Tuesday, 24 July 2012

December 2008

15 months. That was how long I tried to convince him not to move here. To convince him how hard it was to be with a girl like me. To convince him that no one else had ever been able to handle it before. He convinced me that when he was in love with someone as much as he loved me that he would be strong enough to help and support me through anything.                 
   9 months. That was how long it took before he left me. To be with a girl who was my exact opposite. The kind of girl he told me again and again that he wasn’t attracted to. The kind of girl I wasn’t. It was how long it took for him to stand at the end of my hospital bed, for the first time he had come to visit in over ten days, and tell me I was too much for him to handle.
   My being sick was too hard on HIM. HE was very stressed out. It was affecting HIS work. HE felt guilty. It was too hard for HIM to see me like this. HE hated spending so much time at the hospital.  At first he would just stay for shorter visits. Eventually he stopped coming all together.                               
   One night he called me while on a business trip in Scotland. As soon as he said hello I could tell he’d been drinking. A lot. I find drunk guys very frustrating and obnoxious. And terribly unattractive. This was exactly typical of him with more than a few drinks in his system. He would get loud and fall all over me and act like a jerk. I had been able to avoid this because I had been in hospital for the last five months.                                                                                                                                                 
   I heard music and shouting in the background.
“Babe!?! Babe are you there? How are you feeling!?”                                                                                                                                      
   I answered him even though I knew I did not have his attention. Some other girl had it. I stopped talking and eventually he yelled, “Why are you ignoring me!?” I told him that it was just really hard for me to be stuck in this hospital bed alone while he’s in a bar halfway around the world.
 “Hard on YOU!? Hard on YOU?! Do you have any idea how hard it is to be with someone like you?! How much easier it would be to be with a normal girl!? Everything is just about you being sick. Everything revolves around you and your surgeries and your hospital stays. I’d rather have any of these girls right now who have NO SCARS and NO ISSUES. But I won’t. If I do, then I’m the bad guy.”                                                
   The last thing I heard him say was, “Do you know how lucky it is for someone like you to even have a boyfriend?!”                                                                                                          
   I hung up. He called me and texted and finally showed up when he arrived home five days later wondering why I was ignoring him. He told me he didn’t remember talking to me at all.
 Even though we wouldn't break up until 3 months later, for me it was completely over that that night. It was like a switch turned off. I could not stand to be around him. I was one of the few people he knew when he moved here. I was the whole reason he moved here!  I felt so guilty at the thought of breaking up with him. I plastered a fake smile on my face all through the holidays and his sister’s visit from Australia. I went through the day to day feeling numb.
  When he finally came in and stood at the foot of my bed and started giving his reasons I interrupted him. “Get out.”
He looked at me. “Baby, I love you. I do. I just…”  
 “Well I don’t love you. I haven’t for a long time. Go away. Don’t come back. Don’t call me. Don’t email me. Get out of my life.”  I have never felt such relief and release.                                        
 Months later I received an email from him asking if we could talk or meet for coffee. I responded by saying that no, we are not friends, we never will be friends. I could never be friends with someone who said those things to me.                                             
  He begged me to tell him what happened that night and work through it.  When I did he said he couldn’t believe how terrible he treated me. He made excuses like it was just that he was so upset about me being sick and I had to consider he’d never been through that before. He didn't want to be "that guy" who dumped his girlfriend while she was in the hospital going through the most difficult low of her life.  He hated what it made him. He was still so unbearably selfish in his reasons for wanting to get back together.                                                                                                                              
   I never wrote him back. How could I ever be with someone who doesn’t completely love me?  For better or worse.  For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health.                                                          

Sunday, 22 July 2012

September 2002

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? 
   When high school graduation finally came to an end  I impatiently waited for an acceptance letter from the only university I applied for.  King’s College had this incredible program that would allow me to read the most amazing literature on the planet, write, listen to amazing professors and dabble in some journalism.  My parents compromised that I could go to college five hours away in the city as long as I contributed to the cost of living in residence.
    I went to class from 8:30-12:30 then hopped the bus to the mall where I worked in a women’s clothing store for eight hours only to return to my dorm room to immerse myself in my schoolwork into the early hours of the morning. 
   I had a cousin who was managing a bar downtown. One afternoon at lunch she came to my rescue and mentioned to me that there was a restaurant opening in the same building as the bar and that she would try and get me an interview with the owner. The idea of working less hours and taking in a lot in tips was too good to pass up.
 I had a bad feeling about it from the start. The owner shook my hand an introduced himself as Phil. He was tall and thin with his black hair slicked back with greasy gel and an arrogance about himself that was as palpable as his cheap cologne. He smiled from underneath a thin moustashe, and seemed to be undressing me with his eyes. He stared at my chest the entire time.
 During my second shift a group of middle-aged men in cheap suits with briefcases came in as I was stocking the bar. Phil ushered them to a table before taking a seat with them and called me over. He put his arm around my waist and introduced me to his ‘business partners’ and told them I would take care of whatever they wanted. I stiffened as he slapped my butt and told me to take care of the drinks. I was disgusted! As I was pouring the glasses I asked Becky, the other waitress, if she saw what happened. She laughed.  “Oh you just got groped! Get used to it!”   I told her I was planning on telling him off but she cornered me. “Listen, I know he’s a scumbag, always wanting us to wear these skimpy skirts and show us off to his sleazy friends. But so what he cops a feel every now and then. These men have money and they throw a lot of it around here.”
  From then on I tried to avoid Phil as much as possible. I would busy myself with work and always gave my tables away to the other girls whenever he was entertaining his shady friends. I don’t care how good the tips were. The thought of his greasy hands and beady eyes made me physically nauseous. 
   One sunny fall afternoon the restaurant was bustling with people, many of whom were enjoying their lunch out on the patio tables.  I was walking towards the patio with a tray piled high with nachos smothered in cheese, salsa and sour cream when - BAM! My face collided with the glass of the patio doors. The nachos were clinging to my clothes. The cheese was running down my chest.  My face throbbed.  I could feel warm blood running down my face. The couple who had gone outside last jumped up and started apologizing profusely for closing the glass doors, which we always kept open for easier access to all the patio tables. The lady was stuffing napkins in my hand telling me to bend  my head back to stop the bleeding. I apologized like crazy for wearing their meal while holding napkins to my face and picking the plates off the floor. I kept my head down willing myself not to cry and look even more of a complete mess.  Everyone in the restaurant was staring at me. I was mortified standing there full of food with a nose bleed when Phil comes over. He grabbed some more napkins and started to wipe away the cheese across my breasts.  
“Get OFF me you pig! I can’t take it anymore! You treat us like a bunch of strippers with your disgusting groping and your sleazy friends! I can’t take it anymore! I QUIT!” 
   With blood running down my face, tortilla chips and salsa smeared all over me I walked back to my residence humiliated and crying. Later, I found out that I had a hairline fracture in my left cheek.  At the time I had no way of knowing the most embarrassing thing to ever happened to me would also turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. If I had not quit I’d have never started working at in the little bar my cousin managed known as ‘The Tickle Trunk’.

I never would have met the father of my son. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I'm On Pins and Tweedles

Follow me on Pinterest - Pinterest.com/MissJaneSpring 
See all my favorite things in fashion, beauty, my home and craft projects, music, books & more! 

I'm also addicted to Twitter - Keep up with new blog posts, gossip, and the general craziness of life!
Follow @missjanespring 

 Jane xo

Monday, 16 July 2012

It All Started With The Lipstick

It's 3a.m. and I'm sitting in the bath letting the cool shower rinse away the humid summer day and the sweet sweat that still smelled like my favorite perfume even after hours of dancing. I am sore and exhausted. I feel amazing. My feet are throbbing in sync with the bass of the music still pulsing in my ears. These are the wonderful kind of aches. The ones you earn and the ones you would turn right around and go out and do again and again because it is so worth it. The kind I get hungry for. Not the usual pain of my body's relentless rebellion. I close my eyes and enjoy an amazing oblivion of drowsiness. Half of the reason I was still awake was because I wanted to revel in the enjoyment of my body being tired from physical exertion. Usually every evening I will gradually slip into a foggy stupor as my medications effectively start blurring the lines between asleep and awake. 
The other half of the reason is because I want to replay the night and make it stretch out as long as I can. Nights I am feeling good and able to get together with my best friend, Nicki, are few and far between. She's in a career which has her travelling a lot. We jumped at the chance to catch up and gossip. To be the versions of ourselves we can only truly be in the presence of a friend who loves you no matter what. 
          It all started with the lipstick. I never wear lipstick. I don’t even own lipstick!  But for some reason I swiped Nicki’s deep rich crimson across my lips and there was a change in me. The girl looking back at me was not pale and sickly. She was porcelain and alluring. Her long plushy eye lashes fanned and beckoned to be looked at. This girl was not sick or scared. She was carefree and confident. We were having so much fun doing makeup and catching up, laughing and gossiping that when it came time to go we were in such a giddy state we practically ran into the club all dressed up and ready to seize the dance floor. I felt like the kind of girl I'm usually looking at and wishing I could be. Nicki and I laughed and danced and danced and danced. 
Eventually we needed drinks and took our place in line at the bar (vodka cranberry for Nic, water for me).  Nicki nodded in the direction of two very good looking guys in line next to us. Any other night I would have half- smiled looked away and stared at the floor.  The girl with the lipstick smiled openly at them and they eagerly accepted the invitation and came over. They introduced themselves and bought our drinks.  Nicki being Nicki grabbed the taller of the two boys and pulled him in to the chaos and called for us to follow. The guy with me was tall and deliciously scruffy. He had a shyness about him that only added to his attractiveness. He made polite conversation before leaning into me and saying, “You are very beautiful.” I smiled coyly and told him the truth. "It's an optical illusion. I don't exist when the lights come on." He laughed  at my odd answer. He put his arm around me. His hand came to rest in the small of my back and my body shivered like static sending tiny vibrations to parts of my body I had long ignored then forgotten about. They seemed to jolt awake like an electric shock. It had been years since I'd been remotely close to a boy. I decided to let the lipstick girl take over. We danced, flirted shamelessly and shared one very intense goodnight kiss.
  I turn the water off and wrapped my head in a towel. I wipe away the steam on the mirror. Even after all the dancing, showering, and one wonderful good night kiss, my lips still looked bee-stung plump. The guy had asked me for my phone number. All the way home I thought of all the wonderful little possibilities that could happen for the girl with the lipstick. When I said I was an optical illusion I meant it. I look normal, even pretty, to everyone else. But now, looking down the mirror at my naked stomach, every scar, every stitch, every pain, I see all the reasons why when he calls, the girl with the lipstick won’t be there to answer the phone.

…but maybe tomorrow I will go buy some red lipstick of my own.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

July 1993

   At age 11 I began my love affair with books. Reading had become a therapy. More than just that - an escape. My grandmother had this amazing house with so many nooks and crannies I tirelessly explored to cozy up and read.  Along the front of the house was a sun room with a hodge podge of couches padded with blankets and old chairs. If that room could talk it would tell of lazy summer days, and hot chocolate under the stars. It was there that I fell in love with L.M. Montgomery and all the wonderful meadows, and sprawling green farms and peppery stories of another time and place.   
          The “secret” place was just inside the coat room under the stairs. Just in the foyer there was a place for hanging coats, but inside there was a place just big enough to have a soft place to read and even a small window. There I fell in love with Francie Nolan and resolved that she was who and what I wanted to be in life. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn still holds the hopes and dreams of what I wanted to do. Who I’d hoped to be.
          Grandmother had the most amazing typewriter. It was huge and bulky with individual keys and manually fed paper. It was yellow. It was perfect.
          I remember being in my room just writing and writing. When I wasn’t writing I was indexing my library just as an excuse to type as much as I could. It was frustrating and slow work. I loved every bit of it.
          I wrote stories. I wrote stories about writing  stories. Even with today’s technology, if I had it, I would use it. It was real. I connected to it. No screen, no lights, no windows, no templates, no tool bar. Just me and the words.
          It was always a thrill to sleep over Grammie’s house. At bedtime I was able to have a bath in the huge white claw foot tub. I remember how she always put out a Donald Duck soap dish just for me for me and getting to dry enveloped in plush towels.  Then, the very best part of spending the night at Grammie’s house - going to bed.
          It may sound odd and it probably was. Most 11 year old girls who have sleepovers share gossip and do each others hair. I’m sure young girls stay up all night long. Not me. Grammie’s bed was one of my favorite place in the whole world.
          After drying off and a sprinkle of rose scented talc she would take two stuffed animals down from their perch so I could sleep with them. Two dogs, “Pinky and Greenie”. They only came out to snuggle when I was there with her. She would tuck me into bed. Heavenly quilts, crisp, cool sheets, Grammie tucking me in tight. I felt so safe there listening to the faint music and crackles of the vintage radio on just loud enough to keep me company and lull me off to sleep.
          My grandmother does not live in that house anymore. Before she moved I wrote notes about myself and what life was like when I was eleven.  I wedged one in behind a brick in the fire place. One in the secret place, and behind a old Santa sign that stayed in the sun porch all year round. I wonder if anyone has found them. Maybe a young girl will find them someday.
          When I visit back home and drive down that street I miss my castle filled with all the stories I have read. The ones I want to write. Places filled with Grammy’s quilts, rose scented talc, and my imagination. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

March 2007

"For those of you who don't know Jane had her surgery on Sunday night. Afterwards she ended up in ICU for 48 hours. After having a pretty good day on Wednesday things took a turn for the worse. Her temperature went up to 104 and has pretty much stayed there since. After what seemed like a million painful investigations to see where the infection was coming from, a cat-scan finally revealed between 7 and 10 abscesess throughout her abdomen. The two largest ones were immediately surgically drained and they are trying to get rid of the other ones with various antibiotics. Jane's been having a rough week having a lot of pain since Wednesday. If the antibiotics don't work in the next couple of days the infection will then have to be surgically removed. This is why she hasn't been able to return calls or see anybody. I'll up date with more news as it comes. "
Marion Spring
Facebook March 2007

Prelude to A Dream

 My mind has been a running narrative ever since I can remember. Playing out scenes, capturing nuances of people and places that intrigued me, sketching them in my mental notepad. What took me so long? I suppose I was waiting for the story to change. To write itself as a love story with a tragic heroine, tumultuous rocky beginnings all made worthwhile in the happy ending. That is not my story. This love came to me smooth and perfect like sandblasted sea glass. A curious beautiful mystery that was simple and comforting and wonderful. My ending may be tragic. But the story in between, my life, those are the happy parts. And, honestly, who would rather have a happy ending than a happy being?

For the longest time I held firm in the belief that I was the master of my destiny. That sort of be-all-you-can-be-you-can-do-anything-if –you-put-your-mind-to-it crap. I considered, finally, that it is better not to decide the outcome of your own story in advance. That maybe there was something to be said for serendipity. As terrifying as it is, deciding to let the narrative play out on it’s own, without imposing outside co
strictures, is liberating. Much like prying open a long forgotten attic window, casting aside cobwebs to make way for fresh paint and a new lifetime worth of memories. Isn’t that what happens in the end anyway? Life has its way with you – not the other way around.

In many ways life is like a painting.Hey! I can see you rolling your eyes. And yes, this does sound unbelievably cheesy. Sometimes I just feel like my moods swish from haze to sharpness with no visible rhyme or reason. Close inspection yields chaotic messiness, so confusing in the blended areas that when you look close enough you can’t tell where one color ends and another begins. Sometimes determined to finish a straight line or complete an arch or skipping and splattering haphazardly, ending up in exactly the right places. A work-in-progress never makes sense. And when the moment comes that the Cosmic Artist sets down his palette, surveys the whole picture, stretches the canvas, and frames your world, can you step back and see that from far away, your life is really, really wonderful?