Today I was making my grocery list and literally had to go to the kitchen to remember what I thought we might need. I glanced into the refrigerator and was making notes of the “he needs milk” style when I saw the egg carton and a scene from a movie played out in my mind. Julia Robert’s has a movie called “The Runaway Bride” that involves her running out of the church on 3 separate occasions. The story arc hits it’s high point when Richard Gere asks her “How do you like your eggs?” Through flashbacks we see that she eats her eggs however the man in her life eats his eggs. With one they’re scrambled, another they’re poached and a third they’re over easy. She transforms herself into the perfect mate for a man and looses herself. Thus, she runs away before saying the big “I do’s.” She literally leaves and finds out who she is by the end of the movie and they live happily ever after. Good movie, but I digress, this is not the point of this post.
I began to notice how many things I do “because Richard liked it that way” in my normal everyday life. Now after more than 20 years together, a certain amount of assimilation is to be expected. But, as I look back, it seems I was over taken by the damned Borg. As I made the list and wrote bacon, I automatically wrote sausage. Neither my son nor I eat sausage unless its Italian sausage in Lasagna. So I crossed it off the list. Neither my son nor myself eat canned vegetables, we are carnivores. God help me, the Jolly Green Giant is crying in the corner because I marked off those as well. I had Sunny D on the list because of Richard going into insulin shock. We hate it as well. Ciao. I had a particular brand of bathroom cleaner on the list that I have to work twice as hard to get the tubs clean because he hated the smell. My elbow says for me to buy something that could peel paint if it saves me work.
The biggest question of the day today was “Just who in the hell am I?“ So I began a study on myself of things I do or wear or eat or watch simply because “Richard liked it that way.” For example, I sleep on the left side of the bed because he was closer to the bathroom and it saved broken toes because he was a klutz. I have since moved to the middle. No top sheet on the bed because it made him cold. Guess what, they’re both on the bed and they’re black. He said dark sheets looked like you were sleeping in a whorehouse.
These are the results of my study so far. I sleep under my good comforter because I am responsible and won’t destroy it. When I make my bed I have more than 30 pillows that go on it, and I like it that way. I watch TV in my bedroom rather than the living room because it’s more comfortable. I watch what I want when I want because technology makes it easy to do these days. I wear a t-shirt that says “Heartless Bitch” in public and my rock star sunglasses indoors. I am not prone to holding my acid tongue if asked about either one in public. Young or old, if you have the nerve to ask, I have the nerve to answer. I have specific drawers for each kind of underwear and there are five separate drawers. My t-shirts are folded rather than rolled. I feel better in 5 inch heels than in tennis shoes. I take bubble baths rather than showers most of the time. I put bath oil in my bathtub without worrying that someone’s going to fall if I don’t clean it when I get out. If I fall, it's my fault. I sit on my bed rather than in the floor to put my lotion on and then get straight into the sheets without worrying about stains. I think that the right shade of red lipstick can turn that frown upside down and that every female on the planet has the right to find hers if it takes 500 tubes. I know that good make-up will hide a multitude of sins and less is not always more but if you can‘t put it on, leave it alone. I believe in the power of the little black dress, dark hose and platform shoes. I think that a woman in pearls settled, get the diamonds baby girl or at least look like you did. Three quarters of my wardrobe is black and has been for more than 15 years. No I don’t need color unless I say I want color. I am not really friendly with strange people and as a rule I generally do not like children under the age of 12 nor old people that act like they are privileged because they lived this long. Both types often tend to be needy and they usually smell in my opinion. This does not make me a horrible human being, just an honest one. I do not eat food that I do not like or cannot identify. If it's slimy, it's really not for me. No I don’t want to try it because I don’t like the way it looks or smells. I am a slave to good French roast coffee with a touch of sugar and I tend to like a strong, cold adult beverage. I do not drink sweet tea nor do I eat grits, and yes I am a true southerner. I do know what moonshine looks as well as tastes like. I prefer either text or email, I hate to talk on the phone for the most part. These are the things I can state with absolute certainty.
I find it amazing that I have to ask myself what I like or want. So many things that define me as an individual have been stripped away that I am in danger of loosing them forever. I have to find my way, my voice, my truth in this place. I know some things but not enough to say that I know myself well. Maybe I won’t fit where I used to fit because I am not who I used to be. But, it’s for me to find out rather than someone else to tell me.
And just for the record, I prefer my eggs over medium with some light brown toast please.