Thursday, January 11, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

I'm so glad I have my own identity! Several of them, in fact! But they all belong to me and are not a product of having lived my entire life defining myself for a man.

My most recent client is 79 years old, and her husband has been gone for 5 years. She lives in an entirely new house that she picked out herself and could have decorated any way she wanted. But as I sit there day after day and look around, I cannot find a single trace of WHO SHE IS. It's all about Dead Bill. The wall over the fireplace mantel has Dead Bill's deer antlers on it. The large 'brag wall' behind the main sofa has pictures of where Dead Bill spent his camping, hunting, fishing trips: without her. Dead Bill's airplane, Dead Bill's oil refineries, Dead Bill's automobiles.

When sorting through her photos, for the project we are working on, she pours over pictures of him and his life like he was a movie star she barely got to touch, just once. Pictures of her own family, her own self and her own life are dismissed as not interesting, trivial, hardly worth saving.

I understand the myth of being madly in love your entire life and forever mourning your dead spouse, after all Queen Victoria did that and carried it off quite well, but according to my client's daughter, Dead Bill spent almost zero time with his wife in the last 40 years and when he was there they didn't get along all that well. So it's all just some elaborate self-trickery on the part of Dead Bill's Still Living Wife. And Old habit that will never die.

What a shame! What a shame that she has no identity of her own. What in the world did she do with herself for the decades and decades after her children were grown and had moved to other states and she was left sitting alone in Bill's House polishing his elk antlers?

I try to spark her interest but everything bores her. She can't make me into a Dead Bill Replacement so I am basically of no use to her. It's sad, but it's not going to change. All I can do is observe it and thank my lucky stars that such a dismal mind set will not be my outcome!

No, no! I am free, regardless of how crappy I feel most of the time, to forge my own identity. Make my own choices, decorate my own space with my own things. I don't have to live vicariously through an overactive and indifferent spouse! I just get to be ME!

And if that means having delicious shiny slivers of smoked salmon on a rosemary and olive oil Triscuit for breakfast, then I am VERY fond of myself! No Dead Bill for Me!

(insert photo of scrumptious breakfast here when/if blogspot lets me.)

Also, I've added a new link under the 'sweet' catagory. It is my new baby cousin Dawson who seems to actually enjoy smiling, laughing, and being giddy regardless of the circumstances. It's really quite adorable. So pop over there and leave a comment about her beautiful baby boy and you will thrill her to the bone!! Smilin's" my Favorite


Janet said...

How truly sad that is but I'm sure not that uncommon in older couples. I think it just has to do with the times when they lived. I am married but I still have my own identity and even use my maiden name. If we are all adults how can one be better than the other, or more important, or deserve more, etc. I don't understand that mind-set!
Now I'm off to visit baby Dawson.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Way to go, Karla. I reverted to my maiden name after I got rid of the husband and I felt like me again. Dead Bill needs to be mourned then buried!

Popped over to see your little cutie cousin, Dawson. Cooper, my newest grandson, is at the cute stage now, too.