I Don’t Get Along With Women Typically

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“I don’t get along with women typically.” -Duchess Bella Lynn De’Lioncourt
Baroness Jade Mira
House of Vega

Last Monday night I sat at a table at Dan’s Tavern with my BFF of 30 years. There were three other women sitting with us. The one seated to my right and I were jabbering away and having a great time. We laughed a lot even though we weren’t particularly close in high school. My BFF was seated to my left. She shook her head at me from time to time while listening in on the conversation that I was having with my new but old friend to my right.

I looked at my BFF of 30 years and stated, ‘I’m a lot like you ya know. Quiet, reserved. A wallflower.’

Her reply, ‘Renee, you’re about as much of a wallflower as an earthquake.’

My BFF of 30 years, new but old friend, the two other women at the table and I laughed until we were nearly in hysterics. BFF was right, I am about as subtle as an earthquake. When I’m in my element. On Monday night, I was not. I still harbor resentment for my hometown and the people I went to high school with. I didn’t fit in then. Don’t now, but that’s okay. It was fun to sit and chat anyway. To get to know someone that I kind of knew. To have them get to know me.

As we were talking I shared a story about an old boyfriend of mine named Brian H. He was the only ‘jock’ I ever went out with in high school. I was a ‘stoner’, ‘drama’, ‘singer’, ‘actor’ girl. The girl who sang in choir, talked too loud, and read books. I didn’t go out with jocks. But Brian, he was nice. And he liked me. He asked me out and I said yes. We dated off and on. Eventually we started ‘going together’. He gave me his baseball shirt to wear. I was a curvy girl, but he was a big guy, so I kinda swam in it. It was the 80’s, I put a belt around my waist and cinched that sucker as tight as I could. I was so proud to be his girl.

One night he took me to a party to meet his friends. I was scared to death. Me, the force of nature that fears nothing was afraid! I was out of my element and I didn’t have my BFF with me. The only girl I’ve ever trusted with my life. I had Brian though, so I hoped I’d be okay. It was so long ago, I don’t even remember where the party was. As we walked to the front door, the hairs prickled on my neck. Brian slipped his hand into mine and gripped it firmly. When we walked in, I smiled at the girls as they looked at me with disdain. We said our hellos and walked to the part of the house where Brian’s friends were. With the boys I felt at ease. Not because of my boobs, ass or what I had between my legs. But because I could drink, cuss, and shoot the shit with them. It was Brian’s turn to be proud of me. He loved the fact that I was not a girly girl.

New but old friend said, ‘you were the fun girl that’s why Brian loved you, and that’s why the guys got along with you.

Yes, but I’ve always gotten along better with men than I have women’, I replied. ‘I could also drink them under the table too.’

BFF and new but old friend laughed. I teared up a little and began to speak as I pointed to my left, ‘My closest friends have always been men, but that woman right there has been my best friend for 30 years. I would trust her with my life and with every secret that I have to tell. She has never judged me and I’ve never judged her. When life falls apart and turns to shit for either one of us, we turn to each other. I love her beyond measure.’

BFF’s eyes misted over and the rest of us at the table were silent.

‘Now it’s time to let all that old stuff go’, my BFF said.

The unshed tears in my eyes dried and I gave a radiant smile. I realized that she was right, it was time to let it go.

BFF and I know we’ll love each other till we’re dead. Seeing as we both believe in the hereafter, we’ll love each other there too. I don’t know if I’m good enough to get into Heaven, but she is. The woman should be sainted.

As for Brian and me, we broke up. I was the one that broke his heart. I don’t even know where he is.

Even at the age of 45, I find that most of my friends are men. There’s Roger Darling, Harry, Rory, Biker Dude, My Little Work Brothers, my nephews, and even a few from Across The Pond.

Laura calls me an earthquake but she is a volcano. And when the two of us combine, we are a force to be reckoned with.

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Sweet Child O’ Mine, A Meeting with an Old Friend

She was drunk. She had hoped it would help her sleep. She had hoped it would help her to be able to finally climb into the bed that she had shared with her husband of over 20 years with. She was so tired. So fucking tired. Her husband had been convicted of hurting a child. Her youngest son had run off in response, while her oldest stayed by her side. She’d been barely holding it together for too long. Living in a little cocoon. But at that moment of trying to get into bed, she finally broke down. Finally, she laid on the floor and wailed. Her oldest son, her child, her baby, had to see her in her weakest state. Drunk, and sobbing uncontrollably because she couldn’t get into the bed she had shared with a man who was now in jail, as he would be for years to come. She begged her son to call her mother. He did, while taking care of her as well. He waited for his grandma to get there and put his mother to bed, so she could get some rest after living a nightmare that actually came true.

She walks into the bar and I see her as she once was, when we were just teens. Striding towards me, she is statuesque, blonde, violet blue eyes, and wearing a huge smile. As she zips to the table, so many men turn their heads to look at her. Some of them appear to get whiplash as a result. She’s a ravishing beauty after all that she’s been through. We hug for what seems like forever. We haven’t seen each other in 26 years, but you’d never know it, by the sounds of our laughter and the constant exchanges of “I love you.” I think to myself, “Oh my God how did I ever let this light out of my life?” We were best friends at one time. But life pulls us in different directions. Even though we lived just a few towns away from each other, our lives were busy. She was married, and so was I. We’d each had two children. We were part of our community, and our kids kept us plenty busy.

I’ve already ordered her a Bud Light. I’m sipping white zinfandel and water, because I have to drive home after our meeting. We sit down and start talking. She goes first because she has a story to tell. One that is difficult to hold in. I let her have the floor. I let her go, and let go she does.

But this story is not about her ex-husband. This story is not about her sons. This story is about her. A beautiful woman, that was my best friend during our teenage years. She and I fell away as high school friends often do. We find lovers that we marry and plan on staying with for the rest of our lives. We have children that mean everything to us, that make us better somehow. That we in turn make better by raising them up right. We become involved in the places that we live, in our communities, in our children’s activities, in our lives. It becomes our lives and nothing else matters. But then the unthinkable happens: your husband is accused of taking advantage of a young woman.

She told me that she knew that the light had switched in his brain somehow. They’d been married for 20 years and he started becoming abusive – mentally at first, and then physically. But she had been living with the mental abuse, or as she called it, “passive-aggressiveness” for so long she knew how to diffuse it. For some reason though, this time she no longer could. He started hitting her. Why after so long? She has no idea. But he did hit her. He made her feel small, like she was inadequate. He turned into a stranger. Someone she didn’t even know. She stayed though, for her kids, for the idea that they were “pillars” of the community. They took good care of their kids and the kids of their friends.

When her husband eventually went to prison, she hid herself away. Her youngest son started his senior year of high school shortly thereafter. He told her that he was dealing with some aggression at a home football game. That was what brought her out of her funk. She said to her self, “no one is going to make my child pay for the sins of my husband.” So the next football game, she went. She dealt with the animosity, so that her son didn’t have to. She is one tough momma bear and she loves her boy immensely. While she was there she saw a good friend of the family who, taking her hand said, “If you need anything, anything at all, call me.” She looked at him and knew that he meant every word he said.

She did eventually call him, and they became inseparable. He brought her back to life. He helped her figure out her way, helped her figure out how to continue to take care of her boys, even though she was damaged. He helped her to realize that the man she had married all those years ago was no long the same man. He helped her figure out that the men that were contacting her with offers of help, were only wanting to take advantage of her. To fuck her, own her, hurt her even more, and then disregard her like yesterday’s trash. If she didn’t have this wonderful, flawed man in his own right by her side during this time, who knows what mistakes she might have made.

She finalized her divorce as quickly as possible. She lived in utter poverty for two years. Sometimes, without even electricity, warm water, heat, or food. In short, all the damn things that we normally take for granted. She had nothing. Every time she went to an interview, they would uncover her history and the job offer would disappear. She would think to her self, “They have no reason to judge me. I am NOT the sins of my husband. I am ME!”

Taking a break, we both look at the crucifixes around our necks. As our conversations have progressed, we keep touching them throughout. This recognition turns our conversation towards the topic of faith, and therapy, but mostly faith. We realize as we hold hands across the table and cry, that our faith is what’s gets us through. I told her I haven’t taken my crucifix off for 14 years. When I had to have an MRI recently, it killed me to remove it for even that hour. She told me that her original crucifix broke, and she found herself lost without it. She then acquired the one that she wears now, and she finds herself touching it daily. It’s her center, as it is mine. She says that without her boyfriend, her faith and her therapist, she would have never made it through this part of her life.

She’s grown. She’s changed. Yet she’s still the wonderful and fun girl she always was. With a twinge of jealousy, she looks at me and says, “You are so lucky. You get to grow old with the man that loves you. My ex-husband stole that from me.” She does tell me though that she has been redeemed with her new love. The man who simply took her hand at a football game, and said if you ever need me, call. God, she is so glad that she did.

I think she’ll make it, I do. I think she has found her happiness. She’s found it in her children and in this new man that accepts her for what she is – good woman, with a tough past. But then again, who doesn’t have a tough past? Who doesn’t have a broken road? Isn’t it astonishing when that broken road leads us to the right one?

As I leave her, we hug some more. We once again exchange our “I love you’s.” We promise to not leave 26 years between us again. And we haven’t. We talk almost daily. She is of my heart and one of the strongest women I know. I love her now and forever. What her husband did, doesn’t define her, or her grown up babies. I admire her strength and the ferocity of her love. She is a good woman, a strong woman. And she always will be.

***Edited by t from aslongasimsinging.wordpress.com. Read him. The man rocks my world, and makes my pretty words more beautiful with his touch. This may be my last post for awhile. I promise to come back. Just not sure when. Take care my dear readers and followers.***

I’ve Become the Lionhearted Girl


In some way, I’m there with you. Up against the wall, on a Wednesday afternoon-Heartlines

Her hair is like fire. Her lips red and look like they’ve been bruised by too many kisses from a lover. She’s barefoot. Her words wash over me like the feel of Heaven. She is a goddess, an ingenue and I want to be her. Fiery and passionate. The words that form in her mind and emanate from her mouth and body, resonate through my entire being. I wish to be like her. To write like her. To have people feel my words like I feel hers.

I stood in the gallery of the Fox Theater last night, with Bette. We paid handsomely for our tickets to hear Florence , this chanteuse. She is a siren and I am beckoned by her call. I feel no fear as I hear her. I feel only love, warmth, beauty. It is like she is singing for me, and me alone. I am more than happy to allow my vessel to crash into her shores. Over and over again.

I hear the words I must become the Lionhearted girl, Ready for a fight, Before I make the final sacrifice. And I think about all the shit I’ve been through in the last few years. The changes, love returning, the children moving away, the lives I’ve touched, the new friends, the old friends, the passion being rekindled. About finding my passion in writing. About, everything. I’ve become the Lionhearted girl. I have. I fear nothing, except, for myself. And my mind. The chaos. The never ending thoughts. The fiery, passionate redhead’s music calms me though. Makes me feel safe in my own mind. She dances, whirls and twirls. I know she is feeling every word too.

Her encore was Never Let Me Go. A song of the ocean and of deep, abiding love. Tranquility and peace. Her lyrics wash over me and make me wish to be thousands of feet below the surface. To feel the calm. To feel arms envelop me and make me feel loved. I raise my hands up, and sing her words. Wishing they were mine. And to feel closer to them. To her. I swear as I peer down from the balcony, she looks right at me. And sees me. I am entranced by that red-haired beauty. The music fades, the lights dim and she says good night. The crowd is roaring, and the spring loaded balcony that we are standing on is swaying. She walks away, but I wish for her to stay. She is no longer in front of me, but her words still resound in my ears, heart and body.

Bette and I take our leave. We walk with the masses of others entranced by the music. We make our way back to our car laughing as usual. We both have sadness though, and Florence’s music usually brings it out. It did a few times tonight, but then we remember the good parts of our lives. We make our way to US 75, and at a stoplight I look up and see that the moon is full. I think of the concert, the music still ringing in my ears and I snap a picture of that moon. That beautiful moon that I know is being seen by the ones I love. And then we head home.