My Funny Valentine

As a Valentine’s Day present to my husband, I decided to get marginally dressed again. I put on a bra and a red dress. Unfortunately, the dress, although clean, hadn’t been worn in a while and it smelled musty, so I switched to a pink sweater (pink and red are really living on the cutting edge of colour for me; they scream: I’m dressed up! I’m making an effort! ~ 90% of my wardrobe is black and grey) and leggings that have pockets and corduroy-type ribbing, so they give the impression that they are more civilised than mere cotton leggings. And I put on my new boots. I won’t take a picture every time I put boots on, I swear, but I never thought there would be a pair of flat boots that I liked and, more importantly, were proportional to my munchkin frame.

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Unfortunately, after two changes of clothes, my battery is almost dead and I’m dizzy and incredibly drained. I woke up feeling okay, excited that I wasn’t feeling evilly ill, but how dare I pull on leggings that take a bit more effort than PJs and bend down to put on boots rather than slip my feet into slippers? It was too much and it’s only 11am. I know I will be wiped out when my husband gets home.

The entire plan was: get dressed, brush hair and maybe put on make-up. Although, all my make-up is 2+ years old and putting it on means holding my arms up in front of my face, which is a lot of energy, and it also means having to take it off. Exhausting. I wracked my brain to think if there was something I could do to surprise him. Cook dinner? No way. Clean the house ~ or even just the sitting room? Nope. Buy a present? Too late to do it online and I wouldn’t know what to get, anyway. And we’re trying to conserve our savings. So, I think my present is going to be yet another card thanking him for saving my life every day (because, make no mistake, I would be in a very different predicament without him) and wearing clothes that kind of fit me.

The funny thing about my husband is, he would never notice what I’m wearing. I could be sitting on the couch in a ball gown and he wouldn’t bat an eye. I kind of love that about him. I certainly never have to feel self-conscious about looking slovenly. He tells me I’m beautiful even on my sickest days. Love is blind.

One of the most distressing symptoms over the last year is hair loss. Never could I have predicted that I would be upset about my hair. I don’t really like hair. I’ve always preferred men with shaved heads and, half the time when I’m talking to people, I’m thinking about how much I want to tuck their hair behind their ears or put their hair in a ponytail. I find it distracting (and kind of gross) that every woman on tv has what I call “hair curtains”. Long waves down the sides of their face that are pulled forward so they have this weird part in the back of their head and no hair down their back.

Hair curtains.

Hair curtains.

Weird back of head.

Weird back of head.

So, what do I care if I have less hair? Well, my hair loss makes me look even more sickly because it is concentrated in the front and on top. You can see my scalp too much and there are clumps of short hairs that are either breaking off or just won’t grow any longer. I was on a Facebook group and someone mentioned that, because she was in the military and constantly wore her hair in a bun, she was going bald on the top of her head, so she cut her hair short. Light bulb! I’ve worn my hair up every day for the last 17 months that I’ve been housebound. So, I’m cutting it short. I’ve had my hair very short before, so it’s not a big deal, but I do have a few concerns: 1) I can’t dye my hair now, so there is a lot of grey. I’m not sure how I’ll like short greying hair. 2) I can’t wash my hair very often and, when it’s dirty, it’s nice to be able to put on a hat and still have the illusion of clean from the long hair coming out below the hat. 3) You can put long hair up in such a way that it gives the illusion of being more “dressed up”. But none of these things will sway me because I have to wear a CPAP! The headgear on a CPAP mask is hell with long hair and is undoubtedly contributing to the hair loss.

My sister’s hair stylist is going to make a house call, bless her heart. I wish I had longer, lovelier hair and I could donate it like Marie did, but I just don’t have the patience to grow it. The point of all this is to say that I guarantee my husband doesn’t even notice when I cut my hair. I have left the house with long blond hair and come back with a dark brown bob and, even when prompted, he couldn’t figure out what was different. When he met me, my hair was very short and fiery red. He’s pretty much seen it all. Luckily, days before I met him he had shaved off his long hippy hair. I sometimes wonder if I would have fallen for him if he had a ponytail. Probably. Love is blind.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

1998

1998

Title Credit

The Finale! Liebster Award Part 3 ~ Answering Questions

I think I will finally have the energy to finish fulfilling the criteria for the Liebster Award by answering Reva’s questions:

What are you proudest of?

This is a hard one. Being proud is so personal. It’s all about you and something you’ve accomplished.  I guess I could be proud of my children ~ if I had any. Or proud of my garden if I had created one. Or proud of how I’ve given back to the community or something, but I haven’t. I am proud that I get up every day and don’t give up. I am proud that I am self-aware and honest in my relationships. I am proud that I have dropped insecurities, achieved forgiveness and notice gratitude each day.

What is your favourite colour?

Red. No, green! Ahhhhh… (that’s me being thrown off the bridge)

What inspires you to blog?

The constant, incessant, noisy, obsessive, clamouring, chattering, clattering thoughts in my brain. I have hundreds of unfinished posts, essays, poems, articles and novels bouncing around up there with not enough energy to tame them, groom them, edit them and write them. Also, I really want to keep my family and friends informed about how I’m doing since I’m not usually up for emails and phone calls.

What three things would you grab if your house was burning down?

Well, my two dogs and my husband, of course.

Can you resist chocolate?

No, it’s actually quite bad. My doctor wanted me to stop eating sugar for my elimination diet and, once she saw my yeast levels, reiterated how important this was. But I didn’t do it. I did give up ice cream (except for Almond Bites) and Cadbury’s and Toberlone and Junior Mints… But I still have chocolate every single day, only now it is the Theo bars with 70% cocao. It’s actually quite amazing how quickly your body can change its cravings.

Where did you spend your favourite holiday?

This is a really hard question. There were so many lovely holidays when I was younger and so many in recent years with my whole family together, but I always think back to a trip to Lanzarote with my husband in 2000. We’d left freezing Ireland in January, had a lovely visit with his family in freezing England, been tourists in freezing Scotland and, the day before flying back to America, we walked past one of those discount package-holiday places and they had some cheap two-week all-inclusive deal to the Canary Islands leaving the next day. What made it so wonderful was, we decided there and then, standing on the street, to go to the sun. We sent messages to our jobs, changed our flights (we were flying stand-by, so no charge) and the next day we were in this completely foreign, beautiful volcanic landscape off the coast of Africa with nothing but winter clothes. The food was crappy and neither of us particularly likes sand, so we spent our days reading books in the sun on the balcony. Relaxing and reading book after book. Playing hilarious bingo each night in the hotel bar. No mobile phones, no responsibilities, no illnesses, no allergies, no pills, no fear.

Finish this sentence: One day I will…

…walk on the beach with my dogs again.
…have the energy to cook.
…sleep well.
…eat bread and cheese again.
…be in one place with all my siblings.
…have the energy to get dressed, put on make up, talk, laugh and socialise.
…not be in pain.

If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be?

A dancer. I’d love to be able to twirl and leap and bend and shimmy with abandon ~ and with no repercussions.

Tea or coffee?

Tea. Lyons with milk and sugar. Or, these days, with soy creamer and stevia.

What is one of your oldest memories?

Putting on Kiss concerts with my brothers when we lived in Illinois in… 1978?

What is your favourite movie?

Oh, I can’t answer that! There are so many!! I love Ridley Scott, David Lynch, Mike Leigh, Scorsese, Tarantino, Coen Brothers, Cameron Crowe, Danny Boyle, Coppola, Kubrik, Almodovar, Hitchcock, Fincher, Wilder, Rob Reiner, John Hughes. I could go on… Because it is almost Christmas, I will give a special shout-out to It’s a Wonderful Life, which I watch every single year, no matter what.