Wednesday, February 16

Those Words....

Three words that can change a life.
To each person they mean something
Different. I love you. Panic. Joy.
Fear. Hope. Love. Terror.
Love is a tonic; it can heal the broken hearted.
Love is a poison; it can ruin lives.

Love is not at all what it seems. 
I hear those words and I panic. 
Why can things never, 
Stay the way they were.
Was it so wrong to be friends?
More than friends.
Now you have expectations. Duties I can't fulfill.
You look to me to hang the moon...
I'm hiding behind the stars.

You tell me I'm beautiful and
I run for the hills. You want to be close
I want to be free.
Why can't you see?
Why can't you hear me?
This isn't what I want.
I want freedom. I want independence.
You want love, you expect my
Obedience, loyalty, faithfulness, and respect.
I don't want a ring, and I don't want what this has become.
You look to me for happiness.
I look to myself for that.

This is not fair to me.
You want more than I can give.
Your affection and acceptance scare me. 
I've had this before, I've liked, I've loved. 
And I've been hurt. Scarred, scared, bruised.

In turn I hurt you. I turn you into myself.
You become bitter. Cynical. Untrusting.
You have become me. You can see what it took
To do this to me.
You understand. And when she falls for you;
You do what I did. You run. You panic.
You scream to yourself.
You hide with your ghosts. You hate that she cares.
You hate that she can't understand your fear.
Just the way I hated you for falling in love with me.

The whole problem.
The whole mistake. Is that once, I cared. I believed.
And I got hurt. Thanks to those three damn words, 
Lives are changed. I. Love. You.
Those words shouldn't be allowed.
All they do is hurt.

Now. I realize I was wrong once.
It wasn't that I can't love.
It is that I couldn't love then.
Now. I realize that I can love.
Those words...that I couldn't say.
Now I can say them.
Now I know what they mean.

You will find love. And she will find love.
It wasn't that love was wrong, it's that love
Came at the wrong time.
And we weren't ready for that kind of power.

When the right person comes along love is all there is.
Fear is gone. And freedom is still ours.
The right person won't rob you of all that is important.
They magnify those qualities.
They teach those lessons.
And they say those words.

Thursday, February 10

Waiting for Prince Charming

I quite recently got in a light-hearted debate with my best friend, and we bantered back and forth on the availability of Prince Charming. She's a dyed-in-the-wool cynic. She is of the belief that when the zombie apocalypse rolls around she will be fighting on her own. I maintain that when that happens, I'll have a special someone who will protect me, and let me fight alongside him. He'll be the guy who get's a congratulatory kiss when we outwit our rotting counterparts. But I digress. I loved fairy tales as a kid, I imagined myself as Snow White, doing laundry for a group of well-meaning dwarfs and being awakened from a slumber of death by a kiss from a handsome prince. Or as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, winning the heart of the hurt and lonely Beast. I used to spend days on end dressing up, sometimes as Laura from the Little House on the Prairie books, other days as Rose from Titanic. In my mind's eye, they had the perfect lives, either they were making a place for themselves in the world, with a manly Almanzo by their side, or they were being swept off their feet by a handsome artist. A few years later, in an attempt to mimic my mother's cowgirl bravado I decided I didn't need a man, I failed to realize that my mom has my dad to help her out, but that didn't matter at the time. I spent three years wearing nothing but high-waisted jeans, cowboy boots, and button up shirts. I'd talk cattle with her for hours, and try to soak up her tough-girl mystique. Somewhere along the line I got bored. I eventually found myself, the real me, not someone I was trying to be to impress people. Let's face it, I love the color pink, I wear makeup, I'll get up two hours earlier than a sane person so I can shower, and do my hair and makeup. I pick outfits out a week before I need them. I pack my clothes and toiletries meticulously when I'm traveling. I like perfume, and lacy lingerie, and I have an unbridled affinity for handbags and wallets. I feel really sexy when there is black lace under my clothes, and I have mascara carefully applied. I love browsing through antique shops, and I will go shopping anytime, anywhere. I read romance novels, I unabashedly listen to sappy love songs, and I watch every chick flick I can get my hands on. And the thing about all of that is, that's who I am. And when Prince Charming finds me he will be masculine, and handsome, and exactly what I need. He will be the man I date, and dance with, and fall in love with. He's the man I will fall head over heels for, seduce, and eventually marry. I will have a family with him, and someday, long in the future, we will be old, and gray, and sitting on our front porch watching our grandkids cavort and carry on in our front yard.
My best friend has convinced herself that she will be alone. And I love her very very much, and I do try to be patient, but her cynicism is tiring. I want to throttle her, and scream at her that somewhere out there is the perfect man for her. He will do all the cooking, and will hold her close when they watch horror movies, he will woo her with the written word because that's the fastest, and purest way to her heart. I watch her now, she's 18, and I think with a surety that can only come from a long-fostered patience that the man for me will find me, that in time she will realize that if she gives up completely now, that the man for her is out there, wondering when his Cinderella will happen along, and he will be heartbroken beyond repair. Maybe the white-picket fence ideal is a little suburban for her. I'll grant her that, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't dream. Every girl, no matter what race, age, background or income level, should trust that she will someday be wooed by the man of her dreams. Every girl deserves to feel like the most perfect person in the world to someone. Every girl should have a day, that is entirely hers, she should wear a white dress and tiara that make her feel like the princess, to her mate's Prince Charming. And my hope is that she will realize she deserves happiness as much as everyone. That someday, down the road from here, when the perfect man finds her, that her heart will bloom under the attention, and care of his affection and love for her. I know, that when Prince Charming comes knocking at my door, I will be ready for him. And all that our happily ever after entails. And because I love my friend so dearly, I can only hope that she will still believe in happily ever after when her chance comes along. Maybe he will be her knight in shining armor, ready to rescue her from monotony, and treat her like the queen she is. Or perhaps he will be the King Simon to her Brave Margaret, from Irish lore, he will march into battle with the woman he loves. I don't know how her fairy tale will end, but I do know, that her Prince Charming is out there.

Wednesday, February 9

College plans...

This previous weekend I went to Denver to hang out with family, and check out the college I was thinking about. One thing led to another and by Saturday night I had application paperwork, and student housing paperwork. Classes start the weekend after the Fourth of July. There are so many things I have to do before I will be safely ensconced within the walls of the Art Institute. I have to take the Accuplacer test, I have to get my transcripts, I have to fill out paperwork, pray that I can find some form of financial aid, or a scholarship. I have to fill out page after page of roommate application paperwork, I have to fill out the actual application. I have to write essays. And, if all goes according to plan, and I hope it does, then after I get accepted I have even more work to do. I have to find a job in Denver, I have to go shopping for everything I'll need while I'm living in "The Towers." I have to buy books, schedule classes, get my work clothes for lab. I have to pack roughly a quarter of my precious belongings, and move them in amongst those of a girl I don't yet know. I have to say goodbye to my family, take a million pictures, and get in my truck and drive away. I have to download Skype on my laptop (another thing I need to buy) so I can talk to my family, and my Emily and Jeff and whoever else I won't survive without. I'll have to fondle our beagles ears, kiss my horses nose, ruff up my cat, and kiss my youthful innocence goodbye. I'll have to enter the hustle and bustle of a city of 2.9 million people, and lose the importance I have in a small town. I won't be Anni, Dave and Kelly's daughter, anymore. I'll be judged on my own now. I will be held to the criticisms of the other kids in my classes. I'll be held accountable for my actions, and won't be able to get by on my family's reputation. I won't be able to run outside, and dash through our trees with our beagle. I'll be fenced in by too many miles of road between myself and my precious family. But not all is lost. I will gain an identity. I will become my own person. I will be given wings, and only I will be able to limit my flight. I will make new friends, some for life. I will fall in love, maybe for a week, maybe forever. I will take classes that challenge me, and my beliefs. I will take a stand for everything I believe in. And in so doing will reaffirm my loyalties. I will get an education, and gain responsibility. I will strengthen and deepen my independence. I will have achieved something worthy of note. I will become a college graduate. I will be recognized for my talents and abilities. I will accomplish something that I sent my mind on. So with the next 5 months looking intimidating, but nonetheless attainable, I'm excited for my future and all it holds for me.

Tuesday, February 1

Loss of innocence?

I have lost my innocence. And I have Bob Vila to blame. He did not properly prepare me for this moment. I was sent out into the world with the cold indifference and thoughtless brutality reserved for such momentous events as the first day of kindergarten, or the launching of nuclear weapons. In my own way I was armed, only with a bucket of Minwax Helmsman Spar Semi-Gloss Urethane, a paintbrush, and a pair of nitrile gloves. I had previously regarded such "craftsman" as Bob Vila, and Tim "Toolman" Taylor with high regard and sincere respect. I now consider these phony television hosts and the sadists from HGTV with nothing less than full-fledged disappointment bordering on malicious intent. They assure you that with the appropriate gadgets and handy tools available only from their line currently for sale at Home Depot, Ace Home and Garden, or Lowes that you too can tackle any home improvement task with confidence and the assuredness that can only come from wearing the kitschiest of "work" clothes (read: perfect fitting jeans, cute teeny tiny polo shirts in pastel colors, ludicrously expensive hiking shoes.) 
So there I was, 8 AM on a sunny Friday afternoon, bedecked in the most awful clothes I was able to find in my closet. I had a full gallon can of Urethane and a room full, and I do mean full (floor to ceiling) of cupboards, and drawers. My task was to coat each section of wood several times with that gooey, awful, fumy substance. To say the least I was not thrilled, but for the time being I was remarkably broke and minimum wage was sounding appealing. I won't bore you with every detail, but I spent every day from Friday until Tuesday night working on the blasted things. And by Saturday morning I had enlisted the help of my mother and little sister.  It is now Tuesday evening. We are finished. There is Urethane in our hair, on our clothes, all over the floor, and even some of it made it onto the woodwork itself. And here I come to my point. The home renovation and improvement shows fail to prepare you for tasks such as these. They smile, dip their paintbrush in the bucket, and then take one pass over whatever they are treating, then skip the next three weeks of agonizing work, and tell you how easy it is, and how you can have the same results. I loathe, no, that word fails to carry the full impact of my emotions, I execrate both home improvements and the people who tout them on TV. It's not as easy as they say, in fact, they lie!