I also think about the two friends of mine who were having a heart-to-heart
about their problems. They didn’t say it, in the heat of the moment, but they
were talking to someone nearby about the possibility of divorce. They didn’t
say it, but they were talking about this man as if he wanted to be their
husband. They didn’t say it, but they were talking about divorcing him.
A man can’t help the way he feels. If the words leave his lips, they are
like a spark and he’s gone. I was walking the other day and I saw this man
coming out of the store where we had taken a picture with a newspaper guy. We
were talking in the checkout line, with the newspaper man’s camera flashing.
I glanced up at him and his eyes followed me. Then he turned and walked in the
opposite direction. For a moment I wondered if he was looking for his wife and
I felt terrible.
A man can’t control his feelings. If the words leave his lips, they are
like a spark and he’s gone.
I know the feeling. I’ve had it.
When it’s a situation I know how people talk about when they’re going to
leave someone. Is he going to leave her? Am I going to leave him? Am I going
to leave my job? Will I be a lousy wife/mother/girlfriend/sister/friend?
I’ve known men who would talk about this with their wives and women who
would talk about it with their daughters.
I watched at lunch the other day as my friend who’s in the army and
wouldn’t get this issue talked about. I told him about it and he said, “I’m the
same. All men talk about this. I can’t help it.” I couldn’t help but laugh.
I know the feeling. I watched at lunch the other day as my friend who’s
in the army and wouldn’t get this issue talked about. I told him about it and
he said, “I’m the same. All men talk about this. I can’t help it.” I couldn’t
help but laugh.
What’s funny is that what I’ve learned over the years is that the
fear/anger/hatred/bargain about being with someone that we’re attracted to is
in there even if we don’t want to admit it.
If anyone knows me, they know I’m not a good candidate for dating.
Obviously, I have certain quirks that would put me in a relationship with
someone where I’d have to deal with them on a daily basis. No woman wants to
read about that.
I remember a few years ago I wrote the following post on my blog:
I’m thinking of putting my career on hold and going to my hometown to be a
stay-at-home mom. My husband will have to help me (not a good idea) and my
children will have to learn to live without me. The thought of that makes me
very happy. Yet, I know I will still have to face my demons, no matter what.
It’s not easy. It’s not easy to say “No.”
I had to delete it because I didn’t want my own children to think that
“I’m giving up everything for you. I’m not.” I don’t want them to feel
like I’m abandoning them. I’m not doing that. I’m just making a choice. What I
don’t want them to worry about is that my life isn’t going to be one big party
with every detail ironed out. I don’t want them feeling that because of my
choice, I’m giving up what I want for them. That’s not the case at all.
I’ve had the most amazing experiences in my life that I had never dreamed I
would have when I was in high school. I remember being so nervous before I
walked out on the stage to announce my acceptance into college. I had to go to
camp in the summer because I couldn’t go back to school for the fall semester.
Some of the other girls said they were happy that I was going to college
because maybe I would make some other girl jealous.
But when I came home and saw my mother kissing my mom hello and seeing my
sisters and watching me get made to feel uncomfortable by the entire school, I
wondered what they saw. That was it. That’s when I knew I was in the wrong. No
matter what else happened, they would never get to know me.
I think about the time I was thirteen and was in the choir. I was scared to
death. I knew one of my sisters had said that the singing could help me get to
heaven. What if I lost my voice? What if they stopped letting me sing? What if
I had to leave the church choir?
That night my mom made me go to the piano player and get a piano. She said
that she would sing to me too. She sang all the songs they’re taught. When it
was time for the duets, my mother picked another piece by Bach. I was so
scared I couldn’t play. I didn’t want her to end the song too soon.
I sat there with all my nerves on my sleeve. “I don’t want to sing,” I
said. “I don’t want you to sing, mom.”
In the car on the way home, my mother was singing. The song was called
“Dancing in the Dark.” The song was slow so I had to sit up straight to
keep my nerves in place. I knew it wasn’t my turn.
My mother finished the song and took my hands. She said, “Remember the
first time we took you to the choir? Remember sitting in your chair and you
were so nervous? Remember how you wanted to be able to play?”
I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to stay and I wanted to feel that she was
really singing for me. It wasn’t until that moment that I knew I had never felt
so comfortable in my life. But I didn’t want to lose her.
I’m on the edge of the cliff on the way to freedom. I’m not afraid. I’m not
afraid of falling.
In the car on the way home you are trying so hard to sing, but you’re
crying that there’s no way you are singing for your family. Mom holds your
hands and tells you that she is singing for you.
You are looking at her and saying, “I can’t.” You don’t want them to see
you looking through your tears. You don’t want them to cry with you. You want
to be strong so you can prove a point to your family.
You need to be strong today. This is the day.
If you look inside you, you will see that you are in the safest place.
You are on the edge of the cliff with the music of your mother singing it