Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hope and Drag Queens

Well, well, well. Look who finally has something to write about. Well, I have been writing but not sharing. I call it “Writing” and not “Journaling” because “Journaling” is what lame people do except really they just take a picture of their coffee next to the beach and instagram about how great journaling is. I have gotten to the point where I want to share everything that has happened to me in the past year, but there are a few people very close to me who do not know yet. And they don’t deserve to read about it online rather than hear it from me. So today’s topic: Hope. Simple, yet elusive to so many.
It is embarrassing to say (yet I must) that for me, the past year has been devoid of hope. I was in a pit so deep it seemed there was no way out. I couldn’t see past the day to see what could lie ahead. It came down to two choices: to give in and disappear or ask for help. Thanks to great friends I chose the latter and found the help I needed. Though I had chosen the more positive route I still couldn’t find the outlook I once had. Maybe because I was still coming out of it, but I think because I am a different person now. I am learning how to live in this new version of myself. But aren’t we always ever changing and evolving? Everyone tells you that depression sucks. Because it does. And we all respond with, “Yeah, dipshit we could surmise that.” What I was unaware of is that it sucks because there is no looking forward. Nothing to be excited for. No planning. Merriam Webster defines hope as “to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true”. I think of Company, “Want something Bobby. Want SOMEthing.” I digress. I didn’t want anything. I wasn’t hungry for anything. Except for dessert.
I had never considered hope until this year. I knew what it was. I had heard “Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love” a billion times. I had used the word a hundred times a day, but never contemplated what it’s meaning was. To me it was a word people overused on their shabby chic signs they hung in their homes, stitched on their pillows, or tattooed on their wrist or ankle.
I thought that it would come slowly with time. I started seeing a therapist and going to group therapy and I thought, “If I keep working I will find hope again”. Talk about cliché. I could be the less charming version of Eat, Pray, Love except it would just be called “Eat”. Side note: turns out gaining 20 pounds is a side effect of depression. You can check Web MD if you don’t believe me.
I found that I was wrong. There was a night I was driving home from rehearsal and it hit me . I was hopeful. How the hell did that happen?
So by now you know I was just in the musical La Cage Aux Folles at Riverside Repertory Theatre because I post about it 20 times a day on FB. You’re welcome. If you don’t know the show it’s got everything: drag queens, glitter, mistaken identity, and a super handsome dude singing ballads (I’ll keep my burning love for a married gay guy a secret…to no one. We all know whom I’m talking about). But the show really is about so much more.
Most people’s response when I tell them I was commuting to Riverside for the show is “What?! Why would you do that?!” At first, I wasn’t sure why I was making the 2.5 hour drive either. When Matt contacted me I was hesitant because it was so far away, but also because I hadn’t worked professionally in over a year. My hibernation period caused me to doubt my ability. But it was a show that had a message I loved and wanted to be a part of telling. I auditioned and was cast as Jacqueline.
Going into rehearsal I was scared shitless. Do I remember how to do this? What’s blocking? How do I memorize lines? And for the love of God, are they going to make me dance?! On top of it I had to miss the first rehearsal due to a concert I was in, so I was already behind the game.
My fears were set aside as soon as I showed up. I first met Philip who could not have been more kind. He gave me a big hug right away and I could breathe again. I was still bumbling through as I remembered what play acting was, but at least I felt safe. 
I’m not going to discuss the whole rehearsal process cause really, you probably don’t care. What I am trying to say is that this experience was unlike any other I’ve ever had. A lot of it had to do with where I was coming from, but more so it had to do with the people I was blessed to work with. The whole rehearsal/show process I found myself wanting to express to them how much they healed me but words failed me and…we were working. How do you pass someone backstage and thank them for changing your life? I felt still very fragmented when I came to the process and through their hugs, kisses, kind words, jokes, laughs, and hard work I came out of it a whole person. There were many times that I cried on the way home (ohhhh here comes the embarrassing stuff) because I was so grateful. Grateful to be working, finding my purpose, and surrounded by supportive, loving people. The past year was full of harsh things. A job where I didn’t have “co-workers” or a work place I returned to, a job where kids told me to “fuck off”, and a harsh mental struggle that sucked away me energy. I was grateful for this journey because it enveloped me like a warm hug. I was surrounded by kindness and creativity once again. And these people didn’t even know me!
It was on one of these what I call “crying drives” that it hit me like a brick to the face: I had hope. It was no gradual process of me acknowledging the steps I was taking getting closer and closer to hope. It was an explosive moment that had me talking and laughing out loud to myself. Form there I began to plan and invest in my future because I felt like I had one. Things started changing in therapy and in all areas of my life as I stopped looking down and began looking forward.
It’s at this point that I want to say that I’m not disregarding any other show or experience in theater I’ve had. I don’t want friends reading this to think, “Ummm wasn’t our experience in Godspell just as magical?! How dare you!” Every opportunity I’ve had has been wonderful and a learning experience, but we all have those shows that by chance line up with what we’re experience in our own lives. It’s that serendipity where the message of the show is exactly what you need to hear. That was this show for me.
It was as if every song was written for me. Well, except maybe “Dishes”. So many lyrics have become part of my mantra from “The best of times is now, not some forgotten yesterday” to “So count all the loves who will love you from now 'til the end of your life”. But “I Am What I Am” has become a theme song for me. If I were to have a sitcom that would be the opening credit.
“It's my world that I want to take a little pride in,
My world, and it's not a place I have to hide in. Life's not worth a damn,
'Til you can say, ‘Hey world, I am what I am.”
My therapist (don’t you love sentences that start with that?) told me to choose a mantra to use for now. I can change it as I evolve but choose one that will help me now. I chose the above phrase. Mainly because I have pride in myself and my past and I don’t want to run away or hide as I have this year. I don’t blame myself for hibernating. It was something I had to do to protect myself. But I’m glad it’s over. Aside from the fun, drag queens, and glitter, it is this message that drew me to the show: Accepting others and yourself as they/ you are. Period. And can we let these people get married already? For goodness sake. But that’s another blog entirely.
So, THAT’s why I drove on average almost 3 hours to and from rehearsal. This feels like a departure from my normal blog style which is cynical, snarky, honest, and a little bitchy. But I kept thinking about the show and my new state of being and wanted to share. Especially with my cast mates. I wrote cards to all of them thinking “But this still doesn’t express how truly grateful I am!” and maybe I’ll never be able to express it fully. I’ll have to be satisfied with the thought that the blessings I send out to them will find them eventually.
Where do we go from here? Nope, I did not just quote Andrew Llyod Weber. Because I would never do that. EVER. There are some prospects lined up for my immediate future and that’s exciting. But a lot of my life, including where I’ll be living when I move in two weeks, is up in the air. And that’s thrilling and scary for me. For the first time in a long time I feel like I can do whatever I want and go wherever I want. So I just might. I feel like I’m joining the living. Again, I apologize for not coming to your shows or get togethers, but I hope to join you all soon. Unless your parties are lame. Then I’m not coming.
I leave you with the song “I Am What I Am” and I wish you well.
*also please excuse the grammar and punctuation. I usually edit…but I don’t feel like it. Sorrrrrry.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's been awhile

Long time no talk, eh?

I read "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold years ago and soon after read her memoir "Lucky". I remember reading an interview she had given where she stated she had the idea for "Lovely Bones" but every time she sat down to write she ended up writing her story which later became "Lucky". She had to get her story out so that she could write "The Lovely Bones" they way that she wanted without influence from her personal story.

I haven't written because I haven't wanted to share my story. And I haven't been able to write anything but. I don't know how to describe what's been going on with me. But it has been the biggest struggle of my life to date. This event in my life has forced me to re-evaluate my life up to this point and ultimately reexamine who I thought I was and who I think I am. "Heavy" as Marty McFly would say.

I really hate cryptic FB posts. I always think, "Just say what the hell you're thinking or what you're talking about or don't post!" And I realize I am doing the very thing that I hate.

I just wanted some sort of explanation for being a terrible friend. This original post was simply going to be an apology. I have not been a good friend. I have not responded to texts or phone calls or emails, I have not met up with you, I have not seen your show, or been a supportive friend in any way other than I think about you. I pray for you. I miss you. And I feel guilt all of the time for leaving you high and dry. Not saying ya'll can't go on without me...but I miss being a part of your life.
But I felt the need to give a vague, washed out explanation. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to share completely what these past 9-12 months have been to me. Save a few close friends. But please accept my apology. I went into protection mode. Hibernation.

I'm coming out of it slowly. I auditioned for the first time in about a year. It feels good to have that part of me back. It's just a small, community theatre production of Spamalot but I'm really enjoying myself and that's what matters.

I hope to write again soon. I really do love it. If people actually read it that's a bonus. But this past year the only way I've felt I could express myself is writing. And I'm grateful for it.

I hope you are all well. I love you and wish you the best.
I'm leaving you with a song that has become my anthem. It's not a very interesting video but you can just listen if you'd like!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

That Angry Blog

I woke up really angry today. So obviously, it’s a great time to write a blog. You poor, poor reader. Yes, singular. I had a very real, very horrible dream. The second night in a row I had a stress dream. In this dream I was in a mall and my purse had gone missing. In it were two pay checks along with my wallet that had my social security card in it. This reflects what is actually in my wallet now. And no, I don’t always carry around my SSC. I have it because I needed it to copy to sign my new lease. Anyhoo, I ran around in my dream looking for my purse screaming to anyone who would hear how much money I had in it. The exact amount of the two checks and what I have in savings. I kept screaming this number. And I was running but I couldn’t make my legs move fast enough. And my heart felt like it was going to explode. Then somehow I was in a building that apparently I lived in and my Dad was suddenly there. I was sobbing telling him what had happened while trying to open the door to my apartment. It was the end of the world. If I did not get inside to reach a phone I could not call to cancel my credit cards, and put a hold on my checks. I had to get inside. But none of my keys worked. And that’s when I woke up.

I woke up crying and very angry. Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert in analyzing dreams but we did talk about it in my high school psychology class. So I’m pretty skilled. Actually, all I remember is that if you dream about alligators you have an overpowering mother. Or was it mother-in-law? Welp, no alligators in my dream. But I think we all can interpret my dream, as it was very literal and not super creative.

I think about money every day. How am I going to get it, where am I going to get it. How much will I have left after I pay my bills. Can I pay my bills this month. And I don’t calculate in round numbers. Down to the dollar am I figuring. When I’m at work at it’s slow grab a calculator and start adding up how many hours I’ve worked how much they pay me and then subtract the bills. I do this over and over with the same result. I need to see the number over and over again. OCD much?

If you’re 21 and under and you are nodding while reading this and going, “OMG me too!” please shut the fuck up. Seriously, be quiet. (I told you I was mad) So many young people I know whose parent’s pay for their apartment and monthly bills so they are free to go after their dreams of theatre try to relate to me on this. And usually I am kind and think how lucky they are and be happy they are in that place while I sit in the audition room called back for the same part of a 30 year old woman as they. (That’s a different day, different blog) But not today suckers. Because you’re not 30+ with the weight of “I should” on your shoulders. Because really I should. I should have a job, health care, a solid relationship, and maybe a few vacation days in the year.

I know I know there are no “shoulds” we all have our own path. Well I’m google mapping that shit right now and hopping on another one.

Segue: I get mad at myself a lot because I am the reason I am where I am. The choices I’ve made got me here. Right? But when I get weepy and upset I think “but I did what I was supposed to do!” Because I did. I had a minimum wage job at 15 and had it all throughout high school. I did not get pregnant before I was ready. I got good grades (well good enough) and got scholarships, academic and music, to college. I worked my ass off in undergrad participating in every extracurricular I thought would improve my artistry, including percussion ensemble. Lemme tell you I rocked that bass drum and bells. I never had less than 21 units. Then after a year working towards my masters in education I made a wrong turn. I realized I was doing this because I knew it would make me a reasonable salary and it wasn’t what I was passionate about and I left to go do theatre! Big mistake idiot. You followed your dreams. You could have a summer house by now. (This is all sarcasm by the way.) “I have a degree in theatre tech and a minor in Movement! Why did my parents let me do that!?” –Liz Lemon Anyway I went to theatre school, was a good student, then went straight to grad school because you should learn everything about your craft if it’s computer science or theatre.

I should say here that I was very lucky. Yes, I worked my butt off in the practice rooms at 2 am because that’s when it was finally quiet, but I did experience a lot of good fortune. I got solos, I got first chair my first year, and I didn’t even have to apply to grad school. It called me on the phone. I got those things through hard work but a lot of people work hard and don’t get those opportunities that I had. This point of my life is the wall. I’m hitting my head against it at the moment but soon I’ll figure out how to get over it.  I’m thinking jet pack.

So I look back and I think ok. Good for you. You worked really hard and educated yourself. So why am I being punished with a 6.8% interest rate on my loan while the government charges my bank .75%? Because I bet you twenty bucks that banks makes way more money than I do. THEY probably have a summer home. PS If you took the bet I charge 6.8% interest. Sorry, girls gotta eat.

I remind myself every day while working a minimum wage job where customers have called me “uneducated” to my face and treat me like complete shit, that I am still important. I don’t always believe it but it’s a mantra so you have to say it. Just because my passion/job is not in demand does not mean that I or it am not important. All of our passions in life are important. Some people just get paid more to do theirs. It feels unfair because it is. Some people work five days a week and get paid enough to have a house, car, 2.5 kids, and vacations to Hawaii. Some people work seven days a week and can barely pay their rent, car insurance, health insurance, food etc. I guess it’s just how it is. I want to teach movement and acting in a college setting. I don't want to settle for something else. I will work at crap jobs until I'm where I want to be. I am good at what I do. I just can’t get paid to do it right now. Mantra mantra sugar mantra mantra diet coke. It’s how my days go.

People say, “Money can’t buy happiness!” You guys? Fuck you, too. Go stand in the corner with the twenty something’s shopping at Abecrombie. Because people who usually say that have enough to a lot of money. They have health care. And yes I do know plenty of people who say that who don’t have money. They are hippies with long hair and they’re in their 20’s. In five years they’ll be investment bankers. Of course I know that money cannot buy me intrinsic happiness. But I would be a lot happier if I had money in savings. Money for health care. Money for rent. Money for food. And do I have money for these each month? Yes, barely. Oh but not for savings. I’m not there yet. But to have a cushion in the bank creates a cushion in your state of mind and being. To not be constantly on edge with worry would completely change my world. To pay my parents back would help my self worth. To pay off my student loans and not feel buried would change my outlook.

I have to insert a funny/horrifying story here. Background: I work at a women’s gym. One day this woman came out of her massage and she was yelling at me because the woman who gave her a massage “did not even ask me if I wanted oil or lotion and she continued to talk to me and ask personal questions like what I do for a living. And when I asked her to do it harder she said that is a different massage. Ok I’m a doctor and I don’t come here after work to get talked to like that. She can barely speak English. I mean, I know Obama is president but not everything is equal.” (To help with her characterization imagine an upward inflection after every phrase) After I found the words to speak I told her she could go back into the spa and speak with the manager about her dissatisfaction. You are right, lady. Not everything is equal. It is completely tipped in favor of you. I wish that I were exaggerating but I’m not. I will never ever forget what she said. Because it was horrible and because I performed it for my roommates several times when I got home. These are times when I sit there making $8.75 repeating, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”.

I can’t even go into how disappointed in America and our government I am. I can’t even go there because I have no faith that it is for the people anymore. I do not believe that anyone in politics is fighting for the American citizen. I have done my research and voted ever since I was of age. I was taught it was an honor and a privilege. But I don’t think I have a voice anymore. I was lucky enough to hear Rainn Wilson speak about his Bahai faith and he said that our world is completely out of balance. And that something will happen to make it balanced again. I completely agree. Unfortunately, I think that very big thing will be something negative. As we’ve seen in history people can only be pushed so far. I do think that Elizabeth Warren is a good chick though. I’m looking forward to hearing more of what she has to say and watching what she is going to do.

I am sorry I am angry. I am sorry that this post was so negative. I try not to be but that’s where I am. I am not writing this for pity. What I am feeling is not original. So many people feel the way I feel and are in the predicament I’m in. And it’s not right. So here’s to the struggling folk out there. I salute you and love you.  We’ll make it through somehow.

Here’s what I want for my friends and strangers of the world: I want to be rewarded for working hard, I want affordable health care, I want my gay friends to get married (and I want to sing at your weddings), I want affordable education for everyone that does not only include online classes (because that scares the heck out of me), and I want a cappuccino machine for the writers room. 30 bucks to those who get the reference. *

*Interest rates have gone up in the time you’ve been reading. 6.9%

Friday, May 3, 2013


Once again Tina Fey has inspired me. I feel a kinship to her but if I met her I would never say something lame like that. I’d probably stutter something if I even said anything at all. I’d be like Kenneth in the episode “Seinfeld Vision” when he meets Jerry Seinfeld.

I was reading her book “Bossypants” for the second time when I came across the section in which she discusses her scar. Until her book she had never publicly discussed it. And by “never” I mean officially. She probably discussed it in a coffee shop, or restaurant, or some other public place before. People (and by “people” I mean desensitized, money hungry, idiot magazine writers) wanted to know how she got the scar. When they found out she got it because when she was 5 someone slashed her in the face they became even desperate for details. She wouldn’t discuss the details with them. And I completely understand why. (I kind of hate how I’m talking about her like we’re friends. It’s very presumptuous of me. Even though I want to be best friends with her that fact makes me respect her privacy even more).

When I was ripped out of my mothers stomach (C-Section. Thanks mom for going through all that pain and recovery time) I appeared to be perfect. Ten fingers. Ten toes. All of my organs were there and I was breathing. Things were lining up for old Liz Lemon (30 Rock reference. Watch the show please.) When I was five months old my mom noticed a brown spot on the back of my neck. Being the neat freak she is she tried to scrub it off. It did not come off. As I got older the spot became bigger and thicker. When my parents noticed this they took me to the doctor right away.

One doctor became two. Two became three. Three eventually became upwards of 30. In the beginning one dude told my parents I had cancer. Thanks, guy, for scaring the crap out of my parents.  Many didn’t know what it was or had vague guesses.

Some people have their earliest memory of a birthday party or school or a certain toy. To my recollection my earliest memory is going to Santa Barbara to a specialist. I was four and the whole party was for me! I was the guest of honor! About thirty doctors had come from around the country to look at me. Unfortunately, we left that day with no real answers. My memory of that day is vague. I remember the color gray, white coats, and a bunch of nice guys touching my neck. The feeling I remember is a positive one. They were all very nice to me and my mom says they told me jokes that I enjoyed.

Finally we had an answer. I don’t know whom it came from of when we knew. You think I’d remember details from such an important plot point in my life. Whoops. What I had/have is called Epidermal Nevus. “Epidermal” meaning “skin” and “nevus” meaning nerve. So not that specific. We know it’s on my skin (they went to school for ten years to tell me this?) and we know it’s connected to my nerves. Why they didn’t come up with an answer right away was that most people get this on their stomach or other areas on the trunk of the body. So far I was the only person to have it on the neck. On me it only grows on the right side of my body and only from the neck up. I have it on my head, the inside corner of my eye, around my ear, and of course, my neck.

So yay! We have an answer! Now to get rid of it. We didn’t consider this option at all right away. I was busy being in Kindergarten refining my usage of blocks, colors, and letter writing, not knowing anything about me was different. And since it was not causing me pain and seemed to be no threat to my health why would we do anything about it? It was the hand we were dealt and we were going to take things as they came.

Until it became painful. The thing about epidermal nevus is that it grows from the inside out. As I grew it grew. I explain to people as looking like cauliflower but brown. By the time I was in second grade it was a little less than half an inch thick and as I turned my head or twisted my neck in any way it would get irritated. By the time I was in third grade it was beginning to bleed and scab. (I forgot to warn you all it gets graphic. Sorry.)

So we saw a Doctor in Santa Barbara who said he knew what to do. So after many meetings we set up a surgery date. I thought I was fine. I was a pretty tough kid and pretty desensitized to doctors offices by now. The day of the surgery came and we drove to SB, they put me in a gown and hair cap, and I began to cry. I was only 8 and they were about to put me under of course I was going cry. The scary weird part of it was that the doctor started to cry.

Here’s how I know God is with us: my parents knew to leave. Something in them screamed, “this isn’t right”. So we left. And if you know my parents they usually put their trust in people who are trained and usually follow directions. To cancel a surgery on the spot was a big deal. (and that wasn’t an invitation to argue with me about God and signs and his presence. It’s what I believe and it’s my blog so shut up).

We went shopping and had lunch. And all day I felt like it was my fault. I shouldn’t have cried. I should have been brave. I remember feeling so bad because my parents took a day off of work for this! They never took off work! I still get emotional looking back on that little girl who felt like she ruined everything because she cried. And now I was going to be stuck with this thing on my neck. I had ruined my chances of being “normal”.

In the end it was a gift that we left. What that doctor was going to do was cut out the portion of my skin that had the birthmark on it and remove it completely. So basically the entire right side of my neck. He was going to cut skin from my bottom and sew it onto my neck. Later, from another doctor we found out that I most likely wouldn’t have had mobility in my neck and the scaring and discoloration from the foreign skin would have looked even worse. I don’t blame that doctor in Santa Barbara. He was doing what he thought was right. I sure am glad it didn’t happen though.

I want to speed up. All the medical details aren’t what are important. I ended up having my first surgery when I was in 6th grade. We went to a family friend who was a plastic surgeon. By this time I was bleeding on a regular basis so I wanted this gone. I was constantly in a dull amount of pain. Plus it was the 90’s and those chokers with the little charm on the front were totally in and I wanted to wear one! I wanted to be like those girls on 90210! (That I secretly watched because I wasn’t allowed to watch adult shows like that)

This procedure was not painful but very tedious. I’m not exaggerating when I say it felt like I was being tortured. (Graphic stuff coming up!) He first snipped the birthmark off with scissors (it was about an inch thick by now), then he took a razor and scrapped it off, and finally he took a mini torch thingy (technical term I found on Wikkipedia) and burned it off. All the while I was awake. I heard and smelled lots of things and felt some things. There was no need to put me under so they didn’t. I was frightened because I could feel his hand on my face or collar bone and think that I would feel the pain. But I didn’t. But for a few hours I sat there with my whole body frozen, eyes forced shut, smelling my own burning skin. Side note: to date this is the worst thing I have ever smelled. I can’t even describe it. I listened to my walk man they let me bring in. I played my tape of the Nutcracker. For a long while I couldn’t listen to that music without cringing. But now miraculously I love it again.

Even though they may never read it I want to take this moment to thank Dr. Bruce Daniels and his nurse whose name I have forgotten. He was so kind to me and led me through that scary experience. I feel connected to him forever. It must be so hard to do that to a child. And to the nurse who held my hand, told me what he was doing, told me I would be ok. wiped my tears with a tissue, and waved my Chinese fan I had brought to fan away the smell, you don’t know what you mean to me. A stranger becomes a safe and loving place so quickly in a situation like that, especially to a child. She never left my side.

So I had had four surgeries like the one described above. And because we knew it grew from the inside out we knew I’d have to come back. No one knew in how much time because no one had ever dealt with this before.

It came back rather quickly. Eventually lasers were refined (I always think of the lasers in Sunday in the Park with George and giggle at this point of the story) and I had three more laser surgeries in high school. The scars healed and looked better with this type of surgery. I had three more surgeries to remove the growth on my head. Since it was under my hair those were done by my dermatologist and were simply cut from my head and sewn up with stitches. That’s a whole other awesome story where I thought sweat was running down my face and only when it near my mouth did I realize it was blood. I’ll save that one for later. And they told me my hair would grow back. It did….kind of.

So I think those are all the surgeries and medical details. Well not all but enough. Too much actually.

It’s exhausting to write it out. I’m sure even more so to read it. If you’ve read this far…wow. It’s a lot. But in my mind it’s all in an order of snapshots. It’s a movie in my mind (you’re singing that song now, right?) I have never really discussed this in any detail out loud. I’ve thought about it a lot but never addressed it. Unlike Tina Fey who keeps the details to herself, I suddenly felt the need to share them. This is not an area of my life that I discuss often or think about very often anymore. It feels like another lifetime. But it’s always with me and creeps in when I least expect it.
Like when I meet someone new that I feel is important. Or when I’m sitting in front of someone and my hair is up. Or a first date. And once in a blue moon when I’m on stage. I feel it begin to burn like a scarlet letter. But then it fades. But that third eye (viewpoints) is always there.

It hurt me a lot growing up. I know the day I figured out I was different. I remember what I was wearing, where I was, what time of day it was. It was like when you were on the swings and you turned until the chains were as twisted as they could go and then you let go. Everything swirled around you and your equilibrium was thrown and you felt dizzy. 

I was at May Grisham Elementary School lining up at our pole after recess. “Hey Molly! Did you throw up or is that your neck?” Lance Teeples. I’ll never forget his name. In my unchristian mind I secretly hope he is a pooper-scooper for the elephants at Barnum and Bailey Circus or a checker at a K-Mart. His line was not very well written or sophisticated but his delivery was pretty good. And all the boys in my class laughed while the girls looked down at the ground. My response was something like “Shut up Lance.” I was not as good at comebacks at age 8 as I am now. I held it together for the rest of recess and the day and when I got home I went to my room and cried. 

Until then I had never thought of myself as different in a negative way. I knew I looked different than my friends but I was living in a beautiful bliss known as childhood and it never occurred to me that different equaled bad. I never felt ugly until that day.

I don’t regret being born this way. Look at my life. I had a home, food, clothes, I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve had a comfortable, happy life with the best parents and family anyone could ask for. You weigh the good with the bad. And I have so much more good in my life. What I do regret is having to grow up faster than I believe I should. I was asking existential questions at eight. I remember getting on my knees next to my bed, with my face buried in my pink Minnie mouse bedspread, sobbing and choking, punching my fists into the bed, asking God why he did this to me. If he loved me why did he make me ugly? What had I done to deserve this? Was I bad? If I was made in his image why did I look differently than all the other kids? I yelled at God. I pleaded with God. I swore at God. I prayed to God. And he listened and put up with it and stuck by me. And now I thank God.

Maybe now that I think about it I don’t regret asking these questions. Maybe that unique experience is what made me who I am. I do know that it breaks my heart to watch that movie in my head wishing I could tell that little girl that you are fine. You’re going to be fine.

What I do regret and always will is that I went through a period I’m going to call “Deflection” or “Being a Bitch”. I was part of the popular crowd in elementary school. And to change the topic of conversation to things other than myself and what I looked like I made fun of other people. We all did. I’m thirty and I still feel bad about things I said. I know I was young and I know it was a defense mechanism but I knew better. I knew better. I did exactly what Lance Teeples did to me. And now I wonder what he was going through that made him act out. I left that group in 6th grade for other friends that I had more fun with and I could be myself around.

When Lance Teeples made fun of me I told my Dad. Big mistake. My mom was upset, and my dad did the quiet angry, jaw clench that sends me running to my room to this day. The next day in Mrs. Franta’s class (I loved her so much) Lance and I were called up to the front at recess and we had a talk about what had happened. After that I never told my parents when people made fun of me and I never cried in front of them.

This brings me to my next topic. My parents are the best people I’ve ever met. If you’ve met them I bet you love them too. I felt guilty for a very long time that they had a defective daughter. My parents didn’t deserve having to spend their free time taking me to the doctor, or watching me pain, or in the beginning worrying if I would live. We had great insurance but when it came time for surgery they had to do a lot to prove it wasn’t simply for cosmetic reasons. They had to prove I was bleeding and in pain. I didn’t want to cause any more problems for them. I wanted to be perfect for them. I wanted to be beautiful for them. That sense of duty has never left. I could see how hurt my mom was when she saw how hurt I was. And now I understand my dad’s anger was his kind of hurt. So I never shared with them again when I was hurting. This maybe was not the best idea to keep everything inside but it’s what I instinctively chose to do.

You’re probably asking, “So why does Tina Fey inspire you to talk about this subject when she herself will not divulge details of her own scar?” That’s a very good question blog reader. Thank you for asking! It was a particular section in her book.

“I’ve always been able to tell a lot about people by whether they ask me 
about my scar. Most people never ask, but if it comes up naturally somehow
 and I offer up the story, they are quite interested. ……Then there’s another 
sort of person who thinks it makes them seem brave or sensitive or wonderfully 
direct to ask me about it right away. They ask with quiet, feigned empathy,
 ‘How did you get your scar?’ The grossest move is when they say they’re only
 curious because ‘it’s so beautiful’. Ugh. Disgusting. They might as well walk
 up and say, ‘May I be amazing at you?’ To these folks let me be clear. I’m not
 interested in acting out a TV movie with you where you befriend a girl with a scar.”

I included more of the text of her book than needed but I couldn’t help myself. Read the book. This meant so much to me because finally! Someone speaking about an experience I have actually had (many times. Especially at church camp) and in a truthful way. I’ve always connected to Tina Fey’s comedy and tone and this was no exception. She speaks about the relationship of “scar haver” and “scar have-not” in a “let’s get on with things” manner. I do appreciate people who want to hear my story and listen to how I feel. But not in the first five minutes I’ve met them or checking out at Vons on a Thursday night when I just want to go home and make my mac’n’cheese and watch Dancing with the Stars. When I still had the birthmark I used to dread meeting new people because it was often the first thing I had to explain about myself. And I am so much more. It inspired me to write because I felt the need to respond to her even if it was just for me. She’ll never read it but now it’s in print (and out of my head) that I appreciate her.

A section or chapter I’d love to add to Bossypants. It’s called “The Face”. I used to be able to tell a lot about a person by the face they made when they asked me about it. I’m not sure what was worse: the overly sympathetic ass who would murmur “You are still beautiful in God’s eyes”. I appreciate that but does God want to date me? Does he have a brother? Or worse still was the scrunched up look up disgust like they’d just seen road kill, the pointing to my neck and “What’s that?” You would think that second option only came from small children but surprisingly I got that from a lot of adults. That look is hard to shake even years later.

I don’t mean to share this in a way to condemn people. It’s not easy to know how to talk to someone who has a birthmark, scar or birth defect. I know in your head you’re thinking, “Look anywhere but there. Make eye contact”. I have been lucky to have many people in my life who have supported me, listened to me, and let me not talk about it. It’s just therapeutic to share the now (almost) funny ways people communicate with me. I’ve never really spoken about it with anyone who might get it. Because that’s an awkward conversation in itself. “Ah! I see you have a birth defect too! Let’s share our stories over coffee. Maybe we can turn them into a script for a Lifetime Movie!”

Lance Teeples moved away soon after. More came after him. After I had my surgeries my scars were a great deal less noticeable. People saw something different about me but it just looked like skin. I no longer had a growth on me so I was more widely accepted. By the time I was in high school the whole ordeal seemed to be a thing of the past. I kept a lot of the emotional scars and bad habits but that’s another 400 page blog that I promise I won’t write.

I do know that I need to keep working on myself and changing habits that I established all the way back in elementary school. I really thought I had worked through most of it when a surprising moment happened in grad school. I had gone to PCPA for two years prior and had experienced breakthroughs and I was 25 by now. So obviously I was an adult with all my life problems ironed out. Uh Doi. 

I was in Svetlana’s acting class getting reamed. She had been yelling at me for about 15 minutes and I was frozen with no answers. Which is the worst response when communicating with Svet. We were doing Chekhov. Even worse than getting reamed by Svet was getting reamed while doing a Chekhov scene. I was playing someone who was very beautiful and confident and Svet was yelling “Why are you so afraid to take control of the room?! Of the scene?! Of the moment?!” And in my head I screamed back, “Because people will look at me!” And I was frightened. I had not had a thought like that in my head for a long while. I thought I had gotten over that fear of being looked at in my vast 25 years. It was a very good reminder to me that my growth and finding love for myself is an ongoing process. I must continue to fight those Lance Teeples voices in my head for the rest of my life.
And really who doesn’t have their own Lance Teeples shouting at them in their brain? I’m no different than anyone else who was made fun of because they were different.

I suddenly remember William. I never forget him but I had forgotten about this moment. He was in my grad class and he is his own story. A blog I most likely will not write. He doesn’t deserve the time or energy. But I remember him saying to my class or maybe it was just to me that “You have no idea what it’s like to be the only one”. (Side note for those of you who don’t know him he is African American.) He liked to hang that ideal over my/our head a lot. And when he said those words to me I thought, “Fuck you. You don’t even know me.” Because to this day I have never met anyone who looks like me. Who has the same birthmark. Not that I need to but it’d be nice to talk to someone about it. Sorry for the language. It’s a very touchy subject. But this actually brings me to a point. I know, aren’t you proud? I now look very normal to people. When we aren’t looking very carefully at the people around us we all look “normal”. I need to use this as a lesson that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. So cliché but that’s the theme and it’s true. Those Twilight books have a pretty cool cover with the pasty hands and apple but I’m pretty sure what’s inside is garbage. (I got through ten pages.) I have this huge history behind me wrapped up in this package of the present. And so does everyone else. I need to be mindful of that.

Where do we go from here? (This isn’t where we intended to be) (The only Andrew Llyod Weber I like) I noticed recently that my birthmark is growing back. You can see brown now on my neck, which scares the hell out of me. The last surgery I had was more than ten years ago and I do not want to open that chapter again. I am afraid to. I’m not afraid of the procedure. I can take a needle like nobody’s business. I’m afraid of what I will feel. I am afraid that opening that door will make me feel ugly again. I have learned so much but it’s hard to teach the heart to feel something else when sense memory is so powerful. I’m also scared because I do not have health insurance and even if I did it will be the fight of my life to get them to cover any surgery I may have to have. But it’s just beginning so I have time before I have to figure anything out. I also have researched my birthmark and now know that the type of Epidermal Nevus I have is called Phakomatosis pigmentokeratotica. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the internet had been “invented” since I was a kid and I could google my birthmark. I wouldn’t if I were you. The pictures are pretty graphic.

If you read this thanks for investing so much time in my personal story. It is very long and not written very well or in an organized manner. Other blogs I wrote I worked harder to connect to other people out there on the interwebs. This time I wrote purely for me. I know that people can relate to my story on some levels because we all have gone through trials and tribulations. But only part of me knows and feels that. My story feels unique because it is. Because it’s mine.

Friday, April 12, 2013


If you don’t have your own children, how can you possibly know how to care for them?

I had a woman say something close to this to me when I was working at a day care a few years back (My version is nicer than her choice of words). And this is the ongoing feeling I get when I see certain women look at me or speak to me in that certain way.  As if I wouldn’t know how to teach their child something I went to school for just because I don’t have my own children. I’ve worked in nurseries, day cares, preschools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, and have been babysitting since I was 14 and there is always at least a few women who take that tone with me.

I know it’s a sticky subject to speak of, but as you get older there become two groups of women: those who have children and those who do not. And being on one side is seemingly superior to the other according to some groups of women (mostly in Westlake Village who work out at my gym).

Of course I don’t mean all women with children are this way and that all women without children feel the way I do. And I have not felt this in every place I have lived and worked as I have moved so many times in my life.

For the people who make those accusations and the people like me who are sensitive to them I feel there is one feeling binding us together: insecurity. I feel insecure because I am getting older and I want children. And should I have had them already? What have I done of substance in my life? Because isn’t creating life the most significant thing you can do?
And they feel insecure because they see me with only myself to worry about. I do what I want to most of the time. I took 12 whole years for myself while being in school. (Wow I’ve never looked at it that way before. Shouldn’t I be a doctor by now? If you’re thinking of the quote from the movie "Tommy Boy" you are my best friend and you are cool). Should they have done that as well? Should they have “found themselves” before they had kids?

These assumptions (and they are gross assumptions) are total bullshit. I am speaking bullshit. Writing bullshit.

Because you see what you look for. Our (my) reality becomes skewed because of our (my) situation.

I believe that everyone has a path (Oh lord how cliché is that?) and that we are all where we are supposed to be. I can’t have regrets, although they swirl through my head constantly, about what I have chosen to do with my life. And the women on the other side of the line shouldn’t either, the women in the “other group”. Because I have not “found myself” through grad school or spending time on myself. They have not lost years because they had children sooner than I did. Everyone has significance in the world no matter what it is they choose to do and create. (Copy write Hallmark 1997)

So why do I still feel like shit?

My best friend is pregnant and about to pop. I am so excited for this baby to enter the world. You have no freaking idea! We discussed her future baby boy’s name our first year in college in music theory class when she fell in love with the name. I can’t wait to be the crazy Aunt who tells him how weird his mom was in college. (Until he figures it out on his own. Sorry Michelle. He’s bound to find out sooner or later we’re all nut jobs.)

Anyhoo, we were leaving chorus at the elementary school where we work and we turned the corner and there were all these moms and they stopped their conversations to stare at my huge, pregnant friend smiling like drones. No one said anything they just beamed, cooed, and stared. And I’m all over here going, “Hi I’m the crazy single friend!” It really hit me that there is this huge club. A huge club of people that have been through something life altering that more than half of other people in the world, have not. Now I get what Dads feel like. There are probably cool membership cards and house rules and owls that send messages to other members. 
Am I jealous? Do I want to know the secret handshake? Hell yes. But am I ashamed I’m not a member and no one has taught me the theme song yet? No. Absolutely not.

It is quite remarkable the things that people say to you when you visit your hometown. People from church and high school friends you run into at Costco. It can happen anywhere. When you’re out and someone asks about your life and you say, “Well I’m graduating with my MFA in acting in the spring” and their response is “That’s great! Is there someone special? Are you married? Planning on a family?” “No, and not yet.”. Then you get THE LOOK. The head tilts slightly the left, the eyebrows come together, the eyes soften, and the lips purse together. “Don’t worry. It will happen for you.” Pat, pat on the arm.
At the time I was 28 and my inner retort was, “Who the hell said I was worried?”

Yes, this did actually happen to me. And not some old woman at church with a 1950’s frame of mind, but someone I went to high school with. In the late 90’s. 

Now I’m 30 and the worry is creeping in. But I have to stop it because this is 2013 and Mariah Carey had TWO babies at like….60. So I’ve got time.

I know that people just want you to be settled and happy. And I want those things too. But I’m not sad for me so you don’t need to be either. And yes sometimes I get angry. Because my life has been worthwhile and I have done things that I am proud of. I birthed an MFA. And if you were at CSU Fullerton you know what I mean. “Let it be born”.

I’m happy to say that all of my actual friends that have babies have never treated me like this. I’m especially thankful to my friend Keiko for letting me be a part of her son Julian’s life. She had Julian a couple weeks into our first year of grad school (talk about a freakin’ warrior) and she always made me feel welcome in his life. And she NEVER made me feel like an idiot or an inadequate human.   It is because of these friends that I did not want to write this. Because what you do as a mother is life altering and beautiful. Because you, yes YOU, have all been so wonderful in sharing your life and families with me. Even when I’m all cynical Liz Lemon over here.

                                      Baby Julian back when he was a baby. Isn't he the cutest?

And here’s another thing: don’t we need more women who make their children a priority? And I don’t mean giving up their jobs. My mom raised me while working and getting and masters in education and look how awesome I turned out. (Note to self: find other example before publishing) But what I mean is that our children are getting left behind more and more. Let’s not even go there with education. So many kids are not loved enough or paid the attention they need and deserve. But to these women who schedule their lives around their children, plan and prepare for their arrival with such care and anticipation, and most importantly give them all their love I say, “You are kick ass ladies and we need more of you”.

So why even write this blog? So many women feel this way and they already covered every single minute detail of the subject in many, many episodes of Sex and the City featuring Kim Catrall and Cynthia Nixon. Because it’s something that hurts me, makes me angry, scares me, and makes me excited. 
I didn’t really want to write this blog because I know it could evoke anger, deep conversation which will happen on FB and that’s never a good idea, or I could hurt the feelings of someone I care about. Which is not my intent while sharing my thoughts and insecurities. But again if I’m afraid to write it I think that means I should. Although maybe I should invest in a journal to write in that I can burn later while doing a ritual, tribal dance.

Because let’s be real. When I have a baby, if I’m lucky enough, I’m going to change teams and be that bitch who says things like “You have no idea what it’s like because you’ve never had kids!” and “Talk to me after you’ve been up all night with 3 am feedings!” and “Burn the old maid at the stake!” So be looking for that blog coming to a theatre near you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Asking/applying for help

This is actually difficult to write about. I thought I might not write about it. But like I said before the embarrassing and painful is usually more interesting than the happy and content.

I’ll start by saying I have moved around a lot this year. Well I guess only three times in 9 months which I suppose is a lot. I moved home to help my mom because I felt she was drowning trying to take care of my sick dad. But more on that later. Maybe.

What I’m saying is that I had no steadiness in my life. No steady job, income, day to day structure and the like. What was the most frightening is I had no steadiness in my mental state. The drama of my family situation and the inner demons were over taking me. Things were scary for awhile. I’m lucky because I did have steady love from my family and friends.

After working a minimum wage job, summer stock, and my dream role as the Baker’s Wife I was left with no next step. No other work lined up or real plan. I wasn't sure where I wanted to live. And I was broke. Here’s a tip: always save. I’m not saying I spent money on frivolous things. I did not do that. But the debt I accrued from being in school was always on my mind. Every. Day. So the minute I got paid I put ALL OF IT towards paying off my school loans. So in the end I had nothing for living expenses. I tried to figure something out. To get a job quickly. Here’s another tip: If you have a degree of any kind lie on your job applications. If you’re trying to get a day job and you have a masters or bachelor’s: lie. After much lamenting and wrestling with myself, I ended up in the Orange County government offices.

I sat in a dingy, plastic chair filling out paper work for food stamps.
This may not seem like a huge deal to a lot of people but it was one the most difficult, heart wrenching things I’ve ever done. I felt ashamed. I felt that I had let generations of my family down. I felt low. My eyes fill up writing this let alone living it.

A little history first. My parents were the first people to go to college on both sides of my family. Both worked all the way through their undergrad and put themselves through school. Their families were more than proud of them. They worked to get their masters while working full time teaching jobs and raising my brother. This was in my head while I sat in the waiting room.

The other memory and spirit throbbing in my head and heart was my grandmother. If you know me, you know her. I spent every Friday with her and learned a great deal of my life lessons and strength from her. She was one of nine children and lived through the great depression. She was sent away at 13 to work as a companion to a nice, rich older lady. She never finished school and it was her greatest sadness. She always strove to learn and teach herself. She taught me to appreciate my education.
My granny always prided herself on the fact that she never took government assistance. She worked in the fields, at a makeup counter, eventually owned a health food store, worked in departments stores; her life story could be measured and time lined by the jobs she had. She lived in shacks, other people’s homes, and a studio that had no bathroom so she had to use the gas station bathroom next door to freshen up.

I am only scratching the surface of her life. I don’t mean for this blog to be about her hardships. She would not want me to write about them. But all of these harsh facts about her life were flooding through me as I filled out my lengthy application for government assistance.

In a room where I was the only white person and I’m making a non kosher guess, that I was the only person there with a higher education. As I felt the weight of my family history in my chest and on my shoulders I began to crumble in that room. As much as I didn’t want to I began to cry. Silently tears rolled down my face as I thought of all my family members who worked so hard to make my chances better than theirs. And what had I done with all of the opportunities I had been given?

As one of my favorite childhood movies Milo and Otis played on the screens, I looked around the room at the people I was with. A lot of teenagers with kids, people who didn’t speak English, people wearing dirty clothes, and a bunch of screaming babies. One of these things is not like the other.

I felt that I had failed. I wondered what was education really worth? Was it selfish of me to pursue my education in the arts when I knew the outcome would most likely mean debt? Where was God in all of this? Had I strayed from the path? Did I make incorrect choices and now my life is adrift because of it?
I may not have been the only one thinking of these things in that office. I kind of think I was but you can’t judge people from the shapes their faces are making. What I do know is that I was the most dramatic about it as no one else was crying into their papers in shame.

The wait was 2 hours long. That’s a long time to sit and blame yourself. I talked to my mom and she was the angel God put her on earth to be. She assured me that I had worked hard my whole life and I needed help, “…which is what this program is for. You’ve had a job and paid taxes since you were 15. It’s ok to ask for some of that back if you really need it. Just think of the tuition increases while you were in grad school to make you feel better.” She joked. I choked out “I love you” and hung up.

Deep in myself I know my Granny would support me and tell me she loved me. Even though this day was incredibly hard and shameful for me the good part was that I felt her close to me. I felt her in the air around me as I went through the day. So I have to give thanks for that.

After meeting with my appointed government worker and making it through the meeting with only tearing up (if the tears don’t come out it doesn’t count as crying. So say I.) I was approved and was on Food stamps for the minimum requirement of 3 months. I really am thankful because it helped me when I had absolutely no money, no hope, and thousands of dollars of student loans staring me in the face.

Until now I haven’t told anyone I was on food stamps. Not even my closest friends. I was and still am ashamed. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am. I want to stand on my own two feet. I want to put all of God’s gracious gifts including my family, friends, and opportunities such as education to good use. I’m still floundering and flailing. But I am making rent, food, gas, and student loan payments. I have several jobs. None of which are my dream job. Which can be defeating at times, but I know I will find my purpose. I have to keep working, be honest, be loving, be grateful, be thankful, and be faithful. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cliche Love Blog

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!

I wanted my first blog to be a topic about some huge life struggle I’m going through. Something deep. Something Chekhovian. This past year has been a difficult one for my family and for me personally. I could and probably will write about that. But what I’m going through at the moment is dating. I’m 30 and for the first time really dating. So I’m going to write about that.

I have a huge confession to make. My name is Molly and I am a (semi) willing participant of online dating. I really can’t believe it. I used to make fun of all the losers who were so desperate they turned to an online service to connect them with potential matches. I used to feel such pity for women who got to their 30’s and were still single and even more pity for those who resorted to online dating. That would never happen to me.

When I was 16 I made my life plan. Ambitious for a junior in high school, but I knew what I wanted. I would go to Cal Lutheran University, major in music, date a nice Lutheran boy, graduate, get my teaching credential, marry said nice Lutheran boy, and then teach high school choir. Of course we’d buy a house and have kids. All by the age of 25 or 26.  It’s a nice plan. A plan that lots of people I know followed. But it didn’t work out that way for me.

In my life now, I don’t meet a lot of men my age. I work part time at a gym that is exclusively for women. I thought of a “bring your unattached male friends, sons, and brothers to the gym” day but my bosses didn’t go for it. I help teach band twice a week at an elementary school and while some of their dad’s are extremely attractive most of them are unavailable. I am a singer at a Christian Science church. No.
Another force pushing me towards online dating? Two of my closest friends have met their significant others on a dating web site. One of them just got married the other is engaged. And they are super cool people and not lame at all. And they met the most wonderful people online. So now I’m getting warmer.

There was one last deterrent standing in my way from online dating. Murder. I was sure I was going to agree to meet up with someone and despite my best efforts to avoid it…I was going to be murdered. Meet up in a public place they said. Meet during the day they said. Don’t get in a car with a stranger they said. Little did they know I watch way too much Law and Order: SVU and know how smart serial rapists and murders are.
But then I weighed my options: being murdered by a possible love match or being murdered by a life of loneliness with my cats and hair scrunchies. I decided to take a risk and go with the former.

So I’ve been “dating” online for a few months. I have only been on two dates. But in this short amount of time I have discovered the many do’s and don’ts of online dating. Because I am gracious and awesome I will share some of the Do’s and Deal Breakers with you.

If your profile picture is of you with your shirt off especially while you’re in a bathroom or pool: that’s a deal breaker.
If you’re profile picture is you doing a keg stand or double fisting it at a club: that’s a deal breaker.
If you’re profile picture is of you smiling happily with a woman who you obviously are/were involved with: that’s a deal breaker (and you’re kind of an idiot).
If you message me this “ :) ” and this only: Deal breaker.
If you message me “Let’s meet up tonight. My place?”: Deal breaker.
If you message me “Look no further! Your prince charming has arrived!”: Deal breaker (especially when you’re 50+).
If the first thing you ask me is my favorite position: Deal breaker. That’s a second date question.

Here are some things that are super cool and will impress me:

Read my profile.
Open with an actual question.
Spell things correctly and use decent grammar.
I’m trying to think of more do’s. But sadly that’s it. It’s pretty simple.

I know that I sound all cynical and like I'm 30 years old, but the things people write in a message or have on their profile is incredible. Sometimes downright offensive and/or laughable. I’m sure on my profile I sound like a prude, overly sensitive virgin who wears a fanny pack for a purse so I have no room to judge.

Here’s the bright side: I have met some really nice people on the site. So we’ll have to see what happens. While it can be extremely frustrating, nerve wracking (those first meetings are completely awkward), and depressing at times, I have to at least pat myself on the back for being brave enough to try. I can’t sit around whining that nothing ever happens to me if I don’t put myself out there to be available for great things to come into my life. And you never know, in a year or so you may see me on the TV dancing across a blank white back drop with my new fiancé who is a doctor who loves to cook, loves cats, and like me is embarrassed he owns Justin Bieber’s acoustic album.

So to complete this love blog I want to wish you love. If you have found your love, appreciate them. If you are still looking, keep the faith. And always remember the love of your family, friends, and pets.
I also want to leave you with my favorite love song (possibly favorite song period). This will be played and sung at my wedding whenever that happens. I love it because it's simple and what I think love should be.