I’m here early. And as usual, glaucoma man was here before me. It was just he and I and the laundry lady.
First words out of his mouth: “Oh here you are! I was just telling her about that Bruce Jenner.”
Oh boy I thought … because I already know where he stands on a lot of topics and they are – um – antiquated points of view.
Him: I don’t know why he had to go and do that, he had a perfectly good life!
Me: Well, he felt he is a woman.
Him: He’s going to have a hard time finding high heels – he has size 13 feet! (Hearty laugh ensues)
Me: Well, I have size 10 feet.
Him: He doesn’t even LOOK like a woman!
Me: It happens, he needed to do this to be happy. (I sustained from using ‘she’ considering who I was talking to – pronouns were the least of my conversational concerns.)
Then I used coffee as a reason to excuse myself.
Laundry lady: Doesn’t he drive you crazy?
Me: Nah … he’s lonely.
Laundry lady: He drives ME crazy, he tells the same stories over and over again.
Me: Well, I put myself in his shoes, and know I’d want someone to listen to my same stories if I was lonely.
Laundry lady: Yeah, but he shoves past me when I am trying to open.
Me: Well, that’s not good. You open early to accommodate people.
Laundry lady: Sometimes, if it’s just him outside … I make him wait.
I tried not to laugh. I mean, the laundromat opens at 8 and she will open at 7:30 sometimes. She doesn’t have to do that. So she’s well within her rights to keep that door closed until 8 O’Clock exactly. But I remembered all the customers that have given her grief that I’ve witnessed, and that’s only a tiny fraction of what goes on.
The way she said “I make him wait” in a confessional stage whisper just tickled me though.
The only power she had – she used.
Our chat was paused when a lady came up to the counter counting change and mentioning waiting for a Western Union from her daughter. I’ve counted change more times than I care to remember, and while money is super tight right now, I did still have a few dollar bills in my wallet. I offered them to her.
Turned out she had enough.
I returned to my table.
Then Mr. Same Old Stories surprised me.
Him: Not a lot of men in here today, Fathers Day. Looks like woman’s day.
(That didn’t make much sense to me, but I kept listening.)
Him: I’ve got to call my son later –
Me: Oh! Happy Father’s Day!
Him: Thanks. He doesn’t call me. Haven’t seen him in over six years. His wife controls him. She’s ten years older than him. He found himself a ‘mommy’. His mom died when he was one.
Me: Oh! I’m so sorry.
Him: That’s ok. I was never really a good dad. He doesn’t owe me anything.
And I sat there – and he walked off to fold his clothes.
And as I sat, I thought about the lives people have led. The reasons behind their loneliness. The need to retell the good stories.
The desire for companionship. To have a familiar face show up and to look forward to that brief interaction.
Laundry lady confided in me too. Turns out she lost her father seven years ago. She flew out for the funeral, across country, only to find herself at a party disguised as a memorial – and not once was her father mentioned.
Me: Well, you made the effort.
There was sadness in her eyes. Regret. And I wanted to hug her.
There are so many stories here. SO many threads and colors and sizes. Not just in the washing machines, but sitting beside me and in front of me.
So I’ll continue to listen.
And to muse.
Brace yourselves. I actually fired up the PC and am writing a post from home and not the laundromat. It’s going to be okay … shhh … there there – change is scary, I know.
So! This morning, I was reading a Facebook post a friend put up about relationships. Basically about how you have to work at it – push through those times when all the things you used to think were adorable about your partner becoming annoying as hell.
I get it. That first flush of romance can’t last. Or can it?
I know people still madly in love. People married for years and years who still light up when talking about their other half. Makes me smile.
Also makes me want that ease of being with the right person – I don’t want to have to work hard to love someone. Should it be that hard? Seriously?
Then I get to work and a friend sent me a picture of a crazy cat lady cake. Hilarious. And I want it. It’s a running private joke.
I’ve said time and again that’s my destiny.
Here’s one like it – but not ‘the one’
Funny both of these things came up today – because I was thinking on the way to work about qualities I would need to come in a male package in order to change my cat lady plans.
Deal breakers for me …
- Neediness – bordering on psychotic desperation for affirmation
I’m going to sound like a huge vain prick right now – but … I would need someone smarter than me, but not smug about it. Someone who has experienced the world, or at least bothered to find out about more than his zip code.
It is what it is – I have traveled. I can spell. I have a large vocabulary. If I don’t know something, I admit it and then strive to learn what I don’t know.
I like to read. I love the arts. Music, painting, writing, theater.
If I were ever to entertain the thought of sharing my LIFE with someone, it would have to be someone who challenged me.
Someone who would step up, (not in a creepy domineering way) and decide that I am what they want and not give up until I was convinced it’s what I want too.
I’m not an easily peeled onion. I have baggage.
And knowing this about myself, I made the smart decision to NOT put someone through that.
I am happy. I am self-supporting. I like myself and enjoy my company.
Besides, if I do get lonely, I can order this. 😉
I follow an amazing blog written by a friend I used to go to High School with. You can find it on the right under Blogs I follow – Everyday Asperger’s.
I’m also friends with Sam on Facebook and she had posted a video of her reading a poem today. My favorite part (other than the amazing poem) was at the beginning, she was a little self-conscious on camera and said ‘I hate my mouth’ immediately followed with affirmations to put herself into a positive place, ‘I love my mouth, I love my mouth’.
This lady inspires me. She moves me. She exudes love and light. She is someone I would put on a list of personal heroes should I ever be called to write such a list.
Sam was (and still is) gorgeous, warm, funny, bright, generous and so very sweet. She was the popular girl without the attitude. The cheerleader who really had spirit. (‘She had spirit, how ’bout you?!’ sorry – couldn’t resist LOL!) And man, could she nail her straight arms and lines – I was on the Varsity cheer squad and she was a Song Leader (I believe that’s right? It’s been so long.). Sam was kind to everybody. You could look at her on the outside and never for one second believe that she ever experienced adversity or sorrow, ever struggled nor knew pain. Sam exuded joy.
If we had never reconnected, I would never have had the chance to tell her this. But I am blessed to have had the opportunity.
You know that email that floats around – it’s something along the lines of (and I’m SO paraphrasing here) ‘there’s at least one person that thinks of you that you’ll never know about, one person that loves you, one person … etc.’ I’m so blowing it, but I hope you get the point.
Sam was someone who crossed my mind occasionally, she made that much of an impression on me. And she would never have known that had we not reconnected.
I digress. Without further ado, here’s her poem, re-printed with her permission. This brought tears to my eyes, more so after an especially sweet compliment about my spirit from someone I look up to on my spiritual journey. My friend, Samantha Craft.
“Dear Soul of Mine ~
I love you. I see you. I hear you. I believe you. I believe in your experience and perception. I believe in your efforts and hopes. I know you. And I adore you. There is nothing you can do or say that will change this. I have the potential to love you in all seasons, through storms and through merriment. I will not leave your side, nor your heart. I am you. You are beautiful. And because you are so beautiful, a spring of fresh light and goodness, I shall always love you. There is only pureness in you. I choose this. I choose to see the glorious child you are. I see through that which is not you. I see into your true form, and this makes me weep with joy. How lovely you are, in all your seasons, in all your ways. How perfectly lovely, my adored one.”