Friday, April 11, 2014

mamalode - fragile bravery

I submitted a story, they accepted it, and the smile on my face threatens to crack my jaws; freeze my muscles. It's a good feeling. 

The story I wrote was really heavy. A terribly scary moment in time for me. A story about finding a lump in my breast and the thoughts that came immediately with that. 

In the moment of submitting the story I think I just desperately wanted to connect with someone; anyone. I felt like I was grasping, so I reached out and Mamalode pulled me in. I felt a little more anchored. 

I am so humbled that my story will be shared at Mamalode. I am so lucky to have found out that it's going to be alright. It was weird to be happy about my story being published at the same time of going through mammograms, ultra sounds, and scheduled surgeon consults. 
Maybe it should never be weird to be happy. 

Here is the link to my story at Mamalode. Fragile Bravery 

Go read it. Share it. 

With big love,
Angie

 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

either way


Most mornings, when I wake Jolie for school, she yawns and stretches and molds herself back into the covers savoring each last minute that she can. But some mornings she rises up with the sun, and goes for whatever is making her happy at the moment. Sometimes it's a book, a chart, a drawing. This morning it was a colorful brush. It could go either way really, the art or the sleeping, and I really like it either way. 

-Angie

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

for the love of a salad




I picked Tyler up from school, and as usual, he was hungry. School lunches ain't what they used to be. I was getting hungry too. It was 3:15. 

Me: I think there's some chicken in the freezer. We can do chicken salads. 
Tyler: Yeah, there is.  
Me: Ok, I'll thaw the chicken. You go get the lettuce.

The night before he had wanted salad, but it was a no-go. So tonight was to be fried chicken on a bed of lettuce. 
Easy enough, right? Yeah, you would think so. 

I thawed and started frying the chicken. I'm hurrying. Boiling eggs and frying the chicken.
When you've got kids hovering like vultures, you hurry.  Flour everywhere. Tyler ran to the store to get lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. He would be back in just a couple of minutes. Until he wasn't.

He called.
Tyler: I hope you can make a salad with cabbage. 
Me: No, I can't. 
Tyler: Well, I have cabbage. 
Me: Just run back in there and grab lettuce, babe.
Tyler: This place is crazy busy. I don't want to wait in line for 1500 people. 
Me: Dude, it can't be that bad. Just get the lettuce. 
Tyler: I'm going to the other store.

The other store is across town
I'm still frying the chicken.

He called.
Tyler: What is going on in town?! It's busy! I would have to park on the highway to get into the store. 
Me: I have no idea.
Tyler: Can't you just use cabbage? It's still a leaf.
Me: No, I can't. I can't eat a salad out of cabbage. No way, man. 
Tyler: What's another store?
Me: You know the stores, just get the lettuce!

He brings home the tomatoes, the cheese, and the damn head of cabbage. 

Tyler: I'm done. 
Me: Please! Please go get some lettuce. There's the little store just up the road. Run in there. I'll have all of this ready. Now, go kid!

Off he went. 
He came right back. 
He came right back with ANOTHER head of cabbage. 

Shit.

Seriously. I laughed and couldn't even believe it. Poor kid.

He pulls a leaf off and says how good it is. It will work, he says. It's fine, he says. But I just can't.
I throw my shoes on and head to the first store he went to. What do ya know. They don't have any heads of lettuce. So, a bag of the good leafy bunch it is. Better anyway.

I get back. Finally. There is lettuce in da house!! I instantly have swag. 
I'm washing the lettuce, ripping it into a bowl, tomatoes are cut, eggs are boiled, peeled and halved. A lemon is ready to be squeezed. Tyler grabbed a bag of shredded cheddar out of the fridge and put it on his bowl of lettuce. His big bowl that we searched cabinets for to find the right one. A good big bowl. These were big salads we were getting into, you guys. 

Tyler: Uh, will this kill me?
Me: What? 
Tyler: Just smell this. Is this right? This isn't right. 

I smell it, and that cheese is no good.

ARE THE GODS OF LETTUCE TRYING TO STOP THIS MEAL? ARE WE DOOMED TO EAT THIS?? 

Yes, I'm yelling. Waving outstretched fists into the air. Yelling and laughing. It's just all gotten totally very ridiculous.
It's on it's way to bleu cheese, I say. Hold on just a second, I say. I'll fix it, I say. 

I wash his bowl of lettuce, again, putting piece by piece back into the huge bowl holding all of the lettuce, because damn. I'll about kill somebody over some lettuce at this point. And then I gathered all of the egg shells and lettuce stalks (stalks? are they stalks?) out of the sink and straight into his salad bowl, without realizing it. 

Me: OK, bub, it's all good now. Start over. 
Tyler: You put all of the trash in my bowl?
Me: Well shit!! 

I laugh like a tired lunatic, and his grin flashed across his face the way it does. 
(Love that grin, by the way) 

It had become a mission. And let me just say... Mission Accomplished. 



At around 5:30, the salad was pretty great.

-Angie


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

exhibit a



I always took a book to ward off the chatty parents. There were some extremely talkative parents there, mostly the moms. Mostly gossip. 

When I would take Jolie to her gymnastics class, there was a little room with a few rows of chairs for us parents to watch our kids through a large mirrored glass. 

I watched Jolie, but had my nose ready to be in the book if needed. I'm sorry, I can't help it. I'm not a big talker of shopping or of other people. 

One day, I had to have my book raised squarely in front of my face. For the warding off, you know. I didn't care to get in on which ever topic was being griped about that day. I was wearing a shirt with letters on it, and this mom kept telling her little kid, while I had my book plastered across my face, to read the letters on my shirt. She sat in a chair in front of me, but turned completely around backwards in her chair to directly face me, and she directed that kid to my shirt. Dude, I'm not exhibit A. So I gotta take the book down, the kid is cute and he's just a little thing and he is standing in my lap at this point. Oh, hello. Were you talking to me? Sorry, I was READING. Mom then asks me if he can point to the letters on my shirt and call them out. Are you fucking kidding me? Blank stare. Blink. Blink. Uh, OK. 

She pointed, along with the kid, at the letters on my shirt. Like, they were TOUCHING the letters on my shirt. I had totally become exhibit a. 

Hello? Personal space, anyone?

There was also the time I was behind a guy in a small line at the gas station. Him, me, and the guy behind me. I kind of shifted my weight while standing there, and the guy behind me was apparently standing way too close, because I nearly stepped on him. We nearly bumped each other. 
Now, WHAT?! Excuse, me? No, excuse YOU. It's called personal space. Look it up. 

-Angie

Monday, April 7, 2014

milky way



So I don't know what to make of this. Any dream interpreters out there? I usually don't remember dreams. I know I have them often, because I will sometimes get a flash of something that I did dream, but can't recall even one bit to even know what it was. Just a flash. 

Today I was looking through National Geographic, reading about the milky way, and I had that flash. Then the full memory rushed into my brain. And... it's just stupid. 

I dreamed that I was standing outside looking up at the milky way, when it started moving like a starry highway. Stars moving fast leaving lightning streaks, there in the milky way, against the night sky. It was beautiful and vivid and really cool. A few of those stars shined brighter than the others and moved slower than the rest, and then they landed. I was mesmerized and unafraid. Next to me they landed in the form of ... Good God ... Are you ready for this? ... Ninja Turtles. Mother-fucking ninja turtles. Shells and all, you guys. 

So here's this one ninja turtle standing right beside of me, and then all of a sudden he's a man. Like, the perfect man. I can't say what he looked like, it was more the feeling that counted here. I think he was really good looking. I remember thinking he was, but who knows. Anyway, I felt true love. It's been a long time. I had forgotten what that felt like. He was my true love. As corny as it sounds, he was. I felt what it was to have that love, that best friend, that partner. The feeling of being loved and taken care of. The ninja turtle turned man had all of the greatest qualities I would want. And then he had to go. Back to the starry stuff. He was gone. 

The Milky Way delivered a dream man. At least the thought of one. But why a Ninja Turtle? 
Dude?

-Angie

Sunday, April 6, 2014

the butterfly effect of kindness



When I was a kid, I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I didn't have the right style to be the popular girl. Style came later, and that is still questionable. Wasn't smart enough to hang with the academics. My intelligence went beyond four classroom walls. I was athletic, but too shy and too intimidated to play in front of anyone. Socially awkward. 

In elementary years, I remember walking, alone, outside for recess. Two girls walked behind me, taking turns kicking the back of my legs and laughing as we walked. I don't know why they did it. I don't know why I never told anyone.

I read a lot when I was in middle school years. Preteen, wanting someone to see me and no one to notice me. Wanting to be heard, but not wanting to speak. Wanting to be known, but not giving myself the chance of introduction. Going home after school getting lost in pages and chapters to forget the daily grind of being made fun of for being too tall, too skinny, and too white. Those things earned lots of laughter at my expense. I laughed it all off, maybe a little too loudly. Nervous defense.

I remember, sometime in high school, our class had to play charades. I reached into the bowl to pull the piece of paper that read Billy Idol. Now, of course I knew how to impersonate Billy Idol. Easy. Rebel Yell. Shake of the fist. Curl of the lip. Easy. But, I couldn't. I froze. I chose to play dumb so I could get out doing it. So I could get off of center stage. I acted like, and said, I had no idea how to act out this person. I stood there in front of the whole class with eyeballs all on me. I was hot with embarrassment. Twenty or so classmates - the equivalent of the whole world looking at me with a magnifying glass in that moment, and I wanted the earth to swallow me. But, there I stood. When the class knew who it was that I was suppose to act out, their eyes rolled, and their voices were mocking and harsh and seemingly disgusted. "You can't do Billy Idol?! That is so easy! God! I can't believe you couldn't do that. It's so simple!" I don't remember anything after that. I just remember feeling really small.

Always, I bounced back. I was lucky enough to have a mom who was, and is, always full of love and is reassuring and encouraging. (Hi, mom!)

Only a few years ago, because I had been pretty much reclusive for years as far as being a social butterfly went, did I briefly show up for a reunion, and there did I hear the word introvert. I thought I was anti-social. I knew I didn't hate people or anything, but I also knew that I didn't want to hang out with people in general. And based on a lot of my childhood, preteen, and teen years, who would blame me if I did hate people? Freaks, I thought, who needs 'em? So at this reunion, a good friend of mine told me, "You're not anti-social, you're just more introverted." And he briefly described that to me. Dude was a life saver.
I'm an introvert?
I'm an introvert.
Alright, alright, alright...
It's cool, fool.

In general it can all be tough; the whole - being a kid and not fitting in. I'm thinking it was even worse for having been an unknown introvert and never mentioning the things that happened to me to anyone. I basically always wanted to just forget about it and start anew the next day. I must have gotten good at it, too, because my memory is shit today. 

What isn't cool is the way people are labeled if they're quiet or shy or not aggressive or competitive or whatever. If they don't act the way, dress the way, talk the way, look the way the majority does, then they are outed. Thought to be different and weird. I say, Celebrate the weirdness! I've noticed that this carries on into adulthood too. Often the mean kids grow up to be the mean adults. Always needing to talk down about someone else to feel like they have somehow raised themselves higher and above. Blah Blah Blah. Sit down, you over grown bully bitches.

It always seems easier to hear the bad stuff that is said. It gets harder to accept the good. I did have friends when I was a kid, but just a close couple. I survived it all as I'm sure so many others did. But I'm also sure that it all had to have changed who I could have been a little bit. Maybe it made me more of who I am now. But ultimately who I am today has to be attributed to my mom. 

Not saying that I've got this 100% down. I can get some road rage on like nobody's business. But. If we infused our kids with kindness and built them up, then maybe that would spill out and they would go and do the same. Instead of trying to beat each other down to get ahead, maybe they would encourage the one next to them. 

It's just kindness. Just a little bit. It's really not complicated. It's a smile, a compliment, a genuine, How are you? Less anger - more love. A novel idea, huh? But it could happen. It could totally ripple! The Butterfly Effect and all that. Harsh words spoken can definitely change the outcome of anything, so why wouldn't the positive do the same?

-Angie

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

kickin' it springy style


Spring is finally here, and it appears that it's going to stick around this time. It's sooo good. Everything is in motion. Bees and ants and different bugs. Musical note shapes are floating in the air from the birds. Open windows. Stuff is blooming and the skies are blue and the breezes are warm. And we had cantaloupe today! 
Oh! My! Gawd! 
Sometimes you just gotta kick the shit out of some sunshine. 

-Angie

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

right of way


Oh, the strain some financial woes will have on a mental state. My mental state. I just exited the health scare highway for a broke ass town on a near flat tire. Spring is showing up, and usually that speeds me up; energizes me. But due to the potholes along the way, I'm tired. I took a nap in the afternoon and woke, wildly, to dogs barking. What?! Who?! Where am I? What day is it? Where are my kids? School? Are we late? The sun is up? WHA? Spring break. It's spring break and I worked today and it's about 6:00 in the damn PM evening and I'm tired. It's kind of amazing how a little sleep will throw your brain into time travel. 
I'm going to need it to take me to money. 
Pot of gold. 
Stacks. 
Seriously, it's my turn. 
I've got the right of way.
I've got my turn signal on...

-Angie
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