Christmas Conundrum — A Love Story

Co·nun·drum
noun
“one of the most difficult conundrums for the experts”
synonyms: problem, difficult question, difficulty, quandary, dilemma;

“I have a real conundrum”, was how he answered my standard nightly inquiry which goes something like this:

Me: “How was your day?”
Husband: “It was (fill in the blank).”

Usually he says “good.” Other times I can tell by his face that I shouldn’t ask. More often than not there’s a story or a funny anecdote which starts a conversation that carries us through dinner.

But never, in the almost seventeen years I’ve asked the question has he answered this way.

“Wow, really? A conundrum. What happened?”

He hedged.
I don’t like hedging. Hedging makes me anxious.

“I’ll feed the dog,” he volunteered.

When it comes to eating our dog is probably a lot like yours. Since she comprehends any sentence that has the word food or feed or treat in it — the “spinning around the kitchen” phase of the evening begins as she excitedly waits for her dish to be prepared.

“Come on! Tell me what’s up!” I urged as he shoveled kibble into warm water.

When he bent down to give our whirling dervish her dinner, I spotted some residual unsteadiness left over from the bout of vertigo he’s been battling for the past couple of weeks.

Slowly, he came back to standing, leaning on the kitchen counter directly across from me.

Those corners in the kitchen, those are sacred. They are our “go to” conversation spots.
If I think about it, almost every conversation, big or small, has a least started from those corners.

We may shift back and forth while we prepare dinner but it all begins in those corners.

If things get tense, we maintain our distance, like a fighter in the ring.

But I have laughed my ass off and cried a river (often at the same time) in the corners of my kitchen.
We hug a lot there too.

I don’t know why, but kitchen corners are conducive to hugging.

Anyway, it took a while for him to explain.

“I wanted to get you a tree,” he said looking at me sheepishly.
“I wanted to surprise you…with a Christmas tree.”

“What?”

You see, Christmastime at our house is…complicated.

For me, it is the BEST time of year. You can find me Ho, Ho, Ho-ing my way through December.

For my husband—not so much. No, No, No-ing is more like it for him.

It could be due to his horrible, Jesuit boarding school, Oliver Twisted childhood—no one knows for sure.

All I DO know is that we have litigated this subject into the ground only to come away without any reasonable solution as to how we can navigate the holiday—and keep both of us happy.

If you read my last blog post you know that I’ve decided to go treeless this year. It was a compromise I’ve never been willing to make—until now—made easy by some brilliantly timed, post-holiday travel.

In an act of holiday self-care (which, no matter what that looks like for you, I highly recommend for everyone) I decorated my sister’s tree on Tuesday which was a fix for this Christmas Junkie.

So, I’m good with it. Really.

And that’s the part that confused him.

He continued, “On Monday, I finally felt up to driving to that awesome nursery where we saw those live trees,” he said.
“The ones with the silver needles you like?

He could see the bewildered expression on my face but he kept going.

“So I had it in the back of my van and I was going to set it up this morning…until I read your blog.”

I still wasn’t following so he went on.

“You said you were happy that you didn’t have a tree. That you liked the ease and simplicity…”

“Well, yeah…but…”

“So I drove back there to return it, but they don’t take back Christmas trees.” I could see a look of chagrin trying to hide behind his sexy, white beard.

I started to laugh. “What? No you didn’t!”

“Yep,” he said, starting to see the humor. “You are the proud owner of a living silver pine tree which has been driven all over hell and back the past two days and is now lurking in the back of my van trying not to feel rejected.”

“Awwwwww, come on! You did not!” My eyes filled with tears as I launched myself into his arms. I told you those corners were for hugging.

“Lemme see him!” I squealed.

“I’m sorry.” He nuzzled his face in my neck. “I just can’t seem to get it right.”

“Don’t be. Ya did good.”

Sometimes when you let something go. Like really let it go with no residual bullshit–it hunts you down and lurks in a van in your driveway.

Bible.

Carry on,
xox


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No Tree For Me

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“Christmas is a baby shower that went totally overboard.”
~ Andy Horowitz

I’m about to reveal something so subversive that you may have to look away. I’m not putting up a Christmas tree this year!

Now, let me stop you right here. Before you call me a shrink or start a Go Fund Me page—let me explain.

Since I’m leaving to go visit friends starting on December 26th, I’m pretty sure I’d lose my mind and just napalm the place if I came back to a dead tree covered in ornaments that need boxing the first week of January (and I know it would be as dried out as my lips because the humidity in California is in the single digits.)

But don’t worry about me! So as not to fall into a deep eddy of despair, I decorated the hearth within an inch of its life with garland and waaaaay too many twinkle lights-but the garland is fake—so no pine smell— which as you all know I LIVE for—so, maybe you’re right.

Send cookies. Now!

Anyhow, I’m “trying it on”.
I’m “leaning in” as they say, to a tree-less Christmas.
Right? Are you vomiting yet?

Listen, I’m not gonna lie. A large part of me loves the ease and simplicity of it all.
But…
If I dwell on any of it for more than a minute (no tree, minimal baking and carols) well, I burst into tears so I don’t.
Dwell that is.

And isn’t that what the holidays is all about?
A toxic soup of mixed emotions bubbling just under the surface ready to boil over?

So I decided to focus on the things I’m grateful for.
Because if I go down that other road…there may be sheet cake.

Things I’m grateful for:

Eyelashes growing back after the Great Eyelash Extension Allergy Debacle of 2017.

Along those lines, I’m so grateful that magnetic lashes were exposed as the con that they are. Even Rita Wilson, a woman who loves everyone and everything posted a picture in her Instagram with a snarky caption that said something like Fuck you magnetic eyelashes! You big scam! (I might be paraphrasing).

I’m grateful that we don’t live on Venus. Each day lasts 243 Earth days! Just think of it, December would last the equivalent of twenty Earth years.
Kill me now.

I’m grateful for pie. And for the diners that have a “burger with pie
special.”

I’m so incredibly grateful for all of my female friends. You inspire me every day and i love you more than pie.

I’m grateful that my house hasn’t burned to the ground despite being surrounded by fire for the past week or so. Thank you to the awesome firefighters!

I’m grateful for Spanx. Full stop. No explanation needed.

I’m grateful that my uterus has left the building.  Even though she stayed too long at the party, she served me well and was a righteous old broad.

I’m grateful for all of the exciting projects on the horizon for 2018. I have no idea what they are—but I know they always show up.

I’m grateful that I have writing as my rant receptacle, creative outlet.

I’m grateful for love and dogs and candles and love, did I say love already? And cold noses and hot coffee and selfie filters and family, diamonds and love and hugs and love and boobs and love.

What are you grateful for?

Carry on,
xox

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It’s About Time! Another Jason Silva Sunday

This is a new Shots of Awe where Jason rants on risk, creativity and failure.

Most people shy away from ranting on failure but I happen to believe, like my buddy Jason here, that it’s extremely rant worthy.

A while back I even wrote failure a love letter.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/my-love-letter-to-failure_b_8198096.html

I wrote it because I truly believe that failure has taught me SO much more than success—and sometimes late at night, after a glass of wine or four, I write love letters that are really only rants on paper.
I do.
Look for yours in the mail.

Carry on,
xox


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Jolly As Fuck

So…It’s that special time between holidays where my guard goes down, my cold, stone heart turns all soft and mushy, and I throw the entire world a ton of slack…because I’m jolly as fuck!

That being said, I still can’t find it in myself to feel sorry for the poor corporations and the super rich who I’m being told every minute of the day need our help because their tax rate is too high.

Listen, dickless, get your hands out of my wallet and off of children’s healthcare!

Besides, we all know your wealth won’t trickle down. In all the years they’ve tried to convince us it will—it never has. I may be jolly but what do you take me for, a fool?

I’m also not buying the case for doing away with net neutrality. Everybody wants cheap, fast, and impartial internet access. Period. The end. Full stop.

Dear Ajit Pai and the FCC, if you know what’s good for you—you won’t fuck with our internet!

And what’s with all the lying? It isn’t just pervasive, it’s epidemic and it insults my intelligence!

“We never talked to any Russians!”
Oh, mah, gawd! Yes, yes you guys did. A bunch of you. A gaggle. A gang. A coven of suits, you all talked to the Russians.
A lot. Like, all the time!
Then you lied to cover it up, like we all do when we’re just having legal conversations about nothing with lovely folks who aren’t criminals.

I heard a story recently that reminded me of Paul Manafort and (Don Jr.? Flynn? Pence? — fill in the blank) about two dumb-shits who killed a third dumb-shit (this is just an educated guess because of his proximity and relationship to the other two). They hit him in the head repeatedly with a hammer and then tied a cinder block to his legs and threw his corpse into a body of water.

Of course they didn’t do any of that right because his body came up to the surface within an hour—with a head full of hammer marks—and while the police were scouring the area looking for the perpetrators, our hero’s got pulled over for a traffic violation that produced a bloody hammer and a couple of matching cinder blocks — IN THE TRUNK OF THE CAR.

And even though their finger prints and his blood was EVERYWHERE — they denied any wrong doing.
There’s nuthin’ to see here!
They were indignantly innocent because they said they were.

Sound familiar?

My dog thought so.

Here’s a case for trickle down lying.

Last night, for the first time in the four years she’s been alive, our little brown dog jumped up onto the kitchen counter and ate half a pot roast.

Judging from the suspicious look on her face, the drooling, and the licking of her chops as she left the room we were in on her way to the kitchen, I suspected as much. But my husband, his faith in her good behavior stubbornly intact, gave her the benefit of the doubt until she failed to come after repeatedly being called.

Ruby! Ruby? Ruby…where are you?

He got up to check on the roast at the exact same moment she left the kitchen. They even passed each other in the living room. The fact that she could not maintain eye contact, had her tail between her legs, and was virtually commando crawling past him was the clincher for me. It was her “bloody hammer in the trunk” moment as far as I was concerned.

“Motherf*#@$ dog!” He yelled, bounding back into the den and grabbing her sorry ass in a headlock all the while dragging her back to the scene of the crime amid a firestorm of obscenities.

“You bad dog!” he hissed. “You ate half a damn roast!”

Really? Did you see me eat it? I heard her say as she was forcibly dragged from my sight.

She obviously watches too much cable news and has come to believe this new truth we’ve been subjected to, that lying about and denying something—means it didn’t happen.

The beef was gone. She was the only other person in the house —and her breath smelled of…you guessed it—roast beef. Yet, she continued to deny it and her remorse in the end was tepid at best.

A lot of things could have happened to that roast. And besides, hypothetically speaking of course, it isn’t against the law if I were the one to have eaten it. Everyone knows that eating meat in this house is NOT a criminal offense!

She barked all of that from her bed, which is located in the lower back-forty of our home (fifty feet away) where she was banished for the rest of the night.

I felt bad. Bad that I had such a roast-eating-lying-liar of a dog and even worse that I knew I’d probably choke to death in my sleep from the horrendous beef farts brought on by her impending meat sweats.

So there you have it. That special time of year. When the government tries to take away all of your deductions, the wait time for online catalogue customer service is measured in hours not minutes, and some asshat comes up with definitive proof that raw cookie dough can kill ya.

I call bullshit on December—and while I’m at it, pretty much all of 2017.

Carry on,
xox


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Soft Landing ~ Straight From The Archives

Hello Tribe,
Sometimes I like to poke around in the archives to see if there’s anything in there worth re-posting. This showed up today when I put the word “December” in the search window.

I was intrigued to see it again since it had neither December in the title nor was it posted in December. Naturally, when that happens, when something with the title Soft Landing shows up unsolicited, I’m curious af!

This was back when I was writing the first thing in the morning. It was a kind of stream of consciousness thing.

Well, low and behold, it seems just as relevant today as it did back in August of 2013—maybe even more so with the full super-moon in Gemini, the state of the world, and the feeling that many of us have had for the last, oh, I don’t know…YEAR—that the sky is falling.

This has such a hopeful tone, doesn’t it? And landing softly sounds good to me right now, how ’bout you?

I believe that the right things, info, or signs will show up when you need them the most. I needed this. 

Carry on,

xox


Today is the day of landing into the energy
that started to come in December 2012.
So we suggest you set the intention for a
soft landing.

By that we mean,
get quiet and give this some thought.
These were big influxes of energy,
like waves, and many of you were knocked off your feet,
and have been swimming as hard as you can,
just trying to keep your head above water.

Well, to stay with the wave analogy,
after today’s wave,
the tide is settling,
it is still deep and active,
with a big full moon,
but it has churned up your life enou.gh,
and now starts to recede.

And with conscious intention,
you can swim with very little effort
back to shore,
or let the wave carry you back,
and deposit you.

Intend your soft landing.
Take into account all the changes that have
happened in your life in the last 8 months.
Bless them, for they are like the influx of fresh water
that flushes out a stagnant pool.

All that matters now, today,
is that you give careful deliberation
in the energy of all this change,
of where you want to land.

We would suggest you hit the ground running!
A little banged up, but none the worse for wear,
wiser,
full of new ideas,
calmer,
grabbing the hands of the others coming to shore.
Ready for this next adventure,
because it can truly be whatever you
dream it to be!


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Drake, Uber and A Pervy Frenchie

This morning I saw a dog taking an Uber.

It was in the passenger seat barking orders (oh, yes I did) at the harried, middle-aged, female driver. I know this because I was across from them in the opposing traffic on Coldwater Canyon for an inordinate amount of time.

He, (the dog) being a schnauzer mix, resembled a hipster millennial with a scraggly beard and man bun.
I decided to name him Drake.
And because Drake was either chewing or barking, he appeared to this anthropomorphically obsessed woman (me) to be talking.

Rather, make that yelling.

Drake was back-seat driving from the front passenger seat (is there anything worse?) blah, blah, blahing directions to the dog park on Mulholland.

I’m sure of it. I have dogs. I know what dictatorial, unforgiving, assholes they can be.

He looked self-righteous and entitled (like most dogs I know) yelling at the poor woman to get a move on! Drake was having none of the morning traffic on his commute to socialize with his kind. Having overslept, he’d skipped his coffee, making him surly and short-tempered.

If I were his driver I would have told him to either stop his yelling—or to get the fuck outta my car!

I would have told him that I know better than Waze and that no matter which lane you use, the canyon at that hour is a brutal shit-show.

Then I would have made a crack about the day old biscuit crumbs in his beard and his breath that could curdle milk.

I felt sorry for the poor woman who had her head turned toward me, away from his yapping, staring longingly out the window, just waiting for this hell to end, knowing full well that Drake would skip the tip.

As we finally passed each other I made the sign-of-the-cross and prayed a little prayer that when Drake got to the dog park a German Shepard trained by Mossad would beat the snot out of him.

That not-so-loving thought bit me in the ass only moments later when a stranger’s Frenchie craned it’s neck under the stall at Tree People and watched me pee with an expression that was just pervy enough to make me miss Drake.

So…how was your morning?

Carry on,
xox


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Pleasing An Audience of One

“The more you love your own decisions the less you need others to love them.”

Somebody said that to me recently, I just can’t remember who it was.
Obviously, it was somebody wise. Somebody who could see behind my lyin’ eyes. Beneath my confident veneer. Somebody who sought to quiet the relentless beast who makes a meal of my doubts and fears.

It was probably my shrink…if only I had one. Or more likely, it was my husband who’s been known to play that role on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays, every weekend in December, and all 366 days of a leap year.

Just when you think you’re over seeking the approval of others, a project, relationship, or pair of shoes shows up and blows your cool to kingdom come!

No fucks given!… Right?
Ha! Who am I kidding?

The problem with me, and I’m pretty sure you can relate, is that I LOVE my decisions until I speak them out loud. Once I have to try to explain them to other rational folks, well, I can’t—so I don’t—unless I do—and then I’m fucked.

Recently, like I’d say the past few years, I keep my decisions to myself. Most of them are unexplainable anyway so why bother, and the other stuff I don’t care enough about to engage the peanut gallery. Besides, if Aunt Barbara likes my shoes—I throw them out. End of story.

Most of my projects of late would sound bat-shit crazy to you. Just like all the decisions I’ve made that carried them toward completion. But that’s okay by me.

It has to be.

In my opinion, if everybody loves everything you’re doing—you not pushing the envelope far enough. Go back to the drawing board. Take some chances.

Listen, I’ll tell you what I always tell myself: Life is only about pleasing an audience of one. Donald Trump  YOURSELF.

Carry on,
xox


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Wait! But I’m Huge In Russia! ~ The Price of Fame

*I think this applies to making ANYTHING!


“Yep, that’s malware”, said the security guy, Manny, with a voice dripping sardonic conviction.

This was last Friday. I had been locked out of my website, the very one you’re on right now, on Monday—only to be hacked the next morning. Fix. Reappear. Fix. Reappear…you get the picture.

“Let me pass you back to your hosting site.” That is an example of a condescending tech dismissal. A nice way of saying I’m too important to talk to you about your unfounded malware suspicions. You think you have a security issue but malware is a big deal lady and you’re not…so go away.

Finally, on Friday, my hosting site determined it “might” be malware and called in the big guns to verify.

“I doubt this is malware but let me take a look…” said a very skeptical Manny at nine am on Friday morning. After a substantial amount of humming and hawing, he put me on hold.
I put him on speaker.

9:08 am —

“Ma’am?”

After spitting a mouthful of coffee back in the cup, “Yes?”

“We’ve determined your site is the victim of a targeted attack.”

“What? An attack? Can it?…” “Please hold,” he said abruptly, cutting me off.
An attack? That sounded…overreacty. Wait. wasn’t overreacting supposed to be MY job.

9:10 AM —

Barry Manilow abruptly stopped singing right in the middle of Mandy, followed by the sound of several voices in the background. “Yep, that’s malware.”

“Well I’m glad you’ve reached a consensus”, I said referring to the repeated holding and all the background voices.

“Ma’am?”

“Nevermind. Is this like ransomware?”

“Has anyone asked you for money ma’am?”

“No, I mean, just you guys…to fix it I mean.”

“Then no. It’s malware.”

I could hear the clicking sounds of him typing furiously on a keyboard.

“This is a targeted attack. They set it up to reinfect you every twenty-four hours. What kind of website did you say this is?”

“I didn’t…say that is.” SILENCE “It’s uh, nothing too subversive. It’s, it’s…observational humor.”

“Right.” The furious typing on his end continued until he put me on hold for the third time, subjecting me to the instrumental version of a Chaka Khan song.

9:32 AM —

“Ma’am, as you’ve probably already noticed, (I hadn’t) we’ve instructed the hosting site to take your webpage offline temporarily until we can figure out the extent of the attack.”

“Wow, uh, okay…you keep saying attack. Was it Russia?” I chortled, trying to lighten the mood.

“Probably.” His typing continued.

“Wait, what? It was…no!…It was Russia?!…Wait…I’m huge in Russia!”

Different blog posts have been featured on an online Russian psychology magazine for over a year (I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either) and I can tell in my analytics when an article comes out because people from all over that region click onto the link attached to The Observer’s Voice.

When it happens, which is about once a month, it never ceases to amaze me. I always remark to my husband, Look, Belarus! And a couple of the Stans! They’re reading my words! What a small world!

And his reply is always the same “You’re HUGE in Russia!”

Manny didn’t skip a beat. “That’s the price of fame” he replied.

Fame? Fame!

“Somebody wants to silence you,” he said. “It happens all the time.”

“Story of my life!” I yelled without thinking. “Well, they can just get in line!”

Manny laughed. You guys don’t understand. Manny was as dry as wallpaper paste. I can die a happy woman now that I made Manny laugh.

10 AM —

Manny gave me a ticket number and hung up, but only after assuring me that they’d clean my website and get me back up and offending people by Monday.

10:15 AM —

I hung up and immediately called my husband.

“Babe, the Russians targeted The Observer’s Voice site with malware!”

“Why? You’re HUGE in Russia!
Hey, did they ask you for money…?”

Carry on,
xox


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I Think I’m Addicted To Stress…Via…A Bitch Attack

It all started on Saturday.

No. It started the week before when my husband sold a car.

I had suggested it, wanting to build on the new “smaller life, with fewer things” tact our life has taken this year. But for the first time in our entire marriage (and about seventeen vehicles later) I was having car sellers remorse. I’m embarrassed to say what it was, lest I send like Richie-rich. Just suffice it to say—It was a convertible sports car—and I loved it.

The vroom, vroom of the engine. The wind in my hair.

Oh, well, nevermind.

My husband was stupidly excited for Saturday to come, but when he asked me to drive him to pick up the new object of his affection I could barely hide my abhorrence. Battleship gray, with the lines of a cock and balls—it is SO not my thing.

I don’t think it’s anyone’s thing, but that’s beside the point. He loves it.

As a result of residual childhood, Catholic guilt, he agreed to visit the nursery of all nurseries I’d been dying to see since we were in the area and I’d taken a huge chunk out of my day to chauffeur him to pick up “the dick”.

Friends had told me breathlessly that the Christmas section of this nursery (about ten thousand square feet) was like a December visit to Bethlehem, London and New York combined.

Upon entering this mythical land I couldn’t stop shaking and not because of its magical holiday vibe (which was epic) but because I was so sad. And angry.

I know my husband hates Christmas, which is my favorite holiday and one that has brought me a childlike, innocent joy my entire life. I know it—but I can’t pretend to understand it or like it.

I also know that to him, walking through room after room where it looks like Santa and all of his elves have exploded is like walking a claustrophobe through a straw.

He was good-natured about the whole thing, poking around the endless shelves of ornaments and pine scented candles which only served to infuriate me further.

HOW DARE HE!

I started a fight. About killjoys and the hidden psychosis of men who hate Christmas. I even cried. Then we left angry. Me in my car and he in his bondo-colored penis.

That night I couldn’t let it go. Laying in bed, it suddenly seemed like a great time to relitigate this Christmas dilemma and the sale of the perfect car. After tearily making my case, and feeling dissatisfied with pretty much anything that came out of his mouth—I turned away in a huff.

After the lights went out and I had simmered down to a low boil, I asked that voice in my head, the wise one with all the answers, what she thought about this horrible predicament I’d found myself in.

After a while, I heard her loud and clear. “Why dontcha get some REAL problems?” she said. “Then come talk to me. Oh, and check your hormones you seem a little crazy.”

That struck me like a bolt of lightning!

Right? I mean, hello? Nobody is sick, nobody’s dying, what the fuck is my problem?

Believe me when I say I am not proud of this at all!
I was not born with a silver spoon, mine was a pink plastic spork. Neither do I live in a guided cage. The past decade has been a catastrofuck. I lost my business, we blew through our savings and fell deeply in debt. We even both had major surgeries.

But like life tends to do, it gives you the opportunity to right the ship.
So we did. And this year we were able to sell some assets and actually make a profit! This allowed me to pay off all of my business debts and actually put some money in the bank.

Finally, after many years, I have nothing to stress about at night.

So I manufacture things, Stupid things. Petty things. Things that if I’m not careful will manifest into REAL problems.

Monday this blog went down, corrupted beyond belief. I couldn’t cope. My head spun around backward while I finished the leftover bag of Halloween candy. Then I talked myself off the ledge, Get some REAL problems! I told myself. Does your blog distribute medicine to babies in Africa? No? Then get over yourself.

Today, my devoted tech-guru Billy was able to save it—and here I am.

I think I may be addicted to stress you guys AND I think I owe my husband a huge apology. So, take it from me—stop waiting for the shoe to drop, for the money to run out and for the opportunities to dry up. And fuck the Christmas haters!

PS: hate the car.

Carry on,
xox


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Hugging A Porcupine

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Hello tribe,
This is straight from the 2015 archives but with politics being what it is these days it feels more relevant than ever.
Love you guys,
xox


Have you ever hugged a porcupine? Yeah me neither.
Although lately I could swear that I walk away from some hugs covered in quills.

I’ve developed the good sense to steer clear of the obvious porcupine people—the toxic, difficult, hard to love ones.

I don’t even own the suit of armor it took to get close to them anymore.
I think I sold it years ago at a garage sale.

Anyhow, lately I’ve suffered some pretty prickly encounters with previously un-prickly people.

Which surprised me. Then it didn’t. Because I had an Ah-ha.
Let’s hear it for those Ah-ha moments!

The other day while I was pulling embedded quills from my forceps (ouch) I had time to think, and it occurred to me that certain people (The obvious porcupine people) wear their quills facing out, mostly as a defense, and after a while—people tend to leave them alone.

While others wear their quills on the inside—hurting only themselves in the process.

I saw a video recently of a snake that swallowed a porcupine whole. It was gross but kinda cool. Anyway, the poor mis-guided snake who never received the DO NOT EAT PORCUPINE memo died soon afterwards, the quills rupturing all of it’s internal organs.

Eventually, I suppose we all figure this out—because the pain gets too great …and we’re smarter than a snake.

We take our quills and turn them inside-out just before we discard them for good—as an act of self-loving transformation—in order to save our own lives. It leaves us raw and vulnerable, and some innocent (or not so innocent) people may be stuck by our pointedness in the process.

Note to self: Hug at your own risk. Oh, and use oven mitts.

I know for me, during times of intense introspection and change, as my quills work their way from the inside-out, I get pretty prickly, and if I’ve left a quill or five in your arms during a hug—I’m sorry (Raphael).

It’s all about empathy and compassion you guys. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go watch a video of a porcupine eating a pumpkin.

Carry on,
xox


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