Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tree Car-Fresherners: No Longer Required

I recently bought my first new car. It is a 2012 and had 100 miles on it when I took possession, and that was only because they drove it here from Salem since apparently that was the only dealer to have the specific color I wanted.

Buying a new car was not an easy decision for me to make. For one, I was an adamant follower of Dave Ramsey (live debt free) and had managed in 2007 to pay off all my debts, have a $10,000 emergency fund in savings, and had prior to now, stayed out of debt. So, I caved and rumor has it I will now spend my eternal life in debtor's hell. But, I'm ok with that. Apparently, so is my mom.

When I showed my new car to my mom I thought she was going to cry from her excitement. Her face lit up and she looked at me with such approval that I had not seen since early sophomore year in high school when she found out I was still a virgin (yes, a story will follow later). She asked if she could sit inside. Of course, I let her and watched as she gushed over the pristine upholstery and bluetooth technology. She looked years younger by the smile on her face while sitting in the passenger side inhaling the new car smell and checking out the vanity mirror. "Oh honey" she exclaimed, "I am so happy for you. This is a very nice car. I am so proud of you". She leaned over and hugged me. I thought she was never going to release me. It was a comforting emotion to know. My mom loves me now.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pink Canopy

It doesn't really make sense that I grew up wanting to be a writer. I didn't have a traumatic childhood requiring years of therapy and thousands of dollars in recovery. I wasn't abused, poor or fat. I never went to bed hungry or without dessert for that matter. I didn't grow up in a broken home, in fact, my parents didn't file for divorce until around the same time I did (a two-fer special at legal aid that month). I was a pretty, petite, blue-eyed, dish-water blonde growing up in the rich part of town, known as Lake O. My grandparents lived on the lake with a boat. Each new school year meant new dresses, new shoes, new lunch boxes, new backpacks and sometimes we even got a new car, every 2 years or so, I think it was a rule. I had a pink room with a pink canopy bed, a ruffle bed skirt, and matching curtains. We had family game night, movie night, pizza night, and vacations to Disneyland every five years. Now to grab your attention, this is where I should unveil some dark family secret that would invoke empathy or pity and thereby justify the mediocre life I've created. The truth, there wasn't any. I really had the ideal childhood.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Angry Skeletons

This weekend I attended a workshop at Wordstock in Portland called Radical Disclosure. The workshop was essentially about the ethical and moral dilemma writers often face when writing about experiences that will bring embarrassment to themselves or others. We were asked to write in class for five minutes about a real life experience that caused embarrassment or was otherwise a "skeleton" in our family and if we were willing, to share it with the class. This is what I wrote:

The day I received a "pocket-dialed" phone call from my uncle and overheard a frightful argument between him and my aunt, was the day my respect for him was lost. I was on a trip out of town and missed their call while out of range, so it went straight to voice mail. I played the message. The first thing I heard was my uncle yelling "I told you I don't want anything. I'm not f**king hungry! I am trying to get this f**king stuff done. Why didn't you listen to me. You never f**king listen. If you would have listened you don't listen to a f*cking thing I say. F**K!! YOU JUST...I CAN'T....F*****CK!!!!!!" I heard my aunt in the background "I was only trying..." My uncle sounding like a rendition of Ozzy Ozborne screamed out a final "DAMN ITS THIS IS F*CKING, F****CK!!!!"

The call ended. I was freaked out, and no clue really what I should do. A call from me this late would be odd. I was worried and concerned whether my aunt was in danger. I didn’t believe my uncle was capable of hurting her, but then again, I hadn’t thought he would ever scream like that either. And if I did call, there is a chance they might find out I knew.