Friday, December 2, 2016

Open Letters: It has been a hot minute

Dear friend,

I am so happy I've gotten to know you recently, as you seem like a super lovely individual, but can I recommend something to you? I say this with lots of care in my heart but for the love of God and all that is Holy, please obtain a better bra or three. If you'd strap those suckers down you would look 20 pounds lighter and I'm fairly sure a great bra would alleviate some of the pain you feel on a daily basis.

I have suggestions for places to obtain said bras and I'm certain can help you find coupon codes. I'm really good at that. It's one of my talents and gifts.

Sincerely,
Stephanie



Dear Jesus,

Sometimes when really awful people declare, "I HAVE FOUND JESUS!" I want to call you up and be like, "Dude. Get a better hiding place."

I know, that's really terrible isn't it? I think it's worse when people commit horrible acts to others and say they did it in your name, so I'm just going to go with it. I know you love me all day and every day, even when I'm being a tool. Also, I know you think I'm really funny and thank you for making me that way. I think one day when I meet you we're going to get along really well, because I know you have a great sense of humor too. Why else would you give someone who was 22 and had a husband who was gone a set of twins?

(Okay, I know it was to teach me life lessons too. And they are the greatest kids ever, so thank you for all of it. Every bit of it. Every second of it.)

Love you, love you, love love love you,
Stephanie

PS: Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being there.
PS again: Yes, I know that was lyrics from a song from Bob's Burgers. I'm sorry.
PSS: Actually, I'm not sorry. That song is awesome. Thank you for Bob's Burgers. That show makes me happy.


Dear Everyone who drives a car,

Please turn on your lights at dusk. It's dark. People can't see you. This is what headlights are made for. Stop being douchebags.

Also, stop running red lights. You suck.

Bye!
Stephanie


Dear friend,

Stop making stupid decisions. Get therapy.

Love,
Me


Dear people shopping at various Dollar stores locally,

Please give me a minute to get the cards on the shelf. You can see me standing there with like twelve boxes and paper cuts all over my hands. You can tell I'm working. Please give me time to do my job. It won't kill you to not get your Christmas card for an additional two minutes.

Also, please do not reach into my boxes, pull out unwrapped cards, and start ripping them open. It's really crappy and not cool and super rude and, not that you care, but it puts me even further behind when you do that.

Additionally, if you are the type of person who picks up twelve cards, reads them, and then shoves them all into a random card slot? I don't like you. I'm pretty sure Satan kills a puppy every single time you do that, so please knock it off. With quickness.

Thanks,
Stephanie


Dear world,

I'm tired.

I'm just...exhausted. I'm weary. I'm weak.

I need a break from everything. The country I live in is in turmoil. This week I watched my childhood burning down. My heart is heavy and I'm just sick.

Please. Just stop.

Love,
Stephanie

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Internet people

I was chatting with one of my cousins the other day and she said something very sweet that made me laugh.

I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was something along the line of "I don't know how you do everything you do and still look so put together".

I told her that Jason had said earlier that day, "Hey! You're wearing make-up!"

Because, um. I don't every day. In fact, I snapped this picture of myself shortly after the conversation my cousin and I had because I just felt like it was appropriate.


I was cleaning my bathroom. As you can clearly see, the countertop was a hot mess. Much like the owner of the countertop.

Apparently I'm good at hiding what a hot mess I am, but I promise...this is about what I look like on a normal day. I work from home, which means things like today I was wearing pajama pants until 4:30pm. Last night, Jason was trying to reprimand the teenagers about something and the dog farted and I couldn't stop laughing and he got very upset with me because I wasn't taking the conversation very seriously (I can't help it, every time she farts it scares her and it's hilarious. I don't care who you are). My dining room is currently awash in LuLaRoe. The bags under my eyes would need to be checked if I got on an airplane right now.

Life is hard, y'all. It's hard for all of us. I posted on Facebook the other day about being done with my Christmas shopping and I got some "show off" comments. The truth is, the next month is insane for me and shopping throughout the year when things are on sale is the only way I can get through emotionally and financially. I was happy about it, but didn't do it for praise. It's just me. It's cool if it's not you. I bet you do many things in way more awesome ways than I do. You can probably even do math in your head, which is pretty sweet.

Sometimes I see the family pictures on Facebook and I think, "Wow, they really have it all together!" Maybe they do. Everyone looks just so. Everything looks perfect.

If I had to guess though, at least one countertop in their house looks like mine did on Saturday night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dry wells

Recently I was talking to someone who is very dear to me and they were lamenting the fact that someone they love has turned their back on them in favor of someone else. By their estimation, someone who didn't deserve the love and attention they were getting. That person kept messing up and their loved one kept forgiving them, time and time again. They just couldn't understand.

I understood, as someone who has tried time and again to drink from dry wells.

To be completely stereotypical I think women do this a lot. I think men do it too, but I don't often hear about men who keep going back and keep going back, hoping that the response will be different. I'm sure it happens sometimes, but women seem to do this with more frequency. I am completely guilty of this, so maybe that's coloring my perspective.

I thought about a time in my life when I saw something bad coming from a mile away and I did my best to warn someone about it. Instead of being appreciative, they were dismissive. Rude. Hurtful. I left the meeting, called my good friend Allison and sobbed on the phone. Because I wasn't heard. Again.

(Later, as I predicted, everything blew up. I was completely right. It didn't make me feel any better)

Yet, despite being dismissed so callously, I would have done the same thing again. I probably wouldn't now, and lately I've found myself in a position where people who are routinely dismissive of me and my feelings are trying to lure me into their problems and I...just can't bring myself to care. So maybe it's getting easier? I don't know.

I just know that I keep seeing all these women who keep going back to their husbands and their parents and their politicians and their bosses, thinking it's going to change. Thinking if they just keep acting right then eventually the other person will act right too. Thinking if they just tried harder, loved more, prayed on it, then it will all be okay. 

The wells are dry though. You'll never get filled up.

My therapist and I discussed this not long ago and she said (and I really thought this was profound) there are people who won't change unless they are required to do so. Granted, there are some people who won't change even if you do require it of them, and in that case those are the people you just let go. Some people actually can change sometimes, if you force it. You have to set up boundaries. You have to say no. You have to care about yourself.

I think that's where it becomes harder for women. I think for me it's always been that I've blamed myself. That I've wanted so much and felt so guilty for wanting so much. 

My heart hurts today, because I can see around corners. I know that people I care about will get hurt, and are currently being hurt by people that they want so desperately to care. I still have hope that people can change, but it's becoming harder to see that these days. It never stops hurting when you give someone another chance and they reject you again. No matter how old you are.

There is no class in school to teach you how to stop hoping. I sometimes wish there were.

Monday, November 14, 2016

My prayer for today

Lord, never, ever let me become a "not me".

Never let me stop caring about something just because it's not directly in my path.

Let me always put the needs of the greater good above the needs of myself.

Let me always step in where I am needed.

Allow me to show others your light, not by my words, but by my actions.


This is my prayer for today.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The things they say

My marriage is lovely. It's not always easy, but it's lovely.

It's not easy because I am married to someone who is not like me at all in some ways and a whole lot like me in other ways. One way that we are very similar is that we are both always moving. Our brains, our bodies. Go, go, go. Constantly. We are both exhausting. I'm only slightly less exhausting because I'm Southern and talk slower than he does.

If you think this sounds annoying, you are correct. Sometimes our conversations are unproductive because instead of listening to understand we are listening to respond. That's never a good thing.

A few days ago we were out on a coffee date, which is something we try to do a couple of times a week. The people at Starbucks know our order (we're also very predictable, another thing we have in common). We drink our coffee and talk. We sit still (other than gesticulating wildly since one of us can't talk without using their hands), don't look at our phones, and just chat.

We came home and Jason was in a rush to do something. I can't even remember what it was, but he was in a hurry. I was trying to tell him something unimportant. I honestly don't even remember what it was. I told him it didn't matter. Go ahead. He stopped and said, "No, please go ahead and tell me."

Right after that, he was leaving for whatever his errand was and he stopped, came to me and said, "Is there anything else you want to talk about before I go?"

There wasn't. But he asked.

I keep hearing that men are being made weak. That they are being emasculated. That men are supposed to be rough and rude and talk ugly. That being that way is normal and should be expected.

To that, I say no.

My husband respects and listens to me. Does he always respond the way I wish he would? No. Do I always respond the way he wishes I would? I'm sure the answer to that is also no. I still reject the notion that men have to behave in a certain way or they aren't "real men".

When people tell me I'm lucky that my husband does laundry or cooks I sometimes roll my eyes. I am absolutely lucky. Amazingly lucky, blessed, highly favored, and damn appreciative. I am not lucky because my husband does laundry and makes a fine Chicken Cordon Bleu. He's a grown-up and a contributing member of our household. He does not consider himself lucky that I do laundry and cook. We all cook. We all do laundry. We all sweep, mop, set the table, do the dishes. Work has no gender and it never has. Not in our house.

He is not perfect, nor am I. He has his flaws, as do I. He talks to me like I'm worthy, because that's how men are supposed to talk. He makes me feel I'm valuable. He listens. He respects me, even when we don't agree (and believe me, we don't always agree). He thinks I'm beautiful and tells me every day. We help each other. We're in this together and I never, ever doubt that.

I deserve to be treated this way. You do too. Don't believe it if anyone says anything otherwise. This is how real, strong, good men talk.