Category Archives: humor

The Snooze.

CHAPTER 49.

Her niece was getting married the very next week. A lovely young woman, about the same age as she was when the body clock sounded its first alarm.

Instead of retiring “at a decent hour” as her beloved departed father would have insisted she decided to succumb to the more customary, post midnight mania and try on her intended outfit in front of the full length mirror. Her gut was talking; should she look frumpy, maybe last minute flight cancellations wouldn’t be the only reason to stay home.

The sleeveless jersey A line with its graduated greens to blues seemed a fit; thank God, becoming scrawny again still bore up under generic M sizing. Her faded greying hair, freshly trimmed and styled, seemed the right length for the scoop neck and bangly geometric necklace. Bohemian fabric ankle boots held up well around thick, multi colored socks and the olive stretch leggings, their color chosen to complement the bridal party palette, would likely work nicely to hide untanned calves. By all appearances, she was cleared to take off for the much anticipated event celebrating the last single child of her eldest brother’s brood.

Then, facing the glass, she saw them. Bubbles, and ripples, cascading down her forearms and over the tops of her hands. What?

Blood vessels. Every vein, bulging, like a 3-D map of the Interstate highway system. What? She stared, recoiling. Is that why she looked so old in the candid front porch photos beside the beloved little 4 year old music student? She’d thought it the bright sun, meeting the digital phone lens designed to capture detail beyond that which the human eye could see. But, this. This? This was how her arms looked – in real life?

Having melted all the midlife fat the previous pandemic year, she’d devolved to wrists the width of twigs. But, this was a different animal. This was a topography heralding the unmistakeable, unavoidable hallmark of old ladies everywhere. This was age.

At least, that’s what Google said. Skin, thinning; vein valves, weakening; blood, wearily making its endless, return trip back to the heart like some army of tired ants.

She’d remembered touching her grandmother’s skin, the part of her neck draping the throat, marveling at its velvety texture; was this nature’s way of making that which could barely be seen anymore in the half light of the old fashioned boudoir something to be felt, instead, tactile pleasure displacing what could no longer entice the eyes?

She wondered if a man would bear such a preference.

The gathering was a destination event, pulling all family members from the four corners of the continent to meet their new in-laws for the first time. As such she, the most remotely connected of any among her own kin, might put a kink in it. She’d stayed “home” to build her life; the rest had moved miles away. Career choice, and time commitment, plus the absence of proximity had formulated an equation, the opposite side of its equal sign a brand to a relationship void of social attachment; she would be as much a stranger as the whole lot of those awaiting their guests’ arrival.

Add to all that, age. Who’d want to talk to the old, childless aunt? Only those trained in the art of polite exchange would muster up. Could she adopt character, be the jester, an angle proving workable in the past? Oh, wait; in this clan, that would be the patriarch’s domain. Rob him of his coveted role she would not, lest he be named naked Emperor in front of all.

These were anticipating their first opportunity to establish extended family connection. Energy was to be focused. Best not to distract, by provoking extraneous noblesse oblige. Detach; observe; record, like the ubiquitous camera filming the reality show. Would anyone notice?

She’d been 36, the year of her own wedding; her niece was now 38. Twenty four additional months spent deliberating, in quiet expectation. Like ten minutes of Snooze on the alarm clock, more time to resist the inevitable.

Maybe the airline would discover a staff shortage. Perhaps maintenance, or an empty terminal bay, would send the schedulers in a mad dash through their Rubik’s Cube of impossible variables.

She’d let reality play, sans voyeur’s lens. Wedding days came, and wedding days went. Marriages were supposed to endure. Time to take ten, and wait it all out.

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Copyright 9/4/22. Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, the old aunt, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole, part, or by translation. Sharing by blog link, exclusively. Thank you for sitting with your own family.

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The Donald Trump Syndrome.

 

  • Please be sure that CAPTIONS [ CC ] are highlighted/turned ON. They are ESSENTIAL to the message of the piece. [ Captions Option is located in the Pull Down Menu, on most PHONES; on laptops/PCs, the button is at the bottom along the footer of the video (CC), and must be underscored in red to activate. Thnx!

 

© 7/19/2020   Ruth Ann Scanzillo.

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The Ninth Stage.

An essay by Ruth Ann Scanzillo.

NarcissismChart

 

© 9 Stages of Grieving the Narcissist, from Dr. Ramani, Licensed Clinical Psychologist 7/2/2020.

She shifted in her seat, squinting a bit as if to bring the second generation photo of a photo into focus. This nine point list was a treasure; she had to put it someplace where it could not be lost to the ether.

That Master Class with Dr. Ramani on Narcissism in Romantic Relationships was a gift. Where else could she have obtained a point by point reminder to assist in identifying the rush of emotion [ euphoric recall ] that was impossible on the late afternoon of a hot summer day alone? How else could she be gently comforted by the suggestion that meaning could be found in suffering  [ point nine ] , when suffering was a nagging Catch-22 otherwise? (Never let him see you suffer; it just adds to his Narcissistic Supply – and, emboldens the new conquest likely small and stupid enough not to fit into your pajamas.)

She’d sat out on the stoop again, earlier, in spite of what she now knew to be UVA rays, forking down her spinach sweet potato salad, wondering how many times he’d be missing her desserts and dinner companionship, all the groceries she’d stocked for their shelter in place. [ Anger and rumination, point two.]

There’d be no bartering for the return of goods and services, this time. The reach in freezer he’d crowed about providing, the only object too heavy for her to set out for convenience retrieval was replacement for the one he’d refused to bring up from the cellar and just clean. Laziness was never justification for grandiose gift giving, not on her turf, after all the throw rugs and sheet sets she’d brought him following total kitchen clean up. [ Point three – or, four? ]

Gaslighting [ five ] no longer overwhelmed her. That was its own relief. Persistent denial was its own evidence, no matter how irrelevant; he’d run out of tactics that weren’t predictable.

But, the late afternoon sun was a tough competitor. Right up there with the first moments upon awakening, feet twitching, the struggle to name the upcoming day’s purpose. Five days of reading out there on the stoop had rendered her Vitamin D within acceptable limits, finally and, with it [ point six ] a lift to only residual Depression.

The future wasn’t revealing any of its secrets, this evening. Fear [ point seven ] would remain in her back pocket, burning a hole where she’d otherwise have kept peace and contentment; but, she resolved, he was never to know. No more Narcissistic Supply, last chance to gloat from his position kneeling behind the latest willing agreeable.  Important to carry no regret when walking away.

Point eight was the hardest to accept. [ Acceptance ]. The narcissist was never to change. Too many AA meetings, its companion Al Anon, over one lifetime; too many recovery success stories on audio, playing in the car en route to northern destinations, entirely too much goddamned hope. No return to the inns or the B&Bs, no forever claim on Room 1, Rogue’s Harbor. Worse – no replacing the time spent there with productive, self affirming activities. Hope may have made no one ashamed. Perfect love still waited to cast out fear. The Narcissist, defying no odds, was destined to live forever.

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*With profound gratitude to Dr. Ramani, licensed clinical psychologist, and her 9 Stages of Grieving the Narcissist©.

© 7/7/2020   Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of Dr. Ramani, and this author, whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole or part, including translating or transcribing, permitted without written permission of  the authors. Thank you for respecting original material.

littlebarefeetblog.com