Monday, November 19, 2012

Hippie, Painter, Poet, Old Coot

Today's post is going to be an anomaly in that it is going to be short.  After a splitting headache that kept me in the bed all DAY yesterday (even AFTER Michael found the migraine medicine. . . right IN the place that I had just looked. . . still haven't forgiven him for that one. . . or thanked him properly, I'm just not sure what to feel) I woke up today to find that I am still quite tender in the brain region and am apparently still recovering.  So I will attempt to make this short and sweet.  We'll see how well that works out.


Last weekend, Michael and I were fortunate enough to get a day to ourselves to enjoy great music by a couple of great artists.  This was a carefully conceived plan, and was accomplished in several ways:  First and foremost, my mom kept the kids.  =)

Now I cannot WAIT until I get to share live music with Grey Bear.  I.  CAN'T.  WAIT.  But sadly, I do not play an instrument.  (Wellll. . . I can still manage a few things on the flute and the piano. . . . but we don't HAVE a piano, and the flute just isn't the type of instrument that people crowd around for a sing-a-long.)  We've already gotten to share a couple of little instances of live music here and there with the Padawan, and that makes me happy.  But when it comes to an actual "concert: setting. . . kids stay home.  There is no wiggle room, and no space to be made for allowances on this.

Secondly, this weekend was accomplished through Michael's vigilance online.  I am referring to his virtual stalking of Birmingham Mountain Radio's facebook page.  Which, in the end, paid off handsomely, in that we won a chance to sit in on a private session/taping with JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE at Boutwell Studios on Saturday.  It.  Was.  Awesome!!!


I was sitting right at his huge freaking feet.

And me, Dani Turberville, who has never been a groupie, who has never even wanted to MEET a star. . . got completely and UTTERLY starstruck by his mere towering and soft-spoken presence.  As is evidenced by the photograph below, I am quite literally in serious danger of jumping out of my own skin:

Seriously, ya'll, it was a good 35 - 40 minutes before I could even think straight.  I was SITTING AT HIS FREAKING FEET!!!  And I. . . the whole time he was playing. . . I . . . I couldn't even look at his eyes. . . (sheepish).  You see I was very deathly afraid that there was a real possibility that he might glance up and look at MY eyes and. . . well I just don't think that I posses the tools to handle that.

. . . I might have some deeper issues than even my shrink is aware of. . .

So anyhoo, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Michael for stalking Birmingham Mountain Radio's page.  I will never make fun of you for this highly annoying behavior again.  (This week, anyway.)  Because it really paid off.  And when I say "Paid off," what I clearly mean is "Paid off for me."  (THIS time. . .)

And lastly, this weekend was made possible with a little help from my personal friend, Excedrin Migraine.  Which I unknowingly assumed was like aspirin, in that you can take it every 6 hours or so. . . and so I did.  Which worked out GREAT, and got me through the concert portion of our evening just swimmingly, until yesterday, when Michael read the warning label and found that you are only supposed to TAKE TWO WITHIN A 24 HOUR PERIOD OR ELSE YOUR LIVER WILL EXIT YOUR BODY THROUGH YOUR EAR CANAL AND SHRIVEL UP AND DIE ON YOUR BATHROOM FLOOR.

So at the point that I received this information, I had taken about 8. . . so I am expecting some just ghastly liver pains roughly any time now.  Just consider me your walking, talking cautionary tale.

In closing, I would like to say a couple of things about the concert portion of our Saturday night. 

The event was at Workplay, which is a great venue that I've been to many times.  The acoustics are nice, and we were standing down on the floor, as all the tables were reserved, and leaning up against the stage.  Couldn't have had a better spot.  =)  Tift Merritt opened for Justin Townes Earle, and all I can say is that she is like a 70's era country songstress with the voice of an angel and the face of Gillian Anderson.  She was GREAT!! 

One thing you must understand about this concert:  This was an Americana-type music concert.  This was NOT a Flogging Molly, mosh-type situation concert.  There was NONE of that going on.  Sooooo. . . when the young drunken gentleman to the right of us kept staggering/dancing repeatedly into our vision/line of recording, it eventually got incredibly irritating.  Any concert-goer knows that Concert Law CLEARLY states that you MUST designate a 5 foot area around yourself as "personal space" and then STICK to said area throughout the life of the concert.  That way other people know where they can and cannot dance, puke, make out, etc.  (It's really just common courtesy.)  So when the guy to the right of us staggers/dances 3 feet to his left, then weaves immediately 8 feet to his right and almost knocks you over out of nowhere. . . it becomes disconcerting.  This behavior continued throughout the entire concert.  If he just wanted to bob and weave erratically, there was an entire WORLD of asphalt outside that probably would have been IDEAL.  (Really.  You'd think they'd hand out the rules BEFORE these events.  Kids these days.  SHEESH.)

(Unless. . . .  Was he having a seizure??  Should we have called for help???  Maybe he wasn't groping me, maybe he was trying to get me to dial 911!!!!!  Oh shit-bags!!!!  He really WAS spastic!!!!  I am SORRY SIR!!!  I am sorry for my thoughtless slight against your VERY REAL medical issues!!!)

And finally, to the incredibly long-longhaired, lovely little twit that stood next to me. . . the one that had her. . . what's that area of the face. . . that area below the bottom lip and the chin. . . had THAT pierced. . . and talked the ENTIRE FUCKING TIME.  EVEN during the slow, REALLY quiet, REALLY soulful songs.  The ones that Michael TRIED to record, but we got them home, and ALL we can hear is your STUPID voice YAMMERING on.  YOU, who were either so STUPID or so WASTED that you commented back  to EVERYTHING that the guy on stage, the guy that WE ALL PAID TO SEE had to say, so much so that he even had to be a smart-ass and comment back to you just to shut you up. . .yes, YOU. . . just a word, if you will.

We're all VERY impressed that were able to get out of the house tonight.  We're all also suitably impressed by the drink in your hand and the . . . I don't know what it is. . .ball? in your chin.  But we paid to hear this gentleman sing.  NOT to hear you talk.  Now quit slinging your greasy hair in my face and please close your mouth so that we can do just that.  If you are incapable of doing either of these things, then please do all of the grown ups a favor and go home and read your Tiger Beat so that we can enjoy this concert, okay?  And you're actually really quite lucky that you caught me on a GOOD day honey, because otherwise you'd be picking yourself up off the floor and asking your clueless little boyfriend what the hell just happened.

And that concludes our evening.  =)

And it was at just about that point that I realized it:

I may be a girl, and I may be only 36 years old, and I may be a mom, and a flower-child, and a coffee-addict, and about a million other things (including, but not limited to, scrappy as all hell), but I now officially have a brand new handle to add to my personal definition of myself:

I'm an old coot!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Few Pounds, Here Or There

Last night as we were crawling into bed, my husband shared something just awful with me:  after his workout at the gym yesterday, he weighed himself and was quite dismayed to find that he had put on a couple of pounds.  (Literally, ONLY a couple.  Also, I feel it necessary to add that the only place he CAN weigh himself is at the gym, because I refuse to keep a scale in my home.  Dastardly pieces of equipment.  Evil.  I would never get anything done if we had one.  Anyway.)

So we talked about it for a few minutes,  and I assured him that I honestly just didn't see it.  (He works out all the time.  He's done this for as long as I've known him.)  And then he used the term "fat-ass" to describe himself.  (This is a big deal.  He does not do this.  Unlike me, who has a mini panic episode 2 - 3 times a month, deciding that I have gotten "huge" and/or "doughy" and become honestly disgusted by my appearance.  It is a sickness.  And it is NOT something that I am proud of, so why don't you just quit judging me?)And he said it jokingly (which is kind of how he says everything), but I also think that in a way this might be sort of how he feels about himself right now.  And to think that that might be TRUE. . . well that just makes significant parts inside of me want to scream and break chairs.

And possibly rip drapes.

And tear my shirt right down the middle!!!  (DEFINITELY that.)

So as we were talking about this, I was mentally going through my day, and how *I* see him, and so I'm going to share it now, in the hopes that it will prove helpful.

6:40:  I hear the Little Tookie crying on the baby monitor.  Uuuugggg. . .  Crap.  God, I would LOVE to sleep in.  (Just this once.)  I really don't want to get up. . .  Oh well.  And I swing my legs over the side of the bed when, without a word to my husband, he gets out of bed, turns off the monitor, and tells me to roll over and sleep in.

. . . .   o.0  . . . .


That is ENORMOUS!!!  IT IS GIGANTIC!!  IT IS REALLY A BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL!!!  And it meant SO SO MUCH TO ME!!  I don't work, and that is a luxury that I am INCREDIBLY grateful for because of all the time it means that I get to spend with both Michael AND Tookie.  But every Mom in the world knows that you NEVER get to sleep late.  Ever.  So THIS was a gift more precious than gold.  (And I didn't even have to ASK for it!)

9:00:  You WAKE ME UP to tell me that YOU HAVE WON TICKETS for a PRIVATE CONCERT with JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE on Saturday Night!!!!!!  (And might I add: !!!!!!)  Granted, this is not the usual way of our day to day lives.  THIS was a delightful surprise!  BUT you are constantly vigilant when it comes to music!  You are always keeping yourself up to date about what is going on with artists and concerts and bands, whereas I, on the other hand, even though I LOVE music, remain woefully out of the loop most of the time.  But you always know when tickets go on sale, and when artists are coming to town, and just generally when things are happening.

Do you get what I'm saying here?

You make my life more FUN.


10:00 - 1:00:  You go to the gym.  Where you work out, and then weigh yourself on that hateful device.  . . .those things really should be banned.  We should just remove them from all homes, and gyms, and Bed Bath and Beyonds.  People would know they were gaining weight when their pants started getting too tight.  That's not too hard, right?  I think we could all just trust the general populace to rely on their common sense, right??  Right???

Oh.  Yeah.  Now I remember. . .  *cough* 

Moooooving on. . .

1:00 - 4:00:  You got back from the gym, and you. . . just hung out with us. . .

. . . . .

It was your day off, and you could've done anything you wanted to do, and you just hung out with me and Little Tookie, and just played with us.  For HOURS.  And I've just gotta say it again:  do you even know how HUGE that is to me??  Because it really is VERY big.

4:00 - 5:00:  You started making dinner, marinating the chicken, putting the potatoes in the oven to bake, etc.  
And I know that you would probably try to dismiss this as nothing big, because in your mind it was a simple dinner.  But to me it was delicious:  grilled chicken, perfectly marinated, baked potato with butter and sour cream, a roll, and a salad with shredded cheese and croutons and italian dressing.  Perfect.  And ADD to that the fact that you have cooked dinner for me practically EVERY SINGLE NIGHT SINCE I MET YOU!!!  You are a WONDERFUL cook, and I SO appreciate the meals you make.  =)

6:00:  Eating dinner.  I'm tearing into my chicken like it's going out of style and wondering how much salt on my baked potato is TOO much, and every time I look up you're patiently handing Little Tookie another bit of something off of your plate to nibble on.  I sit back for a moment and just marvel at you.  I'm still figuring out this whole "motherhood" thing, and my biggest worry is that I won't figure it out soon enough to be a decent one for my little fat-cheeked waddle-monster. . . but YOUYou never seem to waver in your patience.  You never seem to lose your temper, never lose a handle on your control, and never have anything but time, and love, for the Tookie.  I don't tell you enough, but you absolutely amaze me.  And I admire you.  And I try very earnestly to model myself after you as a parent.

7:00 - 8:00:  Chilling out, getting the baby ready for bed.  I'm cleaning up after dinner, you're on the computer.  I've just changed the baby's diaper, and I'm about to get a "bedtime bottle" ready and get him soothed and snugged down for bed.  I've just tried to read several books to him, and I actually made it through a few of them, but after the third one I lost my patience with him continually closing the book, or turning the pages back, or trying to eat the pages, etc.  So when he walks up to you while you're responding to an email at the computer, I can't help but bite back a smile.  First off. . . let me just say that watching you turn away from what you were doing to instantly read a book to the baby melted my heart.  Just like that.  I was a puddle of goo.  (It was really gross.)

But then you sat there, and read. . . and read. . . and READ. . . and he was irritating, and you were just. . . PATIENT.

And you did the voices, and you made up some of your own words, and he tried to turn the pages. . . and still you sat there and read every page.

Before I took him upstairs to sleep, you ran up to make sure it was warm enough in his room.

And when we curled up in our bed, Ash fell asleep at your feet, and you made me giggle before we both fell asleep under my Mawmaw's quilt.

And maybe I'm just easy to make happy, but it seems to me like it really WAS a very perfect day.

And I love the way your voice sounds.

And I love the hairs on the back of your neck.

And I love the way the skin on your eyelids is just a shade darker than the rest of your skin.

And I love the way you laugh when you're really, really tickled.

And I love the way you sing or talk even if you're alone in a room.

And I love that in a world full of grown up boys, you're an actual MAN.

So I hope maybe you can fully appreciate that a few pounds is not EVER going to change that.  Hell, FIFTY pounds is not going to change that!  Not EVER.  You make me happy.  You inspire me.  You make me smile.  You make me want to be a better person.

And you are absolutely the most beautiful person I have ever seen.

And you will always be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Tribute to Muscles

I recently read somewhere that the ancient Egyptians would shave their eyebrows off as a sign of mourning when their family cat died.  . . .Think me vain if you must, but I am not going to do that.  But I do have this blog, and so I figured that the very least I could do was write a post about our dear, departed friend Muscles.

To anyone reading this that is NOT a facebook friend of mine, and consequently has no idea what I am referring to, I will sum up:  We lost our beloved and adored cat, Muscles, last weekend, very suddenly.  His death was so mysterious and out of the blue that (even though I feel quite sure that this is a mortal sin) I can't help but be reminded of the end of the movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, where Linda says(paraphrasing): "There are so many questions surrounding his death.  I prefer to remember the way he lived."

Muscles came to us 3 years ago.  I had been needling Michael for a new kitty for quite some time, formulating (what I thought were) concise and well thought out arguments:  Ash Ferley (our current old-timer kitty) needed a playmate.  A new kitty would help keep him young.  It would be good for Devin to have a new kitty around.  There were too many homeless kittens in the world.  WE HAD SO MUCH LOVE TO GIVE!!!!  . . .But Michael stayed strong (*cough *heartless* cough*), and always replied with the same thing:  "When it is time for us to have a cat, a cat will find us."

To which I ALWAYS responded with: "Oh, you just expect a Kitten of Destiny to fall into our laps??!"

. . .have I ever mentioned how BADLY I hate it when he's right??

Because that is precisely what happened.  At this exact same time, a kitten just showed up one day at my mom's house.  Now my mother loves cats, and normally she would just keep the kitten herself, but she already had two cats and had already decided that that was her personal limit.  (Much like tattoos or piercings, no one can tell you how many cats are right for you.  I once knew a woman with 19.  Cats, not piercings.  But in all fairness, she could be a blog post all by herself.)  So mom tried to get the little kitten to go away.

But he did not want to go away.  He liked it there.

She tried to get the neighbors to take him.  She took him over there.  They were cool with it.  He was adorable.  And his belly was as soft as a bunny's.

. . . And he was always on her back porch again the next morning.

So mom decided that maybe they could use him as a barn cat on their farm.  . . . Until the day he hitched a ride to the farm underneath the truck and almost got flattened several times by the horses.  (Apparently horses are completely immune to extreme cuteness.  In my book, this would make horses untrustworthy.  And extremely suspect.  Just saying.)

The little cat was adorable, and sweet, and they could not take it, and it just would not go away.

And then one day we came over for lunch.

(It was someone's birthday. . . I forget whose. . .)

And we came home with a cat.  =)

At the very beginning, Ash Ferley didn't like sharing his space, and his FOOD BOWL, with the NEW CAT. . .

But before long they were sharing everything, and acting not just like friends, but like brothers.

He had an "M" on his forehead, so I wanted to name him Macavity (The Mystery Cat), after the poem by T.S. Eliot.  But in some sort of unspoken way, Michael and I had set up a "unanimous decision rule" at the beginning of our relationship.  And unfortunately for me, he used his veto power on Macavity.  But happily for me, the next name he suggested was Muscles.  It sounded like a huge, buff creature.  It sounded ill-suited for a cat.  It sounded like a Mob nickname.  . . . . It was PERFECT!!!!

So Muscles it was, and he fit into our family from day one.  He belonged there.  He never made messes.  He never got into trouble (QUITE unlike Ash Ferley).  He wasn't bitchy, like some cats can be.  He was always a good sport.  (Even though sometimes it looks like it is DESTROYING him.)

And he DID bring out the youthfulness in Ash.  They loved each other like brothers, and they fought each other like brothers.

But the best thing about Muscles was. . . well. . . everything.  He was so sweet.  He would even sit there and let the baby pet him (read: get smacked in the head repeatedly by pudgy, sticky fingers).  He loved to snuggle and cuddle.  And he was ALWAYS

cracking us

up.  (True story.  =)

Seriously.  This was the freaking funniest cat I've ever known.  (And I've known a lot.)

So we mourn him.

Not because he was our cat.  Because he was our family.  And because he was our friend.  We comfort ourselves with the little things.  Like remembering how he used to knock the shampoo bottles off the side of the tub every single time I took a bath. . .

Or how he used to love to get into the baby's pack n play. . .

But I guess the most comforting thing we could possibly tell ourselves is that we gave him a good life.  And we did.  I know it's true.

This sweet, goofy little cat.  Who knows how long I'll be crying over him?  He came into our life like a comet, brightening all the spots he came near, and fading away FAR, FAR too quickly.

People have asked me if he was a rescue cat.

Yes.  Yes, he was a rescue pet in every sense of the word.  Our gift to him was that we rescued him, and we loved him and gave him a home.

His gift to us was he made our hearts just a little bit bigger.

And, as people, he made us just a little bit better.

And he absolutely


rescued us right back.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up

So as you might've noticed--- I've never done a weekly wrap-up before.  But, as there are certain household chores that my husband has asked me to do, and that I am valiantly avoiding at the moment, I've decided that a weekly wrap-up is JUST what the doctor ordered today. 

Oh yeah, look at me---I don't fear change.  Walking into unknown territory?  Bring it on.  I'm fearless like that.  Look at me and tremble!!!  Bravery levels --- Off.  The.  Chart.

(Except when it comes to cleaning out the hall closet.  THEN I'm a quivering mass of "I-don't-want-to-do-this-Please-no-make-it-stop".  But I'd prefer not to think about that just yet.  Or ever.  Take your pick.  So.  Pressing onward.)

Weekly Wrap Up:

Item 1:  We had a visit from older Spawn last weekend, and that was GREAT!!  Haven't seen him in months, and it just felt so good to have him here again!  It felt completely surreal and WEIRD that he actually DROVE HIMSELF here, but I guess it's something we're just going to have to get used to.  =)

Item 2:  Michael's parents visited last weekend, too, and I'm sure it was great.  We haven't seen them in months, either, which is why I am greatly saddened to report that *I* didn't actually get to SEE them.  As per the normal with me for the last several months, I had a splitting headache on the day they came.  Even so, I HAD decided that I was just going to push through it, and ignore the pain, until their visit was over, at which time I planned on crashing into the bed in a very dark room.  (Again--"Bravery.")  Unfortunately, I didn't even get to do THAT, because about 8 minutes before they showed up I was hunched over the toilet, heaving up the saltine cracker I had just eaten in hopes of pacifying my cruel and aching head.

So I spent their entire visit in bed, with a trashcan sitting next to me, and one hand draped carefully over my eyes.


And of course, in complete compliance with the laws of the universe, by the time their visit was over my nausea had passed and my head felt almost workable again.

So at some point today I really HAVE to call them and apologize. . .

Item 3:  Regarding the headaches, there's not much to report.  Michael and I are both currently outdone with, and completely "over" doctors in general. . .  We went to my Primary Care doctor with this problem.  She ordered an MRI.  Got the MRI done.  It showed a really rare issue.  She sent me to an ENT.  The ENT said he didn't feel confident that THAT was what was causing the headaches.  But just to be safe, he wanted another ENT to look at it.  Soooo. . . I went to ANOTHER ENT.  HE didn't feel like that was what was causing my headaches.  Had the GALL to ask me if I had tried Excedrin? 

Yes, jackass.  I believe I've tried EVERY over the counter medication I could find.  (Except for Anacin. . .  I have been unable to locate ANY Anacin.  REALLY hoping it's not the miracle cure.) So far NOTHING has worked.  THAT'S WHY I'M HERE!!@!!!  Then HE ordered a CT scan.  Sooo. . . if you're keeping score at home, that's ALREADY over $300.00 in co-pays, as I got pinged back and forth from one doctor to another like the little puck in Pong, and still NO ONE has been able to tell me why I've HAD A FUCKING HEADACHE FOR THREE MONTHS STRAIGHT!!!

(Sorry for the language.  We are frustrated.)

Anyhoo. . . at this point, I said Game Over.  I'm done.  I'm not going to any more specialists as they order endless tests and continue to rack up an enormous bill.  Screw 'em.  I'll go back to my primary care doc and try to figure this out with her.  (She's the only one that seems like she actually CARES anyway.  If I'm going to pay out the ass, I'd rather pay her.)

Item 4:  Several years ago, during a weekend when Padawan was PARTICULARLY excitable and bouncing off the walls, I asked Michael how long he thought it would be before one of Padawan's teachers suggested we put him on Ritalin?  Yesterday we found out the answer to that question:  Kindergarten.

(Also, I learned how to spell "kindergarten" this week.  Could've sworn there was a "d" in there.  Hmph.  Live and learn.)

Yes, we had our first Parent-Teacher Conference yesterday.  It was me, Michael, and Padawan's Mom, and it was probably the most I have ever felt like a "parent" in my life.  . . .I just hate that it was necessary.  The bright side is that all three of Padawan's parents were on the same page, and in complete agreement with one another.  The dark side is that the kid has only had a few months of kindergarten, and his teacher said he is "completely disinterested in learning."  (This was not a great surprise.  Also---he is FIVE.  I did pretty well in school---right up until the pre-cal and trig thing, then I was screwed---but I do NOT recall having a great passion for learning at 5 years old.)  However, the amount of effort he has NOT put into any of his work---in kindergarten, read: "extensive coloring"---was truly dismaying.  (His dad and I both almost started crying.)  And, when I asked his teacher "What can WE do?", her answer was "I would take him to his pediatrician."  Read:  "Medicate this child.  NOW.  He's driving me bat-shit."

And our hearts collectively sank.

But none of us has any intention of medicating away his personality just so that he will be more "pliable".  So he's got THAT going for him, and that's good.  We are currently looking into behavioral techniques that WE can employ at HOME that will help him.  I think all three of us have the attitude of "God help me, whatever I have to do I WILL DO IT.  I will NOT let this child start thinking he is dumb just because he doesn't pay attention."

So things may be a little rough on the Padawan for a while.  (Things can often get that way when one's parents present a united front. =)

Item 5:  Election, election, blah blah blah, half the country's insanely happy, the other half is threatening to move to Australia, and I have been busy dealing with the flood of emotions that comes from deleting several people from facebook, because of hateful posts.  So let's all just get back to our lives, and begin sharing pictures of kittens again.  =)

Item 6:  For final News of the Week, Little Tookie has decided that our policy of "No Babies On The Computer" is COMPLETELY unfair, and he simply will NOT abide by it.

The bad news?  He bit a chunk out of the little wheel on the mouse.  But the good news is that his mouse control is truly admirable, so I guess it all evens out.  =)

And crap.  I guess that wraps it up.

Which means that it's time to get Tookie down for a nap. . . and then tackle that dreaded hall closet.

I HATE that hall closet.

You really wouldn't believe how awful it is.

It is despicable. . .

It is WOEFUL. . .

It is AMAZING that Michael is actually able to sleep at night with that closet only a few yards away. . .

It is. . .

Well, HERE it is:

 (Even the baby's shocked.)

I'm not entirely sure how much longer I can successfully put this off, so. . .

On the off-chance that there's a doorway to Narnia in there, or if I am simply never seen or heard from again. . .

Please tell my family members that I love them.

And please tell Michael that I blamed him.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Hippo Finds Enlightenment

I have been stumbling toward a new revelation recently, and I feel that, once fully formed, it could affect my life in numerous and powerful ways.  So, on the off chance that I am actually right about this, I felt inclined to share it with all of you.

However, since this revelation is NOT fully formed just yet (the details just haven't been fully fleshed out. . . I gave it to my secretary, and what can I say?  She has TOTALLY dropped the ball. . .), and since I sometimes have trouble articulating hazy half-thoughts, I've decided to write this post in the form of a dialogue.

Between myself and my inner therapist.

Aaaaand. . . begin:

Inner Therapist:  Hello, Danielle.  It's a pleasure to see you again.

Myself:  . . . I believe that I've told you on SEVERAL occasions that I prefer to be called "Dani."

Inner Therapist:  Of course, of course.  My mistake.  It's right here in my notes.  So.  How have you been?

Myself:  Frankly I've been a little discouraged that my therapist can't remember the correct name to call me. . .

Inner Therapist:  . . . Do you remember that phrase for the technique we've decided to employ?  "Moving past it"?  Do you think you could do that now?  So that we could get on with the session?

Myself:  Yes.  Yes, I believe I could do that.  I AM willing to be the bigger person here. . .

Inner Therapist:  (Completely not rising to the bait.  Such a stick in the mud.)  So let's begin again.  How have you been?

Myself:  Ummm. . . okay, I guess.

Inner Therapist:  Just okay?  What's been going on?

Myself:  Nothing. . . I've just been. . . having some issues. With some relationships in my life.

Inner Therapist:  So. . . why did you hesitate?

Myself:  Because it's not something that I've really discussed with any of the people I've been having issues with. . . so I guess that means the issues are kind of only with me.

Inner Therapist:  So that would make these. . . "your" issues?

Myself:  I guess so.  Yes.

Inner Therapist:  So what kinds of problems have you been having?

Myself:  I don't know. . . just. . . different things.

Inner Therapist:  You know it really is like trying to pull teeth to get information out of you, don't you?

Myself:  Sorry.  It's just that. . . well I painted this picture, and I put it on facebook. . . and then I realized that I'd done this several times and. . . and my mom had never said she liked them.  So. . . I guess it was just a strange thing to realize that I'm 36 years old, and I'm still waiting on my mother to tell me that she likes a picture I drew. . .

Inner Therapist:  Did she eventually say she liked it?

Myself:  Yeah.  She did.

Inner Therapist:  So what's the problem?

Myself:  . . .I don't know.  It's just. . . I didn't know that I was still unconsciously seeking her approval for certain things, I guess.  Not everything, mind you.  Not even CLOSE.  . . .but some things. . . yeah.  I guess I am.

Inner Therapist:  And what else?

Myself:  Well. . . my husband.  I feel. . . I don't know.  "Taken for granted" is really too strong a phrase for how I feel.  I guess I just don't feel. . . important.

Inner Therapist:  But you know that you ARE, correct?

Myself:  I guess so.  I know he loves me.  I know he would never cheat on me.  It's just that sometimes I feel like. . . as weird as it sounds, a "burden."  Like he'd be happier without me.

Inner Therapist:  So have you realized yet that these are both essentially the same problem?

Myself:  . . . How do you mean?

Inner Therapist:  You are reacting in an overly-sensitive way to the fact that you don't feel like you are getting enough approval, or praise, from these two people.  Presumably, the two most important people in your life. . . aside from your son, who isn't old enough yet to give either.  . . .And when he IS old enough. . . do you really want your own happiness to rest on his slender little shoulders?

Myself:  No!  Of course not!  That's not his responsibility!  I would NEVER want to lay all of that on him.

Inner Therapist:  Then why are you doing that to your mother and your husband?

Myself:  Because I. . . I don't feel like. . . I don't want our relationships to BE like this.  Where I feel "less-than."  I'm sick of it!

Inner Therapist:  Fair enough.  So would you like to know what I think?

Myself:  As long as you drop the snotty little tone in your voice. . .

Inner Therapist:  (Ignoring me, yet again.)  I think you need to stop expecting perfection.

Myself:  I DON'T expect perfection!  I don't!  You obviously know no---

Inner Therapist:  Let me finish, please.

Myself:  (sulkily) . . . proceed.

Inner Therapist:  You need to stop expecting the people in your life to be perfect.  You need to stop expecting to have the "perfect" relationship with them.  Or with anyone else!  Because there's no such thing.  If someone doesn't give you enough praise, if someone else doesn't make you feel as important as you'd like, then you need to figure out:  Is this relationship worth keeping?  And if it IS, then you're just going to have to be a grown-up, and ACCEPT the limitations of this relationship, and EVERY relationship, and just take whatever GOOD from it that you can.

An easy way to think about it is this:  Let's say you are a hippo. 

Myself:  How about let's NOT.

Inner Therapist:  Okay---FINE.  How about a goose?  Can your ego handle your being an imaginary goose?

Myself:  I believe so, yes.  I believe I would SO make an awesome goose.  I've always felt this way.  Please continue.

Inner Therapist:  Thank you.  So you're a goose.  Maybe your husband is a squirrel.  And your mother is. . . let's say. . . a velociraptor.

Myself:  (I smile.  Because that is funny.)

Inner Therapist:  You cannot expect EITHER of them to be a goose, simply because YOU are.  By doing so, you aren't being fair to them, and you are in fact cheating yourself.  You're cheating yourself out of all the wonderful things that could happen in a relationship that might be unique to a squirrel and a velociraptor. . .  So you need to just ACCEPT that your mother is a velociraptor.  And ACCEPT that your husband is a squirrel.  And appreciate all the joy and beauty that comes with each one.


And in the meantime, if you DON'T feel like you're getting enough recognition, or enough love, or enough appreciation in your life. . . then TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT.  You can always have all the love and acceptance you want in your life. . . simply by giving it away.

And just as you wouldn't expect your own child to take responsibility for your happiness, neither should you expect anyone ELSE to, either.

So. . . what do you think?

Myself:  . . .I think you just blew my fucking mind.

Inner Therapist:  Let's hope not---I live there.