The rest of away

It’s taken me a bit to somewhat process this past weekend.
(Side note, I’m watching Teen Mom 2 and this is the second one of these dumbass girls I’ve watched act like an invalid after her boob job. What the actual hell is the matter with me, watching this nonsense?)
Anyway, we spent the weekend at my first comic convention. I was prepared and not prepared – I mean, I’ve watched the documentaries and the sitcoms and read articles, nerds are weird. I know this.
But it was a good opportunity for the podcast, so I went. With Prozac. Prepared to network and schmooze.
While there’s lots to tell you about the weekend in general (like hello awesome food!, and being in the same room as Billy Dee Williams’ pee, and the time I thought I might see a man die and I acted anything but admirably), right now I want to focus on the actual event.
How it was stinky. Crowded. Germy. Confusing. And absolutely spectacular.

We had preordered our tickets (which was my first time ever to use Passbook on my phone, and I totally felt like the Jetsons with my virtual roboticket), so there wasn’t much of a wait to strap on some armbands and stand in line with pretty much every variety of person on the planet.

Seriously, this was as good as people watching gets. Costumes and pajama pants, stilettos and flip flops, and absolutely everything else imaginable. Spandex. Sequins. Feathers. Rubber. Metal. Cardboard. Want to wear some ears and a tail? Awesome. Top hat? Help yourself. Flippers with no other hint of a costume? Have some nachos.

And yeah, they stunk. Some of them did. Some of them smelled fantastic – particularly these two chicks who I’m fairly absolutely concretely certain were prostitutes. But they were all so… connected. It was such a community of all these people who mostly didn’t know each other. There was trust in so many iterations – from the toddler in his Iron Man outfit who won a sword fight with a Stormtrooper to the mom of two in her steampunk corset and bustle who didn’t give a shit what you thought about her cellulite. It was freeing just to be there, to be able to take in the attitude of acceptance.

And also…the talent. It was a grab bag of you-pick-it eeney meanie miney holy balls. I have never been in tossing distance of so much ability in my life. It was amazing and humbling and completely exciting. I still don’t really have the right words.

I am not and never have been what anyone would call a cool person. I’m not with it or hip or anything the kids like these days. And in theory, neither were these people, right?

I mean, according to the movies and high school and anything I ever learned from band camp, these are the punch lines, right? The nerds, the geeks, the people who don’t fit in.

Except these people were amazing. They were real and colorful and…themselves.

That’s it. That’s what it was.

There was no apology in any of this past weekend. No one was sorry for being whoever it was they wanted to be. It was open and obnoxious, and the most authentic experience I’ve ever had.

I met some amazing people. Made some connections I will treasure. Hopefully some of the people I met will take a turn to post here sometime soon, and I’m excited about that.

For now though, I’m still sorting through everything I learned this weekend. About myself, about my world. About comic books and zombies. About how lucky I am to realize that just because there’s no one like me doesn’t mean there’s anything to change about me.

***all photos used with permission, courtesy of Keith Reed, whom I found on the Twitters.

 

Embracing the kook within

Historically I have never been what you would call a joiner.

It's all too much, man. Too much work.

It's why I don't have friends. It's why I find my own things and bury myself in them. Hell, it's why this blog has not died a raging fiery inferno death – because I do it whenever I please and big middle finger when I don't.

But my husband, he's a joiner. He gets all up IN all kinds of shit. And he does it because he's good at it. I support that. How could I not? It makes him happy. Happy him, happy me.

So in a grand gesture of solidarity and total outside-my-comfort-zone-ness, I am donning my brand spanking new JustUsGeeks tshirt, hauling around my weight in purple bluish memefont flyers, and going to a comic & toy convention.

Yeah, that's right. You heard it here first.

 

But you know what's crazy? I'm excited. Like, stupid excited.

So by the time you read this, Josh and The Guv and I (Catch that? Did you? Yeah, I said my name and his name but not Lucy's name. More on that later.) will be tooling off toward Kentucky. Or, well, Friday morning. So whenever you read this in relation to Friday morning. Because I think I'm going ahead and publishing this tonight.

 

See it? It's already happening. DARING.

Wish me luck!

And lo, in the year of our lord 2013

 

I thought about this post all weekend, but I failed to come up with anything particularly spectacular.

Last month my sister had a baby.

This is nothing new, I mean I have a niece and nephew already – and not to sound too crass, but I mean, my kids are the shit so my nieces and nephews can't be too far from.

My sister recently(ish) remarried. A nice, normal guy who loves the piss out of her and is nice to people besides her, which is sometimes a rarity. He's a good egg. And when I found out they were having a baby I could not have been happier – for her, for him. For me because babies.

Children are spectacular, we all know. But having a child with someone you love with all your being and who loves you right back? That's…not even something words can touch.

I wanted that for her. And so when news of little Parker came along I knew what she was in for and I couldn't wait.

The weekend after her son was born, we went to visit.

He was everything I wanted him to be.
He was tiny, he was sweet.
He had her fingers and feet and his daddy's mouth.
He snuggled in my niece's arms like he already knew where he belonged.
He was – he is – perfect.

So for now I'll spare you the tales of my empty uterus and how SURELY I might have another little boy and holy crap he'd be so amazing and cuddly and little and ohmahgahbabies.

No, for now we can just say that my sister's family is complete. And that there is a little bundle of squiggly baby sized love who knew just where he needed to be, and he will probably never know how much joy he brought with him into the world.

 

 

 

 

Beating heart

It took me a long time to realize that I had completely the wrong idea about love.

I had always thought of love as a blanket that wrapped me up, held me tight and refused to let go. A place where I would arrive after a full out sprint.

I have a lot still to learn about love. Listen to that. I sound fifteen.

There’s the love I have for my kids. For my family.

Then there’s the love I have for the person I chose to spend the rest of my life alongside. The cure for all the misconceptions I had – good or bad. The person who loves me when I am most unlovable and who stays in my corner through it all.

I’m not Cinderella. He’s not Prince Charming. There’s no castle or pumpkin or fairy godmother. It’s not what I expected when I was eight – or even twenty.

But it’s spectacular. It’s worth whatever I have to give. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done and it’s the only work I hope never ends – because while I was wrong about what I expected, instead of a blanket I have a tapestry. A constant work of connects and effort so hopelessly complicated that it can’t be anything but beautiful. A marathon instead of the sprint. Something I never expected but worth more than I ever dreamed.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

ProcrASStination.

Basically, people, I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking through the past month.

 

Really.

 

Even yesterday, when I had plenty of work to do at, you know, actual work – I stayed home with a whiny toddler and firepee thanks to being female and having, apparently, a short urethra. *bows to the TMI audience*

So I could have done schoolwork, right? The geneaology paper that is due today. Or the research paper that is due tomorrow. Both are still barebones and need work.

Instead, though, I spent the day watching Big Love on demand, flushing out my system with echinacea and vitamin C, thinking about the past and the future and how to best go about making pumpkin muffins.

So what did I accomplish? I lessened my infection, I think. I pondered what my hair would look like a la Ginnifer Goodwin in Season Three. I made the muffins. I vacuumed the floor. I did work a bit on the papers.

 

I can’t say I made much eternal progress in anything yesterday. Except the muffins. They were amazing.

 

 

Love and hate – a birthday manifesto

Dear husband, today is your birthday. To celebrate your 29 years on our planet, I have arranged a list for you. Things I love about you. Things I love about us. Things I also hate about you and us.

With love.

Part One, Hate.

I hate that you leave all your socks on your side of the bed where I forget to look until there is suddenly a mountain of smelly socks peeking over the mattress.

I hate that you have pretty curly hair and I DO NOT.

I hate that you are so tall that you can find things in the cabinet in two seconds after I have spent thirty minutes tearing pots and pans out into the floor.

I hate that you are so young. Twenty nine. Damn you. Your thirties are coming.

I hate that you can work all the PhotoShop nonsensery and I can do it no more than I can speak Greek.

I hate that I cannot even begin to play you in basketball.

I hate that I cannot stay mad at you for any time. It’s totally unfair.

Part Two, Love.

I love that you are my best friend. Full Stop. Everyone says that they married their best friend, but I don’t think everyone knows what they are talking about because we are on the wavelength.

I love that you (at least most of the time) listen to my opinion. You let me ramble with my psychoanalytic babble and my drawn-from-the-air opinions and what’s more, you agree with me lots of the time. Maybe you’re just pretending, but it’s the shit.

I love that when you cook, you ignore that I don’t like things like mushrooms and onions and weird shallot things and you put them in anyway – but you make them big enough to pick out because you want me to enjoy what you’ve made.

I love that you wait to watch our chef shows until we can watch them together.

I love that you hold onto things you love – like cooking, basketball – and you make a point to do them just for you.

I love that you have friends. I envy that because I don’t have go-hang-out friends, but I love that you do.

I love that you can argue with people like car dealers and bank tellers and people who are trying to sell things for way too much. It’s a strength you have that I lack. I admire that in you.

I love that we have so much more to go.

I love that you are supportive of things l love.

I love that you are mine.

 

So today, though it may not be the birthday you will remember always, I hope you can stop a minute and realize that today is a big deal because it brought me you. Years before either of us knew. I love you so much. Thank you for being everything.

To be a dad

My kids have it made.

All three of them have loving, doting, involved fathers who are the very essence of what it means to be a dad.

In all the hubbub of everyday in our lives, I think we all forget that these are the memories we’ll take into our future. This is what we’ll mean by childhood.

This is our definition of family. We don’t pay enough attention until it’s passing sometimes.

We are many things.
Lucky.
Loved.
Cared for.
Provided for.
Laughed with.
Treasured.

Thank you for my children. Thank you for our life.

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photography by Talley Images

Oh Day of Days

There are many, many days in any given year that are special to me, for any number of reasons.

Today, though. Today is big.

Seriously – there are all of the feelings.

Eight years ago today, I had a daughter. She was perfect. She was beautiful.

She still is.

In Ava, I see everything I once was – and so much I could never be. Confidence and beauty and every hope and dream in the world. I want so much for her, and at the same time I’m terrified I’m unintentionally projecting some vicarious dreams. That’s not what I want. If she takes nothing away from my mothering, I want it to be the knowledge that above all else, I love her. No matter what. If she quits too soon, if she loves unexpectedly, if she makes the wrong choice. When she can be sure of nothing else in the entire world, she can be sure of me. That she is my heart.

For eight years I have been in this fog of awe that I could have ever produced such a spectacular human being, and it won’t lift any time soon.

Six years ago today, I married my best friend. We went on a whim to a courthouse and said vows in front of a stranger, and then we ate Mexican food.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been harder than anything else I could ever even think of doing. I’ve wanted to quit and I’ve wondered what we were thinking. But I’ve also had the most amazing times of my life.

I’ve never really believed in the concept of soulmates, but I do know that to find someone you can lock onto is a lucky, lucky thing. It’s unlikely and it’s messy and it’s embarrassing and it’s everything you think it shouldn’t be, but in the midst of everything else, it’s having a partner. Someone on your side. Someone who can hurt you like no one else – but chooses not to, not because you can hurt them just as badly, but because they want to keep you from hurt. Teamwork and frustration and heartbreak, joy and accomplishment and laughter and tears.

Maybe it isn’t Cinderella. Maybe it isn’t all unicorns and fairy farts.

But it’s spectacular. It’s the whole world. It’s a work of art.

 

All in all, it’s a pretty great day.

 

Oh, North Carolina…or my unrequested opinion

Well, it happened. In North Carolina.

It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again, but that doesn’t make it any less horrific.

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Notice the wording – not just “we won’t recognize your marriage,” but your union is not valid.

I married, I divorced, I married again. My marriage now is certainly valid, just as my first one was. I, as a heterosexual person, am permitted to marry and divorce and marry again at will, simply because my husband and I have opposing genitals. What if I had no vagina? What if I dressed as a man but still maintained my female parts?

What if I put a dress on Josh, called him Jessica, and tried to marry him in North Carolina? Would they just deny us outright? Or would they ask for physical verification? Is there a pants-dropping section in every city hall in North Carolina?

I grew up a hardcore Baptist. I live in Mississippi. I certainly understand the Bible driven, morality police mindset. For the most part, I think it comes from a not-terrible place. I think the opposition is fairly good hearted and they believe in their convictions.

But while I understand the mindset, understanding does not mean condoning. It’s just not okay.

There are people I love who are being told they cannot be recognized as a united couple with someone they love. There are people I love who are being told how they feel is invalid.

And whatever beliefs or convictions are behind it, it’s not okay.

I don’t like onions. I hate them, actually, and I wish I never had to encounter them in a salad or a sandwich or my pizza. But other people seem to love them, and so they endure to ruin my life. I’ve accepted this. I do not deny those I love the joy of their stinky, vapory vegetables.

My point is that just because I feel one way doesn’t mean I plan to push those feelings on everyone else.

America is many things – but haven’t we always maintained that above all, we are free? What is more basic than the freedom to commit to someone you love?

In my deepest romantic girly roots, I believe that when you love someone – truly love them – they become the most beautiful thing you can comprehend. And how sad is it if you see that beauty, that breaking off of awe…only to be told that what you feel is invalid?

I want you to believe whatever you want. I want you to support it to the core. But when you try and tell me that I have to abide by your rules, just because…well, I can’t believe that’s the way Jesus would have done it.