Sometimes my need to write can strike at the strangest times. Here it is, 4 o’clock in the morning, and I woke up thinking about this subject. Don’t ask why….I couldn’t tell you. But with my coffee to the left of me, and a sleeping dog to the right, I’ll purge my urge and then get on with my day.
I thought about rings this morning. And all the things that they are intended to represent. Love, hope, promise, and even just a fashion statement. I know that I only wear a thumb ring full time. I’ve had it on for over twenty years and can’t leave the house without it. My other rings; I only wear when I’ve had my nails done and want to show my hands off. And I’m sure it’s the same for many people. But that isn’t what is weighing on my heart this morning.
The ring is a symbol in many cultures. From a sign of commitment, to a sign of ownership. It’s a way for one person to show a sort of “control” over another. Most of the times, I’m sure it’s a sign or symbol that the other person wears willingly, and with full returned commitment. And that’s a beautiful thing. Some rings are handmade; fashioned by a person for themselves or another, given as a gift. Of course the most enduring ring choice is the engagement ring, and the wedding ring. Given as a sign of deep love and promise. It seals the relationship in a circular symbol that says, ” I will always love you, I will belong to only you from now on.
When some loved ones die, sometimes the partner that is left will continue to wear their wedding ring to show their undying love for the departed spouse. Over time; it may make it’s way into a jewelry box and kept to be passed down to a child of the deceased loved one.
But in some cases; and this is what I am writing about, a ring is given to show a hope that you have for a future. You give a ring, in the “hope” that it will remind the wearer that you are there for them. That you love them and hope that when they feel the ring on their finger, they will remember that there is something special between the two of you. Yes, yes, of course it’s a way to show a type of ownership of the person. I fully admit that as well. But when you have a bond with someone there needs to been some kind of symbol of that bond. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. That gentle reminder becomes a burden. And after a while, the power of the ring, and the bond that it represents just fades away. It loses it’s power. It’s no longer “magic”. And that is a sad thing. And just like the ring of a loved one that has passed away, it ends up back in a box. Just like the love, and the hope for the future, and all the dreams that you had…..it’s now just a sad reminder of another failure.
I just celebrated my 59th birthday last Saturday. I am in almost perfect health. Aside from the occasional aches and pains that come with age, I’ve been lucky enough to be untouched by any illness or infirmity that one might expect to have happened to someone of my age. People that have known me for a long time like to chide me about the fact that the only surgeries that I’ve had have been elective. Not totally true, but pretty close. I’m fond of saying that if I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. That’s also only partially true. I still enjoy my wine, and I don’t exercise nearly as much as I should, love my tanning bed, and do ride motorcycles; which everyone knows makes you a candidate for the looney bin. But all in all, I have no complaints. But I am noticing that more and more of the people that I know and care about haven’t been as fortunate as I have. One friend was diagnosed with Stage two breast cancer, and to avoid any future problems because of her family history, decided to opt for a double mastectomy. I just spoke to another friend on the phone who is much younger than I am that has been diagnosed with MS. So, needless to say, my mind has gone down the rabbit hole of “what ifs, and when’s”. The when’s of course being, “When is this shit going to catch up with me?” And “what if something does go wrong, how will I handle it?” At this point in my life, I don’t have any insurance so I suppose I’ll just deed my body over to the science lab. They should have fun with that! Here’s the thing though:
We spend most of our life in a state of denial. We don’t ever think that we will get sick or hurt. We are young and strong and invincible. That disease and illness is for the old people. Then, magically, after we pollute our bodies enough, and take enough chances on the road of life, we find out that we have moved into the “killing zone”. That time in our lives when the people that we love start to die around us. At first, it’s usually grandparents. They die of old age if they are lucky. Then the number of people in our circle gets a little bit smaller. We hear about this friend or relative that we used to know really well; and may have done some of our crazy shit with. They’ve died. Been in an accident, or gotten a disease and passed away. Usually, we write these people off as a fluke. We say that they probably were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they had some kind of a gene in their family that caused the illness. But it still couldn’t happen to us. No way! The next wave takes our parents. That is when the shit really gets real. Now we are the generation “up to bat”. We’re the ones with the kids that are growing up or are grown. You start feeling those little aches and pains. And worse yet, you begin to talk about them. With other people too. Comparing aches and pains and remedies of same. I remember the first time my sister started telling me about something that was bothering her. She sounded so much like our Mother and Grandmother had sounded that I had to call her out on it. “You sound just like Mom!” Listen to older people and that is what most of their conversations revolve around. Their health. What drugs they are on……and no longer the recreational kind I might add. What doctors they are seeing, when their next appointment to see this specialist or the next specialist is. All so tedious to the listener, but it’s their life. At least what is left of it.
But when you hear about someone your own age that has been cut down in what we always consider the “prime of life”, or has been given the bad news from the doctor that they have this or that, you realize that all the days of carefree worry are behind you. That circle is getting smaller still, but we still think it can’t touch us……although I have caught the red dot out of the corner of my eye when I thought the target was on me.
But when you hear of family and friends that are younger than you are, that are dying and getting sick, well that’s when it starts to cross our mind more and more that it’s only a matter of time until it’s your turn. You start taking care of yourself. Maybe take a few more supplements, maybe join a gym, stop eating so much, or drinking so much. And at first, all you talk about is all the good stuff you’re doing for your health. How much safer you are driving. Give up the extreme sports. Maybe get a three-wheeler if you still ride. All kinds of things that you think might keep that target off your back. Then your kids start calling you Gramps or Gram because now they have kids. That circle of life thing is starting to feel like a noose. You really do think that if you step off a curb too hard you might break a hip. The seeds of doubt and fear have been planted. By your kids. By your friends. Even by the lawsuit attorneys on the television. If you’ve got a spouse you start asking if any of those lawsuits apply to you. Did you ever take that drug? Or do we have enough life insurance? Crap. The bucket list of things you want to do gets brought up and discussed more. Will there be time? Is this cold I have the start of some new kind of bubonic plague? When’s the last time you thought about burial or cremation arrangements? Double crap.
All these thoughts have filled my mind lately. And that’s how it starts. In 356 days I will turn 60. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about what kind of HUGE party I’d like to have. Turning 60 is a pretty big deal right? Now I just hope that I will be attending that party. The mind is a funny thing. One minute, you’re twelve years old, jumping out of the top of the barn. The next, you’re planning your sixtieth birthday and wondering how many of your friends will be able to attend. Should you serve alcohol, and weed? Or will their prescribed meds keep them stoned enough?
Hope I’m around to report on the party plans. Ha-ha…..of course I will be. I’m immortal.
This is another of those posts that doesn’t necessarily speak to my current state of mind, but reflects some of the things that have happened in the past. I’m currently in a relationship with someone that I really care about. I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual. But of course, my insecurities sometimes take over and I doubt that anyone could care as deeply for me as I do them. This has been a curse throughout my whole life. Always doubting. Always questioning motives. As hard as I try, the darkness seeps into my thoughts and makes me question everything. Is he perfect? Oh hell no. But I’m trying to overlook some things that scare the hell out of me. And hope I can move past them. But we have so much good between us, that I feel a genuine hope. But this blog isn’t about my current situation. I just wanted to make sure that you didn’t think I was feeling “stupid” at the moment. At least not right now……LOL
When I say that love makes you stupid, I mean that it can blind you to things that ordinarily would stick out like a sore thumb if you saw it happening to a friend. A man that cheats, or doesn’t respect your friend the way that you think they should, would have you fuming at the thought of her giving her time and energies to. You say to yourself that you would NEVER be caught in a relationship like that. That you’d send him packing at the first hint of any kind of abuse. Abuse of any kind. Mental, physical, you name it. And yet; the woman in the situation doesn’t see any of it. Or if she does, chooses to ignore it. Sometimes it’s for the security that the man offers. Sometimes, it is because she doesn’t want to be alone. It’s truly amazing what we will put up with in order to be “in a relationship”.
I can speak with real authority on this matter. I’ve done it all. And in the process, forgotten who I really am. What my goals were. What I expected out of the relationship. I don’t know that it’s a reflection of my particular “age” group, but I do see it happen more to women of my age. As we get older, it seems that men put more demands on the women that they choose. Whereas the women seem to lower their expectations in the men we end up with. What the hell is that all about? And they feel they must, because some stupid, magic number has told them that they aren’t quite as “marketable” as they were when they were younger. What a bunch of bullshit. I blame some of this on our culture, and what it says about how women should age. We are expected to go through the years of menstruation, childbirth, menopause and all that…..and yet still come out of it with a firm body, shiny hair and skin, and have the sex drive of a 20 year old nymphomaniac. Please…… None of this happens to men. They age. Their skin sags, they lose muscle tone, lose hair and teeth. But that’s alright. They are MEN !! Yipee. And let’s not forget the bedroom. If they can still “get it up” after 50, it’s a miracle. And sometimes it’s a miracle enhanced through the joys of pharmaceuticals…thank you very much. But we are supposed to just accept that and love them, and encourage them anyway. And feel like it’s an honor to have them.
I have done some things in my life in order to please a man that I was with that have left me shaking my head. Some that make me want to slap my deceased Mother. Because she raised all of us on how to treat a man. I’ve been married more than a couple of times. And I can promise you, that not a single “ex” can bad-mouth me on the kind of wife I was. They were spoiled so rotten that it was pathetic. And in doing so, I have given up opportunities that were presented to me in my educational and career life that would have left me way better off than I am now I can tell you. They were supported and cared for so that they could pursue their career goals. And it was done in the hope that I was contributing to our future together. I was willing to pick up and move, to let job offers go, to cancel travel plans, and spend endless amounts of money so that I could “please my man”. Funny thing. They all have their retirements now. and I will be working until they throw dirt in my face. Stupid, stupid, stupid. But enough about me…..again.
I can only write this from the perspective of a woman. I could try that self-identifying as a man thing, but I don’t think it will work. But I have had many friends that are men, and I do know and understand that the knife cuts both ways. There are men that have been treated like shit by women that they have worshipped and adored. I know that. I’ve tried to console male friends that have been used and abused by selfish women. There is plenty of blame to go around. I just wish that I’d been lucky enough to run into one of those men that wants to worship and adore me. That would be great !!!
The Golden Rule sometimes doesn’t seem to apply in relationships of the heart. But it should. I know couples that I honestly envy for what they have. They are a team. They work together to make their relationship grow and last through all kinds of ups and downs. I want that. I really do. Maybe someday. but in the meantime, I’m really really going to try to be LESS stupid. I’m going to do what’s best for me. And we all should try to. In the end, it’s just like the old cliche’ says…..You can’t love anyone else, until you love yourself first. Or some such romantic crap !!
I’ve written about this subject before. But as I live and learn, I find that people and the ways that they find to connect, never cease to amaze me. I speak from experience. There are many pluses and minuses to the “virtual” world of dating and meeting people. Sometimes, I think that the old fashioned ways of meeting people might be the best. But then I remember how many people from so many different places I would have never met if it weren’t for the “web”. Hell, I’ve started and ended as many relationships through the on-line world as I have in real life. Some, I still maintain today. Others were better left to the imagination. Seems that people don’t always turn out to be who you think and hope that they are when you finally meet in person. Some turn out to be better. And that’s probably why I continue to have hope.
Gone are the days of meeting the “guy or girl next door”. No more do we make sure that we look our best when going to church or the grocery store, because you might just run into the person of your dreams. Now we project our dreams about the perfect match into some stranger that’s sitting behind a computer screen…..just like we are. We’d all like to think that everyone is honest in their profiles and the pictures of themselves that they put on the dating sites. And for the most part; it doesn’t take long to figure out that the person that they are trying to sell isn’t necessarily the person that they really are. Let’s face it, we are all; for one or several reasons, someone else’s ex. Whether it was our fault, or the other persons…..we’re single and looking. The process of healing from a bad relationship can lead us to trying to learn from the mistakes of the past. But it can also prompt us to embellish the good parts about ourselves and run down the person that we are no longer with. The old saying about it “taking two to tango” is still very much true. Keeping in mind that every relationship will succeed or fail because of the two people involved in it might make us come to the conclusion that there are things about ourselves that we need to change. That can be a scary proposition if we aren’t ready to admit that we may have had a hand in a failed relationship. And unless you’ve been involved in an abusive relationship, that you thought you were helpless to get out of, but then did, there is enough blame to go around. My faults are many. Of that I have no doubt. I look at my failures and I can tell you why each and every one of them ended. I can honestly say that I fully participated in the demise. Not proud of that shit for sure. But I’ve tried to learn from the mistakes. Some lessons have stuck. Some mistakes I continue to make. My insecurities that were ingrained long ago still haunt me. Still make me second guess people’s intentions. If you are told for long enough that you aren’t pretty enough, or good enough, or smart enough…….you are going to believe that shit. So when someone tries to tell you that you are good enough, you’re not going to believe them. After a while, the other person gets tired of telling you. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You tank the relationship because of your own doubts and fears. You also erect walls that make it more difficult for anyone to breach….no matter how sincere they might be. But I digress.
Everyone puts forth their best face when starting an on-line friendship. We put our best pictures up. We say that we enjoy things that we hope will attract others. They aren’t lies per se. But they are what we wish and hope we could really be all about. But there are some people out there that are really good salespeople. They paint a picture of themselves that couldn’t possibly be true…..and isn’t. But some desperate dummy will come along and buy the hype. I see women on some of the biker dating sites that will do just about anything for attention. Put up pictures they definitely hope their mom or dad, let alone their kids would not see. And it doesn’t stop there. They go down the road of sexting and sending videos privately because a man will ask them to. Sad really. And men eat it up. A few kind words, or compliments to women and they have their own storehouse of porn rolling in. I don’t totally fault the women though. Oh no. We can excuse men for being men all day long, but that doesn’t take away the fact that they are, in one sense predators. They feed every woman the same bullshit. Give them the same compliments, hoping that it works the same on all of them. These guys are what I like to call “collectors”. They have many women on the line at one time. Saying things to give each one of them hope for something more than just and on-line relationship. Promising to meet one day. Telling the same lie about how they are different from other guys. That they are for real and they aren’t a player. And there’s still some of us dumbasses out here that believe it.
And here is where the whole online thing REALLY gets convoluted. That guy or woman that you meet online, starts to question you about the other sites that you might be on. The other pictures that you may have sent out to others. The very thing that brought you together in the first place, is now that the thing that drives the other person crazy. It’s as though they think you should have been some kind of “virgin”. And no matter how much you try to explain to them that you’re willing to delete the whole online persona that you’ve had, they don’t believe you. I have a friend going through this right now. What a mess that is.
Because the bottom line is: We all do want to believe. We all want to be special to someone. We all want to be part of a couple. A couple that other people are jealous of. We all want that long term, fun, secure, loyal person to be our partner. And so we throw our hearts out there. And sometimes throw our morals and common sense to the side. Hoping to make a connection that leads to something more than just a “hook up”.
“Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door”. Sounds great, but I’d like to add: “build a better mouse trap……and someone will build a better mouse”. No matter how hard we try to protect our hearts from being broken, there is always going to be someone that goes the extra mile to win your trust, only to leave you broken and bewildered at the end of it. I sound jaded and cynical don’t I? I am. I fully admit it. Can’t count the number of times I’ve been down this road. Keeping the guard up is getting easier though. The problem with that is that it’s a lonely place. Never get hurt, but never have the love that I really want. Because I don’t trust anyone anymore. And that my friends…..is really sad.
I get it. I really do. I have many friends that like Mr. Trump. I’d like to share with you why I don’t. It’s in no way my attempt to sway anyone’s opinion, but a way to let you know that maybe you aren’t thinking everything through for why you support him.
When I say that I “get it”. I really do. I’m just like you in many ways. Tired of the corruption in Washington. Sick of being told that my voice doesn’t matter. Angered about the fact that it only seems like the elites just want my money, and don’t give me any results that make my life better. I’m with ya gang ! Here’s the problem. And I think this is why Donald has such an appeal with so many.
Life is so busy. We don’t have the time to really expend the capital or the energy to fully participate in the process that runs this country. We leave that to the people that we elect to do it for us. And they’ve let us down. They have made promises to get our vote, and then don’t do anything that they’ve promised. We’ve been betrayed. And it’s finally come to a head. This isn’t the first time that this has happened in our country. Or other countries. And we’ve seen the revolutions that have taken place when government stops listening to the people. We are at that point now. And Washington is finally starting to get worried. That’s why they are trying to stop Trump. He was just a joke when he first announced that he was running for the nomination. And when his campaign started really picking up steam, they thought that he would self-destruct if they gave him enough time. That didn’t happen either. But along the way, the people that are true fans of his, have stopped asking for their nominee to give them answers on how he was going to fix the problems in Washington. Instead, they have just attached themselves to his personality. And therein lies the danger.
When Trump started his race for the nomination, he picked the topic of Immigration. And it resounded loudly with all of us. We’re tired of the illegals that come here, take the low paying jobs, getting free benefits and not paying taxes. While all of us are working our brains out just to make ends meet. But that one signature talking point of his, has devolved from what he was going to do about it, to what he’s going to make happen…..maybe.
He got people hooked at a time when they were just looking for someone to be the “strong man” in the room. He took all of the anger and frustration that the people were feeling and made his own promises. And the people believed him. And they relaxed. Because they felt that he would “take care of it”. And that is his appeal. He says he will “handle it”. He doesn’t tell you HOW. Just that he will take care of it. And we’re so busy, we’ve decided to take one more chance and believe in someone. Because he’s not part of the political class. Because he doesn’t have his fingerprints on any of the failed policies that have gotten us in this state of mess.
But, please wake up !! We can’t just have someone that SAYS he will handle it. He doesn’t give you any specifics on what he’s going to do. But one thing he makes VERY clear. And he’s done it time and again throughout his life. If you attack him, or you say that he is wrong…..he deals with you. What makes anyone think that if there is something that he doesn’t personally like, i.e. a radio show or publication that doesn’t show him in a flattering light, they won’t be dealt with? Look at his past. And not even his distant past. Just look at what he’s done lately.
And yet, his fans love him. They are doing the same thing that happened in 1939 with Hitler. They are tired, and angry and they want results. And that is exactly what is going to happen with Donald Trump. At first, it will be great…..and huge…..and we’ll WIN WIN WIN. But then, we will end up being controlled.
I chose not to let my anger get the best of me. I’m mad as hell too. But we have an opportunity to choose someone that will use the Constitution that our country was founded on to make the same changes that Trump is talking about. But our personal rights and liberties won’t be taken away if we happen to piss off the President. Have you heard Trump ONCE mention the Constitution? No you have not. It’s all about what HE is going to do. How HE is going to make deals and fix things. That will not work. Please put the anger down. It will be hard. It’s the glue that holds his whole campaign together. Don’t let the anger blind you to the fact that you are following an egomaniac. Please.
Just to let everyone that has been following this blog….(and I thank you for that) please make a note of the fact that you can now find all my blogs…past and present at: www.cinfulcinnamon.com . thanks again, and come find me there.
I’ve been on somewhat of a tear this week after finding out that there was to be a re-make of “The Wizard of Oz”. Not the kind of remake that Michael Jackson and Diana Ross and others did with “The Wiz”. No, this is to be a total re-make. And it broke my heart. There are some things that are just perfect the way that they are. And this movie is one of those things. Yes, of course they can add special effects, and new, more popular actors and actresses. That is not the part that bothers me. It’s the “essence” of the movie that I feel will be lost. And all the feelings that I had when watching this classic that will be lost.
My Mom told me about the first time that she saw TWOO. She was a young girl and got to see it for the very first time on the big screen at a movie theatre. Before then, she had never seen a colorized film. I can still see the light in her eyes when she described the way she felt when Dorothy opens that door and the Land of Oz was in color. Holding onto the memories of my Mom is very important to me. She’s only been gone a little over a year and a half so I am trying to always think about the good times I shared with her. And that doesn’t even account for all the joy the movie gave myself and my siblings each year around Easter, when it would come on t.v. and we would all sit around being amazed, and singing with the songs. Now its shown on t.v. a million times a month and it’s lost it’s “magic”. But this is only part of the reason that I think a re-make would ruin this movie.
The lessons that were taught in the movie may be duplicated in the new version; and maybe for a new generation it will be the first time that these lessons could be taught. I hope so. Because the things that my generation and the one before got from TWOO are too important not to learn. I’ve read some others’ take on “finding happiness in my own back yard“. And I agree that it’s not meant literally. Yes, you can travel and see the world, meet all kinds of people, and get your heart broke by any number of them. To me; my own backyard is the place within my heart. Making myself happy. Not counting on others to do it for me. No looking at the material things in my life to do the trick. I have had money in my life. I’ve also done without much more. I will agree that the only thing that money can’t buy is poverty !! And it may not buy happiness, but you can sure rent it for a while !! But when it is all said and done, we are all still left with ourselves. And how we choose to live our lives is what matters most and will bring us the most happiness.
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” What did this lesson teach you? Don’t let anyone else pull your strings. Be afraid of anyone that hides their intentions behind a “fake” persona. They are really hiding their own imperfections and insecurities in order make themselves appear “larger than life”, to gain control, or force their will on others. In this scene, Toto represents the “unmasking” of this kind of person. And that sometimes, it’s someone small that is the un-doing of these “fakes”. Yes, in the end The Wizard turned out to be a really cool guy. But he had to be forced to be himself. Allowed to let his true generosity and warm character come through. Lesson? Don’t be afraid to come out from behind the curtain and just be yourself.
The munchkins? Represent the “little things” in life that help or hinder us. Hold us back, or help us on the way. Don’t ignore them in either instance.
Oh, how I hate that they are re-doing this movie. It feels to me like a re-write of my childhood. And there is nothing about that I want to change…..only live again from time to time.
Have a heart, use your brain, and face life with courage. And never forget to be thankful for what you have.