I Forgive You

This is a toy Ferrari. Because I am a small person.

This is a toy Ferrari. Because I am a small person.

What do Ferraris, cake, and a Liam Neesen reference have in common you might ask? Nothing, actually. Except me. I happen to bind these unalike things to each other in one strange shaped forgiveness metaphor. Because that’s what it takes to forgive a horrible person sometimes- a certain set of skills, a fast car, and a whole lot of cosmic justice.

So, here’s the thing: I can get angry. When I say angry I mean smoldering rage angry. My emotional scale is basically the speedometer on a Ferrari. Zero to 12,000 and crashed into a tree in under 2 seconds. I’m usually at a low boil… all of the time. It’s my default setting. So, I’m that rich jerk next door that revs his Ferrari’s engine at every stop light. In a suburban neighborhood. Every day. Because I can. Ferrari.

For the record,  I don’t actually like being angry. I’m just really good at it. Blessed and cursed with a high sense of justice, it has always infuriated me when someone lies, misleads, or does wrong for their own gain.

Once, in 2nd grade, a girl stole a slice of cake out of my backpack. My mom and I had baked it, the day before, from a recipe we found at the back of a library book we read together. I was so infuriated that this girl blatantly stole from me that I brought 2nd grade in Mrs. Nachbar’s class to a stand still. I remember my teacher’s tenuous grasp on patience. Couldn’t I just let this go? This one time? This isn’t a fight I have to fight is it?

But it was. It is. I’m a sink my teeth into the neck, shake it until it’s dead justice seeker. And I’ve got a lot of rage for a lady who’s grown up in a loving, middle class suburban home (I think it comes from the chemical mix of my heritage:  Irish- fly off the handle passion and Hispanic – cool, bide your time rage).

So the answer was no, Mrs. Nachbar, I won’t let this go. I didn’t relent until that poor little 2nd grader admitted she lied. I ate my cake smugly over lunch.

Not much has changed about that little cake eating vengeance swearer. I didn’t get much taller and I’m still undeniably angered by things that aren’t fair. I no longer bring immediate situations to a standstill though, even when I want to. Thanks, maturity and adulthood!

Vengeance will find you and kill you. Liam Neesen style.

Vengeance has a certain set of skills Liam Neesen style.

In the past several months I’ve experienced a new to me phenomenon: Grown adults who make horrible, terrible, no good choices and then blame the fallout of their actions on other people. I went through high school and teach middle school so I am well equipped for immaturity. This is next level, though, even for me. Sometimes people just aren’t who you think they are. They make choices and become someone different. Or rather, they show you who they really were all along. They reinvent themselves and tell a different narrative because they can’t accept responsibility for themselves. I’m finding these types of people can’t hide from who they are for very long, which is why, eventually life catches up with and then implodes on them. I’ve been weirdly zen about this pattern even though it infuriates me that these bad choice making adults hurt the people in my life.

I’ve realized something though, as a few lives around me have caved in. As mad as I can get about injustice and as much as I might want to have a personal hand in seeing someone get their comeuppance, the universe just seems to have a way of taking care of things itself. I’ve come to believe that what you send out into the universe you will get back tenfold. I like to convince myself that this is more Buddhist than ‘Liam Neesen in Taken Seeking Revenge’ but, no, let’s be honest- it’s exactly that. Most of the time, people get what’s coming to them (that sounds a little Buddhist, doesn’t it? Maybe? Angry Buddhist?) because if you’re the kind of person who has to lie, rewrite the narrative of your life, pin the blame of your decisions on someone else– Well, you’ve already got your recompense, don’t you?

You have to wake up every day and be you. The kind of person who lies, is the perpetual victim of their own making, hurts others. That is how you spend your life

What a miserable existence.

That understanding -that this is the way some people live their lives (their entire lives!) – helped me figure out the thing/person I was most angry at and squash them, their words and speeches down into something amusing and ridiculous and just plain sad.

So. Now that I (finally) have your attention, I’m going to leave my very last thought on you right here. Maybe someday you’ll read it. Maybe not. In any case, I wrote this for you:

I am truly sorry for you. Some people do not possess the strength or integrity to accept their worst decisions and parts of themselves. I’ve learned a lot about those kinds of people this year and I think I finally understand why you continue to make the choices you do. I know now that you can’t accept yourself and be happy and so, I feel you should know, I’m not angry any more. In fact, I forgive you for the insinuations, for bending the truth, misrepresenting, lying.

I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.

I have already forgiven you. Because really, at the end of the day? The only person you’re lying to is you, and if that’s what you need to do to live with yourself, well, you can have my cake and eat it too.

From the bottom of my little prone to rage heart:  I forgive you. And I wish you luck. You’re going to need it.

 

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Why do Evangelical Christians care about “showing christ” to the world?

"Friend"Asking for a friend…

 Why do Evangelical Christians care about “showing christ” to the world? And by world I (think) I mean non believers and maybe people of other  denominations/faiths?

I grew up Catholic. Raised an eyebrow at that whole transubstantiation  thing. Gave a suspicious side eye to other beliefs that seemed just as  magical. Followed that line of thought to, hey, you know, I’ve never agreed that gay people are bad or wrong or shouldn’t fall in love and get married. Which led me to other revelations like: maybe there isn’t a sometimes mad, sometimes kind all being, all-seeing white man chilling in the cosmos watching us like a Sims game on high free will.

In the last 3 years I’ve become horrified? intrigued? both? by the proselytizing christian scene. Especially since learning about my husband’s background as a southern Baptist and hearing stories about his evangelical writer, blogger, speaker ex wife who doesn’t exactly practice what she preaches. I really have no framework for the beliefs and ideas I keep coming across. When I try to read or understand more I feel like I’m watching a bunch toddlers let loose in an empty room. No harm meant with that metaphor, really, it’s just the best way to describe the feeling.

I searched "crowd of toddlers" and this is what I got. Still scary so I think it works.

I searched “crowd of toddlers” and this is what I got. Still scary so I think it works.

Because I keep thinking, what are you doing? Why are you doing that? And now you’re fighting! Why are you fighting? Oh my god, why are you climbing on me now? Why are you forming a circle around me? No, no, don’t grab my nostrils! Please stop trying to choke me with your well-meaning love! HELP HELP HELP-

Sorry. Got carried away.

So, yeah. That’s my question: Why do Evangelical Christians care about “showing christ” to the world? 

Hole in a Wall: The Confidence Issue

Sassy PantsI took a confidence test online the other day.

At the end of the test a box appeared that declared I had “high confidence”.

I could have told you that, test! I disdained, and then laughed, because really, there’s my answer right there.

I know myself. I’m sassy. I just kind of do things because I know that I will do them well and they’ll pretty much work out. This doesn’t go over so well for me when it involves a hammer and picture hanging. No joke, Chris came home once and I greeted him at the door with this line :

I made a hole in the wall… it’s a little bit big.

Well, I made a lot of holes in the wall because I was sure I could hang this damned shelf. I was wrong. I know now that I shouldn’t be in charge of hanging things unless there is easily removable wall velcro involved. Voila! No holes!

The older I get the less patience I have for self-doubt… both mine and yours. I’d rather swing a hammer and see what happens than sit back and think I can’t do something. This whole attitude has helped me develop a view on life where I think: I want to go to POINT A. And then I do things that will pretty much get me there. Sometimes these things don’t go as planned and I think: THIS WILL WORK OUT IT WILL BE FINE JUST KEEP DOING YOUR THING. And, usually– naw, I’m going to say almost always– things work out the way I planned/wanted them to.

For all the reasons listed above, I  just don’t understand the kind of insecurity that bleeds into someone’s life so much that I can pinpoint it when they walk into the room. This is probably because, since the time I was 5, I just did whatever the hell I wanted to because I knew what was best for me. All of this may make me sound callous, but I don’t mean it to. If you were to meet me beyond the screen you’d see I’m a terribly blunt, call-it-like-it-is, pulls no punches kind of gal. I’m also stubborn and it’s a huge strength and, lately, a flaw as well.

I’ve really struggled this year to find some understanding, compassion, patience, <insert more positive actions here> for people who are highly insecure. Frankly, I’ve come out the other side  of this struggle exhausted. I just don’t get it when someone isn’t comfortable in their own skin, when grown adults wear their insecurities like a coat and it seeps into everything that they do.

I’m going to admit something less than perfect here: there have been times in my life when I have spotted insecurity in someone and immediately lost respect for them. I don’t like weakness. I don’t have the time or patience for it.

I know. It sounds bad. It might be. I can let it be. I try not to. I also don’t think that I should have to put up with someone else’s baggage, especially if they aren’t a friend or family member. I have found that I have no empathy for someone who wastes my time because they are not secure in themselves. I am not a therapist, a best friend, a sister. I do not owe you the luxury of endorsing your insecurity. This may make me out to be a bad person, and if you think that, frankly, I don’t care (see, there’s that sassy thing again), because the best advice I have ever received was this:

The greatest luxury in life is being able to choose your friends.

Yes, yes, yes. What a freedom there is in that choice. I choose to surround myself with people who make me laugh, who are confident in themselves, so much so that they are unapologetically them. I have made these choices unconsciously, but with 100% accuracy every. damn. time. And this year, when railroaded by someone’s (remember: not a friend, not a family member) inability to believe in them self, I just became beyond frustrated and angry that I had to deal with the ramifications of their insecurity.

See? Flaws. I have them. I’m not so assured in myself that I can’t admit to them. And this one is apparently huge, because I asked for a partial work transfer just to get away from someone else’s bleeding insecurity because I couldn’t stand it, it was suffocating me.

I don’t have an answer for someone who wants to have friends, who wants to know how to wear funky on trend- clothes, who wants to get invited to happy hours, and be included in the team, have the most facebook friends, feel good when you look in the mirror, be ok with all the stuff those terrible people in your terrible high school said to you. I don’t know how you figure out your life so that you are happy and confident. I don’t know, I don’t, I really don’t. I’m just as unsure about how to be more compassionate to someone who drives me insane because they can’t figure this exact thing out.

However you do it, you have to eventually be ok with you fat, skinny, pretty, mean, nice, blunt, on-trend, sad, insecure, whatever. At the end of the day always, always, always be ok with yourself no matter what the world is telling you.

Everything else, holes in walls included,  won’t matter at all.

 

One Reason

TeachingThe bell has just rang. It is the end of a long, tiring Monday. A 6th grade girl stays behind as the others leave.

6th grade girl: Ms. G., I can tell you’ve had a long day. I just want you to know you’re a great teacher.

And that right there is the one reason those long, tiring days are worth it.

Hope and The Closet Sap

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This way, sappy pants.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately.

At the school where I teach, one of our new  year themes is hope. Gallup defines hope as “seeing the future as better than the present”. Hopeful people, Gallup says, believe they have the power to make their future so. Gallup also has lots of handy studies on how hopeful students fair better in school and life than their non-hopeful counterparts. Admittedly, I haven’t read all of the studies or the book about the research, but I can’t really find much to scoff about here.

After all, what’s wrong with a little hope?

I can remember, as early as middle school, telling myself that what’s next would be better. I don’t know how I figured it out or why, but I just knew that once I jumped through all the hoops of school and the sorrows of adolescent longing and drama that life would become infinitley better.

And I was right. There were some ups and downs along the way, but all in all, every year has been better than the last. I don’t see why that should ever have to stop. I’m not afraid of moving forward. The thing that always filled me with the greatest anxiety was remembering the past too vividly. Nostalgia has it’s place, but I always hated that feeling of stuck. Stuck in what was, stuck in memories (The not so pleasant ones anyway. After all, do we ever relaly get stuck, unable to budge from the great ones? No. Those have a curious lightness to them. Easy to recall and easy to file away for another time.)

I’m still looking forward to the future. It’s the little things, the big things, and the everyday things all pressed together and indistinct before me that I can’t wait for. It’s the future things like: where we’ll live next year, and when we can afford a house. What color will I paint the walls? Will I agonize over them, or will I know for sure, without a doubt that this color will do much better than this one? Our first dog will be a corgi. I’m sure summer time dog training will be hot and muggy and drooly and I’ll love every minute of it. In less than two year the rest of my loans will be paid off and we’ll be debt free.  I imagine, weekly, the last time I have to press the ‘pay now’ button. There will be traveling and cooking and probably more school at some point (but that doesn’t really fill me with hope yet, I’ll be honest). There’s the flowers that I know Chris will buy me for no reason, date nights, and throwing grill out parties for our friends on our someday huge patio in our someday manicured backyard (now there’s a hope). There’s the potential for Chris’s new and better job (and universe, if you are listening, I know you will make this so) and all the wonderful yet-to-happen times with family and friends. There are the students who will come back and visit and I will be, I know, so happy to see them happy and healthy, and thriving. There is holding my husband’s hand until there are wrinkles along our knuckles and faces because we have too, too much fun together.

The day to day can be tiring and draining, but there is always the next day to look forward to, the next year, the next decade. I may be a closet sap. I may not like to talk to much out loud about the things inside my head and heart, but the future has always made me tick, and I think, I know, it’ll be better than today.

And really, today wasn’t bad at all so that most certainly tells you something.

I Only Roast Chickpeas In This Oven

ImageI don’t know what to write about this evening. I told myself that I would write a thing a day for the next 7 days but I feel neither creative nor humorous. So I’m going to write about assumptions in this post that I have just titled Assumptions: Or, How I am Definitely, Really Not Pregnant Or I Only Roast Chickpeas In This Oven and That Oven Is In The Kitchen So Stop Alluding Already.

We got married last month in the courthouse, no muss, no fuss. It was awesome and exactly what we wanted. We told everyone we were going to do it and 26 days later we did. I guess this is still incredibly incriminating evidence of pregnancy in this day and age. Honestly, I didn’t even think about how the quick turn around might set tongue’s wagging, because, well, we just got married our way.

But damn if people didn’t start asking all sorts of questions about whether or not the reproductive plumbing was cooking a small version of us. And I mean, everyone. Teacher friends at school, pretty sure some people in the extended family, the grocery bagger at the store.

Yeah. The bagger. At the checkout. At the grocery store.

“So you guys going to have some kids now?” he asked as he expertly packed the rice and cereal.

Good gravy, man, I just got married! And what stake do you have in this anyway!? I wanted to yell, but instead said, I teach. I have 32 kids an hour. That’s plenty. Alsoareyoudonebaggingthosepotatoesbecausethisisreallyawkward.

The best, and kindest way I’ve heard this whole third degree baby thing put is this: people are excited for us, and they want to welcome us to the club: the married and usually jonesing for children club.

I just don’t know quite how to handle that exclusive offer sometimes.

Like today, when someone asked how my weekend was and it suddenly turned into IS THERE A BABY INSIDE YOU. It went like this:

How was your weekend? she asked. Simple. Not a trap. There is no way this can somehow turn to my uterus.

I said, pretty good considering I was sick with a head and chest infection.

And then, “You’re not pregnant are you!?

Oh crap! 9 out of 10 chest infections turn into babies! No, nope, that’s not right. Ok, I’m good. We’re good! No worries! Still baby free!

I’m not sure if I’ll ever quite be at peace with the unsolicited advice, interest, and questions about possible buns in ovens.

Chris assures me that people will stop asking either when we’re forty… or dead.

Big Dreams Are What You Make

Hello, self? Are you out there?

I’m going to try to write one meaningful thing on here a day for the next 7 days. So here’s the first one: I used to have a big dream, or what I thought was a big dream, and it went something like this:

Move away from Kansas, Graduate, Move Overseas, Find THE adventure and thus, find my true self.

I wanted to move to Japan. Or someplace equally foreign and exotic and not in the continental United States. I didn’t know what was out there, but I was sure there was something large and important waiting for me. I thought that I had to leave to find whatever that thing was. I thought that adventure would somehow define and shape me, into The Best Version of Nancy.

That was my plan for years and years and years. It’s funny though, how that scheme always seemed so hazy and intangible despite how it cycled through my brain from the ages of 10 to 22. When I would try to think ahead and drop myself on a busy street corner in Tokyo, or along a riverbank in Europe, it felt like I was watching someone else’s movie. To me, that hazy feeling equated doubt. It meant that I doubted myself, I doubted that I could make it happen, I doubted that I could last alone out there in the big world. I’d tell myself, nope! You are small, but you are mighty! It’s just a plane ride! And an entire upheaval of your life structure as you know it, some far away part of me would chime in all sing-songy and innocently.

Shut up, you! I would think at myself and quickly stop thinking about large adventures and plane rides and knowing no one anywhere because that was actually kind of scary, yes, and now that I think about it, it is a giant upheaval of my life and–

So, I graduated college and went right back into graduate school, partially because I had to and partially because I wasn’t ready to pack my bags and say goodbye to everything that I knew. The plan then became, finish school, try for a job, work a few years, and then leave for THE big adventure to find The Best Version of Nancy.

In hindsight, I think it was less of a great wide adventure plan than it was a parachute plan, a this-is-what-I’ll-do-when-I-give-up-plan. If real life rejected me, if I couldn’t find that job, maintain the sturdy structure that years and years of school had instilled in me, then I’d bolt across the ocean and try a new and different life.

I know that there are experiences out there that you can’t get from wherever you call home. There’s too much to see and do and experience out there to think otherwise. I know that there are people and uncomfortable situations in corners of the world that will push you into becoming a new version of yourself. I know that there are whole groups of people who insist when you are young you have to go out and either A) make mistakes or B) Travel some part of the world and possibly combine A and B together. But you see, I don’t think that living that large is for everyone. Experiences that make you grow are for everyone, absolutely, but that  huge adventure that I had planned for all those many years? That is for very few.

I think sometimes people trick themselves into thinking that they are inconsequential if they aren’t doing something just a little bit bigger– I’m not living up to my full potential if I never try to write that book. I’m not making meaning out of my life unless I experience all the art in Europe. I’m going to live a small and unsatisfying life if I don’t make it out of the country before I turn 30. I won’t be free unless I try something new, lower my inhibitions, sail around the world, jump out of an airplane, ride an elephant, throw a spear, play hopscotch with the Dali Lama, stick a flag in a mountain— And so on. I think all those things are great, but I don’t think you have to do them in order to find out who you are, and that’s what I’m really getting at here.

Because what I found out about that hazy feeling when I thought about climbing mountains or living in Tokyo, that creeping thing that I thought was doubt in myself, wasn’t that at all. It was the know-it-all part of me that knew me the best, sitting back and slowly, knowingly shaking her head. What I wanted wasn’t as big as all that. I found out that all I wanted was a place to call my own, the opportunity to teach and live comfortably, a dog, and maybe someone to share those things with. That might seem very small and insignificant to some people, but once I figured out that those were the only things that mattered, life became a whole lot easier and somehow started to fall into place.

I got hired at a school, I paid off a bunch of my loans, I met a converse wearing musician and  we liked and loved each other a whole mess of a lot and got married. And someday soonish, we’ll have a dog, and then a house, and then we’ll be able to travel the world a little bit here and there. Over summer vacations we can stop on the corner in busy Tokyo or stroll down the cobblestone streets in Europe and then come back home, and put our feet up, and pet our dog and go to work and do it all again a little ways down the road. Someday we’ll be  have an adventure or two and then come home, unpack, and reminisce through pictures on a wall.

Do I still want the big adventure, then? Yes and no. We don’t have to exist in an extended meaningful adventure for our lives to have meaning. And we don’t necessarily have to go out and find ourselves in the great wide abyss of the world. Sometimes, we’re already right here, the Best Versions of Ourselves.

I think Big Dreams are what you make of them, and you don’t always need a jet plane to get there.

Belief is a Five Foot Two Deoderant Free Child

SchoolI am not a religious person. Every now and again, I am faced with the question “what do you believe“? It is not a difficult question to answer, though it could be for lots and lots of tricky reasons that people like to get mad or sad about. But this is not a post about labels or lack of belief.

In fact, it is about belief.

I believe in people. Sometimes that’s hard to hold firm and to affirm. I believe and know that people are good.  Some days my faith in people is shaken, because I also believe and know that people can be bad. On those days, if you were to ask me what I believe in, I would say that I always, always, aways believe in kids. Always. That is one reason I teach, because above all else, I will always believe in my kids, your kids, the kids in the one room school-house, the kids who skip school, the hand raisers, the grade skippers, the ones who hate to read. I will always believe in them.

You probably think I am crazy. Kids? Middle schoolers? You rest your belief in something five foot two that hasn’t discovered deodorant yet? you ask. Yes. Yes, I do, and let me tell you why.

I believe in their potential to change the world in small, everyday ways. I believe that they will discover things that will change they way we live, save lives, encourage one another, change systems that are broken, and stand up for what a generation before them could not, tried to but failed to. I believe in them because the world hasn’t had the chance to try and turn them into “people” and they have yet to make choices that might weigh them down or might, someday, shake my faith in humanity.

I believe in them because when I teach, I see them thinking, creating, and wondering and they are so brilliant it makes me want to cry and hug them and shake them by their shoulders and tell them that the world is theirs, do good, work hard, you are my hopes and my dreams. And they are. They give me hope, especially when I start to lose my faith in the rest of the people.

They give me hope because they wave hello, they open doors for one another, they say thank you, or they don’t, but I catch the gratitude in some other way on some other day. They give me hope when they make me laugh, and even when they test my patience, when they talk too much or throw a standing ovation temper tantrum at 12 because I think, this is just the beginning, and you have so much more to give.

They give me hope when they are kind, as no one else but a child can be, when they put a hand on a friend’s shoulder and say, “Hey, buddy, you look down today. Are you doing ok?”

How can you not believe in the potential of people when you see that a foot in front of you?

So, I believe in kids and because of them, I believe in people and all of the goodness that they can do. And some day they’ll figure out the deodorant thing, I know it.

 

I’m Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star

Married, married, married!Last weekend, Chris and I got married. It was lovely. We went to the courthouse. He wore a vest and a new pair of chucks. I wore polka dots and a vintage veil. Our close and local friends and family met us outside the courtroom. It rained, and we finally had to buy an umbrella. Our judge was wonderful, he kept making us laugh, and as our friends and family trickled in, I could feel that high sting in my nose, you know the one, the tell tale sign of happy tears.

The judge jested: would he have to stop the ceremony for tears? Chris said, will he? To me, of course, the one who sobs all the way through Pixar movies and youtube videos about dogs. No! I said, petulant, but then I wasn’t expecting more than signing on a line and an official declaration of “You’re married! Now get out of my courtroom!”.

But instead, “remember, love in its purest form is not a feeling, but a self-less giving for the good of the other…it may not always be easy. Most of us will surely face times of testing and trial…if you remember these vows which you make here today and how you felt toward each other as you made them… if you nourish the love you now have for each other, your marriage will endure all time and you and your home will have the peace and joy that will sustain you through all seasons of life.”

And, yes, I may have wept, not a little, but a lot, because the words were genuine and what I know we both felt. I also may have said “dammit”, whispered to Chris (twice), as I dissolved into tears. He just grinned and held my hands tighter, because he already knew I was going to be a big sappy mess. And then suddenly there were rings and kissing  and we were married and happy, happy, happy.

Nothing has changed because of a piece of paper and silver around fingers. We made commitments long ago. But we are happy, and lucky, to have found one another and to be able to celebrate thus far and all the future years with our friends and family. This happiness is a kind that words don’t quite do justice. So there you have it. Everything and nothing is different, and we are happy, married, and oh, so lucky.

Part 3: My Brain is a Sniper Rifle

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Half of my other half.

When I first met him, I knew in a moment I would have to spend the next few days re-arranging my mind so there’d be room for him to stay. – Brian Andreas

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When I was thirteen I suddenly realized that there were no absolutes in life. I remember the distinct feeling of, wow, I’ve had some sort of real, live adult revelation here and okay, this could potentially suck. At 13, I already knew that the majority of people expected to get married and have families someday. But what happens, I wondered, if you never meet anyone? Or you meet people, but they aren’t at all what you want? What happens then?

I don’t know what happened to other people, but what happened to me was this: I decided that I would find ways to be happy and content without the expectation that someone else could and would make me happy. Because, realistically,  I might never meet that smart musician who could make me laugh like nobody else and understood that I personified my own personality in my head. Maybe it was because I decided this that I was never really interested in anyone who came my way. I might as well, I thought, fully buy into that revelation I’d had at 13. But life is funny and has a way of working out not at all like you plan. In fact, I’ve found, that if you make a desk declaration that you will remain single and devote your life to other things that make you happy like friends and family and teaching, or maybe creating a corgi farm where all the great fatties can frolick (it’s a lifelong dream, ok?), life will, in 7 seconds flat, render that declaration null and void. Just because it can.

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Which brings me back to Other Guitarist and an innocuous October evening. There was never anyone, until right then, that exact moment when Other Guitarist walked in and brain said ‘yep‘. That loud and suddenly distinct part of my brain, sitting in a wingback chair, already had it all figured out.

IF my brain were an inanimate object it would be a sniper rifle with who else but Smoking Jacket Nancy at the trigger. The best way I can describe the sudden shift in my life was this way: Smoking Jacket Nancy (who is an incredibly good shot due to the years she spent in Africa hunting Poachers. That sounds like a C list movie. I should immediately abandon all plans of doing laundry and write that script.) trained her sights on Other Guitarist and those crosshairs were never going to come untrained from that mark.

I’m going to date him, I thought, in very assured way, as if it had a sneak peek into the future and already knew what were to happen. Damn, Smoking Jacket Nancy is good. I’m going to flirt with him all night and I’m going to date him. 

But first, I had to ask him his name again, because it was definitely not Matt, but that’s what my brain heard in the smash up of a moment of our first (real) meet. His name was actually Chris (Chris, Matt. Preeeetty close, brain) and about three seconds after he tried my infamous guacamole and gave me the Fonzi thumbs for a job well done,  Bushwhacking, gun toting, Smoking Jacket Nancy raised her glass in triumph. 

Part 4: Jazz and Broken Glasses

Part 2

Part 1