Starting to Couple Up a Bit, and Get Interrupted

Obviously I needed to get my hands in that hair, so we parked in what we thought would be a quiet spot.

I’m really liking this not dating thing.

Yesterday I had an afternoon haircut appointment that seemed better used for David. He’s going back to work shortly so I’m making as much time to be with him as I can, and as much as I like the long curls, he could use a look that is less…feral (his words!). That turned into lunch, which turned into forgetting about lunch until we got interrupted like a couple of teenagers.

So we went to lunch.

There’s a really yummy (mostly) vegan place that was quiet after the lunch rush. We had tea and salads and a few kisses, and the waitress got to talking to us about playing full-contact women’s football. She goes by “Red”, and she is awesome. It’s so fun to watch someone light up talking about something they’re passionate about. I learned something new, and I admire her passion and physicality.

We had just enough time for a beer before haircut, and the kid at the bar was new, so David told him a few things about selecting beer. He was so genuine, and young, and he was all-in on our hog-hunting plans. We had to run off before we got to tell him the plan, which was possibly for the best. Jessica is amazing, and was very nice about switching clients at the last second. Obviously I needed to get my hands in that hair, so we parked in what we thought would be a quiet spot.

No.

Some creepy guy showed up and made a full circle around the car while we were snuggled in the back. What a nut.

It was too cold to be outside long, and on the way back to my house I asked him to pull in at a cheese shop on a whim. I had been wanting to go, and they were open another hour. That turned out to be a decent substitute for snuggles, and once again we encountered a passionate professional who was open and willing to share herself, her knowledge and her art. The cheese was so good it made my face twitch once or twice, and we got a few favorites and a bottle of wine for a picnic to be attempted later this week.

Until then, I need to scheme a bit on how to not get interrupted…

A Man Brought Kumquats From His Garden

It was a snackluck – snack + potluck.

I was at a house concert last night, a gig my friends play twice a year. They play a bluesy, country folk vibe, and brought in some hymns to their set last night. I like that kind of church.

I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of months, and no-shows on the part of my friends, (former) crush and brother (to be fair, brother had to work and couldn’t get away long enough so he’s excused) weren’t about to deter me from having fun. I was at least half the age of most of the people there, and I made a lovely friend named Eloise. I was also very admired – jewelry, boots and looks – by a man who brought as his contribution to the table a cup of kumquats from his garden. I had never eaten one before, and it was a delightful experience. You can eat the whole fruit in a bite or two, and while I really dislike biting into a whole grape or cherry tomato, I do like biting into a kumquat. I really want a tree for my garden now, because those sound like fun to grow.

In addition to two hours of soulful music, there is a snackluck. People bring snacks, treats, wine, beer, and this time hibiscus flowers in syrup. The offerings were a little slim compared to the last time I went, so I was glad I brought pumpkin pie bites and a bottle of Prosecco. If you make pumpkin pie filling from the recipe on the can and use little filo dough cups instead of a traditional crust, you can have crispy little pumpkin pies that are lovely for holiday potlucks. Top with a touch of whipped cream and you’re in business. It’s the only way I’ll eat pumpkin pie.

I like the kind of funk that happens in the cozy places, the snug moments, the meeting of strangers over food and wine. I may look a little bonkers (Real question to my Mom as I was leaving, “Ok, do I look adequately bonkers?” “Yep. You look cool though.”) but it’s a conversation starter. I wear interesting clothes and jewelry because people comment on them and ask about them and it serves as an ice breaker. I always take an opportunity to pet the arm of someone wearing an interesting and soft-looking textile, because it’s a connection based on appreciation for a comforting fabric. As much as you can try to not stand out because you don’t want to draw attention, standing out can open doors to conversation and make things less awkward and uncomfortable.

How am I still single? Yeah, haha, that’s a very different conversation for another day.

A Beautiful Evening of Love

…they took in all of the love their friends brought for them and multiplied it into the stars.

I attended a friend’s wedding last night. It was probably the most romantic ceremony and certainly one of the most fun receptions I’ve ever attended. The brides put every bit of themselves into the wedding, and they took in all of the love their friends brought for them and multiplied it into the stars. Love was spoken, love was given and love was accepted. Their vows were so memorable and so meaningful. I have heard the standard church vows so often, heard the nerves, smiled at a little awkwardness. These women brought us all to tears with the sincerity and authenticity of voicing their commitment to each other.

I hope we who were there all hold that moment as a precious experience and a memory to draw on when we’re tempted to respond harshly, when we become angry and when shit just gets too hard. Beauty exists, and it is worth holding onto.

I was so honored to have been invited to share in their joy, and to honor that invitation I am keeping the memory close at hand.

 

Paintballin’

I HAVE A SOURCE OF PAIN PEOPLE CAN SEE.

I got the shit shot outta me this morning by my brother and our friends. I liked it way more than I thought I would. There is something really fun about running around in the woods and trying not to get splattered by a high-speed ball of pink paint.

I had the first and last kill shots of the day. I also have a welt the size of a softball on my shin. I can’t comfortably set my right arm down. I find all of this funny.

I am a pansy when it comes to physical pain. I have endured soul-rending emotional and mental pain and gone on about my day, but getting shot with a paintball from 20 feet away at 320 feet per second? Ouch. Except it was a brief ouch before it passed and the memory quickly faded.

I got shot and went on without complaining or dwelling on it. Four of the shots hurt like hell and I took them like a champ. I shook it off and went back to shooting. That was a major step forward for me. And it’s cathartic to have visible bruises.

I HAVE A SOURCE OF PAIN PEOPLE CAN SEE.

It is incredibly liberating in a way, right when I have been struggling so much with the invisible injury of PTSD.

To be clear, this is not about self-harm or some of the other coping mechanisms that some people who struggle adopt. I am so, so thankful that I do not have that challenge on my journey. But I do have a couple of playfully-attained battle scars from running around in the woods with compressed air rifles and some pink paint, and I am taking a moment to appreciate what that has revealed about me.