The Price of It


When the hell am I going to outgrow this parental/sister angst? I’m turning 42 for God’s sake.


I’d like to tell you that I don’t miss home.  In fact, I’d love to tell you that I am not finding it hard to learn in a new culture, or that my Canadian identity whimpers on a daily basis.  There seems no good way to express that things are “different” without putting down my new home.  That it is an “adjustment” without making it sound like I have any regrets.

It’s not “your winter” as I describe it to Texan’s in the office.  It’s “my winter” now too.  I do not miss the snow.   I miss being known terribly and to make things complicated, I am making it nearly impossible for anyone new to “know me”.

Figure that one out.

I am with my soulmate.  Still madly in love with the man and despite adversities and stresses, I grow more in love with him every week.  I consider him my well deserved comeuppance for putting up with more shit than I ever felt I deserved.

He is my treasure and my happy new beginning.  He’s also a romantic, faithful, exciting, stubborn, patient, classy sexy thing… that I am proud to call mine.

And he manages to “manage” me if you get my meaning.  Anyone who has dated me does.  I’m not what you would call low maintenance.  But there is a gooey center under the shell, if you are smart enough to figure out how to get at it.   A very very very hard shell.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and see myself differently.  There is a line between my brows that never used to be there.  It crinkles when I make my pissed off face.  Seems I’ve made a lot of that type of facial expression… no crows feet yet, but I have a frown line.  Again… making the wrong kind of faces apparently for far too long.

Perhaps Texas will change that.

I had to be hard.  I had to make myself extroverted and harder than I even thought I was capable of.  I had to swallow my fears so many time.  The fear of being judged, of starting over in life.  The fear of being alone.  The fear of being unloved.  The fear of being abused emotionally for my kindnesses (that happened a lot) and that is what kind of rushes up to the surface now that I have that mythical “free time” thing.

My new job is excellent.  I continue to consult on a part time basis because it gets us ahead faster.  So yes, I do have a kind of hectic schedule but its starting to get better.   Last weekend I almost relaxed.  Kevin wanted to.  We ended up adopting a kitten, which was not planned.  And then training a kitten, which was not planned.  Then dealing with a flea situation, which was not planned.  Washing dogs and a kitten at 7am on Sunday morning while my husband looked at me with that smile that says something like “Lori just once… can we please just slow down a little?”

But Saturday morning I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I haven’t had free time since 2009.  Not kidding.  And when you are that busy and you suddenly stop, it’s freaky as hell.  Ants in my pants and not willing to waste my life watching television… in retrospect perhaps reading would have been a better choice.  But he needed a kitten again to replace his former Little Bricks.   A cat person needs a cat and I am remembering that cats are very different than dogs.  Also, that cats can tell when you are a dog person.  Rico “Star Lord” Reese is flaying my flesh at every opportunity and terrorizing Dante.

I’ll be the first person to say “I made myself tough because I had to.  I took NOTHING from ANYONE and I created all this myself, navigating through lean months where I wasn’t sure I’d have money to feed myself or cover whatever vet bill was coming my way.  Building into the dream of being with the one person on this planet (aside from Diane and Christine) who “saw me”.    I wanted a life with someone who understood me.   And someone smart enough to kick my ass and stand up to me.

Make no mistake… I have to train myself not to run over people.  It’s how I am now wired (post divorce).  A change that happened and stuck when I learned that people can be utter and complete assholes the SECOND you stop giving them what they want.

And that list included my share of unbalanced boyfriends and parents.

I want to make friends but it is hard.  I mean, what does a workaholic have to offer someone?   Why would someone new here in Texas want to be friends with someone like me?  I am impatient, creative, frequently frustrated, highly hyper, funny but sarcastic, low carb, non-drinking … essentially a tight ass right?


New country, new husband, new house, new job, new family and looking for new friends.  New culture, new life phase and new chapter to write.   I guess I’d dwell on the excitement of the new chapter if everything didn’t seem so damned… new.

Uprooted.  Missing something that I think should be my immediate family.  Kind of the way I understand an amputee feels pain for an appendage that was severed years earlier.  We feel certain wounds with our hearts, and our minds I think punctuate that pain and loss.

And I hurt where there should be a Mother (but there never was one).  And I hurt where there should be a Father (and there was one once… before his heart turned black).  And I hurt where there should be a sister (but she was never really the reciprocating kind of sister I hoped she would become).

baby-namesAnd I ache for a cottage that belongs to another family now.  A house that is no longer meticulously kept.  The marble of my Nonno’s mausoleum head stone where people still put pictures… at least they did when I was last there.  And lots of flowers still.

I feel like a human Cha… cha… cha… Chia pet.  In full bloom on the outside and well fed and watered but with shallow, almost mockable roots.    And when I do contemplate my roots I get very angry.   And I am far too tired to be angry about things I can’t change.  Like the ever reaching past that grows like ivy around the base of me, threatening to strangle me in tangles should I let my guard down long enough.

I am not unhappy.  I’m blessed and I continue to work hard for my blessings and I am grateful for them.

I just wish now as fiercely as I did as a little girl… that I had someone else’s parents.  What would I have been like then?  With two steady parents behind me?

I’ll never know.  If wishes were fishes I could open a sushi restaurant, yanno?

I am aware that as things slow down a little and settle into normal (whatever the fuck normal is supposed to be) … that some of the boxes I filed are coming back open against my will.

Like the parent box.  Despite everything it is a gold box wrapped in optimism.  I’ve stapled the sucker shut.  With a nail gun.

Not that I have any angst there.  Much.  And I hate the price of it you know?  The price of life in a shell I never wanted but had to build, or let it take me all down.

It’s not everyone that can boast that both their parents (and step parents) tried to take them down and mess up their life (financially and otherwise).

I haz lucky like that.  <— Oh yay… self-pity is back.  Love that.  Will medicate with some wine … and a Christmas cookie.  Apparently I made too many trying to impress my new family.  Not that… you know… I’m desperate to integrate or anything.

[Insert cookie munch sound]  What? [Insert raised eyebrow]