Monday, May 30, 2011

My True Love Story

At The Window,Day 630ish
I’m in my room, dressed for bed in a cotton tee-shirt and shorts. In one of those rare moments where I’m not talking on the phone, I have my music turned on low and my bedroom door is closed as the rest of my family readies themselves for bed. I’m propped up against my pillows and headboard, working on a note to Ryan. We exchange them frequently. Mine are always decorated with swirls and hearts and stickers. His are always scratched out in terse, but nicely legible letters and are always exactly one page long. Both of us pride ourselves on being quite funny and finding new and exciting ways to exchange the same flirtations. Our real masterpieces are the ones we write back and forth when we‘re sitting next to each other in class. Once my Dad found one and he said that Ryan and I could write scripts or something with our talent, judging by our entertaining exchanges.
I hear a “ping” sound, which I don’t think much of, so lost am I in the composition of my note. The ping is closely followed by another. I lift my head and turn my ear to locate the source of the sound. Another “ping” louder than the ones before, sneaks its way into my ear through the window right above my bed. I drop my pen, mid-swirly letter, crawl out of my covers and peer between two of the closed blinds. I see a person standing on the grass just below my window. I can’t see much more than a pair of jean clad legs, shrouded in darkness, but I think I have a good idea who’s out there. I pull up the blinds and slide my window open, looking down from my vantage point on the second floor of our home.
“Hey,” says Ryan’s quiet voice, “I was just out with some friends and I saw your light on.”
“Just a second,” I say. I scramble across my single bed and click off my lamp, making my room dark so that the advantage of sight will belong to both of us and not just to him. Then I bounce back to the window, unable to contain my excitement at his unexpected visit.
“You just threw pebbles at my window,” I say. I’ve donned my dramatic voice, to communicate how very quaint I think it all is. “It’s very Romeo and Juliet.”
We’ve studied Romeo and Juliet together for our English class.
“Well, I hope we don’t turn out like they did,” Ryan says.
“I really do hate a sad ending,” I say, “Young love is a treacherous thing.” I grin.
“Some people say that kids our age don’t know what love is,” he says pulling some long needles off the pine tree that’s looming over him, just to keep his hands busy.
“What would you say to that?” I ask.
“I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll tell anybody that I love them… until I get married or something.”
I wonder if he can see the way my eyes grow large and round and I chew on my bottom lip out of guilt.
“Wait a minute. You’ve already said it to people haven’t you?”
“Ummmm…. Maybe… but I don’t think I meant it!”
“I can’t believe you’ve told boys you love them!”
“It came as quite a shock to me too,” I say, propping my chin on my fist and trying to sport my adorable guilty but still irresistible expression. “One day B called me and I was so nervous and we made some stilted conversation and when it was time to get off of the phone, all of the sudden, in the middle of our goodbye, he accosted me with ‘love you’.” I shudder visibly. “I couldn’t believe it! I was totally stunned and then I just said it back! Then I slammed the phone down and fell over on my bedroom carpet at the shock of it all. After that, I just figured it was something people say and I never really thought of, I don’t know, the power behind it.”
“Nice. So you are one of the diminishers of the three magic words,” Ryan shakes his head like a disappointed parent, but he still wears a half smile.
“I know!” I say. “It’s so ironic that I of all people would ever do something to lessen the importance of love! …This is a really uplifting conversation, by the way, thanks so much for stopping by.”
He chuckles.
“I always preferred Julius Caesar to Romeo and Juliet,” he says.
I gasp and put my hand to my forehead in swooning disappointment. “Et tu, Brute? You would prefer Julius Caesar.”
“Why is that?”
“I don’t know… you’re all Dead Poets Society with your guy power, and your fight against injustice and your strength in the wake of epic tragedy.”
While he defends all things manly and brutal, it occurs to me that at our young age, we have been introduced to the classics together. We have fallen in love or hate with each one of them. We’ve theorized about them in papers together. In the years that Ryan and I have known each other, music became important to us. We learned together how it can speak to us, how it can affect us. In fact it is starting to seem that every song written contains a secret sonnet meant for us, the music is composed for us. There might be no emotion more intense than young emotion.
“You know what,” I say, seeming rudely out of the blue, I’m sure, as he defends his love for Julius Caesar. “I do believe love is possible at our age. More than possible.”
“Probably possible,” Ryan says, “But not recommended.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know,” he says, looking far off down the dark road like he’s thinking about something he can’t quite understand. “My Dad’s always warning me that you and I shouldn’t get so serious about each other. Do your parents ever...” he pulls more pine needles down with his fingers, “… ever tell you that maybe you should date other people?”
It wasn’t easy hearing that his Dad had been suggesting that he see other people. I think of how his Dad recently grilled hot dogs for us in their backyard and gave me a gorgeous purple iris, cut from his flower bed, and I decide that I won’t take it personally.
“I think my parents are pretty thrilled that I have been found worthy of and am willing to return the affections of a good boy such as you,” I say. “There’s a sort of relief that comes over their faces when I tell them I’m going out with you, like they have a lot of trust in you.”
“Trust?” His breath comes through his teeth in a whispered, humorless laugh. “There are people who would say a teenage boy shouldn’t even trust himself.”
“Are you saying that you don’t trust yourself?”
“I know I wouldn’t ever want to disrespect you,” he says, but then with a wicked raise of the eyebrow he says, “But no, I can’t say that I always trust myself to be a perfect gentleman when I’m around you.”
The suggestion sets my heart to pounding. I subconsciously move closer to the screen of my window.
“Hey, you know what?” He asks, trustworthily changing the subject. “You know how our houses have almost the exact same layout? My room is in the same place in my house that your room is in yours. See?” He motions across the street and West a little, to his house. “My room is that window on the corner closest to us.”
I gasp another Romeo and Juliet type of gasp. “I can totally see your bedroom window from mine!”
“I know, I can look out every night and see if you’re asleep yet.”
I get a self-conscious kind of feeling and my eyes dart back and forth. “Your blinds are always closed, Sparky, and I’m still quite a ways away,” he says, shaking his head. “I can only see whether or not your light is on.”
“So when you go home tonight, I’ll wait a minute or two and then I’ll see your bedroom light turn on and I’ll know that’s where you are.” This is quite intimate.
“I’ll turn my light on and off to send you a signal. It will be my way of saying goodnight.”
I love this idea. This idea ranks above roses and love poems.
I revisit my Shakespeare voice to poke fun at his concerns about young love. “Then I will wait here, staring longingly at your bedroom window and pondering over my deep and abiding like for you.”
He smiles that old familiar smile that seems to say, “Amie, you’re going to be the death of me.”

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Pleasant Scowl

What does your face look like when you walk through the grocery store? Are you deep in thought? Are you smiling at people and looking them in the eye? Are you cussing at them in your mind because they’re inconsiderately taking up the whole isle? Sometimes when I bump into someone going around a corner, I say, “Oh! Excuse me. Sorry,” then as I’m walking away, I mutter, “I don’t know what I’m apologizing for. I know the proper rules of navigating a grocery store and you were in the wrong.”
Yesterday I was happy, and I was walking through the store, smiling at people. They smiled back, the smile that’s one part polite and three parts, “Do I know you?” That made me smile bigger… and it made me think of my Dad.
One night Ryan and I were sitting in my parents’ living room on their big, comfy, inviting and still marvelously stylish couch… one of the many things in the house that Dad put ever so much thought into before purchasing. He was lying on the floor, a place he was always the most comfortable for some reason. Mom was sitting next to him, probably rubbing his feet… a place she was always the most comfortable for some reason.
Dad was being philosophical. “I’ve been thinking about my facial expressions,” he said. I try to go around with a friendly look on my face, but sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror. In my mind, I’m almost smiling, but in my reflection the expression couldn’t even pass for pleasant!”
By this time Ryan and I were laughing. Laughing because we didn’t know anyone who would think Dad anything other than pleasant. Laughing because he had given a small thing like that some thought. Laughing at the ludicrous notion of trying to give someone a gentle smile and feeling like you end up scowling at them instead.
I’m my Dad’s only daughter. If there was anyone in the world afraid of his stern gaze, it was the boys who came to pick me up for a date. Even they… the most questionable on the list of applicants to receive my Dad’s glowing smile respected him so much, that they probably would have counted themselves lucky to get the “pleasant scowl”.
It’s memorial weekend. I miss you Dad. I can’t listen to the message you left on my voicemail yet. The one I’ve saved since last May. The one where you wished me a happy birthday in the way only a Dad can. I can’t listen to it yet, but I hear it all of the time. I’m still smiling. Right now, though, my smile looks like tears streaming down my face. I have reasons to smile, reasons to laugh… because I have you, I have Mom, and I have everything else that you gave me. Today I’ll smile at people and I’ll think of you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My True Love Story

There Have Been Kisses, but Never Any Like This.

Day 602ish

There have been kisses. There have been kisses where friends craftily leave us alone in an adjoining room, with obvious, yet whispered, purpose. There have been kisses with the background noise of stifled giggling or the self conscious feeling of curious eyes. There have been kisses with the pressure of two friends trying something new, and all of the possibilities, gratifying or heartbreaking, looming over us.
It’s late afternoon and the sun is still as warm as a cherished memory. Ryan and I are together on my driveway, wondering at the opportunity that we have to even see each other today, after yesterday when we stayed too late in the woods. We’re secreted away from the windows of my house, standing to the far side of the concrete, between two vehicles. Somewhere in the distance neighborhood children are playing, somewhere birds are singing, surely the breeze is humming through the leaves on the trees just as it’s lifting my hair off of my shoulders. What does any of it matter? I’m oblivious to all but him.
“So you really didn’t get in trouble for being late yesterday?” I ask.
“Nope… and that’s pretty miraculous.”
“Miraculous? You suspect divine intervention then?” I ask with a wink.
“I think I could safely say the heavens are smiling down on me.”
We continue to tease, but just as I pay no attention to the children at play or the birds singing, I don’t pay much attention to our own half hearted attempts at using proper words.
Finally, Ryan says, “Do you have any idea what we’re talking about right now?”
“Not a clue,” I say.
“Oh good,” he says, stepping closer, “Because all I can hear is you telling me that you aren’t going to run away from me anymore.”
I smile, because all I hear is him reminiscing about my eighth grade picture and promising himself, “I’m going to make that girl mine some day.”
I look at his eyes. He looks at my lips. There are no giggling friends plotting to leave us semi-alone, no parents eyeing us with concern. There are no people in this whole world. There is just Ryan and there is just me.
I lean back, letting the side of the truck behind me take some of my weight. I don’t want to run away, but I do feel years’ worth of emotion culminating and resting on this moment. I don’t want to run away, but I am still afraid. I’m wondering if my nerve endings will respond to Ryan the way my heart already has.
Ryan places his hands at my hips, pulls me away from the truck and closer to him. His lips meet mine and he isn’t the frustrated boy, sitting with me in the street, allowing me to keep him at a distance. He is an undaunted boy who has been given the green light on a long awaited kiss, and he could beat Mario Andretti off the line. For the first time he isn’t timid. He isn’t hesitant. He isn’t Ryan. Not Ryan, my friend from the friend zone.
This is a whole different Ryan who kisses. Who really kisses and who is instantaneously earning the permission to go ahead and continue kissing me and never, ever stop. I move my arms around his neck to tell him so. He curls his fingers around the fabric of the shirt at my back in response. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this moment changes everything.
Despite my unspoken permission to never stop, he eventually does pull back and look at me. I see a question in his eyes. Relief surges through me! I get to answer that question with an “Oh my gosh, YES!” Yes, I felt that. Yes, it was amazing. Yes, I’d like you to do it again. Right away please. I smile. My eyes look a little crazy, I think, because in my mind I’ve put my hands on his upper arms and I’m shaking him as I mentally answer yes to all of the questions that have ever been about Ryan and I. He answers yes back by kissing me again even better. I never saw friend Ryan from the friend zone again. When I next looked, I saw a whole new Ryan. One who had rocked my world like a nuclear bomb, just that powerful and just that dangerous.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Defying Gravity

For my birthday (this past weekend), Ryan Edward gave me a girl’s weekend out and a ticket to WICKED.
I’ve never been the type to be very comfortable with girls’ weekends. For one thing, I grew up with a Mom that never really indulged or spoiled herself, who "therapy shops" for gifts for others. :) So what it takes for me to indulge is usually being at the end of my rope, after quite a few days in a row of realizing that I keep putting myself last while everyone else seems to not even notice that I have needs… or it takes me being sickeningly fed up with dieting. Then I will march myself to Panda Express and the poor cashier will wonder why I hand her my debit card and snatch at my “to go” bag with such defiance.

For another thing, I’m an only girl. Three brothers. ALL. BOY. I’m ALL GIRL, including the part that isn’t entirely comfortable with other girls. We won’t even get into how, in anticipation of getting in a swimming suit with seven other women (5 of whom I didn’t know at all), I spray tanned my legs for the first time and ended up with tan and white stripes. I consoled myself with the reminder that vertical stripes are said to be slimming.

The women I spent time with made a forever positive impression. Each taught me something about themselves and each made me appreciate our differences and commonalities. In the end, I learned a lot about women, a lot about myself, and a little about tasting food off of other peoples’ plates. Apparently that’s common on girl’s weekends. :) I ate at the Cheesecake Factory for the first time. I couldn’t believe I paid $8 for a slice of cheesecake, but it was all part of the experience… and it was delicious. I also ate a Nutella and strawberry crepe at a farmer’s market. I saw some really neat walking sticks that reminded me of my Dad, and I walked through the crowded booths and I thought of how he’d be proud of me for being out of my comfort zone.
Though going on a girls’ weekend is not wholly “me”, and I was pretty nervous about it, all I kept thinking of was sitting in that auditorium when the lights went down and the crowd went quiet, and I didn’t have to say the right thing, or be the right kind of person. I could lose myself in another world, a colorful world with unique creatures, magical possibilities and messages that mean something to me. I knew the songs by heart, but I didn’t know the plot with all of its twists and turns. I’ve never seen a professional play at that level and I just knew it wouldn’t disappoint.
Uh huh.
It didn’t. I was entranced. What is it about the arts that can speak to our souls? I think it might be that people create. They create a sequence of words, a sequence of music, or a sequence of dance steps that cannot be uncreated. They change the world with their creations. Their creations speak to different people in different ways. That is so powerful! At intermission we pow-wowed at the ladies room and one of my new friends asked me what I thought so far. I said, “It makes me want to accomplish things!” That was it in a nutshell. The play made me dream, and believe in my dreams.
Also, seeing people who excel at anything is an inspiration! Ryan Edward has taught me to appreciate that. He doesn’t care if it’s fishing, or poker. If someone is excellent at something he stops and takes notice.

My focuses are writing and motherhood. They sometimes require a head in the clouds. They sometimes require a woman on her knees. They sometimes inspire dreams of a book signing. They sometimes inspire screams for a little peace and quiet. But they do inspire… and I am going to defy gravity... if not at motherhood or writing, I'll try fishing and poker...or world record for Panda Express, orange chicken consumption.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My True Love Story

Reasons To Run, Day 601ish
It’s the day after I ran from the goodnight kiss. It’s the day after I ran from the “goodnight” altogether! Ryan has asked me to go for another walk in the woods near our houses. We’ve plodded along, commenting on the weather and other inconsequentials. We’ve maneuvered through vines and balanced on fallen trees, but my carefully pounding heart warns that I’m maneuvering through something more difficult than vines, and balancing on the very thin line between the past and the future.
Ryan is as lighthearted and easy going as ever. His voice holds no malice as he laughs and asks, “Hey, remember last night? Remember how your hand was poised on the door handle of the car a full two miles before we got to your house?”
“It was not,” I say.
“The really crazy part, though, was when you leapt from the car before it had even come to a complete stop, you rolled across the gravel like a combat soldier and when I went to ask if you were okay all I saw was a streak of lightening, that looked something like you, bolting through your front door.”
I force a laugh, shrug my shoulders and look at the ground.
We’re walking through a dried up creek bed now. There is an old green pipe, once used to direct the water, buried in the ground. It’s as big around as the circle of my arms, and sticks out from where it’s buried, far enough to make a bench for two. Ryan sits on it as he continues to tease me, and he motions for me to sit next to him.
As always, we end up in our own private world, even out in the wide open. My legs are wobbly and my heartbeat is visible, but there is a certain amount of comfort and safety tucked away with us here, somewhere in the dirt walls, somewhere in the shelter of the tree branches. I lean my back against his chest and we look out in the direction of those bare tree limbs, crawling out against the background of blue sky.
“So what is it?” Ryan asks, “Why did you jump out of a moving car just to get away from me?”
It would be silly to deny it, even though it is a gross exaggeration. It’s time to be honest, to be brave and say scary things. I feel my spine stiffen against him. “I just think I’m not ready for us to be kissing yet. It’s such a big step away from our friendship.”
There’s no response for a few long seconds, and I break a thin twig between my fingers over and over again to keep busy.
“Okay,” He finally says, with a determined acceptance. “Just whatever you do, don’t endanger yourself anymore by leaping from cars while they’re still in motion! That won’t be necessary. The mutual goal will be for you to get to the front door with as little road rash as possible.”
I sit straight up and turn my head to give him a smile, complete with my two deep dimples. What a talent he has for making me smile and laugh during the most unlikely of circumstances.
He lays a hand on my shoulder and levels his eyes at me. “It’s okay Amie. I care about you a lot and I don’t want to lose you. Whatever you’re comfortable with is alright with me.”
I breathe out and sink back against his chest. The view of the tree branches is so much more like a canopy than it was before.
We enjoy a moment of easy, quiet contemplation, and then he says, “I remember the day I found out you were moving back.”
I sit up again, and this time, angle my body to look at him. “What?”
I was in the hall at school, and I was by Kristin’s locker. She asked me if I remembered Amie Gee. After I told her that I did remember you, she told me that you were moving back. She had a picture of you in her locker, the school picture that you mailed to her, and she showed it to me. I can still remember exactly what that picture looked like.”
The woods have gone so quiet. All of nature has stilled itself, to witness his confession.
“Really?” My response is no more than a whisper.
“Well, who could forget a picture like that? That picture, along with my memories of you and the excitement of you coming back here? I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I remember as clear as anything, laying in my bed that night and thinking to myself ‘I’m gonna make that girl mine one day’.”
Even my own vital signs are hushed now, loving what they’re hearing so much that they wouldn’t dare put up interference. My heart reaches, pulling my entire upper body closer to his. My eyes don’t move from his eyes. My head moves back and forth, gently shaking off some of its own foolishness.
“All of the sudden, I don’t think I feel like running away anymore,” I say.
“You sure?” he asks, with a confident half smile, “Because if you did, I’d just have to make sure and be here when you came running back.”
My only response is to close another inch of the distance between us.
Ryyyyaaaaaan!” Suddenly a deep and booming voice seems to shake the birds from the branches. Our heads both snap in the direction the sound has come from.
“Was that your Dad?” I ask.
“I think so. What time is it?” He grabs my wrist and looks at my watch, seeing for himself, before he finishes the question. “Oh man! How did so much time go by so fast?”
“Oh no! You’re late? Ryan, hurry, we have to get you home! Your parents will hate me!”
I jump to my feet and tug on his arm.
He stands up, but plants his feet. “It’s okay Amie. Even if I get in trouble, it was worth it.”
“No it isn’t!” I continue to tug on his arm. “It isn’t alright. I’m not going to get you in trouble. Come on, hurry!”
“I’ll only go if you promise I can see you tomorrow… that is if I’m not grounded.” He’s half joking, but it only makes me panic more.
“Yes. Yes. Of course, tomorrow! I promise! Just please hurry home!”
The promise of tomorrow. What does a tomorrow bring after the today we’ve had? Will tomorrow bring parental interference? Will tomorrow bring death defying dives from moving vehicles? Maybe… just maybe… tomorrow, there will be no more reasons to run.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My True Love Story

The Passenger Seat Decision, Day 600ish

The passenger seat: a place where a girl makes some of her most important dating decisions. Sometimes she decides what her first impression is. Sometimes she decides if she likes the conversation or the music or the way he smells. The most important decision seen by the passenger seat is the one made on the drive home. She thinks of the boy next to her, who will soon be walking her to her front door. She thinks of the couple with them in the backseat, who will soon be watching them walk to her front door. She thinks of the date, of all of the little occurrences, of the boy’s characteristics and how they make her feel and whether or not it all adds up to that kiss goodnight.
I’m new to the passenger seat decision. I’ve recently turned officially sixteen years old. That means I can officially go on official dates… as opposed to the unofficial ones I’ve pretty much already been going on. I don’t need to look to my left to see Ryan. I can look straight ahead and see him a thousand different places doing a thousand different things.
It’s Sadie Hawkins time and my first date has to be everything I’ve ever dreamed and more, beginning with the all-out creative, “Will you go to the dance with me?” tactics. My friends and I send our potential dates on a treasure hunt through the local grocery store. We decide we’ll be clever and watch from the window of a corner booth at the little fast food place next to the grocery store. I don’t know what we expect to see. We only want to be a part of it somehow. We perch ourselves on the windowsill, noses practically pressed to the glass, knees making the vinyl seats squeak beneath us. We watch our potential dates walk into the store together and we wait. We stare out at the store front imagining them running through the aisles trying to decipher clues like, “Pink hearts, yellow stars, and even red balloons- hurry up and get there and don’t forget your spoons.” We want to see them when they come out of the store, carrying the final clue that reveals our identities, and to watch their faces for what we hope will be smiles.
Suddenly, from across a quarter block of paved parking lot, we see Ryan come out of the store. It can’t have been long enough for them to finish the hunt already! We watch with utmost curiosity. He turns in the direction of the fast food place. He looks directly at the window, where our peering eyes must be only barely visible to him and he extends his arm, waving it back and forth with exaggeration. We gasp and fall from the window in complete surprise. We scream and we crouch and we giggle. How did he know we were here? A look of wonder comes over my face at his small action, extraordinary to me. What does it say about him? Does it mean that he’s that perceptive? That he’s that smart? That he’s that connected to me? The one thing I know for sure is that it means he looked past the clues, the little game, the people he was with, the commotion of the grocery store… to wonder where I was. In all of that, he was thinking of me.
On the date we go four wheeling. We eat a fancy picnic of fillet mignon. At the dance themed “Under the Sea” some teachers do a fundraiser where you pay a dollar and, in the name of King Neptune, they marry you to your date for the night.

With a sly smile, Ryan asks them if the marriage includes all of the married privileges. As prim and proper as I am, I can’t help but laugh at his easy way and his bold sense of humor. It’s that Ryan, with all of the confident mischief that makes me want to grab him by the shirt front and yank him toward my eager lips.

However it won’t be that Ryan on my front porch this evening. I know because Ryan has kissed me a couple of times. Just short, soft kisses. The kind that are the trepidatious beginning of something. There’s this new look that comes over his face. Attractive… but so different. It has this unfamiliar softness. It makes me step back. It makes me wonder if I’m trusting a stranger, or replacing a best friend with a possible traitor. Because he’s being careful, because he’s finessing me, sometimes the unfamiliar look is coupled with a look of uncertainty that I’ve never seen on Ryan’s face. It’s like that look doesn’t belong there. As I sit in this passenger seat, staring straight ahead and only seeing Ryan’s face with that terrible uncertainty on it, I feel panic rise in me. He’s the one who is so sure about us. If that’s doubt I see on his face, if it’s fear, it translates to my own terror. I can’t face that look. I can’t face that new person. I want to turn and run.
We pull up in front of my house, and that’s just what I do. A hurried thank you, a wave goodbye and I run to my house. I fling open the door, jump inside and close it behind me. I’m saved from the unfamiliar, from the uncertain.
That’s my passenger seat decision… the one I’ll have to find a way to explain, tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pirates Aren't Sexy

Will be controversial for comments. Disagree, agree, but speak to me, me hardies!

#1: Pirates don’t use toothbrushes:
Imagine you’re sitting across the… uh… banquet table from your beloved Jack. “Jack, honey,” you say, “You have a little something in your teeth.”
“Eh? Right here?” He asks, motioning.
“No. Well, actually…” you grimace, “Yes, there too.”
The good news is everything yellow that he’s eating is blending right in.
Who’s in the mood for some kissin’?
Don’t even get me started on how badly boozy needs a breath mint.

#2: I prefer men who steal hearts and EARN their gold.
“Happy anniversary, me love. The woman it belonged to took great care o’ it. I only steal the best for you!”

#3: Pirates don’t shampoo.
From what I hear, dread locks can just fall right off. You’re back at the banquet table, but you don’t find just one hair in your food. Oh no, my friends. There’s a lock. A long, unwashed lock which was so disgusted by the scalp from which it grew, that it jumped ship. It walked the proverbial plank. If you’re longing to run your fingers through some of his hair though, maybe he’ll let you braid his beard… ‘cuz that’s a turn on.

#4: Pants tucked into high boots, puffy sleeved shirts and hoop earrings.
You boyfriend has been borrowing from your closet again.

#5: The potential for misunderstandings.
Jack’s always out late cavorting with his crew, but it really sets you off when he comes home with this excuse. “Sorry I’m late. I was out lookin’ for some booty.”

#6: He’s just not that into you.
His sense of self-preservation is too strong for heroics. If the enemy has you both cornered at sword point, odds are he’ll throw you to them, yell, “Take the wench!” and save himself. Granted he’ll probably concoct a plan and save you later, telling you that it was his intention all along….but you’ll always wonder why he grabbed the valuables off of you before he let the enemy take you.

#7: Intimacy is a potential hazard.
You may lose a toe while dancing if your pirate steps on your foot with his peg leg, but don’t worry- missing appendages are very common in the pirate world. Just look your pirate in the eye… the one remaining good eye, and tell him that you love him anyway.

#8: Parrots are the worst kind of third wheel.
“Oh darling. How I love you. I treasure you almost as much as my gold.”
Your pirate whispers these sweet nothings in one ear, and his sidekick reiterates into your other, “Squak! Almost as much!”

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Controversy... *Shiver*

I am not a controversial person. I have strong opinions, but I’d rather keep them to myself or vent about them to Ryan Edward than get in an argument with anybody about them. Does that make me a peacemaker or a wimp? There’s a line, that’s for sure. I don’t think that an argumentative person is a strong person. I don’t think that a blunt/rude person is a strong person. Some people appreciate “never having to wonder” what someone is thinking. I find well kept thoughts and opinions are sophisticated and attractively mysterious. Also, it’s so cringe-worthy when someone gets all huffy about something she isn’t even well educated about and she makes a complete fool of herself. Like when I grouchily accused David Lettermen of cheating on his wife and then someone informed me that she wasn’t officially his wife at the time. I still don’t forgive him though. I just sheepishly wish I had worded it differently.
I’m thinking a blogger who only writes about rainbows and unicorns loses a lot of interest, while someone who writes controversy has lots of readers… most of whom hate them at least a little bit. ;) What type of blog do you prefer to read?
Are you ever opinionated on facebook, twitter or blogs? Does putting your controversial opinion out there into cyber space make a difference? Are you convincing anyone? Are you trying to? Is the goal to find people who feel the same way you do so that you can feel validated? Does anyone ever get lasting validation from having people agree with them?
I like the argument that it provides interesting discussion. I think open-mindedness points to intelligence. I promise you will always find me open-minded to the thoughts you bring to this blog.
As a lover of Happily Ever Afters, I must say I still wouldn’t read a book of all fluff. Even in the sequels, when they ALMOST make you believe that the girl and the boy have some unexpected (or lurking but ignored) obstacle that could never be surmounted, or that the love triangle guy might actually have a chance, they do perk my interest. I can’t wait to see how boy one will simmer with jealousy, how main character girl will cry with devastation, and just how that darn couple is going to manage to get through it all to an ending that satiates us until they’re introduced to new problems in book three.
Ryan Edward thinks a little controversy would be good for me in life. He thinks I shouldn’t care quite so much what people think. His form of therapy is to try and get me to start altercations with complete strangers out in public. He figures it makes sense to practice on people we don’t know. In effect, he’s trying to toss me into the deep end of the ice cold pool to prove to me that it won’t kill me. I tend to take the stairs and inch myself in one excruciating dip at time. Actually, I like the hot tub…. But I’ll give this a shot.
I’m going to explore controversy in my writing. Tomorrow, I’m going to publish a highly argumentative blog post entitled “Pirates Aren’t Sexy”. That’s right. Just let that nervous, energy course through you in anticipation. Tomorrow, I’ll convince you all that this:

is not as hot as you think it is. So there. Take that. In your Fahizzle.
You don’t want to run into Ryan and I in the grocery store tomorrow either. You don’t know what I might start next.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My True Love Story

The Human Sized Box
Day 514ish

As it turns out, Ryan is very good at chess. In the sixth grade there was a chess tournament. Everyone who knew how to play entered. Ryan beat everyone in his class, and was set against the winners from the other classes. It came down to Ryan and K, squaring off face to face at a table in the gym. At the beginning of the match, in true sixth grade fashion, K secretly offered Ryan a five dollar bill if he would throw the game and take a fall. Ryan said “No way.” Then he beat the pants off of K and was named the chess champion of our elementary school.
“There now Ryan, it’s your turn again, and the queen is vulnerable. What’s your next move?”
They say chess requires patience. Well, weeks have passed since Valentine’s Day and this queen has been lulled from vulnerability to complacency as Ryan and I have simply proceeded as ever. Our continued laughing, teasing, hanging out in our group of friends has continued in such a comfortable way that I’m not even careful as we sit next to each other on the bus ride to and from an away basketball game.
Oh what a place the seat of a school bus can transform into when the sun goes down! Oh what can take place in that little box! More mysterious and innumerable than the contents of a box wrapped and given, are the possibilities of a human sized box with two people inside it.
At my back is a cheap vinyl wall, resembling leather. In front of me, at the knees is another. To my right, there is the cold glass that looks out on a starry sky and to my left, the warm body of the person sharing my box.
In the daylight, Ryan had faced out toward the isle, playing poker with the guys in the surrounding seats… and winning their money. He made me feel important by asking me for advice I have no business giving when it comes to card games. I had been the good luck charm, and he’d been the charmer.
But dark fell like a blanket, stifling the exorbitant energy of the bus’s inhabitants, muffling our voices and nestling us into our boxes for whispered conversations and whatever else develops.
“You make me wish I could read minds,” Ryan says, angling his knees my way, “I’m always wondering what you’re thinking.”
“If I could make sense of any of it, I would probably tell you,” I say, going cross-eyed and hanging my tongue out the side of my mouth.
“Well, if you can’t figure out your own mind, I guess I’m going to have to interpret. Now shhhh… stay very still.”
He places a forefinger on his temple and stares at me with intensity. “Don’t make any sudden movements or do anything startling because I have a feeling it’s scary in there.”
I laugh. “Are you afraid of what I really think of you?”
He shushes me again, not pandering to my teasing.
“I’m getting something! Your mind is speaking to me.” He makes a dramatic play of receiving my thoughts. “Mmmm hmmm. Uhhhh huh. According to your mind, certain boys don’t qualify as boyfriend material because… well, they’re the kind you’re saving for marriage, so you spend your time with guys that aren’t worthy of marrying you. Okay. That makes sense. Wait a minute. No it doesn’t.”
I smack him playfully on the upper arm. “Stop it.”
“I’m good right? Now let me see… what else?” He closes his eyes and pretends to concentrate harder. “You get your heart broken, by these guys that aren’t worthy of marrying, only of holding hands and kissing… so you decide you’ll build a wall around your heart and at the wise old age of fifteen, you’ll declare yourself forever single and make plans to be the crazy cat lady.”
I jut my lower lip out indignantly as he pops open one of his, mind-reading, eyes to gage my reaction. I fold my arms and slump down in my seat. “Plans aren’t definite yet. It’s between crazy cat lady and the nunnery. Anyway, it’s hard for you average people to understand the inner workings of a genius like me. You’re not much of a mind reader, you know. You didn’t deduce anything I hadn’t already told you.”
“How about the information that you like me?” he asks.
I freeze.
“Do me a big favor,” he says, “Just for tonight, whatever you do, don’t say the word ‘friend’.”
I turn toward him, poised to defend the word and everything it stands for. “But we are the best of-“
“Don’t!” He holds up a stiff hand, halting my sentence. “If you say it tonight, I swear I might have to believe that’s all this will ever be.”
His eyes are begging me not to say it. My mind, the subject of all of this conjecture, empties completely; it forgets all of the words.
I’m a girl who makes boys wait. I’m a girl who never makes the first move. Never calls. I’m a girl who surprises boys with the quickly turned cheek, when the target was the lips.
I’m a girl who finds herself tongue tied. A girl who’s watching her own hand reach across the inches in that little space carved out in a school bus just for us. A girl who’s watching her own palm land on the palm of a boy. A girl who’s watching her own fingers wrap around his. A girl who isn’t saying “friend”.
As it turns out, Ryan is very good at chess.
We hold hands for the rest of the bus ride. The action answers some questions, but asks many more. The bus drops us off at the corner of our street. We free our hands up to gather our things. We are the only two that get off at the stop. We’re quiet as we start the walk, side by side, the half block to my house. The stars light our way, as they so often have.
“It’s rare for you to be so quiet,” I say, my legs shaky beneath me.
“I’m concentrating,” he says. “Trying to read your mind again.”
“Oh no. What now?” I ask. I feel as though there are strings attached to my arms. I’m a marionette waiting for Ryan’s words to move me. We stop in front of my house. His house is another thirty steps down the road.
“I’m just wondering if I’d be pushing my luck if I hugged you goodnight.”
He's pushing his luck just far enough. My smile says as much, and we wrap our arms around each other.
Little sixth grade K, with your rejected five dollar bill in your pocket, sitting in a large quiet gym, face to face with the intense blue eyes of Ryan Edward Leonhardt over a black and white board with strange looking figures atop it… how I empathize with you.