reindeers and scorpions.

2 01 2012

once upon a time, there was a guy who drove around to all the bars in downtown portland making animals out of tin foil for all the good boys and girls (also, for money). one holiday season, i was at the free street taverna (now the dogfish) drinking my xmas booze, when the tin foil man burst through the front door bellowing “ho ho ho! merry christmas! i got your reindeers and your scorpions!” it was nothing short of an xmas miracle in my book.

but yeah, i know it’s the 2nd of january. so why the fuck am i telling you this pointless xmas related story?

well, mostly it’s because i wanted a reason to tell that story. but also, it’s because i’m about to use it as a flimsy analogy for the shitstorm that is my current life.

basically, sometimes xmas is all reindeer and jinglebells, and sometimes it’s accidental scorpions. this xmas, i got scorpions.

i have overall made it a point not to share much about my personal life with the internet. but the cliff’s notes version of this story is that come february 1st, my life is going to look a lot different. i’ll be moving out of my condo, and back into an apartment (a particularly crappy but cheap bachelor pad apartment if all goes well with the landlord next weekend). i’ll be living with my first roommate since 1996 (when my smith college roommate zoe moved out after 3 months because of her dislike of my late night online gaming habits [text based!] and predilection for menthol cigarettes). i’ll be a single dog parent.

you might also notice that instead of a hilarious picture of a tin foil scorpion in the upper left corner there, there is a MOTIVATIONAL SLOGAN. yikes. what the fuck am i trying to pull? as another rule, i try not to resort to sincere but uplifting over-sentimentality. i swear a lot. i am a cynical old crank. i want to find the person who wrote the first “chicken soup for the soul” book and light them on fire (or at least give them a stern talking to).

but for the new year, i’ve been thinking that maybe it’s time for me to toss a little sugar in the massive ocean of vinegar that is my soul. (don’t worry, not too much). as i’m careening into this utterly terrifying and uncertain new life, it occurred to me that it might be nice to have a little something to grab onto. when i broke up with my college boyfriend (and dropped heavily into a very low and confusing period), i taped a tiny scrap of paper to my front door that said “just start over” that i would have to look at every time i left my house.

but i already used that one.

so i actually did a google search for “inspirational quotes” (oh how the mighty have fallen!), and this is what i found. i think it originated on a t-shirt or something. but whatever, it very correctly sums up the reason that i’m leaving to start my whole life over at 34. my life has been very easy and comfortable for the last few years. as it turns out, easy and happy are two very different things. so i’ll just leave it at that.

i’m not entirely sure what all this biz means for broke207 (i’m focusing my energy these days on finding moving boxes and figuring out how to get a bed). but i have a feeling that we might be getting a little less coupony and more life lessony over the next few months. bear with me. if you do, maybe someday i’ll get back to my roots. or, maybe i’ll just distract you with terrible online dating stories until you forget what this blog was about in the first place.

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12 responses

3 01 2012
Audrey

hearts to you, allie! if you need boxes, apartment things and/or a shop vac (yes, a shop vac) these are all things i have to give at the drop of a hat!

what ever happened to that tin foil guy?

3 01 2012
bessmarvin

thanks audrey! the place is kind of a hell hole. i may indeed need to borrow that shop vac in all seriousness. i’ve already called around for carpet cleaning quotes. ADVENTURE!

3 01 2012
Michelle Smith (@mainebelle)

Allie, please feel free to call me if you need help moving or want to get a drinky! xo M

3 01 2012
bessmarvin

thanks michelle! a drink sounds kind of amazing right now. we still need to have our post-swap potluck!

3 01 2012
Lisa Magnacca

I don’t know you, but as a fellow 30-something Portlander (okay, we’re technically on the Westbrook side of the Portland/Westbrook line, but don’t judge!) I just wanted to tell you how much I love your writing. It is consistently HILARIOUS and you have a unique style–reading your posts honestly makes my day. I’m sorry things aren’t going particularly well right now, and I hope things only get better from here on out!

P.S. For what it’s worth, I’ve worked in property management for a long time and I recommend Eastern Carpet for carpet cleaning (not sure how the price compares to others, but they do the best job in my opinion!)

5 01 2012
bessmarvin

no shame in westbrook. no shame at all. and thank you so much for the nicest thing i’ve heard in weeks. i’m pretty tough, but this is most definitely going to be a challenge. or an adventure? i will totally call eastern carpet when it’s time to start fumigating the bachelor dump. the good news is that i already informed my new roommate that i will be having his couch hauled away by the dump guy, and he didn’t seem to mind. i think this bodes well for the future.

4 01 2012
Cyndel

We don’t know each other at all, but I hope I can give you some hope for the other side of all of this. Two months ago, my relationship of 6 years fell apart. We’d been together since we were 18 and I had NO idea what to do. The details are bad (I moved out in the middle of the night), but really good things have happened since then. I even like living with my roommates. I hope good things start happening to you pretty soon! I’m sending good thoughts your way!

5 01 2012
bessmarvin

thank you so much! i do have kind of a stupid faith/optimism that things will be ok, but it’s nice to meet people who have been through the same shit and come out the other end unscathed. i’m nervous about living with a roommate, but sort of excited as well. although what really terrifies me is dating… i haven’t been single for 10 years! and i’m 34! i’m trying not tot think about it. i think i need a bourbon.

4 01 2012
Chris

i’m just glad you’re ok after your little posting hiatus! best of luck with your move, i always look forward to whatever the fuck you decide to post.

sincerely, another cynical old crank

5 01 2012
bessmarvin

yes, i’m fine! i tend to land on my feet most of the time. although i might have possibly watched sense and sensibility at 4 am and cried through the entire thing. willoughby!

5 01 2012
Bobbi

I pinned an amazing quote that I found today. Very inspirational. I also like to be crass and sassy, but there are times that your heart just needs some sunshine and some mush to make the day a little better. Also, if you are moving to the USM neighborhood (just a hopeful guess?) WE CAN GO TO THE BEAR AND GET DRINKS. I live very, very close to the USM.

Also, being single is the new thing to do. Not that I’m single, but I was so earlier in the year. YOU ARE SO IN RIGHT NOW!

5 01 2012
bessmarvin

i love this. you might have noticed me putting it on my facebook. glad to hear that being single is in… i’m not entirely sure how to navigate it yet, but i’m sure it will be fine or something. we should TOTALLY get drinks at the bear when i move. they have magic hat #9 on tap. it’s my favorite.

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