Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who do you read?

SB's are usually very well read. As you can probably tell by the sidebar on this blog I love to read. I love words. I love books. I love authors and if I ever get my fanny in gear, I still want to be a writer. I have some poetry that's been published. I helped write a song or two for an original musical in college. I have written many a comedy skit, two blogs, newsletter articles and some pretty fiery letters to the editor. Okay, Jane Austen I am not, but I would still like to be her.

I was the kid with the flashlight under the bed covers and the big, dark circles under my eyes in school the next day. By the time I was in Junior High I had read "Gone With the Wind" four times and I haven't really changed all that much. Just the other day I was the adult at work with the big, dark circles under my eyes after having stayed up most the night to finish "The Kite Runner."

I can thank my mother for my love of books. She belonged to those book clubs you still see in magazines. There was always tons of tomes around the house and dad had to build her a huge bookcase in our little dining room just to hold them. Mom had to keep a pretty close watch on me with her collection. In my grade school days, she was especially relieved to catch me just before reading "Valley of the Dolls" which I though was about a magical place with lots of Barbies.

During dull classes in school I would hide a good book on my lap. I remember the whole class passing around a tattered paperback of "The Godfather" and whispering to read the page with Sonny and the bridesmaid. I cried in Social Studies as I secretly read the painful accounts of the plight of Native tribes in "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." (Mr. C. never could understand why his lecture on the Senate was so moving).

In college I tried my hand at every style of writing I could - from Twain, to Poe to Dr. Seuss. Not long ago I was very pleased to find out that a college alum of mine who teaches at a prestigious college in Illinois uses a Chekhov spoof my old roommate and I wrote to teach his student's about parodies. At least my co-authored work is being taught somewhere.

I have been told by many that to be a writer, just keep writing. This blog is one of my methods of doing just that. I appreciate everyone who stops for a while and reads what I have to say. I better get going now; a friend just gave me a new book and I can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

SB lesson #3

Wow it has been a long time since I wrote! I apologize but life is going about 200 miles per hour and lately I only seem capable of pulling a mere 150. I think it is high time for another SB lesson. (Check previous blogs for lessons 1 and 2 and other insights into being a real SB. Who knows, you may just be one).

I want to pause for a quick shout out to Cheryl, who I lost track of after college but recently contacted me again and read my blog only to find out she is an SB too. Welcome to the ranks.

In my original post called "I really should be in bed" I gave a quick-reference list on SB traits. I think it is time to look at one outstanding characteristics of SB-ism in depth.

I am talking about SB's as Fierce Friends. I can only illustrate the fierce friend phenomenon by giving you an example of a SB near and dear to me. I know she appreciates her privacy so I'll just call her SB #1.

I met SB #1 in 1988 and her loyalty and support have kept me going in the worst of times. The following is only one of the million things she has done during her protective watch over the boys and I.

SB #1 witnessed the entire rise and fall of my marriage and saw what I could not see long before I did. Love and blind faith in the wrong person can really make you lose your way, but love and true faith of a friend can help you find it again.

Our home, which I had worked like a slave to buy including cleaning up my then spouses horrible credit, was going into foreclosure after we separated. My husband had been out of work for over a year before we split and this was a pattern with him.

It was my dream to own a home and give our kids a yard to grow up in, play in and a neighborhood school we could walk to. We had lived for 12 years in a 1 bedroom apartment and 6 of those with children. I longed for space and freedom. The home we found wasn't big or fancy but it was ours. I could plant a garden, we could paint big flowers on the fence and watch robins nest outside the upstairs window... and after only 3 years it was all going away. My soon-to-be Ex just washed his hands of it (which was not wise as his was the name on the mortgage). I found 3 jobs and an apartment nearby so the kids could stay at their school but I couldn't find a way to save our home.

SB #1 stayed with me through the whole painful loss. She would show up every week with boxes, dinner and sometimes a beer or two and help me clean out the the entire home, garage and basement while the kids were with friends. It was heart wrenching and I had to give up, donate, sell and give away about 80% of our belongings. SB #1 hauled, cleaned and stayed by my side through it all.

To this day I have to drive by the house every day on my way to work and I still feel the loss in the pit of my stomach. My only comfort is that another family with children seems to be living there. I hope they love it as much as I did.

I don't wish our experience on anyone, but if something like it should happen to you, I do wish you a fierce SB friend to help you in that dark time. She let me cry and complain while saving me some dignity when it felt like there was nothing but shame. She is so much more than a friend and I am honored to have her in my life.