Tuesday, August 24, 2010

She knows the way to Cheetah's heart.

As we grow up we all are on this journey called life and one of our greatest quests is to find that one person or love to come along for the ride. We read books on how to be the best friends, parents, wives, husbands, and boyfriend/girlfriends all to have our selves fully marketable. In one of my reads I found that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, I didn’t have to go very far to find the stats to support this theory. I could just look at my grandparents, parents, and aunts and uncles, in my family the theory had been tested and proven true. I put this valuable piece of information in my arsenal of womanly tools and found it to work for my benefit as well. And so it would seem in the story of Tarzan and Cheetah that the apple does not fall too far from the tree.

According to Cheetah’s teacher’s there are several little girls vying for his attention but he’s hurting feelings because he only has eyes for one. They say that he plays well with everyone but at the end of the day (TV time) he only wants to sit with Celeste.

So on our way home (over several days) I gently pried info from Cheetah on the daily on goings of the Pre-K room. Anna Lisa is constantly ‘cooking’ him meals (none of which he likes) of oatmeal, fruit salad, and beanie weenies; Scout plays outside with him, catching bugs, digging for worms, and chasing each other; Ana plays office with him, as well as library; and Celeste plays house with him, she cooks , cleans clothes, and watches television with him. Obviously Celeste is the clear winner to him. I ask, “Why do you like Celeste over all the other girls?” He took a minute and replied, “I like inside girls like you Momma and Celeste cooks the good food. She makes me chicken, meat sandwiches, tea, and pies…she cooks great pies.”

Two days later I enter his classroom to find the two of them hand-in-hand. She looks at me and states, “Our love is forever. I am marrying him (she points to MY Cheetah)”. I was shocked, so I retorted, “We’ll see.” And that little tart reiterates, “Yes we will.” Apparently I’ve met MY match.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My ode to O.P.I.

As I sit typing away, trying to find time for my polish to dry I realize I have decided to take a stroll down memory lane…”Strawberry Margarita” by OPI is drying on my toes. Instantly I am back to the day I met my son.

We all have our ‘things’; the things we secertly spend money on and the things the memories are built around. For me it’s just one thing, toenail polish. I have always had problems with body image but my feet, well they are beautiful. Once I have them all trimmed, sanded, and polished I feel like the world is mine for the taking…feet flirting is on the menu. Due to my obsession I searched for a polish that lasted a long time and would give me a lot of bang for my buck. It wasn’t long after high school when I found O.P.I. Not only did I fall for the fantastically quirky names but the color would last two weeks before the 1st chip would appear. Each bottle may have cost more than 4 beers at the Sportspage but the smile it brought was worth it.

I went off to college sporting “San Jaun Salsa” but worked summer camp in “Yucatan if U Want”. My 1st summer fling called for something ‘tongue-in-cheek’ so I went for “Virgin Island Velvet”, while my sophomore trips to Ole Miss were outrageous and only “Flagstaff Fries to Go” could stand up to those wild nights. I met my life mate wearing “Rodeo Rose” but I married him while wearing “Elle’s Pearls”. During our lean honeymoon years, two bottles of “Cajun Shrimp” helped me survive my long stint from my family and Cajun country. I bought “Windy City Pretty” as a reminder of our memorable trip to Chicago and soon after I gave birth to our son while donning, “Strawberry Margarita”. In preparation of a new job in a new city I purchased “LA Paz-itively Hot” and got rave reviews all around. The polish was not only there to help me with the confidence needed to go out and find my way in the world but it was there to help me through the rough spots in life, the dark places where you let very few people in. The last few months of my grandmother’s life I snuggled in bed with her as she lamented over my “Melon of Troy” flirtabulous toes, but I chose “Lincoln Park at Midnight” for the day she was laid to rest. Several months later I braved the mall with its crowds and noise to pick up “Nice Color, Eh?”, it was just the ‘kick in the pants’ red I needed. To help kick start a new era I searched for the right color for my 10 year college reunion and found “Jade is the new Black” to be perfect for a weekend of festivities and jaunts through memory land. In awe of being married to my best friend for 7 years I went after the perfect shade of ‘love’. I came home and painted on “Princesses Rule”, he always said I would forever be his Princess. After a lot of begging and eye-rolling by dad, I agreed to “Funky Dunky” as the perfect shade of ‘not girly’ to paint my sweet boy’s piggies.

I will forever be known in my circle of family and friends for my funtabulous fascination with my fancy feet. The giggle I get at repeating the name of my newest OPI addition has often been just what the doctor ordered as well as the compliments on my perfectly pedicured toes the boost that every woman needs. So before I head out to my son’s fist time to meet his Aunt Emu AND his first trip on a plane, I think I’ll let him pick the color of my newest memory.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How would you define 'friend'?

I have always loved being the only child, my Mom and I have this unbelievable relationship and I have always felt fulfilled by it. Being an only child has many perks; you don’t have to share your toys, you never try to measure up to someone else, and you have all of your parent’s attention and resources (just to name a few). There are also some drawbacks to being an only child; you have no one to share your toys with, there is no one to reminisce with about the good ole days, you are the only one to help aging parents, and (for me) you thirst for that closeness that siblings have. I believe it’s the ladder that has lead me to my current predicament. I have been disappointed in my some of my relationships lately and thanks to Tarzan, and many late night talks during our ‘kid-free’ time, I’ve realized that it may be due to my expectations.

Before now I never really noticed that I am an oddity. Out of all my close friends I am the only ‘only’. When I look at my friends with their families I know I don’t fit. I am their friend but I’ll never be in that inner circle with them. They HAVE a sister (or brother); they don’t need a sister/friend. I know I am no longer a minority lots of families (23 - 25% actually per Susan Newman, Ph.D.’s blog) are choosing to have only one child and many like my parents were given no choice. I have had this need for closeness in my life, to put it in Tarzan’s words, “People mean more to you than you do to them”. Though his words may have stung, knocked the wind out of me actually, they were true. It certainly helped to explain my dating life not to mention a lot of my friendships. I crave a sibling relationship. I want people in my life that don’t miss the milestones, not because it means something to me but because they are on this ‘journey’ with me. I do have people like this in my life but I also have some that I am trying to force along the way. Instead of unjustly harboring resentment toward these people I should assign them a ‘proper’ role in my life.

I have struggled with the decision Tarzan and I are making to have just one child, mostly I am sure we are doing the right thing but it’s moments like these where I desire more research. To help stop any future disappointments and to aid me in making an ‘informed decision’, I am on a quest to define ‘a friend’. What does it mean to people with siblings and those without? What are the differences in expectations for men and women? And how is that relationship different from a sibling (beyond the whole blood/relation thing)? Can a solid friendship fill the spot of a sibling?

Friday, August 6, 2010

What I have learned after 25 years of marriage:

Recently my parents celebrated 26 years of marrige. In honor of a love that stands the test of time I wanted to share the story I wrote for them....

The story begins on an ordinary day in April, the year was 1984 and the world was smiling. Below is the story of 25 years of marriage between two people, in my own words. I am not a member of the couple but merely a passenger on their journey through life.

Bob Porter and Anne Wilson met at work and their short courtship (I think 6 weeks actually) began with a “dare”. There lives had a similar start but God had sent them on two very different journeys in preparation for their lives together. Both had been epically wounded in the past and had made it through the clean up and were well on their way to a better place in life. Both had children: him 2 boys and her 1 daughter. This is where my details start to become fuzzy. I was merely 6 years old at the time, so I am not sure what “drew them” to each other but they decided that their lives (as well as their children’s) would benefit greatly with the addition of the other. He proposed with a diamond ring and she said yes. They set a date of June 12th of that same year and decided to have the nuptials at a local state park.

The weeks leading up to the wedding were crazy, he was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot and she broke her arm. Outfits were adjusted and sleeves were let out. His two son's were the two “Best Men”, and her one daughter was the “Maid of Honor” . It was such a gorgeous day, it wasn’t too hot and everyone was elated. Bob wore a white short sleeve button down (as did both Best Men) with Chocolate colored, Western dress pants along with cowboy boots and a shiny belt buckle. Anne wore an Ecru colored dress (as did the Maid of Honor) delicately made by her mother, along with her Ecru colored cast and off white sling back pumps. They were married at the top of a bridge with family and friends silently blessing their union.

The air was full of excitement and I could barely contain myself. God had given me a Daddy. No I couldn’t name him Mike and he couldn’t sing like Kenny Rogers but he loved me and my Mama, and that took the cake.

They followed each other around as their careers took them all over, by the time I graduated from high school I had been to 12 different schools (in 1st grade alone I went to 3 different schools). It always seemed like they were constantly struggling, almost as if it was all a test. The road was lined with roadblock after roadblock, they couldn’t catch a break…but you would have never known it. Sure they may have argued, fought even, but the love was always there. There were trials with family illnesses, family issues, family deaths, and poverty but they always pushed through, together. They both have been very ill in the past and have had several surgeries and have both been there to care of each other; a real test of “For Better or for Worse”. There were times that were spent waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop, it felt like there was no other way out but separately, but it never happened. Lesser couples would have gone their separate ways, eons ago, willingly.

There lives may not have been what fairytales are made of, but it will be the story that I will tell my children and grandchildren. The story of a real marriage: a marriage that defines love, adoration, and companionship. For some it may seem that 25 years is just the beginning, Golden and Diamond Anniversaries are the ones that show longevity but I feel in this world a marriage that stands the test of time needs to be celebrated.

On the eve of my own wedding day my grandmother sat me down and talked with me about marriage and gave me these wise words of advice. “It’s not easy. A marriage needs work; it’s like a garden, you have to tend to it.” And when asked about marriage my Mama can be quoted as saying, ”You have to be willing to love each other for who you were, who you are, and who you will be.” It is obvious when I look back over the past 25 years that my parents lived these words, they are not who they were 25 years ago and aren’t who they will be 25 years from now and they simply couldn’t be happier.

So here’s to you, Bob and Anne Porter. Congratulations on 25 years of marriage. Thank you for showing me that a marriage isn’t just about the love that you have for another person but the commitment and respect that you have for one another and the lives that you have built together.