"The more lost you are, the more you have to look forward to."
-Ally McBeal (Pilot Episode)
I miss the brilliant David E. Kelley series, Ally McBeal. I felt a kinship to Ally, and the fun little special effects were pretty much right on the mark. The little moments like the one in the picture above. In this scene Ally has just learned the love of her life has gone and gotten himself married, but he consoles her by telling her that, "he is looking forward working with her." Yep...that is pretty much how it would feel. I mean that's the way it has felt when I have encountered old flames, who when for a lack of better, made the conversation flow with expected niceties. Sigh.
It's already the end of November, and I will be seeing the November man soon. I don't usually plan to see him, but sometimes it can't be avoided. As long as I live I will never understand why just seeing his face or hearing his voice reduces me, a usually intelligent woman, to little more then a weak kneed, perspiring, sometimes unable to speak mess of humanness. Don't get me wrong, I am a content and happy in my life, but for some unknown reason what they don't tell you when you get married is that the opposite sex doesn't cease to exist...especially if you were head over toenails at one point for someone else. Nope, one day I will be walking down the street, enjoying the autumn sun...and there he will be...walking toward me, smiling that smile, and as he gets closer, 20 years will disappear with each step and when he gets within a couple feet of saying a simple, "hello," I feel like it is 1985 again.
Ordinarily I wouldn't be fretting about Mr. November, but I have been so tired and achey today that I could do little more then get up...fiddle on the computer for a half hour or so at a time, then return to my bed. So much going through my mind, plans for the holiday, Mr. November, Elvis needs to get his shots, the tree needs to be put up, the presents need to be wrapped, what am I making for dinner this week, will I be eating alone? I hate that most of autumn has gotten away from me...all because the doctor didn't evaluate me sooner. I feel like every minute is so precious because I noticed that one day does make a difference with the beautiful leaves on the trees. One day could mean they will all be gone for another season. I would rather have a bouquet of autumn leaves, then a bouquet of flowers.
I fret a little when it comes to what's happened to AOL Journals. I don't understand the things that have happened since "Black Tuesday." The lack of concern for those of us who had paid accounts on AOL. The fighting that has gone on in the community. I have seen two really good essays written on the subject from Patrick and Karen. I have seen a lot of bullying and protest. Some I have agreed with, some I haven't. I suppose everyone must do what's right for them. I have received emails asking me about my choice to close Ellipsis to all readers. It was simple...it was the only way I could think of to keep control of my journal. No one can read the entries I write or the ads at the top that I have NO control over, but it also keeps my journal SPAM safe because as we all know...you can't count on AOL alerts.
Let me just put this out there, and keep in mind, you know I don't dictate how others should think or feel. One of the things concerning me is the push to boycott or in some extreme cases openly malign the advertisers who now have banner ads on our journals. I don't think the advertisers have done anything wrong. They simply bought ad space in order to promote their product. If we begin pushing them to remove their ads, by nasty articles in our journals, and looking for dirt on them and then spreading it further, then eventually we will make them into victims, because someone, sometime, will go too far, and once that happens we will have a ripple effect that will ruin the reputation of everyone who blogs to a degree. The situation in general has been allowed to blossom into one of the nastiest occurrences I have seen on the Internet. I am shocked that AOL is putting NO time into fixing the problems this weekend, instead they gave their tech people the time off for the holiday.
I can't help but wonder...was that their way of pushing back? It was clear to me that AOL had me over a barrel when I realized that the ad on my journal was NOT a mistake. They haven't recanted the press release where they contend that only a handful, about 100, have written letters of complaints. They lied when they said this was standard practice among other blog servers. And now I read where they may be considering an incentive for paid AOL customers with journals to return. I can't think of a single thing they could offer that would make me come back as a blogger on AOL. I have settled in, I have friends who have already put my new address on their sidebar, and I am learning new things all the time here on Blogspot. Like Shelly said, this is an opportunity to grow and learn new things. But that's what's right for me, everyone has to find their own way and hopefully we will all find each other...then hold on tight.
Still I mourn. I mourn watching my friends on both blog servers who are hurting because it seems that as every bitter day goes by, a little more of the people I knew them to be is slipping away. There have been things I have read here and there that surprized the hell out of me. I have been disappointed in a few, but I understand where the ire is coming from. Don't think for a minute I wouldn't like to be invited to a summit with the AOL Overlords. Don't think for a minute I wouldn't have a few choice things to tell them as customer feedback. I do...but I know that most of the anger, hurt, wishing it was different, giving anything if it was, and knowing it simply isn't going to be is all a product of my grief.
I know, I sound like a broken record. See the thing is...I didn't know until it was too late that all the pain I swallowed when things came to an end, all the hurt I suppressed when I had to switch jobs, move, end school, see the loss of a love affair, the death of a beloved pet, endure my home being broke into and Alan's wedding ring being stolen by a family member, all of that carried the five stages of grief. I didn't say out loud how bad I hurt. I cried when I was all alone, I cried on a swing set at a local park, I cried in my car while I ate lunch. I learned to cry silently so that all the happened was tears would roll down my face without even Alan noticing, because I didn't know that grief happens for more then just death.
We are conditioned to believe that material items are "just things," and it is true to a degree. Most things can be replaced. Memories can be both a great help and a terrible reminder. It's something most adults have to come to terms with when faced with how to go forward when a loss has taken place. Again, it is all a personal choice, but don't think for a minute that grief is not there whispering in your ear. Anger seems to be the most pronounced of the five. I know it was for me when my father died. I will be sharing how I found my anger button in my upcoming series on grief, but for right now trust me. I am not an angry person in life.
The thing is, I can look back on all my losses...even when I lost my mind...and realize where I went wrong with anger. In it's place it can help you be proactive. It was anger that helped me through burying my father, but it was the same anger that made me lash out. Alan says I was right in the situation that I will be sharing with you, but I see that had I just took a step back, just a small step back to think about what was happening, I wouldn't have been in as much pain as I was. Anger helped perpetuate a lot of pain. That is it's negative power. Haven't we all said and done things in anger we wished like hell later we hadn't?
I wish I could change what's happened in the last two weeks. I wish I could make it all ok for all of you. I think of you as my family. I haven't had to endure mean comments or emails. I don't know why that is. Maybe I simply wasn't as popular as the folks who received them...shrug...I am so sorry everyone is hurting this much. When Frank died, we all helped each other. We were there when it was time to take him off our sidebars, we were there when community events were coming around and we felt his loss, but this situation is so much different. Frankly I thought it would bring us all together, but it hasn't. Will it be getting better, before it gets worse? Is that the goal? If we got our AOL Journals back tomorrow, ad free, are there friendships that have already been damaged beyond the point of repair?
Please consider taking a couple days off from doing anything regarding the journal situation, and please consider joining me for my series on grief. It begins Monday. You don't have to feel any pressure to comment, although if you want to drop me an email to let me know you are reading along I promise to not tell anyone if you don't want me to. If you have known me for any amount of time you know that I will be discreet. I don't promise to solve all your problems with this series, and it will be pretty basic, but I do promise to share my thoughts and some of what I have learned with honesty. Couldn't we all use some of that right now? I look at the picture of Ally and I think about the days when it felt like I had 20 arrows in me, each representing something that hurt, and I think about the times when one thing felt like 20 arrows piercing me, like the day I closed Ellipsis.
My 2017 Reading List
9 months ago