Thursday, May 31, 2012

Epiphany #41654216354

Yesterday, I realized that if one of my tattoos was a person, it would have a driver’s license and be on the verge of graduating from high school.

Having body art that old reinforces the idea that, even though in my head I am perpetually 22, I am not.

And while I’m hardly shaking my walker at anyone or chasing children out of my yard, here are some other realizations that make me feel – well, less than youthful:

1)      I paid through the NOSE yesterday for some berries at the supermarket and then thought, indignantly, “When I was a kid, I used to pick these in my yard. FOR FREE! And now I’m paying $6 a pint!” Starting a sentence – even in your head – with “When I was a kid?” Pretty much means you aren’t one.

2)      So does using the word supermarket.

3)      I was THRILLED when I got carded. OVERJOYED.

4)      I seem to have lost my ability to judge the age of anyone under 25. After 25? I’m a pretty good guesser of age. Under 25? In my head you are 16. Sorry.

5)      My friends say things like this: “Do you really need another pair of Converse? At some point, you’re going to stop dressing like a college student,” and ½ of my brain registers it as fact, and the other half weeps tragically, because … WHYYYYYY? Even though college was (mumble, cough) fifteen years or so ago.

6)      According to the above, my college degree could sign up for Driver’s Ed. FABULOUS.

7)      I’ve begun to really value an evening in, spent with a book and a beverage, in a way that I never did before. “Wait, I can just … read? And not be witty and amusing? And not have to make up a reason as to why I don’t want to go out?! SIGN ME UP!”

8)       I slather on SPF 70 at the beach, because the goal is NOT a tan. The goal is vitamin D.

9)      I sometimes think wistfully of the days before cellphones, when you could go somewhere and no one could talk to you until you got back. (Please don’t suggest that I don’t actually have to have my phone on me at all times and achieve the same effect. It makes me antsy.)

10)   I may have referred to someone as a whippersnapper. I will neither confirm nor deny.

Having said all of the above, I’m cool with it. 

Except for maybe #1.

I miss the free berries in the yard.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The One Where I Get Sappy

Hey there.

You’ll always be able to find me here, but pretty soon? You’ll be able to read me other places too. Which, I know! Awesome. But which also, mildly terrifying.

You guys, seriously.

In case you’re not my friend on Facebook, and didn’t get the news, I got an email from a website I love that said, and I quote, “I would love to run this story!”

And here’s where I get all sappy and teary eyed and confess that if it wasn’t for y’all, who put up with my meandering thoughts every day, I never would have submitted anything for publication, like, ever.

So, thank you. For encouraging the craziness and putting up with the run on sentences and my propensity for starting thoughts with conjunctions, even though we all know how very incorrect it is to do so.

You know what the best thing ever is?

It’s when you have good news, and you share it, and then other people jump on the bandwagon of joy.

Thanks for hanging out with me. Y’all are the best.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekend Warrior?

I should probably have something to talk about today, but I kind of don’t. I’m still cruising on the last vestiges of three day weekend euphoria.

What did I do over the weekend, you ask?*

Just this:

Drove to Manchester. What should be a 40 minute drive took 80 minutes, but that’s okay. Holiday traffic. Whatever.

Dinner. The beauty of staying in a hotel? Drink all the wine you want – you’re not driving! WHEE!

Concert: Gretchen Wilson, Three Doors Down, ZZ Top. All outstanding. ZZ Top were just as awesome and weird as I thought they’d be. (And the beards! More impressive in person. Who knew?) Dance my pants off? Don’t mind if I do, thanks!

Return to hotel room. Sleepy night night time.

 Wake up in hotel room. Experience momentary disorientation and then remember: Dancing. Concert. Manchester. Right. 

Go walking in search of breakfast. Find small Hungarian restaurant. Oh, hello delicious pastries. What, you think I should eat you? ME TOO! Best. Coffee. EVER.

Drive home. Realize that, though I love my car? I HATE TO DRIVE. Seriously.

Go running. Remember, as I am sweating in the 80 + degree heat, that this is why one runs in the morning. When I return home, I wonder where that stench is coming from. Then I realize it’s ME. EWWWWWWW.

Shower, change, and grab my golf clubs because this chick is going to hit the driving range. 

First go to Dick’s Sporting Goods. THEN the driving range. I manage not to swear excessively loudly at my bad shots. So, progress.  A fella around my dad’s age takes an interest in my swing and offers me tips. Some of them are helpful. I seem to attract the sympathy of older men who golf. It is what it is.

Return home and shower AGAIN. Go to sleep ridiculously early.

Guess who’s going to Boston? This kid.  Here’s how Boston is: awesome. Perfect day for wandering about the city.

Have brunch at the Purple Shamrock, which will be closing its doors in the fall. The food – delicious as usual. The staff – friendly and awesome, as usual. My mood? Melancholy. I hate to see this place go. It’s so sad.

Stop at Trader Joe’s on the way home. I can’t wait until we have one of these locally!

Go home. Cook dinner with my delicious Trader Joe’s purchases.

Fall asleep on the couch.

It’s supposed to be raining.

It isn’t.

Therefore, the beach calls me. Oh hello, beach. Nice to see you. 

For some reason, the masses did not hear the call of the beach, which pretty much means that no one is all up in my space. This is a glorious thing. It’s a perfect day.


As is the Amato’s sandwich I snag on the way home.

And the nap I take in the afternoon, all snuggled up with the cat.

Life. It’s pretty damn good.

So yeah, I’m still blissed out from what may go down as the best weekend ever.

Hopefully, you are too.
*Thanks to Flinkie for, as usual, being an outstanding partner in crime

Friday, May 25, 2012

Games With Friends

When I was a kid, I hated gym. HATED gym.

Not because I didn’t like to play games – I love games!

But because I was always picked last.


Every. Damn. Time.

What you should know before I go any further is this: I went through elementary school with people I had known/gone to school with/played with since preschool. They had known me since I was about four. Most of them were fond of me, but they all knew this, too: I have asthma, I am accident prone, and no one wanted me on their team.

No one.


This may fall somewhere on the list of “things that are psychologically damaging,” though I am not absolutely certain as to where it would fall. I can tell you this for sure, though:  it doesn’t make you love sports.

Not even a little.

For a long time, I didn’t even watch sports. Because, please. Who cared? I was never going to be good at them. No one would ever want to play a sporty game with me. So what?

My body and I were not friends, I quickly realized. Junk lungs, no coordination, inability to run and scamper.

I tried to whip it into submission. I spent several years in college alternately overfeeding it and ignoring it, and then starving it and working it out obsessively. The problem with both of those scenarios, of course, is that I still regarded it not as the container which houses my soul, but as an enemy.

As the kid I would pick last, if I could pick.

This is all why it was weird when, in my thirties, I decided one day to say “Yeah, sure,” when my dad asked me if I wanted to go to the driving range.

Golf? That’s like -- a sport.

But okay. At least I’ll get out of the house. Even though, the last I checked, I was still the uncoordinated goofus who couldn’t hit a ball if her life depended on it. Even though I hate sports.

The thing I quickly realized, though, is this: My life didn’t depend on it. Though I didn’t perform spectacularly on my first day at the driving range – Tiger Woods I ain’t – I realized: I could be good at this.

This is something I could learn how to do.

And there’s no team, which is a plus.

I’m still learning to play golf – I’m taking formal lessons, with the idea that the next time I see my dad, I am taking him on! – but I’m also starting to learn this. My body is NOT my enemy. It’s not a miserable tangle of uncoordinated limbs and flesh and bad lungs. It’s my body. 

We could be friends.

Friends who go outside and play some golf.

*Well, MOSTLY Never. I was bizarrely good at floor hockey, probably because a) we only played it once a year and b) it’s not a real sport. You’re never going to see floor hockey in the Olympics. I was so good at it though, that I was usually a Captain – I got to pick my team. And I would start by picking the least athletic kid in the class, the one who was usually standing next to me at the end of every other team picking exercise. Who’s first NOW? HUH?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Wrinkle In Time

The other day I was looking in the mirror and I happened to smile at something my cat was doing.

And then I saw them.

There, by my eyes.


Please note the complete refusal to call them wrinkles. THEY ARE NOT WRINKLES. They are LINES. From LAUGHTER. Which, you know, on the one hand, I am totes okay with because laughter is one of my favorite things.

On the other hand, lines – on my FACE – are NOT one of my  favorite things.

So, as I am wont to do, I freaked out a little bit.

Listen, I don’t generally think of myself as vain. (This may be delusional, but it’s what I’m rolling with.) I don’t own a full length mirror because I don’t, in fact, care. I don’t actually spend a lot of time looking in the “just for your face” mirror either, unless I’m putting makeup on because, well, you don’t want to poke yourself in the eye with one of those pencils.  And while I do wear make up, it’s more because it’s fun to fuss with than any other “look at me I’m so Beeeeyoootiful” deal.

However, I was NOT down with the laugh lines. Because while there are things I do appreciate on my face (eye shadow! Lipstick! The stud in my nose!), lines are NOT on the “welcome to the party” list.

I recently had to toss all of my skin care products because, as it turned out, they were not only NOT making my skin dewy and glowy and youthful, they were, in fact, the source of the rash from hell. So there I was, aging like nobody’s business and with nothing helpful to smear in the crevasses that were rapidly forming near my eyeballs.

That was when I turned to modern science and the very nice aesthetician at my salon. She got a VERY bright light. And a magnifying glass. And she stared. And stared. And murmured to herself and wrote things down. And I, of course, tried to keep my eyebrows still (because, okay, in addition to laugh lines, I may also have a “my eyebrows think that I need to use them as punctuation and leap about my face when I speak” crease or two or three) but I kind of wanted to draw them together in consternation because, dude, that was a very bright light and I wasn’t sure I was up for the final verdict.

Finally, the light went out. “Well,” she said.

I braced for the “We’re going to want to resurface your face, and inject things into it, and here are four gagillion dollars worth of products that you’re going to need to buy, lest you wake up tomorrow with the face of a pruney hag.”

“You need to drink more water,” she said finally.

“What?” This was NOT what I expected.

“A lot of these? From dehydration,” she said kindly.


So yes, I have laugh lines – and the forehead furrow – because those come from age. But I also have “Drink more water, stupid,” lines.  Somehow, this does not strike me as awesome.

Getting older is HARD, y’all. How am I supposed to keep up with these things?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

For Mrs Porter

This is probably a weird thing to say, but here it is: I had a bad year when I was in third grade.

As a thirty-six year old, looking back, I realize that sometimes, events synch up in just the wrong way, so as to make life difficult. As a thirty six year old, I can be objective and realize that a bad moment … or week … or even year  … is only an instance in time that will pass.

As a third grader, I may have lacked some perspective.

Here’s what happened when I was in third grade: my regular math teacher had a baby and went on maternity leave. We had a long term sub.

She (ahem) may not have been the best teacher ever.

And I (ahem) may nearly have failed math. Despite the fact that I worked incredibly hard, I didn’t get it and she – bless her heart – didn’t know how to explain it to me.

Until that point, I’d done well in school. Nearly failing math was devastating. I stopped liking school and began enduring it. Even the subjects I enjoyed, the subjects I was good in, were tainted because I knew that, eventually, I’d get to math, and everyone would know that I was incredibly dumb.

Third grade ended and I didn’t want to go to fourth grade. Fortunately, fourth graders are not, as a rule, allowed or encouraged to run away and join the circus or drop out of school.

Off I went. Defeated and math illiterate.

And that’s when I met Mrs Porter, who took one look at a pigtailed fourth grader and saw a sad little soul who had the potential to be something.  And if you had asked her what that something would be, she would have said, triumphantly: “Anything she wants!”

I was struggling through math one day – like usual – and she said, “Danielle. Look at me.”

I looked up. She gently cupped my face in her hands. “Something in your head doesn’t like numbers,” she said. “We can fix this. I will not give up if you do not give up. Do we have a deal?”

Until that moment, I had not thought that teachers were there to help you. I thought they were there to drop information into our heads, like momma birds, and we were supposed to receive it, our brains open like hungry beaks. I thought we were just supposed to get it. I had NO IDEA that they would go out of their way to help you to learn.

(I should add here that I had good teachers before Mrs Porter. I just hadn’t struggled with them , so the notion of help, the notion of guidance, had never occurred to me.)

And let me tell you, Mrs Porter did. Boy did she ever. I still don’t like math, but because of her I completed college level calculus as a senior in high school.

Because, you see, I’d promised Mrs Porter that I would not give up. We had made a deal, and she had always – ALWAYS – kept her end of the bargain.

When I became a teacher, I had the opportunity to work with Mrs Porter. She said to me one day, “You know, Danielle, you can call me Heidi.”

“Oh, Mrs Porter,”  I said. “I’ll try.”

I was never able to.  It made her laugh.

Mrs Porter passed away this week.

She lived an extraordinary life – I could have told you about how she grew up in Germany, survived WWII, survived the communist occupation of her hometown, all of the details that obituaries list, but I wanted to tell you this – the thing that made her amazing, the thing that made her outstanding as a human being? Was that ability to look at someone and see all of the potential that they brought to the table, and to ask what she would need to do to draw it out.

For me, that is her legacy. I hear her voice in my head, sometimes, when  I am having a bad day: “I will not give up if you do not give up. Do we have a deal?”

And I know I can’t quit. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Because she kept her side of the bargain, so I have to keep mine.

Good bye, Mrs Porter.

And thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday. Feh.

I am going to out myself right now: I am day-ist.

I prefer some days of the week to others. There, I said it.

I’m not even ashamed.

I always thought that Monday got kind of a bad rap. It’s not Monday’s fault that it’s traditionally the beginning of the work week, I thought.  And, you know, Mondays are full of possibilities and beginnings and all of that kind of “whee I’m so positive” goodness.

Wednesday is nice. Wednesday is the tipping point of the week, after a couple days of uphill, it’s nice to be able to look down the other side of Wednesday and see the weekend. I kind of always picture Saturday and Sunday as kicking back in lawnchairs, drinking boat drinks, and waving merrily as if to say “You’ll get here! And when you do, the cabana boy will bring you something delicious, with an umbrella sticking out of it!”

I bear no animosity towards Thursday. I mean, sure, it’s like Friday’s less popular brother, the one he has to bring with him everywhere because his mom said he had to, but he's tolerable. I can hang with some Thursday.

And, well, Friday? Friday is like the DJ of the weekend party. Friday sets the tone.  Friday is the cool kid you want to hang out with all night and well into the morning, when you can finally pull up a chaise with Saturday and Sunday and soak in the rays.

Tuesdays, however, suck.

I hate me some Tuesday.

Oh I see the NEED for Tuesday, but MAN, Tuesdays are tough. The novelty of Monday is LONG gone, and the weekend isn’t even visible until you hit Wednesday. So it’s just 24 hours of grunt labour. It’s like … life boot camp.

And it’s ENDLESS. Tuesday passes more slowly than a rainy Sunday afternoon.  Every hour is at least 240 minutes long.

Tuesdays result in a lot of coffee drinking, soul searching, and desperate longings for escape.

I’m sorry Tuesday, but I loathe you.  I keep trying to like you and you keep stretching on forever and ever, into the future. Time may be wibbly wobbly, but you are impenetrable and endless and all I want is for you to be over.


Monday, May 21, 2012

If I Ran The World

… when someone had a question, they would. Just. Ask. It.  This is a much better approach than making a series of statements and forcing me to guess what the question is.  Like this:

A: So there’s this guy.

Me: …

A: And he’s got a girlfriend.

Me: …

A: But he asked me out for drinks anyway.

Me: …

A:  (expectant pause)

Me: … So far I have several key elements in what might make a great story, but I don’t know what happens next! What happens next?

A: I wanted you to tell me if I should go out to drinks with him! Should I?

Me:  No. And why didn’t you just ASK me that?!

… When someone wanted me to fix something, they’d GIVE me the thing they want me to fix, so I can fix it. As an example:

B: I have this thing. It is broken.

Me: I’m sorry.

B: I want you to fix it.

Me: Can you give it to me?

B: Oh, do you need it?

Me: Only if you want me to fix it.

… people would take the time to think about what they were saying.

C:  You know how, when you don’t cancel your dentist appointment without 24 hour notice, they charge you $100?

Me: Yes.

C: I had to cancel today’s dentist appointment. Like, 10 minutes ago.

Me: Oh, that stinks.

C: So you think they’re going to charge me $100?

Me: Um. Yes?

… people would answer ALL of the questions you have asked them.

Me: I have two questions for you. First, is your blood type A positive, B positive, or O negative? Second, are you still a registered organ donor?

D: Yes.

… people would read their emails

E: Hey, I emailed you about the thing with the stuff.

Me: Yes, I replied to you.

E: Yeah, I didn’t read your reply.

… and I would be in possession of infinitely more patience than I have at right this moment.

Friday, May 18, 2012


We interrupt whatever the hell you were doing to bring you this important announcement:

There is a fly in my office.

(Okay, it’s not that important, but it’s Friday afternoon, and if you were THAT busy, would you be reading this? NO, you would not.)

Here’s why this bug is (hahaha) bugging me… Back in the day, when I was a young, attractive, sassy young thing (did I mention I was YOUNG? Can I say it again? I WAS YOUNG ONCE, YOU GUYS!) I wore this perfume that I luuuuuhveeed. I wore the heck out of that perfume, y’all.  It was good friends with my skin chemistry so that I always smelled like … rainbows. Rainbows and dolphin giggles and unicorns and glitter.

(It helped that I was young.)

Anyway, my sassy, sweet smelling self was married to … well, Mr Not So Very Right. And then she got divorced and that made her all of the following:

1)      Sad

2)      Depressed

3)      Suicidal

4)      VIOLENTLY ill at the smell of said perfume

Seriously. The smell of my (formerly) favorite perfume would cause me to throw up like a coed after a night of tequila and poor decision making.

Recently, however, I was in a store and I thought, “I wonder if that perfume still makes me gag.” Not because I wanted to check my emotional vomit reflex – that would be WEIRD, yo – but because I REALLY loved that perfume.

AND – giggles and dancing – it did not.

So I bought it, because duh.

Which brings me back to the fly.

Apparently, I am not the ONLY kid here who thinks I smell like some sort of goddess (which, by the way? I TOTALLY DO) because Mr “How did you even get IN here” fly is all “Hi Danielle’s Head, this is the annoying fly, requesting a fly by.”

So I say, “Negative, annoying insect, the pattern is full.”

And of course he ignores me, this little Maverick-imitating fella.

If this bug doesn’t stop buzzing my noggin, I’m seriously going to lose it and do what I want to do anyway, which is run outside and frolic in the grass.  Of course, I’ll probably attract bees, being as I smell delicious, but I think I’ll be okay with that.

The Colour and The Shape

I have said this before, but I’m going to say it again. (And probably again, and then again, and again.)

Appearance does not dictate nationality.

You can’t declare whether or not someone is American based on what they LOOK LIKE.

You know what else you can’t determine based on appearance?

*Language skills


*Political leanings


*Work Ethic


NONE of those things can be determined based on the colour of someone’s skin or any other physical feature. Not a one.

You know what can easily be determined, though? The level of bigotry and ignorance someone holds in their heart when they announce that someone is an illegal immigrant – based on appearance. When they announce that someone probably doesn’t speak English – based on appearance. When they call someone out as a terrorist – based on appearance.

It makes me sad, and it makes me ANGRY.

And I will call you out on it if you do it in front of me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gotye, You Clever Fellow

I got a text from someone I used to date (like eighty grillion years ago, when tyrannosaurs roamed the earth thinking, why do I have these puny little arms? I can’t high-five ANYONE) and I totally shouldn’t reply. Because there’s a reason we USED to date and then CEASED to date.

Do not reply to that, I think sternly.

But I wanna, whines the part of my brain that is perpetually a 15 year old girl.


The text, by the way, isn’t anything earth shattering. What it is, clearly, is a test of the waters.

Like, hey, haven’t seen you in forever, we should get a beer.

Which is funny because it’s so CASUAL, as though it’s not out of the blue at ALL, as though he has a reason to be texting me, as though it’s been just a couple of weeks since we hung out, none of which are accurate or true.

So I totally shouldn’t respond.

I don’t want to respond.


I want to say: why are you texting me? WHY ARE YOU TEXTING ME?

I want to say nothing.

And the 15 year old in my head, who loves any kind of attention, totally wants to say YES! Let’s have a beer so we can continue down the path where we do our best to destroy each other’s lives OMG THAT’S SO FUN!

It’s kind of not fun, though. It’s kind of tormenting and unnecessary.

And I think that statement – the one where I say that the drama isn’t worth it, that what we bring to each other is not worth the bullshit that we drag each other through, unintentionally, simply by being who we are – makes me realize that, though I might not be the most mature or stable person on the planet, I am one who is becoming wiser. I have grown.

It’s a revelation.

It’s enough of a revelation, in fact, that I delete the text entirely, without worrying that doing so is rude or that I’m not being nice or even caring about it at all. Because I know that when he doesn’t hear from me he’ll shrug it off, and then maybe, in a few months or a year, when he’s bored or (more likely) a little drunk, he’ll remember that he misses me, and dig out my number – but in between, he won’t think of me at all.

But next time, there won’t be any debate in my head at all as to what to do.

And if someone says, “Who was that text from?” I’ll just tell them: Someone that I used to know.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sometimes, You Just Have to Ask

Sometimes I ask myself important, impactful questions.  Questions like, “How can I make the world a better place?” and “What kind of a legacy am I leaving?”

And other times, I ask myself these questions:

“Would it be wrong for me to practice my putting while I am on a conference call? No one can SEE me. It would be fine, right?”

“How come I spent thirty five years thinking cauliflower is gross and only one thinking it’s delicious? Was it delicious ALL OF THAT TIME? How was I mislead about the cauliflower?”

“What am I doing with my life? What am I doing with my life? What am I doing with my life? Why am I asking myself this question in groups of three?”

“What’s the point of decaf coffee? That’s like … having a car and not putting tires on it. NO POINT. Why bother? Oh, could you order it like that? ‘I’d like a large Why Bother, please.’ That would be funny. But people would probably get mad. Or would they?”

“How does one become a motivational speaker? I think I’d like that gig – doesn’t basically involve going to different groups and telling them that they’re awesome, that we’re all awesome, and then giggling like mad scientists are we revel in our own awesomeness? I COULD SO DO THAT JOB. Except for the part where I couldn’t swear on stage, probably. Is there a way to hang out a shingle for that? ‘Self Designated Proclaimer of Awesomeness and Motivational Speaker’?”

“Is it wrong for me to use the word ‘crazy’? Is that politically incorrect? Like, when I use it in reference to MYSELF is it okay? Because I’m crazy. But … not the bad kind. Mostly. Ish.”

“Is there ever a situation in which singing out loud is inappropriate?”

Just wondering.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Step Away from a Security Guard and a Chanting Crowd

I love social media. I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA. Even though I can’t seem to get the hang of Twitter (HOW DOES IT WORK ARGH I AM OVERWHELMED!),  I love Facebook and I love the blogging and I love the Lolcats and I generally consider the interwebs some of my favorite places to roam.

There is one thing, though, that I find myself concerned about, and that is this:

People airing their dirty laundry.

Now listen, I’ve got some stinky stinky socks on my bedroom floor too – we all do – and at times, I do like to bring them out and investigate their smellosity, so perhaps even bringing this up is hypocritical. However, I think that – mostly – when I do air the stench, I do so in a way that is (mostly) anonymous. As in, if I have a big old fight with my brother*, my next post wouldn’t be all “MY BROTHER IS AN ASS” because that would not be appropriate. If my brother is acting like a complete ass, I need to have that conversation WITH HIM and not about him.

And also, I should probably not have that conversation on my Facebook wall.

Because this is how that usually plays out:


My Brother: Yeah? Well, you’re not exactly the Queen of the May either, princess.

Me: I’m … WHAT? WHO SAYS THAT? NOW you’re WEIRD and an ASS.

My Brother: It’s a saying. PEOPLE SAY IT.

Our Cousin: Glad I can see the family love here, people.

My Brother: Don’t disrespect my sister, you jerk.

Our Cousin: What? She started it. And we all think she's a bitch.


(And by “Me” I mean: NOT ME AT ALL. Because I don’t do this on Facebook**. But we all know people who do, right? We’ve all seen it. And we’re all like, woooo, trainwreck! It’s like the social media equivalent of waiting for a fight to break out on Jerry Springer!***)

The other thing I shouldn’t do is post the pointed, passive aggressive Facebook status. Like this:

“It’s too bad that SOME people” (LIKE MY BROTHER) “can’t appreciate what others go through and make comments when it would be a lot nicer if they just SHUT UP. But since their lives are so wonderful and perfect and Mom likes them BEST, they need to mouth off their opinions that no one wants to hear, ever, and cause DRAMA.”

Speaking of drama.

Everyone seems to hate the drama on the social media. However, the people who seem to state their hatred of it the most are the people who seem to have an abundance of it. 

Sample post: “SO TIRED OF THE DRAMA”

But then, of course, their friends are going to ask about the drama, which perpetuates the drama, and causes dramatic “My brother is an asshat” pronouncements that then drag him in and make the drama more … um… dramatic.

I know that life can’t be all cute hedgehog photos and funny cat videos, but I do think that maybe we could all exercise a little more self control and restraint and use our internetty powers for good (“Martha! Come see what this cat is doing!”) rather than evil (“I am calling my brother a douche RIGHT ON FACEBOOK. That douche.”).

Except, of course, for when it comes to my brother.

That guy’s kind of a tool.

* I don’t have a brother. This is merely an example. You know, in case you were like “WHOA, WHEN DID SHE GET A BROTHER?"

**and I don’t have a brother. We covered this, remember?

*** Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

Monday, May 14, 2012


One of my friends recently gave me a piece of foam board. “So you can make a vision board,” she said. “I think you need one.”

It’s been sitting in my office, as white as the day I received it, for about two weeks now.  Not because I don’t want to MAKE a vision board – I do – but because I can’t think of anything to put on it.

I feel overwhelmed by its blankness. I don’t know where to start. When I look at my life and try to think of where I want it to go, I feel panicked, as though I am standing on my tiptoes on a thin ledge. 

This is a problem.

It has also been pointed out to me that I’m doing this to myself, because if I don’t have a plan (or don’t commit to one), then I won’t be able to fail.

Which, true.  

But also, ouch.

And probably not something I’m going to resolve on a Monday morning, when it comes to it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Something There Is That Doesn't Love A Wall

"I read your blog," she said. There was a moment of silence. "It was well written," she said, and then added, "I don't agree with you, but I liked how you said it."

Sometimes, we don't agree. Sometimes, people aren't who we want them to be. We disappoint each other, reveal ourselves in ugly ways, err on the side of disrespect.

 And yet.

I think that the most loving and kind thing we can offer is acceptance. I think that sometimes the answer is just this: meeting someone where he or she is, with the quirks and disagreements and whatnot, and deciding that none of them are so important as to let go of a relationship.

Don't get me wrong ... Sometimes things ARE that important. Some things can not be overlooked. But a lot of the time, what we use to build fences between ourselves and other people are not of huge significance; they are excuses rather than reasons.

Constantly peering over fences in an effort to see other people is no fun at all; the walls we put up between ourselves and others? They don't allow for many hugs.

The world doesn't need more walls.

But it could always use another hug.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I was raised a fundamentalist Christian.  In case you are not aware of what this means,  please allow me to explain that fundamentalists believe that every word of the Bible is literal truth. As an adult, I find this somewhat difficult, since the Bible also acknowledges that Jesus liked to tell parables to get his point across (which, obviously, even the Big J didn’t pretend were literally fact) and also, because the Bible had to be translated into English by people, who are generally accepted as having their own, biased agendas, and who may have … you know … TWEAKED the message here and there.

Being raised a fundamentalist makes life … interesting. For example, it was very important to my family that I do well in my public school, but it was ALSO very important that I not believe in evolution. Also, the existence of dinosaurs was something of a difficult to explain mystery. Where did dinosaurs live? Answer: outside of the Garden of Eden … the Lord works in mysterious ways … stop asking so many questions. Why couldn’t a woman be a pastor? Answer: Because Jesus doesn’t want them to. Stop asking so many questions. How come I have to stop asking so many questions? Answer: Stop asking … Go to your room.

If Jesus doesn’t want people to have abortions, how come abortion was invented? That is the Devil’s work.  Isn’t Jesus the boss of the devil? Yes. Then … Look, sometimes we get tested and we have to do the right thing. How come that lady is married, even though the husband is mean to her and her kids? The Bible says divorce is bad.*

(To be fair, my parents were very very tolerant of my constant “But why” and “How come” nattering. The above is an exaggeration, but let’s say this: I was NOT popular in youth group because I liked to ask questions, and because I liked to THINK about the answers to those questions, and because I wasn’t afraid to question the answers I was getting.)

It’s probably not a secret that, as an adult, I am NOT a fundamentalist Christian.

But say I was.

Say, for the sake of an argument, I took the Bible quite literally. So I would be able to say that a family is one Mommy and one Daddy and some kids. Okay.


What then, would I do with a mother who was carrying a baby of an entity that’s not even HUMAN? And who gets some carpenter guy to pass off the kid as his? Then I have a jacked up family that’s got TWO Daddies – one of whom is a deity – and a Mommy who LIED to him about it, until he eventually figures it out – oh, right, Joe isn’t my dad at ALL, but GOD is. AWESOMESAUCE.  And also, I was born in a barn? WHAT? – and then they’re all, well, maybe this isn’t the most NORMAL family ever, but we have love here, right? Love is what’s important, little Jesus. We’ll figure it out. In the meantime, go help your dad – you know, Joseph – build something and remember that we all love you.

Taken literally, the Bible leans toward one kind of family. However, it also turns around and presents one of the most nontraditional family structures ever as being totally okay. 

And I think the kid in question turned out okay.

I think that all children who are loved, either by Mommy and Daddy, Mommy and Mommy, Daddy and Daddy, or whatever combination of parents and steps and whatnot, will pretty much turn out okay. Because, literal or not, the story of Jesus’s birth shows us that all real families – the kind who live down the street or the kind that raise the Son of God, are about love, no matter what they look like.

And THAT is something I can wear as one of my fundamental beliefs.

*For the record, when you’ve been taught that marriage is forever and that divorce is bad? Getting divorced is more traumatic than it needs to be. Just saying.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Tale of One Wedding

Here's a story about a wedding. It takes place in a brewery, which is not a terrible place for a wedding to take place, especially if both the bride and the groom are big fans of beer. (They were.)

This wedding wasn't supposed to take place in a brewery. The original plan was for it to take place in a church, actually. But sometimes plans go awry. The church -- for a variety of reasons, the main one being that the bride was kind of a shameless, beer drinking, living in sin kind of a floozy (the church was not accquainted with the groom, but at that point, was definitely comfortable with that) -- declined to allow the nuptials to take place under the watchful eye of Jesus and the Apostles.

As such, the wedding was relocated to the brewery -- it was already contracted for the reception, so having the wedding there as well seemed like it would be a perfectly natural thing to do.

So instead of stained glass and pews, there were tables and the sight of some very large, stainless steel tanks. Instead of a minister, there was a newly appointed Justice of the Peace -- a friend of the bride, and a good sport. Instead of organ music, there was a band.

And so there was a wedding.

Some of the bride's more religious friends did not attend, what with the whole "wedding in a brewery" deal.  (Some of these same friends probably pray for the bride's soul regularly, and with good reason.)

The bride was okay with it, though. She was also, by the time the wedding rolled around, okay with getting kicked out of church and not being allowed to get married there. Because, you see, she got it. If a religious entity wanted to deny her the right to get married, she could still get her license and have it done differently in a legal way. With beer, a band, and a party, and without religion. Because marriage, as it turns out -- both the original ceremony and -- in this case -- the later divorce -- are legal matters. (The bride, who would later become an ex-wife, would tell you that NOTHING demonstrates that marriage is largely a civil matter rather than a religious one in quite the same way that divorce does.)

North Carolina is voting today on an amendment that could potentially put into law a definition of marriage that would exclude same sex couples, and the push for that is, largely, a religious one.

As the former bride who got the boot and then got married in a brewery, I take this personally. Because getting told that I couldn't get married in a church was painful at the time, but I had other recourse -- all of which involved civil rights and civil actions -- and I was raised by people who taught me to believe that everyone deserved the same civil rights. Every single person.

Marriage equality is not about religion. Any church has the right to turn anyone away.

Marriage equality is about civil rights.

I don't live in North Carolina anymore, but if I did, I would be voting no on Amendment One.

And then I'd recommend some nice breweries as good places for weddings.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chasing Rainbows

There's something about the first thought that you have in the morning. It might be super random and relate to the last thing you remember dreaming of -- such as "I don't think a meat cleaver is REALLY the best way to execute zombies" -- or it might be related to things you have to do during the course of the day  -- "Oh gracious, but I don't want to dial into that conference call today" or it might be something completely random, something that you need to know and have in your heart.

Something like, "I need to stop doing the things that don't make me happy."

Which was my first thought upon waking a couple of weeks ago.

Look, I know that there are some highly unenjoyable things that are required as part of regular life. Things like doctor's appointments and taxes and oil changes. They're necessary, and they probably don't bring you giant swooshes of joy in your heart. I'm not talking about those things.

I'm going to keep doing those.


There are some other things -- things that I've been doing for years, things that I do without even thinking about them -- that may not make me totally miserable (though some of them do, let's be honest) -- but that don't make me happy and that directly contribute to unhappiness.

And that, my friends, strikes me as being incredibly dumb.

Large scale change is not the easiest thing to accomplish -- if it was, we'd all have incredibly lovely lives, wouldn't we? -- but perhaps it's not the hardest thing either. The tricky bit, I think, is believing that chasing after change, running after dreams, and reaching out for the thing that might make you really happy is something that you deserve. That you're important enough to be worthy of that which you would want.

That it's okay, in fact, to let go of the things that don't make you happy and take up the things that do.

Starting right now.