Friday, February 27, 2009

Into the ether

I suppose that my main purpose in writing this blog is the hope that someone will stumble across something I've written that will speak to them - whether it's something that makes them laugh, or something that lets them know that they're not the only one who has felt a certain way before.

This post is more along the lines of the latter. It's a message with a specific recipient, but that specific recipient is someone who I'm pretty sure will never read this message. At this point, though, I really just want to send these words out into the ether and get them out of my head.

I still think of you every single time I drop my keys (which, unfortunately, as you know, is daily). I start to smile, thinking of that joke we had, and then I'm punched by the sadness of knowing that you're not around to share it with.

I'm waiting for the time that I will not think of you every single day. It doesn't hurt when I think of you, but I am tired of being reminded that you have become a part of the default settings of my mind.

Today I thought of the time that I asked you when you knew for sure that you loved me, and then we got distracted and started talking about something else. A while later - 20 minutes, half an hour, I don't know, out of nowhere, you said "When you went to Chicago a few months after we started dating, and I missed you so much. That's when I knew for sure that I loved you."

I think that moment is when I knew for sure that I loved you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ironing has a funny side too

A friend's comment on the last post (about ironing) reminded me of this story which I had to share to show that while ironing suddenly has this profound, serious side, it also has a funny side.

My 4th year of college I lived in the sorority house on the 3rd floor in a room that was called the Attic Double until we moved in, at which time it immediately became the Princess Room. I'm not completely sure as to whether or not the girls in the house today still call it the Princess Room, but if they do not, I will be sorely disappointed. Anyway, there were two single beds in the room, and both were on risers, so it became quite a challenge to see what was going on on the opposite side of the bed across from you. My desk faced a wall and...I really can't describe this well enough, so I provide you with Exhibit A......which I now realize you cannot read because it is too small. Maybe if you click on it. I don't know. Anyway, the brown circle is me (aerial view, I have brown hair), the two smaller rectangles are our desks, and the two larger rectangles are our beds. The arrow pointing to the second bed represents Austin, who was under the bed at the time this story took place.

So, I had recently murdered Austin and hidden her body underneath the bed...


But did I have you going? Probably not.

So I'm sitting at my desk, studying very very hard (aka stalking people on facebook while wearing absurdly large clown sunglasses and/or cat ears), when I hear a noise coming from behind me. I'm pretty sure that I had thought I was alone in the room up until this point. So I hear this noise, and I turn and look over my shoulder, convinced that Elizabeth was finally right, and the Phantom has in fact come into the sorority house to murder me, and I see no one behind me in the room. The noise happens again, and finally I say:


and this muffled reply issues from across the room,


"...ummm...where ARE you?"

"...under my bed," she if this were completely normal.

"Annnnnd, what are you doing under your bed?"

this answer, and the way it was delivered, will always stay with me:



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Smoothing out the wrinkles

I've been thinking a lot about ironing recently. I had this great urge to iron the other night, so I pulled out my iron, attempted to put the water in the right place (I have not ironed since college), and plugged it in. Eventually the steam began to billow out of the bottom of the iron, and I pulled together a few oxfords (I went to UVA, yes, I have multiple oxfords) and began pressing them.

I finished 3 shirts before I realized why I wanted to iron in the first place. Dirty laundry? Nope. Sudden obsession with neatness? Unlikely.

I started with a product that was wrinkled and messy. I knew the steps that I had to take to smooth it out. All it took was a little pressure and a little heat, and magically the little wrinkles gave way.

Don't you ever wish you could take an iron to your life?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cirque du Snuggie

I was at this new piano bar that is the new Columbus cult obsession on Saturday night...and every time I am there they play Country Roads, and I belt out loud the lyrics that we had in XO ("Country Roads...take me the place...where I belong...Chi Omega...Lambda Gamma...take me roads"). I've gotten some rather strange looks from nearby strangers, but that's not really an aberration so I keep doing it.

Anyway, I texted my friend Annie (also known as Noodle or Banoo) to tell her that they were playing that song (Although I'm pretty sure the text went like this: "Country Roads...Chi Omega...YAY!"). I meant to text the rest of my sisters as well, but I got too excited after I typed in Annie's name, and all those vodka sodas weren't having such a great effect on my follow-through. Anyway, she calls me and I answer the phone in this ear-drum-blastingly-loud bar and go "Noodle! AhhhhhAHAHAHHH! Nooooooodleeee! They were playing the SONG!!!....Can you hear me?? I can't hear you....AHHHHHHHHAHAHAHHAHA.....ok bye!" and then I hung up on her. She later texted to say she had seen Cirque du Soleil that night in Atlanta and I texted back and said "Cirque du Snuggie."

And I think that was the most profound thing I have said in a long time.

In other news, this is part of an IM conversation going on with my work friend and I:

Bridget... what if i went to my desk right now and walked back in wearing a snuggie?
(at this point i started laughing uncontrollably at my desk)
Brittany... which color?
Bridget... mint green
Bridget... it's the most tasteful snuggie
Brittany... what about blood red?
Bridget... no, that's too flashy
Bridget... no one wants a flashy snuggie
and now for some original artwork from me:

And now, from

"a snuggie is someone who exhibits snugness and lives in Snuggieopolis on Snuggieoopiter in the Snuggie Way
'your so snuggie!' 'snuggie snug snug' "

I am shaking right now because I am trying REALLY HARD not to laugh. It's just making it worse.

snuggie snug snug!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

I went to Mass again this week, and - once again - I was left feeling deeply satisfied and inspired when I left. Why can't visits to bars always turn out the same way? Eh, yeah, might have something to do with the addition of binge drinking and the subtraction of the son of Christ, but I'll leave the pondering of that thought for another place and time.

Before settling into the deeper matters I want to discuss tonight, I need to share a few quotes from last night that make me laugh:

"I'm pretty sure I'm wearing a shirt as a dress right now" (that was me...I have developed a new, rather disturbing affinity for wearing shirts over leggings and seeing if I can get away with it. I try really hard not to go crotch-out, but sometimes you can't help it)

"That girl has cameltoe, and she's wearing overalls. Short. Overalls." (Addie- I even took multiple pictures of said unfortunate girl but now feel as if it would be extremely un-Christian of me to post them online)

"I am afraid there may be a fanny-pack involved" (me referring to an equally unfortunate girl involved in a bachelorette party last night)

Anyway, moving on to the heart of the matter (which happens to be the name of a wonderful india.arie cover featured on the SATC soundtrack).The Gospel at Mass today was from Mark - a story about Jesus healing a paralyzed man. At the end of the Gospel, Jesus says to the once-paralyzed man "rise, pick up your mat, and go home." And as I sat in that church today, I found myself wondering if there was such a huge difference between myself and the paralyzed man. We both felt - literally or figuratively - that we were at an impasse and could no longer move forward. And we both turned to God, albeit in severely different circumstances, to hopefully discover the next step. Clearly, when Jesus spoke, he assumed that the miracle had already taken place - he had healed a paralyzed man. But what if the real miracle is finding a place to call home?

The Gospel today left me with a profound feeling of hope. Jesus had healed the man's physical paralysis, and hopefully in time He will help with what I consider to be my current emotional/general life paralysis. Right now, I'm not so sure I can say that I know where home is. Again, I face a question concerning the difference between a literal and figurative definition. Which is more important, when you are looking for home?

I know where my literal home is, but I secretly feel guilty whenever I refer to Columbus as home in front of my mother. Columbus is not fully my home...I cannot behave like a petulant child here with the assurance that everyone will still love me when my hissy fit has passed. I am ashamed to say that I frequently lose my cool in McLean and behave more 4 years old than 24. But what is better than being assured of unconditional love? that the definition of home? The place where you're assured of unconditional love? In that case, I do have a home. So why do I feel a little bit like a lost child, stumbling through the fog towards...God knows what?

This question is one that has plagued humans since the time of Jesus and continues to worry us today, as evidenced by a song (by my boyfriend TI) that has enjoyed recent popularity - the lyrics of which say "Oh, I've been traveling on this road too long (too long), just trying to find my way back home (back home), the old me's dead and gone, dead and gone."

When I hear this song, and when I heard the Gospel today, I can't help but feel nostalgia for a place I'm not quite sure I've come to yet (if you've read the quotes on this site you'll recognize that concept). At this point, I haven't yet decided if this feeling is painful longing or pleasant hope. Maybe both. I embrace this longing now, because it implies that at some point, I will find relief. I will find the true North towards which I have been unknowingly oriented my entire life.

I felt at home today in that church. I felt the unconditional love. Maybe Jesus was so assured that the formerly paralyzed man would find his way home because, in healing him, he had shown him the unconditional love that home was made of.

And isn't that a wonderful thought? The idea that at some point, I will - we all will - arrive at the place in our lives when we will recognize that we can finally exhale and say "There you are. Here I am."

And thank God for that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm Christopher Columbus, y'all just the pilgrims.

top of the morning to ya!

a few thoughts this morning:

1) I'm pretty sure the #1 question I have been asking - and continue to ask - in my life is this:

Exactly how long am I going to be able to get away with this?

2) "I'm Christopher Columbus, y'all just the pilgrims" -- this is why T.I. is my boyfriend. We had a little trouble with the whole possession charge, but that's behind this. You know why? Because I can have whatever I like.

3) I currently sit in a mid-sized conference room with roughly 20 other people, jabbing away at our computers 12 hours a day. Weekends too, it's really great. Oh, don't worry, I make boatloads of money so I don't feel bad about selling my soul (this is untrue. i don't make boatloads, and i do feel bad about selling my soul). Anyway, we all sit in this tiny room, secretly plotting ways to simultaneously end the lives of the other 19 people so that we can go to Mexico on vacation full time (wait, is that just me? Oh). The room has 5 tables arranged as such:

I sit at the middle table, as is the natural order of things (I am the center. People naturally gravitate towards me, and sometimes form circles and then revolve around me). So this morning, there was one box of Timbits on the table in front of me and one on the table behind me. And we decided that it was like the war of the Timbits. East side vs. West side. Bloods vs. Crips. As people came into the room and took Timbits from either box, we noted their loyalties. It's about to escalate to an all out brawl.

A girl just walked into the room wearing - I kid you not - what must be a 10 foot long scarf.

Annnnd on that note, I'm out.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A blessing and a curse

I just raced back to this site so that I could click "New Post" and start this on February 19th - instead of February 20th - so that I could say that I really have 1 month left in my first quarter century. And as I sit here, waiting for my iPod to upload all of the music I have just downloaded (iTunes is like my crack. It's dangerous. I can never stop at just a little bit of music. It's sick when you realize that you have over 1,000 songs on your iPod and you wonder where all your money went), I wonder...what exactly have I learned in the last 25 years, and what do I expect to learn in the next.

I have learned a lot, I can say that with a pretty good degree of assurance, but why then do I feel more and more like a toddler as time goes on? More and more...please excuse my use of this phrase...but more and more functionally retarded? I'm not trying to be funny, I'm using the words for their literal definitions. Arrested development. Functional retardation. I'm sorry, I might almost be 25, but I still can't help but laugh at the use of that phrase. See? Functional retardation. Evidence.

Anyway, I could probably type about this for hours, but I'll just give you the idea of the thought weighing on my mind and leave it at that for now.

This is what I'm struggling with - I am blessed. There's no getting around that. Yes, I'm cynical, I'm sarcastic, I'm a public pessimist but a private optimist. I just can't help but feel that I was meant to do more with the gifts that I was given. Is this the point in all of our lives when we stop for a moment to do an inventory check and catch ourselves wondering out loud, "Is this it?"

I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I only worry, sometimes, that the hand I was dealt was a blessing and a curse. I am lucky enough to know how lucky I am. Where does that leave me? What does our generation do now, after having been taught all our lives to push harder, reach higher, go further? Do we suddenly pull on the reins and say - No, that's enough, I think I'll settle down here and be comfortable? Who taught us that comfort, that satisfaction, was such a shameful concept? With great power comes great responsibility - what if you're sure you have the power, but not yet sure you can handle the responsibility?

The fact that I'm even thinking about this confirms something for me: I am thinking too hard. And I just reread that last paragraph and thought to myself, you're a whiny baby. I bet if I reread that in 25 years I will still think I was a whiny baby. So, to borrow some brilliance from Winston Churchill - maybe this isn't the beginning of the end. Maybe it's only the end of the beginning. At what point does it become unacceptable to consider yourself a child? I'm pretty sure I'm still getting away with it for now (right?), but at a certain point even I realize that ignorance is no longer bliss, and that it was never a defense against the law. How long can I get away with adolescence?

What if talent, intelligence, etc, are like gift cards, and if at a certain point you still haven't cashed them in, the powers that be assume you aren't going to, and their inherent value expires?

Yep, I need to put myself to bed.

I'll leave it on this note for tonight:
"I believe in the Kingdom Come
That all the colors will
Bleed into one, bleed into one
Well, yes I'm still running
You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame, of my shame
You know I believe it,
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Is that enough Peace?

So last night - Valentine's Day 2009 - I became a caricature of a 24 year old woman.

I was eating a lovely dinner with my lovely single friends when one of them turned to me and asked if I was ok - he had seen on Facebook (aka the devil's workshop) that the most serious of my recent exes was back "In a Relationship" with his ex - the one who sent him e-mails and texts throughout our relationship, telling him she still loved him and asking what I had that she didn't (my sanity?) - oh, and let's not forget about the time that she called me a psycho when we met at a wedding. Brilliant.

Anyway, I've gotta be real here - it affected me more than I thought it would. To be honest, it's really not the fact that he's with someone else, or that he's shouting it from the proverbial mountaintop that is Facebook, it's that he's with her. The girl who made me feel so awful that I went back to our hotel room at that wedding and cried because I had upset her at her friend's wedding. I cried because I felt bad for her. You know, after she tried to steal my boyfriend and then publicly questioned my sanity. I had been the girl - the ex - who wanted her love back. I knew how it felt to look at the "next girl" and wonder - what is it about her?

In hindsight, maybe she was right all along. Maybe I was a psycho to shed tears for such an unbelievable reason. I guess I was just always taught that what goes around comes around - and maybe, eventually, it will. But right now, an outside observer would learn this: Behave like a maniac, try to steal your ex boyfriend back from another woman, and eventually you will succeed. Granted, I broke up with this ex over a year ago because I felt that if we were honest with ourselves, we both knew there was no future in the cards for us - but she still, eventually, got what she wanted. And that bothers me.

Regardless, I e-mailed him earlier and said that I hope she makes him very happy. Anyone who knows me well enough will notice the distinct diction I used in that sentence - I hope she makes him very happy. I also hope she gets what's coming to her.

So anyway, this morning I got up and went to Mass. It was a nice experience for multiple reasons - 1) I dressed like a big girl which I normally do about 5 times a year since I work for a casual clothing company and 2) I got to hang out with Jesus for a while. I had never been to this particular parish before, and the ultra-conservative views espoused during the Homily (regarding sex before marriage, sex with birth control within marriage, and IVF) made me uncomfortable. I am not quite sure that I will go back - especially if those messages persist. Is it awful that I find those opinions to be backwards and ignorant? Ok, I'll give them the sex before marriage part, but the other two just seem so...antiquated. And with the Catholic Church's tendency to redefine itself every few decades, it leaves me wondering why they have turned a blind eye to the benefits bestowed upon the world with the invention of both birth control and IVF. Jesus, are you mad at me for saying these things? I hope not, because it was nice to see You today.

I have always dreaded a certain part of Catholic Mass. The part where I say I am not worthy, you wonder? Or the part where I admit to being a horrible sinner? No. The peace giving part. Peace be with you and all that jazz. It has always scared me. As a person who was raised (I use that term loosely) within the most antisocial of churches, I have always wondered why Catholics feel the need to insert the Happy Hour introductions into the middle of their services. Can't we all just worship separately and go in peace? Can't we just make eye contact and flash a peace sign (this is very popular among members of my immediate family)? Why the handshakes? Why strike fear into the hearts of socially awkward and anxious members of your congregation (aka me)?

So, anyway, today, the peace be with you-ness eventually came along, as it always does, at the same time as it always does, and I managed to participate in a manner that I convinced myself was both successful and socially acceptable. I shook the hands of and bestowed peace upon 5 or 6 people in my immediate vicinity and then turned back to face front like a good Catholic....but I was left wondering - was that enough peace? Should I have been more aggressive with my peace, reaching out to members who stood further away? Should I have made eye contact with people across the pew and mouthed the words at them with a vague gesture of my hand? What is it about this, one of the parts of Mass that is meant to draw the congregation together and fulfill the requirements of weekly Community Worship, that makes me feel the most singled out of all? Anyway, I tried to do my best. Hopefully it's the thought that counts.

I did a few things after Mass including eating alone at Panera (I am a veritable social superstar) as well as going to the library and reading alone (seriously, I can't even tell you how popular I am). Once I returned to my apartment, I started up my computer, and I wrote my ex that e-mail that I mentioned previously. The words were different, but the message was the same - Peace be with you.

So, is that enough peace?

I certainly hope so.

And some more from books I've read recently

"Everything in my life seemed to be exploding like fireworks in a night sky, spectacular but also a bit frightening because one of those brilliant sparks could fall onto your upturned face and scorch you" tuscan holiday by holly chamberlin

"Okay, smarty, perhaps you already know better than to drink pink wine from a box. But you picked up this book for a reason, so I'll bet that my post-college preoccupations aren't totally dissimilar to your own as you navigate this strange, semi-autonomous period, when you're technically on your own but in no way feel like you qualify as an adult; when you discover that what you thought would make you happy doesn't, and what you thought you wanted isn't what you want at all. When you're afraid that every wrong decision you make now is setting you up for decades of regret. When you not only don't know who you are anymore but wonder if you ever did." it's a wonderful lie by emily franklin

"I just wish I had a syllabus to follow for my life." it's a wonderful lie by emily franklin

"On one level, I didn't expect to fall in love. I saw this other future version of myself, a merciless, lonesome writer, banged up, brooding, bullying her way through life. But honestly, I also felt like this was the person I'd been waiting for. There was a feeling of relief - a feeling of Oh, here you are, finally. And this is what you look like. And this is what your voice sounds like. And this is the set of your childhood memories. I thought I'd been looking, but really, I was just waiting for him without knowing that I was waiting, without knowing that I missed him. I thought the ache was a restless lonesomeness, but it was more like homesickness for a place you haven't yet come to. That's how the story begins. I was twenty-two and my mother said "Don't fall in love with a poet," and I did and we've been together ever since." it's a wonderful lie by emily franklin

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some quotes from another good book

I had dinner with a friend tonight and told her about some quotes that I thought would speak to I thought I would share them here as well.

"Back inside, I opened the door to Josh's bedroom. He'd already turned out the light. I inched forward in the dark. My knee found the bed, and I got in. I lay very still. Then Josh put his arms around me, and it was safe to love him again." p96

"I remind myself that this is what I always say and what I always do. As soon as I'm in a relationship, I promote fear from clerk to president, even though all it can do is sweep up, turn off the lights, and lock the door" p322

"'Very nice' Seth says, and his voice tells me that he doesn't want to hear any more about Vincent and Amanda, he doesn't care about them, and that he's wishing he didn't care so much about me. It scares me. But then I get this big feeling, simple but exalted: He's just like me, only with different details." p 323

Quotes from The Wonder Spot by Melissa Banks

"He seemed kind and charming. His voice promised that he would take care of her, and that a little later he would open up whole new worlds for her, unroll an endless succession of magnificent possibilities," p 16

Quote from Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Is it so wrong that that quote describes exactly what I want?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Closet hair.

Last night I opened the door to my linen closet and noticed that there was a hair stuck to the door next to the handle.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the hair was PAINTED ONTO THE DOOR. As in, it had been trapped in the paint and would remain there permanently.

It was disgusting.