What is it about the holidays? My mental health is better than it has been in months but still the festive season pushes all my buttons. I think I used to enjoy Christmas but at some point it just became stressful. It was better when there was very little money in our lives. Presents were much needed and usually a delight – despite a white and brown polyester dressing gown that I had to wear for years… In later years my late crazy mother got her knickers in a twist about the varieties of Christmas puddings and drove her daughter nuts trying to find the PERFECT one. Remember when there was only one or you made your own?
As my mental health was improving during fall, I got very busy creating postcards from Teddy’s beautiful images. Then I started on my handmade soaps and enjoyed the process. I wrapped them prettily and gifted them to everyone. It backfired somewhat as I made some friends feel that they had to reciprocate. The true joy is in giving with no expectations.
Then Teddy got some unanticipated leave from his new job and we went to Fredericksburg for Christmas, possibly the most famous German town in central Texas Hill Country. It was really beautifully decorated and the weather was fantastic – photos to follow. Despite enjoying my environment, historic buildings and endless wineries, I couldn’t stop being irritated.
- There were too many tourists yet we were two of them…
- The other cars were driving like crazy Grinches – especially through Austin, the most traffic-congested city in Texas.
- Our luxurious room wasn’t quite clean enough (it really wasn’t).
- I was bored and tired.
- The road from Medina to Kerrville was ridiculous – hairpin bends and really steep gradients. I guess I missed the point about visiting the hill country.
- Teddy sleeps like an owl and I am like a bear. Maybe I should hibernate through winter??
- Other guests. That’s a standalone but they were talking outside in broad daylight, beeping their cars locked and worse still, talking in their room at 7 pm. They ate all the breakfast.
I know what you are thinking – poor Teddy. It’s true that he put up with a Grinch wife but we still had wonderful meals and laughed all the time. I am hoping that made up for the time, after driving for hours in silence, I turned on the CD to keep myself focused AND THEN he started talking. I told him to Shut the F*** Up and gave him the finger. Thirty seven years and counting – I love you Teddy!!!!
This blog is the result of a dare from Stephanie and refers to her post To Cleave or not, that is the question. It is a hilarious but thoughtful post about how we feel about displaying our body. Read the comments, it is very revealing. I dared to show how much cleavage I bare and the evidence is above. I said an inch but methinks it might be two or three…
In general, my feeling is if you’ve got it, flaunt it but then you have to do it with confidence and ignore the inevitable comments. One of my male colleagues quite often makes hilarious but demeaning comments about women wearing what HE thinks is inappropriate clothing. He will say things like, “she is too old to be wearing a pleather mini-skirt” while I am wearing a black mini-skirt as part of my uniform, along with sexy lacy tights? I guess it makes a difference if you desire/fancy the person. My husband is exactly the same and loves it when I wear something provocative.
I spent the majority of my adult life fighting obesity and missed out on many opportunities to wear clothing that was perhaps a bit more appropriate in my 20s or 30s. It was incredibly hard work to get my mental health better which was the root cause of my obesity. Stress loves carbohydrates. I was over 50 when I suddenly looked amazing after a lifetime of nasty sideways glances or doctor’s notes referring to my weight. My cousin refers to me as Benjamin Button and there is a strange element of that. The two photographs below demonstrate this. One was taken a couple of months ago when I was modelling clothes while researching my boutique article, the other one was when I was in my 20s. Even with an element of body dysmorphia I can see that the slim, confident 55 year old looks much better than the sad, fat Kerry.
For the most part, I think you should whatever you want to as long as it doesn’t break any laws or truly offend anyone. You should dress with respect when entering a house of worship or a country with a different culture. I had to wear very different clothes when living in Egypt or face the consequences (usually unpleasant remarks, looks or a quick feel). We live in a democratic country and, in theory, women are equal. By the same token, I have no problem with you wearing a hijab, turtleneck or ninja outfit. 🙂
PS Buy the Ebook! Letters from Cairo by Kerry Duncan. It is free to subscribers and very inexpensive for everyone else.
Do you ever wonder what you might have been in a previous life to deserve the one you have? I think I might have been a serial killer of kittens. No, hang on, that was this life when I had to euthanize Mrs. Stripes’ endless sick kittens. The veterinarian did it – I am not that creepy. Anyway, as you know, life has been a tad stressful recently with layoff and bereavement. Now I can add unexpected eye surgery to the mix.
We were getting all ready to choose an affordable health plan instead of taking Cobra in March and I have been seeing all my doctors in preparation. Today I had my yearly eye exam and paid extra to have that fancy new test that sees deep into the eye. Last year I was nonplussed to find out that I had very small cataracts in both eyes. I am in denial about middle-age… My assumption was that they would take years to develop into full blown cataracts.
Today the eye doctor said, “What can you see on the screen with your left eye?” “I can’t even see writing on the screen”, I replied. Even my doctor was shocked and astonished at how rapidly it had grown. At this stage I am essentially blind in one eye. We are very fortunate to live in the greater Houston area and I now have an appointment with an eminent eye surgeon next Monday. The plan is to have the cataract removed and a lens implanted. I knew it was serious because he held my hand.
Now we have to continue with Cobra, which we are fortunate to have, because this wonderful eye surgeon and my eye doctor are not covered on the new plans offered. Additionally, I went to my GP today because I thought I had shingles (without the rash). That could mean that the surgery would have to be delayed until my immune system is stronger. My incessant itching and upset tummy is a bit of a mystery, however, and despite a barrage of questions (and another doctor’s opinion), it doesn’t seem to be shingles.
Dr. Kerry thinks that my body is just under stress from recent travel across the Atlantic and everything else going on. Certainly my new pirate façade is not helping the stress! The weird thing is that you can’t see anything and that I have not noticed such a massive shift in vision, probably because I had mono-vision anyway. I have just realized that the lucky readers who have a universal health system won’t realize that Cobra is a government funding system that allows you to continue your work funded healthcare for 18 months after redundancy/layoff. You have to pay the full cost by yourself, however, instead of 20% or whatever we paid.
Dang it – one minute it is the menopause, then it’s the eyes! Last week I discussed with Teddy that I only want to live until 75 (an arbitrarily chosen time) but it looks like my parts are wearing out quicker than I thought. That was some black humor. I would feel better if I could drink a bottle of wine but I have to stick to a bland diet until my gastric system settles down. Think of me when you are having your Thai meal with some wine tonight!
The Narrow Sea….(or maybe Vancouver)
I am afraid my Game of Thrones week has come a sudden and bloody end. That was literary exaggeration – it was just sudden although my fingertips feel bloodied. I have another deadline for a paid job and blogging life has to stop for a few days. Today I feel like Davos Seaworth, the Knight of Onions, who works so hard and loyally for his boss Stannis Baratheon. Stannis is deeply flawed and has made some dubious choices in his work and love life but also seems wearied by life.
I have two jobs, one paid and another unpaid. The unpaid one requires all my life experience and professionalism. It’s usually a pleasure to go there but this week it was one problem after another and the only thing that helped me was that I was wearing cobweb lacy stockings with my short uniform skirt. That added to my Scottish accent enabled me to put some humor into a mechanical problem (that was really irritating the customers) and blame it on the elves and leprechauns at Halloween. This is making me sound like one of Littlefinger’s ladies of the night…
My paid writing job is much more enjoyable but it is a steep learning curve and a very short deadline. I have spent the last day and night cajoling, persuading and working hard. I have six interviews with entrepreneurs in the next two days all mangled around the much needed one with the psychiatrist. All my plans of psychiatric flirting have disappeared in a haze of ‘what questions will I ask?’, ‘what is an appropriate outfit?’ (not the cobweb stockings methinks) and ‘do I have another UTI, really???’ So, at least you know my flirting will come to naught…
Ah, it will all be worth it in the end and winter is coming…