Monday, November 28, 2005

Am not either

“Spoiled,” the Scorpio calls me. He’s said it twice now, both times when I’m hurt and upset. The first time he does it, it stings so badly when I’m already feeling vulnerable that I burst into tears. I can choke back a reaction once, but not twice, so this time, I protest.

“What does that mean, spoiled?” I ask him, “I hate that word. I hate you saying that. I am not spoiled.” He grins good-naturedly.

“How do you act when you don’t get what you want?”

“I’m not spoiled. I’m hurt.”

I had been having a blue spell over the lapse in connection between me and my two best male friends. Okay. I’d been feeling wounded and pissed off for two weeks. Stupid men. Why do I have to love stupid men? Why do I have to tell another stupid man about it?

“Don’t I have some right to ask a good friend for support when I really need it, a letter for godsake?” I complain to him. “I don’t ask very often and I’d try to be there for them.”

“Well. First of all, they’re men. Men. So I knew you weren’t going to get what you wanted. And when you didn’t you acted spoiled.” I could cheerfully smack him one because he looks for all the world like he knows exactly how frustrating I find this conversation and his blocked-headed insistence on calling me something you’d call a six year old brat. And he’s enjoying hell out of it. I sit there smoldering. He breaks it down for me, the way I suspect he teaches his grand daughter how to build with blocks.

“How do you feel when you don’t get what you want? What do you do?

“ I feel hurt, disappointed.” I’m staring daggers at him.


“Angry sometimes. Because I’m hurt.” Defensive.


“I give up. What else do I feel? What else do I do?” Okay genius. You tell me.

“Withdraw?” He doesn’t really mean it as a question. He’s looking at me expectantly waiting for the gestalt, smiling in amusement like some big muscle-bound Buddha.

“Okay. But what’s wrong with asking for what you need? It’s better than going around all passive-aggressive, isn’t it?”

“There’s nothing wrong with asking. There was nothing wrong with writing to them and saying it. That’s dealing with it. It’s the stuff you do before you ask – getting angry, withdrawing, sulking.”

“So that’s ‘spoiled’ is it?” I begin to realize that my lower lip is proving his point.
I withdraw the pout with as much dignity as I can muster.

“Yes!” He beams as proudly as if I’d made the big tower of blocks without it falling down. If he had a gold star to award, it would be stuck in my exercise book for How to Manage Your Emotions Like an Adult – 101.

Stupid men. I hate when they do that.

More burlesque

News of the day. Frieda Kalo is a corporation. You got it, her niece has won the legal right to turn her and her legacy of a lifetime’s paintings into a product. Products, rather - tequila, bearing a label announcing, "there's no sin in being original." Dolls, jewelry. Do I hear ashtrays, anyone? Perhaps the painful body cast she had to wear half of her life will become next year's little black dress. Maybe they could sell little packets of her ashes.

What’s wrong with that?

Before Frieda Kahlo became a Salma Hayek movie, she was a painter who needed to make art the way most of us need to eat and breathe, a communist who insulted Henry Ford at his own dinner table. After spending time with the surrealists, she thought they were lazy bums. Leon Trotsky was her house guest and possibly her lover.

You get the idea. Kahlo was a singular woman, passionate about painting, politics and the people of Mexico – Her passion and talent were so much larger than life that 51 years after her death, she is still Mexico’s most beloved painter.

And if Frieda had not been cremated, I have a feeling she’d be in her grave spinning circles fast enough to shift the earth in its orbit.

Bring out the dancing bears. Have the freak show come on stage.

And let me out of the tent.