Saturday, December 20, 2014

lonely night

I really need to make some new friends.

Or some friends, anyway.

Bobby picked up Derek at 2:30 today. Since he left, I've watched several episodes of Dr Who and I wasted a couple of hours at Last Chance. I don't even like Last Chance anymore. I walked away with two bras and a pair of earrings I'll probably never wear. As for Dr Who, I'm not sure if I like the show or not ... it's just something to watch ... over and over and over again ... it's a little weird and kind of fun, but I don't really care what happens or anything.

I've been alone for more than six hours. I have no one to talk to, no one to call and say "hey, let's catch a movie or go to the mall." I'm bored.

Tonight was the first time I've ever gotten a bra at Last Chance. I've been going there for years and years--since I was in high school--and I've gotten shoes and shirts and handbags and lots and lots of jeans and dresses and even underpants and jewelry and children's toys, but I've never picked up a bra before. I'm not sure why. They only cost $3 per ... and they're good bras ... and I haven't had a new bra in over three years, maybe even more four years.

So, this is the mundane tomfoolery that I have no one to bore with.

No one to shop with me.

I'm bored and desperate for someone to talk to.

Friday, December 19, 2014

not a fan of random pics

I was in such a good mood this morning. Really, I was. I was singing and joking.

We had an offsite lunch for the entire office. It was fun.

We had a great time.

I was having a great time.

And then my boss snapped this pic and sent it out to all my techs....

...and, for some reason, it just really really bummed me out.

Like I'm seriously depressed right now.

No wonder no one loves me. I'm a hideous, red-nosed, fat-thighed cow. And even though I know it isn't true, even though I know I'm being melodramatic and silly....that's all I can see and it makes me sad.

I guess I don't like me very much.

Poor crooked-faced, tired-eyed me.

Derek has started pulling my hair out of its ponytail every time he sees me, fluffing my hair out, and telling me that he's making me pretty. Maybe he has a point. Maybe I need to abandon the ponytails again.

I don't know.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

a stripe of color

I tried to touch up my roots tonight.


My hair is still wet so I haven't gotten a clear look at the results yet, but I'm afraid I messed up. Big time. I can already tell that I chose the wrong color and it looks like I didn't do a very consistent job covering the roots either--so I've got a brighter, oranger, redder, broken up stripe at my roots interrupted by chunks and dashes of natural color (or other color anyway).


I've got reddish hair right now. Even when I was younger and I wasn't worried about grays, I thought my roots looked gray when they grew in under red ... and now I'm older and I am worried about grays and I think my roots look gray growing in under the red and it drives me nuts. Hence the attempt to color my roots.

I hope the difference in the new color and the old color isn't as obvious when it dries.

A part of me thinks it doesn't matter because my hair is a jumble of colors anyway. A littler (but sometimes louder) part of me thinks it doesn't matter because no one ever actually looks at me anyway. A third part of me is afraid it will matter. A fourth part hopes it's not noticeable. A fifth part hopes it matters. So many parts of me!

I wonder how long I could keep going with this.

Oh, well.

We've just finished watching Brave. I wonder if I could keep the red going and my hair growing and go out as Merida for  Halloween next year. Maybe I could dress Derek as a bear--but would that mean I was dressing him as the queen?

I'm sitting on the couch. Derek's lying against my back. I think he may have fallen asleep a minute or two ago. He suddenly got heavy and quiet and still. It feels nice. I'm debating if I should carry him to bed or wake him up and make him brush his teeth and take a shower, He had a long day. We skipped church again this Sunday (we skip most Sundays) and Derek missed his nap. Bobby took Derek to the park. I watched Anchorman 2 while he was gone. What a stupid waste of two hours! I could have and should have done so many other things instead. Darn it.

Derek will be three tomorrow.

Friday, December 5, 2014

sorrow everlasting

It's been four months and four days and I still miss my dad like crazy. Every day. Walking down the street, driving to work, seeing a new book title on Amazon--the sadness can strike anywhere and anytime. I miss him. I love him. I wasn't ready to let go. I'm better than I was four months ago, but I'm still not 100% okay. Or maybe this is what it means to be okay now. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

aug is over, it's been a month

Today  is  September  1st.

My dad's been gone for a month.

One month, four hours, and twenty minutes ago, I answered the phone and heard my mom, so far away and so alone in the middle of the night in a foreign country, whisper the horrible news. There was nothing I could do. I offered to call my brothers and sisters. I wanted to help, to take the horror of calling away from my mom, but I also wanted something to do. Derek was at his dad's house and I was alone. There was no one for me to hold or cry with. I didn't want to turn off the lights and try to sleep again--and, on some level, I felt guilty about taking that away from her, leaving her alone in that room with my dad on the floor and nothing to do. 

There's no way to fight "dad died," nothing that can counteract it or make it less true.

I love my dad. I miss him more than I know how to express. I want to hold his hand one more time. I want to hold his hand and hug him a hundred more times. I want Derek to know and love his grandad. I want to eat pizza puffs with him and watch Netflix movies on the end of his bed and swap books and go for long drives to look at trees or houses he likes. I want a recent picture of me and my dad. I want to sit down and smile for the camera with neither of us hiding our face.

It's too late for all of that.

I have no regrets other than the regret of time. I wish we had more. Of course. I wish the heart attack in Peru had been a false alarm, something to scare us and make us angry and worried, but not something so final. 

I'm trying to believe in heaven. I want the faith I had as a child. I want to believe that my dad is still there, that I'll see him again, but mostly right now I just miss him. 

When I was a kid, my dad was the biggest and strongest man I knew. Maybe that's a cliche of childhood--maybe  we all think our dads are Superman at some point in our lives--but when I was in kindergarten, my dad's students actually called him Superman. He was tall and strong and good-looking. He was a firefighter, a paramedic, a track coach, a teacher and a principal. He led survivalist groups. He hiked, he built houses, delivered babies on the side of the road, cooked beans and bread and cinnamon rolls, read books, ran races, and fathered eight kids. He had big strong hands. He was kind and generous and always curious and if he saw someone who needed help, he would stop to help.

He wasn't perfect, of course. He had too many physical problems and, after countless surgeries in the last several years--knee and shoulder replacements and  multiple spinal fusions--he wasn't as strong as he'd once been and he never went anywhere without a bag of medicine. He and my mom had their problems too. Problems are human. But they loved one another and they worked through their problems together.

He wasn't perfect, of course, but he was perfect for me.

I couldn't imagine a better dad for me and I wish I could have had him a little longer. I wish Derek could have had him a little longer too.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I made a mistake.

I always thought I would grow up, fall in love, finish school, get married in the temple, and have a million kids. I thought I'd seen enough of my parents' struggles to know there was no easy happily ever after, but it never occurred to me, as shy and socially awkward as I was, that the rest of it wouldn't somehow just fall into place. I didn't have a lot of friends and I rarely dated--but, hey, there's someone out there for everyone. Right?? Except there isn't.

I recently read through a journal I kept when I was 23. I'd never even kissed a guy. I was painfully shy, incredibly lonely, and jealous of everyone who had what I wanted. I know myself well enough to know that every day wasn't terrible, to know that I was writing when I was at my lowest. But even in those dark moments, lamenting that my little sisters were finishing school and kissing boys and moving on with life ahead of me--even when I felt sorriest for myself, it never occurred to me that I might never find "the one," that I might never fall in love and get married and live in a crazy house with a million kids. My journal is littered with comments about "when I get married." It never occurred to me that I'd be 38 someday and still alone, that I'd compromise everything else for the chance to be even just a part-time mom and share a kid with someone who apparently hates me.

The trouble is, even though I can say I've given up, even though I know absolutely that it will never happen, in my heart I still want that dream and I can try to make peace with my reality, but it hurts too. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

what do dreams mean?

I woke up from the strangest dream this morning.

We were evacuating--my entire family and I. We were packing as much as we could fit in our cars as quickly as we could and we were leaving. I don't know where we were going, but we were running from something and we were running out of time. In my dream, we were all younger than we are now. I was an adult, but I wasn't thirty-eight. I lived at my parents' house, but I'd already started packing for something (was I going away to school?). When my parents told me we were evacuating, I was upset. I'd only packed for a couple of months, not for forever, and now I had to hurry to catch up and to get the stuff I needed before it was too late.  I think we were in our old house from Tempe, but my closet was a lot like my closet at the Saddle Club Apartments. Derek wasn't there, but I packed his baby clothes--making sure he and I would have warm clothes because, apparently, wherever we were going, I was expecting snow. I still had my Jetta. I miss that car! I'd traded my parents the Jetta for an old army Jeep in the dream--but they were using the Jeep and it was already full of their stuff when I ran outside with my arms full of clothes. The Jetta's trunk was full of baby tortoises. I packed around them and yelled at Graham or Steven, both little kids, to pick some weeds and throw them in the back. Just before my alarm rang, I saw Justin sitting in the backseat of the Jeep with my parents in the front and my blonde little brothers cuddled into the clothes in the far back.

I woke up praying to know it was all about.

It was so real....but everyone was younger and so much hadn't happened yet and everything was changing.

What would I take if I had to evacuate right now?

I'm looking around my house and I suddenly want to get rid of all the superfluous junk.

I want to clean out and clear out or something.

I want to be ten or fifteen years younger and to still think I can go somewhere or something.

Or maybe this is all BS. It was just such a weird dream.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

a lovely night

Derek and I are sitting on the couch watching Lion King. Derek is tucked against me, his feet in my lap and his butt against my side. Yang is curled up on the ottoman in front of us. The house is warm and dark and this feels nice. 

I don't know what I was thinking about earlier today, but I was driving to Last Chance, singing the ABC's with Derek and I suddenly realized (or decided) that my life is a million times better than it was three years ago and it's better because of Derek. Who'd have thought a crazy toddler could make such a difference? I don't particularly like my job, my car gets crappy mileage and I feel like I never have any extra money (I probably shouldn't be going to Last Chance, should I?) ... but in spite of all of that and anything else I could complain about, I'm happier than I've ever been.

I left Last Chance without buying new shoes and I don't wear a lot of designer jeans anymore--instead, I browse the racks for a perfect pair of Kut jeans--only $10!, but no luck tonight. I settled for a t-shirt for Derek for $2.97. We picked up a banana on the way out and we sang songs and looked for fire trucks and police cars all the way home.

Little things, like his singing face in the backseat or his enthusiasm for car washes and police car, have made such a huge, huge difference in my life.

I was going to write more, but he's begging for chicken and begging for bed at the same time right now -- so I'd better put down the computer for a while.

Bon nuit


Thursday, February 6, 2014

still mundane and simply me

I felt like starting over.

So I have.

My old blog is gone and this is Simply Me now. 

Who am I? 

I'm Megan. I have a son and a computer and a car. I kind of have a cat sometimes too, but he isn't mine. I paint my nails and then I chew off the paint. Plain colors or intricate designs, it's always the same. I paint my nails, they look great for a few hours or even a day or two, and then I start chipping, peeling, and chewing it all away. I complain about being sleepy almost every day. I hate living in Mesa, but I'm comfortable in my house.

That's who I am. It's what I do.

I've been thinking a lot about memory--not specific memories so much as memory in general. What do we remember and why and how does that shape our lives? 

My mom wrote a letter when she was living in Panama nearly forty years ago. I found it when I cleaned out my grandma's apartment last year. In it, my mom wrote about driving from Provo to Panama when I was just a baby. Somewhere on a road in Guatemala, they stopped to change a flat tire and the van started to tip over. My dad and another man barely caught it. The trip could have been ruined. Someone could have been smashed. In the letter, my mom wrote that I was in a hammock in the van at the time. Reading the letter so many years later, though, she told me she clearly remembered holding me in her arms and watching the van descend. 

I was (and am!) fascinated by the differences between the letter and her memory. Why were there differences? Which version was true? And does it really matter?

Last weekend, in Memphis, my brother told his friends that when Ari and I became vegetarians in high school, my mom announced she wouldn't be cooking separate meals for us and, so, my siblings were forced to be vegetarian too. I was surprised. I don't remember things that way at all. It's true that my mom cooked with tofu sometimes, but I always suspected her of sneaking meat into my food, mixing the tofu with chicken and putting beef bullion in my beans. I don't remember support and vegetarian meals. I remember lectures from my dad for being disrespectful and wasting their food whenever my mom "forgot" I was a vegetarian and put meat in front of me. My brother and I lived in the same house and ate the same meals and we remembered things so differently. When I stopped to think about it, though, I realized that it made sense in an odd way. He wasn't on the receiving end of the lectures and he wasn't worried about bullion in the beans. He was inconvenienced by the tofu. Everything else was mundane and every day and easily forgotten. The tofu stood out and, because of that, those vegetarian meals, forced on him by my choice to stop eating meat, are what he remembers. Meanwhile, over the years, I've often credited my parents' opposition for cementing that teenage phase into a lifestyle choice that still affects the way I eat today.

So, memory ... blah, blah, blah.

I'm fascinated by it. It's unreliable. On some emotional and subconscious level, we decide what to remember and what to forget. I feel like memory is our way of telling our own stories (even if we're only telling those stories to ourselves) and sorting out our feelings. Because of that, I want to start writing more often again, to help me remember and to help me explore my memories, to tell my version of events.

With my old blog, I felt like I'd lost sight of any reason for writing so I'm starting over.

I'm not plain jane anymore, I'm simply me.