Confidence Is a Trap

Or: Why I’m Grateful My Parents Didn’t Give Me to Carnival Folk When I Was a Child

When I was a little girl, I was, to put it politely, pesky.* To help keep my parents on their toes, I balanced out my charming, well-behaved, thoughtful older brother by instigating mischievous mayhem and bringing home all sorts of tiny wild animals.
*I have yet to grow out of this phase.

Because bugs are more evil than snakes are snuggley

And then I put him back.

By the time I was 10, we lived in a little bungalow house in California.

In the middle of my street....

Everything was “mine” when I was 10. And also now.

The house was so little, there was no proper entrance to the attic. Instead, there was a conspicuous strange opening, covered with a plank of wood, in the roof of my closet.

There be monsters inside

See? All the things are mine.

Like many other suburban Bay Area homes, our house had a drop-tile attic entrance that you needed a ladder to access. We kept our ladder permanently in place, because we went up to the attic a lot.

It was a good attic

Even people who read my blog are mine. My readers. Hi, Mine Reader-Person!

Like any child with immediate, constant access to a very tall and dangerous ladder, I played on it as much as humanly possible. I sat on the rungs and read books. I climbed up it to get to my Barbies. I staged elaborate imaginary sea-battles from the top of the ladder, because, well, that was safe.

If I know you, I will draw a stick figure of you

My mom always has cool hair. This was her cool hair when we lived in California.

My mother would warn me to be careful and bribe me to stay off the ladder. But I was confident.

This is foolish confidence

I was definitely not born on a ladder. I’m sure that would have been super awkward for my mom. In hindsight, telling your mother you were “born” on or around anything other than a hospital is generally pretty dumb.

But I had a tendency to climb the ladder in socks. And, as it happens, parents tend to be right about a lot more things than 10-year-olds.

Dangerous confidence is dangerous


And one day I fell off of the top of the ladder. I smacked into the floor at terminal 10-year-old velocity. It wasn’t a very high fall, but it was enough that I thought I was paralyzed. As I lay on the ground squeaking out pathetic noises, my parents came rushing in.

I totally was not dead or hurt

I am perhaps translating what I think my father was thinking, instead of actually transcribing the thoughtful things he said to comfort my mother after making sure I wasn’t dead or really damaged.

This happened more than one time**. But it never once deterred my mental stance of confidence. I was filled with a strange survival-detrimental confidence that I was really good at being on ladders.
**At least sixteen before I even hit high school.

I totally am the Pirate Empress, though

It was probably all of the times I smacked my head on the floor that proves my father right here.

If I were my parents, I probably would have sold me to the circus.

I Am the Last Single Girl in My Pride* of Ladyfriends

Or: Change Happens and Sometimes Makes It Weird to Talk about Dating

*Yes. Girls roam in prides, like lion(esse)s.

I’m not the fastest at making female friends, but the ones I have are pretty out-freakin’-standing. (Note: Earlier, autocorrect decided I wanted to say my ladyfriends were “commonplace.” This is not true. Autocorrect is a hurtful liar who does not want you to know the truth. My friends are AH-MAY-ZING.) And when we were younger, the vast majority of us were single at the same time.

Meeee-yow. Riiigghtt?

I think I should mention very few of these stick figures look anything like my friends

Over time, things began to change. Some friends began to get married.

Duuuun-dun-dun-dun-duuuunnn-dun. Dun, dah-dah-dah-duuuunnn.

Yes. I do picture all brides in princess dresses and tiaras. Because tiaras.

Others began to pair off into unified “we” relationships.

Prepare for a hell of joint apartment hunting!

I am going to lose “serious boyfriend doodling” privileges, I just know it.

And if you move around a lot, like I do, you also get to meet all new friends that are already couples.** It’s two friends for the price of one!
**Bonus life fact: If you make friends with people who are already married, you never have to buy them a wedding present!

But you also may just discover, quite suddenly, that you are the only single person you know.


This pose just looks silly without other people around. And, well, with other people around.

One by one, my ladyfriends became coupled. I am ecstatic that they’ve found such incredible partners, and have moved into the exciting, couple-y phase of life. But it’s weird to be the last single one. For one thing, my dating problems become “cute.”

Awful. Just...awful.

And awkward. It was also awkward. Because this really happened. He told me I should “give them out to my friends.”

And sometimes it is hard to understand couple-ed person problems, because it’s been a long time since I’ve been part of a serious couple.

This is a valid problem

Not that I would ever leave dishes in the sink, or anything. My life is super clean and organized. Definitely. Just, uh. Call before you come over.

We’re friends, but we’re in different phases of life. Like flowers. Or bananas. Or people.

Or upside down. I possibly watched a special on bananas so I could understand banana spiders, and am playing dumb here.

I clearly have no idea what banana tree-bushes look like. That’s how those grow, right? Also, I am not implying that “splotchy and gross” or “missing petals” is the couple/married phase of life. It’s just as likely to be the single phase because people are not bananas or flowers, but they are fun to draw,

I love my pride of ladyfriends as much as always. They’re awesome. But it’s super hard to gossip about the ridiculous issues of being single in your (mid) late 20s…when you’re the only one being single in your (mid) late 20s. Because, well, they can be pretty ridiculous issues.

Honesty is the best medicine. Also, fight-starter

At least we can all talk about how silly we are.

But they’re also kind of important issues, too. So just remember: Let your friends rant. Whether they’re single, or they’re couple-ed. Because that’s what it means to be a pride***.
***I know, I know. If ladies form prides, what are groups of guyfriends?
Wolfpacks. Duh.

It’s the Happiest Wednesday!

I will tell you why:


Guess! Guess!



And so instead of writing you a long and involved blog post, I am doing research on my couch, with a mug of hot chocolate and a winter hat on.


See you tomorrow, everyone!

Life Lesson: Morning People Will Probably Eventually Rule the Whole World

Life Lesson #6,120: Do not get dressed in the dark. Even if it’s only dark because it’s cloudy outside and you’re too lazy to turn on the light.

That is how you discover your shirt is inside out. At work. At 10:00 in the morning. After two meetings. With the C-level executives* in your office.
*CEO. COO. CFO. C-More-Important-Than-I-Will-Ever-Be-O.

I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person. I was not a bright, chipper small child up with the sun. I was not even a person before noon during my teen years. In my 20s, I continue to bodily drag myself out of bed before the hour of 9:00 in the morning. Maybe by the time I’m 50, I’ll have a healthy relationship with dawn, but right now, we’re mortal enemies.


Closing the curtains doesn’t even help. I still know it’s there.

But every now and then**, I have to drag myself out of bed on a cloudy, rainy or snowy morning. This is a strange blessing and curse all rolled into one. For one thing, the sun is forced to refrain from taunting me, due to being locked behind the shelter of clouds. But, on the other hand, it’s still blissfully dim and all I want to do is stay in bed. So getting ready becomes even more difficult.
**Sporadically and spontaneously and generally on the most inconvenient days, because I live in the South.

As has been mentioned previously, I work in a proper corporate business office, where I am expected to wear proper corporate business attire. There are skirts and heels and fancy shirts and dressy sweaters and other things I have had to spend a bunch of money on to ensure that I look appropriate and good at my job.


Of course stars and sparkles appear when I successfully get dressed in the morning. Does this not happen for you?

I am successfully good at accomplishing other morning activities (showering, hair brushing, makeup) in a lit bathroom that has bribed me into awareness with promises of hot water. But no amount of wardrobe budget and steamy showers can spare me the horrors that come with getting dressed in the dark.


Selecting the proper attire in a dark closet clearly requires a lot of finesse.

I have a tendency to select items at random and fling them out of the closet onto my bed, signifying that they are destined to be part of the day’s outfit. Lots of these items are black, because I am a champion at color-coordinating. After other preparations are complete, I tend to hurl these clothing options onto myself, achieving a successful dressed state.


It’s hard to see the stars and sparkles in the dark.

However, some mornings***, I am not quite so successful. Apparently.
***Like THIS morning.

Some mornings, not all of the clothes go on the right way. And without the supervision of the blindingly bright, evil dawn sun, there’s no chance to catch the devious, inside-out shirt until well after I’ve left the apartment.

You know, until after I’ve finished my second meeting of the morning.

I need more coffee for this nonsense

It was not subtly inside out either, guys. There were tags and seams and possibly the opposite side of shirt-decorations visible.

So in other words, guys: Happy Tuesday. I hope your clothes are on the right way.

My Cat Does Not Understand Going to Bed Early

Or: The Story of the Adorable Demon That Lives with Me

This weekend I was very busy and adventurous*, which resulted in a remarkable number of hijinks, but a very minimal amount of sleep.
*preening and flash-dancing because my blog got Freshly Pressed and that makes me so happy it was distracting.

So by the time Sunday night rolled around, it was time to throw on my onsie pajamas and hit the sack. At 8:00 o’clock at night. Because I am practicing for senior citizenship.**
**I just want to be really, really good at it already when the time comes. You know, already have all the early bird specials memorized at restaurants and be outraged by those meddlesome kids who won’t get off my lawn? I like to set attainable life goals.

They are so warm and so comfy and I love them so much.

Yes, I did perform my flash-dances in these pajamas.

My cat did not agree with this life choice.

This is the only stick figure cat I have ever drawn

I do not know how to draw stick figure cats.

So, at bedtime (still 8:00 o’clock), I scooped up my cat and carted her off to bed with me. Normal people allow their cats to explore and figure out sleeping space on their own. My cat prefers to be specially invited and then hand-carried to bed, or she will sulk on the floor all night.

She is like carrying a fuzzy sack of potatoes. I love her so much.

***Yes. This is what I call my cat. This is not her name.

I snuggled into bed with her at my feet, and started to fall into the blissful slumber of someone who has collectively managed to have less than eight hours of sleep in two and a half days.

At 8:15 p.m., my feline companion became concerned about whether or not I was alive. To express her concern and check my vital signs, she licked my ear, and then stuck her face into my face to check if I was breathing.****
****For those who are curious, cat-faces directly impair breathing.

Sleep is for the weak and the dead

I told you I do not know how to draw stick figure cats.

Once satisfied that I was clearly still alive – a fact established my hacking struggles to breathe around her affection – she decided it was time to go exploring. She quietly explored for a time, and then determined that my apartment was in need of redecoration.

Admit it. Your cat redecorates too

Because all things – most especially palettes full of wet paint – look better on the floor. Most especially beige carpet.

She put all her efforts into redecorating until I finally went and reorganized all of the things capable of being knocked over. This left her frustrated; clearly I was not appreciating all of her hard work.

By this time, it was 10:00 o’clock at night. A strange peace fell over the house as she fell into a sulk and vanished from my sleeping space.

And then, at 11:47 p.m., she began to sing the song of her people.

I mean, this isn't even cute anymore

I’m so serious. Drawing stick figure cats is something I hope to never do again. I wonder if there are specific art classes for this.

In the bathtub. For optimal echoing. Of course.

This continued, despite repeated interruptions by me (picking her up and putting her in bed; staying up and petting her; playing with her with the laser pointer; locking the &%^$! bathroom so tub singing was impossible; unlocking the #%$!@ bathroom so she would stop crying about the closed door) until about 2:13 in the morning.

When I woke up for work at 6:15 this morning, she was fast asleep, on the bed at my feet, purring happily.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP - you can hear it in your head, can't you?

Yes. I still own an alarm clock that beeps at 100,000,000 decibels. It’s the only one I have not broken.

She protested with annoyance when I moved and woke her up.

And that is why I am never going to bed early again.