The Little Engine That Could

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Big Girl on Big Families

My whole family, at least my mom's side, right now is sitting at a dinner table in North Carolina celebrating her twin sisters' birthdays.

And I am writing from my computer in Astoria, not there with them.

I hate that.

I could have gone, but three days from now I will be getting on a plane and headed to CA for a wedding of one of my dearest grammar school friends. And seeing most of the family I don't get to see so often. But this weekend I have been depressed and sad, because I want to be there, to kiss those kids faces, talk with the adults and have a happy memory that will last forever.

But too, this is a pipe dream-- see in theory, it is a great idea, the whole family laughing around the dinner table, sharing stories, being together. What really happens is this one gets mad at that one, somone yells at me, I start to cry, and then lock myself in the bathroom, at which time my mother storms in and tells me to suck it up. Well, not quite, but that's what happened when Gramma died. Nothing like breaking down at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner restaurant over a comment Keith (my brother) made to me about his use of salt. To this day, I swear, I was just looking at the salt going "Should I put salt on my dinner too, it is an old people's restaurant, so it's probably bland." To which my brother, as menacing as can be says "You gota problem with me?" Then, cue the tears.

So yes, it is better that I am here, in my apartment, helping and avoiding Kimi as much as she needs me to do either. I now know that I will not be going back to school for a PHD, wow, the stress she is under has had me break out like a fourteen year old.

But then again, what is family when they are scattered across the country? I consider mom and pop and any relation of blood family, but I consider my closest friends family too-- Anne, Kimi, Dan, Michelle, Christine, Gayle, Desha, Wendy, Kris, Sandhya, et all-- people who are in and out of my life but stay unwavering in their love for me. People I can be filthy with, I can cry with, laugh with, create worlds with. People I actually want over at my house for dinner, or who will, in a moment of sadness, take care of me and let me cry. My family, mom specifically is a big believer in "No one cries alone" unless she is the one that made me cry. Most of my friends have the ability to touch and move me in ways I have never felt before (no, not in that way, you filthy bastard) that have me know that I am completely and totally taken care of.

Family as I move into my thirties has taken on choice of people I want in my life. No longer am I a believer that I need to be well liked, nor that I have to be friends with everyone in the room. No longer to I have to slap on the happy face and do things out of obligation. I can just be.

But then, back to the family around the dinner table. I miss them, I miss the Christmas mornings at gramma's house, eating olives off my fingers (only the black ones, because in my younger days, the green ones were yucky), sitting downstairs opening presents, playing trivial pursuit, laughing and talking, and being together. I miss Church on Sunday mornings with my whole family, and then off to Hoff's Hut for french toast and cocoa. I miss playing marco polo for hours in the pool with my cousins. I miss making up games, pre-survivor survivor, and using what was left in the garage to make up worlds. I miss all that-- the fun, the games, the innocence, the joy. Before I knew who did what to who, before divorces and re-habs, before jail time, before totalled cars, totalled houses, new babies, before we all grew up and left home.

I want those blue skied days of wonder and never ending explorations of what we can create with just our imaginations. And playing together because we love each other, and because we are family. Falling asleep in the sun, watching tv-- four across-- in my parents waterbed. I want to play crazy 8's in my dry-ish bathing suit at the dinner table, I want to eat popcorn with five hands going in and out of the bowl. I want my family back the way it was, when we all lived a couple miles from one another, and I am missed at the dinner table.

I know I am missed at the dinner table. I just had to call to remind them I am not there.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I have to remember how I feel right now.

I never think of myself as huge, and then, I see a picture of me. Taken just moments before, and go, who's that? That is me, this large thing I have become.

Does it make me ugly-- no. Does it make me uncomfortable? Yes. Because regardless of my size, I will always be a big girl, a girl with big dreams, big ideas, big laughs, big cries. Big is just an adjective to describe everything I am, larger than life, whole, grounded, huge, powerful, monstrous, giant, glamorous, glamazon, Amazon, strong, bold, audacious, bodacious.....

We went to lunch for the mouse's birthday, and she said something snappish to me. I really don't care if she doesn't like me, but she is my boss. Maybe she should stop competing with me, and just manage me, and we could get along great. Ever think of that, squeak squeak?

But this isn't about her, in fact she is a waste of space on here. No offense, squeak squeak, but this is about big girls.

So there I am larger than life in a picture with my boss and her boss and the other girls I work with, and I am huge. Huge huge huge. And I can feel it because I haven't worked out in a week or two, and I have been sleeping so much, and I just feel blah. And then proceeded to belong to the clean plate club, and then buy a pair of cockroach killers at the NJ strip mall we were at. And wonder when we are having cake for her birthday. I have no shame.

And I realize that I want to be healthy. I want to look in the mirror and like what I see, or be on the way to liking it. And I am tired of just being tired. Bit by bit it drags me down. Small deaths. A la petite morte-- which is little deaths and orgasms in French. Hmm, more on sex later.

I want an old fashioned merry go round-- the one from the seventies that was metal and rusty and if you stayed in the middle and looked up, your stomach turned flip flops, but your eyes could focus on the one spot in the sky while the world around you spun out of control.

So, to the gym. Walk, breathe the air (without the filter of smoke). Play again. Play play play. Spin out of control as the whole world stays in one place.