Cape Cod Year Four

22 Aug

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The days blurred together on the Cape, one stifling afternoon after another. We walked through soup air, dripping sweat on our coverups. It’s so hot we said, our brains gone dead with the temperature.

The bay was cooler, with a breeze.  We set our chairs out by the water, letting our toes dip into the bathtub before us. The water’s so warm, we said, our brains gone dad with the temperature.

My hair found snarls, knotting and twisting, revealing my insides like I always knew it did.

Clumps and chunks and curls I pulled out to no avail. The next day it was back to the same.

Back to me.

I noticed every picture I took was a copy of the last. Command C. Command P. We went one place and one place only.

We went to the water.

There weren’t long rainy days in town, slow afternoons exploring the bookstore or eating fried fish. There weren’t day trips and gallery walks, plays and movies and vintage teapots like in years past.

The days were the same.

The heat turned everything to mush, including time.

Hank Green said Gilmore Girls taught him that your great ambition in life can be your life.

I wrote it down as soon as he said it, because he had put to words something I never had.

Your great ambition in life can be your life.

Gilmore Girls was about the minutia, but the minutia mattered. Where Rory went to school mattered, what Lorelai’s inn was like mattered.

The minutia can be your life.

Is your life.

We had big breakfasts, potatoes and butter, bacon and cranberry juice.

We piled our coolers full of drinks and treats. The best that the corner store could buy.

We took ladder golf and bocce, high-backed chairs and umbrellas. We spoke to neighbors, and took beach walks. We stayed in the water until it turned slate and the sky finished its last streak of light.

We walked back home in the dark to a kitchen full of food, to a homemade basil sauce and grilled tomatoes, fluffy white rice and marinated chicken.

We listened to themed music and watched the Olympics. Cuddled and talked and had ice cream sometimes and ice cream cake other times.

It was routine and small and boring and mushy and Command P again and again.

And again.

 

We did it with our greatest ambition.

 

 

Cape Cod Year 1 (and Martha’s Vineyard), Year 2, Year 3, and my love affair with it in general

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Jillian Denning: By the Book

21 Aug

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Based on the recent interview with Amy Schumer

What books are currently on your nightstand?

According to the LA County Library app I currently have 21 books out of the library with 6 on hold. Of those, I’m curious about the poetry and essays of So Sad Today, by the Twitter vixen Melissa Broder.  My friend who never gets it wrong recommended Truth and Beauty and Girl Meets God. And then there’s Valley of the Dolls. I have a feeling now is the right time for me and Valley of the Dolls since it seems like the type of book I would have read and fell into a melancholia/feminist rage at just years ago and can now approach as a rational human being.

I expect to pull myself out of the melancholia/feminist rage in three months minimum.

 

Which writers—novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets—working today do you admire most?

Nick Hornby, obviously. Warsan Shire. (When Lemonade came out and suddenly everyone was about Warsan I was childishly like BUT ME FIRST, PLEASE PROVE YOUR CREDENTIALS I HAVE SEVERAL.) Elena Ferrante is also on there, mainly due to the mystique and I really need someone to talk to about her hello is it you.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?

In the last two years I’ve become a way bigger nonfiction/memoir person. I credit Anne Lamott with that, but in general I’m a fiction girl, usually adult, sometimes young adult. I avoid: dystopian YA with the same female lead I’ve read 40 billion times who has exactly one personality trait, anything that begins with a sentence like “Elascador bowed before his king, the sword of Roandresibe by his side” and 50 Shades of Grey.

 

What’s your favorite self-help book?

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up hello it’s me.

 

 

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet.

 

How and when do you read/ electronic or paper/ bath or bed?

For a brief period in London I used a Kindle as it was easier than carrying a book with me everywhere, but I really hated it. I read All the Light We Cannot See on a Kindle and I think it ruined the experience for me because I just didn’t love it as much as everyone else and there was a weird page turning/date thing.

I do not have a bathtub but I fancy myself a bath reader.

Truly I just read in bed like I do everything in my life.

It’s a comfortable bed, though.

 

How do you organize your books?

I used to organize them using the “shove in communal bookshelves wherever they fit” method but now that I have my own place I’m thinking about this seriously. Color is trendy, pretty and impractical–many things I enjoy.

Maybe I’ll figure out the Dewey Decimal system for fun on a long Wednesday evening and then explain it to you all in depth.

Most likely I’ll do author all boring like.

 

What do you like to read on the plane?

I just bring whatever book I’m reading at the moment. I want to be into magazines, but I truly only buy them if Stevie Nicks is on the cover.

I will Google articles if Bachelor stars are involved.

Would you like to hear more about my article reading habits yes or no?

 

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Three copies of The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen. One because I’ve never read it and two because Franzen is the ultimate douche writer whom my entire Twitter feed hates, though is apparently great?

 

What’s your favorite book by a comedian?

It’s got to be a Nora. Maybe I Feel Bad about My Neck?

What’s the last book that made you laugh out loud?

I just read Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the first time and there were lots of laughs there and not just because Rob looks a bit like the lead on the cover. Oh! And The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian! Read it now!! If I only do one thing for your life!

 

What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?

A blog reader turned friend Bailey told me to read Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott and that really kickstarted a huge era of my life that now leads to me liking and sharing each individual Instagram post Anne deigns to give us unworthy mortals.

Tell us your favorite TV, film, or theater adaptation of a book.

Bridget Jones was a wonderful film and I think that book is truly perfect do not change a word perfect so this is a big statement.

Lord of the Rings surely surpassed the books as I’ve never finished them.

 

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I was a voracious reader. I would max out my library card and sit with a stack of books next to me on a Sunday afternoon. I played librarian.  I was grounded from books at several points.

Once, in a fit of mania, I printed off a divorce decree and used a quill pen to fill it out for Alana of Trebond after she chose the wrong man in the Lioness Quartet. “I married the wrong man, I was always in love with someone else,” I wrote, in my earnest handwriting.

Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Ender’s Game were all wildly influential to my childhood and my current self.

Scarlett O’Hara made me the selfish, determined drama queen I am today.

I lived for Sweet Valley.

 

If you could be friends with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Nora Ephron. I want her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and wait what.

 

Disappointed, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

I finally read Ballet Shoes, of You’ve Got Mail fame and it was only OK for me.

I was devastated by this. I mean, clearly it meant something to Nora. Clearly I should have named my future daughter Posy.

I wonder if this is an age thing, like those people who go to Disneyland for the first time as adults and then find it only OK?

I started a book about Rosaline following Romeo and Juliet, recommended by a Twitter librarian I’m all about and had to return it to the library before I finished. It was a bit of a relief.

 

Whom would you want to write your life story?

Myself obviously.  If that were impossible, I would like Hilary and Rob to collaborate with notes from the following:

 

Mariah Carey lyrics

Mother

My wannabe Sylvia Plath poetry

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Self-Forgiveness

18 Jul

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Sitting down and writing every day, being creative, is not about discipline it’s about self-forgiveness.

 

Elizabeth Gilbert said this, or something like it, in her podcast episode with Brene Brown.  It was an important statement, but not the crux of the conversation. A little chocolate nugget sandwiched in to the roast beef and red potatoes.

It’s about self-forgiveness.

As soon as I told this to my writer friends they nodded so hard their heads hurt.  YES they said.

My friend texted me later to tell me during her daily free write she listed all the ways she forgave herself.

“For everything?”

“I didn’t have time for that,” she said.  “Just for the writing things.”

It’s hard to write every day.  I don’t say this in a boohoo poor me way, just in the way that it’s hard to exercise every day.  It takes energy and work.  It’s always easier to eat a sleeve of Nutter Butters and watch Felicity.

I punish myself when I don’t do it. I get upset that I’m simply not disciplined enough, not better.  If I were better I would find the time to do it every single day.  If it was really that important to me, I would be vigilant, dedicated, an army general writer person with 10 more books to my name.

I am a loser.

I am failing.

Self-forgiveness.

Does it all come back to that?  Being kind to your body, eating healthier or exercising more comes down to self-forgiveness.  I’ve berated myself for failing at exercise or diet plans, felt like a fraud and a lazy loser, told myself if I just had the discipline then I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

It never worked.

What does work? Radical self-love.

Forgiveness for the days I don’t walk more than a few steps.  Forgiveness for the times I should have had a vegetable but ate a stale bag of pita chips instead.

I’m never getting myself to yoga if I don’t forgive myself for all the times I didn’t go to yoga.

Something like that.

And so today as I sit in my faux-silk nightgown and drink my flat Diet Coke and celebrate the first day I’ve been able to really write in so, so long, I say to myself.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for the days you didn’t have time to write.  I forgive you for the days that you did but you chose Nutter Butters and Felicity.  I forgive you for the crappy stuff you wrote last time and for the crappy stuff you will write today.  I forgive you for not being as good as you want to be.  I forgive you for your unrealistic expectations about how good your writing should be.

I forgive you for the shoulds.

I forgive you for it all.

I forgive you.

Now go write already.

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At that Moment Everything Was Truth

17 Jul

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There’s an episode of Girls this season where Marnie runs into her ex, Charlie.  Once upon a time Marnie and Charlie were in love, they were together, they were family.  Now Charlie is sitting by the side of the street and Marnie is wearing her sweatpants and it takes them a moment to recognize each other.

What follows is a beautiful sequence in truth and love and the things we let ourselves believe.

Marnie and Charlie spend the night in suspended reality.  Marnie at one point tells Charlie that she wrote half her album about him.  The tension is thick.  They have history.  They love each other.

They love each other?

They get back to Charlie’s apartment.  He has a trash bag over his window, a tattoo on his chest that says something about being “humble” and a false accent as part of his gig as a drug dealer.  Charlie is not what Marnie wants.

Marnie is married.

They talk.  “What am I going to do about you?” Marnie asks.  Charlie suggests they run away the next day.  That they move somewhere and start a general store, somewhere that has a general store.  Marnie smiles, Charlie smiles.  “You were my family,” she says.  He remembers her uncles names, the particulars of her life.

It’s intoxicating.

In the morning Charlie lies to Marnie about his drug use.  It’s the wake up call from the fugue state they’ve been in.  That night wasn’t real.  Well it was real, and the things they were saying were coming from deep places of hurt and loss and sadness and loneliness.  But it also wasn’t real.

It reminds me of a Brothers Karamazov quote a friend sent me years ago.  She’s the type of friend who signs her emails, “light” like I’ve just started signing mine “best.”

 

“That’s why I loved you, for your magnanimous heart!” escaped suddenly from Katya.  “and you do not need my forgiveness, nor I yours; it’s all the same whether you forgive or not, all my life you will remain a wound in my soul, and I in yours – that’s how it should be…,” she stopped to catch her breath. 

“Why have I come?” she began again, frenziedly and hastily.  “To embrace your feet, to squeeze your hands, like this, till it hurts – remember how I used to squeeze your hands, like this, till it hurts – remember how I used to squeeze them in Moscow? – to say to you that you are my God, my joy, to tell you that I love you madly.”  She nearly groaned from suffering, and suddenly, greedily pressed her lips to his hand.  Tears streamed from her eyes. 

Alyosha stood speechless and embarrassed; he had never expected to see what he was seeing.

“Love is gone Mitya!” Katya began again, “but what is gone is painfully dear to me.  Know that, for all eternity.  But now, for one minute, let it be as it might have been, “ she prattled with a twisted smile, again looking joyfully into his eyes.  “ you now love another, I love another, but still I shall love you eternally, and you me, did you know that?  Love me, do you hear, love me all your life!” she exclaimed with some sort of almost threatening tremor in her voice. 

“I shall love you, and you know, Katya,” Mitya also began to speak catching his breath at each word, “five days ago, that evening, you know, I loved you…when you collapsed, and they carried you out…all my life! It will be so, eternally so…”

Thus they prattled to each other, and their talk was frantic, almost senseless, and perhaps also not even truthful, but at that moment everything was truth, and they both utterly believed what they were saying. 

 

Yes.

Their talk was frantic, almost senseless, and perhaps also not even truthful, but at that moment everything was truth, and they both utterly believed what they were saying.

 

I’ve had a night like this, once, in my own upon a time.  The type of night that sticks with you because it was surreal and yet boundlessly important.  Because you made big decisions without thought and went back on them in the morning. Because it was truth and it was not truth.

 

Lena Dunham doesn’t always get it, but when she does, she’s freaking Dostoyevsky.

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107 Roommates You’ll Have In Your Twenties – Part 2

6 Jul

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Part 1 HERE

This was also written with Hilary.  She and I have both been many of these roommates, just so we’re clear.

 

26. The roommate who is like, “You know what would be fun?  Keying my ex’s car.”

27. The roommate starting her own beauty business who pressures you to invest

28. The one upper roommate

29. The roommate with the wild stinky feet

30. The roommate with the wild stinky stink

31. The roommate you never want to speak to

32. The roommate who uses a lot of toilet paper

33. The never tells you your crack is showing but will bring it up a year later in front of all your friends roommate

34. The roommate you plan your life around so you aren’t in the kitchen at the same time

34b. The roommate who never leaves the kitchen so you’re forced to eat the whole pint of ice cream now to avoid an awkward run in.

35. The roommate who buys a lock for their door

36.  The roommate who marks the milk to see who is drinking it

37. The “let’s sit down and have a roommate meeting about who is buying paper towels” roommate

38. The “I have a spreadsheet of expenses and you should buy more paper towels” roommate

39. The paints an “om” symbol on her door roommate

40. The roommate who makes you pay for everything, but will “get you next time”

41. The homesick roommate

42. The heartsick roommate

43. The long-distance relationship who Skypes in the common area roommate

44. The roommate who doesn’t leave her pajamas

45. The constantly compliments your skin as further efforts to get you to invest in her beauty business roommate

46. The roommate who complains loudly about society’s standards for her body

47. The naked roommate

48. The strong perfume roommate

49.  The roommate obsessed with a show you’ll never watch but refuses to stop talking to you about it. (Years later you’ll watch Lost, but you will not tell her out of spite.)

50. The socially awkward roommate who wants to go on field trips to the grocery store together

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The Holiness In Peeling Potatoes

28 Jun

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I volunteer at the library several times a month.

It’s one of my favorite parts of my week, something I look forward to along with Thursday yin yoga and Monday date days.

There’s something in the routine, in the things you can count on to bring you joy.

Last week my regular supervisor was out of town and so I was given the task of shelf reading.  Shelf reading, for those of you who don’t know, is going through the books and making sure everything is in alphabetical order.  Certain sections, like the children’s section, tend to get out of place and so periodically someone goes in and organizes them.

Shelf reading.

The woman who assigned me the task told me that she can only shelf read for about a half hour before she needs a break.

I nodded and started on the YA FICTION As.

I went through books I had read and books I wanted to read.  I pulled titles off the shelf every once in awhile to glance through the pages.  I noticed the pretty covers, the ones that seemed like me, the ones I would never read.

A half hour passed quickly.

The other task they had for me couldn’t be completed that day and so I went back to my shelf and back to alphabetizing.

The books were mainly in place, I moved probably less than 10, but I dutifully went through every author and then every author’s set of works.

FA, FE, FL

An hour hit.

I was losing steam.

I needed a break, I needed to not be squatting, pulling my dress down over my knees to reach the lower shelves.  I was fading. Fast.

I got a drink of water and remembered something Elizabeth Gilbert said in her podcast.  She talked abot the joy of peeling potatoes, the meditation in the mundane.  How when she lived in India she scrubbed floors and what that can mean for your psche.  When you get to a place where you find holiness in the scrubbing.

I’ve never before found joy in peeling the metaphorical potatoes.  Mundane tasks and jobs and lives drive me up a wall and my active mind soon climbs out of its playpen and into the dark, scary world.

But that day I decided to try it.

I was going to be alphabetizing for the next hour no matter what I did, so I could try to make it holy.  I could try to make it joyful.

Back to the shelves I went.

HA, HE, HI

The Clique series, why hadn’t I read it?

Shannon Hale. Oh gosh I met her and loved her.

She lives in my hometown, you know.

My body started to calm.  Setting those limits, knowing you have to face a task somehow makes it more manageable.  It’s the unknown, the expectation that you could finish any moment that makes it harder.

GA, GE, GR

GR – A, GR – E, GR – I

When I finished my time I marked my progress on a sheet of paper.  People commented on how much shelf reading I did, practically the entire YA section.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” I said.

And it wasn’t.

I’m reading a YA book right now that subscribes to the YA book mentality that in order to really live and seize life, one must ditch out on responsibilities, find the craziest adventures and do them this very minute, live in an unrestrained way.

And I get this, on some level.

It’s a juvenile way of thinking.  We have to have jobs.  There’s the practicality aspect.

But I get this.

One of the reasons I love Rob is that he would drop everything and drive three hours to get a really good piece of pizza with me just because.  Just because it was really good.

I tried to explain this concept to a guy I once dated, the drop everything for a pizza thing, but he wasn’t a romantic.  He didn’t understand it.  “There’s pizza here,” he said.

So I do get this.

But then I also think this mentality misses the point.  So often in life we are stuck shelf reading, peeling the potatoes, doing mundane work.  If we can make that work holy and worthwhile and joyful-

That is what it means to live life the fullest.

Sure, backyard rollercoasters and skipping AP Physics and jumping into lakes at midnight is fun.

But it’s easy to find the joy there.

It’s much harder to find the holiness in peeling potatoes.

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107 Roommates You’ll Have In Your Twenties – Part 1

7 Jun

Created with the lovely Hilary Miller

Roommates List 1.4

Roommates List 1.4

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Pity Party Central

3 Jun

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I’ve had a lot of little pity parties lately.  Well, big pity parties.  I’m not known for my small amounts of sorrow, especially when it comes to myself.  I say if you’re going celebrate your misery, you should make the party grand, you should announce it to the world, and you should send a personalized invitation to everyone you know.

Pity Party Central over here.

I’ve been sick for what seems like forever.  I still have a ringing in my ear that I fear will never really disappear at this point.  I may live my life with this ringing, according to my doctor.  Let us collectively pray this does not happen.

By the way, pity party tonight 7/8PM Central!

I’ve been working a lot.  I haven’t been able to write or exercise or do the normal things that keep my fragile balance in check.  My best friend moved across the country.  At one point in the last several weeks I joined Bumble BFF for a half hour but that’s another story for another time.

Pity Party tomorrow, 6/7PM Central!

And so this morning I decided I was done with it.  That I needed to do something for someone else and that I needed to leave the house and so I set off to Zuma Beach to look for seashells.  It was a foggy morning and the shards of polished rocks were plentiful and soon I was off to Malibu Kitchen for some Snickerdoodles.  I picked up Malibu Magazine and some fuzzy socks at the Pepperdine Bookstore and wrote a card and packaged some teas and carefully selected a book and soon I had my very own Malibu care package to send to a friend who is doing much worse than I am.  Whose problems are real and life-altering.  Not annoying and ear-ringing.

It took up my morning and soon I was eating a pulled pork sandwich and buying a book for Rob’s grandma that I can’t list here because she reads this blog, but it’s a good one.

And then it was time to head to work again, full and with a little less pity.

It worked.

At least for the morning, it worked.

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I Miss The Old Blogging

18 May

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This week one of my favorite bloggers retired from the blogging world.

She was one of the first bloggers I really got into, about four years ago, when my blog obsession began.  I spent nearly a year reading the entire archives of several blogs and falling in love with their writers and their words.  Those bloggers, the first few, are still so important to me.  I know them from 10 years ago.  I feel like I know them!

As I read this blogger’s goodbye comments, I was overwhelmed with how many people felt the same way as I did.  How many people this one girl’s words had inspired and changed.  How many of us readers felt genuine sadness.

I saw this coming.  You don’t read someone’s words for 10 years and not see something like this coming.  But I hoped it wouldn’t. I refreshed her page over the past few months, wishing for a killer essay that would get me writing and thinking and blogging again.

Instead I got a farewell.

All of my favorite bloggers, the ones from those times, are basically gone.  Sure, they may update a few times a year now, but there was this golden time, well before I started blogging, where they were updating nearly every day.  Where silliness and inner thoughts and unworried posts were thrown together.

Today there’s so much hate online you have to watch every word and even then you’re not safe.

Today there’s so many sponsorships online you can’t believe any word and even then you’re not safe.

Many of these original bloggers are married and have children and they are giving their families privacy and separating themselves from hate and I am glad for them, but I am also sad that I am losing them.  I’m losing the rants and opinions and the real thoughts.  The uncensored posts.  I love those.  Getting a blog post from one of those writers is like waking up to a bouquet of fresh hydrangeas at my door.  A big, puffy gift.

Now this gift is done giving.

And my eyes are puffy.

(This took a turn.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately.  How fashion bloggers are now in the millions of followers and milliosn of dollars category.  How these girls (often) offer the same rotated few words:

Totally obsessed with these new (free and sponsored) shoes!!!!

These shoes!!!! (free and sponsored)

I don’t want this to be a judgement on fashion bloggers.  They are their own thing.  But it makes me sad that my blogging world is being reduced to these same few sentences and non-opinions. That the women with voices and unfiltered thoughts and skills and lives and words I aspire to are slowly dripping away.

It’s been happening for years now.  The Wild West of the blogging world is gone and we are fully into the very manufactured, all-alike suburbia.

I miss it.

I wasn’t even a part of it, I feel like I sort of got on the blogging train a few stops too late, that if I were to really have dove into this thing I needed to start 10 years ago, I needed to build some big base and to go on some journey that I documented.  And that my silly 2016 words about Chip Gaines and books and little epiphanies I have throughout my very regular days, well, what are they offering anyone?  What are they offering me?

Maybe I should retire, too.

I’m funny like that, I see someone else do something and I immediately question my own decisions.  Even if I’m happy with my current life, watching someone boldly forge a different path makes me wonder if that’s the right path!

If that’s the right podcast!

Eventually I settle in and I calm down and I make my own decisions.

(Mostly.)

And this is my decision.

All the girls in my family are going on a vacation to Texas next month because of my last blog post.

I’m here, baby.

Me and my words are still here.

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I’m In Love With Chip Gaines And I Don’t Care Who Knows It

13 May

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Today I found myself on a Reddit thread about Chip Gaines, one half of HGTV’s golden couple on Fixer Upper.  One woman on the thread declared, “If I was Joanna, he could get it.  If I’m me?  Still no.  I respect Joanna that much.  I feel the same way about Obama.  I can understand his appeal but I also respect Michelle entirely too much to think about him in a sexual manner.”

This is the place I’m at in my life.

I fell in love with Chip the way John Green tells us we fall in love–slowly and then all at once.

He’s not my usual type, so I wasn’t expecting it.  Chip is a redhead cowboy with a Texas accent and a goofy heart.  He wears tool belts and acts like a child and my type tends to be more of the frighteningly thin boys with skinny jeans, a library card and neuroses.

But Chip.

Well, I guess this is why they say you should be careful who you spend your time with.  You spend enough time with someone and you fall in love them.

My marriage to Chip Gaines is evidence of this.

I referred to my love for Chip as a marriage when I was first writing notes for this post.  “In the process of watching HGTV shows I’ve gotten married and aged 20 years.  Not for Chip–I would never change for a man.”

I read this snippet to a friend on Sunday night and we laughed and laughed and then got serious.

I’m in deep.  I’m in “I respect Joanna too much” deep except I don’t.   I love Chip.  In some universe I live in Waco, TX and we are married and it’s OK because in this universe Joanna is somewhere else with someone else and the world has spun a little bit off its axis.

I think it’s something to do with the tool belt.  Chip is just so…handy.  Does that seem sexual?  Now it’s seeming sexual.

It is what it is.

Chip can tear out an entire bathroom. He can lay tile and fix foundations and rewire the plumbing on a house.  Chip could take the condemned sea green beach home that I’ve had my eye on and make it a masterpiece.

Chip is a masterpiece.

He loves Joanna.  He worships Joanna.  He knows, full well, exactly how lucky a man he is to be with freaking Joanna Stevens Gaines.

He made her Joanna Stevens Gaines with some charm and some smiles and some fireworks shows.

Chip is that hands-on, wonderful dad that puts all sitcom dads to shame.  He chops wood and adopts pets and suddenly I think I could want to adopt pets.

To have wood in my home.

Chip is changing things.

I am changing.

My descent into the HGTV home shows was also like falling in love.  A House Hunters episode here.  A Love it or List it there.

Suddenly I’m on Reddit threads.

Suddenly I’m talking marriage.

The truth is I don’t want Chip Gaines.  Well I do want Chip Gaines.  It’s confusing.

The appeal of Chip lies in how much he loves the people he loves and how he isn’t afraid to show that.  It lies in his devotion to his wife and family and work.  It lies in his tool belt.

OK, I can’t get away from the sexual.

I don’t know if I want to.

Tonight I’ll watch another episode of Fixer Upper.

Or two.

There’s no telling.

I’ll await a picture my friend is sending me of a Ken doll she found who looks just like Chip.

I’ll pen my Chip and Joanna fan fiction.

I’ve never written fan fiction before, but this seems as good a starting point as any.

Chip Carter Gaines loved wood paneling and pheasant decorations and tearing up kitchens.

I will make sure to include at some point, my own rendering of the Reddit thread.

If I was Joanna he could get it.

If I’m me– 

Well.

It’s complicated.

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