Confession Friday: I Love Myself

A short post but the truest of genuine posts that could possibly be.

I don’t want to sound cocky or anything…but sometimes…I totally think I’m awesome. Even when I’m not.

I have this thing for liking my own blog posts. And Facebook statuses. And tweets. And anything else that I could possibly like that belongs to me.

It’s not even a stats game.

Because I stopped obsessing over the stats.

I’ve got a friend who likes every comment she makes or posts on Facebook. And I admire that in a person. I mean, if you say it, you should like it right?

And I recently realized that no matter how much shit does not go the way you want it to or expect it to…

If you love your life, you should live your life and not worry about the things that haven’t happened yet or the things that you can’t change.

So I decided that I’m going to love my life. And my blog posts.

Twitter Likes Blog Post Likes

 

 

 

 

What can I say?

I’m a sucker for liking myself.

I like my own posts

 

What about you, Blog Friends? Do you like your own posts? Tweets? Do you think it’s ridiculous that I like mine…publicly?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Today’s Post is Brought to You by Shamelessness. And BlogHer. And Me.

Today I am shameless. Today I ask again for your help. You see, in July, I will be attending my very first BlogHer conference. And I’m STOKED. And nervous. And everything in between.

And there’s this miniscule TINY little chance that I could possibly maybe read one of my blog posts. The lovely Lily from It’s a Dome Life submitted one of my posts to Voices of the Year. And then I submitted a few more for fun. And if you have a favorite post, you can totally submit that too. But if you think that I am worthy, I would very much LOVE to have that speaking opportunity at BlogHer. So if you could please go vote for me…I would be eternally grateful. Again.

I will DEFINITELY go vote for you too! Just leave a link in the comments here if you’ve been submitted to Voices of the Year.

Here are the four links that have been submitted representing Quirky Chrissy.

I Make a Terrible Housewife

Two Years Seems Like Just Yesterday and Forever

Shit I’m Glad My Mom Didn’t Do

In Light of the Tragedy in Connecticut

Because this shameless post should not be ALL about me…

And by the way, yesterday was WORLD FREAKIN’ PENGUIN DAY. Now, I don’t really have a thing for penguins the way I do for dolphins, but Katie over at Words for Worms does…and she wrote about it. So go read a post about a penguin butler. Yes. I said Penguin. Butler. Just go there already.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Thinking of Quitting…

Blogging.

I never realized how much time I actually put into the blog and reading blogs. And it’s hard work. And I’m exhausted. All. The. Time. And it’s not fair to you if I don’t post regularly, right?

I’m back to working a regular gig, and I spend a lot of my time writing for work or commuting…and then I’m tired. And want to sleep. I have about 3 hours of free time between work and sleep. And somewhere in there I have to cook, eat, and maybe work out.

Someone talk me off the ledge here…

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fiction Friday: The Power of a Child

This is the next in a series of short fiction pieces that all mesh together. Feel free to catch up with the previous installments or start here.

  1. Broken
  2. The Failure
  3. The Letters
  4. The Rock
  5. Wandering Thoughts
  6. Just Coffee

The Power of a Child

“I…have…to…I have to go, Jack. I’m sorry. I’m really really sorry.” Those words cut like a knife to his heart. She was leaving. She was just. Fucking. Leaving. She climbed into the car and drove away. Jack didn’t know if he’d ever see Mel again. He didn’t know what to do. He wanted to call her. To tell her that his heart was breaking. To tell her how his best friend just…vanished.

He had planned to kiss her. He was going to ask her to prom. And he knew he would say yes. They were like two peas in a pod. He was going to tell her he loved her. That he had always loved her. That he wanted to be with her. She was the one.

But she was gone.

He stood there. For a minute? An hour? A day? He couldn’t be sure. At some point he stumbled home, and crashed onto his bed, alone with his thoughts. I’m all alone. Alone in the world. No friends. No Mel. No one. I’m worthless. I’ll never find anyone else. Fuck this shit.

A bleak future paraded itself through Jack’s mind for days? hours? weeks? The thoughts proceeded to get darker and deeper, until those same worries, doubts, and fears became dangerous. Terrifying. A vision of a kitchen knife flashed in his eyes. The gun in his father’s safe. He could see it so clearly. An option. A way out. The idea laid itself out in his mind, so perfectly, that he could feel its potential release.

Jack opened his eyes, and for the first time, noticed his six-year-old sister, Leah, standing over him, gazing nervously.

“Jackie?”

He looked at her.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“You don’t look okay. You look sad. Do you want to watch Tangled? That makes me happy.”

He looked at Leah, with a half grimace, pulled her into his chest and hugged her. Jack took in the scent of his baby sister. Felt her warmth. Soaked up her love for him. Without question. Without knowing. Just. Love.

Love.

“Jackie, are you crying?” The sound of the little girl, her concern so blatant, brought him back to reality. He pulled away from her. Looked down at the little raggedy doll in her tiny hand. Gazed into her big blue eyes. Jack saw the fear. The worry. He knew that he needed this little girl more than ever before.

“Leah, can you get mom? Now?” She looked at him, as if she were trying to see what he was thinking, but not quite sure what to do with what she saw.

“OK.” The girl hopped off the bed and ran out of the room, shouting, “Mooooooom!!!!! Jackie needs you!”

**********************************************************************************

“Good morning, Jack. This is our fifteenth session. Can you tell me why you’re here?”

“Because I have had thoughts of taking my own life.”

“Good. And can you tell me the last time you had suicidal thoughts.”

“Two weeks ago.”

“Was that in our session?”

“Yes.”

“Do you remember what we talked about?”

“Melanie.”

“And did we talk about her the whole time?”

“No. We also talked about Leah. And my family. And how I was not alone in this.”

“That’s right, Jack. And is Melanie the reason for your thoughts?”

“No. She was a catalyst.”

“Her actions were a catalyst, Jack. Her actions.”

“Right. Her actions.”

“How are you feeling today?”

“I’m okay. Leah is in a school play today. I’m going to see it with my parents. They’re doing some musical play about a tiny Christmas tree. Then I’m going to meet my cousin Steve for lunch. I’ve got a full plate, and I’m looking forward to the day.”

“That’s great, Jack. Tell me again about the decision to ask for help.”

“Leah. I didn’t want her to lose her brother. She just kept looking at me with those big eyes. Like I mattered. She cares so much. She’s so young. And innocent. Melanie used to be like that when I met her. Sweet. Caring. I don’t know what happened to her. She makes me so fucking angry. Whenever I start thinking about her. I know I’m not alone, but she makes me want to scream. I can’t stop thinking about how pissed off I am. She left, like a fucking bitch. A scared little brat, who didn’t have the nerve to tell me what the hell was going on.”

“Jack. We were talking about Leah.”

“Oh. Right. Leah.”

**********************************************************************************

Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales

The Fiction Prompt

The Ides of March — Your character is betrayed, hardcore, by a friend. The relationship is forever altered, “killing” a little piece inside, of our protagonist, yet empowering her/him despite the damage.Imagery, dialogue, movement…800-1500 words.

Go read some of my friends, the Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales and their blogging/writing/fiction/awesomeness.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fiction Friday: Just Coffee

Greetings Blog Friends! I’ve got a lot to tell you about meeting The Bloggess…but you’ll have to wait until next week, because today is Fiction Friday! Enjoy!

Oh right…if you’re new…you can catch up here:

  1. Broken
  2. The Failure
  3. The Letters
  4. The Rock
  5. Wandering Thoughts

Just Coffee

Coffee. It’s just coffee. Jack kept repeating this to himself, as he nervously stepped into the coffee shop. Coffee. 20 minutes. You don’t have to be here. You’re in control. It’s just coffee.

Jack peered around the cafe, looking for her. Scanning the whole of the place, he finally spotted her sipping a cup of something in the corner. Her hair was shorter now, her facial features more defined. Melanie Jane McDaniels. All grown up. Her feet tucked under her body, she shifted uneasily in the chair as she recognized him. She stood, and he could see the swell of her unborn child. Jack shuffled his way to her, his heart racing, palms sweating, head pounding…anxiety. Coffee. It’s just coffee.

They stared at each other for what seemed like eternity. Coffee, dumbass. Go get coffee. Wait. Say hi first.

“Hi.” Dammit. She beat me to it.

“Hi.” He leaned into her…not sure whether hugging her was appropriate. She stepped awkwardly toward him, into the hug. They both wrapped their arms upward, knocking into each other, before settling into a strangely comfortable hug. And just like that, the tension disappeared. The hug became more natural. Melanie melted into Jack. He closed his eyes and remembered, breathing in her scent.

“I missed you, Jack.”

“I’m…going to go grab coffee. I’ll be right back.” He pulled away from her. Get it under control. Coffee. I need coffee.

He returned to the nook she was sitting in, two couches perpendicular to each other. He sat down on the empty couch. She was curled into the corner facing him

“Jack, I’m so sorry. For everything. I know that I can’t go back and change things…but I truly missed you. For so long. It’s been…crazy.”

“I’m married.” He blurted out. Like she didn’t already know.

“I know. I’m so happy for you. Tell me about her.” Melanie was shaking. He could see it when she held the cup to her lips. It was wavering uncontrollably.

“She’s amazing, Mel. She’s a breath of fresh air. She’s everything. Her name is Claire. She… She’s beautiful. A doctor. A pediatrician, actually. She’s so smart, Mel. I could listen to her talk about new technologies and science for days.”

Melanie smiled, “She sounds wonderful. I’d love to meet her.”

“You should.”

“So you’re a doctor, too?”

“A nurse, actually. When Mom got sick, her nurses interacted with her so much more than the doctors. I admired them. Their patience. Their kindness. They knew the whole family, and made sure that we knew what was going. There was this one nurse, the only male nurse in the bunch, and he always made me laugh. It was like it was his job or something to make me smile.

One day, I asked him why he became a nurse and not a doctor. He told me that it was the path he was meant to take. And I knew that it was the path I was meant to take, too. If that makes sense.”

“Perfectly.”

“What about you? I mean, I’ve been rambling about my life…I haven’t really heard anything about your life.”

“I got into restaurant management. I love it. I love my staff and the food. Oh, God, Jack the food is amazing. My chef is a culinary genius. You should come visit sometime. With Claire. The city is beautiful in the fall…I’d really like that, actually.”

“That would be…nice.”

The conversation seemed easier than he thought it would be…but the elephant in the room was staring right at them. Should I mention it? How would I bring it up? Should I…? No.

It’s just coffee.

**********************************************************************************

Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales

That’s all for this week! If you’re jonesin’ for more fiction, check out my companions in the Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales. Some have written fiction today, and others have not, but they are all excellent writers, so check them out!

The Fiction Prompt

Our metaphorical spring is coming ever closer although things / conditions are still mostly dormant. The theme this week is: Recovery. The “ice” has thawed a bit, revealing your character’s recovery of a memory; or s/he has recovered (this is not sought, it just appears, like a plant poking through the hard, cold earth) something that was once lost; or experiences an old habit in a new way? Better? Good? You decide. Oh: mostly dialogue.
 

Today’s Blog Post is Dedicated to…

Molly Field of Grass Oil

Lily digitally introduced me to Molly and soon after, I joined her crew of Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales. Not only is Molly an incredibly talented blogger, writer, and creative, she’s a wonderfully inspiring human being. She gave up Facebook and Twitter for Lent (don’t worry, I informed her that Sundays don’t count in Lent, so she can check in for Fiction Friday updates on Sundays.) She’s documenting the journey on her blog, and she’s just overall awesome. So go visit Molly.

Tell me Blog Friends, What do you want to see happening with Jack and Mel?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Today is the Day All My Dreams Come True…OK, Maybe Not All of Them. Maybe Just One. But I’m EXCITED.

That title actually has nothing to do with this post. It was just necessary. Because today is the big day! The BLOGGESS. Is in. Chicago. Ish. But since I live in Chicago-ish, it works out mighty well. BECAUSE I’M GOING TO MEET HER TODAY! And I’ve got some out of town guests that I’m dragging to the reading. Because that’s how I roll.

As I mentioned on Monday, this whole week is dedicated to bloggers. And today. Today is a whole post. Dedicated to one blogger. Because she’s that awesome. And it’s perfectly fitting. You see, I found her blog through the comments section of The Bloggess (This is how I found a lot of the blogs I read, actually. You should try it, if you haven’t.) And then she became my very first non-real-life-fan/friend. And she’s one of my BBBs (Blogging Best Buddies). And she’s fantastic. And she sent me the coolest Christmas “card” ever. Because it was a card. And a magnet. AND A FREAKIN’ PAINTING!

This Blog Post is Dedicated to…

Lily from It’s a Dome Life

As previously mentioned, Lily was my first non-real-life-friend to find the blog, probably because I stalked her a little bit after I found her blog on The Bloggess. And it was the greatest day ever. Because she’s sweet as pie. And funny. And TALENTED. She turned her art into magnets. And told me that she was sending one with her Christmas card…

The art of Lillian Connelly magnet

The magnet, up close. Isn’t it AMAZING? You can’t buy this one on Etsy, but there are others…Go now and buy a magnet.

The art of Lillian Connelly on my fridge

This is where the magnet lives…on the side of my fridge. Where I keep all of the important stuff…you know…cards and invitations and things… 🙂

But Lily didn’t just send me a magnet. Nope. I had to go to the post office to pick up the package (this was before my mail lady was cool), and I kept thinking to myself, “This does not look like a magnet sized package.”

I couldn’t wait to get home to open the package…(are we seeing a pattern here?)…so there I was in the car and I discovered this beautiful watercolor of a sunset. (She calls it, “Sunset from the Driveway.”)

Sunset From the Driveway

Isn’t she talented?

Of course, it took me FOREVER to get a frame and put it on the wall…because I am a little crazy and take my sweet time making decisions. Plus it was Christmas time, and my apartment looked like Christmas threw up…so I waited. And finally, I found the right frame (for now, until I can custom frame it). And now it lives in our bedroom. The first art in our home.

Sunset From the Driveway by Lillian Connelly

We wake up to a sunset every morning. How cool is that?

Thank you Lily. For your talent. For inspiring me. For being my friend. You’re amazing.

And to everyone else: Go check out Lily’s blog and her art.

Blog Friends: Are you a blogger? Tell me about your blog. Or do you have a favorite blogger? Tell me about him or her. What makes his/her blog awesome?

 

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Secret Santa Sans Santa

Sorry for not posting yesterday, friends! I had a lovely trek into the big city during the winter snow “storm” and think I may have landed a pretty spectacular job. But enough excuses…This was supposed to fly yesterday…

Some of you may remember way back in the fall, when I joined Pocketful of Joules and some other bloggers in a Fall Secret Swap. Much like Secret Santa, we were secretly paired with another blogger, and sent them a little token of joy to brighten their day. Because EVERYONE loves mail. Don’t you?

I had a lot of fun with it the first time around (in which I sent The B(itch) a funky Chi-town poster and I received an AWESOME Nyan Cat scarf from Chewylicious), and decided definitely for sure, I was in for Round 2.

I forgot to give Joules my new contact information, so the package was delivered to the parents’ house this weekend. I was SUPER excited. When I finally got to open it up, I was even more stoked. A really awesome journal greeted me inside the mailing envelope. At first I thought, OMG. This matches my mug. The mug that was ALSO a Secret Santa gift from a couple of years ago that my dear friend, Carla, gave me (crazy right?)

inspirational coffee mug

Love this mug.

Upon further inspection when I arrived home (yeah, I may have opened it while driving home from the parents house…I mean…I was at a stoplight, MOM. Stop worrying), I realized that it was not a match, but still a complement to the mug…

inspirational journal

AWESOME.

OK, so I’m one of those people that is SUPER easy to buy for. I love EVERYTHING. Inspire me. Make me laugh. I’m easily distracted by sparkles and fluff and pink stuff. I would be entertained with a refrigerator box. That being said…This journal is AWESOME. My swapper done good.

She even wrote a little note on the inside (as anyone should do when they send a book or journal).

Journal message

Don’t worry, I’m a procrastinator too! And I have a lot of dreams…quirky ones and normal ones! 🙂 I hope they all come true too.

Seriously, I was the last swapper to mail out her gift last time. I felt bad, but it was REALLY hard to find the perfect gift for Heather [The B(itch)], a Chicago native.

Now, I’m supposed to GUESS who my swapper was…

After careful consideration, and sneakily stalking the locations of the potential Secret Swappers…I narrowed it down to Baby Shmizz and Mom-spirational…

And my guess is….

MOM-SPIRATIONAL

Let me know if I’m right!

Thank you so much to my swapper! I love the gift and can’t wait to use it!

Today’s Post is Dedicated to…

And you thought I would forget. I told you on Monday, that I was dedicating each blog post this week to a blogger or two and today is no different. (Yay for me meeting The Bloggess on Thursday!!!)

Pocketful of Joules

I was introduced to Joules, through Katie, when she started the blogger swap last fall. I love the blog, because she’s SO MUCH MORE than a mom-blogger. She has all sorts of crafty DIY home improvement projects, honest product reviews, an affection for marshmallows that can only be matched by my obsession with cheese…and she’s hilarious with a side of road rage. So, go visit Joules. And send her marshmallows. Because if someone were shamelessly plugging me, I’d want them to tell you to send cheese.

Happy Hump Day, Y’all! No WTF today! Just pure bloggie joy. And sloths.

Wednesday Sloth

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Monday Memories: Melba Toast and Me

I know. I know. I KNOW. You’re sitting there thinking, Melba Toast? Really, Chrissy? But there’s a lot going on in this post…so bear with me.

The Bloggess and Me

FIRST, this week is a very exciting week for me. In honor of the excitement of my meeting Jenny Lawson (AKA The Bloggess) on Thursday and creepily stalking her err…. making her my new best friend getting her to autograph a book at a bookstore 10 minutes from my apartment…I am dedicating this whole week to just a few of the bloggers I love (If you don’t make it into a post, this doesn’t mean I love you any less…I had to go with the bloggers that fit into my posts, yo. Promise.)

Get to the Fucking Point, Chrissy.

SECOND, today is Monday Memories and April from First Time Mom and Dad has created today’s topic: My First Car and Joyrides. So visit April and Lily from It’s a Dome Life (do not fret, Lily–your dedication is coming) for more memories of joy (rides)!

Monday Memories

 My First Car

When I was 16, I opened up a very lightweight box on Christmas morning from my parents and my grandfather. Inside was a slip of paper that said, “BAM! You’re getting a car!” OK, it may not have said BAM. But it was awesome. I had dreams of a cute little Jeep Wrangler…but those dreams would not come to fruition. Even better, of course, was stumbling upon this white 1994 Ford Explorer (in 1999) and even though it had a funny smell, I fell in love with it. I felt taller, stronger, and more awesome in this giant beast of a vehicle.

Obviously, I had to have it. And it, I did have. Throughout the rest of high school, this beast was recognized as different variations of “the Pink Mobile” thanks to the ever-changing, but always hot pink license plate frames, pink fuzzy dice, and furry pink steering wheel cover.

This car was the greatest thing for a high school kid, but it was also the worst thing. Back in those days, we 16-year-olds didn’t have a graduated license program. We just got the license and drove. Wherever. Whenever. With however many kids could fit in the vehicle. (MOM, stop reading here. No seriously…you don’t want to read this part.) For the record, in a Ford Explorer, that’s a lot.

(Mom. I’m not joking.) I’ll never forget my parents driving my car to an away football game (I was a cheerleader) so that my pals and I could go out afterward. They asked who else was driving, and I listed off a couple of names, as a huge crowd of my brother’s and my friends followed us to the parking lot. As my parents got into their own car, several of our friends hid behind the explorer, waiting for the P’s to drive away. At the very least, there were 8 of us. The five in the picture below, plus 3 more that I know for sure, and 2-3 maybes. It may have been 11 people in my vehicle that night.

my first car fit a lot of kids in it

This was that night. Don’t mind my terrible bangs.

On the plus side MOM (if you’re still reading…), I yelled at them all to shut the fuck up so that I could drive safely to the bowling alley. And they listened. Mostly.

It was a lovely car.

My first car

The Explorer is on the right, next to her replacement, Dawn, the Sunfire. My dad drove the Explorer after I was done with her.

Always Name Your Own Car Right Away

Where does Melba Toast come in? OH. RIGHT. In college, I met Katie. And Katie had this weird thing about naming…EVERYTHING. She named her plants. She named her car. She talked to her cereal in the morning. She was basically awesome with a side of awesome.

One Fourth of July, while sitting in my house, eating taco dip and potato salad, Katie decided to name my future child Melba Toast. (She had already named our BFF Deb’s future child “Stumpy.”) I told her that was a horrible name for a child. So, then, she opted to name my car Melba Toast instead. Just like she named Deb’s car, Julio. And somehow it stuck. I tried to fight it, but Deb and Katie kept calling her Melba Toast. And giggling uncontrollably. And until her death (sentence to the junkyard in 2009), she was lovingly referred to as Melba Toast. And I learned the all important lesson that you should always name your car right away…or anyone else has the right to.

Today’s Post is Dedicated to…(Drum Roll Please…)

Katie from Words for Worms

Katie is my butter-churning best friend from a past life. My best friend in real life (yes, REAL Freakin LIFE), Katie writes a brilliant book blog and sometimes sidetracks with quirky stories of her quirky husband…and she has a penguin problem obsession. But she’s awesome…and this post is a little about her…so dedicating it to her was easy! Also, she is nominated right along next to me (AND THE FREAKIN BLOGGESS) for Best Writing of a Weblog as a Bloggies Finalist.

AND

April from First Time Mom and Dad

One of my BBBs (Blogging Best Buddies) who is also nominated for a Bloggie (Best New Weblog!), April came up with today’s topic. She writes a blog about being a mom for the first time, and her hilarious husband who Photoshops their baby onto the funniest pictures. Product reviews, giveaways, and laugh out loud stories…you’ll love her honesty and humor.

 

Bloggies Finalist
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fiction Friday: Wandering Thoughts

I apologize profusely for skipping out on Fiction last week. Things were a little on the crazy side, so I thought something fun and lighthearted would be appreciated in the spirit of creative writing.

In case you don’t remember, I’ve been writing fiction since January, with the Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales, and each week, we’re given a prompt. The last two pieces I wrote were for Project Fairy Tale, and so they were two parts of my own Rumpelstiltskin story. Prior to that, I had been weaving a web of drama with Jack and Mel and Claire. These are short blurbs of fiction, so if you’d like to catch up, I’ve listed the pieces below.

  1. Broken
  2. The Failure
  3. The Letters
  4. The Rock

Wandering Thoughts

Giddy. That was the only way that she could describe her feelings when she was around him.  At first. Ben was a breath of fresh air after a long hot drought. He was smart, funny, and incredibly gorgeous. Mel could barely remember how it started. She just knew that she was glad it had. Their relationship had progressed rapidly. After a series of non-dates, they became inseparable. She knew that this was it. He was the guy.

They weren’t living together, but he spent 5-6 nights a week in her apartment on Lake Avenue. He had certainly marked his territory. She looked around the bedroom, noting some of his clothes hanging in her closet, his toothbrush peeking on the sink peeking out the bathroom door, his guitar on the chaise by the window, and finally landed her gaze on him, asleep in her bed. Yep, he’s definitely made his mark. She leaned down and kissed his sleeping forehead. I think he loves me.

**********************************************************************************

Mel sat in her living room, waiting for Ben. He had said he was closing his restaurant, but he would stop by to see her after. At midnight, she started to get that panicky feeling. Why hasn’t he called? The restaurant closed at 10. He should be here by now. She glared at the clock as the minutes ticked by. The background noise of the TV could not distract her from the wandering thoughts.

He used to bring me flowers. He used to compliment me and tell me I was beautiful. We used to go out… He used to call me when he would be just a few minutes late. Now he’s…

She started to think about it and scolded herself internally, You’re beyond that part of a relationship, MEL. This is what happens. It’s not as magical. It’s life. Life’s not a fucking fairy tale. He’ll bring you flowers for special occasions, just not to “woo” you. He’s already got you. You’re his.

Right. Right. She tried to agree with herself, but she just kept wondering, what if he wants to leave me? What if he’s cheating on me? What if something happens?

MELANIE JANE MCDANIELS. She screamed at the thoughts deep in her mind. Relax. You always over-analyze EVERYTHING. It’s because you love him. You’re afraid that if you love him, he’ll leave you. RE-fucking-LAX. Do you want to live alone for the rest of your life? No friends. No love. Completely alone? Maybe a few cats? Just go with it.

Mel texted him, asking what his ETA was. 20 minutes later, he responded, “I’m on my way, Cupcake.” Her heart lifted. She knew it was silly, but she loved that he called her, Cupcake. The way it rolled off his tongue made her melt, and even though it was a text, Mel could hear the sound of it in her mind. She stared at the phone, then at the clock, then the door. He’ll be here. He loves me too. It’ll be great.

**********************************************************************************

I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to start over. I love him. I love Ben. I do. And he loves me. Mel’s thoughts were starting to sound less and less convincing, even to herself. He loves me. I’ll never find someone else who loves me like Ben does.

The internal argument began again, But does he really love you? You work a few blocks away from each other. You live in the same city. And yet, you only see him a couple nights a week?

We’re both busy. We have restaurants to run. He texts me. He calls me. We talk.

Yeah, for like 5 minutes.

“Stop it!” She found herself yelling out loud, her assistant manager staring at her blankly. Suddenly, she was back at work, cell phone in hand, staring at it.

“You okay, boss?”

“I’m fine, Jessica. Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you. I just mean…um…stop…um…”

Jessica looked at her strangely. “Maybe you should go splash some cool water on your face. You look like you’re about to cry.” Jess was the closest thing she had to a friend here, other than Ben. But she was her employee…so Mel had trouble confiding in her.

“Thanks, I think I will.” Mel made her way to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Black splotches under her reddened eyes. She barely recognized herself. She turned the faucet on and pushed the cool water into her face. Draining. Ben is draining me. Maybe I should…

No. Stop. He loves you. You love him. You do. Remember what dating was like? You’re never going to find someone like Ben. You understand him. He loves that about you. He’s handsome and smart. The other day, remember? Oh! What did he do? It was so funny. He makes you laugh. He makes you happy.

Yeah, when he’s around. If only he would just…call me. I just need to see him. That’s it. It’ll all be okay if I just see him. Maybe he’ll come over tonight. Jess is closing the restaurant, so I can go home…shower…get ready…maybe I’ll surprise him.

Keep telling yourself that. See where it gets you. Maybe you should go buy the first cat now. After drying her face, she looked at herself once more in the mirror. She put on a big fake smile, and walked out the bathroom door.

When she returned to the hostess stand, her phone vibrated. She pulled it out of her pocket and looked at the incoming text. “Sneak away with me for dinner, Cupcake?” A smile spread across her face. See, self, he still loves me.

**********************************************************************************

Fearless Fiction Femmes FatalesNow go on and check out my partners in crime, the Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales. Some are writing fiction this week. Some are taking a break. But all are worth your time. Go visit their blogs! And PLEASE take a moment to visit DeBie Hive, because she’s posting about cutting her hair off for cancer. And as we all know, cancer sucks.

The Fiction Writing Prompt

Stuck in a Rut
March is green, but winter still comprises 2/3 of the month. Spring is not until the tail end. So this prompt ensures our character is stuck in a (metaphorical or literal, you decide) muddy rut: frozen in a place that despite all his/her inner urgings, s/he can’t move forward or look backward.
Why?

 

Shameless Plug: Please go and vote for the Bloggies (fancy People’s Choice Style Blog Awards)! I’m a finalist (Along with my blog friends, Katie from Words for Worms, Joules from Pocketful of Joules, and April from First Time Mom and Dad).

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Because Writer’s Block Sucks

Thank God for Lily from It’s a Dome Life. Every post I’ve sat down to write today has been…either not suitable for publishing or needs a little more work. But then Lily went and tagged me in her chain blog survey (which I promise not to tag you if you don’t want to be tagged), and answered a prayer.

Remember when these used to go out in mass e-mails to all of your best friends? I had a girlfriend in high school who would create her own…100+ questions of pure survey joy. In multicolor. This was also the days of shared notebooks that got passed around with notes back and forth to each other. Do kids still do that? Inquiring minds and all that shit…

Without further ado, here is the delightful survey of 25 questions regarding yours truly. Enjoy. I did.

1. Where were you born? I was born in the suburbs of Chicago. It is cold here. But then it gets super hot. And then cold again. If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait five minutes. Seriously. I’d love to move to Florida, or somewhere else that is warm and delightful. Unfortunately, I have this huge family here, and would never want to leave them. Which makes Brian ask the question, “So if you were born in Siberia, would you just…stay in Siberia your whole life?” Probably. But my plan is to get famous and travel. A lot. Especially in the winter time.

2. Were you named after someone? Yep. Mom has told me that she wanted to name me Brandy (such a FINE girl) or Annabelle Lee (hello morbid Poe poem much?) Luckily, Dad named me after his favorite cousin, Christine, and his mom, Regina.

3. How many children do you have? None. But I make an excellent Auntie Chrissy.

4. How many pets do you have? Well, unless you count Rufus, none. But one day, we’re going to have a pet sloth and name him Ebenezer. And maybe a pet baby penguin. Which I will give to Katie when he grows up and loses the fluffy appeal.

Rufus the stuffed dog

Last Valentine’s Day, out of sheer pressure from the outside world to get me something, Brian got me a dog. Albeit, he’s a stuffed dog, but he’s lovable.

5. Your worst injury. HA! I have so many injuries that I can’t even think about which was the worst. But probably the knee sprain. That shit was painful. And still hurts sometimes, even though it was 10 years ago.

6. Do you have a special talent? Does injuring ones’ self count? I think I’m a pretty talented writer. I mean…not to toot my own horn (OK, yes I’m tooting my own horn, here), but I’m pretty good at it.

7. Favorite thing to bake. I like to bake cookies that come out of a package. And then I eat half the cookie dough. One for me, one for the pan. One for me…and then the ones that I bake are warm and fresh and delicious. And I eat those too. With lots of milk.

8. Favorite Fast Food. Portillo’s. Oh man I love Portillo’s. But not for the hot dogs. Nope. While they are delicious, they just aren’t as delicious as a beef and cheddar croissant with hot peppers. Which I had for breakfast. Which cleared my sinuses long enough for the Pseudophedrine to kick in. And the cheese fries. Best. Cheese fries. Ever. And I don’t even LIKE french fries. They are merely the edible spoon with which to eat the cheese (That’s a direct quote from Katie, btw).

9. Would you bungee jump? Hell no. But you know why? Because they hold you by your ankles. And I have weak ankles. Skydiving, on the other hand. I’m in. That shit is on my bucket list. I love the feeling of a free fall.

10. What is the first thing you notice about people? Honestly, I’m not sure. And I think it depends on the person. So maybe it’s whatever stands out about the person. When I met Brian, it was his eyes. When I met Katie it was her smile.

11. When was the last time you cried? Yesterday. Don’t ask.

12. Any current worries. I’ve been known to worry more than some. I’ve got several things on my mind, but believe it or not, Blog Friends, there are some things that I just don’t want public.

13. Name 3 drinks you drink regularly. Coffee, water, tea. God, I love my Keurig.

14. What’s your favorite book? Pride and Prejudice

15. Would you like to be a pirate? Yes. I have a treasure hunt obsession. McDonald’s Monopoly. Disney Pin Trading. Seashell hunting. It can get bad.  And then I would swim with the dolphins when I wasn’t busy pirating.

16. Favorite Smells. I love this question. I also love the following smells in no particular order: Hallmark (except the overly candled shops…too much of a good thing ruins the fresh card and wrapping paper smell. Seriously). Old books. New books. Lemon. Cookies. Burning leaves. Spring. Lilacs.

17. Why do you blog? Fame, fortune, and free stuff. No, seriously, I blog because I love to write, and there is this amazing online community of people who not only support my writing, they inspire it. Reading blogs and commenting on blogs inspires me to write new blog posts, to challenge myself, and to explore writing beyond any realm I’ve ever dreamed of.

18. What song do you want played at your funeral? Green Day. Basket Case JOKING! I mean Time of Your Life. And then a whole lot of party pop. Because who doesn’t love party pop? I’m Polish and Irish. We celebrate the shit out of someone’s life. So you better damn well celebrate the shit out of mine. In 100 years when I die of extreme age.

19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself. Tough call. I think it’s my innate ability to apologize for everything, even when I haven’t done anything wrong. This bothers Brian to no end, and I don’t even know why I do it. I’m going to go ahead and blame Mom for this one. (Sorry, Mom!) See what I did there?

20. Favorite hobby. Writing. Definitely writing. And cooking. Definitely cooking. But I also enjoy pretending I’m going to do things that I find on Pinterest.

21. Name something you’ve done, you never thought you would do? This is the toughest question of the bunch. And I’m really not entirely sure. I mean, my life plan didn’t exactly work out the way that I thought it would. But that was me not doing things I thought I would do. I’m going to go ahead and skip this question.

22. What do you look for in a friend. I like my friends to be overall awesome in nature. They should have a great sense of humor, positive attitudes, and think I’m just as fantastic as I think they are. They also need to be pretty smart. I get bored when people who can’t carry on an interesting conversation. Does that make me an asshole?

23. Favorite Fun things to do? Being silly with Brian. Sometimes we’ll just laugh for hours with no clue as to how we started or what we were laughing about. He’s the best.

24. Pet peeves. Oh God, I have so many pet peeves. That guy in the movie theater whose phone rings…and then he answers it…or worse ignores it, but fails to turn the sound off and it happens again and again and again. That’s a huge one. I’ve also experienced this in a church. Not cool, dude. Not cool.

25. Whats the last thing that made you laugh? There were some pretty excellent comments on my Facebook post this morning. I laughed pretty hard at those. (Oh yes, I’m going to make you go and check them out.)

So now I’m tagging ANYONE who is reading this and wants to post the answers on their own blog. Because I love all of you. 🙂

OH! And while you’re at it…feel free to go and vote for the Bloggies (fancy People’s Choice Style Blog Awards)! I’m a finalist (Along with my blog friends, Katie from Words for Worms, Joules from Pocketful of Joules, and April from First Time Mom and Dad).

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!