My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the lessons of Purple Michael

Is it just my imagination or does the internet move slower when it's raining?

It's raining, btw. Which presents a dilemma for me... my naturally curly hair grows in the damp air... I only wash my hair every other day (this is my beauty secret... keeps my hair from getting dried out) and it's usually good until the evening of the second day... and by that time... I'm home safe and sound. Well... tonight I have a function to attend after work... which means I probably should go ahead and wash this morning to avoid being a grease pit this evening, but ... with the rain... no matter what I do, it's gonna be a bad hair day. Dilemma.

I know you rush here every day to read about this sort of stuff. Riveting, I know.

I've been reflecting this morning on the wisdom of Purple Michael. BTW... for those who don't know... in my original blog, I used color coding to help differentiate between the sexes... women's names appeared in pink, guys names appeared in blue and same sex oriented people's names appeared in purple. Hence... Purple Michael.

Purple Michael has some very astute philosophies about life and I know that I am a stronger and wiser person for having spent time with him in my formative *thirties*.

One thing he would say is "don't let someone become the victim"... meaning... if someone has wronged you and your temptation is to retaliate... you shouldn't... because instead of the focus being on the wrong they did to you, the focus then shifts to whatever you did in retaliation. This has served me well... and a lot of times when it seems like I'm being forgiving and Christ-like - how I WISH! I'm really just keeping the other person from gaining victim status.

Another thing he taught me to do was look at people's motives. Why would someone come to you and repeat something negative that someone else said about you? What is there to be gained? Your feelings are hurt... your relationship with the other person is compromised... and the person doing the retelling doesn't look so good either... As a result... I try to never repeat an unkind word. However... the flip side of that... if someone says something nice about someone behind their back... I make sure that person knows about it. Everyone needs validation.

He's also taught me a lot about attitude. Dress like you're already where you want to be. Don't let people know your financial status... if you dress decent and act with class... people won't know you're dirt poor. We cooked pinto beans for our dinner while we were in production of the summer theatre shows NOT because we were too broke to go out to eat (which we were) but because we really love pinto beans. People had no idea how broke were were! Pintos were good. I had pintos for dinner last night, as a matter of fact. I don't know what we would have done during those lean summer months without pinto beans, my daddy's homemade pimento cheese and our invites to dinner by friends.

Purple Michael is such a joy to be around that he could live for a month without a dime to his name because people love having him and want to wine and dine him. I always try to be that kind of gracious guest. I want people to want me around.

That's not to say that he doesn't have times when he gets down and discouraged... but there are few people who see that side of him... he shares his joy and enthusiasm with many... his sad times with few. As a result, although he probably has just as many "down times" as the next guy... people see him as a pleasant person. I take that into consideration when I whine and complain. I want to be thought of as a pleasant person.

When we had lunch on Friday we got tickled at something Austin said and I laughed so hard that tears were pouring from my eyes. When was the last time you laughed that hard? The truth is... that over the past few years... the best laughs I have had have come when Purple Michael was around. Not everyone is naturally funny... but our best laughs haven't come from Michael's hilarious comedy sketches and one liners... they usually come from just being together and the things that happen to us and around us... a snort, a fart, a goofy thing that one of my kids does or says... is funnier when you're with someone who is ready to embrace laughter and let loose and enjoy life.

He also taught me that gifts don't have to cost a lot. One year he made a candle for me in a china cup that had belonged to his beloved Aunt who had passed away. I love teacups... I love candles... it wasn't a big ticket electronic item or flashy jewelry but it was precious to him and he shared it with me... and it has been precious to me ever since. When I moved in with Darby, he gave me a picnic basket... thinking, I guess, of the opportunity for romantic picnics in our new relationship. I never used it with Michael. But I have used it many times since and I think of Purple Michael every time I use it... and my picnics, by the way, would always do him proud. I work hard to prepare an adult picnic. No pb&j in that picnic basket! One year he made biscotti for Christmas... it was incredible! When we lived in the same time zone he used to make my very favoritest birthday cake every year - carrot cake with cream cheese icing - and he would make it from scratch... and save the extra icing so we could gorge ourselves into a sugar coma with it.

Michael demonstrated for me how to be completely passionate about the things that interest you... whether it's theatre... or family... decorating... cooking... karaoke... anything he does, he does with complete abandon. When you're with him, you feel like the most important person in the world to him.

If I was Oprah, Purple Michael would be first in line for all of my giveaways... I would give him the best theatre space, an unlimited budget to produce shows, a reliable vehicle, a beautiful home... I want the best for him and I know he does for me.

And maybe... that's the best lesson he has taught me... love well, love completely, love unconditionally, love consistently.

We met nine years ago... but it seems as if we've shared a lifetime. I'm so thankful that he came into my life...
Happy Tuesday, y'all.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to meet him soon ! sounds like such a sweetie . ( even though he is playing scrooge ) I love reading your blog :) did you have a date with OTHER guy yet ?

Heather said...

Next Guy is coming up soon... don't want to jinx it by talking about it before it happens... I'll keep you posted!

BTW, Cyndi, do you have a date in mind?


slj said...

Very nice entry....

Becky said...

I have loved Michael for years, just having gotten to know him through your words, never in person, of course. What a sweet and creative man... and adorable. : )

My daughter's in the process of getting a combined MFA/MBA in theater management and has been to Chicago a few times for theater-related things. I have a fantasy that one of these days she will cross paths with Michael.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like everyone needs to have a friend like him and to be one as well.