When we got home, I realized there was nothing to fix for dinner, so I went to the store and I bought fried chicken from the deli. In the car on the way home, I was overcome with anger. It was the first sliver of time I’d had alone all day, and my mind was freed up to confront something someone said to me a few days prior that proved, in that private moment driving home, to be far more crushing than I realized.
The person who delivered the insults is obtuse and afraid. I understand that the hurtful words are not about me, even if I am the recipient. Still, they took me back to 10 years ago, and really, much further, to greater realizations about myself, my womanhood, my life. I would never get back the time that was allocated to the experiences I missed out on and joys I never knew.
So, when I arrived home, I carried the chicken in the house, short-fused and annoyed. I bristled putting dinner on the table, as I kept turning the hurtful words over in my mind. How could I just stand there and take it? Why had I allowed myself to be paralyzed by the same philosophies, agendas and convictions that belonged to someone else and robbed me of so much during my younger years?
I was determined not to talk about any of this with Robert, and thank goodness Juliette was at a friend’s house because she always sees right through me. But, then of course, I took that first bite of greasy, fried, deli chicken and without warning, I began to cry right into my plate. And, I told Robert what was bothering me, and he sank in a way that only someone who loves you can sink.
Because you know, Women Can Be So Mean
And, I told him, I can’t talk about this stuff, and there isn’t a woman on the face of the earth I trust enough to share these things with, because you know, women can be so mean, way meaner than men. And then I got emotional because I thought of __ and the woman on Facebook who unfriended me because we’re friends with someone who is gay.
Robert reminded me that I can also share all things with God, who never betrays us. I do know this and am fortunate that I don’t have to be convinced. Robert pondered a brush with rejection, and he told me that when he finishes his run at the Myriad Gardens during his lunch hour each day he thanks God for running with him.
“Because, He does run with me,” Robert said.
These words are immortalized on a bronze on a plaque at Perle Mesta Park where we take our kids to play.