Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Would a Rose Smell as Sweet?


My grandmother’s name was Ruth Hope. My grandfather called her Ruthie most of the time. She was also known as Mom (by her three youngest children), and her oldest, my Uncle John, called her Mama. By the older grandchildren she was called Grandma, and called Gammy by me and my nearby cousins (the younger grandkids). I’m sure my grandfather had lots of pet names for her—those run deeply through our family—but I don’t know what their private lovers-in-love names were for each other and it doesn’t matter except to say that they we in love and that my grandmother had many names.

My grandfather’s name is John Logan. Called Johnny sometimes by my grandmother, but she usually called him John, and called Johnny by his little sister Grace (Gracie.) We all call him Pappy or Pappy Boy or Pap. He will answer to Grandpa as well, but no one calls him Grandfather.

My mother’s name is Melanie Beth, but she’s goes by Beth and never Melanie except for tax forms and her driver’s license. She is called Mom, but usually Mama and once was called Mommy—until I was about 10 or so. She is called Ga-Ga, Grandma, and Grandma Beth by my daughter—and versions of those words as Little S learns to speak more clearly. In the family, my mom is called Bethie Sue, Taddy Lincoln, Sister Cotton, Suzie, Sissie, and was called Bethie by a Jewish boyfriend named Ron.

My name is Heather Noel. My family nicknames are Heddy, Heddy Lou, Hedvik, Hookie Pookie, HeatherHoney (one word). My other non-family nicknames are H-bomb, H-town, H-dog, Sebring, Seb, and there’s just H. I once had a co-worker that called me “Cap” as a diminutive for Captain—and that was certainly the most fun and sort of random nickname. My husband usually calls me Babe or Baby. But mostly people call me Heather.

My daughter is Sylvia Elizabeth. She is called Sylvia and:
Sylvie
Syl
Stinker
Stink-Binker
Sylvester
Stinker-Pants
Pumpkin Pie
Spicy Spicerson
Saucy
Saucy Sacuerson
Sauce
Short-Stack
Shortie
Small Fry
Little Miss S
S
These were her nicknames when she was little/r:
Barnabus, Stinky, Cuddles the Baby, Monkey, Monkey Face, Monkey Butt,  Big Baby, Baby Head Face, Baby Monster, Little Dentist (thank you AG), Sunshine, Sunshine Face, Sunny Butt, Wild One, Wild Baby Monster

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Window Surfing and Other Truths of My Life


Sometimes the process bests the result.

I enjoy window shopping online. I like looking at pretty stuff, but I’ve very hesitant about pulling out the plastic to buy. Yes, I’m on a budget and no, I don’t really “need” anything right now. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying Anthropologie, and Gilt, and  Zappos, and even Zillow. I like window surfing for houses in cities where I will never live (again) and for shoes that cost $12,000 and for a pretty dress in size 4. The process is fun. The result is pretty much non-existent—(unless you count that I am a very good, conscientious consumer but knowing the prices of things, online, and on sale from a variety of retailers—I know how much value is in a nice house and how much to pay per square foot.)

As long as you don’t get lost in the daydream, there is no harm done. I don’t lust and wish and dream about those shoes. I’m happy in mine and better yet, somehow, for seeing those shoes from all angles, in all colors, on a model’s foot. And in that “do no harm” mentality, it’s true of relationships as well. I did check out of my marriage for a time. Checked out and surfed other possible versions of my life. The process of checking out and looking outside was (a little) dangerous and scary but ultimately soothed my desire for another life. I didn’t buy the alternate life, I just wanted for a moment, to mentally try it on—to slip my foot into my alternate’s (someone else’s?) shoe. [I’m sure now, that I’ve been watching too much Fringe.]

The result was that I came back to my life, this very life that I have, with my husband, and child, and apartment, and I embraced it.  Even better than just embracing my life was knowing that I looked hard at and tested my options, my alternates, my sliding doors, and came back willingly, happily to my life. I was unharmed. I am better for the dalliance. My relationships are healthy (certainly healthier for it) and I know, without doubt, that this is the life that I choose and that I chose, again.

The process—at least mentally—allowed the room to think through all possibilities of my life at this age, space, and time—in order to come back to the apartment that is not a house in a city I will never live (again), back to my shoes that cost $35, and my pretty dress (not size 4). After shopping my potential selves, I chose this one again.