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Aloha Friday

It’s been a while since I’ve written an “Aloha Friday” post. Many times since starting this new blog I think about it and then I get lazy; I insert a photo and call it good. I guess it’s true what they say, if you don’t use it you lose it. I think I’ve lost my appetite for writing. Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t got anything to say. Pppfffttt………..like that’s true. I’ve got plenty to say.

In any case, I figured Fridays would be a good day for a recap of sorts. On any subject. In my blunt, unstructured style. If it’s read, it’s read, if it isn’t, no matter because I’m getting it out of my head and out into oblivion to make room for more stuff.

I’m reading Harriet Rubin’s book The Mona Lisa Stratagem The Art of Women, Age, and Power and I’m hoping her words will make sense because I’ve hit a wall, a wall that I’m not quite sure how to get through. Maybe I’m not supposed to get through it, maybe I’m to learn to get over it. I don’t know. It’s a wall.  The wall of being here when I want to be elsewhere.

I’ve always taken on a wall/challenge. However slowly, I’ve always conquered the wall in the end. At least I’ve tried but this time I’m ignoring the big wall I’m faced with these days. S has said as much, several times, in a concerned manner. He doesn’t recognize this woman who has given up, the woman who has chosen the snide, devil-may-care road. I don’t recognize this woman who has chosen the snide, devil-may-care road. I’m no longer the woman the boy-child so lovingly called his “Mojo, the strong one.” Right now, age doesn’t mean power, it means cynicism.

Last weekend, in an effort to be a better wife, mother, person, whatever, I agreed to go to a crab feast fund raiser for the high school with some good friends, and a friend that I’ve known from years gone by (when you’re with the government you tend to know SOMEone at each duty station). I laughed, I ate, I was polite to strangers. I even tried dancing the “Bootie-Call Slide.” I was disturbed though when I realized I enjoyed participating in the following conversation between myself and my fellow displaced Californian as he was gambling for booze:

Me: Oh hey! You won! Good for you! What are you going to take? (the winning number got a choice of bottles of various booze)

Agent G-man: I saw a lone bottle of champagne in there with the bottles of Jim Beam and Wild Turkey.
Me: Any wine?
Agent G-man: Yeah but they’re Maryland wines. What kind of wine comes out of Maryland anyway?!
Me: I dunno. Bad wine?
Agent G-man: Most likely. I’m surprised they had the champagne.
Me: You’re a California snob.
Agent G-man: So are you.
Me: That’s true.

Now, the old Jo would have bristled at being called a snob and chastised Agent G-man. She would have told him to try the Maryland wines. She would have waved the “You-need-to-look-for-the-good-in-things flag.” Snide, devil-may-care Jo took the low road and thought, “It is what it is. Maryland wine probably does suck, I am a snob. Whatever.” I didn’t even try to be nice. I’m thinking, “Does a woman of age and power have to be nice?”

I’ve reached a point where I’m tired of holding it all up above water. I’m tired of being the one to take the hits, to placate the kids, to corral the dogs, to man the fort. I’m tired of understanding, of cajoling, of keeping my mouth shut when I know I’m right all the while sporting a smile on my face and a chipper, we-can-do-it attitude. That’s how a “nice” woman/wife/mother behaves. I’m not her anymore.

Is there a happy medium? I want to live up to the name given to me by Smith although with each, “I can handle this and be nice about it!”, a little bit of Mojo disappears and we’re left this dreary, snide, devil-may-care person in her place. I want to be Mojo, but better. Is it possible? I dunno.

I’m hoping the solution is in Ms. Rubin’s book. If not, well, it sucks to be in the immediate family and it’s time for therapy.

Pray for them.

Listening to: Gym Class Heroes – The Queen And I


13 Responses

  1. Great post. So accurate and well described. I look forward to the “fuck you forties” as I will be entering this fabulous arena next month.

  2. You will? That surprises me, your looks belie your age. :)

    I’d say the “fuck you forties” are pretty darn good when you come to grips with the whole age thing. I have done things in my forties that would NEVER have happened at any other time. ;)

  3. If you think the “fuck you forties” are good, just wait till you get to the “i swear to god, motherfucker, if you don’t get out of my way…” fifties. ;)

    Came here via your link at Tangled Wings…but I don’t know what to say…because there’s so much TO say. This is such a complex place to be…and I’ve been there. It sounds complex to me because I hear a desire to stop being so fucking NICE all the time…yet at the same time mourning the loss of your mojo. Which makes me think the cynicism isn’t a satisfying replacement for the lost wildness. (Duh, Einstein.) You sound PISSED. You sound in this post to me like you feel like you got the short end of a bargain (and since it’s my first visit, I have no backstory). Actually, you sound a lot like I probably sounded when we lived in the Caribbean…a place I moved against my will…a place where I spent most of my five years there letting people know that it’s actually California that’s the center of the universe. (Well, okay, I did that in Portland, too.) So I’ll just say, I hear ya. I may not have fully understood the dynamics here…but I think I hear ya.

  4. Here via Tangles Wings. Unfortunately, I happen to be in a similar place at the moment, although mine has been more of a quest to find the real me again underneath all the faces I’ve been putting on for others through the years. It gives me courage to hear I’m not alone in going through this phase.

    Thanks for sharing from the heart.

  5. Thanks for commenting Star, it does help to know there are others who feel the same way I do at times. :)

  6. Marilyn, you’ve got me pegged. ;)

  7. I found this entry through Tangled Wings. I really do hear you. I think you can be both. I think it is important to BE YOU first and then be nice. Because I think we are all naturally good and nice, but we have forgotten what we really want and like because we are so busy pleasing everyone else. Once you listen to you first I think it will all balance out.
    Take Care,

  8. Sometimes, you have to just be whatever you are, even if you don’t completely recognize her (or even like her). Coming to you thru Tangled Wings…

  9. Also here through Tangled Wings.

    I’m a young’un, so my lack of experience here will be evident. But all the same, it sounds like Mojo is still there, but just wants, NEEDS to rear her head and roar a little bit. I agree with Melba…you should be YOU and do what pleases YOU first.

    So strange to think identity crises of these sorts are universal, and not just something we go through in our twenties. A little frightening, perhaps, but also strangely comforting to me.

  10. This is true. I’m thinking I’m going through the “not even liking her” part. Hopefully it’s short lived. ;) Thanks Daphne for your encouragement.

  11. Hi Joelle,

    I came here through Tangled Wings too. Hmm, maybe we all came here on Tangled Wings.

    I feel like I’ve spent different times of my life straddling the tough/nice divide. And one thing I’ve noticed is whenever the bitchy me starts taking dominance it’s usually because there are big changes a’coming. I’ve tolerated too much for too long. I’m feeling weighed down and I’m aching to be free. So my spirit pulls up her bootstraps and clears some room so I can breathe.

    I’m guessing that when you have room for you, the loving, generous woman you are will come back and she’ll have even more mojo than ever before.

  12. i think i’m just beginning to enter this phase you write about. i’m feeling more and more like i’m so sick and tired of the bullshit that keeps me from being who i know i really am–the ‘what will they say’, ‘what will they think’ syndrom that keeps us small and limited. it’s such a thrilling yet difficult place to be. thrilling because i get these moments of profound contentment and peace when i actually live from my core and not from what everyone wants of me. difficult because most of us were raised to be ‘good’ girls and to ‘play nice’ and its so engrained that overcoming it is tough, tough work.

    thank you for sharing your heart with us

  13. I find that the “pleaser” in me is so ingrained that it needs to be surgically removed and I haven’t the nerve to do that at this point. You’re right, generally girls are raised to be good and play nice…I find myself training my own daughter this way and it’s not always what she needs to learn from me. It’s important to me that she learns to be true to herself. It’s a different world for her than it was/is for me.

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