Suze Orzmann is Boring

I do not hide that I am a teacher, although in this climate, I am sure that there are people who are gritting their teeth, as they read this, and thinking lazy useless child hater, and unions, with a vile hatred.  I love kids.  I love learning so I love teaching, and the union has saved my ass a couple times, from some shit that should really not have happened, but they do an important job.  Union haters forget 16 hour days, 6 days a week, with poor compensation, and no benefits other than money.

But I digress, I am an art teacher.  I am a creative type.  And I despise testing.  I never tested well.  I scored poorly on my SATs, significantly better on my ACT’s.  And I was a high 80’s low 90’s student, basically because I am lazy, not in the sense you imagine, I would rather spend my time following my bliss, than working for a paycheck, or a good grade.  My grades improved significantly when I changed my major to art, and I suspect, that they would have done the same if I had changed my major to creative writing, or even landscape design, or homestead cooking.  Or knitting.

I went through a stage where I was reading alot of feel good stuff, wiccan handbooks, gemstone rituals and magic, Oprah.  But I became sick on Oprah, I think it was the day I watched her carry on and on about this fabulous cable knit sweater she had found, so fabulous she bought one in every color.  I felt horrified by this as I watched a woman in my school, a new refugee, walking down the hall in flip flops, during a snow storm.  As I watched a student, who had two shirts, wear one day after day, because his other one was in the laundry, watched as the kids teased him for his filthy clothes.  And I utter lost interest in her when she started her school for south african girls.  Awesome.  What about your own country?  I know, she is a saint.  Saint Oprah, I praise thee.

One day I was reading Oprah magazine, and Suze Orzmann was talking about money.  She is like a standardized test though, its all about the end result.  She said in the article she only had one pair of earrings.  That NO ONE should own more than one pair of earrings.  I went to my jewelry box and looked inside, which pair would I find a new home for?  Or in the vein of Oprah send to some child in South Africa?  Of course here she is on the Oprah show, and in the Oprah magazine, talking about one pair of earrings, I imagine Oprah has one in every color.  Fabulous.  Would I lose the fake diamonds?  The real pearls I splurged on as a graduation gift from graduate school?  Would I lose the tiny squares of abalone?  The steam-punk disks? The earrings I made that look like doves falling?  The tiny copper skulls dangling from a copper chain?  The copper hoops I bought in Arizona?  Hers were silver hoops, if I remember correctly, I don’t have any, maybe I should go out and buy some?  Or settle on the copper ones?

I wear alot of black, it is a habit of artists, that I embrace, it hides coffee stains, and paint stains, and chalk rubs in easily on black, so does clay dust, and glue particles.  I am an art teacher, not an office worker.  My mother in law (de facto) wants to buy me striped shirts and paisley sweaters, and flowered blouses.  No thanks I say, I prefer plain.  Later I tell the pirate, I would rather accessorize, wear something that is a pop of color or is funky, as a necklace, a bracelet, a handful of rings.  But even in that regard I fall short, because I also like to fly under the radar.  I don’t want people to notice me, because I am not flashy, or sparkly, or fabulous.  I am just me.  And I like it that way.  But as I stare down at my jewelry box full of memories, and bits and detritus of nature, and collections, and a life lived, I realize that Suze Orzmann is boring.  My bills are paid, I am saving money, and I have a few things that I would consider to be of some quality, but the best quality of all, are the tiny beads and baubles that make me feel comfortable, happy, content.  Not to say I couldn’t live without them, like hair, I could LIVE without it, but I would rather have it.  Not to say I have to have one in every freaking color.  But if I had to throw out all but one pair, I think it would be an ugly thing.  Because without the bits of my life that are, cheap, classy, raw, earthy, ugly, stupid, and beautiful, I would not be the full person that I am.

jewelry box

And what the hell?   One pair of earrings?  Even my refugee kids pull bits of colored string through the holes in their ears.  Maybe I should just do that.

What color though?

Snarky morning writing.

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more on mindless platitudes

 

when life hands you lemons, throw them at the person telling you to make lemonade!

you choose your own happiness?  Put big yellow smiley faces all over the outside of, and paint the moon and stars all over the inside of, and fill it with flowers, call it your happiness palace, but it still smells like shit and its still an outhouse.

the very definition of platitude is a trite and meaningless statement

and yet when people are going through the most profound and deep moments of their lives, we want to plaster happy face stickers on their pain, like big yellow bandaids.  Put this on it won’t hurt any more.

am I the only one who craves truth?  am I the only one who thinks being real is more important than smiling in the face of your own heartbreak?

in the face of death?  in the face of pain?

why do we want to tell people, pull yourself up by your boots straps when the problem is that the boots straps just snapped off and you are standing in quicksand, it isn’t always as easy as your little platitude.

glad i went through it, hard for everyone around me but so glad that i trudged along on my own, snotty tear stained and red faced for a whole year.  glad i did, stumbling fumbling trying to remake my life for another year.  glad i did.  and then building brick by brick a new life, glad i did.  i didn’t make lemonade i built the fooking pyramids of egypt.  so take your lemons and make your own damn unsweetened drink.

i tell him, you know, the truth is, that he wasn’t such a bad guy, he was smart, and sometimes he was nice, but the truth is, i was just married to the wrong person, he wasn’t right for me, at all.

he says, because you were dumb, when you married him, you just were not thinking.

yeah i know i say.

he kisses the top of my head as he waters the great big healthy plants behind me, reaching over me.

knowing you makes me realize it, i say, realize what kind of man is right for me.

you are such a dork, he says.

i know i say.

 

you know everything happens for a reason….

just dont forget that shit is still shit.

and sunshine is still sunshine

and the moon, is made of cheese.

 

The joy of dating.

I have been concerned for several weeks about job cuts, my school district which is always talking major cuts year after year says for real this one is going to be big.  I hate to leave the school I am in, but since I already applied last summer to work elsewhere this will not really be much of a problem.  The problem is, if I LOSE my job, then perhaps things will be quite different.  As I was stressing about this today it suddenly hit me, that for years I have dreamed of getting my MFA in painting.  I live less than a mile from a very good MFA program.  So rather than sit and find myself muddling through the anxiety and stress of not knowing, I realized that applying to the MFA program might just be an option.  I started the long process, and surely I would be without a job for at least a year if I did lose my job this summer.  But there is hope, at least I am making hope for myself.

I find myself too this week going over again the really awful way that men behave in this era.   I provided so much laughter for my friends on New Years Eve they all told me I should do stand up, one was laughing so hard she said she was going to pee her pants.  The thing is that I basically didn’t embellish my dating stories much at all.  I very nearly told the God’s honest.  Even the old curmudgeon who doesn’t much like pop culture (he had no idea who The Fonz was!)  said it would make an interesting collection of fictionalized short stories.  For example the date is a veritable garden of delights, and viola he begins to hump my leg with his baby carrot.  Or the date is going swimmingly and then he drops his pants in the public park and we are arrested for public lewdness.  (Fictionalized remember!)  Or perhaps it could be Mr. Nigerian scam artist, who claims he is stationed in Iraq,  or maybe it could be the guy who jokes on about 4 occasions that his first sexual encounter was with a sheep.   Oh yes and he raised sheep.  What is it?  Do I have a giant sign on my head that says I am a woman who enjoys disgusting obnoxious childish boy/men?  Or is it that, as I have said more than once already, men who are in their 40’s and single are in their 40’s and single for a reason?  (Women on the other hand may be a single for  a reason, or it could be their other boy/man is now “in love” with someone else.)  I am here once again because once again I find myself having to spurn the advances of someone who is apparently unable to get that I am not his phone sex dial up girl.  Are you wearing high heels and a sexy teddy he asks me?  Um.  NO.  I am wearing flannel pj bottoms and a sweatshirt over a long underwear shirt and warm slippers.  Now F. off because even if I knew you I would not be wearing high heels, I done that, I ain’t doin’ it again.  Listen I say, I am not that girl, not now, not ever.  And furthermore if you want a Victoria Secret model go take the catalog  into the bathroom.  Leave me out of it.  I am not your man toy.  I am not a puppy waiting to play with you.

Meanwhile I wait for a guy like the one we have deemed Plowshares Guy.  Who goes to church with his mother, dresses as a pirate for local fairs, hunts, wears jeans, boots and warm sweaters, has a long beard, nice eyes, and whom I talk with more or less not running out of anything to say whenever I meet him.   Which is at the peace and social justice art fair, which he has attended every year for the last three years, just to “look around”.  Told me he really liked the book and couldn’t wait for the movie, and when I googled him discovered he is a democrat who lives in a house that costs about as much as mine.  He also lives within walking distance of my house.  He does tai chi but started out with yoga.  He told me how he likes to hike at Clark and did I by any chance own snowshoes?  What is my number?  See that is the kind of guy I want.  Someone just like that.  Now according to the book of fictionalized  short stories he will tell me he is bi and did I by any chance want to watch him play with his male partner.  Or else he will tell me he enjoys sex with stuffed animals.  Laughing.  Til I cry.