Friday, November 30, 2012

Dressing Up

Tonight, I dressed up.

Overall, I've been pretty down this week, but tonight, I had to go to a play for Theater 131 credit, and I decided to look nice.

Dark denim jeggings, a silver sequined top, actual jewelry, and silver high-heeld boots. I put on all the makeup I used to love and never wear now, and successfully ignored my chipped nail polish.

My hair looked amazing. It's getting longer than I like, but tonight it was shiney and wavy and pretty.

Maybe it's vanity, but I felt a lot better. Maybe it's pride, but it felt really good to be noticed again. I got five compliments before I even sat down at dinner. A popular guy said hello. Lance hugged me and told me I smelled good. Gerard said I looked nice. Tashinga straight up told me I looked hot, which oddly enough didn't bother me.

Back home, I was never the sidekick. I was never the wallflower. I was never the awkward one, the quiet one, the loner. Tonight, I got to remember how that felt, and I liked it.

I liked it a lot.

But I like to think it wasn't the nice clothes that did it. I like to think it was the confidence that echoed in my footsteps and edged my tone. The mischief that shined through my smile and my carefully-lined eyes. I like to think people noticed me because, for the first time in a long time, I had noticed myself.

I might dress up more often.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"A Dream Within a Dream"

By Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow--
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The 90% Theory

I talked to Ellie the other day. {And when I say "the other day," I mean "about six weeks ago."} We mostly talked about college professors and politics, mostly I wanted to avoid the fact that she has a husband. However, eventually a lengthy silence descended, and she broke it by asking,

"So how are you and Sam?"

I told her we were good, and she got very serious very quickly. Marriage leaked into the conversation. Eventually I was forced to say,

"We're really good, Ellie, and I love him, but I don't KNOW that we'll get married. We have a little while."

"Oh yeah, definitely," Ellie said. "Getting married was the right step for me and Brian, but it's not for everyone right now. I don't think it's bad or weird when people wait."

"Yeah," I agreed, raising an eyebrow at the phone. "I don't think I'm ready to be married. We have to be sure."

"I guess," Ellie said in her matter-of-fact voice.  "Although I think marriage is mostly just a decision. I think 90% of people can make it work with 90% of other people if they decide to. You just have to choose to stick with it."

It's an interesting thought, and maybe it's true, but as Ellie and I talked, I started to get the feeling that she'd settled in her life, and she knew it. There might be people out there better suited for her than Brian, people who would make her laugh and be exciting and stretch her as a person. But she could make it work with Brian, and since she had married him, she would have to.

The weird thing? She didn't seem botherd by this, and I know that she isn't. She never put a lot of stock in romantic love, and absolutely forget physical love. {I thought she was going to pass out the first time I confessed that sex didn't sound disgusting.} Actully, come to think of it, I'm not sure she puts a lot of stock in any kind of love.

That's a pretty bold accusation coming from me, the girl who would rather pretend that she doesn't have emotions, and when she does, they're primarily negative. But Ellie...she's always been very emotionally detached. Even when her parents divorced for a while. Even when her brother walked out on their family. Even when we were best friends and never saw each other.

Don't get me wrong, she's very LOYAL. I can mostly count on her to talk to me and help me and reason with me any time I need her, but as far as actual FEELINGS...she doesn't seem to have those.

But she's not a hardened or bitter person. It's not like she went through Hell one time and came out cold and untouchable. She's a healthy, functional person. She just happens to be devoid of emotion.

The point of that rant was to explain why I think she isn't bothered by her "meh" marriage. {I mean, maybe Brian's more fun than he seems, but when you refuse to hang out with teenagers and your idea of a good time is shoving election signs in the ground...}

Maybe Ellie's right. Maybe 90% of the population could marry anyone from 90% of the population and not have it end in divorce. But...


I don't want to marry someone from 90% of the population just because I can. I want to marry one person because I'm crazy about him, and I think we fit each other better than 100% of the rest of the world. I don't want to spend the rest of my life watching guys walk by, thinking "Huh. He probably would have done the trick just as well."

I'm not a hopeless romantic. I'm a cynic. But good gosh. If you don't hope for a marriage that's perfect FOR YOU, what DO you hope for?


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fear Me

I'm thankful for a lot of things, as most people are. However, because my friends, family, and food are different and more interesting than most peoples', I'm going to blog about being thankful anyway.

I'm thankful for meals where Sam and Cassidy are with me. If I want to say something but my mouth is full, it's cool because I can count on one of them to say what I'm thinking for me.

I'm thankful for a best friend who does more than complete my sentences; she completes my thoughts with her eyes. We can do more than have eye conversations; we can have vibe conversations. She helps me to make the right decisions, and forces them when necessary {and I love her for it}. She isn't afraid of me. We disregard discretion and still remain unoffended by each other.

I'm thankful for a boyfriend who tells me bedtime stories when I don't want to sleep. We can argue for an hour just for fun, being pretty aggressive in tone, and yet not get mad at each other. He can speak German and make it sound good. He puts up with me when there's no way in hell I can put up with my own self. He's also not afraid of me, which is great.

I'm thankful for a sister who teaches me more than I teach her. She sees the world at a different angle, and sometimes she's right and I'm wrong. She helps me figure out what to wear, which sounds shallow,  but it's actually tremendously practical and important. {One time I wanted to wear jean shorts to a wedding reception where I was a bridesmaid. Apparently that's frowned upon? Who knew. [Sarah did.]}

I'm thankful for a mom who makes sure I have everything I could possibly need. She gives me advice, helps me organize my schedule, talks me through relationship glitches, buys me plastic spoons, and makes more and more sense as I grow up. I'm becoming her, which is something I've always wanted to avoid. I have not decided how I feel about this. More to come, I'm sure.

I'm thankful for a dad who loves me so deeply and unconditionally I can't explain it. We're buddies. He likes to tell me jokes, show me how to do things, engage me in political discussion. He's a big, BIG part of how I became the person I am. He's always treated me like a real little person, even before I could talk. He's shaped me into the intelligent {conceited?}, argumentative, logical, humor-loving Conservative aspiring writer I am.

It isn't uncommon to hear people say that they have the best friends in the world. But I think I can say it with more confidence than most, and with more willingness to challenge anyone who doubts me.

After all, I have a best friend who can read my brainwaves, a boyfriend with nerves of steel, a sister who's wise beyond her years, a mom whose night job is Superwoman, and a dad whose soul is deeper than the pile of homework I should be doing right now.

Oh yeah. Fear me.

Happy Thanksgiving, Pandora :)


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Paper Heartbeats

In one of my classes, we watched a video about American poverty/hunger.  The documentary followed the lives of three families as they struggled to provide food, clothing, shelter, etc. for themselves.

One family was just a dad and a little boy. Their story was simple.  The father lost his job and despite having a great education and work ethic, he couldn't find another one. He resorted to starting a small upholstery business in his garage.

As interviews unfolded and the camera followed them around their house, my brain went into {over-}analyzing mode. I tried to figure out what they could have done to prevent poverty, or help themselves out. They had a TON of stuff, for one thing. I've never seen so many toys in a kid's room before.  {A yard sale definitely wouldn't fix the problem, but it would be pretty high on my list of possible strategies if I were them.}

Then the family dog came into the picture, and {I'm so gonna lose like 40% of my followers for this XD} my first thought was, "Well, there you go. Get rid of the dog. This is clearly a choice between feeding your dog and feeding your kid. This is not a hard decision." How can people think it's okay to have a pet when they're starving and drowning in debt?

Then a little voice popped into my head and said,

"Would you stop buying books if you were poor? Would you sell your books if you needed money?"

Ooooh. Awkwarddd.

The answer to both of those questions was an obvious and final "NO" for me.

Books are knowledge; books are freedom; books are people; books are memories; books are comfort; books are escape; books are happiness; books are art.

Books are influential; books are beautiful; books are powerful; books are expressive; books are inspiring; books are hilarious; books are helpful; books are necessary.

Telling me to get rid of my books is like saying, "Hey, Stephanie, delete large chunks of your childhood memories," or "Hey, Stephanie, I'm gonna steal some of your soul now," or "Hey, Stephanie, burn your best friend at the stake real quick."

The thought of selling more than maybe three of my books makes my eyes widen and my stomach clench.  There's no way. I would literally fight you for my books.

My family used to be really poor. Our grocery budget was something like $50 a week. We didn't eat out, have cable, buy orange juice, or get name brand anything. Going ridiculously all-out for my family was seeing a matinee movie and buying ice cream on the way home.  Until I was fifteen, the only form of electronic entertainment I had was the small TV in the living room {the only television in the whole house} and sometimes my dad's computer.

But one thing we never did without was books. Now, that doesn't mean that we bought $200 boxed sets of encyclopedias or went book-shopping on the weekends. But it does mean that we probably would have sold some jewelry before selling my mom's much-loved copies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

And do you want to know the weird thing? I never knew we were poor. I didn't figure it out til I was like sixteen that we had been on the brink of poverty when I was a kid. I had the best childhood in the world {I dare you to challenge that}. Money couldn't have made it any better, and I would even argue that it would have made it worse.

Why was my childhood so great? For lots of reasons, but I think they all boil down to one simple concept:

The written word.

Books entertained me on dull afternoons.  Books removed me from my childish heartbreaks.  Books taught me how to use my imagination.  Books helped me cope with family arguments.  Books preserved my memories. Books cheered me up when I was depressed or angry.  Books put me to sleep at night, and gave me a reason to wake up in the morning.  Books inspired me to become a writer.

I know that I couldn't give up books, no matter how poor or hungry I was. They're a part of my heart, my mind, my life, my soul. I know that sounds crazy and ridiculous and impractical, but it's one of the truest things I've ever said.

And I guess that's how some people feel about their pets. So hm.

To each his own, I realized that day in class. Who am I to judge? I mean, at least you can hear a dog's heartbeat.

You can only feel the heartbeat of a book.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dear People...

It's a letter fill-out! I love letters. But normally I don't send them. So this'll be different.

Dear person I dislike,
I've already warned you about hugging me. I think it's now fair and appropriate for me to claw your arms off next time you try to.

Dear person I like,
...huh. I know there are people here I like...

Dear ex-boyfriend/girlfriend,
Depending on how you interpret things, either I love you or you don't exist.

Dear bestfriend,
I miss youuuuuuuu. Ermagerd. I cannot wait for Christmas break.

Dear Santa,
Thanks for granting one of my three Christmas wishes last year. That's actually a lot better than I expected.

Dear Mom,
I am becoming you. How very unexpected.

Dear Dad,
You and your iPhone are pretty adorable.

Dear Future Me,
Respect me, don't forget me, but make decisions that make sense to YOU. You're the one who's going to have to deal with the consequences, not me. If you make decisions based on my opinion, no one wins. I don't win, because I don't exist anymore, and you don't win because you went against what you wanted. Be respectful, but be real.

Dear past me,
You're pretty weird. You've made some pretty bad calls. However, I do like some of your writing. Maybe hold a workshop for Now Me?

Dear person I’m jealous of,
It's great that you never do homework, but we both know you're going to bomb finals. And I'm a little bit glad.

Dear person I had a crush on,
I promise I won't tell anyone your real name is Bruce Wayne. Oops.

Dear boyfriend/girlfriend,
Hi, Sam. I've never met you before.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Assorted Scenes From College

Some girl:  "...and hopefully get Hello Kitty shoes."
Me:  "Ooh. I want Batman shoes. Batman Converse, actually."
Tim:  "You should get Batman socks."
Me: "I already have Batman socks."
Tim: "Oh. You should get, never mind."
Me: "I have that too."
Tim: "Wow."

Western Civ
Professor:  "Have anyone ever read excerpts from The Iliad or the Odyssey?"
Me:  *raises hand*
Professr: "Good. Which one?"
Me:  "Both of them."
Professor:  "Great. Which parts did you read?"
Me: "All of them."
Professor: "You read all of both of them? When?"
Me: "Last year in school."
Professor: "Well. Wow. That's great."

Wandering Around Outside
Lance:  "Kirsten, I dare you to jump in the fountain."
Kirsten: "No! Maybe sometime. I'd have to mentally prepare myself."
Lance: *looks at me* "You wouldn't have to. You'd do it right now."
Me:  "...that's true. But don't tempt me."
{I never did. But I will. Oh, but I will.}

At Cook-Out
Harley: "I mean, I've gotten drunk once. I'm the funny drunk. Not the dumb one that people laugh at because he can't walk, but the one that becomes naturally funny."
Kirsten:  "That's cool. I can see myself drinking, like once I turn 21."
Me: "I can see you drunk, Kirsten."
Kirsten: "Me too."
Me: "But you know I never will."
Harley: "What do you mean?"
Me: "I'm never going to drink, at all, ever."
Harley:  "Really? Wow."


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I don't remember if I've ever called him this on Pandora, but my nickname for Sam is "PC." It's his name in my Gmail chat list. It's his label on Pandora. It's the way I refer to him.  It's his name in my phone.

In real life, this provokes more conversation than I ever anticipated.  My roommate, Bekah, was pretty confused for a while. She knew I was dating Sam, but she saw that I texted someone named "PC" kind of a ton.  Eventually she asked who that was, and I told her it was Sam.

A guy named Harley noticed immediately.  We were at a soccer game together on election day, and I was texting.

"Ah," I said. "Romney and Obama are tied for electoral votes. 153-153."
Harley raised his eyebrows.  "Who's texting you this?"
"My boyfriend. Sam."
Harley looked at my phone.  "You call your boyfriend PC?"
"Huh. That's interesting."

It is, actually, and I'm going to tell you how he got that nickname. I think only about three people besides me and PC himself know how it happened.

It was three years ago. My best friend was Ellie {the one who got married in June -_-}, I was still into the Fire Fairy Stories, and Sam was a friend with a crush on me.  However, because Ellie and I were best friends and because Sam had a crush on me, we ended up talking about him a lot.

Like. Most of the time.

However, we already had a Sam in our lives, and he was a pretty big part of our lives. He had been my crush of like five years, he was our best friend's older brother, and he was a main character of the Fire Fairy Stories.  Therefore, everytime we wanted to talk about MY Sam, we had to clarify, and if we ever wanted to talk about both of them at the same time, clarifications added an extra two minutes to every five minute conversation.

So, Ellie and I did what fifteen-year-old best friends talking about potential crushes do:

We gave my Sam a codename.

Now, Ellie and I were already pros at nicknaming people. We had several, including Him, Him 2, Him 3, It, Pyro, and CRB {Christopher Road Boy}.

But the thing about those nicknames is that they just happened. Nicknaming Sam was necessary and intentional. Ellie and I scheduled and conducted a phone conversation specifically with the purpose of nicknaming Sam.

"What are we gonna call him?" I said.

"I don't know," Ellie sighed.  "Red." {He has red hair.}

I glared at the phone. "No."


"What are some characteristics of him?" I said, thinking out loud.

"Well, he talks a lot."

"Yeah. But we're not naming him Mouth or anything."

"Hm, I don't know," Ellie said. "He's smart. He argues with you. He's spontaneous. He doesn't take your crap. He reads. He's funny."  She paused.  "He's pretty much perfect for you, Steph."

" Prince Calvin."

Prince Calvin was a character from the Fire Fairy story. He was actually sort of creepy and annoying because he was literally perfect. He always said the right thing, did the right thing, asked the right questions, knew the right answers. He was perfect.

Ellie laughed.  "We can't call him Prince Calvin. That's awful. And takes way too long to say."

"I know. But maybe we could abbreviate it. Make it an acronym. PC."

"I dunno," Ellie said.  "That sounds weird."

"Yeah," I agreed. "Oh well. We'll think of something eventually."

We decided to use "PC" til we thought of something better.

But we never did. Instead, the name "PC" became synonymous with my Sam. It came to be more than a nickname, even more than a real name. It was a feeling. It was a milestone. It was an IDENTITY. PC was the perfect person for me, the person who completed me and balanced me and enhanced me.  PC was the person who made me more of who I was.

Today, I associate "PC" more closely with the guy I love than "Sam." When I see the name Sam, it's still the tiniest bit ambiguous to me.  My boyfriend is PC in my head. He's PC in my heart.

And he's still the perfect one for me :)


Monday, November 12, 2012


The wad of emotions clogs my throat, desperate for release.

It feels as though the firm little hands of tears could—

Oh fuck it. Just because I’ve been reading poetry doesn’t mean I can write it at the moment. I don’t want to be here. I keep screwing up. I feel so sick and so lonely and so freaked out and so lost and I just don’t want to be here. I want to go home.

Home, of course, being translated to “where Cassidy and Sam are.”

I need them right now, but they’re not here, and I’m not there, and I don’t have a car.

If I had a way to get to them, I would. If one of them showed up right now, I’d get in the car, no question.

I’m shaking. I might be cold. I might not.

I can’t do this. Not because I actually can’t, but because I don’t want to, and that debilitates me.

I have to get it together. I have a paper to write, a presentation to prepare.

Yeah, that’s true. Those are truuuue statements. But I’m not going to.

No one can help me either, which is the tragic part. I’d like to be helped, sure, but I’m too stubborn and too depressed to be helped. I couldn’t make eye contact right now if you demanded it. Talking with my voice? I’d like to see someone try.

None of this is okay. *sigh* So far from it. Like, wow.

It’s cool though. I really am a drama queen. I’ll be fine.

Well, I’ll appear to be. But I think unless this gets fixed…I won’t ever actually be fine.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

College Fragments

~ The weird moment when you can't remember if a phrase originated with you or your roommate, because you both use it now.

~ Guess what? You cannot make purchases at Wal-Mart using a Student ID card, nor will your room key start your car.

~ Shaving your legs is kind of barely a thing in college. No one looks. No one cares. No one will ever know {especially if your boyfriend is two hours away XD}.

~ I was doing my homework halfassedly today, and the age-old phrase leapt to mind, "You're cheating yourself. This isn't going to cut it when you get to college." Only then I realized that Oh Wait, It Is, and now I feel really baffled and lost. Does this mean I'll NEVER have to try?

~ I don't eat much all day, and I feel really good about myself. Then it gets to be like 8pm and I eat as much as I have all day in the next three hours.

~ There are only four more weeks of the semester. I have zero absences. Even though Campbell requires you to attend 85% of all your classes, I could no go to class twenty-five times in the next twenty days. {Edit:  now I have two absences XD}

~ Working on a paper for two hours and feeling really accomplished...then remembering it isn't your paper you were working on.

~ I should be reading Western Civ. I don't even have a good excuse as to why I'm not. I'm not even on Facebook. I'm not even texting. I'm just sitting here, looking around the room, desperate for distraction.

~ Thanksgiving break is in less than ten days.  Christmas break is in less than a month.  My first semester of college is quietly slipping away.  Weird.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Level of Closeness

I guess I was just feeling narcissistic one day and started this post about how I interact with various groups of people.  I found it today and decided it looked like a more fun project than my National Government paper, so I completed it.

As the levels progress, they also include all the traits of lower levels {unless they're obviously exclusive, like making you wave to me versus waving to you first}.

5: Hey, I Just Met You
If I think you might be powerfully awesome or important, I'm relatively quiet and use eyebrow movements as substitutes for speaking. If I think you're pretty transparent and non-threatening, I talk a lot and make obscure references.

4: I Know You, But I Dunno If You Know Me
I make you wave to me first in public.
I feel comfortable carrying on a conversation with you, and will make comments with my voice as well as my eyebrows.
I'd accept you as a Facebook friend.

3: We're Friends
I wave to you first in public.
I have your phone number.
I'd lend you money.
I'd let you role the dice for me in a game if I had to go to the bathroom or something.

2: We're Pretty Tight
I insult you.
I've called you on the phone.
I'd borrow money from you.
You know that I'm a writer.
You've been to one of my dance recitals.

1: The Inner Circle
I insult you and don't apologize.
I forget to formally invite you to things because I assume you'll know to show up.
I'd authorize you to make legitimate decisions on my behalf if I was impaired.
You know where cups, straws, silverware, and ibuprofen are at my house.
You have successfully convinced me to change my mind about anything.
You've seen my writing.

0. Classified {Shh. First rule of the Classified Level...}
You know my passwords.
You know that I struggle with masochistic guehh. {and I know you in real life.}
You've seen me cry.