Monday, September 14, 2015

keep dressing like that / mystery prize monday

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I've been meaning to take a picture of a particularly beautiful row of flowers that are planted along the road where I live. They're Zinnias, I think. They are really well tended to and every time I walk past them I feel a little cheery.

However I know that if I do take a picture of the flowers, I'll never actually look at the picture again. The colors would be nice and bright, but there would be nothing particularly interesting about it. I'd never put it up on Instagram or anything, so what's the point. Every day I walk past the row of flowers on my way to Odds cafe to drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the social atmosphere as I do my work, and every day I think about taking a picture, but I never do.

Then, two days ago, as I was walking past the Zinnias on my way to Odds, a very large butterfly landed on one of the blooms and began to crawl around on its skinny antennae legs. "Bingo!" I thought. "What a delightful picture that would make, and I bet I could get very close to that butterfly, close enough to capture all the amazing details on its wings!" I took my phone from out of my bag, and waited for a moment for a minivan to pass by before I could cross the street.

But when the minivan approached, it slowed down. Then it stopped right in front of me! In the driver's seat I could see a man pumping away at an old fashioned crank to lower his non-automated window. From the looks of it, this was a little bit of a struggle for him. When the window was down, he leaned his head out, pointed his big fleshy face at me, eyes hidden by a pair of iridescent wrap-around sunglasses and said, "Girl, you keep dressing like that, you ain't never going to get laid."

Then the minivan lurched forward and tore off down the road, leaving the flowers swaying on their stalks and the butterfly, as startled as I had been by the encounter, flapping away.

Now I'm going to tell you what I was wearing, not out of defense, but simply because the absolute ordinariness of my attire bears mentioning. I had on a very simple floral sundress from Patagonia that I purchased four years ago, which I think says a lot about the sturdiness of Patagonia clothing. Sturdy may not be a quality that is revered in the fashion world, but it's certainly something that I value. I was wearing Chacos, also quite sturdy, maybe a little clunky as far as footwear but again, I haven't had to replace the sandals in three years.

Flung carelessly around my shoulders (and sort of wrapped around my neck, like a security blanket, or a scarf) was a lightweight, long-sleeve T that I'd brought along just in case it got drafty inside the cafe. I always pack a layer, even in summer. In fact, summer is the most important time to do so, as certain business owners brutally refrigerate the climate inside their establishments to temperatures so arctic and artificial they could easily kill off all the babies and the elderly on the premises. Why so many people insist on this practice, I may never understand.

All in all, I had assumed (without actually giving it any thought) that dressed in this outfit, when taken in combination with my hair style (average, but not unpleasant) my current fitness status (not my best, but pretty good) I had achieved an overall appearance so appropriate to the season, time of day and location, and in all essence so neutral that I was, essentially, invisible.
People use the word invisible like it's a bad thing (unless they're talking about superpowers, and then everybody wants to be invisible, at least for short periods of time.) But I don't mind it.

A few years ago, if I wanted to turn heads as I strolled across campus or through my watery Norwegian neighborhood in Seattle, I could. I had at my disposal a small but, looking back on it, pricey, arsenal of Aveda smoothing creams and lip glosses and strappy things, as well as that authentic, impossible to replicate buoyancy and petal-softness of youth. Fashion sense did not come in my toolbox at birth, nor did even the most rudimentary makeup skills, but I could get by, and I saw a healthy dose of ego-boosting, life affirming attention from the world, as did every girl I knew. Nothing outrageous, but I enjoyed it. I look back on that time with great fondness.

I no longer spend money on clothes or unguents or anything of that nature. Not because I don't want to, but because I don't have the money for it. Window shopping or perusing through catalogs just makes me crave things I can't have, so I stopped going into stores altogether, and gradually the idea of buying new things faded from my mind. Mostly. 

It's a mellower season of life. For the most part I inhabit a nice, sensible cloud of comfort and self-assurance, the kind that comes with having everything I need for the time being. I have a loving husband, a middle aged corgi, and a reliable pack of friends. When I find myself with a little extra money, I go see Dr. Reilly for a chiropractic adjustment, and I feel great. Strangers on the street have stopped noticing me, and I've stopped noticing that they're not noticing me. I'm 30, good enough on most fronts, and life is a-ok.
So besides the outright bummer of being sexually harassed on my own street, I actually found the whole episode vaguely entertaining. I don't like the concept of such a guy being out there, trolling around the neighborhood and being a dickweed to women, and of course we could get into the multiple layers of failure inherent to a system that could churn out such a character: I certainly don't find that amusing. I would have been much more outraged to hear that this guy had said something like that to one of my friends. But for me, I guess I just didn't care.

I don't meant to give this creep any credit, or to be overly sincere about the whole thing, but it did make me consider this aspect of life at the moment. I put the the least possible effort into how I look right now. That could change when I make a little more money, maybe not, but for now: I'm cool with it.

For Mystery Prize Monday, my question is: what are you just kind of cool with right now?
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If this is your first mystery prize Monday, here's the deal. Leave a comment, then read over and enjoy what everyone else has to say. I'll choose a winner by randomly selecting from within the comments. The winner a hand written card and an autumn-themed mystery prize delivered to their mailbox, just a little something nice to perk up your week.

(Next week- just to get you all drummed up, Nici Holt-Cline of Dig This Chick and I have come up with an ultra special MPM post and prompt, with a Geo Hoodie as a prize! But hey, that's next week.)

67 comments:

Keli said...

First off, to the d-bag in van, karma's a bitch. Just sayin'. OK, back to things that really matter like Mystery Prize Monday! What I am cool with right now? Our one bedroom apartment. We got married last September and are expecting our first child mid-October, yay! Everyone keeps asking us if we're going to buy a house, move some place bigger etc. You know what? We're SUPER cool with the small digs for now. It's safe, super cute, has free Wi-Fi, allows dogs and fits well within our budget. What's not to love? Sure, we'll need something bigger down the road but for now I'm looking forward to snuggling my little one through the winter in our cozy little hobbit hole and buy a house (or whatever) when we're damn good and ready :) Happy Monday!

kelsey hoekstra said...

I sorta dated a boy for a month-plus-some during the summer (as you do during college). But unlike past flings I actually really started liking this guy. We went hiking, cooked dinners, hung out with his friends ... ect. Then, suddenly, he ended things because getting close to people stresses him out. (I wish that was a joke). For a while I handled this terribly, thinking of where I went wrong. I talked to him today because seeing him stressed me out & I wanted to stop that (and he's the kind of person you can say that to and he tries to help you out). We aren't going to get back together (though part of me would like that) but we talked for a while about stress and how we wanted to go forward. I think we are going to manage being friends. And I'm cool with that. And now school is starting to feel like fall. I'm very cool with that.

JessD said...

Love Mystery Prize Monday! I'm in the same boat as you: totally cool with putting in minimal effort on my appearance. I have a job that has very basic policies on appearance (such as "must wear pants"), and I find it oddly liberating to run weekend errands without thought of my makeup-less face and somewhat unruly hair, after years of caring in my 20s. And I too love my Chaco for their longevity if not their fashion sense!

Anonymous said...

Right now, I'm cool with my job, which I love but doesn't pay well. I thought I would make more at 32, but I'm oddly content and don't want to leave my job to look for more money. It made me question my ambition until I realized what was going on: I was happy!

I always like your style - I don't know you outside of your writing, but it seems so *you.* To be found unattractive by a weird old guy in a van is a mark in your favor, I think. Don't change.

Stephanie Abdon said...

I went out with a guy 2 nights in a row. He opened doors for me, made sure I got in safely and was super sweet. He didn't so much as accidentally touch me. And, after having too many guys recently only interested in making out, it was delightful. And I am so glad I have things to look forward to as our relationship (hopefully) progresses :)

Cassy said...

Right now? Right now I'm cool with my daily life. I've come to a place where the monotony of it all is blissful. I take comfort in my worn out routine. I guess being in your thirties is quiet a treat:).

Anonymous said...

I live in a city where catcalling is way more common than anywhere else I've ever been. I bike or walk to and from work and wear a dress daily (Patagonia too! Same two dresses in different colors that I just swap every day).

Last week when I was taking a quick walk during my work day, some guy said "Hey" to me from his truck. Since I try to be a nice person, I said "Hey" back and smiled. Then he whistled and said "Hey there lady, real nice ass."

It's not something that hasn't happened 150 other times this summer. I'm a very passive person who normally just keeps walking or biking and mutters something angrily under my breath and then plays out a whole epic comeback in my head -- "Yes, I have a nice ass, and also a nice car compared to your fucking Dodge minivan with expired tags and no back windows. I also have a nice job, which you must not, based on what I've observed in the last 20 seconds. And I have a nice boyfriend (who gets to touch my ass), group of friends and family and house and dogs, so I feel sad for your pathetic little life. And if you got any happiness from our interaction, it's probably the only joy your shithole existence has."

But for whatever reason -- a combination of feeling confident yet punchy about other stuff going on in my life -- last week I turned around, walked right up to the catcaller's window and said "You know what, buddy? Fuck you. Just fuck you."

He sort of looked shocked and turned so I couldn't keep eye contact. And I walked away feeling like I might pee a little, but also feeling totally rad, and I'm very cool with that right now.

Bethany said...

Right now I'm cool with my life revolving around my family. Several house projects require my managing because my husband works full time. My son suddenly needs glasses but wants to play football, my oldest daughter just started kindergarten and crawls into bed with us every night because she misses us terribly, and my youngest daughter is adjusting to being an only child while siblings are at school (she actually doesn't like it... I must be boring). there's simply no time or money for me to do anything for myself, and ya know what? It's cool. I'm pretty easy to please, and i squeeze in a hot bath (in a too small tub so it's not super relaxing) or a neighborhood jog when i can. Maybe i stuff a slice of cheesecake in my mouth after the kids are in bed. It's cool!

Hazel said...

I'm just fine with my crappy looking yard and half-way finished fence and struggling garden… because it represents a respectable balance between a busy life (doing other things than house stuff) and the over-ambitious vision we have for fixing up this place. There's broken glass hopelessly mixed in with the gravel but my child is a city child and just gonna have to wear shoes.

Kirsten Gardner said...

I haven't climbed as much this summer or gone on as many extreme adventures this year as in year's past...but after getting over the FOMO that's OK by me. I've caught up with more diverse friend circles, spent a lot of time with family and reconnected with 'reading for pleasure' which I haven't done in a long time. It's pretty nice.

Aimee LH said...

First off, that complete nonsense from a random minivan trash talker can be ignored. When in fact, as we women all know, we could wear a potato sack around our parts and still have men lining up to help us "get laid." It may be super sexist of me to say, but we have the upper hand on that one, dude. Good job for trying to sell us otherwise, minivan macho.

How about we pretend to play out what happened 5 minutes after he drove down your neighborhood... After rolling up his exhaustingly ungreased window "Larry" (we'll call him) decided to drive down another neighborhood and found another beautiful woman to make a derogatory comment to. As Larry proceeds to slow down, suddenly a classical version of 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' comes across the minivan's car radio station. He is brought back to the previous evening where the love of his life decided to call off their engagement. After months of planning, and anticipation of the happiest day of his life, he is now in a cloud of complete devastation and sadness. With the cello notes playing the lyrics of "turn around..." he reminsces of all the good times they had. Perhaps, he will save this neighborhood girl from his anguish. Perhaps the look of the other girl in the beautiful dress was enough to give him hope and stop taking out his troubles on the world. Perhaps there still is beauty in the world, and another love with come around..

Alas, what am I cool with? Going with the flow. Easy to get in the mad dash of life, but these days I am all about lighting some candles, playing some pandora, listening to my kids tell me about their day and ignoring the clock. Because, man the little things...they're really something.

Much love, Melina!

Elisa said...

I've resigned myself to being back in school again. I had 4 weeks off over August for vacation. Now--fall trimester. Ick.

That guy is the worst! I'm glad you are safe. For the record--sturdy **is** the best.

Katie said...

Seeing that Mystery Prize Monday is back just totally made my day :-D

So these days, I'm cool with settling back into my hometown. I moved away 5 years ago because I couldn't stand it and needed to get out of West Texas. I lived out of country for a few years, then returned to the same town six months ago. I've got a job with amazing co-workings, I'm making new friends, and I'm around my family more than I was when I lived abroad. And I was so worried that I would feel as antsy and eager to leave again as I did five years ago - but I don't. It feels like I've come very full circle. I'm totally cool with living here again (dare I say, even loving it?), and I'm so thankful to be HOME.

Have a great week, Melina! As always, love the blog.

Megan Marie said...

I'm cool with the fact that college - due to crazy costs, and a full-time job - is taking me longer than I planned. I work, I take classes, and I have a life outside of those things that is fulfilling and at this point I'd be cool with college taking me a few more years...it was discouraging at first, when my friends started to graduate but I'm happy...I'm cool with it!

Elissa said...

I turn 31 tomorrow and I'm totally cool with that.

PS as your faithful, loyal friend: fuck that guy.

Ann said...

I'm in my mid 20s and I've never been into parties. Gatherings with friends? yes. But crazy parties that people my age are supposed to love? Just plain not into it. Finally this week, as I begin yet another semester of school, and I'm reminded how much others around me party, I've come to peace with being ok with not being a party girl. I've always had this little thought in the back of my head that when I'm 40 I'll look back on my 20s and wish I'd partied harder, but I'll just have to be ok with that regret if it ever comes, because this is me right now.

Anonymous said...

The culture that's created that awful human that felt it was his right to give you his wisdom or lack there of is a lier. Hi, I'm 39, married for 18 years, the most unfit I've ever been, clothes are worn out and I get "laid" anytime I want. How is that even possible? Well, my husband desires me. All of me. He loves me. My thoughts, acts of service, my body, my love for him. He is more concerned for my overall happiness than what I choose to wear. He is so happy I am careful with our money, cloth our ever growing kids and provide good food for us all to eat. These things are sexy. I'm glad you didn't let this guys words bug you, but also wanted to let you know just how wrong he is incase his words ever niggle at you. It's so nice to see you thriving in your love. Enjoy the Zinnias. Dee.

Surndr said...

I am totally cool with not shaving my armpits right now- slightly weird maybe, however it is also strangely liberating and I love it.

Kate said...

You go girl.

Right now i'm totally cool with my life revolving around my job. I moved to new york last year, went on a few god awful dates, and tried really hard to make lots of new friends. Now i have a wonderful work family and am currently just focusing on getting that next promotion. I think my mom is concerned about my social life... but right now, it's all good.

Susan Bennett said...

I'm totally cool with being 50, over using the f word and blaring the Foo Fighters out my car windows.

Katie said...

I'm 28 and building my own business. I've spent far too long comparing myself to my friends who are making lots of money and saving for big adult stuff (houses, kids, etc). I'm losing money and finally starting to see it as an investment. I'm ok with being in a different stage in my life than them. Hopefully my hard work and investment will pay off!

Mom Starting From Scratch said...

I'm cool with the grey in my hair at age 42. Even my three young daughters are hoping for some impressive, chunky streaks, but right now it's strands of silver. I stopped dying it 5 years ago, and it's so healthy!

Pam said...

I so love reading your blog and have for a very long time. I'm happy that you are so comfortable with yourself. Not many young people are. I have an amazing 29 year old daughter in law who teaches me everyday how to be a self assured woman and happy in my skin. At 66 it's not always an easy thing to do because on the inside I'm only 21!! Have a wonderful day and enjoy those Zinnias.

Elizabeth said...

I'm just kind of cool with the fact that my teeth are crooked in spite of 14 years of orthodontia. I could afford to straighten them (again), with the help of my parents who feel guilty that the thousands of dollars they already spent on my teeth didn't achieve the advertised outcome. However, what's the likelihood that they will stay straight? I occasionally feel self-conscious about my crooked teeth, but for the most part, I can't be arsed. Full disclosure: I maintain the tiniest thread of hope that I will someday get married, and because braces will last two years, I'm also sort of kind of not really standing on the vanity of preferring crooked teeth to braces in my unlikely-to-happen wedding pictures.

Amy said...

I'm cool with trading in a little privacy and space to save my pennies and pay off my credit card debt. That guy was a creep, you rock and I love your attitude.

Aimee said...

I think there is something that is oh so lovely about being 30 and comfortable in your own skin. Its a comfort that doesn't come from clinque skincare or the latest fashion threads. Its knowing who you are and liking yourself. Its not unduly caring what other people think.
Its a state of grace that has taken me a long time to achieve.
You did well not to bite back at the rude guy though ... I imagine "fuck off, I'm married and get laid plenty thank you very much" would probably have escaped my mouth before my brain kicked in!

Suzie said...

Life is cool at the moment, my eldest is back in school and loving it so it's just me and my littlest enjoying the time we have together before he starts preschool in January! My work (if you can call it that at 6hrs a week!!) is perfect for now but has the potential to be more when I'm child free for longer, my husband adores me & makes me smile daily..... And autumn is coming, my favourite time of year! Life is good!! 😘

Anonymous said...

Here's a comment from the "other" side. It seems most of your readers are reporting from the younger years, 20's to 30's, which is as it should be.
Well hello...I am over 60 and still dress as I please...usually cute Goodwill sundresses over skinny jeans or leggings, footwear depending on weather; vintage cowboy boots or well-worn Tevas. I don't have a lot of money and have spent a lifetime of creating my unique style from thrift store excavations.
So, I am older-cute and take great comfort that I'm seemingly beyond creepy guys making dumb-ass insulting comments. I travel a lot, alone, and it's nice to feel relatively safe and protected by my advanced age and acquired wisdom.

ashevillemom said...

Right now I'm kinda cool with getting older. Sometimes I feel 25 and sometimes 50. You can't change aging. You either get older or die. I definitely don't want to die. So I don't look in the mirror as much and ignore the lines on my face. Also, that guy was a dick to you. No excuse.

Mandy Weston said...

I'm sorry that you had to deal with that guy. I am also 30 and completely fine with being invisible, but unfortunately that kind of guy is found everywhere. I often find myself wondering what on earth must be going through a guy's mind when he makes that sort of comment.

I was just ok with being in a perpetual state of life limbo. I was in a long-distance relationship for a long time, living in a city I didn't really like that much, with a roommate that is very nice but so high strung that just being around her stresses me out. I wanted to move in with my boyfriend, in our own place, somewhere else. Somewhere along the way I stopped wishing and daydreaming, and it is all coming together. Boyfriend got a job in my city, and we are getting our own place. So right now I am just ok with not being able to afford a nice place, because the trade-off is so worth it.

Cait said...

I'm cool with living alone for the first time ever. I'm 27 and my long-term boyfriend and I broke up about a month ago and it is heartbreakingly lonely here by myself but also exactly how it should be. I have very little furniture, but the cats and the dog and me all snuggle together at night and I'm learning my way around a brand new job. I only have to make me happy when I come home and it's very liberating.

kimalli1 said...

What a dick. The end.

I'm cool with being on the down-slope of my 30s. It's crazy how my 20th high school reunion passed by this summer, and my only thought on the whole matter was wow, am I glad that stage of life is over. Yes, I am getting older, officially "middle-aged," but man do I have a great life- a loving husband of 15 years, 2 healthy girls, and financial stability.

Keely said...

Zinnias are my favorite. They are so sturdy and bright and unabashed. I've always thought I might name a daughter Zinnia.

Right now, I'm cool with uncertainty. I jumped off the path of least resistance last fall and left behind a probable future with a wonderful fella. I wanted to make more conscious decisions, instead of letting other people's expectations guide my choices. These days I'm not planning too far ahead and I'm trying to keep all the doors in my heart wide open. It's a little unsettling, but also very liberating, but also very unsettling. I have no clue where I'll be this time next year, or who I'll be telling my secrets to, but I'm cool with that. In fact, when I think about it, I'm really excited about that.

Aunt Diane said...

I'm cool with getting old(er). I started stressing at 50, upset by 55 and total wreck at 60. Then something changed (me?) and i decided to stop making excuses for what i hadn't done in my life. I started painting again,playing Irish music session, took Irish flute lessons and WORKING OUT! I am the strongest and healtiest i have every been in my life. I learned to swim and completed my first triatlon two months later. Goal is 70.3 for my 65th birthday.

Erin said...

I Love the way you weave a tale with humor, wit and a generous dose of poignancy. So, I've been mulling this question over and I'm happy to report that I am (finally) totally cool with the season change. Garden chores are getting tedious anyway. The breakneck pace of summer activity suddenly sounds really unappealing. You'll be happy to know that woolly blankets and piping hot coffee helped get me here! Also, I came across an article which detailed something called Autumn anxiety and it's a real thing. Just that validation alone has eased my heart lurching at the sight of yellowing leaves!
P.S. I love zinnias, too. They just seem impossible somehow like flowers within flowers.

Amber Jackson said...

I am just cool with having my job. It is a job which is nice, money is essential for functioning but it is nothing I love, could grow to love or could progress in. So for now, I am cool with it and one day I won't be and then will make a change. But for now, i have a boring desk job.

sarahldh said...

I've read your blog for a long time now. I found it while trying to get used to being a Texan in Seattle. Now I'm a Texan in Portland.

To answer your question though: I'm cool with my debt.

Now that might sound a little questionable, but let me explain. I spent dozens of hours crying about my debt, little good it did. I've been one of those college graduates with three jobs and my loans still on hold because those three jobs barely kept me in the ramen.

Things have changed: I am no longer bartending, event planning, and working at REI all at the same time. Now I have a job with a great title and pretty decent pay. I'm not eating ramen anymore, but I still a mountain of debt. But ya know what? I'm cool with that. I'm paying my bills, all of them, on time, every month. The woman writing this comment is independently owned and operated, and sometimes you have to leverage the future for a happy present.

sarahldh said...

I've read your blog for a long time now. I found it while trying to get used to being a Texan in Seattle. Now I'm a Texan in Portland.

To answer your question though: I'm cool with my debt.

Now that might sound a little questionable, but let me explain. I spent dozens of hours crying about my debt, little good it did. I've been one of those college graduates with three jobs and my loans still on hold because those three jobs barely kept me in the ramen.

Things have changed: I am no longer bartending, event planning, and working at REI all at the same time. Now I have a job with a great title and pretty decent pay. I'm not eating ramen anymore, but I still a mountain of debt. But ya know what? I'm cool with that. I'm paying my bills, all of them, on time, every month. The woman writing this comment is independently owned and operated, and sometimes you have to leverage the future for a happy present.

sarahldh said...

I've read your blog for a long time now. I found it while trying to get used to being a Texan in Seattle. Now I'm a Texan in Portland.

To answer your question though: I'm cool with my debt.

Now that might sound a little questionable, but let me explain. I spent dozens of hours crying about my debt, little good it did. I've been one of those college graduates with three jobs and my loans still on hold because those three jobs barely kept me in the ramen.

Things have changed: I am no longer bartending, event planning, and working at REI all at the same time. Now I have a job with a great title and pretty decent pay. I'm not eating ramen anymore, but I still a mountain of debt. But ya know what? I'm cool with that. I'm paying my bills, all of them, on time, every month. The woman writing this comment is independently owned and operated, and sometimes you have to leverage the future for a happy present.

Bethany said...

Dude - I bet you looked hot in that outfit. Sounds like a the perfect summer attire. But that's besides the point. What a pig. Anyhow, i'm totally cool with the "extra" tractor hubby had to buy. I joke about it to other people, when they ask why we need it. I joke and roll my eyes and say "i know, another tractor" But i'm so totally cool with it and i need to embrace it and have his back. Because goodness, he's always got mine. The reason for this second, huge tractor? It was his sugar partner's, who passed last winter. He was like a father to my husband, and that tractor is John staying in my husband's life. I get it and i'm so cool with it.

Rhett said...

You're outfit sounds great to me and I bet you looked sporty and pretty. Clearly that jack-nut didn't know what he was talking about.

So what am I just cool about? The Summer ending. I love Fall but Summer seemed to go so fast this year. I want more but time marches on and summer will comes again.

colleen said...

I second that fuck that guy, and throw in a side eye, nice mini van loser!

Also, your fashion sense is your own, I don't give a fuck and I wear all black and the same pants EVERYDAY, and you, well you my chipper friend have always been very VERY colorful. I felt we complimented each other very well in our Scandinavian neighborhood (;

colleen said...

I don't give a what about my job right now, or the fact that I'm 30, with two cats, too much black clothing for my own good, and a tinder account...JUDGE AWAY DIRTBAGS! (; kisses!

Micca said...

(PREACH. I have recently noticed-not-noticed the lack of attention I get paid on the street these days, too! Lady-hood comes with some strange side dishes.)

I'm cool with my damn job. I'm cool being "broke" because I want to be debt-free and have savings. I'm cool with spending more time at home lately. I'm cool with people needing some reassurance that I'm still around, available, healthy, and ME...I'm just taking time to do what's right for me at the same time.

I'm cool!

jackie said...

I'm cool with my current "stay at home mom" gig. (Oof I shudder at that phrase, because we do everything BUT stay home. I know in a few years the kids will be in school all day and I'll find my identity again.
Years ago I was on a fire crew, and wore big gas station sunglasses with my hardhat. Another guy on the crew said they were "birth control glasses" and for days it offended me. Obviously still bothers me! Because a) he was no hunk himself, and b) I'm out on an effing fireline, do I really need to look amazing when I am already a badass for doing that job???

Lori Delgado said...

I'm pretty cool with this "single parent- but not single, my husband just works out of state but I'm very much in love with him" thing. I'm even cool with the stares we got when we both took our kiddo to school on Monday, those "Oh wow, mom and dad can be in the same room" stares. And, I'm cool with that I didn't read too much into it, and that when I brought that up a few days ago with a parent and teacher at her school, they answered, "Yeah, some people were wondering but, we set them straight." I was cool with people speculating I was a single parent. You know why? Because I know the truth. You know why I'm okay with students staying "You suck," to me daily, um, because I know the truth. I'm okay not being the most outgoing, or the most pretty, because I do have a lot to offer. I'm a strong, independent, reliable and consistent momma/teacher/wife/friend/self, and yeah, I'm cool with that.

I also think it's pretty cool that I got a few minutes by myself today to have a cup of tea and delve into some of the posts from your blog I've missed. It was a very much enjoyed 1/2 hour. Thank you!

Elissa said...

love ya

Rachel said...

Great writing, Melina, and great Mystery Prize question prompt! After a couple of years of punishing my body into submission, torturing it for a few pounds gained, and meticulously counting calories in, calories out, I stopped. I gained a few pounds again... and I'm cool with it (mostly). I'm adventurer and these strong legs have carried me over mountains, these healthy lungs allow me to run and bike, this shapely ass can rock a pencil skirt. I continually work to change my focus to gratitude for what this body can do instead of an obsessive need to be perfect, and I'm cool with the journey.

Erin Macauley said...

This community is so freaking rad. I've laughed so much as I've read these. Y'all are so badass.

What am I cool with? That I'm in a period of....percolation. Not producing a lot, sitting (mostly) quietly.

And I'm excited for fall; today I realized that I'm okay with what that means: the returning of SAD. I think I'm going to be chasing the light on the trails a lot this autumn.

Casey Toby said...

I'm cool with being as laid back as possible right now. I just left my full time job a month ago and am working for myself, so I'm cool with just hanging out with my dogs, wearing yoga pants and working from home. I'm trying to keep my stress and anxiety level low so petting dogs and wearing comfy clothes help.

Jill said...

I'm loving these comments and your story, despite Dicky McGee. I actually had to mull this one over for a while before deciding on an answer. My life feels a little in limbo right now- home from a dream trip, trying to get back to "normal", searching for a new job, and contemplating having a baby with husband. A lot of stuff filling up my every brain cavity and no relief from the pressure. So I'm actually not feeling "cool" about anything right now....and THAT is what I'm cool with. I'm cool with the fact that I'm not happy about the shitstorm of "what do I do now?" thoughts going around in my head like a dizzy merry-go-round. I'm cool with the fact that I'm not cool with not knowing what my life will look like in a year. Because I know that eventually the peace and the answers will come, in some form, at some future date. I trust myself, even when I feel like I'm losing it. I refuse to feel guilty about not being cool with it. Very long story short, I'm cool with not being cool with it all right now. Which is frankly the most liberating thing I'm experiencing at the moment.

Jill said...

I'm loving these comments and your story, despite Dicky McGee. I actually had to mull this one over for a while before deciding on an answer. My life feels a little in limbo right now- home from a dream trip, trying to get back to "normal", searching for a new job, and contemplating having a baby with husband. A lot of stuff filling up my every brain cavity and no relief from the pressure. So I'm actually not feeling "cool" about anything right now....and THAT is what I'm cool with. I'm cool with the fact that I'm not happy about the shitstorm of "what do I do now?" thoughts going around in my head like a dizzy merry-go-round. I'm cool with the fact that I'm not cool with not knowing what my life will look like in a year. Because I know that eventually the peace and the answers will come, in some form, at some future date. I trust myself, even when I feel like I'm losing it. I refuse to feel guilty about not being cool with it. Very long story short, I'm cool with not being cool with it all right now. Which is frankly the most liberating thing I'm experiencing at the moment.

Cassie said...

Right now I'm just ok with my work life. Which is so much better than miserable. I was very not ok with work for an embarrassingly long time but have finally recognized that with a wedding fast approaching and a thousand things on my plate I'm not really in a place to "take the bull by the horns" and make the sift I dream about. So now I'm ok with it, not forever, but just for now because being not ok is such a waste of time.

meg bird said...

"When I find myself with a little extra money, I go see Dr. Reilly for a chiropractic adjustment, and I feel great. Strangers on the street have stopped noticing me, and I've stopped noticing that they're not noticing me."

I just LOVE this. I admire you so very much. What kind of woman goes sans-makeup on her wedding day? The bad ass kind who knows who she is and what she's about and finds validation from within. I see you as the sort of person who does things because you feel they're right for you, not because you feel you're expected to do them (or because your self-esteem depends on some creepy dude in a van whistling at you as he drives by).

It astounds me that there are still men in the world who see women as creatures whose purpose is to be attractive to them - their idea of attractive, not our own. These men who have somehow failed to grasp the radical notion that women are people with our own ideas of who we want to be and what we want to look like. As if we wake up every day wondering to ourselves, "How would that dude in the minivan want me to look today?" As if our whole goal in life is to please them. I can't handle it.

Anyway, you're fantastic. Right now, I'm cool with not being sure what's next.

Angela said...

I'm cool with leaving competitive ultimate behind. Even though it ended badly, even though the culmination of years of hard work and pivotal play and raw skill was relegation to the role of cheerleader at my final competitive tournament, even though there is so much to be redeemed, I'm cool with being done. Giving-away-my-uniform done.

Carey King said...

I'm kind of cool with my 4 month post baby body, I've always been fit, like maybe one year here or there where I let myself go slightly but the years leading up to my boy I did my first sprint triathlon, first half marathon, was a Pilates instructor for 2 years- I loved being fit and healthy. The loving fit and healthy part I still love but I played in the shallow waves with my little boy in my bekini a couple weeks back feeling more confidant than I ever did with a 6 pack.. Because the kid in my arms is the best thing I've ever done and yea I'm cool with my less than perfect body.

Also that guy is an asshole, who does that!

Carey King said...

I'm kind of cool with my 4 month post baby body, I've always been fit, like maybe one year here or there where I let myself go slightly but the years leading up to my boy I did my first sprint triathlon, first half marathon, was a Pilates instructor for 2 years- I loved being fit and healthy. The loving fit and healthy part I still love but I played in the shallow waves with my little boy in my bekini a couple weeks back feeling more confidant than I ever did with a 6 pack.. Because the kid in my arms is the best thing I've ever done and yea I'm cool with my less than perfect body.

Also that guy is an asshole, who does that!

Marie said...

I'm perfectly ok with being alone. I have been divorced for 16 years. Have not dated much at all the last 7, for various reasons, and I am perfectly happy with who I am. At the moment.

Marie said...

Also, I must say: Anonymous from September 14, 2015 at 2:34 PM, I think you ROCK!!!!!!!!

meg@ourwaytoeat.com said...

My husband is out of town, and I have purposefully made plans only with myself, and to be at home. The first urge is to fill it up with friends and a visit from my Mom and going out to see music or a comedian and all the things I might enjoy, but I feel like some time alone right now, so I'm not giving in to the guilt, and I'm just going to enjoy it.

meg@ourwaytoeat.com said...

p.s. that guy is a moron.

Lauren Flynn said...

I just started my job as a special education teacher. I still feel really new and like I make a ton of mistakes, and I have to work really really hard every single day and stay late and work on the weekends and all that jazz. And I really love it and I'm cool with being a workaholic right now. I love my kids I'm cool with sacrificing so I can give them the best education I possibly can.

beersincannes said...

OMG, I wear Chacos EVERY DAY! Not to mention, I live in the South of France - the French Riviera in fact! Where women wear baby doll dresses and super high heeled shoes to pick up their kids at school. They wear scarves and flowy dresses and different shoes every day. I'm lucky if I have a non-wrinkled pair of yoga pants I can wear to drop off and pick up. Even worse, you HAVE to go inside the school to drop your children off so everyone looks you up and down at what you are wearing. After 4 years, I really don't care anymore. My Chacos are my favorite and when it gets really cold, I'll put on my Dansko's but, the weather is so mild here I can pretty much get by with Chacos all the time. I don't have a good figure either, so I hide behind black Gap XL tshirts and shift dresses that hide my tummy.
Although, today, while sitting on a bench on the walkway in front of the Mediterranean Sea, I actually got a catcall whistle from some dude in a work van. It made my day...

beersincannes said...

I just wrote a HUGE comment!!! Did it get erased????

Sarah P said...

What I'm okay with - no, actually, what I'm in LOVE with - is how insane my life is right now. Add two kids who play three sports each in with a hubby who plays softball and coaches all the kids teams to one soccer loving mama who plays on three different teams right now because I just love it so (and the workout it gives me), and our life is a constant flow of games and living at fields. But, I'd have it no other way. The friends my kids and I have made at sports are like family, my teammates are my stress relief, and nothing is sexier than my hubs teaching the kids and their teammates the love of the game (sometimes while in his own softball uniform after his own game). People always ask me how I have the energy for the pace of our life since we both work full time, too...my answer is what else would I be doing after work? Sitting on the couch?? Nah! I'll relax when I'm old and have a busted up hip ;)

Tori said...

I'm pretty sure I would have responded with, "Don't you worry, I get laid ALL the time." :)

Christal said...

Better later than never... I've missed reading your blog... but college has been hogging my time too.

I've been reading to catch up last night and tonight.
First that guy.... must be seriously brain damaged. Having seen your posted photos, your smiles light up the world, your figure is amazing (fit, strong, beautiful as per your climbing and jumping off rocks pics point out),and if the sundress is the one in the other September post lounging against the fence.... is cute, comfortable and wonderfully appropriate. So, since I'm from the South originally and living in Montana now, I will just say "Bless his heart, it's evident his momma dropped him headfirst on the concrete as a child (or maybe it's just poor genetics or congenital stupidity)."

I know the contest is over but... I'm okay now with the idea of withdrawing or auditing the Business class that is driving me crazy with lack of sleep because I'm always doing homework for it or the other class, or working, or taking care of the family. I know I'm only 5 classes away from graduation and doing that puts me back by a year probably (because the college only offers some of these senior classes every other semester or every other year). Sanity is worth more than the piece of paper right now.