Monday, May 18, 2009

Spider's Nest

I sat in a too small chair watching two small girls vie for social dictator of the small group. I mindlessly picked at my split ends while casually eavesdropping and mentally remembering my own group of friends and the social positions we held. I’m still not sure how I fit in, but even then I picked at my split ends only half listening to what my friends said. Possibly a nod to my warp-speed maturity, more likely the beginning of my diluted form of trichotillomania.

Then something caught my attention. Diva One tossed her hair and in a sassy and matriarchal voice too old for her cherub cheeks asked if the table would like to hear a story her mom had told her, a true story that really did happen. Among the ohhs and ahhs heads bobbed up and down and the circle tightened. I cocked my head in wonder.

The story unfolded like this: There was a young girl and she never brushed her hair. And her mom took her to a hair lady who cuts hair. The haircut lady said that a spider lived in the girl's hair and then it bit her head.

At this point my mind was reeling thinking back to my slumber party days and the urban tale of a zit that was actually a spider's egg. An unfortunate teenage drama when that sucker hatched. But now the story's changed or someone my age has twisted the story to her advantage. Scare tactics work in raising children. Diva One did wear her hair in a glossy updo that day. I chuckled and went about my eavesdropping but switched to listening to the boys playing with trains. Not much more than a chuga-chuga over there.

A short while later I rapidly crossed the parking lot eager to leave the germy miscreants for the sanctity of my car, when an unsuspecting creature in flight tried to soar through my dreadful black locks. Years ago I carefully brushed 100 strokes through three sections of my waist-length hair. Now I give an obligatory sweep a couple times a week. My how the vain have fallen.

A fall that concludes with the bug fighting my tresses and victoriously freeing itself while I maneuvered around cars in the parking lot. Maybe you've seen Tommy Boy. Maybe you remember the bees. Maybe I lived it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Full of Hot Air

I've decided to chronicle all my past life experiences here on my blog. Most of them will be dating horror stories of the slasher variety and usually it's off with my date's head. No, I wouldn't do that to you, especially because you're only here for the pictures and I'm not about to publish a bloody mess. But I did remember a fun date with my brother Philip. So maybe it is a horror dating story.

Right before Phil moved to Seattle he convinced me to wake up at the crack of darkness to drive to Park City for a hot air balloon ride. We started by the high school, or something near there and floated a few miles towards I-80. In our wicker basket with a few other chipper morning goers, we oohhed and aahhhed. Never has land looked more plotted we exclaimed. It's amazing how incredibly high you get with no parachute we mused. Some fool really wanted to travel around the world like this we scorned.

The pilot pumped more heat into the nylon bowl. We drifted this way and that and down below a white van zigged and zagged like an ant following our wind blown trail. That was our ride back to civility, but we were headed for the nether regions and expecting a bit of a hike. We did not expect the rough landing. The wild land teased us with flat landing pads but threw a small ditch our way as we touched down.

Phil threw his arm around me and told me to hang on as our side of the basket rushed to parallel the ground. I'd braced well enough, or Phil kept me safe but the lady next to me could have used some help. She tumbled head first over the edge. Just as I thought her head would soften the fall the balloon jerked upward and the basket leveled out. The woman fell back into the basket. I bit my lip to keep from laughing and Phil shot me a warning look. I'm not sure if he was warning me to save the laughter until we'd safely landed or if he just hoped that for once I'd be nice.

As we piled out of the basket after a safe completion Phil and I had one more surprise. The balloon company presented us with champagne and a flight completion certificate to Breanna and Philip Hall—the young married couple. I think they expected a kiss, Phil pushed me away loudly refuting our marital status and clarifying our blood relation.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My One Flaw

Kellie wanted a lemon meringue pie. She enlisted me as the baker. It’s a simple pie from my youth that I’ve made hundreds of times but always under the watchful eye of my grandmother. Left on my own things unraveled.

Actually the pie turned out beautifully, just a few days late. I kept putting it off telling Kellie we didn’t have the ingredients and I needed to double check with the Lamar cooks for any tweaks to my memory. When I finally gave the green light I completely forgot the cooling period. I baked the pie late at night. When I pulled it from the oven an hour before bedtime I had to tell Kellie and her guests that my failure to plan would result in a viewing pleasure only. No pie until tomorrow.
I think there were a few looks of dismay and in my defense I shouted, “Yes I know, I can’t plan ahead. It’s my one flaw.” (Lying is my other.)

Blessed with the gift of foresight I might be ending my graduate school instead of hoping to meet the summer enrollment deadline. I might be reminiscing with Phil, Annie and Heather about my long weekends on the coast with them. I might be wearing clean clothes. I might be calling to tell my mother I love her and asking her if she liked her Mother’s Day present…or even just a card.

As it is I’ve yet to make it to Seattle in the two + years Phil’s been living there. Heather’s baby has no idea he’s a crazy Auntie Breezy. I am wearing clean clothes but not necessarily the clothes I wanted to wear, and I make no promises for tomorrow. And my mother’s only present is that her daughter is out of denial of the flaw that holds her back from conquering the world and making a decent dinner.

I should make a to do list, but it’s a holiday and in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

FOR RENT: Panties Included

One week ago I walked into my apartment, checked for any mail that might cause a smile and instead saw the lease with highlighted lines for my signature. My immediate response was to groan and cry in frustration that I DID NOT want to sign that paper.

Call it commitment issues but the thought of being bound to Damsel Drive for another year gave me anxiety. It felt like ants crawling under my skin, my stomach flipped, my eyes widened then narrowed and in my head all my thoughts streamed together in sudden clarity saying Get Out.

A day later I typed up a little ad for Craigslist pimping out my room. It failed. The next day I tried again minus the pimping and just tried to find someone to move in. I got two responses. At this point I realized that I might be living in Salt Lake City for the rest of my life.

I set up an appointment to have a girl come look at my apartment. It’s a bit old and not always appealing so I planned on doing a quick walk through to spruce it up before the showing. And by that I mean I prepared to pick my clothes up. Since I’d only stayed the night there once I believed my room to be relatively clean. The prospective roommate would arrive at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

Unfortunately a last minute doctor’s appointment got scheduled for 4:00 p.m. In my ill state of mind I pushed the prospect back a half hour. Na├»ve, stupid, ridiculous.

I opened the door an hour late to meet said girl. She hadn’t called me so I assumed someone had been home and walked her through our apartment. I felt awful and flakey but couldn’t change what had happened. Then I walked into my room. The first sight to offend my eyes was a pair of purple panties with hot pink trim lying on the floor.

That one night I’d been home I’d stripped like a pro and thrown my clothes around my room. I let out a long sigh, found a pen and signed the lease.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Friendships' Unlimited Nights and Weekends

In kindergarten I let my friends pick me. At that point in life I was faster than most my peers and found extreme pleasure in running away from them, but my mom told me that to make friends I needed to ask a nice looking girl to if she wanted to play. I did and Liz and I became great friends until the third grade when she became boy crazy and I still found extreme pleasure in running away. Fast forward 15 years and I've discovered my new method of choosing friends—wireless provider.

What does this mean? My best friends are part of my IN Calling Network. My acquaintances make their apologies for poor planning. And the hot guy from the party who could have been the father of my children was networkly undesirable. Sorry mom I tried. But in the current financial scare (plus the last six years of my fiscal uncertainty) I'm keeping expenses down. Cell minutes included. And my shining personality fades in one-line txt conversations. It becomes a get-to-know-you blunder, sometimes even a shoot-your-best-friend-in-the-head catastrophe.

There are benefits of Verizon choosing my closest friends for me. I feel guiltless calling Stacey in Vegas multiple times a day and chatting to her while states apart we both wander through aisles at the grocery store dissecting our food cravings. I even sit in a comfortable I-miss-you-silence with some of my favorite conversationalists. The technological way to sit side-by-side while reading alone.

The downers come hard and heavy. Besides passing on Mr. Perfect, whoever he was, I've let a relationship with my sister dwindle to birthday calls. She declined on the family agreement to stay on one network and moved into a different time zone. Double negative. The friendship we once shared, I her part-time nanny and she my life planner, gone; a shimmer of a memory of a better time.

I think I was supposed to stop running away from my friends (sister). I should pick up the phone, she's only ten digits away. Maybe tomorrow after nine, or if I'm not busy this weekend...