Table Topic Tuesday. 7/9.

Another Tuesday, another dollar. It’s Table Topic Tuesday time!

Table Topic Tuesday is supposed to be easy fun. A game, you know? And I’ve been a purist, picking the next question right off the top. I really wanted to slide this guy back into the middle. It’s just a little heavy for my Tuesday morning taste. But it’s been pulled and posed, so now it’s time to answer. P.S. If I pull another groaner next week, it’s mulligan time.

Table Topic Tuesday. 7/9.

My answer depends on what I’m doing. When I goof—and I goof daily—I replay that oops again and again. Memories of the worst bits of my past are the most physical. Whether it was 6 years or 6 minutes ago, I can still feel the hot flush and nervous tingle of a mistake.

I go to the future a lot, too. When there’s a screen full of red alerts in Blue (our job management system at work). When I’m wondering what the heck we’re having for dinner. When I’m worrying over what I’ll do one day when Tucker pretends he doesn’t see my outstretched hand reaching to guide him across the parking lot.

I’m sure I’ve wasted half of my “present” toggling between the past and the future.

But when you catch the present? When it’s not a wisp breezing by, but it’s a moment that you squeeze and smell and taste? When Case barrels towards you, arms open, full speed, insisting on a family “Group hug!” When Tucker lisps a story through his toothless smile. When you’re so present and full that you stop to whisper “thanks.”

When you’re protecting.



Disney Digression.
Disney Digression.


Birthday Song


Story Time

When you’re catching someone else in the present.



I want to live there all the time.

Lynda was brave enough to play this week! She says:

This question is an easy one for me. I live in the future. The funny thing is that I’ve recently come to that realization and had a conscious thought about it. I’m at an age where many of my friends are either recently married or have been married and are now having kids or having their second kids. I look at them and I can’t help but look towards my future. What will it hold? What will my husband be like? How many kids will I have? All of these are things I want, and I don’t know that I’ve ever allowed myself to admit that they are things I want. I’ve always been content with living my life, making something of myself, developing a career. But lately I’ve found myself thinking, “…when I have a husband, we can do this or that. Or wouldn’t that be a fun trip to take with my significant other…” A lot of times it revolves around travel. Sometimes just with ideas of how to spend my evenings or weekends. And I know sometimes I let it hold me back from enjoying things in the here and now because I file it away or put it off. Of course, I don’t sit at home every evening pining over this future life, but I do think of it and dream of the day when I have someone to share it with. Perhaps you could say that these days it’s an awareness that I’m ready. I want it. And I want it now. But alas, patience has never been one of my virtues.

Lindsay, too! Her answer made me rethink mine.

I think living anywhere other than the present gets a bad rap. I don’t like that. I like to focus on the present and be ‘in the moment,’ but the past and the future are important, too. The past is for re-living good memories, learning from silly mistakes and realizing how far we’ve come. If we can’t live in the past a little bit, how can we be expected to know where we want to go in the future or how we’re going to get there? 

Who else is taking me up on this week’s question? Go!

Lucky Charm

We met out-of-town friends at Animal Kingdom yesterday. Magical day!

Disney Digression


And I saw a lot of tattoos. Hundreds. I like to think there was a story behind each one of them. There’s definitely a story behind mine.

I never thought I’d get a tattoo.

Enter my mother:


“You know what I think?” she had said, placing her hands on the table in a way that we knew she was telling and not suggesting. “We should get matching tattoos.”

Newly free from wigs and chemo treatments, Mom was piloting life her way. And, up until that moment, I was an eager front row seat passenger. But there are certain things I don’t do, a few unwritten personal rules. I don’t let different foods on my plate touch. I don’t wear white after Labor Day. And I don’t do tattoos. It’s not so much the flawed stigma that goes along with them. It’s just that for someone who never does the same thing twice, a tattoo is a pretty permanent accessory. There’s also my fear of needles.

My sister Lindsey, though, who has as much ink as a Bic, squealed at the mention of a new tat.

“On our feet,” she said. “The top of our left foot.”

“I was thinking the inside of an ankle,” Mom said.

They both looked at me.

“I was thinking…no.”

“C’mon, Min,” Lindsey said, rolling her eyes. “For all your so-called free spirit-ness and whatever, you are no fun. Have you ever done one crazy thing?”

With no decent reply, I blushed the truth. And, after much discussion, I agreed to a stamp on a toe—a teeny, tiny tat that maybe, just maybe, could be mistaken for an unfortunate freckle.

The next day, they got me in the car and we were on our way.

The Big Kahuna tattoo parlor was edgy and cold and terrifying. Possibilities were plastered on every corner of the walls and counter—symbols and serpents and fairies—and my indecisive soul was already quaking with panic. Mom and Lindsey were flipping through a big black book on the counter and I slid between them. Three pages in, I saw a three-leaf clover—each leaf was a heart and the shape was created with Celtic knots so that you could trace the entire design without ever lifting your pen from the page. I pointed.

“A heart for each of us.”

“That’s it,” Mom and Lindsey said on top of each other, nodding, nodding yes.

A guy walked down from the other side of the counter, joining us where we hovered over the page.

“Ah. Good one,” he said. “Luck Forever.”

“We each want one,” Mom said. “On our second toe.”

He was tapping tattoo-covered fingers on the counter. “We can’t do toes. Or fingers. Plus—see the detail in the knots? If it’s not at least this big, you’ll lose all that. It’ll just be a black blob.”

“I gotcha. Okay. Well, how about the inside of my ankle?”

He nodded. “Fine.”

Lindsey crinkled her nose. “I still want one on the top of my foot.”

“Yeah. Fine. And how about you?”

I shook my head no. “Not getting one. I’m just the cheerleader.”

Mom sighed. “Min. This is something I really wanted to do with you girls.”

Oh, the guilt. Thick as organic peanut butter. Without the jelly diversion.

“I was only okay with the toe because of you guys. I really don’t want one.”
She wasn’t going to push further, but I still felt awful.

“I’m still represented,” I offered. “Three hearts.”

But they had given up on me. And soon they were each settled in a different artist’s seat, tipsy with luck, ready to paint the town.

I sat between them, green-eyed as they laughed through the stinging. I sat there, safe, familiar and not without pain, wondering how many times my rules had kept me from tasting, from trying, from feeling something new.

The tattoos were small and simple, and only in black ink, so it wasn’t too long before Mom and Lindsey’s new additions were wrapped in hot pink cellophane that crinkled with fun. We left and I was conscious of my naked legs as we walked. Then we stopped for dinner. At the table, Mom’s legs were crossed and the arc of what I imagined was my heart was peeking through the transparent pink.

She caught me.

“Do you want one, honey? We can go back. It’s just down the street.”

My silence must’ve given her hope.

“We’re going back.”

The guys at Big Kahuna welcomed us with hugs.

“So. Where do you want it?”

“The inside of my left ankle,” I said, motioning to my Mom’s. “But maybe a little smaller?”

Twenty minutes and a roll of paper towels later, the final knot was tied. I had to look away at the first sight of blood. But, after my sweaty palms were under control, the pricking was (almost) exhilarating. Later that night, when I peeled the cellophane away, the black ink winked against my pale skin in triumphant relief.

The pigment has faded a little now. But my tattoo is as much a part of me as all of my unfortunate freckles. And, at first handshake, you probably would take me for a buttoned up, plays-by-the-rules girl. My clover betrays me, though. And I’m always happy to twist and twirl my ankle to show off my lady luck forever.

Mom. Me. Lins.

How about you? Do you have a tattoo (and a story behind it)? Ever broken your own personal rule?