Thursday, September 29, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do - My FINAL Daily Forum column

** Photo was taken at our new place!**

This is my farewell column for the Daily Forum - Thanks for reading and please continue to follow my blog as I will try to keep posting columns there. Thanks

Breaking up is hard to do

It's not you, it's me. I love you, but I'm not "in love" with you — which is why I am saying goodbye.

To you, my loyal weekly readers I must say goodbye.

While I love your followings, laughs, criticism and support, it's time that I must move on with my life.

This may feel a bit like a bad break up, but there are plenty of other columnists in the sea— or online. And hey, I'm on Facebook.

As my male counterpart, our two fur babies and I move several hours away, I can't help but feel a little bit of my heart break.

Coming to Maryville for the first time — more than six years ago — was a thrill. To see supermarkets and grocery chains, stoplights and even a turning lane was like that time I thought the quarterback of the football team was waving at me — that kind of "hold the phone" exciting.

Turns out the quarterback was actually waving at the skinny blonde behind me, but at least my excitement for Maryville never faded.

Like any relationship, I fell in love with various traits. The Nodaway County Fair, Northwest homecomings, Bearcat football, Mozingo Lake, rodeos, Pagliais pizza and the infamous Spoofhound!

I tolerated the not so great traits like annual ice storms, hail storms and 3 p.m. traffic on South Main.

Through the years we've grown together.

For Maryville, championships were won, roads constructed, buildings demolished and rebuilt. Heck, I almost camped out in the parking lot of Taco Bell prior to their grand opening.

For me, I became a college graduate, started my career and met the man of my dreams — who happens to be a townie.

And while breaking up is hard to do and this one may have been inevitable - Maryville and you, my readers, will hold a special place in my memories and my heart.

Whether you have simply read my musings each week, picked up my inquisitive phone calls, been on the opposite side of my camera or even attended one of my many attempts at teaching a dance class — YOU have forever touched my life.

Thousands of you: readers, acquaintances, friends, colleagues, and strangers — you make Maryville great.

And so while it may be one of the worst break up lines in history — I'll say it again. It's not you, it's me — and it's true.

So with one last chance, I say goodbye and best wishes to you. To my readers: I thank you for your support of such a great, local paper. To my colleagues: I really thank you for your patience and being tolerant of my many questions, phone calls, e-mails and every photo I had to willingly or unwillingly take of you. To the students of MDA: thank you for being such good listeners and bearing with some of my more wild ideas. Always remember to "point your whole foot" and "no flamingos!!!"

It has been a pleasure to have such a great relationship with all of you and I will miss you very much.

But hey, we can still be friends. Right?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Forget Packing, I'm going shopping.

Daily Forum column for 9-15.

"How can two people have so much stuff?" I yelled out over the top of a mountain made from cardboard boxes.

My male counterpart had nearly boxed me into our bedroom and left no escape, which I think he did on purpose.

After nearly five years under the roof of our house, along with our two furry additions, our little family is in fact, moving.

In the weeks leading up to the search for our next dwelling I had made some demands.

Although I'm sure they were muted by the sounds of helmet clashing coming from our television, I tried real hard to set some ground rules.

"Our new place has to have more kitchen storage," I demanded.

The grunt I received from The Man told me he at least knew I was in the same room.

"And a bigger bathroom," I begged.

Another grunt.

Had I mentioned a larger room for our pool table or maybe a wider patio for the grill I'm sure he would have been the one sifting through the classifieds, scoping out websites and making phone calls. Instead, I was left to sift through hundreds of listings.

After multiple rejections due to vacancy issues, space or the fact that we have a miniature horse posing as a dog living with us, our list of options had been narrowed to one.

The downside?

Our new home, or should I say apartment, will be considerably smaller.

We're talking no more basement, or pool table. No more eat-in kitchen, or grill even. It's more of a store the pots and pans in the oven when it's not in use, kind of small.

With just a few weeks to pack up our life, the chaos most call moving began.

"What do you even use that for?" became a commonly used phrase, along with, "I was wondering where that went."

While our new place is thankfully a bit bigger than my college dorm room, I continuously remind The Man — who by the way is a keep every pair of shoes, even if the soles have holes, type of guy — that we will never be able to fit five years worth of our stuff into a two-bedroom apartment.

I lived in an apartment once. I even spent two years living the dorm room life, so I'm convinced that somewhere along the way I must have lost my mind to be leaving our house behind.

"What am I going to do with my crock pots," I'd whine. "You mean we're going to have to put our shoes in the same closet?"

My short depression was halted by a quick but ingenious realization. Moving not only meant that we would be living in a new place, but that we would "need" new furnishings.

"Forget packing, I'm going shopping," I blurted out as I dropped the box of kitchen gadgets at The Man's feet and stormed out the door.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gone like the mullet in my school photograph

Daily Forum column for 9-8-11.

I've heard tales and even witnessed first-hand what aging can do to a person.

More recently I'm feeling what age can do to a person, and quite frankly it sucks.

The joint aches and pains, sore muscles and stiff back I can learn to live with. But events that occurred last week hurt deeper than any cream can reach.

To paint the picture, high school graduation came with the first symptoms of aging.

Realizing I would soon be out on my own was a thrill, until living on my own meant paying bills, cooking my own meals and doing my own laundry. Ouch.

The symptoms worsened with college graduation.

No more could I stay up all night eating pizza and watching recorded seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

I probably wouldn't be able to go to a real job in sweatpants and flip flops and no more would my Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights be spent at the local watering holes. That one hurt deep into the muscles.

Granted, I still made attempts to cling to what youth I had left, and made an occasional appearance at the local Pub, until last week that is.

Slowly waking with the annual morning aches, a phone call jolted me before I could even begin to sip my morning coffee. It wouldn't even be needed after that.

"I just heard that the Pub collapsed," said the voice on the other end.

In denial and being the inquisitive type that I am I blurted out a, "what do you mean collapsed?"

Indeed, one of the few landmark Maryville taverns of my youth had collapsed.

The one and only bar in town where I didn't feel a bit too old or out of place to have a good time — you know, seeing as I'm aging a bit — was gone.

All gone.

Gone like my days of cheerleading uniforms, glitter eyeshadow and Pixie Stix with Cherry Coke.

Gone like the mullet in my school photograph and songs on tape.

A heap of rubble and a few remaining walls containing the stories and vague memories of celebrations past are all that's left.

And while, like myself, the walls that remain are a bit aged and weaker than before I can only hope that the Pub is the only part of me that collapses these days. I'm too young for that.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Those who believe winning isn't everything are on a losing team

They were losing, and not just losing, but losing big time.

It was the first Friday night football game of the season and I had chosen the wrong team to watch.

Being the big Bearcat football fan that I am, I've learned a thing or two during the last few seasons like being on the winning team really is more fun, and those who believe winning isn't everything are on a losing team.

My high school days, all of them, were spent as a cheerleader for a losing team.

Trying to remain "spirited" while my team and best friends were literally getting their hind ends handed to them became sort of an art.

"No, we can't do the 'Go, Fight, Win Cheer,' because we're not going, fighting or winning," I'd remind the other girls.

Now that I'm a bit older, I realize how lucky we were that our fans had refrained from throwing the remains of their chili dogs at us as we pranced, clapped and yelled our way through a 42-0 loss.

For some reason, year after year, I'd put the purple and black cheerleading uniform of my high school back on and hope for a win — yes, A win, I'm a realist.

Granted, cheerleading was really the only option in the way of high school activities. For less athletic girls like me, volleyball was not an option.

As my other half puts it, I suffer from "baby giraffe syndrome." All arms and legs.

As the helpless, teenaged girls pranced, clapped and yelled at their silent stands Friday night I could only watch in horror.

"I sure hope I wasn't like that. Those girls really should be doing something productive, like bringing me a hot dog, slurpie or even a foam finger."


Just think of how different taking a devastating loss would be if Friday night football included served snacks and entertainment.

Let's see, watch the quarterback take another sack or watch as Timmy and Tommy use their foam fingers as light sabers to defeat the evil Darth Vader and take a tumble down the bleachers?

Decisions, decisions.

Once the score becomes obviously clear of a loss the cheerleaders would put aside any further embarrassment on their part and bust out the goods.

Heck, they could make selling hot dogs a cheerleading experience. No one said they have to yell, "get your hot dogs here." They're clever girls, they'll come up with something.

Maybe for every 10 coneys sold the girls could do a back flip.

Realizing I may not be the only cheerleader-type to suffer from a lack of athleticism, combined with the weight of carrying dozens of hot dogs and a set of bleachers, I put my ideas to rest and went home, a sore loser.

Good thing the Bearcats start their season this week.