Monday, August 12, 2013

The Elephant

There are a lot of reasons I've stopped writing on this blog. Several in fact. Some practical, some lame. But if I'm being honest with myself, the main reason is.. it's been a bummer of a year or two. There has been laughter and fun and great stories and celebrations and life has been lived, but it's also been sad. And confusing. And sometimes I feel it's fake to gloss over the big stuff. There's an elephant in the room this blog and by not addressing it, I feel like a phony. Because there is so much I want to say, but can't. I often wonder how those bloggers - the ones with millions of followers - "sell out" (to some extent), their families and/or friends. It must feel so freeing to just truly write what your heart keeps silent or the way you really see the world or what is actually going on and NOT CARE what anyone thinks. Because in all reality, many people are probably experiencing what you are going through. There are universal life experiences after all. Universal hurts and joys. And sharing your personal story and journey and having validation must feel very rewarding at times. But what about the family member who didn't want that secret told? Who never asked for their sibling or uncle or mother to be a professional blogger and who feel betrayed? What about the friend who decides to open up to you only to find it looking back at them on their laptop a month later? What about the kids in their life who will eventually grow up and someday read those words that perhaps it was not necessary they know? And yet, those blogs or articles or essays are always the best to read. We relate to them. They touch us. They are real. Not snippets of a perfect life put on display. I can't say everything I would like to say. I do care more about what those I love may feel then in being 100% open. Unfortunately that means that I tend to take several steps back. Too many. I guess you could say, I hide. And for some reason, hiding makes me tired. It's exhausting actually. Constantly worrying about how what I write may make someone feel is draining. In real life, away from the keyboard, I can talk about anything. I'm a pretty open book. Maybe that's why the disparity between the two, real life and writing about real life, feels so gaping.

So here is the compromise... It's how I feel at this moment. Tonight.
It's honest.
It's from the heart.
It's The Elephant:

There is an eternal bubbling spring of cruelty and pain and grief and heartache that exists within some. An ability to hurt everyone around them and take things like love and hope and innocence and faith and crush it all. Again and again. These people can lie to others and often themselves with an ease I will never understand. They can live in a world where selfishness and greed reign over their decisions. For every 10 decisions made, 9 will be in their best interest. And for that 1 act of seemingly unselfish generosity, it will be glorified and held over others' heads as a beacon of how good they really are. Even though they may kick you and spit on you and go for the jugular just after. Of course they won't see it that way. They will only pat themselves on the back for their kind act, all the while taking pieces of the good within others and never returning them. Never regretting their actions.

Other than the obvious serial killer or pedophile, what makes a person a monster? Extreme greed? Selfishness? Utter indifference? Extreme narcissism? We all do things that hurt others at some point... Our spouse, our parents, a friend, a family member. But don't most people own up to it? Don't most say, "I'm sorry I was a jerk. It won't happen again, because I love you and I don't want you to feel the way I purposely or inadvertently made you feel". Maybe I am naive to think MOST people are that way. There is that other type of person, however, who apologizes for nothing. Who live in their own reality, oblivious or unwilling to see the ache going on in the people around them. When someone tries to say, "hey, this hurt me", they will respond with insult and violently lash out or maybe just turn their back completely.

But, the very worst thing about these people is, we keep loving them. We make excuses for them. We sympathize with their grievances. We view them as broken and therefore incapable of not being awful. Eventually, we try and cut off the pain and put up a barrier saying, "enough is enough" and we try to keep our hearts occupied elsewhere, but then we are hit with it again... Love. Followed by pain. We try again, even as the cruelty ensues. Love for this monster who takes and abuses and never clearly sees.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thank You. Gracias. Merci. Mahalo. Efcharisto. Grazie. Khop Khun Krab.

I was inspired by this guy...
to write my own Thank You post. It won't be as cool as his. His life is cooler. He has a cool wife and a cool kid and works for a cool company, lives in cool cities, etc.. He had a bum spit-yell on his face and Steve Buscemi knows his name. I can't compete with that. 
But, here are my own, less cool, Thank You Notes.

A Few People I have never properly Thanked:

Dear 9th Grade Cheerleading Coach,
Cheerleading was my life. (YES, I KNOW HOW THAT SOUNDS! AND I'M SORRY. Okay?) It was kind of a big deal in my life. Because I was on this amazing, trophy winning, nationally competing kind of team and I REALLy wanted to continue to cheer 
- but this time - 
(yes, yes.. i hear how this sounds... and I hate myself for it). 
But I didn't make it. Close, but not quite. Thank you for pulling me out of class to inform me I was next on the list and SO close. Thank you for asking me to manage the gymnastics team.. because 4 years later I would LETTER in that. 
HOLLAAA! SHS Letter Jackets last forever... in my parents' attic. 
But the real reason I thank you is because NOT making it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I did other awesome things like Student Council and Principal's Advisory Board... and Drama Club and Choir and Improv and making my way into musicals and plays that was it's own accomplishment as a Freshman. 
(I have derailed - sorry to Andrew, who I know is mortified at the nerdery I am confessing to). 
Anyway, my point is... Door Closed, Window Opened... yadda yadda. Next year I made the team. It wasn't all that great or fun or life changing. Which is why I didn't try out my Junior and Senior year. I made some great friends through High School and a few life longers because I wasn't confined to one activity. So thanks for leaving my name off that list hanging on the High School door. Painful as it was to see. Toooooootally over it...

Dear Annie H-M,
I have never thanked you for introducing me to Vogue. I was moderately shocked and appalled by some of the ads at the age of 14, but I was in awe of your ability and DESIRE to read it cover to cover when I just wanted to look at the pretty and sometimes not-so-pretty pictures and when I would have rather been looking thru "17 Magazine". (I was not as mature a 14 year old as you, what can I say?..) Thanks for teaching me how to both spell and pronounce several famous designers. That is a skill that has come in handy over the years. 
I don't wear Gucci, Versace, Louboutin, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana or Lacroix, 
but I can pronounce the crap out of them. 
And in that vein, THANK You for yelling at me after I said for the thousandth time, "Meeean Either!" and correcting me that it is in fact, "Me Neither". I could still be saying that incorrectly today.. 
And that makes me shudder.

Dear D-Bag who informed me that the sweet and innocent kiss we shared that one time led to great shame and sorrow and friend-intervention and confession because I was... Mormon! Your friends (some of whom I wrongfully assumed were my own. Silly Girl...) told your Pastor. You almost weren't going to go on your Summer Youth Trip! Because Summer Youth Trips are for those who do not kiss a girl going to Hell. Even though it was one week prior, it made the decision to call off going to Senior Prom with you pretty easy when you sat in front of me crying and wracked with pain of kissing the evil that was/is? Me. 
(The non-drinking Christian Girl who had a midnight curfew). OH THE HUMANITYYY! 
I can not imagine the guilt and devastation that would have ensued had you... *gulp.. held my hand as we walked across the dance floor). I am glad I didn't find out your true feelings or exactly what it meant to be "Southern Baptist Conservative" in North Carolina in 1999 AFTER Prom. 
That would have really marred the memory. 
And THANK YOU, Kerr Ramsey for being a good friend and going to Prom with me last minute. You were fun and kind and it was a good night. In a strange but cool twist, Kerr ended up dancing the last two songs with his ex-girlfriend who was there that night with the guy who would someday become my husband and the father of my boys and coincidentally, the guy I danced the last two songs with. I'm pretty pleased with how things turned out~ 
Thanks, D-Bag. I'm glad I didn't share this little Rite of Passage with You.

Dear Boy in 9th Grade Who Informed Me My Arms Were Way Too Hairy,
Thank You. You were right. They have now been black-hair-free since 1996. Sometimes a girl with Greek roots needs others to guide her in her body hair decisions. Even if it hurts. Thick, Greekish, Well Shaped Eye-Brows? Good. Thick, Greekish, Sasquatch Arm Hair? Not Good.

Dear Middle School Gym Teacher,
Thank You for yelling in front of the entire class,"Miss Hardison, Miss Krallis, this is NOT a Chorus Line!"  I am pretty sure we have you to thank for solidifying our best-friendship. 
You fueled our Jazz-Hand-Fire. And for that, I THaaaank Yoooooooouuuu! 
(Just sang that for you, Coach Morgan).

And finally,
Thank You Professor Bidwell, 
 for making me the Romantic Lead that one time. After High School, and even with a tiny theater scholarship to BYU-Hawaii, I was consistently cast as... The Mother. 
I didn't love it. 
But I get it. 
Generally, large boned girls do not a stage Ingenue make. And so, to finally be the lead in a cute, funny little show, was pretty awesome. Even if one of the lines was something like, 
"Well, you're not... that bad".
I don't care.. Fine, I was not a beautiful ingenue! But that one time, I was in fact The love interest. Thanks Bidwell. You made a dream come true.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Refined Ladies

 Sometimes, not often, but every once in a while.. you order a Dr. Pepper and it is EXACTLY as good as you hope it will be.
As you need it to be. 
The right amount of sweet. Not too syrupy. Not too bitter.
And then,
as your taste buds sigh "ahhhhhhhhh...." in unified bliss,
"Runaway Train" comes on the radio.
And even though it has been a long, wasted and depressing weekend,
and even though it's Monday and your kid is home from school sitting in the backseat with a mean case of Pinkeye,
and even though it's cold and wet outside and you are driving in the rain, on the highway headed to buy an arsenal of all things antibacterial to cleanse your home once and for all of Pinkeye, Cold and Cough germs,
for a few minutes, with the music blaring
and a Dr. Pepper in your cup-holder,
everything is right
and perfect
and hopeful.
I would like to add that Refined Ladies still get disgusting and debilitating cases of Pinkeye from time to time as well...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Starting Small

I have goal. A blogging goal. I am going to write something,
every 3 days. Wait i take it back! Once a week. Okay fine.. 
Twice a month. 
Since the thought of writing without some kind of outline or direction or anecdote seems overwhelming at the moment, instead I am going to do some copy/pasting action. So, in the spirit of starting small, here is a text I sent ACS this week. 

Feb. 19, 2013 12:58pm
Annie was lying on the couch in the computer room and there was a spider crawling RIGHT BY HER HEAD!! But we caught it in tupperware. Tried to feed it a dead fly I found a few days ago on the windowsill... then some tomato. He got depressed very quickly. Then we looked up NC spiders and identified it as a Cellar Spider (daddy long legs type of spider) and patted ourselves on the back for doing Science. Then Annie let it go. 
Tuesday. Nailed it.

To which ACS responded,

Can't wait for Wednesday.

 There it is, a small step back into the world of blogging.

Another FAV!!