I’ve lost that Special FeelingI’m special (special) So special (special) Gotta have some of your attention Give it to me. The Pretenders
Special to No one?
It occurred to me the other day that right now, in my life, I have no one who makes me feel special.
Family, husband, junior, friends – no one says to me, “Sharole, you are special. You have unique talents and gifts and what you do with them is very special. You should go forth and use them more often.”
It also occurred to me that the only people in my life, at the moment, who do make me feel special are people I pay to do so: My lovely esthetician, the lady who cleans my room at a hotel and makes swan towels for me, the person who creates food I eat, the complete stranger who I discuss ska music with.
So what brought this feeling up?
Well, I was ironing my bed sheets. It often is the mundane things in life, eh?
Husband’s voice came into my head, “Why are you bothering ironing the sheets? That’s just a waste of time.” That kind of comment always brings out the petulant child in me. “Well,” came my reply, “Having ironed sheets is a luxury to me. It makes me feel special. Unlike you.”
Then tears started to roll down my cheeks. The last time I felt special was because of pressed sheets.
The Last Time
It was February 2013 in Mexico and the lovely woman who straightened up our room – everyday. She left fresh towels shaped like swans on my neatly made up bed. Some days she’d leave a fresh hibiscus flower with the towels or seashells by the bathroom sink. I felt incredibly special and grateful. I would leave her thank you notes written in rudimentary Mexican with some money. Sometimes I’d leave her flowers. It was a very symbiotic relationship.
She gave me a hug when we left.
So How did this happen?
It’s a rather sad situation.
When you’re young, you think your special. All through school, you’re told your special, by some people. You head out into the world thinking you can do anything, be anything. Then you get out in the “real” world and everyone seems intent on making you feel about as special as a worker ant in the colony.
So who were the people that made me feel special?
Luckily there are people you meet along the way that help sustain you and lift you up when the rest of the world is trying to tear you down.
It was Mrs. Hike, my English teach at music school. When I chose to write about Darl in As I lay Dying she said, “Oh thank goodness! I was hoping one of the intelligent students would choose him.” She wrote me a glowing reference letter. “If you’re considering hiring her, do. If you’re considering admitting her to your program, do.” Very nice indeed.
My Grandmother in Denmark was one of my biggest supporters. Too bad she was on the other side of the world.
Every time I was with her, she would encourage me in whatever endeavor I told her about. When I wanted to sing, she said that I should just go for it. When I made her guacamole for the first time, she said that it was the most amazing thing she had ever tasted. I should come to Denmark and open a Mexican restaurant with my cousin who was contemplating cooking school. She often said, “it’s too bad you can’t stay for a while. There are so many things I need to teach you!” She could tat, make lace, crochet, bake, weave, knit, embroider, sew, garden, slaughter chickens – well you get the picture. I was honoured that of all her grandchildren, I was the one who she wanted to entrust her knowledge to. That made me feel incredibly special.
There have been others, I’m sure, but right now I can’t recall specifics.
Of course our parents, our kids, sometimes our spouses all contribute special moments to us. Unfortunately, as the years pass, these contributors feel that it’s understood that they think your special and therefore stop contributing to that “special” feeling. Honestly I’m long past the point where I expect husband to give me flowers. I’d likely get suspicious if he did.
Gifts for Giving
As the years pass and my desires for fame and fortune fade, some of my special gifts fall by the way side.
I rarely sing or perform any more. Not that anyone is asking either. It’s my husband that people ask to come over and jam. He’s a very good musician who can play just about anything. I’m just another singer and most of our friends have never, ever seen me perform. Even my ethnic gang has stopped asking me to perform. (Sigh).
I’m a good cook. Like Keith Floyd, my culinary hero, I love to cook. My favourites thing is to go somewhere and find a kitchen to cook in so I can try all manner of exotic ingredients and create wonders. Unfortunately, unlike Keith Floyd, I don’t have people asking me to come and cook in their kitchen in Provence or Umbria. I have to pay for that privilege.
I can garden and sew and crochet and knit (under duress) but all these things take time. Time that I have to spend earning a living or maintaining a house. When I get home there is barely time to cook and then relax before I must abed so I can get up and do the whole thing over again. So when I do have time I have to be selective as to which gift I will pursue. Will it be making jam or knitting my niece a scarf? Will it be harvesting the bounty from my garden and creating food or will it be sitting down at my organ and re-learning Bach’s Toccata and fugue in D minor?
More often than not I feel overwhelmed by options and so do nothing. I let what makes me special lapse into obscurity. And so we arrive at the current situation. No one telling me I’m special and myself letting go of what makes me special.
Well, what do I do now?
I could curl up in a ball and whimper but that’s hardly productive. I could make a list and then start at the top but what would that serve? Paying people to make me feel special will only last as long as my funds last and then I’d know it was false praise.
Maybe I should just feel special that my cat comes running when I call because he’s glad to see me and he knows I have a “special” way of scratching his neck that makes him very, very happy.
Honestly, I just don’t know.