From a phone conversation with my dad, about my two-and-a-half-year-old niece, A.
Dad: “We went to Cabela’s to pick up some dove decoys before our hunting trip, and A decided to name the two dove decoys. They’re now Charlie and George, so I labeled them on the underside so we’ll know which is which. And they get tucked in at night, too. She also has an owl decoy, her favorite. And that’s not to mention her collection of stuffed animals, including Peppa Pig of course. And let’s see what else she has… there’s a… well, hell, all I can reckon is that this one’s a chupacabra or something. So along with all the stuffed animals, Barbies, and decoys, she also has a chupacabra. She loves all the animals.”
A: (interrupting the conversation) “I like to clean!”
Dad: (laughing) “Yeah, you keep saying that for about the next 40-50 years, okay?”
Wife: Wanna sign up for archery lessons this weekend?
Wife: Apparently Katniss and I have the same MBTI type, we’re both ISTJ. Maybe we should do that for Halloween?
Husband: Our Halloween costumes will be people with our MBTI types? I’ll go as Gaddafi.
Wife: No, I was saying we could go as Hunger Games characters. And I think you’re confused because Gaddafi was supposedly an ENFP.
Husband: Okay, cool. I’ll be the drunk.
Wife: You’re a goon.
Husband: Yeah, Haymitch is perfect; I can just drink and be generally disagreeable.
I’m not a very good bullshitter, and I never have been.
Let’s back up to the summer after my high school graduation, when I was more shy and even worse at bullshitting than I am now. My friend Tim had been invited to attend a big fancy grown up party so I offered to be his date since he wasn’t eager about going alone and I figured it’d offer me a chance to go somewhere fancy.
Tim had received the invitation by way of a side job he’d worked, something to do with his then budding film and entertainment aspirations. All I can recall of the actual job was that he’d spent a lot of time turning flat cardboard into boxes, but it somehow landed him an invitation to one of the mansions in the richer part of the city where the business magnates and oil money gravitated. Picture gated compounds, private tennis courts, indoor swimming pools, and the like. To put this in perspective, the home I lived in at the time with my parents and my sister was all of 1,188 square feet and it most certainly did not feature a swimming pool.
I wrote this one a few years ago then stashed it in my Drafts folder. Now seems like a good time to finally post it.
October is for falling in love, over and over again.
The seasons change, warm spices come back into regular use, kids young and old get to dress up at Halloween, the trees turn colors, jackets and layers enter into rotation, and the temperatures drop just enough for snuggling. In addition to all the things this month already has going for it, October also possesses a certain magic for me.
The first notable October happened six years ago, when, through a series of unexpected and highly improbable events, I went on a first date with him. By the next October we were excitedly (and distractedly) planning our marriage.
Fast forward to the following October, when I was anxiously awaiting his return. As I stood there breathing the (ocean-scented) October air, he came back to me at the end of a first deployment. That October was exciting because of all the new things it brought to our lives as we reaped the benefits of all the hard work we’d been putting into fast-forwarding ourselves into adulthood. Never mind that as soon as we were together again the countdown to the next separation began; we were happy to have that October together, and we lived fully in each moment.
I crossed paths with several nutty professors during my undergrad years.
There was the French teacher who always called me Clarence even though my name is most definitely not Clarence and I’m most definitely not a dude. He was also a big fan of the Captain Morgan pose, hiking his tight-pantsed leg up on the desk right in front of the student closest to him so that they’d get a good view of his ample junk. (Intentional? We all swore it was.) He wore a lot of black, including a leather jacket I believe he never removed even in the heat of Texas summers. Even in the college classroom setting he found a way to exude the stereotypical Frenchman’s preoccupation with sex, so I’m gonna say he was passionate about lovemaking and calling people by the wrong names even though I never actually witnessed the former.
Then there was the Environmental Psychology professor who invited our class on a tour of his house to perform an efficiency inspection and critique him on what he was doing wrong in terms of energy conservation. His home had a labyrinth of plastic vinyl pathways spread throughout it so that he’d never have to waste electricity or water cleaning the carpets. He recycled his shower water. And he didn’t realize that before inviting a large group of goofy college undergrads into one’s home one should probably hide one’s high school yearbook. We’d often spot him on weekends, out on a street corner protesting in favor of some Save The Earth initiative or another. He was definitely passionate about the Earth and about the bad influence greed has on our lives.
The most notable of my nutty professors was my Wisdom Traditions (African religion) professor who was passionate about everything! He had an energy about him that was limitless, no matter that sometimes through his thick accent we had difficulty understanding what he was being energetic about. He kicked off our first or second class by bringing out a CD player and blasting the Phil Collins song “In The Air Tonight,” then he told us our assignment for that class was to write an essay in response to the song. That was it.