Friday, April 7, 2017

The Proposal

Will you marry... My brother? 

I politely smiled and gracefully declined. I really liked David, a lot. We'd been having so much fun the last few weeks, but I wasn't ready to take that next step.

"Fred, that's so sweet. But I think we should wait till we are older." I sat on the grass tugging on my cream knee socks that were constantly pooling down around my ankles. "Fred" hopped up and ran around to the telephone pole. Out came David. I sat smiling. Thinking our relationship wouldn't change. I clicked my saddle shoes together while plucking dandelions from the dirt exposed through the balding grass. 

David sadly glanced at me, shoved his hands in his pockets, and went off to join a group of friends for the rest of recess. He never spoke to me again. And his "twin brother" Fred, never made an appearance again.

I watched him walk off into the mid-day sun feeling confused and disappointed that I ruined a friendship by being a sensible first grader.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

PSA: Safety First

Everyone’s doing it. You feel the pressure. You want to too. Just to be like the cool kids. Only the majority of people don’t do it wisely. Even the adults who do it. They take great risks exposing themselves without thinking about safety precautions. Adults should know better. But they might be some of the worst culprits. They should be the role models for the tweens, teens, and young adults who experiment with this latest trend. Everyone should be practicing safe methods of this seemingly more common past time. I do!

In fact, I ONLY do it with my husband. Very rarely do I venture outside of safe and secure confines of my marriage. Usually, it’s from the office, because when I am actually WITH him, there is no need to text him. In 2015, more people died from this unsafe ritual than shark attacks. It’s embarrassing that people would rather risk their lives for a moment of glory. Sure, it will be memorialized forever, if it turned out, but is it worth losing your life? I encourage everyone to start practicing #safeselfies.

Are you on a road or sidewalk or skyway where there is continuous traffic? Then it’s probably not a good idea to stop, oblivious to the world around you, to grab a shot of your mug with whatever background you desire. Even if the most damage you get is a shoulder check from an angry downtown worker who knows the skyway is as treacherous as a freeway and there is no stopping in the middle of the road, what it worth the bruise?

Are you attempting a yoga pose on the edge of a cliff? Sure, you are a yogi-head, you go to yoga three to four times a week and have an awesome balance. Just step four giant scissor steps closer to inland. It may not look as cool, but you will probably still get a great shot of the skyline behind you and maybe even the deep drop down the ravine, plus your face is taking up most of the shot anyway.

Yeah, the work day selfies I send to my husband aren’t glitter and glamour. The half moons under my eyes aren’t alluring like the black liner and duck lips of some selfies. The piles of folders and notepads towering toward the ceiling aren’t as cool as a back drop of mountains or a sea sharing the sleepy sun with the sky for a few more moments before it slips away and spills darkness, but at least I know that death will not be a side effect of my #safeselfie.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

That time my puppy had mange

Whoa, whoa is the Mange
That lives on top of his brain.
It makes him so bald and
Look quite deranged
And his eyes are never the same.

Whoa, whoa is the Mange
My puppy’s become mite terrain
His face is so sad, I think they itch him
Quite bad and his eyes drip with water and goo.

Whoa, whoa is the Mange
Cooper looks just naked and afraid.
Though not on TV, he give me the heebeegeebeess

When he crawls on the couch next to me. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

What do you get when you cross an ostrich with an octopus?

The first time we experimented it was in a controlled environment. No one was there to witness the monstrosity. It was simpler, shorter, and it seemed, safer. The second time was very much in public. On Cedar Lake trail. On the third of July. If my husband wasn’t sure before, he certainly must know now how much I love him.

I let him buy me rollerblades. As an ex-ballerina and current yoga instructor you would think that I would be the epitome of grace, but on wheels, blades, or skis, I am nothing of the sort. Ten minutes into my public debut on wheels, I told Peter I was sweating buckets. Out of fear? He asked. Why yes, I suppose so.

Thirty minutes in I told him I was sure there was at least one internet meme of me being mercilessly mocked in the world wide web. I said if an octopus and an ostrich mated and you put it on wheels, that is what I looked like. He didn’t disagree.

Decked out in knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards tentatively trying to glide down the path and not giving a fluff for all the people who had to witness my attempt at rollerblading all added up to running into someone I know. Of course. Twice. Of course.

The first one approached from behind – a biker and yelled “Hi Coley!” This was fun until I realized he recognized me from behind; despite my flailing arms and Bambi on ice rollerblading style he could tell it was me. The next one was full frontal. I was on the walking path which seemed much safer than putting me on the bike path even though I was on wheels. I apologized to people as I approached making them move out of the way because I didn’t know how to maneuver around them without ending up in the trees.

Yes, it was all fun and games. Laughing at myself. Trying to embrace this new adventure. Until I fell. Almost an hour into our outing, I completely wiped out. I am not sure what happened exactly, but I am pretty sure I looked like an unsuspecting cartoon who stepped on a banana peel. My legs flew out from under me causing my arms to windmill through space desperately hoping to grab something to keep me from hitting the tar. To no avail. I smacked hard on to my wrists and my tailbone. My wrists were protected, but I did not have a tailbone helmet. (I now want one.)

Tears from the pain dripped down my face from behind my sunglasses. I hurt too bad to be humiliated. There were witnesses, but I didn’t care. All my emotions of skating rushed back to me. I never cared for not being on my own feet. I thought about skating lessons in kindergarten at the Bloomington Ice Gardens. How I was tearful even on the last day of class. And the two boys I had alternating crushes on coaxed me onto the ice away from the sideboards and told me it would be ok. Looking back on it they were really sweet for kindergarten boys. They didn’t even take part in the paste eating that the other boys did.

I had to get up. We were miles away from our car. I didn’t have shoes. There was only one way back. With tears I skated on. Even though I knew where our car was, I kept hoping it would be just around the next corner. Three falls later, though none as bad as the first, we made it back to safety. After prying the rollerblades off, my legs felt like absolute Jello. I was starving and sore. I think my husband was proud. He should be. I was brave. I stepped outside my comfort zone and was on wheels. In public. 

I didn’t ever hate skating on purpose. I wanted to like it. My dad had been a hockey player and skating with ease. This wasn’t my first time trying it, but it was my first time in this decade. I had failed attempts before. Although none of the tries was ever an hour and a half like this day. And so many falls! But you know what, I am proud! Even if I looked like an OSTRIPUS on wheels. I did it. And I will do it again. Peter will make sure of that. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If you can't say something nice

“You are drawing quite a lot of attention to yourself.” A voice hissed from the side of the skyway. I glanced in the direction of the words and saw an older man in his seventies or so with a creepy glint in his eye. I picked up my pace and continued walking toward my credit union. My mind reeled. Before the rude and unwanted interruption, I was serenely enjoying an escape from work without the lunch crowd. It was only 10:30 in the morning and the skyway was nearly vacant. The man, up until the moment he spoke, had been completely unassuming. I perhaps would have even thought to myself, if I noticed him, a gentleman. Or no label at all. Because, what is a gentleman, after all? But instead of just being two humans passing in the skyway, he now became a creep in my mind.

Unfortunately, only after several years of his voice haunting me was I able to admit I was disgusted and disappointed. My initial feeling was creeped out, followed by panic. But not because I thought this guy would “get” me. Instead I thought, “Oh god, why I am drawing attention to myself?” and the only conclusion I could come to was because of what I was wearing. How else does one draw attention to oneself while walking through the skyway unless you are say… playing a guitar, or have incredible B.O., or are running like Phoebe through the hallways of the business folks? I was just walking to the bank. Minding my own business.

Upon my return to the office, I told my friend about it. We laugh about it. And use it as a line every now and then. Because we are goofballs. But the truth is, it is scary. I still think about it when I wear the skirt I was wearing. Or the boots I was wearing. Or the combination of them together again. His voice, his words, crawl over my skin and slither along the back of my neck. And that is the unfortunate thing.

I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I just was wearing what I thought was a nice outfit, appropriate for a fall day in the office. I did not think, “Well, let’s put on this skirt and see what kind of attention I get.” I don’t want that kind of attention. If my girl friends tell me they like my outfit, that is ok. Even my guy friends can say, in a normal tone, “Hey Coley, cool dress!” And I will tell my guy friends, I love that tie! Or that color shirt looks really awesome on you. But not “Nice pants.” While leering at his backside and projecting a tone that indicates I love the way the pants hug his curves. Ew. Right? Women get that a lot.

Comments from strangers? They don’t feel good. No, that’s not true. I love when a female admires my dress. Because it is not sexual. It is an acknowledgment of style and class. And I reciprocate when I appreciate an outfit or dress, because it is like receiving a warm fuzzy. But a male stranger commenting on my appearance? No, thank you. It makes me uncomfortable.

Sure, it could be an innocent remark, but it is all in the delivery and when paired with a sinister oogle it strips any innocence and leaves a person feeling violated and uncomfortable.

Next time you choose to comment on someone’s appearance think of how it sounds. Is it a warm-fuzzy, friendly “cool kicks!” or is it an objectifying, sexualized remark? Who does this benefit?

Bottom line is: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.   ~Thumper

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cyrano De’Bergerac

Once upon a time, I played Cyrano De’Bergerac, kind of. I was 9 going on 10. At Vacation Bible School. I had a crush on a boy. We’ll call him Brian. Brian had a crush on Liz. Brian and I became pals in our four days together and I learned about his crush. I was saddened, but did not give up our friendship. Ever the wordsmith, I offered to write her a love note for him to send to her. In exchange, he would do my weaving project.  And I secretly hoped my letters would help him realize that he had a crush on me and not Liz.
It is funny to think as a 9 year old I had such a romantic notions and that I was brave enough to hide behind the curtain of friendship pining away while pouring my heart on paper. For someone else.
It also makes me wonder why, when it was just four days together, did this moment become so engrained in my memory that I am able to recall the weather, the dress, and my shoes from a summer 24 years ago.
Brian certainly wasn't my first crush, which surprises me a little... why did I want to be in love so much? Was I so swayed by Disney princess? Probably. And the few "adult" movies I was allowed to watch - Splash, Roxanne, and Princess Bride (Cary Elwes & Fred Savage!!).
I am quite sure Brian was the last boy I "actively" (technically passively) pursued. Insert mom's voice here "Nice girls don't call boys." Until I was in college.
Who was your first crush? Do boys have crushes that young or is it just girls?