Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ask DeeDee

Yesterday, right before guests arrived, I sprinkled baking soda and a few drops of lavender essential oil on the carpet and then vacuumed it up, and bippity bop, it smelled so fresh. I’m not an expert on cleaning, but I have some good, fresh tips. I’m not an expert on love, child-raising, job-leaving, tough jams, but as a friend wrote in my high school yearbook, “You seem to always know what I need.” What you need is not always what you want to hear. These questions may rattle in you like that cracked liberty bell you keep in your stomach, because they are true. You may accept or dismiss or file away my advice. I put it out here like verbal baking soda and essential oil, that there may be some soaking up of pain, some resetting back to a neutral, more peaceful spot for you, some good freshness that you deserve today.

Q: Why does a pedicure feel almost like a spiritual event?
A: Actually, washing feet is a religious rite and a hospitality practice of ancient civilizations, so I would say that it runs deep in you, sister. To be welcomed, to be helped out of your shoes, to have your feet washed and rubbed…there is submission in it, there is humility, and there is love. I thought all of this while my toes were drying.

Q: Everything my husband wants me to do, I don’t want to do, but only because he wants me to do it. It’s like, I WANT to go to the gym, but when he asks me if I went to the gym, or if I’m going to the gym, I suddenly don’t want to do it. Why do I get like that, like a child?
A: You are obviously suffering from merinthophobia, the fear of being bound. You don’t want to be bound to things you’ve said that you want for yourself. We hate to have our dreams shoved in our faces by people we love. It’s that or marrifusia, the confusion suffered when a woman can’t tell if the man she married to is her daddy, her savior, her conscience, her drill sergeant, her boss or her mirror. He’s your man. Tell the truth or lie, but do it with confidence. Own your actions or your inactions, and then he won’t be confused, either.

Q: When someone who has no children complains to me about being busy, I just want to laugh in their face. I want to say, “You have NO idea what busy is.” That sounds so harsh but it makes me mad. Why does it make me so mad?
A: Let me get a little harsh with you and tell you that I’ve got a brain surgeon on the line, and she says she wants to laugh in YOUR face and say that YOU don’t know what busy is. It is, of course, all relative, but what’s important is that in that moment, you and the brain surgeon have imagined separation. That your pain is different or more or less when it’s all the same pain, and I just want to ask you: can you look at a friend and see her pain? When you can, you won’t take her comments like a stab in your belly. Ahh. Deep breath.

Q: What is the best beauty product you’ve discovered recently?
A: Sally Hansen spray-on pantyhose.

I’m not kidding about the spray-on pantyhose. I’m not kidding about the rest of it, either. The questions of my friends, their predicaments, my own predicaments, they assure me of how important it is to stick together, and to find people to trust and keep them close. And treat them to pedicures – maybe at your house next time. We all need and deserve that kind of hospitality.

Have a question for me? Email me at