Is it too much to ask to just have a man in your life who wants to go see a movie, come home, drink until you’re both horny, screw like monkeys and pass out until 10a.m.??? Seriously, where’s my soulmate?
That’s what I asked myself as I drove home from the final errand before hitting the kitchen to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for twenty or so of my closest pals.
I was listening to Twisted Sister screech out We’re Not Gonna Take it, and chomping on a Coffee Crisp Bar, licking my battle wounds from an extra long week at work that included an office fire and suffering from a head cold that rivaled the pressure of a sledgehammer making contact with a guinea hen egg. Oh yah, and another round of ‘what the fuck was I thinking’ would happen in the land of middle-age love angst.
Perhaps the Twisted Sister turned up to 11 and the pre-dinner candy-bar were giveaways leading up to the burn-out finish line? Perhaps I had managed to push my usually wonderfully over-functioning self to the edge? Perhaps I should have come home, made an easy dinner and tackled everything at a more even pace?
But no. I had twinkle-lights to dig out of the shed, pumpkins to carry up from the garage, a table to prepare, salads, desserts and stuffing to make. Time was, as always, of the essence.
Out of sheer desperation, I sent a text to my friend asking if she would mind terribly stopping and picking up the one, elusive item I had overlooked during my three trips to the grocer this week. If you know me, you know I rarely ask for anything. But tonight, at the point of exhaustion and feeling a little sorry for my unloved self, I asked for help.
Shortly afterward, in a rush, a very large, very sharp, very serrated knife found its way quickly through my left hand.
If anyone were with me, they would have wrapped up my hand and driven me to the ER for a few stitches. Perhaps they may have said some soothing words, or done something comforting, but no. That’s not how I roll darlings. Instead, I gave my kiddo a first aid lesson in how to identify arterial blood from venous blood, and how to wash and sterilize a wound in order to begin the clotting cascade.
No, I’m not kidding. That’s exactly what happened.
Life has a way of slowing us down when we won’t listen to our bodies; overloaded immune systems, fatigue, forgetfulness.
Whenever I stumble, fall, or in this case cut myself wide open, I know that I have to slow down, stop, and pay attention to just how thin I’m trying to stretch myself with no one to support me.
When my friend arrived at my door with my forgotten grocery item and a beautiful bouquet of flowers, it was all I could do not to cry. She’s a one-of-a-kind pal. Sometimes it is a simple kindness that brings me to my knees and touches my soul when it feels the most alone.
It’s time to take some of my own good advice. Who knows, maybe I’ll treat myself to some TLC this weekend; sleep in a bit, give my body a chance to recover, dawdle over the Saturday news on Sunday morning, and tuck myself in at the theatre with a big bucket of popcorn and watch the movies I want to see.
Tomorrow we won’t have corn stalks and twinkle lights, and someone is going to have to help me peel the turnip, set the table and lift the turkey and ham. But that’s ok. I’ll be thankful for the friends I do have, and for another opportunity to gather together.