In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Leave Your Shoes at the Door.”

I hate when the alarm goes off in the morning.  4:30am is so early; so uncivilized.  My bed is my favorite place on Earth, so that just makes it feel worse.  Right now my flannel sheets are on.  Even though we’re getting close to warmer weather, the nights are still chilly enough that I can justify the soft luxury of the winter linens. My king-sized bed is also a treat.  After my last bed, essentially a cot, this bed feels big enough for royalty.  My long, lanky limbs never knew what they were missing until I finally got to stretch them out as much as I wanted.

After she pushes snooze once, twice, sometimes many more times, I finally slide out of bed and put my feet on the chilly hardwood floor.  A quick stretch to wake the rest of my body up, and I make my way downstairs. With the Keurig already buzzing, I head out of the kitchen for my morning pee.  Before I can think about eating or drinking, I head to the couch to close my eyes for just a bit longer.  Although my days might not seem like much to people who work outside the house, they are more exhausting than one might think.  I’m lucky compared to some stay-at-homes.  We have a great house with lots of space.  If I need to get away from everyone, I can find a quiet place to work and rest if need be.  Before I moved in here, my life was good, but I had zero privacy.  I shared a bedroom with only one other, but she was really crazy.  It was hard to relax around her.  Here, everyone is conscious about minding their own business.

I’m not sure what my day will bring today.  I managed to get out for a nice morning walk before the rain started, but I’ll need to plan my afternoon around the bad weather.  I might not get much work done.  I’m sure a nap will happen, maybe even 2 or 3.  But I might also make a dent in some of my Netflix series – I’ve been dying to find out what happens in season 6 of Sons of Anarchy and season 3 of Californication.  Truth is though, I’m just biding my time until the next season of Orange is the New Black is released.  Someone in the house has actually just turned on season 2. Maybe I’ll watch again to remind myself what happened and see if I can figure out what’s going to go down with V in season 3.  It’s an ambitious plan, but I’ll make sure I’m in my favorite spot on the couch, so in case I fall asleep, I’ll be right where I want to be.


My Snowy, Pot-Smoking, Olympics-Watching Valentine

Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine

It’s been a week or two since I’ve made the time to sit down and write.  About this time of year, school starts to get insanely busy.  And at this time, every year, I start to beat myself up for volunteering for so much extracurricular crap.  But lo and behold, every year I sign on for the same stuff, PLUS some.  What is that?  What drives some people to “yes” themselves to death?  Can I PLEASE say NO someday?  Probably not.  ::Sigh::  

Anyway, the beautiful thing about this week was the double-barrelled nor-easter we got up here in NY.  School was closed Thursday and Friday, and we also have tomorrow off for Presidents’ Day.  Thanks for being born, George and Abe!  I’ve been able to spend time in my house, getting all the stuff done that I’ve put off for weeks.  I vacuumed the dust bunnies that collect in the corner of the stairs. (In this case, they were more like dust elephants.)  I washed the glass panes in our kitchen door.  I forgot you are supposed to be able to see THROUGH glass, not just see the dog’s paw and nose prints every time you look at it.  I also graded a stack of mid-terms that I’ve been carrying around with the best of intentions since they were taken on January 30th.  Oy.

I was also able to spend a very sweet Valentine’s Day with my wife.  However, when we woke up on Friday and I realized we both had a snow day, I panicked.  In true Bethany form, I planned to purchase my gifts for her on Friday on my way home from school.  Why accomplish things early when I can do them late?  Ooops.  So I rushed out before the second onslaught of snow and ice to get together a random collection of stuff I thought she might like.  A couple pounds of Starbucks coffee, a new travel mug, some Lindt truffles, and some bath salts.  Phew.  Luckily, she’s easy to shop for. 

We decided to put off the gift exchange until the evening, and get the dirty work (shoveling) done first.  The fruits of our labor:



The house looked a lot taller earlier in the week.  Hmmm.

After shoveling, we committed ourselves to an evening of pure relaxation.  We traded gifts (She loved the random bags of stuff, and she got me tickets to see The Moth live in Albany!), enjoyed some mellow and relaxing herb I just purchased from my best friend (Don’t you love euphemisms for weed?), took a jacuzzi bath, and sat our asses on the couch and watched the Olympics.  We were in bed by 8:30pm.  An exciting Valentine’s Day?  Certainly not.  A wonderful and loving one?  Most definitely.


Panties? Who gives a fuck?

For this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge I decided to tackle the story of losing my virginity.  You got my perspective in my 2 previous posts, and tonight I’m writing from the perspective of the virginity-taker, Brandon.  This has been a more difficult exercise than I anticipated…there’s much more I can say, but I will leave it at that and get on with the story.

“This has been a good night so far,” Brandon thought as he walked off the court.   And it had been – he got a lot of playing time, and played really well.  Walking off the court, feeling the high of the win, he saw Ben and Bethany standing court-side, his ever-faithful friends who were also his ride home.  He gave Ben a quick one-armed man hug, and gave Bethany a kiss, full smack on the lips.  They had it like that – they’d known each other since first grade.  Time to get out of this smelly-ass school and get high.

In Ben’s car, the first mission was to roll up.  It was a long ride home, so they would need something to keep them busy.  Ben always had cigarettes, and Brandon always had weed.  It was a good friendship.  It was fun to have Bethany along too – her parents were fucking annoying and never let her do anything.  This was good for her.  Brandon lit up and made sure he and Ben were on their way to feeling really good.

Bethany was in the backseat.  She was smoking cigarettes, but Ben and Brandon knew better than to offer her weed.  No way she would ever do it.  That was the thing with Bethany.  She was so inexperienced.  And he knew she wanted it, wanted him.  He had known it forever, but just couldn’t act on it.  She was a good friend, a long-time friend.  But there were so many hot girls that wanted him, and who knew what they were doing, that Brandon always shot-down Bethany’s feelings before she even made them known.  That didn’t mean he didn’t flirt with her.  He kissed her after games, and smacked her ass in the hallway.  If they had a class together, he would sit by her and pass her dirty notes.  He was just having fun, though.  It was never serious.

After a while, Brandon and Ben were super fucked up.  Ben was driving around the windy backroads of their small, mountainous county, and Brandon was enjoying the moment.  The three of them were having silly conversations, but at one point, Brandon said something that must have pissed Bethany off.  “Fuck you,” she said to him from the backseat.

“You would never fuck me, B,”  laughed Brandon.  But she objected.  She was a little more assertive than usual.  He liked seeing this side of her – it was good for her to get out of her parents’ iron rule.  Ben joined the verbal sparring and said, “Ok Bethany, if you would really fuck Brandon, prove it.  Right now.”

And she did.

Ben pulled the car over, and Brandon climbed in the back seat.  If she was down to have sex, why not?  He knew she was a virgin, so he knew she was clean.  And if he had the chance the take her v-card, good for him.  Ben pulled back on to the road and started driving around.  He turned Nelly’s Country Grammar up loudly enough so that he didn’t have to hear what was going on in the back seat.  His only job was to drive around long enough for them to finish, and for B to get her pants back on. After all, this wasn’t his first drive-around with Brandon and a girl in the car.

Brandon got on top of Bethany as gracefully as he could; it wasn’t easy in a 2-door Cavalier.  He started kissing her – he knew this was what she wanted him to do.  After a minute or two she said, “I’m scared.  I’ve never done this before.”  Brandon had a moment of hesitation.  Was this ok?  Should he be doing this?  But already hard, he knew he was going to continue.  He whispered words of assurance.  “It’s going to be just fine.  Move with me, don’t just lay there.  You’re going to be good at this.”  That wasn’t a lie – he did think she would be good.  And she was…for her first time in the backseat of a 2-door car.  Brandon was so high that it took awhile – he didn’t know how long, but at some point Ben told them to hurry  up, they were almost back at B’s house.  Brandon finished quickly and Bethany pulled up her jeans just as they pulled into her parents’ driveway.  “Um, thanks,” she said.  She looked at Brandon with a lingering glance, and he knew what she wanted.  He kissed her and told her to have a good night.  Bethany went in her house, and Ben pulled out of the driveway.  “Dude, how was it?” Ben asked Brandon as they started to smoke another blunt.

“Good I guess,” replied Brandon.  He was much more interested in getting high again.

“What kind of panties does B wear?  I can’t tell with her.”

Brandon looked up, distracted. “Panties?  I didn’t even look.  Who gives a fuck?  Here, take a hit of this.”

I lost my virginity in ugly underwear. Con’t…

Where did I leave off in yesterday’s Weekly Writing Challenge post? Ah yes, eating Oreos and watching vampire flicks wayyy before it was cool for teen girls to watch vampire flicks.

The day after Oreo-Fest 2000, I had migrated from Alyssa’s couch to my family’s couch. We were still on winter break, so I was busy being bored. Then, the phone call came that changed my life. It was my friend Ben calling to see if I wanted to ride with him to our friend Brandon’s basketball game. Yes. I had been friends with both guys forever, and harbored a long-time crush on Brandon.

We go to the game, we watch the game. That’s the boring part. But the ride home…

Let me first paint a picture of Ben’s car for you. A mid-90s, electric blue, 2-door Chevy Cavalier. The inside is a mess. Empty cigarette packs, rolling papers, soda bottles and Burger King wrappers littered the front and back. I thought I was in heaven. Oh right, and there’s no rear view mirror. Hmm.

So we are on the way home from the game, about an hour ride, and the guys an I are chain-smoking Newports and blasting Nelly’s Country Grammar. The guys were also smoking weed, but not me. They were dropping me off at home and my mom and dad were the type of parents that would not find it amusing if their 16 year old daughter came home high after spending the day with the town “hoodlums,” as my mom called them.

I was sitting in the back seat, and Brandon up front with Ben. I’m not quite sure what happened, but at some point in our conversation, I said “fuck you” to Brandon. He turned around.

“You would never,” he said.

Wanting to be badass and flirtatious, I responded, “How do you know? You’ve never tried.”

At this point Ben entered the conversation. “Yea right, B. You would never fuck Brandon.” They laughed, and I knew it was because they knew how naive, inexperienced, and sheltered I had been. This irritated the shit out of me.

The back and forth continued for a minute until Ben finally said, “Ok. Prove it. Have sex with Brandon right now.”

So I did.

Ben pulled the car over and Brandon hopped into the back seat with me. Then Ben started driving again. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I lost my virginity in the back seat of a 2 door car while someone else was driving. Classy, I know. I don’t remember how it felt physically. I do remember telling Brandon I didn’t know what I was doing, and he re-assured me and told me to “…move around. Don’t just lay there like a dead fish and you’ll be fine.” I also remember my underwear. They were too big, and too high-cut, and an ugly bright purple color. I was mortified when Brandon helped me wriggle out of my jeans and saw them. There was no way to hide them – we were in the back seat of a 2 door car!

I am convinced to this day that it was because of my ugly underwear that I never had sex with Brandon again. Unfortunately, at the time I was so devastated that I had been a one-ride stand for Brandon, that all I could do was blame myself. 14 years later though, I know better. It wasn’t me. It was those God damned underwear.

Those Underwear: What Brandon was REALLY Thinking

I lost my virginity in ugly underwear.

For this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge, I decided to start with some non-fiction. Monday is a little to early in the week for me to think critically about what others are feeling. I’ll get there by Wednesday. Instead, I’m going to hop in the phone booth with Rufus and travel back to 2000 and re-think my first life-altering event…losing my virginity.

Here we go. (This may have to be a 2-parter…not sure a Monday night is good for this one, either…)

The year is 2000, and I am 16 years old. After we all made it through Y2K just fine, my best friend Alyssa and I decided that we had to make this year a big one. An important one. An unforgettable one. We made a pact that no matter what, we would lose our virginities before the year was out. Come hell or high water, we would not be cursed with wretched hymens anymore.

Fast forward to December 26, 2000. No sex.


Way behind schedule, Alyssa and I accepted that we would enter 2001 just as we had 2000…eating Oreos and watching horror movies. Definitely not having sex.

And just as I anticipated, I’m too tired to finish this tonight, so the grand climax will have to come tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

All puns intended.

Dogs Without Leashes

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts

Yesterday I failed to make time to post.  My work day was crazy (in a good way), and I rushed home to get to an acupuncture appointment, during which I accidentally shifted my left leg and thought I would be paralyzed for life.  Who knew an out-of-place acupuncture needle could be so intense?!  Anyway, I ate lunch yesterday with 4 of my favorite teachers.  I find it really easy to silo myself at school.  When I make the time to eat with colleagues, I remember that I am not the only one trying to navigate the world of education. We laugh at silly things our students say, catch up on the latest district gossip, and satisfy our craving to let the f-bomb fly. Overall, a very sweet Friday lunch.

Today’s lunch takes the cake though.  My wife and I took Atticus, our dog, to the Kingston Point Dog Park.  This is one of my favorite weekend outings, and today it was just perfect.  I woke up feeling some serious anxiety, but after an hour of watching Atticus run around with his friend Oliver, I felt like a different person.  I was reminded of a Mary Oliver poem that I love so much, titled If You Are Holding This Book:

You may not agree, you may not care, but
if you are holding this book you should know
that of all the sights I love in this world—
and there are plenty—very near the top of
the list is this one: dogs without leashes.

from Mary Oliver’s collection, Dog Songs

Here is Atticus, reminding me that sometimes we just need to take a breath and enjoy being off the leash.Image 



Lunchtime thoughts

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts

I was able to have another quiet lunch today.  This week’s crazy school schedule is allowing some serious quiet time during my “free” periods (they’re never really free) and lunch. As part of the change to 2014, I committed to taking better care of my health – physical, emotional, and mental. Part of this means that when I have a quiet moment, I take the quiet moment.  My lunch period today was a quiet moment.  

I tried to let my mind wander a bit while I enjoyed my slightly-less-than-a-week-old jambalaya, but lately I find it becoming more and more difficult to let my thoughts flow freely.  I’m so busy concentrating on being all of my identities – teacher, wife, foster mother, pet-owner, board member, club advisor, etc, etc, etc – that I don’t know what moment I’m living in when a moment comes along.  Even now, as I sit down to write some thoughts about my lunch, I find myself bogged down by questions of perspective.  “Is this me in serious teacher mode? Or trying-to-be-funny mode? Maybe I should write from the perspective of a wife right now, or how about an acupuncture patient?”  Is there ever a time when we don’t wear a “hat”?

I would love some outside perspective about this.  How can we drop our various identities and be truly genuine – truly in a moment – without questioning who we are?

Thoughts?  Thanks.