Sunday, February 24, 2008

Coming Together

Something is coming together.

Something broken is starting to sing... This low, steady hum that starts in the pit of my chest and moves its bounce to my collarbones-- right beneath where I catch my breath-- and back again.

It didn't happen all at once, this coming together, this peaceful wholeness. But all of a sudden I reached down for pain and bitterness and brokenness, and it wasn't there. My fingers walked the outline of my heart, searching for the cracks and pits and black holes that have made up my life for the past two years... But I couldn't dig my hands in to the loose gravel that my heart has been. What I found as I tapped and reached deep for the old reliable bitterness and hurt was soft balm covering and filling in the jagged veins of brokenness, tender ointment covering the scars that remain of my once-shattered heart.

Something is coming together.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Equalizing Forces

Note: The following is not deep, encouraging, enlightening, or otherwise intellectually stimulating in any way.

So. There’s this girl who lives in the apartment below me, and she is one of the few people in my building I’ve actually seen... She has this big giant dog that I see her taking out for walks all the time, and I can hear banging around in her teensy apartment during the day every once in a while (the dog, not her)... Anyway. She also has a SUPER hot boyfriend. He is truly one of the most legitimately gorgeous people I’ve ever seen up close… Breath-takingly gorgeous. “See-him-walking-down-the-hall-and-the-gasp-gets-stuck-in-your-throat” gorgeous. (For the record, she’s cute, but not THAT cute… Makes one wonder, you know?) ANYWAY.

It just so happens that approximately 9 out of the 10 times I see this gloriously hot man walking around my apartment building, I am looking SERIOUSLY SCHLUMPY. Now, lest you get the impression that I’m being overly humble, I’m not talking about, “Oh fiddlesticks! I forgot to put on my third coat of mascara this morning!” schlumpy. Oh no. I’m talking “This is the worst I’ve looked inside my own apartment—much less in public—in three and a half weeks, and I’m taking great pains not to look in the mirror because my self-esteem really can’t handle this kind of negative visual input right now” schlumpy. These are the moments that seem to cosmically draw Super Hot Boyfriend to me from wherever he is in the universe—almost some kind of equalizing force that senses the incredibly high levels of unattractiveness I'm registering and must bring supernatural hotness to my locale to balance things out. *le sigh*

Like, the morning I decide to dash downstairs to take out my three-week-old trash that smells like rotting fruit and old guacamole wearing my slept-in pajama bottoms and white tank top with the black bra showing through and unshaved armpits… POW! Really Hot Boyfriend is just getting in from his run around the block, and happens to be coming in the door right as I’m going out. Awesome.

Or the evening I’m getting back from my walk around the neighborhood, ratty, muffin-top-enhancing jeans and 3 year old sneakers on and my (unwashed) hair sticking to my (unwashed) forehead… KABLOW! Extremely Hot Boyfriend is doing his sweetie a favor and getting her mail right as I walk in. Great.

And then there’s today. No makeup. Deep, deep circles under my eyes from getting too much sleep last night. Hair looking like my cat did it with crazy sweat curls that have yet to see a brush making a Jerry Seinfeld-esque mullet against my neck while my bangs are curling into some sort of 1988 mall rat wave on my forehead, and the only reason I even CONSIDERED leaving the house looking this (truly) horrifying was because I was craving a kombucha REAL bad, and I figured the granola heads at Whole Foods wouldn’t care… (I was wrong. The checkout girl looked at me like I was homeless.) I’m walking up the steps to the front door, fingertips brushing the underside of my nose because I think I can feel a lurker creeping down the side of nostril #1, and… BAM! Super Hot Boyfriend standing in the lobby talking on his cell phone, stretching before heading out for a run.


What makes it all even worse is that he seems very sweet—he always flashes his gorgeous grin and politely says hello, and all I can do is blink my smudgy eyes and try not to smile so wide he can smell my (inevitably) unbrushed teeth as I try to figure out how to get upstairs, take a shower, put on a full face of makeup and come back down within the next three milliseconds.

This morning I couldn’t even look at him, but I felt his gleaming smile flicker at me as I hurried past him up the stairs, desperately fighting the urge to scream, “I’m hot too! You just NEVER see it!


Thursday, February 14, 2008


There's something about Valentine's Day that always makes me soft and velvety inside. I've never had a Valentine in the traditional sense of the word... Mom always made us little baskets like Easter preludes with a few chocolate goodies (always a Reese heart for me) and a little gifty tidbit inside. Sometimes I got flowers... There was never anything big or striking or extravagant, just a sweet little day marked by pretty little things.

In my teenage years, there were several Valentines that I despised-- a season when everything about the American landmark day for romance repulsed me... Always a true romantic at heart, I was utterly disgusted by the realization that the candy hearts and paper cut-outs and pink-wrapped Hershey kisses mass-marketed and filling my local Target's shelves were being equated with the grandiose, epic, soul-stirring force that is Love. The fact that February 14th is essentially National Date Night, how every man in a romantic relationship is societally obligated to buy plastic-wrapped chocolates and red roses at Safeway before taking his partner out to a reserved dinner at Black Angus, or otherwise shuffle his feet to jump a set of hurdles pre-set, stirred a deep loathing in me.

Deep. Loathing.

Apparently it still does, because I'm getting pretty grossed out.

I always said I'd NEVER ask or expect my beloved to do anything for Valentine's Day. I considered it an aberration of true romance to celebrate this commercialized bastardization of love and affection. "No flowers and dinner for me, thank you! I'll take it any other day, but not THAT day! Not when everybody else is doing it just because they have to..."

But then something changed. I don't know when, but there has been a softening in my heart to this heart of all holidays. Sure it's cheap and commercialized and preys on the emotions and expectations of people in love (and I use that term lightly... I sometimes wonder how many couples I know are truly in love). But just because this day cheapens love for so many, doesn't mean it cheapens love itself.

I don't know if I'll ever celebrate Valentine's Day with a man I love besides my father. But I'd like to hope that it would be a warm, soft day, full of easy surprises and lots of kisses. Not because the day dictates we should, but because it reminds us of what we know already... That we love each other. And want to care for one another. And want to delight the other.

Until that day I will enjoy my soft, sweet times alone... With flowers from Dad and a quiet dinner for one at my favorite spot. I'll sit at my table, velvety pink scarf tucked around my neck, and wait. And in that waiting know that I am satisfied. I am at rest. I am loved. I will eat my dinner alone and know that it is enough. The love I have is enough.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I just need to say how completely and utterly mindblown I am at God's goodness in my new spiritual family. Last night we worshipped, studied, prayed, and then talked into the wee hours. I didn't know church could be this good.

This must be what it's like to fall in love.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Just in Case You Wondered

When my tall, gorgeous, cooler-than-the-ice-cream-in-my-spoon Auntie asks me to keep the quiz chain going... I answer.

Favorite Apple:
Honeycrisp (so crunchy it almost hurts). But a Gala will do.

Elvis, Costello or Presley?
Presley I suppose-- if only for the fried peanut butter sandwich association-- but to be honest neither Elvis really tickles me.

Last time you sent a letter (actually had to have stamp sent through the mail):
My dear, sweet, wonderful redheaded Alabaman mommy has her birthday this month.

Combine 3 men to make the perfect man:
Just THREE?! Okay... Okay...

1- Daniel Craig in James Bond 
(strong, smart, brooding, exciting machismo with a touch of sensitivity. He could throw me around-- in a good way.)

2- Hugh Jackman 
(charming but not sleazy, funny but not a dope, nice but not a goody-two-shoes... A perfect gentleman. And have you seen him?!)

3- Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man 
(a strong but tender family man who would do anything to fight for his family and what he knows is right)

If you had a horse, what would you name it?
Ava Gardner

What time in the past do you think you should have lived?
I think I'm alive right now for a reason, but the 40s-60s would have been pretty great.

One place you would like to visit before you die?
The Sistine Chapel

I wish I would have written that:
"If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoevski..."

If you HAD to BE a character from a Drew Barrymore movie, who would it be:
Josie Geller in Never Been Kissed. No. Contest.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old:
A ballerina or a movie star.

Favorite line or scene from a movie:

Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy coming through the mists in the early morning. I can't talk about it.

Or, "You are the champion of my heart." -Renee Zellweiger in Cinderella Man.  Oy.

What are your signature colors?
Something about pink just makes me sparkle inside, but I think the champagne shimmer of my hair is my true signature color.

If the talent Fairy came to your house tonight, what talent would you like her to bestow?
Singing and dancing (for musical theater... or anything really)