Thursday, May 31, 2012

B.F.F. (Or Not)

I went to an all-girls Catholic high school.

An idea most people meet with
a look of horror,
but I loved it.

I mean not initially.

Initially I was convinced
that my parents hated me
and never wanted  me to find a boyfriend.

I got pregnant anyway. Sorry mom!

The dress code was a uniform
with "free dress" days
that allowed for pedal pushers.
Pedal. Pushers.

I mean
the fact that we had to wear penny loafers
was a degree of fashion torture
that can probably be blamed
for my adulthood obsession with heels.

And I still remember
getting a detention
for constantly wearing red nail polish
to my sophomore algebra class.

I'm currently rocking lavender grey nails.  Take that!

But once I settled into
the dude free uniformed existence
I loved it.

Mostly I loved it
because I had a host of girlfriends.

Originally there were 17 of us,
then 12,
and then 8 plus the one
who'd moved away.

A motley crew
of freshman driftwood
that somehow glommed onto to one another
on the concrete
outside of the home ec room
sometime around September '95.

17 years ago. Whoa.

Some of them
had already been friends for years
but not me.

I was the only one
from my group of elementary friends
that had gone on
to that high school.
I remember Brianne and Kierra,
older, more experienced sophomores,
telling us that it wouldn't always be this way.

That we would all go on
in different directions someday.

If you can count your closest friends on one hand,
you're lucky.

I shook my head.

No, no, not us,
I thought.
We're bonded forever and ever,
the end.

I don't know
how we all landed together
but we did,
and we stayed that way
through 4 years of high school.

We were
cheerleaders and homecoming queens,
soccer players and ASB leaders,
choir members and drama kids.

Drinkers and pot smokers,
mean girls (to others and each other)
and community volunteers,
journal writers and note passers.

Dichotomies and contradictions,
blondes and brunettes,
little girls growing up together.

We bore witness to each other’s
first loves,
car accidents,
and piercings.

It was a mine field but we managed to plant roots.

4 years of roots.

Roots that stayed on
after graduation
and boyfriends
and different colleges.

Roots that lay dormant
as we drifted in and out
of those first post-high school years.

Phone numbers I kept
even after I got caught in a rip tide of
new friends and bad habits.

Phone numbers I called
with the news that I was pregnant at 20
and wanted my oldest friends
at the baby shower.

And they showed up.

They showed up
and I was so glad
to see the faces that had known me
before I was anything else.

They were there when Lucas was born
and they were at most of his birthday parties.

8 years of roots.

Our lives sort of kicked into high gear after that.

Weddings (5 of them!) and babies (3 of those!),
new houses and engagements,
reason after reason
to get together
and just be girlfriends.

Bridal showers and birthdays,
a weekend on the Russian River,
and a boat ride on the Peninsula.

Dinners and Christmas parties,
housewarmings and life, life,
lots of life!

I relished in having longtime friends.

Knew how lucky we were
to have so many years behind
and so many years ahead of us.

12 years of roots.

It'll be 2 years since my initial blackballing from that group.

A summer of weddings that weeded me out.

It started with phone calls
going unanswered and not returned,
birthday dinners I was excluded from without my knowing.

It was a tearful Christmas cocktail party where
I admitted my missteps
and offered my apologies,
sobbing quietly in the kitchen
and left painfully unforgiven.

It was my first lesson in:

"I was wrong" + "I'm sorry"
(does not always)
= everything is better
Losing a friendship is kind of like a death;
disorienting and emotionally charged.

Now multiply that times three
and throw in the sting
of knowing harsh things
have been said about you,
and it's pretty much a shit sandwich.

It has been one of the most brutal experiences.


And I know brutal.

14 years of roots.

Every story has two sides,
and I only know my own truth.

The truth is I tried to be there as much as I could.

I tried my best
with 2 young children,
and a failing relationship,
and a full load at school,
and 3 jobs.

Admittedly sometimes my best sucked.

Sometimes I was selfish
and sometimes I was crazy
and sometimes I tried to please too many people
and sometimes I made the wrong choice.

16 years of roots.

I’m in acceptance,
but I’m not sure.

Denial and anger
(and why isn’t sadness a stage?!?!)
still float to the surface now and then.

Mostly because try as I might to
 hidedeleteWTF everyone from Facebook
I still get to see the shit I’m left out of.
And it sucks.

Thanks Mark Zuckerberg!

One of the greatest resources of perspective
in all of this
has been the friends
old and new
that have stayed by my side
through the crazy.
The ones I knew
wouldn't punish me
if I came up short
in the game of tit for tat.

The ones who patiently waited out my worst
and taught me how to be a better friend.
And I could say something
about being forever indebted to those girls,
but these friends don’t believe
in debts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Feeling Fuzzy

Despite my best attempts,
last week's annoying sore throat
catapulted itself into a full-blown
situation this weekend.

Try as I might
I felt like total shit.

I still
(as I sit here)
feel pretty crappy.

And considering
how easily distracted and flighty I am
on any given day,
head congestion and medication
make for interesting writing conditions.

We'll be lucky if this is coherent in any way.

But here we go...

I spent Saturday night
posted up on the couch
with wonton soup and a movie.

Action shot!

I had had high hopes for it
but ended up being glad
I only paid $1.30 at Redbox.

I was also glad
I didn't drag Paul to the theater to see it
as I hate having to defend my movie choices
when they're less than stellar.

It was neither terrible nor fantastic,
and the highest accolades
belong to Charlize Theron
who does an impeccable job
of creating a main character who
lacks any sort of likeable trait.

There is not a single redeeming quality about Mavis.

Which, you know,
makes it all the more difficult for me to admit
that I related to her.

Not to a lot of her,
but to a little bit.

More specifically,

"I'm crazy and no one loves me."


"It's really, really hard for me to be happy."

Let me qualify this by saying
that save for
3 to 5 hormonally induced days a month
I hardly feel
that way anymore.

But I did feel that way,
every day,
for a very long time.

Like ages 5 - 27 (28?).

And I have the ex-boyfriends
and ex-friends to prove it.

Earlier this year
I was having a heart to heart with my Dad.

I was talking to him
about the re-emergence of an old love,
and needing some advice
about my reservations
and the other half's hesitations.

It was a good talk,
full of dad gems,
and punctuated by
his saying
with all the love in his heart,

"Christina...loving you is exhausting.
Ever since you were little."

He didn't mean it as a jab,
and I didn't take it as one.

Mostly because I've come to terms
with that truth about myself
and I've worked plenty hard to change it.

After all,
I was the girl in therapy in junior high,
and high school,
and off-and-on through
eleven years of college.

A million issues that could be whittled down
to just not feeling comfortable in my own skin.

Frustrated with my mind and heart
and their inability to just quiet for a second.

Constantly reacting to everything.

(real or imagined)
that I just had to set straight.

A bottomless pit of need
that would exhaust
the best of intentions.

Always looking toward the out
to fix the broken in.

I remember when Paul and I
were a couple a decade ago.

How we had our one year anniversary
and he filled my car
with 12 different dozens of flowers.

And I didn't like the kinds of flowers he chose.

My skin crawls at the memory.

It wasn't that I meant
to be that way.

It wasn't that I didn't want
to feel differently.

It was just really, really hard for me to be happy.

I don't know when things started to shift.

I'd like to say
it was when Lucas was born
but I'm not sure.

Changes like that are often imperceptible.

Maybe it was the trials of the last year.

Maybe it has been a do-over
for a relationship
that (for me)
had a lot of lingering regrets.

Maybe it has been the realization
that I was a shitty
and I don't want to be that way anymore.

Maybe it has been that my efforts
have not gone unnoticed
and my life is full
of family, friend, and boyfriend

I don't know when it happened
but suddenly I became able
to spend more time in the here and now
and less time wishing for more, more, MORE
of whatever I thought could make me happy.

Suddenly I became less crazy
and more easily prone to happiness.

Suddenly my terrible cold and I
are swimming with the boys
at 8pm on a Monday night
and we're laughing and splashing,
(and I'm coughing),
and I'm actually,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fotos 5/25

'Twas an eventful week for this Fam Bam.

Last Tuesday
Diablo III was released
which means
I saw a lot of this.

One of his favorite things.

Friday was no exception
so while he fought off demons
I worked from home
and then traipsed around in the sunshine
until it was time to pick up Lucas.

After he hopped in the car
I asked him where he wanted
to pick up a birthday cake for Grandma
and he picked Katella Deli.

A bonafide Cesena Family favorite!

Annnnnd one of his favorite things.

He picked an amazing
ohmygodit'sDELICIOUS cake
that was beautiful to boot.

Oreos + chocolate ganache = spiritual experience.

And while the cake writer was doing her thing
we may or may not have enjoyed a cake pop.

It was also Oreo.  YUM.

After all...
we needed sustenance for the serenade.

I spent the rest of the night
scrubbing collars
and ironing shirts.

And I'll admit...
a part of me wishes
I could tell you that
I hate being domestic.

That I'd rather be
drunk on gin & tonics
and dancing the night away.

But really,
I love taking care of the men in my life.

I'm a '50s era housewife
in a tattooed, liberal minded body.

Saturday morning was an early one.

And I must say,
every single time I manage
to clothe and feed the boys,
shower and blow-dry my hair,
dress myself
get out of the door on time...
I sincerely believe I deserve
a round of applause.

It was Lucas'
First Communion
and we had to be there an hour early
my children in nice clothes,
for that amount of time,
seemed like a mission impossible.

Luckily they both behaved like angels.

These angel faces were not a ruse.

There were 71 other kids
and mine was picture perfect.

We celebrated at Lucas' favorite restaurant.

Burgers and pizza and sweet potato fries.
My favorite people all in the same space.

And don't forget the $5 milkshakes.

Saturday night
we attended a square dance.

And it was amazing.

I cannot say enough
about the magic that is
dancing with my boys.

Holding hands and tapping feet.

Families all around.

Laughter and smiles,
twirling dresses,
and holding sweaty little hands.

 Precious. Joyful.
Moments so simple and pure.

I want to hold them and keep them
and never forget for a second what they are like.

I try my best to soak it all in.

Make mental notes of the
sights, sounds, and giggles.

Try to imprint somewhere in my memory
what it is like to have...

a perfect sliver of time. 

We spent Sunday morning at the park.

My reading,
James playing,
and Lucas being a grump.

He was bored.

He was tired.

He had other things he wanted to do.

No matter.

I just kept pushing him on the swing.

and harder
until he was laughing so hard
he forgot to be mad.

I ended up working Sunday afternoon and evening
and then collapsed into my bed around midnight.

Monday came even though I was exhausted.

This week I:

 Had a work appoinment in the Arts District:

 Stopped by my mom's for a piece (slab) of cake:

Felt under the weather:

Made some time for snuggles:

Got stuck in traffic that made the drive home
three hours long:

And spent another Friday working from home:

I like having a few extra hours with James
since he'll be with his dad until Monday.

There will be rest this long weekend.
And pool time.
And BBQ.

This life is grand.

Happy weekend. xo.