Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years

Every year I promise I won't make any resolutions, but every year I do anyway. A hopeless romantic for new beginnings, fresh starts, doorways to freedom from the past. The idea of being able to walk swiftly away from the mistakes and pain and ugliness of the passing year, simply with the hand-tick on a clock that will soon say midnight is too rich and intoxicating to avoid. 
I'm no stranger to mistakes. To lessons learned the hard way and things lost from my grasp as quickly as water, sand, someone else's finished grasp. As unrealistic as it may be I cling to the hope of more tomorrow's. More chances to try harder, and even if I continue to fail, to hopefully fail better. 
I'd like to laugh more. 
I'd like to let things go more easily without losing the part of myself that loves even (especially) small things so deeply. 
I'd like to need less and be content more. 
I'd like to feel less like a giant pile of feelings and emotions, without losing the part of myself that is passionate and enthusiastic and perceptive. 
I'd like to eat better....but this one is more of a "nice to have" because cheeseburgers. 
I'd like to be more present and engaged and less worried and distracted. 
To love more and kiss more and hold my babies more. 
I'd like another year to continue striving toward a rich and full and content life. Something all at once simple and adventurous, peaceful and magnificent, complete and curious. 
I'd like another year to continue working on all the tangled knots and sticky webs that tie me to my past. Another year to try not to be a broken victim of my shitty circumstances, but a survivor who feels no need to relive those dark moments. Who remembers what they came from but cares more about where they're going. 

I'd like another year for more. And even if I fail, I'll fail better than I did before. 

Happy new year. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

If you go to San Diego

Stay at the Horton in the gas lamp district. Walk down 5th avenue to find dinner and look at all the cool buildings. Relish the cool air and the smell of the ocean that seems to follow you everywhere. After dinner head to the Tipsy Crow and go down to the basement. That's where the best dancing is. It's dark and loud and the music is good and the drinks are strong. Dance like nobodies watching because they probably aren't. Dance until you're sweaty and happy and drunk and out of breath. Hold onto the person you came with. Make fools of yourselves and don't care because you'll never see these people again. You're young and alive and in love and nothing else matters. 
When it gets suddenly gets crowded, stumble out and find your way home. Weave through the crowded streets, arm in arm, laughing about the people you saw and the way you danced and kiss and giggle and shout because you're happy. Because this is everything and you'll remember it forever. When you finally find your hotel again fall into bed and let the music still ringing in your ears to lull you to sleep. 
In the morning head down Island avenue for breakfast. Go to Richard Walkers Pancake House but if the line is too long, do Cafe 22 instead. Get the Croaker and the Apple juice because it's the best apple juice ever. Sit in the little table at the top of the patio that feels like it was made for cuddles and kisses and plans for the future over brunch and strong coffee. Take selfies with your girl, people watch, kiss openly. San Diego belongs to you and soon you'll be back home in the thick of work and kids and bills and chores and never enough time for brunches and kisses and great Apple juice. 
After breakfast go to Seaport Village and do some Christmas shopping. Walk along the marina and pick out your dream boats. Make plans. Make wild and improbable plans. Hold hands. See everything. 
Head to Coronado over the tall sweeping bridge and feel very wild and free and romantic. Go to the Hotel del Coronado and think about all the history. Make a note to watch Some Like It Hot when you get home. Sit on the beach wall and watch the water Crashing over the rocks and the kids looking for sea shells and the birds looking for lunch and the ocean returning over and over to kiss the shore, no matter how many times its sent away again. Think about love and the ocean and the future and the past and each other. Leave when the tide starts coming in and threatening your dry feet. 
Wander around until you find the tiny gelato shop you went to two years ago, on that little hidden side street by El Cordova auto shop. Get the chocolate hazelnut or the salted caramel, and when you leave make a right. Follow the residential street down to the marina and pick out your favorite houses. Think about what home is and how it changes and how undefinable family is. Wonder if the two of you will ever share an address and a blanket and keep both your things on the same windowsill. 
And then go back to the airport and come home. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

If you go to Winslow

If you go to Winslow, stay at the La Posada. Think about the subjectivity of "art" and wonder if you're just not cultured enough. Listen to the lonesome sound of the train the tracks and the wind in the courtyard and think about how it all feels sort of romantic in an unrequited way. Once this might have been a place to have a love affair, torrid and brief and wholly unforgettable. Think about love. Think about us. 
Head over to PT's bar and have a drink. Take in all the locals and think about what their lives must be like here, in a town so small. Were they born here? Have they ever left? Do they want to leave? Are they running from something or hiding from someone and is everything that seems true about small towns really true? Think about where you come from, and how houses are just buildings but homes shape you. Wonder what the difference is while you wait for another drink and make fun of the DJ in your head. 
Go back to the hotel. Take a shot of tequila and a long shower. Fall into the biggest bed you've ever seen and close your eyes. Drift off. Think about me. 
In the morning have breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Get the breakfast nachos, and some toffee nut syrup in your very strong coffee. Watch the train come in through the fog, it's guiding light preceding it's eery rumble like a midnight premonition. Think about far away places, mysterious adventures, places you might go someday. Think about whether or not you'll take me with you. 
Pack up and check out. 
Head to Two Guns and wander through the ruins. The crumbling animal cages of the old zoo, the half walls and old stone. Think about our history, your history, the way things were and the way things are and wonder what all the rooms were used for. 
Skip the petrified forest. 
On the way home stop for a cheeseburger and a coke and listen to The Eagles. Think about me. Then come home. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas time and seizing the day

It's Christmas time again, and I'm trying really hard not to talk about how fast this year went by, mainly because I get bored with myself when I say things everyone already knows. I love Christmas though. I love the way the house feels with a brightly lit tree stuffed into it. I love wrapping paper and Christmas movies and twinkle lights and cold air and the way everything feels very possible. Christmas is a time for magic and for miracles and for holding hands and saying I love you. It's for fuzzy socks and shared blankets and wood fires and small gestures. 
It's also a time for stuffing and ham and wearing big hoodies over your weight gain. 
Still, the way time passes now at light speed does make me sad and scared. There are too many articles and blog posts and "inspirational quotes" floating around everywhere you look right now about seizing the day! Choosing joy! Putting down your phone and enjoying your kids who are almost grown up and therefor won't love you anymore! And it makes my heart worried and tired and heavy. Am I seizing the day? Am I spending enough time with the kids? Do I hug them enough? Do I look at my phone too much? Is it already too late, are they ALREADY GROWN AND EMOTIONALLY DOSTANT FROM ME OMG. Yesterday I made a very rare trip to Walmart with my dad so he could buy something, and while I was there I found almost matching, little red flannel pajamas for the kids, and they just looked so innocent and sweet and filled with Hallmark-movie Christmas spirit, so I bought them and put them on the kids as soon as I got home - at 3 pm. And the kids looked like little dressed up teddy bears. We wrapped garland in twinkle lights and finished decorating, and then they watched a football game with my dad. It might not have been seizing the day or making the very most out of every moment, but it was warm and it was sweet, and that was good enough. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Did you miss me?

This blog post goes out to everyone who was like "omg it's been soooooo long since you blogged" (which wasn't actually anyone, because I don't associate with people who talk like that, so really it goes out to the people who asked if I was "done" being a writer). Nothing motivates me like knowing I am not the only one who reads what I write. 

Coincidentally nothing makes me afraid to write honestly like knowing that people i know in real life actually read what I write. 

The longer I went without blogging the harder it got to blog again, because there seemed to be too many things to catch everyone up on, and I was for real just lazy and uninspired and all of that self-important stuff that we millennials have been raised to think matters about us. 

So anyway, here's all the things I should've blogged about lately but didn't. Enjoy. 

1. My facebook news feed is ALL BABIES ALL THE TIME. 
When I started having babies, I knew like two other girls my age that had kids, until my sister finally got on top of things (get it?) and got pregnant with my nephew Ryder, so I there wasn't 18,0000 babies in al my newsfeeds until recently when I finally reached the age where my peers start aggressively procreating. Now I can't escape the babies. Babies in Halloween costumes, babies inside pumpkins, babies sleeping, babies inside uteeruses, babies holding other smaller babies, ornkickingbitbwith their little baby homies. My kids are not babies anymore, so I feel half sentimental about all the babies, and half like "man sleeping all night long without ever having to wipe someone's butt is something I've really been taking for granted" 

2. I still hate working out 
Sometimes I'm tempted to write about this, but it feels so unoriginal and obvious. One of my top 5 favorite foods is cheeseburgers, so, duh, of course I hate working out. 

But really, just know this won't ever change. 

3. I hate every "inspiring" quote about being in your 20's. 
Inspiring quotes and memes on Pinterest make me worried and tired, but none quite as much as the Taylor Swift-y bullshit about how in your 20's you're supposed to be all independent and free and all focused on yourself. Judging by all the babies in my newsfeed like we talked about earlier, this is clearly not the decade of selfish free wheeling independence. It's not glamorous to only care about yourself, there's nothing to be proud of about having no obligations, and I'm all for building a career, but this is no time to get in the habit of not caring about anything else. This brings me to my next point....

4. I still hate Taylor Swift. 
I know I'm mostly alone in this, but I think she's a mean girl, and a snob, and all her music is vapid and sounds the same. She came out with new music recently, and I just wanted to make sure everyone knew: I still hate her. 

5. Having a fireplace is everything. 
For the first time since I was 19 I live in a place with a real working fire place, and it is the best. It's turning me into such an old lady, but I can't even begin to care. I light a fire, I find a movie for me and the kids, and we sit by the fire in our Jammie's like a Norman Rockwell illustration, and I love it. The smell of firewood and peppermint and hot chocolate is one of my strongest love languages by far. 

6. It's Christmas time and that is also everything. 
Over the years the kids and I have fallen into several Christmas time traditions, and as they get older I've noticed they cling to them more and more, which makes my little heart so full. We decorate, we watch every Christmas movie ever made, we keep the hot chocolate and candy cane companies in business, we drive to the best Christmas light neighborhoods and walk around picking out our favorite houses....I could go on for days. 
This time of year is my jam. 

7. Chat books are my new favorite thing. 
Have you heard of these? Their softcover books of your instagram photos, that come automatically in the mail every time you post 60 photos. (You can choose which ones to leave out before it ships though) they're $6 a book with free shipping, so it's like happy mail full of sentimental cuteness, that comes out of nowhere like a giant rainbow colored unicorn. 

Simple pleasures, you know? 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Random Thoughts While Running for the First Time Since I was 14

What I feel like when I run... What I'm pretty sure I actually look like...

I can do this. Yeah. Not so hard. Kind of fun actually!
{three seconds later}
Fuck this. This hurts. My lungs hurt. Why do people do this?
No, keep going. This is good for you, you're burning so many calories.
{two seconds later}
You know what? I like my body the way it is. I'm not fat, I'm curvy. Guys like curves, right? Like, Marilyn Monroe or something, right? Yeah, Fuck it. I can just be fat forever.
I think my left lung just exploded.
Is that my own ass slapping against my thigh or have my shorts come down?
Nope. It's my ass.
How did I do this in high school?!
Oh, right. I didn't. And I was 50 pounds lighter.
How did I get so fat? 
Oh, right. Cheeseburgers.
Am I peeing?
No, just sweat. I think.
God this hurts.
Little further.
How much further?
Like, that lightpole down there. Yeah, stop there and walk a while.
Or....maybe just stop here. Yeah, here's good. Slow down and walk a while. Or lay down. How uncomfortable could gravel be? Might be nice.....I miss cheeseburgers.
Now I'm almost positive I'm peeing. 
Don't you wet yourself when you die? 
I think I just died. I'm probably already dead.
Ok, I've run a while now and I was going really fast. Time to stop and check my running app:

Annnnnd I ran two miles even slower than I walked two miles last week.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Ambivert

Saw on Aggie's blog- Hilar and true

Shy. Demure. Bashful. Mousy. Repressed.

Words I don't think have been used to describe me since....ever.
I'm an extrovert. I like social interaction, parties don't bother me, talking to strangers is no issue, public speaking only makes me moderately nervous.
Still though, despite what most people would immediately assume, I like alone time. I'm private about weird things, and I really don't like people to be in space, or especially to touch my stuff.

I know this is weird. Stay with me.

I have no issue sharing my stuff, it's not that. If you come to my house and need anything from a glass of water to some of my own clothes, by all means, they're yours.

But let me get them for you.

I hate when people go through my stuff, or god forbid: move my stuff.
I don't really love it when my at-home routine gets unexpectedly thrown off my someone else, and house guests that stay more than a night start to give me anxiety.
It's not that I don't want them there, necessarily, it's just that...I can't do all my secret single behaviors around them.

If you ever watched Sex and the City you know what a Secret Single Behavior is, and we all have them.

It's not anything deviant or weird {necessarily}, it's just habits and hobbies and routines that we relish in, that we wouldn't particularly want an audience for.
Stuff you do when you're totally alone, that you feel out of balance if you can't do for a long period of time.
Mine? Every once in a while after the kids go to bed I change into my comfiest jammies and sprawl on the couch and watch movies I've already seen 800,000,000 times {read: Jerry Maguire, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, basically anything and everything Nora Ephron}. I play games on my phone, eat gross junk food, and generally behave like a fucking sloth. And I love it.
It's not my only secret single behavior, but man. It's probably my favorite.
I probably wouldn't do it exactly the same way if I lived with a man, or had house guests over.
I'd feel the need to dress appropriately, negotiate what we watch, eat vegetables, and sit like a lady and not like this:

My lazy fat cat!

I can do that for a night or two, but after a while I start to get twitchy feeling like I can't do all my secret/embarrassing/favorite rituals that help me rest and recharge and feel like myself.

So I guess this means I'm an extroverted-introvert.

Or I'm an asshole who has to constantly be in control and can't deal with not being able to be disgusting and lazy whenever she wants. I don't know.

What are your secret single behaviors?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Terminally Hopeful

Awesome quote from David Foster Wallace <3 Check out the blog post I wrote that's based on this quote :)

When I was a kid, my sisters and I planted a garden in the backyard.
Nothing fancy; we grew cucumbers and green beans and carrots and tomatoes. It was a small square of space against the side wall that we spent an entire weekend digging, tilling, cultivating, and doing other "ing" things in order to prepare it so my dad would take us to the store and buy us our promised packs of seeds. 
I remember the ride home, still to this day. I sat there smooshed between my dad and my sisters on the bench seat of the blue and yellow tow truck, with a paper envelope of cucumber seeds in my hand. I turned it over, and turned it over. Examined every square inch. I read every single word on that package. I'd memorized the instructions by the time we got home. 

I was so excited to grow things.

As time past, and the garden began to sprout, my dad noticed that the plants I was singularly in charge of, were not growing. 
Not only were they not growing, they were dying. No. Let me be honest: they were exactly dead. 
He watched me more closely, and saw that I wasn't not caring for the plants. I watered them the right amount, I read them stories, I drew pictures of them, I talked to them and fed them and obsessed over them. 
But those motherfuckers were still dead as all hell. 
Finally he put one of my sisters in charge of my plants, and voila. Back to life!

He sat me down one day and said very simply "Some people are gardeners. They have a gift for it. Everything they touch, grows. You are not a gardener. Your plants are all dead. Please find another hobby." 

Well. I thought this was not exactly fair. I mean, this was my first garden! Why should this - clearly diseased - tomato plant determine my gardening fate for all eternity? 

I can garden, I said.

So I pressed on. 
I kept trying, and in the end...I killed every single damn thing in that garden.

My dad shook his head. "You are terminally hopeful, aren't you?"

Over the years I've had many plants. 
Tomato plants that lasted a month, countless Basil plants that lasted a week. A rosebush that looked like a Tim Burton creation within a few days. Cactus that met unfortunate ends. 

Still, every once in a while I pass a particularly beautiful plant at Home Depot, and I bring that sorry, cursed little bastard kill it slowly and painfully. 

I am terminally hopeful, and this extends to all areas of my life.
No matter how many weekends my dad didn't show up to get me from my mom's house, or how many weekends she didn't show up to get me from his, I still packed my pink and purple Barbie suitcase, and sat outside at 5 pm, until the streetlights came on, and my sister forced me to go inside. 
I had hope. 
They were coming, this time, they were coming, I just knew it.

I have never known when to call it, when to fold, when to agree that something just wasn't going to happen. 
A lifelong believer in fairy tales, I am perpetually convinced that the miracle is always only five minutes away. Right around the corner. 

It will happen because it's supposed to. 
Because I want it to.
Because I worked for it.
Because I'm so hopeful.

It's taken me 27 years, and will probably take me 27 more, to realize that destiny doesn't give you any extra points for having hope. 

So when do you quit?
When do you give up? 
When do you stop waiting and stop trying and stop watering the plant that just won't stay alive, and agree that you are not a gardener? 
I think what makes giving up so hard, is the small moments of progress that happen on the road to failure. 
Even if I killed those plants, before they died they all sprouted little buds, and showed small, meek signs of possibly flourishing some day soon. 
Even if no one ever came to pick me up, on the phone that week they sounded extra sure that they'd be there! Or they were extra sorry for missing last week! Or they promised this time to come, and they even made plans to take me to a movie and they NEVER did that, so that MUST mean they're coming!!

I lived for those signs, no matter how often they turned out to not mean anything in the end. 

"Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks in it." - David Foster Wallace

Friday, September 19, 2014

The best parts of the week

It doesn't take much.

1. Listening to this song:
Do you even remember Dashboard Confessional? I remembered them the other day, and it was good. So many memories, so much angsty scream/singing to an out of tune guitar. So many feels. 
So long, sweet Summer.

2. Painting with the kids every day after school this week. I don't really know where this new craze came from, but it's kind of nice. On Monday, out of nowhere Jackson asked if I would buy him some paints and some construction paper. You can't really say no to that, can you? So off to the store we went, and when we came home we sat on the floor and he painted four pictures in a row. Lainie even came over and painted with us. It was nice, all three of us sitting there painting silly pictures together. Peaceful, quiet. Everyone was happy. Now we have this gallery wall, and the kids want to see if they can cover the whole wall from end to end by Christmas. 

3. Rain. It rained three days in a row this week - albeit off and on - which is my favorite type of weather, second only to crisp, chill, early winter days that are overcast and smell like lit fireplaces. Both types of days are rare in Arizona, so it's a pretty big deal when I get one, especially for three days in a row.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

22 {more} things I want to do with you.

John F. Kennedy hugging his wife
  1. Find the Orso
  2. Live on the beach
  3. See the rest of Italy
  4. See the rest of Europe - except the mean places {like Tunisia}
  5. Take a transatlantic cruise
  6. See Blink 182 live
  7. Spend Christmas in New York
  8. Visit Boston and your hometown
  9. Go to a masquerade party
  10. Design our dream house, even if we never get to build it
  11. Eat fish tacos on the beach in Mexico
  12. Mine for gold in the Bering sea
  13. Pick out a Christmas tree
  14. Dress up together for a Halloween party 
  15. Find a bear
  16. Drink Patron, not Mojitos
  17. Learn how to do something neither of us know how to do, together
  18. Go to a wine tasting and heckle the people who take it so seriously
  19. Take a motorcycle road trip
  20. Have a mobster movie marathon
  21. Stay in the tee pee hotel on Route 66
  22. Have a big, juicy, exciting, full life, together.
{Click here for the original list of 62 things I want to do with you, written three years ago this week, and showing what's been accomplished so far.}

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why I Stayed.

#WhyIStayed I knew his threats were real.  #WhyILeft As a young mother of 21, I found the courage to leave a marriage of #DV for the safety of my son.

There's a hashtag going around Twitter right now that past victims of domestic violence are using to tell the stories of why they stayed with their abusers. All of this is coming out in response to the media craze about Ray Rice, and the video of him punching his then fiancee {now wife} in the face, until she was unconscious. 

I don't follow sports.
I watched the world series once, when the Diamond Backs played the Yankees, and I had a crush on the Yankees pitcher, Andy Pettit.
I don't read sports news, and I don't even know what team Ray Rice plays for, as a matter of fact.
I don't care.
I've seen the video of his fight with his girlfriend, and I've seen the comments and the reactions from the public, and from the NFL, and it got to the point that if I heard one more mother fucking person say something like "Well, we don't know what she did or said before the video to get him to punch her" or "You know it takes two to tango...maybe she had it coming." I was going to lose my fucking mind. 

I decided instead to tell you why I stayed. 

When I was growing up, I wasn't given the best examples of how men and women are supposed to treat each other. Healthy relationships weren't abundant in my life, and I was raised by an abusive man, who was primarily physically abusive towards my mother. Growing up, I felt the same way a lot of the people leaving shitty comments on the Ray Rice video seem to feel: like she should've done something about it, and since she didn't, it was her fault what was happening to her.

I was a kid.
I was pissed off, and frustrated, and scared all the time. 
Most importantly, I was wrong.

I didn't realize just how wrong I was until I met Jackson's dad.
Up until we met, I was a hell raising wise ass, who took no shit. I always said that if a man put his hands on me, I'd fuck his world up. I was tough, I was confident, I knew everything, I was untouchable, in my opinion. I dated one guy briefly who out of nowhere grabbed me by the throat in an argument, and I smashed a porcelain ash tray into his nose and left. I never saw him again. 

That was how I always assumed I'd handle things if a man was every violent with me again. 

And then I met Jesse.

It started out, I was going to keep our relationship casual. I was in control, I knew what I was doing. 
And then I got pregnant.
We decided to keep the baby, and figured moving in together would be make things easier, in an attempt to try to make it work and be a "family" for the sake of Lainie and this new baby.

I was determined to make things work.

It started out, that he teased me a lot. Making jokes about the way that I dressed, or did my hair, or my how much make up I wore. I'm a busty girl, and pregnancy definitely adds to that department, and being a punk-rocking 20 year old, most of my shirts showed some cleavage. He would make jokes, and I would laugh them off. And then he'd make more. And then his jokes became more harsh. And then they weren't funny anymore....and then they weren't jokes anymore. When teasing me didn't get him what he wanted, he would aim to make me insecure. 
He'd say things about how "gross" I looked, or go so far as to say that the way I dressed embarrassed him or made him feel like he was out with a hooker. 

Let me make it clear at this point, that I did not dress like a hooker. I dressed like a 20 year old who had a pretty kick ass body at that time. Tight jeans and tank tops, nothing made of pleather, no thigh high boots or bunny fur jackets, ok? 

It started with little comments that made me feel bad, but about things that seemed little.
I was determined to make it work, to make him happy, so I just figured I'd adjust my wardrobe.

It didn't stop there. 

Once he realized he'd gotten into my head, nothing was off limits. 
He gave me shit about my hair, my make up, my shoes, the way I talked, the way I walked {did you know I wiggle my ass too much when I walk?!}, everything. I started to feel worse and worse about myself. Once he was done with my outsides, he went after every little thing I did. I was a shitty cook, I didn't wash the dishes right, I bought the wrong groceries....the list goes on. 

I started asking him to approve my shopping lists. 
Making dinner made me a nervous wreck. 
Nothing I did was right. 

What I didn't notice was that the worse I felt about myself, and the harder I tried to please him, the more control he gained. 

The next thing I knew, he'd alienated me from my friends because he didn't like any of them and didn't want them in "his" house. I'd bought all new clothes, I had to have him approve my outfits before leaving the house, and I didn't do anything without his permission. 

None of that was enough though. 
He became suspicious of me, and every move I made. He went out of town for a weekend once and told me he had thought about putting cameras over the front door to make sure I didn't have any boys over, but instead decided just to have his friends "check up on me". 
I was 6 months pregnant.
When I was 7 months pregnant, and as big as a whale, he'd make me take Lainie with me any time I left the house, even for a moment, even if I was going to run an errand on his behalf. He'd check the timestamp on my grocery store receipt, and if there was too much time {in his opinion} between that stamp, and when I arrived back home, he'd grill me and Lainie until he felt satisfied that we hadn't gone anywhere else, or met up with anyone. 

And eventually with the control, came the humiliation.
I had started to get really pissed at how I was being treated. I wasn't a child! I did nothing wrong, I didn't deserve this! I started doing small things as a way of rebelling: throwing out my grocery store receipts, inviting my "banned" friends over and hanging out with them outside so he couldn't technically kick them out, etc. 
When he saw he was slowly losing control, he upped the ante.
He started humiliating me, in private at first, and then in front of his friends, and even in front of Lainie. 

I remember one night I came home from visiting my sister, and he didn't believe that it had taken me 20 minutes to drive home. He grabbed me when I walked in the door, and insisted I account for every second I had been gone. When I didn't comply he got angry. He insisted I had met a man, had sex with someone. I laughed in his face - how ridiculous! I was out-to-here pregnant, and swollen, and tired! I hadn't left the house unsupervised in months! Who exactly was I screwing?! 

In order to prove that he owned me, he shoved his hands down the front of my pants and into my underwear to "check" and make sure I hadn't been with anyone. 

I never told anyone about that before. 
It was so disgusting, and so violating, and so painful and rough and mean, and just plain fucking crazy. 

I felt completely alone, and totally at his mercy. 

And that's when the physical abuse really kicked off. 
He threw things at me, poured soda, ice water, hot Starbucks on me. He dragged me by the hair from my bed to the shower, and threw me in it with the water on full hot. He'd hold me down scream in my face, grab me by the hair and make me look at him, threaten to kill me.
One particularly bad night, he came home hammered drunk, and woke me up to make him some food. 
He sat in a chair in the dining room and watched me make him his dinner, not saying a word. When I was done, I turned to hand him his plate, and he just stared at me. 
Finally, he started counting: "3....2....." My hands were shaking. He paused forever between each number. I had a feeling I knew what would happen when he got to 1, but I stood there frozen. 
Finally he whispered "One...", and lunged out of his chair toward me. He tackled me to the ground, and started hitting me. 

I was pregnant with his kid. 
I had a 4 year old daughter. 
My family was not even on speaking terms with me because I was with him. I'd lost all my friends, I had no money, and I didn't even own my own car. 

I felt completely stuck there.

And, because of the intense emotional abuse that had preceded all of this, and the slow, methodical breaking down of my self esteem, my confidence, and my self worth, I believed I was to blame. 
I believed I deserved what was happening to me on some weird level. 

And that's why I stayed. 

I always thought "I'm stronger than that. I wouldn't be a victim. I know better. I am not my mother. I am not weak. I would fight back, I would leave."

What I didn't realize is that they don't hit you when you're still strong, when you're still aware, when you're still connected to the resources you need to get out. 
They hit you much later, after they've taken that all away from you. 

Once you're broken. 
Once you're scared. 
Once you're completely dependent on them. 

Once they get you to believe that it's your fault.

I don't talk about any of this often, or with many people. Most of what I wrote here today, I've never told anyone in it's entirety. 
But maybe we should talk about it more. 
I remember talking in some very small way about having been in an abusive relationship before, with some young girl, and her response was "You don't seem like the kind of person who would let a guy hit her in the face or abuse her."
I understand that she meant it - weirdly - as a compliment, but there was so much wrong with that statement I couldn't even begin to address it. 

Maybe more strong women should tell their stories, so that people stop thinking it only happens to certain types of girls. 
So that the girls it's happening to stop thinking it's only happening to them. 
Or that it's happening to them because they're weak. Because they're not strong enough to fight back. To get out. 

Every nine seconds a woman in this country is abused. 
Maybe we should talk about it.

If you are currently experiencing domestic violence, there is help available. 
Get out. Get to a shelter. Let someone know what's going on.
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Don't let your story end like this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Kiss, love, couple, black and white, tattoo, neck

I fell in love with your eyes, your smile, the scent of your t-shirts, the way your voice sounds like rain. 
I fell in love with your ideas, the way you see the world, your originality, and your humble bravery. With the way you laugh, the crinkle in the bridge of your nose, your blue shirts, how you say my name.
I fell in love with the small moments of unexpected vulnerability, when you told me shy secrets in the dark, with my head on your chest and no one else around. One of your many tender surprises. 
Like notes written to me in Italian, coffee I didn't have to ask for, breakfast in bed. 
I fell in love with talking to you, the way you made me laugh, the way we understood each other. I even fell in love with our darkness. The accidental closeness that could only come from sharing the same scars, from making the same mistakes.
There are every day things, lulls, times when nothing exciting happens. 
And then the rest of the time is laced with a kind of magic.
A feeling as special and as captivating as the moon's love for the sea, and just as 




Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Movie Night with Kids

So true.  With #9 on the way and all the energy siphoned out by the other 8, I have virtually NOTHING left!!! ;)

After my post on Friday about movie night with the kids, one of my readers emailed me to ask how we do that without massive fighting, given that my kids are almost 5 years apart, and don't necessarily like the same movies anymore. 
When we first started movie nights, I never really thought about their age difference, honestly.
Movie nights started out as a seasonal thing, watching Halloween movies every Friday in October leading up to Halloween, and then watching Christmas movies every Friday in December leading up to Christmas. I think because it started that way, the kids got used to watching old movies, or movies that they might not pick themselves, or movies that were a little below their own age group {ahem, Lainie}, because they were holiday movies, so it was all in the spirit of things. 
Over time they got so attached to movie night, that now it's less about what we watch and more about the fact that we do it. It's not every single Friday, and over the summer we missed several months in a row actually, because no one really showed an interest in it. But we've recently revived them, and the kids are pretty stoked. 
Still, there are occasionally times when Lainie feels very grown up and absolutely does NOT want to watch a "baby" movie that Jack picks, or Jack absolutely will NOT watch Harry Potter for Lainie because it scares him, so if you're worried about fighting and bitching and finding a movie that works for every age group, I can offer you this advice:

1. Make a list of options. I do this by having the kids each write down 4 movies they want to watch each month. Neither of them get to veto each other's choices, but I get to veto anything I want if it's wildly inappropriate, too long, scary, terrible, etc. 

2. Plan in advance. We do it every week, but if you want to get crazy, you could do it at the beginning of every month, whatever makes you happy. Sit down with the kids and let them each pick one movie from "their" list of movies they wanted to see this month. For the rest of the week, I talk it up. "It's going to be so fun to watch Monster's Inc on Friday! I can't wait to see Beauty and the Beast with you guys!" blah blah, etc. Something about planning it in advance gives them time to come to terms with their destiny, and it gives the older child a chance to get in the spirit of watching a "little kid" movie. 

3. Watch two movies. We do this simply because Jack and Lainie are so far apart in age. It's a lot easier to get her to be a good sport - or even sometimes really enjoy - watching a movie Jack likes, if she knows that when it's over she gets to watch her movie. Also, most of the time Jack is passed out by the time the second movie starts, so she can watch Harry Potter if she wants without scaring the shit out of her little brother. 

4. Have snacks. If all else fails, throw ice cream sandwiches and popcorn their way until they cheer up and pipe down. Make it a whole experience, and then the pressure for the movies to be EVERYONE'S FAVORITES will be off. My kids are s'mores addicts, so we make s'mores or roast marshmallows, and make popcorn. I usually pick up something extra for each kid too, like barbecue potato chips for Jack and Rasinettes for Lainie. 

I'm not saying it's a perfect system, but we usually get through movie night with limited blood shed, so it's worth a shot. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Things that are good and things to fill your weekend.

1. It rained three times this week, and it was cloudy for more days than it wasn't.

2. Movie nights on Fridays with the kids. The kids have s'mores and I have popcorn, and we sit all on top of each other on a couch long enough for six people, and it's my favorite way to end the school week. Tonight we're watching Monster's Inc. and Maleficent.

3.  This song:
Stay With Me by Sam Smith on Grooveshark
I realize I'm probably 8 million years behind the trend on this one, but I don't listen to the radio so shit finds me late. Me and Lainie belt this one out like crazy people when it comes on though, and we both agree the strangely gospel feel to the chorus is unbelievable.
I really like that my kids are both getting to ages where they have music tastes. They both have favorite songs, Lainie has a few favorite bands. Music is a huge deal to me, and it's an ever present part of our lives in my house. I play it in the morning while we're getting ready, I play it while I make dinner, it plays non-stop in the car when we're driving. It's cool to be able to share that with them now, and know what music they love, what they hate, and find out what we have in common.

4. This recipe. I made this the other night, and we all loved it. The kids picked the mushrooms out, but still. Very comforting.

5. This website, that I check all the time, and yes, sometimes put on to watch while I'm dozing off. The falling snow is so peaceful. Add a little Phillip Glass from "The Hours" soundtrack, and I'm out like a light in 3...2...1

My insane fall/Christmas obsession combined with my love of cats and snappy cardigans puts me a cup of coffee with dinner and a vintage spoon collection away from definite spinster hood, I know.

Well, it may not be much, but there you have it.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

People I hate.

You Can Always Count On SomeECards To Deliver The LOLs - Ned Hardy | Ned Hardy

1. Couples who wear those matching unisex sandals that exist only to let everyone know how earthy and adventurous they are {example here}. We get it! You do thing outside! Together! All the time! Your shirt is probably made of flax or hemp or camel saliva, and you eat at trendy restaurants that charge $18 dollars for a salad that tastes like yard clippings, because it's all locally sourced! WE GET IT. Still, regardless of how hip and healthy you are, a girl shouldn't ever be able to accidentally put on her boyfriends shoes, and only realize once she notices they're a tad bigger.
Why does being healthy have to be synonymous with ugly clothes?

2. People that refer to themselves as their pets "parents". I'm sorry. No. Even if you don't call them your kids, if your cat gives birth to a litter of kittens, and you post on Facebook that you became the PROUD PARENTS of new kittens, I will kill you. You did not become the parents of jack shit. Your cat did. You are merely the giant human who will bug the shit out of those kittens for the next six weeks.
Humans can be parents to other humans. They are owners of pets. Period.

3. People that go out of their way to tell you how bad something is for you. Take diet soda, for example. People LOVE to tell other people how terrible it is for you. How if you're going to have a soda, just have a smaller size regular soda. You know the fake sugar causes cancer, right? The thing is, it's 2014. We all have computer and internet access, and we've all seen the reports and the studies, and have some level of understanding of what or who Monsanto is. They know the diet soda is bad for them. They just don't fucking care. 
So why should you?

4. Couples who share a Facebook account. Unless you're over 70, this is unacceptable. Why in God's name do you need to SHARE a free account? Is it because one of you doesn't actually want a facebook, and the other one just can't accept that? Is it because you're just so connected to each other that you've actually begun to melt into one huge human? Like two gummy bears left in a car on a hot summer day? Is this your way of letting everyone know how secure you are in your relationship, that you just have one community facebook account between the two of you, because there are no secrets here? Well, let me tell you this: it's gross. Stop it. Grow up and have your own identity, your own facebook, and take off those matching sandals, damn it!

Ugh. That's better. Feels good to bitch sometimes, right?

Happy wednesday. 

I myself am made entirely of flaws.

There is a writer that I can't remember the name of because I had a short attention span in high school, who had his fiancee read his diary before their wedding so that she wouldn't have any misconceptions about what a terrible person he was.
Not that he actually was terrible really. He just didn't want her thinking he was this supreme human being that we see people as when we're falling in love with them. He wanted to be sure she was aware that he was human, and in possession of so many flaws.

I always thought what he did was an interesting idea, but I go back and forth about whether I actually would have wanted to read the diary if I was his fiancee.

I mean on the one hand, of course! You get to learn the secret inner workings of this person's mind, heart, and soul? You know all their bad habits, and best of all: how they begin and end their journal entries! I mean whether or not a person starts a journal entry with just a plain old date, or whether they actually salute their inanimate journal with "Dear Diary" says basically all you need to know about said person.
And there's the intended benefit: really knowing for sure what you're getting into.
Just how fucked up is this guy? How weird is he? I mean right now I think he's this handsome writer who leaves poems on my pillow and blushes when I kiss him, but maybe he's really a derelict pervert, who grabs other girl's butts and blows on every bite of soup he takes even once the soup isn't hot anymore. 

You just never know.

On the other hand though, I think if we are handed all of someone's imperfections all at once they would 99 times out of 100 be too much for us to take, and we'd walk away. With the vast majority of people, you wouldn't likely make it past the first conversation if the only way they had to get to know who you really were and what deep dark secrets they'd eventually have to deal with, was for them to take them all on at once, without filter, and without context.

I think that's why people say not to talk about your relationship problems with your best friend too much. 
Your best friend isn't in the relationship. They haven't had the slow progression of getting to know your significant other like you have. They haven't been a part of the exciting - and terrifying - journey of peeling back the layers of who this person is, slowly, over time, delighting in the beautiful layers, and working together to accept the less amazing ones, like you have. So when you unload about your problems, you're effectively handing them ALL of your partner's flaws all at once, without enough context around everything for your friend to see the person as a whole person any more. All of a sudden they become warped into this freakish creature who is nothing but the sum total of his unbelievably loud chewing and past transgressions.

Sometimes too, there are things two people in a relationship do need to know about each other, that they're not ready to know just yet. Flaws or affinities may exist that you wouldn't have accepted in a partner before, until you were ready to accept that you possess the same yen.
It's easy to say you wouldn't ever want something, or accept something, or that you couldn't live with something, until you both have the same blood on your hands. 
And after that the knowing brings you together, instead of tearing you apart, so maybe timing does matter. When and how we discover things about each other, rather than just having a proverbial dump truck of truth and knowledge crash into us all at once.

I think we need to live in a sort of delirious wonderland for a while at first, totally punch drunk in love and fully believing that this person we've found can do no wrong, and also never farts in bed or leaves their fucking shoes in the Goddamn walk way, so that later, when we find out they do in fact do both of those things, we are softened and bonded and ready to deal with it. 

Sort of like babies. Scientists have said that human babies are born so cute so that mothers will instinctively want to protect them, and also so that when that new-baby scent wears off and mom realizes this cute baby shits on their things and cries all the time, they are less inclined to eat them.

I don't know.
I'm all for knowing a person so completely that there is no flaw, no secret, no bad habit, that could surprise you or shake your foundation of how you feel about them. But I for one really like the process of discovering and learning and figuring those things out. It takes years sometimes, but that's what gives us a history with people. The trials and errors and things we went through that exposed those details to one another, over time. 
So that at the end of the day, you have a long road behind you, a complete understanding of each other between you, and an even longer road ahead of you. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

6 things that are good right now

1. Lunches at Rigatony's where the sandwiches are as long as boats, and the company makes you laugh.

2. The fact that it's September, and we have our Halloween/Fall decorations out, and even if it's still 100 degrees outside, the next few months are my happy place.

3. An entire weekend with Jackson. We're going to play games, and watch movies, and roast marshmallows, and be best friends.That's what he said when he left for school this morning. 

4. A website that's making progress, and a friend that's building it and putting up with me saying things like "I want it to have like a boxy thing, that has check boxy things, and does the color change thing. Know what I mean?"

5. It's supposed to rain for the next four days.

6. We survived the Summer, and the busy season should be on it's way back into our house soon. Thank you, baby Jesus.

What's good for you right now?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Lately I've been ass deep in work, and when I'm not working on something I'm thinking about working on it, and annoying everybody with how much I talk about it. It's been really cool. {And that wasn't even sarcasm}

Lately it's SEPTEMBER and I couldn't be happier. From now until New Years, this is my happy place. The wedding and photography season picks back up, I feel like we can officially say we survived the evil Summer, it slowly - sloooooowwwwwly - starts cooling off, they put Halloween and Fall decorations in the stores, and it's once again acceptable to burn pumpkin and spiced apple candles and cover anything that will stand still in orange, gold, brown, black, and dark green leaves, pumpkins, gourds, what have you. 
Just wait. Next I'm going to bust out my knee high riding boots and sweaters, even if it IS STILL 90 DEGREES OUT, DAMN IT.

Lately I've been on a kick to rewatch all the shows I loved in the late 90's/early 2000's. Last we spoke I rewatched the entire series of Friends. Now I've moved on to Frasier and Gilmore Girls, and I feel suddenly compelled to dig out my old Baby G watch and Sketchers and Macy Gray CD.

Lately I've been too distracted to spend a lot of time with friends, or put on real pants, but last Friday I did both, and had my sister and my nephew over for home made cheeseburgers and a night swim. It was good. I used to give people that preached "Girl time!!" so much shit, but the older I get the more I realize that solid female friends do my heart so much good. It's not good for intimate, man/woman relationships to bear all the weight of each person's needs for attention and love. Having girlfriends to talk to who understand your female heart and know the hormone casserole you're baking inside you all the time takes a lot of that stress off of other parts of your life. 
I'm sure it's also good for dudes to have other dudes to hang out with so they can grunt and fart and do whatever weird shit they do together, but I don't know for sure because whenever they do hang out with their guy friends and you ask how it was they're just like "good." well what did you do? "not much."
So who knows.

So that's my lately. 
If you want to see what's been up in picture form, follow me on Instagram here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Analrapist. One of my favorite parts of Arrested development!!! too funny!!

Life has been interesting lately.
I tried for a while to think of a clever way to be coy and vague while still interesting, but I came up with nothing, so how about I just be short, and promise to explain later?
I'm starting another business, and my entire life has revolved around that lately.
I am without questions, addicted to my business right now. I eat, drink, sleep, and dream the new website I am trying to make from scratch with the help of my trusty nerd-friend Camdon.
You guys, making websites is legit. I had no idea how complicated it is, or how much effort goes into making even a simple website look good. If you're ever curious, go to your favorite website, and pick what seems like the simplest feature on it. Let's say, the little buttons at the bottom that let you go to the next page, ok? Right click on that bad boy and hit "inspect element". Look at how many lines of code it takes to make that ONE. LITTLE. THING. I will bet you dollars to donuts it's at least 10 lines of code to make that motherfucker.
Anyway, it's been pretty intense.
I feel like the deeper I sink into the addiction and boatloads of work that comes with a new venture, the more I check out of everything else going on in my life. 
I feel bad about it, but everybody's Facebook updates, and Instagrams, and text messages from people just to chat...I lack the attention span for it. 
I don't want to! I want to text back, I want to like your status, I want to comment on your Instagram and talk and hang out and fucking engage with you, but I can't seem to right now. 
I start to try, and then BAM logo ideas, business name options, and how to make a toggle menu in HTML take over my brain and I'm gone. The next thing I know it's five hours later and you're pissed I never answered your text.
I'm sorry, guys.
Maybe if it's ok that I just text you about CSS files and branding options, I'll get back to you a little sooner.
Just ask Camdon and Bill. 
Camdon's building my website with me {sorry Camdon}, and Bill is my never-ending resource for business advice {sorry Bill}, and I talk to them non fucking stop. In fact they would probably both love to pass me onto someone else for a while. 

Anyway, that's lately.
Hopefully we'll get the business named, the brand established, the website built and launched, soon, and I can be a human again.
Well, for like a day.
After six years of trying, Bill has finally found a way to turn me into a workaholic: giving me my own businesses.

I might not be normal again for a long time.
But, I really am having so much fun! And I think that's what matters.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If You Ever Go To Hollywood

David Klein’s brightly colored illustrated travel posters - the New York poster was considered so iconic that it became a part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in 1957.

If you're ever in Hollywood, walk down the boulevard. Think of all the once famous, once living, once bright and shining hopeful people, whose names are immortalized in the pavement in front of the Russian dry cleaners, the hot dog place with the dirty name, the strip club. 
Think about how James Dean is next to Woody Carmichael which is next to Jim Belushi which is next to Estelle Blatt. Realize that former fame is a great equalizer. 
Walk past the Scientology museum as big as a mansion.
Try hard not to think much about that. 
Turn left and stop in at Miceli's. Listen to the aging show girl play old songs on a huge piano. Sit in awe, a little drunk on wine and full from the 8 pound bread rolls, as your waiter who just brought you salad, gets up and sings an opera number that shakes the rafters. Split the lasagna with someone and leave a good tip. Wish there were more places like that. Think about how Frank Sinatra might have ate there, how Marilyn and Joe might've kissed in that very corner booth. 
Think about me.
Think about how this was one of the most romantic places I'd ever been to, and every time we came here I'd steal a book of matches, and wish I could just live there, with the smell of garlic and the wine bottles hanging from the ceiling, forever.
After you leave, walk back up the hill to Hollywood boulevard and go right. At the next corner make another right and walk down to Boardner's. Joke with the person you're with about the sign advertising the fetish club they run in the courtyard out back on Saturday nights. Go in anyway-relax, its Sunday. 
Sit in the black velvet booth and drink a Crooked Cop which is really just an old fashioned. Think about the black dahlia and how this was rumored to be the last bar she went to. Think about how flimsy life is, but then quickly think about something else. Kiss the girl you're with and feel strangely voyeuristic as you realize you can see everyone around you, but they'd have to struggle to see you. 
Go out back. If they have a comedy show that night, stay a while. Sit down on one of the long black leather couches amid so many white pillar candles there are actual mountains and valleys of melted wax all around the yard. Giggle about how everyone there looks like a vampire.
If they have live music instead, just leave.
At the end of the night walk down to Mel's Drive In. Take a booth and have some coffee. Think about how everything you love about Hollywood happened more than 60 years ago.
All the old studios are gone. A city that used to worship the silver screen either tore down all of it's classic old theaters, or rented them out to night club owners, strip clubs, and burger places.
The west coast never holds onto anything.
Think about the street vendors, the cigarette smoke, the bustling energy of every single inch of this place. The noise, and way that there's always something happening. Even on Monday night, there will be plenty of people to drink with at Tequila or St. Germain's.
Just don't order the corn tamale appetizer. It's actually just corn bread with salsa on it.
Go have one last drink in the lobby bar of The Roosevelt, for old time's sake.
Think about sitting on the couch in the furthest corner of the room together, whispering and laughing and making up code-meanings for the words Patron and Mojito.
Think about how we accidentally forgot to pay our bill before we left because the bartender was ignoring us, and we were just so done with being there.
Think about me.

Then come home.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It's my birthday and yes I would like tots with that, please.

Twenty-Seven & Still OK by Matt Naylor I made this in honor of my 27th birthday. Stay tuned next week for a time lapse process video of ...

Today I turn 27.
People keep asking me how I feel about it, like I'm supposed to feel something about this completely random age. I mean, I get having feelings about landmark birthdays, like 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 21, 30, 40, etc.
But 27?
What happens at 27 that I don't know about, that people are so anxious to see me react to??
Is this the age when ordering tater tots on your cheeseburger officially becomes classified as making poor choices or something? 
I don't get it.

Honestly, I don't feel much about being another year older. 27 doesn't feel like that big of a deal to me, except for that 30 is now only 3 years away, and that's really only weird to me because the year I turn 30 is also the year Jackson turns 10 and Lainie turns 14, and I still haven't wrapped my head around having a high school age child when I turn 30.

But back to my point.

It's another year.
I'm excited because I love birthdays, but outside of that it's really not something I haven't seen coming for like...the last 11 months.
Most of the time when I say "I can't believe it's my birthday already", what I really mean is not that I'm freaking out about getting older, or that I can't believe I'm X age, it's just that I can't believe the current year is already in the month of August, and now Christmas is only 4 months away.

In truth I probably spend more time thinking about Christmas than I do about growing up, or aging.

For my birthday, I'm going tonight to see Fall Out Boy play live with Bill - a band that has been in my top five bands to see live list since I was 17 years old - and then tomorrow morning I'm having birthday brunch with my best friends.

I'm not going out and getting hammered.
I'm not drinking alcohol out of a plunger, skinny dipping in someone else's apartment pool, or getting kissed by any Hawaiian US Airways baggage handlers that I don't know.

I'm just going to do fun stuff with people that love me, and that's really all I care about.
Even if I am almost 30.
Even if I am getting crows feet, and shouldn't be ordering tots on my burgers anymore.

It's my birthday, and I'll eat whatever the fuck I want.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014



Memory is a curious thing.
Of all the days and nights we live in our lives, how does our heart choose which ones stay, and which are washed over?
Why can I remember the most random day of second grade in it's entirety, but the first time I fell in love, my first kiss, and the births of my children are only flashes? Images zipping by like the countryside from the window of a train.

You and I are like that for me.

There are whole conversations about nothing that I can recite word for word, 
And there is also Big Bear in the Spring with the last of the snow clinging to the ground, walking to dinner, wind in my face, your arm around my neck, laughing into the night and headlights of oncoming cars.
There is Sedona in the fall getting lost on the grounds of our hotel, stopping to look up at the sky as the clouds suddenly parted, asking what you were thinking and I remember exactly what you said.
There is a morning - some dateless, unknown morning - we sat on your back porch and had breakfast and you said it was such a nice day, right before you kissed me.

Our love is like that.

Flashes of images, pieces of moments, that together make up the most intense, complicated, beautiful years of my life, that before I knew it had passed like that countryside I was watching from the train window: just as soon as it had come into focus, it vanished.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

On regret

I hope that to live my life with no regrets, and even if things don't always go as planned, I can appreciate the good from everything.

As a rule, I try not to regret too many things.
It's not that I try to be perfect, or to make no mistakes. It's more that I don't let myself go too far down the road of thinking about what I would've done differently, long enough to start to feel real regret.
If I did, I think the majority of the years between 17 and 19 would be blacked out in inky, dark, regret for me.
In the moments when all of the cringe worthy shit I've done comes creeping up over the side of my bed to try and lay with me at night, I try my best to just stop there and think what's done is done, or it was the right thing to do at the time, or supposedly I'll laugh about that one day.

But there is an exception to every rule.

Of course I have things I wish I could take back. Mistakes or missed opportunities that no amount of positive thinking or repetition of trite slogans can wash away.
And ultimately all of those things come down to one mistake in common:

believing I had more time.

Believing that there would always be more time to fix a relationship, and not believing that even with the presence of love, there are lines that can be crossed that will forever be the definitive border between with, and without. 
Believing that there would always be more time to get my shit together, to stop obsessing, stop worrying, stop harping on the little things. Stop putting so much weight on a fragile thing, just because I believed that there was still time. 
Believing that there would always be time to say things and do things for people I loved. People I didn't know were not long for this world.
People who left, disappeared, passed away, too soon.
Believing that there would always be more time to savor each stage of the kids lives as they grew. That I wasn't really that close to the end of the baby years, the toddler years, the little itty bitty kid years, and so on.

My greatest regret will always be my faith in the future.

One day I was at breakfast with a friend, and there was a couple at the table across from us. Suddenly, and by accident, one of them spilled his glass of water all over the table, and it of course ran off the edge and got his partner wet. I watched, and thought "that sucks. I've done that sooo many times." 
If you know me in real life you know that I - and my kids - are spillers.
Afterwards I sat there and watched in some kind of horror as the poor guy's partner chastised him mercilessly for spilling his water. Glaring, cussing, raising his voice. Telling him he was stupid, ordering him to sit at a different part of the table, and muttering that he did not want to know what would happen to him if he spilled his water again, so help me god.

Of course, this was way, way over the line for such a stupid accident. It really wasn't that big of a deal.
I sat there though, thinking only that this person had no idea what regret is, clearly.
This person thought they had more time.
They thought that they had an infinity with this person, and that over reacting about a little water ultimately wouldn't be a big deal, and maybe it wouldn't be, but I couldn't help but want to jump up and scream in their face "WHAT IF IT IS?! What if this person is so close to that line, that horrible, invisible line between loving you, and falling irreparably out of love with you, and this is how you're choosing to spend the time you have left with him! What if he fucking died tomorrow? STOP IT."

Granted, wanting to yell at strangers isn't normal, so I didn't. 
But in the pissy little face of that total stranger who was effectively crying over spilled water, I saw all of the little, stupid, unimportant things that I had cried over, that I had saddled my relationships with, that I had regretted caring about when the other shoe dropped, and I heard the words 
"I'm not in love with you anymore"

As much as I wanted to scream at this person I didn't even know, I wanted even more to look him in the eyes and say
"You have someone who right now, right this second, loves you and knows he wants to be with you. You have someone you can leave this restaurant hand in hand with. You have someone who misses you when you're gone. That might not last forever. Don't be so sure of the future. Don't have so much faith that love and life and happiness last forever. Don't do this. Don't be me."

But people who interject into the fights and business of strangers usually either end up in jail or the hospital, so instead I finished my coffee and left, hoping that someday I'd have the chance to try again.
And if I ever did, I wouldn't believe in the lie that is tomorrow, for anything.

Monday, July 28, 2014

All the things you're not supposed to say

Some members of the youth community, find this love daily, others search for it continuously, others are simply happy with their friends.

I just want to start this post by saying that I know in this day and age, I'm not supposed to admit to any of the things I'm about to admit to.
I know that we're all feminists now, and that girls aren't supposed to want or need to get married, have kids, make a family, have a life partner, etc. in order to feel complete. 
I know. I knoooow. 
I know that we're all self sufficient and independent and Single Ladies is like supposed to be our anthem and shit. I get it.

But for real, can we talk for like five minutes about how...most of that shit isn't true?
At least not for me, or almost any female I've ever met in my life.

Over the course of the last 27 years, my desire to get married and have a legit family have changed - a few times.
When I was little, I wanted to get married because that's what everyone told me I wanted.
TV shows, and movies, and all your little girlfriends, and your mom and your sisters, and fuck even Barbie had herself a man.
You're supposed to dream about the perfect wedding. You're supposed to play dress up and pretend you're getting married.

To be honest, I never did that stuff.

I didn't lay awake at night and dream up the perfect wedding.
When I think now about planning a wedding, I think "I hope by the time I get married I can afford a wedding planner to do that shit for me!". Or I think "A cabin wedding would be cool! Like a rustic ski lodge? Ooh, I like the beach too! Backyard weddings are pretty. Mmmm cake"
Really the only thing I'm sure about is that I want steak at the reception dinner, because more than pretty weddings, I love steak.

After years of pretending that I was all about that marriage life, I hit high school and thought "Hey, I never was that into this shit...maybe I'm just not down with it...Yeah, maybe I don't think marriage is cool! Maybe it's an antiquated tradition! Maybe there's no reason to sign a LEGAL CONTRACT just to be with someone forever! Yeah. I'm against marriage. I am not getting married."
And my social-contrarian little badass self went on propagating that lie for years. 
Looking back, if I'm being honest with myself, I probably kept it up as hard and as long {insert Michael Scott joke here} as I did in part to add even more to the casual, I don't care, I could take you or leave you attitude I tried to portray to boys. 
In reality nothing could've been further from the truth...I cared so, so much.

I digress.

As I've gotten older, and had more experience with dating, love, and relationships, and I've watched friends and family members fall in love, and get married in all different types of scenarios, and for all different kinds of reasons, I've realized something about myself:

I do want to get married.

No, I didn't have my dream wedding planned when I was six, and I didn't ever - and will not ever - drool over centerpieces, or know exactly what I want my cake to look like.

But I did lay awake at night and think about that magical someday, when I would love someone, and they would love me back, and we would love each other enough to want to eat breakfast together every day for our entire lives.
I dreamed about the little personality quirks he'd have, and the stuff we might do together - stupid shit, like rent movies {shout out to the long gone, but not forgotten, days of Blockbuster} and eat Chinese food on the couch together. 
I believed in love so much, and couldn't wait for the day when I would look over at some guy as we drove home from the grocery store or something, and just know that that was what I wanted to do for the rest of forever: drive home from the grocery store only with that one person.

At some point, you find out that you're in your late 20's and you get more wedding invitations in the mail than issues of Cosmo.
You realize that all around you, people are coupling up, settling down, and starting their life with someone.
You realize that you have fewer naughty fantasies at night than you do long, detailed, extravagant fantasies about going on nice dates, hearing a guy say "I love you", and waking up with someone you're going to spend the rest of the weekend with, not have a quick bagel with before you drive home in last night's clothes and this morning's questions, like "Is this going anywhere? Is he going to move this forward any time soon? Does he love me? Do I love him? Will he call me again? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HOW LONG HAS THIS POPPY SEED BEEN IN MY TEETH?".

I know that, as modern women and whatever, we're not supposed to talk about wanting a man, wanting a marriage, not liking being single very much.

But that doesn't change the fact that as you get older, more than a fancy wedding or a rich doctor husband to take care of you or a chick-flick-romance, you want to be with someone you don't have to act casual around. Someone you can cry in front of, laugh with, talk to, and be real with. Someone you can run errands with, and ask "Is there something in my teeth?" without worrying that seeing you as less than perfect will make them delete your number.

You start to crave real connections and meaningful relationships, and yes, even a life and possibly a family together, with someone that knows you and loves you, and wants to do this life thing with you.

I don't think that makes you less of a modern, strong, independent lady.
I think that makes you a grown up who hates going for bagels with sex hair.