March 30, 2008

Today, I’m in Love

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:43 pm by LG

It’s bitten me, that little love bug.   

I’m giddy, I’m blissful, I’m sparkling.  I’m noticing tiny blades of grass and remarking on the beauty of their luscious color and the wondrousness of their growth.  I’m smiling (more than usual) and greeting strangers with sunny “hellos.”  All of a sudden, a cup of gas station coffee is the best thing I’ve ever tasted, the stray cats in my neighborhood are pleasant creatures, and traffic…well, traffic’s just an opportunity to notice the sky, the gentle curve in the road, and my highway neighbors. “Hi there, friends!” I think as I drive past.

Oh, and writing the massive check for my income taxes didn’t bring sorrow after all.  Of course I must pay taxes – I live in this wonderful country, and I like having paved streets, being protected by the police, and contributing to government programs that help those in need.  Yes, yes, yes, take it Uncle Sam!  

Yup, I’ve got it bad.  I’ve even caught myself humming Zippidy-Doo-Da, for crying out loud!  And I never thought this would happen to me again.  I never thought the world would be rosy and promising.  I never thought I’d wake up in the morning with an internal happiness that seems to bubble over in my soul.  I never thought I’d go to bed cozy, comfortable, with a safe and love-filled heart.  

But here I am.  In love….with life.

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March 23, 2008

Time of Rebirth

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:34 pm by LG

I don’t claim to be religious.  I don’t claim to notbe religious.  I would, however, confidently describe myself as spiritual [(spĭr’ĭ-chōō-əl) of, concerned with, or affecting the soul] and have therefore decided — on this Easter Day — to be born again. 

Now, Dad, take a deep breath: I don’t mean it in the I’m-never-gonna-cuss-or-drink-again-and-I’m-gonna-start-judging-others-who-do “born again” way.  (I know that really scares you). 

No.  What I mean is: This Little Girl is a born-again ADULT.

Let me start by stating what I don’t mean by being a born-again adult.  I don’t mean that I’m no longer Little Girl.  I will always be Little Girl.  After all, I’m only 5’1″ (in heals…after a long yoga session) and can still (and sometimes do) shop in the kids’ department.  (Hey – a white t-shirt in the kids’ department costs half as much as one in the women’s department!)  I can also be pretty silly, I enjoy the occasional cartoon (and secretly love That’s So Raven), and nothing makes me happier than a mug of hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and sprinkles.  None of this is changing. 

What I do mean by being a born-again adult is, quite simply, maintaining an enthusiastic commitment to being a grown-up. 

In other words, my previous “head in the sand” approach to adulthood has conclusively failed and I have to recognize and accept that I’m — gulp — a grown-up.  And I’m getting older.  My dad had his 60th birthday this weekend; I’ll be 30 this summer.  For the first and only time in our lives, I am half his age.  Before this year, I was always less than half his age.  And after this year, I’ll always be more than half his age.  I find this deeply significant for some reason.  

So, instead of pushing away the inevitable (adulthood) I am choosing to embrace it.  I haven’t fully defined this idea, and I’m sure I’ll be learning as I go, but here are a few canons in my born-again philosophy. 

  • I will not throw an emotional temper-tantrum every time the world is unfair or hurtful.
  • I will not let my sweet-tooth race my self-discipline by stuffing as many m&ms in my mouth before I can actually think about how full I already am or how I already had two scoops of ice cream for lunch.
  • I will not fantasize about an unrealistic future, recognizing that this is merely an escape of a sometimes-not-so-pleasant present. 
  • I will not dwell on the past, torturing myself with un-answerable questions.
  • I will not press snooze on my alarm clock.  Instead, I will be realistic about the time I want to get up and, then, I will get up.  
  • I will – dammit – learn to like vegetables. 
  • I will stop being Drama Girl (this requires a separate post…coming soon)
  • I will start being responsible for my own health – physical, mental, and emotional – and not unfairly rely on others for my well-being. 
  • I will stop being responsible for (and believing that I am responsible for) the well-being of others. 
  • Each day, I will offer the world my best, whatever my best may be on any given day.  No more, and no less.  

Hmmmmm…..  I think I’ll call these, if you will (or heck, even if you won’t), my Grown-up Ten Commandments. 

I loved being a child – I had a great childhood.  And, there’s a part of me that will always be young and pure and dreamy about the world and the way it works.  But I’m starting to realize that the only thing “worse” than being an adult is being an almost-30-year-old child, kicking and screaming her way through life.       

And just so this rebirth isn’t completely unrealistic or unduly difficult, I think I’ll add one more Commandment:

  • I will be compassionate and forgiving:  not only toward others, but to myself when I just need to pout or have cake for breakfast.     

March 12, 2008

“Viagra is destroying our government”

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:30 pm by LG

I read that quote today in a NYT articleabout the Eliot Spitzer scandal and how differently men and women commentators have interpreted the event.  In general, males have taken the view that Spitzer’s paying for sex was either (1) awful, but only in light of his self-righteous, moralistic policies or so-call principles or (2) basically irrelevant (eg, Alan Dershowitz: “Big deal, married man goes to prostitute.”)   Women, on the other hand, focused on Poor Mrs. Spitzer and why, oh why, men do these things. 

Joy Behar, a host on the View, summed it up for me:  “Aren’t you sick of men? . . . Viagra is destroying our government.”  Amen Sista. 

I know I’m probably gonna get some comments along the lines of “Oh, Bitter Girl,” (I’m going anonymous now, remember), “not all men are pigs,” or “Come on, Goody-Goody Girl, this is just the way the world works.”  No, no, no, I won’t accept it. 

Ok, I’ll accept the premise that not all men are pigs (an interesting hypothesis that needs more research and experimentation) but I won’t accept that this behavior is “no big deal.”  And, quite frankly, I’m tired of it.

Now this news came on the heals of my weekend trip to Palm Springs and LA.  And I must say, I had a really wonderful time (many thanks to my friend DMM and to her family for hosting).  The moment I heard about Spitzer, I was sitting outside of a pretty upscale coffee shop in Palm Springs, roasting in the sun (I’m worried about my fair skin on the west coast…) and thus far had been somewhat successful in overlooking the massive amounts of plastic and pulled-tight faces in the desert. 

 

After all, who am I to judge? 

But today, having let the news soak in a bit, I’m just fed up.  I’m fed up with seeing women undergo serious procedures to make them feel beautiful in the eyes of men.  I’m fed up with seeing married women raising children, with the inevitable changing body that comes with child bearing, and upon hearing of their cheating husband, having to also hear crazies like Dr. Laura Schlessinger say: “Yes, I hold women accountable for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.”  I’m fed up with going to Barnes and Noble and seeing shelves and shelves of books for women like: “How to Be a Super Hot Woman: 339 Tips to Make Every Man Fall in Love with You and Every Woman Envy You,” (see disclaimer below) and “Stop Getting Dumped!:  All You Need to Know to Make Men Fall Madly In Love With you and Marry ‘The One’ In 3 Years or Less” (I swear, I did not make that up.)  Meanwhile, on the men’s shelf (or small corner of a shelf) is “The Complete A** Hole’s Guide to Handling Chicks” and “The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women into Bed.”  (Again, I did not make these up.)  

But what I’m fed up with the most is that when an affair happens, particularly one in the public eye, what women talk about is why men stray.  What we should be talking about, ladies, is why women stay.     

Again, who am I to judge – and in fact, I can’t honestly say that I would have certainly left my ex had he actually come to me and said, “Hey, I screwed up, I’m sorry.”  After all, we are human and I get that.  But even still, that’s what we should be talking about:  Why would I have stayed?  Why might Mrs. Spitzer stay?  Why did Hilary stay?  (ok, I don’t need comments on that one).  And why have the women who left do so?  I’m not saying at all that leaving is better than staying, or vice versa.  All I’m saying is that when we talk about the Poor Mrs. Spitzers of the World, we shouldn’t discuss whyhe cheated on her.  It’s a wasted effort.  There are a thousand reasons, some which don’t involve men being pigs, and many that do.  Instead, what we should focus on, ladies, is why should the Poor Mrs. Spitzers of the World stay or leave (realizing, of course, it’s an individual decision).  After all, she’s the only person over whom she has control – and hallelujah – she DOES have a choice to maintain that control.  Our discussions should remind The Poor Mrs. Spitzers of the World of that and encourage her to use it.     

** Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, I read this book, in approximately 37 minutes cover to cover.  (shame, shame).  It was TERRIBLE by the way.  I’m not kidding, one of the 339 tips basically said “Be pretty.”  Oh, I never thought of that, thanks so much. And, in the interest of more full disclosure, I’m now reading “Why Men Love Bitches.”  (more shame, shame).  This one is actually pretty good and funny – I’ll blog about it soon.

March 3, 2008

525,600 Minutes

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:57 pm by LG

“525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes;
how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in CUPS of coffee….”

Don’t you just love that song?  I always belt out the word “cups” . . . and I always tilt my head to the left and furrow my brow when I sing that word for some reason.  I just watched myself do it in the mirror; it looks painful.  Same look I get when I stub my toe. 

That song’s been in my head today because I started thinking about a year and how it can be measured.  The last few years of my life have been measured by change.  Significant change.  Yesterday marked one year since the dissolution.  One year.  And I got sad (surprise, surprise; it was a Sunday afterall).  I couldn’t figure out if I was more sad because it has already been a year, meaning Dutch has slipped further away, or because it has already been a year and Dutch hasn’t slipped far enough away. 

No word on the annulment yet.  I thought maybe I had gotten it out of “my system” by writing the last blog, but Friday I went to my mailbox and saw a pretty hefty envelope.  It was one of those manila envelopes with the metal fold-down clasps.  Looked like a Catholic envelope, but I couldn’t tell.  My heart stopped suddenly and then just as suddenly it began to race wildly.  And I realized it’s not out of my system and probably won’t be until I deal with it. 

But that’s for another day because this envelope was from the United States Attorney’s Office -my future employer.  

Which leads back to the “year” theme.  The day I got my offer from the USA’s office this past October was exactly one year from the day that Dutch told me he didn’t want to be married anymore.  In one year I went from living in a house in the suburbs of Columbus, married, with plans to move to Chicago together, to living in an apartment downtown, divorced (or “dissolved”), with plans to move to LA, alone, as a federal prosecutor.  Crazy huh?  And this October, I’ll be single, living in LA (god help me), fighting crime (god help all of us).  *wink wink*  

While I’m on the topic, I decided this weekend after talking to my parents (and realizing that I had to make this decision or my mom would never sleep again) to make my blog anonymous before I move to LA.  I had, of course, already decided to never really talk about my job (with the exception of perhaps some broad criminal law theme), but in my mom’s world every gangster will be reading my blog, if they aren’t already, by the time I move to LA.  Therefore, I will soon become simply “Little Girl” and will remove all personal references. ….except, of course, references to my innermost thoughts, fears, and dreams.  Those will stay.  Basically just my name and picture will go at some point 🙂 But you all will know it’s me!   

Here’s a quick, funny insight to my mom and how much she worries.  Last summer, I was clerking for a district court judge and was lucky enough to be assigned to work on a death penalty case (not lucky in the sense that we even have to have these heartbreaking cases, but lucky for the experience; you know what I mean . . . this is how I met my good friend Diane, by the way; she was the kick-booty defense attorney).  Anyhow, just as we got though jury selection, I took a weekend trip to visit a, um, friend  (another story for another day).  On the way home from this weekend trip I met a, um, boy.  We sat next to each other on the flight and kind of hit it off.  Before parting ways, he asked me out.  Now, I’m not yet used to dating NOW and I certainly wasn’t then either, but he was cute and I was, well, NOT ready, but whatever.  Anyhow the point of the story is not to tell you about the date (that is also another story – a crazy, hilarious story – for another day) but to tell you my mom’s worry.  When I told her I met this guy – a seemingly nice guy, in a PhD program, etc – she was worried (read: convinced) that somehow this guy was in cahoots with the defendant from the death penalty case.  That somehowthe defendant had figured out how to get this cute guy on a plane, assigned to a seat next to me, so he could charm me, ask me out, and then convince me to convince twelve jurors not to convict him??  I really can’t even tell you what she was thinking.  But, well, meet my mom. 

So, for her sake, I’ll be going anonymous sometime this summer.  

Oh, and one last thing.  I want to thank everyone who’s reading for your kind thoughts, and many of you for your kind words, in light of my last post on taxes and religious fiction.  This whole annulment thing has been tough.  I wanted to share with everyone the brilliant suggested response from one of my dear “back in the day” friends.    

I wonder what Dutch’s reaction would have been if your reply had been along these lines….
Dutch, I respect the fact that even though there is substantial evidence to the contrary, you have decided to believe that our marriage never existed. I am willing to sign the papers. Once these papers are signed I’ll leave them on my kitchen table. I believe with all my heart that somehow these papers will end up in an envelope, addressed to you, and subsequently be placed in my mailbox. While I know there may be a preponderance of tangible evidence refuting what I believe, and nothing supporting it, I am going to ask you to respect it.

 LOVE it.