Letter From TX
(BY MICHELLE WERTHEIM)
Texas is defiantly
a world all to it's own. I have throughly discovered this from my own
limited journeys back and forth on I-35. But it's not so much the dirt
as it is the characters that live on the dirt. Texas is one of the few
states that is big enough to hold a vast quantity of cultures, lifestyles,
and ages with comfortable breathing room. Of course there's always the
toe-stepping on & offensive behavior, but that comes with human nature.
But the dirt beneath our feet has a rhythm of its own. Covered in asphalt it becomes fast & functional for those of us choosing to live big city life. out in the small towns it becomes homey and functional for those a slower pace.
As for me, I'm somewhat in the middle. Raised by hard working lower middle class family planted in the middle of nowhere, outside of Weatherford. I spent my child hood happily there in the country, & was devastated when my parents sold the land & moved to town my senior year. But I recovered quickly as I found everything easily accessible for my senior jitters.
My life since then has led me down a kaleidescope of events I find it hard to believe. I survived a volatile marriage I can only compare to living on the Jerry Springer set for seven years. That was my own doing. I was the one that married him...
Then it was on
to Single-mom-dom, a place that's lonely, joyous, and sometimes more
stressful than I could ever imagine. Anything that happened could not
be equally blamed on two parties. Soon I learned what it was like to
proudly pay the bills on time every month. I truly had more than I dreamed
of when I was married. Satisfaction of making it on my own, daughter
in tow, hurdled me past every downfall. I had no choice but to survive.
During that short time I met (shudder) a really nice guy!!!! As the cliche' goes, I think I might have looked him over had I not have gone through my huge-ass joke-of-a-marriage. He's brought me the joy of laughter, art of sarcasm, and completely embraced my smart-ass side. We are a big pile of cheesy, gushy bliss.
My guy loves the comical earthy redneck ways of my parents, joyously scoffs at Dumb Ass's (my ex) "I'm the big guy who slept with my boss to get her money" & Sugar Momma (left her marriage of twenty-ish years to be with a man that's young enough to be my son) monthly antics, and forgives my of my maddening psychotic habits.
So, this year I was expecting a quiet holiday. It's the first one without B (daughter), who is spending it with Dumb Ass(the ex) & Sugar Momma. We went through a huge move that has ebbed our cash flow greatly. My small business has to be slowly nurtured back to health by a lot of community elbow greasing. So, just like a lot of people across the nation, I had a case of my own pitiful Christmas woe. I even felt guilty about feeling pitiful, I have my health, good
friends (far away), loved ones, and focused back on my writing. How dare I feel depressed!!!
Then, My Guy proposed!!! I instantly became a giddy mess & will continue until a good month has passed. I knew it was coming, but I still wasn't expecting it so soon. I couldn't think of a future without him. Yes, we are back on the cheese, so grab a wine glass!!! But I'll spare you for now....
This time of year is full of emotional out poring as well as greedy commercial hype. It's easy to get lost in all the glittery displays amidst the mall crowds and buying frenzies. I know quite a few people who have lost jobs & are facing severe hour cut backs. These friends are just as bluesy as I am, not affording great holiday retail splurges. For everyone in the same boat, I give you my favorite holiday memory.....
It was a Christmas a few years ago, just before things soured with Dumb Ass. We were facing another dismal Christmas because his lack of jobholding. I had saved what I could scrounge & raided the nearest dollar store for B's presents, which even at dollar store prices, wasn't that much. I hauled out the decorations & let B help wrap the little things for the family. After we had finished the meager pile, B was so thrilled with this simple ritual, she began to wildly search her
room for more gifts to wrap. She picked out special toys for each family member. I had to draw the line when her tiny fingers clasped certain items that she'd miss later. Proudly she wrapped everything up with fever, so intent on her mission.
On Christmas day, we passed out presents, as always. After the main ones had been distributed, B whipped out her prized bounty. She was so happy to give what she had, the look on her face was pure joy. Her Grandmother cried as she realized what B had done. She tried to convince B to take back the toys, but the little girl insisted. She had given her toys out of love and selflessness. This is the third year B has carried on this tradition. No matter what denomination, religion, or creed, I hope you find time to give part of your self to those you
love, and in need.