me how to feel, whom to like, and explain why I dislike people I do not know, and never will, which sounds unforgiving.
It sounds unforgiving because it is. It amazes me that when someone recommends a film in which Jane Fonda is featured I decline and say “No thank you.” All kinds of recriminations come for that….she was so young, she didn’t know what she was doing, ad nauseam. I saw a bumper sticker which said “VIETNAM VETERANS ARE NOT FONDA JANE”. I thought it was hilarious. Now, Clint Eastwood has been added to the list, which is rather a shame as he has just directed a film I’d like to see.
Sometimes I watch the TV show, Jeopardy, and take an instant dislike to a contestant, especially if they are winning. I remember speaking about this to a renowned Psychiatrist whom I adored from Venezuela. I told him I fight with the television and his professional answer to my awful dilemma was, “So what?” I paid all that money for “so what?”
With all this information about my state of emotional health I found myself doing what I have taught women not to do for years……………………explain! I rarely explain myself unless I choose to, but on this occasion I began to, then suddenly caught myself in the act. As you all know one of my favorite American phrases is “Bite Me.” Dare I say that I have no idea what that means. Truly. I don’t. It just sounds good. Of course if it is anything to do with a dog, I’m in.
At times like this I am grateful for my humor. It lives within and is part of my Serenity Prayer. It comes to the forefront when I repeatedly say, “To accept the things I cannot change.” Huh! Really, Superwoman can’t change the unchangeable? Not so. This is what I do.
I find myself involved with situations that cause annoyances. Oh, you thought I was perfect, always smiling, soothing, accepting. I AM NOT THAT WOMAN. Actually, I am in the process of creating new curse words, as mine don’t seem to be working. They are “STUPID”, “VERIZON” AND “COMCAST”.
There is another definition I would like to present in the hope that someone can help me out. I get really livid when someone does something horrendous and are called a beast, an animal and so on. We should be so lucky to be favorably compared to animals. They have swift justice and most of them are monogamous. They know a lot about leadership. So I began to write about these twits (Brit for idiot in case you were getting horrified) and called them bastards. Here is where the challenge arises. When I think of a bastard, I think of me. I am a bastard. I got engaged on my twenty-first birthday and on the same day received a letter from my father who, it turned out, was not my father. Apparently my mother was thirty years old and in the 1930’s that was definitely on the shelf. She owned her own business, a deli in Brixton Market (you know Brixton in South London where David Bowie was born too). According to the information in the letter, she got together with an Irish traveler (gypsy) who came to London during the summer and worked the fairgrounds. Somehow he found my mother and here I am. It explains why I love earrings I suppose.
I was devastated of course, not that my sort of father wasn’t my father, because that was a relief, but that I had been a secret for all those years. Everybody in the family, including cousins younger than I, knew the truth. Briefly, my Aunt Birdie, about whom I have written, was persuaded by her daughter Karen to tell me what she knew, which was precious little. However she did say I looked like him. Can you believe that such a handsome man existed? If I looked like him he must have been gorgeous! This is just a taste of why I hate secrets – the rest will be in the book. So the fact that I am a bastard daughter belies the negativity of the word. What can I call these people who are vile? Send suggestions.
I recorded a program on PBS of the Vienna Orchestra. When I am in this mood I do not know that I will record anything that reminds me of my childhood, but there it is. I noticed there would be a performance of the Vienna Boys’ Choir whom I really love. The first thing they played was a Viennese Waltz, which I knew, so I started to sing along. Both my cats bolted out of the room. I should have known. If they are too attentive I only have to burst into song and they are history. One runs into the summer room and the other one charges into my bedroom, opens a closet door and closes it behind her. Really? Am I that bad? I used to sing in a choir in High School with the City of London Police Choir and had a lovely voice. Oh well. So I settled down to listen. I recorded it because I knew it was a fund raiser and those saccharine presenters drive me round the twist. Are you getting the atmosphere? Feel for my cats – I’ve only just begun.
The next act was an opera singer. I do not like opera, although my “sort of” father taught me a great deal about classical music, which I love. I love some operas – Carman, La Boheme, Aida and others. Just not screeching sopranos even though I had been one. I muted her. Then came the booming baritone and between the two of them I went momentarily deaf. Now there are some glorious classical singers. These were not of that ilk. Whew. They stopped. Then the orchestra began again.
To my amazement some dancers pranced onto the stage and pretended to dance. They were out of sync. My granddaughter has a degree in dance and her first graders could have done better. As if that wasn’t enough, they trotted over the stage with a strange, almost comatose, look on their faces with wide bright, vacant smiles. It was very frightening. I am eternally grateful for the fast forward button. I don’t know if you are like this. I have a propensity to wait things out in the hope they will improve.
I watched films that were doomed to disaster to the bitter end just to see if it would get better. I would read books that I wondered how the hell they ever got published. Now I do not do that, but when I am in this querulous frame of mind I tend to persevere. Don’t ask. I have no answers. Ah! At last. The Vienna Boys’ Choir, all cutely attired in their sailor suits. Suddenly the blasting baritone and the screaming soprano appeared and sang more than the boys did. I was offended.
Severely I might add. Again, thank goodness for the mute button. I almost gave up and just as I was about to delete the whole disaster, the boys appeared again, this time sans aria projectors! They were divine. Almost worth waiting for and then what happened? The friggin’ dancers returned. I was trying to listen to and watch the boys, but these flittering fluttering odd people did whatever they were doing in front of the choir. I can only assume that in the intervening period they had propped up the bar! Yes, even more wobbly! At last it was over and I asked myself, why did I just punish myself like that? I tend to believe it was that anything was better than the black hole of rage I had been in for a few days. It really did work. Blessings.
I had another awareness. I really like the Masterpiece Theatre presentation, Morse. I have been watching old ones lately and wondered why I found them less appealing. It is because Inspector Morse loves opera so that at times when he is speaking with Sergeant Lewis, I can scarcely hear him. Much too much opera in that series, but I hadn’t noticed it the first time I saw them years ago. In a different frame of mind, I imagine. I find life very interesting as to how I deal with my anger now and how I did so in the past. I used to internalize it because I wasn’t allowed to be angry when I was young. When I was married to a narcissist it wouldn’t have been a good idea. John disliked anger. He was a diplomat. I am not. So by the time he got me, he learned a whole new definition of the term…freedom of speech!!!
Now that I am feeling a teeny bit serene, I decided to watch a soppy Hallmark film. How masochistic can I be? In the first fifteen minutes I got the whole plot and still watched the whole thing. Really. Masochist. I ask myself, why do I do this? There is no answer other than it is better to find some humor in it, than to remain furious. I asked Daisy and Della. My two cats have integrity. They look at me steadfastly and lovingly until I realize the treat jar is close to my chair. Oh the pain! I must admit that laughing with myself is a relief.
I remember using a film when I taught graduate studies on loss, death and grief which was called “How Can I Not Be Among You”. It was a film diary of a young married father in New York City who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. From the moment he knew, he started a record of every experience and one of his comments, which has remained with me was, “Life is grim but not necessarily serious.” It is the truth. Even with those who have had dire experiences, losses, abandonment, when we all get together there is laughter. Go to any twelve step meeting, or the Compassionate Friends and laughter is the first thing one hears. Why? Because it is safe.
I work with people in extraordinary pain, mentally, physically and emotionally. What I never do is compare my situation to theirs or anybody else’s. Human beings don’t do things in the same way to combat fear or rage. We all have our methods. When anything happens of a traumatic nature my first reaction is anger. It energizes me. I know when to let go of it or introduce humor. One of the releases I have is that I talk with myself……constantly. It has increased since John died because our conversations are no longer viable, although I do speak with his photos and yell at them too. Suddenly I discover exactly what I am writing in this blog. I am describing human behavior. What a concept!
I am exceptionally healthy and energetic, creative and whatever else I decide to brag about (usually it is David Bowie coming from my town) although George Bernard Shaw said, “If you can do it, it isn’t bragging”. Now I know why. If I am happy, hurting, angry, sad, outrageous, or silly, it is because I allow myself to be so. So many people keep everything locked up. I feel for them. In the early years of my unpleasant childhood, I was never allowed to cry, be angry, or speak my feelings in any way. At times I was ill and now I know it was due to that situation, which is described in my first book. Children need to verbalize, not internalize. That applies to all ages.
That gets me back to the underestimated healing power of laughter. It comes and goes. As I feel whilst writing this, I may change tomorrow. It’s all in the human condition. That’s why we do our best to live one day at a time. It isn’t always easy. Having gone through this today and this evening, I decided to finish this post and have a “cuppa” tea. Then I got a call from a close relative to ask me if I could order something on Costco for her. Of course, no problem. Forty-five minutes later, having tried dealing with their incompetent online ordering, I shouted at the computer and used some colorful words regarding their origin of birth. Now you know mine, so it isn’t that bad. However, as you know I am in the process of completing a dictionary of swear words that are to this point in time, unknown. I am tired of the old ones and because I believe people curse a lot because their lack of vocabulary is in place, it is time for creative language. As it isn’t in place at present, my message to Costco on line is “#@##^& *%%$@@= Verizon” and “Comcast Stupid Off!”
The best thing about swearing is nobody knows I’m doing it unless they are a Brit, as I sound like the Queen!