March 1, 2010

Having My Cake

I'm listening to myself. It's not as easy as one might think, since the gray matter is more of a verdant sage and regularly gallivants all over the place. I'm a gregarious sort—kind of odd for a writer, I guess, but I balance my solitary and social lives. Yet even when I insist my mind be contemplative, the verdant sage can shush me in deference to her interest du jour. That can be anything from "Where do I fit in the universe?" to "What will that hunky guy on Grey's Anatomy do next?" Plenty to visualize and distract there!

Where was I, McSteamy? Oh, yeah, my mind and my heart are in touch and in sync, so my soul is happy. They know what I need and what I don't. Occasionally the two tussle over something that looks more appetizing than it is, but only to the degree that each wants to be heard and held in equal esteem—not unlike a romantic relationship. Mind and Heart trust each other—advantageous since they plan on sinking as one with the ship. Body is cool, but she's pissed that Mind and Heart are giggling at her muffin top. They're trying to include her more, but she's a groaner and they'd rather she take it to the gym. Soul is turning a blind eye on that one.

So, I've been listening to Mind and Heart especially closely the last few days. Listening for cracks in logic, for whispers of disquietude, for magical thinking or rebellion without cause. I'm reaffirmed that I'm clear on who I am, where I've been, and, insofar as one can predict the future, where I'm headed—with or without another life partner. For that is the issue. Needing a partner is different from just wanting one; and the fact is I've been on my own enough to know I sometimes don’t want one, and I definitely don't need one.

In the last week I've realized that some people who really do love me are nevertheless looking at me through a lens that shows all my exes hanging like 50-pound dumbbells around my neck. They have lost sight of me and seem to see my experiences as the encapsulation of me. They are fearful of my decisions, which speaks to a lack of faith in me. And that sucks. Heart is in a tizzy over it, so Mind is doing all the heavy lifting right now, reminding me that these loved ones just want the best for me. Soul is incredibly grateful that they care, but then she retreats to a neutral corner to find zen and says, Whatever.

By the standards of the culture I was born into, the rule is one cake per person. A second, maybe. But going back for thirds? Are you kidding? Think of what you're putting your body through and, gosh, there must be something deeply wrong if you couldn't even finish the first two! Don't dare broach a fourth because that's just like hanging out at the all-you-can-eat-buffet and wouldn't you rather just not eat for awhile? Learn to be happy and content without cake?

I've had three cakes and a few cookies over the years. They were all delish but in the end gave me excruciating heartburn for which there was no cure. For a variety of reasons that only someone who has walked in my shoes and ingested the kind of cakes I have could understand, I chose to give them up. Cue disposal. Still with me in this metaphorical batter? Some day, I'd like a new cake, extra creamy and with nuts. But my life will be complete without cake because I am indeed happy with myself by myself. Loved ones across the planet may now rest.

Ah geez, Body is making a big stink about getting something to eat—for reals. Mind and Heart are way ahead of her, so off we go with Soul's blessing. Naturally, they giggle mercilessly cuz Body is bringing up the rear. Shhh, she'll hear you!

35 comments:

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

We must be very careful what you wish for...one could end up with a fruitcake...nuts and all!

Hugs,
Karyn

daisyfae said...

i had one cake - spent 25 years nibbling on it before i decided that i like cookies. lots of different kinds of cookies.

not all of my friends, family and remote acquaintances understand my tastes, and i don't like the 'look' of judgement that sometimes arrives when i explain my appetite... i am learning to say "fuck 'em if they can't take a joke".

your life. your way. end of discussion...

Anonymous said...

96.9% of the time I really happy to be on my own--too. I have enjoyed the journey getting to this place and remain hopeful that I can continue to find happiness and joy with myself and beside my children.

BUT, those moments of wanting to have someone else take the reins for awhile--well, they still occur.

One day at a time.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

You are so clever, so witty. Obviously, it's going to take a very, very special cake indeed, to be the perfect one for you!

I say, don't give up the bakery search, but I love that you're enjoying your "sugar free" time!! Cheers!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

So far the cake I picked out when I was 16 is still tasty.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

So far the cake I picked out when I was 16 is still tasty.

Homemaker Man said...

What about hostess cupcakes? They come in packages of two , , , wait, did I miss something?

midlifeslices said...

THAT was one of your best yet!

btw, maybe it's time to try some pie. :)

ellen abbott said...

I liked this lot. I'm on 2 but it seems to be lasting tho I don't think I'd do it again. who knows. I might never have to know.

My grandmother never re-married when she was widowed. When my sister asked her why she never did, our grandmother told her 'because one damn man's enough.'

mac said...

Hmmm,
I agree. I don't need a cake. But, I do like to snack - frequently.

Breathe said...

I'm kinda confused. I think I've had three cakes, and if this one doesn't work out, then I'm going to a strict cupcake diet.

Cuz I like cake, but as you get older the calories linger.

(did I just break the metaphor? I'm not sure. I'll bring some duct tape, we can fix it at lunch)

Just eat the damn cake.

What the hell.

TC said...

I've had 2 cakes, some cookies, some days I think this cake is great, other days.....

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

At least you're open to your cake options....creamy and good can fit into any category. Cookies are also good...so mix and match a little. You never know what you might find.

MsTaken said...

I had A LOT of crumbs before I found my cake. Sixteen years and counting. I say it's your dessert choose what YOU want.

creative kerfuffle said...

i love this post. you are such a talented writer. really. as for the cake i don't think you need anyone's advice--seems like your heart and mind and soul pretty much know what you want/need. i can understand your loved ones being concerned for you, but you wear big girl panties (oh wait, you wear thongs right? lol) and i think you can take care of yourself.

Wildernesschic said...

There is an award for you on my blog xx

mo.stoneskin said...

I don't particularly like the "one cake per person" rule. Cakes are just so nice.

Snappy Di said...

Did you just say something about my rear?

My current cake sometimes turns into a cookie so think I'll keep this bakery item around until it's dry and crumbly.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Alix said...

You've outdone yourself Kimber my darling. This is simply the best post happening in the Blogosphere at the moment. So lush with metaphors and deep and funny. You know... a full course meal, if you will.

I love you almost as much as I love your vocab. You just mesmerize honey. Why then was this my favorite line in the whole post:

"Body is cool, but she's pissed that Mind and Heart are giggling at her muffin top."

Guess I'm either 1) shallow, or 2) relate.

Or here's a shocker... I'm both!

Here's to finding a handsome hunk of unexpected wedding cake and having it instead of the wedding. Or not.

Kay said...

sometimes it's best not to get the whole cake, a single serving suits just fine :)

reminds me of a saying I read on one of the blogs recently...

"Why buy the whole pig, when all you really want is a little sausage?"

I think I'll be an old spinster...

Eva Gallant said...

That was a totally awesome post! You are such a skilled writer!

foxy said...

You have such a way with words, missy!

Cake or no cake, cookie or no cookie, I'm just glad you're you.

Secretia said...

Cake and my fat ass...
He says I have a sweet ass, I told him it's because of the cake.
He said then make another one!

Secretia

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm with you, Liar.

Nancy said...

I love my cake now for 30 years, but if my cake disappeared, I would learn to be happy by myself. I did it before him, and I know I could do it again. Now a stray cookie or two...

Lisa said...

I just ate some chocolate bread pudding. Good thing, otherwise, I'd be hankering for some cake about now.

Pat said...

Wasn't it Marie Antoinette that said, "Let them eat cake?" So how the hell does THAT fit into your picture?!

I'm on my second cake, but it seems the bakery is closed. The baker's old, my friend. But I still want cake. You see my dilemma?

powdergirl said...

Sitting around with a friend the other day, okay, an acquaintance, and not a close one.

She comes out with something like, "I read an article called 'How To Keep a Man'..blah blah blah.....

I said: "It just begs the question, 'how do you get rid of the one you have" (kidding)

Yeah, maybe go for a little box of cup cakes instead. Sweet, portable, delicious...interchangeable...

I don't know why so many people think that having the whole damn cake is so great, half the people I know from the bakery are miserable half the time at least.

Maybe just have that cookie, or a stud muffin, maybe.

GingerJar said...

Well, I guess I've had my cake almost as many times as Elizabeth Taylor...not counting the cookies inbetween. I am currently consuming my favorite cake at an alarming rate, a beautiful red velvet number with creme cheese frosting and walnuts on top, and I think it better last until I'm ninty, because I'm not full yet dang it!

Great post by the way!!!!!

carma said...

to be content and happy with yourself is something some people will never be able to achieve - but you had done that - pat on back!!

I saw some shrinks on one of the morning shows yesterday who said the whole "you complete me thing" doesn't exist for reals anyway :D

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Maybe it's time for pie. Pie is always good.

XO

injaynesworld said...

My life has has gotten so stable and serene since I gave up sugar. Don't want it, don't need it, don't miss it. And watch those relatives. They're always trying to tempt you with sweet offerings. "Just try one," they'll say. Back away from the table. You'll be fine.

Very clever post.

Beth said...

I'm on my second piece of cake and he is delightful! I had to laugh at your "creamy with nuts" reference. =)

No one should judge. If you find love, then go for it.

Ann's Rants said...

After my Mom's second husband died--after the intense grief began to subside--she found true happiness on her own.

It was SUCH a powerful example for me.

She did remarry again.

Ebb and Flow and Ebb and Flow...

♥ Braja said...

I was going to write "you always choke on the nuts" but that sounds wrong...just WRONG...