Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Martha Stewart invades my home

So, in keeping with my resolution to find ways of de-stressing, I've become Martha Stewart.

You won't find me decoupaging my toilet seats or anything, but I've gotten more into gourmet cooking, more into baking, and decorating, organizing, cleaning my house, and creating a mini-"garden" (shmitta-proof of course) on my porch.

I never thought I'd say this, but I really admire her. She's got grace under fire. She went to prison for insider trading (I don't actually admire that) and emerged the same. She doesn't ignore the fact that she went to prison on her show, or in her magazines, but she doesn't talk about it all day long either. She doesn't try to hide the not-so-pretty things in her life, or airbrush the less-than-perfect parts of her life out. In her most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living she reminisced about her home that she recently sold. She didn't pretend that for most of the time she lived there she wasn't married to her now ex-husband. She admitted that the reason she changed her vegetable garden to flowers was that with the divorce, she needed less veggies. She doesn't pretend, but she doesn't make a big deal about her painful things either.

Where is this leading to? I'm going to drop the name of someone who hasn't appeared on this blog in years. D. I haven't seen him in years. I have heard bits and bobs about through well-meaning friends over the years. I know his father passed away. I know he got married, to an American girl, who's meant to be "scarily clever". I didn't really care to hear the news, but it never bothered me either. Then, this past Saturday night, at an engagement party, just as Bryan and I were about to leave, I ran into him. He looked the same (in fact, I think he may have even been wearing a shirt I tried to throw away 5 years ago). We caught up briefly. He pointed out his wife of 10 months, who was both beautiful and a glowing 8 months pregnant. We spoke for a bit about maternity wards in hospitals here (that being my line of business). And then Bryan and I had to leave, or our babysitter would have turned into a pumpkin.

This meeting unrattled me. I'm not sure why. I'm very happy with my life. I love my husband, who is the right man for me, in almost every way (except for why he cannot seem to grasp that unwrapped cheese + refrigerator = dried out useless cheese). I have the most incredible son, who fills my days with laughter and lots of messes, my nights with cuddles and snoring. So, I'm not sure why running into D. and his wife ruffled my feathers. I don't begrudge him the happiness he's found. He seemed quite in love with his wife, excited about his prospective fatherhood status, and I'm glad to hear all that.

Am I allowed to still be hurt even though I've moved on? Is it okay to still be upset that he chose not to love me - even though Bryan did choose me, and I him, and we've made our lives together, and I'm at peace with all that? Is it supposed to still be a teeny bit painful to see the woman he did choose to love, to know that she's pretty and smart and carrying his child? I haven't been able to say anything to Bryan, since I think I would be upset if he revealed such feelings to me about another woman he was once with. But it doesn't mean I care for D., just that the memory of what was, and the reality of what wasn't still hurt a bit. Is it allowed to hurt after all these years?

I love my current life. Bryan and I belong together. We're happy, I'm happy, I wouldn't change my life if I could. Bry and I have had big fights, small fights, and through each one of them, we've learned more about the other, grown closer, become more of a couple. The knowledge that we're in this for the long haul makes the sometimes difficult task of fighting fair, and making up, easier. We've begun and are in the middle of weaving together a quilt of life. Each experience is another patch, each difficulty, each happiness, only strengthens the stitching. Knowing that we're building something together constantly makes all the hard work enjoyable. Arguing over who will be the one to get up at 3 am to tend to our son, whose teeth are coming in, knowing that we're providing comfort to the ebst thing Bryan and I have accomplished to date - another patch on the quilt.

As I am writing, I got a call from a news station that interviewed when I made aliyah 5+ years ago. They're thinking of doing a follow-up. At the most recent follow-up (3+ years ago) I had been dating D. The researcher, who had clearly studied the past tapes, wanted to know what happened to him, were we still together? I guess that story of the single olah meeting her veteran oleh/Israeli soldier boyfriend right off the boat, and then being married to him 5 years down the line was appealing. So I told the man no, I didn't stick with D. I married someone else, my perfect partner-in-most-everything, another oleh. The researcher seemed disappointed Bryan wasn't Israeli, but the guy perked up when I told him we had an Israeli-born son.

Funny how I was able to sum up my life in the past 5 years in 2 sentences.

A penny for your thoughts...