Don’t Let Me Hear You Hatin’

Today I came across a post on my Facebook that upset me. This is not the first one I have seen and this is not the first time I have made my thoughts known in response. I have removed people from my life for comments like this – even as a child I had no tolerance for this form of hate. I never will. Some people make jokes, some are serious. Either way – I feel it is inappropriate and we really must be more considerate. #Coexist #JeSuisCharlie #JeSuisAhmed So please read below and maybe you also will learn something new. To my friends out there – and even those that I do not know – I stand not only next to you, but with you. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – Stop the hate.

Epic battle

52 Weeks, 52 Plates – Introduction

Food-Flags

New Years Resolutions are the trending thing right now and I must jump on the bandwagon! I always have a huge list of things to do/see/change in the coming year and this year is no different. I need to add this outfit to my wardrobe. I need to experience this. Call that person. Go to this place. And now, I need to eat this.

I am not a picky eater. But I am by no means an adventurous eater either. Last year there had been discussion of trying a new “cuisine” every week. It never happened. This year I am conquering the kitchen like Genghis Khan. This should be fun because like Khan I have absolutely no patience and can be a bit of an emotional, temperamental mess. Chopping the heads off leeks like nobody’s business will become my specialty if I scorch the milk one more time while making potato soup. Behind me and my victory will be a trail of Italian bread crumbs and onion peels stacked miles high. Ok – so we are testing worldly knowledge, expanding taste buds and enhancing skills such as cooking, cleaning, and learning how to be as patient as a liger. Roar.

To start I posted a status to my Facebook friends informing them of my future endeavor and requesting a list of countries to “taste”. I received 19 countries total including Sweden, Madagscar, Vietnam, Greece, Paraguay, Taiwan, and Israel. I would say the majority are Asian/Middle Eastern Cuisines. Apparently my friends are much more adventurous than I am. I mean, I had never even had Thai food until last month. It was delicious by the way. Thanks Chiang Mai!

To showcase a little bit about my taste buds I thought I’d give you a run down on my favorite foods –

Favorite food to crunch – Cashews. I love cashews.

Favorite comfort food – Mashed Potatoes. I could eat just mashed potatoes for dinner.

Favorite picnic lunch – Picnics require cold food which I am not a fan of. So I will stick with a ham and cheese sandwich here. Or a waldorf salad.

Best summer snack – Um, Ice Cream. Duh.

Favorite winter snack – Ice cream. It is never too cold for ice cream.

Food that reminds me of the ocean – Shrimp. Deep fatty fried shrimp.

Most likely to eat for lunch – Mac and Cheese.

Least likely to eat for lunch – Salad.

Food that makes me gag – Mushrooms. Boba. Squid.

Food tradition I love – Every year on Christmas morning, my mom makes Breakfast Casserole. ONLY ON THIS DAY. It is pretty darn special.

Soup or salad – Soup.

Favorite breakfast food – Waffles. I love waffles. But Jimmy’s Egg also has an amazing Florentine Omelet with Hollandaise sauce.

Favorite ethnic cuisine – Well that is a funny question considering. I LOVE LOVE LOVE steamed dumplings.

Favorite ice cream flavor – Mint Chocolate Chip.

Favorite type of chocolate – Dark chocolate.

Favorite beverage – Dublin Dr Pepper.

Smooth or crunchy peanut butter – Smooth.

If you could only choose ONE food to be your absolutely, all-time favorite…what would that food be?

MACARONI AND CHEESE.

See? My tastes are pretty simple. Which makes this all so intimidating and exciting!

I did not know where to start. How am I supposed to choose which country I feature first? I had no idea. Last night I was browsing through Pinterest like the addict that I am when I came across a recipe that just looked absolutely delicious. So it was decided that this will probably be a random selection thing. The adventure starts this week so stay tuned!

 First stop – India!

Also, for a fun look at international cuisines check out this article/photo montage of National Flags Made From Country’s Traditional Foods. That’s where I swiped the first picture from!

indiancuisine

Please note: Food will not be as pretty as pictured above. This is REAL kitchen life.

Why I Chose A Little Princess

Let me start with a question for you —

Have you seen or read “A Little Princess”?

Yes? Good, then you probably thought of it from the very first post.

No? Then you need to watch it/read it.

While I was brewing this cup of awesome in my mind I was stumped on a title. To me, a real literary hero does not write what the people want. They write what they want. What they feel. And as modern teenagers like to put it, that movie “gave me so many feels”. Honestly, the movie was heart wrenching for me and still is to this day. Many times I watched that movie and cried right along Sara when Ms. Minchin told her that her dad was never coming to get her again. I, like Sara – was engrossed in stories and princesses. I agreed – thinking like a princess magically made you a princess. The child in me was attached to that movie and I watched it many times. I memorized the words to “Kindle My Heart” at a young age and still sing it to myself often. I cannot tell you the ending but I can tell you that little Sara and me are no longer anything alike. Although I still try to act like a princess from time to time I find myself missing the most important character in both Sara’s story and my own – a father.

And maybe this still only makes sense to me. But then again, I told you that you were reading my diary.

A Little Princess – Part 4

Sometimes I feel so sick and sad that I cannot eat. This is hard for me since I have hypoglycemia – a condition where my blood sugar drops faster than usual. Often I feel like my heart breaks faster than usual. I don’t think there is a name for that though. Other than sensitive. Lets forget for a moment that we were talking about Dad #2… We are going back to Dad #1.

I am sensitive.

I am sensitive to the fact that I will never know half of what makes me who I am. I am sensitive to the fact that I constantly look for pieces of me within somebody else. Do I sit like you? Do I talk like you? Wait, did we just laugh at the same thing? For all the eating that I do not do, my body eats itself. My stomach swallows my entire heart and soul until I feel like there is nothing left inside of me but the circulation of blood beneath skin.

But what I constantly have to remind myself is that we are made up of more than blood and skin. There is more to me than DNA. There is more to me than my mother and my father’s DNA. What you do not understand is that I already know this. I know that I am who I am today whether you created me physically or not. You created me through emotions, tribulations, and memories. From my history with you I forged a future for myself that I still have yet to grasp – complete happiness.

I thought I was getting closer.

Two months…it took you two entire months to come see the house that I live in. The home that I am making for myself and another. I have not seen you since. That was almost two months ago. We purchased a home – this is a big step in my life. A big step in the right direction I thought. Would you be proud? I had hoped to see a look of pride on your face – an inkling of encouragement that somehow my actions pleased you.

I have always been a people pleaser.

People think that humans like me – those who strive to make others happy – are insecure. I am insecure, yes … that is correct. But I am also selfish and greedy. I aim to please to get that boost of confidence. To assure YOU that I am good enough. Deep down I know I am good enough for anybody. Yet somehow my goal is to make sure that YOU – Dad #1 – know it.

I also look for people who appease me. Dad #2 did just that. He was in my life just in time. It was my senior year – the year where I would no longer be a child and would rapidly be thrown into adulthood.  He was there to usher me off to prom. Taking pictures, telling me how pretty I was., and making sure my boyfriend promised to take good care of me. He came to my graduation and told me how proud he was. He helped me move my stuff out and into “my own place”. He filled those voids that needed to be filled. I began to think to myself – this is the man who is going to give me away at my wedding.

But I have realized some things —

Just as I cannot dream you into a reality nor force you into my life – I cannot force myself to accept someone else into my life.

He makes me uncomfortable.

All the years I spent desiring to know who this man was and then he hugged me. The first time he hugged me I was too overwhelmed with joy  to realize my gut feelings. Gradually I noticed that just his presence began to piss me off. No, this wasn’t teenage angst. This was me fed up with grown men acting like boys. He never had sisters nor daughters so he did not know how to speak to me appropriately. It got to the point where hugging him made me sick to my stomach. I still do not know what it is but I no longer care for him to be in my life. My mother, I hope will learn sooner rather than later.

Because I still have not learned.

I have not learned yet to let go of people who do not want me back. This extends into my everyday life. I care and love to the point of a noxious pain erupting deep within me. I have not learned to turn those away who I think could harm me. I trust beyond reasonable doubt and give more than second chances. You’re humans, not cats – you don’t deserve 9 tries. I  give myself entirely to anybody who will take me then cower and ask myself – “Why? Why did I ever let you in?” For me, I know the answer is that I always hope for the best. Even when tears are streaming down my face and my heart is shambles a part of me will never give up on anything nor anyone. They call it Faith…

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Stay tuned for the inspiration behind the title.

I know what you did.

Have you ever fucked up so bad that even you couldn’t believe it. Have you ever felt that what you were doing wasn’t real – and once you have chosen your weapon of self destruction, the ticking time bomb of actuality explodes and suddenly you know what you have done. You cannot protect yourself or anybody else from the shrapnel of your mistake. Yet somehow it doesn’t quite burn enough.  You still cannot believe it. You have admitted it, accepted it, and now you are already trying to lick your wounds. There is still a fog in your mind – what exactly happened. It sets into your synapses like a slow, seeping release of tear gas. Your brain recoils, your body crumbles but you still cannot believe it. You stitch and staple and bandage but that only closes the wounds – there will be scars. Reminders of what you did and it feels like everyone will know.

A Little Princess – Part 3

You watched over me.

I never knew until you told me.

You asked grandma and grandpa about me. You called while I was at their house and asked what I was doing.

They showed you pictures of me. They told you when I was hurt, when I cried, when I ran away…

You knew everything…like a secret agent.

Is that why it is so hard for you now? Are you so used to hiding in the shadows of your own regret that you cannot step out into the sunshine of what could be a father/daughter relationship?

It is not too late…

I will tell you now, it will never be too late. It has been nearly 15 years and I never gave up. What makes you think I would now?

I will die of old age, wishing the man I wished was my father would wish I was his daughter.

We always want what we cannot have…




REWIND… Back to the age of approximately 2.

What we cannot have….We cannot have our job and drink our beer too. Now, Dad #2 was not necessarily — #2 (like poo). He was a decent man. He is a decent man. He means well, but he just did not & does not get it. Women need stability, and he has about as much stability as a pirate with TWO peg legs.

I will never forget the day he left…

The day he left was burned into my small child brain like when you leave the television on pause for too long. The image stuck. It was nap time at my nana’s. He came over to say goodbye. Mommy had told him to leave. He kneeled down and kissed me on the forehead — his hand brushed my little cheeks. Then he made a promise he couldn’t keep, “I promise I’ll be back…” The little princess that I was expected him to keep his promise.

What my mom did not know was that as I got older (and learned how to use a phone book on my own), I started searching. Flipping through pages of the phone book looking up his last name. Typing in his name in Google and Yahoo search. Considering asking for an allowance so I could pay for one of those letters you get in the mail that tells you everything about them from where they lived previously to where they are now.

While kids were spending summers in the pool, I was digging through phone books – and sometimes my mom’s things. I found her old wedding ring in the filing cabinet. I found pictures of me – one where I am on the roof, his forearm holding me up there. Then I found a home video. We had gone to Oklahoma. I was a little bitty baby.

I remember too much.

I remembered the first time I watched Bambi was at his parent’s house. In the basement. While playing with hand sewn dolls and what was probably a doll house built by grandpa. But like I said, I remembered when he left…

Maybe I am a little obsessive. Spending my life searching for things that are long gone. It was all worth it though, because I found him. Even after you get to the end of all this – I am still going to tell you, it was worth it. I spent my life being told no, so I was going to search for somebody who would say yes.

Dad 2 moved in with us my senior year. He was a lot of firsts for me and I am thankful for that. I always will be. He came to my school for a presentation (Theatre class). He was so excited about it that he brought his video camera to record it. He took pictures with me before sending me off to prom. He threatened my boyfriend – “If you break her heart,  I will break your neck”. To which my boyfriend candidly replied, “Thank you. Same to you.” and then they shook hands while my mom cried. Nobody had ever said that for me. Apparently nobody cared if my boyfriend broke my heart or not. He took me out to a “Father Daughter Lunch” where we discussed our favorites while watching the news about the recent whale attack at Sea World. I had an open faced turkey sandwich at Gerards.

One of my favorite comfort foods.

To be continued….

 

A Little Princess – Part 2

I remember not being allowed to go to my grandparents’ house the days that you were visiting. It would be too awkward.

You didn’t even want to look at me…

But after that day at Pizza Hut, it was like it was ok to at least be in the same room with each other now. Which should have been great right? Things are always better after complete utter rejection.

You came over on Christmas. I always went to grandma and grandpa’s house for half the day. Why couldn’t you have waited until the other half? I think I know why now.

Fast forward 5 years – I am 18 years old. I just graduated from high school 5 days ago.

And then there was tragedy…

My aunt Jennifer passed away in her sleep. I don’t handle loss well – especially not permanent loss. I went with everybody to clean out her apartment and to take over ownership of her dear kitty, Bubba. I was sitting in the truck with my friend Miranda when you came outside. You said you wanted to talk to me. Dear God what do you want from me. Leave me be in my sorrow.

Then you said the words I had waited a decade to hear – “I want to be a part of your life…”

I wanted to punch you square in the gut. But I am a lover, not a fighter. So instead I hugged you as hard as I could and put on my game face.

I will have to talk to Dad 2 about this. That is what I told you. What you didn’t know is that my mom was now dating husband number 2, again. After Dad 3 left.

**FLASHBACK**

I had found him on MySpace, messaged him, and said I had always wondered where he went. I remembered him as a loving father and to my great happiness – he messaged me back that he had missed me for 16 years. He was stationed overseas – Iraq/Afghanistan – but he was coming home for a short period of time. He wanted to see me and my mom.

So we let him come back – he beat you to the punch line.

He did not even hesitate or take time to consider being a father figure – he was determined to be the dad that I needed. He even came to my graduation. (More on Dad 2 coming soon)

**END FLASHBACK**

When we left Jennifer’s I told my grandma what you said and my response. She cried and told me that I didn’t have to let you into my life.

YOU hurt ME.

Your poor mother – she loves me with all her heart and soul and couldn’t understand why you left me. I was shocked by her words but it made me feel better. She was right. This was my choice. You can’t reject somebody their entire life and then expect them to come running to you when YOU decide it is okay. But you knew that – so you waited.

I do not remember if I officially told you that I accepted your offer or if it was just assumed. I think I may have called you on the phone.

On the outside I came off as hesitant – and part of me really was.

I no longer know anything about you – the man that I called daddy.

On the inside though, I was back to being that little girl who called you on the phone – begging to talk to you for even just a moment. And now, 4 years later – I’m 22. I just bought a house with my boyfriend. There are some big steps coming up in my life. Yet I have not seen you in 2 months… we hardly speak.

I still do not know you…

I call you throughout the week. Sometimes it is just once a week. Other times it is up to 3 times a week. You never answer. I’m lucky if you return my phone calls. We are both adults now, but I am starting to feel like that little girl again. The one who waited until she was locked in her room at grandma’s to call you. Looking into that big mirror while the phone rang…and rang…and rang. Thinking to myself – why doesn’t he answer? What is wrong me? What did I do?

Dad are you ever going to pick up the phone?

To be continued….