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Jon Bon Jovi never gets old

You say you’ve cried a thousand riversJBJ2008
And now you’re swimming for the shore

I was thinking about this video on the way to work this morning as I sang along to I’ll Be There For You. I taped it from MTV and watched it over and over and over … when it comes to Bon Jovi videos, this one is tops for me. Probably because Jon looks so fine in the brown leather pants, the shirt unbuttoned to his navel, and that hair, oh, that glorious hair, and because I wanted someone to feel that way about me:

I’ll be the water when you get thirsty, baby
When you get drunk I’ll be the wine

Those are some of my favorite song lyrics. Even as a teetotaling 17-year-old, I loved the imagery. Someone loving you so much that he gets a high just from being with you? Back then I understood “getting drunk” as acting silly, giddy, and having fun while nursing a wine cooler. (As an adult, I’d learn more than I’d ever want to know about what it really meant. I’ll expand on that in a later post.) “Getting drunk” was something college kids and grown-ups did, not something high school me did. I just loved the metaphor. And still do.

Twenty-four years later, I could still watch the video on repeat, only now I can see Jon and his leather pants in high-def on my 42-inch flat screen. YouTube through a Blu-Ray player is an awesome invention. <clicks play>

Posted: April 24th, 2013 under life, music, pop culture, relationships - No Comments. Tags: , , , , , ,

Keep me hanging on

I got some great suggestions from friends regarding last week’s post on the rules of dating in an online world and my conundrum: to ask or not to ask?

* DISCLAIMER: No one knows the guy’s identity. I haven’t even told my closest friends his name. And I don’t plan to. *

I swear, I have the smartest pals. See for yourself:

  • There’s no rule that says you can’t call the guy. Besides, what do you have to lose?
  • CALL the guy!!! There are no rules anymore – everyone is figuring it out as they go. Might he say, ‘no, I’m busy, have a girlfriend,’ whatever, you need to shrug and go on, all the while thinking, ‘your loss, buddy, not mine.’
  • Don’t be weird about it. Don’t be coy. You’re grown-ups. Just say why you called. Be totally honest with yourself, too. Maintain your self-identity.
  • I think rules are a bother and we have to follow our own intuition. The standing rule I’ve found is, “screw it all, and do what you think is right.” If that doesn’t work out, then it wasn’t supposed to work out. No sense in acting like every relationship is the be-all and end-all at this point.

So while waiting for my daughter to finish dance class, I screwed up my courage and decided to give it a shot. However, I chickened out of spoken words, and instead went the written route. And like the post title says, I was left hanging. I got no response, but that itself is an answer, and that’s fine. He has his reasons, whatever they may be, and I respect that. Of course, I had to break it down for my buds, and again, they had me feeling good.

  • You didn’t lose … you needed to know. The main thing is you tried, and you haven’t quit.
  • Don’t get too invested in a single at-bat. It’s embarrassing to strike out, but even the best usually do. Remember: In high school, Elvis was cut from the Glee Club. Know and accept yourself. Others may or may not be right about you.
  • Well, so this one didn’t work out – and let’s face it – he could have been polite and just said he was busy. … Don’t let it stop you from trying again!!

So, while I’ll likely be a smidge embarrassed whenever I see him again, I’m glad I took a chance, swallowed my nerves, and went for it. How will I know if I never try? Sitting in front of this screen, at this keyboard, typing ain’t gonna get me kissed again. That’s going to take getting out there, being open to possibilities, and giving myself permission to let go, even if it’s just a little.

After thanking one of my Twitter pals for listening, he offered one final piece of advice:

Go get ‘em, tiger! (But not Tiger, as in Tiger Woods. i.e., don’t get ALL of them. At once, anyway.)

To which I replied:

Rawr!

 

Posted: January 27th, 2013 under life, relationships - No Comments. Tags: , , ,

Here’s my number …

I asked that question on Facebook last month and, according to my connections, the answer was yes, dating, especially among teens, is done mostly via social media.

But what about grown-ups? How is it done? One FB commenter said the rules are different when you’re back out there again. I want to know how. What are the rules?

Do men call women to ask them out? Can women call men?

Is dating even a thing anymore? Or is it just “hooking up” for most people? I’m a grown-up and I would like to hang out with a grown-up of the opposite sex. <insert Nelson’s Love and Affection here>

I spent my whole hour’s drive home from work tonight debating whether to call a guy I’ve known for years but haven’t talked to in a while. (Background: We went out a couple of times in college. We’re both single now.) Here’s how it sounded in my head. <pretend Call Me by Blondie was playing in the background>

Optimistic Me: He messaged me his number and said to call him sometime. (Grabs phone.)

Pessimistic Me: Yeah, well, then I gave him my number, too, and wouldn’t he have called me by now if he was interested? (Puts phone down.)

OM: Maybe he’s unsure. Or busy. Or shy. Or intimidated.

PM: Yeah, riiiiight. If I didn’t want him to call, why would I have given him my number?

OM: But … he did give me his number first …

See what I’m dealing with here? It’s a vicious cycle, and I’m fully aware that I’m an over-analyzing goofball. I talk myself out of a lot of things because I’m afraid I’ll become the punchline to someone else’s joke.

I mean, what if I call and someone else answers his phone for him? And I start blathering on. Yes, this has happened. Eighth grade. I called a boy I had a crush on to wish him happy birthday. The phone was answered, I started singing the stupid song, and when I was finished, his dad said, “He’s not here right now.” The guy told everyone at school about it. Sigh.

It’s ridiculous, I know! I’m smart, I’m funny, I’m kind, I’m attractive, I’m a good driver and a helluva kisser. I make people feel things by typing a few words. I know sports. I know movies. I read books. I’ve got soul and rhythm. And boobs and hips and a booty. I can check my own oil, buy my own tires, and make a delicious lasagna. I’m Every Woman here>

What is my problem? The worst he can do is say no. Then tell all his friends and laugh. On Facebook. Cynical? Me? Nah.

So what are the rules of the dating game today? Am I missing something? How does it work? Should I or shouldn’t I?

<insert Welcome to the Jungle here>

 

 

Posted: January 21st, 2013 under life, relationships - 3 Comments. Tags: , , , ,

‘Tis the season for lights, lights, lights

Riley, my mom and dad, and I drove out to the local Christmas light display tonight. It’s become an annual tradition since Riley was about 3 or 4, when we had to keep her from crawling out the car window to get a better look at Baby Jesus and Santa.

The Wrights go all out. Rudolph shares yard space with Spongebob and Frosty. Helicopters and semi-trucks have the transportation angle covered. Outlined kiddies jump rope and “wheeee” down slides. Candy canes and trees line the driveway and paths.

It’s not a professional job, but that’s what I love about it. The display is this family’s way of sharing the joy of the season with anyone who wants to drive out to rural Colbert County.

If you visit, be kind and drop a couple of bucks in the donation box so they can keep the lights on for another year.

Posted: December 7th, 2012 under Alabama, family, life - 1 Comment. Tags: , ,

What do I say?

I want to write something, but I don’t know what to say. It’s not a new story. Just another chapter in a book I am ready to shelve for good.

As always, Riley and I will be fine. We have great family and friends. And each other. And that’s what matters.

Posted: August 22nd, 2012 under family, life, parenting, relationships - No Comments. Tags:

Campfire story

Daddy tells us about him and his buddies being stranded after the car ran out of gas. His pals were just going to sleep in the car but he decided to head home. He started walking by himself down spooky, dark Kerby Lane where rumor had it someone was once hanged. Listen … and yes, we have a bit of an accent.

Now he tells a silly joke, that cracks me up every time!

Posted: May 29th, 2012 under Alabama, family, life, parenting - 1 Comment. Tags: , ,

Best weekend in a long time

Riley and I spent Memorial Day weekend at my parents’ and it was good for my soul. Friday night, Momma, Riley and I went to visit Granma at the nursing home. I showed her some of Riley’s dance pictures and we had a nice chat. She’s doing pretty well.

When we got back to Town Creek, Daddy built a fire in the portable fireplace and Riley roasted “smarshmallows.” Or burned them. We sat around the fire and listened to Daddy talk about camping out under the stars when he was growing up, and about him and Momma fishing down at the creek when they were a new couple.

We also laughed about our camping gear when we were growing up. We had a shell on top of Daddy’s pickup and he created a makeshift bunk bed in the bed of the truck. My little brother Michael and I slept on twin mattresses on top of a plywood board anchored above the truckbed, and Momma and Daddy slept underneath on a mattress in the bed of the truck. It worked. And we always had fun.

Saturday, I got up early and went for a walk around the neighborhood before everyone else awoke. Then we spent the day at Jordan’s pool, celebrating his high school graduation. We ate BBQ, baked beans, pasta salad, buffalo dip, broccoli salad, corn on the cob, squash, and O’Charley’s rolls. And we swam. And laughed. And enjoyed being together to celebrate Jordan.

That evening, Momma, Riley and I went shopping at Target. And we stopped by Georgia’s on the way home, where they were putting a new liner in their pool. They finished up around 9:30 and we went inside and watched “A Dolphin Tale” (Riley loved it) until nearly midnight. I love days like that … no drama, no stress, just enjoying the company.

Sunday, Riley and I threw the softball and played volleyball, Daddy vacuumed out my truck, and Momma taught me and Riley how to play Rook. Momma and I beat Daddy and Riley. That was a lot of fun.

On the way home, I stopped by to see my best pal Kristi at her mom’s house. Her daughter just turned 21, so Riley and I had to swing by and wish her happy birthday.

After getting home and unloading all off our stuff, Riley’s dad came and picked her up. My friend Kim came over and we hung out on the patio until midnight, laughing, downloading music, and talking over a couple of beers.

I love my family and friends. They love me for who I am and who I’m not and what I can still be. They’re the best.

 

 

Posted: May 28th, 2012 under Alabama, family, life, movies, parenting, relationships, sports - No Comments. Tags: , , , , , , ,

Burn, baby, burn

Yesterday I was doing laundry and piddling when I came across my journal from my final year of marriage and the months of separation until the divorce was final. I took it to the closet and stashed it out of sight on the top shelf. Then I saw it. An old popcorn tin filled with letters from when we were dating. Those letters had been there for 18 years … 18 years.

Of course I took them out, unfolded them and quickly skimmed them. “I miss you.” “You are the best girl a guy could have.” “We should talk about our future together when I get back.” “I love you.”

We were so young. And so clueless. We were 23 when we got married and had barely lived away from our parents much less experienced life as adults.

Instead of putting those letters back in their hiding place, I took the tin full of paper and ink and memories and once-upon-a-time love to the patio and set it on fire.

I watched the sweet words curl up and become ashes as the flames rose. It was as if my heart was being cauterized. Sure, a tear rolled down my cheek as I thought about what we had for a short while. I wiped it away and stirred the scraps in the tin again, making sure every envelope and sheet of notebook paper felt the burn.

After I was satisfied that most every piece had been touched by the fire, I poured water into the tin and headed back inside.

Throughout the evening I peeked out the door, watching as the ink, ash, and paper froze. Like my heart.

And like the ice will eventually melt, someday, so will my heart.

 

Posted: February 13th, 2012 under life, relationships - 6 Comments. Tags: , , , ,

Live it

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
– George Eliot

Posted: January 17th, 2012 under Uncategorized - No Comments.

Party down on New Year’s Eve

We made good on our New Year’s Eve plans by getting dressed up and going out. We had a fabulous meal at Rosie’s Cantina, our favorite restaurant, and we walked around Bridge Street until it was time for our movie, Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, to start. She giggled throughout the show and that’s what made it fun for me. We got home around 10, watched the ball drop at 11, played Just Dance 3, saw fireworks from our back patio, counted down to midnight here, and welcomed 2012 like only we can.

Posted: January 7th, 2012 under family, life, movies, music, parenting, pop culture - 2 Comments. Tags: , , ,

Saturday Night and the Single Mom

Here’s my latest column for Birmingham Parent. Read it and come back and tell me what you think. Thanks!

Posted: January 5th, 2012 under Alabama, family, freelance, life, parenting, relationships, writing - No Comments. Tags: , , , ,

Jingle, jingle, jingle

Imagine the sounds of the Christmas season: the ripping of wrapping paper, the squeal of an excited child, jingle bells, the whispers to Santa, and your favorite Christmas carol.

Now imagine the holidays without those sounds. That’s how it was for Riley until she turned 2. With the help of cochlear implants and years of auditory-verbal therapy, she is able to enjoy all the sounds of the season just like any kid with typical hearing, including me yelling, “Riley! Stop shaking your presents!”

One of Riley’s favorite Christmas sounds is a DVD by The Wiggles. The kiddie band was one of the first things she heard after her implants were activated. “Mama, I don’t care how old I get, ” she says, “I’ll always love The Wiggles.”  The photo at right shows her gettin’ wiggly during her first holiday to hear. Pretty special, right?

Since then she has sung in numerous school Christmas programs and played three roles in her third-grade-class production of “A Christmas Carol.” Not bad for a girl who, when she was born, couldn’t hear a jet engine if you held her next to it.

When all the noise starts getting to you, stop and think what it’d be like if you couldn’t hear at all. No kids singing “Away in a Manger,” no friends laughing, no voice saying “I love you.” Then be grateful for the sounds. And take some ibuprofen and a nap and get on with your holiday-ing.

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Posted: December 12th, 2011 under cochlear implant, deafness/hearing loss, family, health, hearing, life, parenting - No Comments. Tags: , , , , ,