Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I think most schools have those horrid class voting things for things like "most popular" "nicest smile" "class clown" etc. I went to Catholic school for 13 years (K - 12th). For those of you who merely think about Brittany Spears in a short plaid skirt or nuns who beat children with yardsticks, you are only partially right. My class size in 8th grade was about 28 kids. These 28 kids were the same 28 kids I saw everyday in from Kindergarten until the last day of 8th grade and most of them again throughout high school.

Catholic school is truly a great social experiment and my experience had flashes of Lord of the Flies pretty consistently. This was lead by that one girl, the "most popular" who had her minions of lemmings who were truly afraid of this person who ultimately upon retrospect had zero self-confidence. I recall receiving my "yearbook" (I put this in quotes because it wasn't really a book more then some paper stapled together) at the end of 8th grade and found myself laughing at the labels my classmates very democratically assigned to themselves via "most popular" "smartest" "most likely to succeed" etc. I was the winner of "Nicest" and "Nicest Eyes" AKA everyone has to get something on this list so Nicest seems like a good label for you.

And they were right. I am nice. I'm really nice. I try to live my life by that golden rule Mrs. Maloney in kindergarten always talked about treating others as you would like to be treated. Not everyone plays by those rules, that is quite apparent, but I do. Being nice can be a drag too. I find myself not speaking what's truly on my mind for fear of upsetting another person, hurting their feelings. The problem with the word nice is it's a bunk adjective. People describe other people as nice when they don't have anything else to say. Much akin to, "How are you?" "I'm good thanks." That says nothing. Too bad when describing someone as "nice" you can't have a little video that pops up to demonstrate what you mean, demonstrated examples to bolster one of the most overused adjectives in the English language.

I recently stopped being nice and started speaking honestly. I am a believer in tact and taking the context of a situation into consideration before yapping away, but I'm realizing being nice doesn't truly help anyone. It definitely doesn't help me express what I am truly feeling and thinking to a person and it marginalizes the other person. I'm assuming through observation and emphathy that someone might not like what I have to say and they might not, but at least it will be true and meaningful and convey respect for that other person. The truth can hurt, no doubt about that, but perpetuating nice leads to complacency and stunted growth. Life is too short to simply be nice in all its bland glory.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Last Words

Its funny
the routines you slip
like a fat ass
coming home
to the very special
groove, indent or
large impression
on the couch

I know

My neck
is tired of turning
to see if you've
My lips are weary
from smiling for
My eyes are tearing
from trying to hold
your gaze
My fingers ache
in this empty space
next to me

It'll be jarring
for you
as I take another way
Flick this habit
the same way I enjoy
catapulting summer bugs
off of a screen door

I feel

My fingers warm
and laced
cradle my neck
My gaze
shifts ahead and
my feet fall forward
as these lips dance
along in song.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The White Bandit

One inconsequential day I was twirling my hair between my fingers. That day I had decided to put the ever growing (at a most determined garden weed rate) hair into two braids, yes Pippy Longstocking style. (Why is it anytime we girls put our hair like that some dude HAS to make that comment?) So absentmindedly twirling I start checking out the ends of my hair and see it - my first white hair. Apparently my hair thinks "gray" is a waste of time or state of being not worth our time and went straight to white. I can't help but think of my father, largely of Irish and Polish descent, who began "going gray" in his 20s and now has a (thinning) head of snow white hair. I know from my high school biology days this has more to do with genetics than having daughters, but alas, Danny Boy feels the need to blame having a house full of women for his alabaster locks.

Upon discovering this solo strand, whom I've started referring to as The White Bandit, I had one of those "Jesus! I'm not getting any younger!" moments and quickly started to closely examine the rest of my locks for additional culprits (so far no additional white bastards). I've never been one to dye or color my hair as it is very curly and this lady does not need her hair to get anything done to it that will INCREASE dryness, thereby increasing frizz. Grant it, I am not approaching my own personal Twilight here, I mean lordy, I'm still in my 20s, but that single strand of white made me realize how important it is to not coast through life in a complacent, cozy bubble.

I recently had someone ask me what my dreams and goals were and I was embarrassed because I couldn't answer them. I know people who have dreams and goals and they are actively working towards achieving those things. I was left questioning myself, saying, "Meg what the deuce happened to you? Where did your passion go? How did I end up here with no direction or place to call home...wait that's a Bob Dylan song..." But seriously, if one doesn't have a dream to aspire to what's left but the grind and struggle of a pointless existence. I'm definitely not trying to belittle the little pleasures in life because I value those deeply, but if I'm just coasting and a part of the bigger machine with nothing to aspire to, nothing to look towards, what the f am I doing? How can I truly value the present?

So The White Bandit continues to ride on my head, (thankfully underneath many pieces of hair that still are full of color) and while this Bandit has stripped a singular strand of its color, softness and shine, it has prompted the grey matter underneath it all to dream again.

Thanks White Bandit. Ride on.