Common Ties and Common Ties

Hey Look!

I came home from a crappy day and look what was in my email box!

Dear Nancy:

Thank you again for submitting your story, "Fooling Dolores," with Common Ties – we have been sorting through a large number of submissions, and we have chosen yours from among them!

We are very excited about your story – now be sure to pass it around and check often for reader comments!

Congratulations, and thank you for your powerful contribution.

Common Ties is "an interactive story blog," that publishes personal accounts or stories about events in everyday life. This is how they explain it:

"It is based on the hunch that people write best about what they know best - their own stories and the stories of those around them. This is journalism at its most intimate; real stories of real people that illustrate who we are and how we are connected."

It's like the online version of NPR's "This American Life."

Even better- if they want to publish your story, they pay you!

This news couldn't have arrived at a better time. I came home from seeing private psychotherapy patients all day, the last of whom had just lost her father, and the kitchen was a mess. In fact, the entire newly cleaned house was once again, trashed...muddy dogprints, the detritus of a day of boys being home sick, dog hair...

I was feeling a little cranky when I opened my email.

But with the good news, I felt much better. I wanted to share it. And when my family's reaction was considerably underwhelming, I burst into tears at the dinner table and fled to my bathroom where I sat on the potty and felt real damned sorry for myself.

All I could think was, my dad would've been excited. He would've said, "Oh, honey, that's great!" He wouldn't have asked the kinds of questions that poke holes in the fragile balloon of happiness. He wouldn't have been teenaged-boy disinterested.

Even in the midst of blowing my nose on tissue paper and snuffle-sobbing, I knew my reaction was not exactly rational...it was, in fact, totally off the wall. Worse, I had no idea what would make me start sobbing at the dinner table.

And then I remembered my last patient of the day. Hello! Her dad just died. She is dreading the holidays and it was my job to affirm her feelings and help her sort through the memories of holidays past.

I did this so easily. Too easily, in fact. I even wondered why it didn't seem to bother me at all.

Remember, I am a trained psychotherapist.


So, I crawled out of my self-pity opt, apologized to the family, and still just miss the hell out of Dad right now.

Shortly before he died, he went to his filing cabinet, removed a green folder and handed it to me. The folder had my name on it. Inside was every newspaper clipping, every review, every picture of me that had ever been printed...And this included the picture of me as a Girl Scout in Sixth Grade, marching in the Memorial Day Parade.

There was no love like my Dad's unconditional, no-holds-barred, love. And I know at least one other person right now who feels the same way...and if I think about it for a nanosecond, I know a lot more...It's tonight's common tie, I guess.

God, I miss him swell.

1 comment:

Teena said...

Hi Nancy! Congrats on Common Ties!

I just finished "What Stella Wants" and wanted to tell you that really enjoyed it. I loved the characters and thought the writing was a hoot! I'll definitely be looking out for the others in the series ... I'm looking forward to them :)