You Are Missing Your Window Of Opportunity Because I Am Climbing My Pretty Legs Out Of It

The Opportunist

 

Is there such a thing as perfect timing? Ok, maybe not perfect but what about mediocre timing? If someone asks you for a favor after a hot bath, after you’ve eaten, and your mind is rather relaxed—aren’t you more inclined?

I’m starting to believe in the world of MOP.

I made that up. But everything is all about marketing, opportunity, and perspective. “The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.” Yes, Burroughs, was another of my loves.

*

Marketing—

In the way we advertise ourselves. In our confidence, in our pep. I’m usually called chipper or spunky, or as my tagline announces… ‘Mean as a cupcake.’ But, really, in my opinion our personalities make us furthermore desirable after the looks have worn and the newness fades. It’s the way we market ourselves, the value we put in ourselves. Not the power we let others give or take from us.

*

Opportunity—

I’m talking about timing, conquering fear, adrenaline, going for what you know you want. Making way for the fail, the trip, or the fly. The way we face it is the way we come out of it. I’ll never forget what a friend of mine said when I applied to a college (obviously the next one I got in) and I didn’t get accepted in:

“I know you got in this time, but I’m more proud of how you brushed your knees off last time.”

Or maybe my all time x lover Bukowski said it best, with reverse psychology and sarcasm.

“It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”

—Charles Bukowski, Factotum

*

Perspective—

“I think you can love a person too much.

You put someone up on a pedestal, and all of a sudden, from that perspective, you notice what’s wrong – a hair out of place, a run in a stocking, a broken bone. You spend all your time and energy making it right, and all the while, you are falling apart yourself. You don’t even realize what you look like, how far you’ve deteriorated, because you only have eyes for someone else.”
―Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care

*

I’ve let opportunity slip, I’ve left the glass slipper—no prince showed.  I’ve thought about it before. That maybe if I’d been in a prior relationship at any other time; it might have worked out. I’ve prayed, hoped, self-helped, sought counsel, psych, pillow screamed, pop pill—plopt dat *ss down on the couch and pouted, stopped, shouted, stomped off. Ran away on sabbaticals for days and days without contact, SOS soon I’m licking my wounds right now. Planned for the worst, and hoped for the best type of psychoanalytical reverse inverse ~comatosis~. And all I can come up with is this:

Enough already. Because most of the things I’ve hesitated for I’ve lost. Most of the things I’ve gone for I’ve gotten. Most of my gut feelings were right about things that were wrong, but right about things that were right. I’ve lived by Mark Twain when he said to “Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”

I’ve french kissed frogs a few times. They turned into monkeys, actually. Bored of the inevitable. Thought about forever, then went out of touch. In an unquenchable thirst for someone to take me house shopping, I’ve found myself—utterly afraid to opportunize anything, it’s quite shiteous, really. Maybe my timing is off? Maybe if I sleep more he’ll wake me with a kiss. Have I been poisoned? It’s my party and I can cry if I want to.

They say patience is a virtue, but really, am I missing my window of opportunity because I’m climbing my pretty legs out of it?

Think About All The Fucking Possibilities

Think About All The Fucking Possibilities

Ever heard of “Stop talking about it and just do it”  ?!? …Well, this poster is the epitome of what I mean.

I grew up in a household wholesomely committed to cursing. Stump your toe, “fuuuuuuuck!” Left the bath water on… “Goodddddamit~” Walk in and the dishes haven’t been done, “So what the fuck you been doin’ all day when I wasn’t here?” [Southern accent courtesy of my Ma, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana]

So now as I attempt to re-program myself to live the life I’ve always wanted, some of the hardest things have been:

1. Giving up coffee (I am not doing well at this)
2. Finishing the monstrous amount of books I’ve set for myself
3. Curbing my cursing

My Ma is the sweetest curse-a-holic you could ever dream up. She’d curse for no reason—the type of person you want on your reality show. She’d say something like “sit your fine ass down and tell me about it,” or when I tried on make-up for the first time, her exact words were “So you think you fucking cute?” My all-time personal favorite, when something didn’t sound right to her she’d say “You better go sit in a fucking chair about it,” as she urged me to seek the counseling even she never received. The best part was after she said anything with those curse words in it, she’d cock her head back and laughhhhh at herself. This is what I grew up with, every day. My Dad? Well, he is more of a “curse when and only if needed” type. I’m sure he was a cursing sailor behind doors, but that was never for me to know. I’ve heard him say maybe five curse words in my entire life. At one point he was in the military, a professional chef, and an athlete. He’s traveled and owned a graphics company. He was always a profuse reader and he speaks five languages, (he claims they all come back to him when people speak to him in said language). Talk about driven. The only time I’ve ever left my city for longer than a week has been when I’ve had to for work. How many vacations have I taken in my life? 2.

The above poster. I couldn’t refuse.

My favorites are: Learn To Take Some Fucking Criticism and Believe In Your Fucking Self.

Maybe because these have also been the hardest for me.

Here goes I. Back to my attempt at not saying any bad fucking words. Back to reading Kay Redfield Jamison’s “An Unquiet Mind.” Back to refining my last genre submission before I graduate. Holy fuckerninnies. I’m graduating from my masters program in two months. All the nights I’ve been painfully tired and stayed up all fucking night, yes, sometimes the right word really is “fuck.” Appropriately placed, and properly used.

5 Things I Can Help

“Stop assuming the negative I don’t give you reasons to,” [redacted] says to me.

“I can’t help it??” And he snapped back faster than ever, “Well, what can you help?”

Occupational hazard. Writers plan for the worst and secretly hope for the best. It’s a defense mechanism for publishing rejection. I cannot promise him I can stop doing that. But I wrote something to help him believe in my try:

The Things I Can Help

1. UuHm. [Clears throat] I definitely can help myself to another serving of, spending as much time as I can with you in order to know (enough in advance) what I want to help myself to.

2. I can help appreciating it after you treat me like we’re in a slow-motioned old-fashioned movie and you’re  behaving like Noah in The Notebook, give a little, then leave something mysteriously amiss—wouldn’t hurt if your look was sincere and you made an effort to stare longingly into my eyes.

3. Moreover, I would help myself to your psyche and while you seem to believe you would not want to walk with me on the beach; not walking with me on the beach would only lead me to discovering my full potential… which is destined to be an old, lonely, rich writer in Paris. I can help that.

4. I can help the way I write, and I can help myself to a second helping as you are so frikkin good for my writing that I have to ask if it’s selfish, or I have to ask if it’s too soon to beg that you never leave me yet? Or tell me when it’s safe to ask that? And don’t take too long to respond, a bitch got deadlines.

5. And what else can I help? You o you my tough little nookie-crook could help out in loosening-up-with-all-your-mite so I can help bind you to me exponentially and that would somehow reverse your adverse reaction to my cupcake-flavored lip gloss—which at one point your dislike of it made me sad—which was too bad because I envisioned no more a sweeter vision than you and I holding hands [the off-limits gesture] and making love daily, singing kumbiyahhhhhh my looooooord kumbiyuuuuuuow as you propose in a romantically aligned stupor that which results in my instantaneous pregnancy and combustion. Amen.

I Regret You and Your Mama Too!

I regret “spooning,” I regret his over-excitedness about daily regurgitating tasks, I regret the handholding—the squeezing, I regret all the big dreams about French doors and ponytails. I regret going along with it all by thinking I’d grow into it.

I’m 28 years old and I’ve never been in love. I’ve only been in regret.

I can explain. You meet someone and you fall impeccably, dancing around lampposts “in love” with them, their smell, the habits they have that you initially think are cute. Wait for it…

You meet their Mom and you’re sold. She’s nice, which is the best word to use about any man’s mother you just met. You meet his kid(s). I once fell in regret with a man who had two little girls. Prettiest peaches ever. No, I mean impossibly, selflessly, itching under my skin to be around him and his kids. It wasn’t as hard as some claim to get children to “like” you, but again, this was only one experience, and only my experience. I was pushing the four year old on the swing and the seven year old was coloring with me at the park in no time. Cake. The issue is, the moments you remember most—like a movie, those moments that incessantly replay, aren’t the moments of fancy dinners or dotes, but are the moments you had to catch your breath with overwhelm, the moments you’ve said to yourself “I want this.”

Thing is, when you fall, you fall hard for their families too. I recently watched “How to Lose Your Lover” on Netflix. A funny chic fling movie about a writer convinced he’s over LA life, so he does everything he can to rid himself of excess LA baggage, including women. He goes off about pissing everyone in his corner off. He shoves his love interest into uncomfortable positions such as meeting her parents and his friends on the first and second dates. An interesting concept indeed. I think this way now. I’ve realized that so many people wait the three months, six months or years before they meet the friends and family of their significant others only to find it plops. People don’t realize that when you date a person (for the most part) you date their loud ass mom, their overprotective dad, their sneaky sister, their ignorant ass friends, and their horribly annoying children.

If you think you can handle it, you should know sooner rather than later about the people you might love regret.

Case in point: when you love, you love the bad about a person sometimes even more than the good. This wanes and regrets once it’s over, often while it still is. Gretchen Rubin says in “The Happiness project” a book I’m currently reading “I knew that my combativeness and pedantry in this conversation came not from petty irritation but from a desire to protect myself against false hopes.” I completely agree with her. False hopes.

I regret not learning how to “fight right,” as in, pick my battles. I regret not loving myself enough to love anyone else. I regret having to admit that I went crazy before I got this half-right. Only half. I regret the growing up process and all the short sticks I give and get. I regret the shit out of not getting to know a person enough not to regret the whole damn thing.

I’ve never been in love, only regret. Funny what you regret is what could be what you’ve loved the most. Funny what you regret is what you’ve learned the most from.

How Can We Be On The Same Page If You Ain’t Reading Out Loud?

If you’ve been following, Red said that to me the other night. In agreement of understanding as I carried on in “know-all” about the ones I love, conveniently, not listening.

 

I tend to read out loud. Now, whether or not you’ve heard me or not is a different story.

 

I’ll say a “subconscious-unconsciousness of” — too damn much. For instance if the person in front of me says he doesn’t like women who shop… all of a sudden I’m a thriftily shopping mo-fo. He doesn’t like tea? O, I only dabble in tea sipping, pinky finger flailing, honey sticks, and lattés, just dabble, lol.  Similar to Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride when it was all she could do to match her counterparts, she forgot herself.

 

I read, a lot. I read people. I speed read. I read attachments. I read magazines, marketing material, interviews, the internet, but mostly, I read out loud. I tell a person what’s wrong, generally, like most of us do — before telling them what’s right. I’m proud to recognize this, and acknowledge myself as a work in progress.

 

I write my toot off. I stay up wee hours of the night reading. Studying. I put it first when at times it should come second to some things like taking a few minutes to make the people I love happy.  Ma calls me up the other day, exhibit #1:

 

“Where da hell you beeennnnnnnn?” Her southern accent, a cheerily bit ghetto. She asks of why I haven’t called her.

 

I go on explaining and rambling off about deadlines, genre workshops, reading group, and submissions and halfway through my summary of absence, this broad is not listening. At all. I’m talking about not only not listening, but in full conversation with my niece in the background.

 

“Maaaaam, did you hear me????  You not listening! You never listen, how you gon’ ask me a question then go all off talkin’ to someone else?!” I shriek.

 

“Awhl, shiiiiiiiit, leme call ya later honey, these children are on my nerves.” She hangs up. I laugh and shake my head. Like I said, I read out loud, no one listens.

 

Example 2: an ex of mine came over about nine maybe ten one night o clock a few weeks back to listen as I read a few pages to him for proofing. After all, I can credit him for catching a lot of my run-on sentences, verb tense issues, and grammar ridiculousness. He also fully believes in my work and I love that. This particular time no sooner than shortly after his arrival did I read into about the fourth page, and I found that he had apparently took the drug opposite of No-Doze. He was full-on asleep, light snore and all. Naturally, I’m human, I was hurt.

 

He exclaimed that he was tired, which I believe he was, and that if he’d only had the pages in front of him (like his own copy) he would have stayed up. The issue is, when someone gives an über quick reason for falling short, the explanation loses its weight. A simple “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again” would have sufficed. Practice with me: “I’m sorry it, won’t happen again,“ the most important words in language, since “I love you” is overrated and everyone loves everybody.  I’m really sorry, I won’t read a damn thing to you, ever again. HAhahaha!

 

Him actually using those words might have gotten us on the same page. Simple acknowledgement and reassurance that it (hopefully) won’t happen again. Although Ma still hasn’t said a word about her tangents of rudeness, and my ex and I no longer talk, I still feel I’m learning how to better express myself, and I continue reading out loud. I just wish the right people would listen.

 

Picture taken by moi from “be happy: a little book to help you live a happy life” by Monica Sheehan.
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