Me: It's a little bizarre seeing my short hair and skirt in the pictures at S's.
Me: I feel like my look is changing so much right now that I don't recognize myself.
T-Town: Well, you are changing a lot of things lately.
Me: What things? I got hair cut again, true, and I'm blonde, but that's old--at least the blonde part is, although I'm still surprised when I look in the mirror sometimes. I guess it's because I'm there with a boyfriend and I'm wearing a skirt, and a big sweatshirt that's not mine, and I have really, really short hair.
T-Town: Right. You live in Seattle, you have a boyfriend, you decided to go vegan and you no longer consider yourself Christian. You don't live, love, eat or believe the same things any more. In the space of three months.
T-Town: Pretty much everything except your job and your dog has changed.
Me: I guess I should slow down, but it's hard.
T-Town: You seem to be pulling it off ok.
Me: Thank you.
At least I still have scabby knees.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Me: It's a little bizarre seeing my short hair and skirt in the pictures at S's.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
After dropping the LT off at the ferry last night, I drove away and immediately said, out loud, “Man...I could really use a cigarette.”
I heard my own words and was surprised. I didn’t WANT one. I could have really USED one. For what? Why? What use can I possibly have for a cigarette? (Besides punctuating sentences, as an excuse to talk to boys, as an excuse to NOT talk to boys, an excuse for girl time, or really anything fun.)
But I digress. In this case, having a use for a cigarette reminds me of a sunny Pittsburgh morning, leaving the room of my boyfriend at the time, and lighting up. It was hot and sunny outside, not the right time for a cigarette, but it tasted great. Just a few steps away from his apartment, I heard him running after me. “Don’t you want me to walk you home?”
I looked at him, then looked around. It was a Saturday morning. It was sunny. The streets were fairly quiet. There wasn’t a reason in the world why I’d need to be walked home. I appreciated the thought, but sent him back to his room without much ceremony. “Besides,” I said apologetically, “I’m smoking.” He wasn’t a smoker and he didn’t like the taste—who does?—but he still wanted to come. I shoved my cigarette in his face and he eventually turned back.
It wasn’t about the cigarette, of course. It was about alone time. Sometimes a girl just needs to be alone.
(Note: This was not so much a “walk of shame”. I was wearing jeans and flip-flops—hardly left-over party gear. I was leaving my boyfriend’s room so that I could go back to MY dorm and work, do laundry, and get on with my day. There certainly HAVE been walk-of-shame times when I would have appreciated an escort. And the reasons for why you want to be escorted by the guy whom you just fooled around with and don’t want to be escorted home by your own boyfriend, not the least of which is validation, are myriad and varied even beyond the immediate surface and certainly not appropriate to describe here.)
The cigarette in this case was a barrier. A symbol of independence. It said, or at least I thought it did, “Yes. I am a young woman with faults. I smoke and party and deliberately poison myself. I enjoy the eff out of my faults and am not giving them up any time soon and especially not for you, Mr. Mormon Holier-Than-Thou Boyfriend, because you and I both know that my vices are what attract you to me, because I am NOT a nice Mormon girl, and therefore I revel in them and you do, too, and therefore yes I WILL use them to both draw you in and push you away when it is appropriate.”
And now that I have a) gotten older, quite a bit older, and b) let go of some of my need to be That Girl, the one in knee-high black leather boots that won’t be tied down, I find myself dropping my faults. I could go into some sort of long (even longer than this post is already!) drawn-out discussion about how young women are pressured to be “the good girl” and how cigarette smoking is on the rise in young women partly in response to this sort of pressure, and how young women especially are pressured to fit into social norms, and I might especially mention the Madonna/Whore syndrome and how girls are pressured to be one or the other, yada yada yada, and this would be true, but instead what I’ll say is this:
Especially today, with the genders being treated more and more equally—yay!—young people of both genders feel a deep-seated need to BE A BADASS. Smoking, drinking, drugs, lots of sex, fast driving, dropping out of school, getting pregnant, whatever it is, whatever form it takes, if you call it being a badass or “sowing your wild oats”, whatever, the point is that you develop and cultivate a collection of faults, and it becomes your barrier, your shield, between what you know the world expects of you and the inevitable crushing disappointment you know you will feel when you don’t live to the world’s standards, as you know you won’t.
And as you get older, you begin to come to terms with the kind of person you are, and you lose the need for this shield. In some circles, this may be called “maturing”--sadly not an actual requirement for growing older. You may keep some of your faults or you may not, but part of the maturing process is DROPPING YOUR SHIELD.
And in my case, cigarettes—in some small way, at least—were part of that shield. Leaving a parental unit or function, or a boyfriend that I suspected I would ruin because he was too good for me, or an event where I had to be on my best behavior, I looked forward to the time when I could get away into my car or behind the gas station and curse, smoke a cigarette, see girlfriends, and escape from the pressure to be perfect.
Now, at 25, I am dropping my shield slowly but surely. In some ways I feel raw, scraped out with a spoon raw, naked and exposed, without my barrier between myself and the world, without the self-delusion that I really am A BADASS WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT SOCIAL NORMS...but only if I'm not in the public eye. In other ways, I feel damn healthy. I know that I can act out and break rules when it’s appropriate—I can make a statement, and I certainly have in the past—but I also know that I can survive in social functions without looking at the clock, aching for my escape. I feel that I may have lost some of my social functionality—it’s hard to be perfect if you don’t have a ready escape—but I’m okay with that. Being an adult, after all, is not parading your faults around as if they are something to be proud of, but rather accepting them, and in the process, accepting the person you already are.
Posted by Aarwenn at 10:54 PM
Thursday, July 27, 2006
The LT and I talk. A lot. It's one of my favorite things about us. I guess I started it, although accidentally. I had given up Christianity and was thinking about Paganism, and I knew he was Christian, and so as we were walking Titan just a week or so after we started dating, we crossed into the park and I said, "Ten dollar question."
"Three-dollar answer," he responded.
"How important is religion to you?"
He proceeded to give me at least a twelve-dollar answer, for those are curious.
We talk about fashion and women and advertising, we talk about veganism, we talk about religion, we talk about how men and women relate, politics, the government, abortion, etc. Some of my posts have grown out of conversations we've had; other times, it's the other way around.
Regardless, someone reading a transcript of our relationship since its inception would see this phrase a lot: "So, I have a question," or simply, "Question:"
Just yesterday we were on our way to the premiere of Accepted, and as we had just been frantically rooting around in my apartment for the free pass--which I had lost, because I TOTALLY SUCK--he had seen a lot of my papers and such.
"Focussing on our disimilarities today," he said, as we occasionally joke that we're too alike, "I noticed you're a member of the ACLU."
"That's right," I said, "and the Human Rights Campaign."
"Whereas I am a member of the NRA."
"I know." He owns two guns. I grew up with a military grandfather and was expecting it, particularly the handgun in the nightstand, which my grandfather had until he died. Not that I'll pretend that the morning after the First Time it wasn't a little disconcerting for the LT to say, "If you reach in here because you need condoms, don't be scared when you find this..." and pull out his gun, but it was nothing I hadn't seen or shot before. The handgun is one thing--it was the long shotgun that he offered to loan me once when I was pissed at...well, that's a secret! But I digress, because this is not about guns. (Not today.)
"What do you think about gay marriage?" he asked me.
I chose my words carefully, taking too long, until I had to say something. "I'm taking a long time, not because I don't have very strong and immediate views on the subject, but because I want to say it right," I said, stalling.
Let's just say: we disagree.
But not badly.
Still. I used to think that this question--like abortion, actually--would be a deal-breaker for me. I'm surprised to find out that as long as he's not radical...it's not. The discussion didn't get heated. We talked, and the conversation trailed off, and that was okay, and we went on to see a funny movie about college.
Posted by Aarwenn at 2:36 PM
"I don't get enough water," I said to the LT, as we were both desperately chugging out of my new, ADORABLE pink Nalgene to fight the special kind of dehydration caused by five days of 95-degree heat with no air conditioning and a heavy drinking schedule and tennis games and rock-climbs.
"Neither do I," he agreed. "Well, maybe I do. How much water are you supposed to drink?"
"Eight glasses a day," I returned immediately.
"No. I definitely don't get enough."
Once again, I was knocked sideways by the fact that he really didn't know how much water he was supposed to drink per day. I mean, HELLO! HOW CAN YOU IGNORE A FACT THAT HAS BEEN BLASTED AT US FROM EVERY HEALTH ARTICLE OR MAGAZINE IN THE WORLD FOR THE PAST SEVEN YEARS?
It reminds me of an article I read long ago where a wife said, "I don't have penis envy. He can have it for all I care. What I'm jealous of is that my husband can COMPLETELY IGNORE the fact that the children haven't eaten anything green since the Clinton Administration!"
Reason Number #4,653 why women are their own worst enemy. Yes, we might be healthier, nutrition wise--assuming that we manage to scavenge the actual TRUTH about nutrition from the thousands of conflicting diet and nutrition books written especially for our low and getting lower all the time self-esteem--but all the stress and obsession we attach to nutrition?
Ladies, stress will kill you faster than a whole lifetime of red meat. A good lesson for us all.
Posted by Aarwenn at 2:22 PM
Monday, July 24, 2006
Hello. I am Tired. And also wrapped up in the LT and maybe a little neurotic.
But really, what else is new?
Also, it is Monday, and I am Broke and looking ahead to the next four months of being Broke, and it is very hot, like it is everywhere, and I am Tired.
And there is a lot of negative energy in the world. People are uptight, I suppose because of the heat; although it’s unlikely that Seattle will have a drought, I suppose we can’t help, as humans, looking at available resources and looking at the number of hungry, thirsty humans, and thinking, suddenly, in our darkest moments, What if there isn’t enough for me?
Also I do not have air conditioning. My apartment stayed 95 degrees. All weekend. Just sayin’.
My two favorite bloggers in the world have written several posts over the weekend, and not like we’re in a race or anything, but I feel lazy because I haven’t. Because I have basically dived into this relationship headfirst and refuse to come up for air. Because although apparently I can write whole posts about alone time, in the end, at the same time after long, lazy weekends like the lovely one I just had, I think, I haven’t done anything in months except hang with the LT.
But—and here’s the kicker—that’s just not true.
Three day weekend this week—don’t hate me, I work nine hour days so I can have the occasional three-day-weekend—and I spent a solid third, almost a half, NOT with the LT at all.
I took a road trip with Titan, just spending time in the Jeep in the sunshine with the windows down and the radio on, and we cruised up the Kitsap Peninsula and crossed the Hood Canal onto the Olympic Peninsula, also known as one of the most beautiful places in the world—and I LIVE here—and then took a cute little ferry onto Whidbey Island, also known as the longest island in the world, top to bottom, and I drove down to the southern tip to a dog park with beach access and met one of my very best friends and her daughter, my niece, and if there’s anything in this world more wonderful than watching Titan be gentle with my darling niece, than I don’t know what it is.
(Not that my niece isn’t still the best birth control ever. Good LAWD I am not ready for kids!)
I called my mother on the way home. “How DO you do it?” I asked. “How do you wrangle a two-year-old and a car seat and a dog and food and towels and dirty baby parts and diapers and dog poop and dog poop bags and your own sanity and everything?”
“You just do it,” she replied, and because she is wise beyond her years, she did not say, “And fathers who don’t help can go fuck themselves.”
Anyway, after this I had just enough time to get home, except I didn’t because some very unfortunate person had run over a police car, and traffic was at a standstill getting off the ferry, and then there was a goose in the road, just standing there and honking back at the cars who honked at him, and so I called the LT, who happens to be an effin’ NAVIGATOR for the Navy, and he took me on back roads and such until I got home in only an hour and ten minutes, not bad for 20 miles in Friday rush hour traffic, and I had just enough time to throw on a little black dress and the hottest wrap-up-the-leg sandals ever before my date (Hi, K!) came and picked me up for Friday Night’s Booze Cruise.
AND THEN I was on a boat with a bunch of really, really crazy B engineers, mainly male, and if there’s one thing that engineers do well, it is drink. I have no memory past midnight. My signature on the taxi receipt—that I discovered, many days later—was a thing of beauty.
AND THEN I got up and played tennis the next morning, not even that badly, and then drank coffee with my neighbor and went with him to go get a haircut, and then the LT came over and we got Titan defurred and walked around Greenlake, and had just enough time to eat and shower before driving to Tacoma to see eight or nine old friends at a great slide guitar show, and one of my friends took a guest spot on vocals and she was effin’ incredible, and then later we (where we = me) went on and sang karaoke.
AND THEN the LT and I and Titan all slept in, not surprising after two days of heat, beach, lake, tennis, and drinking, and went to REI and attempted to climb the 65-foot pinnacle and went swimming in Greenlake with Titan and ate a homecooked vegan meal (watch me go!) and watched the worst movie I’ve seen lately, (kidding, baby) and...and...and. Sleep, blessed sleep.
SO. The POINT of all this writing was to convince myself that I have done something besides just hang with the LT all weekend, and indeed I have.
So the question becomes: what is it in women’s minds that picks out the only things we have NOT done—in this case, the annual shopping trip with my mother and aunt at the Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale, which you may notice is NOT on the list above—and beats ourselves up about that?
Why do I feel like I am letting down “the side” by hanging with my own boyfriend, someone who I generally like and care about and with whom I have a relationship that I would like to continue, thankyouverymuch, and sure I haven’t done chores but let’s get real, I probably wouldn’t have done those ANYWAY, and the only thing I missed was family related, and frankly when it comes to my friends I’m seeing them fairly regularly, so WHY DO I FEEL THIS HUGE BURDEN OF GUILT?
And I think the answer is: I don’t.
Posted by Aarwenn at 11:19 AM
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Hello. It is Thursday. I am listening to Kanye West and Common rapping live on The Chapelle Show, back in the good days when it existed. It’s hot outside, and getting hotter by the hour; by the time I arrive tonight, it will be an oven in my apartment. Both fans are on. Like that’ll help my furball any way. Sorry, baby, I can’t defur you until Saturday!
I am working on my research team’s website, mainly trying to organize the wealth of information that my lead engineer sends me, and eating pumpkin seeds—raw, from Trader Joe’s—while attempting to not spill them all over the floor, which has happened, or drop them down my cleavage, which has just happened.
Although it’s sunny and I have a lot to do and I’m listening to hard, cheeky rock (Buckcherry) that is mainly about naked ladies and getting lit up, I can’t help thinking about a gray morning just two mornings ago, in which I made the cardinal sin of saying that I did, yes, have time for coffee with the LT when I didn’t actually have time at all, and we made it all the way out of the coffee shop before I started to bawl on the sidewalk.
Partly because the LT introduced me to Buckcherry, I guess, and songs by Buckcherry—especially about sex—make me think of him, because, well, grrr, baby! Very grrrr!
Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Excuse me. Desperate fanning is needed.
Whew. As I was SAYING, he was comforting me on the sidewalk, he in his full uniform, including hat and shined shoes, and me dressed up for work in a black pleated skirt, white tank top, pink sweater with ¾ length sleeves and pink pearl buttons, and pink slingback heels. We must have looked like something out of a 1940s postcard. In the middle of my tears, I laughed, and he agreed, thinking of Capitol Hill’s reputation.
“You know, we’d fit in more if we traded outfits,” he said, and we laughed some more and split ways and I got over my tears.
Getting to the B, I mentioned this story to The Intern, and then it came to me in a bolt of lightning, the Best Idea of All Time:
LAZY B CROSSDRESSING DAY.
EAT YOUR HEART OUT, FRANCE!
Posted by Aarwenn at 3:24 PM
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Just last night, the LT was over, and we were on our way to a birthday dinner, and I had just gotten a box from Vicky’s in the mail, containing two pairs of cute shoes. (No need to get excited, men—just shoes this time.) I did what any female in that situation would do: I put on the left shoe from one pair and the right shoe from the other pair, and modeled both at once. If the LT had been my father, he would have said, “Well, not that pair, honey,” and thought it a good joke, but fortunately he is not. (To Freud: Phooey on you.)
Instead he said, “I like the right one better.”
I gaped at him, open-mouthed. Why would he say that? Did he think I would actually RETURN one of the pairs? Did he think I hadn't bought both pairs, intending to keep them, and certainly had no plans to abandon the less-wanted pair in its time of need? Did he think I was that heartless?
And then I remembered. Men live in a world in which one pair of new shoes is enough.
Posted by Aarwenn at 10:56 AM
About something no one will even NOTICE except me! Yes. I = OCD.
Although the B has so far been extremely liberal regarding my computer usage, the time has come to buckle down, which means I can't just hang out on blogger, composing and editing posts at my leisure, the way I used to.
So I will now compose them in Word and cut-and-paste them to Blogger.
So the apostrophes and the commas will look different. Which will bug me, and I'll want to go through and change them all, but I won't have time, which is a good thing for both my career AND my little problem.
Yes. It will bug me. I = OCD.
Posted by Aarwenn at 10:23 AM
Monday, July 17, 2006
I can be slightly territorial, I suppose. And perhaps it's not a good idea to cross me before my first cup of coffee.
I'm just saying, is all.
Posted by Aarwenn at 9:35 AM
Eating out VEGAN for the first time last night was actually not impossible. (Love you, Seattle!) The LT and I went to the Six Arms, a local pub, and got beers and small-ish meals. Our order conversation could have been taken directly from "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus":
Me: "I'll have the black bean burrito, no sour cream, no cheese."
LT: "I'll have a cheeseburger and fries."
Posted by Aarwenn at 9:22 AM
Friday, July 14, 2006
The LT (in which LT = Lieutenant in the US Navy, in case you were curious) is tough.
Very tough. The boy served on a SUBMARINE in IRAQ, for Chrissakes. With a Commanding Officer who used to throw things at him. He's tougher than beef jerky that's been left outside in Phoenix for a year and then run over by a fleet of semis. He's that tough.
For example, the evening of the day of his LASIK surgery, his contact fell out for the first time. (Yes, you read that right, it fell out for THE FIRST TIME OF MANY TIMES that weekend.) It is maybe five hours after his surgery. His corneas were just scrubbed off with a rotating brush. He no longer HAS corneas, which is why he has contact lenses--they're there to replace the corneas until they grow back. Now one contact lens has fallen out. When this happens, you're supposed to go right into the hospital, because having your entire eyeball exposed to air is incredibly drying and painful, plus your cornea won't heal as fast because your entire eyeball is focused (ha!) on trying not to convulse and can't put all its energy towards healing, instead.
The problem is, it was 9 at night, and we had been drinking. Heavily. (With him on percocet, whoops!) Neither of could possibly drive anywhere. We had to get the contact back in. We had been drinking, maybe I mentioned that, and we had been cooking. WITH CHILI POWDER. And now I have to put MY FINGERS IN HIS EYE. "I'm all right, sweetie," he kept saying, as I stuck my drunk, clumsy, chili-covered fingers in his eye with the contact, needing four tries to get it in, but he was in so much pain that his face was actually twitching with effort. Sweat beaded on his forehead. "I'm fine, sweetie. I'm fine." I began to cry. It didn't help.
Right, the crying part? That was ME. The one NOT WITH CHILI IN THEIR NON-CORNEA'ED EYE. Me? Not so tough. In fact, I'm a little bit of a wuss. About many things. Which include, but are not limited to: getting up early, going to bed, washing my face, vacuuming, doing laundry, brushing my dog, brushing my TEETH, flossing, etc, you get the picture. Maybe "wuss" isn't quite so accurate a term as possibly "lazy slack-ass". Given the option to either a) do a task I find distasteful that will take two minutes, or b) complain for half an hour, I'll choose option (b) every time.
Maybe I should have gone into the military. (My parents are convulsing in laughter right now. Thanks, guys.) (I am maybe not so respectful of authority.)
Perhaps this is why, several years after college, I still have a big problem with, say, getting up in the morning, and the LT just gets up, no snooze button needed. All calm, taking a shower at 4:30 in the morning after we've been asleep for maybe five hours, while I am not just asleep, but FIGHTING TO STAY THAT WAY, GODDAMMIT, AND IT HAD BETTER BE GODDAMNED FUCKING IMPORTANT if you want me to wake up. (I curse more in the first hour of my day than in all the rest of the hours of the day put together.)
This morning I finally struggled out of bed at 5:15 and made coffee for him as he was putting on The Uniform, and I looked over at my shaved, calm, fully-dressed boyfriend--complete with hat and shined shoes. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw: humongous bedhead, skin like a jar of spaghetti sauce had exploded on it--I HATE WASHING MY FACE--and that bed stank you get when you've slept on unclean sheets and drooled on yourself and it's dried funny.
You know what I'm talking about.
I was almost afraid to hug him goodbye--what if I polluted his uniform?
Posted by Aarwenn at 8:46 AM
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I may have misled my blogging audience in a previous post.
When I use the word "bloom", I mean, "my features somehow stopped looking like a cackling witch in training--and I don't mean the kind of hot voodoo witch in Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (go see it!)--I mean the kind of baby witch that was ditch-delivered by a drab and abandoned at birth, and grew up hunchbacked."
Really, that is what I looked like. Until about...16, maybe. Maybe a little earlier.
It wasn't that I became the beauty I am today directly at sixteen (HA!), it was that my features no longer scared children on the street. I looked normal. Until about junior year in college, when a very special lady (Hi there, Redhead!) taught me to apply makeup, and my world has never been the same.
THE POINT is that I was using the word "bloom" to describe "grew into my nose", not "fill out".
Because if we want to have an "I filled out earliest!" contest, I'll take people down! Because you know how when little girls grow up, they want to either ride horse or be a ballerina?
If you develop breasts at fourth grade, there is NO WAY you can be a ballerina. I rode horses instead. Which gave me excellent practice for my current stallion. (Ba-dum!)
Come on, you KNEW that joke was coming!
Posted by Aarwenn at 3:57 PM
The best thing about summer at the office: the INTERNS! (Hi, Intern!)
The worst thing about summer at the office: Being. At the Office. And apparently everyone else thinks so, too, because BOY ARE WE ALL GRUMPY.
The Intern and I have started an occasional series of sightings: "When Old Men Attack!"
And also this: The Intern and I were chatting this morning about Nickelback and Buckcherry--more on this later--and a stranger stopped by our shared four-top cubicle. I was in the middle of a sentence and he talked right over me. "ANYONE KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PRINTER?
The Intern and I at first were shocked into silence, as out-and-out rudeness can do that to a person. Finally I said, "I believe the secretary is on the phone."
He stared at me silently.
The Intern and I exchanged glances, and finally I said, "But let me see what I can do."
I walked to the printer to see him punching the same "Print" button over and over again, obviously believing that if he hit it hard enough, he could bully the machine into working. "See?" he kept saying. "See?" Stab. "See?" Stab. "See? Nothing." Stab, stab, stab. I suddenly feared for his wife at home--does sex equal this guy poking at her clit with one finger, and occasionally saying, "Are you done?"
"Let me try, sir," I said, my restaurant skills coming back to me.
I opened the lid and almost laughed out loud. Now, admittedly, our printer is screwed up, but that's not its fault. The Cro-Magnon had put the sheet he wanted to copy on the WRONG SIDE OF THE PRINTER VIEWER. Yes. He had disregarded the big green arrow that says, in printer language, "Place paper here."
I slid his paper over. "You have to put it by the arrow," I said kindly. I closed the lid and pushed the Print button. It printed. Cro-Magnon stood, open mouthed. "Happy to help, sir," I said, and went back to my cubicle.
I give Intern and I a lot of credit for restraining our laughter to occasional snorts while Cro-Magnon finished his print job. (Incredibly difficult.) We didn't actually bust up laughing until AFTER he walked away.
Posted by Aarwenn at 3:34 PM
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
More than you ever wanted to know about me: I get my best ideas generally while grooming, cooking, or walking with Titan. And all this time I thought: Well, obviously it's because I have something to do with my hands, and that frees my brain up to think. Makes sense, right? Yeah, right! It's bullshit! My brain doesn't need to be freed to think!
(Um, I'm not really sure what I just wrote, but you get the idea, right? I'll spell it out for you: IT'S NOT ABOUT THE HANDS.)
No-Segue-at-All-Newsflash: I'm an only child.
The only child of Older Parents. (I mean, not OLD, but ol-DER than maybe...uh...whoops. There goes my inheritance. Hi, Mom and Dad!)
I did not have a lot of what is now called "socialization" when I was growing up. My parents tried their best, bless them. I had music lessons, which I excelled at, and sports, at which I excelled rather less. (Not only was I bad, but I didn't know how bad I was. I thought outfield was where they put all their best players! What?)
It was just my luck that music is a solitary activity, where Sports is definitely...not. If you suck at music, no one knows except your parents, your teacher, and the few other parents unfortunate enough to be at the recital. But if you suck at sports, on the other hand, no one knows except the twenty-three other girls on your team, their siblings, their parents, grandparents, your parents, the checker at the corner store, etc.
And I, as I already stated, sucked at sports. I wasn't in bad shape, but I wasn't built for fast running even then, and my hand-eye coordination was even worse. So in my only group activities, I wasn't exactly an asset to "the group"--even when I wasn't hitting my coaches' hands with the bat (true story!)--and therefore I didn't have a lot of what are now called "friends". (Let me just say that I taught myself to read at three.) And I took with me into adulthood the insecurity that no one really liked me and was just smiling at me because their parents made them--and I'm probably not alone in this, but it seems to be compounded in my case by a lot of alone time as a child. A LOT of a alone time. (See Music Lessons, above, and Not Good at Sports, also above, also, see, Speed Reader at Age Three.)
Yes. I was a late bloomer. (May the LT never find pictures of me before, oh, 17.)
(This is all relevant, I promise.)
The POINT is that I eventually, well, Bloomed. In a Big Way. So in spite of--or maybe because of--the fact that my personality is little more than an open, raw, gaping need for attention, I have been able to surround myself with people, clearly hoping in some small way to erase the "scars" from childhood. Community theater, high school theater, youth symphony, sorority in college, various committees, bring it on! I'm not the natural volunteer that my mother is, and I don't like authority, but dammit if I'm not a joiner of clubs in spite of all that! There was even a period in my life where I would take roommates off the internet--anyone, really--(hi, all of you! I swear you were special!) instead of living alone, because I COULD NOT STAND TO BE ALONE FOR EVEN ONE SECOND, OH MY GOD I MIGHT WITHER AWAY AND DIE, I NEED AN AUDIENCE 24-7.
Since this time period, though, I've grown up a little. (Okay, it was just a few months ago, but you know how these things go--once you make a decision to grow, it happens overnight.) After all, I live alone now. Lots of time with just me and my thoughts. And it's worked. It's worked well. (My neighbors think I'm a little weird, as I talk to myself while grooming, cooking, and walking around the neighborhood, but whatever.)
And maybe it's because of this that I've finally discovered the value of alone time.
For example: if, thanks to being on vacation with the LT and his buddies and a general honeymoon atmosphere in which we are always together, often without clothes...if, thanks to all that, I don't get any alone time, life feels different. It feels weird. It's a little hard to think. And harder still to talk properly, and even harder to type--I had to double and triple check this post for homynyms.
I mentioned this to him just a few days ago, as I noticed that I hadn't spent any recent time mentally composing blog posts--i.e., I'd actually had things to do in REAL LIFE--and he said with concern, "Should I leave you alone?"
Which was a pertinent question at the time, as we were actually both in his bathroom, him leaning on the counter, watching me mug for him in the mirror as I went through my out-of-shower routine.
"Not at all," is what I believe I said, and I meant it 110%. I'm infatuated, after all, and if giving away brain cells is what it takes to hang out with him, then here I am, world, stick a needle in my brain and start sucking!
Is it true that women bloggers are less funny after we get in relationships, and if so, is this why? And if I'm okay with this, am I letting down "the Side"? Discuss.
Posted by Aarwenn at 12:33 PM
Writing a novel is easy: you get to make stuff up. I write made-up dialogue well. No one yells at me if how I quote them sounds entirely different from what they actually said.
Writing down things that were actually SAID is DAMN HARD. The LT is funny and well-spoken. If he sounds otherwise on this blog, that's transcriptionist error.
Also I'm writing a really long post on being alone and I've spent five days on vacation. Expect a lot of "catch-up" type posts. WOO!
Posted by Aarwenn at 11:13 AM
The LT read my last post as we were relaxing at his house on our respective sofas, with our respective laptops.
"This is unfair," he reported. "Your audience is going to think I'm some kind of typical jock frat-boy, and I'm not. You forget to report that we cooked a four course meal, enjoyed fine wines, and hung out at a gay/straight club for several hours."
Well. And that's technically true.
But it wouldn't be FUNNY.
Posted by Aarwenn at 10:19 AM
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Every girl has said, at one point in her life, "Oh, I'm just one of the guys."
Especially if you, say, have an engineering degree. Especially if you maybe have two of them. ESPECIALLY if your graduating class was eight women...and FIFTY-FIVE MEN. You might really especially say this if you, say, like cars, and own a big dog, and spent your entire career in math and science classes.
Especially if you, say, work at a place that has stats of TWENTY-FIVE TO ONE, men to women, and so all the people you work with, hang out with, all your friends from work, EVERYONE you know, is a man.
Especially if maybe your boyfriend is in the military, and all his friends are...you guessed it...men.
ESPECIALLY if you, say, don't shower regularly, don't generally cook, and don't even own measuring cups or a cookie sheet.
You might be allowed to say that you were "one of the guys".
But when you're hanging out with three guys, and you realize that in just two hours, you've seen at least 8 "adjustments", with absolutely no shame...
...you know you're really one of the guys.
Posted by Aarwenn at 10:34 PM
Friday, July 07, 2006
So, if you're dating a new boy, and you spend all your time with him (physically or mentally, when you obsess, and by "you" I mean "me"), and you know he reads the blog occasionally (hi, baby!) so you don't want to write about him, but you really have nothing else to write about because you haven't done anything except hang with him in WEEKS, what should you do?
1. Write it out in the longest run-on sentence ever. (above.)
2. Stop blogging. (yeah right.)
3. Force out posts that don't involve your boyfriend. (See all recent posts.)
4. Write about your boyfriend. In your blog. (HELLO!)
So, doors number 2, 3, and 4.
And if you've read this blog before, you know what I chose to do, because we all know I don't learn from history.
"Can I blog about you?" I asked, choosing my time carefully. (Read: I was naked.)
"Sure," he said, after a pause. "You don't have to ask me, you know."
"You definitely can, but I want to make a rule."
"If you have a problem with me, I want you to talk about it with me first."
"I can do that," I said.
Posted by Aarwenn at 1:58 PM
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
I was in Bremerton and Tacoma almost all weekend, so if you want to know what I did, you can just read T-Town's Blog instead.
I'm not as broke as I was.
Going vegan, slowly but surely. Have been reading a lot of blogs.
My friend Geeb and I created a new drinking game with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Easily the worst idea of all time. I blacked out halfway through--and I NEVER do that!
Get to leave work!
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO EVERYONE!
Posted by Aarwenn at 3:48 PM