Thursday, April 26, 2012

Attention, Please

You know how, when something is super fabulous and you love doing it and you plug along … plug, plug … and then you get a little tired and then you think, maybe I need a teensy little break right now, so I don’t forget how much I love this?

I might be there a little bit right now.

I want to write, but lately it’s a tremendous effort. Also, I will confess that in the “late night blog post writing” portion of my life I have written some OUTRAGEOUSLY inappropriate things, which I don’t think belong here (I should tell you though, that they’re FUNNY. They need a venue but this, perhaps, is not it).

So I’m going to take some time off. I’ll be back this time next week, not to fear. And when I DO come back, there will be some NEW stuff for your reading pleasure.

What? You ask.


A series of fiction/nonfiction posts that are all connected, perhaps.

The return of Make a Difference Monday, only … better, because I’ve done a poor job of it.

Some new, somewhat regularly occurring features.

I’m excited for what’s coming. I hope you are too.

And now, I need a nap. So if you’ll excuse me … until next Thursday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Roll With It, Kiddo

The last words my best friend from college ever said to me were: “You are exactly the person I hoped I would meet, at exactly the time I needed to meet you.”

I try to remember that on days when I am struggling – so much to do! So little time! So little SLEEP! – and feel like I’m not doing anything particularly well.  I remember my friend, and think: No, I’m okay.  I’m doing fine. I’m exactly who I’m supposed to be at exactly this moment.

So I’m not perfect.  Sometimes my hair is all funny and stick-y up-y and I’m a bit of a mess. Sometimes I wear sweatpants for a couple of days in a row and the dishes get a little piled up in the sink. I don’t always eat well – In fact, I’ve been living on microwaved food for about a week now, and you know what? It’s not a tragedy. I don’t like to work out and do so sporadically. I’m not always nice, and I’m not always considerate, and I’m not always completely appropriate.

But I try. I will, eventually, take care of the hair situation – USUALLY before I leave the house. I’ll get the dishes washed and will resume wearing actual clothes (again, usually before I leave the house). I’ll go back to salads and foods prepared by human hands pretty soon, I’m sure. I’ll get back on the exercise train or, at least, go outside for nice walks. I try to be kind most of the time; I make an effort to be, if not always considerate, at least polite, and I’m working on the appropriateness.

In other words, I’m winging it and hoping for the best. There are, of course, days where this REALLY works out. There are also days when it’s a major kerfluffle. I think, though, that most days land squarely in the middle, which is a nice place to be.

My friend, who had the philosophy of “Roll with it, kiddo” would definitely approve, if he was here. He’s not – he passed away two years ago – but I think that he would be happy that I’m figuring it out.

He was, it turned out, exactly the person I needed to meet, at exactly the time I needed to know him.

So I keep rolling with it. And it turns out that that is not only good enough, but it might actually be perfect.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thursday's Child ... Er, Make that Tuesday's ...

My brain, being a sneaky and fickle thing, keeps trying to tell me that it’s Thursday. That would be awesome, because then tomorrow would be Friday and then it would be the weekend and wooo hooo!


It’s totally not Thursday.


Don’t get me wrong, Tuesday has some redeeming characteristics. For example, NCIS is on Tuesday nights. (Well, the new episodes are. I mean, you can see it pretty much 24/7 on the USA network, but the NEW episodes, the ones I haven’t seen eighty zillion times? Tuesdays.)  So that’s fabulous.

Also, Tuesday is Nacho and Cosmo night. Drinkie poos, nachos, and hanging out with the fabulous Flinkie? Yeah, that doesn’t suck either.

What does kind of suck, though, is when you are two or three days ahead of yourself, and keep crashing back to “Nope, it’s STILL only Tuesday” with an ugly crash.

Fortunately, I have nachos, cosmos, and an 8:00 date with Mark Harmon to comfort me. So that’s something.

Maybe tomorrow my brain will like me?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Carry On, Carry On

I recently discovered this song, and for no obvious reason, it reminds me of the first boy I ever loved.

Let me say here: he did not love me back. In fact, I’m fairly certain that he had no idea that I was in love with him because then, like now, my ability to know how to act around someone I like is … well, I never quite mastered that skill.  So while he did not love me, we were buddies. Which was simultaneously awesome and heartbreaking because he would tell me about his troubles with the girl he was dating and I would want to a)hug him and then b) punch him in the face, just a little, for not noticing that I was RIGHT THERE, HELLO.

And maybe I should have. Maybe it’s better to announce your feelings and be rejected than it is to never say anything at all and just love someone in silence. My own personal jury is kind of out on that one at the moment.

The verdict has been returned on the following, however: I don’t think there’s anything quite as pure as that first love. I was fifteen, and loved this guy simply for being smart and funny and cute. He made me laugh. That’s all.  The end.

I don’t think of him as “the one who got away” although I suppose we all have a couple of those hiding away in our past.  I literally think of him as “the first boy I loved” – and, to be honest, so does everyone who knew me then.  Including my mother – if I say “Hey,I talked to Z” she will always say “You LOVED him,” as though she needs to qualify him as opposed to the other Zs I know, which is funny because I don’t actually know any other Zs. Just this one.

I loved him. I guess I still do, when it comes down to it. It’s not the same, of course --  twenty one years of being friends later, after he’s been through some stuff and I’ve been through some other stuff, I feel protective of him. I want to shield him from the meanness that we all sometimes find in the world, to take his hand when times are difficult – and, twenty one years later, I still get to do those things. He still gets to make me laugh.

So maybe I’m lucky that he never knew. Because if he had, and we had dated? I was FIFTEEN.  So while that would have made me giddy happy, it was also one bad breakup away from never talking to him again, which would have been terrible thing for my 36 year old self. Terrible and lonely and sad in a way that I don’t now have to be when I talk to the first person I loved, who is still, as it turns out, smart and funny and cute.  And who is also still my friend. The one who tells me to carry on when things are a little iffy.

I’m definitely lucky.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Snippets from Ongoing Conversations

I don’t know what to say when someone loses a loved one.

I quote Yeats, sometimes.

Not everyone loves Yeats.

Everyone SHOULD.

But they DON’T. Plus, I don’t think I can just yank out an appropriate Yeats quote. All I’ve got is… um … “And what rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem waiting to be reborn.”

Dear God, don’t say THAT.

I know! That’s what I meant.

Say you’re sorry.

I am sorry. I did say it. But it seems stupid. Like, of COURSE I’m sorry. But it seems like there should be something … better.

Better than sorry?

Meaningful. Sorry doesn’t mean anything. Because – you’re sorry when you step on someone’s toe or bump into them with a shopping cart. But when someone loses someone, you should be MORE than sorry.  There should be a better word.

I can’t think of one.

Me either. It’s making me mad.

And sorry?

Pretty much.

I think – I think that words are just words. And yes, we love words, words are awesome, and maybe there’s a better way to express sorrow – because that’s what’s underneath sorry, you know – than we can think of, but the important thing is what you do in your sorrow. How you reach out. That stuff.

Oh. Well, right. I knew that.

And you could maybe quote Yeats.


I had to try.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Moving On

I had a dream last night that was vividly present in my mind when I woke up this morning. In it, I was walking down a hallway when I saw X, a friend I haven’t spoken with in years. In my dream, I remember thinking: He’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to be in my life anymore. I flashed him a peace sign, smiled, and kept walking.

But. He ran over and embraced me, and I thought: Nothing has ever been as comforting as this hug. We sat for a while and talked.

When I woke up, I had two thoughts:

1.       I am so boring. Who has dreams about sitting down and catching up with a friend?!

2.       I wish X was here so I could talk to him.

If I could talk to him, I would want to ask him – what happened? Why don’t we talk anymore? Where did you go? But I don’t think I would. I think, instead, I’d just soak in his presence like a sponge and be better for it.

I have said before and will say again that I know, rationally, that not all of the people that you love get to be with you for the whole trip that is your life. Some of them are temporary travelling companions. I still believe that to be true, but I also know that it doesn’t always keep me from feeling lonely when I think of X, who was one of the best friends I ever had, and who I realize I am not friends with anymore, and who I understand that I will not see again.

I guess that if anything good comes from a dream in which my subconscious basically torments the living daylights out of my waking self, it’s the idea that I need to make sure that the people in my life now, my friends and my family and the people that I love, know that I love them. That I appreciate them. That I don’t take their presence here for granted. I understand that someday they may need to move on, and I’ll try to take it with grace.

Sometimes it’s just hard.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sweating the Small Stuff

The trouble with anxiety is that sometimes you completely know what’s going to trigger it. For example, if I am getting ready to go out to, say, a party, odds are good that I’m going to get a little, shall we say, nerved up. But other times? It strikes when you’re not even looking, and the thing that sets you off is …


So today, I was sitting at my desk, working away, when my pen suddenly died. No big deal, right? I’ll just get another pen out of my desk drawer.

I opened the desk drawer.

The desk drawer was a DISASTER. Total mess. Nothing where it should be, just piles of crap crammed in there and askew.

My chest tightened up.

I immediately closed the drawer. “I don’t have to worry about this right now,” I said, which has in the past worked to forgo one of my “I AM GOING TO FREAK OUT RIGHT THIS MINUTE AAAAGGGGHHHH” moments.

I went back to work. Every couple of minutes I would look at the drawer. The drawer leered back at me. It seemed to chuckle. “I am a MESS!” it announced gleefully.

“I don’t have to worry about this right now,” I said, gritting my teeth. “I don’t. It’s fine. It doesn’t even MATTER.”

“HAHAHAHAHA” said the drawer.

I MAY, at that point, have pulled the drawer out and emptied its contents onto the office floor.

I may ALSO, at that point, have taken one of the antacids that I keep in my desk for precisely this reason. (And then wished for a Xanax,  but I’m trying to quit.)

I don’t like things to be messy. The problem with this particular desk drawer is that I have a propensity for opening it up about a quarter of an inch and then dropping things into it and slamming it closed. Now, however, everything I had dumped in there was sitting on the floor, so I sat on the floor with a garbage bag and weeded through it.

Nearly everything went to the dumpster. Some things that I might actually need later got tossed just because they were guilty by association. Once the bag went into the dumpster and the drawer was back in the desk I found that I could breathe normally again.

For a couple of minutes.

Until I thought: You know, I bet the catch-all drawer in the kitchen is a catastrophe.

But this is how it goes. This is how the anxiety works. You get caught in a loop and then you can’t function. It’s one of the reasons I work REALLY well from home – the effort of trying to pretend like I’m not always one step away from a panic attack over the NOTHING? Is enormous and also, very tiring.


The more I talk about it, the more I let people know the depth of the crazy (and I’m comfortable with calling it that in reference to myself – I mean it sort of affectionately, not in a derogatory way) is this: I keep finding out that it’s NOT JUST ME. There are a whole bunch of us out here in the world, trying to get by, being triggered by things that we have to do: speaking in public, maybe. Or going to parties. Or sometimes, being confronted with disorder or new people or unfamiliar locations or whatever it is.  Honestly, though I realize that not everyone gets so anxious that they forget to breathe (oops), I do also recognize that we all – all of us – have the things that make us uncomfortable … and that it’s okay. It’s totally all right if balloons completely wig you out or you’d rather pound nails through your hand than speak in front of a group.

I get it. Because while I like balloons and (weirdly) am usually okay with being in front of a group, I also know that the sight of a messy drawer can cause me to become unhinged. And while that might not be everyone’s version of normal, apparently it IS mine.

I think I’ve finally learned to be okay with it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In and Out of Sorts

I’m feeling a little out of sorts today. (I love this expression, by the way, as though once I had a big bucket of sorts (which I picture looking a bit like Necco wafters) and now they are all gone, alas.) I don’t exactly know why. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe I need to go outside and run around. Maybe I need to figure some things out, and the knowledge that I need to spend some time and work on my issues doesn’t seem at all appealing to me right this minute, so I’m just going to avoid those topics in my head and instead step into the quicksand of temporary apathy. Yes, I’ll get back to the personal improvement projects, but not RIGHT NOW, thank you.

Okay, now that I write this, I realize that I’m PRETTY sure it’s that last bit.

I know we all have stuff to work on – I mean, we do. No one is issue-free right? Maybe we all also need to cut ourselves some slack now and again. There’s so much pressure to be perfect, and it’s such a waste of time. Perfection is not achievable. I don’t want to be a perfect individual.

I just want to be a better one.

I think, maybe, that in order to become a better one? It’s important to realize that sometimes, you have to put down the bucket (you know, the one that you keep your sorts in) and stretch out a bit. Do some jumping jacks. Take some cleansing breaths. And realize that sometimes, it’s important to be better. And other times, it’s important just to be. Otherwise, you’re going to dump the bucket and find that yes, you are completely out of sorts.

I don’t think that’s anyone’s favorite way to be.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Holey Nostrils, Batman!

Did I mention that I got my nose pierced, like, three weeks ago?

Well, I did. I’ve been wanting to since forever, and recently realized that my dad a) probably won’t care that much and b) probably won’t NOTICE and c) can’t ground me for it. So I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it.

(I didn’t actually bite any bullets. Because… who does that? Instead I called my friend Shilo and asked her to come with me.)

I should say here that I am not afraid of needles. Not even a little. Also, that I have multiple tattoos. Needles – and pain – are not big issues in my world.

Having said that: I WAS TERRIFIED.

I have no idea why.

I should also say that the big, burly guy at the House Of Tattoos and Piercing was super nice, and also very amused by my very obvious levels of fear and anxiety. Shilo, by the way, radiates calm and zen. I think he was kind of sad that he wasn’t piercing HER nose when he kept saying: “You WANT to do this, right? So what’s the big deal?”

Dude. The big deal is that you just put pliers IN MY NOSE.

For the record, getting my nose pierced wasn’t terribly painful. It was just weird. And trust me, my nose has been through some trauma, including the time my sister accidentally stuck a meat fork in my nose. (At least, she maintains it was an accident and since she definitely could have maimed me for life if she’d done it on purpose, I believe her.) Having someone hold onto your nostril with a pair of pliers? Weird. Having them stick a big needle through your nose and then let it hang out there for a few minutes? Totes weird.

(Shilo: Want me to take your picture so you can post it on Facebook and be like “I am SO BADASS”?

Me, studiously not looking at myself in the mirror: Um, that’s okay, thanks.)

Anyway. Big Dude took the needle out and put a hoop in, and then closed the hoop and then I paid him and then we were done. No big deal.

Except, of course, for the fact that I could not stop playing with the hoop.

It drove me CRAZY.

I was supposed to leave it in for five weeks, but at the end of week two, I began thinking about how much I wanted to take it out. The thought process sounded something like this:


So, yeah.

The problem, of course, was this: I didn’t know HOW to take the hoop out. It didn’t have a visible closure, didn’t appear to unscrew, and none of my efforts made any difference to the fact that there was a hoop in my nose. This, of course, meant I had to do what any self-respecting individual living in a technological age does when confronted with a problem: I googled it.

Google revealed some kind of horrifying facts to me.

Namely, that the hoop would have to be opened with pliers.

Once again, my nose and pliers would have to be in close proximity.

I got the pliers. I went and stood in front of the mirror. I considered. As I did so, I clearly heard my dad’s voice in my head. It said:

“If you’re old enough to have Big Dude put a needle through your nose, you’re old enough to use the pliers to take the hoop out.”

I gingerly inserted the closed end of the pliers through the hoop and opened them up verrrrry slowly, wincing the whole time with the realization that, even though needles don’t freak me out, apparently tools do.

I opened up the hoop. Mission accomplished. One open hoop.

Of course, now I would have to take it out of my nose.

I had not previously considered this.

Once upon a time, I had surgery and was required to have an IV. This, it turned out, was no big. However, when the IV was REMOVED, I nearly passed out. Watching it go in was cake. Watching the needle come out nearly made me hurl. It was … wrong. Creepy and wrong. But a nurse did it.

Taking the hoop out of my nose was kind of the same thing, only without the help of a nurse. I had to sit down for a minute. Why? I don’t know. It was just … icky. Icky in a way that I can’t describe and am trying hard not to think about even as I type. It was just plain wrong.

As I sat on the toilet with my head between my knees, trying not to pass out, I heard my dad’s voice again. Only this time all he said was: REALLY?

I stood up.

I looked at the hole in my nose. It wasn’t so bad. It was just a little hole. Nothing to freak out about. Certainly not worth all of this drama.

I popped in a stud. It nestled there, perfect. Happy. Just what I’d been aiming for when I started this business in the first place.

And thankfully, there will be no pliers needed in its removal.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Conversational Snippet Friday

So where do you see your life going?


Like, what’s your life plan?

I don’t really HAVE a plan, per say. I’m winging it.

What do you mean, you don’t have a plan?

I mean that I don’t have a plan. I don’t think I need a plan.

Everyone needs a plan.

Not me.

I want to help you to make a plan.

Oh. That makes me sad. Like you think I’m a project. Like you have to fix me.

I didn’t mean that.

You did, though.

I just think that you’d benefit from a plan.

You know what? I’ve been the person with the life plan. I lived that life. And then – pfft. It exploded in my face. So I don’t think I need to have a plan. I don’t think I need to plot a definite course. You might need that – and good for you – but right now? I’m enjoying the ride. Can’t I just enjoy the moments as they come? Do I have to make an outline to make you happy?

No, but –

I’m not going to be a person who organizes my life into chapters. I get that you want to do that – I get that you want to buy a house, get married, plan a future. But I’m not going to be a character in one of those chapters. Not today. Probably not tomorrow. And I don’t need to be fixed. I’m not broken.

You feel strongly about this.


I want to change your mind.

You should probably try listening to what I’m saying instead.

Why can’t you let me help you?

Why can’t you see that I don’t need help?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Meet The New StormTroopers, Same As the Old StormTroopers

Someone is moving in upstairs and giving the Stormtroopers a run for their money. I mean, yes, it’s just moving in noise, but a couple of times I have thought that these people may not be satisfied until their furniture goes through the floor and then is resting in a dusty heap in my living room.

I had the thought that I should go upstairs and introduce myself, but managed to talk myself out of it. I never actually met the Stormtroopers – but then, by the time I could have introduced myself I was unwittingly privy to some of their most … ahem … intimate secrets and exchanges due to their propensity for discussing them on the balcony, and then I was just embarrassed.

It might be better if I don’t introduce myself, though, given my own tendencies to wander around the house singing. You name it, I’ll belt it out: show tunes, country songs, country songs sung as though they were show tunes (and vice versa), pop, rock, folk; I like to sing. It has come to my realization that if I can hear the other people in the building, then they can probably hear me.

It might be best if no one ever connects the me that is walking through the halls with that girl who was belting out “Only The Good Die Young” on Tuesday afternoon.

I’m just saying.

I could bypass all of this neighbor stuff by owning a house. Except, of course, for the fact that I am precisely the kind of person who can’t own a house. I’ve OWNED a house, back when I was lawfully wed, and it was … how to say it?


Because of all of the STUFF.

What stuff? The flooding basements (hi, Spring! Thanks for filling my basement with WATER THAT’S AWESOME) and the pipes and the walls and the siding and the LAWN and the forty gazillion things that  need attention, time, and love when you own a house. Oh, and you know what else all of those things demand? Cash, that’s what.

It’s not that I’m irresponsible. It’s that I have major anxiety.  And if I tried to be a homeowner all on my ownsome, I would have a panic induced heart attack. And die. NO ONE WANTS THAT.

So instead, I’ll deal with the Stormtroopers and the balcony conversations and the risk that someone’s going to bust me singing Taylor Swift songs really loudly while I wash the floor. It’s worth it. Because if furniture actually DOES crash through the ceiling and land in my living room?

I just have to call the landlord.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Return To Story Time

Last night I went out for drinks with Flinkie (because it was Tuesday, which demands cocktails and nachos, dur) and after a couple of martinis, we decided that clearly, what the evening demanded was …

…ice cream sundaes.*

It’s so OBVIOUS.

So off we went to the Dairy Delite, and while in line, I spotted one of my favourite former students EVER, the lovely and fabulous Miss Sarah.

I got in trouble in Miss Sarah’s class once (or you know, twice), because I used to tell them stories (I know, in English class, imagine it. A STORY. THE HORROR) when apparently I should have been using those minutes of seat time in more productive ways. Telling stories about why you should IMMEDIATELY get your hands on a banned book, or why it’s important to take risks did not valuable curriculum make, apparently.

I was not a good teacher.

Anyway. Sarah had some other English teachers who WERE good, and who inspired her to major in English, but she did not become a teacher. She shrugged last night and said, “What do you do with an English degree?”

“Well,” I said, “I write a blog?”

She laughed.

But as I ate my ice cream, I thought about it.

So for the lovely Miss Sarah – A story:

No one majors in English because they think it will bring them wealth. In terms of practicality, it’s down there with philosophy and sociology. You major in those things because you love them. I majored in English because I wanted to teach, it’s true, but I also majored in it because I love the language – the writing and the reading and the speaking. I love reading. I love to take ideas apart and put them back together; it makes me happy to craft a sentence that reads well – it makes me happier yet to look at a sentence someone else crafted and then figure out what makes it work.

That’s why you major in English or anything else – because you love it. And it turns out that a life spent chasing after the things you love is a life really well spent. So some of them don’t work out perfectly – so what? So you DON’T become a teacher with your English degree. (Or you do and then, you know, move on to something else). You still have it. You still worked hard and achieved something, in a subject you love, which is not to be dismissed or taken at all lightly.

Because the truth – the thing they don’t tell you in college, the thing they should tell you, and the thing I should have told you in high school – is that there are very few straight roads in life. They’re mostly quite bendy – it’s all steep hills and sharp turns and blind drives – so you navigate carefully, but you also enjoy the process. The straight roads are boring and go by without distinction, anyway. It’s the ones you have to be clever to travel that are more interesting, anyway.

You’re a clever one. You’ll figure it out. We all do, eventually. Where we end up, with whatever degree we earned? It’s where we’re supposed to end up.

Just remember to run down the roads that lead to the things, the people, the places, that you love.

And also remember that being able to read and write like an English major-ing champ when you get there won’t hurt a bit.

*Which is why I pretty much own stock in Lactaid now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Insane in the Brain!

I think it’s official.

I’m crazy.

This is probably only news to me, but in case you’re thinking “Well now, I don’t know about that” let me tell you what caused me to draw this particular conclusion.

1)      I was writing a blog entry that contained the following: “And it occurred to me that I should do some research, lest I give these people my hard earned cash only to discover that, while curing diseases and saving the world, they ALSO sponsored a team that bowls with kittens, which is not a sport I support in any way.” Um. Yeaaaah.

2)      I just sent an email that contained this: [people I know seem]  to have joined a conspiracy to make me super stabby, but that could be the PMS talking. I mean, it's POSSIBLE that it's the PMS and not an actual conspiracy, but they do seem sort of plotty, you know? (I think I just invented that word. "Plotty" -- how people might seem while in the act of plotting. ‘Dude, you seen Ben Arnold?’ ‘No, but watch out for that guy. He's been wicked plotty.’)”

3)      I just announced in both an email and then in my blog, by virtue of reprinting said email, that I have PMS. SMAAAHHHT.

4)      I have come to realize that while my friends all seem to be getting older – Responsible! Parents! Partners! Homeowners! – and look like grownups, I am kind of regressing. How so? Not only am I not completely responsible in some ways, but I ALSO look like a college student and not just in that “Wow, you’re well preserved for your age” way but also in the “You’ve got wacky hair, a ring in your nose, and you’re wearing a transformers t-shirt” way. I’m okay with it, but the  implications are of crazy, no?

5)      Earlier this week (Erhm, like, an hour ago? WHATEVER IT’S EARLIER) I may … possibly … have been making my cat dance with me to “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”. (What? It was on the radio!) while telling her emphatically that “NO ONE puts Beansie in the corner!” and then, yes, doing the lift. I may have been giggling madly. Beansie may have just looked … resigned. But it happened.

So, am I crazy? Or just in need of a tropical vacation?

Or both. Probably both.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Make A Difference Monday: March for Maddie (The March of Dimes)

First, I want to tell you about this blog: .

I read this every day. The Spohrs – Heather and Mike – had a magical little girl named Maddie, and lost her three years ago.

So what I’d like to ask you to do today, if you would like to make a difference, a little one, is this:  go to the blog. Scroll down. And sponsor Heather in her walk for the March of Dimes. Do it for Heather and Mike, do it for Maddie, and do it because the March of Dimes makes a difference in the lives of babies.

I promise, it makes a difference.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Snippets from an Ongoing Conversation

Do you still have a crush on that guy?

What guy?

The guy. You know … THAT guy.

OH! Um, yeah.

So what’s the deal?

There’s no deal.

There’s a deal.

Um. Well, then. The deal is that I don’t talk to him.


I get intimidated and then I get quiet and so I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know I’m in the room. EVER.

But you have a crush on him.

Well, yeah. He’s funny and smart and cute. Totally crush-worthy.

You know that having a crush on ANYONE is pointless if you don’t talk to him, right?

No. Yes. I’m not an idiot.  Mostly. I’m mostly not an idiot.

Maybe you kind of are if you’re not TALKING TO THE CUTE FUNNY SMART BOY.

What? Like it’s a crime to be shy?

You’re NOT shy. You’re just afraid. And being afraid, in this case, is keeping you alone. And that, my friend, is a crime. You need to talk to him. He’ll like you. Because anyone who doesn’t like you is a moron.

I like that you just told me people should like me and, at the same time, called me an idiot.

It’s what I do. So are you going to talk to him?

If I say probably not, are you going to smack me?


Um, I’ll try?

Good girl.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fraidy Cat

The radio station I listen to in the morning has been talking, lately, about celebrity fears. Which, of course, got me thinking about the things that I am afraid of.

I’d like to tell you that I’m totally fearless. Of course, I’d also like to tell you that I look like Angelina Jolie. These would both be huge, outrageous lies.

However, after taking the time to reflect on my fears, I have discovered something about myself. And that something is this: I am a DOOFUS.

I am NOT afraid of things that should probably scare the bejeezus out of me. I wouldn’t be afraid to run into a burning building. If I saw someone who was being assaulted, I would wade right in (and we all know that I’ve actually DONE that, which didn’t work out so well, but whatever). I’m not afraid of dying or flying or heights.

I am, however, afraid of the following:

1.       Clowns. Clowns and their scary, scary, “I’m going to eat your soul” painted on smiles. I don’t love the circus and I don’t love a parade because CLOWNS HANG OUT THERE. Who loves a clown? NO ONE. NO ONE LOVES A CREEPTASTIC SCARY CLOWN.

2.       Spiders. I have a couple of friends who love spiders. I love my friends, but have to question their sanity when it comes to this. Here’s the thing about spiders: too many legs, too many eyes, too much deliberately slow and stalker-y movement. They make my spine itch.

3.       Bridges. And tunnels. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, and trying to explain it makes me sound crazy even to MYSELF, but there you are. Bridges scare the CRAP out of me. I can drive over them, but if I’m a passenger? OH THE TERROR. (This is, I willingly admit, super dumb. But it is true nonetheless. See how I am willing to expose my insanity for your reading pleasure?!)

4.       I am afraid of going to sleep with the closet door open. Because MONSTERS, that’s why.

5.       Freakishly lifelike dolls. Um, really. WHY do these exist.

6.       The dentist – I can’t even discuss this rationally.

7.       Going to parties. (I love parties. I love being at parties. I love being invited to parties. It’s just the getting myself there … for some reason, I get stressed out and then I’m freaking out and then I can’t go, even though I totally want to hang out.)

So yeah. I should have titled this post “Freak of Nature” instead of “Fraidy Cat” but then, my freak status is already pretty well established, I guess.  

At any rate, I’m told that the first step to conquering your fears is admitting them. So there you go. Granted, I don’t KNOW what the second step is, but it better not involve a clown or I’m out of there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Panic! In the Office

It’s been a crazy couple of days here, which explains the late post on Monday and the complete lack of post on Tuesday. And by crazy busy I mean: I had a full blown panic attack at my desk yesterday.
This used to happen all of the time, but lately has been a rare occurrence. Normally I’m able to see them coming and can talk myself out of them. Not yesterday. Yesterday I was gripping my desk and wishing for a Xanax (seriously, if you were my doctor, wouldn’t YOU give me Xanax? I would. And I’d probably take one when I saw me coming, to be honest. I know that I’m a bit of a mess).

What do you want, I asked myself silently. What would make you feel better right now?

Immediately, several things jumped to mind. An island vacation.  A winning lottery ticket. A hug, preferably from Mark Harmon. 

And then, weirdly, I thought: I want a cup of coffee.

I want a hot, delicious cup of coffee and I want to drink it someplace other than this desk.

I want to hold the cup in my hands and let the heat sink into my bones. I want to drink it out of the Las Vegas mug my sister got for our dad, the one I promptly … erm, "borrowed" … because I love it. That mug.

But you probably don’t need caffeine, whispered the part of my brain that tries to manage everything.

Shut up, said the rest of my brain. That’s what I want. That’s what will make me feel better.

Well, that and a fluffy cat in my lap.

Worked like a charm.

Here’s what I’ve learned: when things are going really really REALLY poorly, sometimes you just need to ask your miserable little self: What do I want right now?  If you can shuffle through all of the stuff you can’t have (like tropical vacations or snuggles with your favorite movie star), you can find, sometimes, the thing your soul most needs: some space to dance. The chance to sing your favorite song, out loud. Or maybe just a cup of coffee. And once you’re there?

Things seem a hell of a lot better.

And you don’t even need an insurance card or a copay. Which MIGHT make it better than Xanax.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Being a Distraction

Him: I have a yellow tie. You know how yellow goes with blue, like, all the time? So I always wear a yellow tie with this (gestures towards blue dress shirt) but I couldn't FIND it. Where does a yellow tie go? No idea. But my roommate had this orange tie. So I had to wear an orange tie with this shirt.

Me: It's fashion foward.

Him: Except this is a pretty conservative place, you know? And I don't know that many people. I feel like everyone is looking at me.

Me: They're not.

Him: But how do you know?

Me: I have on a bright pink and purple dress. I have spikey orange hair. I have a tattoo on my leg and the back of my neck, AND I have a hoop in my nose.

Him: They're not looking at me.

Me: They're DEFINITELY not looking at you, kid.