McKenzie Free

One woman's quest for greater understanding through freedom of self expression.

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

The Universe at Play

I’ve met a man.  I know, that’s how all my stories begin, but this time it’s different.  I met a man online, as I’ve done many, many times before.  He lives on four acres on the other side of the pass, 300 miles away, 12 miles outside of a town with a population of 9,000.  I live in the valley in Weird Town with a metropolitan area population of approximately 220,000, which after life in DC, London and NYC often seems far too small.

There was nothing about this man’s pictures or profile that told me he had much potential to be the life partner I was looking for.  In fact, we began talking only because when he flirted with me I critiqued some of his pictures of dead fish and told him if he wanted to attract women…pictures of dead animals weren’t the best way.  I never expected to hear from him again but, rather than taking offense, he thanked me for giving him a woman’s perspective.  Self- assured enough to withstand a little criticism was my only thought.

We began corresponding regularly, and we talked on the phone a few times, and then one day he said he would like to stop by and meet me for dinner on his way back from a clamming trip up north.  (I didn’t realize until much later that this wasn’t “on his way” but actually 3 hours out of his way!)  When I drove to the restaurant to meet him that Monday afternoon I went to meet a friend with no sense that this could ever turn into anything more.  After all, what would our options be, perhaps a remake of Green Acres?

I felt I already knew him somewhat from our email and phone conversations and thought him to be a decent human being with strong character and values.  I also love meeting all kinds of people and the more different their lives are from mine, the more intriguing I find them.  So off I went in the hope we would strike up a lasting friendship and I’d have a pen pal for life.

We met in the lobby of a restaurant, him in his sweats from his clamming trip, and me in my heels and make-up and from the moment we sat down our eyes were magnets for each other.  He not only listened to what I said, but he actually “heard” everything I said.  Not only that, but he heard everything I didn’t say.  Later he would write me when he returned home, I could see in your face and the way you moved you are strong person but yet I could feel the wanting to be fragile on the inside, the wanting to be held close, to be pampered like a lady should be, to share your heart and your feelings with another”.  When I read that line was the moment that I knew I had finally met a man capable of understanding me.

It’s remarkable to me that just a couple of months ago I said to a different man “I want to be with a man that thinks I’m amazing.  I do not want to be the woman you sleep with until you meet the one you think is amazing.”  Only a short time later I find myself lucky enough to be with a man who knows exactly what he wants, owns his emotions and shares them freely.  A man who is capable of looking me square in the eye and saying, “You’re an amazing woman!”

Last month I was asking myself “Who are these women men obsess over and write poetry about”.  This month I am a woman a man writes poetry to.  Once again, my theory regarding living life to the fullest, not pre-judging people, never turning down an opportunity to meet a new person or learn something new, has proven itself.

None of us know what the future will bring. I certainly never imagined as I got out of the car to meet this man that a short time later I would have someone to share my every thought with; someone who I enjoy talking to, someone who I enjoy sitting quietly with.  Every day truly is a new beginning and there is hope around every corner.  I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us….but I am certain it will find us facing each new day together.

The other thing I’m certain of is that our new age way of meeting, all of these dating sites (which I’m not knocking because without them I would never have found this man who lives 300 miles away from me) are meant to be only the conduit…not an end to themselves.  You can’t order up a life partner off a menu.  You can look at pictures and read profiles all day long, but if you don’t actually go out and meet people in person, nothing will come of it.  So, yes, I have spent seven years, met more men and drank more tea at Starbucks than the average woman, but I believe the willingness to give those men a chance has finally paid off.

My Love’s First Poem to Me

I will give you love when you shed a tear.
I will give you kindness to show my love.
I will give you warmth when you are cold.
I will give you strength when you are weak.
I will give you happiness each day of your life.
I will give you understanding when you’re blue.
I will give you my shoulder to cry on when sadness comes.
I will give you my arm to walk beside me as we travel this life.
I will give you my hand to hold to give you hope.
I will give you comfort when bad news arrives.
I will give you me for the rest of your life.


Crazy in Love by McKenzie James

I’m ready to fall in love;

head over heals

crazy in love with you.


I’m teetering right on the edge of the precipice

but I’m afraid to make the leap.

I’m waiting impatiently for you to catch up.


It’s a long way down if my timing is wrong

and you’re not there to catch me.

I’ve traveled there alone once before.


It’s a painful landing

and a long, treacherous climb  back

out of the abyss when no one’s there to greet you.


But I’m ready.

The sound of your voice,

the touch of your hand,

the smile on your face

have me bursting my seams with joy.


I want to stop holding back and leap

free-falling into your arms.


I’m ready.

I’m waiting.

Let’s dive in over our heads together.

Angering the Gods OR “Who has the Voodoo Doll?”

On Monday I woke up to high winds and rain and a house with no electricity. This was a minor inconvenience since I was finally going to meet a man that afternoon who I’d been communicating with online and on the telephone but had never met in person and I wouldn’t be able to blow dry my hair. I went out to the garage only to realize I didn’t actually know how to get my car out without the electricity to open my garage door for me. Amazing how much we take for granted every day. I called the office to let the receptionist know I’d be late and, smart woman that she is, she knew exactly what to tell me to do. So, my week was off to a bit of a slow start but off I went thinking I’d stop by my sister’s house in the afternoon and blow dry my hair.

I was only at work a couple of hours when I began seeing hundreds of black spots in front of my eyes. It was like looking at everything through a spattering of black paint. I called the eye doctor and was informed that this was nothing to take lightly and I should get to their office immediately. Apparently, the fear when this occurs is a detached retina. I was extremely frightened but after having my eyes dilated and thoroughly checked out was told I would be fine. Another crisis averted. Just one more thing that comes with “age” as the very young doctor informed me politely.

I was told I should not go back to work because with my eyes dilated it would be difficult to read for some time and I should stay off the computer. By this time it was after lunch so I went back home, the electricity was back on and I took a shower and styled my hair. Since I couldn’t return to work I decided to go get my nails done. I was seated in the pedicure chair only moments when the chair at the other end of the salon made a loud noise and a huge cloud of smoke came billowing out of it. My manicurist, who has known me a while, looked up at me and simply said with her Korean accent, “you should probably not leave house! Trouble follows you!” I laughed and told her that it is true, trouble does follow me. I’m certain any day now the Mayor will implement a city ordinance stating that I must warn people of any plan to visit public establishments.

I met my online date, with styled hair and painted nails, and we had a lovely evening together. The next day, Tuesday, was relatively uneventful other than a late night work meeting. That evening I got ready for bed and at about 10:30 was closing up my laptop when I began to feel a strange sensation on the right side of my face near my lip. I went into the bathroom to look in the mirror and noted my lip was beginning to swell. An hour later when my face was as big as a basketball and I looked like Will Smith in “Hitch” after he accidentally ate shell fish, I finally decided to go to the ER.

My emergency room experience could be another essay in and of itself. I was there from 11:30pm to 2:00am and was never seen by a doctor. At this point I determined my condition was not life threatening and I returned home and tried to sleep. As soon as the pharmacy opened at 6am I went and bought Benadryl. Now, three rounds of the antihistamine later, my face is looking much better although the swelling is not completely gone and I have been able to get some sleep. It seems, although I’ve had several nasty bouts of diarrhea today, that I will live.

I have to confess that so many odd things have happened in just three days that I actually emailed my ex-husband and suggested, since his new/old (he remarried his first wife) wife is the only one I know of who harbors an extreme amount of resentment toward me, that he please find where she is hiding her voodoo doll and make her stop torturing me!

I spent the night at the ER, and some time at home today, wondering what I had done to anger the Gods this much and I must confess I’m a little bit afraid of what the rest of the week may have in store for me. Stay tuned and stay alert. If tomorrow you happen to notice the sun being covered by a black cloud that turns out to be locusts descending on Weird Town you’ll know exactly where to place the blame.

Just Because You Dance at the Ball…

I just spent the afternoon with my sister taking her two little granddaughters to “Princess for a Day”. It was a fundraiser for foster children. Every little “princess” received a special invitation, a gift bag of goodies, had their hair and nails done, got to choose a ball gown and shoes, had their photo taken and were escorted to the ball by a handsome prince. All along the way were beautiful grown up princes and princesses. Inside the ballroom the girls had a dance floor where all the princess tunes were playing, a tea party was laid out for them with fancy stemware, centerpieces and all the touches that make the experience special.

From the standpoint of an older woman who was around in the in the sixties there were many things wrong with this event, least of which was the basic idea of waiting for your prince. I realized it’s already too late to dissuade them of that. It was obvious by our own little princesses’ (only two and a half and five) knowledge of the songs and desire to dance with the grown up princes and princesses that Disney has already co-opted another generation of little girls.

Among the grown up princesses there were none of color, none that wore glasses, none wore larger than a size four dress. I kept thinking that next year I should arrange a fundraiser of my own: The Alternative Royalty Event. My event would have boys and girls alike, of all colors and sizes, and they could choose among the ball gowns and tuxedos regardless of their sex.

However, let’s put my issues aside and assume I buy into the role models of our society. One thing kept nagging at me. Where were the little boys? Even if you believe it is okay to foster the idea of being a princess and waiting for your prince, how is this meant to work out if while the girls are at their fantasy ball the boys are nowhere to be found? We’re teaching the girls to have expectations that we aren’t teaching the boys to meet. Where do the little boys go to learn what it means to be a Prince? Where do they go to play Prince for a day and learn to protect and take care of their princess?

Regardless of all my questions and concerns I was able to get through the afternoon without standing on the table and screaming for justice like an older and crazier version of Norma Rae in the cotton factory. The girls were oblivious that there were few other people of color in the room and the worst thing I did was keep whispering in my great nieces’ ears:

“Remember…Just because you dance at the ball, it doesn’t mean your Prince will call.”

“You can be perfectly happy alone even if you never meet a handsome Prince.”

“Who knows, maybe another Princess will be your best dance partner.”

Like most folks who know me they simply ignored me and carried on having a good time.

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