Thursday, December 13, 2012

Way Up High

In my house there's a mythical place where toys go called Way Up High. The location often changes without notice, but the laws governing remain the same. In Way Up High land you never know who you may find. One day in my journeys, I stumbled upon quite a large group of inhabitants.

For one activity or another, the toys were banished to Way Up High never to be heard from again until that fateful day when they were given a second chance. I am not entirely sure what causes a toy to go haywire, is it peer pressure or are some toys just inherently misfits. Whatever the reason, the toys that don't conform to society find themselves in Way Up High. Most often they travel in packs, Iike the group above. But it's not unheard of to find a solitary.

On occasion I have even witnessed the natives of Way Up High so outraged at a toys actions, they are banished to the outskirts of the land. A place only whispered in the darkest of times, Way Way Up High. Here they are most usually forgotten about completely.

And sometimes there are repeat offenders. I will not mention any names, eh hem...lightsaber.

These toys are darker than most and stand no chance in normal society. Their forever home is Way Up High. The only hope they have at a new life is a place called Good Will.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Possession of a Deadly Weapon

Ever have one of those moments when you laugh out of fear of another even bigger emotion settling in? Yeah, that's been my day. Except I didn't laugh. But I am now, via letters on a screen. I will not write a sob story. I will tell the only semi funny part of it all.

Alice's school is a five minute drive from home and today after picking her up I had a four minute phone conversation with my doctor that left me worried and concerned and having to make another appointment. It's nothing too alarming yet, but needless to say, I'm not an individual that worries well.

I had one minute to try and process the phone call before I heard Alice's best friend in the back seat say, "Look! The door's open." In the middle of parrel parking, it took me a second to register what he was saying, what he had seen. I turned and saw the front door to my house wide the fuck open. My mind hit overdrive, thoughts racing trying to decide my next move. Why was the front door open? Was there someone inside? Had someone broken into my house? Oh my god, was someone with a gun in my house?! Was is just Hatta? Was he home sick from work? Had Hatta left the front door open?

Not knowing what was inside, to keep them safe, I left the kids in the car and locked the door. I ran up the front steps and was greeted by a scared Marley dog just on the other side of the threshold. Frozen in place, I looked around, tv still there, nothing disturbed. I saw one of two cats lying on the dog bed. There was still an entire house to be checked and with kids in the car I had to be fast. Heart pounding I looked for a weapon, anything I could club a guy over the head with. Pillows, pictures and no. I had nothing. I could have run to the kitchen to get something deadly but in the interest of time, I took off empty handed. In a split second decision, I grabbed the guitar that resides on the first landing up the steps. I can now laugh, my weapon of choice to defend myself was a guitar. And the sad thing, as I was climbing the steps I was mentally preparing myself to use it. I even repositioned it in a way to get better leverage if I needed to start swinging. Thankfully, I didn't need to use it. The house was empty. No intruders. Nothing missing...except one cat.

In a total brainless move, Hatta didn't shut the front door before he left for work. He didn't shut or lock our front door. At all. I was already gone for the day, not to return until after picking Alice up at 11:45. In that time, Ellie cat had wandered out the door in search of adventure. For Hatta's sake, since I was ready to kill him with something more powerful than a guitar, maybe there is a God after all, because Ellie was found within a few hours of searching.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stranded at the Airport

It was a cold night many, many years ago. Our flight had just landed. We claimed our bags and waited inside the airport for our ride to pick us up. She was a good friend. Hatta and I had been there for her when she needed it and along the way we grew closer. However, there was always an unreliable undercurrent with her. She had disappointed us before and we had managed to overlook it. Every time, every letdown was met with an excuse. Every time, every excuse allowed us to put it in the past and stay friends. Until that snowy night when Hatta and I were left stranded at the airport. With no word from her and far too late in the evening to call anyone else, we took a $75 cab ride home. From that moment on, I recognized the type of person she was and vowed to never allow myself to be disappointed by her again.

"The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

It's important in life to recognize who a person is. You don't have to like it. You don't have to even be a part of it. But you need to believe it. For me, problems arise when a person shows who they are and I believe it's a rare instance, a one time occurrence, not examples of their true self. I want to see the good, and I convince myself anything less than is not real. I overlook the bad and allow myself to be hurt, disappointed, frustrated, all because I want to believe it will change.

As I grow and learn, it's become easier for me to acknowledge. Take my sisters for example. I love them dearly and they are both extremely unique and different from one another. In the past, I have struggled to maintain a consistent relationship with either. It's been hot and cold for the better part of my life. One minute we are best friends, the next not even speaking. Until I acknowledged who they are, I found myself a victim of disappointment again and again. Now, without surprise and minimal hurt I can say, "that's just her." And I'm quite sure they both say the same about me.

There is, however, a fine line between accepting what a person shows you and allowing yourself to be a doormat, to be taken advantage of, to be hurt with a promise of change. How do you know when to break ties and cut your loses like I did with my friend all those years ago? When is enough enough? When does a person's character become more damaging than, "Ha ha...that's John for ya!" When does the emotional cost of maintaining a friendship become too great? What does it ultimately take for you to believe what a person has been showing you all along?

These are the questions I find myself lying in bed at night thinking about. Wishing I had the ultimate answer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When I Grow Up

"When I grow up and get big, I don't wanna be a mama," she told me.

"That's fine. You don't have to be a mama."

"I don't want to have babies in my tummy."

"Well, then, you don't have to," I told her.

"But what if a baby gets in my tummy anyway?"

"It won't. Don't worry. If you don't want to be a mom you don't have to be. You can be whatever you want. But, you might change your mind. I loved having you in my tummy. You would kick my belly every night when I sat down to eat dinner."

"And what'd you do to me?" she asked, perfectly well knowing the answer.

"I'd rub your little bum to calm you down. Alice, why don't you want to be a mama?"

"I don't like how babies get out of the tummy from the vagina."

"I didn't like it either. But you can still be a mama if you want. You don't have to grow the baby in your tummy if you don't want to. You can adopt a baby that needs a mama. Like your Aunts did."

With an upbeat tone she exclaimed, "That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna get a baby that already has a name."