Monday, June 28, 2010

There's Something About Mary

I haven’t been here in a long time and I must admit that I am a bit ashamed of myself. For so long this blog was my true refuge and I just slacked off entirely. You (and it) have always been there for me. So I have done some redecorating here with the notion that a fresh coat of blog paint will inspire me to look around life more often and share what’s happening because it helps me so much. And I have taken some things that have happened recently as a sign to get off my bum and come back. I hope you will still have me.

My personal life has certainly had its ups and downs. Let’s start on the low end, shall we? Until last month, I was on my way to being a “Mrs.” for the second time in my life. Unfortunately it was not meant to be. Though the decision to end the relationship was mine, it was not the clean break that I’d proposed. Instead, the process itself was a long three weeks, complete with promises of change, some begging, a few immature attempts at attention, and visits by law enforcement. The other person I’m sure will tell you differently, but such is the nature of break-ups. Bottom line is that as hard as it was, I know I have done the right thing. To top it all off, the night the shit initially hit the fan just so happened to be the eve of my birthday. (Further confirmation that I should have stopped trying to celebrate them years ago).

But in the midst of the entire ruckus, there was Facebook. And more importantly, Mary on Facebook.

Now, when it comes to fb, I liken myself to the old man in the commercial that calls it “The Spacebook and Myface.” I don’t do Farmville or any of that crap. If you “just clobbered a snake” or “need fast money,” don’t look at (or poke) me. Furthermore, I will not be boring you with what I just cooked for breakfast or what shade of toenail polish I am wearing. I just don’t find me that interesting every minute of the day and neither should you. However, if you are the friend that used to be my world and I haven’t talked to you in twenty years, I am going to sit up, take notice, and yes, answer you.

Mary came into my life when I was a junior in high school in Fairfax, Virginia. Before that , the majority my high school days were spent alone and in silence as I had no friends to speak of. Suffice it to say, I was miserable. Finally, the summer of driver’s ed, I managed to acquire a small and happy circle of girlfriends. It was through someone in that small circle that I met Mary. We hit it off instantly, but at the time I had no idea why. I was a total dork. Mary was the coolest person I had ever seen or met: Creative, outgoing, individualistic, beautiful, and so very, very talented! She could make stuff with her hands. Beautiful things were her hands themselves, as were the creations that were born from them.

For whatever crazy reason, Mary and I just clicked.

Mary and I didn’t have any classes together, but we kept each other posted with our “note” books: Spiral things that we passed back and forth to each other between classes that were as much journals as they were a way of swapping information and gossip. I don’t know how many of them we filled, but I know that it was several because we just never ran out of things to say to each other. After school and on the weekends we were almost always together and we had such a damn good time! We’d drive around town in my mom’s silver Honda Accord, blasting whatever cool music Mary had introduced me to. I remember fondly my tape of a tape of The Violent Femmes' “Blister in the Sun” and "Add it Up." (I thought I was such a badass because I knew this song with the F word in it! Ha.) People gravitated to Mary, and rightfully so. And I happily went along to see what would happen next. Never did she disappoint me. Most of all I was so thrilled to have an awesome friend who thought I was pretty awesome, too. She made me happy.

How cool is this?!!! Mary sent this of her and me...
This is us on the beach, I think, in San Diego.
Mary is on the right... Notice her hands???

Unfortunately that spring, I would find out that I would be finishing my high school career in San Diego as my dad was once again being transferred. So though Mary and I didn’t get to graduate together, we communicated constantly through letters. And I don’t mean one-pagers, either… Our letters took the place of our notebooks to me, and we told each other everything. A couple of years later I would be thrilled to find myself back in Virginia, and to be reunited with Mary. Unfortunately, it is also when we would part ways. It has been a very long time…

The day I got that first message from Mary on Facebook I was thrilled. What was written in it was so special and lovely, but really I was just so happy to see her name. What it made me think of was my wonderful friend, and not what had kept us apart for so many years. To me it is just water under the bridge, and there is no need for apologies, only a lot of catching up to do--and hopefully a face-to-face meeting before too much longer.

The story within the story is a great one, too: As I mentioned, The Big Breakup happened on the eve of my birthday. In all of her sweetness, Mary ordered me a lovely bouquet of flowers and sent them to the address she found for me via the Internet. Only “problem” is, there is another Amy in my relatively small town, who lives only a few miles from me; another Amy with my same last name! So the “other” Amy was surprised to say the least when she got the delivery intended for me. Turns out, her husband works at a local church and he was willing to take the flowers with him and leave them at the church office so that they might be retrieved by yours truly. In the meantime, I was dealing with trying to get someone out of my house (no, they were not going quietly!) and all the drama that went along with it. So it was my sister to the rescue to retrieve the flowers. When I picked them up from my sister’s house, I was so touched, not only by the gesture of the gift, but also by all that had gone into getting them into my hands. They were so bright and beautiful and lifted my spirits more than I can ever express here.

The flowers were beautiful and so were the notes with them. The original enclosure card was a high-energy, happy note from Mary. On it was also a hand-written note from Amy Samelastname. Hers was just as sincere, and what I took from her words was that she enjoyed very much being a part of The Big Flower Caper. The flowers are gone, now. But I keep the note on my nightstand to remind me of everything this time in my life has meant to me, and to remind me that there is so much that is good about this world, and so much that I have to be thankful for.

Through our email exchanges since, I found out that Mary has been dealing (and quite bravely, I might add) with some issues similar to my own. Yet her spirit remains as high and her outlook as luminous as I remember. It is remarkable how we seem to have just picked right back up where we left off. I am thrilled to pieces to have her back in my life.

More than twenty years ago, Mary showed up in my world when I was the loneliest I had ever been. Though she may not have known it, I believe she saved me. I don’t care about what happened so many years ago that kept us from talking for so long, what I do care about is that we have the opportunity to know one another again. The fact that she showed up this time when I was again at a very low and lonely place just proves to me that there is just something about her that I don’t want to lose ever again. Her coming back to me has inspired me to come back here to you. If there is anyone out there reading, thank you. If not, that’s ok, I will do this for me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mom's Brag Book

Dear Everyone,

Please check out some of the stuff my kid has been working really hard to create for your entertainment pleasure. At the ripe old age of nine, he now has two blogs (both of which are linked over on the sidebar) ...His latest creation is called The Twilight Series, and contains all things Bella and Edward. Even if you aren't a Twihard, I bet you know someone who is and who will love it... The other was his first creation that he decided to rename Cool Crap (did I mention he's nine?) and is all things boy: rollercoasters, funny animals, horror movies and hot babes.

When you get the chance to check them out, I know he'd love to read your comments!

All the best,

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Do Not Like It, Not One Little Bit!

Last night I was laying in bed watching television when my son came over to me. We were both winding down from our day of shopping and cookie baking and present wrapping and he was smelling good (finally!) just out of the shower.

He leaned down and looked at me thoughtfully and I was thinking how much I enjoy our little moments of sweetness when he said something to me that I will never forget:


Yes, baby?

You need a razor for your face.

What? I do not!!!

Yes, you do! You have little hairs right here (points to my upper lip).

Well I don't need a razor.

Yes you do! You look like The Cat in the Hat! (literally falls on the floor laughing).

You better watch it, mister!

What? Why? (still laughing).

I haven't finished Christmas shopping for you, yet, but I could be!

He walked away then, but had a hard time controlling his snort-laced giggling.

...I am off to buy a razor. Or some moustache wax...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Don't Want No Scrub

An appropriate rerun...

To my married and otherwise committed friends out there:

I know your spouse/significant other sometimes gets on your nerves, or says something stupid, or farts too much, but please do me this favor: First, thank your lucky stars you aren’t “out there” right now, looking for love. Second, go hug, kiss or otherwise pleasure the person you are with because when I get through here you will feel like the luckiest person in the world. Why, you say? Two words: Internet dating. Yup, I am there. Gone are the days when Chuck Woolery was here to help. Now it seems I am at the mercy of the Web.

So it’s been interesting to say the least. Sometimes it’s downright hilarious. And yes, there have been some holy-shit-who-is-this-crazy-bastard moments, too. Thankfully, though, there are just some plain nice people out there who I won’t make fun of. They are the ones that keep the hope alive that at the age of sixty I won’t be talking to one of my ninety cats all day long and calling my son over to rub lotion on his momma’s feet.

The best way to explain this, I guess, is to break it down into categories:

Good god almighty. It’s one thing to have someone stare at the girls during a face to face conversation, but behind the keyboard and across the web there is a whole other perverted and eye-contactless world waiting there. Good thing I’m not that hot, because who the hell knows what they would say, then… I’ve been asked to meet here or there inside a five minute email exchange. I’ve been asked for photos (and no, not because I have a nice smile and they want to see more of the same). I’ve been asked for videos, and yes of exactly what you think they want on that video tape. Sorry, my camera is in the shop.

Stupid Idiots:
I’m sorry to have to call out the dummies, but they deserve it! The language is English. If spelling the word “the” is a challenge to you, please go elsewhere. I got a message from one (of many of the language-challenged) who asked me to call. No, I won’t call you. After reading your profile, I am confident I made the right decision because the caption of you pictured next to the General Lee reads “me with car at paint shop.” What it should read is “Me man. You woman. Me club you on head. Make you mine.” That would be charming. Next!

The Clingers:
Please, please, please! Just because I answered your inquiry by saying “hello, I’m fine, and how are you?” Does not mean that I am immediately interested in eighty exchanges every day about how you have to go fix your momma’s stopped up drain or what fabric softener you prefer or what your dog’s potty habits are. I don’t want to be mean to you but you are making it really difficult not to tell you to please get a life and go the eff away.

Let’s get something straight: I use “lol.” I like “lol.” But not every question/comment/show idea requires “lol” at the beginning, middle and end. And just because your question/comment/show idea is peppered with “lol” it does not erase the fact that you just asked me to “get naked,” or do “x, y and z” to you… Sorry, Cowboy, that ain’t no way to lasso this filly.


The Marryers:
I’m sorry. I’ve never laid eyes on you and I will not marry you. As thoughtful and romantic as being proposed to via email is, I’m afraid I can’t lower my standards on this one. I hope we can still be friends. (Not really, but you are supposed to say that, right?)

Mister Cliche:
"If I could change the alphabet I would put u and i together." Are you fucking kidding me? If I could change the alphabet, I would put k and m in front of a!!!

The Axe-Murderers:

Yes, they are out there! Beware, sisters. I got a beautiful email from one. When I looked at “interests” on his profile he listed “poking things with a stick.” I shit you not! His idea of a first date: “Sex first, then we will see if we can be friends.” Wow, I am tingly already! Oh and just shy of a swastika tattoo on his forehead, he is a shoe-in to win the next Charlie Manson look-alike contest. Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Shirtless Rednecks:
Unfortunately, geography is not in my favor here. Shirtless is OK, I suppose, but probably not truly appropriate for your profile picture unless you are at the beach or pool. You, shirtless, sweaty, leaning on your pickup truck in front of the junkyard/trailer park just doesn’t do it for me. Oh and if “four wheeling” is all you can give me under what interests you, I’m not.

So my friends, I’ll say it again. Thank your lucky stars you aren’t along for the ride… Oh and wish me luck, I have a date Friday night.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Gift Real Special

This is what I call a Christmas classic.

Uncensored version, so proceed with caution...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hot Stuff

I'm guessing the conversation went something like this:

Yeah, Mom, it's me. Mom I've got awesome news!
No, no I'm not getting married.
Mom, listen...
No, Mom, I keep telling you I like women.
Yes, really.... Listen, Mom, I got the commercial!
No, not the Pepsi gig.
No, not that one, either... It's actually for Tabasco!
Yes, the hot stuff.
What? No, I'm not wearing the blouse you gave me, Mom, guys wear shirts.
No I don't have a love interest, it's a commercial.
A pepperoni.
A pepperoni.
Yes like on a pizza!
No, singing!
Yes you heard me!
No, there's four of us.
Yes, we all sing.
What do you mean how will you recognize me?
The second pepperoni from the bottom...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanks, Stadium Pal!!!

Last night I had the most fun I have had since... well... a long time.

We went to Birmingham for An Evening With David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day (which got me hooked) and Naked (which has led me to put down Dan Brown's new one in favor of it). They are just two among many others that I will devour as soon as I get the chance. We laughed, howled, even, as we listened while Sedaris read his essays about everything from jury duty to email to shopping at Costco. My sides still hurt.

Check him out here, and if you evereverever can, in person...

It was my friend Frank, a writer in San Francisco, who finally set me straight. When asked about my new look he put down his fork and stared at me for a few moments...

"A bow tie announces to the world you can no longer get an erection."

- David Sedaris