murphyormel

wacky reflections from a nutcracker wannabe

Category: Crazy Aunt Delilah

I dance at red lights.

I recently overhead two men reconnecting after some time apart.  While I was actually trying to study my anatomy lesson, I found myself caught up in their delightful and joyful discussion of friendship, relationships, “stuff”, travel, etc.  “I dance at red lights” being my favorite takeaway statement from my, yes, eavesdropping.

I too realize I am a sort of living caricature.  “Dancing at red lights” is fun and real and freeing.  Like the Six Flags caricature that made you appear bigger than life – with thoughtful color and much intensity. Don’t we all have moments of joy so intense we too, want to (or do), dance at a stop light?

My friends and family – many of crazy aunt delilah’s own followers- have enjoyed many of my dating, parenting, professional and travel misadventures, and my own daughter calls me odd but secretly likes me holding court at the popular table for the career day events.

But that is the beauty of caricature. We laugh. We look silly in the moment. We smile on through a voice of humility and authentic, heartfelt joy. It doesn’t come every day, or even every week, but the moments when that feeling of profound intense joy are truly inhaled, they are priceless.

My daughter was honored with an individual award for showmanship at a recent dance competition. Of hundreds of girls, only seven were selected. That moment when her name was called, she grinned her “million dollar smile” and looked up to me in the stands. A priceless mama moment not because she won, but because I could see inside her heart at that very moment. She earned this honor based on grace and hard work to a craft she adores. She was “dancing at her own red light” and confidently so. We both inhaled the experience in her honor.

Dancing at red lights states a profound reality of both age and confidence. We are who we are. And regardless of what others’ judge, we make our own choices. The poet, Jenny Joseph, inspired a red hat phenomenon based on her prose, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple”.

So, crank up the tunes at the next red light, dance a little jig, and the push off the gas pedal when green.

Om shanti,
Mel

the opposing forces of my OCD and flakiness

a former beau pointed out the irony of never tightening the lids on anything remotely liquid in the fridge; thus, spilling on everyone other than me, yet every single morning, I make the bed immediately upon alarm (as if I can’t start my day until the bed resembles the Westin Heavenly). Poor man couldn’t even go to the restroom too early in the morning, or I might make him out of bed.

the concept made me aware of how else I live these two opposing forces in my day…..

  • Shopping to get ready for vacation
  • Asking where the ambulance will be parked for my second polar bear plunge
  • Taking a shower to shave my legs BEFORE going to the gym
  • Going to bed early only to wake-up, read a book and take out the dog in the middle of the night, then need my missed sleep and skip the early bird yoga class
  • Pulling the car to the side of the road to return a text
  • As long as my winter coat covers me for warmth, it is acceptable to wear my night-clothes outside to walk the dog.
  • Multitasking butt crunches while blow-drying my hair
  • Rarely matching in gym clothes (sure, a neon orange tank goes with a turquoise sports bra) but ensuring they are properly fitted to the activity, meaning cycling, yoga, sitting at Barnes and Noble.
  • Speaking of B&N, reading every book in the “hot sellers for teens” before my daughter.  And not because I am over-protective, because I genuinely enjoy.  I simply justify as my pre-movie screening of that which is to come.  (For the record, I’m one of those wacked-out, two-three book a week readers, so I do get my fill of the adult section as well.  NOTE: adult not “Adult”.)
  • Needing a nap after all cycling excursions.
  • Diligently conditioning my hair one-two times per week, only to realize that I was using a conditioning shampoo, not conditioner at all
  • Sticky notes, sticky notes, sticky notes…..but the note isn’t legit unless written with a Sharpie.
  • Driving to the coffee shop for the atmosphere and literary vibe but ordering a soft drink.

I suspect we all have a little bit of this same irony in our daily lives.  Perhaps my own candid ‘OCD meets flaky’ will encourage you to observe your own.

Namaste,

Mel

“Mom, you just make it awkward.”

Ahhh, the wonders of the 14-year-old vernacular!  And just when I finally get that funny, “fierce” selfie thing down.

Keep in mind, I’m not anywhere near the track suit type of mini-van mama.  I like my boots over skinny jeans, a kick ass suit with a great pair of heels, my tattoos, MC Yogi, and a manual transmission, so to hear my girlie-girl and make-up-loving, fashionista tell me, “Mom, you make it awkward” is slightly disconcerting. In fact, together, we chalk-boarded our newly themed, IKEA style great room to compliment a rockin’ red couch and black/white polka dot rug just this week. No framed embroidery or large silver plated utensils on walls for us!  But I’m awkward?  Lol, I prefer her previous comment, “…you are limited edition..”. 🙂

So, with “limited edition” in mind, and in the spirit of another grand year of silliness in front of us, please enjoy some unshared ‘Murphy or Mel’ moments……

– My daughter needed some teeth pulled before the braces could be completed, so of course I encouraged her to place them under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy.  She rolled her eyes, but she is 14, and well, come on, needs cash.  Rushing out early and distracted the next morning, I completely failed in my role to call on the Tooth Fairy, and no cash was discovered.  Well, I wasn’t admitting fault, so I fixed the situation.  The second morning, I left a note, cash and signed the belated note, “Congrats…..love, E.B”.  Upon returning home, my daughter happily announced, “I’m happy for the cash, but the Tooth Fairy signed the note from the Easter Bunny.”

–  Regular gym girl for 10+ years and practicing yogini for over 12.  But last year, I found a way to sprain my ankle AT the gym AFTER the workout while walking DOWN the stairs.

–  Traveled to KY last year with teeth intact. (there is a sentence I never expected to type.) Needed a treat on the way out-of-town, and my love for the Bit O-Honey caught my eye.  Well, it also caught the top half of an entire molar, and so I left KY without all my teeth.  Fitting?  (Sorry, Zac and Alyssa. UK rocks. 🙂

–  Last year, the entire family traveled to Tahoe, CA for a week of skiing/boarding, skating and snow tubing. Finally my old travels offered a perk as my standing with Budget saved us.  I had pre-booked an SUV for eight days in Park City, UT.  (and yes, I asked permission before hugging Dan the Budget man after he fixed a Mel travel misadventure.)

–  Pumping gas then driving away while the hose is still attached does happen to real people you know.

–  Just today, while (not) speeding home from Chi-Town, I was singing (not loudly) to old school Maroon 5, and I got caught.  Not the, “I can fake it like I’m on the phone”, the “Look at her- she is belting it out stare”.  Again, teeth become an issue.  This trucker appeared to be missing several.  But the wave, priceless.

–  Why do people insist on texting me while they know I’m driving long distances?  I need reading glasses to see the type on my phone or computer, so I have to live with that darn dot that says, “open me” when I can’t while driving.  It is like the itch you can’t reach, right?

Perhaps I really am awkward.

Nope, just lucky to be ok with my quirkiness.

Cheers to the silliness, laughter, humility, grace both when the jump rope is up AND down, and being confident enough to laugh over my OCD for making the bed immediately following the alarm but rarely tightening a lid for anything in the fridge.  (come to think of it, there might be a blog for the opposing forces of my OCD and flakiness ….note to self.)

Namaste, Mel

p.s.  Teeth are an under appreciated part of the body.  Until they are missing, folks simply take them for granted.

I am Titanium

Over and over recently, I’ve
been told to listen for strength, power, language, music, signage, and energy to give me what I need….when needed.

Well, as Karma would have it, the Sia song, “I am Titanium” keeps swirling around me….in my car, at work, movies, at home (while ignoring housework), and now today in a auditorium full of teenagers and dance moms …..

Does a higher power work through varying means to capture our heart and attention?

As I sit alone at my daughter’s dance competition (yes and laughingly, in dance mom wearables – and no, not a Velour jumpsuit), ‘I won’t give up….even if the sky’s get rough’ fills the auditorium as I type this. (Have you read previous posts? Lol. Was this song choice for me?)

The messages do speak to us.

I AM titanium. Do all the young girls in this auditorium hear the same message, meaning we are in charge! We make personal choices every day. We love. We lose. We laugh. We are.

My girl makes me immensely proud and swells my heart with genuine, from the depths of my soul, joy (ironically, that is different than cheerleader joy). All the fatigue and temperature issues that come with this damn sickness escape my attention when she shines that smile. If only I could work half days and enjoy her over-lip glossed smile every full work day, this next month would go quickly and painlessly.

Cheers to all moms, sisters, daughters, friends, nieces, grandmas and cousins who don’t yet see they too are titanium.

Because you rock.

Mel

P.s. I have redeemed my ‘dance mom’ concerns with a black T-shirt that says, ‘if dance was any easier they would call it football’. (My journalism self is choosing to ignore the lack of punctuation.)

wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium_ore

Mel & Murphy meet again…

so, this is my life.  always full of moments that remind me of two things:

1.  I am human.

2.  God has humor.

–  The very same evening I completed my online Department of Homeland Security Courses in prep for live coursework the following day, a friend and I were robbed in downtown STL after a nice meal.  The guy who jumped our table however, tripped on a chair and dropped my purse, so besides my friend’s sunglasses, we were lucky.  And darn it, if the restaurant and manager didn’t even offer to pick up our meal or provide a free cocktail.  What does it say that I couldn’t be freaked out in light of all I’ve faced on travel misadventure and the recent “life storm”?  All I could do was laugh and be thankful we were safe.  My daughter?  She laughed out loud at the robbers poor coordination.

– Priests should be required to wear their collars to the gym.  Feels slightly awkward to see the six pack of a priest while barely making it through my own run. Enough said.

–  I always make my sweet girl eat her veggies before a post-dinner snack.  We literally negotiate the number of carrots.  What do I do when I cook the green beans, serve them to both of us and realize I cooked them on the burner that wasn’t on?

–  After a lovely Father’s day lunch at a public restaurant, I look down to realize the carpet deodorizer I used just minutes before leaving the house was all over my feet.  Cheers, dad!

–  At the nail salon today (one I love that is cheap and the ladies in there finally recognize me (and I think understand me- think Seinfeld episode), a roach passed by my station.  I chose to ignore in favor of a great manicure.  Is that a bad thing?

– Tomorrow very early in a whole house unit council meeting at the hospital, I will present the patient, Crazy Aunt Delilah and the “goooooiter” that redefines karma, to educate staffers on why the patient-journey is real for all of us….those who wear a boa, those who appear delusional, those with lipstick on their teeth and all of us in between. 🙂  Wish us luck.  (and to think, I was beat by a bat that Halloween costume contest)

My sweet girl said, “Mom, you aren’t weird.  You are limited edition.”  Gotta love the truth we walk each and every day.

Namaste’,

Mel

Grow a goiter, get a goiter.

Four years ago in an effort to win a work halloween costume contest, I created a character.  I don’t have a Crazy Aunt Delilah, but I thought something bigger than life and more creative than the standard Target purchase was a must.  I was, afterall, the quirky (or I liked to imagine) head of the Marcomm team for a medical equipment company.

I visited the local thrift shop and selected a lovely floral housecoat but jazzed up my look with hot pink lipstick (over the teeth of course), many pearls, a flowing black Hannah Montana wig and a fantastically designed goiter with those awful nude colored pantyhose no woman ever chooses unless she is over 80.  (forgive me grandma, your knee highs were darling, and we loved you for being fearless to wear them as kneehighs.  You, HS, rocked a pair!). Crazy aunt Delilah, not so much.

The New York accent was a hit and the boa got me many hugs and several bizarre looks from the uptight stiffs in the office.  Nonetheless, $100 at stake, and I wanted that prize.

I only took second.

HOWEVER, the goiter crafted by pantyhose actually became a real goiter two years later.  Karma or Murphy’s law?

I should definitely get my $100 now.

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