Posts Tagged With: relationships

 
 

Something the Cat Dragged In

Cute, yes?

Cute, yes?

One of the four cutest kids I know has a cat at her house, named Penelope Buttercup. Also, there’s a dog named Pabst, which you should imagine as a teddy bear that Penelope has targeted as arch-enemy number one. Oh, and this sweet girl also has a stuffed toy mouse who goes by the name of, well, Mouse.

When I’ve been lucky enough to spend time at her home she uses some big words for such a little girl. And by big, I mean loud. If the cat walks past she’ll yell “TAAAAAT!” If the dog walks by she hollers, “PAAAAAAAP!” And if you show her the stuffed mouse she proclaims, “MOWW!”

There’s no question which of those three she’s referring to. Not sure why the dog isn’t called “DAWG!” I suppose “PAAAAAP!” can be shouted easier. Who knows what goes on in those little computer brains of babies these days.

When I see a cat now I automatically yell in my head “TAAAAAAAT!” It’s my little equivalent of seeing a moon and thinking someone else I love who lives far away is seeing the same moon. I see a cat and know that my little palindrome grand-daughter sees a cat during her day, too.

Every I look I see cats. Especially online. Cats, cats, cats, cats, cats.

Why?

These aren’t particularly friendly critters. Hardly. They’re standoffish and snooty. And yet the human race seems to embrace the furballs with unbridled ridiculousness.

Of course, I used to be the same way. As a tweenager I adopted a stray cat every time the last stray disappeared. Which was often. Weird. They were various combinations of black and white, whose names I don’t remember except for Zorro, which, of course, sported a little black mask around his eyes. And there was Tom, the feral cat, who was horse cat of a different color.

The term “something the cat dragged in” could have and often did refer to my Tom. You can read about him here if you’re curious.

My oldest daughter’s cat, pre-Penelope, would bring lizards and live birds in through the cat door at her house. Things got a bit exciting then, especially with multiple cats and a dog or two living there.

In Washington state we had neighbor cats that used to leave dead birds on our doorstep as a gesture of friendship. How sweet. We felt so…loved, or some other emotion. Just recently I thought that some human relationships are just like that. One person presents what they perceive as astounding gifts of love and sacrifice and the receiver only sees mayhem and grossness. That’s one of the saddest kinds of stories I know.

MSH hasn’t ever been a cat person. In fact, he taught my son at a very young age about the “handle” on a cat. SMH (Shaking My Head.) I’m afraid he took too well to that teaching and hauled many a neighborhood cat around by its tail.

My middle daughter and I once watched a cat play with a mouse in a sloped driveway. It was all kinds of fascinating. That is until the cat bit off the mouse’s head and played with that for a while. When the crunching started we left the area.

In a similar tone my parents’ cat leaves dismembered field critters on the driveway, proving his usefulness in spite of all proof to the contrary.

Sweet half-size Oreo.

Sweet half-size Oreo.

A notable exception to uppity cats is my son’s recently adopted dwarf cat, Oreo. He’s fully grown but still quite small, with a smooshy face and no meow. He doesn’t really jump or climb or do much of anything cat-like. That is, except for taunting the grand-dog Blondie by walking near the dog food dish. Subtle but effective snark there, if you ask me. (This little guy belonged to my brother who has five kids at home and has now rehomed of all the pets.)

Figuratively speaking, I often look like something the cat dragged in after a few hours of yard work, but then, don’t we all? Actually I think I look that way first thing in the morning too, but a bike helmet covers that up pretty well.

Some days I feel like something the cat dragged in, discombobulated, disoriented and “dis” in general. Days like that I kind of wish I were a cat, able to lounge about in odd places, soaking up some sun, or sprawled along the top of the couch. Maybe curled into a ball in a dark corner somewhere. Those days I just want someone to rub my neck and reassure me that I’m worthwhile and useful and loved and that yes, that “everything is gonna be okay.”

Ever so un-catlike, I have to actually be useful. I go about my days and nights fulfilling my obligations, contributing to society and the well-being of a few people I know and attempt to stay cheerful. I think I’m more like a dog than a cat. But that’s not all bad.

If all else fails I can always watch funny cat videos on YouTube, right?

~~~~~

“Meow” means “woof” in cat.” 
 ~ George Carlin

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Categories: Being Human, Communication | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Cat Tuner Changes his Tune

I didn’t plan this, but a year ago today I wrote this post about my Dad, the cat tuner extraordinaire. Strange, sometimes, how life circles back around.

Dad brought their cat inside the house (it’s definitely an outdoor cat) shortly after I arrived here and told me a story.

A week or two ago Dad says their cat went missing. When Lulu finally showed up her back right leg was dragging behind her and she acted out of sorts. Dad looked for obvious injuries and found none. No bleeding, no cuts, no scrapes, no missing fur. After a bit of thinking it over and talking with Mom, he decided to take the cat to the a local vet. The estimated wait time seemed too long, so Dad headed to another vet in the next town or two over who could see the cat right away.

After an exam and some tests and X-rays the vet determined the cat’s ligaments and tendons in that back leg had torn somehow. He could repair it with some surgery. After talking it over with Mom, (who is not a cat person, nor a pet person of any kind) Dad agreed to the surgery.

What?

Who are you and what did you do with my real Dad? 

So for the past week he’s been giving doses of antibiotic to Lulu and babying her like I’ve never seen before. Even Mom has let the cat sit on her lap and rubs its soft gray head until the purring vibrates some inner chord of contentment. That purr soothes Mom in return. And voila, a calmer Mom makes for a calmer Dad.

The stitches came out yesterday. The vet’s assistant commented that she’d never worked with a calmer, more well-behaved cat. No hissing, no scratching, no meowing, just Dad and Mom holding the trembling mass of fur while the stitches got snipped.

Not enjoying the car ride.

Not happy about the car ride.

The three of them make an interesting group.

  • Long haired Lulu with her back leg shaved, limps along like every movement hurts beyond contemplation, and yet she can carefully jump up on a chair or climb the stairs.
  • Mom who’s got the usual aches and pains of her age along with the effects of her stroke and seizures, sitting on the porch swing with Dad.
  • And Dad who last year didn’t like the porch swing swinging, but now doesn’t seem to mind it, who used to hobble about like an old man just for laughs, now hobbling about like an old man, but taking on some of Mom’s tasks, and keeping up with his own.

It’s almost as if the cat’s injury endeared them to it and made them all feel more connected. They’ve had to slow down and become content to stay put a bit more.

I asked Dad if his cat-tuning ways had changed tune. He denied it. He said something akin to, I’ve still got plenty of other cats to tune, or something like that. He’s just a mischievous twelve-year old at heart. But he’s also become more tender-hearted this past year, more attentive to Mom, more in tune with her and what she needs. It’s as if her injuries, and consequently her dependence on him, have endeared her to him more.

And Dad’s ministrations and attention to Mom have made her more affectionate and appreciative toward him.

Interesting turn of events, wouldn’t you say?

I think so.

None of them are the same as they were a year ago. In big, drastic ways. Mostly for the better in spite of, or maybe because of, the tough road. Who would have thought?

Sounds like a harmonious song to me.

 

 (For Twitch, who went to kitty heaven yesterday.)

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Categories: Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Yin and the Yang

It’s Gratituesday! Today I find my heart filled with gratitude for a sweet companion. I often wonder at his patience with me. I marvel at his resilience when I’m criticizing, nitpicking or complaining. I’m amazed at his willingness to stick around.

Seesaw

Seesaw (Photo credit: nzgabriel)

At first we were both equally antisocial, avoiding double dates, making friends, making connections. But over the years, very slowly, I’ve picked away at my shell of shyness and found that I need and want people in my life beyond family. Friends have become part of who I am. And he has occasionally, and carefully, waded into a few social puddles with me.

I tend to seek the limelight and he will be mortified that I wrote about him here, so publicly. I try to respect his privacy while still writing, honestly about my life and that is why I refer to him as MSH, My Sweet Husband.

The Joy of Flying

The Joy of Flying (Photo credit: caribb)

Just as he said he would when we were dating, he has traveled far and often for work and I’ve been left to tend to hearth and children. Not quite as often we have followed him across the country, crisscrossing it, then settling, sort of, here in the heart and heat of the desert.

I joke that all his traveling is what has kept us together. It sounds funny, but it’s been the reality. And, I’m afraid that cuts both ways. for the two of us. And yet, that old missive that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is as true as any fact you can hold and touch and taste.

He’s kind of my opposite, which is probably a good thing, but doesn’t always feel like it is. His willingness to take chances probably balances out my complete and total lack of desire to risk much of anything. We’re still working on this one. And many other things.

The idea of Yin and Yang, seems to describe our relationship better than almost anything I’ve ever run across.

“two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and 

feminine; Yang is positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to

 maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it.”

The harmony of our universe has been a constant flux of give and take, up and down, sorrow and joy. It hasn’t always been fifty-fifty. But we have become an interesting balance of and with each other.

The man I married wasn’t interested in things that got you dirty, like camping, or the outdoors. But that changed as I embraced that part of my life and pulled him into it. He became the avid camper, the rock climber, the rappeller, while I became afraid of heights and decided I’d prefer a cabin to a tent. His ideal home would be in the wilderness and mine, somewhere between wilderness and civilization.

Yin and yang blue

He has always looked forward to the future, and I have always been firmly settled in today.

How we’ve managed to stay together so long is more a testament of what weathering a storm or two or three will do to a relationship than any other thing we’ve consciously done. I’m grateful he hasn’t given up on me. And I’m glad I haven’t given up on him.  We are a pair, oddly matched, but strangely well matched.

We do have some things in common.

We share a love of music. We share a passion for knowledge and learning. We love to dance. We share a love of our children. We share similar spiritual values.

We share a love I didn’t think was possible. In that I am more blessed than I deserve.

As Robert Browning wrote, I repeat to MSH, my love, my sweet companion:

“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”

Thank you MSH, for the ride so far!

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday, Love, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Awash in a Torrent

It’s Gratituesday! Today gratitude washes over me when I consider my children. All four of them were in town to celebrate at the wedding reception this past weekend. A whole lifetime of sweet memories, struggles, laughs, sorrows, silliness, sadness, good times and the insanity of family life flooded over me in wave after wave of remembering.

waterfall

(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

When the house emptied out after a weekend of overflowing joy I recognized more than ever what a blessing each of them have been.

Let’s be honest, with parenting, it’s sink or swim. So you flail your arms about, kick your legs, gasp for breath every chance you get and eventually you have something that moves your through the water of parenthood. It wasn’t all roses. It’s a ton of hard work and sleepless nights, worry and tears.

But, there is a flip side.

rain dancing

(Photo credit: amboo who?)

We had some great times that surely balanced out the challenges. Swings, and slides, sandpiles and diving boards. Cooking and organizing, camping, rock climbing, hiking. Summer crafts and  road trips, summer library challenges. Sidewalk chalk, sleepovers, baking. Hide and seek, shooting baskets, building blanket forts, picnics, parks and playgrounds. Camping in the rain, puddle jumping, dancing in the rain. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snow walks and snowmen. Car rides to lessons, activities, games, practices, friends houses, camps. Let’s not forget story time and bath time, movies and barbies, hot wheels and ninetendo, legos, dress up clothes, sliding banisters, cats and parakeets, tire swings, singing, exploring. And so much more!

From that first dark-haired baby boy that I was clueless about, to the golden-blond independent caboose baby, I’ve learned how to be a real person from all four of them. They’ve shaped who I am today.

And them? Wow!!!  In spite of all the parental goofs, gaffs, trial and error and outright mistakes, they’ve become wonderful, kind, thoughtful, hardworking beautiful adults that I’m happy to treat as equals, friends and confidants.

Monsoon

(Photo credit: lokenrc)

This weekend felt like much more than a celebration of a marriage. It felt like a commemoration of life. The monsoon downpour of rain we had as we sent the blissfully wedding couple off into their happily ever after was a grand metaphor of the blessings of my life showering down on me.

Awash in blessings beyond anything I deserve, here’s a toast to the four of you! Thank you J, J, L and L. Being your Mom is an honor and the greatest joy of my life!

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

For My Dancing Daughter

It’s Gratituesday! Today I am grateful that we’re adding to our family tomorrow. We’re getting a son-in-law! My youngest daughter gets married on Wednesday!

As predicted years ago, this happens before my oldest daughter ties the knot.

Not that it was ever a contest. It’s all about personalities and differences. They’re both unconventional in completely different ways, so we all knew it would play out this way. It’s kind of fun to watch things unfold. This daughter getting married is the very one I wrote about in my Beanie Baby post.

This daughter loves dancing. She always danced her own steps and made up her own moves. She’s been that way with her whole life. Free spirited, wanting to do things her own way, confident, independent, persevering, determined. What a beautiful young woman she’s become. What a stunning bride she’ll be!

Since there isn’t a mother-daughter dance at a wedding, I’m taking a moment here for a mother-daughter song. So here it is:

“When you get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance!”

You might be saying to yourself, wait a minute, didn’t you just marry off a son a couple of months ago? Yup! Sure did! What vitality and light our new daughter-in-law brought with her. Lucky us! And my son? I’ve haven’t seen him smile this much since he got his Big Wheel at three years old.

Fireworks

I suspect something similar of my daughter, once the jittery, excited, nervous, busy, chaotic ride of the wedding day events unfold, I’m pretty sure her smile will be unending and blissful. For now, she’s holding it all in, like a firework, keeping things in check and under control until the last possible moment. Once she lets that smile break out, showing her real emotions, we’ll all bust out in contagious laughter and smiles.

I have to admit, I’ve definitely let my emotions run amok lately. Lots to do to prepare, plenty of everyday stress mixed in, plus the record-breaking heat we’ve had.

I’m sure I’ve been motherzilla-of-the-bride lately.

But, now that I think about it, I’m sure I can blame it on the denial I’m in about her moving out and moving on. Sure, I’ve been ready for it, praying for it, happy for her, for this next big step in her life. But at the same time, she’s my baby!

What’s next?

Holy mackerel, what isn’t next? It’s not like, once she leaves I’ll have nothing to do, hardly so.

But there’s this sense of loss when children progress, and this one I haven’t really addressed, until now, strangely out loud and in public. But I’m only acknowledging it briefly, to remind myself to think about it later. After all, Thursday will be just another day.

Wedding cake.

(Photo credit: THEMACGIRL*)

Or not.

Sigh…

Sniff…

Until then…

Wednesday is Wedding Day, a joyous occasion, a new beginning, a day for laughter.

A day for cheers.

A day of dancing,

A day for tears.

Here’s wishing my daughter a beautiful marriage with the love of her life!

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Joy, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Don’t Walk Away

Original caption: Ne ties a friendship bracele...

I know more lonely people than I want to. I wish I had more time, more of me to go around to fill that gap in their life. Or better yet, I’d like to take on the role of matchmaker  in the friendship department.

You’d think with all the social media available people would feel more connected and less lonely. But the opposite seems true. People see the “friendships” and banter and simply feel more left out than ever. In fact, it seems to extend the junior high and high school drama into adulthood.

I think people forget that friendship is work. It requires something from both sides. Maybe we’ve all gotten a bit lazy, or too busy, or we’re shy, or we’re afraid of being hurt or judged or rejected, or whatever the excuse is and we fail to reach out. And we fail to accept the hand reaching toward us. You can’t get picky when it comes to friendship. There isn’t an ideal friend, there’s no soul mate of friendship. There are friends. They’ve got your back. That’s all that matters.

Forget “besties” and “BFF’s” and “friends forever.”  Those are a dime a dozen.

For real friendship that matters think “workhorse,” or “perseverance,” think “sacrifice.”

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” — Jon Katz

There are literally millions of quotes out there about friendship. This one bangs the nail solidly. Friendship equals work! “Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired.”

Work + Sacrifice + Perseverance = Friendship

which translates into:

W + S + P = Not So Lonely

 

Friendship

Friendship (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are you willing to sacrifice? Are you ready to give up security? Are you willing to risk being hurt? Can you take the chance on relationships?

How much work are you able to put into a potential friendship? Can you do a daily phone call? Will you listen and not just expect to be listened to? Are you worth it, in your own eyes?

Can you keep trying even when the results aren’t the ideal you imagined? We’re all simply human after all. Can you resist the need to push away? Can you open your own door to whoever might be knocking?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Relationships | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Floors and Ceilings

The following is a small excerpt from my Big Work In Progress. I thought I’d share a taste today here on the blog. Enjoy.

“Over a month after returning home from the hospital she still felt tenuous and fragile. And yet there was something in the air, or in her dreams, or in the light coming through the windows that felt different.

Sometimes life surprised her. Waking early, feeling unusually rested, she would climb out of bed feeling oddly energetic. The morning would run smoothly, the day unfolding simply with few glitches. Afternoons flowed like water into an evening. Busy or relaxed didn’t matter. On those rare days life was manageable, easier and, dare she think it, happier.

Occasionally two such days would occur back to back. She tread lightly on that second day, aware of the fragile miracle she was experiencing. Laughter bubbled out. Fun erupted. The children’s mischief and messes didn’t overwhelm her. She could think with clarity. Planning ahead provided hope instead of a sense of dread. Creating a simple meal brought satisfaction.

Even the muscles in her body responded to the difference in the very air around her. She moved quicker and accomplished tasks without achiness or apprehension.

She thought perhaps the medications were helping.

Her husband thought so, too. He’d said as much one evening after dinner. The kids had slipped away from the table and back to a bedroom to play.

Dinner Plate Finished

(Photo credit: bazadwalker)

“Nice dinner, sweetie,” he said.

“It was good, wasn’t it?” she said running a finger along the edge of her plate. “And quick and easy to fix, too.” She felt pleased at the accomplishment.

“How are you feeling lately?” he ventured.

“Mmm. Okay, some days. I guess,” she replied.

He shook his head as if agreeing with her. There was some silence. He seemed to be waiting for her to say something more, but she didn’t.

“To me, your lows seem less low,” he said.

“Hmm.”

“And your highs, your good moments, your good days, seem,” he looked for just the right word, “tempered.”

“Tempered?”

“Yes. Not as vibrant. Happy but not too happy, I think.” His forehead furrowed as he looked at her.

“Hmm.”

“It’s like your meds have placed a floor and a ceiling on your moods.” He had emphasized the word “and” as if it were critical to the meaning of his sentence.

“Hmm,” she leaned her chin into the cup of her hand, her elbow resting on the table. “Hmm,” she repeated. “Interesting visual.”

Genius - Wile E. Coyote - Chuck Jones

In her mind she pictured a cartoon drawing of herself bouncing through a long tunnel, her head crashing into the ceiling, then rebounding to the floor. Seems like she had seen a “Roadrunner and Coyote” cartoon like that once. The hapless Coyote ricocheting off winding tunnels, his hard-hat light clicking off and on as he bounded helplessly along.

She laughed out loud at the memory of it.

“What?” he asked. “Why are you laughing?”

She described the cartoon to him and he chuckled slightly.

“I didn’t mean it quite like that,” he said almost apologetically, a grin spreading despite his efforts to hold it back.

“Oh, I know,” she smiled. Then she lifted a hand to his face across the table. His day old beard was scratchy but only slightly. The warmth of his cheek felt calming. Reassuring.

“Mmmm,” he said, closing his eyes at this unexpected affection. After a moment or two, he reached for her other hand across the table.

There was a squeal and burst of laughter from the kids in their bedroom, then near silence. Other than that, the house was quiet and still.

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“For what?” he asked, opening his eyes and looking at her.  She shook her head, her eyes shiny with tears she was holding back. Taking her hand from his cheek, he cradled both of her hands between his.

She couldn’t put words to what she meant, not really, but she tried anyway. In a barely audible voice she said, “Thank you. For not giving up on me.”

“Shh…” he responded, “shh.”

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Spring Cleaning for My Heart

“When you forgive, you heal your own anger and hurt and are able to let love lead again. It’s like spring cleaning for your heart. ” – Marci Shimoff

I am one of those people who holds on tight to a hurt, a slight, a painful experience and won’t let it go.

I don’t mean to be unforgiving. But I’ve often found myself retelling an incident, names removed to protect the guilty, and feeling justified in still resenting, still being critical, still harboring the hurt.

Why?

Why would I do that? It’s not hurting the other person who hurt me. Telling the story, sharing the anger, doesn’t make me feel any better. In fact, it makes me feel angry all over again, resentful all over again.

I think it’s something I need to work on. Forgiving MSH if he forgets to do something I ask him to do. Letting go of the criticism I feel when someone points out improvements I need to make. Taking a pass on reliving frustrations and heartaches from years ago. The list of things I need to let go of is huge.

How much energy is this draining from me every single day?

Would I feel less tired if I used that energy to plant a forgiveness garden? Could I let the heartache or misunderstanding dissipate and disappear through some physical act of letting go? Could I write it down and set a match to it?

Huisvrouwengymnastiek / Gymnastics for housewives

Gymnastics for housewives (Photo credit: Nationaal Archief)

I’ve always loved the idea of spring cleaning. A hundred years ago it was a huge process that involved cleaning soot from walls, beating dust and dirt from rugs, sanding tables,  disinfecting dark places, opening windows and finally letting in fresh, healthy air. Disease and infection and vermin thrived if spring cleaning didn’t happen every year.

Could lack of forgiveness be the reason my energies are low, my vibrancy diminished?

Today I’m beginning the physical spring cleaning of my home. Perhaps, I can also begin to purge the emotional and spiritual dust and grime. I’m sure there’s room and need for fresh air and sunshine in a more than a few of my nooks and crannies.

Can I let love lead and heal my heart? Sounds difficult. But then, it must be easier than holding on to all my junk.

Hmmm. Forgiving. Healing. Letting go.

I’ll have to play with that idea today as I organize, dust, vacuum, polish, sweep, scrub and clean.

Wish me luck.

Categories: Love, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Voila! Virtual and Real Made Clear

Virtual or Real?

Which do you choose most often?

I could share some definitions from a dictionary for you. Like so.

VIRTUAL

  • 1 almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition:the virtual absence of border contr
  • 2  Computing not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so:virtual images

REAL

  • : of or relating to fixed, permanent, or immovable things (as lands or tenements)
  • 2a : not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory : genuine <real gold>;also : being precisely what the name implies <a realprofessional>
  • (1) : occurring or existing in actuality

Or I could show you this awesome video and you’ll get it immediately.

At the very least, you’ll laugh.

Finding a balance in life has never been easy. Seems for me lately the scales have tipped to one side too far. I’m working on a better equilibrium. I hope I don’t get caught with my pants down, (excuse the cliché’ but it fits, huh?)

If I remember my priorities that I wrote about here, then it’s easier to choose real when real is the best choice.

It isn’t easy. But it sure can be entertaining.

  • Real-ly? (thewestcoastline.wordpress.com)
Categories: Humor, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’ve Seen that Smile Somewhere Before

I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I have a familiar face. I remind people of aunts, cousins, nieces, grandmothers, sisters, former bosses or secretaries, neighbors and co-workers. That could be a problem if I were in witness protection. I probably wouldn’t last very long.

Mildred C Youngberg (1920 - )

Mildred C Youngberg (1920 – ) (Photo credit: Robert of Fairfax)

I’ve had complete strangers walk up to me in restaurants and swear that I am their relation from years back. Am I sure my name isn’t Mildred? Yes, I’m sure. And have I ever lived in Scranton? No, I have never lived there. Dang. And they walk away shaking their head.

If someone is staring at me, I know it isn’t really me they’re seeing.  They’re probably trying to figure out why Aunt Matilda would be at a rest area in Wyoming when she hates driving and lives in Miami Beach.

With little kids it’s different. They just see a friendly face. I try to remember to smile at the ones strapped in a grocery cart. It’s fun to watch them notice that I’ve noticed them. Sometimes I’ll throw in a wink and they all but giggle with delight. It’s like we have a secret, just shared eye to eye. There’s an occasional nap-deprived grouchy kid, but mostly the response is delightful.

I think the familiar face thing I have going on has helped me get a job or two. So far, I haven’t ever had anyone say I remind them of someone they didn’t like. Maybe “nice” comes with a face like mine. I don’t know.

Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates (Photo credit: matteomerletto)

I’ve occasionally run across someone who seems familiar in an eerie way and decide they remind me of what I see in the mirror.  I’m not intrigued. I’m freaked out by it. I tend to run the opposite direction. Who’d want to have a conversation with themselves? Not me. No way. They’d probably think I was off my rocker if I told them they reminded me of me. Wouldn’t you?

No one really likes being stared at. It’s disconcerting. Feels a bit like someone’s casing the joint. If you see someone who seems familiar, try not to stare too much. It might be me you’re staring at.

I need to come up with some great responses, ready to go without any thinking about it, to the next few people who think I’m their great-aunt Martha. I’m not THAT old, for one thing.

What do you say to someone when they say they remind you of someone else? Has it ever happened to you? Now if someone said, “wow, you remind me of Kathy Bates,” I’d be totally flattered and say thank you. I’m sure no one ever goes up to Kathy Bates and says “hey, you remind me of this blogger I know, Kami Tilby. Ever read her stuff?” She’d just stare back at you like you’d had one too many drinks.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bothersome thing. Just weird. I suppose in the afterlife I could be one of those guardian angels that aren’t scary. Imagine the stories. “Yeah, I had this angel who looked just like Grandma show up just in the nick of time, saved my life.”

Until then, I suppose I’ll just be that familiar, friendly face in the crowd, across the restaurant, or in the car next to you at the stop light. Just smile and wave as if you know me. I’ll wave back. I’ll probably even give you a wink and a smile.

Categories: Relationships, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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