Category Archives: Daily Prompts

Lucid Nightmare

I have a recurring dream. In it, someone I love and should be able to trust does something horrible. The worst part is, this person thinks it’s fine and has no qualms about having done it. Moreover, s/he keeps talking and talking about it. Just won’t shut up.

I hate this dream.

Only last time I had it, about a week ago, the dream changed. Everything went as usual until the part where I normally wake up. This time, I stayed in it long enough to speak up for myself. I simply said, “This is wrong and it hurts me.” Usually in the dream, my mom sits by my refrigerator giving me a reproachful look. But this time when she turned to look at me, she wasn’t my mom. She was ME. Tears rolling down my cheeks, I smiled at myself.

I think the initial dream has to do with my lack of trust. I don’t feel I can count on those close to me to make wise, moral decisions. I cannot trust them to take my feelings into account. I see that maybe they don’t know any better, but it hurts just the same. And of course, dear old mom is standing by ready to disapprove.

But with the new twist, I feel like I stood up for myself. I said plainly that what was going on was harmful to me. I advocated for myself. The other person’s behavior didn’t change, but mine did. I woke up just as emotional as ever, but with a more positive charge to it because I had done something different. And instead of looking to my mother, I was looking to myself for approval.

It feels like a turning point.

My son has practiced lucid dreaming for over a year now. He gave me some pointers on how to know when I’m in the dream. He says while I’m awake I need to practice noticing something in the dream, so when I’m asleep and see the object, I can check my lucidity. His example was if I see a bird fly overhead, I can count my fingers. If I count only two fingers, I’ll know I’m dreaming. so I’ve been thinking about sticking my arm through the refrigerator door. If I can do it, I’ll know I’m in the dream.

So what will I say or do next time? I know I can’t change the other person’s behavior. I probably can’t change my own trust issues overnight, either. But what can I change?

What would you do? Have you ever tried to control your dreams or had a lucid dream? Did it work?

Daily prompt: Nightmare

Analog holiday

To read or to write, that is the question. I guess I’ve shown my preference over the past six weeks!

I had the most wonderful ANALOG holidays. 18 days in sunny Florida in the most perfect condo: simple, quiet, comfortable, walking distance to a library and a pool, and NO WIFI.

No emails. No news updates. No facebook.

And no blogging.

Sure, wifi was available at the library, but did I post anything?

Nope.

I surfed a lot of blogs, but left my own unattended like a fairy tale baby in the woods.

The real question is: do we prefer speaking or listening?

I’d rather listen.

Core to my being is the fundamental belief that what others have to say is more interesting, more important, than what I have to say. I’d rather learn than spout what I already know. I see little gain in speaking, yet infinite possibilities in what you have to say.

What if you have a great new story/poem/anecdote to share?

What if you’ve learned a life lesson about a topic I struggle with?

What if you’re spouting nonsense, but it triggers an idea for me?

Who knows what you’ll come up with, and when? I don’t want to miss that.

So even after the 18 days were up and I came home to the frozen tundra that is home, I haven’t blogged.

Ideas for post topics surface everyday. Sometimes every five minutes. But there’s a world beyond the screen. Husband and projects, children and books, cupcakes and friends, parties and conversations, stories and poems, paint and fabric, writing and editing and submitting…

When I find myself unexpectedly offered a few minutes of free time to get online, I’d rather read than write.

Anyhoo, what in the world is Morton’s Fork?

According to Wikipedia:

“A Morton’s Fork is a specious piece of reasoning in which contradictory arguments lead to the same (unpleasant) conclusion. It is said to originate with the collecting of taxes by John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury in the late 15th century, who held that a man living modestly must be saving money and could therefore afford taxes, whereas if he was living extravagantly then he was obviously rich and could still afford them.”

I don’t remember that from The Canterbury Tales, do you?

Rejection letters from Santa

Dear Johnny,
Requests for video games are no longer being solicited.
Elfishly,
Santa

Dear Susie,
Thank you for your submission. The reindeer read it with great delight, but upon further investigation it has come to our attention that your request for Ugg boots was plagiarized.
You’ve been coal listed. No further submissions will be accepted.
On Donner,
Santa

Dear Doris,
The submission guidelines clearly state the age limit for gift request submissions. You probably thought the backwards “s” at the end of your name was a clever ruse, but alas these red herrings swim past the North Pole on a regular basis. Even Rudolph wasn’t fooled.
Also, Dearfoams slippers went out in the 1990s.
Blah,
Santa

Dear Viktor,
Thank you for submitting “1,000 Christmas Wishes” for consideration. Unfortunately, it is over the word limit for this year’s edition of Christmas.
Stuff that in your stocking.
Santa

Dear Jazmine,
Holy candy canes, that was one sassy request. Unfortunately Mrs. Claus went through the slush pile before I did and has flagged your submission as being inappropriate for the young elves.
However, should you have other submissions I would greatly like to read them. Please mark “Ho” on the envelope to ensure it arrives on my desk.
Under the mistletoe,
Santa

Daily prompt: 10 minute free write, unedited.
Ready, Set, Done!

She drives me crazy

I’ve had it up to my A cups with women telling me they wish they were skinny like me.

“You’re so lucky,” they say. Really? If I were nasty, I’d say, “Shut your pie holes and gain an ounce of self respect, ladies. It ain’t all it’s stacked up to be.”

But I don’t want to be nasty. I love my friends no matter what their size or shape. In fact, I’m kind of blind to it.

When I was about to get married and my female relatives were asking about my new mother in law, one of the things I said was, “She’s about our size.” They all looked at me like I had lost my mind.

My mom, who never shies away from an opportunity to tell me I’m being an idiot, said, “You’re an idiot. What do you mean, our size?” Mom’s an 8. I’m a 00 with alterations. My sister is a 14. My grandmother is… larger than the sum of those numbers.

But we’re all about the same height. Okay, I’m actually 3 or 4 inches shorter than any of them, but I routinely wear Lady Gaga-approved high heels to make eye contact easier. What I meant was we all see eye to eye, literally if not figuratively.

I’m often asked how I stay so thin. Well girls, I recommend the following: get yourself a designer label disease that involves chronic diarrhea. Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and IBS are hot runway trends this season.

And don’t be afraid to mix high and low. Much like pairing a basic t-shirt with a Chanel jacket, feel free to go for a mix of run-of-the-mill prune juice overdose with the more upscale Celiac disease.

You should also invest in an anal retentive personality girdle, which cinches tight around your midsection the instant you are faced with the slightest stress.

Starve your sadness. And try to be sad and stressed as frequently as possible. A philandering partner, one with a wandering eye, or at the very least one who says things like, “When you turn 40, I’m gonna trade you in for two 20 year olds” can help keep your eye on the prize.

Everyone is known for something unique. Anne sings like an angel, Kim runs the Boston marathon, Rose is a doctor, Jen hosts the best parties, Mary’s a scrapbooking queen, and I… am tiny.

You know what tiny gets you?

Overlooked. Disrespected. Abused.

You don’t want that, girls! You want to be seen and heard. Respected for your mind. Admired for your abilities. Honored for your gifts. Cherished for your personality.

 

Here’s the skinny on why
you should forget about being thin:

 

You’d be taken advantage of. I’ve been assaulted, even kidnapped (!) because I was an easy target. Men think you want to be ogled and touched inappropriately. Or at least they think they can get away with it.

Other women won’t like you. If I complain about the above mistreatment, the reply from a lot of women is basically of the “you made your bed, now lie in it” variety, as if I somehow asked for it, that it’s my fault. Then they add the “you’re trying to make the rest of us look bad” spin.

People lean on you. Attention basketballers and other Nephilim: My head and shoulders are not portable armrests. And no, you may not pick me up to prove how big and strong you are, unless you’d like a Barbie stiletto lodged permanently in your kneecap. My twelve year old could do it, but doesn’t. Neither should you. The only thing you’d be proving is that you hit puberty but not maturity.

People think it’s okay to make fun of you. My grandfather used to make jokes. Mame’s so skinny, she has to wear an inner tube on the toilet (or skis in the shower). Mame’s striped pajamas only have one stripe. When Mamie wants to disappear, all she has to do is turn sideways. What a stitch, Gramps! I’ll just be turning sideways now.

People think there’s something psychologically wrong with you. My grandmother insisted I was bulimic for a while. She saw a story about it on the Phil Donohue show. She would follow me to the bathroom after meals to try to catch me in the act. That was a fun summer.

You’ll be victimized by nature. Even the weather attacks me. I’ve literally been blown across the yard by a stiff wind.

No insulation. Don’t get me started on being cold. I am always cold. When you’re a skinny bitch, you’re by default a frigid bitch. You’ll need gloves and scarves in the middle of a heat wave. You will curse whoever invented air conditioning, because just about the time you start to thaw out, someone cranks it up full blast.

No cushion. Once my infant son was being really fussy. I had fed, burped, changed, cooed, sung… pretty much tried everything, and he just wasn’t happy. A well-endowed friend finally said, “Hand him over.” I watched transfixed as my diddle snuggled in like he’d just been upgraded to first class, contentedly burying his little face in her lofty 44DDs. “You don’t have any pillows,” she explained.

Wrinkles. You will shrivel up like a raisin long before your plump friends notice their first tiny lines. And I don’t just mean crow’s feet or feathery little cracks around your mouth. Think of the oldest, wrinkliest man you know– that face is what my abdomen looks like. And that tendon where your leg meets your body– the one you nick if you try to shave your bikini line? Well, put away your razor because that little spot is as wrinkly as a Shar Pei puppy, only not cute. Decidedly very, very uncute. And while you’re at it, put away the bikini. No one wants to see that.

Vanity sizing will be the bane of your existence. Just when you think, oh yay, they’re making a smaller size so I’ll be able to find something that fits, Nope. The size is smaller, but the clothes aren’t. I haven’t changed in 25 years, but the numbers on my labels have. What I should change is my name– to Triple Zirro. (The double zeroes are getting bigger, so it’s only a matter of time. This way I’ll be ahead of the curve.)

You won’t have pretty lingerie. Victoria’s Secret does not carry a size 26 bra, and I doubt they ever will. They don’t even carry a 30 to my knowledge. Calvin Klein did three years ago. I bought every one Nordstrom’s had on the rack. No matching undies.

You’ll spend what you saved at the mall on higher insurance premiums. I bet you didn’t know being underweight was a liability.

Speaking of health, I get bedsores on my elbows from wearing sweaters, on my shoulder blades from sleeping, on my hips from coin pockets in jeans. There is nothing to protect me from my own bonyness.

You’ll be uncomfortable. If I lie down in a fetal position, it isn’t long before the top leg begins to ache. There’s a big space where my thighs should probably meet, but they don’t, so that leg is hanging in mid air unsupported.

You can’t turn to food for comfort. Well, you can, but hopefully you’re easily consoled because you’ll only be eating about half as much as you currently do. No more 900 calorie mocha frappuchinos with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, unless you have half a dozen skinny friends to share it with or you know for sure you won’t have access to food for the rest of the day, because frankly it hurts to eat that much.

. . .

I wish every woman reading this would go stand in front of a mirror right now and find something beautiful to admire about herself. You have gorgeous eyes, flawless skin, glowing hair and a smile that lights up the room.

Now go to your closet and put on something that shows off your best features. Maybe it’s a scarf or a killer pair of Christian Louboutin heels. Maybe it’s some sassy lingerie that one-stripe-pajama girls like me will never have the good fortune to find.

Love your body. It is your temple. Honor it, take care of it. Don’t belittle or berate yourself. Capitalize on your best assets, accentuate the positives, and celebrate the fact that you have a healthy, functioning, fascinating temple worthy of housing the goddess you are.

Like rants? Check out other snarky Daily Prompt responses.