March 1, 2015

the good in my day: february

the patriots beat the seahawks!!! sarah, yvette, caterine and tyson. meredith. jennifer and maureen. fudrucker's. boom clap. the drive to san antonio. the riverwalk. melissa. stephanie, becca, danny and samantha. kim. scot. dianne. melissa and scot. keli. snickerdoodles. advil p.m. coca-cola and hershey's milk chocolate. gabriel. jenn, meredith, kimberly and mary. mahjong. bodycology pure white gardenia foaming bodywash. cheap trick. martina mcbride. aerosmith. acdc. grace.

i love how much of the good was caused by camaraderie. that's a rare thing for me, to be able to appreciate people so well. i am so, so pleased that i could do so this month.

February 25, 2015

the thirtieth question

this was written a few years ago for another's blog. i'm republishing it here because the link to the original post is no longer good.

What lessons have you learned through the years?

Don’t play football with a bunch of boys if you’re the only girl, a pint-sized one at that. Especially when school starts in like two weeks. Especially when you’re the go-to gal on the swim team for a particular leg of a relay. You might break your collarbone. Or something. And chances are really good that you’ll be out for the whole season.

Run. Every day. There will come a day where you won’t be able to do this. Or want to. Relish the days you can. That high that comes afterward? That windedness? The physical exhaustion paired with that glorious tingling sensation coursing through your body? Those glutes? Those are beautiful things. You’ll miss them.

Speaking of muscles… When I was fourteen, I weighed seventy pounds. I had three percent body fat. Yes, three. That I was twenty pounds lighter than the norm worried my doctor and he put me on an Ensure regimen. And I ate, desperately. Burgers and pizza and pasta. Daily. To counter the three to five thousand meters I swam daily, depending on the time of year. I despised the flatness and straightness of my figure. I ogled the litheness and length, the strength of the boys on ours and the opposing teams. I studied the curvaceous and muscular figures of the girls I swam with and against. I ate. Poorly. And now, at over forty with some thirty percent body fat, I wish like hell I could say I was twenty pounds underweight. That my body was a little flatter and a lot straighter. That I could’ve, should’ve taken better care of myself.

Regret sucks. Do your damnedest to avoid it. 

If he matters to you—really, really matters—give the boy what he wants. Even if what he wants makes you unhappy. That unhappiness? Maybe it’ll only last a moment or two. Maybe if you don’t give him what he wants, you’ll be unhappy for a whole lot longer.  On the flip side of that… if he’s not giving you want you want, maybe he doesn’t really matter, in which case kicking him to the curb’s a really good idea.

There’s this thing called instinct. And it’s good. It generally leads you in the right direction. But don’t confuse it with temper. That’s a bad thing. It will almost always inspire you to go the wrong way. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell them apart.

Not every woman is destined for marriage and family. These are beautiful aspirations. Worthy. Lovely. But don’t become so obsessed with finding them that you forget to appreciate what you have. A friend told me once that she thought my disappointment with how my life has played out overshadows my witty personality and can make me appear cranky. I don’t mind the cranky. I do mind the disappointment. I mind that it casts a shadow on what makes me good. I don’t know how to shrug off that cloak. I spent my life trying to be normal when I wasn’t meant to be so. 

There are stories inside you. Don’t be afraid to tell them.

And most importantly, never, NEVER get a credit card.

February 19, 2015

all i do is worry

from the moment i wake up in the morning until i finally, finally fall asleep at night.

i worry about the friends battling leukemia and breast cancer... or the one who had a stroke so long ago who's having to readjust again, as he's in his seventies now, to the limitations brought on by that stroke. i worry for the friends who care for these people... who love them. i worry for my parents. for my brother. for his children. for my munkle--my great uncle way up there in utah... the closet thing i've got to a grandfather... i worry he'll be leaving us soon. i worry for my friends... the ones who live so far from their families that they rarely get to see them. or the ones who work two jobs and go to school to study a subject for which they no longer care because the schooling will be over sooner and it will cost less and possibly yield a loftier paycheck in the end if they stay the course. the ones who've grown attached to a pet in a matter of days and had to put the animal down because it got sick.

i worry that i'll disappoint my parents. that i'll be late to my hair appointment, thereby making my stylist late for every appointment after that. that i'll say something stupid or offensive or just be too loud and obnoxious. that i'll wreck mercy bocephus--my new-to-me car of three months or so. that i'll wreck things with this boy, who's new-to-me for a month or so. that i'll not turn all the appropriate documents over to my c.p.a. so she can calculate my taxes. that i'll just be wrong. that. i'll. just. be. wrong.

i've a text saved in my phone. it's a list i made several years ago of the things people like about me. i updated it the other day with a text the boy had sent me: ways i make him happy so that i can keep doing those things...

i'm pretty clumsy... with things. with people. i'm either much too careful because of it. or not careful at all.

this morning my father asked me, are you being careful with the boy?

sure, i said. yes, daddy.

and always at the back of my mind today was just how clumsy i can be.

i told the boy my father'd warned me to be careful. that i was trying really hard not to be crazy or whatever.

and after we'd talked, i texted him: don't let me mess this up. :] okay?

i got this reply: jenn... relax. i don't do drama and i don't do crazy. relax.

i wanted to say that you're talking to a writer: i've got a degree in drama and crazy. instead i just said: yeah.

so... the list... the text he'd sent... it goes like this:

i like your honesty and your affection. i like the way you aren't afraid to tell me you miss me and think about me. i like your sense of humor and the fact that you get mine. i like how considerate you are, and i think you'd be there for me if i needed something.
i like you, jenn, just because you are you.

i've read that a dozen times tonight. i worry about how long it'll take for me to change his mind.

telling me to relax is like telling water to flow up instead of down. or the sun to rise in the west and set in the east. i. don't. know. how.

i worry that the very things that make him happy now... that honesty and affection and consideration... that compassion... the very things born of that worry... the only good that comes from it... will be the very things that alienate him in the end.

February 16, 2015

what we see in the dark

ten days or so ago, i scurried through the mall snatching up things for a trip to san antonio to see the boy (we'll call him scot because his genealogical history is scot, so... aren't i clever?). i bought new shades and a new bag and new flip-flops to show off my pretty new pedicure. i was quite the girly-girl. and then i went to the gap to see about a pair of jeans.

tangent: must check out american eagle when i have money again because two of my coworkers have introduced me to the potential awesomeness of their denim... and every pair of jeans i own disappoints... there has to be a pair somewhere that pleases.

i wasn't in that store for very long. i tried on one pair, and i loved the wash. i loved the length. i loved the way they made my legs look. but alas... my belly and hips are much too big. so i took them off. and then i sat there staring at the figure in the mirror before me. 

and for the first time in EVER i caught myself. there's a man who thinks you're pretty hot. get the hell out of here.

it was really nice to be able to think that way.

my family's been nagging me for some time about the size and shape of my being. i've been nagging me. i've gotten really good at it. not that the nagging's inspired me to do much more than keep track of the calories i've ingested.

i stopped doing that today. i stopped because it wasn't really helping. it just made me feel more like a failure. i stopped because last night while i was on the phone with scot, bemoaning (again) the fact that i'd eaten too much (again), he said: this is obsessive. and then he said some shit about how i shouldn't be beating myself up for it. that if i wanted to enjoy a cheeseburger, i should be able to. that he liked my body. 

this morning, before i got out of bed, i snatched my phone up and took a selfie. a REALLY bad one. i looked awful. my face looked like it belonged to the body of a three-hundred-pound chick. i was disgusted. i deleted it. got out of bed. got dressed. felt a little better (because i'd covered myself up). but all day today i've thought i wish that when i look in the mirror i could see what he sees. 

and when i talked to scot this evening (now he's in lubbock. yay.) i'd told him that i wanted that. asked him if he could help with me with it. he said he could. 

if only... i don't know how he'd do it, though. there's a lot of other people's voices in my head. hundreds and hundreds of'm. how'm i gonna silence them so i can hear his one?

February 6, 2015

random quarter: the q&a edition - february

one. who do you live with: my parents.

two. on a scale of one to ten, how sad are you? why? two. because i went shopping.

three. outside the weather is getting much better.

four. what are you obsessively listening to? simple mind's alive and kicking.

five. are you seeking contentment or excitement? both?

six. what are three things you have to buy? perfume, mouthwash, gasoline.

seven. are you in love? not at the moment, but...

eight. how late did you sleep? eight a.m.

nine. if this day were an animal, what would it be? a kitten.

ten. how did you get to work today? i didn't.

eleven. what is your biggest obstacle right now? a lack of willpower.

twelve. did you kiss someone today? platonically? my niece. romantically? no.

thirteen. what was the last performance or concert you went to? into the woods.

fourteen. if you could change something about today, what would it be? would've found jeans that fit.

fifteen. what's the most expensive thing you're wearing right now? my bra.

sixteen. what word did you overuse today? fuck.

seventeen. what was your prevailing emotion of the day? happiness.

eighteen. today you've got too much fat on this body.

nineteen. what's the last dream you remember? jack tattoo on my hand.

twenty. when was the last time you were sick? a few weeks ago.

twenty-one. what is your resolution for tomorrow? not getting a speeding ticket.

twenty-two. what is your favorite question to ask people? what's your favorite movie?

twenty-three. write down the cure for a broken heart. booze and time.

twenty-four. who is the craziest person in your life? me.

twenty-five. what is the most embarrassing purchase on a recent credit card statement? the outfield downloads from itunes.

the good in my day

i read in a magazine or on a website or something... somewhere... about how one should write down the most beautiful thing about the day. and that looking at this list will help a person see her life differently, more positively.

bodycology pure white gardenia foaming bodywash. james, andy and jerry.
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