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Political Fatigue

Just moments ago, I noticed my dear friend posted on Facebook and used the phrase “political fatigue.”

Damn, if that doesn’t sum up everything, every which way and immediate.

I just finished taking a political science exam and writing out my own thoughts for an essay about the Iron Triangle. To be honest, I didn’t even know this term existed. When I took political science the first time, it was 1997. My book was hardback and we didn’t write opinion pieces. We read. Took notes. Read more. Took tests. I failed every bit of that class (and not for lack of attendance, much like my step aerobics class). I did go. I sat in tiny wooden desks (I’m not even kidding) and they had tops that resembled a painter’s palette.  Okay, it might have been a bit longer than that, but not by much.

In 1997, I was studying to be a history teacher. Total passion. My first roommate in college was a sorority girl who showed up, shook my hand and then promptly told me she was moving in with her boyfriend. She left a forwarding number should her parents call. She had sandy brown hair and wore smart looking outfits- fitted jeans and t-shirts that had capped sleeves. I remember specifically the yellow shirt she had on because the stitches at the top puckered, which reminded me of flowers.

Anyway,

I never saw her again.

So I was free to lay about this tiny cell of a room and read all day and all night. The walls of my dorm were cinderblock and painted white. The floor was brown tile, similar to that in my junior high school. The bed was terrible and plastic.

No, I wasn’t in prison, I promise.

We didn’t even have an elevator. That wasn’t an issue until my second year, when I lived on the fifth floor. The only perk of living up there was the bathroom was sprawling and there was a claw foot tub. I know, how Sylvia Plath of the University.  Only once did I see anyone in the tub and it was unfortunate.  I stumbled down the hall one morning to shower, which was early for me, considering I worked third shift at a gas station/murder mart. As I kicked open the door with my foot, shampoo under one arm, loofa in the other, there was Jen, sprawled out in all her bathing glory.  She was nice. Always trying to get me to go out and do things with some of the other girls. I did go once. Jen drove an old Mustang. The year escapes me, but it was the model that is most desired. And it was red. My thighs stuck to the black pleather seats. There was no air. We drove for hours on back roads and I couldn’t wait to get home and read.

That’s all I did. Read and smoke cigarettes in my room.

Napoleon. Henry VIII. Mary Queen of Scots. Jefferson. Bukowski. Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee. Cleopatra.

On and on.

Nights and nights.

Yet, the political science stuff was lost on me. How was it that I could read an entire novel on Napoleon, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open for three pages about Congress? I failed that class. Twice.

And here I am now, twenty years later, taking it again.  Struggling to keep my eyes open reading about Congress, the Iron Triangle, Federalists. The only difference now, is that I can open my computer and Google anything I have a question on. I can hold my phone up and say, “Okay Google, tell me what’s the big deal about …” and my phone tells me!

Twenty years ago, I had to drag my ass into the library and hope to God there was someone at a table who could give me a run down on the next three chapters (there never was). This time around is different. Aside from the fact that I’m twenty years older, I also “get it.” I’ve voted. I’ve screamed at the tv. I’ve paid attention to local elections and state elections.  On top of the reading and papers, there are also weekly discussions. I’ll spare you the grim details, but today, I just about came up out of my chair when I noticed the reoccuring theme:

Not voting.

A good chunk of my classmates didn’t vote because they didn’t think it would matter.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY IT MATTERS!

I did manage to keep my emotions in check, but did bring it up with a few classmates who had mentioned the above. I mean, you didn’t vote? AT ALL? We are in a political science class! I just… words escape me really.

So, before I start to rage out again, I will say that I’m pretty sure I just passed this last exam and I’m still working on some responses for my classmates discussion topics.  Which brings me to the point of political fatigue: I’m over it. It’s shoved down our throats every waking hour of the day. It’s splattered across the web. Social media is the devil- splitting families, friends and lovers due to their beliefs.

And here I am, taking a political science class.

God help me.

Just four more weeks.

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Sun’s out, Twins out.

Growing up, I was flat chested.

My busty girlfriends would say, “Your time will come!” or “You’re so lucky you don’t have to wear a bra!” Yet, I would stand in the bathroom and look at myself and just feel bummed out.  It was a very Judy Blume moment. You know, one of those “Are you there God, it’s me…”

In seventh grade, I made an executive decision to stuff my bra with toilet paper. I spent at least an hour in the bathroom getting the scrunching of the toilet paper just right. I didn’t want to appear too lumpy. I couldn’t fold the toilet paper either because that wouldn’t do much for the mission at hand. There was an illusion I had to create and I thought I pulled it off beautifully.

That day I was sporting a tiny white bra that had lace on the top part of the cup. No underwire, because let’s be real here, there was no support issue. As I walked up to the bus stop, my best friend yanked me away from the crowd. “Dude, did you stuff your bra?!”

“Yep. Looks good, right?” I gave a little runway walk and put my hand on my hip.

She turned me around so that my back was to the other kids at the bus stop. “Well, you went a little overboard. What are you, a C cup? Is there an entire roll of toilet paper in there? Jesus.. here…” And she shoved her hand down my shirt and pulled out a good bit of my hard work. Then she started adjusting my bra. Squishing the toilet paper. Molding it to look just right. She took a step back and said, “There. That looks more believable.”

God bless best friends.

The bus ride went along as normal- excruciatingly long (we lived out in the country and our high school was a solid thirty-minute commute) and classes were uneventful, until lunch break. As I sat with my best friend, we noticed people starting to whisper and point. “They’re on to me, aren’t they?” I asked. She leaned in close to me and said, “There’s a rumor going around that we’re lesbians. Yankee lesbians!”  We started laughing. “What? We’re not lesbians!” We agreed that maybe pulling toilet paper out of my bra on a street corner at 6:15 am wasn’t the best idea we’d had. The brutality of pre-teens in a situation such as ours was not lost on us. It was also a time when acceptance was a tiny seedling- so the rumors escalated and the teasing continued. No mercy was shown.

Anyway, we overcame the rumors and went on about our day.

Our weeks.

Our years.

Our Decades.

Five years after graduating high school, I was married and pregnant.

I went to bed one night slightly flat chested and woke up with a massive rack. Hand to heart, that’s how it happened. While I slept, the big man upstairs was like, “J needs a nice rack. She’s gotta feed that baby.”  My husband at the time was like, “Where did those come from?” I’m pretty sure we high fived one another.  That morning I spent a good hour in the mirror admiring myself and marveling at human biology.

My time had finally come.

After my son was born, the twins stuck around. My Dad told me that shortly after I moved back home, that he was at the local gas station and a few people were discussing how I must’ve had my boobs done.  In that moment, I realized I’d been called up from the minors:  I was part of town gossip!

There is a point to this if you’re still reading. I’m not just here to talk about how I came of age and the good Lord blessed me with a great rack (well, that’s part of it. Boobs are awesome, can’t lie). What I’m getting around to, is bra culture.

Currently, I have two drawers full of cute bras that give me coverage and are sensible. The ones with the wild patterns I save for when I wear black shirts because no one wants to see teal leopard print through a white shirt. Or maybe they do. Yeah, they probably do. I see you, there in the back, smiling.

Earlier in the year, I noticed that bralette’s were making a comeback. When I was in eighth grade they were in style- but not as lovely as they are now. I had a yellow one back then and it didn’t do much for me, except create a barrier between my tiny twins and my t-shirt.  Recently, a few of my girlfriends had been singing the praises of these sexy sports bras, so I decided I’d try one out.

Well, three actually.

The first one was too small and I felt like I’d smother.

The second one was too big and I would just fall out.

Last night, I picked up my third (and in my mind, final attempt at being somewhat fashion forward). It’s black and lacey. It’s cute. It fits.

Or so I thought.

Normally I give new articles of clothing a test run at home before wearing them out in public. I need to make sure that there won’t be any mishaps or uncomfortableness. Sometimes you buy a bra and it fits, only to wear it an hour and your back is screaming for relief. This time, I threw caution to the wind and just put the bra on and got dressed for work.

Everything was working out fine until half way into my commute something felt off. Like a little too breezy. I looked down and noticed my boobs looked weird.  At a red light, I pulled the neck of my shirt out to take a glance downward.

Well. Look at that.

Lucy left boob is just HANGING OUT. Apparently, she too likes to throw caution to the wind.  What an attention whore!

In case you’re wondering how my Friday will be, I’ll  just be here in my office, constantly adjusting myself. Thankfully, I don’t have any in-person meetings today nor do I have to be on television or go through TSA.  Let’s all hope that my coworkers are accepting of my peekaboo boob. If it becomes too much, I could always just rip this bralette off and go free.

I’m kidding. No one needs to see how low they go.

Although, nothing screams casual Friday like a wonky tit, amirite?

 

 

 

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Letters piled on top

Outside, in the front bed, the calla lilies are blooming.
I want to show you,
but you are asleep.
I want to tell you that they remind me of the cup Willy Wonka ate,
but those are daffodils, not calla lilies
and these flowers look like flutes-
Their outside petals are creamy and beige
like flat paint on walls
in a remodeled house
the inside deep purple
like a fresh pitcher of Kool-aid
i want to fill them with water
and take a drink
just how I used to do with tic-tac containers
when i was a kid

a universal pattern is emerging
where we talk and talk
then we don’t and we don’t
some mornings, i cannot rip
all those piled up letters out of your
mouth
so we let them tumble out
like tiny crumbs
left in the corner
to be noticed later

there are evenings
when i want to roll up my sleeve
and show you
that i’ve worn those same badges
as you
heart on sleeve
ten to the dozen
this too shall pass

“I come as a poet, to call upon a poet,”

you are tall and slender
with the weight of the world
giving you a curve in your spine
let me take it
so that you can stand
without worry
or
want

after all,
i spent so much time
waiting for you
and the calla lilies
are only going to be
in the front garden
for just a few days
more

wake up soon,
we don’t have to
pile words on top
of one another

we can just stand
quietly

knowing that
in all of this
we will grow