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Spring.

Whitney —  June 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

“Seasons of life” always struck me as a bizarre phrase. How do you know it’s a season, and how do you know when it’s changed? Do you see the metaphorical leaves changing colors? Do you watch the flowers bloom? Do you feel the heat? The cold? And regardless, isn’t it better and less pretentious and less, I don’t know, Biblical to just call them phases?

***

In mid-February, I sent this text message: “I promise you, winter is almost over.” I meant it literally. Technically, spring was a month away, but in Georgia we were in the final couple weeks of legitimate cold, and an obnoxiously-timed ice storm was potentially getting in the way of plans and progress. But more importantly, I meant it symbolically. This phase – this season – of tremendous pain and change and uncertainty was almost over. He was one morning in court away from some stability again. From a simple answer, even if it wasn’t the one he’d counted on for the last seven years. And for maybe the first time, I saw the literal and the symbolic align, and the “season of life” thing made more sense.

***

A couple weeks ago, I was practicing, as I do most mornings. I was in the middle of the standing sequence, which opens each practice, and a thought that had trickled into my brain the night before would not leave me alone. It felt a little like God was (gently) knocking me on the head with it. Over and over. And for the first time, I stopped practicing to open my journal and write:

“I think it’s time to let go. I’m scared of it. Part of me wants to hold on just so I can keep scrolling through moments in my head. But for the time being – for this moment, this new season – I have to release this grip. I have to wish you peace and love and light and growth and let my fingers and shoulders relax in surrender and submission and faith and grace. I want to remember all of it. I still have so many questions. So many loose ends. But I’m setting you free. I’m setting me free, too. I don’t know what will happen. With anything, really. But I’m going to be ok. Spring is almost over.”

And so, as we start summer, as I let go, I think it’s time to talk about spring. Continue Reading…

Days like today.

Jacklyn —  March 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

That first set of really great warm days after a long cold winter are so wonderfully appreciated, it makes me feel like I’m not grateful enough for every beautiful day we get.

It’s about 81 degrees outside right now. The sky is the most brilliant blue. And the most exciting thing about today? I’m going to eat ice cream straight from the carton after dinner. On my porch. In shorts. Because I can. I mentioned this to the other ST and she’s going to join me. Life doesn’t get better. I can’t believe how excited I am about ice cream.

I took the dog for a walk around the park right after discussing ice cream flavors. As I was walking by the playground I heard the familiar Pavlovian tune blasting out of the the early 90s scary ass ice cream van. I’ll admit, that silly song always makes me a little bit excited, a little bit nostalgic for the pink bubble gum flavored baseball mitt with the baseball chewing gum stuck to it. As I was passing by on the sidewalk, a little girl comes hauling ass off the climbing thingy and screaming for ice cream. She looked just like me when I was a kid.

And all I could do was smile.

When the magic fades.

Jacklyn —  February 26, 2015 — Leave a comment

I remember standing in my mother’s kitchen, getting ready to travel to New York City for yet another work trip, when I sarcastically said to my father, “I feel like I live there,” and he responded, “Oh, I just assumed you would have tried to move there already.” My stomach flipped when he said those words because:

  1. I had always dreamed of living in New York City but never actually considered moving there.
  2. I couldn’t ever leave my family! That would be nuts. After all, Atlanta was all I’d ever known as an adult.
  3. Everyone knows you need to get paid a cabillon bucks to live there, and I certainly didn’t make that much. How else do you afford to go to those five star restaurants every night? [The answer is happy hour — that’s how you get by on no money and still have a social life.]

This was the day that my whole world changed.

Fast forward nearly two years. I’d been working my ass off to get my condo sold. Unfortunately, the HOA was in a lawsuit against the builder, and nothing was able to get funded because of some shit I can’t remember about lenders not lending to distressed properties. Fine. I had something like eight or nine offers and contracts [no lie] fall through on my house. I won’t go into the details here because it’s really boring. [So boring you’ll probably smash your head on a rock, and I can’t be held responsible for that.] It took well over a year for my condo to sell. Short sale. Yay.

I moved to Hoboken to be with my man on December 31, 2013. Have I mentioned that man is a saint? He put up with the emotional roller coaster of a short sale, and then he flew down on December 30, sicker than a dog, and helped me pack up the last few things in my place and then drove me up to The Big Apple. The move doesn’t matter, so I’ll leave that part out. What matters is that Dave is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met, and he’s more loyal than anyone I ever could have imagined.

When people think of living in NYC, they think of Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, White Collar [#RIP], Friends — all of those shows where the characters have normal jobs yet still somehow seem to afford gorgeous luxury apartments. I knew that wasn’t “real,” but guess what? Even the people who make nearly $200,000 still live in shitbox apartments the size of the closet in my condo. My job paid me well, but it certainly didn’t pay me enough to be able to afford a one-bedroom apartment on my own. It almost didn’t pay me enough to give Dave half the rent money, excluding utilities and everything else that goes along with being an adult. I remember thinking how crazy it was that I was hemorrhaging money when I had almost no social life. When people tell you New York City is expensive, they mean it. And when I say it’s expensive, I’m not only talking about everything it costs to live there. And it doesn’t just cost money — though, dear God, it certainly does that. It’s an emotionally, physically, mentally expensive place to live. It challenges all of your reserves, and before you know it, it can take your sanity.

So here’s my story about giving up a whole lotta shit in order to live my dream in the magical New York City and what happened when that magic faded.  Continue Reading…

It was eighth grade picture day and the first day in a month I had forgotten to say goodbye to Patches. When I arrived home from school that afternoon, I knew exactly what happened as soon as I saw my mother’s face. Patches was a part of the family long before I was, and she was 19 [!] years old when we lost her. Calling it a ‘hard time’ would be a gigantic understatement. It was especially difficult for my mother because Patches was her dog and she spent the most time with her.

It took us a week or two, but somehow my brother and I managed to convince my mother that the best way to honor Patches was to adopt another dog and give it a good home. So we went to PetSmart and saw Liz — a skinny red dog with Dorito shaped ears, one brown eye and one blue eye [just like Patches]. She was adorable, but she was kind of jerk, growling in her crate [again, just like Patches] and nobody wanted to take her out to meet her. Wade and I convinced the sweet man from Big Canoe Animal Rescue to let her out with me while Wade dragged Mom out to meet her. Turns out Liz was a sweetheart and had a ton of energy. We donated $50 for her and took her home.  Continue Reading…

A Note to Graduates

Whitney —  May 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

Eight years after graduating high school and four years after graduating college, it dawns on me that I’m marking my fourth complete year of full-blown adulthood. Except there is no big celebration this time. No finals. No ceremony. No cap. No gown. Instead, there’s just a continuous stream of small tests, small victories, small moments marking my progress as I keep growing.

Still, I’ve learned a lot over the last eight years. [A lot of it the hard way, too.] So, I know these lists are over-done. But I feel compelled to share whatever small pieces of wisdom I’ve gained with those graduating from high school and college and inching their way to this adult school known as the real world.

Continue Reading…

“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” — Agnes Sligh Turnball

IMG_0913 I met Tinkerbell when I was nine. My brother, Michael, and I went with Momma to the feed store [I grew up on a small horse farm], and the store owners had just gotten a Jack Russell puppy. She was mere weeks old, barely bigger than my two hands. Michael and I sprawled on the floor with her and played for hours. I remember it now — still so clearly — and wonder why Mom let us stay that long; surely, she had things to do. But there’s no way I could’ve come between children and their dog either. Momma offered to buy her from the store owners that day.

Tink didn’t actually become our dog until a year later. The owners originally declined Mom’s offer, but their store and home were on a main road, and Tink’s energy couldn’t be contained to a single yard and they were worried about her running in the street. Mom brought her home, and Michael and I were in heaven. We didn’t like her name — she was definitely more Captain Hook than sparkling fairy — but we couldn’t bring ourselves to change it.

Continue Reading…

The Teases Take NYC

us —  February 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

Last weekend, we took this Southern show on the road. Because it was Valentine’s Day. And Jacklyn had work in the New York office (but President’s Day off). And Whitney had yet to explore the city with her stepsister. Because there were free places to stay. And worlds to collide. And people to connect. And bar crawls to attend. Because Jack is moving here, and the Teases will soon be 1/2 NYC.

And mostly because somehow (*somehow*), we had never been in the city at the same time before.

Continue Reading…

A Love Note to NYC

Jacklyn —  December 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

Dear New York,

I love you. I love just about everything about you. I love the fact that the air I’m breathing in is mostly polluted, that people look at me like I’ve got three heads when I ask how they’re doing, I even love riding in cabs that smell like a mixture of tobacco and bile. I love the way you decorate for the holidays, accept cabillions of tourists into your shops on a daily basis and have McDonald’s and Duane Reade on every block. These things took me a while to love, but they are part of what makes you so special. The amount of talent, beauty and ambition you house on this small island is incredible, and I am longing to be a part of it. The bakeries, bodegas, hole-in-the-wall coffee shops and food carts are calling to my heart, and I am salivating at the thought of living around all of these wonderful things. [Or maybe that was the chocolate holiday pop-up shop I walked past this morning?]

Continue Reading…

I can finally strike “be a groupie” from my bucketlist. Take a second and let that one sink in, y’all.

This weekend, I flew to Philadelphia to visit my elementary school heartthrob and see his band play a gig. It was probably one of the most incredible experiences of my life for a number of reasons. First, my second grade love is the lead singer for a truly awesome band [swoon] and the music is actually really good. I love their music and if you’re into a mixing of classic rock riffs with modern pop-rock melodies and a bit of prog in the time changes [his words, not mine] you will probably love them, too. Check them out here: [Spotify] [Interwebs] [Facebook].

The singer and guitarist picked me up from the airport Friday afternoon and I rode with them in a van jam packed with instruments each probably even twice as expensive as my iPad. We hung around all day catching up and I was there for a preshow practice/goof off sesh that lasted the better part of an hour. Part of what was so incredible about hanging out with these two is that I’m not a musician and didn’t experience the same geeking out they did when certain songs came on the radio in the restaurant [Stairway to Heaven, ha] or when they would jokingly swap instruments with each other and try to play the same song. As a web nerd, I get people flipping out over super slick interactions, design and new concepts, but musicians, man they are a different breed. Sometimes I forget I live in such a small bubble and that people can be passionate about things other than the internet, pitbulls and dancing.

Continue Reading…

[This was originally written on Saturday afternoon.]

Sad. Sorry. Confused. Furious. I don’t know how it’s even possible to experience all of these emotions at once yet still feel so incredibly empty inside. My brain has been going non-stop since I got off the phone with my mother. And my father. And my grandmother. And my neighbor. And Whitney.

It’s times like these when I realize how much the people in my life truly mean to me. I’m reminded that I need to tell each and every one of you how much I love and appreciate you, because it could very well be the last time I see your face, hear you laugh, watch you smile, touch you.

Continue Reading…