Summer Vacation Sucks

Sorry for the delay in writing, someone texted me “K” and I was busy plotting their demise.

For being unemployed and receiving (what feels like) continuous “thanks, but no thanks” emails from NUMEROUS companies — seriously, I couldn’t even get a job at Target for Christ’s sake; they told me I’m over-qualified, the bastards — I have been leading a pretty busy life. Granted, most of my time is spent doing family activities, running any sort of errands I can think of and spending a bunch of time with my best friend as well as reconnecting with old friends, meeting their significant others and, in some cases, their children.

It’s odd, this not making money and living with your parents thing. I’m 26 and feel like I just graduated high school. I feel like I’m on summer vacation and just waiting for my real life to begin. Except for that sense of responsibility gnawing at me from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed; the nausea that settles in the bottom of my stomach as I watch my savings dwindle each month as I pay my bills; the lump in my throat that swells up every time I get a rejection email from a possible employer; the extra weight I feel on my body as I am forced to walk around with pants on because I no longer live by myself.

 

I have a little something something in the works for another in-depth Disney blog, check back soon!

Snapped

I went to Chipotle for dinner tonight because I deserve it … and it’s a day that ends in “y”. The line isn’t too long, my stomach isn’t so empty that it’s eating itself and the place isn’t stuffy. All in all, these are ideal burrito-anticipating conditions. In front of me is a hipster/grunge couple(?). The girl has a few dreads that look like they haven’t seen a wash in years and the guy … THIS GUY. Ugh. White undershirt, tight jeans, sidewise hat, shitty attitude about life in general (every sentence he completed was filled with an air of “uhh, my life has no meeeeeaning, wah wah, doom and gloom”) and fake taper plugs in his ears. For those of who you don’t know me: I have REAL plugs in my ears; I’ve gauged them to a size 2. It’s not huge, but when I wear my hollow ones, you can see through my ear. Fake plugs bother me. Not in a you’re-such-a-pussy-I’m-so-awesome kind of way, just in a it’s-not-that-hard-to-gauge-them-take-it-out-if-you-don’t-like-it-they’ll-go-back-to-normal-I-promise kind of way. Either way, I wasn’t judging (too hard, anyway), just minding my own business, waiting for a burrito and watching Sushi stare me down from the jeep when I FELT HER DREAD LOCKS TOUCH MY ARM!! I freaked out. Hardcore. Dreads gross me out and the fact that her human pathogen-growing hairdo touched me made my skin crawl. I recovered and took a slight step backward so it wouldn’t happen again.

 

We went through the ordering process and while the cashier was ringing them up, the girl at the end of the line was finishing up my burrito.

“Anything else?”

“Yeah, toss some lettuce on there. Try to make it look healthy.”

“Haha, sure thing, let’s give it some green illusion.”

 

THEN the hipster guy leans over, while looking at my burrito and says, “Lettuce isn’t healthy, it retains water in your body so you should always replace it with spinach or not get it at all,” he FINALLY looks at me, “just so you know.”

 

I snapped and my brain-to-mouth filter, that’s been on vacation or the last 26 years, wasn’t there to keep the tongue lashing at bay. I replied with “I’ll start following your unsolicited dieting advice when you can commit to something as simple as gauging your ears and wearing jeans that fit, but thanks for your opinion.”

They paid and left without another word, the cashier had the biggest grin on his face when he asked “anything else?” and proceeded to give me a fountain drink on the house. BOOYAH.

Dating Disasters

I attract everything I am not attracted to. I had a date tonight, the first one since the great relationship explosion of 2014. He seemed like a nice guy, smart, conversationally capable, handsome, employed, blah blah blah. The coffee was nice, the conversation was sparkling, the walk was calming, the kiss … left me wanting. And not in the good way. It was sloppy, it was desperate, it just wasn’t what I wanted. Then mofo got handsy. And wouldn’t let me get in my car to leave. Boy almost got a knee full of Six Shooter in his crotch. Making me raise my voice to tell you to STOP IT does not bode well for a second date.

 

I got home and relayed the conversation to my parents, who were on my side of the issue. Later, I was talking with Dad about men are stupid (he apologized on behalf of all men), then told me that I was being too general. “BOYS are stupid, MEN are okay … but just to be safe, don’t trust them. Don’t date them or kiss them or even look at them.” Oh, daddy-o, how I love you.

 

While I try to be patient, I am getting a little miffed that my partner in crime has not presented himself. I’ve dated plenty of duds, where is my stud?? Why can’t I find a tall, decent looking, smart, kind, educated, outdoorsy alpha male with good credit and nice teeth? WHERE ARE THEY HIDING??

 

Oh well, back to swimming in the dating pool and trying not to be grossed out by all the old guys in speedos.

 

 

Fairly Awkward

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure is out there!

A rare photo from my childhood

 

Well, this is it! The goodbyes have been said, the Jeep’s tank is full, the bags are packed and I am ready to head out. I am going to miss you, Missoulians. It has been a wild ride these past six years full of trespassing, new friends, heartache, triumph, milestones, degrees, surgeries, rafting trips and bonfires. I have met some really amazing people … and some really not-so-awesome folk. Since moving to Montana, I’ve been fired for the first time, learned how to ride a motorcycle, earned a BA, adopted a dog, had my first concussion, made three documentaries, earned three Emmy awards and really discovered who I am and who I want to be. There is no way to know what my future holds, but I am excited to see what comes next!

Egg On Your Face

I have been wanting to write this particular post for two weeks now, but I kept making excuses for not doing it. I didn’t have time, I couldn’t find the right words, I wasn’t in the right mood, blah blah blah. Truth is, I was terrified. I am scared to be this real with people, to let it all out, my life flayed open for all to judge. But hey, that’s the purpose of this blog … *deep breath* so here goes:

I was raised in a Christian household. For as long as I can remember, we attended a Southern Baptist church in Southern California. It was a good place to raise a kid, there were good families with similar aged kids that I grew up alongside. I learned bible verses, went to church camps, participated in biblical trivia battles and the AWANA Olympics and through it all I never really believed. I was baptized at the age of 6 and went through all the motions; I knew what I supposed to do on Sundays, what I was supposed to say, but I never put my heart into it.

Recently, I have had a change of heart, I started listening to a little voice in the back of my mind. It started as a whisper and has escalated into a roar. I’m not sure when I started listening, but I am certain that it has been calling me for quite sometime. Things in my life started to change, subtly at first, then I started to feel ways about stuff, like an adult. The night I told my boyfriend, whom I had been building a life with for a year, that I couldn’t marry him someday if he wasn’t a  Christian was  a huge turning point in my life. He reacted in the most volatile manner imaginable. He disappeared for a night (we’re neighbors) and when he returned, he wouldn’t look at me, barely acknowledged my presence and then said some of the most hurtful things that have ever been directed at me. He fucked with my head and broke my heart (and our relationship) into a million pieces. Granted, there were a myriad of red flags that I willfully ignored (anger issues, a drinking problem, lying), but my returning to faith and requiring that belief in a partner was the straw to break the camel’s back. I am in no way suggesting that all the fault lies on him, I have my faults as well. Just as it takes two people to make a relationship, it takes two people to break it.

The bible tells us not to be unequally yoked. I like the New Living Translation best: “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

What the bible doesn’t tell you about is the gut-wrenching pain that comes with finding the truth of this verse the hard way. It doesn’t prepare you for the sleepless nights, the loss of appetite, the stomach aches, the exhaustion brought on by hours of crying, the dreams where everything is okay and you wake up to find your world in pieces around you leaving you to experience the heartbreak anew. It’s been two weeks since that night and while I am stronger now, while I know I made the right decision, I need to remind myself daily that I am on the right track.

In the days following the break up, I was on a roller coaster of emotions that drained me, scared me, almost broke me. I clung to Sushi to keep me sane, keep me focused, keep me putting one foot in front of the other and rebuild our routine. Sunday night, four days into the aftermath, my heart broke. I had been crying and trying to find my way out of the depression when something inside me clicked. I sat on my couch, placed my hand on the living room wall (the wall that he and I share in the apartment complex) and prayed. I prayed for God to harden my heart against this man, not to make me hate him, but to make me remember why it is that God felt the need to distance my heart in the first place. I prayed for my ex, that he be granted peace and that he find it in him to be a better man, the man I know he is capable of being. Then, I slid to the floor and silently cried out to God, asking him to use me as the vessel he intends, asking him what I am to learn from this heartache, what am I supposed to gain from this suffering. I needed answers and those first few nights all I wanted was for the man next door to hold me and tell me everything was going to be okay. Seeing as how he’s the reason everything was broken, that was never going to happen.

Something clicked with me that night. I didn’t need the man next door, I need the Man Upstairs. I have always needed Him. For the first time in my life, I have decided to take my faith seriously. It’s something that is completely new to me, it’s scary, frustrating and, at times, feels really cheesy. I’ve been reading a book called “The Single Woman” by Mandy Hale and it has helped smooth out the rocky ride. It talks about finding your worth inside of yourself, with your Creator and not in the eyes of any man.

What I am about to share with you, I have only shared with one other person: the reason why I stayed with him for so long …

I stayed with Nick for so long because I wanted to be wanted, for once. I haven’t had much luck in the dating world and here was this handsome, tall, funny guy who was into me, REALLY into me. Then he started talking marriage and my heart leaped at the chance to be so loved by one man for the rest of my life. I let my crushing desire to not spend my life alone cloud my judgement and blind me from what I needed to see. I am TERRIFIED that I won’t find love, because I am not the girl that guys go after. I’m not the prom queen, the size 3, the hot one, etc. I am taller than most people I know, I am outspoken, I am quirky and I can be pretty loud.

I stayed with him when I should have left because I don’t think that I can be worthy of anyone’s real love. And what he told me the night that it all came crashing down(that he had slept with someone else the night before)  just solidified that in my mind. I am not the girl that men seek out and I am not enough for them to stay. I did EVERYTHING for him, I gave him EVERYTHING and ALL of me and it just. wasn’t. enough.

I can’t keep pouring my heart and soul into every person I date or I want have anything left, but I don’t want to become cold and bitter and my greatest fear is still ending up alone, one way or another: whether I have been destroyed and I am a husk of the person I once was or I become callus to feeling anything but fear and mistrust.

And it was through this conversation that I hit upon an idea. An amazing, wonderful, uplifting idea. I am starting a second blog (I will still keep this one going) to foster a 365 photography project. No matter what, each day I am going to take a “selfie”, most likely with Sushi involved, even if I feel fat or ugly or just not photogenic. Then I’ll post it on the blog with a little blurb. I want girls, and grown women, to know that you have to love yourself first. I don’t want anyone I know, and even those I don’t, to feel like I do now. Finding your way in this world is a tough experience, so no one should have to go it alone. Find my daily photo project HERE.

For those of with a significant other, make sure you’re not taking them for granted and for those of you who are fellow soldiers in the dating war, know that you are not alone, that we’re all in this together and it sucks. You’re not going to meet the perfect person, they just don’t exist. However, you ARE going to find someone who compliments you, not completes you. If someone tells you that you’re “too picky” tell them thank you. The standards you set determine the life you get; don’t EVER settle for something that you don’t feel is right, listen to your intuition and trust your gut. You deserve the best.

balls

In Progress

Well, some unfortunate things have happened since I last updated this.

My first Christmas without both grandmothers (and I spent it away from family). The one year anniversary of my beloved Grandmother Rose’s passing. My best friend and her fella parted ways (on good terms, but it still hurts).

Most heartbreaking: a break up with the fella I have been seeing for a year. It was abrupt, it was hurtful and it was scarring. I thought he was the one and I was blinded by my love for him; I fell hard and fast when I met him and I allowed my desire to not be alone for the rest of my life to lie to me that everything was okay. I have a post coming, but there are still some things I need to work out within my head before I can get it all down on paper (or whatever the internet equivalent of paper is … screen?). So for now, I shall leave you with this little ditty that I dance to as often as possible.

 

 

There ARE blue skies ahead.

 

I’ve been cooking up a little photography project to not necessarily hone my skills, but to celebrate my life, and the lives of all of us who live with imperfections. We’ll see where it takes me!

So help me, I will turn this apartment around!

Sushi’s a pretty kick ass dog. She likes to sleep in, she likes to cuddle, she likes to hike and ride the motorcycle and be a goofball. She gets along well with just about everyone she meets (if Sushi doesn’t like you, I don’t like you, simple as that. She’s an extremely good judge of character), plays nice with babies and other animals. The only thing she takes issue with other dogs that have to get all up in her grill. She doesn’t like that at all and she isn’t afraid to make it known.

Enter Mr. Winston Mallory, our furry house guest for the weekend.

Chill, Winston.

Winston is a pure breed Blue Heeler, a cattle dog, who likes to herd just about anyone and anything. He also has an OBSESSION with the extra folds of skin on Sushi’s neck. He is constantly trying to sniff them and/or lick her teeth. And she loves it! … Just kidding. She freaking hates it. And he tries to do it ALL. THE. TIME. So much so that “stop touching her”, “just leave each other alone” and “you asked for that one” became the soundtrack to my life Friday night. After awhile, they both calmed down and Princess Sushi tolerated the presence of the “intruder”.

Grrrr Bah Humbug

Then came the cuddle puddles! Winston isn’t allowed on the bed at his house, but when he visits Auntie Six Shooter, he’s allowed to get up there with Sushi and I. Sushi was being her usual bitchy, territorial self for awhile, but then seemed to resign to the fact that Winston wasn’t going anywhere soon and gave in. I think the belly rubs helped sway her.

Puddle o' Cuddles

I love being able to help out friends like this, seeing as how they watch my dog from time to time. It also makes me appreciate Sushi all the more. And I know that after all is said and done, she REALLY REALLY likes being an only dog.

Snuggles!

I seeee you

Catch Up!

Apologies for the delay in posting a post, but things have been a bit hectic in my life and quite frankly, I haven’t been in too good of a mood to write anything.

Towards the beginning of October, I finally gave in to the warning signs of extreme pain my left knee and made an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. Three days later, I had an MRI and three days after that I had a date for surgery #6. WELL, CRAP. That put a wrench in my plans, for sure. It wasn’t so much the surgery that had me bummed out, I mean, I wasn’t excited at the prospect of yet another surgery on my knee, but the consultation with the doctor is what really had, fuck, it still HAS me down in the dumps.

A little back story: In 2004, my sophomore year of high school, after an amazing season on the HS basketball team and about halfway through track season, I was playing basketball in P.E. I had the ball and was about to throw it all the way down court, I looked down to see if I had stopped walking before I chucked the ball and I watched my left knee bend, then straighten AND KEEP BENDING BACKWARDS. Then it snapped back forward and I fell to the ground, unable to put weight on it. I had torn my ACL in a really bad way. When they opened me up for surgery, they found that it was disintegrated and I had to have my leg locked straight for 3 months. When it was time for physical therapy, I literally had to relearn how to walk — scariest thing I have ever done. That was the beginning of the end for my left knee.

In 2005, I tore the cadaver ACL they had placed in my leg because I literally tried to run before I had finished learning how to walk. I ripped up some cartilage in there too.

In 2009, I slipped in the dish pit in the kitchen that I worked in at the time and tore my lateral (inside of the knee) meniscus (the spongy cushion the keeps your leg bones from grinding against each other). The doctor sewed it back together for me.

In 2011, I was on a first date with a fella (who I never saw again) walking to get some coffee and I kicked at a piece of trash on the sidewalk and tore my meniscus again, this time severely enough to have it partially removed.

In 2012, my body decided it was done having a dead person’s tendon inside of it and rejected the cadaver ACL. So the doctor replaced it with some of my own tendons because apparently your body makes spare parts(?). I still don’t understand that one, but hey, I can walk so I’ll run with it. (Ha! See what I did there? So clever.)

When I went in to talk to the doctor, he told me that my knee is degenerating. It’s rotting from the inside. Not because of a virus or a single injury, but just … because. Which is terrifying. And extremely depressing. I played basketball for 8 years and now, I haven’t played for 9. I can’t hike for more than 10 miles without limping the next day and my leg gets stiff when cold weather strikes. I have had six knee surgeries in nine years as of December 5th, I am 26 years old. TWENTY. FREAKING. SIX. And there are more surgeries in my future. Maybe not next year, maybe not the year after that, but the possibility is always there, always looming. Eventually, I will have to have a total knee replacement, hopefully after I turn 35 or so, that’d be nice.

At my post op appointment, the doc and I were going over the pictures he took while inside my knee and he showed me all the bone spurs he shaved down and all the scar tissue they scraped off of my ligaments, tendons and bone. He also showed me that my ACL is fraying. He’s hoping that the aggressive physical therapy I am currently undergoing will help me out enough that I won’t need another surgery “for 2-3 years”, but he has told me to prepare myself for that to not happen.

That’s why I haven’t felt like writing. Well, that and all the drugs I’ve been on since they opened me up. Such wonderful drugs.

On the plus side, my mother had just officially retired and came up to live with me for 3 weeks to help me out. It was the first time in 6 years that I got to spend Thanksgiving and my birthday with family (surgery was the day before Thanksgiving and my birthday was a week later). And there were really good drugs, did  I mention that?

 

 

Post Surgery Snuggles Sweet Iodine Tan

To The Rescue!

Two years ago, on September 25th, I opened my home and my heart to a snuggly, fuzzy, snorty, flatulent little animal named Sushi.

When I moved to Montana in 2008, I promised myself that when I finished school, I would look into adopting a dog. My mom has allergies so we never had a dog when I was kid (we had turtles and hamsters … just not quite the same). I knew that I wanted to adopt a pet from a shelter; I wanted to give an abandoned, lonely, down-on-their-luck pup a new forever home. However, I had a problem. The apartment building I was living in at the time had a strict ‘no pets’ policy and every shelter in town wants a landlord’s signed consent before they will let you adopt.

I had had a particularly stressful day at work, followed by a long day at school and when I got home, something made me pick up the laptop and peruse craigslist looking for a dog. I came across an ad, advertising a playful Puggle (pug and beagle mix) that was in need of a good home. There was a fuzzy picture of the blondie and I figured it couldn’t hurt to drive the hour outside of town to take a look. I hopped in the Jeep, picked up my good friend Cody and headed out to meet, though I didn’t know it at the time, the love of my life.

The story the woman had painted for me was a prettier picture than the truth. She had explained to me that she, her son and Sushi had moved here from Florida a few weeks ago and she is having a hard time finding a place she can afford that will accept pets. She is currently staying with her father, who is allergic to the dog, so Sushi gets to stay outside. All the time. In the hot sun. Tied to a tree. When I got there to see her, she had at some point drank all the water out of her bowl (or it evaporated) and the dish was bone dry. She was scrunched up in the only bit of shade the tree afforded her. When the woman released her from the leash, she ran across the yard to do her business, then ran straight back … into my arms. She didn’t try to jump up on me or lick my face and chew on my shoes, she just nuzzled into my legs and whined until I pet her.

I had already made up my mind that this was my dog. She was coming home with me and that’s that. THEN the woman’s son came home, he couldn’t be more than 9 years old, and the way he treated Sushi … I have never had a stronger urge to punch a child. He threw his toys at her face, tried to shove her into a pond, dragged her around by her collar. Much to my amazement, Sushi tolerated all of it. Didn’t snap or snarl or growl, didn’t try to run away, didn’t even yelp. I cut our conversation short, handed the woman her “re-homing fee”, told her son to stop abusing MY dog and called to Sushi. She hopped right into my car and into my life and we’ve both been the better for it.

Homecoming!

Look at her. 3.5 years old, happy as can be and SO skinny! You can see her spine and all of her ribs. When I would walk her or take her to the dog park, people would look at me like I was the abuser–not the rescuer.

I wasted no time in bringing her along on all my adventures, taking her to edit my schoolwork, bringing her grocery shopping, taking her on drives, hikes, bike rides, doggie dates, etc. It got to the point where I couldn’t stand to leave her home. We quickly became co-dependent; I would take her to the coffee shop down the street and leave her with my friend while I got drinks, I’d come back outside to a report that she wouldn’t stop whining until she could see me again.

There is nothing more gratifying than coming home to her after a long day; she is ALWAYS excited to see me. She is a snuggler by nature and LOVES to sleep in, she puts up with my photography projects, is always ready to hike … or crawl back under the covers. She is an incredibly quick learner and I love her to pieces. Even my boyfriend understands that he comes in second place in my heart; she and I have formed a bond I never knew could exist.

She’s a good mover.

Moving Day

She’s a fantastic adventure buddy.

Adventures! More Hiking Pirates For Life

She’s always there when you need her. (Bonus: This is my FAVORITE picture of my Dad and my dog. He came up to MT to stay with me for 6 weeks when I had knee surgery #5 last year; they were immediately best friends.)

Dad and the Dog Surgery Snuggles

She got to experience snow for the first time two winters ago. She thinks it’s a treat and loves it when someone lobs snowballs for her to chase and devour.

Winter Fun

She likes to be with me at ALL times. As a matter of fact, she is curled up on the couch with me as I write this, snoring away.

Awkward

She’s naturally photogenic.

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Have I mentioned her need to be with me …

ALL

IMG_2976

THE

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TIME

Too Close

While I may have rescued Sushi from her neglecting family, I didn’t realize until later just how much she rescued me. I am in a much happier, calmer place than I was two years ago. Sometimes, I would want to spend the whole day in bed and just ignore the world. There were entire weekends when I didn’t even go outside. Granted, there are still some days we stay in the house lounging in pajamas all day, but when I wake to find myself using her butt for a pillow or there’s a paw in my face, or she has once again stolen most of the blankets, I can’t help but smile. She gives my life meaning each morning. She motivates me to keep my house clean, to be active and healthy. She reminds me to be relaxed and easygoing, to take time out to play and time in to recharge. If I didn’t have her to cuddle up to at night, to hold when I’m sad, to talk to when I’m alone … she has done, and is still doing, great things for me.

Two years ago may have been the only time in my life that driving to Corvallis was a good idea. I went out there offering a good home and big heart and got so much more.

She doesn’t come without baggage, though. In the way she shies from your touch if you reach down towards her too fast, it is evident that she has been beaten/had things thrown at her. In the way that she winces and yelps when anyone other than me plays with her ears too long or too roughly, it is evident that she is used to having them tugged on violently and often.  And yet, she runs up to strangers, loves to be loved, is constantly finding a lap to sit on or a car to jump. If this little dog, who has gone through so much, can forgive and forget, why can’t I?

Puppy Love IMG_2996

Banana Full of Lies

LIES

Rumor is afoot that the town I live in is slated to get not one, but TWO Sonic restaurants.

THIS IS NOT OKAY.

The ONE and only time I have ever visited a Sonic was one of the single worst experiences of my life. I had my hopes and dreams dashed upon the rocks of reality and was forced to swallow a lie of epic proportions. Okay, so maybe the lie was actually a banana and maybe I didn’t swallow it so much as spit it out in the parking lot. Come hither and heed my warning!

Way back in the golden age of 2009, I made a mistake – or rather, a string of mistakes. The first one being the idiot I was dating at the time. It was closely followed by the mistake of asking him to come to California with my best friends and I to meet my family at Christmas. We decided to rent a car, since it was cheaper than four plane tickets and awaaaaaay we went! We rotated seats, shuffling between driver, shotgun and bunny watcher (did I forget to mention that we brought a caged rabbit with us? Surprisingly, that decision didn’t make the list of mistakes like I thought it would. And I’m not just saying that because her owner reads this blog; having Buns along was a real comfort).

At first, the trip was going pretty well. Spirits were good, hopes were high, tempers were low and patience was in good supply … much like the beginning of every game of Oregon Trail ever played. And we all know how well those turned out, but I digress. This story isn’t about the trip so much as it is about an act of malicious deceit. (Suffice to say that we all made it alive and no one needed salt rubbed in their wounds.)

We traveled about halfway and checked into a modest little hotel that had comfy beds and clean towels. The mistake I dated and I wanted some food, so we took off on our own side adventure and found the main street of Nowhere, UT and sized up our options. I’m not a fan of fast food, although I will admit I have a weakness where Taco Bell is concerned when I’m feeling extra lazy, so I wasn’t too happy with any of the available choices. At this point, I was ready to go to bed hungry and just stop at an Albertson’s the next day to get something. Seeing my utter lack of interest in any place, Mistake preyed upon my extreme hunger and suggested Sonic. He talked it up so much, saying he loved to eat there when he lived in New Mexico. Which, honestly, should have been my first clue; no one likes living in New Mexico. So I relented and chose to give it a try.

We pull up to the menu board and … I want none of it. It doesn’t sound good. At all. Maybe if I had been with someone else. Maybe if it wasn’t 10:30pm. Maybe if everything wasn’t smothered in either chili or fudge sauce, things could have been different. Just maybe. I’ll never know. Then I saw it. Way off too the right hand side, toward the bottom: Banana $1. It felt like a gift from the food gods. “Don’t go hungry,” they said. “Here is an delicious, nutritious snack to get you through until you can find an open grocery store!” I was so excited! Not just because it wasn’t smothered in something, but because it was a BANANA. At a DRIVE THRU. How many times have you gone through a drive thru and gotten a banana?! As those of you who know me know that I get over excited about the little things, you could imagine how tickled I was at the prospect of ordering a banana. I clapped my hands like a small child who meets Santa for the first time and bounced up and down in my seat. Seriously. There were witnesses. We go through the long process of ordering what Mistake wants and when the disembodied voice asked “Anything else?” I lost control and yelled: BANANAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Nothing but static answered me. Then, in excruciating slow motion, is appeared on the menu screen. We drove around, paid for our food and took the bounty back to the hotel room, with me squirming in the driver’s seat the whole way. I practically tore into the bag as soon as we got in the room, loudly exclaiming my good fortune to my traveling companions.

If I were a man, I would say:

                Fun Fact: I like my bananas like I like my women, tender and of age. Not bruised, but not firm.

This banana looked PERFECT. It smelled PERFECT. I peeled it, my mouth watering, and took a big bite … and then I died a little inside. It was gross. Possibly frozen. If you had told me that it had been picked from a banana tree 5 minutes before I ordered it, then chucked in a bag and passed into my eager hands, I would have called you a liar. I would have said that it had been plucked 30 seconds before it was given to me. The outside was the right color of yellow tinged with the slight browning that comes with age. I was crushed. I started to question all of my choices in life. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to say. Everyone was staring at me. I quietly got up, walked out the door and spit the banana into the bushes. Then I calmly went back inside, holding back the tears as best I could and … made everyone else try the nasty banana. When we were all in agreement that it was gross, I threw it away. In the outside trash. Staying in the room was too good of a fate for it. When Mistake suggested that I leave it in the fridge over night to see if it would ripen up, I almost clawed his eyes out. How could he not understand? How could he suggest such a thing? How could I have been so foolish as to think that a drive thru banana would be able to serve my needs?

Nothing made sense anymore. I didn’t talk again until the next day, when I say a Chipotle and screamed out its name, effectively scaring the shit out of everyone else in the vehicle. I found solace in that sweet burrito’s embrace. I was made whole again by the marinated chicken and cilantro lime rice. Life made sense, in fact, I began to see things clearly for the first time in a long time. And I broke up with Mistake shortly after returning to Montana.