Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm Happiest When

  • my hair is curly
  • my freckles are showing
  • I am wearing big sunglasses
  • I have balloons
  • I am eating pasta
  • a prayer has just been answered
  • my nails are painted red
  • carrying a big purse
  • I am with Jake
  • there are daisies on my kitchen table
  • I buy new stationery
  • watching a sunset
  • I am eating McDonald's french fries with lots of salt and ketchup
  • I have just gotten a bargain
  • I am holding a baby
  • it is snowing
  • I have just written a song
  • I fit into my clothes
  • my apartment is clean
  • I teach a lesson and my church kids get it
  • it is raining
  • I have just finished a yoga class
  • God speaks to me very clearly
  • wearing big jewelry
  • I am on stage with a microphone and my guitar
  • I am wearing my thrift store Lacoste jeans
  • I am eating at Urban Taco
  • people relate and respond to my blog (publicly or privately, and this is not me begging for responses... ha ha)
  • listening to Patty Griffin, Andy Gullahorn, or Nickel Creek
  • I have finished a good book
  • I am with my girlfriends
  • eating Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream ice cream
  • my wedding ring is clean and sparkling
  • lying on the beach
  • I have a whole day to do nothing
  • I am laughing with my husband
  • eating Papa Murphy's Herb Chicken Mediterranean Pizza
  • there is no line at the post office
  • I find money in old purses
  • I don't have to pump my own gas
  • I get birthday money
  • flying to somewhere fun
  • I have a Starbucks tall non-fat cafe mocha with caramel (syrup and drizzle, thank you)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fatty No More


You know the feeling that you have when you have gained weight?  The one that should be to run right out and hit the gym and then fill a grocery cart with fresh vegetables and tofu but instead tells you to go buy a box of assorted Dunkin' Donuts and take three bites out of each one until you want to throw up.  Oh, and then take a nap.  And wake up later to have some stuffed crust pizza and Oreos.  Yeah, I have that feeling today.  Occasionally, I take a day off from Weight Watchering.  (I know it should be weight watching, but watchering is more fun)  I will have a small bag of peanut butter M&M's and I splurge on pizza, but I am almost always back on the wagon the next day.  We all deserve a day of indulgence every now and then.  The Weight Watchers program even allows for it.  Well, for the last 6 weeks, I have stayed off the weight watchers wagon and I think its knotty wooden wheels have run over me.

Before the wedding, I blamed wedding planning.  I was too busy planning a wedding to plan a menu.  And so I didn't.  I ate out.  I had fun, but I also gained weight.  Not too much, but enough to feel uncomfortable.  Enough for my jeans to feel snug, which I hate.  And I knew the wedding was coming so I mustered up a tiny bit of restraint so that I would fit into the dress.  And I did.  Congratulations to me.

Then it was honeymoon time.  All inclusive resorts mean a couple of things.  Unlimited amounts of alcohol (which wasn't helpful for me at all since I don't drink) and unlimited amounts of mediocre food.  What I lacked in alcohol consumption, I made up in mediocre food consumption.  In my defense, I tasted almost everything on the buffet because I was trying to find something that tasted really, actually good.  Mostly, I just failed.  And the large amounts of food weren't worth it.  They rarely are.  And because I wore mostly bathing suits and loose fitting clothing, I didn't even notice the extra 10,500 calories I consumed or the resulting three pound gain.

Now I am home.  And I am fatter.  Not fat.  Just fatter.  I have to do fat girl squats to stretch out my jeans before I can wear them out of the house.  Today I am wearing a loose fitting sundress so that I don't have to suck anything in.  But my days of eating whatever I want are over.  This is my solemn vow, and because I am putting it on the interweb for the world to see, it is my public commitment.  I will be counting pointsplus like nobody's business.  I will drink water until I float away.  I will work out at the gym, even though I would rather nap.  I will be eating endless amounts of grilled chicken and will be giving up pasta for a little while.  So please, if you see me at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru or parked outside Pizza Hut, be a friend.  Stop me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Taking Care of Business

Kids are definitely the boss of you. Anyone who will barge into the room while you are on the commode is the boss of you.- Tina Fey, Bossypants
As I type, I am sitting in the emergency exit row of an airplane, enjoying the tiniest bit of extra leg room and wishing that the wing were outside someone else’s seat.  Everything comes with a price tag, I guess.  My knees won’t hurt, but I also have a lovely view of the wing.  This flight is taking me home to Dallas, where my burglarized car is waiting to take me back to my apartment and to my new life as a married woman.  This week in Mexico has been so relaxing, as all good vacations should be.  I have laughed so much, and this has confirmed to me that I made a good decision in choosing my spouse.  (Not that I needed this confirmation)  This week has also raised a lot of interesting topics of conversation and presented situations that I suppose most newly married couples face.  Important things like deciding whether or not our home will have an open bathroom door peeing policy and whether it’s funny to pass gas and force another to endure it.  The words Dutch oven come to mind.  But really, these are small dilemmas that must be talked through.  Personal or not, using the bathroom is something we all do, and so I am feeling free to talk about it right now.  I have to admit, I am more of a close bathroom door kind of a girl.  In my opinion, romance in marriage will fade enough on its own without my encouraging it by carrying on conversations about picking up dry cleaning and dinner plans while I sit on the toilet.  It just seems wrong.  Plus, I have a teeny tiny bathroom, and well, it might just be plain crowded with two of us in there.
Some memories I have from childhood are pieced together from listening to the retelling of them by my parents, combined with small bits of my own memories of them so they play out smoothly and with all the details.  I believe this is one of them.  The picture is a seven year old me, standing in my bedroom in a thin white full slip, the kind that no one wears anymore, especially seven year olds.  My mother has ironed my church dress and is calling me from the other room to come get it from her, and I remain frozen.  My brother Craig is in the house, and I do not want him, a boy, to see me in my underclothes.  My  mother keeps calling my name, and I am on the verge of tears because I know she is getting upset with me for not coming and I know that I don’t want to leave my room.  My memory kind of ends here.  I don’t remember how I got my dress, but I must have because I never went to church naked.  But this story is to tell you that this is how I was, even from childhood.  I am private in many ways, and this is one of them.  And so here lies not just my justification (not that I needed it), but also my explanation for why I will remain a private restroom kind of girl.  Some things were just meant to be done without an audience.
Next conversation.  I once read about Ethel Merman’s marriage to Ernest Borgnine.  I don’t remember the exact details, but basically, on their wedding night, he passed gas* under the blankets and held her head down.  In my mind, I remember the story going that she was so disgusted that she filed for an annulment the following day.  It’s possible that the real story didn’t go like that, but my brain changed the ending because it’s exactly what I would have done.  I don’t know what brought up this conversation during our week in Mexico because my new husband did nothing to inspire it (just feeling the need to defend his honor here), but we ended up talking about it.  I assured him that though I would not file for an annulment in this kind of situation, I would never think it was funny, only disrespectful.  And then he called me old fashioned and said that most people think that kind of thing was funny nowadays.  And it’s possible that he is right.  A girlfriend told me once that her husband did something similar in a car and would not let her out.  She laughed and said it was hilarious.  Not me.  No way.  I told her that I was horrified by this and she said “You’ll change”.  I assured her that I would not.  I also assured my husband that I would not.  I would rather be old fashioned than be a modern woman who is locked in a smelly car.  

You all are free to be different.  By golly, you are welcome to sit and read magazines on the toilet while your spouse shaves or showers.  You can feel free to argue, plan vacations, talk about baby names, all while taking care of business.  But just know that I am out.  I can't and won't do it.  Bathroom time is me time, and me time is to be respected.  Always.  Even when kids come along (and for you doubters, I was a mommy for three whole years and I made this policy work).  
So we will be home soon.  I think we have worked out the kinks in our expectations regarding these things.  I am sure there will be more things to work out.  More ways that I am old fashioned and he is not.  And while we all know that everyone goes to the bathroom, in the Turner house there will never be eye witnesses to it.
*my mother would kill me for using anything more blunt than this, especially in a blog

Monday, May 2, 2011

Saying Goodbye

It seems I have spent my whole life saying goodbye.  Letting go.  Moving on.  It started when I was 8, the day we left our little parsonage in Humble, Texas, to travel around the US, raising support to go to New Zealand as missionaries.  I climbed into a blue suburban with my parents and siblings, not having any idea how my life would be changing.  Since then, I have become an expert at goodbye.  Goodbye to family.  Friends.  Places.  Stuff.  Lots and lots of goodbyes.

I had a rock collection as a kid, and I remember right before our big move, we were told to choose a few toys to take with us.  For me, this meant I had to choose between Cabbage Patch dolls and my rock collection.  I recall holding the little red box of rocks in my hands and looking over them carefully.  These rocks represented memories of places and experiences and the people that had bought them for me.  But the dolls, well, they were Cabbage Patch Kids and this was the 80's.  After a serious internal struggle, I chose the babies, and so began my life of leaving things behind.

I did it each time I left another house, another school, another new set of newly acquired friends.  As an teenager, I did it when I moved to Springfield, Missouri to start my four years of college.  And then when I left there to move to New Zealand.  And a year later, more goodbyes as I packed my bags to board a plane and head back home.  Moves to new apartments, new houses, new states, and back to old states.  Each time, there was something beautiful and wonderful and exciting waiting for me at the end of the goodbye, but each goodbye was met with tears.  Each one was heartbreaking and hard before it became beautiful.

I am getting married on Saturday, and honestly, I have been an emotional mess for the last 72 hours.  I have been on the verge of tears, and I have given in to them several times, mostly when no one is looking.  This is my wedding week, and I have been feeling guilty for the sadness I feel.  Don't misunderstand, I am 100% certain that I am doing the right thing.  I am marrying an amazing person, and I don't question my decision.  I am excited about my upcoming marriage, and I am thrilled about all of the events of the week.  But over this past weekend, I had to dig deep.  Literally and figuratively.  I threw out all cards from the ex-husband.  Family pictures.  CD's that I somehow won in the divorce that were never really mine to begin with.  The autographed photograph mat from my first wedding, the one that was signed by the two uninvited wedding guests, the hired banjo player, and a small assortment of close friends and family.  These things I threw out.  And I cried over them.  Not because I think I will want them back once they are gone, but because once again I am saying goodbye.  Not just to the things, but to the time.  And once again, I am 8 years old, looking over my box of rocks.  I am 12, hugging my best friend Janie for the very last time.  I am 17, packing the last of my bedroom to go to college and hugging my five-year-old brother, knowing that he will probably be grown before I know him again.  I am 22, holding hands with 30 Polynesians in a circle, singing "We Will Stand" before I board an airplane for Los Angeles.  I am 30, driving away from the four babies that I raised for three years, praying that their little hearts weren't breaking like mine was.  I am 31, saying goodbye to my nine years in Tennessee, heading back to Texas to live indefinitely.  And I am 34, saying goodbye to a life that was hard but was mine.  To several years of being single and happy and sometimes lonely.  And once I am done saying goodbye and grieving the life that I am leaving behind, I will be moving onto something beautiful and exciting and wonderful.  It will begin this Saturday at a little Japanese Garden in Fort Worth, Texas.  I will be the girl in the white dress, holding a bunch of flowers and posing for pictures.  And I can't wait.        

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