Archive for September 21st, 2008

The Elephant In The Room

I’ve hinted at it here and there and have been deliberately delicate about how to approach this subject here.  I think it’s kinda obvious what has happened at the Casa de Smiff.  Yep.  Me and Mr. Smiff have, in the words of that great American, Tex Ritter, split the sheets.

So there ya go. 

It’s an odd place to be.  Even though we’ve been here before, this time is a totally different experience than the other time.  8 years is a good amount of time, and really, I don’t feel like I’m even the same person I was then, much less the same kid I was when I got married in 1989. 

This is the question I get a lot…”How are you?”  It’s usually said with a little trepidation, like the asker is afraid I might actually tell them how I am. 

My question is, DO people really want to know how you are when they ask?  Cause, like, people ask me the question and if I say “I’m good, how are you?”  They will say “REALLY?”  It’s almost like they want  you to not be ok. 

I was in the bathroom at work the other day, talking to Dr. Mac.  Dr. Mac is, well, she’s a doctor.  She is probably the most absolute coolest Canadian I’ve ever run into.  She is hysterically funny, she spins, is very personable, plays on a co-ed hockey team…just love her.  She has also recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.   

We’re in the bathroom washing our hands and I turned to her and asked her how she was.  Then, I remembered who I was talking to and I said “Do you almost get the feeling people want to see you fall apart in front of their eyes?”  She laughed…of course. 

I’m not comparing a divorce with breast cancer.  Apples and oranges , but, both are major, turning-point-in-your-life experiences.  People ask Dr. Mac the same sorta “How are yew doing?” questions and try to answer for her.  I guess people mean well.  Breast cancer and divorce are unpleasant things and I think people are afraid that they may be contagious or something.  I dunno.

So, how am I?  Let’s just say this last month, especially, has been very difficult.  There have been good days, bad days, REALLY bad days, so-so days.  I’ve had some days where I’ve told the co-workers, who are not used to seeing me in teary mode, “If I appear tearful, just ignore me and for pete’s sake, DONT ask if I’m ok.” (Why do people do that?  If you are crying, perhaps “OK” is not the word you’d use to describe yourself.  Just what IS ok anyway?)

I’ve found myself hibernating a bit more than I have in recent times.  It’s not so much that I’m sitting here in my adorable, homey digs weeping and wailing (although I have, make no mistake). I’m just finding myself chillin’.  I don’t know how to describe it.  Quiet. Lots of thinking.  Lots of reflecting. Lots of praying.  In some ways it’s a really good thing but then again, it’s sad.

 I’m not one to meltdown very often, but, according to my counselor, I should do it more.  I haven’t exactly been great at owning my feelings for many years, in fact, I sorta got numb to them.  I believe they call it in the Psyche world Disassociation.” 

It was kindly humbling to find out that what I always thought was one of my “spiritual gifts”, sarcasm, was really a coping mechanism.  Ain’t that something?  Here I’ve been thinking how stinkin’ clever I can be.  And even more humbling was a couple weeks back, my Sunday School teacher pointed out that the root word of the word “sarcasm” comes from the Greek “sarkaizen” which means to “tear flesh.”  Webster defines sarcasm as “a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain”.  Yikes. 

 Interestingly enough, only in the last year has it ever been directly pointed out to me that ya know, that sarcastic thing you’ve got going is sharp and witty, but, you can hurt people with it.  I’m sure others have thought that but didn’t nobody ever directly say that to me.  I have had a couple instances here on the blog where my sarcasm was hurtful and that was huge for me.

How’d I get on that subject?  I was talking about getting divorced….anyway…I’m not gonna use this space to give details about what happened that led to this, etc.  Me and Mr. Smiff are working very hard at number one, helping our kids to adjust the changes and neither one of us are interested in destroying the other one.  19 years is a long time.  One more year and I would’ve been with him longer than I was with my parents.  I have very strong feelings where Mr. Smiff and his family are concerned.  (Strong as in deep)

So, if you know somebody that’s going through a rough period in their lives…whether it be a divorce, an illness or any number of other tough times, and you don’t quite know what to say, my suggestion is (I’m bout to get Biff on ya) “Drop them” a note or an email that says just that.  I’m here for ya…I care…blah blah…don’t put people on the spot.  Don’t get all in their face and ask for details or try to convince them that they should feel this or that.  Sometimes a hug is good (cept for weirdos like me that aren’t always comfortable with that)…feel it out.  It’s awkward all around.

Amazed

A little musical goodness from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir with some help from…uh…one of the Crabb Family.  I think it’s Jason. Can’t keep ‘em all straight but they sho can sing.  They are fellow Hendersonvillians and just about everytime I go to the Longhorn, I run into some Crabbs.  That is no lie.  Just like just about everytime I go to Calhouns, I run into Harold Reid of the Statlers. Heh.
Anyway, I love this song.

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