Friday, December 15, 2006

New Look

I really need a new look on Maine-ly Megin. I know.

In the meantime I am absolutely thrilled with the new look at GNM Parents.

Do you like it?

Do you think it's a problem if I am half in love with most of the contributors over there?

I am off to begin our Christmas celebration this weekend with my in-laws. It will be fun and happy. I hope you have a great weekend, too.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Who Wrote the Book of....?

What, in the name of all that is good and right in this world, was I thinking?

So, my 2nd meme in a week- again started by the talented Chicken Lady- a collaborative story... and it hits me it time for dialog? Dialog? (I can't "do" heavy today, folks...) I apologize only once.

(by Mrs. Chicken @ Chicken and Cheese)
I thought I saw him at the grocery store. It was raining that afternoon, and he had an umbrella. The red and white triangles that made up his portable shelter partly obscured his face, but I caught a glimpse of his eyes. Those eyes. Huge, blue and empty.

When he left me I remember searching their vast cerulean expanse for some sign, some flicker of love. It rained that day, too. Why does it rain when you lose someone you love? My tears left him unmoved. I don’t know why that surprised me.

The baby kicked in my cart and I let my gaze fall on her face. Her father’s eyes stared back at me. Green eyes, warm and full of life.“Mamma?” she said. “Mamma!”

(by Binky @ 24/7)
The question-turned-exclamation jarred me out of my reverie. There was pressure in my temples and behind the hazel tint of my colored contact lenses. "Mamma's here," I cooed. My voice was a manufactured kind of soothing. I leaned in and brushed a kiss over Bethany's forehead, where a drop of rainwater hung like the tiniest Swarovski pendant. Its chain was made of fine blond locks.

"What do you think, baby girl?" I asked as I pulled her into my arms. "Is it time to go home?" Her searching legs and center of gravity found all the right contours as she settled atop the jut of my hip. I tugged at her coat until the hood framed her face, then I stepped into the rain. A small deluge of water streamed off the curve of the lowercase "o" on the Save-A-Lot sign and landed at the back of my neck. I could feel the tag from my shirt sticking sharp and soggy to my skin.

I sighed against Bethany's face and tried to avoid the bigger puddles on our way to my twenty year old Civic, which was miraculously close. One row over and three cars ahead, I saw a familiar red and white umbrella spanning the gap between an open door and the driver's seat of a rusty 4Runner that had to be as old as my own piece of junk. They guy I'd mistaken for Paul sat sideways and watched the rain as he talked into a cell phone.

(by Tony @ Creative-Type Dad)
Hastily reaching into my purse holding Bethany firmly, I could faintly hear the sound of his voice. His mumbled words were almost too reminiscent of Paul’s. The way he laughed as he said “Gouda” into his plastic phone brought back imagery of the two of us, sitting together last winter on the living room floor, sipping Merlot watching “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. Occasionally Paul would jokingly burst out vocabulary in his comedic English accent – expressions like “Don Perignon!” and “Caviar Dreams!” oh, how I loved Caviar and that faux bear skin rug.

With keys finally in hand, stumbling to open the rusty car door, I could sense this stranger's stare against my cheek. His phone chatter abruptly ended and I could hear the sounds of squeaking cowboy boots crushing the wet pavement.

(by Occidental Girl @ The Occidental Tourist)
My mind was suddenly full of so many thoughts vying for my attention at the same time that I couldn't think straight.

It can't be him, I thought, no way. What would I say? What do I look like? What am I wearing???

The answers came in rapid succession: It could be him, it's okay if it's him because I'm not angry anymore; I could talk about my fulfilling life that I've enjoyed since knowing him, like this beautiful child I created with someone else, without him; I look like shit but since I'm too hard on myself in general, I probably look just fine; men - especially Paul - don't notice what women are wearing unless it's nothing at all. Then, they notice.

When you coincidentally encounter someone you loved once, a long time ago, the traitorous mind tends to retrieve only the good memories and leave the battles and frustrations out of it. This leaves us to wonder what in the world we ever thought was wrong and maybe it was a mistake to end the relationship. After all, doesn't every relationship have ups and downs? Ours certainly did. It was passionate, without a doubt, but in every area: the loving AND the fighting. It was when the fighting overtook the loving that we fell apart. I wonder if he ever thought about all of that, even now. Paul didn't seem to notice many thing unless they were stark - naked or otherwise.

And yet, here he was - maybe - coming over to talk after all this time.

I took a deep breath, then turned around.

(by Meg at Mainely-Megin):

"Hey." He practically whispered.
Oh. My. God.
"Hi." Was it relief or despair?
"I wasn't sure you'd remember me."
"No, I..." Not Paul. Not Paul. Not Paul. Who the hell was it?
"Peter Johnston, I sat behind you in statistics freshman year."

Peter freakin' Johnston. I felt my pulse in my neck, and I focused my breathing the way I had 15 short months ago in labor. Not Paul.

Peter held his umbrella over me and the squirmy Bethany. Idle chat. Wife, 3 kids, new job, just moved into town, wife hasn't met anyone yet. Not Paul. Not Paul. Peter was bursting with the need to share his happiness, which allowed him to simply see an old acquaintance, not someone's former lover plagued by mere memory.

"Dinner sounds great, I'd love to meet Lisa and the kids."

With the baby buckled in and my door as close to closed as it got, I watched Peter close his own door. The rain rushed down the window and distorted the images. It blended the head and brake lights of the cars winding their way through the parking lot.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now, it's your turn:

You guys are next.

Mrs. Maladjusted
Desitin's Child
Tater And Tot
Word Girl

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Me-Me For-For You-You

This is my first me-me- an early holiday gift from the talented Mrs. Chicken (Go introduce yourself, I promise you will love her. She also writes as Amy at GNMParents!).

5 things you don't know about me:

1. This very morning I washed a pull-up in the washing machine. You see, I love laundry passionately, and the 5 loads in addition to the baby's crib sheets (yes, almost every morning she wakes up wet) that were waiting for me were not enough. I really wanted to rewash that load. Twice. On my short list of things I wish I was better at, house-keeping is in the top 5. On that list you'll also find mothering, writing, technical "stuff" (including but not limited to: web design, audio and video how to, and auto-repair), and the ability to fully embrace poverty.

2. Of my 3 children, only one was planned. The other 2 have been "glorious surprises." Let no measly little patch limit my fertility! Since we are on this topic, I know precisely the "event" in which each of them was conceived. Yeah, that's all I'll say about that.

3. If I allow the thought or image of flan, oatmeal, custard (or anything with an icky texture), linger in my mind for more than a moment I throw up a little. How do you people eat that crap? On the topic of food? I (heart) brownies. Alone, hot under ice cream, filled with fudge. frosted, with or without nuts, homemade, store bought... get the picture?

4. At times the loss of my own father still brings me to my knees. I miss him madly and my heart hurts to think that my children do not know him.

5. I love The Carpenters. There. I said it.

Bonus: I spent over 7 years of my life pregnant and/or nursing.

5 things you don't know about my kids:

1. Aidan was due on Christmas Eve and joined us reluctantly on January 4th. Clay was a week early and Lucy was 2 days early. Combined their labors total around 77 hours.

2. At various times my children have wanted to be the following when they grew up: firefighter, police officer, wrestler, warrior, chef, dancer, Santa's helper, and a hippo.

3. Aidan spent the 1st 24 hours of his life in the NICU. It was a long journey for him and he was a little shaken up by it. He recovered quickly and we went home when we were scheduled to.

4. My children are my mother's 19th, 22nd, and 24th grandchildren.

5. Our very favorite family activity is to spend long days together relaxing and playing together at the beach.

That's it! Now what? I tag someone else? Mia, my friend, you've been too quiet lately!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Jingle Bell Run

Did it, survived. Considering I've only run a couple of times since August I was surprised I was able to run as much as I did. Slowly, but still. I'd never run in the cold. It was very different. It was really a beautiful day- mid 30's and perfectly clear.

Running buddy and I finished a second apart. We totally won.

If winning means finishing a 5k in about 40 minutes :)

Music makes a world of difference... (Matt, Dawn: love, love, love, love!)