Sunday, March 4, 2012

Opportunistically Pink

I had some time today in between shoveling the apocalyptic amount of snow and obsessively playing the Oregon Trail iPhone app to photograph the infamous pink closet.

I will confess to you that this was an excellent time to take these photos because a) 75% of my clothes are currently sorted into piles on my kitchen floor ready for the laundry extravaganza that will be taking place while I prep my food for the week tonight, and b) Henley was tired from jumping at the snow shovel and she was relatively uninterested in being the star of the show. So, this is really nowhere near how the closet usually looks, but at least this way you might be able to tell that there is a floor, shelves and hooks. Usually it’s just a blur of pink, purple and navy.

The color is a little deeper than the photo above… more magenta-pink than pink-Barbie, if that makes any sense. When I brought one of my favorite winter scarves into Lowe’s to use as a muse for the paint color, the middle-aged guy at the counter looked at me with a raised brow, and said, “What exactly are you using this for again?” I definitely got the vibe that he didn’t understand my vision.

My vision was this: I figured this was the only time I’d be able to do something like this… unless my future husband happens to be super laid-back or color-blind, which now that I mention it would be awesome.

The rest of the room has some bookshelves, my desk/office area, a spare bed and dresser, which I’ll photograph when it’s … clean. J

My brother built some shelves into both sides of the closet. When I moved in, it was white and empty. I already had the little turquoise bins and shoe organizer from my previous apartments.

My dad hung some hooks. Here is the (admittedly ridiculous) thing about me: Out of sight, waaaay out of mind. I like to be able to see my clothes, my spices, my shoes. Otherwise I cook the same things and wear the same things. My mom used to get so frustrated with me whining, “There’s nothing to eat!” when all I had to do was look in the next row of the refrigerator. In this house I’m just embracing it and making sure I organize things so that I can see all my options.

I got the straw baskets from Big Lots on super sale and risked my life spray painting the hell out of them in my basement. This is when I really wish I had a garage.

The rest of the day will consist of quinoa-making, trips up and down the stairs for laundry, and nervously forging the river on Oregon Trail. Wish me luck.

Friday, March 2, 2012


This week my inspiration comes from Rebecca at (Go there now and read, read, read as far back as you can. She's wonderful.)

She wrote a post ( about how she feels thirteen, even now at 30, seven years into her marriage, with 4 kids, including baby twins. It's easily one of the most beautifully written pieces I have read in a very long time.

I too used to communicate with my mother by writing her letters. She'd find a poem on the kitchen table after I left for school in the morning, my way of saying sorry, we're in this together, I don't know why I get so sassy when you ask me if I think we should make another appointment with the dermatologist, I know you're just trying to help but it makes me upset. I just don't know how to tell you that. Four verses, in perfect rhyme, painstakingly written in my special blend of print and cursive, folded into eighths. "Mom" written on the outside, the 'o' a heart colored in with purple marker.

I too used to write letters to boys (earlier in my twenties I sent them, now I just have a file of letters that I'll never send to the ones I've let go of) in lieu of being able to say it out loud. I was never really good at saying it out loud.

But I've been trying, I really have. I powered through the phone anxiety and called my aunt, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, to arrange to come over and cook for her.

You guys, I was anxious about it all day. I don't know why, it's so silly. So silly. There could not be a more accepting, laid back, loving woman. I know it meant the world of her that I wanted to come over and visit, but my hands were clammy and my chest was tight.

But the thing I have learned about anxiety is that you just need to let it surround you, let it overwhelm you and then say, no thanks. No thanks, I will not give in to you, I will not feel bad about your presence. I will not allow you to stop me from calling or cooking or laughing. No thanks. It does not serve me to get upset about you showing up. No thanks.

I made cheddar chicken with Daiya cheese and gluten-free crackers, and gushed on and on about how giving up gluten has taken away most of my pain, and most of the tingling and tightness in my hands. I gushed and laughed and I felt like I was seven. While reading Rebecca's post, not a question in my mind, I am seven. I will always be seven with a little bit of pragmatic 42 mixed in.

One of my goals for the year is to celebrate those things that make me feel like Bobbi, the things that have always made me, me. The simple things that bring me back to myself with very little effort. In fact, the magic in it is that it really takes no effort at all.

I have been paying attention to this and letting it lead me in my actions and decisions. I have learned that the reason I love my brother, my dad and my grandfather so intensely is that I become seven in their presence. They are the only people who calm me, who ground me, who take away any doubt or insecurity or fear that I have learned and collected every year since I was seven. They bring me back to seven, when I was just a little girl who loved purple, laughed with abandon, and loved to write. The little girl who was not afraid to try new things, who gushed to her mom about making new friends, who thought the most important things in the world were Labrador puppies, mystery novels and friends who made you laugh.

My mom used to make us 'surprise snacks', which is just a sneaky way of using the element of surprise to fancy-up whatever was in the pantry and thrill my brother and I. Graham crackers and peanut butter were magical. Slow-cook vanilla pudding on the stove with raspberries was show-stopping. Vanilla ice cream with frozen strawberries was the end-all. She was a genius.

There are times when I am at my parents house that I still request a surprise snack. It's one of those things that brings me back to simpler times, when I would love whatever she came up with.

This feeling is what I want in a husband, too. I know that whenever he pops into my life, I will have that feeling that I have been working on noticing. I know I will instantly feel at home, I'll feel quintessentially Bobbi without wondering what it means and what parts of myself I should amplify and what parts I should smother. I'll feel seven.

I am still that girl, and I will continue to let that feeling lead me. The pragmatic 42-year-old side of me says maybe that's just me considering the idea that maybe I don't have to be a tough, independent woman all the time, maybe that's just me becoming more comfortable with accepting help, feeling more at ease with giving in and letting things be. Maybe sometimes it's okay to be vulnerable and feel like I'm seven. But that thought is far too deep for seven-year-old me, so for now I will curl up with my fuzzy puppy, crack this mystery novel and nibble on my own surprise snack, an apple with homemade peanut butter.