Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mormon Housewife

They jokingly refer to me as the Mormon housewife, and I'm not quite sure who should be more offended. The Mormon?  The housewife? Regardless, it bugs me because it's true, except for the parts that aren't. I'm baby-hungry, but a horrible cook; I spend my free time doing laundry or sweeping the floors, but only to an extent. Only because I have to. I do, however, enjoy strolling the home goods aisle at Target, convincing myself we can afford one more end table. I can even make myself think it's a necessity. Yet when the home is complimented and praise directed to me, I defer. I understate my involvement. Why am I so bugged to be called housewife?

There are lots of bugs in this house.  Spiders that crawl quickly out of sockets, flies that bang blind into window panes, and beetles that look bored as I paint or stain or whatever womanly project I've undertaken. Womanly. What happened to my feminism? My rejection of misogyny? A tiny black beetle crawls slowly over the throw pillows I've so carefully chosen, considering pattern and color, yearning for style yet restraining myself to what I consider a masculine color pallet or a bold pattern. Perhaps this is why I'm uncomfortable when my roommate dons red heels and boasts of his shapely legs. I want to crawl away and hide in the walls of my own do-it-yourself, follow-the-instructions gender norms.

I gently lead the bewildered beetle into a glass cup and carry him outside to the grass. And just like that, over time, I remove the unwanted parts of me from the presentable household I'm keeping.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Metal Meets Metal

Lazy Sunday
swaddled in blankets
like baby Jesus,
binge-watching Glee
(unlike baby Jesus)
when Wes asks
to borrow my car,
the maroon one
with the funny
seatbelts.  Sure,
I say, why the
hell not?

Mouth stuffed
with chips and dip,
fingers fumble
for the controller:
Hulu is having trouble
playing this title right
now.  Stupid Hulu.
Phone vibrates
on faraway end
table.  What the hell
does Wes want?
I wonder.

Just minutes before,
(mere blocks away)
metal meets metal,
one car meets
a second, and in
seconds my lazy
Sunday is no more.
Hulu starts up as
my car dies, and while
Rachel melodramatically
sings, Wes' voice
comes in clear.

I wrecked your car,
he says, I'm so sorry.
And I am, too.
Sorry it happened
to him; sorry
it had to be me.
Don't blame yourself,
I want to say,
It could happen to anyone.
But all I manage is
a whispered Jesus
as Hulu pauses again.



Thursday, May 1, 2014

DIY: Modern Wood Wall Art

Truthfully, I haven't been nearly as crafty in this new house as I thought I would be. I envisioned myself finding old, used pieces of furniture and carefully refinishing them; I once even thought we'd build our own dining room table when I saw housewives on Pinterest were doing it. But in reality, I ended up buying a ton of factory-made, assemble-it-yourself pieces from Ikea and Target. With the exception of staining a shelf from Michaels, I haven't been very DIY at all.

Two new wing-backed dining chairs I purchased online from Target were delivered yesterday and they look pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I think the rustic old table (from Payson Indoor Yardsale on Facebook) and the industrial metal chairs (also from Target) look pretty cool combined with something so classically refined, don't you think?


Anyway, the chairs came in a big box with lots of thick cardboard and two pieces of thin wood.  The wood seemed like the perfect size for some wall art.  Finally, it was time to get crafty!


1. Get a sheet of plywood or something.  I was pretty lucky getting mine for free.
2. With painter's tape, tape off a funky grid.
3. Stain it!  A little can of wood stain is only like $5.  I got our gray stain from Home Depot, and decided to do a few random squares in a darker walnut.  After it dries go ahead and peel away the tape. Ours bled a little, but we liked the effect.
4. Hang it up!  I just screwed it directly into the wall.  I figured the screw heads were kinda rustic industrial.
5. Now your modern wood wall art is ready to enjoy.  Ours is in the dining room above the bar.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

To Borrow

A "painting" of our new abode, using the Waterlogue app.  Isn't it pretty?

To Borrow

Houses are rentable, yes,
and cars are too, I hear,
although I’ve never rented one.
My own car is so run-down 
it's just sad.  What’s sadder
is I bought it that way,
with a seatbelt that goes across
my lap and a separate one
for my upper body.  I joke
I’m buckling up to blast off
into space where the house
I’m renting looks like the ones
you play Monopoly with,
only mine’s blue not red.
It’s also run-down, the house,
but in a beautiful kind of way—
the way a mother looks
in line at the supermarket
with a cartful of diapers
and Hamburger Helper,
one hand lovingly laced
around the fudgy fingers
of a messy child,
clutching clipped coupons
in the other hand as if one
might be Wonka’s golden
ticket promising to whisk
her away in The Great
Glass Elevator up to a place
where cars never break,
roofs never leak
and run-down isn’t even
a possibility.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Not-Quite-Paisley


I realize I never fully updated everyone in regards to the job situation. I was eventually offered the job at American Eagle, but unfortunately the exact job title and responsibilities changed from when I first interviewed to when I was offered it weeks later. Meanwhile, Zales was able to give me full-time hours again, so it turned out that sticking with Zales would be more lucrative. So I stayed.

In other news, our house is looking awesome as we get more settled. We've been here almost a month now and we absolutely love it. Brian and I are also in finals week for this semester at UVU, so we're only a few tests away from freedom! Oh, and I had two prose poems published in UVU's Touchstones, one of which won Honorable Mention. Pretty cool, huh? It's quasi-autobiographical, documenting a less-than-awesome chapter in our relationship... but it sure made for a great piece of writing.


Siân Griffiths, the judge who critiqued my piece, said, "I was so taken by the way this poem turned. If ever I made the mistake of thinking I might know where the poem was headed, I soon saw my error. Yet each surprise felt utterly earned. In other words, the poem didn't surprise for the sake of surprise, but rather it surprised because life is surprising..."


She's right.  My life surprises me all the time.


Not-Quite-Paisley

You weren’t with me the day I picked the green-blue, not-quite-paisley curtains which frame the not-so-great view of a dentist’s office. But he was. He whispered his advice on accent colors and pulled me away behind discounted duvets and we both know that I let him, his hands ticking over me in slow, circular motions. Framed, near the window, is a photo of a younger me pulling you back into an embrace, kissing your cheek. Other framed photos, mostly from New York City, where we were wed, frame the mirror—black-and-white images of trees, buildings and an abandoned bicycle.  “I’ll return the curtains,” I suggest, replacing the batteries in our clock.  “No need,” you say, with injured eyes, pulling me back to bed, back to you, all interlocking arms and legs, disturbing the duvet.  I cry as you kiss my neck and out the window I only see mountains and blue, limitless sky.  We both agree the view is better from the bed.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Poem for Jessie


April has brought a lot of really fun and awesome things into my life, but it has also brought some terrible ones. Well, one terrible one in particular, and that is the death of a good friend of ours, Jessie. We met Jessie about a year ago when our friend Emily started dating her. The two of them seemed perfect for each other, which I know is cliché to say, but it was the absolute truth in their case. They were both so happy, so in love, and when they asked us to be in their wedding this coming May, we were overjoyed. But then real life came in to remind us all that things aren't always so perfect. Things are often difficult. Things are often sad.

Jessie passed away to Gastric Cancer on April 3, 2014. I remember her laughter and her spontaneity the most. And boy, could that girl dance. Emily would text me almost every other weekend: "What are you boys doing? Let's go clubbing!" And we'd go out and Jessie was always the life of the party. I remember whenever "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus came on she would get especially excited. People always told Jessie that she reminded them of Miley. A far more beautiful Miley in my opinion. The song still makes me think of her every time I hear it.

This one's for you, Jessie.


Stolen

The club lights
flutter their aroused,
anxious butterflies;
their sweaty, shining
palms leave stolen
kisses of every hue
on your dancing body,
blushing timidly
as they do, but only
for a moment.
Only on their turn.
For who could hope
to keep you?

You, an angelic
trickster, taking
silky drags from your
e-cig, running long,
slender fingers through
stylish, cropped hair,
blowing puffs
of hefty exuberance
into the air with every
laugh.

The lights have found
new you to kiss… your musical
eyes, your glittery teeth.
You smile and sing along,
moving your body to the beat.
We can’t stop
and we won’t stop.
Constantly in motion,
moving and grooving
—a solar system
in tight, ripped jeans
and boots.  Feathers
dangle from your earlobes.

You ignite the night
with the lighter that
is you.  Hot and bright.
The club’s lesser lights
enjoy the chase, reaching
for you always but only
catching smoke.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Blue House on the Corner

This, dear readers, will be our new home for the next phase of our lives.  (Photos taken from the KSL house listing.)
My strategy the last few days has been to stall.  While Brett was awaiting the word on whether he'd be Washington-bound or not, I didn't want the renting company to get worried that the four of us might not be as stable as we told them.  I also didn't want to lose the place to other renters, so I stalled with questions.

"Yes, we're still very interested, but what about this... or what about that...?"

The leasing agent originally offered us the place at a higher rent, so I tried my very best to negotiate.  Today she left me a voicemail while I was in class saying that the owners approved my final attempt at compromise: higher rent through the summer, back to the original in August if we prove to be good renters.  Perfect!  But I needed to stall again.

"Yes, we'd love to sign the lease, but I don't think the four of us can get together until the weekend..."

But less than an hour later, I got a text from Brett letting me know that he didn't get the Washington job and I immediately called the leasing agent up again and said, "Yes, we want it!  When can we sign?"

No more stalling.  No more waiting. The blue house on the corner is ours.  We sign the lease tomorrow and move in on the first!

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