Tuesday, June 27, 2006

5 Reasons I love my husband

1) Before my first trip into the scary world of being a stringer at a city council meeting for a small town newspaper, he gave me a lecture telling me to: listen for the facts, get my quotes accurate, make friends with the secretary, watch protocol and to be careful not to go to any dark places. He was so protective and encouraging, leaving me with "This can be money for the puppy fund!" He's so good to me.

2) He thinks my itchy ears are cute.

3) He thinks it's sweet when I get excited that the flowers I planted in the backyard are actually growing and I haven't killed them yet.

4) He was pushing to get me a gym membership more than my aerobic-obsessive self was simply because he knew I wanted it. The man will do anything for me- he's that sweet.

5) The way he snuggles up to me and blinks at me sleepily when he comes home from work. I hate that he's tired, but I love how sweet and docile he gets.

The rant that started it all......

When I was engaged, I got really sick of all the nitpicking crap that goes on during a wedding. The pressure and stress of it all made me blow up and write the article you see below. The article spiraled into several as I kept finding more and more wedding injustices, until it became a book. I thought you'd be tickled to see what started it all. This was published on the Baylor Information Network student website in April 2006.

Diary of the Reluctant Bride

First you must understand, I am not reluctant to get married. I’m actually very excited about getting married. I love my fiancé; he’s the best thing in my life, my best friend, my everything. I love this time in our lives, as we search for a house, graduate college and get married, all within four months. It’s fun to plan our future together.

However, what I has been bothering me lately is when people call me a bride. I never knew I could be so offended by a five letter word. It’s just for the past four months my entire identity has been as a bride. All my friends and family ask me about is the wedding, bringing it up several times a day. My future in-laws constantly ask me if I have any reservations about marriage, as if I’m going to turn around and run before ever getting down the aisle. Everyone is full of advice and things I absolutely must do in the wedding, “because it’s tradition darling.”

Where did I go? Am I simply supposed to disappear in a vacuum of tulle and chair bows for eight months and emerge from my cationic state when I say “I do”? Am I supposed to ignore my fiancé and school work and focus on the vital decision of white or cow print tablecloths? I am making a shocking statement: No. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I am not an untraditional, radical person. I am actually very traditional in most ways. However, I am very independent and stubborn, a dangerous combination. If I find something dull, stupid, or simply not for me, I refuse to do it. It has been my experience that when dealing with weddings, people will threaten to disown you for not wanting a wedding cake and opting for tiered wedding pies instead. Much to my dismay, my family was not very amused at what I thought was a bright idea. I found it very original and delicious, and three apple pies sound simply heavenly (maybe it’s just me).

And it’s not just me. I’d be selfish if I just said it was. For the past year, I’ve watched several close friends morph from sweet, laid back girls into detail- obsessed, wedding etiquette book wielding fiends. Every conversation revolves around dish patterns and bridesmaid dresses; every weekend is filled with cake tasting and boutique appointments in a different city. Soon you only talk to your friends through email, as they fill you in on their wedding plans and your role in the affairs. They apologize for being so busy, but there’s much to do. After all, one only has one year at maximum to find THE dress, in which their fiancé will fall to pieces and have that image forever imprinted in his mind at the time you were at utter perfection and loveliness. If that isn’t a depressing thought, I don’t know what is.

As I sit there glumly on Friday night, listening to my fiancé and his friends watch car videos and wondering where my girlfriends have gone; I think to myself, “Has it always been this way?” Have women always been so obsessed with weddings that they forget that marriage is a celebration of love, not a way to one-up the cheerleader in high school who stole your boyfriend? When did weddings become about expensive dresses and extravagant themes, and not about falling in love with your husband all over again?

Historically, weddings have always been small affairs. Bridal showers began as a way to help newlywed couples start a home, and weddings were essentially a big town celebration. As cities started to grow, things slowly began elaborating over the years, though nothing quite as big as we see today. My own parents got married in a small church in the town my mom grew up in, and had their honeymoon at an amusement park. Today that would be shocking.

If women are going to put this much time and energy into their weddings, will they put this much time and energy into their marriage? Will they spend hours pouring their hearts out to their husband, or simply turn to another hobby and begin to grow apart? With the divorce rate hovering around 50%, I can only hope many choose to spend their time with their husband and not being depressed over not having an enormous event to plan. But of course darling, you only get married once.

Since I only get to be married once, I choose to marry the man I love in a small, individual wedding with our closest friends and family. I choose to laugh with my friends, cry with happiness and the realization I am truly separate from my parents. I choose to fall in love all over again, and to start a new chapter in my life. Then I will be happy to be called a bride.

Unkind Thoughts

Do you ever wish that the dorks in high school, if you had to meet up with them after college, would be different? Now don't get me wrong- I was a dork in high school. I have nothing against ex high school dorks that flocked to the band room, performed on flags (shudder) or sang their hearts out in choir. I'm talking about the dredges of dorkdom- the mean dorks. These are the dorks that aren't necessarily smarter, more creative, sweeter or kinder then the rest of the world. These are the dorks that were simply antisocial, not shy. They are not late bloomers, and most of them aren't even nice. They wouldn't have a teenage movie made about them, like She's All That. If you invited them to a party, they'd simply snarl at you and say they had to clean their closet. Then they'd get together with the other dredge dorks and laugh at you, and make fun of you! It's these kind of dorks.

I knew a lot of these girls in high school. They thought they were twenty times better then me, sticking their freckled, snotty noses in the air at me. With their greasy hair and poor fashion taste, they walked arrogantly through the halls, proclaiming popular kids, the middle class and normal dorks to be inferior. They snarled in class, rolled their eyes through other presentations, and acted a flag practice was equal to the state of the union address.

So- wouldn't it be a lot cooler if one of these obnoxious girls became different? If she lost the glasses, bad haircut and permanently attached attitude and got some originality? Say, leather pants and a chain smoking addiction. That would be cool. I mean really, imagine the cross eyed band geek with buck teeth with pink hair, vinyl skirt and skull earrings. That would be a lot more interesting then hearing about her major in speech pathology. Well, maybe it's just me. I'm probably not winning any votes over here.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Waiting and Waiting....For You?

I hate job hunting. Being fresh out of college with a liberal arts degree and minimal experience is not the way to win employers hearts. My deepest wish is that I can be published and make enough writing to where that is all I do- stay at home and write. Alas, last week I had several bites, and made it into the upper rounds of interviews. And then- nothing. It's been all quiet on the home front. And while I try not to be obnoxious, I'm just utterly anxious. Do they like me? Will they hire me? Why didn't they email me?

I stare at the tiny envelope on the bottom of my screen, waiting for the small bar of text to appear letting me know I have new mail. I can almost see it, "Dear Blonde Duck, we would love to hire you- we think you're absolutely duckie....". That's all I would need. Just some sort of validation. I got spoon fed it in chunks last week, and now- nothing. Monster.com and local job sites are quiet. They don't have anything for me. Every writing website I've checked is silent. Where are all the editors, the managers? Don't they know that my self esteem is hanging off the floor by inches? Don't they realize the dramatic self loathing they've caused me? Damn them!

Not even peanut butter can salve my vunerability. I feel like one of those tortured artists that runs around maniacally- first ecstatic, then desolate. Is this what my life is going to be like? A few days of sun and sweet, sweet affirmation, and then weeks of waiting? I can't do it. I can't take it.

Actually, I can take it. I can do it, and I will. And do you know why? Because writing is in my blood. It's my passion. It's the fact that while I look for a job, I might have a chance to get a job I'd love. I might even actually live out my dream. And for that, I'll keep waiting and waiting.

If I don't go nuts and rip out my hair first, screaming "Does anybody like me yet!?!"

Do they?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Story Time Comes Again

Here's a story I recently wrote for a magazine (and hope they publish). This isn't what my mother-in-law is like, but I thought it was amusing. Tell me what you think.
“The New Daughter-in-Law”
copyright M.Koerner 2006

I didn’t like her the second I saw her. She was a tall blonde with a tiny waist and large chest. She had a blinding smile and blue eyes that could charm the hardest heart. She was beautiful, sweet and cheerful. I hated her.

If I could have chosen the perfect woman for my son, I would have- well; I wouldn’t have chosen anyone at all. I would have kept him a little boy, forever watching him walk through the door with bright cheeks smeared with mud. But my baby had grown up, and now wanted to marry his first serious girlfriend.

He was old enough to make his own decisions, but she was a wrong choice. She looked to be a gold digger. My son had said she came from money, but it didn’t matter. I could see through her. All she wanted was a cash source so she could shop all day. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I marched over to her. She had laced her arm through my son’s and was talking to my husband. The goofy grin on his face told me she had won him over. They were laughing as I plastered a smile on my face and approached them.

“My dear, it’s so lovely to finally meet you,” I said through my teeth, embracing her. “Why don’t sit down and talk, so I can get to know you,” I simpered.

“Oh yes, that’d be great!” she said enthusiastically, kissing my son on the cheek. I narrowed my eyes as she said, “I’ll be right back darling!” and followed me to the sitting room. We sat on the couch, her bright and cheerful face never fading. She must be hiding something.

“Thank you so much for inviting me to stay with you,” she gushed. “I was so excited to finally meet you! During school, it’s so hard to get away.”

“Ben tells me you spent a lot of time visiting your family,” I said, smiling.

“Well, yes, but they’re an hour away, so it’s close. But I made him promise when we get married, that we’ll have to balance the family holidays so no one feels left out.”

The girl was good. She had almost won me over with that too.

“What do you plan on doing after school?”

“I thought I might write,” she said reflectively. “Writing is my passion.”

“Passions don’t always pay well,” I said snappishly. “I’m just making sure my son recognizes that your career may not be the most lucrative.”

She smiled.

“Listen,” she said, touching my hand. “I love your son very much. I know I may not make much money. I’ve offered to go into a more lucrative career, but that’s not important to him. What’s important to Ben is my loyalty, my love and my support. I will ensure that your son is taken care of and loved everyday. And don’t worry; I’ll never forget you loved him first. He’ll always be your baby.”

I was stunned. She actually meant it. Perhaps she wasn’t a gold-digger after all. Perhaps my son really had found his perfect match. Maybe he had found mine as well. Maybe, just maybe, I could like her after all. Even if she did have bigger boobs.
Copyright M. Koerner 2006

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Story Inspired by the Horrid Britney Spears Interview

When I was taking out the trash one day, I was thinking about the Britney Spears interview and had a sudden flash of inspiration. Thanks to Karen's encouragement, I decided to post it and see what the world thought of it. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

The Movie Star

There was once a movie star who lived in a huge mansion. She had done several movies and everybody loved her. Between movies, she stayed in her white mansion with green shutters, surrounded by her tall black fence. Security guards guarded the gates, and the police drove around it once a day. Journalists stood outside the gates, hoping for a glimpse or an interview. However, the movie star only came out of her house once a day.

Everyday, she would take her child around the yard in the stroller. She would go around the yard once, twice and three times. Everyday, the journalists that stood outside the gates would ask her all sorts of questions. She never answered them, and just kept walking with her child.

One day, as the movie star pushed her child around the yard, a journalist asked, “Mrs. Star, what are you doing today?”

The movie star stopped and looked at the journalists through her large black sunglasses. She smoothed back her curly blonde hair, and smiled.

“I think today I’m going to go to Mexico. I’m going to dip my toes into the white sand, and run through the cool blue water. I’m going to ride a dolphin into the sunset, and talk with the starfish all night long. That is what I’m doing today.”

The journalists became very excited, and tried to ask her other questions. But she just smiled.

The next day, she came outside with the stroller and began her daily walk. The same journalist asked her again: “What are you doing today, Mrs. Star?”

She stopped once again, and smiled. Her smile was so bright, it made the journalists all smile.

“I think I’m going to go to Switzerland today. I’m going to run through the mountains, and pet a mountain lion. I’m going to eat all the chocolate I can, and visit the inside of the tinest clock. I shall build a fort within the tiny clock, for my children to play in.”

Once again, the journalists asked her more questions, and again, she smiled and went inside.

The third day, she began her daily walk. The journalist asked her the same question: “What are you doing today, Mrs. Star?”

She stopped, and gave that same glowing smile.

“Today I am going to Africa. I’m going to run through the plains with the lions. I’m going to stand next to the pyramids, and ride the tallest camel to the top. I will judge the annual Race of the Cheetahs, and celebrate at their annual Cheetah bash by doing the rain dance.”

Once again, she simply smiled as the other journalists asked her questions, and went inside.

On the fourth day, she came out for her daily walk. The other journalists were silent as the journalist asked: “Mrs. Star, what are you doing today?”

She smiled, pushing back her blond curls. “Today, I am going to Louisiana. I’m going to drive through the swamps in a tiny boat with a giant fan on the back. I shall dance on the docks with a Voodoo woman named Bertha. The alligators will play violen as the herons dance in the air.”

The journalists only asked a few questions this time, as she smiled and went inside her house.

On the fifth day, she came outside for her daily walk. Today, like the days before, the journalist asked her: “Mrs. Star, what are you doing today?”

She shook her blond curls and smiled. “Today, I’m going deep into the woods of Alaska. I will have tea with black bears and visit the Moose King. He will present me with a crown of glacier ice and pine wood, while the wood nymphs make me a long dress out of oil. The seals tell jokes until dawn, laughing and clapping all night.”

The journalists asked her a few questions, and she smiled to go inside. This time, the journalist, the one who’d asked her the same question every day, asked her another question.

“Mrs. Star, tell me, do you really go to these places everyday?”

She turned half way, and smiled. She took off her big black sunglasses, and the journalists were startled to see her clear blue eyes. They stared at her in awe.

“Mr. Journalist,” she said. “I can go anywhere I want everyday. Anyone can. You should try it sometime.”

“But how?” he asked curiously.

“Dream,” she said, turning and walking back to her home. “Just dream.”

That night, the journalist did dream. He dreamt of walking a tightrope between clouds, as the movie star flipped on the trapeze above him. He dreamed that birds juggled and bears sung, as he landed into a giant net of raindrops.

The next day, he stood in front of the movie stars home. As she began her daily walk, she stopped. Before he could ask his question, she smiled and said, “So Mr. Journalist, what did you do yesterday?”

He smiled. “I dreamed.”
copyright M.Koerner 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Welcome to the Pond!

Welcome to the Pond! The Pond is a place of many things: thoughts, feelings, excerpts from my novel, stories that I'm writing....It's as random and cute as I am! I'll post various things about various topics. You'll learn all about my desires for a puppy, my wonderful husband, my wacky family and my adventures as a writer and housewife in Texas. Soon I'll post up a "100 things" so you can read more about me that way.....until then!

The Blonde Duck