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Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Baby face"

I saw one of my teachers from High School today; Ms. Johnson. She owns a dance studio and a few weeks back it burned to the ground. Today was a fundraising skate party for the studio. I've been thinking about putting  my daughter into a dance class but the only one I know about has obviously unscrupulous owners. I thought it'd be fun to go skating. Even though I suck at it and haven't done it in years; I'm all for exposing my little girl to new things and people. Plus; once they rebuild; I plan on enrolling my little girl in the dance school.
I rented two pair of skates against my better judgement and ended up returning my skates within 8 minutes of putting them on. My daughter was all over the place and it didn't make sense for me to be stumbling around while holding her hand trying to keep her from stumbling around. I returned my skates and proceeded to walk with my daughter attempting to coach her on how to stay more on her feet than her butt.
We ran into Ms. Johnson (who everyone calls Ms. Camille) while my daughter continued to struggle to gather her bearings. Ms. Johnson looked exactly like she did when she taught our Health class in high school. Though she seemed shorter. Just as bubbly as ever I told her that I fully intended to enroll my little girl at her school next fall after her 5th birthday. Surprisingly; my daughter responded well to Ms. Camille who was as upbeat and smiley as I remembered. She told me that I look the same despite being "all grown up". She told me I have a baby face. I reminded her that I was 30.
We shared a laugh before allowing her to get back to the throngs of people who were vying for her attention.
We hugged and spoke again as we were leaving, after I bought a t-shirt and collected some information about a trip to Asia (that I full intend on going to).
It was great seeing all of the kids and parents out. What was really interesting was seeing so few overweight Sisters. I was inspired by Ms. Johnson even more so than back in the day. To see her strength in the midst of losing her business so suddenly and tragically added to the fact that two children and an ex-husband later, she looks just as youthful as she did when I graduated more than 10 years ago.
All in all; it was a great night. Just before the party ended; Ms. Johnson came over the loudspeaker and thanked all of us for coming and announced that they would be building a new studio directly across the street from the old one. "God is good!" she said proudly and sincerely. From the arcade area; I agreed with an "All the time; Amen!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Until You Do Me Right...

"I gave the sun to you; you said it was too bright.
I gave you diamond rings, you said they didn't shine.
I gave my world to you, but you said it's not enough.
What in the world could I have done to make you be so wrong?

'Til you do me right; I don't even wanna talk to you,
I don't even wanna hear you speak my name.
Until you do me right; only wrong is gonna come to you.
Nothing good is gonna come 'til you change, change your ways
...until you change your evil ways."

- After 7 ''Til You Do Me Right"

Listening to that song used to bring me to tears. That song, and that passage in particular, encompasses much of what I remember my marriage to be and how my ex husband treated me.
The truth of the matter is that he hasn't done well and not much good has come to him since I packed up our daughter and moved away.

On Easter Sunday, I told him that he and I were over; that I was taking our infant and moving out. I was tired.  Tired. Tired. Tired, tired, tired, ti-ahed! Of the listlessness, the other women, the verbal and emotional abuse, lack of affection and most of all; being taken for granted. The day that I told him; it was the first time we had spoken in four days. I had upset him somehow and his way of completing an argument was to give ME the silent treatment until I apologized for the argument. This was the standard method of operations regardless of who was at fault in the conflict.

It would be almost an entire month after revealing my plans before my daughter and I moved away from her father, my husband. In the time that passed; he apologized, pleaded for me not to break up the family. Tried to do all of the things that he seemed to be allergic to when I wanted to do them; pick up behind himself, watch our daughter while I worked, look for a job, hug me. All of the things he had an aversion to suddenly became chores that he didn't mind. How strange.

It's been almost four years since I left. Through the years and our circles intertwining; I hear about things that he's up to, and, not much has changed. He still has yet to maintain a steady job; something I was informed of while servicing one of my customers on my old route in Downtown Detroit.

My ex husband; let's call him Paul, and I met at work while doing security. Since then; it is a field that he pops in and out of when in need of a job.The building that I was servicing was a secure building and required me to show my drivers' license to the security guard. Upon doing so; the guard noticed my unusual last name and asked me if I knew Paul. I chortled and said that I did that he was my ex-husband. The guard explained to me that Paul used to work for him. "That stinks because that guy is lazy and doesn't like working." I said before I could catch myself. He laughed and said that he wasn't going to say anything but that's precisely the reason why he had to let him go after just four months. I told him that I'm not offended by it; but that's the reason why he is my ex-husband.

I walked away feeling both disturbed and victorious. Disturbed because I share a name with someone who is
not bringing honor to it and victorious because it further confirmed what I always knew.

Within the last few months; I met and have began dating an amazing man. He treats me well, loves my daughter and displays everything that I have always wanted and prayed for. Initially; I was fearful that he was too good to be true. How could it be possible that there existed a man who was heterosexual, a Christian, employed, attractive, clean cut, taller than me, who had never been married, had no children and was single to boot?

The only thing I can surmise is that God's hand was on it. While I was praying for a man like him; he was praying for a woman like me. During our first conversation, he told me very directly that he was not dating because he enjoyed it or because it was fun. He said that he was doing it because it is the route he has to take for him to meet a woman whom he can marry and have children with. He told me that if that wasn't something that I would be interested in that we should just say our goodbyes then and there. I was smiling so hard that it was almost hard for me to respond. Indeed I was okay with that and I was looking for the same thing.

Things have been going very well for my boyfriend and I. I have yet to see anything in him that I don't like. I've stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop because I just don't think it's going to. It's very humbling to know that God has honored the seeds that I sewed during my marriage to Paul and has seen fit to allow me to have genuine love and happiness with someone who wants the same thing I do.

The moral of the story? Treat those who treat you well just as well. And to those who don't treat you well; still, treat them well. The rewards may not come from that person or even right away, but they are certain to come.

" 'Til You Do Me Right" - After 7