Over the past few weeks, I wrote a few posts about my family. I pondered what boundaries to maintain since I felt like I had a right to tell these stories, because they did explain a lot about the dynamics that affected my life. That still make me who I am today.
But life doesn’t work that way, at least not for now. I think I hurt a lot of people in my family, more than I realized I could or ever would and so I have pulled down those posts. I love them more than I love this blog or even my love of writing. I haven’t yet picked up the phone to say I’m sorry, mainly because I think they’re all still upset with me and I can be a coward like that. But I am sorry and will find the balls (Has anyone seen my balls? Anybody? Bueller?) to call them soon.
There are stories that I was in and I can say that I am undeniably the main character. But there are still supporting actors in that story that have a stake in my retelling of the story. And then there are those stories where I know either my siblings or my parents are the main characters. I may have still been written into the script, but ultimately, when it comes to the retelling, it’s not my story to tell. It’s theirs.
I think even the stories where I am the main character are still theirs. Kind of, anyway.
There are other avenues to revisit my past and maybe rip the scabs off of some wounds that just won’t heal until I come back to dress them again, more carefully this time. With deeper understanding. And frankly, I pay my therapist a lot more than I will ever pay any of you, so it’s really not right for me to put that burden on those of you kind enough to join me here.
And I am starting to get that. While I have often looked at writing and this blog as a cathartic place for me, I also have to wonder at what point my fascination or need to revisit the past will end. I can recount the story hundreds of times, hundreds of ways, but at some point I think where I need to be today is not in the recounting but in the acceptance of my past.
And ultimately, forgiveness.
Both to be forgiven and to forgive.
That’s where I need to go.
That does not mean I won’t be writing anymore. There are topics I have been DYING to get to:
1) Relaxation through Needlepoint
2) 50 Shades of Grey – a chapter by chapter dissection
3) Is Orange the New Black?
4) The Gift of Menstruation – what men REALLY want to know
5) Investigative piece on whether people really say “Potah-toe.” Who and where are they?
6) Dry Brushing Cellulite techniques – From Flab to Fab? With before and after pictures (Bonus!)
7) Pink Zinfandel: The Forgotten American Treasure
8) The Extinction of Zima: Come on. You know you liked it.
And of course, my little exploration of forgiveness. I may dabble in some other things here and there, but this is the plan and I am sticking to it. Hope you stick with me too.
“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare…”
― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
A little over a decade ago, I bought a guitar so I wouldn’t do recreational drugs. When I realized that I wouldn’t just learn through osmosis, I decided to pick it up and teach myself some songs. Mostly Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin and some Dar Williams – you know, the really “bitchin” stuff.
Well, let me be clear about one thing. I use the term “learn” loosely. If by saying learn, I mean that I could actually hold the guitar in my hands and make sounds to accompany my voice, then we are both on the same page. I was no Jimi Hendrix. Or even Taylor Swift for that matter with the 8 open chords I knew how to play at the time.
During one of the indie performances I went to see, a young woman named Kris Delmhorst played, opening for Dar Williams. (I say these names assuming you do not follow Indie folk artists like me. If you do, ROCK on. Totally bitchin!)
I fell in lurve. (This is what I call love when I develop non-sexual crushes on really cool women).
So now I am in “lurve” with Kris Delmhorst. I would drag my friends to go see her at all her shows in the Northern Virginia area. I would be near tears like I was at a Bon Jovi concert, while my friends would be trying not to fall asleep.
I brought my friend Deana, a pretty solid fashionista, to one of the shows. While she was impressed with Kris’s singing, she was not impressed by Kris’s fashion sense and as what she called them, her “man pants.”
Some people just don’t get true “lurve.”
Anyway, fast forward a few years later. Kris is back in town playing at a Washington DC venue called the Birchmere. My boyfriend at the time, John (now my husband – he was okay with this whole “lurve” thing) came with me. We had some beers and split a pizza and I was pumped to say the least. Kris ended her set, and another artist took the stage.
As we turned to leave, we walked out through the concert hall’s gift shop. And that is when the stars aligned (or didn’t) and my heart just crashed in my chest.
There was my true lurve. Standing right in front of me in her awesome man pants.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my GOD?” I said to John through clenched teeth. “What do I do!?”
“I don’t know. Go ask her for her autograph?” He asked dubiously.
As if it was just that simple.
“No I need to have her sign a CD!” I was frantic now. What if she left? What if my true lurve walked away?
I looked at John.
“Go buy a CD! Hurry!”
“But we have one in the car,” said John. Why does he always try to sabotage me?
“GO GET A CD NOW!” I said in my best Linda Blair voice. I am fairly sure John thought my head was going to start spinning, so he hurried off to get the CD.
I tried to play it cool, idly looking through a bunch of other CDs from other musicians, leaving pools of sweat from my palms all over the poor artists’ heart and souls and CD covers.
I was a mess. A hot one, because my palms were so sweaty.
John came back with the CD and we casually (?!!!) walked over to get her autograph. She was talking in her totally chill manner to a couple, with her hands in the back pocket of her man pants. I was enamored.
Her pants were just as unflattering in person as on her CD.
And then she was done. She smiled at us and reached out to shake our hands, reaching also for the CD to sign it.
Like Eminem says, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”
So there I went. Seizing that opportunity, yo.
“Oh my god, I just wanted to let you know that I am such a fan of yours and I saw you open for Dar and then I went to Iota and Jamming Java a few times, and oh my god, I just want to let you know that you are one of the reasons I picked up guitar and I just love you, even your pants and if you ever, ever need a back up singer, you see – i am a singer too – and I can do backup vocals for you and we would be great together – it would be magical.”
I looked at John. He seemed bemused. To his credit, he did not blush or deny that he was with me, though he seemed to be few feet further behind me.
I don’t think I let her get a word in edgewise as she tried to collect herself. She probably wanted to know where I got my pants from.
But I wasn’t done.
I reached into the pocket of my own non-man pants and pulled out my business card.
Yes, people. I used to have a singing business card.
She reached over as I threw it in her hand – she really had no other choice as I crammed it into her non-suspecting hands.
“SoAnywaysJustCallMeorEmailMeandMaybeWeCanJam (did I say that?)TogetherIfYouAreBackInTOwn.OhGreattoMeetYou.BYE”
And I ran out of the store so fast. I couldn’t believe it.
I actually spoke to Kris Delmhorst.
I turned to John (who did NOT look embarrassed at all) and said, “Well, how do you think that went?”
“What do you mean? Kiran, you gave her your card. How do you THINK it went?”
Oh. Was that kind of weird? Was I NOT supposed to do that?
Suffice to say, she NEVER did call.
Here is a performance of one of my favorite songs. Man pants or not, I still lurve her. Listen and you will know why.
“But sometimes I take your picture and I turn it to the wall
You are still a cliff and babe, I still know how to fall.”
– Kris Delmhorst, “Broken White Line”
I wonder if she still keeps my card with her and turns it to the wall. I guess I will never know.
P.S. John has been asking me for years to write this post. It is one of his favorite moments of mine where I look like an asshole.