I celebrate V-day. I’m going to be celebrating D-day soon also, on behalf of a friend or two. Possibly P-day, for many friends. I’ve even done several H-par-tayz.
I’m not a veteran, and although i have much respect for the ones that gave lives and limbs so i could have the freedom i do, this is not quite that dramatic. But essential, nonetheless. I’m talking about this type of celebration: Vasectomy. Divorce. Pap Smear. Hot Flashes. These are things that can usually cause shudders, tremors, or even one to run the other way. So when i say ….. a party???? odd that.
This is what is true.
Sometimes the things we don’t want are the sweetest gifts of all. Even though they don’t come in bows and ribbons. Or with anything sweet tied to it. Period. No sweetness. Usually, what IS wrapped up with it is some of those heart flutters that feel like a whole ice cube went down wrong and got stuck in your gullet. Or, possibly, ,a bit of mucus, caught in the back of our throat that we keep trying to “hhh-hhhmmm. HHH-HHHHMMM” free but never quite gets dislodged. Usually, it is accompanied by the fresh kick-in-the-gut feeling that stays with us for days, weeks, months, or sometimes years.
Its known that the things we dont want happening in the first place, are not even convenient. There are not many times that i have seen a parking spot open for (CRISIS HAPPENING ONLY SPOT). I don’t see many half off hockey tickets for (SURVIVORS OF ALMOST WENT BANKRUPT…AGAIN) groups, or any buy-1-get-1 free coupons for (HOW DID I GET MYSELF HERE?) clubs. Not to mention the real world that intrudes at the same time with official papers to sign, money to pay to others, aowee’s to heal, and fans and/or air conditioners to turn on and off while juggling personal hygiene products in a professional yet non-existant looking manner.
Births. Deaths. Holidays. Birthdays. Weddings. We all can run to a store for a card to acknowledge the good and bad, the yin and yang of these events, but what about the rest? Well, they got the short end of the stick, that’s what. So i’ve decided that whenever prudent, i can give myself permission to tack a holiday or celebration to it. It usually consists of lava cake at Chili’s, or a nice hike.
But the point is, the coming of age stuff doesn’t stop with the norm. or the pleasant. My whole outlook on my blossoming into womanhood thing-ee might have been an incredibly different experience, for instance if, say, i didn’t think i had…… CANCER. Yeah.
I remember it clearly. One day i’m doing my business in the privacy of the privvy, and the next thing i know i am bleeding. “WHAT THE?????” Now you know and i know what was going on, being the grown ups that we are, or the teens even, or the near teens, if you have any sort of reasonable parent. I had, as we have previously discussed, grown up in “The Sound Of Music” movie, and i’m preeetty sure that there was not a scene where Maria takes the budding 11 year old aside and gives her the feminine talk. Not even on an outtake. Not even on a cut scene. Nope. Nada. What i got was a book given to mewhen i was 10, with instructions that went like this, “Honey? (sad, odd little smile) Read this, and let me know if you have any questions (small smile again, only this time with a tinge that said OH-PLEASE-DONT-ASK-ME)” and my bedroom door was shut. I was alone with an odd book that scared me a bit, but confused me more, and no part of it addressed that I would bleed to death at the tender age of 11. ERGO….. I must have cancer! i’m a very rational girl, can’t you see?
When i plucked up the courage to tell my mom i was going to die, she happened to blurt the news to my aunt as casually as if nothing were wrong. “oh!, Sharon just got her womanhood…..” yada yada yada…. and that was it! Um rip off? Oh yeah, yeah, i thought i was going to die, and she was fine with it. Talk about miscomunications! Yeah, i did resolve it eventually (with my therapist, thanks again, Matt), but the point is that some openness and enthusiasm to the victim….er, person, and some perspective about the positives would have done wonders!!!!
I have a friend who celebrates the coming of womanhood with a literal party. Orders fancy food in, movies, lots of chatting and divulging of secrets…… The girls are literally let into the club. I find that FANTASTIC!!!!! I was much more interested in being invited to the womanhood party than the cancer party. at 11, i mean. I think cabbage-patch kids and toe-nail painting would have been a great trade-off to the “i’m really not ready for cancer. i haven’t even kissed steven mondragon yet” club. Yes, steve. you were my first crush. in kindergarten, remember? Great eyes, great….hmmm…yeah, me neither, really, now that i think about it. But at 11, well, I still had hope.
Hmmm….. lets talk about life changing things. The things you don’t have the good manners to joke about because that would be in poor taste. Oh yeah, cancer. Well i got my scare later in life. I’m fine now, and it could have been worse. In fact, my dad can attest to that worse part for him. But he will also attest to this: The worst thing that happened to him was the best thing that happened to him. When he got to face the fact that he could die at any time, he learned. HE LEARNED. He opened himself up for lessons and gifts that he just wasn’t open to before. What an incredible gift. And he got to share that gift with me. Lots of pain there, don’t get me wrong. But also some serious fantastic-ness. So that’s what this is all about. silver linings are not just for other people. “WHAT? EVEN….(insert your worst nightmare here)?” you say. “yup”, i say. even that. “….and the good news is” is that there is always good news. Even, gulp, in the bad stuff. Give it a shot. Go ahead. I dare you. I dare me.
Ok, how bout this? dina, you gave me permission, so here is your P-day story. And i guess, your D-day story, all rolled into one. So Dina’s getting a P today (for you men, it means yearly exam. pap schmear/horror for women that we all hate, but endure because we hate the horror of the what- if- we- don’t- have- them, even worse) It also falls on her 15th anniversary of the marriage that is getting ready to finalize a D-day (again, that is short for divorce finalizing).
Now could this day suck any worse? YES!!!!!!!!! it could , and believe it or not, that is just part of the good news. She could have had a tumor. She could have used the sparkly washcloth to make herself all fresh for the dr…, or she could have even still had leftover foliculitis (or little zit-looking things that come from hot tubs and look like chicken pox, all over the torso and butt area), like me!!!! but no!, instead, She chose to celebrate by going to a favorite restaurant of hers, seeing a fun relative, and of course to top it off, talking with me. We laughed, smiled, and belittled the littleness of the worse half of her 15 years. (i’m biased, and have a bigger mouth than she does, so excuse me while i stick out my tongue. she is much too classy for that. Plus, he’s a wiener right now. After the divorce stops hurting, he may not be. we’ll see….celebration comes in many forms. )
Alright, i can make this about Dina all i want, really, but how bout this? I still celebrate V-day every year with my hubby. (girls, that’s vasectomy day.) Now, it does fall on my hubby’s birthday, so we think that’s a bonus. Was it scary for him. yup. painful? He says yes, i say, eh… so-so (he was coaching a soccer game the next day, for chicken sake!), but it was a passing of a stage for us. It was about us letting go of little ones and moving forward with the ones we had. gift? oh yeah…… Plus, how bout no pressure that i’ll have morning sickness after a night of fun? that is definitely a silver lining. Now some would whine and moan about the what might have beens, and what can’t bee’s and all that …..stuff. LOOK. The only way to appreciate all of who you are, and be able to give all of who you are to others is by appreciating the good AND the not so good that comes in life. it’s a package deal.
I have no idea what to do about hot flashes down the road. i have friends that are having them now. will it keep me up at night? nope, because i’m not them. I’m me. If i need a hot flash par-tay to help me through THE CHANGE, then i’ll call on those lovely golden girls, and i’m sure as heck here for them now. but there will always be the good with the bad. the cream with the crap. so, i dare you. when you are having the worst luck, the worst thing happen, the most vivid nightmare come to life, just tack at the end of the whining, “and the good news is?” and then LOOK for it. Let me know what comes up. I’ll be there to celebrate with you.