cherry pop

Its my day off, so I’m laying on a blanket in the park reading a book and watching people play with their dogs. There’s a little breeze, the kind that barely glides across your skin, the kind that feels so soft it’s like a little kiss hello. My feet sit in the sun, the rest of me shaded by dark purple-red leaves, just a hint of sunlight filtering through. 

Sometimes the city can be so loud. People yell and cars backfire, and I live too close to the hospital to expect peace and quiet. But here, there’s nothing but the rustle of leaves, the clink of dog collars, the gentle whiz of bikes rolling past. I pull the stem off a cherry and hear a satisfying pop, something I’ve never noticed before but want to hear again, over and over, and I wish I could record it, post it here, remember it. 

I’m just pleased to be here. Happy to be alive, happy to have moved, happy I have the day to myself. Happy to hear the cherry pop. 


Summer Vacations Are Over

I just realized I’ll never have three solid months off for the summer ever again. And if we’re being totally honest, I’m not that sad about that. I never really loved summer vacation.

I grew up in a pretty rural area, but it wasn’t so rural that everyone else lived in a rural area….if that makes sense… Basically, I lived on 8.5 acres and my neighbors lived far away, but just a couple miles down the hill was a large development where tons of people lived pretty close to one another. We all went to school together, but I didn’t live close enough to them to spend hours upon hours every day making friends. I was a little bit of an outsider. While they all walked to each other’s houses every day in the summer, I stayed home with my sister and played in the yard, or did work in the little orchard we had, or made up stories by myself. My parents worked a lot, though they definitely did make efforts for me to have play dates with the other kids. It just wasn’t the same as living ten feet away from your best friend like all of the other kids did.

So my childhood was a little different from most kids’. I never minded much when I was little, because I didn’t realize there was an alternative. It helped me learn to entertain myself, and I got really comfortable being alone with my thoughts, which I think is super important and a little rare these days. I transferred to a high school in town when I was 14, and the same thing happened — I didn’t live near any of my friends, wasn’t able to just drop by. I loved high school and was really happy, so this wasn’t much of an issue, it was just different. My house was never the meeting place, because my house involved a 20 minute drive out of town.

Sometimes I drive through neighborhoods and see all the kids riding their bikes together, or walking to a corner mart, or just playing outside on someone’s lawn. I don’t know if I wish I’d had that childhood, really. It would’ve been nice to be able to be more social if I’d wanted, to have the typical high school experience you see in the movies where the best friend drops by all the time. But honestly, I’d be a different person. Those sorts of experiences change and shape you in ways we never really expect, so I don’t know who I’d be today. I’m sure I’d be lovely, but I happen to enjoy myself at the moment and I’m not terribly willing to change that.

So I didn’t care much for summer vacation, because summer vacation meant a lot of time alone. I’ll bet if I had those three months now I could find some really awesome things to do with some pretty awesome people, but I’m so excited to start my new job and make friends in this new city that there’s little that could make me want three months off of school or work.

It’s nice to be excited like this.

Happy Tanniversary

Oh, hey. Didn’t see you there! Guess what I just did? Got tanned. Spray tanned, that is, for the first time and for a number of reasons, which I shall list!

1. I’m pale. Like, really pale. Not my-skin-barely-covers-my-veins pale, but pale nonetheless.

2. It’s my one year anniversary with my boyfriend tomorrow, and I don’t want to be a pale chicken. Not that chickens are pale…it just sounded like a good phrase to use…

3.I’m pale.

Okay, so with that out of the way, I’d like to embark on the marvelous journey that is the tanning salon. More specifically, though, I’d like to describe the idiocy that occurs inside its walls.

1. The guy who helped me had a MOM tattoo. It didn’t bother me as much as it probably should have, mostly since I have a feeling that he was just being ironic…because really, who does that? I definitely forgave him though, because he had the om symbol tattooed on his wrist, and I’m kinda in love with that. (I should add that HE did not spray tan me, a machine did…)

2. You stand on these metal plates that have numbers on them, and the woman’s voice in the machine says, “Put your left foot on number 1” and so on, so that you know where to stand and when to turn 90 degrees. As he was showing me the machine, he said, “You stand here so you know where to go, and also the metal plates will ionize with your skin and make the tan better.”
You guys, I almost pissed myself laughing. The metal plates will ionize? With my skin? What?

3. My bff forevs Chloe has had many such experiences. I wrote about one of them here, but I should share one more with y’all tonight.
Bimbo at the Salon: “The spray will react with the amino acids in your skin and really make the tan last longer and be darker.”
I worry that she is right. But mostly I’m sure that she isn’t…

4. As I was about to go back and get my spray tan on, a woman walked in the salon. The guy behind the counter knew her by name, and said, “Oh, Clarissa gets Mystic Tan all the time, and she loves it!” And Clarissa perked up and said, “I DO! I LOVE IT!” and it was like we were in a commercial for sunshine and awesome, and then we all hugged.

So the moral of the story is, spray tanning is as entertaining as it is…um…darkening? Which is a lot, I think, since it’s only been three hours and I feel like I just turned Mexican. Just kidding, that could never happen (for more reasons than one…or maybe just one), but I look a little darker than usual! So hopefully I don’t turn into a carrot overnight. Wish me luck!

Oh, and Michael, happy anniversary, darling :) I love you.

I Am: Boiled Lobster

This is not me. I am not happy about the sun.

I am a pale girl. It’s just a fact of life. I’m not albino, nor do I have that white-blonde hair that turns green with chlorine or makes me look sick, but I’m pale nonetheless. And this weekend, I turned into a lobster.

I was at the lake with some friends and we were all joking about how pale we are. One of my friends even made the infamous remark that she looks like a “pale piece of blubber,” which I thought was a little extreme. I’ll have you know that I was the palest piece of blubber on that dock.

I forgot about the sunscreen. I put some on in the morning, but I spent about 6 hours outside with a bikini on. And went swimming, which basically just means bye bye sunscreen.
Long story short, I can’t even scratch my nose for pain.

I didn’t wear a bra or underwear to work today because it hurt too bad. And it’s not even sexy to say that, because even if someone I worked with was turned on by my lack of undergarments (which they wouldn’t be, since they’re all married and older than me, and only one of them is a man), I don’t think they’d want to see my bright red skin. In fact, I know they wouldn’t. It’s sick. This is my sad life.

My cousin, who is 1/4 Philipino and the tannest man I have ever met, laughed at me when I told him about it on the phone this morning. “Lil cuz,” he said, cuz that’s how he talks, “you gotta indoor tan too!”
Ralphie, I don’t know if you’ve met me, but I’m very blonde and very pale. Indoor tanning burns me after 4 minutes. Hell, my EYES get sunburned if I don’t wear sunglasses all the time. You can see this little red stripe across the white of my eye that my eyelids didn’t cover. It’s sick, kids, and you should run away screaming.

I feel like a piece of dried seaweed. If that’s even possible.