The job, I got it. Don't know how it is going to work out with my Social Security and all, but hey, I will figure it out!
... AS I SAT AND WATCHED ...
... 'What Not To Wear' on Bravo, I thought about where I was going with this thing, the Fly Skimmie story and all. I called back to mind the comment Russ made about 'thinking too much', and perhaps I was guilty of it again. It left a strange feeling in me, because it was so poorly written (eeww, and it was!) and mainly because it stirred up emotions that are best left settled.
There are more reasons to go to Nebraska other than to be closer to Nebraska. The awkwardness I felt writing about Skimmie is a reminder of them.
We had tried to be a couple for a hot second when I got home from the service. I think that was the first time she really saw me. Having rappeled from helicopters with a weapon changes the aura about a person. Fair play on that, because she wasn't the only one who looked at me differently. But I didn't know where her 'difference' was coming from for a long time.
IMO, one of the things about MY growing up without a Father in the home, is that there were a few things I missed out on, having a man to show me the ropes. One is shaving. I still feel uncomfortable with that, and mainly wing it when it come to doing it. Looks good as long as there isn't any blood anywhere!
Another is how to deal with women. More precisely, on how to be a man with them. Having not seen it up close in the home, made women even a bigger mystery to me. My Mom did her best, and looking back I can see where she explained things in no uncertain terms. But I think it is different when it comes from a man, even if she used the same locker room language to get me to understand.
People who don't know me and are 'at length' can think whatever they want. If somehow it matters to me what they think, then I will consider their opinion. Only those who are close enough to have eaten some chocolate chip cookies that I have baked, or went shopping a Jacobson's, those are the opinions that mean something to me.
Like the Skimmie's.
When we tried in our early thirties to see if we could get close and be a couple, and after I opened up with what I thought she needed to know, for her to come back with the same question, more certain that I was trying to trick her, said to me two things: One, that E. Lyn Harris IS as crap a writer as Terry McMillian! And two, that she could possibly be not as cool with me as I had thought.
Were someone to come up to me, and want to know about my 'past', I like to say 'pretty is as pretty does, and I have really been around the world'. Who needs specifics after that? As to the 'orientation' thing, while generally understood, I would let someone ask me that, freely. To have to face someone who was there with me, who was actually (even if she did not know it then) part of the problem, asking the same basic question was too much. That hurt almost beyond measure.
It meant all the time we had shared as friends, was more like 'mercy time', that she was doing me a favor. It said to me that she didn't take me seriously as a person and that was shameful for me, to have to be faced with that kind of treatment, removed from the time when it was expected.
WHAT DID I SAY?
Oh, I don't remember that, not exactly. I prolly got calm and collected myself and made a decision right then a there. Because I had learned that I needed to stop trying to 'hate' my First Wife, I wasn't going to 'X' the Skimmie completely out. But what I did do, what I am doing again now, is to see how much of a 'friend' she really is.
I told her that I won't be pushing her to feel any way about me, as I enter relationships under a 'non-compete' clause. And while I wouldn't feel I would be competing with a person, I would be competing with a long held predjudice, one that I did not know you had, and one which I know would bother me.
With that, I got up and got my coat and went home. We would talk for a bit, but then I would find Tee Jay and she would find some seditty(?) wanna be cat, and that was that. E-mail and the odd Christmas or birthday calls were are only connection.
"YESTERDAY I WAS LYING ... TODAY I AM TELLING THE TRUTH!"
Bob Arum, fight promoter is credited with that little line. Truth isn't overrated as much as it is mismanaged. When do you want to hear it from your partner? As you are still in the 'new car' phase of the relationship? Or do you want to find out like Julienne Moore did in 'Far From Heaven' (with some help from Dennis Haysbert!). Maybe something crops up when you are struggling with one kid graduating from college, another one on the way with yet one more in private high school, and that dream trip to Venice getting slipperier to hold on to ..?
So I try to get my stuff out in the early part of the relationship. Not first date mind you, but early enough so you can get off the ride. I don't self-depriciate. I don't think I am at least not what I think I am, and what that is, I will tell you. My boxing style was similiar, you saw me coming, and that is what I did. The pirouette was not in my bag of tricks.
Being forward with my deepest flaws IMO, gains me some leeway for later on, when a misunderstanding or something happens. I am not trying to win someone under false pretenses, and I do believe that something grand is yet to occur in my life ... that I don't know what it is, isn't the problem. Being willing to suffer for it is. I tell myself that I will and that I can.
Despite knowing as much crap about me as she did, the Skimmie didn't want to give me any room to be myself. Cool. And this episode proved that for me, to leave Detroit and go off in search of myself is the best thing. Y'all do know that all of my sisters are gone ... irony in that all the time they were kids, I was out and about, but now I am the one sitting here while they are out on the seas!
... so I finished watching 'What Not To Wear' and got my interview outfit together!
Next: Philosophy change!