Monday, July 18, 2011

This Ain't Reality TV, Babies. It's Just Reality

I'm so damn boring when I'm content. It's a sin. Well, it's not a sin and maybe that's why it's so boring. I just got through shelling a bunch of peas with Mr. Moon while we watched the episodes of American Pickers, American Restoration, and Pawn Stars where the entire focus of all three shows was a 1957 Chevy that Rick Harris of Pawn Stars wanted to give his old man for his seventieth birthday.
Almost made me cry and it was the second time I've watched it.

See- I am BORING! But I enjoyed it thoroughly and we shelled about half a bowl of peas and that's two people shelling for two hours. That's some labor intensive shit but every bite is worth it.
Actually, I'd started shelling before Mr. Moon got home and had watched about half an hour of The Real Housewives of New York.
It's okay. You can judge me. I'd judge me too but I could have taken a nap instead and yet, I did not, so factor that in too. I gotta tell you something- those Real Housewives are no more real housewives than I am a real pawn or porn star. Real in essence of being actual human beings, perhaps, but I have my doubts about that too.

But my point here is, I enjoyed sitting there on the couch with my sweetie and the dogs, shelling peas and watching TV. God, it's weird getting old.
Mr. Moon and I have spent quite a bit of time together in the past few days. We worked together on Saturday at my mother's old house and also went shopping at the Demon Walmart to get her a new set of sheets and a memory foam mattress topper. That was Mr. Moon's idea. We put that topper on her bed and made it back up for her and when she laid down on it to test it out she said, "I've never felt anything like that in my life."
Then she called me the next day to tell me how wonderful it was and how well she'd slept on it and that now all her friends want one too.
It's so odd to make my mother happy. I have to admit I like it. God knows I sure did try for a long time and then gave it up entirely and now, whatever I do seems to delight her.

Okay. So here's something that sort of tore my heart: When I was going through all the things tucked away in Chuck's baby book, I found the letters I'd written Mother when she was in the hospital having both Chuck and Russell. They used to keep women in the hospital for a week when they had babies. Now of course, you're kicked out after you take a good crap and they're sure you're not hemorrhaging. Sort of. But I'd written these letters to her and she'd put them in there with all the cards she'd gotten and in both letters, I reported that the baby clothes and sheets had been washed (by me, of course) and that although we missed her, we were doing fine.
I remember those times and yes, ostensibly, we were doing fine. I was twelve years old and not only doing the laundry (and no, we did not have a dryer) and the cooking but also being abused by my stepfather and when she was having Russell, the second baby, I was taking care of Chuck too. And of course attending the seventh and eighth grades.
I looked at those letters, at the immature handwriting of a twelve- and thirteen-year old, and I just wanted to go back in time and tell that serious little girl what an amazing job she did. That she was a very, very good girl and to PLEASE TELL SOMEONE ABOUT HER STEPFATHER BECAUSE THAT WAS SO VERY, VERY WRONG AND NOT HER FAULT, WHAT HE WAS DOING.

Well, you can't go back, can you? But you can reach down deep and find that child still inside of you and tell her. And I did. So there. And maybe, just maybe, that makes me feel a little bit better about the grown Mary, too. I don't know. I do know that sexual abuse is such a many-layered evil and just when you think you've gotten to the core, another layer presents itself.

But. There are gifts. Yes, there are, dammit, even though I wish I hadn't received them in quite the way I did. One of them is the gift of knowing that just because someone is imperfect, it doesn't mean that they aren't worthy of love. When I see someone who is, well, shall we say, deeply imperfect, there is part of me which wonders why- which feels sorry for whatever happened to make that person the way they are. And if the heart is good in that person, truly good, I can find some way to love them. I may not want them in my life on a daily basis (no, I've learned that lesson) but I can still find the good in them, still love them, because I've found the good in myself and learned to love it.

And hell, I live with myself on a daily basis which is sometimes easier than other times and knowing that Mr. Moon does too and still loves me is better than all the therapy in the world, although I am almost certain that if I hadn't gotten some therapy and done some healing he would have lost patience a long time ago and either left me or found a way not to be around me very much.

Okay. This is as scattered as the peas that pop out of their shell and fly across the room but I think you know what I'm saying. That although I am certainly not grateful for what happened to me as a child, I am very grateful for having had the opportunity and spirit to find some healing. To have this man to sit on the couch with and shell peas that we grew together in our garden. To finally be at some peace with my mother and I do not beat myself up for all the years I haven't been at peace with her. I swear to you- I do not.
She never had it easy. She may not have taken the situations given to her and made all the right choices but she did what she could.
Same as me. Probably same as you.

And now I'm going to go cook some of those peas and heat up last night's venison meatloaf which may have been the very best meatloaf I ever made in my life. And slice tomatoes from the garden and just be all damn thankful and shit.

That's me tonight.
And I just want to say that if you recognize yourself, your life in any of this, I'm sorry but here I am to say that things can be okay if you just keep on with it. This is real life, not reality TV, but real, true life. I may not drink Litchi martinis like those Real Housewives and I may not wear a size 0 and I may not have had an au pair for each of my children who spoke only French to the them but I have a real life and it's a damn good one.

And my kids have turned out better than fine and I am going to eat fresh tomatoes and peas tonight.

You bet.


  1. Just like me. (Your mom, that is, with the best bad decisions she could make.)

  2. Jeanne- Well then, you know exactly what I am talking about.

  3. See? This is what I love about you. You and your bootstraps that you pulled up. This got me in my chest.

    But. I also love knowing that someone else' husband watches the trifecta of American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and American Restoration. All you need to tell me is that he watches Swamp People and Storage Wars and we'll really be cooking with grease!

  4. P.S. Rick Harris and that two pack per day smoker's laugh he has? Best. Laugh. Ever.

  5. Gradydoctor- Truthfully? Those shows are the ones we can watch together. When I'm not in the room, he'll watch them, yes, but his favorite is the hunting channel. Not kidding you.
    And Rick? Oh honey, I have dreams about that man.

  6. It sounds as if you have done a lot of healing. Love has a way of shining through to do that. Enjoy the peas, the husband and the TV.

  7. Your life is not boring. Your life is authentic. You are not boring. Contentment. Peace.

    I am new to your blog. I found you via Radish King. You always know exactly the wise thing to say. Very thoughtful.

    More peas, couch sitting, good television, good life.

  8. Fresh peas...yum!
    Forgiveness is the hard part. I've found I've been able to forgive so I could move on but not forget. There are people who I don't necessarily want back in my life.

    P.S. If they had a reality show at your house, I wouldn't miss an episode.

  9. I've been catching up on all your wonderful posts that I missed during this crazy busy summer. My soul feels refreshed. Thank you for your words.

  10. Yes, there SHOULD be a reality show at your house. Call Rabbath! A new category---Ultra reality. Shelling peas and musing.

  11. I like A's idea. But then you might slack off on the blog and we wouldn't have the pleasure of reading it twice a day and that would be terrible.

    Are those field peas that you're shelling? I want some right now cooked in butter and herbs and salt.

  12. My husband saw the Pickers guys driving around here in Maryland last week. In our little nowhere town. I wonder what they were up to?

    Your words are as crisp and sweet as those shelled peas.

    We really just do the best we can, right?

  13. I'm glad that you found some gifts in your healing and that you are able to transform some of the dark into light.

    You sound peaceful and content and that is rare. (Not just for you! I mean in general) How can that be boring?

  14. So glad you have been able to heal and have a terrific life with your family. You know I adore you.


  15. Syd- Yep. As always, love is the most powerful force.

    Jaye- I am so glad you're here! Please come back often. And thank-you for commenting.

    Mel's Way- There are people (okay a person) I do not forgive. I'm sorry. I think some things are unforgivable. And I'm cool with that belief.
    A reality show at my house? Oh Lord. One episode and we'd be DONE!
    And so would everyone.

    Jucie- I am so happy to see you again!

    A- I don't even think that Freddy could make my life look exciting.

    Elizabeth- Yes. Field peas. So very, very good. Don't worry. No reality shows here.

    Nancy C- Was there a film crew with them? Thanks for the sweet words. Really.
    And yes, we do the best we can.

    Ms. Fleur- Well, you know me. Up and down. But it's sure nice when it's up. Or uppish, at least.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- You being part of my family. I adore you too.

  16. But sometimes even if the heart is good, but hidden, it's hard to look past everything else in search of the heart.

  17. Angie M- You are SO right and sometimes, it's not worth the effort. I swear.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.