Mar 14

Walking on Eggshells

walking on eggshellsShe’d walked on eggshells in hiking boots.  She’d walked across eggshells in heels.  She’d even walked on eggshells in bare feet.  It didn’t matter how delicately she stepped.  She’d tried to step around them.  She knew the eggshells would cut the soles of her feet.  And still – every day – she walked on eggshells.

She could tell you how long she’d been at it – since before she’d married him.


Every morning, she’d walk into the kitchen and there they were – the shells scattered across the hardwoods.  She would step around them and grab for the broom.  She’d sweep up the pile as he was leaving for work.  All day long, she’d walk through the kitchen and notice that the shells were gone, but the minute she heard his car in the drive, the shells would reappear.

She’d find herself stepping over eggshells for the rest of the evening.  She’d serve his dinner while crunching over shells.  She’d clean up the kitchen while stepping on still more shells.  Most nights, there was nothing she could do or say that would make them go away.  But once in a great while, she’d do something right – she couldn’t even tell you what it was, but she’d look over her shoulder and the shells would be gone. Continue reading →

Dec 13

The INFJ and the Narcissist – Part 5

beer makes the impossible possibleOften, it isn’t until after you do something that you realize how much you shouldn’t have done that thing.  So it was with marrying the narcissist.


In the flurry of preparations the morning of the ceremony, she was approached by well-wishers.  The look in their eyes should have told her something.  As over-thinking INFJs do, she assumed she needed to do more to make her guests comfortable.  Now, as she thinks back on the general mood of the attendees, she realizes those looks showed concern – concern masked by forced smiles.

What should the energy be on that big day? Isn’t it more about the marriage than the wedding?  Don’t two people grow together during the marriage?  Jitters and cold feet are present at every wedding, aren’t they?  The wedding was a formality.  The marriage was the true test of their rightness for each other.

Right? Continue reading →

Nov 13

The INFJ and the Narcissist – Part 4

the infj and the narcissist 4The narcissist held on to his money the way he held on to his image.  When it came time to plan for a wedding, she knew that being frugal was equally as important as his need to look good.  He had made it clear that this would be a small, affordable affair.  This was his second, “after all,” even though it was her first.

He did not make it clear that the planning would be left entirely up to her.


Her INFJ qualities drove her desire for a more personal ceremony – she hated being the center of attention.  This suited his desire to be the focus.  Because he didn’t have many close friends and only rarely spoke to his family, the majority of the attendees were on her side, which conveniently provided him with an opportunity to look good in front of people who didn’t know him well.

  Continue reading →

Nov 13

What Happened to Christmas?

december snow“What happened to Christmas?”

“Don’t you mean, ‘What happened to Thanksgiving?’  Didn’t there used to be a holiday somewhere in there between Jack O’ Lanterns and Christmas trees?  You remember, don’t you?  That holiday that brought everyone together for turkey and pie.”  Basil pours a cup of coffee and hands it to Gladys.

Margaret slides the pie server under another piece, “Oh, I always did love Thanksgiving.  I think that holiday was my favorite.”

Jon rolls to a stop on his skateboard, “My fav was Christmas.  Yeah….  for a kid of divorced parents, Christmas rules.  All their guilt turns into way too many Christmas presents for me.  Gotta love that.”

“Jon, dear, you know that isn’t what Christmas is about, don’t you?”  Margaret hands Jon a sliver of pie. Continue reading →

Nov 13

The INFJ and the Narcissist – Part 3

snow in the shadeShe’d filed herself down so much, she hardly recognized herself, but then not seeing herself made it easier to focus on him and his needs.

He needed the house to look perfect.  He needed the car to stay clean.  He needed the lawn to be mowed in a certain pattern.  He needed their weekends to be full of the kinds of activities that fit the image he was trying to portray.

She would cook meals that met with his approval.  She kept a list of his suggestions as to how she could better prepare his favorites.

She’d fold the towels just so as they watched his favorite shows on TV.

If she tried to read a magazine while the TV was on, he’d make fun of her taste in magazines.  Mostly she sat quietly on the other end of the couch and watched shows she couldn’t care less about. Continue reading →

Oct 13

The INFJ and the Narcissist – Part 2

The infj and the narcissist 2Those INFJ traits make for a tenacious individual when it comes to working on relationships.  She would never run out of the desire to try.  She’d contort herself into whatever shape he needed in order to make this work.

If he wanted an outdoorsy woman, she’d happily put on hiking boots.

If he wanted a woman who only had time for him, she’d quit returning the calls from friends and family.

If he wanted a companion who followed his dreams, she’d tuck her dreams away in a box on a shelf in the closet.

  Continue reading →

Oct 13

The INFJ and the Narcissist

the infj and the narcissistShe was attracted to him from the first moment they met.  He was older by a decade.  The look in his eyes made her think he’d experienced enough to have learned; and the spark made her want to believe that he wasn’t done learning.

He was drawn to her intense desire to listen, and because she was an INFJ, he couldn’t help but spill his guts.  He told her details of his failed marriage, the trials and tribulations of owning a business while raising kids, and stories of adventures in the mountains of the west.  She soaked it all up.  The more intently she listened, the more he talked.  He thrived in her attention.

The more she asked, the more he told.  The more she listened, the taller he grew and the broader his shoulders appeared.


After one intense exchange, she briefly worried that if he got to know her better, he might not be interested.  She noticed that he seldom asked questions of her life.  Would he still be drawn to her once he learned of her dreams and hopes and failures? Continue reading →

Oct 13

The Narcissistic Drive

narcissistic driveGuest Post by Zaira

When you turn down an unfamiliar road, it is uneasy. The curves and blind spots in the valleys are unsettling, but after a few whips and whirls, you start to feel the road. The car feels grounded and secure. You speed up a little and start to think this crazy road is manageable. Then you come over a hill that you hope will be the last and there is a stop sign. Screeching to a halt, you have lost all sense of security that existed. You want to turn and get off that road now, but the new direction is scarier than mistrusting the road you are on. Besides, that turn may leave you on a dirt road, in bad weather, and prolong the agony of the journey as either way is uncertain.

“I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please”
Yeeooo, standin at the crossroad
tried to flag a ride
ooo ooo eee”

Cruising along thinking my road was not so bad, getting a little better, perhaps. Sure there were hills and valleys, but I have hit the stop sign. I swerved and hit the damn sign! I am caught off guard. My security is halted. My confidence cracked. Fear of the unknown has left me unable to back up, redirect, and make a choice on direction. I have my thumb out…

“I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me babe
everybody pass me by
Standin at the crossroad baby
risin sun goin down
Standin at the crossroad baby
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down”

People are stopping. Checking out my ride. Shaking their heads. But no one can tell me what to do, which way to go. My heart is pounding…

“You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
(th)’at I got the crossroad blues this mornin Lord
babe, I’m sinkin down”

That hill was steep! You need to slow down! You have time. Pay attention and stay calm. It will be ok. It’s a long road, but you will get there.

“And I went to the crossroad momma
I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad baby
I looked east and west
Lord, I didn’t have no sweet woman
ooh-well babe, in my distress”

Robert Johnson- CrossRoads

Sep 13

“She’s a Tough Cookie”

“Your coffee’s always better than mine.”

“That’s cuz you had someone else make it for you.  Here…  have a little more.”  She fills both mugs and reaches for the half and half.

“Thanks, Ann.  Look, she’s up on the roof.  Is she cleaning her chimney?”

“Yep.  This morning she was up there cleaning her gutters and trimming tree branches.”

“Why doesn’t she hire that stuff done?” Continue reading →

Sep 13

They Need to Talk

“Jon, dear, please remove your fingers from your ears.  How will you break your fall if you should crash that board you insist on riding?”

He streaks by with an annoyed look on his face.  He doesn’t hear Margaret. He’s trying not to hear anything. Tuning them out is not possible. That’s all they do. They talk and blather on and they never stop to listen. He makes another pass and stops in front of Gladys, “If I hadn’t lost my ear buds, I wouldn’t have to plug my ears. Have you seen my buds anywhere?”

Gladys exhales a long puff of cigarette smoke, looks at Jon and says, “What are buds?”

“Speakers. Ear buds are little speakers that fit in your ears. I plug ’em into my iPod and listen to music. You know, music? I lost my buds.”

“You mean that white cording draped over that marker back there? Are those the ear buds you speak of?” Continue reading →

Aug 13

Born With Fine Wings

She was born with wings – just like everyone else in the forest.  Like theirs, her new wings were tender, fragile and craving the warmth of the sun.

In those first few years, she’d been fortunate enough to dance in the sun on the light side of the forest.  She didn’t spend a lot of time on the light side, but when she was there, she felt her wings stretch and reach and show their splendor.  She would crave that joyful feeling her whole life.


Most days she could be found tiptoeing under mushrooms on the dark side of the forest.  She kept her wings folded close to her back.  When her wings were tucked in, she felt protected and safe from harm.

When she wasn’t exploring under mushrooms, collecting rocks or planting seeds, she would venture out to see what she could see.  There she would find others – some with wings tucked in, and others with their wings spread.  Those with spread wings moved about talking of the shapes of mushrooms or the colors of moss or the mess of pine needles covering the forest floor. Continue reading →

Jul 13

When The Narcissist Leaves

I’d only seen her a handful of times since college.  She would come into town from the ranch and once in awhile our paths would cross.  My kids were younger than hers.  Her kids were stretching out in that teenage growth spurt phase.  I never seemed to recognize them.

We’d compare notes on kids and life.  Her life was foreign to me – ranch wife raising two kids while teaching in a one-room school and helping her husband as much as time would allow.

She had that outdoors look – lots of sun and wind and the way the elements make creases in places she didn’t like, but ways I envied.

One of the last times I saw her, the creases appeared deeper.  Her eyes had lost their sparkle.  She was beyond tired.  I assumed she was exhausted from keeping up with teenagers, school work, ranch life and marriage.

She didn’t have time to chat.  I didn’t ask any questions. Continue reading →

Jul 13

The EMBB – A New Category in the MBTI

“Here, let me turn down the radio.  I didn’t hear that one.”  We are driving down the main thoroughfare in town, heading to pick up Will at the golf course.  It’s sunny and warm.  We are in full-on summer mode – looking forward to running through the sprinkler and barbecue that evening.  The smell of sunscreen wafts out the window as we make the next turn.

We haven’t had a dad visit in a few weeks.

Life is good.

Somebody stop the clock.



“What did you say?”

She flicks her long blonde braid off of one shoulder, lowers the window and sticks her arm out of the car. “Don’t you think there are EMBBs?”

“What are EMBBs?”

“Well, you know how you are an INFJ, I am an ITP* and Will is an ENFJ?”

“Yeah.  Go on.”

We turn into the parking lot of the course and I am trying to figure out the letters.  E has to be extrovert.  I assume it’ll be something about her extroverted brother that is driving her nuts.

“EMBB is for Extroverted Meanie Bo Beanie.”

“Ha!  That’s perfect!  Do you think there might also be some IMBBs then?”

“Sure.  They’re just a little quieter about their meanness.”



Jun 13

When Your Best Is Good Enough

She was flitting from one to the other.  She didn’t have time to look for worms.  Many times they may have been given a bit of sand instead of a grub or a Chokecherry berry.

She was doing her best, and her best produced plump, tweeting, happy teenage Robins.

Between three squawking teenage kids, the momma Robin was moving fast.  She’d barely get something in one beak, and a second beak was in her face.  In their birdy language, they were saying, “Over hear!”  “What about me?”  “Can I have more?”

She obliged with tenderness and efficiency.

I spied them from a window.  I watched as she flitted as if she’d never tire.  I was so proud of her.  She was focused on her most important job.  I said, “Hey, you guys.  I know what my next post will be about… ” Continue reading →

May 13

One Afternoon at the Cemetery

She winds the strands of her beaded necklace through delicate fingers. Tilting her head back, she exhales, and points the ember in the direction of the couple yelling at their dog.

“What is it with people and their dogs? I mean, dogs are swell, but why bring your dog to the cemetery and then yell at it for running through the grass and sniffing at other folks?  For God’s sake!  Get that dog to a park, let it run and stop yelling at it.”

“Gladys, you’re dropping ashes on your dress. Shouldn’t you be more careful, dear?”

“Thanks, Margaret, but you know I’ve got more dresses where this one came from. It’s just a dress. What kind of pie are you making today? Lemon chiffon? Banana cream? Or blueberry? I love hot blueberry pie dripping with real cream – not that stuff they call cream now-a-days.”

“Hey, Gladys. You sure they can’t hear us? You sure I can skate off of these grave markers? Nobody’ll care, right?” Continue reading →