Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Twenty Five Things

Yes, you're in for twenty five things you may wish you didn't know about me after I tell you what they are.  This sort of thing is a direct result of giving in to peer pressure on facebook.  And if you've been crazy enough to have followed me from the beginning you may know some of these things, but if your new to my place, this will be news and you might not respect me in the morning.

1. I'm known to the men from my past as: difficult, mean, argumentative, that know-it-all bitch, and the woman who left for no good reason.

2. I'm a terrible flirt.  I have no inhibition when it comes to telling attractive men just how attractive they are.  This means the guys at the pharmacy love to see me coming.  They remember my name. 

3. I'm a very good shot.  I've written about my history with guns.  There are two little essays in my short story collection about my early years with guns and my later years with guns.  The last time I owned a handgun I was being stalked by a discarded lover who came to my door about 2:00 AM.  He kept knocking and making a general nuisance of himself.  I got my handgun and opened the door.  I pointed it at his face and told him to get the fuck out of my life, and if he didn't, next time he came knocking on my door I'd just shoot him.  I never heard from him again. And I got rid of my gun not long after that episode.  I realized I really did want to shoot him.

4. Most of you know this, but for those who don't, I was sexually abused all through my childhood and my mother knew about it and did nothing.  This leads to all kinds of problems in later life.  I neither trust men nor women.  This also means I spend all my disposable income on therapy and psychoactive drugs.  It's this early trauma that triggered the PTSD, anxiety disorder,  agoraphobic tendencies, and may have exacerbated my bipolar disorder.  It also led to a lot of inappropriate sexual acting out.

5. I modeled almost all my life.  I have lived in small towns where there were no opportunities for a model and in those places I did things like manage a huge disco and bar where I turned a losing venture into one so successful it eventually imploded.  See the short story, Too Damn Big.

6.  The young people who worked for me in the Disco/Bar wanted me to be their Madame. Yes, it's true. I was asked to be the Madame for a bunch of very smart, talented, attractive college students wanting to make a buck and have me manage their business. I said no, but by then, at that point in my life, as the wife of a college professor living in a small college town, I knew it was time for me to get the hell out of Dodge. Scandal was a brewing.

7.  I was always athletic.  I learned to ski at five until I wrecked both knees in my forties.  I rode horses all my life. I danced. I twirled my baton and stepped high in my white tasseled boots. I tumbled. I was a softball champ in grade school.  I was the pitcher and the home-run champ.  I took fencing as a way to work off excess hostility when my third husband and I were living in Denver where he was getting his PhD.  I was skilled enough to compete, but it was my raw aggression that made me dangerous with my custom made epee.  I still have it. I imagine I could still be dangerous with my epee.  Every now and then I sharpen the edges of the blade.  I might not be able to stab anyone with the point, but I could leave some nasty cuts and welts.

8. I've had so many lovers I can't remember half of them. Shameful isn't it?  I've had three husbands.  I've left every man I ever lived with or was married to.  I'm the kind of woman who leaves.  The reasons I leave are many, but most of them are rooted in my childhood.

9.I've been writing for forty years or more.  No man I've lived with or loved in all that time was ever been willing to read anything I wrote.  I asked them to read this or that and was always told no, or maybe later, but none of them ever read a word I wrote until I was living alone and writing on this blog.

10.  I've been in therapy since I was 16.

11. I was an early admissions student at the University of Utah in 1961. I'd always loved books.  I read adult books when I was a child.  I thought it might help to know what the enemy was up to, and reading the books they read might help me understand them.  So English Lit was a breeze for me.  I'd already read those books.  I was a good reference librarian for a too brief year.  It was my favorite job. Then I got promoted to the worst job I ever had: Assistant Director for Marketing and Development of the Salt Lake County Library System.  I discovered a massive fraud.  I blew the whistle. Nobody likes a whistle blower.

11. I was incredibly passive well into my thirties.  I had no desire to marry any of the men I married, but they pursued me so aggressively I just acquiesced.  The men I married were of the generation that believed it was their birthright to be cared for by a loving and obedient woman.  I went to school, worked outside the home, kept the house clean, did the laundry, shopped and cooked, and even bought their clothes for them.  I was also a pretty passive sexual partner.  I don't mean that I just lay there like an inanimate object but I did what they wanted and I did it with the same energy I did everything else.  It just wasn't what I wanted to do.  But then, I didn't want to do the laundry either, yet I did it well.

12.  I tried every drug that came my way during the 60s.  I was a woman of my generation and I traveled.  I planned to live and die young.  I believe anything my elders told me.  I pretty much knew they were lying hypocrites. So, my motto was don't knock it if you haven't tried it.  I discovered that the only drug I took that didn't exacerbate the depression and or rage was pot.  So pot it was.  Pot it still is. 

I know I haven't got to number 25 yet, but I'm exhausted and need a nap.  I know that unless these lists are limited to a very narrow field, like jobs you've had, or favorite books, I'll say some dark and scary shit.  You might not like me after you read what I say here. You may cover your eyes and run screaming from the room.  Don't trip on the way out.  I never claimed I was going to be easy.  I quit being easy when I was 35.  I was long overdue and my rage had been simmering for a long time.

It may take me a day or two to get back to finishing this list, but I don't write about myself in an openended forum and hold back.  If you're asking about me, and I'm answering, I'll tell you what I believe to be the truth, no matter how dark that truth might be.


Tessa said...

Unless one of these twenty-five things is that you became a child molester yourself, I think I'll be hanging in for the long haul. I've been following, but not commenting on, your blog for some time. It's not always easy going, but then nothing worth following is.

Beach Bum said...

I'm a very good shot.

This might not be logical but the thought has crossed my mind several times that violence against women done to them by husbands, lovers, and family might be curtailed if more woman had experience with weapons.

I have seen the biggest and most violent rednecks humbled after their wives or girlfriends learned to shoot.

PENolan said...

Best facebook list I ever saw.

I still say we need to challenge Sarah Palin to twirl.

Utah Savage said...

Tessa,Women tend to punish themselves for the childhood abuse. Men tend to become abusers unless the get therapy very young. Not always in every case, but statistics say this is the pattern. Glad to have you as a reader.

Beach, it is logical. It's also true. Remember Loraina Bobbit? Probably misspelled her name, but after she cut her husbands dick off a lot of men started looking at their wives a little differently. I have weapons all over the place. I'm good with a knife and I'm good with a baseball bat. I'm good with a razor and I have one by my bed and one in my purse. The straightedge kind.

Pen, thank you. I tried to post it on fb but couldn't figure out how. I don't even know how to link my blog to fb. Why is fb so hard to figure out?

We should challenge Sarah to some high stepping twirling and I can also do some fancy pageant walking, and I'll bet you can too. I wonder if she's as good a shot as she claims. I was a good skeet shooter.

CDP said...

I think I knew most of these from reading your blog, but I had no idea about your managing a bar/disco. I bet it was a happening joint.

Utah Savage said...

CDP You should read my short story, Too damn Big. It was all that!

Fran said...

Hey! It's good cheap therapy, and you are such a good writer. You tell it like it is, with some jaw dropping, kick ass truth-- like the gun story.
Plus you don't bullshit around- the guy at the door *got it* when you told him where you were at, point blank, so to speak.
You told him not to mess w you in a very clear & convincing way.

Even though talking about abuse in the past does not change the fact it happened, somehow there is relief & healing for you in the telling. It's no longer a deep dark secret, or shame you carry on your shoulders.

So good for you to set yourself free from that.

Utah Savage said...

Fran, that was really nice to hear. Thank you.

kathleenmaher said...

Peggy, I hope you didn't do the list because it was another chore you felt was expected of you. (I was the pest who tagged Peggy, knowing her list would be incredibly honest and fascinating--without knowing she might feel compelled to oblige.)
I think you're right not to trust people unless you happen to know that they will match your bravery for telling the truth.
And clearly, what's shameful, Peggy, is that you were sexually abused as a child, not how many lovers or drugs you've taken. And it's heartbreaking, although no doubt inevitable, that the habitual crime that man committed will never end.
You'd be an astonishing woman in any case; really a marvel. The pervert may have hurt you permanently, but nobody and nothing's gonna keep you down.
Go back to your novel--enough 25 Things.

Utah Savage said...

Kathleen, I'm actually grateful to you for tagging me. I have run through a list meme in a long time. The only part of this I found painful was fact that I cannot figure out how to do anything on facebook. I positively hate that fucking place. Why should it be so difficult to figure out? I see nothing that says, post your piece here, or this is you wall do with it what you will. Or link your blog here. WTF? Who designed that shit?

TRUTH 101 said...

You don't strike me as a person who cares whether or not someone reads your stuff Utah Savage. But for what it's worth your stuff is worth the time to read it.

I probably won't have much to say in your comment section after this but your three husbands should have read your writing.

I wish you success.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Wow! I met you over at TRUTH's and you sound like the kind of friend I'd adore.

We have much in common.

I'm putting you on my blogroll so I don't miss anything you write.

Oso said...

I echo what Truth wrote.Those guys were jerks, your husbands if they wouldn't share in your writing.
Anything someone you love writes, or paints, or wants to sing to you, should be attended to and acknowledged.A parent, a lover, your child, whoever.They should have read;I'm sorry they didn't.

Jennyablue said...

Coffee, coffee, coffee, my neighbor lady used to sing...

So I'm treating myself to a cup of coffee and your posts, reading along, enjoying every word.

I'm in love with you, Peggy. Not in a sexual way, (though, perhaps) but in a way where I hold you in my heart. ox

LPC said...

Is this all true? Really true? Now I understand why people have queried me on my blog. Some times when you list it all out it sounds so extraordinary but it's possible to live it all as regular.