Simple Girl or Just Lazy?


So, I have a date on Saturday. It is with Young Gun, who I have been conversing with regularly for a couple of months now. Unfortunately, due to my schedule and his we don’t seem to find the time to enjoy one another’s company often. This weekend, however, we set aside the time to do just that. With that being said, I have a very first-world-problem situation happening. What do I wear?

I am a simple gal. Sweats, ball caps, bandanas, sneaks, GAP sweatshirts, and baggy tees are my thing. Sure I like to throw on the make-up and the heels Monday through Friday for the office show, but on the weekend I take dressing down to a whole new level. That makes me wonder though…is that being simple or is that just being lazy? Does it say I am confident enough to look like a truck driver on purpose or does it just lend a huge helping hand to me not caring about my appearance at all?

When I mumbled under my breath that I would have to find something to wear, YG replied: Honestly, just wear shoes that make you low to the ground, your hair in that cute little fro, jeans and a tee. No need to get dressed up or wear heels or anything. To this I responded: Excuse me sir, but I don’t do that. I dress up Monday through Friday, but the weekends are dedicated to baseball hats, workout clothes and sweatshirts. So…that’s what you’ll get.  According to Tobago and Emily, I am not allowed to do that.

When discussing with them what I should wear, they both adamantly said no to the compression pants and the GAP sweatshirt. Emily emphatically shot down the baseball cap. *sad face* “You’re going on a date!” she said. “Ok, if you have been married to him for 40 years, throw on a hat and sweats, but you haven’t. No hats of any kind.” Tobago said she would hunt me down if I wore workout clothes. *sigh*

When do you know which is which–laziness or simple? And what fashion caters to either one that doesn’t involve yoga pants and holey tee shirts? It is safe to say that I probably won’t rock the baseball hat (although I am highly tempted) and I probably won’t wear my running pants either (even though they suck in my stomach like Spanx). I will probably slip into something plain Jane simple–something where I can sit with my legs open–and enjoy the company all the while wondering if I am just a simple chick or a lazy one. Perhaps I will opt for being just a simple kinda gal who enjoys being comfy with a slight fashionably lazy potential.


Wits Meet The End

I am almost positive, when I was a teenager, my mother wanted to leave me on a far away street corner like some stray cat. I am almost positive that she, too, stood at the sink full of dishes I could have easily done and muttered under her breath about selfish kids. I am pretty secure in thinking that there were days on her way home from work she almost veered off the road to purposefully land in a ditch, hit her head on the steering wheel and fall into the (best) worst  coma only to wake up after I was moved out and grown (ok…maybe that is just me). I am sure of these things mainly because those are the thoughts in my mind on any given day. Wits….meet the end.

I love my children. The Girl has the spirit of a servant. Her heart is so big and so loving it could have only come from God. Her wisdom surpasses her 12 years.  The Boy, he’s pretty special too. He’s special from the inside–the place where only few people can see. His love is measured deeply and it is kept locked away in a tiny vault…secure within himself. He protects those he loves as if his life depended on it. Those are my kids. I love them. Lord knows I do, but I swear I wanna drop them off at the nearest fire station with a sign that says “Free & Potty Trained….Please Take One“.

I stood at the sink, washing a billion dirty dishes, complaining under my breath about my children being selfish, argumentative, rude and selfish (yes, I said it twice). I know what you’re thinking. You are saying to yourself one of two things: (1) I totally understand where she is coming from, or (2) That’s her fault. Unfortunately, you may be  correct on the latter.

After The Split, I checked out. I began picking my battles sparingly and literally throwing my hands in the air. Argue about washing the dishes? Nope. That would mean they would do a half ass job and I would have to re-wash them anyway. Get in between sibling arguments? No thank you. That would mean I would have to actually listen to both ridiculous sides. Repeat myself 900 times for them to either: (a) pick up their rooms/dirty clothes/wet towels/trash/dinner plates, (b) take a shower, (c) read a book, (d) all of the above? I’m good. Thanks.

I am a mom, so naturally, I do those things anyway. I repeat myself,  yell, punish, make them clean…I do those things. But sometimes it gets to be too much to–well–nag. His main concern is expensive shoes. Hers is anything apparel related. Neither one has any concern about real things like starving children or homeless people. Neither one has an interest in how the house is being magically run or how gas suddenly appears in the gas tank or how the dishes end up in the dish drainer ready for use. They. Just. Don’t. Care. So….I don’t either.

I stood at the sink, sloshing sudsy water all over, apologizing to my poor, poor mother. I stood there wanting to lock them in the garage only opening the door to slide in their meals. I stood there, hands submerged in boiling hot water, hating The He for only being responsible for himself. He has a dishwasher. He doesn’t have to listen to arguments or drown out the thundering sound of The Boy running from one end of the house to the other, pretending to be a running back–dipping and dodging. He never has to argue with The Girl (she will make a hell of a lawyer one day if nothing else) about why she can’t go to Rainbow and buy yet another pair of boots (that will end up under the couch no doubt). He doesn’t have that burden. I do. And I stood there, at the sink frustrated, annoyed, guilty, and in need of a break. After the last pot was clean, I stopped The Boy on his 500th run through the kitchen (invisible defenders in tow) and asked if they would like to get out of the house. Starbucks was as good a place as any to get out and gain some perspective.

I spent 25 driving minutes, probably two gallons of gas, and $11 on some peace. I suppose that’s better than a bag of heroin or a clepto-spree (neither of which I have ever participated in, let the record show). It allowed me some breathing room. I guess that’s all I really needed anyway. Some room to breathe, a little perspective and some quality quiet time with The Them. Wits met the end. They shook hands and reluctantly departed. I am pretty sure they will meet again…some day.


A New Pace: Smitten

Smitten: be strongly attracted to someone or something.

That’s the definition of smitten (well, smite actually but who’s splitting hairs). According to that particular definition, I suppose I am smitten at this juncture. Weird to say–even weirder to feel.

They say the best way to get over a man is to get under another one. Personally, I find that to be stupid advice. Luckily (even though it felt pretty unlucky at the time), I had the opportunity to get over a man the hard way–alone. And while I still hold gentleman callers waaaaaay far away, I must say this particular one has me…well…you know.

Recognizing the error of my ways previously, I am making no rush moves or quick judgements. I am still very much seeing other people. I do not change plans or make major attempts to make room. I also don’t make excuses nor do I hide who I am. He seems to be ok with it (well, except the seeing other people part) and the strangest thing keeps happening….he accepts me as is. It is a nice change of pace.

No egg shells. No dirty laundry. No pressure. When we talk, time flies. When we find ourselves together, smiles beam. We converse about nothing but everything: the importance of South Park, the heart of living life to the fullest, just letting go and doing, sports, hurt, love, and Family Guy. Nothing hard or harsh. No ridiculous expectations. What ever is just is. Stolen glances and shy smiles…it’s all so sweet. Such a delightful pace.

I keep reminding myself that it’s ok to be smitten. There is nothing wrong with it at all as long as all lines are drawn and no boundaries are crossed. I have to keep telling myself I deserve to smile (which is often because it appears I have been doing that quite a bit lately). It is funny, really. The smiles and the blushing and the giggles and the bubbly. He isn’t the reason for any of it. He is an addition to it. How’s that for growth? 😛


A Lesson Never Learned (sigh)

I suck. A negative comment, yes, but bare with me here. While I do have many great qualities, I also have some pretty sucky flaws. The problem with actually acknowledging the great and the sucky is that I am painfully well aware of each. *sigh* Especially when I am wallowing in the sucky–train meet wreck, wreck meet helpless onlooker.

For the past few days I have noticed a behavioral pattern that can only be attributed to the closing. You say you are fine. People ask you are you better. You say you are happy because, well, you pretty much are, but then something comes along–sneaks in the back door–and knocks you to your knees. You saw it coming (the train). You knew it was coming and you thought you were okay until (the wreck)….

I attempted to cover bases with buying salad stuff, fruit and veggies. I tried to react in a responsible manner. I really, really did. I made my lunch and snacks the night before. I made my cucumber/lemon/mint water and chugged it down obediently. I ran (3) miles one day and biked (5) the next. I made room for the responsible. But then….I found myself eating Froot Loops at 11pm. I suddenly had to have a Reeses pumpkin. Dunkin Donuts was a great idea. That old love/hate relationship came slip-sliding back in, gripping me by the throat. Food is not my friend.

This morning I managed to scarf down a pumpkin doughnut, a glazed doughnut, and a Boston creme with a side of creamer laced coffee. *sigh* I knew what I was doing when I pulled through the drive-thru. I knew what I was doing when I sat down at my desk and politely laid out a napkin. I knew what I was doing, yet….I didn’t stop (the helpless onlooker). When I was finished eating, I raced to the bathroom to brush my teeth–I guess the oral equivalent to taking a shower after a shameful sexual encounter. My knees went weak and I literally knelt in front of the sink, guilt/shame weighing me down. I suck.

Perhaps those words are a little too harsh. I am human, after all. I do have feelings (to the surprise of others). I won’t melt when water hits (I’m melllltiiiiing). I just have a problem with fighting the irresponsible emotional side of self. Blame it on the Gemini I guess. One twin, usually the weaker one, wins in situations like this. Perhaps the stronger twin is just tired of fighting. I can imagine her throwing up her hands, saying eff it and walking away. The weaker twin feels like she won, but really all she did was create another problem. I guess I don’t suck. It’s the weak twin who sucks. When the course on emotional dealings was taught, she missed the class entirely…she was probably in line at McDonald’s. *sigh*


Stop This Train

Stop this train. I wanna get off and go home again.

I stood in the shower, hot water burning , John Mayer bursting my heart and reducing it to tears. I had spent the evening removing the last of the boxes and trash from the Old House. It was a bittersweet experience to say the least.

Growing up it was always an unspoken expectation to be responsible, get married, have kids, buy a home–live a life of normalcy. When you get older and that very clear Leave It To Beaver vision gets muddied, you still tend to hold onto some of it. Not everything is murky…right? I held onto the marriage and the kids and the house and the dog and the cat. The picket fences. I protest about it now, not wanting kids or marriage, but I know deep down I wanted the forever and the family. It all blew up in my face though, for reasons beyond my control (but that’s just life isn’t it?) and last night I stood in the shower, skin boiling, tears streaming at the thought of my unstoppable train.

…Can’t take the speed it’s movin’ in…

The Old House is just a structure. I get it. It could have caught on fire, been crushed by a tree, or fallen down around us at any moment, but it was home. It was our family accomplishment. It was the one place where we could go and shut the world out. The Christmases, the birthdays, the random dance fits in the living room, the romantic nights, the literal stormy nights are nothing more than vanishing memories. They are no longer housed in the walls of the brick and mortar that once housed our family.

….I know I can’t but honestly won’t someone stop this train….

On warm summer nights or slightly cool fall nights, I would walk out onto the driveway and lay down. I would put my hands behind my head and star gaze. The children would come outside and find themselves laying next to me–one on each side–staring at the night sky. Last night, for the last time, we laid in the driveway.

The Girl lay across my stomach, the Boy lay close (but not too close– he has an image to protect) and we were silent each reflecting the loss. It wasn’t just the loss of our home, but the loss of what we all thought would be forever. We lay there silently realizing there was no stopping our train and no matter how much we wanted to we wouldn’t be able to get off and go home.

Once in a while, when it’s good, it’ll feel like it should….still safe and sound and you don’t miss a thing til you cry when your drivin’ away in the dark…signin’ Stop this train. I wanna get off and go home again. Can’t take the speed it’s movin’ in….I know I can’t cause now I see I will never stop this train…


NaNoWriMo: Blank Pages

Soooo…here’s the thing: I am a writer. I have a photo of me at the age of (3) sitting at our kitchen table with a pen in my mouth. I have always been a writer. I used to dream of being (2) things as a kid:  becoming Shelia E., and becoming a best selling children’s book author.

The Shelia E. dream was crushed when I had a shot at actually learning to play the drums in elementary school. The teacher gave the drum pads to the boys in the music class and I got the f***ing recorder. To this day I hate that instrument. I could have continued to push for the whole drum thing, but instead I took the recorder and made the boys (and the teacher) feel increasingly uncomfortable with the Omen “I hate you all” glares during class. Writing–how it disappeared, anyway–is a bit different.

I used to read and write all of the time. I wrote stories that were pretty awesome, actually. I loved Poe and Shakespeare. Stine and King. I lived for stories that went bump in the night. My writing reflected as much. I am unsure of where it went away, the writing. Perhaps it was when I detoured into marriage or motherhood. Maybe it just vanished when my imagination bowed out to reasonable thinking. Grown up stuff happened. Love, heartache, bad decisions (so much for the reasonable thinking), reality tv, drinking (wine is my friend–ok…might we pause here for a moment? I speak of drinking often, however, I would like it to be officially known that I am not a lush. I enjoy wine on Thursdays and the occasional beer if pizza is involved and, ok, a margarita if tacos are present, but outside of those moments, liquor and I are not friends. Just wanted to throw that out there–ok, let’s continue), sex (which is amazing btw…how come no one told me about that), bills and the rest of life most likely got in the way. Or perhaps, I got in my own stupid way. *sigh*

Every year NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes along and every year I make a point of joining in the fray. I create playlists for writing. I make space in my office (err–now my kitchen). I buy new spiral notebooks and pens. I pull out dictionaries and dust off thesauruses. I make room. And then…..blank pages. The story starts out fine but then it fizzles out and the blank pages stare. I stare. We stare together in a contest I know I won’t win. I always blink first.

This year I will attempt it again. This year I will make room again. This year I will try not to fail….again. If I could just write. If I could just get out of my own head and put pen to paper. If I could just go back. If I could just be that version of me again then maybe, just maybe, I can hold onto my gift. The Bible mentions something about that, you know. God, if you’re listening, I would like to have it back. I buried it. My mom told me not to, but you know how that goes….we never listen to those who know better. I want it back. I need it back. I have 50,000 words to write between November 1 & November 30. I can’t take the staring game with blank pages…I lose every time. I always blink first.


Small victories

I love music. I actually love to dance too, but I never do it in front of people…shy I guess. With so many songs in your head, on the radio and in your virtual catalog it’s nothing to flip a switch and sing your mood to better or to healing or to Jesus….except when it all goes….silent.

A friend of mine was going through the whole he-cheated-she-found-out thing and she said that she couldn’t watch television or listen to music. She couldn’t watch movies or read books. She silenced everything. At the time, I had not been through the he-cheated-she-found-out thing yet and I couldn’t understand….until one day I did.

Silence. Even the light hurt my brain. Tears hurt. Happy hurt. Anger hurt. Nothing felt good. The silence was deafening. It allowed my thoughts to stomp around free…and loud. My dad (he may never know just how much the small gesture saved me) gave me his radio. It sat perfectly on the bathroom counter, kitchen counter, night stand….and it was loud enough to drown out the pain.

I started slow with Adele. If anyone understood, she did. I soaked in the tub or stood in the shower until the water ran cold and mentally unwound. A few months later came Pink. Her music (So What, especially) pulled me up. Then came gospel…Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp…without Him, I definitely never would have made it (get it).

One day (very recently), while cleaning up, a love song came on the radio. I didn’t change the channel. I actually sang and danced along. The radio stayed on for hours and I listened to R & B songs about being in love, making love, hating love, falling out of love and everything in between. I sang. I sang terribly. Finally, I was able to sing dry eyed.

I make it a point to no longer live without music. Sometimes it’s Queen. Sometimes it’s good ol’ Marvin Gaye. Sometimes it’s Pink or Biggie or Anita Baker or Paramore. No matter what I’m listening to, I smile and remind myself of the small victory. Oh…yea…and to never allow anyone to break me down to deafening silence again. Cheers to victories–big and small.


A Love Letter To Friends

God blessed me with Divine Connections. They are the connections with people that bring out not just the best in you, but the God in you. Before you do things, you think about them or what they might say or do. Before you go to bed at night, you take the time to pray for them because you know they have done (or still do) the same for you. Divine connections are not relationships where you must talk day in and day out. They are relationships where that is accepted but so is the emergency “get me outta here” call on a Friday night. This is my love letter to them.

Dear Friends,

I have disappeared…fallen back…taken a break from everyday interactions.  I see you. I see your good stuff and I pray it continues. In the time you were placed in my life, it was what saved me. The ‘just checking in calls’ or the GNO inclusions allowed me to step away from the beating of my head against the wall. It helped me to hurt out loud and know it was okay. You allowed me a glimpse into your lives when you didn’t have to. That is a caring and a kindness and a love I am grateful to have received, and I can only hope to give it back to you in return.

I stepped away for a bit, but my heart remained in place (I hope you don’t think me too rude).  I root for you from a distance. I pray for you from my heart. I hang back and clap my hands, bragging on your character and accomplishments. I am not sure how I can be of service to you other than just being here when you call. But I will try, to be of service, the best way I know how.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for shedding light where I thought there could be none. Thank you for being honest (and gangsta-like). Thank you for sharing your life with me. Thank you for giving your time and space. I love you. Lord knows I do.


Second Dates Are Better

Slightly hung over from lack of sleep and abruptly absolved of morning parental duty (long story), I decided to take myself on a breakfast date. I could have argued or sulked but I chose to be good to me, instead.

I sat at the counter of Waffle House with the early morning dateless and the elderly, ordered a waffle and enjoyed myself. As stated before, I am used to being alone but I usually spend that time in a twisted web of thoughts, not really enjoying any of the alone time. This time was different. I was just there. There was no over thinking or wondering. There was no feeling weird or out of place (which I totally place on myself most of the time–my excuse to cut and run). I was just….there…just me…just enjoying a waffle.

I popped in my head phones, sipped coffee from the thickest coffee mug ever, and watched the waiters and waitresses zoom back and forth like busy ants. I smiled at myself for taking a breath and taking a break. I smiled at the second date….seconds are always better anyway 😛