The General and I are just back from Old Orchard Beach in Maine which is the sleepy, predictable kind of holiday that I often really enjoy. The lush, yet austere landscape of Maine and the cottage itself are hugely significant to The General since he has enjoyed many golden-hued summers there as a child and because it’s still a property that is “family owned” you can sense the tradition and memory as the key turns in the lock.
The very first time I was here and the door creaked opened to the warm – but not unpleasant – smell of humidity and age, I was nearly overcome with a sense of Those-Who-have-Gone-Before-Us.
It was just like being invited to a crazy, crowded party where everyone has convened in the kitchen, chatting loudly and you have to enter sideways with your bottle of wine, introducing yourself.
Except that the kitchen was empty.
I am often very sensitive to this type of thing so I wasn’t unduly freaked out and besides, the vibe was friendly enough but it did serve to re-ignite a really unsettling feeling that I often experience now which is being super conscious that I am still, and possibly always will be, The New Girl.
And what can I do? There’s simply not enough time for me to be fully accepted and it makes me acutely aware that I no longer have the extended family that I was comfortable with when I myself was married. Strangely, for example, I knew my ex-husbands’ parents more than twice as long as my own.
I am not a fan of this feeling but don’t know what to do about it.
I often feel as though as I am driving a motor boat and pulling behind me three decades of memories that just won’t drop the line. Continue reading