Wednesday, February 4, 2015

In which I make excuses and a list.

It's one of those days.

Yesterday was so productive. I had a lot to do, and I got it all done. I baked. I cleaned. I organized. I staged. I photographed. I showered. I dressed. I groomed. It's a rare day that all of those occur within an 8-hour window.

Today is the exact opposite of that.

Today, I woke up. I dressed. I brushed and flossed my teeth. I visited the place nightmares are born: the dentist's office. I had two cavities filled.

At this moment, I'm sitting in my living room, wrapped in blanket, the cat on my lap, listening to this awesome song by Metric, and writing this short, little blurb instead of working on another chapter of Letters, Lightsabers, and Love--which, by the way, will arrive tomorrow. Don't worry. A draft is started. I just needed a day.

Another month. Another confirmation that we are not pregnant. These weeks are already uncomfortable, what with cramps and annoying mood swings, but after listening to my dentist and dental hygienist (both women) talk about their pregnancies and their births as four hands with blunt instruments poked around in my mouth . . . let's just say I'm taking a day off. I'll do the bills tomorrow. I'll write a long and lovely story tomorrow. I'll eat a healthy lunch tomorrow.

Today will be a day for prayer, distraction, and snuggling with a kitty. I'll sing some songs, I'll listen to some songs, and I'll make a list for you.

One of my favorite bloggers, Katrina at Cedars and Tiny Flowers, recently posted a list of 25 things about herself. If anyone was like me in college, it was so cool to take surveys and post them on your Facebook page, tag all your friends, then hope they would also fill out those surveys. It was like spying on your friends except that they voluntarily told you all their secrets.

Sigh. It was the best.

And in honor of those days and the fact that nothing gets my spirits up like making a list (and also because I can't eat lunch yet because half of my face won't move), I present you with 25 Things About Mary Beth.

1. Let's start with the most embarrassing one of all: I sucked my thumb until I was 18. You read that right. It's not a typo. 18 years old. Long story short, I used a bunny as my object and no matter how hard my mom tried to hide it, I managed to find it, even if it meant crawling to the top of her closet, opening every tub, digging to the bottom, and pulling it out. She eventually stopped and decided that I'd stop when I realized it was a problem. The bunny came with me to college, I realized it was a major and embarrassing problem, I sent the bunny home with explicit instructions to destroy it, and stopped then and there. A few years ago I learned that my mom couldn't bring herself to destroy the bunny for sentimental reasons. So now I have the bunny, but no longer suck my thumb. Win-Win.

2. I almost never sing at full volume for fear of piercing people's eardrums.

3. The most attractive part of the human face is the eyebrows, duh.

4. I was a serious drama nerd and choir nerd in high school, which is why my all-time favorite marriage of those two wonderful things is . . . musical theatre.

5. I insist on spelling theatre with the "re." It's right and the "er" is wrong, end of story. Also, I think the Oxford comma should be mandatory. Also, I cringe when people pronounce the "t" in often. That was three in one, but I didn't want to use up too much of my list!

6. I adore the art of the spoken word, and while that naturally means spoken word poetry (check out Sarah Kay's "If I should have a daughter . . . "), it also means rap. Like any art form, there are those who do it poorly and use it for vulgarity, but there are those who are highly skilled and eloquent.

7. I don't like chocolate cake, ice cream, or milk. I mostly don't like brownies. I definitely don't like dark chocolate. Hot chocolate gives me a sugar headache. Milk chocolate in bar form is all I enjoy.

8. I make my bed before getting in it at night. Nothing feels better than sliding into crisp, clean, pressed sheets and covers. My husband might disagree.

9. I will never want a dog.

10. I'm scared of zombies and going to the dentist's office.

11. Most of my phobias revolve around my teeth. I've had 12 cavities filled in the last year (yep, 12). I brush and floss. I just have bad teeth. My worst, recurring nightmare involves me standing at a white sink with the water running. I look in the mirror and realize I can wiggle my teeth. Then they start falling out, one by one. I look on in horror as all my teeth fall out of my head and swirl around in bloody water before being lost down the drain forever. Awful.

12. I don't favorite things. I tend to associate movies and songs and art with particular feelings and moments in my life, and something has to be pretty powerful for me to declare it my favorite. I have a favorite person--Levi. Everything else is constantly shifting.

13. I won't be a full-time teacher again. I loved teaching, especially junior high, but my heart and my soul was consumed by it. I knew it would be a constant struggle to give enough of my heart to my family, especially Levi, so I chose to make that a priority instead. I have been told that this is a selfish decision. I don't think they're wrong about that. I also don't think I've made the wrong decision.

14. My heart language is singing. I communicate best through song, and the joy of using that form of communication is palpable. Losing that, for me, would be worse than losing a limb.

15. I joke about it a lot here, but truly, making lists, budgets, schedules, plans, and systems is a soothing and enjoyable activity for me.

16. As I've said before, using the words "retarded" and "gay" as pejorative (a word expressing contempt or disapproval) terms is abhorrent to me. I have no sense of humor whatsoever in regards to this. I will not, however, publicly rebuke anyone for using these words unless I am in a position of authority (like teacher or coach).

17. No matter the temperature, if my feet are cold then I'm cold. If my feet are too hot then I'm too hot.

18. I rarely enjoy watching a movie or TV show without anything else to do, unless I'm in a movie theater. After about 10 minutes I'm dying to multitask. My TV shoes follow me around the house on the laptop while I do my chores.

19. I don't crave or enjoy salty snacks. Levi doesn't understand how I can eat one pretzel and decide that's plenty. It's another story for sugary snacks . . .

20. I enjoy almost all things nerd-related. I love fantasy and science fiction. I've never played Dungeons and Dragons, but I honestly want to someday.

21. I don't feel like I've dealt with suffering in my life. I've had hard times, but I've never had to go through some of the things people around the world go through. My life thus far has been filled with ease and luxury by the world's standards.

22. On the other hand, I don't believe in discounting the hurt or heartbreak of children, even if they feel like their world is coming to an end because of their first breakup. To them, that's the hardest thing they've had to deal with in their life so far. I think it's important to acknowledge that before assuring them that life goes on. Few phrases are more damaging than "Get over it."

23. I'm scary good at remembering movies and the actors who were in them. If you can't remember who was in a movie or what that action movie was that so-and-so did, just ask me. I'll know, even if I never saw it.

24. I'm an over-enthusiastic purger. If we haven't used something in six months, I have to stop myself from just throwing it out. I've already whittled almost 20 years of school (including all projects, papers, and pictures) down to one binder, one folder, and a three-inch stack of photos.

25. While it fills me with sadness, talking with other women about their miscarriages fulfills me in way I never expected. I needed someone to talk to with candidly after mine, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be that for someone.


Hope your Wednesday is wonderful, everyone! I can finally feel my face again, so it's time to stuff it with a boxed pasta meal. Mmmmm, junk food!!

Keep it real,

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