Dream a little Dream

Dream a Little Dream

“Say nighty-night and kiss me, Just hold me tight and tell me you’ll miss me, While I’m alone and blue as can be, Dream a little dream of me.”

I dreamed an interesting dream last night. From first to final rem I lived this story until the alarm beckoned my rising. It started with my role as the token black character on Will & Grace, the scene opening in a bedroom with bunk beds. Jack was on the bottom, and I was on the top of one set, and Karen was lying on the bottom of another. It was late, and our very cute, very drunk black next-door-neighbor walked in and lied down next to Karen. Though I was crushing on Mr. Dude, Karen’s willing body was ready to win him for the night. Jack and I roll over on our adjacent bunk beds, feigning sleep. Grace walks in and looks at the make-out scene with Mr. Dude and Karen then yells: I thought JL declared Mr. Dude a “no-fly zone”? My pretense of sleep in shambles as I pop up declaring that it’s fine for Mr. Dude to sleep with whoever he wants especially since he didn’t know I like him. Of course, Mr. Dude sits up all drunkenly confused, now that his conquest is out of reach. I gather my things and walk off in a huff.

Not sure if he follows me out, but we somehow end up at a lake house or on a lake shore where we talk… and talk… and talk some more. We talked our way through the weekend and into bed. Waking up Sunday morning in his bed, I find out he lives in a dorm-style row house with hordes of other D-9 Greek women flocking about. We are all getting ready for a frat-type BBQ. I lay on the couch, while he bustles about on the phone, watching the procession of sorors in their various degrees of summer BBQ attire. In a very me-like fashion, I become self-conscious of this array of beautiful women filing around an equally gorgeous man. I look down into my hands only to mutter helplessly about how I won’t get too attached, how I won’t smother him, how I’ll figure out my place and try to be content with it.

Mr. Dude catches on to the despondent ramblings in the midst of his phone call, hand over speaker he asks me if I’m ok. Sheepishly, I look up and state boldly I don’t know why I am here. He gets it, ends his call, sits next to me on the couch to say: JL, I like you, I want to spend more time with you. Like a child who chases the ice cream truck on a hot day, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I leap into his arms.

Next image is us getting out of the car at the party. On the sidewalk I reach over and hug him, mumbling how I want to be affectionate. Instead of his lips, he tilts his chin allowing me to nuzzle the underside of his jaw and kiss on his neck. I leave his embrace to walk in the house, glance over my shoulder at his puzzled expression.

I wake up.

I’ve spent the whole morning trying to analyze this dream. I’m still not sure of its meaning. The intriguing part, is that I was very ME in this dream. Normally I’m a cross between the girl I desire to be and the representative I pretend to be. But here my subconscious was telling me that this notion of ‘hating to love myself, and loving to hate myself’ is impossible to escape even in sleep. It’s weird to see your internal insecurities dramatized in your dreams.

Then I started thinking about how the men in my life fell into the role of lover, instead of auditioning for the part. Somehow or another I grew on them and they gave me a try. But I was never chosen or sought out or pursued.

Then I remembered how I dreamed of MYD, his arrival and his departure. I dreamed of C, his presence and his purpose. Now as the remnants of my love for C are stuffed into a black hole at the back of my closet, I dream of this new man. Low cut Caesar, NY accent, resembles one of my Twitter followers who I met briefly at a Happy Hour.

Though I meet Mr. Dude, and have him for a weekend: I wonder now if he will follow me into the house.

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Daughters

Daughters

“Oh, you see that skin? It’s the same she’s been standing in, Since the day she saw him walking away, Now she’s left, cleaning up the mess he made. Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do.”-

As children, we tend to forget our parents are human. We often ignore that they have dreams, ambitions, goals—and though their role as parent requires perpetual sacrifice, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t allowed their lapses in humanity.

In truth, this is the only reason I have a fragile semblance of a relationship with the Millionaire (for those foreign to this pseudonym read Biological Father). The little girl in me wants to believe that one day he will wake up and apologize. That all the hurt and resentment will vanish as he steps into his role as my father. I sometimes think that during one of our conversations he’ll set aside his narcissistic, self-centered, slave master persona and be a doting male figure in my life. If wishes were fishes… if wishes were fishes.

I’m pretty sure my efforts toward any relationship with him are rather half-hearted, mainly because I’m very fortunate to have a great dad already. I’m blessed to have a man who stuck by me and forgave me for being a self-concerned brat to him. He loved on me and accepted me as his daughter from the bad until the great. Every time I think about him, I’m overcome with a deep, sincere gratitude for being allowed to call him Daddy.

My interactions with these two very different men also mark the drastic difference between a father vs. a daddy. We can belabor the distinctions but for the purpose of simplicity: a father donates his sperm; a daddy sticks around to guide you on your path to adulthood. I’m not sure what people are thankful for on Father’s Day, but I’m always thankful for my family. And knowing that even today I’m daddy’s little girls reminds me how favored I am to have someone to fill that role.

There are a few things to point out though which illustrates their differences:

1. A Daddy remembers: Daddy remembers my birthday. He calls me when he knows I have an important meeting or assignment due. He asks about my friends because he wants to make sure everyone is treating me right. Daddy once sent me flowers to my job just because I casually mentioned how I like it when others get them. He would send me cards and care packages in college to boost my spirits.

2. A Daddy listens: With Daddy, our conversations are an open dialogue. He allows me to talk, sort out my problems, but is ready with advice should I ask. And he willfully encourages. He wants to see me succeed, but he doesn’t take credit for my successes. The Millionaire lectures me for 45mins, expounding on his greatness and how all of my success are a result of his genetics.

3. A Daddy keeps his promises: We may all be inherently selfish, but when it comes to your word—it should be honored at all costs. I don’t know how much time, money, and frustration I’ve expended trying to make up for the lack when one of the Millionaire’s promises fall through. I racked up $500 in tires, that weren’t even right for my car), 3 years of AAA membership bills (which he offered to cover), promises of winter chains and snow hear. I could list it all—but I won’t. Here’s my thing, if you don’t have it then don’t front like you do to impress me. It’s more disappointing than if you never offered in the first place. Now each time something is offered, I respectfully decline. You may have to remind him a few times, but Daddy does what he says he’s going to do. And you never have to doubt his reliability.

4. Daddy never says words in anger: The Millionaire and I have had full-fledge fights in public, with words and well… other things. I inherited his stubborn, rackle demeanor. But when you call me a B!tch in the grocery store on Christmas Eve, well I suppose you and I will never have a harmonious relationship. It nettles me that I’m his only child, but instead of treating me with respect or kindness, I’m just another sheep that should yield under his shepherd-dom. Unfortunately for the Millionaire, I’m what they call “spirited” so I rarely buckle. In all the years that I’ve known him, Daddy has never tried to “break” me. He never goes for low blows or spiteful words. His conversations are calm, even in their admonishment. I admire his self-composure greatly. It’s hard being the Dad of 5, but you can see that he really does try to be what we need.

5. Daddy shows his love unconditionally: The Millionaire definitely has his priorities out of whack. He’s so focused on proving himself a success- demanding the world praise him for every minute endeavor—he regularly sacrifices meaningful relationships. Daddy knows that I would do anything for him, without doubt or question. I’ve yet to be able to muster more than the perfunctory “honor thy father” for the Millionaire. I refuse to be the only on putting in the work in our relationship. And really that’s what it is hard work. With Daddy I love him so easily, I accept him readily, and I treasure him deeply.

I’m a lucky girl.

These are a few things I’ve learned in my formative years about a Daddy’s love for his child.

Readers: If you have a relationship with your father, how do you know he cares? If you don’t, what role has his absence played in your life? Feel free to overshare in the comments, I like it a lot!

Happy Father’s Day DADDY!

You Can’t Win

You Can’t Win

“You can’t win, you can’t break even, And you can’t get out of the game. People keep sayin’ things are gonna change, But they look just like they staying the same. You can’t win, You can’t win no way, If your story stays the same.”

Someone asked me the other day how I was doing. My fake smile slipped a bit, and for once I didn’t give the cookie-cutter “I’m fine” response. “I have bad days, and I have worse days”, was my reply. Every day I wake up to the realization that my brother is dead. There are responsibilities to attend to. The abundance of sadness and despair engulfs my spirit.

I had dinner with JMoJacks and we talked about how when a loved one dies you want to walk up to everyone, strangers on the street even, and say “My [blank] died, don’t you get it?” There’s no point of reference to anything. Things are out of control. There is no control, there is no spoon. When life gets unbearable and I don’t have a way to check out, I start creating controlling situations in effort to try to manage things that I can manage. Right now it’s food and exercise. I won’t eat or I’ll limit what I do eat. I work out two times a day most days. I try to do anything that limits my thoughts on the situation at hand. Yet when I start to feel like I’ve found my balance, a thistle will flew from the weeds in the yard landing on my see-saw disrupting a feeble equilibrium.

My grandmother sent me a letter last week. I’ve held off on writing this post, because I tried to let it marinate… but it hurts like a pebble in your shoe, not enough to cause physical pain, just enough to chafe your sole.

“I ask myself now give your questionable decision [to move back to Arizona and take part in
raising my nephew] if you’re not masking the real reason for returning to a situation absent of support and understanding. Among the reasons I suspect that underlines this decision is one in particular that has to do with the absence of personal male-female relationship. You have shown considerable discipline in getting through the travails of education not having sufficient financing and afterwards, living on your own and seeing others engaged in romantic relationships. Don’t minimize the importance of these alignments as they are the purpose of each type of life. And, every life form strives to connect with another in this manner.

“Your college girlfriends went on to find their way through very personal relationships with emotional contents that produce maturity. From what I have been told, you were left out; the friend standing on the side offering support denying yourself that you envied the experiencer. Now that these schoolgirl pals have moved even further away into maturity; you remain lonely no longer even privy to the minutiae events in their relationships.

“Has it ever occurred to you that with a determination to adjust your physical status that you might come close to experiencing your ideal? No one have ever wanted to guide you toward physical beauty, citing that you don’t need such insight to get through life; while they painted themselves, dressed themselves, and flirted their way to a desired momentary end.

“Well, I’ve got a far different view, professional training and cumulative experience that says that every individual is first assessed in terms of appearance, then personality, then the degree of contribution potential to the situation at hand. A bright mind does not relieve the individual from this ring of impression by others.

“You have been handicapped since teen years by the absence of instilled discipline for whatever reasons not given. It is now up to you to do what all others have done before you by following the pattern to attracting a mate. Animals do it, plant-life displays it and humans have made it an art form.

“Now that I ‘ve had my say and realize that others may criticize my saying what has always been said outside your hearing, I suggest that you put it in your mental basket, regurgitate the message and internalize it for a later date when you are in a learning mode, once again.”

This carefully crafted letter in essence let me know that I may be smart but I’m not beautiful or skinny enough to be found attractive, and until I do something about it I’ll forever be single. This woman hasn’t seen me for over ten years. The sporadic contact comprising our relationship does not a close connection make. So even though she doesn’t know me, she claims to know something.

Her words hit close to home, and as I cried buckets, the troubled teenager reared her ugly head (no pun intended). Growing up not feeling pretty or loved, dealing with a past of abuse and neglect that shit just doesn’t magically disappear. As much as people would like to believe it, you don’t outgrow feelings of insignificance or self-doubt. It’s like your purse; you always carry it without in varying sizes, but leaving home without it would also represent a deficiency. The insecurity is a part of your whole package.

Yet to blatantly account for all of my flaws, categorize them as hindrances to my future “ideal”, and then rationalize your offense as ‘tough love’… there are no words. Some days you have to say to yourself, ok I give up. I can’t make someone who is supposed to love me, love me.

I just can’t win.

*Readers*: Don’t forget to check me out every Thursday on UP4Discussion.org. I bring a little humor and love to that great site. This week’s post is called: Can I pop your pimple? + Other weird intimacies. Tell yo friend, to get with their friends, so we can be friends lol. Spread the love.