Friday, February 25, 2011

Game Changer!

WOW. Seriously. WOW. I have a new favorite quote.

I am reading a book called "My husband is gay" by Carol Grever, and here is what it says:

"A woman shared with some friends that she felt like less of a woman, since she found out her husband was gay. Her friend's husband said "I think maybe you are looking at this the wrong way. From where I am sitting, you must be a HELL of a woman to keep a gay man straight for 20 years."


I cannot stop smiling. Because I am one HELL of a woman, mate.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unbreak my Heart.....

Valentine's Day. Oh, tra la. I was not at all enthusiastic about the holiday this year. I am desperately trying not to become a bitter old bar fly (avoiding all bars at all times is helping!) but I would be lying if I said I was anything less than sad, yesterday.

I think perhaps knowing he had someone to celebrate with yesterday made it smart a bit more. Someone got a card, and flowers, (do the gays do that?) and maybe even breakfast on a tray, or at least a card and a bud vase next to the bed. Someone got them, from the man who used to give them to me. And that is sad. I don't even want to think about what else they exchanged yesterday....except that I just did.

I know my marriage was doomed. I know that. I don't wish that Mr. Hate had kept his secret to himself, and stayed married to me. But this is, hard. I loved him, once. I really, really did.

"Well," I thought to myself, "at least I have the children. I will have a nice Valentine's night with them, and it will be fun for us to be together." Yeah. Keep dreaming, there, Donna Reed. One never came home, never even texted or called to say where he was. AND he regifted the chocolates I gave him. (TA for that!). Second and Third were there, and squabbled incessantly for the duration of our time together.

And NONE of them even handed me so much as a piece of notebook paper with a hand-written "Happy Valentine's Day!" on it. What the hell? What important message have I failed to teach them, that they could disregard me so summarily? It would be entirely too easy to say they are just following the example they were taught by ....oh, gee, WHOM? That's way too easy. *I* live with these kids, day to day. *I* am their role model now. And how have I drifted so far from the track that my kids are THAT selfish and self-absorbed? I spent almost THREE HOURS helping One make a gift for his girlfriend on Sunday. Surely I had earned a mention as well?

One is straight up grounded. I don't care WHAT day it is, Pet. You were MIA for almost 6 hours, and we have had that particular discussion, more than once, and you just FAIL. Enjoy your week at home. Second and Third know I was hurt, and I did receive a guilt card that Third handed me before bed. It would have worked, too, but she just HAD to add "Here, I made this card for Dad, but we are giving it to you, instead." Are you KIDDING me with this?

But I said "Thank you" just the same, because that is what you do, to model good behavior.

Happy Valentine's Day. Feh.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Don't bother, they're here.....

I answered an ad on Craigslist to make a costume for someone. It turned out to be for a CLOWN. That will teach me not to ask first! NOTHING is scarier than a clown!!! Well, except maybe an empty bank account....I met with the woman, and she was absolutely lovely. A real kindred spirit, just transplanted out East from California, and baffled and disheartened by all the snow. (Get in line, sister....) She needed a dress finished that she had half made in California by a different costumer, and a jacket constructed from scratch. We had an easy, pleasant meeting, and I went on my way.

It turns out the pattern she had chosen for the jacket was by a company I hadn't ever used before, and would never, ever recommend. The directions were next to impossible to follow, and I was so incredibly anxious the whole time, SURE I was going to mess it up and disappoint her terribly.

As it turns out, making this harder pattern was incredibly useful. I learned a bunch of stuff I didn't know before (Banded pocket openings, with contrasting flaps, thank you very much, as well as manual button hole construction, to accommodate big giant clown buttons) and I pulled it all together beautifully. As each part of the jacket came together, I could feel my self-esteem growing. I was really quite proud of the finished product.

And the client was THRILLED. We hadn't exactly settled on a price, mainly just ball-parks, and when I quoted her what I thought was fair, she said "I am not paying you that!" I could not believe what she said next: "I am paying you TWICE that!" And she did. And then she hired me to make her something else.

Stepping out of my usual skill set was really, really good for me. I learned something new, I gained a new friend (I hope) and I am generating a little extra income at a time when I desperately need it. All good things.

There is a bigger message here, and more questions to ask. Why was I so sure it would fail? Will I never believe that someone could be happy with what I have done? Why do I short sell myself all the time? Will I remember this enough to take yet another step out of my comfort zone?

Good questions, every one. I find creativity to be such a motivator. It's as if proving my competence in one area gives me the impetus to go ahead and try something else, or at least get off the couch and clean the house.

Is this what being confident feels like? Feels pretty damn good!