posted by susan-oh-susan / march 2 at 9:15 am / uncategorized / 12 comments / TOC of Susan’s published posts
Marcella came over yesterday and kicked my ass, but we decided that drowning my ass in tequila again was probably not a good idea. She also took all my cigarettes.
“You are making me feel like a child. A teenager who needs to be policed,” I said.
“Good,” she said. “I would rather you feel like a teenager than an over-the-hill, middle-aged frump.”
“I am an over-the-hill middle-aged frump,” I moaned.
“Seriously, Susan, say that again, and I will slap you. Have you looked in a mirror lately? I mean, not now, not when you’ve been crying for two solid hours or two solid weeks,” she amended. And that made my cry more because, well, clearly, I looked like shit, didn’t I?
She made me tea.
Which also made me feel like a middle-aged frump.
Then she looked around the living room.
“We need to clean,” she said.
Now, if you knew Marcella, you would know—Marcella doesn’t clean. She hires cleaners. She can afford it, of course. She owns this shop, it’s called Marcella’s Beautiful Things, and that’s what she sells—beautiful things. All sorts. Some local art, but also cheap things imported from Hong Kong, the occasional antique she finds at a yard sale… It’s the sort of business that really shouldn’t make any money—John was always so contemptuous of it. “A shop full of thneeds nobody needs,” he’d snort when I’d mention it. But it’s been around for almost fifteen years now, and whenever I’ve dropped in, there have always been people browsing and people buying things.
Marcella has a purpose. Marcella has a job. Marcella has a life.
Marcella kicking my ass and cleaning my living room made me feel… shitty. But also loved.
So we cleaned the living room. And then the kitchen.
Opened all the windows.
I promised to stop chain-smoking cigarettes.
“I don’t believe you,” Marcella said. “You promised me that on Valentine’s Day.”
I promised to stop sneaking cigarettes.
I promised to stop smoking cigarettes in the house.
“Now that I believe,” she said. “And you’re going to keep writing the blog?”
Except… I feel like I’ve already told the whole story. You know?
That is what happened.
iPad. Sexts. Boob pictures. A horrible Christmas. The kids booting him out—not even me booting him out. Then everyone leaving, me being left all alone.
Completely falling apart.
You don’t want to read a daily play-by-play of how I fell apart over those six weeks between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day.
And I don’t want to go into the past. You know? I don’t want to write about how John and I were. How we met. How we loved. The things about him that drove me crazy from the beginning, the things that I always loved.
The things that I grew to accept.
I don’t want to remember how kind he was when my parents died… and how that made me…
I don’t want to tell you that I got pregnant when I wasn’t quite twenty-two, but it didn’t matter, because we were so in love and we were going to get married anyway.
I could tell you how ecstatic Cody’s birth made me… and also, how depressed. God, I wish I had had a Marcella back then to kick my ass. But I pulled myself together. Somehow. I loved being a mom. I loved being a homemaker. I didn’t… you know, when I talk with Marcella, she often talks about how torn she was when her girl was little. Between her daughter and her career. The shop—her music—she plays the violin and guitar, and she still plays in this crazy Celtic rock band. I’ve gone to see them a few times. They’re really good. Marcella’s really good.
She has all these passions. Me? I was never—I never had a career. A talent. A calling. Except to be a mom and a homemaker. Unfashionable, unfeminist, blah blah blah. I don’t care. I never wanted more than this—my babies, my husband, my home.
I made such beautiful babies. And such a beautiful home.
This house—my house, my kids’ house, our family’s house—it is so beautiful.
Whenever Cody comes home from college, he always says, “I’ve missed this house.” And Tyler—this Christmas was his first time away for a such a long time, four months, but as soon as he came in through the door—“Oh, Mom, it’s so good to be home.”
I did all the things.
I poured all of myself into this house, this family.
God-dammit, John. Why wasn’t I enough?
12 comments on I love Marcella, and I love cigarettes, and I miss my cigarettes, and I am a whiny over-the-hill middle-aged frump:
sugar&spice76: Honey, honey, honey, honey. You are enough. For you, and for your kids. What was going on with his wandering willy is his problem. Not yours.
mommyshidinginthebathroom3: Susan, I’m crying for you. And I also want to come over and kick your ass. And your husband’s.
BeautifulThingsEveryday: Susan, I love you. And I know I’m awesome. But I think you’re idealizing me a little too much in this post. Let’s not forget how I completely fucked up in January and February. I was so self-absorbed in myself that I didn’t notice what was happening to you and how lonely you were until Valentine’s Day.
susan-oh-susan: Well. I am not your child.
BeautifulThingsEveryday: You are my best friend. And I was a selfish slut. Not that I mind being a slut, mind you. But. I should have been more aware of what John moving out would have done to you. I’m sorry.
susan-oh-susan: I forgive you.
BeautifulThingsEveryday: Are you smoking?
susan-oh-susan: Are you a witch?
BeautifulThingsEveryday: Susan! Those things will kill you!
susan-oh-susan: You’re supposed to say, “I forgive you.”
mommyshidinginthebathroom3: Let her smoke, Marcella. It’s been six weeks. You can kick her ass about the cigarettes in six months.
mrenough: Great post. Check out my blog at mrenoughdotpowerenginedotcom.
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