Miss Shannon is celebrating a personal victory tonight… and a personal defeat. If you know me well, you know I collect things. I like stuff, a minimalist I am not. Bric-a-brac, knick-knacks… my collections. Currently, my collections include teapots and related items (I admit, my favorite is the walking ware.) I have a significant number of Anne Geddes dolls and art, I LOOOOVE copper jelly molds and bird houses. Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl who has everything????
A few years back, I was feeling adrift. I ran into boy I knew in school and allowed myself to be led down a primrose path of promises and dreams, lies and deceit. I was just lonely, he had a pretty face and knew all the right words. There are things Miss Shannon – and single moms everywhere- just want to hear. Those words include things like family, love (not just for you, but for your wee beasties, too) and forever. Most of the time, single moms are savvy and cynical. Now and then, we’ve just been fighting the fight a little too long, and we get taken in. I knew better… but I did it, anyway.
During the time that I was with that guy, I lost parts of me. Because I let him take them. My whore boots, my sexy clothes and two of my collections were deemed unfit. You’d think it’d be the dolls, but it was my jelly molds and bird houses that had to go. The jelly molds I packed up and gave to my oldest sister. This was right around the time I was made to paint my cool, vibrant periwinkle kitchen vanilla yellow. Then my bird houses migrated to daycare. A little of my soul died that day. I started the birdhouse collection because my mother in law used to paint them. When she died, it hurt me. I was allowed to choose items of hers to keep…. On my list were some hand painted (by her) penguins, snow men and bird houses.
Not long after I came to my senses and asked that fine gentleman to leave, my oldest sister delivered several boxes of my copper to me. I repainted my kitchen periwinkle, slapped my copper back on the wall and began to feel like me, again. Tonight, well over a year later, I returned my bird houses to my stairwell. That is a victory, my friends. I have spent nearly 40 years learning to be ok with who I am… never again will I let myself be denigrated by anyone. I have worked very hard for all that I have, no one has ever handed me a god damned thing. I don’t even want to be handed anything… I have two hands and I can do it myself.
I thought about Charlie while I cleaned the birdhouses. He doesn’t demand that I reform myself to be whatever image he has in his head. I assume there are duel reasons for this… One: Miss Shannon is fabulous as she currently exists. Two: Charlie knows that people are who they are… and you take the good with the bad. I also don’t think Charlie gives two shits whether or not I have bird houses. Nor is he even aware of the copper on my walls… He’s aware that he loves me, in all of my glorious eccentricity. Kind of like I’m aware that I love him in all his curmudgeonly fussiness… because Charlie rocks, as he currently exists. I’m going to quote Taylor Swift and say… Maybe it’s forever, maybe it’ll go down in flames. Regardless, I’m thankful I met a man who values me…. Miss Shannon, for who she is. Miss Shannon is going to advise you to hold out for the same.