Monday, November 28, 2011

Plucked Swan

There's no easier way to say it--single men make me crazy.  They make me wish I was married so that I didn't have to deal with them anymore.  To be free of their games and their ability to break hearts would be a dream come true.  I'm lucky I've got Jesus.  Truly, when my heart takes a hit, I find it soothing to step back and say a prayer of protection and healing.  I always feel better after that.

But what about those poor single girls who haven't got what I've got?  They're still trapped out there, alone, being mistreated by men.  Don't get me wrong, women do their fair share of mistreating--but as I'm a woman, I only know of what being on this side feels like.

I posted a blog a few months ago titled "The Ugly Duckling", and I won't reiterate all that I said there, but I do believe that blog and this blog are connected.  I may often feel like the Ugly Duckling, but every once in awhile I get a glimpse of the Swan I'm told I can be.

Well, if you take a swan, pluck it down to it's bare skin, and chuck it out in the cold--ain't going to be so beautiful anymore is she?  She's going to be ugly, cold, and vulnerable.

Guys do that to girls.  Many a time they have no idea they've done it.  Words cut so deep, and they aren't careful in their choosing.  Example: I hate being referred to as "sister" in any respect by all of my guy friends but one (his is a reference to "Arrested Development", and I love that show).
When a guy calls me "sister", in almost any context, it says to me "Hey, I don't find you attractive or desirable at all!".  If a guy were interested, or thought you beautiful, why would he refer to you in a way that likens you to him in the least romantic way possible?  I mean...ew! Who has any interest in dating their sister?

A friend called me that last night.  It was like a slap in the face.  It doesn't help that he's cute and smart, so what I view as a complete brush off stings a bit more than it normally would.  It clicked the cogs into high gear, effecting a spiraling chain of thoughts that every girl who reads this post will nod at it understanding.

We just can't help ourselves.  We take everything literally and break down every syllable of conversation to discover "hidden meaning".  Even when we KNOW we are doing it, we can't help ourselves!  It's part of our makeup.

So the wheels are turning, and I'm offended.  My cute, smart, generally sweet friend has wounded my pride and tugged unceremoniously at my heart--and he hasn't got a clue that he's done it!  Now, I had/have recently been thinking more on this cute smart friend then was probably wise, so I will take the blame for being more offended then I might've any other day.

But already, I'm either the Ugly Duckling or the poor Plucked Swan.  My self worth has dropped.  This was one of those guys that I hadn't considered "Out of my league".  He seemed like the type of guy who might ACTUALLY take an interest in me for once.  And yet, here I type, shaking my head at my own foolishness.  And for that matter...his foolishness.
Because, you see, I do NOT believe myself to be beneath him.  Nor do I think he is beneath me.  So I feel very conflicted: Offended because he'd be lucky to have me; Upset because maybe he is too good for me; Annoyed because I'm thinking about any of it at all, and finally Amused, because I think I'm just that crazy.

Girls are crazy.  I laughed at myself last night, despite the negativity of my feelings.  What right do I have to his attention or affection?  Regardless of whether or not he's above, beneath, or right at my level--who cares?!  If he is the guy God intended for me, then he'll right that mistake (eventually) and life will go on quite pleasurably.
If he isn't, then I will find a new guy to unknowingly offend me and send me off on another completely pointless tangent.

Remember the poor plucked Swan?  Feel bad for her?
She's currently picking up her feathers and honking at any mocking passersby who dare think she's any less strong just because a well-meaning fellow said something stupid (she'd fall apart daily, otherwise).  She doesn't feel defeated, nor does she run and hide.  She's standing brazen for the world to see, daring them to make fun of her silly tangents.
She's got some gumption, if she does say so herself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moonstruck by a Good Read

I'm staring out one of the tall glass windows that makes up my work's very glass eccentric building.  Directly in front and above me is the moon.  It's slowly disappearing behind one of the ledges of the window.  Yet I know in only a few more minutes it will appear in the window directly under that.  When it's gone for good, I will no longer feel this special sense of peace.  Like this moment is just for me--as I sit in a place where  I am alone, and no one else can see what I see.
It's momentarily hidden from me, but I can still describe how it will look when it appears again.  It's a half moon, though it's cut diagonally and not straight across horizontally or vertically.  Even being a half moon, it is still in such a state that I can see the three dimensions of it.  Gloriously round, even if part of it is fading into shadow.  It lies against the bright blue winter sky, teasing me mid morning.  I don't know how long it will stay, but eventually it will disappear until tonight.

But oh, how I love the moon.  The sun and I have never really been friends.  I don't appreciate heat, which I attribute to the sun (even in the winter).  I'm a fan of light and all, but there's something wonderfully mysterious about the moon.  I find I enjoy the night far more than the day.  I like to write in the evenings, not the mornings (which I am right now disputing by writing this blog at all, but it's a preference, not a necessity).
It's strange that I love the moon, and yet when I wrote a book about the daughter of both Sun and Moon, it's the Moon that is my less favorite parent.  It's her personality--and I can't help that: It's how she was long before I wrote her.

Last night I finished a wonderful book: Flat Out Love by Jessica Park.  I enjoy finishing books at night, when the moon is high.  Flat Out Love was wonderful in so many ways.   I didn't appreciate the use of some words, but that is how Jessica wrote it, and I cannot change that.  The story was interesting, romantic, and intriguing.
I LOVE a good romance story IF it is a part of a bigger story.  I don't generally jump for just romance--there isn't enough there.  Flat Out Love isn't just some love story.  It's a story hidden within a much more intriguing story about a very strange family's hidden secret.

Honestly, the book was so good I don't want to give anything away.  All you have to know is that the MC, Julie, ends up staying with the family of her mother's old college roommate after her housing falls apart when she moves to Boston for college.  The Watkins family is quirky, to say the very least.  Each of them has their own strange idiosyncrasy.  The Greatest of these is Celeste, the 13 year old daughter: She dresses like she's 9, talks like she's Data from Star Trek, and carries around a life-size cardboard cutout of her oldest brother Finn (the counterpart of which is traveling in exotic countries).

Celeste is the real mystery--why she is the way she is.  I can begin to recommend this book enough.  It was such a wonderful read that tugged at all the right emotions at all the right times.  The ONLY problem I had with this book (besides some un-fun use in vain of The Name--which is, sadly, everywhere) was that one of the key characters reminded me of someone I knew.  I learned to late that picturing my acquaintance in my head when reading about that character was a BAD idea.  I can get over that though.

Alas, the moon has left me--gone into hiding where I can no longer see it.

And so ends my morning's musings.   Read the book Flat Out Love.  Then read my book someday when it's published.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pop Tarts and Power Rangers

Love them or hate them, Pop Tarts are a part of my generation.  To this day, a Strawberry Pop Tart will throw me back in a fit of nostalgia.  For some reason, that flavor holds that special trigger in my memory.  I generally lean toward Cherry or Cinnamon Brown Sugar if I'm actually going to eat a Pop Tart, only resorting to the Strawberry if I'm starving and need a quick snack.

And yet, even now without one anywhere in sight I feel that memory of childhood.  Something about the smell and the sight of multicolored dots dancing over a bed of white frosting casts a spell of warm thoughts and feelings about the days of old.

That feeling of nostalgia--no matter what brings it--is always something I appreciate.  That sudden sensation, like a phrase on the tip of your tongue, that you can't quite grasp specifics but know the emotions regardless.  Our brains are such hubs of information, and certain scents, tastes, and textures can send us spiraling back to yester-year as we hop along the rabbit trail in order to sift out a clearer picture.  There's something about not being able to succeed.   There's something in that inability to fully remember exactly why this trigger matters to you.

Specifics about the Pop Tart don't rush back into my thoughts.  Instead, I'm surrounded by images and pictures about life when I was a child.  I'm not that old--it isn't a far leap.  Yet I can remember watching the Wonder Years (almost a decade after they'd originally aired).  Sensations of summer and my mom's daycare--the friends I had then that I haven't spoken to in the fifteen years since we moved to another part of town.

One of my favorites from my days of Strawberry Pop Tarts is the memory of watching both Barney and the Power Rangers.  I had no idea that these two shows occurred early in the morning.  To me, they were prime time.  My mom--the angel that she is and was--recorded both shows daily so she could set us down all together in the afternoon to watch.  The young ones (we children in Kindergarten) watched Barney before the older kids returned from school.  One of her favorite stories to tell is the tale of our reaction when we discovered Tommy had become the White Ranger (Power Ranger Buffs know exactly what I speak of).
Apparently, we reacted much like my father did when the Broncos won the Superbowl a few years back.  So much yelling, shouting, and hugging--there were probably even tears.

I still watch Power Rangers every now and again--I still love it dearly.  I love the way I remember it, and I also love the way I see it now.  I can see the how they were almost making fun of it when it first started, and I wonder how much the actors laughed at themselves after each take.  But more than that, I see how they didn't just get a group of young twenty somethings to play high school kids--they hired a group of athletic and talented individuals to do their own martial art stunts.  That probably is what impresses me most as an adult--they weren't famous, but they had skill. 

The next big kick from Barney to Power Rangers was, undoubtedly, Harry Potter.  However, as Harry Potter has been such a large part of my life growing up, I think I will reserve a later blog to fully discuss such a wonderful topic.

Sometimes I miss being a kid--I miss the simplicity of it.  Being an adult is hard work.  I enjoy the knowledge and experiences I have, but when I remember the glories of nap time,  I often forget about the joys of an 8-5 job.  However, I will say that I love my driver's licence and won't part with it for anything.  As always, my thoughts have followed a jumbled confusing bumbling trail that undoubtedly leads to Underland.

 To think, all these thoughts were inspired by a Pop Tart.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Long silent

Snow has reached us, and I'm wondering if that means Fall was over before it began.  We had summer heat riding all the way through September and even sneaking into a good chunk of October.  I sure was looking forward to that in-between weather, but as long as Summer is gone, I don't care which season is waving at me through the windows.

It feels kind of strange to think that I've been quiet on the blog front for about a month.  October brought insanity into my work life, and I hardly had time to think let alone write.  Truly, since I finished my last novel I don't think I've written for even two consecutive days.  It's been splashes here or there when I've had both time and energy to think.  But now October is over, and I am smiling at my favorite time of the year.

You see, most people enjoy the holiday season.  I revel in it.  Christmas and Thanksgiving are some of my favorite times of the year--and my fun starts before those even arrive.
My birthday is about two weeks before thanksgiving (depending on the year), and I'm one of those individuals who is always excited to celebrate.  Lately a book about love languages has been brought up around me on almost a regular basis--by several different people.  My love language (my own definition, I haven't read the book) comes in two folds just as everyone else's does.  To show love, I'm a giver.  When it's someone's birthday, or just a Tuesday when I happen to find something perfect for them, I love to give them a gift that is filled with thought, time, energy, and when I have  I like to see the look on someone's face when I have catered a gift to them, not just thrown something generic that I could have stuck any name on and it would have sufficed for a dozen different people.  Even when I have no clue and give a gift card I make sure the place is specific to the person.  I never have understood how people could hand someone like me a gift card to Lowes and think it was a smart idea.
With that in mind, I've had to do a lot of thinking on what my love language is when it comes to receiving.  I thought I had it pegged--at least in terms of what the book might've said.  However, the more I've thought about it, the more I've decided it's almost something a bit more.  I've done this thinking because in the conversations where this topic has come up, I've been very good about picking out what ISN'T my love language (I think anyone can succeed at that).

My love language is NOT touch.

I don't enjoy being touched.  My space. My bubble.  When it comes to family and close friends I enjoy hugs and playful shoving or pats on the shoulder, but when it comes to acquaintances, guys trying to flirt, and complete strangers I cannot stand being touched.  If you're a guy whom I find attractive you MIGHT be able to get away with it once in awhile.
It bothers me most when it comes from men.  I'm not one to show public displays of affection with gentleman I am dating, and so a gentleman I have no desire to date attempting to show affection by continually tapping me on the arm to get my attention generally is barking up the wrong tree with me.  Now, I know what you're thinking..."Tapping you on the arm to get your attention?  That's a bit extreme for you to be thinking that's showing affection.  Aren't you vain and full of yourself."
Well, yes, that would be the case IF the man in question didn't tell me "My love language is touch" and then proceed to jab me in the arm every time my attention wavered to the girl I mentor with whom I was having a conversation...first.
I'm being snippy.  And mostly unfair.  Sadly, this is what space invasion does to me.  The quickest way to put me on guard and make me uncomfortable/uneasy is to be a Male I don't know very well and find a way to physically interact with me more than once in a conversation.

While this stood out to me like a man streaking through a well publicized soccer match, the truth about what my receiving language was remained hidden.  Now, without reading the book, I've decided for myself what that language is.


I just deleted a slew of paragraphs explaining what this means, but then I felt it sounded too whiny.  Basically, what I do for someone else, I want them to be thankful for it and be willing to do the same.

So it seems my first jump back into the blogging world is silly nonsense about my love languages.  However, if you're trying to get to know me better (or just happen to be a friend wondering what I'd like for my birthday) then maybe this could be of some help.
If you are a passerby, I hope this blog thoroughly amused you, what with my rants and sideways tantrums about the things I do and do not appreciate.

Do you know your love language?  Do you think it's important to know?
I'm not sure knowing mine makes much of a difference, except maybe to say I now understand why I might feel more slighted than another might in the same situation.