It’s Thursday. I know, I know, it’s actually Friday, but I’m writing this yesterday, so it’s Thursday. I’m writing this yesterday? Yeah, that’s a thing I said. Let me start over, it’s Thursday morning. About nine o’clock. I’m sitting at one of my best spots, a pavilion that overlooks Table Rock Lake, and I’m drinking coffee. I just got off the phone with one of my best friends, Beth. We’ve been trying our best to stay connected. Writing cards, texting hello, catching up on little calls here or there. It’s working. I think. It’s helping. I know.
But it’s Thursday and I’m sitting in one of the best spots. Today is the day my best friends, Rachel and her daughter Madi, come join us at the lake. Today is the day I get to see one of my best little buddies, Nashville. He’s my best friend Melody’s son. Melody can’t make it down here, but her parents were able to and they brought Nash and we get him for the afternoon. Today is a best day, no doubt. But for now, for just this little moment in time, it’s quiet. It’s calm. I’m alone, and I’m having the best time.
Peter: Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday and you’re not feeling real well, does anyone ever say to you, “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays?”
Lawrence: No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you’d get your ass kicked sayin’ something like that, man.
We introduced Jackson to a classic this weekend: Office Space. It was a hit with him, and now he says things like, “How many pieces of flair are you wearing?” and “Damn it feels good to be a gansta.” So maybe not the best idea, but also, it’s day forty-something of quarantine so… I have a case of the Mondays, for sure. I’ve had a case of the Mondays every Monday now for the last six weeks, and I’m desperately trying to find ways not to be a downer. Not to let Monday kick my ass. Not to get my ass kicked by a dude named Lawrence with a mullet and a Miller Light can.
So on Saturday, when I texted “My Squad” which is a group text with my husband and our BFFs, and said, “Anyone wanna do the Couch to 5k with me” and I got several “Yes” responses, I was like, “Oh shit” cause I was half-joking. Look it, I have done the couch to 5k before. I’ve been successful. I’ve ran a couple of 5ks. But I didn’t really have motivation to do it again, I just knew I needed SOMETHING, ANYTHING to help out. But my damn friends were kinda pumped about it and I was like damn it. And just like that, I am too. Friends are cool, huh?
So now, even though I have a cold case of the Mondays I have to go out for a run and I’m like, “AHHHHH!” But at the same time I’m like, oh yeah, my friends are too, and that makes me feel better. Misery loves company? So here we are. I’m gonna start a new cycle of the Couch to 5k and I’m offering all of you to join me. You can use me as an accountability partner for the next twelve weeks if you need one (it’s only an eight-week program, but we are giving ourselves 12 weeks). So if you are interested in doing it with us, do it! We can support you too. Or at least check in occasionally and make you feel bad for not getting your three runs in every week. We are good at shaming people. Like, unusually good at it.
Otherwise, you can probably follow my weird, pathetic, scary journey on here over the next 12 weeks. I’m sure Ill post at least one a week about how my legs hurt, and how I hate other “runners,” and omigod I’m gonna stab that dog that chases me along the fence line, etc., etc. For now just know this: I loaded up a playlist with way too much Lizzo and I’m going forth on this new (old) adventure with my bestest friends (and hopefully some of you) and well, we are in this together. You know?
I hope you don’t have a case of the Mondays.
Stay safe and sane!
If you are up for the challenge, we are using this app: C25k It’s the best one I have found!
My best friend texted me from 833 miles away, and she said Merry Christmas! Then she asked if I wanted to come stay the night at her house. I said sure! Said I’d be over with all my new toys. Then I smiled. I hope she did too, remembering all those years that we did that. All those years that on Christmas morning we’d excitedly call each other. We’d say Merry Christmas, cause our moms expected us to, then we’d jump into, “I got a new doll!” Or “I got a Walkman!” Rachel always got the cool shit, the “in” toy, while I usually got the Blue-Light Special from K-Mart, but still it was exciting. Then at some point, my mom and I would load up the car for Christmas dinner, usually at my sister’s house, and Rachel and her family would meet us there, and we’d eat, and eat. We’d watch A Christmas Story because TBS played it on a continuous loop all day, then we’d nap, or play Nintendo or PlayStation or whatever new games one of the kids got. Then we’d start pleading for our mom’s to let us have a sleepover. It was all just tradition, they’d stopped fighting it years before. My bag was already packed. I’d already stuffed all my new toys into a suitcase or a trash bag and they were in the trunk of my mom’s car. Then after dinner we’d load up Rachel’s mom’s car with all the stuff I brought and head to their house, where Rachel and I played until we would pass out with all our new toys, while attempting to keep her younger brother and sister out of her room, with little success. For years we did this. I don’t have a lot of Christmas memories that lack my best friend.
While ruminating this week on Christmas Magic, and what I want my own child to remember from his childhood, I’m a little sad. He doesn’t load up the car on Christmas afternoon and head to the family feast. The family feast happens at our home, alone, just the three of us. My son has never lived in Kansas. He’s never known the chaotic, albeit comforting, feeling of having a house full on Christmas morning. He doesn’t have a Rachel of his own.
But I still hope he remembers the magic. The Elf on the Shelf causing mayhem all month long. Tracking Santa on NORAD, watching Home Alone for the third time while we bake cookies for Santa and chop the carrots for the reindeer. He may not have the big family I did, but he still has the magic, and I think that’s important.
Meanwhile, Rachel is in Kansas with her husband and kids. I’m in Georgia with mine. We’re both fast approaching the age when the bags under our eyes don’t go away, and we suspect dairy is messing with our stomachs. We aren’t playing with dolls anymore, aren’t arguing over who got the better make-up set (who has time for make-up?!). Instead we are finding ways to laugh, to make time for each other, to remember the magic, even if it’s just a few times a year, 833 miles away.
Thanks for being part of my Christmas Magic for so many years, Rachel. I forgive you for breaking my Slinky that one time, and yeah, your Baby Alive was way cooler than my Baby Shivers. But it never mattered, it was just the time with my best friend that was important. Sure glad we have those memories to go back to.
Wishing you all a fun-filled day of new toys, love, friendship, and Christmas magic!
Here’s some pics of Rachel and me through the years!
“A woman who cuts her hair, is about to change her life.” – Coco Chanel
When life seems to be spinning out of control, I do this thing wherein I drink two glasses of wine, grab my best pair of kitchen scissors, watch a couple YouTube videos, and then cut my own bangs. I know what you are going to say, probably the same thing my husband says, “What the hell are you doing? Go to a salon. You said you’d never do this again. Remember that time you cut your eye a little?” Blah. Blah. Blah. But calm down, I’m a professional.
I will first decide what length I want to go. I decide this by grabbing my hair from the back of my neck, and swooshing it down over my face, looking quite like Cousin Itt from the Addams Family (see below).
Then I think, hmm, about right here, holding my hand up to about the beret line. Then right before I make the first cut, I put the scissors down, flip my hair back into place, and text my best friend.
Me: I’m gonna cut my own bangs.
BFF: DO IT!
So then I flip my hair back. Then… ping.
BFF: Have you been drinking?
Me: Just wine.
BFF: How much?
Me: Like two.
ME: Glasses, bitch.
BFF: Where’s Jerimiah?
Me: Why?! He doesn’t care, he said do whatever.
BFF: Did he? Let me text him real quick like.
ME: No, stop! Okay, he told me to go to a salon.
BFF: So two bottles?
Me: No, dude! I can do it this time.
BFF: That’s what you said last time.
Me: Last time I was legit drunk. And I had the bad scissors.
BFF: Did you buy hair shears?
Me: Uh, no. Do you know how expensive those are? Whatever, I’m doing it.
So then I Cousin Itt it again, and just as I am about to lift the meat scissors to my forehead, Ping…
Jerimiah: Are you cutting your hair in the bathroom?
Me: Bitch! No. Leave me alone.
Jerimiah: This isn’t like a “new year, new you” thing. Think this through please.
Me: Leave me alone!
Scissors up. Then I realize if I cut where I want to cut, then I cut a lot more hair than I intend to. It’s not so much a bang cut, more like a hair cut and do I even want a haircut? Hmm. What about that video I saw where the girl leans over and lets her hair hang over and she cuts it at an angle?
Me: You know that video where the girl hangs her hair over and they cut it at an angle?
BFF: No, dude. No.
Me: But I think I can probably do it.
BFF: Remember that time you wanted me to dye your hair and we used all the holes in the cap and you had that layer of blonde only at the top and it was like three days before senior pics?
BFF: Shit like that will happen if you do this.
Me: Damn it, man!
Then I stand in front of the mirror. Scissors in one hand, my phone in the other, and I wait for divine intervention. A sign. A signal that this is exactly what needs to happen right now, this very instant. Then suddenly. Ping…
BFF: Dude, I think maybe you should do it.
BFF: Cause honestly, it’s your life and you only live it once, and who the hell am I or Jerimiah to tell you whether or not you have the forehead for bangs?
Me: Did you pour yourself some wine?
BFF: For sure.
Me: Want me to wait ten minutes then we can FaceTime and do it together?
BFF: Oh, no, for sure not, no. I’m not spiraling here, you are.
Then I cut my own bangs.
Listen, here is my point in as much as I have one: Sometimes when you need to feel a little, teeny, bit in control of your life because things feel like they are totally spinning out of control, then okay, sure, cut your own bangs, but try to limit your control to that. Just the bangs, y’all. Just the bangs.