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Life is a Dammit Rock

Models Fall Down


The story goes like this: on a family vacation long ago – back when our big, extravagant grandfather hosted big, extravagant getaways for the whole extended lot of us – we all found ourselves on some tropical island together. Barbados, maybe. During the week we were there, the whole bunch of us would head down to the beach each morning – cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nannies – and each morning, my father would trip over the very same rock on the same pathway down to the shore. And each time, he would yell, “DAMMIT!” Every. Single. Day. So on the last day of vacation, on our way down to the beach, my youngest cousin (3 or 4 at the time), adorable in her sweetness to this day, called out to my father, “Uncle Bill! Watch out for the Dammit Rock!”

I think of this story often, always with a mixture of tenderness and sorrow. Because don’t we all have a Dammit Rock (or two or ten) that continues to trip us up throughout our lives? And since most of us don’t have the benefit of an adorable tow-headed cherub to tell us, “Watch out for the Dammit Rock!” we continue to trip, painfully, over the same flotsam again and again. Would we even hear her if she did?

Like my father, I am clumsy. I literally fall down, all the fucking time. Ice, dogs, shadows, rugs…there’s pretty much nothing I can’t find a way to fall over. I eat spectacular shit no matter the occasion, the footwear, the familiarity of the terrain – no goddamn matter. And I almost always hurt myself – badly. I have had at least as many X-Rays as Evil Knievel and have accepted that it’s only a matter of time before I begin to actually glow in the dark. Or grow one of those tiny me-twin tumors that look like goiters but are exponentially more terrifying. The more imperative it is that I maintain grace and dignity in any situation, the more certain the odds that I will end up ass-over-teakettle on the ground, likely having opted for *commando* as the favored underwear option that day. It’s all very predictable. And yet, I still put on the heels, I still forego the underpants, I still look everywhere but down when I walk – still do all the things that pretty much guarantee I will continue to single-handedly put my orthopedists’ children through college.

There are other, less literal but every bit as damnable Dammit Rocks. Boys; the ones I favor being too young and/or broken to possibly NOT end up crushing me. I know they’re broken, I know they’re dangerous, I KNOW that I’d have much better luck finding some squirrelly meth tweaker to fall in love with than a beautiful, broken, too-young boy. And yet I do it anyway. Not often. But the outcomes of these infrequent trip-ups are so dizzyingly bad that they run a pervasive course through my entire life. It’s not that I forget, when the next one comes around. It’s not that I don’t see it. I know the Dammit Rock is there and that I will definitely fall on my face. But time after time, I fail to give a fancy fuck. I still take the same path.

Tolerating the intolerable. Fixing the unfixable. Tending, mending, managing problems that are not my own. Rescuing – people, pets, itinerant workers…ignoring red flags or painting them pink, with glitter! Entrusting secrets to *friends* I already kind of know cannot be trusted with them. Speaking before filtering. Moving to strange places and gaping, amazed, at the loneliness. Leaving my family and then aching for the comfort of them. Needing help and refusing to ask. So very many Dammit Rocks.

Is this Human Nature? Or just my nature? Are we supposed to keep fucking the same shit up until we finally learn, by vast experience, not to? Or do we just keep clambering up and down the same rocky path forever, paying the price for our stupidity in bruises and scabs? I  don’t know.  The way I see it, my own options are few, and none of them particularly appealing: I can blanket my home in porn-shag and stay in my onesie forever, avoiding the perils of Outside altogether; or I can pick myself up, put my heels on, aim straight for the rock, and hope to fuck I don’t fall. Or perhaps I can just learn to be more careful. Rein my shit in. Proceed with caution. Wear sensible shoes. Put on some goddamn underpants. Avoid the rocks and the strays and the love and the pain. That, I’m sure, is the answer. And it sounds perfectly awful.  It sounds like defeat. It sounds like surrender. It sounds, to me, like death.

So at the risk of, well, everything – I think I’ll stick to the path I know best. I’ll keep falling down and fucking up until I finally get it right, or not. For better or worse, for as long as they keep making Percocet and Lifetime movies, I think I’ll take my chances with the Dammit Rock, dammit.


What are your Dammit Rocks, my friends? Share in the comments if you’d care to make me feel better about myself.







January 17, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I love this story and your writing. Interesting, amusing, touching and valuable information. My dammit rock is food. No matter how hard I try to eat healthy (I know how and even like it), I always end up in the field of Twinkies.

    Comment by spacurious | January 17, 2014 | Reply

    • But they’re so fucking good, Twinkies. Especially deep fried. Maybe I’m not helping.

      Comment by Marie | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  2. Sadly, I’m my own Dammit Rock. Hell, I could be strutting along barefoot, looking at my feet, and still trip over that sonofabitch.

    Comment by Laurie | January 17, 2014 | Reply

    • Truth, sister. You are not alone.

      Comment by Marie | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  3. This post hit home with me Marie and as always, you had me nodding my head and laughing. I keep literally and physically falling over dammit rocks everywhere I turn — another one last month has me sidelined for months. My fourth consecutive year. Sigh. But you’re right, even after the lounge-y months ahead, I’ll still get back out there – but hopefully avoid those dammit rocks more often. Hope you’re on your feet again soon….take care of yourself!

    Comment by Laura B | January 18, 2014 | Reply

    • Awww, B – I know you are like my Shitty Knee Soul Sister. I was actually thinking about you last week after this last fall, and marveling at how you managed your way around in high school after your horrific injury. Mad snaps to you, my friend. oxo

      Comment by Marie | January 18, 2014 | Reply

      • Ha! SKSS — I like that! My latest is a ski accident with torn ligaments…surgery in Feb. You? Boo hoo! Instead of Mad snaps, how about some Mad Schnaps! Take care…

        Comment by Laura B | January 18, 2014 | Reply

  4. OH Miss Marie!

    I am sorry… I hope you are feeling better soon…

    My Dammit! Rock… I think is Fear… The fear of the fact that I may never meet a man that made me feel the way 1 man (whom we will call “officer soulmate”) did. When we last spoke/blog commented, I had made mention that my mother had passed and my relationship (“Real Love Partner”) of 8.5 years had crumbled. I was bitter, maybe still am. I loved this man who was my life partner that I was with, I still do… but when he asked what it would take for us to get married… I could not answer him. I could not answer because while I love him with all my heart, something holds me back. Something that I do not feel that other man, (officer soulmate) whom I considered my soulmate made me feel. I compare all the people I have ever been in a relationship with or dated and I can honestly say, No One… has ever made me feel the way that officer soulmate did. I ask myself, did I trip over that Damnit! Rock with my Real Love Partner? Am I or have I passed up what could’ve been the best relationship I have had to the present or may ever have in the future all because of a feeling that had occurred almost 15 years ago?!? Am I going to repeat tripping over that Rock as I continue searching for someone/something that may or may not exist?? Or worse, only existed in officer soulmate? I have not the answer… I keep getting told that time will tell… but I am not a patient person. Why can’t we just get this shit over with ?! SERIOUSLY!! Until then, I, like you, will be going commando in the attempts of attracting a mate with a lovely large wrapped package. I may even put a bow on it. 🙂 I luckily don’t have the issue that you do as I do not wear a skirt.

    Love and Light!

    Comment by whiteknightix | January 21, 2014 | Reply

    • Ahhh-haha!! OH, honey – sometimes *not* feeling something you did with someone else is a good thing. Especially if that relationship flamed out. The absolute love of my life made me feel an aliveness and excitement that I’d never felt before or since. But he also broke my heart into ten thousand scorched, shattered pieces. Now, 10 years later, I know absolutely that the “aliveness and excitement” were actually just the constant churning of fear and anxiety – never letting my guard down or relaxing fully into myself or him because I somehow always knew he’d do what he did in the end. I can only speak for myself, but suspect you may have something similar going on. I’m just suggesting you very honestly identify what *that feeling* you’re missing really is. Then decide whether missing it might actually be a blessing. xoxo

      Comment by Marie | January 22, 2014 | Reply

    • I love this post, Marie. And, to Brant…I can relate to everything you said here. It took me forever, but what I found is that once I just got out of my own way, and stopped over-thinking everything, the right person found me. Sometimes, your “officer soulmate” is so appealing because you can’t have him (or in my case, her). Sometimes it’s because no one else makes you feel as “good” about yourself as he did. Either way, for me at least, I had issues with confidence…looking back…and sometimes even now I miss the way my “officer soulmate” made (helped) me to feel…but the other 95 percent of the time, she sucked…I mean, she was great, but so bad. It was like up and down. In retrospect…I thought I needed that, but it was the worst thing for me. Anyway, I hope you find your lovely, large, wrapped package with a bow on it…and that you don’t trip and fall too many times along the way:)

      Comment by Kristina Harman | April 7, 2014 | Reply

  5. this reminds me of something ann richards said, it’s not more shit. it’s the same shit, over and over again

    Comment by silenzio | January 24, 2014 | Reply

  6. brilliant as always, funny, sad, hurting my own heart reading your words and then thinking you’re brilliant again, as I read your last paragraph….oh how I wish you’d see what I saw! Love, T

    Comment by Tiffany | January 25, 2014 | Reply

  7. Great post. I dunno, I seem to find an infinite field of new dammit rocks, however carefully I manage to navigate around the ones I’m far too painfully familiar with. Is a new dammit rock as good as a holiday? Is the key having a well stocked first aid kit and getting really damn good at bandaging one-handed? Risk adverse kills the death of a thousand papercuts. Recklessness is a swift death, and pretty as a firework. Is there something else? Adventure? Where you pack hiking shoes to go mountain climbing, and tell a friend where you’re going? This is the question I find myself asking in mental health all the time – I hate the agony, but there’s got to be a better alternative than sanity. Right?http://skreece.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/mental-health-needs-better-pr/

    Comment by sarahkreece | January 26, 2014 | Reply

    • Exactly, exactly. Agony sucks. But sanity kills. Thank you <3

      Comment by Marie | January 27, 2014 | Reply

  8. My Dammit Rock is guys who truly love me…within their own limitations. I know I can’t fix them, and I really try not to. But I find sooner or later, they are not capable of what I want and what they want to give me. They need too much fucking work for me to stick around 10 years and see if they can figure their shit out. Sigh.

    Comment by A | February 10, 2014 | Reply

You got a problem with that?

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