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Dirty Undies All Over The Lawn

At the urging of a few readers (and with Cacky’s kind blessing, of course), I reproduce here a slightly edited version of my response to a draft sent to me last night by Cacky of her ‘Home Grown Tomatoes My Ass’ post.  The Editors are pleased to offer our loyal readers this rare glimpse into the byzantine inner workings of the Tactile Peggy empire.

Dear Cacky,

Oh, my. I have so much to say about this, I hardly know where to begin, so I’ll just jump in:  please bear in mind the enormous love and respect I have for you as I ask, what did you expect?  [G] has certainly demonstrated to my satisfaction that he is a romantically/emotionally retarded douchelord; are your evidentiary standards really so much higher than mine, or are you just that hopelessly in love with – forgive me, [Cacky] – this colossal, puckered asshole?  How many buckets of grit are you going to haul up from this well before you throw up your hands and look for a man who doesn’t conditionally, grudgingly, parsimoniously ladle out his love for you, but rather gives it freely, joyously – who is, indeed, unable to help giving it to you? At this time in your life, after all you’ve survived (and are surviving now), you deserve no less.  I may as well tell you now that I will keep saying this until it actually happens.

Oh, and can we now add megalomania to his ever-lengthening list of personal failings? I’m referring, of course, to the Steve Jobs comparison – I mean, dude, you gotta be fucking kidding me. Does he really take such an ultra-serious view of himself?  When he designs an iPhone, or a Sydney Opera House, or gets appointed to the fucking U.S. Supreme Court, then sure, I guess we can grant him a license to be a grim, towering rock of Greatness against which people who love him may unavailingly dash themselves while he thinks Deep Thoughts and does Great Things – but until then, he really ought to shut the fuck up about the commonalities he imagines he shares with Steve Jobs (and no, his saying “not to compare myself to Steve Jobs” immediately before comparing himself to Steve Jobs does not absolve him of egomaniacal overreach).

And another thing: this is relatively unimportant, but just for the record, I have never actually conceded that [G] is smart – though I guess I should, and do, what with all the fancy book-learnin’ he has. My comparison of him to Rain Man was based more on his staggering emotional ineptitude than anything else.

Buckets O’ Love,

Pap

PS   Oh yeah, the point I originally meant to make is that I love your post, and think it definitely belongs on TP.  Hostility becomes you.

If you were not convinced before that I am the last guy to look to for romantic advice, you should be now; and with that, if you’ll excuse me, I have to run along to deal with a terrible backlog of uncracked Republican skulls.


Home Grown Tomatoes My Ass

Last night I went to a lecture with the Douche Bag (aka semi-retired boyfriend person, also formerly known as Rain Douche, a title bestowed on him by none other than Pap Finn himself, a kind of combo Rain Man and Douche Bag).

Anywho, Douche Bag and I went to listen to this lecture given by a monk at the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF). (An editorial blog about these jokers and also about my recent run-in with a Catholic priest is forthcoming.  Stay tuned.)  At the end of the lecture, Brother Joker Jackass told a story about a woman he’d counseled.  She really wanted to pursue enlightenment via some Kriya Yoga techniques the SRF people tout as a kind of scientific, proven route to enlightenment.  The woman was having difficulty finding the time in her day to work in the practices.  Brother questioned her about her schedule and as it turns out, she spent her time each morning before work tending her garden of home grown tomatoes.  She was reluctant to give up that practice, she really loved those tomatoes, and so Brother’s response was something along the lines of “You have a choice between enlightenment and your home grown tomatoes.  The choice is yours.”

I’m gonna have to call Bullshit here.

I mean seriously, what the fuck?  Really?  In my book, that makes these jokers no better than all of the other religiously insane idiots wandering out there preaching salvation, but only to a precious chosen few.  Give me a fucking break.  Give the poor woman her tomatoes.  She loves her damn garden.  Not to go all Life Coachy on everyone here, but if I were Brother Fuckhead, I might wonder about her resistance to carving out the time.  In reality she could easily carve out the time if she wanted to.  She doesn’t need to be told to give up her damn tomatoes.  Maybe tending those tomatoes is her meditation.  If she wants to do the Kriya yoga, she’ll find a way.  Or maybe Brother Asshole could talk to her about what she really wants to do, what brings her joy, what brings her closer to her version of God.  She probably wants help figuring out her own resistance, she just doesn’t know to call it that.

Okay so the tomatoes led to another one of those conversations with me and Douche Bag about his “priorities” and once again, it was made clear to me that my rank is low on the list.  Yes yes yes yes YES Douche, I know I come after God, art, and probably a bunch of other stuff on your now famous “list.”  After way too much discussion, I decided to take a new route and just see if changing up the language might help, or at least make me feel a little less like pulling out his eyeballs.  So I suggested that instead of pointing out to me how important to him I’m not, he try giving me some verbal feedback about something positive.  In other words, instead of focusing all the damn time on me not being first, share with me what he does value about me and our relationship.  Give me some props damn it.

The next words out of Fuckhead’s mouth?  “Not to compare myself to Steve Jobs, but do you think he was a very present husband and father?”

Oh for real.  I’m not shitting you, this is what he said.  He insisted for the next 10 minutes that he was sure Steve Jobs had neglected his wife and kids in the name of progress, in the name of all he’d brought us, in the name of his “purpose.”  And Douche really wanted me to understand that that was okay, in fact that was the model of what a strong, purpose driven man is like.  And let’s not overlook the really personal affront here.  I just got through asking for some props, asking for something that didn’t include reminding me that I’d never be at the top of his priority list.  Literally the words had just come out of my mouth.  And his response was to launch in …again… about how unimportant relationships are to important men who are doing things.

I don’t need to hear, again, about how unimportant I am.  I pretty much have that one ingrained in me now, thank you very much Douche Bag.  And let me say it one more time: home grown tomatoes my ass.  I frequently find my God doing all kinds of things that have nothing to do with meditation or yoga or church or synagogue.  I have, in fact, frequently found my God while tending a garden.  And I really do wonder if God and enlightenment are so important to the dude, where it all fits when he’s sitting me to down to explain to me that there is no God to be found between us, what since God is first on the list and I’m third on a good day.  I wonder what God would have to say about that, and also about home grown tomatoes.


It’s Decorative Gourd Season

Today’s guest blog is brought to you by Colin Nissan on McSweeney’s.  Okay, so it’s not really a guest blog, it’s just a link to someone else’s blog, which is friggin hilarious.  I laughed so hard I cried; I can’t not share it.  Note to reader: not appropriate for children.  There might be just a little profanity…

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/its-decorative-gourd-season-motherfuckers


What To Do When a Bug Pees On You

It was a lovely September evening.  Pap and I were sitting at a little red table on the sidewalk in front of the coffee shop, enjoying a cup of tea and some conversation.  Oh sure, we’d later dub it the “sidewalk of a thousand smells” because the odors wafting around ranged from freshly welded metal, to especially foul-smelling dog poo, to what might have been someone smoking a big doobie just a few feet away.  And sure, the conversation wasn’t exactly light, what with me needing to vent about my estranged brother being at death’s door in the hospital, and about my break-up with the dude, and about work worries.  That Pap, he’s a good listener and we managed to laugh some anyway.

And then it happened.

I felt a little something wet on my left shoulder.  “Strange,” I thought.  “It’s not raining.”

I looked down, only to spot one of these

sitting on my shoulder.  Peeing on me.

For real.

I kind of hollered and spastically swatted it away.

It left behind a bug-size pool of pee on my arm.  It was yellow and everything.

For real.

I gave the obligatory “Ewwwwwwwwww!” and wiped it off.

Perfect.  Like my break up and my dying estranged addict brother and worries about work weren’t enough activity for one week.  A Stink Bug had to pee on me.

On the walk home, my dear sweet Pap remarked that I seemed to be in good spirits despite everything going on.

Here’s the thing.  I find myself thinking about happiness lately, and whether it’s foolish for me to decide to just be happy – or at the very least peaceful — in the middle of big, hairy, ugly, painful life events like break ups and loved ones falling ill and bugs peeing on you.  Is this denial?  I don’t think it’s denial, because I feel pain over these events (except maybe the bug, that wasn’t painful, mostly it was just kind of disgusting and also very weird).  I just don’t feel suffering over them, at least not most of the time.  Author Haruki Murakami says “Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional.”  And I think it’s true most of the time.

So that’s it.  I’ve decided that I’m not suffering today, in the midst of some of my life’s greatest unknowns.  And that, sports fans, is where it’s at.  For me anyway.  For today.

And if a Stink Bug pees on you when you’re hashing out some of life’s ugliness with your best friend, here’s what you do.  Holler, spaz out, clean yourself off.  And move on.


I want it to be me

In January of 1977 I was seven years old.  And in January of 1977 Walt Disney Productions launched The New Mickey Mouse Club.

I was sitting in our family room, a cold exterior room enclosed by jalousie glass on two sides, a front door, and a wall that opened into our dining room.  My parents called it the solarium.  My brother, sister, and I called it the solary-room.  In that room there was a cold brick floor, a twin bed that was set up like some kind of day bed, but really it was just a twin bed that we’d lay around on while watching television.  And the wooden rocking chair where our mom would rock us and tickle our backs while we watched The Love Boat and Fantasy Island with all the lights turned out.

On this particular night, the producers of The New Mickey Mouse Club were announcing the name of someone from the viewing audience who was going to be selected as one of the new Mouseketeers.  I think the announcement was being made as part of a half-time show for the Super Bowl.

And I was sure they were going to say my name.

I was so sure, that when they called someone else’s name, I broke down into sobbing, heaving, gut-wrenching seven-year-old tears of disappointment, the kind of disappointment that you just can’t understand.  The kind of disappointment that makes you cry so hard you can’t breathe and you start hiccupping and all you really want is for someone to hold you and rock you.  I ran into the kitchen in my polyester pajamas and bathrobe and flat slippers.  And I cried and I cried.  One of my parents came to console me for a moment – was it my mother or my father?  I can’t remember now.  They said that really all the boys and girls watching were going to get to be part of The New Mickey Mouse Club, so really it wasn’t all that bad, I could still be a Mouseketeer.  In my little girl mind I thought to myself “You don’t understand!  It’s not the same.  I wanted them to pick me.  I thought they were going to PICK ME.”

By that point in my life my mother was already sick with cancer.  And just 18 months after that my father would die in his sleep.  Already at seven, I understood some things about life and soon I would also learn some things about death.  But mostly what I understood right then was about wanting to feel special.  Wanting to feel chosen.  I wanted to be picked.  I wanted it to be me.

At the time of this writing, I’m three hours shy of 42 years old.   I’m thinking about a man I love, a man who is uncertain about making a 12 week commitment to do some work on our relationship; a man who is uncertain about his feelings for me; a man who – I suspect — is uncertain about his feelings in general; a man who told me I would never be at the top of his priority list, that God and his work would always come before me.  I’m a Life Coach, and so I’m onto him.

And – don’t worry — I’m onto me too.

I ask myself why I’m hanging on in the middle of the uncertainty.  There are a lot of possible answers.  I care about him, and I know that he cares about me, even if he’s not sure whether he loves me.  I imagine a future with him.  I think and feel that I’m better when I’m with him than when I’m without him.  But really, none of these are the real reason I’m sticking around, pondering whether he will wake up one day and magically want to give me what I need, whether he will suddenly become emotionally available and that a 12 week commitment won’t scare him, whether I will be able to compete with God or work on his ‘list.’  No, those questions are good and interesting and important.  But they’re not it.  They aren’t the things keeping me around.

It’s because I want him to pick me.

It’s because he’s 48 and he’s never been married.  And he’s an artist and an architect.  And he’s kind and gentle and funny.  And he’s handsome and healthy.  And his longest relationship was seven months.

It’s because I want to be the woman that he picks.  The one who finally wakes him up from his sleep.  The one who rocks his world to the point that he can’t imagine life without me.  I want to be the beautiful, smart, charismatic, charming, elegant, quirky, edgy, funny, wonderful woman of his dreams.  I want to be the one that re-writes his history.

I do.  I want him to pick me.

And so the question, tonight: what do you do when you’re seven – or about to turn 42 – and you want to be picked.  And really the odds just aren’t looking so good — from the television view of the 1977 Super Bowl or through the lens of a 42 year old heart that just wants…to be picked.

The Coach, and the Mom, inside of me knows the answer here.  Pick yourself.  Choose yourself and your own integrity, your own heart, above all else.  But the would-be-mouseketeer in me really just wants a hug.  I can coach myself right out of the false beliefs that would keep me hanging on to an impossible situation.  But actually, just for this moment, I’m going to hang out with that seven year-old little girl in her polyester pajamas and flat slippers.   On to the self-coaching tomorrow or maybe the next day.  But for now, I’m hanging with my seven year-old me.


on being snarky

Dear Pap,

I’m in the throws of trying to deny my own snarky impulses.  What is it that makes me want to be so snarky?  And why such a strong need to rise above them?  After all, I think I might feel better if I was just a little snarky.  Maybe only for a moment.  Then I’ll go all enlightened and see the interconnectedness of all of humanity, and I will know that in being snarky towards my semi-ex-douchebag-boyfriend, I will have really been snarky to everyone.  And I’d really rather be enlightened than snarky when it comes down to it.

The problem is that I try to skip over snarky entirely and try to go straight to enlightened, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  And what I’m finding is that this doesn’t really work.  So where’s the happy medium?  Where’s the compromise?

I know the Douche may be reading this someday, either as a reinstated boyfriend, lover, or one day partner.  Or as a permanently retired memory of yet-another-failed-relationship.  In any case, let me just add the caveat that he’s not *always* a douche.  Au contraire.  He is really quite lovely much of the time.  He can be kind and gentle and he’s fun and funny and handsome.

But for today, I’m feeling douche more than I’m feeling any of those things.

So here goes.  I’m going to let my inner snark fly.

Dear Douche, everyone – everyone – thinks it’s really kind of weird, if not appalling, that you have now repeatedly sat me down to explain to me that I’m not now, nor will I ever be, first on your list of priorities.  Yes, yes, I understand that your relationship with God and your work will always come before me. But really.  Why do you feel the need to say this? And why do you think it’s okay to say this out loud, repeatedly? And more importantly – what do you expect me to say in response?  What outcome are you really expecting here?  Really?

And another thing, Douche, thank you for sharing that you think it would be “good for me” to sign up for the month long special at Decatur Hot Yoga because yoga makes you feel connected to the world.  Because you seem so connected.  Not.  Well you know what I think would be good for you?  THERAPY.  Lots and lots of THERAPY.

Ahhhh.  I feel so much better.  Lightened at least, if not enlightened.

Love and peace to the world,

Cacky