Sunday, March 6, 2016

Big Spoon Cocoon

I've been a lone wolf for a long time. A few friends across the country, not close to family, kids are grown. I'm used to it. Settled. But there's still those random moments at 4:30am, the heart of the witching hour, when I wake from a really bad dream and stare at the ceiling, trying to find my bearings while convincing myself it was, in fact, only a dream.

The feeling of being completely alone in this world can be overwhelming, and the lone wolf life isn't so comfortable and appealing. The desire to reach over and touch someone who cares for me, who will pull me into him, wrapping me in a cocoon of warmth and safety, becomes an insatiable craving that cannot be matched by a badge of strength and a "warrior" title. I was given that designation because of the things I've survived, praised for my strength in choosing to face the world alone for the sake of sanity and a hope for happiness, for refusing to settle. But in that very moment of unrest, however fleeting it may be, laying in the middle of a king-sized sleigh bed, I don't care about strength and successful independence ... I want the big spoon cocoon.

Friday, January 2, 2015

D@$% Fine Swimmer

An old friend told me once that sometimes we stop rocking the boat because we realize we have to sit in it too. It was wisdom, understanding, and accuracy all rolled into one and an assessment I could not argue with.

I let those words marinate for a bit, and then I reminded myself that I'm a damn fine swimmer. So I capsized the boat and swam to shore. Granted, it took some time, and halfway through I was exhausted and contemplating why I had never learned the Navy SEAL side stroke. Covered in sand, clothes tattered and suctioned to my body, seaweed in my hair, I gazed at the overturned vessel being tossed by the wind and waves, as I stood in peace. I turned my back on the chaos, walked away, and smiled. That was no longer my home.

You have one life.
Live it.
Don't ever settle for less than you deserve.
And at the end, cherish the memories you made because you weren't afraid of experiences that took you to the edge. Treasure the private half-smile shared between a co-conspirator as you both remember the exhilaration of standing at a boundary, that line drawn in the sand at your comfort zone, the deep breath ... and the jump. There's always the chance of disappointment, sadness, heartbreak; but if that keeps you from leaping, you're denying yourself all the joy, laughter, happiness, and freedom that goes with it.

On a side note: Can someone teach me that side stroke? I'd like to add it to my self-preservation skill set.

Friday, November 28, 2014

3 Things That Will Get You Kicked in the Balls ...

I have a great group of friends, and while the males of the group love me, they're not fond of my jovial, go-to response, "You should be kicked in the balls." I keep a mental note of infractions, and while the list is long, I was able to narrow it down to the Top 3.

NUMBER THREE ... my friend's husband, before they were married, took home a blow-up doll one evening instead of the engagement ring she was expecting. He called and said he had something special for her when he got home. That evening she emerged from the bathroom after a long shower and meticulous primping ... because, after all, she had been waiting quite a while for that special moment when he took a knee and pledged his undying love, imploring her to be his bride. Nope! Instead, she entered the bedroom only to see him standing in the doorway with his arm around a blow-up doll, doing his best to control his hysterical laughter. He blamed it on his fellow firefighters and the station dare, but Blow-up Susie met her fate that night; and from what I hear, it wasn't pretty.

NUMBER TWO ... the absolute worst thing to say to someone who's trying desperately to hold her heart together as the crack in it splinters in every direction:  "You deserve someone who will love you as much as you love them, someone who can give all of themselves to you, who will give you everything you need." Yeah, dumbass, she knows that. That bullshit you just spouted out of your ignorant pie hole was the finger flick that shattered her cracked heart. She knows what she deserves, and she most certainly deserves better than you, but at that very moment she can't see past the chaos of memories mixed with visions of what she hoped for and the realization that a relationship she cared about deeply is over ... just like that.

And the NUMBER ONE thing that will get you kicked in the balls ... the guy who pranked his wife by rigging the "Ring" girl to appear as if she were coming out of the television. He then proceeded to wake her from a REM sleep. Dude, seriously??? You obviously have a death wish.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Today is Moving Day

What in the world made me think I could move to a third-floor walkup?

It was an issue of safety versus convenience, but at this point I think I'd stand a better chance fending off an intruder with hand-to-hand combat and a GLOCK backup than successfully avoiding bodily harm while moving furniture and boxes up what feels like an endless flight of stairs.

You'll find me laying on the floor next to the built-in wine cooler. Just step over me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Martinis & Minivans '80s Style...and The Rock

If you've ever had to spend an afternoon driving a taxi -- I mean minivan -- full of screaming offspring while debating your 8-year-old on the issue of G.I. Joe being a better match for Barbie than Ken and you haven't found yourself standing in the dry-food darkness of your kitchen pantry with a flashlight tucked tightly under one arm, fumbling with a bottle of Grey Goose in one hand and a shot glass in the other ... well, your name must be June Cleaver, and we have absolutely nothing in common.

This CAN fit into a banana clip. I did it in 1986.
Now, for all of you who have mastered balancing your laptop on canned goods and boxes of pasta so you can read blogs and enjoy a martini in the privacy of your pantry, please like the Martinis & Minivans Facebook page. I really want to see this brave woman sport a banana clip, hopefully with her hair crimped. I don't mean that triple-barrel fun the kids are wearing these days. That style is waaaay too calm for the full crimping of the '80s. If suggestions are being taken, I'm hoping to see some blue eyeshadow too ... pretty, please.
 Furthermore, how is this even a debate?
I'm just saying ...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Words that Mothers Fear

The following is a recent conversation with my firstborn.

"So, Mom, I have to talk to you about something." Hesitation. "I mean --" <long sigh> "-- I just never thought I would have to say this."
Coming from your 22-year-old daughter who's about to be married, one can only think the obvious.
"Are you pregnant?!?!?! Wait here. I'm going to find your fiance for a little chat."
"Mommmmm, calm down. I'm not pregnant."
"Well, now that you have my attention, what are you so serious about?"
"Well ... umm ... yeah, I need you to give me a shout-out on Twitter." <another long sigh> "I can't believe you have more followers than me."

Bwaaahhahahahahaha. I really do find this hilarious. I think it's my right, having the upper hand and all, to pick and choose my favorite posts to share during my shout-out.

My favorites have been ...
Laughing at her comedic acceptance of being dumped and then empathizing with her heartache, eventually seeing her find her lobster who allowed her to put red lipstick on him for her birthday (or Halloween, whatever) and then witnessing her wed said lobster in front of her family and friends.

I give you Stefani Scott. You can find her at Every Day With Stefani Scott

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Townhouses & Liars

"Move to those nice, new townhouses," they said.
"It'll be so much easier," they said.
"It's a super quiet neighborhood," they said.

Liars ... ALL.LIARS. It's only been two months, and so far it's a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation that never ends.

One neighbor is a single mother of a college kid who thinks he has legit street cred, but he really isn't fooling anyone, living in a nice suburban area and driving around in his mom's Mercedes, reclined back so he can barely see over the steering wheel. At the first sign of confrontation, he starts nervously pacing and looking for someone to handle the situation for him. I know this because I've witnessed it at 2 a.m. from my upstairs window after being awakened by him and five other college guys fighting on the sidewalk to the accompaniment of one very loud girl screaming as if Leatherface was chasing her with a chainsaw.

I let that event slide, thinking it was a fluke. Sadly, several nights ago, at 2:30 a.m., my faithful guard dog, who can hear a UPS truck five blocks away, started going ballistic. A slight tap, tap, tap ... tap, tap, tap, the twist of a door knob, and then suddenly a profound and incessant banging. The couple was so intoxicated they had no idea that the makeshift frat house they were looking for was three townhouses down the walkway.Two hours later it sounded like a pep rally as the party-goers take 15 minutes to pile into their respective vehicles and leave.

The icing on the cake? Two and a half hours after the pep rally, I'm awakened again by the melody of home construction just 20 yards from the bedroom window on one of the few mornings I get to sleep late. There's no need for a rooster's crow when you can wake up to the musical stylings of a construction crew: the grinding of a Bobcat, screeching of table saws, pounding of hammers, and thumps of nail guns. The next time someone gives you a "deal on rent" due to the new construction across the street ... PASS. Just.simply.pass. I can assure you that the sanity-budget tradeoff is not worth it.

So as I lay there with a pillow over my head, I focused on suppressing the desire to bicycle-kick my bedding, roll out of bed, pull on my rainboots, and march across the street in my GAP jersey cotton lounge dress. I envisioned all noise would cease as I approached. Without hesitation, I would grab the edge of the table and flip it over, sending tools flying in all directions. With a quick burst of air, I would blow my bangs off my face and slowly make eye contact with each worker, challenging them to make even the slightest sound. An indignant flip of my hair, a graceful about-face, and a stomping retreat would signify the end of our silent discussion. I would return to my cocoon of blankets and settle in for my REM sleep quest.

Of course, in reality, if I were to be so bold and attempt such a dramatic standoff, I'm pretty certain that my graceful stomping scene would not involve a nimble navigation through construction debris while the wind romantically whipped my long, dark locks across my back. Instead, I would stumble over a hammer, fall off a two-by-four into a pool of mud, and my hair would look like birds were nesting in it.

Unfortunately not like this

... but more along the lines of this
... or like this

Nonetheless, with each passing day, my frustration continues to fuel my courage to destroy their worksite in my PJs, and I fear that my next blog post could likely be written on toilet tissue from the confines of my jail cell. My first task, however, is to make a batch of Ex-Lax brownies for the college kid and deliver them during normal waking hours. I sincerely hope it's his bedtime so I can wake him up by relentlessly pounding on his door. I mean, I work out. I've done a triathlon. I've got stamina and a heart for retribution. He has no idea who he's messing with.

Too dramatic? As I mentioned, I need sleep. So before you judge me for slowly backing toward the cliff, turning on my heel and bolting to the edge, leaping off in a perfectly outstretched swan dive, please keep in mind that my normal waking hours are way before what could be considered the ass crack of dawn; and while I may work from home, that doesn't make a 3:30 to 5:30 a.m. alarm any easier to tolerate. Trust me, on the rare occasion I get to sleep in, those are hours I cherish like a fat kid loves cake.
DISCLAIMER: I love fat kids. I also love cake. Don't send me hate mail.