28 October 2010

Good Advice

Tommy:  "Why are you dating guys that are shorter than you?"
Me:  "Tommy, it's hard not to, I'm taller than the average male."
Tommy:  "Stop dating average men."

Wise words. 

27 October 2010

Pandora, Sharp and Sweet

I should have listened to the little voice saying "No, silly girl, leave that box there on that shelf."  Alas, I did not, and that box that's been on a shelf in the very back corner of my parents basement came home with me last weekend.

I'd peeked at it before, but always had the sense to just leave it mostly alone.  It had been on that shelf since the fall of 2003 when I left Wisconsin. 

So last night, I opened a bottle of red, settled in on my bed, and I opened that box.  Oh Pandora.

First cuts are indeed the deepest, aren't they?  I still look back at that time with that man and feel deeply appreciative, and deeply sad for how we hurt each other.  We were each others first real loves.  In the box were some photos, a dog tag, some post-it love notes, and the St. Michael necklace his mother gave me. 

Mostly though, there were letters.  So many letters.  Did I have any idea how special it was to get so many letters?  To have a man that wanted to put on paper how he loved me, how he wanted me, how he'd never felt like this, that he'd always love me?  The beauty of it is that I know he meant it, just like I did.  It was the first time, it lacked the scars and cynicism that we all carry into any subsequent relationship.  We weren't afraid to write the most ridiculous, corny, over-the-top bits to each other, because we weren't experienced enough to have the eye-rolling response that would mostly likely result from that now.

There were letters from a few states and a few countries, over a few years.  I had printed out our emails because I remember not being able to have them in my email anymore, but not wanting them to disappear.   Some of the letters had "free" marked where the stamp goes and came from an FPO address.  There is a card that was written on the back of an MRE box and taped together.  His parents got one just the same.  They keep it in a frame on their wall.

What was hard about it is not that it happened, or that it ended, but I never felt real closure.  I still don't.  I don't know if that's because it was real and wonderful (until it was horrible) and he was really wonderful to me, and he really did love me like crazy, and I was the one that first ended it, or maybe it's because you just don't with your first.  Maybe none of that? 

Next time I go home, I will bring this box with me.  There's a spot for it, in the very back shelf in my parents basement.  One day in a few years I will open a bottle of red, open the box, and think "Oh, to be young and in love..." and smile. 

25 October 2010

Coffee, Wine, Home

About a week and a half ago (before coverage of the northeastern portion of the country, which is another story...)  I was working for a few hours in the afternoon with Fuzz at Common Roots and it all sank in a little bit... I walked there, and would walk home.  When I broke the coffee grinder a couple weeks ago, I walked there, bought a couple cups, and walked home.  Walked.  For the last few years I lived in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, with two of my favorite people.  But I couldn't walk to get myself a cup of coffee.  I know this might ring hollow to a lot of folks, but as I was sitting with my friend drinking coffee, then a glass of wine because it seemed like the right thing and we could, I realized I was exactly where I should be.

There is the stress of not being employed and the worry about how long it will take to find something I can love.  There is the settling in with the roommates.  There is the weather getting just cold enough to make me realize how bitter cold it is actually going to get.  There is a lot of Vikings fans.  (There's a lot of Packers fans too though, so I'm not alone.)  But then there's being able to walk to get coffee, wine, pho, ice cream, cheese curds...  There's the walk to the lake that I can run around.  There's the beauty of the electric autumn trees.  There's music, so much music.  I haven't been in a place that's this musically inclined since Viejo San Juan.  (There - reggaeton and salsa.  Here - indie rock and local hip hop.  It's all delicious.)

So I'm going to shop for mittens and sweaters and other winter accessories.  When I see a Vikings Jersey I will smile and so "Go Pack!"  I will find a job, and it will be because I want to be there and I chose it. This apartment will be my home.  I am home.

14 October 2010

Job Search Work Spaces

 So I am working from an eclectic mix of settings...

(Back patio, Madison's east side, 10/10/10)
(Dining room table, Uptown Minneapolis, 10/14/10)

09 October 2010

Be Still My Autumn Heart

I heart the Midwest in the autumn...

(Photo of tree in Madison, WI, taken from my aunt and uncles front yard.)

01 October 2010

My Mantra This Summer...

Soak it all in...
The warmth of the sun as the grass tickles your feet through your sandals... The coolness of the shadow... The shadow of your body moving across the grass lit by the early evening light... The gentle haze that is the bugs lazy above the pond... The beauty that is so much it seems unreal... Soak it all in.
Soak in the joy of the bounding puppy as you head towards the pool... The hesitation of the old dog that would rather rest... The call for a "bartender!!!" when everyone's ready for a cocktail... The laziness of nowhere to be on a Saturday night...