The last time I had a vacation and actually went anywhere was in 1985. I had only been married for a little over a year by then, so we had the bright idea of going to Texas so that I could meet my in-laws. It was a memorable trip.
Here are some of my memories, in no particular order:
- I got my very first speeding ticket, which I did not pay — desperate lawbreaker that I am and all.
- I tried to pass some clown on a two-lane highway but he sped up and I ended up off the road due to an oncoming car. The truckers who saw the whole thing harassed that other driver for miles and miles, while others of them gently herded me the rest of the way to my destination. They were real gentlemen.
- I spent about one hour in Mexico. Matamoros, to be specific. I was rendered acutely uncomfortable by the powerful resentment I felt all around me and that none of the other gringos seemed at all aware of.
- I got pregnant during that trip, which resulted in a (repeatedly misdiagnosed) ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me (because of those repeat misdiagnoses). Further consequences ensued.
- I met my father-in-law and his wife, my brother-in-law and his wife, and my spouse’s nieces and nephew. I never saw any of them again.
- My new and beautiful white pumps tore the skin off my heel when I was trying to keep up with my panic-stricken husband as he attempted to get all the way from one side of O’Hare Airport to the other in seven minutes or so. I then watched him discover that missing one’s connecting flight did not condemn one to spend an eternity in some Twilight Zone in airports far from home — especially when it was the fault of the originating airline.
Next week, I will be on vacation from my job and it’ll be the first time since that memorable trip that I am actually going somewhere other than home. I’m hoping that this vacation will be memorable for different reasons.
Hindsight is always 20-20 but sometimes, when I look back, I just have to shake my head and wonder what was I thinking?
Then again, way back in the ’80s, John Bradshaw used to say that people will meet you at the level of your dysfunction. My marriage was a textbook example, I think.
Before we actually tied the knot, my future mother-in-law once told me, “Relationships are really all about power.”
Thinking about that now, I can see how that should have been a great big ol’ red flag for me. But of course, I was in my 20’s and my perception of the long term operated in a range that is best described as fuzzy-to-non-existent.
After she said that to me, I even gave myself leisure to observe the way she and her son dealt with each other. They were always, always, always playing these games of one-upmanship, seeing which of them could get the upper hand. If I had been a healthy young woman, that alone would have made me run screaming in the other direction but I actually gave it very little thought. I was too busy stoking my paternal abandonment issues to consider little things like the dysfunction of his family of origin.
I guess, if Mr. Bradshaw was to be believed, he was just screwed up enough for me.
Sometimes, I don’t know how I feel.
I’m having one of those times right now. I’ve been wanting to come in here and talk to you but I don’t know what to say because I don’t know how I feel.
Not knowing how I feel makes it hard for me to write. It’s hard to write blog posts and it’s hard to get any work done on the sequel to The Rise of The Phoenix, which I’ve been working on for years. Then again, it took me 5 years just to write Phoenix, so at least I’m consistent.
My motto: I shall write no book before its time.
But I digress.
My love life (sex life?) is bothering me because the stud muffin and I exchanged words last weekend and I’m still mad. Not sure if I’m mad at him (it’s not my fault you didn’t know what you were talking about and I didn’t deserve to get snarled at just because I told you some things you didn’t want to hear) or if I’m mad at me (why didn’t you just snarl back) or maybe both.
Dissatisfaction is probably one of my greatest strengths and one of my greatest weaknesses.
Being dissatisfied keeps me moving forward. It keeps me from settling for less than what I want and it keeps me charging toward my goals.
On the other hand, being dissatisfied makes it hard for me to appreciate what I have and it means that I’m always vaguely unhappy on some level.
What is worse is that sometimes I am dissatisfied, not because of a failure to reach my goals (yet!) but because I get this feeling that I’m supposed to want something, whether I do or not. Sort of like my dilemma about my newly freed weekends. That’s silly but I do it to myself constantly.