Sep. 12, 2010

No more bones in the closet

The unplanned child of a young, unmarried Italian-American woman, I was given up for adoption in a town just outside of Toronto, Canada in the fall of 1969. My mother had been quietly ushered out of the country, and away from the only home she had ever known, a quiet community in the midwest, before her belly began to swell so that no one would know, and people wouldn't think poorly of her family. It wouldn't be until after I was born, put up for adoption and officially out of the picture before she would be welcomed back into the fold.

My grandmother, a proud and determined woman, insisted that my existence be completely concealed. She could not have her relatives learn of her daughter's immoral indiscretion. It would shame the entire family. My mother was acutely aware of the fact that she has almost ruined her family's reputation, and spent the rest of her parents' lives trying to make it up to them.

We were reunited in 2000, and a reunion with my grandparents followed in the summer of 2001. It was a cordial visit. We had dinner and listened to my grandfather's lively mealtime banter, but other than this there was no dialogue. They gave me family photos to look at, but no one wanted to know about my life or learn anything about me. I left the meeting feeling emotionally bruised and incredibly disappointed. I longed to build a relationship with my newly found family, but my mother told me that she would never be able to introduce me to any of my relatives while my grandmother was alive. She had to respect her wishes.

On Sunday, August 29th, 2010, my grandmother passed away at the age of 86. The day of the burial there were about 80 friends and family members in attendance. During the luncheon afterward my mother made the official announcement that she had a daughter she gave up for adoption 41 years ago. While the family was excited to hear this news, they were rather shocked that they had kept me a secret all these years. I'm willing to bet that it wouldn't have made any difference to them had they known about me ten years ago.

It will be interesting to see if life outside the closet is all it's cut out to be...

May 25, 2010

How I became a CUAO*

December 31, 2007. It was New Year's Eve and I was spending it alone and depressed. The man I had been in an exclusive relationship for the past year and a half had blown me off on this special occasion after not having hardly even acknowledged my existence over the Christmas holidays, choosing instead to spend it with his ex-wife and in-laws. I was feeling like a fool, and was very, very sad.

It was supposed to have been a wonderful New Year's this year. He spoke of getting all his friends together at his place and hosting a party. I was going to meet his 'posse' for the first time, and I was so excited about this. Meeting his buddies was just another stepping stone in our relationship, further cementing his commitment to me. At the eleventh hour he ended up deciding against doing the party, citing some watered down reason that didn't make any sense. There were so many of these things he said we would do that never came to fruition: trips to Niagara-on-the-Lake and Jamaica, sailing in Greece. He had me believing that he actually planned on doing these things with me one day in the near future.

About a week into 2008 he dumped me via email after standing me up for a dinner date saying he 'just wanted to be by myself for awhile'. I was so hurt by his cavalier dismissal that I couldn't even muster a reply to his message. I never spoke to or heard from him again.

It was at this juncture in my life when I came upon The Rules. This last relationship catastrophe out of several before it was the final straw for me that put me in that place where I was open to a new dogma and a fresh perspective. I realized I was doing something dreadfully wrong, but as my modus operandi was to be as accommodating, happy and easygoing as possible in my relationships I couldn't for the life of me figure out what could be the matter. I was completely and utterly confused and frustrated.

The Rules book was familiar to me as it had been in publication since 1995, but to be honest I sort of rolled my eyes at it initially thinking it was some kind of radical do-whatever-it-takes-to-get-a-man type piece of writing that you might find in Lonely Woman's Weekly. I assumed it was meant for desperate, conniving, opportunistic women with an agenda.

Boy was I wrong.

I was stunned at how the book seemed to have been written with ME in mind. Every possible mistake a woman could make in her quest to find Mr. Right is listed in this book, and I was both shocked and dismayed to learn that I had made every single one of none. I read and reread the book until its principles were deeply rooted in my consciousness. After digesting its message I can say with 100% confidence that I would still be in a relationship today had I followed The Rules.

However, the Universe works in interesting ways, and I have no regrets. When all was said and done it took me all of two days to get over him, which only reinforced the gut feelings I had throughout our relationship that it wasn't 'right'. Being so taken with him I wasn't able to see with clear vision, but in the end he revealed his true colours to me. He was devious and dishonest, virtually devoid of character, and had, as my father so eloquently put it, 'a very robust ego' that was so big it was a wonder there was room for me in his life at all. He was not, as it turned out, a good match for me, so he actually did me a favour!

I am no longer resentful of his behaviour and treatment of me. Instead I am grateful to him for bringing me to The Rules, which will eventually lead me to the person with whom I was meant to be all along.

*Creature Unlike Any Other

Photo courtesy Smatterbrains

May 24, 2010

Long weekend musings

Sigh...I want to live here.

I weighed in at Mum's today (I don't own a scale of my own personal choice). I'm down to 145lbs!

Thinking of trying speed dating again. Wondering if I'm insane.

I'm sure gonna miss that Bauer dude on Monday nights.


May 23, 2010

A Day at the Beach(es)

Today Kelly and I enjoyed a lovely brekkie at a place just down the street from her apartment. Doing my level best to adhere to my diet, I ordered two eggs scrambled, bacon and rye toast. It came with home fries, which I ignored, and I only had one slice of the toast - no jam. I asked if they had any fruit, and they did not. There were a couple half slices of orange on my plate as a garnish, so I ate that, and I only ate three pieces of the bacon (three slices is actually one serving, and the calorie count is over 200!).

Then we went for a stroll and hopped the TTC down to The Beaches. It had been six years since I'd been down there, and it was such a beautiful day that we couldn't resist taking advantage of it. We did a little shopping, and happened across Kew Beach United Church, where my father and stepmother were married almost 30 years ago! It was in much better repair at that time, unfortunately.

We stopped for bubble tea, and then proceeded to the Boardwalk to people- and dog-watch. A young girl approached us with a collection of seashells asking us if we would like to purchase any, as she was raising funds to buy her friend a birthday present. At 25 cents each we couldn't say no....

May 22, 2010

How I Did It

Up until recently I've not been taking very good care of myself. I didn't care what I ate, led an inactive lifestyle, and wasted endless hours of time on the internet. Then, on April 25, 2010 I found myself at an emergency animal hospital facing the euthanasia of my beloved calico, Hermione. She had battled for weeks with kidney failure, and all my attempts at returning her to good health failed. It was a terrible day.

After having to make that dreadful decision something switched in me. I decided that I had to take charge of my life and stop wasting it. I began taking an interest in my own health and well-being, as I had suddenly come to the realization that if I was going to lead the life I wanted, it was up to me and me alone. At the time I weighed 152lbs, which at barely over 5ft tall is considered overweight. I was not exercising at all.

I began the South Beach Diet, which I had done back in 2003 with phenomenal results, shedding 23lbs. A friend at work had mentioned she was going on the diet as well, so I decided I would join her. Over the next two weeks I dropped 6 lbs and my body shape started changing dramatically. At the same time I started the habit of going for a 1/2 hour brisk walk in the afternoon, which really helped me get over that afternoon slump. I amazed myself at the level of will power I had when treats were offered me - I simply had no interest in them.

I am staying the course now until the end of July, at which time I will be back to my perfect weight of 120lbs. I enjoy exercising, whereas I did not before, and find that I am feeling and looking much better. It is all of these outcomes that have spurred me to stick with it and embrace my new lifestyle.

This morning I had an amazing breakfast of old fashioned oatmeal (not the instant kind) cooked with low-fat milk. I added to it blueberries, chopped walnuts, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of real organic maple syrup. It was FANTASTIC. After that I did some Yoga Booty Ballet and I feel great.

I'm so happy and grateful to have finally taken charge of my life to live it the way I've always wanted!