The Other Couple

Batman and I attended a friend’s wedding this past weekend.

It.Was.Awesome.

Now, I’ve been known to attend and participate in many a wedding but this was the first one, I can say without a doubt, that has been so unique in not only derailing from tradition, but complimenting the couple who planned every detail of the entire extravaganza.

I’ve stood in pink and purple and rust colored bridesmaid dresses, held bouquets, attempted catching bouquets, used fancy silver wear and tried not having a heart attack when giving speeches. I’ve purchased dressy shoes and posed for photographers and taken planes and buses and subways and cabs, had my nails done and my hair arranged, told to stand here but end up there and watch my sister and my best friends and good coworkers dance their first song as husband and wife.

I’ve 27 Dresses this shit.

But I’d never held a hard cider while wearing a fedora and listening to the black and blue corset-wearing bride and kilt-donning groom exchange vows on promising to kill one another should the zombie apocalypse or an evil dead situation occur. The officiant, also in a kilt, took a few swigs from his flask in the middle of the ceremony which lasted a total of seven minutes, per the couple’s wish. The bride was barefoot and the groom was in love, watching his best friend escorted from her grandparent’s porch to the center of the backyard where the thirty or so guests stood in a semi-circle.

I’ve never been to a wedding that wasn’t done by the books.

Now, I’m not saying the other weddings I went to weren’t great. They were beautiful, delicious, romantic, heartfelt and everything my friends and family wanted and deserved. But this wedding was the first that didn’t follow tradition. There was no white dress. There were black pants and a Victorian corset. No “I’ll take you forever,” but “I take you as my player number two.” No flower centerpieces but classic games like Hungry, Hungry Hippos and Scrabble and Jenga. This wedding wasn’t something you’d see in the Knot or Brides or whatever other magazine advertises the traditional and typical. That’s because this couple isn’t them. They’re the other couple.

I remember first learning about their relationship a few years ago when I quizzed the bride on her secretive boyfriend. She told me and I couldn’t believe it. It was a coworker we’d joked with but never someone I’d take as a serious suitor for her. Not because he wasn’t good enough. He was just… a friend. The quirky IT guy we liked to mess with; someone fun around the office—that’s all.

I was flabbergasted, especially since they’d been dating secretly for a while. How could I not know this *amazing* gossip. I was like Varys (Game of Thrones, anyone?) I had little birdies everywhere, reporting back to me on all sorts of scandals and juicy tidbits but this pair alluded me somehow, keeping their relationship secret and I just couldn’t believe it at first. COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. They were so different, so unique and so…so… somehow…perfect for one another. I never saw it. Never could’ve matched the two oddballs in the company as being the right compliment of one another. And they were. Dancing to the beat of their own drums, J & F don’t give a shit about what’s trending or hot, what’s traditional or practical. They do things their own way—the other way—and it made their wedding so much fun.

My camera died twenty minutes before the ceremony started because I was using Pandora earlier in the day and forgot to charge it, so I only have a few pictures:

Here’s the house where the cab driver dropped us off. It was a great idea to be chauffeured to and from the hotel, but it usually helps when we’re taken to the right destination. I think at least. Good thing we were only a house down but we did knock and seem like total creepers standing outside the garage and peeking into the backyard. Thank God no one came at us with a shot gun. Close call though.

Def NOT the right house

Def NOT the right house

When we finally made it, we had our picture taken by a Polaroid and if you look real close, you can see me and Batman hanging sort of in the center there. I’m kicking my leg up. Can you find me? Ten points if you can because our real names are on there!

pics

We were at the Jenga table because the HHH was taken and I planned on drinking too much to be any good at Scrabble. Also, Jenga is sort of our game. At least since Batman knocked over the full size set at the engagement party and ran off blaming it on me. Bastard.

Batman's going down this time.

Batman’s going down this time.

More awesome table decorations:

IMG_20140426_150723_531 IMG_20140426_150709_603

This is the actual ceremony (borrowed from my friends Instagram). Besides being eaten alive by bugs, it was very romantic and sweet. And I had my Reds Apple Ale so I was set.

Aww...two quirballs unite!

Aww…two quirballs unite!

And finally, the bridal party. Yes, we were all nervous with those kilts flying high into the air. No one was blinded though. It would be a shame on such a wonderful and blessed occasion.

wedding pic

J & F—
Thank you for an amazing day and we wish you both a lifetime of happiness and continued quirkiness. And of course, thank you for being the other couple.

You guys rock :)

We All Look the Same as Skeletons

I started taking selfies of myself and was too grossed out.

Why do people do this?

All my selfies were HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE I tell you! I looked psychotic and creepy and even the ones where I thought, well, I could try for sexy, it was just… wrong. Like Woody Allen marrying his adopted daughter wrong. Gross. Unclean.

Yuck.

I don’t know what this generation’s obsession is with themselves. And everyone else. And before you start pointing the finger at the fact I was joining in on the selfie-crazy, hate to break it to you. I wasn’t. I was checking my teeth with the camera and recoiled. It was too close up. Major focus on my blemishes and the discolored chipped tooth I never got corrected. Money, you know? Oh well, I think of it as one of those wonderful imperfections WE ALL HAVE. Doesn’t mean it has to be pretty. Or right up in my face when I’m taking a picture. Shit. How long do people have to spend getting the right angle so they can hide their double chins and find the good side where their acne doesn’t show? And do they take them off to photo shop to be turned into someone completely different? Someone unrealistic because I’ve seen some of these selfies out there and good God you’re all liars.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a disgusting person. I’d like to think I’m not. But you may disagree in which case go fuck off. I’m no Quasimodo but even if I was, who cares? It’s just skin and fat and muscle. We all look the same as skeletons anyway. But I get it; I’m no supermodel. I’m an average, realistic human being who is slightly overweight with a bad tooth and cheeks that turn red way too often. Sometimes I take good pictures. Sometimes I wince. That’s life.

But I don’t need to take a picture of myself when I think I look hot. Who is this really for—me or you? I know you’re feeling good getting ready for the night out on the town and you want to capture the moment of confidence before you head out and make memories you probably won’t remember. That’s awesome—great. But why take it in the bathroom? WHY? Seeing your toilet and bathroom quiz book doesn’t add to your sexiness. Sure you may be sporting a six pack or a nice pair of biceps but come on, dude. Now I’m thinking about how often you clean and what kind of quizzes you like taking when you need a break.

I’m not focused on you, because you’re too focused on you. Like everyone seems to be. When did this selfie phase start? I remember hearing it (not too long ago) when Batman came home and told me. Since he works at a high school, he brings me updates on what’s trending nowadays and the new words our youth will soon turn into common place language. I couldn’t believe “ratchet” the first time he told me. COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I just kept saying it over and over and over, waiting for it to sink in and wondering how we went from, “yes madam, would you care for another cup of tea?” to “damn, dat girl ratchet.”

WTF?

And then “twerking.”

There’s a term for that now? I thought it was called grinding. Like, booty dancing. I’m so confused. And lost. And confused. And then he tells me about this thing where people take photos of themselves and it’s become this HUGE thing and they post them all over the place and I just don’t get it.

I know, I know, I’m way late to all this and *super* uncool for thinking selfies are dumb. I might as well be eighty, right? It’s not because I’m self conscious or have low self esteem or am too afraid to show the world how sexy I can be at the right angle and light. I just don’t get the need for it. If we’re out and you want a picture, grab it. I’ll try not to look retarded but sometimes I blink mid snap and it’s the best I can do. And yeah, I might want a pic of me and Batman when we actually leave the apartment to go socialize with the world. To like, prove we’re not complete hermits. But that’s usually it. No selfies. No show-you-my-bathroom shots or look, I found the perfect angle to hide everything I don’t want the world to see.

Because I can’t really do that. I end up grossing myself out and wondering how Batman gets in so close to kiss me.

God bless him.

Want to see one of my gross selfies? Here you go:

Look at my freak tooth. LOOK AT IT.

Look at my freak tooth. LOOK AT IT.

At least there’s no toilet in the background.

The Little Things

So everyone talks to me all day long. Which is fine, because I totally dig conversations… except when I don’t and I just want a minute to be in my own head. It’s fun and quiet and nobody judges me because I have coffee stains on my sweater and…okay…maybe I don’t exactly match. I get moments of quiet when I walk from the filling room to my desk in the open space I share with three other people. But then I see them and because one person makes eye contact with another, dialogue inevitably follows. So the only moments of quiet are in the walks to the bathroom (which I sometimes don’t need to use but say I do so I can walk around and think) and when I head to the filing room and back. And also in the filing room but then someone spots me and they’re bored and don’t want to work so they figure a five or ten minute conversation won’t hurt. And it doesn’t. Like is said, I totally dig conversations.

But sometimes I want to say to them, “don’t you know you’re interrupting my genius right now?” Because they are. Because they pop their head right into my thought bubble when I’ve just come up with the perfect line that I couldn’t place last night and now I have to run and find a piece of paper or a sticky note to write it down before I forget it. But they won’t let me leave because they have to tell me about the funniest thing their dog did last night and I’m trying to listen but really I’m just repeating the line over and over in my head so I don’t lose it. It’s not their fault. They don’t realize I’m conducting my orchestra. It’s ongoing with a million intermissions like stoplights and cell phones and people wanting to talk about the cute things their pets do, but as soon as they walk away and I’m in that glorious solitude again, the music starts up and I’m the Maestro, waving my little stick thingy, constantly conducting.

So, yeah. Quiet is really important to me. That’s why I like walks. To the filing room, to the bathroom… to my car in the dirt lot. And especially to Lonnie’s, this *amazing* deli sandwich shop I treat myself to every Friday. It’s two blocks down from my office which means two blocks of pure silence where I can think and process and review and listen to the music in my head. And then, I get to eat the most amazing combination of foods in a single sandwich that I found at the top of the menu the first day I wandered in. For real. First thing listed. There was no point reading the rest of the menu because I’d found the winner.

Welcome, folks, to the Sunny Bird:

Close up

Turkey, cream-cheese, sprouts, sunflower seeds, honey French dressing and on homemade bread.
Sandwich

This sandwich is Awesome-sauce-Amazeballs-Totes-McGoates great.

It’s not the most flattering picture of me but… well, that’s what I look like. Deal with it

It’s not the most flattering picture of me but… well, that’s what I look like. Deal with it

Normally this is a solo adventure for me. Obviously yesterday was different because I’m not so amazing that I can take a picture of myself eating. It would be cool if I could but alas, Batman took the Bat-mobile and met me for lunch so you can thank him for his capturing this moment of true pleasure. You guys have no idea how good this sandwich is. It’s fucking delicious.

But it’s little things like a really good sandwich or a quiet walk to the bathroom that make my day. That’s sad, isn’t it? Well it shouldn’t be. Because life is made up of a whole bunch of little things that are really, really great.

Like I remember driving to high school one time with coffee (yes, I drank coffee even then. I’ve always drank coffee. Probably why I’m a hobbit) and I must’ve hit a bump or something and the caffeinated liquid flew from it’s container like a brown tidal wave of terribleness and I was wearing white. FML. This was going to suck.

…but it didn’t. Because the wave of coffee landed DIRECTLY on my seatbelt and my seatbelt alone, slimly missing my white shirt and saving me a scream from the anger and scorching heat.

I.WAS.ECSTATIC.

Screw the seatbelt—I was saved. And it’s little things like this make life so awesome. You might think, “but you still spilled it. You still ruined your seat belt.” Okay Debbie Downer, way to point out the negatives in a totally awesome moment here. Because these shitty little things are going to happen all day long every day and it’s up to YOU to find the silver lining. Like not spilling coffee on your white blouse and having the most amazing sandwich after a peaceful two block walk when it’s been a fucking stressful Friday. Or getting that line of dialogue you needed even if someone’s preventing you from writing it down. Because you still have it and that rocks. Things are going to happen—people are going to distract you. That’s life. But it’s always better with a really good sandwich a belt of protection.

Writers, just make sure you carry paper and pen with you EVERYWHERE. That’s what I do.

Ragdoll

So I work this sort of corporate job where I drive an hour to downtown and park in a dirt lot that’s at least a ten minute walk from my office. I don’t mind the walk, except when it’s raining, but the smell of the exhaust and the busy bustle of the cars is comforting. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I originate from a real city and it’s encoded in my DNA or something. I don’t know. I like being in a city. I can pretend I’m in New York or London or somewhere with tall buildings that you can see when you fly over. Somewhere that people go to leave behind their small towns to try their hand at their passion and make it big. And I’m not there. I’m in my fake city. But driving the hour commute to work isn’t terrible because I can listen to music and get a solid moment to think and dream and write, all while downing my travel mug filled with the coffee I made before I left. I really don’t mind the drive, don’t terribly mind the work—not yet—and the hours could always be worse. The thing that never changes though, the thought that I can’t get out of my mind everyday is the one I use to reinforce my faith in being a writer.

I am nothing like you people.

I’m not. I’m nothing like all the high-end business execs in their Men’s Warehouse suits and Anny Taylor dresses. I wear grayish-navy pants that are too long and too big with a blouse I got on the clearance rack and a sweater that has loose strings and holes near the arm pit. My hair is swept up in a lopsided bun and if I left myself enough time, I might have some concealer on. Maybe a brush of mascara. The inside of my shoes are breaking and they have stains from the last time I wore them outside in the grass. My nails are rarely painted, but mostly chewed and I’m pretty sure I have deodorant remnants on me.

I’m a ragdoll.

I’m the opposite of every high heel walking over the expensive marble that gives the younger generation something to aim for. And I trudge behind them thinking I am nothing like you.

It used to bother me, back when I thought I’d turn into the girl I’d seen portrayed in Disney movies and on television. One day I’d magically wake up and bam! I’d be Kafka’s metamorphosis of the butterfly instead of the weird insect I’ve been the entire time. But I never woke up to find wings. Just the same old limbs that were short and pale and awkward. And it took me a while to realize I was never going to get wings. I was never going to change and be like the others. I wasn’t Minnie Mouse. I was Goofy’s retarded niece. And there’s no poster girl for that.

It doesn’t bother me anymore. In fact, I embrace it. Maybe not the sweater holes or shoe stains, but every flaw on me proves I have no place being among the white-collared clean and polished people. That’s important to them and I totally give them credit. I would love to put myself together and look like an actual adult… but it’s not me. I’m not an adult. I’m a sixteen year old kid with twelve extra years of practice. And my hair will always be a lopsided bun and stains will inevitably find their way onto my clearance rack clothes. But that’s what Goofy’s retarded niece wears. So I’m set.

Honestly, I think if I looked like the rest, it wouldn’t be a constant reminder that I’m different. That one day I won’t be sitting in a cubicle or strutting around the office, but hopefully, giving book tours because I’ve actually made it. And how many artists do you see all shiny and new? Who gives a fuck about appearance when you have a masterpiece to create or even the theory of relativity to unleash? Don’t get me wrong—I bathe regularly and you read what I wrote about deodorant stains—I use it. I just don’t blend into the adult working class… and I think that’s a good thing.

I am nothing like you people.

I say it every day on my walk from my car to the elevator, following behind Banana Republic ads and Gap commercials. And me—I’m the ragdoll working to pay my bills.

You have no idea, I think, no idea who I am.

But you will someday.

Waiting for someday... and the elevator

Waiting for someday… and the elevator

Ragdollin' since Pre K

Ragdollin’ since Pre K

I Can Do This

Today was one of those days. It started raining on my way to work which I normally don’t mind (the rain, not work) but it caused more traffic which meant I arrived later than normal so no time to read before clocking in and I had to park further away. I know—world catastrophes. I wasn’t in my favorite outfit and was definitely feeling bumtastic. But what do I care? I’m normally the least chic person anywhere. And then…*sigh*… there was more work training.

I started a new job last month because I quit my old one and I’m not a filthy millionaire. Not yet. It was kind of a risk but I don’t mind new beginnings. I like to think of them as an adventure except—and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this—it takes me longer to get things than other people. No, I’m not stupid. Well, maybe a little. And only about certain things. Like math. I’m very stupid in math. But typically, I need a little more time to grasp simple concepts. I just think it’s because I get other things most people don’t and NO ONE can be great at everything. Even Mary Poppins, that self righteous bitch. So when it comes to learning things, I’m… shall we say… perpetually using training wheels. I’ll get going eventually but I really have to make sure I’m balanced before I can get ready and go. So why am I telling you this? Because there was more training and more moments when I thought, wow, did I really survive Darwinism? How is that possible? Shouldn’t I have been killed off already? I hate these thoughts. Because they’re negative and do nothing good for me. But I have them. And you have them. Everyone has thoughts of self doubt that make them question if they’re good enough. Smart enough. If they have what it takes.

So I’m always anxious when I have to learn something new, especially when it has to do with numbers (it does) and when I’m surrounded by other, younger people who apparently already know the answer to everything. Then look at me like I’m dumb. Because yes, sometimes I am. But so are you sometimes, so shut up. Mix that with parking far away and not feeling pretty AND THEN, letting those sad thoughts that tell me I’m never going to succeed, never going to be anything more than a mediocre wannabe invade my brain. Suffice it to say, I was feeling down. Maybe I’m just being a super emotional girl. That happens too. But today, for some reason, it just struck me. Sometimes life is bummy.

But then I checked my Amazon account and found someone left a comment on both my books… good comments. Like, “hurry up and write fast. Can’t wait to read the next one” with five star ratings and everything. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Did she leave it on the wrong book? No! I checked and then double checked. It was MY book she was rating. MY book she was giving five brightly shining stars to! And I don’t even know this person. Which makes that EPIC. Some other person in this world actually read something I wrote and without feeling obligated because we’re friends or family, said something positive about it. And wants to read more of my work. Yeah, I got teary eyed. Right there in my not so private work space. I don’t have a cubicle to cry my happy tears in but I might someday. Or not. Because I don’t want to end up in a cubicle. WOW. Five stars on BOTH books. It was just what I needed. The reminder that okay, maybe I don’t quite suck so hard. And maybe *just maybe* I won’t have to be a file bitch for the rest of my life (part of my current job). Maybe I’ll actually be able to do this.

I can do this.

In case you doubt my sometimes-retardation:

I was sitting in traffic the other day, scanning the local shops and came across this sign:

Caution

My first thought: they misspelled caution. Idiots.
Then I glance to the other, LARGER sign above it.

Auction
Oh…
And I’m dumb.

Sick

I stayed home sick today.

And unlike little Peggy Ann Mackay, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. Saturday, Tuesday, Friday– there’s no going to school or work for me with the way I’m feeling. Nope. Not happening. It started last week with a sore throat and then worked its way up to a full blasted CANNOT-GO-IN-THIS-COLD-IS-CRAZY-RIDICULOUS-MUST-STAY-HOME-AND-VEG thing. So I did. And it was much needed. But I still had time to write. Because there’s always time to write.

And read.

Which I do, every time I get sick. Because no matter how bad it is, I’m never as sick as little Peggy Ann Mackay. Wondering who she is, eh? Well you should get your Shell Silverstein education on because our dear friend little Peggy is QUITE the hypochondriac. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is wrong with this little weirdo. She’s got the measles and the mumps and, if I’m remembering correctly, a gash, a rash and purple bumps. Yikes. Not sure I want to know what caused purple bumps but I can safely assure you that I don’t have those.

Seriously, if you’ve never read Sick or any of the *fabulous* poems by Shell Silverstein, I HIGHLY suggest you get on that. I’d start with my personal favorite Where the Sidewalk Ends but grab whatever tickles your fancy. Hell, even give The Giving Tree a try. Expose yourself to Shell Silverstein. Do it. I dare you. And when you’re done, you can come back here and thank me. I’ll be waiting.

My rendition:

I cannot go to work today.
I’m sick and old and feeling gray.
I have the coughs and sneezes too.
A bad headache—could be the flu.
My throat is sore, my head feels foggy.
I’m shuffling around just like a zombie.
I’m tired and sleepy and need to nap.
Fuck being sick. It feels like crap.

But at least I don’t have purple bumps.
Take that, Peggy Ann Mackay.

Seeking Brain Cells

I haven’t written a lot this week. It may be because now that I‘m at the end of the first draft, it means going back to the beginning and really putting the thinking cap on. Before, it was just write to write. To get it all down so I’d have the story outlined and then it could Frankenstein itself alive. With a moving corpse, at least you have a place to start. But now I have to go back and start having it all make sense. Everything is basically there, but now it’s time to color it in, to take the blurry and sharpen the focus. To put a top hat on my cadaver and teach it to dance with Gene Wilder, so to speak. Okay. Maybe that’s a bad analogy, but going back to the second draft is sometimes harder than the first. Because now you really have to start making it better. And, I don’t know… maybe I don’t have enough brain cells to make it better. Like this post, for instance. I’m writing it on notebook paper at my job when I’m technically supposed to be working. It’s all chicken-scratchy with letters that aren’t really letters and it’s all pouring out of me, fueled by the free coffee from the break-room that I simply *must* enjoy. But when I go home and type this up, I’ll have to take an extra second and make sure everything written is like, coherent. Most of it is rambling, I know. But I still want it to make sense. So you’re not like “what the hell? I’m un-following her because she’s a bag of crazy tarts.”

And I am.

Anyway, back to the point—I haven’t written much this week because Hollywood keeps stealing my focus with Captain American and movies with Christan Bale. It’s like they sense my defenses are down and I’m looking for a reason not to use my brain cells. Alright. If I *have * to watch the first forty minutes of Captain America to see how he’s transformed from skinny geeky non-soldier to America’s finest specimen, I guess it’s not that big a deal. But while my brain thanks me for taking a few days off, my characters shake their heads in disappointment. You’re ditching us so you can be mindlessly entertained? Yes, yes I am.

I’ll get back to it again this weekend. Maybe tomorrow or next Tuesday. I’m not worried. I can only fall off the wagon for a few days at a time. After that, I get the familiar urges and start scratching again, my fingers itching for the feel of a keyboard.

Thank God writing is legal.

Blogs start somewhere. Today it was fifteen minutes when no one was looking. And I just didn't give a shit.

Blogs start somewhere. Today it was fifteen minutes when no one was looking. And I just didn’t give a shit.

Also, it’s Batman’s birthday today. Happy 2-8 you Caped Crusader.

Gotham loves you.

And so do I 🙂

Can you find Batman?

Can you find Batman?