Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tell me the truth about Abraham Lincoln's mole

The enlightening drive home after picking up Erin at Kindergarten:

“How was school today Erin, did you get new spelling words?”

“Uh yes…did you know Jesus died?”

“Yes, I’m aware of that, it was some time ago. Did you learn that at school today?”

“No, church, well Mommy told me at church… Church is
really long”

“Oh yea? How long is it?”

“An hour or something.”

“That’s nothing, the church I went to when I was a little girl was three hours.”

“THREE HOURS!!! I wish there was a zero-hour-church… How long is the church you go to now that you’re big?”

“Well, zero hours.”

Chels,” she rolls her eyes, “tell me the truth.”

“Well I don’t really go to any church anymore.”

“You should, it’s good for you I think...Are we home yet?"


"This car ride feels like three-hour church." After a thoughtful pause she says, "Did you know Abraham Lincoln had a mole on his face?” (Pointing to the approximate spot of Lincoln’s facial mole.)

“Oh, ya?” I say trying to let her feel brainy.

“He’s dead too.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tube Slide Demigod

I recently took Erin and Emma to McDonalds; though they have been to the golden arches, they have never really entered the play-place, due to their mother’s knowledge of germs and their pooled fear of ball-pits. They sat patiently eating their fries (which their Dr.mother does allow on occasion) and looked on as other kids left behind the deep fried yellow and red boxes to play first and think about lunch later. A hapless toddler ambled to the entrance of the play-place and threw in a hamburger, its pickles landing out of the bun, as if it was sticking its tongue out at us. The noise was riotous and echoing off the walls as though the golden arches referred to actual rock formations like the ones found in Southern Utah. After they finished their chicken nuggets, I reluctantly let them go into the giant germ laden beast. I did however convince them to go against Ronald’s better judgment and keep their shoes on. (That guy’s a clown for god’s sake)

Once inside I could hear them calling for one another-- over laughter and the sound other children crying-- I could hear them calling each other’s names. I remembered then that once you entered a jungle gym, all adult marshaling was off. Suddenly it is The Lord of the Flies and alliances and precautions are to be made. You have to keep alert to each others whereabouts because some kid has inevitably nominated himself as king and as any cruel demigod would do, is blocking the entrance to the tube slide. I remembered then calling out my siblings names, banding together to crusade and overthrow the tube slide king. Erin and Emma were no different; they called and called to one anther, saying things they had never said before like, “Be strong!” and “Be brave!” Erin being the oldest lead Emma by the hand, showing her the ropes though unknowing of them herself. If Emma got too far Erin would say, “Come back, come back.”

A flood of more childhood memories came to me and I got a little emotional right there in McDonalds, I am not sorry about crying into my super-sized Diet Coke. I was thinking about my childhood and my siblings. My youngest brother Jacob turned 21 a few days ago. One and twenty as they say. I do not know whom ‘they’ are or why ‘they’ have to talk about Jacob like that. I will tell you that since he is the baby of five children (where as I am in the middle) that it feels poignant.


I think the word poignant sounds very important when put alone like that in a sentence. Turning 21 is certainly a significant milestone in American culture, if not due to the legal drinking age exclusively. That aside, Jacob turning 21 seems more of a milestone, because he was the baby of the brood. A baby of five children is everybody’s baby. Each child before him feels a sense of ownership in his little life. We cooed at him, we taught him to say his first words and when he was old enough, we lovingly teased the shit out of him. Often we carried him into the heart of a play-place, our bellies full of French-fries and greasy hamburgers. If ever he was drowning in the ball pit, we would tie our socks together and throw him a line.

We got together for his birthday last Sunday; we laughed and ate pie and wished our baby happy 21st. Every time we come together, a bond holds us and ties us, like old war buddies. Childhood is its own type of battle, the adolescent years are hell and we were in the trenches together. Jacob is the only one of us who might see a real war, he is a medic in the National Guard and if this war goes on, he has been told that he will go next year. Over the ocean our little soldier will go and over the ocean our voices will call, “Be strong, be brave!”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oh baby

Listen: for those of you who do not know, Matt and I are not going to have a baby. Not yet anyway. For those of you who do not know: I love babies. I love babies with an enthusiastic enthusiasm of a thousand burning pacifiers. My niece, Avery is a year old and I can’t hold her without crying sweet hot tears of joy. All of my friends and family are aware of this obsession I have with little people (babies not midgets, though they can be pretty cute too.)

For those of you who do not already know, I work as a nanny and have done so for the past four years, thus nourishing and polishing my fervent baby needs. For those of you who do not know Utah is like the capital of babies, the Mormons have been told to multiply and replenish the earth and I will tell you that church is made less boring by all the hiccuping and cooing of this diminutive congregation. I think babies kept me going to church long after Jesus didn’t. It is common here to have a baby nine months into a marriage. But all of this aside, here is the birth of a bona fide decision: Matt and I not going to have a baby, not yet anyway.

This is the Question I get asked most often: Do you find porcupines pretentious? And this is the question I am asked the second most often: Are you going to have a baby? I think again this has something to do with the Mormons in Utah. Since I made it to the 24th year my life without getting married, I was somewhat of a ring less blemish on the face of this beautiful culture. For those of you who do not know Utah is also the capital of, “listen: lets get married before we fornicate,” so like my ring less finger before, my idle ovaries have gone against the majority of my virtuous neighbors, and left my uterus high and dry (there’s a visual.)

Now, before you get afraid that the reason we’re not with child is that we are unsure of how to have a baby, oh let me assure you-- we know, we know-- and we’re not telling. This is a choice we have made. A shitty choice maybe, but this choice is going to stick around or so for the next four to eight years (kind of like that last shitty president we had) so you’ll be okay, and in the end we'll have a little Obama, I mean baby and it will be cute, even if it knows nothing about foreign policy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The bee is not afraid of me

Last night as i was sleeping
i dreamt--marvelous error!--
that i had a beehive
here, inside my heart.
and the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from all my old failures.
-- Antonio Machado

I was sad for a lot of years. The kind of sad where misery stares at you from your cereal bowl even though you’re eating lucky charms. The marshmallows have melted and turned the milk a murky-sickly sort of pink and you can’t even make out the shapes and why won’t they just let the damn leprechaun have his lucky charms so he can woo and maybe marry the Trix rabbit and have equal rights. But Trix are for kids and people are always after my lucky charms and I think Count Chocula looks a little like your grandpa.

You know how they say alcoholics recover for life? I think this is true also for the exceedingly sad. Just because you don’t cry everyday day or hide in the bathroom at your job doesn’t mean that you are no longer capable of attaining the earth shatteringly shattered soul you once had. My name is Chelsea and I’m a recovering broken heart. My sponsor came in the form of a dashingly handsome six foot four diabetic (a recovering sad sack himself) named Matt. He walked into my life a year ago under a black umbrella (literally, he was carrying an umbrella) and never walked out. We’ve been married for about two months. He changed everything for me and I haven’t had time to think about the life I had before him until now. I have been far too busy being unabashedly in love with him and trying to do it in heels. Falling in love, making love, a big move in together, making more love, planning and executing a wedding and being too tired to make love, it has really put a kink in my sadness. The truth is that he repaired and healed my heart in a way so incomprehensible that we should have our own 20/20 special. He brought me back to life ladies and gentlemen. And know for his next trick, this new love brought me to forgive my past. (Matt is going into a diabetic coma right now after reading that sweet declaration.) In fact not only do I forgive my past, I am embarrassed by how small and insignificant it looks from my new found place of being loved. It is like returning to a park you used to frequent as a child only to see that the playground is sorely lacking in safety and that bums have taken to sleeping in the only good shade.

You may be saying to yourself, maybe she wasn’t as sad as she thinks she was. So I would like to say here that I was really sad. Italics sad. I was the kind of sad you get from having all of your hopes and dreams thrown to the ground and smashed and walked on by an elephant with a kitten on his back; only to also find out that my hopes were rotting from the inside to begin with, so they were really easy to squash. Everyday things stung at my heart, making my little soul swollen and sore. I spent years in this distended sadness and woke up in the middle of it to find that somewhere along the way I had lost my religion (that’s me in the corner) and had been abandoned by a boy in zealot’s clothing who I had mistaken for the love of my life (that’s me in the spotlight looking like an asshole). Yes folks I am a recovering broken heart and also a convalescing Mormon. But I’d like to say here that had I not left the church I would have never met and married my cute little nonbeliever husband thus having attained this happiness. So stick that in your back pocket, I am happier than I have ever been being an apostate.

I would like to tell you that I had patched myself up before I met and seduced my husband, that I had been enough, that I had female-woman-power, that I had Rosie-the-riveted all over this town -- but that isn’t true. Not even sort of, and I am okay with that.

I tell Matt that I am happy he has diabetes, not because I am a terrible person, but because it has made him who he is, more responsible and cautious than most young men his age. Likewise I find myself here: making sweet honey from all my failures and putting it on toast and giving it to my diabetic husband when his blood sugar is low.