anne lamott-your words crushed my heart



I sure got my feels in a twist this week over something, so after tweeting about it for a couple of days, and it still not feeling right or complete, I decided to go ahead and blog about it.

I’m talking about fallen icons here. About true apologies. About championing the downtrodden. About mean girls. About people revealing their true nature. And about just doing the right thing.

I wouldn’t say she’s been a hero of mine but she has been someone who’s words I deeply admired. I’m talking about the writer Anne Lamott. She’s written a whole lot about being real, telling your stories, recovery, speaking your truth–things like that. She also looks the “real” part with her 60-something white lady dreadlocks. I thought of her as a hippie, a person with some life experience, a person with a unique voice.

Well she used that voice this week to cause real harm. And apparently she’s standing by it. I usually don’t want to repeat terrible words to propogate them even further but in this case, this post only makes sense if you read them. So here is what “real progressive” Anne Lamott had to say about recently revealed (as in just barely recently like she’s just been born recently) Caitlyn Jenner:


Yeah, I felt like I’d been hit with a spear right in the gut and sat there saying “WHAT THE FUCK?” to myself. I may have even said it out loud. It was the very last thing I expected to hear from Anne Lamott about someone so new, so vulnerable, so real.

Anne Lamott called her a mannequin. And she is continuing to do so as, even with thousands of “calling out” type tweets, even with her removing the second offensive tweet, she stands by the mannequin words. Her words, the ones that popped in to her head, traveled down her arm and through her very own fingers in to the twittersphere.

Even with all of that, she stands by her “mannequin” slur. It’s astounding. And it leaves me with only one conclusion: it’s how she really thinks about Caitlyn Jenner.

Why does this bother me so much? I’m not even sure I can answer that question to myself. Maybe through writing this I will. I’m a middle aged white heterosexual woman without even one transgender friend (yet). I have a transgender client who I really admire. I have a gay brother so there’s that. It’s not like this world is super personal to me.

But, I can say this. I was deeply moved by Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer. I kept it on my DVR to watch again when I need a good cry. I sat on my white living room feather sofa bawling my eyes out, stopping occasionally to process. It really hit me in the feels in a deep way. I don’t know why but it did. I just know I’m not alone.

He was identifying as Bruce in that interview so I will refer to him in the male pronoun for that purpose. He talked about a lifelong struggle with his gender identity. He shared about this prevailing in his childhood trying to manage it. He revealed how he actually started transitioning in the 80’s, taking hormones then, but stopped due to the extreme pressure he knew he was under.

How incredibly sad! We as a culture did that to him–not blaming you or me just saying, our ignorance forced him to sublimate something so basic to his own human nature for DECADES.

I guess I can relate in a very very small way to this having suppressed some of my own stories for decades. I was terribly abused in childhood by my stepmother–physically and emotionally. She stopped attacking me physically after I kicked her back down a staircase at age 19 when she came after me with a kitchen spatula about my head and upper back chasing me up the stairs. All because I intervened with her vicious attack, with that weapon, on my brother for no reason. I was in college when that happened. It had been going on for nearly 10 years at that time.

Yet I didn’t start talking about this, even in my own family, until I was 50 years old. I suffered major anxiety problems in my early adulthood, depression, relationship failures all while being highly successful in other areas. I identified this abuse in therapy and it’s impact on me. The fact my father brought her in to our home and did not protect us–yes all of those things I dealt with behind closed doors and still didn’t discuss it in my own family. For decades.

And I’m a regular person, not an Olympian, no one would ever put me on a cereal box for anything. Yet I hid a secret that shaped so much of my life from everyone for most of my life. Maybe that’s a tiny bit of why I cried so hard when I saw Bruce coming out with his struggle. It’s a brave act and not for the faint hearted. Yet when he said something like “I just couldn’t hold it back anymore” I related to that.

So would the Anne Lamott I’ve known and admired. She talks about telling your stories. In fact this quote has guided me in terms of revealing awful family truths in my own memoir I’m writing right now:


And she judged this vulnerable woman, who has just cracked out of that egg and still sitting in a nest, over her looks. Rather over her choice of how she wants to present herself.

How fucking shallow.

And might I add, this is from a 60 something white woman who chooses to present herself to the world with dread locks native to countries I guarantee she has no biological roots to. How ironic.


How ironic also that Lamott was tweeting about fearing falling off a high place right before she tossed herself right off her own long earned mountaintop. (I do believe great teachers deserve reverence and being looked up to).

At first I thought she had relapsed. She was doing this random tweeting with a friend on a road trip. It was so out of character and frankly, just so mean.

I’ve now drawn the conclusion this was just like a couple of mean girls tooling down the road in their car on an adventure bitching about someone they don’t like “oh did you see her stupid sunglasses? OMG!”.

Yet they did it out loud. For the world to see.

People want to rush to judgment calling it a “mistake”, something she’s “learning from”, something she should be given a pass on.

I can’t go there, at least not yet.

After a day of glib tweets about the Grand Canyon (while she was sitting in her own as chaos erupted and she ignored it), she finally issued a lukewarm apology. To the parents of transgender children. Again, WHAT THE FUCK? Where was/is the apology to the people/person she actually offended?

Those wanting to see her as they always have glue their rose colored glasses tight to their faces claiming “whew! she apologized!”.

Yet the “mannequin” tweet remains, out and proud. She kept it up there because she believes it.

She believes this person who was globally culturally identified as a HE – MAN gracing cereal boxes due to his PHYSIQUE and PHYSICAL PROWESS facing down a lifelong struggle and presenting to the world who she really is, is reduced to how she did it in a magazine shoot.

That my friends is Anne Lamott to me now.

I’m thinking a lot about mistakes and forgiveness right now because of another relationship in my life.

I land on this.

I’m just mad at you because now when I look at you, what you just did clouds my vision of who I used to know you to be.

For me right now it’s less about what Anne Lamott did but more about who she is. And now I need to be proven wrong. One window has already passed and the sands are slipping through the hourglass of the next one as it opens.

I will get over this. She’s not that important to me. Yet when I feel a need to champion a person who is being marginalized whether it’s Caitlyn Jenner or Travis Alexander in the grave, I will use my voice. Right up until the time I feel I need to stop using it.

I will add that I’ve read some truly inspired words out there dealing with this soul twist debacle and here is one of them.

One final shoutout to Caitlyn from another Glamarama who I find totally real even with her extreme boobs and makeup, the incomparable Dolly Parton.



rescue part one



my phone wallpaper-everyone thinks this is me

Hang on to your Perfectionism readers, this post is about to go all Anne Lamott on you and tell the raw badass truth about something that’s on my mind that I gotta deal with. And it’s one of those I’m just gonna say this one time deals.  In fact, I decided to write it just so I have a link to send people who piss me off/offend me/step on my sensitive bits are well meaning as I do think I will be facing more of this little issue as time goes by.


First off, I was inspired by this piece I read this morning.  It really hit home for me. I highly encourage you to take a read.

Please Don’t Envy Me:  The Facebook Status Everyone Should Read.

Blogging is interesting as you put yourself out there, you also invite opinions and feedback.    Often anonymously and from people you likely will never meet.  Then you have to figure out how/if/when to respond to that.  Or not at all.  It’s not for the faint of heart or those without armor which actually kind of describes me.  So we fumble and stumble our way along.  There are no real rules.

I was confused when I shared with a friend that I was just coming up for air from my vacation meltdown in a text last week and she responded “well you’ve done a good job of hiding that on Facebook”.  Like everyone airs their dirty laundry on Facebook!  Hmph!  No one wants to read our shitty days, then we chastise each other for not being real.  Ok, well, maybe Facebook is the land of scrapbooks and rainbows but my blog is my blog and I get to say anything and everything I want.  I think that’s kind of the point, right?  I might start getting more down and dirty on Facebook as well.  You’ve been warned world.



I’ve been thinking about a couple of words lately that get a bad rap:  needy and rescue.

I’m going to explore both of these more in depth as time goes by but for today I’m starting with rescue, but not in the way I had intended.

I’ll just say it out loud, proud and again.  I’m getting a puppy.  In fact, I’ll be purchasing a pure bred Cockapoo puppy at about 8-10 weeks of age from a breeder sometime after the first of the year.  A breeder that’s been personally recommended who I’ve done a lot of research on so let’s get that out of the way and done with.


Now I would reconsider this decision if someone would find me a male, pure bred Cockapoo who’s in the color family of buff or apricot or white or cream who comes with a one year health certification and DNA testing on the known parents who is 8-12 weeks old having been raised with it’s mother in a loving known family environment for all those weeks.  I’d adopt that puppy from a shelter in an instant!  I’m on the Cockapoo Rescue mailing list and they’re doing great things–for adult dogs needing rehoming.  I salute them but it’s not my cause, at least at this moment in life.

So many things have been made hard in my life, so many curve balls.  Taking this step with some kind of ease and knowing what I’m getting for lack of a better phrase is something I feel absolutely deserving of.  In fact, I feel smart to do it this way.


how could you resist?

I’m not sending this out to any one person in particular but I am sending it out to a certain mind set.  It’s been annoying interesting to note that once I started talking about getting a puppy, people felt the need to chime in their opinions and at times flat out admonitions, that I should rescue a dog from the pound/street/shelter.  And that I should get a dog, not a puppy and outline the reasons why.

I realize that most of this has to do with their own projections and I’d like to get to a stage in my life where I just breeze past naysayers and opinion givers and do my own thing.  Maybe I’m one step closer in declaring this as the one and only statement I’ll make about it then shut up and go about my bidness.

I was never blessed with having even one baby in my life.  It’s one of my life’s greatest sadness and personal tragedies although I rarely think/write/speak about it because it’s just too heartbreaking.  It’s not that I didn’t want to be a mother or didn’t try.  It just didn’t happen for me and I have a life that’s devoid of the many many experiences that motherhood brings you.  It’s more of a question mark in my life than an understanding and has a profound impact on the woman I am. There, I said it.


And, to complicate things further, I’m one of the most maternal people you could meet.  Go figure.  I should have had a child.  But I didn’t.  It wasn’t in the cards for me.  And there it is.  As simple as I can make it.

The best I can come up with is that somehow I was chosen, by the Powers that Be, to be the last one holding the torch for my entire lineage.  And I do think I’m up for the task and it was a good choice but not without sacrifice.

For me, this idea of having a puppy is awakening all of those maternal feelings in me (as I typed that I just saw a hummingbird jumping from tiny flowers outside on my patio).  It’s giving me a chance to experience that feeling in the only way I can imagine it happening for me.


Now don’t get me wrong–I’ve had cats most of my adult life.  I’ve had kittens even.  My two cats I have right now, Sabine and Coco, came to me as kittens.  Both rescued.  All of them rescued in fact.  I’ve rescued kittens /cats my entire adult life.

This feels different.  Caring for a puppy feels like a completely different relationship.  More demanding yet more rewarding in some way.  I can feel it in my bones.  I feel this thump thump thump inside my heart like a heartbeat calling me to itself.  I don’t know any other way to describe it.

Those of you who have had babies I invite you to ask yourselves:  was waking up in the middle of the night and arranging your life around that infant worth it or was it just one big stress ball in your life and that’s how you remember it?  When you compare it to say, caring for a sick adult, the same kind of demand?  Did it feel like you were getting something back very unique and not received any other way?

I won’t get a baby in this life.  It’s not in the cards for me.

But I will get this puppy.


I have spent the last two months researching and will spend the next two or three setting up my home/life (there’s the hummingbird again) to invite this new precious baby in to my world.  I just bought a book last night on how to raise a  puppy and have another on the way!  I have found a “pet resort” literally walking distance from my home that offers training classes, grooming and boarding if need be.  I’m going to learn every single thing I can about raising this puppy and being the best “Mommy” I can be. I’m taking most of the entire year of 2015 to make this my focus, forego the kind of traveling I’ve been doing and I couldn’t be more excited!  I have the time and resources now and dammit I deserve a relationship that has the unique kind of give and take almost everyone I know with dogs brags about.

It’s kind of weird even for me as I always, always considered myself a cat person.  This came out of the clear blue a couple of years ago when my neighbor Tom was walking his new dog Webster (a Tibetan Spaniel) and Webster ran up to me and jumped on me and I fell instantly in love.  I still feel that way every single time I see Webster and warn Tom he might go missing some day.


Why am I doing all of this justifying?  I don’t know.  I guess I need to get it out of my head and on paper and have a link to just send out when these judgments and projections come flying my way.  Like here is my response to that.  Or maybe this is just my declaration to the world to hopefully stop.

What I want to ask is this:

If someone told you they were thinking of having a baby, would your response be “think of all the needy children who need homes in this world! How selfish to want your own baby!”.

If someone told you they were building a new home, could you imagine a response “but there are so many fixer uppers out there, why would you consider something new?”.

Is there something about my life that would invite “Kathy would just be so much more awesome if she did just a little more rescuing.”?

And please don’t insult me by telling me “a puppy isn’t a baby” because I might just tell you to fuck off.  I’m not stupid.  But this puppy will be my baby and I have everything and more than most any other human being on this planet has, to give it.   I’m ready to open my life and my heart in to this new magical world of being a dog owner.  I’m ready for an intimate relationship like this that I can call my own.  I’m ready to go for walks and hikes and wake up in the morning to this little face greeting me with love. I tingle just thinking about it.


I have a life filled with rescuing.  I’m ready to be rescued.  I feel it coming with this little fur angel, in so many ways, most of which I have no idea what they even are.

I have a dream, a STRONG CLEAR DREAM and I’m following it. Every time I’ve followed a dream like this it’s set me on a new magical pathway.

Please don’t bother me with limited thinking. I’m not telling you how to live your life and unless mine or someone else’s is in danger, I’d prefer you to be the same with me.

I invite all of you reading to consider what dream of your own are you shutting yourself off to because someone told you you shouldn’t/couldn’t do it?

In the meantime, I’ll be over here reading Cesar Milan, obsessing over puppy pics and figuring out where to put in a doggie door.


I mean!