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  • Lindsay S. Wheeler

No shoes on the couch

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

She said “you’re a mess”

“Wash your hands when you come inside”

I grew up, stopped playing in the dirt

She said “tone it back”

“Be just enough of yourself that you won’t intimidate the boys”

“Men always wear the pants,” she said

She said I’d never find someone to put up with a personality like mine

I took ADD pills to tone it back

I focused, ate less, and wore her clothes

They never really fit

She said “cheer up, you have everything”

So I cried alone in my car

I cut holes in leather to free myself

Escaped to my own sad world

So I could blend better into her perfect one

She said “I’ll always be there”

“I’ll watch you walk down the aisle”

“I’ll do your hair in a bun with messy waves”

She said I’d be beautiful someday

She said to walk like a robot but talk like a lady

She said no shoes on the couch

“They will tarnish what is perfect”

I took my shoes off

Stopped bringing my ugly into her home

She disappeared for months at a time

Said I was still “too much”

I spent years trying to rid myself of the “too much” in me

I became too little sometimes

She took from me what she didn’t have

Gave away my secrets like free furniture

The sanctity of my trust

Left at the end of a very long driveway

She said “turn down your music”

It wasn’t ladylike to play sad songs so loud

“Sad music is for sad people”

“And your life is perfect”

I went for the lead role in her story

To find she didn’t need me

She was a one-woman show

And when I stopped acting

The curtains closed

And I never saw her again

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