up close and too personal

This has been a really bad week. you know, bitter with a side of fries, kinda week.

I posted a blog about “sibling rivalry” a few days ago, and before you can say holy mother of god, my brother responded – commented – to my post. HOLY SHIT. we haven’t spoken in a while, almost a few years now, and so… what a shock. really. truly. threw me for a fucking loop. he felt the need to defend himself about something i wrote, and proceeded to rip me a new asshole in the process. honestly, i don’t need a new asshole. the thing about being menopausal, my ass grows at night.

i go to bed a size eight, i wake up a size ten.

a new asshole I DO NOT NEED. but, in the process of being reamed & vilified & obliterated, the great news: my friends came to my defense. another holy shit moment. some are long time, wonderful, amazing friends – years and years and years of friendship popping up in the comment section; and some are brand new gorgeous extraordinary friends; holy moly stunning friends commenting. and some friends didn’t want to take sides; some folks defended him and many sent me personal e-mails and called. and bless them all for being kind and generous and cool. so cool. so honest. so feisty and brave.

boy oh boy oh man.

and for a bit of time – on my blog – all hell broke lose. i did not respond. i toyed with it, but decided i didn’t need to defend myself. i didn’t need to jump in, and write an entire thesis and rebuttal point by point.

it felt much more dignified to just breathe in & out.

this (i believed) was my greatest fear: my brother would come out slugging & punching & ripping me to shreds & pieces on a public forum.
and then it happened.
my worst fear manifested.
i took a breath. and i exhaled, and, no i didn’t feel awful. i didn’t feel humiliated, or embarrassed. I didn’t feel like crawling into a ball and hiding. I didn’t feel like i needed to defend my life. defend who i am.i felt sad, and felt hurt, but i didn’t need (or want) to react. that is so fucking hard for me, to just sit back. truly, deeply painfully hard for me. i thought: this is my worst nightmare – being flogged openly in public.

but then something happened that completely & utterly made me realize it wasn’t exactly MY WORST FEAR.

i had a bigger fear.
a huge fear.
a consuming fear.

a massive fucking fear, and man did it rear it’s ugly little head.

i was in Walmart yesterday when a tornado warning hit our county.
full disclosure: ONLY MY CLOSEST FRIENDS (IN PIKE COUNTY) KNOW: i am a secret Walmart shopper.

and let me just say for the record, in pike county where i live, we are somewhat limited in terms of grocery stores, markets. i know, i know… i’m making excuses for my secret life. and i know, i know for many reasons ranging from political to personal i should not be shopping or stepping foot into a walmart or target or k-mart or starbucks. i know.


there i was, in the ORGANIC (yes, organic) produce department buying some fruit when all of a sudden the sound of thunder pounded the crap out of the building. thunder, and pellets and then… all turned dark – and no one was able to leave walmart, not one person. not a soul. it was pouring, the wind was whipping, a tornado warning. it was rush hour. everyone and everyone who needed to do some shopping was at walmart. and there i was …. the cool chick girl from new york city who moved full time to the country a little over a year ago. a year ago i was shopping in barney’s and bergdorf’s. i was buying blahniks and louboutins. i was wearing armani and prada. my ass was growing on seventy first street, not on park road. now i was wearing keds and cotton panties that bunched. last year i was saying, “hey, want my takashima gold mani-pedi card?” now i was saying to the cashier: “want my root beer float points?”

“please, stay away from the doors. we don’t want any accidents.”

there i was, one of many.
women, men, babies, retirees, teens. young. old. tattooed. pierced. skinny, obese, black, white, latino, asian. gay, straight.
waiting for the tornado.
it was fucking bleak.
the rain was relentless. shit flying everywhere.
should i start a conversation, should i engage with the guy with a hundred and eighty seven tattoos? should i ask the girl with the nose rings and eyebrow piercing if she’s okay, and wow, how do you blow your nose?

should i call ken while he’s face down on a massage table and tell him i love him so much my heart is breaking?

this was my worst fear, hands down – no contest. dying in a walmart.

the rain was pounding. blackness and winds… people huddled.

right behind me was a couple – an elderly couple. she hadda be in her 80’s. he hadda be in his 80’s. she was squeezing his hand with every thing she had. she looked so scared. so scared. he stroked her hair. i asked her if she was okay and she said… get this… she said, “as long as i’m with him, i’m fine.”


“as long as i’m with him, i’m fine.”

it’s all about LOVE, people.
i don’t give a shit where you are – walmart or barney’s ny – it’s about LOVE.

my heart made it’s way back down to my chest.
i could breathe again.

i thank you ALL – each of you – for holding – squeezing – my hand this week.
it gave me the courage to face my fear and walk through a storm.

Category: Uncategorized 11 comments »

11 Responses to “up close and too personal”

  1. Debra

    This actually brought tears to my eyes… That’s hard to do. love is what really matters… Life… Awareness of that. Life is too short to waste a moment on toxic relationships. Spend your life’s currency on relationships that tend to your heart, not the ones that break it.

    Amy, you are a treasure. 🙂

  2. Jacqui Brown

    Amen girl!

  3. Carol

    You are amazing!!!! That’s IT!!!

  4. madgew

    Great words to live by. I don’t have a walmart close or I would be there. For me it is Target, Costco and Ross shop for less. How scary after I have seen what a tornado can do. Glad you survived your week. That tornado warning served it’s purpose. Love you Amy Ferris.

  5. Hollye Dexter

    I love you so much.

    And by the way, just know this. It is simply not your destiny to die in a Walmart so you can cross that off your fears list.
    (somehow I just know this.)

  6. kristine

    Target/Walmart…I know where to find you. Sounds like you had one of those life changing experiences that make us assess what fear really is and ISN”T. So proud of you and your ability to show your real self and encourage others to do the same. A storm is a storm, and according to our beloved Dr. W. Dyer…”no storm lasts forever”.

  7. momma methane

    Its great to be in a public place where weird things could happen, and everyone behaves themselves……….it reaffirms my hope for humanity.

  8. melody george

    I love this blog…just love love love it! Because this is how Ive always seen you..always thought you to be..and the way I see you period….FULL of LOVE. I suppose that is why I wrote with such confidence when I commented during the He said/She said “bro” article that I knew you loved your brother..that I knew it deep in my heart. I knew you had no trouble defending your self..you are a writer for heavens sake..a goddess of words…you could have eviserated him with less than it takes to write a haiku if you had wanted ..But you didnt. YOU didnt! and I believe its because you have love…deep though it may be…years and years buried for mulitple reasons..but THERE nonetheless.
    You are a human metaphor for that word..”LOVE”…and what you are..is what you get back..which is why..we “L” you so very very much..

  9. Tracy


    Admittedly, in the midst of a very busy week, I never got around to reading your sibling rivalry blog even though I posted it on iPinion Wed. After reading this blog in the process of posting it for iPinion today, my heart dropped and I went back and read your sibling rivalry blog and then the lengthy comment section.

    I am so sorry you had to experience such an ugly public flogging for merely stating your own truth as you knew it. We all have and should own our own truths. Your brother owned his but at the same time chose to obliterate yours in the process.

    Whether or not our friends, family, or even strangers attempt to embrace or deny our own personal truths really does not matter in the end. It is our truth and we lived it. So go on, embrace it and give yourself a great big hug in the process.

    You are so correct…it should be about LOVE and never about bitterness, ugliness, conflict, hatred, shame, fear or negative energy.

    My own heart is hugging you at this very moment…


  10. Jesse Loren

    I love you Amy. I’d shop at Walmart for you if you needed me to. That is really saying something. Jesse

  11. Jane

    I absolutely LOVE this story. It is the perfect end to the drama.
    Wait! I can think I hear Jerry Lewis singing: “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high…and don’t be afraid of the dark…”

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