Monday, November 13, 2006
Over the past two weeks, I've become a sort of shell of my usual self, sitting at home, watching back-to-back episodes of Lost (the 1st season) and eating from one of those big tubs of 3 flavor popcorn for most meals of the day (why are there even 3 flavors in there? No one eats the butter flavor). My utter pathetic-ness of my psuedo-depression is even becoming annoying to myself. I think my wake up call came last week when it was 6 p.m. and I was hungry. I'd neglected to go to the grocery store, and I was too lazy to leave the house. Hence, the dinner of 2 out of 3-flavor popcorn. Not to mention Friday's lunch debacle when I was so weak I had to eat an orange before I could leave the house to go get Popeye's. Even that was a struggle; why can't they deliver it to my house?
So, I've decided to do something about it. I'll call it a self intervention. Armed with a newfound sense of determination, and the echoes of yesterday's sermon on procrastination - (yes, he seriously preached on procrastination. And unlike last week's extra speech on asking for people's opinions , this admonishment was NOT because of me) - I decided that Sunday would be my last day of the pure laziness that I've been disguising as depression.
The result? I'm sitting at the computer amidst a pile of papers that I've begun to organize, getting this blog out of the way, mentally preparing my "10 things I can do to change my life today" per our Pastor's instruction, and reformatting Chrissy's iPod. And despite the pile of papers, and my failure to exercise today, I really did get something done. I cooked and ate breakfast, started cleaning the office, cleaned the kitchen, vacummed the living room, folded clothes, cleaned off the kitchen table and made some soup for dinner. I also started running errands, but couldn't do much since today was a "holiday." I think I should also be able count mowing the yard, even though I did it Saturday.
I also completely finished part 1 of the new member's handbook I'm making for my church. And you know, it actually feels good to be doing something again.
And my calendar for this week is filled up too. Hair appointment tomorrow, Coffee on Wednesday, Spouses club meeting at 11 on Thursday and a Girl Scout meeting at 2 (did I mention I'm a Girl Scout leader now?); wine party Friday (it's not what it sounds like).
So, I've decided to take my life back, to take this time to just do what I want to, even though this what I want to do won't make me any money. And that OK. I figured all this out, and I haven't even done my homework assignment for church yet, so I know there's more work to be done.
Now that I've got my life all figured out, you answer the question. What are 10 things YOU can do today to change your life?
Monday, November 06, 2006
I tried to ignore it, but everytime I turn around something's breaking. It started at the old apartment - Woodstock and I both broke glasses within a week's time - but now it's starting to spiral out of control.
Last month, I broke a wine glass and a champagne flute, this week it was a martini glass (and before you try to put two and two together, believe me, these things are not occurring during drunken moments; most of the time the glasses aren't even being used!).
Oh, and it's not just limited to me, visitors are also susceptible. When mom was visiting, she broke a heavy ceramic plant holder while trying to open the window. Last week, while a friend was over fixing my computer, his child went to the bathroom and broke the soap dispenser. And five minutes ago, a glass piece chipped off as I was taking the glass out of the dishwasher, and another glass already on the shelf, was cracked! Seriously, what is going on? I'm switching to plastic, tacky though it might be. And I saw the cutest Lenox balloon set at the PX, but I'm terrified to buy it though, because I'm afraid they'll break. I also have goblets in the storage room that I'm hesitant to bring out. Is this some type of a sign? A case of symbolism - the glass representing my life shattering into tiny pieces until I'm completely broken? I don't know, but I don't like it.
I'm supposed to have a wine tasting/party next week, which of course requires wine glasses, of which I now have only 6. Since buying more just seems like delaying the inevitable, I may be forced to come up with an alternative, but I still have one question:
Does wine taste the same if you drink it out of those red plastic cups? I think next week we may find out.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
But later that night, as I prepared for bed, I had another feeling. Fear. I've never really been scared of many things - not genuinely scared I mean. And this feeling I had, I don't know. I thought back to last week when the wind blew over the mat in my backyard. What if the wind didn't blow it over? What if someone was checking for the key that I usually keep there and thank God, put away. I tiptoed outside in my slippers, just to make sure I'd locked the car door. Everytime I heard voices or a car door slam, I glanced out of the window suspiciously. And when I heard a door slam twice, but never heard footsteps, I went outside to investigate, arms folded with a frown on my face. Hmmm... a green Mercedes SUV, that looks unfamiliar. That night I stayed up as late as possible and then went to sleep on the couch.
I've always thought of myself as a strong, black woman. Although I've never been in a fight, I have no doubt that after surveying the scene for weapons, I could totally dole out a pretty good a-- whoopin'. I'm the one who picked bugs off of screaming women and children, and flicked them away. So this fear, this feeling that perhaps someone could come into the house and get me ... I don't know how to describe it. The pastor's wife told me to recite a scripture, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." And I tried to recite it, but of course I can never remember the entire thing.
But I tried. And I told myself that I wouldn't be afraid. I've prayed about it, and I have received peace about the whole situation.
Even so, one little thing still looms in the back of mind, something that I will have to repent for if the time comes:
If I see Pink Panther walking down the street, I'm punching him in the face.
And then I'll ask for forgiveness.
Monday, September 11, 2006
And it was more difficult than I thought it would be. The actual leaving – the hour we get for family time, and watching the bus leave – wasn’t so bad. Our pastors and their family and another minister came out to support us and another brother that left that day. We laughed and joked and prayed during that hour. It wasn’t sad at all; I didn’t cry. But maybe that’s because I’d already had my time a week prior at church. Everyone who was deploying was asked to come to the front for prayer and I just lost it. I mean, I didn’t fall out or anything like that, I just quietly excused myself. I think that’s when reality really set in for me. I’m hoping the first night apart is the hardest. I held on the entire day – alternately reading O magazine and Cosmo; talking to friends and family on the phone; watching the 1st season of Grey’s Anatomy. But in the end, all those distractions – along with an apple martini or two – still didn’t do anything to numb the pain that he won’t be around every day. I’ll look at the grass growing higher, but he won’t be here to do anything about it. Or when my car’s acting funny, I’ll be the one to actually set things up. When I’ve had a bad day, and come home, only Taz will be here to hear it. The worst part for me right now is that I've always thought I was a pretty strong person, but this situation has me feeling differently, like maybe I'm not as strong as I thought. I don't know.
A week later, I'm feeling a little bit better. I gave myself from the day he left until today to get my s%%t together. So today I finally got up and mowed the grass. Then Taz locked me out of the house (don't ask) so I had to jump the fence, go to a neighbor's house, call my friend with the extra key and wait on my doorstep like an idiot. But that little bit actually showed me that I'll be OK, even in a difficult situation and has made me grateful for my neighbors (OK, we really just met today) and friends. I even went to the gym, ran some errands and made an appointment for a job. (FYI, my old job was temporary and despite my boss's best intentions, my extension and rehiring were denied)
I've also received to date one phone call and several e-mails from Woodstock so it feels good have some contact. I even called and chatted with mom-in-law. I know this is random because I wrote it over the whole week - I wasn't playing about not doing anything for a week. So during this time, I still have a lot to stay busy. Hopefully a new job (part-time), I'll start sending out some queries about writing freelance, and I'm in a play.
Plus, I have to spend some of this month mentally preparing for my mom's trip here next month.
But that's a whole 'nother post.
p.s. I totally can't figure out how to post pictures anymore, so from now on any new pics we take are on the flickr thing on the left.
Monday, August 14, 2006
The move, however, also marked another new beginning in my life. A situation happened this week that made me really think about some things. I won't get into details (in case some people are reading, I don't want to add fuel to an already blazing fire that I'm still unsure as to how it all went down) but I will say that it made me grateful for all of my real friends. Grateful to the point where I actually thanked God for sending me those friends, and for allowing those who aren't true friends revealing their true selves before I, and many other wives, begin what is sure to be a stressful time. I know I'm not the easiest person to get along with, but never before this week has any of the core facets of my being been attacked. The main one: honesty. I feel that I am an honest person, and often to a fault. I will tell it like it is, and will give criticisms to anyone's face, whether they like it or not. Even so, I'm fiercely loyal. My friends, and even those who aren't, can call me in a time of need or crisis, and I"ll be there. Now, I may not necessarily be happy as I drag myself out of be at 2 a.m. to 1) bail a boyfriend out of jail 2) beat that b***h down 3) be a shoulder to cry on 4) make a pitcher of Cosmos for a man-bashing meeting (just kidding Woodstock) 5)Deliver a baby or any of the other things I have been called on to do in the past (or future), but have no doubt about it; I will do it. It's not even a question. So my welcome back post is dedicated to those friends, listed in no particular order.
1) Ms. King (like your new alias?) - We were friends before we even met for the first time. I don't recall how I got in touch with you, but I thank God that I did. You are a great friend, and I feel that I can share anything with you. Don't ever hesitate to ask me for anything - it's done. I'll even babysit. For free. And I won't complain about having to change diapers.
2) Tif - I think that you are one of the few (new) people that I can totally be myself around. Meaning I can come to your house, eat your food, watch your satellite TV and not even have to talk if I don't want to because I'm in a crappy mood. I appreciate that. Now when are you coming to Germany?
3) Riddler - You are the meanest nice person I know. Thanks for getting me through those tough times, and making me be nice to people. Even when I don't want to. And for letting me vent to you while you're at work when I know that you actually have a job where you're expecte to work!
4) Gulfport Crew (Apple Jacks, Jeffy and Kenny)- Oh, my dear friends, even though I know none of you will read this, thanks for everything. For being there, for keeping it real, for not letting me walk out the house/go to the club/ go to school - while looking a mess. I know that I will hear the truth from you three whether I want to or not. AJ will fight for me, Jeffy will play the peacemaker, and Kenny will let me know whether or not that 10-inch ponytail will come out during the fight. Of course, you are all more than that and more. And I thank you.
5) Taz - Cause you're so cute! And even when I've had a crappy day and yell at you, you still jump up in my lap and lick my hand, and make me feel like I'm the only one in the world you want to scratch your ears.
Lastly, Woodstock, because you are my friend when no one else is around, you have seen me at my worst and still love me, and you let me rant, rave and curse. For 10 minutes. Before giving me a hug and telling me to get over it.
Of course there are more friends out there who have done lots, but this is my list for now because these are the folks who I've actually spoken with recently and you all know that my memory is bad. So anyone I left out: forgive me. Don't curse me out. Don't talk about me behind my back. Don't call so-and-so and say "I can't believe that heffa left me out."
But then again, if you say any of those things, perhaps we weren't friends anyway.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The place has absolutely no public transportation. Like people literally stopped and have to give us rides to where we wanted to go. So we pretty much 1) shopped at AAFES 2) ate at Popeyes 3) went to the commissary. In other words, the same s#$t we do here. Although we did get a ride to a restaurant where we had something yummy called a grappina or something like that. But then we had to bum a ride to get back on post, at which point we both said forget this let's leave for somewhere else in the morning. And thus begins our adventure ...
First stop: the Perdonene train station to get us the hell out of Italian hick town.
Not sure if you can tell from the pic, but this is on the MFing ground. Seriously. There's a handle on the side. You hold onto the handle and squat to do your business. It was crazy.
So we get to Camp Darby in Livorno, cause you know I'm still not ready to give up on this cheap hotel dream. Note to self: Army hotels are NOT cheap. They are expensive, yet half the size as the Air Force. What's up with that? This is where the adventure really picks up, and "picks up" I mean really starts to get annoying and push the boundaries of my newfound peace and patience. When we got our tickets for the train, the schedule put us getting to Livorno at about 5 p.m. Cool. Still enough time to hang out, eat dinner, maybe look for a little club or something. We get to Milan and ask the attendance which track the train leaves from. Apparently, for the train to Livorno, we have simply bought a ticket. Not a seat. OooKaayy ... so we get in line to buy a seat. Now, I'm not going to call any names, but the male portion of our trip duo stood in THE.SLOWEST.LINE.EVER. For real. We stood in line for an hour. Got to the front at 3:58 and the train left at 4. The chick looks at her watch and pretends, if only for a moment, that we actually had a chance at making that one. So, we miss the train. Now I start to get antsy and whatnot and by now I'm screaming on the inside because although the NEXT train doesn't need a seat to be purchased and leaves in an hour, it takes like 6 frickin' hours and we won't get there until 10. Damn. So we sit there, Woodstock consoling me because I'm on the verge of freaking out because I like to plan things, and we didn't plan this trip, and things like this happen when you don't plan!!!! We eat (McDonald's. Pathetic, I know. But everything was closed except for this little hut that only sold drinks and the sandwich shops in the train station. On a side note, German sandwiches are WAAAAY better than Italian ones.
So, 6 hours later, we have our bags, we're here, we just want to get to the hotel. So we walk to the Taxi parking area. No Taxis. We walk back and forth. Nope, still nothing. OK. We're starting to worry. Should we try to take a bus or something? Finally, in the nick of time a Taxi shows up, takes us to post. It takes 15 minutes or so to get there, but costs about 30 euro - about $38. I'm tripping because in Germany you can damn near take a cab anywhere for under 15 but we're tired. We drag our bags and our tired butts onto post and into the hotel where we pretty much fall straight to sleep. The next morning, we get up eat at the DFAC (so much for Italian breakfast I guess), and go to rent a car. I'd hoped we could turn it back in in Venice, but no luck. This is our fly rental. Jealous?
Ok, I'm totally sleepy so tomorrow - for real this time! - part two. Hopefully there will be more pics but Blogger seems to be tripping which is why they're so limited this time. But just in case here's a teaser - dum, dum, dummmm!!!!!
Friday, June 30, 2006
Unless I get a phone call within the next 15 minutes, I am now unemployed.
I thought I’d gotten used to the constant waiting of Army life, but this is a new feeling. My job contract was set to expire today, but I’d been told from the day I was hired that it would be extended; that it would be no problem. But late last week told a different story. My department was scrambling to get a last minute approval because of a new rule requiring stateside approval for any hiring action because of budget cuts. Right now there is neither approval nor disapproval. Approval after today still means I’m fired – I can just be rehired later, which is something my bosses have already agreed to. If it comes back disapproved? Well, that’s a different story, meaning pretty much that I’m out of luck. And with the hiring freeze now in place, I’ll be hard pressed to find anything else. So now, I sit here 10 minutes away from being a housewife again. My feelings are conflicted. I’m upset – I’d hoped to be working at least until December. But at the same time, I could use a short break. Short meaning a month, not two years.
So I’ll go on vacation, the excitement of which has been partially squelched by this wait-and-see scenario, and hope that when I get back I’ll have a job.
Because no matter how much I complain – or what I complain about – I love to work. And when I’m not working, I feel a little less than what I am. I'd finished the outstanding memos that were to be written and created an out of office reply: "I will be out of the office for an indefinite period of time."
7 minutes until close of business the phone rings. At this point my hopes of hearing something today are almost shattered, but still my heart skips a beat.
"What do you mean you're out of the office indefinitely?!?" It's the community sergeant major. I tell him the situation and he demands why I didn't tell him sooner. It's all being worked out, I tell him. I thank him for calling. I send an e-mail to the staff saying essentially the same thing, but the tone in that e-mail, it's clear that I may not be back.
2 minutes before the end of what has turned out to be my last day of work I get an e-mail. With my system, a portion of the e-mail flashes on the screen. "Congratulations!" It reads.
I open it.
I am one of this month's volunteers of the month. Ain't that a b@#$h. I start to laugh. Too hard. I make myself stop when I feel it becoming one of those hysterical laughs that get louder and louder until it becomes crying.
4:00. My boss comes in and asks if I've heard anything. He got my e-mail. "You'll be back next week," he tells me.
I hope so. I pack up a few belongings - I'll pick up the rest next week - and turn off the light. I have to close the blinds to make sure it's off because they're activated by the light produced outside and for the past 2 days, I've accidentally left them on.
And I won't be there Monday to turn them off.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I am excited journey
I am a rock of patience
I am a whisper singing
I am unbridled freedom
I am the thoughtful thinking
I am a love unshattered
I am the great orgasm
And if you don't recognize my presence, I am here
And if you don't recognize my presence, I am here
- Jill Scott, Beautifully Human
I've been getting my ass whooped. First by Woodstock and now, Da Riddler has joined in. And not one of those Go-get-my-belt whuppins. One of those -go-pick-a-switch-off-da-tree-and-don't-bring-the-smallest-or-two-get-twisted-together type of whuppins. First Woodstock started it, urging me to get on my game, scolding me when I didn't.
But my line sister REALLY tore into me in an IM convo. I'm green, she's pink.
nolimit :what's up?
Riddler:not much and u
nolimit: exhausted ... but writing class is at 6 so just waiting for that.
Riddler: cool, writing class
Riddler:oh i can't wait for the finished product
nolimit: and I'm such a slacker ... still where I was two days ago ... the class will be disappointed
Riddler : SHAPE UP NO LIMIT
Riddler: what's wrong with you
Riddler:what's the prob?
nolimit : I know ... I don't know - unmotivated but that's what the class is for, motivation. When I get home, so tired, and then too much other BS going on. Might quit the church thing ...
nolimit:i mean as church secretary
Riddler:blah blah blah
Riddler: excuses is all i'm hearing
nolimit : i know, not giving excuses, I realize my slacker tendencies ...
Riddler : anything worth having is worth working for
Riddler: stop talkin about it and be about, u've gotten soft since u left the states
Damn Riddler, it's like that? But she's right, and so is Woodstock. During my bachelorette party onne of my bridesmaids read a survey she had put together where Wood answered questions and we decided whether or not they were true. What really struck me, forever solidying my love for him was the answer to the question "What does she hate most." The answer? "When people say they're going to do things and don't do them."
And I've become what I hate most. So I'm making a change here and now. Today. And I'm gonna do the damn thang. As for the name change, sansamor was my past name, the name that shackled me to a past that I'm no longer living in. And as Wood put it, it's just sad.
So No Limit is back. Reading the IM over, even I had to admit that I've gotten soft. A punk.
No Limit gets what she wants.
No Limit wins a journalism scholarship without a portfolio - in fact with only poems written on torn out steno pad paper.
No Limit talks the Dean of the School into letting her keep her scholarship even after Effing up for two semesters.
No Limit holds down 3 jobs while in undergrad so she doesn' have to ask moms for money.
No Limit goes to grad school and gets a full-time job out of it and a university teaching position.
And if you're not about my progress, stay the hell out of my way, cause I'm coming through.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
1. When I was younger I wanted to be an actress or a rapper. In middle school I actually wrote a rap for a “Say No to Drugs” contest at the school and me and my group (me, Apple Jacks – don’t worry, not her rap name, and Lewis who lived down the street from Ms. Josephine ‘nem) won a pizza party.
2. Some people think I’m a snob before even getting to know me. And that hurts my feelings; which leads into #3,
3. Despite my “tough” exterior, my feelings are easily hurt.
4. I drank so much at my graduation party (from undergrad) that all I remember is bits and pieces: accidentally calling my mom while cursing people out and having to pretend she made it up; praying to the porcelain god after drinking shots that most people consider full cups; passing out in the car but waking up periodically to give my brother directions to the club – needless to say we didn’t make it. Ahhh …. Good times!
5. I’m afraid that if I write a book, everyone will hate it.
6. I got fired from a job because they said I caused $300 to be missing from the drawer, but they didn’t fire the white person who actually took the money from the customer. So I sentenced the store to “pay me” reparations with $300 worth of merchandise.
7. I almost got my license suspended because I had an outstanding speeding ticket in the States before I moved to Germany.
8. People who brag get on my nerves.
9. People who brag about their husband’s rank or what kind of car they drive REALLY get on my nerves.
10. It annoys me when people assume I’m a secretary. Maybe I should put my degrees on my wall at work.
11. My mom found two “books” I wrote when I was in like elementary school. I cried when she read me a story from one of them.
12. I hate for people to see me cry.
13. I listen to Avril Lavigne.
14. I really, really hate school, but want to go back to get either a J.D. or a Ph.D. A Ph.D. in what, I don’t know.
Anyway, that’s enough of letting you all in MY bidness for now. What are some of YOUR confessions?
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
So, the oil’s in the pan heating and I start to season and batter the chicken. By the time I put the first piece of chicken in the oil, I’m actually tipsy. But I’m still trying to maintain. So I got the chicken sizzling, mashing the potatoes and have peas boiling on the stove. But I’m also totally violating the cardinal rule of the kitchen – pot handles should never face out! So of course I almost knock over the chicken in it’s hot a$$ grease AND the peas. I regain my composure in enough time to prevent any catastrophes, but it’s a struggle. I guess the bratwurst I ate for lunch wasn’t good enough to let me sip on a lil’ something without overdoing it.
It’s going OK, despite my failed attempt to get on the computer and fry chicken at the same time – I kept envisioning myself typing away as a grease fire blazed in kitchen. And in Germany, there is no law that each apartment has to be equipped with a fire extinguisher. I was told that we had one for the tenants to share – and it’s in the basement. It got kind of perilous when I tried to make gravy, though. I had lots of grease in the pan and I didn’t want to pour it out because I wanted it to fry a second batch of chicken the next day. So I figure I’ll take the grease off the heat, get a smaller pan, put some drippings in it and make the gravy. Only when I started to do it, the grease was sloshing everywhere – much like my mind at this point. I’m able to set it down without starting a fire and proceed to make my gravy. So I’m putting in flour, stirring it around as usual, with my cup of water next to me. And I put in more and more flour until it had thickened up a bit. But right before putting in the water, a clear voice came through in my muddled mind – “Doesn’t it thicken up AFTER I put the water in?” It does. So I have this thick mess of flour and grease, and I hear the hubby turning off the water in the shower. So, what do I do? The only thing I could do – throw it away.
“I was going to make gravy but I changed my mind,” I told him.
The meal was damn good though – but don’t try this at home - you might end up burning the house down.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
In two weeks, I may not have a job.
And I found this out from the newspaper.
According to the article the firings are being announced “as early as possible to allow our affected employees and their families to prepare.”
WTF? Since when did two weeks allow you enough time to do anything, let alone find a new job? And it’s not like in the states where you can pick up the classifieds and start making phone calls. Most jobs over here for Americans (the ones who don’t speak German anyway) are government jobs – the same ones being cut. So what do I do?
On the one hand, I am telling myself not to worry about it – that God will make a way for , that this may be a blessing in disguise, or that I won’t even be affected by this. But at the same time, I can’t help but wonder – and worry – at least a little bit.
The positive me (yes, there IS one) says that if I lose my job, what’s the worst that can happen? We don’t pay rent or utilities so we don’t NEED my paycheck to survive. And we are trying to move into a new place, a move that will be at government expense, that is big enough for a home office. A place where I can go and write and actually have the time to devote to it. Positive me says maybe this is the break I needed, the thing to get me off my butt and push myself to write until I finish something – not having to worry about squeezing in time between work and church and sorority and FRG and just plain Army stuff.
But the negative me, the one I’m trying to push down, says what are you going to do without a job? Although we don’t need my check, it was nice. I could finally buy what I wanted, not having to worry about the balance in my account and whether I should write a check for those groceries because I get paid tomorrow and it won’t hit my account until Friday. Negative me remembers my first few months living in Germany – months spent without a job, months spent depressed. Negative me says, what if I spend all day in my “home office” and come out with nothing. Or I get called on to do even more than I’m doing now, because in the world’s eyes I’m not working, no matter how dedicated I try to remain – they will say Sansamor can do it, she doesn’t have a job OR kids.
For now, I’ll try to hold negative me off, I’ll try not to worry about it, I’ll try to stay calm. After all, my boss could come back in an hour and say, don’t worry about it. You’re permanent now, not temporary – they can’t fire you.
But for now, I’ll wait, and I’ll pray – because really – there’s nothing else I can do.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
.......As soon as the music began, I started laughing. And I couldn't stop. Most people I've met since college have never seen this side of me, but I'm a giggle box. And sometimes, once I start laughing, I cannot stop. Seriously. So, I'm leading this song, and laughing hard as hell, trying to make the congregation think that my shaking shoulders are a result of me being so into the spirit. I think it's OK, for a minute, until we get to a part in the song where it's a kind of call and response thing. I try to keep it moving, but when I open my mouth, the only thing that comes out are giggles. I mean, I'm almost guffawing, while trying to lead the choir. So I do the only thing I can think of - I make that "keep singing this part" hand signal over and over until I calm down enough to finish the song.
So this little episode replays itself in my mind everytime I get up to speak in front of more than, say, 5 people. But I do it, and I'm good!
"You've done this before," said the guy in charge, smiling at me. Afterward, my boss gives me thumbs up. I do it again that afternoon, but instead of 4 stars, it's more like 2 1/2. There are fewer people; they look pissed off, and it seems like the Colonel's eyes are boring into me. I imagine him thinking, "What in the hell is she talking about?" So I stumble over a few words, I say a few too many umms, and I almost forget to introduce the Commander as the speaker after me.
But it's OK. I survived. I didn't beat myself up or drown my sorrows in the Snickers miniatures we have on our table for customers. I laugh it off, go home and go to sleep. And when I wake up, I make myself a strong cup of coffee, go into work and do it again.
And that time, I kicked ass.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
When I decided as a teenager that I wanted to be a journalist, I’d resigned myself to the fact that I probably wouldn’t make a lot of money. Reading books where young reporters ate beans out of cans to candlelight, I was content when my first full-time job (two jobs actually – one part-time) paid enough for me to pay rent on an apartment the day it was actually due (no post-dated check required), eat out, and know at the end of the month, I still had a little bit of money in my bank account. But what did surprise me was when I told a friend how much my full-time job was paying.
“Oh, Sansamor,” she said, eying me with pity in her eyes. I think she said more, but that’s all I remember. That moment of pity; that split second when I felt like everything I stood for was being reflected in my paltry paycheck. I’d never cared about money before, but in that instant I felt naked – I felt unworthy, and I didn’t like it. I rationalized that I was doing what I loved and that it was only a stepping stone for something greater. I was writing, I was editing, and I supervised (Ok, only two interns, but STILL!). And although she made more money than I did (I assumed based on the reaction, but I never asked) she wasn’t doing what she loved. I also had only myself and a small dog to support, while she had a child and a car note. Even so, I never again told anyone how much money I make.
An article I read in the Fashion & Style section of the New York Times tells me that I’m not the only one feeling alienated by the size of my bank account. The article talks about “Keeping up with the Joneses” and how people of different economic status often feel uncomfortable, some about their wealth, others – like me – about their lack of it. A friend confided in me recently that she and her long-time best friend just had a falling out over money. Friend (I’ll call you DR just in case you’re trying to keep this on the low!) has been well taken care of by her parents. They were blessed enough to be able to provide her with a car during college and later, after she graduated from Grad school and was working. Well, apparently BF thought DR was acting “spoiled” when she lamented about not being able to get the new car she wanted. Now they haven’t spoken in weeks.
When did money become the measuring stick by which we measured our worth? Not that there is anything wrong with money – we all need some – but I don’t appreciate being made to feel like less of a person because of my perceived bank account. And I’m sure those more fortunate of us shouldn’t be made to feel bad because they didn’t grow up broke.
Here, in a military community, I think it’s even worse. Everyone tries to one-up the other, getting the latest BMW, Mercedes or Volvo. Buying up the Coach and Dooney bags as they come into the PX, and sporting fake Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior that we KNOW they got in the back room of some store in Czech. I’ve even been at a party where someone broke out the laptop to pull up the military pay scale so they could compare their pay to the rest of the guests!
Even though I make more money now, that’s not what defines me. But sometimes it’s hard not to get swept up in the comparison. Several weeks ago, an acquaintance speaking about his car (butter leather seats, heated seats standard) called my car a piece of shit. I’ve had my little ’96 Mazda Protégé since I was a freshman in college, and it has admittedly seen hard times, but it still stung. I was tempted to shoot back, we could afford something else if we wanted to – something better than what they have, but what would that have proven?
Just keep this in mind the next time you’re met by awkward silence from a friend after you make a crack about their financial status, or low-paying job, or when you look at a friend’s engagement ring, silently thinking how small it is.
We know what you’re thinking.
And it doesn’t feel good.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Anyone who knows me, also knows that I'm not too keen on children. I'm totally not ready for my own yet, and can usually only take others' in small doses - no offense to my friends with kids. But you already know this. Plus, your kids aren't bad ass food court kids either, but I digress. Even so, I have buried in the deep recesses of my mind that I will have kids eventually. However, even deeper in the recesses is the fear that I will be the worst.mother.ever.
This seems to be evidenced by what I will refer to as "Plant Cemetary."
The Army is doing this thing to promote clean-up and beautification so they gave out free flowers. My co-worker, being nice, picked up some for me. Me, being a smart ass, motioned to the plant/tree next to my computer.
"Don't you see how this plant looks?" I could practically see the damn thing dying right before my eyes. I think I've watered the plant probably 5 X's in the 7 months I've worked there. And 3 of those times was with carbonated water I'd left sitting in a cup overnight.
But I figured, what's the worst that could happen and we planned to meet at our cars after work so i could get the flowers.
The "flowers" turned out to be 4 plants in a plastic thing. I saw maybe one flower out of the four.
"Are they going to get more flower-y?" I asked, my nose turned up?
Then she hands me a bag of soil. SOIL!!!!
"What am I supposed to do with that?"
You have to re-pot them, she answered.
Now at that point I should have politely declined the flowers, but no, I try to be positive.
"Maybe I'll start gardening," my obviously delusional alter ego says. "I can use it as a
way to relax."
So I decide to take the plants home. Except, you know, I had a meeting after work so I had a lot of stuff to bring inside, so I left the plants in the car until the morning. Only, when the morning comes, I'm REALLY busy because I had to put a relaxer in my hair. I'd been rocking the head scarf thing all this week, and you know that just SCREAMS bad hair day when you do it too long. Either that or I'd converted to Islam, but either way, it ain't right. So, I'll just get the plants after work.
Only when I get off work, they're DEAD. I thought for sure I left a window down ....
And the lady at church had the NERVE to ask me to be a part of the children's ministry - really, would YOU want me watching your kids?
Well, I’ve gone and done it. When I got to Germany almost a year ago to the day, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. For the first time in my life I had nothing to do! And although, I wanted to work really, really bad, I kind of enjoyed that feeling for a while. And now, I’m right back where I started and I don’t even know how it got like this.
My situation is like that of an overachieving high school student. You know the ones – play varsity sports, in the band, holds an office in student government, all while holding a part-time job. Except I’m not an overachiever. In fact, I’d almost call myself an underachiever. So how did I end up so involved?
Right before I left Tallahassee, I had almost reached the breaking point. My insides were what it must feel like for a skimpy triangle top struggling to cover some DDs – as in stretched to the limit. Knowing that it could snap at any moment. I was teaching a 7 a.m. class twice a week, after which I went to work full-time as associate editor of a weekly paper. Full-time meaning that I often worked at home after close of business and on weekends. I was also active with my sorority and OES chapter, including meetings, fundraisers and the like. So when I got here, doing nothing was like a breath of fresh air.
But slowly, that nothing became a whole lot. And a whole lot is now more than I think I’ve ever done in my life. At my first “Army spouse” get together, otherwise known as FRG stuff (Family Readiness Group), I was asked to be FRG leader. Not knowing enough about it, I agreed. That’s how they trap you I guess. As an officer’s wife, I’m “automatically” a part of the coffee group. In a moment of tedium-induced panic, I volunteered to be coffee group treasurer. “Anybody want to be treasurer? Who wants to be treasurer? Anybody? Anybody?” And so on and so forth for 10 minutes.
And of course, my first mission was to join the AKA graduate chapter here, where we meet monthly in a city 2 hours away. Now that we’re stepping, it looks like every Saturday is going to be filled.
I’ve also become the church secretary/PR person. So I’m pretty much in charge of anything administrative that comes out of the church, like church bulletins and stuff.
So my schedule is pretty much: Monday – nothing – except for steering committee once a month
Tuesday – German class; Wednesday – 2 days gone with FRG and Steering committee; Thursday – Church ; Friday – church twice a month; Saturday – prayer (although I rarely go); once a month sorority meetings; step practice; Sunday – church; grocery shopping; rest.
Not to mention that I work full-time, full-time wife, chef, etc. etc. and need to show both Woodstock and Taz some TLC on the regular. I’m getting tired just thinking about it. Of course all this leaves me with little “me” time and the me time I do have needs to be spent in the gym, which of course, it’s not, so I am getting fatter and fatter each week, and really, I’m not a cute fat.
So, what to do, what to do? Really, all of this stuff started out innocently enough but has somehow grown to overwhelming proportions. I don’t want to have that stressed out feeling all the time, which was all too common for me in Tallahassee. And I have little time for the stuff I really want to do like going to this writing workshop on Thursdays.
Woodstock says I say yes to much, and maybe that’s true. But now that I’ve agreed to do stuff, how do I maintain my sanity and still get everything done?
Friday, April 28, 2006
I thought I’d sufficiently prepared myself for the future. I had my game face on, my mind at peace and my heart sufficiently hardened.
And then I went to the store, and all my steely resolve crumbled.
Walking into the PX, there is a stack of Walking into the PX, there is a stack of Gorilla footlockers there to greet customers right up front. They’re kinda like a hardcore, plastic version of those trunks we all took to college. There were other things around, Hooahs (They’re like the Army version of baby wipes – lame, I know) and various products they would need when they left. And when we drive on-post now, there are huge crates lining the sides of the roads. The crates they use to pack up their stuff and ship it to Iraq. I knew all along they would be leaving soon, but now there’s real physical evidence that he’s going to be gone for a year. And just when we were really starting to like each other.
It’s taken me almost this entire year we’ve been together to get into the swing of this marriage thing. And it’s been work. And I’m the person who has said many times that I don’t like to work hard unless I’m getting paid. See part of the problem? I’m a weird mixed breed of personalities. I need lots of attention but I’m a loner. I tell it like it is, but my feelings are easily hurt. I’m a control freak, but I don’t like making all the decisions. And for those of you who know me, when you put all that together, I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I tend to come across as rude. I’ve had to work on not being the person who walks into the room and starts asking for stuff before saying hello. Or asking about taking the recycleables out before saying good morning. It’s not that I’m TRYING to being rude, my mind is just always racing, thinking about the next thing that needs to be done, and sometimes that other stuff just comes out before my sense of decency has time to catch up.
I’m also a creature of habit. I like to do the same things, at the same time, in my own special way, everyday. When I lived alone, the routine was set: Come home. Walk Taz. Take 30-minute nap with the TV on, waking up just in time to catch Girlfriends reruns. Cook. Eat. Talk on phone. Shower. Talk on phone. Sleep.
I wasn’t really used to having someone in my space, messing up my flow. Only it wasn’t MY space anymore. It was ours. And I couldn’t just turn the TV off just because there was a game playing or turn up Avril Lavigne real loud when I was in one of my moods because now I had to be respectful of someone else. Plus, I’m irritable. And it doesn’t take much irritate me – bad hair day, fat day, can’t-find-the-right-outfit day – is enough to set me off. But I’ve been working on those things. I’ve gotten to the point where if I’m out somewhere and he’s at home, I’m EXCITED to get home to him, even if we aren’t going to be doing anything. When it’s 11:45, I get a little grin on my face because I know he’ll be stopping by for lunch at any moment.
And now he’s leaving. And I don’t feel like I can really talk to anyone about it.
Where I live this is life. It’s the norm. These people have been through this 3,4,5,6 or more times, but this is my first time. I’m nobody special here; my situation is not unique. So I’m feeling like, why burden somebody with real problems? And “outsiders” really don’t get it because they’ve never been through it. Hell, I don’t even “get it” yet. It’s easy for them to just say oh, no and move right on to the next thing because they’re not living it. And for those who ARE living it, who have kids to deal with, who have to play both parents to children who just want to know why daddy keeps leaving, I’m just another whiny new wife who thinks the world revolves around her. So I don’t say anything. I just go on like everything is OK, which I guess it is right now. But how about after sleeping in bed alone for a month? Or what about when I hear someone has been hurt or worse? I try not to think about it, but it’s so close it’s hard not to worry, and it’s hard to stay strong all the time.
My intention in starting this blog was just to write about how I feel about things, and keep my friends up to date on the happenings with me. I never wanted to be an “Army wife” blog about how hard it is during the deployment, and oh, woe is me. But the truth is, no matter how much I hate the term, I am an Army wife. And sometimes, that’s all I’m going to think about. So bear with me friends.
And if you want to help me feel better, send me tapes of the new seasons of all the new shows. Cause you know we ain’t got cable.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
“Miss, miss. Come, I give you good deal. What you want? I give you good deal.”
“Hola. Morgen. Good morning,” they went through the obligatory greeting in about 3 languages cause they didn’t know what language we spoke. “Where you from? The UK?”
And to Wood, “Hey, come here my friend. My friend for you I make good deal. This handmade my friend.” And they kept calling him something. Every table we passed they called out to him, “Dell Boy” or “Der boy” or something. I don’t know what the hell they were saying. So we decide to want to buy a couple things. And the negotiations began. He wanted these pictures made out of sand and they guy says they’re like $25 or $30 each. (Note: Ok the prices aren’t in $$, it’s Euro but I can’t find the euro symbol) Wood says we’ll think about it and come back. Those are the magic words. They don’t want you to walk away from the table because they’re scared somebody else will get you. So Wood negotiates to $30 for 2 and our guy walks over to help the next marks customers while we figure out which ones we want. So we pick 2 out and new guy comes to us talking about $40 for both. “My friend,” he says sadly, eyes pleading when we tell him about the previously agreed upon $30.
Then we decide we want some type of sculpture thing. Again, Wood works the magic to get the guy down from like $90 to $65 I think. The guy relents but the whole time he’s yelling about how it’s handmade. But, he adds, “For you, my friend, OK.” Like we don’t know we paying mark ups out the ass for that stuff. But it’s cool, because part of the fun is the bargaining, right?
So after walking the beach, which is again, naked old people city, we decide to find some food. And we settle on Casa Juan. We order a couple of individual sized pizzas and Woods gets a local beer and I get Sangria. When the Sangria comes, to my surprise – and admittedly my delight – it’s a ½ liter. Damn. Who knew? And I couldn’t let it go to waste right? I mean there’s starving kids in the world who would LOVE to get a ½ liter of Sangria. Or something like that. So we eat our pizzas and this delicious warm, fresh bread with some kinda garlic sauce. So good.
That’s pretty much what we did all day. Next day, we got up hella early and snuck food out of the dining area cause we were supposed to go on the Catamaran ride (basically a big sailboat). Only it’s raining hard as hell. After waiting 20 minutes to see if the bus would come, this lady pulls up and jumps out of the car. Trip cancelled. So we spend the day doing a bunch of nothing at the hotel. Well, actually we pretty much finished up the book we’ve been reading at the same time, Teach Me How to Love You by Thomas Weeks, Juanita Bynum’s husband. It’s a good book for married or dating folks looking for marital advice from a Christian point of view. The first couple chapters are hard to get through, but after that it’s pretty much smooth sailing. Ok, let’s skip to our next to the last day cause this is getting long.
We get up early, skipping breakfast again, to make it on time for the Catamaran trip. The sun is shining, birds chirping, the whole nine, so there seems to be no chance of our trip getting rained out again. So the bus comes and we are on our way. We ride for like 7 minutes and stop, so we’re like, yes! That was quick. But no, we stop at like 20 hotels picking people up before we get to the port or whatever it’s called like an hour later. But when we get on the boat, we see something we haven’t in a week. Native English speakers! Yes, they’re from the UK and are still hard to understand, but dammit we can hold a conversation! Wood helps them get the sail up (he scrong!) and we’re off. It’s fun just kinda being on the water in the sun, although it’s hella windy and I have my poncho on so I don’t get cold. Once we stop, they let people get off and snorkel, fish and Jet ski. Me and Wood opt for the Jet Ski. I’m first up somehow, but I enjoy it. The water is FREEZING but I handle minez.
We eat this pretty good meal they cook for us on the boat, and head back. But they play some kind of game that Wood somehow gets volunteered for. His team – the men – lose, but they all get to share a bottle a wine. They give me a cup too. Then he gives me his cup, which makes 4 cups of wine counting the two I had with lunch. Add that to the sun beaming down, and I’m officially tipsy. But what better way to end a vacation right?
Can’t wait for the next one!
To refresh your memory, me and the hubby went to Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. The hotel was a good 45 minute bus ride from the airport, so by the time we got to the hotel we were tired.as.hell. But when we get there, it was like paradise. German paradise. My German co-workers booked the trip, which explains why we were the only Americans there. We seemed to be the only Americans on the whole island actually, which we couldn’t hide since we A) Didn’t speak German and B) weren’t African. The only other blacks we saw were African. But we pretty much keep to ourselves so it was cool.
The second day we went to the beach. Nice. We were wearing shorts and open toe shoes, both of which have pretty much been no no’s since like October here. Although the coworkers warned me about what to expect on the beach, nothing could have prepared me for what we saw. Nakedness. Everywhere. And by mostly old people. There’s nothing like seeing a 60-year old man walking naked down the beach. And I’d be happy if I never saw another man in bikini-style swim trunks EVER. It was like a sea of penises. But not in a good way. Ugh!
I started questioning my hairstyle about this point (some ghetto flips I let this my new hairdresser put in). Note to self: Next time you go on a beach vacation, get braids. Plus, I forgot to bring a comb. Idiot.
Days 3: The third day it started to rain so we stayed at the hotel. Since we were there all day, we had time to really observe the Twilight Zone-ish behavior that seemed to be going on. The “feeding” schedule went like this.
Snack time 1100-1230
Tea time 1600-1700
So pretty much, you could be eating at almost every moment of the day. And that’s exactly what they did. Right after breakfast, the Germans would jump into the cold ass pool, or lie naked in the sun by the pool. They would even change clothes out there. Like seriously. Take off the swimsuit, put on underwear, put on real clothes. Weird. Anyway, about 10 minutes before lunch was to start, everyone would appear at once, like locusts swarming toward the dining area. It actually reminded me a little of Night of the Living Dead or something, where the zombies seem to be mindlessly drawn to brains. Except in this case it was food. And they actually got their plates and formed a line until they were told they could eat. Again – weird.
That night we sat through a presentation – in German – to sign up for some activities. We decided to do the African Market and go on a Catamaran. Then we went to the bar and had at it. Drink of the night: La Cocktail Canaria or something like that. Muy bueno.
Ok, this is super long so more in the next post! Adios!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
These 5 guys just got arrested for hazing. HAZING!!!!
And they’ve been arrested under this new law that says hazing can be classified as a felony. This is bad. Very bad. Some of these guys were just weeks from graduating. Although what they did was horrible – reading the affidavits shocked me – I feel like these are 5 smart brothers going down for something very, very stupid that’s going to affect them for the rest of their lives. Damn.
Don’t worry, it’s not all bad news with me. I just need a little time to get my thoughts together to recap my trip, which was GREAT by the way. Got me a little tan, had a little fun, you know. PLUS, I got my shoes in the mail. And I’m wearing them today. They say there’s always a silver lining, and if mine has to be shoes, so be it.
Friday, April 07, 2006
"I ain't a killer but don't push me." - Tupac
Well, I tried not to let outside situations get me down so close to my vacation, but I’ve been unable to avoid it. They've done it this time. I’ve been planning this Sorority party for months. Since November to be exact. Before I brought it to the chapter, I wanted to make sure it was possible to do everything so I looked into the venue, found a caterer, came up with the theme, etc. It was supposed to be something kind of like Capital City Soul in Tallahassee for anyone who live(s) there. It starts with some live poetry and music, gourmet hor d’eourves and the like. Then as the evening progresses, the DJ turns it up and then it’s a hip hop/r&b/rap free for all. So I bring it to the chapter, they love it (yay!) and I put the wheels in motion.
I again check with the venue, bartender, DJ in January/February timeframe. So the event is scheduled for May, so my usually procrastinating ass is really trying to do things on time. So in March, these MFs come up with all this stuff, talking about how we need to be registered as a Private Organization in our “city”.
OK, let’s pause for a quickie course in all the BS we’re required to do. The Sorority is allowed to do fundraisers in Germany by the parent organization. So all the "cities" are the kids. A Private Organization, known hereinafter as a PO, is for the purposes of this explanation, an entity that can make money that’s not military. And it’s not really a city, but I’ll call it that b/c it’s easier. Got it? Good.
So, like I said the parents said we can do the shit, but the kids are tripping and they make us go through all this MFing hoops, right? So finally they say OK, you can “exist” in our city. But then the MFs come around and say we can’t serve alcohol at the event? WTF? Now, I’m no alcoholic (haha, really, I’m not I promise) but who in the happy hell is going to a MFing event where they can’t drink? This is not a MFing Alcoholics Anonymous meeting bitches, N****as, be wanted to get twisted! Ugh!!!! And on top of that, I find out there are two other events scheduled for the same date. Now, there are only so many black folks around here willing to pay more than $10 to get into something so that really f’s up the potential customers, Nahmean?!? So, I’m thinking we have to cancel it, right? Because yeah, we can do it just because it’s supposed to be in a month, and just so we can say we did, but really, do we wanna do something that flops? I know “us” and we are quick to write off some lame shit. Trust, I have done it MANY times.
So, what should I do? Cancel it? Let it ride and hope they don’t spread the word that we’re lame? I don’t know. But they can't stop me, oh no. I'm gonna come out with this same event in another city, like Ha! You could have had this business in your city b*****es! And they wonder why nobody likes to use their stuff to do anything. Anyway, I'm going to try to put this on the backburner so I can have a good time this week. But really, don't these MFs know who they're messing with?
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Riddle me this: What's better than eating, drinking and lounging all day, every day for a week?
Answer: Doing it in the Canary Islands b@#$%es!! Ha ha just kidding.
But seriously, me and Woodstock are taking a week-long vacation to the Canary Islands in 4 1/2 days, and I'm finally able to get excited! We're taking a little shopping trip on Friday to prepare and get our warm clothes together. It's still cold here so I won't know how to act if I can go somewhere without a coat, let alone wear shorts and a swimsuit. If you don't know, this is the vacation we get before the hubby leaves for a year so we have to do it up big. We're going to Fuerteventura on this trip hooked up by my German co-workers. We got the all-inclusive package so all our food and drinks (read: martinis, daquiris and all other things vodka and rum) are ours for the taking. And you know how we do it!
So here's the hotel, which is supposedly a 4 star. Although in Europe, those stars seem loosely based. But I got a good vibe! A few people I know have gone and loved it, so now I'm just counting the days. Plus, another positive? No body issues! Not that I don't have them, but Europeans don't have them. So for this trip, I'm European. Wearing my bikini without a care in the world. No worrying about stomach, thighs or whatever. I'm soooo excited!!! But don't worry, I'll post some pics after the trip. And hey, maybe I can brush off some of that high school Spanish for the trip.
"Hola. Como esta? Donde es the Vodka?"
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
During my bridal shower/bachelorette party, there was a portion where my future betrothed answered questions about me. The bridesmaids read them aloud and compared my answers and their answers with what he had written. One of the questions was, “What do I hate the most?” The answer: “When people say they’re going to do something and don’t.” Now I’ve become what I hate most.
Before I moved here, I applied for all kinds of jobs related to journalism. In a military community overseas, it’s hard as hell to find a job in your field. Even if you are qualified. So I took a job as a test examiner, giving soldiers tests, grading tests, giving ACTs, GEDs, that type of thing. Then 3 months into it, I got a call for a job interview. Overseas, getting a “GS” job is like finally finding the match to a pair of favorite shoes you haven’t worn in a while. And although the position was listed as temporary, I was told off the bat that I would probably get it extended, unless I just totally didn’t work out. The only problem is that it wasn’t in my field. But it paid good and it was in my city so I accepted it. The week before I was supposed to in-process into the job, I got an e-mail about my perfect job (well, here anyway. Not in the real world of course). Public Affairs specialist. Pays the same amount as my job and I’d be editing the community paper, as well as performing various other PA tasks (i.e. writing speeches and stuff for the base commander). And around the same time, a reporter from the other newspaper (military affiliated, but not military run) told me he was leaving and that I should apply for his job. But there were a few glitches.
1. I’d already verbally agreed to the other job.
2. There was no guarantee I’d get this new job, so if I backed out of the other one, I might end up ass out. I was pretty confident I could get the government job, though. As for the newspaper, I didn’t meet the requirements on paper, but my mantra is if I can get to the interview, I got ‘em. But I digress.
3. The other jobs were in other cities between 30-45 minutes away. Now, that’s not really a long commute, but it would mean that I wouldn’t see Woodstock before leaving for work and then would get home around 6. We go to sleep at 10. And we couldn’t eat lunch together. I’m not usually one of those chicks that has to be under my man all the time, but I had to put into account that we’d have less than a year to spend together (not including field exercises) before he deployed for a year.
4. The other government job was temporary with no possible extension.
So I took the job I have now. And I feel like a sell out. I’m not passionate about many things, so when I gave up my true passion – writing, it felt kind of like a lost a little bit of my soul. Which is where what I hate most comes in. I’m a big believer in the “Don’t talk about it, be about it mantra.” And I’m not being about it. Tha Riddler has been on me for like 5 years to start writing a book. So why don’t I? My excuse was that I didn’t have a laptop (cause you know all writers gotta have a cute little Mac Powerbook. They do on TV, and what makes them better than me?).
But I’m tired of reading all these blogs about people doing what they love, sisters doing big thangs, while I’m letting the world pass me by. I’m tired of sitting depressed, letting stupid excuses hold me back from my dreams. So no more excuses. I have to get off my mental ass and do what makes me happy. So hold me to it. Make me write. An essay, an article, a short story, SOMETHING. I mean I’m about to have a whole year just me and Taz. I have to show some type of productivity.
And don’t worry, you chicks will be in the acknowledgements. The ones of you who comment anyway (hint, hint).
Monday, April 03, 2006
It made me think of my dad.
March 31st would have been his 50th birthday. Although it’s been almost 12 years, every now and then something happens that makes me think of him, and miss him, as if so much time hadn’t already passed. I wonder if he would be proud of me, finishing college, going on to get a master’s degree, working, getting married. I like to think he would be. I imagine him calling Woodstock just to talk. I think they could relate, at least on some level. Before my father started teaching again, he worked at the Mississippi Army Ammo plant – maybe making the type of ammo Wood works with on a daily basis. I imagine him coming to visit me here. As a foreign language teacher, he spoke German, French and Spanish. He would have loved to have the chance to speak those languages in their native countries. I could call him, ask to speak to him and German, and practice my language skills. Maybe I would know French by now. I took it in college but didn’t want to continue because it didn’t fit into my plan. Even though my teacher said I had a “gift.” I wonder if he would have been disappointed that I quit.
Would my life be different? What about my relationship with men? Would I have gone to college where I did? Become so independent so fast? I don’t know. I know God does things for a reason, and I want to believe that maybe I took something positive away from his death. But I still wonder sometimes.
I imagine a different life where my dad teaches me how to drive a stick instead of my pastor. And we go shopping for my first car together, because unlike my mom, he knows something about cars. He helps me move into my dorm room, and subsequently 4 or 5 apartments after I graduate. Instead of my brothers, he walks me down the aisle at my wedding. Looks at my soon-to-be husband in that way that is meant to strike fear in his heart; that look that lasts less than 5 seconds but says, “You better not hurt my little girl or I’m coming after you.” A life where he gets to come and visit me for his birthday, and we go shopping downtown, and make my doctor’s appointments for me, easily asking for and saying all the things that I have to try to convey using gestures and slowly speaking a mix of English words and stuff I’ve made up (“I see float-y things in front of my eyes. Floooaaat-yyy thinnnngggssss.”) We would go to France and Spain, too, where he could tell us if the natives are talking about us behind our backs or not.
But it’s not a different life, it’s this one, and he’s not here. And he can’t help me with French or German. And he didn’t give me away at my wedding or do any of those other things. And that makes me sad. But I still did those things, I still learned to drive a stick, I still got married, I’m still struggling to learn how to conjugate verbs in German. And even though he’s not here to help me with those things, I know I’m not alone.
Happy birthday, dad.