Like Robert Frost, today I’m sorry I cannot travel two roads and be one traveler.
Though I have some time left in my “decision-making window,” I have already solidified the thought that – barring undeniable divine intervention indicating that I must stick to the plan – I will cease to pursue a retail pagan-goods shop here in my little town. It’s sad. I had hoped to have a place where community learning could be fostered and religious education for all – even non-pagans – could be nurtured. (While there is a shop on the other side of town that purports to be a pagan-goods retailer, they are really little more than a “head shop.” No fostering, nurturing, or education available.)
This is what happened, has happened, continues to happen. The incident I mentioned in my last blog is this: someone (I eventually found out who and when and precisely what was said) phoned my potential landlord and told him all sorts of freak-ass stories about me (none of which are true, but all of which I know the origin) that skeered the living-Southern-Baptist-daylights out of this fella. I mean, I don’t blame him. If I thought one of my tenants was going to curse my family while sacrificing small animals on my property, I’d get a little wigged out too.
It ain’t easy being The Bad Witch in real life. For two reasons.
1) I live in a town where, despite its proximity to a large university which helps to populate said town with highly educated folk, simple-minds prevail. Not “narrow-minds” (don’t misquote TBW), but siiiiimple minds that believe whatever the most manipulating machination – well, machinates. Social engineering is beneath me – so I tend to fall victim to it. (Because if I decided to engage? As Albert Brooks asked in The Twilight Zone, “Wanna see something really scary?”) For this reason, some people take “The Bad Witch” as a literal statement of self-identification.
2) Being The Bad Witch means that I have a solid sense of my ethical-code. Sometimes I want to throw my moral compass out the window and rain a shit-storm on my antagonists. But, to my chagrin, though I must admit that I have done such vengeful destruction in my past witchery, I’ve learned my lesson, payed every farthing of the cost (or most of them anyway), and moved on. My life is peaceful and secure. I want to keep it that way. But, being The Bad Witch and having a set of real bad witches in my midst is irksome – we’ll go with irksome.
This last point is both a blessing and a curse. (As Adrian Monk would say, “It’s more of a curse.”) I see these folks and I see what they pay for their hooliganisms. It reminds me that (not to be self-righteous ya’ll -but I am a grown-ass pseudo-grandma-lady nearing her crone years), I’ve matured past all that. Wallowing in drama is not TBWs shtick. Thus the curse portion – we’re back to why I fall victim to the dramatic pot-stirring of other’s – they know I won’t fight back. (I’ve even been *disparagingly* referred to as Gandhiesque. Who uses “Gandhi” as an insult?)
I may change my mind in a year or so. But also like Frost, knowing how way leads on to way, I doubt if I should ever come back.
Rather, Imma take the other road – it looks just as fair. Irksome stone-throwing is not on the menu for me and my family this year. I have saved up enough money to start a business and keep it running for six months. Translate that to whatever it means given the cost of living in your neck-of-the-woods. Here in The Alabamaz, it’s also enough to re-side my house, buy two of my teenagers new (used) cars, and to trade in the gas-guzzler I’ve hated since we bought it for a hybrid, and begin to landscape the back half-acre of my property. All without jeopardizing my ability to pay for college tuition (which starts in 2013, 2015, and 2017 – eek), my ability to relax with my family without encouraging that stoke my doctor tells me is impending if I don’t slow down, my ability to say, “Sure I can buy you new shoes,” or “another pony,” or “that video game,” or “send you to Europe” (this is actually happening next year, btw – eek again).
I’ve made too many decisions to go from the South Side of Chicago ghetto and join the 3% (not quite the 1%) as a Bougie Witch in less than 20 years to let some upstart (my friend calls them “pimp-ass” xo) punks steal my legacy. Or my ability to go on regular vacations for once in my life.
Instead, I will do all of those things listed above and more.
You know how I said I wanted a place for community and education? The retail venue was just a means to that end. I still haven’t lost sight of the primary objective. I just have to find another road to get to my destination. And to be honest, the store wasn’t my first plan. Now that I think about it, I got talked into it. I mean, I had planned a little shop of horrors but not as the means to the community end. The two plans got conflated in a Christmastime conversation with someone who turned out to not have my best interests in mind. The community was always primary – the store subordinate. My priorities got mangled and now I feel like I’m back on the right track. And as these things do, it will work out even better than I could have imagined. My new road will be one with less stress. One less vulnerable to malicious pettiness. One that works out for me, my community, my family, and the strength of pagans in The South in general. One that’s more than a (metaphorical) stone’s throw away from the (metaphorical) owners of glass-houses.
Blessings y’all. I’m off to Home Depot with The Bad Husband.