Don’t take yourself tooo seriously

Embrace the glorious mess that you are

Embrace the glorious mess that you are – Liz Gilbert

My friend and life coach at Proactive, has a saying: “Never take yourself too seriously!”. Lately, thinking about that, the below story came to my mind:

My parents had an acquaintance. They always referred to her as a single mother (divorced) with a 6 years old boy with angelic face. She was dating serious men, trying to find a decent step father for her child. She was herself, a pretty hard working, intelligent woman. But the main character of these stories was her mother, a retired respectable doctor, a widow at the time when this took place, and of course the granny of the boy with angelic face.

Granny is one woman that I would have loved to meet in person. She was, from what I heard, a very smart woman. She had worked in the emergency hospital and I can imagine that it was a very stressful work sprinkled with very dark, gross or heartbreaking incidents.

So granny had developed her own methods to keep her mental health, as close to some sort of normality as possible. She was also a very opinionated woman. She hated politics with all her heart (no comment on that), but mostly the president at that time. On occasions when the president was passing on TV, she would pull her skirts up and show him a nice piece of Granny bottom. That made the situation for her single daughter quite difficult, because they were living in the same house. Try dating and finding a serious man who would have to accept both a step child and a lunatic Granny !

At the time, the little boy was going to kindergarten or school. The only issue with little boy with angel face was that as soon as he would open his mouth in classroom, it was like the doors to hell would open and a river of curses and slang words would come out. Soon the entire classroom was contaminated and the teacher was appalled, so she called for a meeting with the mother.

To her surprise, the mother could not take time off that particular day so she sent Granny to talk to the teacher. Granny was dressed in a very elegant suit. She was still a good looking woman, inspiring self confidence. She greeted the teacher and even gave her flowers. Impressed, the teacher started to explain:
“Madam, your grandson, I hope you won’t take it the wrong way, but he uses all the time very very bad words. Some of them I don’t even know myself.”
“Oh, my grandson?” Granny said obviously concerned. “This is unacceptable. We are a good family, with a very intellectual background… Can you call him to explain his behaviour. This is unacceptable.” The teacher nodded in approval, relieved that she had found sympathy. She called the boy with angelic face.

Granny leaned from the waist, looked him kindly in his blue eyes, pinched his cheek gently and said something that, if it would be translatable, it would sound something like this: “Listen, you little piece of shit! Where in the fucking hell  have you learned to talk like this? If I’m told again that you speak like a mother fucker, you’ll be grounded for life! Understood?” The little boy, listened carefully, put on the Shit! I messed up with Granny! face and said seriously “OK”, and apparently he decreased the frequency of bad words.

It is said, however, that the most valuable lesson was learned by the teacher. Not only she became less uptight, but she also found different creative ways to pass some politeness message to the children.

Of course, our days, the scene can be considered anti educational, probably shocking, who knows, especially if taken out of context. What I think, however, is that she gave more credit to the child assuming he is mature enough to understand some borderlines.

It’s not about being a clown all the time. I hate these eternal clowns. But let’s not be constant martyrs. Both eternal clowns and martyrs are such tragic characters! It’s not about being rude either. It’s about letting yourself go once in a while, finding a valve to release stress and remembering to be a honourable human being the rest of the time.

So, dear fellows, let me make a point here: from time to time we all need to be a little bit like Granny!

Those times when we fall

The story has been told many times to my friends, but this particular memory, besides putting a smile on my face each time I recall it, has a few layers of meaning. It was a shifting point in some personal beliefs and it has been the trigger for a series of lessons which I still value. It also stands as a token of appreciation toward an exceptional person, someone I’m glad I met. I think this story deserves to be written down.

6 months before that date happened I had been through a painful breakup after a relationship which lasted almost a decade. My first dates in Luxembourg have been epic as well, but they were short attempts which did not lead to anything.

I met a guy on Tinder who was working a few streets away from me. The first time we met we had a 5 minutes chat and none of us was impressed. But one Friday evening I wanted to go to a theatre play. It was a spontaneous decision. I asked all my friends and no one was available, so same day, I turned to the guy from Tinder. He said “ok”, obviously not convinced by the play, nevertheless he was curious. So we set to have a drink and go to the theatre after.

That Friday was coming after a calm period at work, but as it happens usually, on Friday afternoon some unexpected shit hit the fan and I got a big amount of things to do in a short time.  Plus it was a casual Friday and I hadn’t planned to go on a date so, I was dressed like on laundry day. I had escaped the office without having time to refresh or put any make-up. I was afraid that I smelled like sweat.

So I came to the appointment all pissed and totally unprepared. That’s when the magic happened. The evening turned into a rather pleasant conversation, then into a very funny theatre performance then, without even noticing I was inviting him at my place for a limoncello.
The rest of the evening was even more unexpected for both sides. In between two limoncellos it occurred to me that I wasn’t even shaved, not even the armpits, but, as I rapidly found out, when one hasn’t have sex in a few months one can get very quickly over these details.

What followed was a hell of a night. Saturday passed and by Sunday I started to get impatient. I didn’t care that I had to do the first step but I had to have again what I got the night before, and even better, if that was even possible.

So on Sunday I called for another date. I called in a course of a sports tournament, but he was willing to pick me up directly after. This time we settled for a dinner.

As soon as I finished texting, I jumped in the bathroom where I spent half of day getting the best out of me.
This time I got rid of all the unwanted hair of my body. One could have skied on my armpits. I covered myself in all the creams and beauty products I had and applied a coffee gommage. I could see my skin glowing in the mirror.
I did my hair. I put on perfume, and this very expensive lingerie I had bought on sales (initial cost 70 euros for a pair of panties). And by the way ladies, just for the record, never buy sexy underwear for a man because the most successful will still be the 3 euro red panties from H&M.
I’ve put on my leopard dress and my snake shoes and went on the second date. I felt sexy, I felt unstoppable, wild, the leopardess unleashed. Nothing, but nothing in the world could have stopped me from getting lucky again.

When I got to the car, the man was wearing a T shirt and jeans, which was kind of normal as my call had arrived during a tournament. That didn’t make me feel less sexy, especially that he was obviously impressed.

He suggested the fancy Essenza for dinner, and he swore that, as an accustomed of the place he was sure that it was open on Sundays. Of course it wasn’t.
We went through the old town looking for an open restaurant. It was autumn. It was cloudy. It started to rain.
In seconds, from the wild leopardess I turned literally in a wet pussy.
By the time we got to Chigerri my hair was a mess, I was freezing and dreading that the rain spoiled the mood for a lucky night.
After a warm dish and a glass of wine, it got better. I remember very well the discussion that I had that evening at Chigerri. It was quite deep, we talked about our views on love and relationships. Then we started to make jokes, and, as two nights before, we started to feel comfortable.
And so, when we walked out of the restaurant, the perspectives for the rest of the evening were looking bright again. I walked in power on the wet terrace and then…
I barely did a step on the bloody terrace (all wet from the rain) and I slipped.
Now, I have to admit, I am not a very sporty person, but that was the closest I got to performing a full split. One leg went forward and the other behind, I heard my stockings cracking, my dress came up compressing under my breasts, and I felt how I was swiping the wet terrace of Chiggeri with my 70 euros panties and my arse. In the fall, I tried to hold on the closest thing and so I found myself with my arm to the elbow in the earth in a pot of decorative trees, while I was making clumsy moves to try to get back on my feet without succeeding.
My date was asking me if I was hurt, he was concerned because the fall had produced quite a sound.
I wasn’t hurt, except in my pride.
This was when I had, like in a film, a vision of myself from above. Well done: all this efforts to end with my legs spread on the terrace and my arm in a pot of flower, the opposite of sexy, class or whatever I have been trying to be that evening.
I had several choices: to end the evening alone and in embarrassment, to play the victim and limp my way to the car, or to let go of what I was feeling inside. And what I was feeling inside was this volcano of laughs that just exploded. I think they were heard up to Urban.
I obviously chose the wisest option because, after my laughing tornado, it turned out that a pair of ripped stockings can do more than expensive lingerie.
That date didn’t lead to a long term relationship. The simplified version is that I left that man for another man. Who left me for another woman. Who left him, probably, for another man. Who probably… never mind. It’s a good example of how Karma works.
Nevertheless, what I experienced that evening, was exceptional: that was the first time when I acknowledged that I was beginning to take myself less seriously. It was also a time of transformation. I was becoming more confident, I wasn’t afraid to look in within anymore,  I was healing. For those who don’t know me, the woman writing this lines, was once a mountain of low self-esteem. Or rather in the Marriane Grotto of low self-esteem.
The thing is that to get out of that Grotto, you have to learn how to fall. I was about to write gracefully but let’s face it: there is no grace in looking  like a lousy leopard print mop on the terrace of Chiggeri. You just need to know how to fall and raise.