Yesterday was dia de los Igor, the day I make my pilgrimage to Beverly Hills, CA for my weekly session with Igor my psychoanalyst. I was a bit worried about the session as I was so gosh darn happy and I was fretting that I would have absolutely nothing to talk about with him. When I got on his leather couch we made a bit of small talk about the holidays and I explained that it had gone well because we had gotten Lily. Being the smart man that he is he asked if I had a picture of her and I did have a picture at the ready just in case he asked. He did the right thing upon seeing her beautiful face, he oohed and aahed and said she is beautiful and smart and he asked things like where was she now that I was hear and what do I feed her and am I hiring a specialist in her breed to train her as she is clearly an exceptional dog. He asked how big she is and would be and what I fed her and where she pooped( you haven’t experienced real comedy until you have had your European accented highly-educated psychoanalyst ask you where your dog poops). He had lots of questions and I had lots of answers and with each answer I could see Igor falling harder for my furry daughter. Igor loves Lily and I love Igor because he loves her.
I told him what it was like since we got Lily and how I was feeling uncharacteristically happy. I did tell him about one incident on day three of Lily living with is that was less than lovely. Here’s what happened: It seemed that Lily was only interested in He-weasel and not at all interested in me. At best she seemed indifferent at worst she seemed to not know I was in the room. When he would walk in the room she would light up brighter than our dying Christmas tree.When He-weasel would get anywhere near Lily she would go mad and kiss his face and when I came around I got the cold paw and a whole lot of bupkis.
He-weasel started to worry that she was going to be a daddy’s girl and not so keen on me. I silently worried the same thing. He-weasel showed me how he played with her and tried to get me to play with her with the same exuberant and wild energy that he and Lily shared. I tried to play with Lily like he did. I tried to match his voice, enthusiasm and exuberance only it didn’t work. He-weasel tried to correct me and show me how I was not doing it like he did it. He did this not to say my way was wrong but rather was trying to show me what had worked in his bonding with Lily. It still wasn’t working for me even when I tried to do it exactly like he did and when it didn’t the tears started. I cried, “If I have to be you to get her to like me I cannot do that for 15 years, I just cannot be you.” I melted into a puddle of grief that I imagine every mother has felt when she feels she is failing to bond with her beloved.
The next day Lily and I were alone together for the day and I discovered that Lily loves-loves-loves me to hold her like a baby. She will stay in the crook of my neck for as long as I am willing to hold her. She nuzzles and sighs and relaxes absolutely in my arms. She, however, will not do this for He-weasel. When she is in his arms she is squiggly and wriggly and will not settle down. That night, after our hours of me holding her in my arms I got puppy kisses like you wouldn’t believe. I think she not only removed my makeup but also exfoliated my skin better than Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion in a Jar. I got the message, I do not have to be He-weasel or anyone else to bond with my baby girl.
When I recounted this story to Igor he immediately said “this is not about Lily or about He-weasel, this is about something very old in you. This is about you learning that you have to be someone other than you for your mother to like or to love you”. Bingo! As soon as he said it I knew he was right. That was it exactly. And, I just cannot do that any longer. I can’t be anything other than me. As my new and improved good luck would have it Lily seems fine with me just as I am and I love her just as she is.
Lily update for those who are interested: One of her ears went up. She now has only one puppy ear and one full blown adult Westie ear. My girl is growing up too fast.
I fear that I will never catch up. I was off the blogosphere for only four days and I have missed over 201 of your posts. ATT did you hear that? It is cruel and unusual to let customers go that many days without Internet. And, you dear reader, missed detailed posts of the fun, joy, tears and trauma of our move and the first seven days of having baby Lily in our home. I am afraid that in five days I have forgotten how to blog, seriously. Once I got the Internet connected I just didn’t know where to start, what to say or what to post. I have not been thinking or doing much except unpacking and cooing over my furball.
While I have been gone I have totally fallen in love with Mademoiselle Lily and she has filled an empty space left by our childlessness and the loss of Inkey( I still miss him so). 4 1/2 pounds of fluff have filled an emptiness in me that I thought never could be filled.You all said that a new pet would do that and you were right. It is official, I have moved from hedonic into happy.
This thing with my face started happening, against my will the corners of my mouth turn up and my cheeks hurt from being unable to return to its usual state of scouling sadness. Yesterday a total stranger walked up to tell me I looked so happy that she had to come up to me and see the puppy that was making me smile so brightly. I can assure you that has never before had that has never happened to me before. I have had strangers ask me things like “who died?” or “did you lose your best friend.” It is so lovely to be so very happy that it inspires strangers to comment on my mood.
No one warned me, and if you did I wasn’t listening, that having a dog would open me up to conversation to total strangers. I have never had so many people come up to me before. It is a bit shocking. They say things like “she is sooooooo cute” and “ahhhhhhhhh”. They ask her age, her name and then once again start oohing and cooing. I have to admit, even though I am a bit on the shy side, I don’t hate people telling me how cute my furry daughter is. I think I kind of like it.
The move is done. We have Internet. We have Lily. Our new furniture arrived. I have my stuff and I am happy. The only problem I have today is not knowing what I am going to talk to Igor about.
A friend just told me that Pink Martini had written a song about my darling daughter. I thought you might like to hear it.
Hope that, if Christmas is a day you celebrate, that it is lovely, trauma free, champagne filled day and that Santa brought you all you deserve, lots of shoes, a puppy dog and a trip to Paris. If not just remember that the after-Christmas sales where you can buy what you really want. Joyeux Noël, mon amies!!
As you read this He-weasel and I are at my Mother’s in Palm Springs today having a ho-ho-hole in one kind of holiday in the land of golf cart Christmas parades and men in tartan plaid Bermuda shorts and Santa’s hats. I should be fine, I brought my own Xanax and several bottles of Champagne. I listened to Ricky Gervais all the way to my mother’s and that is the best thing I can do to keep my spirits bright. Oh, and He-weasel sang his versions of Christmas songs that often have chorus’ that involve lots of “Inkey-dinkey-dinkey-doo’s”.
So, as you read this, we ought to be doing some or all of the following: drinking champagne, eating Brie or a chocolate orange and watching Heat Miser and Cold Miser sing their duet and then there is my traditional annual viewing of “All the President’s Men” that I watch when everyone else is napping( don’t ask why, I have no idea why. Tradition is tradition, best not to mess with it by asking) and then He-weasel and I do our annual walk and debriefing of the day so far and then there will be prime rib slathered with horseradish sauce. Hope you’re having even a better day than we are. If not, have a little champagne, chocolate, Brie and sometime with someone who doesn’t drive you totally cookaloo—and if that doesn’t work then just hold on, breath deep and know that Christmas is only one day and soon you will be back home in your condo, I mean comfort zone.
La Belette Rouge
p.s. I’ll be back home tomorrow and back on the blogosphere.
Red-olph the red nosed weasel had a very fakey nose and if you ever saw it you would even say, “What is that fake red thing you have on your nose? And if it isn’t fake shouldn’t you see a dermatologist about that?
All of the other weasels used to laugh at her that she sucked so bad at sports. They never picked poor Belette when the picking of teams for P.E. was enforced.
Then one bloggy Christmas Eve Santa came to Belette’s blog to comment: “Belette with your chasm of shoes, I have some really good news.”
Then the other weasels pondered, how did Belette finagle that. She went from having a crap year to seeming to bounce back.
I do have to fly. I have places to be tonight and before I make the big trip to my mother’s house I did want to wish you all a very happy holiday. Whether you will be visited by Santa Weasel, the Badger of Hanukkah, the Ermine of Kwanza or the Otter of Festivus, I hope that you have a Merry Mustelidi Festivity. And, no, that is not my real nose in the picture. But thanks for asking.
Oh, if you have nine minutes and want to see a weaselly version of the Christmas Carol, I give to you “The Christmas Weasel”. I think the weasel that plays Scrooge is particularly talented. One of my favorites lines: “Three spirits: Gin, Brandy and Rum” and for you vegetarians there is a mention of Tofurkey. I feel sure that this Christmas special will make you as “Merry as a school weasel”. And, Randal, there is a line in there about working in a library that I am sure you will enjoy.
Picture comes from here.
Yesterday I met the altogether lovely Corine of the beautiful, wise, well-written and funny blog Hidden in France. As soon as I saw this French beauty I knew it was her without saying a single word. We met at a fantastic book store/cafe in Studio City called Aroma Cafe which Corine suggested. It is in a fantastic, charming and very hip section of L.A. ( i.e., far from Valencia).It is someplace I am definitely going back to( they allow la chien to dine indoors with their people; at the table next to us a well behaved pup who was enjoying some potatoes).
Even more lovely than the cafe within a bookstore was the time I spent with Corine. It was like meeting a soul sister with who I share countless synchronities. We definitely share the fish out of water syndrome and a longing and love for Paris as well as a passion for writing and an appreciation for fantastically delicious eggs Benedict. For the time we sat in Aroma Cafe I forgot I was in L.A. and I was as happy as if I was in Paris. I literally sat with my back to the baby section of the bookstore. If I had chosen to I could have turned around to see a whole case full of books that would have reminded me that I was not in Paris. Luckily, my view of Corinne and a framed map of Paris made the illusion complete and I was transported out of my ordinary world.
As I walked back to my car after we said au revoir I decided to do something that I have been resisting doing since I arrived back in California in July, I mean RESISTING. I decided to change my cell number from an Austin number to a L.A. number. That act of having a local number means to me acceptance that I really and truly live here.
Yet, another day when I was happy to be in L.A. I know, it’s serious.
Just a reminder for those interested, only eight days until our wee Westie arrives in L.A. Le sigh!
So the combination of the hedonia and the inspiration to prepare for success has inspired some changes. As you can see my blog has a new look. Aimez vouz? I know many of you didn’t enjoy my black background on the old incarnation of La Belette Rouge. Well, it is gone for good. Is it the Vitamin W or Igor or perhaps ma Westie that inspired it? Maybe a little of each. Perhaps I am feeling lighter, brighter and have less of a need to obfuscate my feelings.
I am absolutely in love with my new blog banner. Is it wrong to love my own banner so much? Too bad! I love it. J’adore the tres chic and beacoup glamazon lounging on Freud’s couch. I love how fully and festively she shows up for her inner work. Her dress is the dress of a special occasion and it is flashy and showy and extroverted and it is aware of the eye of the other and it demands to be seen and yet her eyes are resolutely and resoundingly closed and she seems to be completely surrendered to what it is going on within her. This woman, seems to me, to be a perfect balance of the internal and the external as well as being undeniably lovely. Depth can be chic and chic can be depthful.
And, those shoes. Le sigh! Last time I wore shoes like that to therapy I almost ended up as Beverly Hills road kill. Sadly, my pretty Prada pumps will never see Igor again. My bossy and safety loving Superego has castrated my heels and demands that I only wear my well-grounded Ferragamo flats and that I leave the four-inch crocodile pumps, with an unmistakable drive towards thanatos, safely locked up in my closet and consciousness. My Id is still hoping that some day it will overwhelm the Superego and that I might wear the highly erotic and somewhat masochistic lipstick red Valentino’s in for a session. If that ever happens I will most certainly chose that day to recline on Igor’s couch and do a reenactment of my blog banner. I would absolutely ask Igor to take a picture of me to post on the blog and once that was done I would immediately suggest that we up my sessions to twice a week until my Oedipal issues were worked out and it was clear what happened between daddy and me and discover how he didn’t notice my darling Mary Jane’s and hence I need Igor to notice my shoes(i.e., my attractiveness). But, I wouldn’t count on the Id ever winning. My kitten-heeled ego would never allow it.
Hey maybe its the holiday season that inspired my makeover. Nah, I think my reasons were more motivated by altruism. I didn’t want to drive my dear readers to blindness, headaches and cause other ocular strains. Back to the eyes again, I think I am noticing a theme here.