Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FUN I say. [Recently revised 11/24]

A few months ago my man of 3 years and the father of our 2 year old called to declare that we were gonna have a date that evening. And we were gonna have FUN!!! Even if it kills us, I thought but dared not say it. You see, our relationship has moved at warp speed and been quite tumultuous. So to do this after a week of fighting, of potential break ups, of all of was not easy for me to jump on board wholeheartedly.

As he came home and we gathered our stuff there was a strained feeling in the air. He kept laughing uncharacteristically loud. It felt forced, determined as he was to have that fun he spoke of. He is a passive kind of person. And has a tendency to people please and leave his truth on the doorstep. He is NOT this guy in front of me right now. I almost feel shy around him in this current incarnation. Who is this man???

I start to I really know him at all? Does he know me? Let alone like me? Sometimes it seems like he does not. And if we are both still discovering who we are, what if we find out that we don't fit..... Stop it I thought. So I pulled myself out of this introspection to get on with our date of "fun".

We arrived at the restaurant after some small talk on my part and a lot of boisterous laughing on his. It was still unclear to me who he was....

"Where would you like to sit? Inside or out?" Uh-oh. A potentially un-fun moment in the date. It was still very hot outside and where I knew it will get cool soon, it had not yet. I hate the heat. I am a Michigan girl at heart. So, I know he wants to be outside so I relent. Or more honestly, I lie. But he knows me better than I give credit and makes an executive decision to eat inside instead. Smart move, I am beginning to recognize him now.

I have a deep fear. One of many actually. I fear that I do not know HOW to have fun anymore. Maybe that is why I felt a shyness then. That and I have a tendency to go mute in the face of bullshit. How can we be denying the extreme things we have been talking about and dealing with lately??!!! Fun, fun, fun.

An interesting moment shifted the tone when our waitress first came over to us. Tall and pretty with a head full of messily pinned up ringlets everywhere. She was thin like an ostrich. After she introduced herself she exclaimed,"We are short one busboy so we are all running around but its gonna be FUN!" We laughed. Maybe honestly for the first time that evening. It seemed some unseen force was helping us after all.

So we ate.....oysters, clam chowder, crab cakes and spinach salad. We shared our meal, as always. I have no memory of what we spoke of during our meal but I am sure it was light. An avoidance of any of the real issues that were on the table, so to speak. We had a plan and we were sticking to it. The wine loosened me up at bit. I was not sure of anything in my life in that moment. I was scared and scarred. And most of all....too old to feel this way.

As we walked into a bowling alley, there was the sound of crashing pins, laughing, talking and cheering. With all this activity I realized I missed this. I used to go bowling with my brothers and our father. I excitedly give my shoe size anticipating a pair of cute bowling shoes. I like them, always have.

The man hands me a pair, shiny, clean and surprising not stinky. I feel like a child. Why would clean bowling shoes produce such joy in me? Dark blue and deep burgundy with bold white pipping. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.... Like I was trying a new pair of Manolos...... I savor the moment. They fit perfect and make my feet look small even after having gained a shoe size after schlepping two babies in my body over the past 16 years.

Shoes in place, it is time to move on to the next ritual bowling experience. The choosing of a ball. I try many, first I go for the colors I like. A girl through and through. But of course the ones I am drawn to are Too heavy. With my recent injury I realize I must go with the lightest ball they have. A mere 6 lbs and this cuts down my color choices significantly. Bummer. But I manage to find a bright orange one. I am now drawn to orange as I realized it is the color of the Tibetan monks, a powerful color.

As I tested my swing with it I was flooded with memories of what my father taught me about the key to bowling.
Keep your wrist straight. That's all. Just always keep it straight with follow through. I did a few practice swings and was ready to go. No Laverne and Shirley episode here. I used to get a lot of gutter balls until that golden key was given to me.

These were unfortunately the kind of keys my parents gave to me. No wonder I am such a mess. Ones that really did not matter much unless [in this case] I was in a bowling alley. These crumbs meant the world to me though. Another memory of the bowling experience came as my brothers and I fought to write our own names on the score keeping screen. My family has always called me Sherri. But up until then, I spelled it Sheri. Well, my father corrected me. He said I was named Sheryl, but would always be called Sherri. With two R's. Sheryl for the catholic, appropriate version though. Like Christopher to be called Chris.

He said this with such passion and conviction, I would never forget it. Or maybe it was that he was focused on me at all created the moment of importance that really did not exist. Perception.

This bowling is an event for me. You see,I stand on the outskirts of life. I rarely go into the city to party, to connect. My fear freezes me. To "stand" is to be more active than a "couch potato."

I remember this picture of me as a 3 year old girl. My dress is so short, too short. I am clearly in need of some new, larger sized clothes. Neglect. My white maryjanes are beaten to a pulp.....

I was directed by my grandfather to,"Stand up straight !!!" So there I am, arms pinned to my sides. My legs tightly pulled together. So much tension that my shoulders are almost up to my ears. I am standing as straight as physically possible. Desperate to please. To be seen as a good girl. A lovable girl. As a pretty girl. Pretty is important to this family. Boys should be strong and unemotional and girls....pretty.

Another crumb bestowed upon me by my never present mother was that I had "naturally curly hair!" This crumb of attention became my calling. I would tell anyone who would listen this piece of wisdom my mother had bestowed upon me. I would run up to complete strangers on the playground:
"My mommy says I have naturally curly hair," I would pridefully exclaim and then run off to continue to play.

It seems in retrospect I was screaming I AM IMPORTANT!!! I have something special. Look at me . Watch me. SEE ME. Because I felt invisible. A little person that nobody wanted to take care of. So the crumb became my own little feasts. And during my feasts, I had FUN. Or did I?

All the ritualistic choices made, it was now time to put my fathers wisdom to work. Would I just throw a bunch of gutters? would I score some strikes? I hoped for the best but anticipated the worst. Kind of mirrors the patterns of my own thought processes. And that of my life. I suppose we all have a variety ups and downs. Good scores and some, not so much. Is everything connected or is this just the way my brain works.

Well, it turned out I owe my father a big thanks. I did really well. No gutters and a few strikes and spares. Hey, it seems it is a new day. No more gutters of life. I am going for the strikes. And as insignificant as the feasts of my crumbs seemed, they gave me something to hold onto where there was very little. And something is better than nothing.

I hope I will find out.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for sharing that. One thing struck a chord with me-- "Desperate to please. To be seen as a good girl. A lovable girl." Why is it so important to please others? Now that you are all grown up, isn't it just as important to please yourself? Please take good care of yourself too. Namaste.

  3. i firmly believe that everything/everyone is connected. it's not blatant and you can't just see it. but, our energies all connect in some sort of strange way or other. we meet people for reasons, everyone who is there regardless how small or big the impact they have on your life they are meant to be there. you just have to look deeper into every interaction that feels meaningful (and even some that don't feel like anything). there are just so many dimension to everything in life and everyone. i don't think coincidence are as simple as people make them sound, there is so much more behind why things happen the way they do and why we feel a connection between places we never been and strangers we never met. i think you made a great metaphor between bowling and life, the whole gutter balls representing the gloom and now the strikes hopefully representing the end of gloomy days. i will never look at bowling the same way again! ha!
    but, yes, i do believe that if not everything then mostly everything is connected. you just have to look deeper into it(e.g bowling).
    or maybe we're both just crazy? ;)
    on that note, this is the longest comment ever. haha! hope today finds you well.

  4. Once again thank you for sharing so much of your personal self with us. My heart aches for the struggles your going thru.. We all struggle, but we have to find the light out of the tunnel and be determined to be happy for ourselves, our children, and loved ones. I pray that u find that happiness, & hang on to it.. I can relate to alot of what you say..I certainly can't describe it as wonderfully as u. But I have felt that way too in my relationship with my husband when we have had issues to work thru, or other issues I have with my father that i still carry with me. Your in my thoughts and prayers as you sort thru the bullshit and get back to that happy place. Thanks again for the honesty and shining the light on your dark places..Your so real...

  5. Dear Sherilyn,
    I have been following Dita von Teese on Twitter and she recommended your blog. I didn't expect to read what I read. For some prejudicial reason ( slightly embarassed to admit that) I thought "oh is she not that girl from Twinpeaks, that serie my parents never allowed me to watch as I was too young, but everyone in school was talking about it. She writes a blog?".

    Anyway, I started reading your blog and my goodness your blogs are so honest and witty! Some parts made me chuckle, some parts made me frown (as in "oh no..really?"), some parts made me reflect on my own life. Also, I never thought your blog would be so sincere and open. My attention was immediatey drawn by the first paragraph. Blogs by celebrities can be pretentious sometimes and some of them make me feel like they were written because it's just another way to get publicity. That is however NOT the case at all with your blogs. I feel like you are genuinely sharing your thoughts and moments in life with us your readers.

    It is "funny" how as a child you're like this little sponge and you soak up everything that your parents or other grown ups that must know it all from your child-perspective teach you. Then growing up you realise that your parents don't have all the answers and those grown ups don't always know it all. That they brought you up to the best of their abilities, but that it is for you to find out who you are, where your boundaries are and how you should deal with your strenghts and weaknesses.

    One of my favourite writers is N. Machiavelli (you shoul read "the prince") and I can truly relate to his following quote: "the more sand has escaped from teh hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see throught it".

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.