Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update

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New Home | Writing Day 11

12 tears old. A time of energy, growth and happiness. The previous age–11–was the exact opposite. New school, new home, no friends. At 11 I remember arriving early to school and not knowing where to go. Every single day. I remember science class, my new teacher turning to the news on September 11th, 2001 and watching my new classmates cry. I remember rushing to the computer after school, trying to find more information about the twin towers. 11 was a year of fear. 11 was a year of silence. 11 was the year my math teacher told me I was terrible.

But at 12, things were looking up.

I finally found friends. I was involved in clubs and projects and had settled into a new house. We didn’t stay there long.  We moved again soon after. But, like with all childhood memories, some moments stick out.

I remember sharing a room with all of my siblings. But I don’t remember it bothering me. My fondest memory is standing in front of the mirror in that room, with the fan blowing my hair and singing ‘I Could Not Ask For More’ into a hairbrush. I didn’t even like country music.

I remember discovering Hot Cheetos. I could eat bags of them. I’d get in trouble for doing that. I still pride myself on my love of spicy foods and sauces.

I remember one room in the house that was ‘under construction’ the entire time. The floors were original wood. So original that the floor still had a faint red pattern in the shape of a rug. It was painted there long ago. That was to be my room when it was finished. It never was. I didn’t complain.

I remember having a trampoline in the back yard. That was fun. But then I remember the time we were warned that it wasn’t a safe neighborhood. It became less fun after that.

I remember the dogwood tree in the front yard. We rarely went to the front yard. But in the springtime, it was beautiful.

I remember getting my first hair cut at 12. I remember going to the mall…not the mall in town with two stores and a Blue Cross in it; the mall in the ‘big’ city. I bought $300 worth of clothes and felt so guilty. I tried not to ever do that again. I kept those clothes separate from all my other ones. Neatly folded in a large shopping bag right by my bed.

At 12 I remember having late night adventures with friends. I remember the internet really started making sense. (I remember Neopets). I remember I was in enough advanced English and History clubs and school projects that I could get out of math class. I skipped most of math class actually. My new math teacher–the one who might have helped me enjoy math at 11 (before I had given up because I was “terrible”)–was too nice to fail me.

I remember packing up and moving away. I don’t remember protesting. I don’t remember being sad about leaving my new found friends. I just remember starting over at 13; new town, new house, no friends. But I was less silent and more ready this time around.

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences.

I know I’m showing my age with this post and I know it’s most likely considered ‘young!’: 9/11, the brand new snack Hot Cheetos, the Internet had chat rooms and games….

Oh and in other news: don’t be a jerk to kids. That shapes their future. I tried really hard at math, but still struggled and that teacher basically gave me an excuse to just give up completely.


To Live Forever


“In every letter, in every line, she saw him. He hadn’t changed – he’d only grown into the man he’d meant to be.”

Diana Peterfreund, For Darkness Shows the Stars

“To my dearest….”

I read the faded script, ink dried on the page years ago, paper soft with age. Tucked between a loose brick on the bottom of the wall and a piece of driftwood, the letter seemed to have called for me to read its words.

My mind wanders through possibilities. Was the letter ever read? Was it laid here on purpose so many years ago? A secret hiding place between young lovers, a place to share their affection without being caught.

Did this letter fall from someone’s belongings? Perhaps the belongings of a mourning family, as they walked along this same pathway. Their husband, mother, brother…this letter a keepsake to that person, who kept it all these years.

I fold the yellowed page and return it to its envelope. Filled with possibilities and nostalgia, I daydream about the owner, wishing I could return it to its rightful place.

Part of me connects so deeply, I can’t even explain. I’m reminded of rifling through my grandparent’s memories. I’m reminded of reading the notes my parents wrote to each other. I’m reminded of the hundreds of small notes my husband and I wrote when we were younger.

I slip the letter in my purse, but thinking about it, I return it to its spot. Perhaps the letter will never be read again. Perhaps I was its first reader. There’s something beautiful about the mystery. That the words were even written at all provided a cathartic sense of love and purpose to the writer.

Beyond that, the story is unknown. But the writer’s appreciation for this mystery person will live on forever through his words. For what better way to live forever than by proof of deeds done from love?

This was part of the Writing 101’s Blogging University. Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

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A Rose is a Rose is a Rose


The meaning  is the notion that when all is said and done, a thing is what it is.


The line is from Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily, written in 1913 and published in 1922, in Geography and Plays. The verbatim line is actually, ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’:

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
Loveliness extreme.
Extra gaiters,
Loveliness extreme.
Sweetest ice-cream.
Pages ages page ages page ages.

Ok, this is the LAST post about my birthday!

I left you with the notion that my birthday was a cold and rainy mess of  a day, neither good or bad or special. And up to that point—it was! After my night class, however, I drove to Applebee’s and my dad drives up next to my car and my sister parks her car on the other side of me! This was definitely a surprise—I thought it was going to be me and my mom, but she invited the whole family! This made me happy, of course! I got to spend my birthday with mom, dad, step-mom and all of my brothers and sisters!

And I guess the ‘birthday’ doesn’t end until midnight, and Taylor proved that to be true by surprising me at my door with roses and a home made cake at 10:30 pm!! He could only stay until 11, but I ate cake at 12 so I celebrated all day!

So, ‘a rose is a rose is a rose…’ yes, my birthday was cold, rainy, and mundane at first, but it was also full of facebook and e-mail well wishes, happy birthday text messages, and family and fiancee surprises. It was what it was. =) I am thankful for a great day—and a great life given to me by God. Happy life to me.

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This is not a dorm room, nor a bed.

But the soft, clean grass–green, new.

As I lay relaxed, entranced, enthralled,

I feel the beauty of the night.

The beauty of the rain.

Falling gently and bravely.

Refreshing memory,

Washing away the smudges of worry, doubt, fear.

Allowing the total and complete abandonment of the stained garment in which we live;

Pulling over our heads the crisp, clean thought of a new day.

The rain does this to me. Nearly everytime. =) I am no poet, as you can see–merely a thinker.

Here are more rainy day thoughts from me:
Click to read: After the Rain Comes New Life

[10 Feb 2009 | Tuesday]

after the rain comes new life.

Imagine this rain pelting down on me, the lonely yellow flower,
or weed, you can call me whatever you like.
But…just imagine this rain, drenching me and soaking into the pores of my wilted stalk, and very ungently weighing the fragile yellow petals closer to the dark, drenched soil.
Mud-stained rain pools around my withered roots like a murder victim’s claim to death.
And all the while I feel as if I’m drowning in someone else’s lake of fire.
I only now did notice the soft, spongy texture where my roots desperately feed; secretly reviving my soul, pumping oxygen into my metaphorical heart, and bringing color to the saddest part of me.

Click to read: Steady Now

[27 May 2008 | Tuesday]

steady, now

“One more day to waste away,” the little girl sitting beside me on the bumpy subway sullenly shares. She is dressed in a gray trenchcoat with a matching beret.

The rain beats a continuous hum on my heart as I rush away from underground to the nearest magazine stand featuring the latest gossip and drag.

The new air has become more of a smog stuck in my lungs. I am carried away through the sea of grays and umbrellas to a quaint landing where birds brave the beating drops of water and continue to flutter in small circles forward and backward.

I stare a few blocks ahead of my beating heart and see through the rain exactly what my heart most desired in this dreary new land. Or what I thought it would like to desire. But now I forget why I ever wanted and dreamed of such a foggy mist and why I ever thought the horizon could provide anything greener, richer, more beautiful.

I didn’t ever mind the rain or the smog or the little girl.
I didn’t ever believe that life was here to waste; the days were here to mourn.

I could’ve latched onto the new, popular dreariness hitting down on every American home searching for the idyllic American Dream. I just didn’t let my soul become sucked up by the aliens who pretend to know happiness and the foriegners who sold happiness on the street corners.

I didn’t think they really had happiness to give away to me, so I walked on by their venues paved with gold. I could barely recognize the fear and the pain and the truth etched into the gold veneer.

I laugh and cry as I think I was so close to being one of the millions of unsatisfied customers who sell away their hopes and continue reaching into their ever-emptying pockets for more unhappiness.
But I just never let the fog enter too close to my heart.

In reading old blog posts on myspace I realized that I can WRITE! And yes that statement can be viewed as bragging, but hear me out: If I put my mind to it I can actually put thoughts and words together very beautifully. So there is no excuse why I write such nonsense. My words no longer hold beauty. Come on, now, Alyssa—find some beauty in your words again.