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Romance: Confessions of a Girly Girl

“The longer you have to wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives. The harder you have to fight for something, the more priceless it will become once you achieve it. And the more pain you have to endure on your journey, the sweeter the arrival at your destination. All good things are worth waiting for and worth fighting for.”
– Susan Gale
Okay, so I have a confession to make.

I’m a girl.

Yep, it’s true. A big ole girly girl. That’s me. Now, I try to be rational – keep my head out of the clouds and all that jazz. But deep down, I’m still a girl. I still believe in girly stuff…romance, love, heart flutters…all that silliness.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember (though it took over 30 years for me to get up the nerve to call myself that) and I can remember being 14 years old and writing my first love song. Talk about girly…sheesh! Here are some of the lyrics:

“Love, it can stand the test of time,
It can cross over any lines
No matter what people say
They would find a way
Nothing could stop those feelings inside…”

Girly, huh? Oh, you should hear the rest of it. It’s all about two young people in love who are torn apart for whatever reason and they have all these miles and years between them and yet still they hold on to each other through it all. Then she’s dying and in he walks to hold her as she takes her last breath.

*BARF!*

It’s easy now to make fun of that little 14-year-old version of me who wrote those silly little love lyrics. But, if I’m perfectly honest with myself, a part of her still exists. A pretty big part actually.

Those of you who know me or who have read my blog regularly know that my husband and I do not have your typical love story. (Read more about that here if you want.)  We didn’t see each other across a crowded room and gaze into each other’s eyes as we realized we had found the one.  Ha!  Hardly. We met, dated, ended things. Crossed paths again, dated, ended things. Got back together, got engaged, got married. Some love story, huh?

And I’m going to be honest with you – that little 14-year-old songwriter side of me has always struggled with that a bit. Isn’t it supposed to happen like it does in the movies?  Aren’t you supposed to meet and feel this sudden fluttery feeling in your stomach and just know? Now, in all honesty, it almost happened like that with me. It didn’t take long for me to decide that Richard was what I wanted.  But Richard? Notsomuch. He struggled. He was coming out of a long-term relationship and just wasn’t sure if my redheaded, loud-mouthed, starry-eyed version of romance was what he was needing in his life at the time. It took quite a while for him to come around.

And that bothered me.

During my varied insecure moments over the years, I’ve questioned him about this. “Did you just have to convince yourself to love me?” “Did you just decide to force it because it made sense?” “How do you know it’s real?” “Do you ever wonder if you made a mistake?” Etc.  (He loves these conversations, by the way.) And every time, he just tells me in his quiet, no-nonsense way that none of that matters. He loves me now. That’s all there is to it.

But I’m a girl, darn it!  I want more than that!  I want answers!

My dear lifelong friend John Michael posted something on my Facebook wall one day that he said made him think of mine and Richard’s relationship. Here it is:

romance

I told him at the time that he couldn’t know how much that meant to me. I didn’t know why or how to put it into words, but something about that quote just really struck a chord with me. I love the phrase “tidier histories.”  A tidy history is something that Richard and I definitely do not have. It’s a mess.

But maybe that’s okay?

This morning I was riding to work listening to an audio book: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this (or haven’t seen the Netflix TV series that sprouted from it), this is a true story about the author’s one-year stint in prison. Now, you wouldn’t expect to glean a love lesson from something like that, but…leave it to me…I did.

In one part of the book, Piper’s husband had written an article for the local paper about their unconventional love story. (It was unconventional even before she went to prison.) He talked about how he didn’t know from the start that she was “the one.” He said that it took him years to decide, even after they started dating, that he might want to marry her. He said he generally takes his time to choose anything in his life – even material things – and, because of this inability to make definite decisions, he tends to keep receipts for things he buys in case he decides to take them back. Basically, it’s not that he doesn’t want these things, it’s that he’s afraid he might be making a mistake. His fear of commitment (my words, not his) masks his desire.

Hmmm.

Now I’m sure there were thousands of lessons that Piper Kerman wanted us to take from her year of incarceration, but the one I took was this one. This tiny little blip in her book about how her husband wasn’t sure he wanted to marry her from the start.  I’m sure she’d be so proud if she knew this…

Turns out, I guess some people are just careful. They take their time. They make sure something is right before they dive in. Does that mean it isn’t real? Of course not. That just means they want to know they’re making the right decision before they make it. So, should I still be offended and worried that we don’t have that “movie” kind of love? Nah. I’d say what we have is better. I wasn’t just a passing feeling of romance that overtook him instantly. I was a long, well-thought out decision that he had to make. And in the end, my careful sweetheart chose me.

Awwww.  Well, how do you like that.

Now, does this mean I’m going to stop with all those insecurity questions? Am I going to lay off for a while and give him a break and rest in the knowledge that he does indeed love me and move forward without looking back ever again?

Psssh. Heck no. As if…

Hey, I’m still a girl. 😉

merichie

 ***

“For anything worth having one must pay the price;
and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice.”

– John Burroughs

Passive Aggressive

“This is passive-aggression in action.”
– Chuck Palahniuk

passiveaggressive2So, I was recently accused of writing a “passive aggressive” blog. (This one in particular.)  And while I don’t feel the need to explain myself to anyone, this particular critique struck a nerve.  And here’s why.

I’m going to define passive aggressive.  Not using Webster or anything – no, this is 100% Melissa.  Passive aggressive means that you get a point across in a sneaky way without being blunt and obvious.  Am I right?  Fair definition?  Well, here’s what I say to that.

Duuuuuh!

This blog should be renamed
“missyspublicpassiveaggressivejunk.”
Of course, every blog I write is passive aggressive.  Sheesh.

For instance, I write a blog about having been falsely accused of something I didn’t do.  Do I say JimBob accused me of telling his wife Bertha that he’s cheating on her?  Of course not.  You people don’t know JimBob and Bertha.  You can’t relate with specifics, but you can relate with a generality.  JimBob never accused you of telling Bertha anything, so what do you care?  But I’ll bet money on the fact that you’ve probably been accused of something unfairly, am I correct?  You can relate to what I’m saying because you can substitute your situation with mine when I write in generalities.

Or, I may write about a problem that Richard and I are having and the events that took place surrounding the argument.  Do I tell you what the problem is?  Of course not.  That’s personal.  And besides, our problem was probably pretty specific and you most likely couldn’t relate with it.  But have you had a problem with your significant other?  Sure you have! If I write non-specifically, you can relate with what I’m saying.

I could keep listing examples of blogs from the past, but there’s no point.  They are ALL the same. I don’t come right out and use specific situations and specific names because that would defeat my purpose.

I have a confession to make.  Recently, I’ve been a little disappointed with my blog’s views.  They have gone down quite a bit lately.  When I expressed my hesitation in continuing the blog, someone asked me this question.

“Well, who are you writing it for?  You or them?”

And you know what my answer is to that question?

THEM.

passiveaggressiveIf I were writing this for myself, I’d write a journal or a diary. I’d use specific names like nobody’s business.  And I probably wouldn’t be nearly as nice about it, I can guarantee you that.  But I’m not writing for me.  I’m writing in the hopes that someone somewhere can see themselves in my situations.  They can take my life experiences, replace their own in the story, and come away with two things.  One, the knowledge that they are not alone (we never are); and two, a slightly different perspective on what might be a negative situation.

I recently wrote a blog about a visit to the nursing home to see my Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother.  Someone that I don’t know from Adam sent me a message telling me how much that blog meant to them.  It gave them a new perspective on their own parent who has Alzheimer’s.  It made them see her in a different way.  She said that she would remember what I said for a very long time and that it made her understand her parent like she hadn’t up until the point she read my words.

Why do I write?  That is why.

If you see yourself in my writing, there’s probably a reason.  If it helps, I’m thrilled.  If it steps on your toes, well.  Frankly, forgive me for being blunt, but I’m not a bit sorry. I didn’t mention your name – if you put yourself in it, that’s you that did that.  Not me.  And you might want to ask yourself why that is.

I am a very public person.  That’s just the way it is.  It’s the way I was made, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  The stories that I have to tell are going to be told. I’m not going to use specifics in most cases unless I’m given permission. My stories are mine, and I am going to keep telling them.

Yes, I get frustrated sometimes when they don’t seem to be read as much as usual (as I mentioned above). But like my daughter said in a recent conversation:

Me: My blog views are dropping drastically.
Her: How do you know?
Me: Well, I can look at the stats.  A story that may have gotten 100 views before is now only getting 25.  I think maybe I should quit.
Her: Then you’re going to have 25 disappointed people.

Ah, the wisdom of youth.

So, yes, I’m going to continue writing.  And yes, I fully admit that most everything I write from here on out will be passive aggressive. It’s what I do.  If I write something that you feel is about you or directed at you, please – see me about it.  I can assure you that the passive aggressiveness is only found in this blog, not in real life.  I promise you I’ll let you know exactly what you want to know.

Pretending (unless I’m on a stage) is just not my thing.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

***

passiveblog