Thoughtful Thursdays: If you are cute and you know it, bat your eyes.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

I’ll be honest, some days I feel more like my old self than I do my new. Some days the old me emerges out of nowhere and I wonder if I’ve grown any at all. Thankfully, feelings aren’t facts.

The old me was really really cute, and man did she know how to work it. I still do and I hate it. As much as I hate how good I am at cute, there was a time when I hated being called out on it even more. And yet, I have a mentor, and a multitude of friends who when seeing my “cute self” try to push her way around, call me out on it. A lot. I am learning to appreciate that even if it hurts. That’s what happens when you hang out around 12 step rooms for too long. You learn to appreciate things you used to resent. – Like the truth. It took me a long time before I ever allowed people to tell me the truth. While I’m selective today about who gets to, I still allow it because I know I need it from time to time.

“I’m cute and I know how to work it!” Said no self-respecting woman, ever! —Tweet This

Playing cute is a lack of trust as well as a lack of respect both for ourselves and our victims.

My cute self got us in a butt load of trouble when I was younger. So much trouble in fact it cost me the respect of my co-workers, friends, and myself. What made me change? A man. An honest one at that.

Do you know what he said to me?

“Don’t get me wrong darlin, I love my wife. I just think we’d be good in bed together.”

I didn’t feel very cute after hearing those words come out of his mouth.  Actually, I never felt more alone, hurt, and ashamed in my life. My cute self had behaved us into a really nasty corner and I felt stuck.  I’d pursued him, if I’m being honest, under the guise of we work together, we should hang out. What’s the harm in that? Not that he wasn’t willing, ready and able, but I digress. Every time we hung out after work was at my invitation, never his. And we rarely hung out in a crowd, it was usually just us and a couple of beers.

My excuse at the time “I thought we were just buds. I never saw that coming, HE’s the jerk, not me.” — It took me a few weeks (okay years plus a few 12 steps, sponsors and finally a flat on my back moment of surrender) to stop lying to myself. Even though I wasn’t willing to admit it at the time, deep down, I didn’t want him to love his wife, I wanted him to love me. Now that the truth was out, I couldn’t lie, I couldn’t pretend and boy did it hurt.

The truth is, they always love their wives and you and I deserve better than meaningless table scraps. We deserve the whole banquet and yet due to moments of extreme stupidity, loneliness, lack of self-esteem or what ever you want to blame we are easily tempted to settle for so much less.

Instead of being the kind of woman that brings out the whole man, we play the cute little girl who can manipulate boys and nobody wins.

“I love my wife…” I heard these words more than two decades ago, and I have never forgotten them.  My life changed that night.

Yes, I turned him down. Just in case you were wondering. Not that it matters really. It still cost me my job eventually. I also cried for weeks. Cute stopped being fun. It stopped working. Cute wanted love, not a cheap one night stand with a married co-worker. I had to kick her to the curb if I was ever going to get what I really wanted and kick her to the curb I did.

The problem I have with Miss Cute Self is she likes to make an appearance every once in a while just to see if she’s still got it. That’s when my brain kicks in and tries to tell me that I will never change.

I have a news flash, my brain lies. For one thing the committee that meets are a bunch of drunks, misfits, co-dependents, floozies, and stone throwers. They are the nay-sayers of life and live to prove that I’ll wind up homeless and rejected tomorrow if I’m not careful. They like to wring their hands and show slides from the past. They like to try to prove that what tripped me up yesterday will surely trip me up today and I need to stay in my little cocoon and keep up my old tricks in order to survive.

Every time my brain rehearses the past to take away my present reality, I lose the chance to grow.  Committees are just dementiated liars. (I made that word up – my committee suffers from memory loss and warped perceptions of reality.) I don’t care how many times I hit replay on that DVR’d memory, it’s going to be foggy. Did I say this or that? What did they really say? When did that really happen? All I get are sound bites and nothing more. Just enough really to want to cling to my old habit, old hurts, old resentments, old anger, whatever.

I miss out on so much when I let the committee have its way with me. When I get lost in my mind as I’m prone to do, I need a referee. I need an advocate. I need Christ to take over and set things straight. Once I have that, I can ignore them when they call. Unlike my committee, God doesn’t keep score. I’m told in psalm 130 that he keeps no record of our sins.  I think that’s fantastic. He’s not some boogie man in the sky waiting to strike me dead or hold me to account for my past — he covered that with the cross.

There are still old habits, old behaviors, and old memories that trip me up from time to time even today. That doesn’t mean I haven’t changed or grown. It doesn’t mean I have to keep doing those things either. When I catch myself in an old behavior (or have an old behavior pointed out by a friend) I can choose to react and behave differently right this minute. Yep, I’m back to choices.

I have friends who believe in me enough to tell me the truth. Sometimes it’s a “yeah you, you so got this!” and sometimes it’s things like, grow up, quit being a victim, don’t manipulate me, and take responsibility for your choices.

I don’t have to crumble when someone points out something I know to be an old behavior surfacing. It’s not the end of the world. I don’t have to allow the committee to take over with their doctored evidence. I can own it, apologize and move on. And it’s over and done with. I love that.

Sometimes there are tears because it hurts. Hurts is okay. It means I’m alive. Allowing myself to be open enough to these friends is a good thing – and a somewhat new thing. Ken Davis said it well in his book Fully Alive, If you choose to move forward in your quest to live fully alive, you will fall, it will hurt…and it will be worth it.

I have friends who love me enough to help me kick her to the curb when they see her and I love that. I don’t need to be cute with them. I just need to be me.

Contrary to what the committee says, I don’t need my cute self in order to survive anymore nor do I have to stare at my past and believe I’m never going to change. I have changed and that is good news.

What old habits trip you up? Do you let them define your day? How do you change?

Glee Rocks the Horror Show (Spoiler Alert and Adult themes)

 

 

 

Chris Colfer as Riff Raff

Confession: Even though my mother forbade me from seeing Rocky Horror as a child, I did see it as an adult in Tulsa and I like it.

“Rocky Horror was never about artists pushing the envelope. It was about misfits trying to find a place to belong.” – Will Schuester from Glee. I didn’t write it down, but I think that is what he said. Maybe not those words exactly, but the meaning at least.  I’ll be honest, I turned on the TV last week expecting RH and when it wasn’t on, I thought Tulsa had banned it and boy was I mad. I have fallen in love with those kids — for reals, not the characters, but the people behind them. I wanted to see them try their best at Rocky Horror.

I know, I know, they are not kids, they are adults, but I am 45 years old and to me, they are kids.  I am in awe of their talent and I want them to succeed, and you know they pulled it off. I’m so stinkin’ proud, you’d think I really was their mother.

I knew Fox was going to have to clean it up a lot to make it on the 7:00 pm time slot and so they made some changes. They cast a female (Mercedes, played by Amber Riley ) as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, an alien transvestite from the planet  Transsexual, Transylvania instead of having a male play that role and I half expected that. Dang that girl can saaang, as we say down south.  They also cleaned up the Touch Me scene between Janet and the Creature and made it a practice scene between Will and Emma. The only thing that really ruined this for me was the insipid story between Will and Emma — he puts on Rocky Horror for no reason other than to impress her and perhaps win her heart. — I am beyond bored with that story line. The writers are turning him into a predatorial male skank. Sorry, but you know I’m right.

Now, who truly stole my heart tonight? — Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel playing Riff Raff. I was disappointed that he only got to open Time Warp and not really sing. This young man stole my heart in season two. I LOVE Chris. His voice and his talent just make me cry.

Now, I’m going to address something I don’t normally address here — Chris is gay, and I don’t care. In a perfect world we’d be able to talk about artists without talking about their sexuality, but this isn’t a perfect world. I’m bringing it up because some of my friends are upset over Glee’s alleged agenda this year and I’m annoyed.  This isn’t an issue I normally take a stand on, but for one day, I’m going to. I believe homosexuality is biogenetic. It isnt’ a choice, it just is what it is. I know, I know, AND I’m a Christian, how can that be? Easy, I am friends with people who are gay. You know, I talk to them. Have meals with them. Send them Christmas cards. Friends in the truest sense of the word. And they aren’t my “gay friends” either. They’re just my friends. These are people I’ve known since 6th grade for some, my 20’s for others. They are some of my closest and most trusted of inner circle people in my life.  

Like everyone else that I am close to, I know their stories,   I know their hearts and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that for them, they didn’t ask for this and would not possibly CHOOSE this life. Especially not with all of the hatred and abuse they’ve suffered because of it. Unfortunately, most of that abuse has been at the hands of Christians. I am a Christian. Knowing that, breaks my heart.

I co-chaired a fundraiser years ago for an interfaith non-profit. My other co-chair hired a male singer for entertainment without my approval. I won’t list his name, but wow he was beautiful. He could sing like nothing I’ve ever heard. He had these blue eyes that could melt medusa. He was also gay.  I protested her choice, not because he was gay, but because there were going to be pastors at this event and I was afraid for his well-being. I lost the debate and sure enough, I watched grown men make asses out of themselves and pop out of their seats every time this young man sat down. My mother’s heart just broke and I wanted to wrap him in my arms and bring him home with me.  He handled it as well as I guess can be expected, but I cannot imagine having to put up with that kind of behavior my whole life. I’d be crushed.

A Facebook “friend” posted a comment that “Chris from Glee says people used to make fun of him when he was in school. Gee I wonder why.” and I wrote “Because people are idiots.” and then unfriended him. My youngest son is an artist and a bit on the flamboyant side. He’s straight, but he’s been abused and ridiculed and accused of many things simply because he doesn’t fit some predetermined mold of “masculinity” whatever that is. My other son is brilliant and was abused so badly at his first high school that we had to change schools because I was afraid he was becoming suicidal.

My oldest son is the one who turned our family on to Glee and we’ve been watching since season two. Fox upped the ante’ this season by focusing a little more on Kurt’s life as an openly homosexual male in high school. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. As we’ve watched though, I find these episodes to be very educational to my boys. The writers for Glee are being compassionate in their portrayal of a young man finding his way. They are doing a great job covering both sides of the equation, and for that I am thankful.  My favorite episode to date (RH not withstanding) is the Grilled Jesus episode where each of these kids – and the adults — contemplate their faith. Kurt’s answers about why he doesn’t believe in God, broke my heart.

Kurt speaks of a God who made him, he’s gay, it isn’t a choice, and yet God also created his followers who hate him, so either God is masochist or he isn’t real. I have several gay friends who tell me the same thing and you know, I think there is something drastically wrong with Christianity if hatred is all they see. Just sayin.

Having said that, I appreciate  the honesty that these writers are bringing to the show. I hope they win an Emmy this year.

A comic friend of mine said that “Comics come from the land of Misfit Toys.” I agree. We do. Maybe, that’s why I like Rocky Horror so much. I’m a misfit too.

Until next time my dear friends, I leave you with The Time Warp, Ala the Glee Cast. Enjoy.

This post is written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart: Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic. October 26, 2010. I reserve the right to delete all comments that are rude, abusive, off topic or just down right snarky. Please be courteous to others. Thank you.