I’m just Mindy. It’s not short for anything. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s me. So, what else would I choose?
Well, you know I have to go to my Disney sisters first. Belle, Ariel and Aurora all have meaningful monikers, but they sound a little too prissy-Mc-princess pants for me. Esmeralda is lovely, especially for a hopeless wanderer, but the name is kind of a fluffy-bunny mouthful, right?
I could almost be on board with Merida, especially the way her mother says it.
But it’s not quite right. So, let’s go to literature. Desdemona, Isolde and Cressida promise epic beauty and drama that is so not real life. Elizabeth Bennet has always been one of my best loved characters and I’m drawn to Beth (for short). Short is apropos. And doesn’t Beth sound like a sweet, rock-steady soul?
I’ve also always loved Cara, Irish for “friend”, and Cora. Then there’s Eva, “life” in German. Or Teagan; this gem means “little poet” in Australia. Who wouldn’t want to be called that?
I’ll stick with Mindy/Mommy/Mo-om! for now. What about you? Is there another name you’d choose for you? Have you ever gifted a name with winsome meaning?
My perfect day looks like 80 degrees—from 8am-midnight. There’s sun, breeze. There’s a bottomless cup of sangria next to my pool or beach chair. Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby is on repeat. In between turning over to keep my tan even, I get up and dance. I read a book from cover to cover.
Well, that’s a dreamy day.
On a perfect day, I get to laugh with them.
I get to kiss him.
Be silly with her.
On a perfect day, I believe in Disney magic with friends (and their kiddos) who love it as much as I do.
On a perfect day, I realize how perfect life is—when you stop to notice.
My buds have perfect days, too.
My sister, Lindsey, says:
Any day I spend in Disney. Especially if it means pizza at the Italy pavilion and a trip on rockin roller coaster.
My perfect day begins with me waking up in a white tuxedo, walking out of my cabana overseeing my gorgeous island paradise, and being met by my tiny friend and employee, in his equally matching tiny white tuxedo. My little friend looks up into the sky and wildly exclaims “look boss! De plane! De plane!” and I wait to greet my guests on my grand Fantasy Islan – no, no. Sorry. That’s not right. My perfect day begins with me waking up in an island paradise. Check. The sun shines down across the beautiful estate which I call home. And, as I run my hand through my thick and luxurious soup strainer mustache, I ponder the gathered facts surrounding an illicit crime that I, along with help of my trusted friend who flies helicopters must solve. A beautiful woman is depending on me to help crack the very sinister plot she knows is unfolding within her family… and there will probably be some quality mustache make out action if I do close the case. So, without hesitation, I ask groundskeeper Higgens for the keys to my Ferrari and speed away for clues. Such is the life of Private Investigator Magnu – Shoot! Ok, wait. My perfect day. I wake up, ready to fight crime as part of an elite justice unit where direct acton might provide the only feasible solution. And, I still drive an awesome car. Oooooh yeah. But, this car is no ordinary car. It’s an all black on black, murdered out, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. And, it’s got insaaaaaane technology and engineering built in. As well as an artificial intelligence that allows the car to drive by itself and actually talk to me, the driver, Michael Kni – C’mon! Get it together, man. Focus! My perfect day is back to me, solving crimes as a detective, with a partner. But, this time, my partner is a woman. A formal model. Yeeeeaaaahhhh. And we work at a detective agency together called the Blue Moon Detective Agency. And together we’d be Moonlightinnnnnoooooooo!!!! NO! NO! NO! What is wrong with me? Alright… My perfect day would be complete if someone just brought me a sandwich, as if from no where, without me even hinting for one. And, it would be extra perfect if I overheard someone described me to friends as “adorkable”.
Okay. Before I go Captain Sappy on you, there is one thing that absolutely makes a house your own home: it’s the place where you don’t have to line the toilet seat or flush with your feet.
But what really makes a house a home?
In my home, it’s the travertine the boys both learned to toddle over–the floors that caught their first steps.
The walls that heard their first words and their first prayers. The pencil marks on the door frame that hold their height safe. The bedspreads that soak up stories.
It’s the kitchen sink that keeps of the tune of the lyrics I over-sing. The junk drawer that guards glue sticks, broken crayons and bits of memories. It’s always having a space in the closet where you can throw stuff if someone is coming to your home on short notice.
It’s knowing exactly which fire truck left that inch-long scuff mark on the baseboard.
It’s knowing yours is the third couch cushion to the left.
It’s knowing the biggest respite on earth is in the crook of his left arm.
Home is your happy place.
For me, home is a collection of hallways and rooms and roofs–all cozy inns, beds and breakfasts, until I’m really home.
Now, my friends are up.
Javi’s definition of home is just as true and a lot more funny.
One can pinpoint the exact differences between a space, a house, and a home using one simple tool. Breakaway pants. Just walk into any room of a sheltered area wearing breakaway pants. Now, stop for a second. Assess your emotions. How you feel, physically. How those around you may be feeling. Detect the mood in the air. Now, take a hard note, because your following actions will be critical to assessing the difference between a space, house and home. Next, using two hands, in one fluid motion, with some semblance of authority and a touch of grace, rip those breakaway pants off and toss them aside with the fearless recklessness of your drunk uncle trashing all the hotel pieces on the Monopoly board after owing the bank money for some “socialist garbage.” Now, feeling the breeze against your milky thighs, do another assessment of your emotions and surroundings. If you immediately feel scared, confused, embarrassed, or the cold pressure of handcuffs on your wrists, this is neither a house, nor a home – it is a space. Chances are it’s a bank, a yoga studio, or a Burger King. The mood in the air, as you may note by the screams and crashing noises taking place around you, may now have a palpable tension to it. These are all strong indicators that this is not a livable place. Nothing “homey” about it at all. You might be hard pressed to find anything “housey” about it. However, if upon breakaway-pant release, you feel an air of freedom, euphoria and titillating delight, then you, my all-shirt-no-pants, Winnie-the-Poohing friend have entered into what could very well be classified as a House. WARNING: BECAUSE IT IS A HOUSE, IT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS YOUR HOUSE (please refer to indicators of space). The mood in the air may be one of childlike wonder and endless possibility. Chances are highly probable that you are alone either in a cheap hotel, a studio apartment above a Thai restaurant, or somewhere along the Appalachian Trail. The difference between a house and a home is a subtle yet serious one. Making a home is less about area and more about acceptance. If, upon hitting the eject button on your breakaway pants you feel a sense of pride, arrogance, and all around hubris then this is a strong indication that you are indeed home. But, the special difference in this moment is that you won’t be alone. There will be a person, or perhaps persons in the room with you who will be completely accepting of your behavior. They may, in fact, even expect it. What’s more, if it truly is your home, even if said people are completely against you Donald-Ducking your way though their line of vision, they wont be able to do anything about it. Those people may ask, or even plead that you put pants on, uttering phrases like “Dad! Come on! We eat meals on that table…” but the reality is, their cries are in vain. This is yourhome. You hold all of the authority, and none of the pants. And that is where that transformative home charm lives. In the ether between being pantless in a place where no one is around, and a place where you’re surrounded by people that have no real choice other than to take in your Porky-Pig fashion sense and embrace it. A home takes the offensive sight of a pantsless person and turns it into a symbol of majestic beauty. It’s a feeling that can only be described as magic. I will leave you with one very important precaution when home testing. If, upon removal of your breakaway pants, you are met with cheers and applause, please take heed. This may feel like a monumental achievement and you may be lulled into a false yet amazing sense of security, but this is NOT an indicator of a home. This is a strong indicator that you are in a male burlesque show and or review. I made this exact mistake and once lived in a male strip club for three years. Looking back I am amazed that I never noticed the signs, but they were all there. I learned a lot during my time there. These were formative years indeed. It was an experience that dare I say has molded me into the learned man of science that writes to you today. But I’ll leave those regal lessons, and the hundreds of other uses for break away pants that I took with me during that time, for another time and another post.
I believe that a home is where you feel most comfortable. I also believe that Javier couldn’t have said it any better. You’re not home until you can safely and comfortably drop your pants.
My friend Ashlie and I share a lot of family traditions:
I have learned no matter if you live deep in the south, down in the heart of Texas, or up in the northeast, you can be at home if you are with the people you love. As sappy as it sounds, it’s true—home is where the heart is. My heart is my family. It is important for me to create memories and traditions with my family that will instill in them a sense of “home.” It’s the simple things like having Friday night family movie night, sitting down for dinner, and taking family adventures together. It’s also the annual traditions like our pumpkin carving party, frying turkeys for Thanksgiving, or opening up Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. We try to make our daily life and the special days important and memorable. I know if we focus on spending time as a family, it won’t matter where we live, because as long as we are together, we will be home.
For me, my home is my protection, my comfort zone, my place to relax and decompress from the day. But what makes it truly a home for me? My home is a Sunday night, curled up on my couch, watching the sunset turn the clouds into brilliant shades of pink and orange until eventually darkness has overshadowed it all and the twinkling lights of the city catch the corner of my eye. It’s a glass of wine in hand, a snuggly kitty on my lap, and my sweet cinnamon candle burning away as I soak in hours of Masterpiece Theater and thrilling British drama. It’s the contentment I feel at the thought that everything is right with the world as I start a new week. It’s what I look forward to every day, and when I sit there and take it all in, I know I am home.
Hi there, Tuesday. Feels like a good day for a Table Topic.
Here’s the question.
What do I miss? The 80s. In general. Scratch-n-sniff stickers. Ballet buns built with DEP & dippity do. Requesting songs on the radio. Sweet Valley High. The Babysitter’s Club. Lisa Frank Folders. Trapper Keepers. Double Dare. Mall Madness. Girl Talk. Heads Up 7-Up. My red & yellow Barbie Dream House.
Handwritten-note origami. Memorizing phone numbers. Memorizing choreography in my muscles. Letting a new music beat seep to my blood cells. Oh–and skate night! Teasing and coy with couple-skate partners on the outside. Fretting on how to hold their hand on the inside. Lock palms or lace fingers? Decisions, decisions.
I miss lifting my feet off of my bike pedals and flying down the hill on Hogan’s Run. Putting on matinee performances with my brother and sister in the Living Room Little Theatre. Spending blocks of hours–all-my-own hours–reading, writing and yaking on the phone.
I miss the best ride in Fantasyland.
Childhood is pure and easy and magic. And it’s more fun when you get to do it all over again.
Better question: What don’t I miss about childhood? Even though my sister and I grew up in a couple different zip codes, our neighborhoods were always packed with kids, especially the cul-de-sac in Raleigh, NC. Not to brag, but we were sort of the cool house on the hill. It didn’t matter if it was before school, after school, in the blazing sun or under blankets of snow, all of us neighbor kids got together and played for hours. I also miss the amazing summers spent at my grandparents’ lake house in New Jersey. Morning tennis and swim lessons, my grandma’s famous waffles for lunch, playing Shark or Dibbles in the water all day long, getting ice cream at the Soda House, going to Song Service on Sunday evenings, then hanging out at the beach for hours afterward. Those lake days were the best days. That’s what my childhood was made of — as well as my mom’s and her mom’s too.
I have so many fond memories from Childhood…I think it is the ability to try so many new things in a carefree perspective. Changing activities was as easy as changing clothes. Adulthood seems so much more restrictive. It was dance lessons in the fall, playing softball in the spring. Cheerleading year round. Participating in choir, band, drama – you name it, I’m sure at one point I did it. There was no real worry in childhood. And making friends was so easy. Share your lunchable – instant BFFs. I guess it’s the simplicity of it which I miss. Oh – and nap time. We should totally bring that into adulthood with us. 🙂