Never Let Them See The Worst Of Me

Never Let Them See The Worst Of Me

The dress was off white,
a soft cotton fabric with turquoise polka dots.
When I wore it I felt like a doll,
delicate and dainty,
a porcelain twirling teacup.

For the first year it stayed hidden in my closet,
on summer days I would gently touch the hem
try it on in my room
feel uncomfortable and put it away again.

My skin wasn’t clear enough,
not tan enough,
my stomach wasn’t flat enough,
breasts weren’t big enough.

It was a dress for someone prettier than me,
more confident than me,
for a young women,
not a girl who was afraid to shop for new bras
for her new dress
alone.

As I packed for Florida for the second time
the dress lay on the bed,
still on the hanger,
tags attached.

We stared each other down.

I placed the hanger over my head,
the fabric draped over my shoulders.

I watched myself in the mirror,
picked out every flaw,
acne scarred shoulders and
stretch marked arms and
vein speckled legs,
thighs and bottom like
water stained wrinkled paper.

I folded the dress,
tucked it in a space bag,
buried it in my suitcase.

Our new apartment had a walk-in closet.

The dress was shoved to the back,
the way back
where the light didn’t reach.

One day,
a month or so later,
when it was 100 degrees and
the air was full of water,
we came face to face again as I pulled out a hanger,
and a strap was caught and
the dress fell limp onto the carpet.

I placed it on the closet door,
sat on the bed and
stared.

It had not changed at all,
aside from a few wrinkles.

I think I had though.

I’d started to see beyond
scars,
stretch marks,
and rippled skin.

I had someone lifting my chin up.
The sky is beautiful,
did you know?

The dress fit better
than when I first tried it on.

I felt like a princess,
with worn out flip flops,
pigtails and plastic jewelry.

We left the house that day,
my baby doll polka dotted dress and I,
me a little self-conscious,
both of us a little wrinkled.

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A First-Time Homeowner’s Tale

A First-Time Homeowner’s Tale

I’m going to set the scene here. It’s Friday night, I’m dressed in M&M pajama pants, a gigantic bubblegum pink Purity ice cream sweatshirt, and fuzzy bunny slippers, leaning against the dryer in the laundry room next to a huge pile of wet laundry, watching Marc clean out the washing machine filter with paper towels, q-tips, and toothpicks. 

The back panel of the washing machine is resting against the wall, and the water hoses are draped on the ground. 

Water stopped coming into the machine about an hour ago, and no matter how many times we stopped and restarted it, it just continued to spin and buzz and shut off. 

After a call to GeekSquad told us no one could come out until next Friday, Marc as usual took matters into his own hands. So here we are, picking sand and dirt out of the back of the washing machine filter because we live in the middle of nowhere and well water is full of weird shit. 

I used to have a lot of ideas of what buying a house would be like. It usually involved me walking around with the Property Brothers while they told me I couldn’t afford the mansion and I needed to go with the fixer upper. I accepted this. We deserved nothing more than a tiny building with asbestos in the walls. (I don’t know if there is actually asbestos in the walls of our home but in all honesty you just never know and that shit creeps up on you when you least expect it. Like when you’re trying to knock down a wall to get that open concept American dream and BOOM RUN IT CAN KILL YOU!) Next thing you know you’re giving up your heated bathroom floors to decontaminate this thing you just spent a shit ton of money on.

I think the most annoying thing about having a house is that the minute you talk about having to fix something someone is like “that’s what you get for having a house!” Because apparently being a homeowner is fucking miserable and you’re never supposed to be happy because something is always breaking and you have to fix it yourself or spend a ton of money on something. 

Well, news flash, none of the apartments we lived in ever had decent maintenance people so we fixed everything ourselves anyway. And we knew houses cost money when we bought one. I have a carefully crafted savings plan. 

Anyway, Marc fixes most of the broken things. However, since we’ve gotten our house I’ve become quite resourceful. You know what is a godsend to people who own houses? YouTube. There is a video. For. EVERYTHING. The washing machine that came with the house stopped working one day and I looked up a video for how to clean the filter. I opened up the little door and a tiny rockslide fell out. Problem solved. Take that adulthood. 

You know who didn’t know how to adult? The people who owned this house before us. They lived here for ten years and didn’t get the septic tank emptied ONCE. There was LITERALLY shit leaking out of it before we moved in. You’re supposed to get that handled every two years. Instead there was TEN YEARS OF POO.

The dryer was overflowing with lint (a fire nightmare, did their mother never tell them the 100 ways that anything can catch on fire? Cause I sure as hell know them all.) 

The carpets were caked with dog fur and the bathroom looked like someone went crazy with orange hair dye all over the toilet and shower. Rust EVERYWHERE. Because they lived here for ten years and didn’t know what it meant to use a filter. It’s horrendous. We have TWO water filters because well water is disgusting. 

Our house also has a spider dungeon. There is a scary door in the bathroom that leads to a crawl space where all the spider beasts live. And I am in no way exaggerating, they wave at you when they walk into the room and scream when you squish them. I’m also confident there is a troll down there. Marc says there isn’t, but I just know. 

I feel like before you get a house though there should like be a class. Or maybe two or three classes. Like one class for how to buy a house and what the normal process is, a second one for how to fix and handle things when shit starts falling apart, or maybe just a list of the most popular YouTube videos for fixing things, and a third that’s like a marriage counseling session where someone sits down and explains to you that yes, you are basically like Laura Ingalls Wilder filling a pellet stove with wooden pellets to stay warm or die an ice death, but when the pellet stove doesn’t work right away you need to remain calm and not freak out about how terrible your life decisions are and why the hell did you decide to move to a place where you need a wood burning stove to survive. Maybe a forth class for how to say you’re sorry for what you said when you were cold. 

There is a sense of accomplishment though, when you fix something yourself. Tonight, after watching Marc clean all poo looking nastiness out of the washing machine filter for a good 20 minutes, he put everything back together and cleaned everything up. We pushed the machine back up against the wall and turned it on. The moment of truth, Marc said. We stared at it like we’d built it from scratch ourselves. 

The barrel spun and some things clicked and we heard the water start splashing. The sound of success. You know that episode of Boy Meets World, there Cory and Topanga move into that dump apartment and the water is brown, and Cory’s parents refuse to help him fix it, but eventually he does it himself and runs over to their house with clean water and goes crazy about how he fixed it himself. I understand that feeling thoroughly now on a weekly basis. 

When you’re younger, you don’t realize that one of your most satisfying accomplishments won’t be graduating college, it will be getting that super expensive washing machine to work on your own because you can’t afford another and no one can come to fix it soon and you can’t just not wash your clothes. Because life. 

The washing machine now runs through a full cycle without freaking out. Take that adulting, we kicked you’re ass. Or Marc kicked your ass, but I supervised and handed tools to him. So I get half the credit. 

The End

The Last Tutu Skirt

The Last Tutu Skirt

I sold my last tutu skirt last weekend
it was gray and sparkled and poofed
tulle that landed just above my knee.

I used to wear it with a pink butterfly top,
the butterflies fluttered when I walked,
tennis shoes with flowers,
and my Minnie ears as I skipped
down
Main Street, looking in store windows,
the smell of popcorn and cookies and cotton candy streaming out shop doors.

That tutu skirt was princesses,
peppermint sundaes,
Baymax cakepops,
spinning teacups.

I sold my last tutu skirt last weekend,
there were two others,
one was left behind in Florida,
the other sold to a woman back in August.

Her daughter wanted to wear it to Disney World,
I wanted it to go home.
It was green and pink and blue,
rested on my waist and
went to my calf.

It went well with the pink butterfly tank top,
she bought the butterflies too.

I sold my last tutu skirt last weekend.
walked past the dresses 
in the resale store.
Stood in the athletic wear section 
trying to figure out what would be best
for hiking trails and visiting waterfalls. 
A lot of neon,
a lot of black,
no tulle.

I turned in my cheap Payless sneakers
for good walking tennis shoes,
perfect for tracking through mud and
up stone stairs. 

I sold my second to last tutu skirt last weekend.
I have one more tucked away.
Preserved in a box, hiding away in the closet,
one hundred yards of tulle,
all white with a flower sash. 

That skirt is fireflies and
fireworks, promises and
pink and yellow daisies.

I still have one tutu skirt left,
a part of me will always be a princess. 

April is National Poetry Month! Write a poem today! ❤️

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why

I’m up way past my bedtime. You see I started watching this show 13 Reasons Why on Netflix earlier this week and when I got home today I had to finish it. I needed to know why it happened, how it happened, I wanted someone to blame. It scared me and it made me uncomfortable and sad but I needed to watch it. 

Marc actually watched a lot of it with me. Each night after we watched a few episodes we would talk about what happened in the show and how we felt about it. 

I felt so conflicted a lot of the time. I analyzed this fictional character’s life, her actions, the people in her lives actions. At first I was mad at her, because I thought it was mean of her to leave behind these tapes to torture the people who tortured her. Because yes, what they all did was wrong, but does that make what she was doing with these tapes right? To blackmail these kids? Is that right? Do two wrongs make a right?

Then I was mad at her because she was mean to the one person who was nice to her, she picked on him and made fun of him and got mad at him because he was clueless. But I didn’t like him either because I wanted him to just tell someone that he was upset and I didn’t know why he didn’t just communicate with his parents and I talk so much and I’d don’t understand why he couldn’t. 

I was mad at the guidance counselor, I was mad at Hannah not stopping the guy from raping her friend, I was mad at Tony for hiding everything from Hannah’s parents, I was mad at Clay’s parents for continuing to jus let him run around the city even though he was clearly going through things. He’d get in trouble for something and then they’d just let him leave on his bike again. He was SUSPENDED, and he had no restrictions from his parents. 

The last couple episodes scared me, because things that I see on shows that actually happen in real life that are horrifying scare me. And when Netflix puts up disclaimers in front of episodes you know it’s a big deal. I’ve never seen anything like that before.

And when the show ended and I felt like things weren’t resolved and this was such a real situation but I didn’t feel how I thought I should be feeling, there was this half hour after the show, where professionals talked about the different parts of the show where I felt conflicted. They said it was okay to feel that way about this character, because she wasn’t perfect either, and there were things she could have done, and the guidance counselor could have done, and they discussed how kids today had such a hard time communicating. 

I consider myself lucky in that I am the most comfortable talking about my issues. When I lived at home my mom would come down to my room and stand in the doorway and we’d talk about our days and some days we would stand in the kitchen eating chocolate chips out of the bag and I would always feel so much better after talking about anything and everything and analyzing every part of my day. 

But then I also remember my mom picking me up at prom and sitting in the car in the parking lot and not knowing at all how to describe what I was feeling and why, and I cried because it was just this overwhelming feeling of being uncomfortable and surrounded by people but still feeling alone. It’s terrifying.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a teenager now, with everything online. That was all sort of starting up when I first moved to Florida. Social media at least. Even now social media for me is overwhelming. It didn’t used to be until I started to let it run my life.

It’s so hard to keep up a fake happy appearance all the time. To compete with everyone else’s highlight reels. It’s exhausting to put on that show constantly. I gave up social media for Lent, I did the same last year, and it’s been so nice not feeling like I have to compete with anything or anyone, or to paint this picture of our lives being totally perfect. Because that’s not how life is. 

I don’t have to post funny statuses all the time, I don’t feel obligated to do things on days when I’d rather just hang out at home. I do things because I want to do them, and not because I feel like I need to post them online for everyone to see. I’m barely on my phone anymore. I never have to charge it during the day. I read more, I write more, I talk to my family more. 

I know, you’re probably like “well you don’t HAVE to post things.” I know, but it’s my personality that makes me addicted, to knowing what people are doing, to wanting to know what they think of me. How many likes did I get, how my notifications do I have? How many followers or friends? 

I don’t want to be lost behind my phone anymore. I eat breakfast with the curtains open and I watch the sun rise. I feel like I’m allowed to have bad days, on social media you can’t have bad days. I want to be cut off from everyone so I can stop living in my past life and in everyone else’s lives and try to work on my present life and what I want out of my life here in Ithaca. 

I’ve been struggling with what I’m going to do once Lent ends. Sometimes I miss my Instagram and Snapchat. I will probably download them again. I don’t ever miss my Facebook. That I probably won’t bring back. I’m going to try and limit my time on them, because I like who I am without my social media. I like not feeling like I have to put on a show, it’s tough to be “on” all the time. 

Anyway, I got way off track here. The show. In the end I was very upset with Hannah Baker. I was mad at her for what she did to her parents. That scene where they found her destroyed me. It bothered me so much I covered my ears and closed my eyes. I was mad at the other kids for getting her there. I was mad at the counselor for automatically assuming that whatever happened at the party was her fault. What did SHE do to cause someone to rape her? Because that’s always where everyone goes first, isn’t it? Well maybe if she didn’t wear this or maybe if she didn’t do that. It’s disgusting. 

This show made me think, it made me feel, and most importantly, it gets you talking. Because that’s the most important thing is to get people talking about issues that no one wants to talk about because they make you feel uncomfortable. I recommend watching it. Decide on your own how you feel about Hannah Baker. I’m interested in hearing what you have to say. 

Tale As Old As Time Vs. It’s Morphin Time!

Tale As Old As Time Vs. It’s Morphin Time!

I’m going to start off by saying that I enjoyed Power Rangers way more than Beauty and the Beast. I’m not saying that Power Rangers was better than Beauty and the Beast (because Power Ranger was seriously SO BAD but I LOVED it), but I genuinely enjoyed watching it more.

I grew up loving both Beauty and the Beast and Power Rangers. The Disney movie wrapped me up in that Princess fantasy bubble, while Power Rangers had girls kicking ass. On the outside I wanted to be a princess, but on the inside I wanted to kick ass. I wanted to be Kimberly more than I wanted to be Belle, but all the girls wanted to be Belle, so that’s what I said too.

I had really high expectations for Beauty and the Beast. I loved the animated movie and the Broadway show, I freaked out with everyone else when the first trailer was released and that music I had grown up with started playing while snow fell around the castle. When I finally saw it though, I felt like I was let down. I know I’m in the minority here, since everyone I’ve talked to praises this movie to no end.

But I wanted MORE from this movie. The actors weren’t enthusiastic enough, they sang beautifully but everyone’s facial expressions always looked bored. During the songs it seemed like everyone was just going through the motions after a long day of filming. Like the movie was almost there, but just didn’t seem like enough to me. It was missing that magic that the animated movie and the Broadway show had. It was a good movie, but it wasn’t great. It was a huge disappointment, and I feel like I can’t really talk about it because people get really defensive if you criticize this movie. I like to be honest here though, I didn’t like it. It was a good movie, but it wasn’t as GREAT as I wanted it to be. I didn’t genuinely laugh once, it was more forced because I wanted to like it.

Can we also talk about how Gaston pulls out a GUN and shoots the beast like 3 times and the beast still somehow gets himself back in that tower and can coherently talk to Belle before dying? How were the raging parents okay with the gun, but not okay with the gay character? I mean, really.

Best part though was seeing the Beast turn into the guy from Legion at the end. I love that guy, and I love that whacked out show. Like WTF is even happening in each episode? I have no fucking clue, but it’s great.

Oh, and Celine Dion has a song in the credits. I LOVE YOU CELINE! #steflovesceline4ever

Moving on to Power Rangers (WAIT STOP IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ SPOILERS YOU MUST STOP READING NOW AND GO SEE THE MOVIE AND THEN COME BACK.) WELCOME BACK! Did you LOVE it? OMG me too. I’m sure I will lose all credibility here (I really don’t actually have any sort of credibility when it comes to movies, I just see a lot of them and like to act like I know things) but I LOVED this movie because it was just as terrible as the TV show.

First, let me set the scene for you as we are walking into the movie theater yesterday. So, I’m SO GEEKED. I have my popcorn and a small soda that is basically a large because that’s how we do things now a days and I’m skipping to the theater with Marc and tons of popcorn pieces trailing behind and we find our theater and you know how theaters have that like digital thing scrolling above the door that says “Power Rangers 12:40 PM” well this one says that, then scrolls away followed by “Happy Birthday Vaughn!” and we are like “…Oh no.” We slowly walk into the theater and there, in the first row right in front of the metal bars that separates the upper seating from the lower seating, are a bunch of signs that say “Reserved”. A birthday party. God help us. The youths had not yet arrived, but we’d seen them rolling around like a ball of tiny humans beating the crap out of each other in the birthday party room.

So we go and take our seats a safe distance away from the reserved row, and spend the next 10 minutes or so watching Maria Manunos tell us about what terrible shows are coming to Freeform. Spoiler alert, they’re garbage and one has Bella Thorne.

About 5 minutes before the trailers are about to start, these children come stampeding in. Who knew 6 year olds could stomp SO LOUD. I’m not kidding, the ground was shaking, and the entire theater audience braced itself for the madness. They come in tackling each other and stepping over each other and diving onto the seats and over the bars. No parents yet, of course. I’m sure they were looking for somewhere to serve them an alcoholic beverage. I know I’d need one if I was in charge of handling twelve 6 year old boys for the day. Noooooo thank you.

The youths finally get themselves seated and the woman I’m assuming is the mother rolls on in and starts the photo shoot with one of those monster cameras and her flash is going off every 2 seconds. “Honey!  HONEY LOOK THIS WAY LOOK THIS WAY!” Because movie birthday parties are apparently a big deal. Then there’s of course photo shoot round 2 with the iPhone. She didn’t have her flash on then, so you know those photos were going to be grainy and useless, but in this day and age you have to have SOMETHING to post on Facebook right away to brag to the other moms about how much fun your kid is having and how great of a parent you are. “Look at me! I took all this young children to a PG-13 movie!” We get it you’re the cool mom, now calm down and take a seat.

Then, RIGHT BEFORE THE MOVIE IS ABOUT TO START, someone who I assume is the theater manager/party manager brings in a rolling cart filled with popcorn and sodas. This was a two hour movie. I expected the children to be bouncing of the walls in about 30 minutes. The lights went down and we all just hoped for the best.

Back to the movie. It was ridiculous, it was awful, and it met all my expectations. If you’ve ever seen the Power Rangers show or the Power Rangers original movie, you know how awful it is. There are explosions and then people are flying backwards 10 minutes later. There’s horrible dialogue, 30 year olds playing high school kids, so many back flips, and why did no one ever notice that when their watches beeped these “kids” would all creep into a corner and start whispering to each other and INTO THEIR WATCHES. But there were girls kicking ass and as a kid I LOVED IT. Belle never kicked any ass. She just read books and stayed locked in a castle. I wanted to do more than read books. I secretly wanted to be a superhero.

This Power Rangers movie was exactly what I expected it to be. Marc laughed saying it was angsty Breakfast Club meets Power Rangers. He was not wrong.

The actors were better than the original show/movie, though still not great. Red Ranger looked oddly like Zac Efron? Maybe they’re related? I’m too lazy to look it up. Becky G showed up as the yellow ranger, and Marc leaned over and whispered, “Isn’t that the girl who opened at that Demi Lovato concert?” I have never been so proud. Then she says something later and he leans over again, and says “She enjoys singing in the shower.” I DIED. I have never had more fun at a movie.

Marc and I see a lot of movies, and we usually sit and watch very intently, never look at each other, never speak, we laugh when parts are funny, I gasp and cover my eyes a lot, and then later we go to lunch or dinner and have a thorough discussion about the movie from start to finish. But we were in the theater of kids who, when one of the girls goes swimming in her underwear, screamed “EW BOOBS” and we were the only people there who didn’t bring children. Side note: I did say this movie was PG-13, right? Does no one pay attention to ratings anymore? I know your kids watched Power Rangers on Nickelodeon, but seriously this movie starts off with a joke about a teenager trying to milk a bull, thinking it was a female cow. That’s where we’re going here. Regardless, we were throwing side comments like crazy during this one.

We laughed and laughed about the nonsense product placement, you could have a really successful drinking game for every time “Krispy Kreme” is mentioned, and about just how silly the whole movie was. It was a really wonderful time, even after the sugar and caffeine kicked in and all the youths started to lose their minds 30 minutes before the film ended.

I think the thing is, Beauty and the Beast took itself too seriously, where Power Rangers wanted to and then realized there’s just no way you can do that with the material you’re working with. Another side note, the new Power Ranger costumes had BUTT CHEEK PADS. I AM BEING SO SERIOUS RIGHT NOW.

Rita was actually really creepy. I thought Elizabeth Banks did a nice job stealing everyone’s gold teeth fillings to make her monster.

Fun fact, did you know they want to make FOUR MORE of these movies? I can barely contain my excitement. I’m all about it, truly. Marc and I will be there, loving it and laughing. Because sometimes you just need that kind of movie. #buttcheekpads #billyisthebest #iheartnerds

P.S. If you have seen this movie and enjoy podcasts, I recommend downloading the Power Rangers episode of We Hate Movies where they make fun of this movie. I laughed so hard, it made my day.

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SO MUCH ANGST.