Under The Weather

Sidenote:

I’m feeling a bit ill-ish today.

“A bit under the weather”,as my american contracts professor would have called it.

(Who is an amazing guy, that I would absolutely haven fallen for, if he wasn’t gay).

So until I emerge from the depths of tissues, hot tea and cough sirup, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed once again, I won’t be doing a lot of blog diving. I’m sorry.

Hope this is just a one-day (well since it started yesterday two-day) bug.

Gesundheit to me,

K.

[The Beatles – Only Sleeping]

7 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[All credit to Laura Radzeviciute a.k.a. Radlau, whose lovely picture can be found here]

“… the moment you doubt whether you can fly,

you cease forever to be able to do it.”

[J.M. BarriePeter Pan]

You’d Better Find Some Other Means To Find A Husband Because It Won’t Be Through Your Looks!

“It’s amazing

how complete the illusion is,

that beauty is goodness.”

[Leo Tolstoy]

 

Note: I wrote this yesterday, but for some reason I couldn’t publish it.

I’m having an ugly-day today. One of those days, where I feel picasso-esque. I get those from time to time.

I have a very warped body image of myself. I know that. For instance, I won’t let Phil carry me and I rarely sit on his lap, because I think my weight equals that of a baby-elephant.

I can’t trust mirrors either. Well either that or I can’t trust the people telling me, that what I see in the mirror is not what they see when they look at me. And they don’t mean it in the inner-beauty-shining-through-kind-of-way, either.

When I was younger, I used to get angry at people complimenting me on my looks. I seriously thought they were adding insult to injury.

This might explain, why I only fell for guys, who treated me badly. I really must have thought, I don’t deserve better or at least they are being honest with me or something.

Today, because I’m a bit older and have learned to fit into a realm of social expectation, I don’t shoot people filthy looks anymore when they complement my looks. I graciously accept and smile and say “Thank You” in my sweetest telephone voice (do you have a telephone voice too? Not even sure why and how I started having one, but I sound very Mary Poppin-sy with a cheerful little laugh in my voice. Phil’s Mom can’t stand it!).

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that I see what they are seeing.

Most of the time, I just accept that apparently my vision is skewed when it comes to me. And that’s fine. I don’t really think about it too much.

But then, other times, I can’t ignore it. Everything about me feels off. Picassoeque is actually the best term I have to describe the feeling (hunchback of Notre Dame would do equally well, if you prefer that image).

Today is one of those days.

When I walk through town, I get paranoid. I feel like everybody is staring at me. At the freak. It’s horrid. I avoid leaving the house on days like this, if I can.

Today, fortunately, I could since it was a study day.

Usually (and today was no different) I look through old pictures of myself. Retrospectively, I can agree, that I don’t look that way, but I can’t transport that insight into the present (it doesn’t even work, if I take a picture, I tried).

I think it may have something to do with feeling disconnected to the person in the picture. Over time, the woman smiling back at me, banned on celluloide, feel like an old acquaintance. Someone I lost touch with over the years, but not like myself.

It’s during those times, that I think of my american grandmother.

All the dysfunctional crazy that she is deserves several posts of epic lengths, but I am not up to that today.

The reason I mentioned her, is because even though she loves me (and I’m sure she does in her own dark world) she has never been to great at making me feel like I deserved to be loved.

Explanation? Sure.

For a while after my mother died, I wasn’t allowed to visit my american grandparents, because my grandmother was convinced my father had murdered my mother and my father was convinced my grandmother would kidnap me, if she ever got her hands on me (you know what?! I think she might have). But that’s an entirely different post on its own, too.

When I started seeing them again, I think I was around five.

One of my earliest memories of my grandmother is telling me I’d better work hard in school and learn how to cook and other house-wify-stuff, because I surely wasn’t going to find a husband based on my looks. I think I must have been around six at that time.

She also constantly told me to cover my, as she put them, “manly” legs ( I think she ment fat and was trying to soften the blow).

When Phil met my family in the U.S. about three years ago, I hadn’t seen them in ten years.

The first thing she did was tell me I had gotten big (in all honesty, I had put on about 10 pounds at that time so I was probably a size 10 at that point).

The second thing she did was ask Phil if he wanted to marry me in the future. He said “Yes, absolutely.” She looked at him surprised (honestly surprised!) and said “Why?”.

There was a short pause while my cousins tried to fade into the background (people do that, when she speaks at times. It’s like an incredibly embarrassing scene in a Movie you can’t watch, so you shrink away from it).

Before Phil could answer, she continued “It’s not because of the family money, is it! She won’t be inheriting anything for a long time!” (I’d have to add that my grandparents are quite wealthy, but you wouldn’t know by looking at my grandmother, most of the times she looks like a bag lady, honestly she does!).

Obviously, Phil denied this looking more and more like a deer caught in the headlights. I had told him about my dysfunctional family, but most people don’t believe me until they’ve seen it with their own eyes.

My grandmother sensed this and bellowed on “You better tell me. I will find out sooner or later. It can’t be her looks. I mean look at you.”

A year later, I visited them again, this time alone. It was after my grandfather’s funeral which I had missed due to the volcano eruption that grounded all air transportation. I needed to see him one last time and say good-bye (I still get choked up writing this. He ment the world to me).

I had dropped the 10 pounds and a couple more.

When she saw me said “You are thinner now. That’s better, but I think there’s nothing we can do about the rest.”

I don’t know why my grandmother thinks I’m ugly.

Weirdly, she always praises my mother for her beauty (which is true: My mother was one of those truly stunning women that only come around every couple of years). The one thing I heard growing up at nauseam was how much I favored my mom. She denies this. “Oh you look only like your father.”, she says (which in itself, wouldn’t be that bad either, since my father is rather presentable, but it’s just not true. So not true, that people used to think I was his girlfriend when we went out together on father-daughter-dates).

I’m not sure, if my grandmother is the catalyst of my own warped view of myself or if she only enforced something that was there from the start.

In the end, it doesn’t matter.

Except on days like these, where I keep hearing her voice in my head over and over again:

“You’d better find other means to find a husband, because it won’t be through your looks” – Seriously, who does that to a child?

When You Enter Here, You Enter Me

“And by the way,

everything in life is writable about

if you have the outgoing guts to do it,

and the imagination to improvise.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

[Sylvia Plath]

 

I’m about to do something grand.

Something brilliant.

Something splendid.

I’m about to get over myself.

When I started “wrogging” (writing + blogging), I wanted to find people, who could relate to a world of a motherless daughter. Preferably others of the tribe.

Although, I have loving people in my life, who try their best to see me for who I am, I feel alien at times. I was longing for a connection (and maybe even some free group sessions, who knows?)

Things have changed.

My dreaded 30th Birthday has passed and I am still standing.

I have met people here and forged connections, I never thought possible.

It was easy letting those people in, because they were few and in all honesty nobody was visiting this blog anyways.

Now, there are more of your here, in this little place I consider my home away from home.

I’m thrilled and scared.

Thrilled, because I know how many shades of wonderful are out there and I am so excited to get to see them all.

Scared, because I don’t know you yet and since there are more here now it sometimes feels, like I can’t concentrate on singular faces in the crowd.

Yesterday, I realized that I had started censoring myself, hanging around here shyly and just sort of half smiling around the crowd.

I didn’t like that feeling. This is my home and I should speak freely in my home.

I need to get over that.

So that’s what I’m doing: I’m getting over myself!

I trust that, if you have come here and if you want to stay and see more, that means you want to see more of me and not just of some awesome pictures I post here.

Well, I don’t see, why you shouldn’t. I can be brave enough, I think, to share more of me with you than a quote and a picture.

You deserve more than that.

Please just know that when you enter here, you enter me (not sexually, get your minds out of the gutter people!). You enter who I am.

So, I would appreciate, if you would share yourself as freely with me as I’m sharing myself with you.

Afterall, that’s what you call a conversation. Everything else would be a monologue.

Show Me How To Bear The Sound Of Silence

“Silence makes the real conversation between friends.

Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.”

 

[Margaret Lee Runbeck]

 


Today, whilst searching for the right quote for my daily post in the 365 of 2012 project, I came across this great quote and it got me thinking.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it anymore and I don’t even know who to attribute it to ( I want to say Emerson. It sounds like something Emerson would say or at least something people would attribute to him).

So for lack of exact wording, you will have to make do with what I can recall:

“As we go through life we find, that our closest friends are not the ones who console us and offer words of wisdom, but those who can bear sitting next to us in silence, suffering through the bewilderment and loss that can not be described, without the need for words to connect to us and our feelings”

[Maybe Emerson]

This stunned be (and oh I wished I had been insightful enough to bookmark it). Deeply.

I think mostly, because I’m not good with silence.

And I don’t mean the awkward silence, nobody’s good with those.

And I don’t mean the natural silence, when all has been said, everybody’s good with those.

I mean the painful silence, when someone you feel connected to, suffers.

I can’t bear it!

Not only, because I want to make them feel better. Everybody wants to lift the spirit of people they care about, when those are feeling low.

I can’t bear it, because I need to let them know, with words (many words), that they are not alone, that I am there with them, that I treasure them and I feel for them and feel with them.

I want them to hear my voice reciting the wonders of who they are, so that my voice might echo in them and in response they can hear their own voice repeating it.

Over and over again. Until they believe it or they feign to believe it just to have me shut up – whatever comes first.

I understand, that this is just a way of comforting myself. For if the pain of the one close to me is vanquished (by words), driven back into the misty fog from hence it came, I too can rest easy.

I’m sorry.

I wished, I understood the art of silent companionship in need.

I wished, I could make you feel loved and worthy and understood with my presence and my presence alone.

This is one of the things I want to learn.

To listen to the grieving silence and to bear it.

To make a stand for someone by shutting up.

To give comfort to others and not to comfort myself.

 

For now, I can’t.

Please know, that I only want to see you happy and in the attempt of forcing a smile on your lips (in the hopes it might then enter your heart as well) I fight demons the only way I know how: With loud noises.

So please forgive me, if I talk to much.

I will try to breathe more between sentences at least.

Last Night You Saved My Life – Or At Least My Sanity

“Life is a crisis – so what!”

 

[Malcolm Bradbury]

 

 

 

 

It’s tradition to start the new year with new years resolutions.

Yes, there are a couple of vices, I should kick to the curb, but I can’t really bring myself to resolve to that this year. I don’t know it just seems like a lot.

There’s one thing, however, I need to change;- desperately need to change:

“My panic-stricken worry attacks, when things don’t go exactly as planned or indeed go completely wrong.”

It really is an annoying – well for lack of better terms let’s call it – “habit” of mine.

I end up in this crazy downward spiral, that always ends with me living homeless under the bridge.

Let me give you a simple example:

“I forgot to buy the butter needed to bake a cake.”

This is what my mind does:

  • “Oh god. I forgot to buy the butter and now I can’t bake the cake. – What in the world am I going to do?!?”
  • “This is so typical! If I can’t even remember something as simple as buying butter for a cake, how will I ever be able to remember the important stuff?!?!”
  • “I won’t! That’s right! I’ll never be able to remember all the important things I need for my upcoming exam! And then I’ll flunk it and lose my job and never get the job I really want.”
  • “My father won’t love me anymore and my family will think, that I’m worthless. They will shun me and disown me.”
  • “Phil (yes, his name is Phil) will leave me for someone younger, smarter, skinnier, better organized with a better job, who doesn’t forget something simple like buying butter.”
  • “If I lose my job, my family and Phil, I will start drinking. I really will. I will become an alcoholic and then I won’t be able to find a new job and then I won’t be able to pay the rent and I’ll be evicted.”
  • “Oh and if I’m evicted and a homeless, jobless alcoholic, I will never find a new job and I will end up living under the bridge and I will never have babies.” (That to me is the ultimate threat – even worse than living under a bridge)
  • “Wow, gosh, I really have to calm down. Maybe I should bake something to calm my nerves. Oh wait, I can’t! I forgot the butter! I’m so stupid, stupid, stupid.”

The simple alternatives such as substituting butter for oil or just going back to the shop to buy some butter or asking a neighbour to borrow butter etc. just never enter my mind.

Instead of problem solving, I go into “catastrophizing-mode”. I’m not sure why, I just do.

It’s gotten to the point, where I can recognise what I’m doing but I can’t stop it.

Until last night.

Last night, I found out that you can stop me from catastrophizing.

How you wonder? Well let me show you:

My legs last night were not a pretty sight.

Not that I have gorgeous legs to start out with, but usually they are at least hairless and clean (oh yes and they are functional, but that really doesn’t have anything to do with the way they look).

Last night they were anything but hairless.

Okay, they probably haven’t been entirely hairless for the last couple of days or maybe weeks, but I didn’t look like a grizzly bear and I wasn’t wearing skirts or dresses, so in all honesty I just ignored it.

I did such a good job at ignoring it, that I completely forgot about it.

So last night I was somewhat surprised (and mildly disgusted) to see what shape my legs were in.

I should add, that I don’t do well with shaving my legs. I cut myself, I get razor burn and little bumps and my ingrown hair (yes, this is probably t.m.i. – sorry about that). In any case, what I mean is I usually get them sugared (which is basically like getting them waxed).

Last night, standing in the kitchen at 7 pm, looking at my legs, I realized there was no way I would get an appointment with any depilora in town.

Before I could start my downward-spiral of ending under the bridge and never having babies, I remembered I still had some cold wax strips in my bathroom cabinet. – Whew, safe for now!

At first everything went smoothly (no pun intended), but then, somehow, this one strip didn’t come off cleanly and left a patch of wax and hair on my right calf – Great?! No need to worry. I’ll finish the rest and take care of that later.

Well, the same thing happened with the next three strips, except it were larger patches of wax and a lot more hair. – Okay, now I’m getting slightly worried here. Am I going to have waxy, hairy legs forever?! Oh no, Phil is going to leave me for someone with smooth, wax-less, hairless legs and I am going to end up under the – Stop! Breath!

I ditched the waxing and rummaged through the bathroom cabinet until I found an old (but unused) one-way razor. – Fine. I’ll shave them this once. I’ll be extra careful. Plus everything beats hairy, waxy legs, right?!

Everything went fine (meaning only several insignificant slight cuts, totally coverable with make-up – yes, I put make-up on my legs – sometimes), until I got to the hairy, waxy patches. I know this going to sound really bad, but yes, I admit it, I tried to shave them off.

Obviously, this didn’t work. Instead, the razor got stuck to the hairy, waxy patches on my leg and I was really lucky I didn’t seriously injure myself getting it off. – “Oh now he’s definitely going to leave me! Honestly, which other woman has waxy, hairy legs with a razor stuck to them?! He can’t stay with me! He just won’t, he just won’t…”

Then something happened.

I suddenly imagined myself writing this post. Or at least a post about Phil leaving me for a younger, smarter, skinnier woman with hairless, wax-less legs, who doesn’t have a razor stuck to her right calf.

I started laughing. It was too absurd.

Why in the world should my legs remain hairy and waxy with a razor attached to my calf for the rest of my life?! And even, if – maybe I could sue the razor company? I’m pretty sure, they didn’t explicitly warn consumers, that their razor couldn’t be used to shave off waxy hair patches from your legs. At this point, I was literally laughing out loud under the shower.

  • I imagined sweet Patrice would console me and tell me about a woman’s worth and how things in life happened for a reason.
  • I could just about read Paprikas comment saying – Ah good riddance?! What could be sexier than a woman with a razor stuck to her calf – That’s dangerously sexy!
  • Angie, might tell me about an 80’s show, where they had discussed the pro and cons about razor attired legs and would I mind if she used this in her little play about virginity?
  • Erik might even find a story of his own to relate – since we do seem to have a lot of the same stuff happening to one another.
  • Worrywarts would be way too nice to remind me of her blood-shot eye and her hearing disability, but still comment in some down to earth fashion, that would send the little drama-queen in me packing!

So I did the only thing I could do.

I got out of the shower. Dried off and stuck some strips of toilet paper to the sticky, waxy, hairy part of my legs.

I then woke Phil, who was taking a nap, and told him to get ready. I showed him my toilet paper covered, sticky, waxy, hairy leg and he laughed. He thought it was adorable.

Let me repeat that:

He thought my hairy, waxy, sticky, toilet paper leg was adorable!

He didn’t want to leave me! He didn’t think less of me! He thought I was adorable!

In the end, I did manage to remove the waxy, hairy parts from my calf (simply by pulling of the toilet paper wads b.t.w.), but that, to me, is beside the point.

The point is, I finally found a way to stop that little “catastrophizing” voice of mine.

I simply ask myself:

“What kind of post would that make and what would you say.”

So, thank you. Thank you for saving my life; -or well, at least my temporary sanity.

Happy New Year!

People Who Don’t Know Me Think I’m Awesome

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”

 

[Helen Keller]

 

 

In all honesty, I might have read a similar post somewhere at some point which seems like eons ago, but since I can’t fully remember it might just be my overly vivid imagination.

In any case, I am always blown away by the apparent impact I have on spammers.

One told me recently:

“Thank you so much for your great advice. All my family agrees that the advice given here is great and now I will go back to school.”

This was a spam comment left in reply to my incoherent ramblings on the advantages of waterproof-anything.

Although I am quite flattered, that someone out there feels the need to share this post with their loved-ones and in the aftermath decides to go back to school, I am pretty sure the only advice you could get out of this post is:

“Don’t post, when / if you are in an overly melancholy mood – or do, but be prepared that people will try to link adds for vibrators and such to it in an attempt to cheer you up”

(Although the vibrator spam link might have been in response to the beloved and versatile post, in which case I didn’t need cheering up, but I really can’t remember)

Actually, I quite like those little spam comments. Like them enough to actually consider not trashing them, but adding them as legit comments to my posts.

Why” you ask? – Well, simply because it would be neat to write something, that in turn would encourage someone else to go back to school, or change their life or spend some time with their family reading my posts.

Not only do they make me feel special, but they definitely beat vibrator, weight-loss or breast-enhancement adds.

Now if only the people who do know me would concur, but I guess there really is no sense in being greedy.

Since my words, obviously, have tremendous impact on all those out there (well at least the spammers) – let me leave you my sincere best wishes for 2012 and may we all be surrounded by people, who think we are awesome; – even if they don’t know us.

Update 01/03/12:

This is my new favorite spam-comment – Genius:

What Do You Mean?! Since When Is It Not Okay To Hang My Cousin?

“A child is a curly dimpled lunatic”

[Ralph Waldo Emerson]

My cousin’s fiancée is 4 months pregnant.

I know, I know this should make me happy. I mean really happy. Dancing-in-the-streets-naked-happy. Or at least running-out-to-get-some-gear-for-her-baby-shower-happy.

But it doesn’t.

Somehow, it just frustrates me.

Let me try to explain:

My father has an older sister, who has two sons. For the sake of this post let’s call them “Marc” and “Oscar” (which are not their names).

Well, Marc and I were really close growing up. The kind of close you usually find between siblings. He might have even had a chance at becoming the elderly brother figure, that holds you down and tortures you with spit, but it didn’t happen. Somehow we grew apart, before we got to the wonderful loving torture phase – I regret that.

Actually, we didn’t just “grow apart” (how does anyone age 7 – 12 just grow apart?!).

What happened was, that their mother, my aunt, decided to become a Jehovah’s Witness.

I’m not really sure why.

None of us are overly religious. I mean we are christians (the german side is predominantly protestant, where as the american side is predominantly catholic, but in all honesty the way we practice religion, it’s the same difference), but no one is really caught up about it.

Religion was never the thread that kept our family together: It just was.

My father thinks the reason his sister became a Jehovah’s Witness, is because her husband, my uncle, is a loveless, ignorant fool and she wanted to feel like she was part of a tight-knit community.

That might be right, but then again my father never liked her husband. It’s mutual. They can’t stand the sight of each other ever since my uncle beat my father up in 3rd grade during recess and he told on him, which in turn got my uncle into detention. There might be some unresolved anger issues there, who knows. Obviously today, they have moved on from the beating-up to the hurtful-comments-and-ignoring phase. I mean after all they are mature and civilised adults.

In any case, before my aunt became a Jehovah’s Witness, I spent a lot of time over at their house or at my grandmother’s old house with Marc and Oscar.

Marc and Oscar are three years apart in age and I am right in the middle between the both of them.

The brother’s were as different as night and day.

Marc’s the loving, caring type (or at least he was), but a bit on the slow side mentally. Oscar, on the other hand, was incredibly bright, but cruel and sly (and even though 7-year-old-Kianys would have never admitted this: “Maybe a bit scary”).

I remember watching “The Wizard of Oz” around this time (for the first time) and thinking: “Well I guess the Wizard gave Oscar all the brains and Marc all the heart.”

Oscar was the kid, that convinced his three years older brother to repair the socket in their nursery with a damp cloth and a screw driver. Marc was the kid, who would do it over and over again. And I? Well I was the kid standing on the sidelines, holding my sides laughing till my little belly hurt.

One of my fondest childhood memory with my two cousins might not even be a real memory.

I don’t know why, but many times when I ask my family stuff like “Oh do you remember when we almost strung up Oscar?”, they give me this funny look and adamantly agree that such a thing never happened. I was a very imaginative kid, so based on that there might be some allowance for doubt, but I remember this occasion. Vividly remember it.

It might be, that I am truly confusing my imagination with my memory (as Josh Billings was quoted saying – well not about me, just in general), but I am pretty sure, that they are just trying to negate this ever happened for the sake of their own conscious.

It must have been (that is, if it ever was) in the fall of 1988, making me about 6, Oscar about 4 1/2 and Marc about 7 1/2 years old.

It must have been fall, because my grandparents steep back yard was covered in yellowed and red leaves.

And it must have been between 1986 – 1992, not just because we acted like stupid little morons (I was capable of doing that way into my teens), but because my grandparents sold that house to move to a smaller place (cheaper and easier in up-keep) in the summer of 1992.

My cousins and I shared one common love: We loved old cowboy and indian stories and we loved to beat each other up (so I guess technically that’s two common loves, but they just kind of went together).

It didn’t really matter, if Marc and I were the good Indians and Oscar was the bad Cowboy and we got to tie him to the totem pole (or stake or whatever Indians back in the day tied bad cowboys to before scalping them) and scalp him or if he was the bad Indian and the both of us were the good Cowboys and we got to hang him for stealing our horses. Really didn’t.

All that counted was, that the two big one’s could mercilessly gang up on the young small one with glasses and beat the living daylight out of him (or well, you know, at least hold him down and pummel him a bit).

(Side note: I highly recommend having your safe search turned on when doing a google image search for: “vintage boy with glasses getting pummeled by two kids”Highly recommend!)

Ah those were the golden days!

Well, maybe not for Oscar and maybe all that 2-on-1 unfairness had something to do with him becoming bright and sly, but that’s just one of those redundant what-came-first-hen-or-egg-questions.

In any case, that fall afternoon of 1988 we were outside in my grandparents back yard, playing among the leaves and doing our best to keep the noise down for fear of our grandfather waking up from his nap or our grandmother fearing that grandfather could wake up from his nap. Both cases were a sure shot at the threat of a beating and no desert (the daunting part obviously being the no-desert-part: One hasn’t truly lived, until one has sampled my grandmother’s baking!)

Keeping it down in our minds obviously wasn’t the same as keeping it down in any adults opinion (but my guess is, if you ever were a kid and remember still remember being a kid today,  that goes without saying). Suffice it to say, that I can’t remember EVER hearing a car, although their house was located right on the brim of one of the main roads in town.

I might have to add that the hill behind their house was steep, really steep, I mean really, really steep and someone (my guess is my grandfather when he wasn’t napping) had attached a swing to one of the trees on the steep hill.

I have added an image to better illustrate the surroundings

(Please let us pretend this is an original 1988 picture and not something I threw together a couple of minutes ago using Paint – agreed? Great!)

In any case, this was our playground and with the exception of playing with the harmless snakes (they are called “Blindschleichen” in german – google translate translated them into “Blindworms“, but somehow I have my doubts about that translation), the “it-place” to be was on or at least next to the swing.

The fatal day, I am referring to, is when Oscar wasn’t sitting on the swing, but instead had been placed standing upright on it with a make-shift noose (using my grandmother’s clothes line) strung around his neck.

No doubt the evil indian had stolen our horses and we were about to make him pay: Wild West Style.

Marc was still trying his best to get the other part of the clothes line attached to the branch and we were all quite intrigued with the task at hand.

Suddenly, out of the blue, my grandmother stormed up the hill in her house dress, curlers in hair. She grabbed Marc and slapped him right across the face with one hand while holding on to Oscar’s legs and lifting him of the swing with the other hand.

As usua,l I was the “innocent” bystander, witnessing the events wide-eyed and shocked. My grandmother never slapped us! She would wake up our grandfather to give us a royal spanking, but she never layed a hand on any of us. Something big must have happened, which I wasn’t able to grasp.

Somehow the three of us hurried down the hill back towards the house. I remember Marc being dragged, but I just walked with them quietly. The thing that stuck with me most was Oscar bawling, kicking my grandmother and all the while whining “But they have to hang me, you stupid cow (we never ever insulted my grandmother either), don’t you understand?! They have to hang me!”

Not sure, how all the rest of it played out, but to this day I can still smell the crisp autumn air and hear my grandmother huffing and puffing out of breath, glaring at us like some arch-angel avenger came upon us from the heavens.

So what has all of this got to do with my cousin’s fiancée expecting a child?

Well, children grow up and sometimes strange things happen to them, when they do.

My cousin Marc got married at 18 and they had a son within two years of their marriage. His wife obviously was a Jehovah’s Witness as well.

Then 10 years later, they got divorced, which ment Marc lost all contact to his family (brother, mother), because Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t stay in touch with people, if they break the rules of their faith, even if they’re their own flesh and blood.

Marc was engaged within a couple of weeks of the divorce and him and his fiancée bought an appartement together.

Weeks before the wedding it was called off with no reason given and Marc moved out and in with a new girl.

This new girl, barely 20, is now pregnant and they are engaged and it was a planned pregnancy.

I don’t know, to me it feels, like we are all playing pretend again, except this time, it’s Marc standing on the swing with the noose around his neck and there is no one there to pull him down.

Is Happiness A Waterproof Heart?

“Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other.  When one takes a rest, the other one tends to take up the slack.” 

[Hazelmarie Elliott (“Mattie”)]

Maybe it comes with the weather outside being wet and cold. Not the kind that glistens in the moonlight, more the one that creeps in under the doors.

Maybe it comes with talking with boyfriends past and making amends for at times treating them badly.

Maybe it comes with the new year fast approaching and the wonders it promises, always promises.

Maybe it comes with this being the last day of Christmas and books and a desk awaiting me in the morning.

But this I wondered: Is happiness a waterproof heart? One that can’t be drenched with tears cried at night?

Mind you, there are tears of happiness as well… .

Or maybe happiness isn’t a waterproof heart, untouched by feelings, but just one that dries quickly in the sunlight of the new day.

However, I love this little poem by A.  A. Milne – maybe it’ll make you as happy as it makes me.

Happiness

John had

Great Big

Waterproof

Boots on;

John had a

Great Big

Waterproof

Hat;

John had a

Great Big

Waterproof

Mackintosh –

And that

(Said John)

Is

That.

[A. A. Milne]

A Dog, A Rabbit And The Star Of Bethlehem

“It came without ribbons,It came without tags,

It came without packages, boxes, or bags.

Christmas can’t be bought from a store…

Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.”

[Dr. Seuss]

There are days so full of life, so pure, so earthy and so wonderfully twisted, that one can’t help but live them.

Not a chance of being nostalgic, no time for reminiscing or hoping for a change, not a second left for being anywhere but the present.

To tell you all what happened this christmas eve would make for a longer post than my hung over head can manage.

But this little tale for me sums up the beauty of life at its most random and absurd.

My future brother-in-law and myself took “Arthos”, the trusted family dog, for a walk, while the wonderful man in life and his mother prepared dinner, decorated the tree and all in all merried the house with christmas spirit.

As we walked on the boarders of the Rhine in the frosty air, two bundled figures, one short, one tall and a black dog, we came across an old lady with her Collie. The Collie was proudly carrying a gnawed and muddy, once yellow, tennis ball in her snout. When she saw us (the dog not the lady), she dropped the ball to greet our black labrador-german shepherd mix, who immediately leaped for the ball.

Now, if you have dogs or know somebody who has dogs or have ever been around a dog in your life, you will know that sweetest dog is somewhat selfish and not very giving when it comes to their treasured toys. This sweet Collie, however, did not pursue the sneaky black thief, but let him leave with the ball. What a wonderful christmas gesture!

With our hearts filled with this selfless act of christmas, we thought we should in return also grant our dog a little christmas miracle of letting him run free without a leash.

After being set free, he immediately hurried down to the boarders of the Rhine and started digging in a to me unknown frenzy. He discarded his new tennis ball and reapeared with a rabbit in his snout, which he processed to devour. None of our pleas or commands could distract him from this feast he had hunted and killed. The yellow tennis ball was forgotten – another known fact of christmas: How easily we come to trade one gift for the next one.

After a while in which our feet, hands and noses turned to ice cubes and the sky changed from a darker shade of grey into the blueish black of night, we finally recaptured our dog, who once again had lost interest in the remains of the rabbit, and hurried on home wards to our christmas awaiting us.

Shortly after we arrived, after we had gotten a chance to admire the tree in all it’s splendour and savour the smells that filled the air, but before we could settle down with a hot tea and absent mindedly listen to some christmas tunes, all the while nibbling on some christmas cookies, the dog started gulping noisily and heaving and sure enough disposed of the remains of his kill on the rug in front of the tree.

While the men fled the scene under the pretense of taking the dog outside for a fresh breath of air, the women of the household disposed of the mess and scrubbed the rug.

In the midst of regaining the spirit of christmas, we heard our names called loudly from outside and we abandoned the cleaning detergent and scrubbing-brush to hurry outside.

Standing on the front door steps, shivering in the icy cold we saw a golden light streak across the heavens, bursting into four pieces and then disappearing into the dark night.

As we stood in awe, staring at the slowly disappearing golden glimmer above, I thought about the original wonder of christmas and the boy born in a manger and star of Bethlehem leading the way.

To me this is the true spirit of Christmas, a shivering family huddling together awed and frightened staring at the night sky on christmas eve.

And all it takes is a poor rabbit and a naughty dog.

Merry Christmas!