Saturday Errands 8/11/2012: Status Report

So, when the Queen was a kid, each Saturday the Royal Father would take the Queen Mother and I to the Super Giant on Route 450 in Lanham, Maryland. I am dating myself (last week was the Royal Birthday), but this was one of the first “superstores” of its kind—way before Wal-Mart and Target. You could choose from a myriad of national and international brands in the grocery department, and then go downstairs and get carpet; your dry-cleaning done; purchase a fur coat (I kid you not) and of course, find the latest fabulous toy.

Each week, the Queen Mother would sit me down and give me the same speech: “Now today, you won’t be getting a toy. You can look, but we’re not buying anything…is that clear?”

I would dutifully nod my head. And after a few weeks of this ritual, and the subsequent result—I realized that even if my mother was sincere in her adamancy around toy buying, the statement was a lie. I always left with a toy. I just had to figure out which strategy for acquiring said toy would work in any given week.

After nodding my understanding, in my head I would quickly begin figuring out which tactic would give me the best chance of success. Would this be the week to play the good and helpful boy (i.e. go grab the cart as soon as we got to the store, and ask what items I could help pick up)? Or was this the week to embarrass her into submission by pulling a dramatic tantrum that could only by quelled with a Billy Blast-Off or G.I. Joe (I never pushed my luck with Barbie—even my mother had her limits)? Whichever method I used, I was clear of the goal. And if one approach didn’t work then I’d switch to another. And I Always.Got.The.Toy.

This set in motion a pattern of thought and behavior which has brought me to where I am today, and the primary subject of this post: My Life And Where It Stands.

The Queen is loath to use this forum for intimately personal issues. 1. Because I have another blog for that, and 2. I think it is far too easy to have such platforms turn into whining sessions and pity parties. I’m sure there are many successful web logs in cyberspace that handle this sort of thing very well and make very interesting reading. That is not what I envision/ed for FBQ. It is not that I don’t think that this medium isn’t perfect for expressing feelings. But I am an Artist. And I believe that finding a creative form with which to express and communicate your emotional truth is the essence of Art. So while vomiting and masturbating on the page for release may be good for Psychotherapy, it is not so much for a platform created to inform and entertain. It can sometimes be a very thin line between the two.

I don’t know if this post will walk that line, but I felt I owed it to you Miss Things and to myself to find out.

After The Super Giant Years (my version of The Wonder Years), the lessons continued. In college I learned that being talented and “cute” got me extensions on papers. After college I learned that if you didn’t pay off your American Express Card balance every month the Credit Card Police don’t break down your door with a battering ram and haul you off to Debtor’s Prison. I had unconsciously established three points as the cornerstone of my Personal Philosophy:

1. Nobody Says What They Really Mean
2. There Are No Horrible Consequences To Your Actions
3. Someone Will Always Jump In And Save You

Flash forward to November 11th 2008 on 179th and St. Nicholas Avenue in Washington Heights Manhattan, after having just gotten off of the phone with my brother (I think my battery and my minutes had just run out), and the realization that Sometimes People Say Exactly What They Mean; There Are Horrible, Horrible Consequences To Your Actions, and No One Is Going To Jump In And Save Me.

What has ensued over the next four years has been nothing short of Epic Novel in plot. The Queen won’t bore you (or embarrass himself) with the gory details. At least not in this post. But suffice it to say that there have been elements of Will’s Comedies and Tragedies; Andersen’s The Little Match Girl; Dickens’ Bleak House; Alex Haley’s Roots, and the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.

And right now, the Queen is somewhere in the middle of The Lord of the Rings (hopefully it’s Return of the King).

In some parts of the latest epic, I have not had access to a computer for extended periods of time. And when a computer was available, the time on it was spent pursuing more immediate and practical concerns. Which is not to say that feeding one’s soul by writing and communing with like-minded people isn’t practical…but I think you probably get my drift.

So here I am at 51—somewhere between puberty and Adult Pampers. Constantly walking the line between enlightenment and Total Ignorance, trying to navigate the next half of my century re-inventing myself. Putting the lessons I learned at Super Giant to bed for good. Not fighting them any more, but thanking them. Those philosophies had their usefulness at one point in my life. They probably even saved my life a few times.

But they are now holding me back.

They are now the vessels for fear and self-doubt, and I’m tired of them.

After five years of some of my life’s most hellacious emotional and physical journeys (and countless nights sleeping on the Staten Island Ferry), I have finally given myself permission to stop the punishment. The Fierce Black Witch Trials are over. The Queenly Inquisition has ended.

What that means for the Queen? I’m still not sure. There is much to do. Much detritus to sweep up and empty, and I still have no real clue of how or where to begin. But doing my best Miss Celie sitting in the back of that Packard driving away from Mister: “I’m poor, black, I might even be ugly (Editor’s Note: The ‘ugly’ part might be going just a bit far for the Queen), but dear God, I’m here!”

What does that mean for the blog? Well, I’m back to full-time computer access, and there is a SHIT-load to talk about. The Queen can’t tell you how many times something has come across the wires, or he has been reading and thought: “Damn, I would love to know what the Miss Things think about this!”

I’m just getting around to reading the posts from the past few weeks and answering the emails sent to me. As soon as I get these damned moisture-filled things out of my eyes (must be allergies), I’ll get around to personally addressing them. I’ve so much to learn, and so much to re-evaluate in order to take advantage of the success and love-filled life that is my birthright. But if I’m certain of nothing else this experience is teaching me that no matter how dark things may look, no matter what consequences may bring–there is someone…at least ONE someone who is out there rooting for you. Thank you.

And, of course what kind of Fag would I be without Musical Numbers as my coda?


12 thoughts on “Saturday Errands 8/11/2012: Status Report

  1. *HUGS*, *HUGS* and more *HUGS*!

    SO glad to see you posting again, you have been missed–I always get concerned when I don’t see regular postings from someone who has regularly posted in the past (even though I know that it could simply be a lack of interest sometimes). I thought of you many times while I was in Baltimore last month with my son; we didn’t get to do as much as we would have liked while we were there (you can only do so much in a weekend’s time), but it was a great visit and we look forward to more visits there in the future.

    A belated Happy Birthday! I hope the day brought you all kinds of good things; even when one is going through a rough patch, a birthday should be a day to put aside the daily woes and enjoy yourself.

    You’ve been living my life again–I learned the Credit Cards 101 lesson the hard way as well back when I was in college. This Queen (of Procrastination) decided that she’d pay her credit card bills later…like maybe a month or two later. Then, she started using one credit card to pay another until she couldn’t do that anymore. My credit rating is still feeling the pain, but I eventually managed to drag myself out of the mire.

    You are in thoughts and prayers, dear friend; I hope that your darkest days are well behind you and that there is only sunshine and happiness in your future. I look forward to reading everything you’ve been saving up for us.

  2. Yay! You have NO idea how happy it made me to see you back! I’ve had a wretched week in divorce/loan mod wars. Ex won’t sign loan mod papers that I worked so hard to qualify for on my own (but bank won’t put in my name alone because divorce not final) even though it’s in his interest to do so because, well, he’s a sociopath and doesn’t care if my apartment gets foreclosed on. And I’ve been beating myself up for all the things I didn’t do when I should have done, or didn’t anticipate. And had a fight with a well-meaning friend who was just pushing too hard with her advice. I think I’m about to enter my “Grey Gardens” phase, hello Mom, good-bye New York, maybe less clutter and definitely no cats, but lots of if only, if only, if only. But seeing that you’re okay (I know it’s a relative term) and the blog is coming back has me doing a happy dance.

    And I know you’re going through much worse. And while I know we all often have to face lifelong patterns that we’re paying the consequences for, it’s also good to remember that these last four years really have been brutal. For a lot of people. It’s shocking to me how many of my friends are in extremely reduced circumstances, and if I end up Little Edie, I won’t be the only one of my friends. Some day we’re all going to look back on this like our parents did the Great Depression and know what a period of history we were living through, and what strengths we had to discover in ourselves to get through it. So please don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m quite sure you didn’t blow up the world economy. And know, yeah, in more ways than one, you’re not alone.

    But so much catching up to do!

  3. Yay! I’ve been thinking of you, and am glad to see you posting again! I hope this is a sign that whatever you’ve been going through is over and all is well with you.

  4. So very glad to see you back, I’ve been checking regularly. Know that we’ve all been thinking about you and hoping that whatever had taken you away for a while was working itself out. Keep your chin up and know that eventually the twists will straighten. I’ve often headed down the consequences be damned path – sometimes knocking myself off a sensible path, but sooner or later I’ve found it again. I hope this turns out to continue to be the case for you. Welcome back, your thoughtful take on so many things has been missed.

  5. YES! The Queen is back!

    As you well know, 50-some is a time of taking account & re-invention, most of us have many good years left but suddenly they seem very finite. I’m a couple of years older than the Queen, and I’m certainly slogging through some consequences of watching myself make the same mistake(s) over & over long after I knew they were mistakes. ‘Tis common, you have company. You also seem to have strong gifts, and I hope the revised life you are creating a day at a time now will shine more brightly for them. And that your sleep at night may be deep and untroubled.

    And please – build and entertain your community here as it fits into things, don’t let this be a burden. No extravagant expectations, here. Just glad to know your break to take care of business seems to have been fruitful – and to hear from you once again.

  6. I’m so glad you’re back–I’d been checking every day (you are on my “Morning Coffee”), and getting more and more concerned. I, too, have realized that at my age (53) that the way I lived and thought (and a lot of the people I was friends with) when I was younger just aren’t working for me anymore. I guess it’s that age…I hope the dog days are over for you.

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