Only a few men in my life ever made it to the pedestal. Until recently, all had either climbed or fallen down off of it.
One was my grandfather, although I loved him more as “Grampa”. He found my endless adoration somewhat annoying. I always felt he just tolerated me. I cried when my brother put a muskie lure in his jacket pocket in the casket. I was so jealous of my brother. He was my Grampa’s only grandson. Crash.
One was my dad. He was up there, then fell and fell and fell. He managed to get back onto the pedestal just before he passed over to eternity and he stayed there.
One was my brother. He was up there for 14.5 seconds and then fell off and cracked his head. It was sad, really. He has been accidentally making his way back up but I keep pushing him down. I’d really hate for him to fall again. People you love really don’t belong on a pedestal. Down boy.
One was a priest who was one of my teachers in high school. On the pedestal big time. Then left the priesthood. Slip. Then he got married. Slide. Then he was divorced. Sloosh. Then we dated. Was he ever NOT what I thought. Kee-RASH! I still love him, and he still loves me, all in a distant, Christmassy "we feel the same way about important issues but I'm glad we don't see each other socially because you are so freaking nuts" kind of way. Run aWAY!
I'd like to shamelessly babble about the First Man I Ever Loved (FMIEL), who asked to remain nameless, and pretend anyone on earth cares. How much self deception can I stand? I ask myself that when I'm alone and tired and wishing he were half the superman I used to tell myself he is. I let myself down as easily as I could, but it wasn't as easy as I wanted it to be. I'd believed in the fantasy for more than half a lifetime. Nursed it back to health over and over and over. I did that really well for all the practice.
FMIEL 1.0, the handsome 19-year-old kid of 1968, was a smouldering fantasy. He was on his pedestal, frozen in time, until October 2004. Now, FMIEL 2.1, a balding giant-girth man with an evening alcohol dependency, hasn't been able to get up there. Not without it crumbling underneath him, the big lovable lug. FMIEL is like most people. He can't give what he hasn't got. But he is a dear friend who does give me several hours of enjoyably challenging intellectual and playful conversation every few months whether I need it or not. I generally do. He has been teaching me that I may already have more of what I thought I needed from him in my little toe than he has in his whole body. Now I give it to myself freely without the necessity of coercion.
What am I saying these days? People you love really don’t belong on a pedestal.
Recently, I met a man named Tom on a matching service. I wasn’t looking for Tom. So, when he showed up and said he was looking for someone he could put on a pedestal, I decided it must be my fate. Somehow, I found a way to put Tom on a pedestal within a week of his pursuit of me. As I fell more madly in love with him every minute, he swept me up into 4 days of la-la land over the New Year weekend. Yes, he flew me to the moon and let me swing among the stars, let me know what Spring is like on Jupiter and Mars, then dropped me into an active volcano where my heart exploded into 10 kazillion-billion galaxies that were sucked up by a black hole no bigger than Chicago. Shhhhhwoooolksssssssssssssssssssst-uh!
Although Tom left behind a distinctly awful taste in my mouth, I have to admit he did me a huge favor. As he was falling off of HIS pedestal, he managed to break it into microscopic dust particles, thus creating a swirling vortex of pedestal smashing energies that sucked all of the pedestals I ever created into the black hole with
him. Thank you
, Tom, and best regards to you and Sylvia, or whoever the gal on the pedestal is this week.
Some define insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. I define insanity as pedestals. They are no damn good. Nobody can move on them, or grow, or dance, or do anything but disappoint their audience. That’s because people—and yes, I reluctantly include men in this category—are not statues. People change. At least you hope they do.
Frankly, I’d rather change, too. I mean, how boring is it to stare at a statue on a pedestal all your life? I need to go dancing once in a while, or hiking through the woods, or singing on the mountain tops.
Singing on the mountain top!
Now there's a pedestal I might enjoy.
Race you to the top?