Thursday, May 8, 2014

Eatin' Good on the Coffee Table

Last night I had an old friend over to see the new place and have some girl time. I took a little extra care to make a nice spread for us - a few delicious cheeses and sausage with rice crackers, red quinoa sushi, mediterranean dip and falafel chips, and some red, red wine. I banished the dogs to the basement (everyone except Amelia who had already put herself to bed for the night) and set everything out on my new serving tray on the coffee table. I lit a few candles. It was lovely, really. *Hostess fist pump - YEAH!*

Then someone woke up.

I returned from a quick house tour and invited my friend to sit down to eat.

"I am SO excited for you to try this sush..." I trailed off, looking around for wherever I had placed the sushi as it was no longer on the serving dish.

The wheels began turning.

"It's gone! It's gone! The sushi's gone!"

Amelia poked her head out from behind the couch, looking sheepish but also brat-ily licking her lips.

I'll admit it: some expletives were said/screamed, some unpleasantries were exchanged between me and my sweet, sleepy eight-year-old baby. She just looked at me, so proud of herself.

Then I noticed the cheese - or lack thereof.

A nice sliver of herbed brie, a big ole' chunk of smoked cheddar, half of a summer sausage - all gone, too. The serving dish bare. G*%%A$(& Amelia!!!!!!!!!!

In short, my dog had a $22 dinner last night. No biggie.

All I can say is that I HAD a nice spread, plenty of food, for my dear friend. But by the end of the evening, I was offering her leftovers from the night before. So far I am really nailing the hostess with the mostess thing, aren't I?

Icing on the cake: Amelia whimpered and sighed with an upset stomach all the live-long night.

Ah, the joys of dog ownership.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Once You Pop...

(You know the rest:) ...The Fun Don't Stop.

Thanks for that, Pringles.

In this case, once you pop...away from blogging for a day, it's hard to get back. But at least I have a good excuse for two plus days off the wagon:

I'm - ACHOO! - a mess.

Our new place is wonderful and delightful, and also veryyyy lush with trees, and plants, and flowers galore.


It started with a sore throat on Monday morning and went quickly downhill - who knew that allergies could feel so much like the flu? Shiver me timbers.

Anyway, here's what you missed:

Me coughing a lot // Me yelling at Rooney // Me yelling at Amelia for begging to go outside and then wanting to come right back in // Me telling Mar she is the best little gal ever // Me doing laundry // Me wanting to go outside in the beautiful day but then being too scared // Me shamelessly watching reruns of "Sex and the City" that I have seen no fewer than 100 times a piece // Me feeling worthless about the job situation and then pumping myself up and then feeling worthless again // Me perusing for jobs and then getting bored and then forcing myself to look again until my eye balls bleed // Me - ACHOO!

Get the picture?

Regardless, I hope you are having a lovely week and that we can wax poetic in this space again soon, maybe tomorrow?

For now, I am going to go dry cough into my elbow, and tug at my itchy ears like a baby, and count down the days to my last-ever day in this office: two and a half weeks from today! Hurrah (also: eeeeeeek!)


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Weekend Recap

First weekend in May and oh what a weekend it was. I mean, I guess. It was a low-key and productive weekend, just how I like 'em. (Minus feeling ick part of the time.) But anyway, here's a recap.

Friday: A long and harrowing day at the office was made brighter by the promise of an interview this coming Wednesday. The position is marketing manager for a large practice of veterinary surgeons - quite different from what I'm doing now but thinking maybe it could be a nice change for a while. Flexible, fun, and challenging. Would be great to grow my marketing skills since now I focus so much on the writing, editing, and production sides of media. I also think it would be so fulfilling to work for the betterment of animals every day (and get to play with them and take silly photo shoots and Tweet about them, etc.) 
Only my favorite couple evah - in one of my fav cities evah.
The evening was made up of "Sex and the City" reruns (including sobbing to the finale - I mean, has any show ended on a more fulfilling high note?!), wine and Thai with dear friends, and falling asleep on the couch during "The Amazing Spiderman" before 11 p.m.

Saturday: A failed attempt at getting a pedicure, wandering aimlessly at an art show feeling confused, giving up and having a margarita and people watching instead - then seeing "The Amazing Spiderman II" with D and the same dear friends. Enjoyed the movie, save a few lines from Jamie Foxx (did I make up that his last name has two Xs?), who plays a nice-guy-turned-bad-guy that runs on electricity, or something?! Worst (and also best) line of all was "It's my birthday - time to light my candles" before blowing up some shit. Andrew Garfield is such a handsome little thing - and he and his real-life gal Emma Stone have great chemistry. Sad ending, though. Man, superheroes always have it rough, don't they?
Spidey and his girl, Gwen.
     Spent the rest of the evening feeling ick and moaning loudly on the couch (much to David's chagrin). After some gnashing of teeth, I cracked a beer like a real man and we watched a lovely film "Short Term 12," which made me sob like a fool. Check it out if you have time (and like high-intensity emotional movies).

Sunday: Today was the best kind of Sunday - ever long. I hope the rest of the night continues that way. We slept in, were lazy with reading and coffee, strolled around Potomac Mills shopping (scored a new black suit with pants and a skirt to go with it, plus a shirt to go under it - all for under $200 - thank you Nordstrom Rack!), grocery shopped, made it home to the puppies and to do yard work, bought some new plants and flowers and potted them, cleaned up the house. Not bad since it's not even 8 yet, huh?
Our lil' front stoop. The Azaleas are finally starting to bloom!
     Somehow I still have some energy left but I will save it - soon figuring out dinner then lounging like a lug for the Sunday night shows - my favorites! "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men" then off to bed to dream of the week ahead. More interviews? More beautiful weather? Feeling ready for whatever it is. So thankful for a weekend that allowed me to recharge.
     Hope your weekend was exactly what you needed it to be.

In summation, my weekend was grand: dirt under my fingernails, a lot of romantic entertainment/good crying, and Spidey.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Proof I Wrote Today

A Friday Haiku (Or Two):

Alone on the couch
Crunching on tortilla chips
Friday, I'm in love

The weekend is here
So many chores to be done
Let's eat pizza now

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ending On a High Note

It's hard to feel like the beginning of something new is really the beginning - it always seems to feel like the middle or the end. Am I making any sense? It's rare that a "fresh start" feels fresh at all - except like the freshness of a deep wound, the newness of a heartbreak. It often feels scary, or frustrating, or unremarkable - kind of like the middle does. Or it just feels like the end overshadows that new beginning. The way things end means a lot - means everything in the moment.

The day I left The-Place-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named a little over two years ago remains one of the top five best things that has ever happened to me. I strolled into my last day with my Obama t-shirt on and without any stockings on and wore a shit-eating grin all day. The detailed procedures and files had been delicately prepared, checked, and explained to the person who needed to know. The deal was done. The clock was ticking. A few coworkers gathered sheepishly for cake and I don't even think I had any. I remember sitting there and watching everyone around me like I had stepped out of myself for a while - I wasn't even gone yet but I was already on the outside looking in. I'm sure I held conversations and joked and laughed, but I don't remember much of it - except one thing.

As an aside: In the weeks leading up to that day, I had been having a hard - not because I didn't want to leave (Lord knows, I couldn't get out of the door fast enough) I just felt like no one really cared all that much. That the late nights, and extra responsibilities, and pinch hitting I'd always stepped up to do had been irrelevant, a waste of time. How silly of me. As much as I am tempted to feel that way in my current job sitch, I stop myself. You should never apologize for giving 110 percent. You should never apologize for working hard and doing the right thing. If your partner, or friend, or employer doesn't appreciate it - then maybe don't stay with them too long, but never be sorry you did your best.

Back to the "one thing." My old boss had been frustrated that I was leaving and didn't take it well; we didn't talk much those last few weeks. So I was feeling a bit down and alone (despite my joy!), and I'll never forget one of the head honchos, who was a Good Ole' Cowboy and not someone I thought too fondly of, showed up to the tail end of my sendoff. He asked if I was staying in publishing and I told him I was.

"Good, good," he said in his slow drawl. "You have a real knack for this work; you'll be a true asset wherever you land."

Wow. As much as I had wanted to stomp out of that place with my middle fingers in the air (sorry, mom) I was so humbled in that moment. Sure, we hadn't seen eye-to-eye and he hadn't been an advocate for me all along, but he reached out in kindness as he sent me on my way - ended things on a high note. And it stopped me in my tracks.

There's something to be said for that. And as much as I want to buy this Cafepress shirt (thanks for sharing, Al!) and wear it on my last day here in passive-aggressive defiance, I (probably) won't:
If this is lost on you, I work in a cold (frigid?!), quiet, all-female office. Got it now?
Yes, the last two years working here have been trying, lonely, and deflating, but they've also been some good things, too. My time here has taught me to think on my feet, analyze a problem from multiple different sides, consider the bottom line, juggle a million things without hardly ever dropping one, and not panick in the face of chaos. It also has forced me to grow some semblance of a backbone and stand on my own two feet. This place has made me a little bit of a warrior, and for that I am grateful.

Am I ending on the note I wanted to end on? Am I walking away with a perfect plan of next steps and a cushion-y cloud to land on? Am I completely at peace with these last two years? Hell no. But I want to depart with a grateful heart. I am trying to move on to the next thing with a lightness of spirit, with an amnesia of the last five years - all the crying, and stress, and PIMPLES, and condescension, and not sticking up for myself, and extreme burned-out-ness - and free myself from it all.

I hear there's very little traffic on the high road.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Right Now - Hump Day Edition

Wednesdays are good and hard - hard and good. In one sense, VICTORY! You're halfway there. In another, GUH! Two more days to get through. It's a silly little day and I'm especially tired tonight - so it's a double whammy.

My brain is empty, so here's a peek at what's going on in my living room right now:


The stars of "Arrow" - dayummmmm.
-David is watching "Arrow" and I'm listening in and turning frequently to catch glimpses of the lead character's abs and/or his "blue steel" expressions. It's a little bit corny-cheesy but I think the narrative is interesting and it's definitely full of fun action. A perfect "popcorn" television show, as David calls it. (And lots of cuties, too!)

-I'm drinking red, red wine from a plastic, plastic cup. The picture of class over here.

-I've got my legs up on the dining room table next to my laptop as I type. Beside them is a sloppy stack of papers covered in numbers and scribbles - the fall out of the "family budget meeting" we had a few hours ago. I reeeally hate numbers and hate them even more when the numbers are...less than desirable. It's gonna be a cruel - cruel summa - now the money's (going to be) gonnnne.

-My toenails and fingernails are TOW' UP FROM THE FLO' UP. I don't know who I am anymore. Once upon a time, I kept my nails and toes painted in bright, fresh colors weekly, sometimes multiple times a week. I don't know where that woman went but she ain't here no mo'. I'm going to try to do something about that this week so I can get back to feeling all fabulous and successful and shit.

-Today was another soggy, rainy day in a string of three days of nonstop rain. It felt gloomy and gray and blah but I found a few things to be truly grateful for despite the crappy weather:
Fav couple of all time??

     -I just got to watch one of my all-time favorite episodes of "Sex and the City" - episode 11 "Domino Effect" from season 6, part 1. So much fun drama with Steve and Miranda sensing old feelings emerge, Charlotte having a personal breakthrough with her journey trying to conceive, Samantha finally opening herself up to Smith, and Carrie plunging herself in and then out again of the never-ending "Big Dance." I love how everyone gets even play in the episode and has equally amounts of "stuff" on the line. Carrie's closing remarks are so simple yet poignant. "It was a shift imperceptible to anyone but me. But I knew Big's heart had closed again. Maybe it would reopen in another five years, maybe it wouldn't. But I knew myself well enough to know that that's not enough."GAHHHHHH 

    -An hour-and-a-half phone conversation with my big sis never feels like a chore. The older I get the more I realize what a TREASURE my siblings are - they are everything to me. (And since they are basically the only ones who read this blog: I LOVE YOU BEANS!)

     -My building has a parking garage so I was able to avoid the onslaught of rain and get to and from work relatively dry - not everyone is that lucky.

     -I was reminded today that IT CAN ALWAYS BE WORSE. A close friend of mine who was born overseas and is not a U.S. citizen had her identity stolen recently and cannot work in the States right now. Not that she can't FIND work, she literally CAN'T work right now. So hard. She is my hero for not giving up and deciding to make the best of it. And also the reason why I have no excuse to whine about what's going on with me right now. It can always be worse, people. Sometimes it sucks to hear but it can be the thing we need to hear to snap us out of our pity parties. PERSPECTIVE, man

-Roo is sitting at my feet tootin'. I can't tell a lie.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Funny Men

It doesn't matter if you're a six-foot-tall Calvin Klein model, if you can't make me laugh there's just no chance, buddy. (Unless you're Colin Firth, he always gets all the chances.)

A man who can make me laugh is better than one with riches, great confidence, intelligence, athleticism, anything. David and I have been through times of plenty and not so plenty, times of joy and times of struggle, but no matter what we've always been able to get through with the help of a little laughter. David sings, and parts his hair down the middle, and talks in accents, and cracks corny jokes - he makes me laugh every day and it makes all the difference.

My love for funny men came about from the geniuses I grew up watching next to my sisters, snuggled together on the couch. Those are some of my fondest memories. And whether together or countries apart, we're always quoting our favorite lines.

For me, it's gotta be the classics. Who are your favorite funny men?

Billy Crystal
I've gotta start with Billy because we're currently watching "700 Sundays," his HBO special and it was the inspiration for this piece. I fell for Billy in "When Harry Met Sally" (DUH) and "City Slickers." I loved his sarcasm, his wonky voice, his bite-size size. I loved how he wasn't Mr. Handsome or charming, he just seemed like a regular guy you knew, some guy who used to date your sister or second cousin. Even now, years later, he's still hilarious and quite a storyteller. David is pretty hard to please when it comes to comedy and he has been cackling at the special all evening. It makes me so happy to see him smiling on my TV.

Favorite movie quote: "Had my dream again where I'm making love, and the Olympic judges are watching. I'd nailed the compulsories, so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount." -Harry Burns, "When Harry Met Sally"

Steve Martin
Don't tell the rest but Steve is my favorite. "Father of the Bride" quite literally shaped my childhood expectations for parenting, tennis shoe companies, backyard weddings, and meeting successful/ handsome bankers while traveling in Europe in your early 20s. Steve's physical comedy is what struck me from the beginning - I'd never seen a joke carry from someone's words to a swinging movement of his hips or flailing arms. It was mesmerizing to watch him. Through other movies I loved, "Father of the Bride, Part Two," and "Three Amigos" and "Parenthood," etc., I realized this wasn't just a great role or two; this was Steve Martin himself. There is just something so warm about him (even when he's playing a jerk in "Shop Girl") - and his banjo playing is incredible!

Favorite movie quote: "I'll tell you what I'm doing. I want to buy eight hot dogs and eight hot dog buns to go with them. But no one sells eight hot dog buns. They only sell twelve hot dog buns. So I end up paying for four buns I don't need. So I am removing the superfluous buns. Yeah. And you want to know why? Because some big-shot over at the wiener company got together with some big-shot over at the bun company and decided to rip off the American public. Because they think the American public is a bunch of trusting nit-wits who will pay for everything they don't need rather than make a stink. Well they're not ripping of this nitwit anymore because I'm not paying for one more thing I don't need. George Banks is saying NO!" - George Banks, "Father of the Bride"

Robin Williams
OK so Robin has less of the fatherly vibe and and more of the oddball uncle feel but who doesn't love their oddball uncle? From classic comedic roles like "Miss Doubtfire" to sob-inducing dramas like "Patch Adams" and "Dead Poets Society," Robin is consistently witty, relatable, emotional, and sassy. He, too, uses physical comedy to deepen his jokes and make that much more of an impact. I always loved the dramatic flair he worked into his roles - impersonating an elderly european housekeeper, donning a red nose to cheer up pediatric patients, and inspiring young boys to change charge of their lives. He taught me it was OK to laugh, even when you're uncomfortable or heartbroken. And Lord knows I have carried that like a torch for all my days.

Favorite movie quote: 

-Mrs. Doubtfire: "Sink the sub. Hide the weasel. Park the porpoise. A bit of the old Humpty Dumpty, Little Jack Horny, the Horizontal Mambo, hmm? The Bone Dancer, Rumpleforeskin, Baloney Bop, a bit of the old Cunning Linguistics?"

: "Mrs. Doubtfire, please."
-Mrs. Doubtfire: "Oh I'm sorry, am I being a little graphic? I'm sorry. Well, I hope you're up for a little competition. She's got a power tool in the bedroom, dear. It's her own personal jackhammer. She could break sidewalk with that thing. She uses it and the lights dim, it's like a prison movie. Amazed she hasn't chipped her teeth."


"I was going for a kind of a refugee motif. You know, 'fleeing my homeland' kind of thing. But look at you. This lovely Dances With Wolves motif. What's your Indian name, Shops With A Fist?" -Daniel Hillard, "Mrs. Doubtfire"


"IT WAS A DRIVE-BY FRUITING!" -Mrs. Doubtfire, "Mrs. Doubtfire"

Ah, they don't make 'em like they used to.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Oh Motha'

Took a little break from blogging this weekend to hang out with this little duderoni and his mama:

If you missed them, check out Thursday's post with some angsty, young-adult poetry, as well as Friday's post recapping some of my all-time fav childhood books. Don't forget to comment with some of your favorites.

This weekend I was able to witness in-person just how hard and yet rewarding it is being a mother. It's an all-hands-on deck, constant attention, never-stop-moving role. I was in awe of my friend's (seemingly) endless energy and thoughtfulness toward her son. Her care surpasses checking boxes on a chore list and extends to making the extra effort to make him smile or show him something new about the world - not once in a while, EVERY DAY. And she works full time. This woman needs a medal. It also was crazy to see so clearly how being a mother has changed my lovely friend in so many amazing ways. Her love for her son is tangible and I think that's why he is the most happy, content, and curious (almost) nine-month-old I've ever met. Even though just watching her made me tired, somewhere in the back of my mind I felt myself starting to believe I can maybe, perhaps, I hope be a mother one day.

Keep in mind, I grew up around babies and mothers - young and old. Looking back on my youth, I think my mother made it look easy - bouncing a baby on her hip, soothing a cranky toddler, checking spelling on someone's homework, heating up some apple cider on the stove, talking on the telephone - all while having perfect 90s hair and the body of an 18-year-old. She seemed to take it all in stride - and to even enjoy it most of the time. (I guess I was too young to witness some of her early meltdowns. ;)) Of course, it wasn't easy. Raising six, eight children simply cannot be. It's not logical. No, she was not perfect but she loved us fiercely and still does. I have never questioned that.

My mother's mother, my grandmother, passed away in 2010, a few months before our wedding. As I've written about before here, she was a loving, talented, faithful, and magical woman who had a profound effect on every life she touched. She was taken FAR too early in her life - and her loss was felt by the flocks of people who came to her funeral. She and my mother didn't always have the best relationship but they had a special connection, as my mother was my grandmother's only child with my grandfather. My grandparents later divorced and my grandmother remarried, eventually giving birth to three more girls - my mom's step sisters. The hole that my grandmother's death left in my mother was shocking. I think early on I thought, "Give it a few months and mom will be OK." And now I better understand that my mother will never be OK without her mother. Just as you and I will never be OK without our mothers. Yes, we will get out of bed in the morning, dress in the darkness for work, force down some buttered toast, and face the day, but all of it is done with a piece missing. An essential piece of who we are. So, we will limp along through life without them.

Mothers, you amaze me. Where would this world be without you? You represent an eternal optimism, a hope for humanity that cannot be shaken. Thank you for being so selfless and hardly ever sitting down. For creating magical songs and games to bring us out of our sadness or boredom. For supporting us through our wildly nonsensical adventures. For meeting new boyfriends and fianc├ęs and partners with endless optimism and love. For always bending and stretching our family circles to welcome new members with open arms. 

And thank you for never, ever giving up on us.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Defining Moments - Childhood Book Edition

Remember that school program Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R)? Gosh, I miss the 90s. My mom either invented that or just heavily capitalized on it, because once we grew too old for naps, she encouraged quiet time or silent reading time every day - alone in our rooms with books and barbies and the doors shut. Of course this was something we - or I, at least - hated and then grew to love.

It was my time to get away from the world of big sisters who were "too cool," and crying babies, and chores, and homework. It was my time to get lost in the pages of a book, to climb outside of myself and explore with reckless abandon and wonder. And the books I read and loved growing up helped define me. I can't wait to share them with my children and my nieces and nephews one day.

 What were some of your favorite childhood books and why? Here are just a few of mine:

Oh, these stories. One of my all-time favorites was Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and the No-Quitters Cure. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was my whimsical, dreamy grandmother-nanny, who could fix anything from whining and bad attitudes to scraped knees with her magical cures and charms. Before I have children, I am going to re-read these books.

Yes, this book, the one you give to expectant mothers? Maybe I stole it off of my mom's shelf and refused to give it back, but holy cannoli: I loved this book growing up, and to this day it still makes me ugly cry SO HARD. Such a beautiful narrative of a mother's love for her child.

Amelia was MY GIRL, my mentor, my confidante. She was just the perfect mix of Lucy from "I Love Lucy" and Pipi Longstocking, and there are few other characters in the HISTORY of fiction that I could (and still can) relate to more. In her charming klutzy way, she would ruin - and then save and then maybe ruin again - the day, but always with love in her heart, a smile on her face, and that daggone bonnet-hat-thing on her head. Plus she was ungodly lanky - what more could an awkward 10-year-old ask for? 

Ohhhh, Miss Rumphius - she was so beautiful, so classic-ly ageless, and so lonely in her secluded little cabin. I felt for her deeply and I was so moved by the hand-painted imagery - especially those gorgeous little flowers. American Book Award winner - 'nuff said.

Jan Brett, the storytelling sorceress, was my favorite author from the dawn of time until, maybe, college? I cannot tell a lie about this. I loved her stories and the beautiful artwork that lined the pages of her books. Everything looked so realistic. It didn't feel like kiddish "filler" art. "The Mitten" drew on my love of animals, the wonder of long Virgina winters, and the magic of the forest coming alive as soon as humans turn their backs. Not to mention, the concept of losing things, as is my signature. Great, great stuff here.

This, too, is sort of a book for parents, I feel like? You know, individuals who can comprehend the level of love, sacrifice, selflessness, and emotion behind bringing life into this world. But anyway, it spoke to me so deeply - again, the striking artwork, the lush dream-world feel it carried, plus the touching depiction of a parent's love for his/her child. Also one that still makes me cry.

Mmmkay, I maybe just shrieked and filled up with tears upon remembering this one. Carl was the most capable dog around - doing the Christmas shopping and wrapping on time, babysitting the kid, dolling out hugs and kisses when his family needed it most. I was obsessed with these books, as our childhood pup was a sweet Rottweiler named Maggie - the most loving and gentle creature you could imagine (unless you were livestock). My little sister would have tea parties with her and she'd follow us around the farm and sunbathe on the front porch. My love for dogs began with Maggie - and Carl.

Have you read this book? This should be required reading for all adults. I mean it. It was perhaps the first-ever self-help book. In it, the adorable little blue engine isn't sure if he can make up over the crazy, scary mountain - and he tries and fails and tries and fails - but he doesn't give up - and eventually he makes it over the mountain and saves the circus, or the small town's economy, or maybe both, or whatever. 
      WOW. I was reading this in elementary school. I was inadvertently learning that adversity is GOOD for us. CHANGE and FEAR are things we must face. "I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN," the little engine says at the beginning of his journey. The power of positive thinking. One of my favorite parts of the book (and I think this is from the book and not the movie that followed it?) is the part where the engine hits a rough patch in his ascent and begins sliding back down the mountain. "I THOUGHT I COULD; I THOUGHT I COULD; I THOUGHT I COULD," he says desperately. Openness, honesty about our struggles. HOLY CRAP I DON'T THINK I CAN DO THIS BUT JUST HOLD ON. This is powerful freaking stuff - all in the pages of a children's book. I look back at it now and marvel at the messages shared: "YES, WE CAN" (Obama owes royalties) and "WE CAN DO HARD THINGS" (a lotta' people owe royalties). They still ring true for me and you all these years later, whether we're able to see that through the fog of everyday life or not. Let that be a lesson to all of you - and to me, who needed to be reminded of this today - I THINK I CAN. I THOUGHT I COULD. I THINK I CAN. I THINK I CAN. I THINK I CAN.

And all of a sudden, we're DOING it, people.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

People who work out regularly have cheat days, don't they? Can that apply to the blogging world, too?Because I'm tired, mama. I don't have much fuel in the ole' tank.

It's Thursday. Throwback Thursday, #tbt. On social media, this second-to-last day of the work week means you are guaranteed to see old photos of your friends or acquaintances as naked babies in tubs with their siblings, or photos of their mothers with 80s hair cuts, or photos with subjects wearing parachute pants somewhat unironically. It's amusing, slightly overdone, and one example of the strange camaraderie we all share spending so much of our lives online together.

Yesterday I wrote a little about the woman I used to be, and today I posted photo evidence of that on Facebook and Instagram for a little #tbt goodness. (See left).

Oy, the tragic, tangly hair.

Oy, the baby doll tee with The Cure lyrics on it.

Oy, the baggy, torn, and faded jeans.

Oy, the colorful bead necklace.

Oy, the self-conscious expression on my face.

Just oy.

Oy is not only my signature tag-line - I'm 50 percent Jewish, whaddya expect?! - it's also what I often feel while looking at old pictures of myself. And I've found the same sentiment comes from reading old pieces I wrote many moons ago. In the spirit of self depreciation, here's just such a piece - a poem I wrote in 2007 (age 20) for a college class. The assignment was to write a piece in the style of a classic poem - and I chose my favy Anne Sexton's "When Man Enters Woman." Without further ado, here goes nothing (and a whole lotta' young adult angst):

I Should Have Failed Outdoor Ed

The knot that is tied
each time man enters
woman, claiming to
never again
be separate,
that knot your mother used
to dissuade you
from dirtying 
your pristine insides,
is a fraud.

The tired strings
that bound us, 
thread-bare from your carelessness
from your ads, falsifying
"honey, you are my 
shining star,
don't you go away,"
were severed
without argument
Like you,
in(to) me then out.
No struggle,
No fight to preserve
the knot.

It's been years,
but I saw you days ago
And you gulped down our memories
through the mouth of your liquor bottle,
then wiped from your mouth,
the taste of me,
of us, sour,
with the back of your hand,
and asked me to drive you home.
Still, always, pressing promises
of "no strings attached,"
as you slammed the door.

But I've been pulling at threads
ever since.
Rebellious strands that
trail behind me, 
scratch at my neck,
stick to my tongue,
refusing to be plucked out.
Like your words in my head,
now that they touched me,
again and again,
like a child running
to the shore, then back
to the shore, then back,
in fearful delight.

Back to the shore.
I drove, this time.
And covered my body in
black fabric,
in mourning of our
untangled knot
that unraveled 
two years ago.
What's left:
our scrubbed-clean limbs,
singular strands stretched out 
to again find warmth.
To find freedom from
each other.
And next time, tie tougher

I tie double knots,
wound loops inside
one another
then outside, and in again.
And the sky remains silent,
and so does he.
And no rivers are unleashed,
and I don't swallow a flower's stem
because I don't like the taste,
and I've fated myself to hunger only
for what is man-
made, by two hands.
Two bodies, dangling by thread.

I never learned to tie a bowline.