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‘First Man’ nailed it. (Movie Review)

Hello Precious Readers!

Before I jump in, a quick BOOK UPDATE from me: The outline for my paranormal is underway. I originally was only going to do 2 books, but the characters refuse to stop talking at me. It may end up being a 3-book series. The outline for Book 1 is done, and I’m working on the Book 2 outline. I’m doing things a bit differently this time. I want to have all (however may) books completed and ready for the publishers at the time of submission. This means, if my proposed stories are contracted, they’ll be released on a nice and steady schedule. Faster from me to you! Whatever happens, it’s the story I’m working on, the story I need to be working on, and the story I can’t stop working on. Whether publisher picks it up is yet to be seen, but I cannot stop writing it.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. (Spoiler-free portion of review.)

FIRST MAN

 

Overall Rating: A-

Ryan Gosling’s Performance: A+

Claire Foy’s Performance: A+

Effects: A+

Directing Style: B+

PROS: Strong, subtle, restrained performances, excellent effects. The space training, first person point of view, and space stuff is visually stunning, leaving you holding your breath the entire time as you feel the clock ticking down.

CONS: The director’s handheld film style, while helps shape the performances of its A-List star actors and promotes the “sitting in the room with the actors” style of storytelling, is completely unfocused and nauseating in IMAX view. Be prepared for a slow burn, while the movie’s pacing fits the mood, you will leave feeling exhausted.

Overall Impressions: Last night, the hubby Pilot and I went to see First Man, the biographical story of Neil Armstrong. The movie doesn’t tell us much about Neil’s childhood or youth. Instead, it drops you right into the center of the middle of his life. He’s married, a father, and already a part of the government as a test pilot. If you’re waiting for a tear-jerking childhood trauma story, this isn’t it. Instead, the drama is in ordinary daily life experiences that Armstrong had in his personal life in dynamic juxtaposition of having an extraordinary career and skill. (It’s still a tear-jerker, bring the tissues.)

SPOILERS WARNING
(You’ve been warned.)

Now for the spoilers…

Let’s get the ugliness out of the way. It’s a biography, not a documentary. By now, if you’ve heard anything about the move First Man, you may have heard of the controversy revolving around the director completely skipping over the planting of the American flag on the Moon. If you follow me on social media, you already know how I feel about this, but for those who don’t… Come find me on Facebook and Twitter. You’re missing daily fun! Ok, back to the seriousness: This movie is a biography, not a documentary. There are countless film clips showing the planting of the flag on the moon by Armstrong that you can go and watch if you want a recollection of history.

To call this movie un-American, I’m afraid you will have completely missed the point of the movie. Its focus is not about USA’s attempt to be the first to the moon. While that is a major part of the movie, it’s not the focus. The focus is a human-interest story. The question “At what cost do you keep pressing on?” is asked repeatedly throughout the film, paralleling NASA’s Gemini and Apollo missions, and Armstrong’s dealings, or lack of dealings, with loss after loss of loved ones. It’s about the emotional toll of someone who is so specialized in his field, it takes laser focus and dedication, even at the cost of the life of his own making. It’s about the choices to connect with others, or not, and how those breadcrumb decisions lead you to where you presently are as a person.

Life of a pilot. As you can imagine, my husband Pilot and I were carefully watching the film over the actors’ performances. Would they accurately portray the life of a couple where one is constantly putting themselves at a higher risk of danger than your average person? Would they portray aviation accurately and objectively? Would Hollywood overblow and glorify what should be showing the everyday impact an extraordinary career can have on an ordinary family? Pilot was impressed with the accuracy of the time you sit in “Ground School” learning so much math and science you feel like your head will explode. The in-flight calculations conducted as you adjust your fuel rationing. The calm, cool, and collected mind that a pilot needs to have, even in the face of imminent death. He agreed the director did an outstanding job.

Merely opinion, but as Pilot and I have lived our lives, the aviation community is quite small. Pilots tend to fall into two categories: boisterous and friendly, or quiet and reserved–but still friendly. There’s something about the aviation world that I’ve appreciated. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone involved knows how much time, dedication, finances, and hard work that goes into learning how to fly something. That any miscalculation will affect how long or how far you’ll be able to fly, or if you’ll be able to get off the ground. Overseeing your own fate tends to make you cut the bull and recognize what real priorities are, for flying and in life.

Back to the movie…

Ryan Gosling’s performance was exceptional. Again, I am not a die-hard Gosling fangirl, but I appreciate his acting skills. Known for playing the ‘silent type’ he evokes a constantly running tickertape of emotions that flash in his eyes in a matter of a few, brief seconds. Deeply rooted pain, determination, failure, selfishness, and a desperate draw for connection that is severed within the first ten minutes of the movie, you can feel the one-two punch of every blow to Armstrong’s journey to the moon. (Sorry “Goslings” out there, I don’t remember him ever being shirtless in this movie. Personally, I’m grateful. Sucks to be you.)

10Reasons

Loving a Pilot. I have the utmost respect for and pride in my husband. He started flying at the age of 13 years old (before the FAA changed the rules requiring aspiring pilots to be a bit older) and achieved his private pilot’s license at 16 years old. Long-term blog readers know that we are college sweethearts. He was studying Flight Technology at Central Washington University and obtained his instrument rating for his pilot’s license. (For non-aviation people: this means he can fly without any visibility out of the windows, using only the instrument panel.) It almost literally means he can do it blindfolded. The training that comes with an instrument rating makes the student wear gigantic blinders over your face, only allowing him to see the gauges and dials in front of you, and topographical maps to fly. It doesn’t change the fear of being on the ground while a loved one defies gravity for suspended amounts of time. Nor does it quell the fear that the few minutes I see him before he heads out the door might be the last interaction I ever have with him.

It will never change the fact that for each moment my husband is in the air, whether piloting the aircraft himself, or he’s flying with other pilot friends, that a part of my mind and heart will unendingly worry about his safety until I hear he is on the ground.

I am forced to put 100% trust in my husband, his hours of experience in the air or most recent training, his training instructor(s) from over the years agreeing his skills are what they should be, that the weather will cooperate perfectly, and the FAA regulations. I must trust that bird won’t randomly fly into his plane that day. I am forced to trust that for however long he will be in the air, that he will land safely. I am forced to trust that a pine cone that is blown onto the runway will not make a multi-ton metal coffin, with the potential to ignite, to flip, crash, and/or cartwheel on the runway during takeoff or landing.

splos

Am I being overdramatic? Let me ask you: Does the love of your life hop into a small plane or helicopter, like a bug in the wind, several times a week? Sometimes flying through the mountains, being midair when a patch of fog rolls in, or landing in the middle of a forest with no cell reception? Smaller planes and helicopters don’t have parachutes. There are no computers guiding them. For my husband, it’s just him the yoke, pedals, and a rudder. If he’s riding in a friend’s helicopter, it’s the helicopter pilot, a stick, and pedals. That’s it. Is this considered a part of your daily life?

No?
Then, you don’t know.

You can tell me until you’re blue in the face that flying is safer than driving. I agree with you. I know the statistics as well. Millions of people are in the air right now, miraculously not crashing into each other, going from point A to point B and back. This summer, when Pilot considered going into agricultural aviation, and we had the fortuitous opportunity to talk with the owner of an Ag Pilot business in Quincy, WA. The gentlemen explained with ag flying, it’s not a matter of if you crash, but when you crash. Ag pilots fly within 100 feet of the ground, working hard to avoid phone lines and poles, trees, birds, buildings, etc.

This last August, John Sessions, founder of the Historic Flight Foundation in Everett, WA, was injured in a crash at the Abbotsford, B.C., Canada airshow and due to injuries, doctors were forced to amputate one of his legs below the knee. The airplane had passengers, but thankfully there were no fatalities. My husband knows and has worked for John in the past, and we were relieved to hear that was the extent of his injuries. It won’t stop him from flying. It shouldn’t stop him from flying. But, we need to acknowledge the crash happened. Crashes happen. This wasn’t the first crash to occur during an airshow this last summer. There were two, with Sessions’ crash happening later in summer.

Over the years, he and I have agreed that he not give me fine details about when he takes off for a flight. I only want to know when he’s landed on the ground. He messages me every single time, whether he has a signal or not – so the moment he is within range of cell phone bars, I can see he landed safely. Sometimes it will be the middle of the day and I receive a message from Pilot saying a friend offered to take him up flying that afternoon and he’ll be home late. I’m forced to think back to the morning and hope we had a good one together.

Claire Foy’s performance as the rock of the Armstrong family, heading things at home, and keeping her cool for her children while listening to the radio of Armstrong and Houston’s (NASA command) communications, even when things are going wrong, is the most perfect depiction I’ve seen on screen. She’s not a crybaby, she’s not a drama queen. She knows that it doesn’t help. She is not unemotional, she’s not a robot. She visibly worries, dreads, fears, patiently waits during excruciatingly long periods of time for her pilot to return to the ground and back home. If I could ever meet Foy, I can’t wait to thank her for portraying a steadfast strength and equal vulnerability in the same moment that comes when something has gone wrong and you’re merely a bystander.

A pilot needs to be able to go into a flight with a clear head, whether to fly for pleasure, work, the military, or in Armstrong’s case, space exploration. Pilots need to know home is a calm, settled, undisturbed bubble, and taken care of by those left behind on the ground, so they can focus on their flying. Sometimes it’s easy to be this rock. Sometimes it’s not. Pilot is not a toxic male. He does not ignore or bulldoze over my feelings or emotions. He respects my opinion and often, if not always, seeks it. We decide things together versus him “taking my opinion under consideration,” or vice versa. We talk about anything and everything. We laugh about almost everything. We joke, we fight, we support.

astro

Pilot and I had a long talk after the movie. We agreed the director and actors portrayed the pride, joy, elation, accomplishment, concern, strain, and the tiny sprout of fear of death that connects two people over the gravity-defying drive and skillset one has that can impact a couple at home. Watching the connection between Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy grow, stretch, strain, and watching how they moved with or around each other, how they discussed, blatantly ignored, or fought about their emotions that surround an aviation-based household… well, it hit a bit too close to home. Granted, we are the ant-sized micro to their macrocosm, but this movie was starting to feel a bit too much like transcription from our own lives.

There was an evening about five years ago. Pilot and a friend decided to go fly up in Northern Washington. There was no greater sound than when my heart fell out of my chest, and I received a phone call. Before I even said anything, the words, “We needed to make an emergency landing,” came through the receiver. It was immediately followed with “Everyone is okay,” but the infinitesimal seconds between those statements I felt a piece of my soul die. A thick fog had rolled in, and they decided to land in an empty, abandoned field with no lights or street signs around to give me an idea of where they were. I spent the next few hours with a friend of mine back and forth in the same area trying to figure out where they had landed. After about three hours, I found them, we all went to dinner, and when the weather cleared again, they both went back to their starting airport. (Pilot still had to pick up his own car.)

Again, I ask you: Do you feel that I’m being overdramatic? Does the love of your life hop into a small plane or helicopter, like a bug in the wind, several times a week? No? Then, you don’t understand the feelings involved.

Practical Effects. The effects used for the space scenes, are without question, some of the most stunning depictions of outer space I’ve seen as of late. The effects used for the training of the pilots/astronauts, and when the actors were inside of each vessel, made each person feel as isolated, claustrophobic, and tripled the intensity. Pilot had mentioned to me that this director prefers minimal CGI. The horrifying and engulfing sounds of metal stretching and yawing, scraping, skittering all around the tight confines of each manned vessel will scare the pants off you more than any horror movie ever will. Probably because it realistically sounds like the last noise you ever hear. I was blown away by the effects, and always prefer practical effects over computer generated.

Length of movie. You’ll feel it all. One thing I will give this movie, is the time spent on experiencing the above-mentioned effects. However, that doesn’t help the slow pacing of the movie. Though it is worth every minute, you will feel every minute of this movie. Be prepared to feel tired, and a little melancholy after this one.

Filming style: Bring out the in-flight vomit bags! We paid money to see this movie in IMAX. Personally, I wouldn’t have, but for Pilot, this was important we do this. The director used a handheld camera style, along with the texture of the film being in a vintage style appropriate for the 1960’s. What does this mean? A lot of bouncing and shaking, along with a lot of fuzziness on the outer parts of the screen. The outer space scenes were filmed statically so the shaky experience isn’t present during the space-y stuff. While unsure if the cost is worth the few minutes of outer space scenery sprinkled throughout the film, die-hard space exploration fans will get a visual treat in crystal clear IMAX format.

Final thoughts. Powerful and restrained acting, a not-so-steady-hand style of film, and the emotional pull and toll life has over a regular person with an anything-but-normal day job will leave you holding your breath until the last minute. Letting go of that single breath in the same way our characters do at the end. If you’re a science/NASA/space exploration nerd, it’s up to you if IMAX is worth it for you. For a “normal” like me, maybe see it on a regular screen and save yourself a few bucks. If Gosling and Foy don’t at least receive Oscar nods, I’ll be highly disappointed in the Academy (even though we all know awards ceremonies are complete shams).

“To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.”

garbage is easily the bane of my existence

“Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
If you can’t eat it or play with it,
just pee on it and walk away.”
– Anonymous

Long ago, in the same place I live now, my hubby and I adopted a wee little puppy named Handsome. Being the kind of people who find names like that a bit odd, we renamed him Nimitz.

Since Nimitz is a far less odd name, right?

Nimitz was a shy little thing, malnourished, and bald of any form of fur. He was a kind soul, mellow. Although he was a bit timid of the world, he seemed interested in it, and of us.

Nimitz 1

Day 1. This scrawny, bald-patched pup entered our lives.

We brought him home, and began feeding the little fellow. Not used to such a tiny creature, we had, unfortunately, bought food that was too large for his miniscule mouth to grab onto and chew. And so, Pilot and I would spend an extra 20 minutes per pre-meal chopping each individual chunk of food into smaller bites until there was enough to fill his bowl. This included waking up at 5 AM to get ready for the day, and have Nimitz’s food ready by 6 AM, all the way into making sure Nimitz had enough food throughout the day. If only we hadn’t purchased a dog food bag so large that Costco would be proud.

Nimitz 3

We arrive home, with the “far too large morsels” dog food in tow!

Nimitz 2

Settling in.
(Mind the mess, will you? We’ve cleaned since then.)

Over time, he grew to love us, and allow us to pet him. His previous owner had failed to mention that poor Nimitz had consumed 2 condoms that were working through his poor little system before we brought Nimitz to live with us. It took 2 weeks for them both to pass through. Needless to say, we were horrified to learn these had been lurking around his little intestinal tract, and we were grateful he hadn’t gotten sick nor died from them. We did our (albeit reluctant) part of “helping” him remove these from his system.

Now, Pilot and I are not picky about breed. We just looked at this tiny wee pup in our lives and had fun guessing what he might turn out to be once his fur grew in. Much to our surprise, we were greeted with “Full Pom.” Nimitz’s fur began to grow back and we learned that this wonderful pup was not a Chihuahua, nor a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix. As the fur grew longer and longer, our assurances were made more clear. It became obvious that this furry family member went “Full Pom” on us.

Oh the brushing. The constant, every other day brushing. The brushing doesn’t end. It requires clearing the bristles of his brush at least 4 times per brushing experience. I wish I was kidding. That’s during summer. It will be winter soon, and his winter coat will be arriving shortly. That requires 7 clearings of the bristles of his brush. Haircuts are a must with this little guy.

Nimitz 5

Brush time, you say? I LOVE Brush time!

As we taught little Nimitz to become housebroken and leash trained, we would walk him around and around our place, familiarizing him with the area. Teaching him the do’s/do not’s of areas that are fun and areas that are bad for him to venture into. Teaching him to be aware of cars, pay attention to his surroundings (as long as there wasn’t a squirrel around). We were proud to discover he was a pup who learned quickly and permanently.

This would become a double-edged sword to our lives.

Nimitz 4

Life is peaceful!

Nimitz 8

Life is good!

Nimitz 7Loving life!

I want to say it was around Week 5. Pilot and Nimitz were commencing their midday constitutional, when a thunderous noise was heard across the land. The ground shook beneath his paws. His ears twitched in hyperawareness. Nimitz’s body shook at a rate surely to shred the fur from his body. Pilot and Jason had turned the corner, only to discover IT. The Green Evil Thing. The Garbage Truck!

Nimitz’s eyes widened. He backed up against Pilot’s legs. He hunched his back, trying to make his already mini canine body as small as possible away from the Green Evil Thing. As the mechanisms whirred, the motor churning, and the air brakes releasing a high-pitched whine, poor little Nimitz could only freeze. A little 5 pound puppy against a machine 100 times larger than Pilot!

Then, the Green Evil Thing did something worse. It collected the garbage. It’s giant mutant mechanical arm swung around and grabbed one of Nimitz’s favorite things to sniff: The garbage can. This terrific beast grabbed the garbage can without even blinking, lifting it into the air and dumping the garbage can’s inner workings, consuming it into the Green Evil Thing’s self! What horror beheld the hazel eyes of our wee little one! He had no idea such a monstrosity existed in this world!

Nimitz, shaking like a leaf on a branch, tucked tail and bolted back to our home, dragging Pilot behind him. Pawing at our front door, Pilot opened our place, and Nimitz ducked under our bed and wouldn’t come out for anything. Not toys, not food, not soft calling, or even his beloved doggy treats. Under the dark depths of our bed, Nimitz stayed for a full twenty minutes after the Green Evil Thing was gone, off to digest another poor garbage can down the street. Its contents of wondrous odors that are preferred by the canine species gone forever.

(For a few days, at least.)

Nimitz 9

PILOT! IT’S THE GREEN EVIL THING!

Nimitz 10

PILOT! WAKE UP AND SAVE ME!

Now, to this day, every time the damn Green Evil Thing (aka Garbage Truck), or a UPS truck, or FedEx truck, Groundskeeper vehicle, any large truck, or anything with air brakes is within a 2 block radius; or, if we’re having a family car trip and one of those things goes by, our dog goes full bezerker, barking as wildly as possible before tucking tail and running under the bed, (or in the back seat on the floor). It takes less time for him to recover, only 1-2 minutes. Sometimes Pilot and I can have him “sit” and “stay” early enough in the process that Nimitz won’t duck under the bed right away. But, he eventually does. He’ll cuddle in fear with his Guard Dragon (an orange toy) under the bed for a couple of minutes before rejoining us as if nothing has happened.

So, to the Green Evil Thing – I will never forgive you, but thank you for taking our garbage once a week. We know you’re just doing your job… but try telling my dog that.

Want to see more pictures of Nimitz? Check out my Instagram @katnundum!

What is your pet afraid of?

How have you conquered that fear, if at all?

What was something you or your pet wasn’t fearful of before, but you are now?

Is there an Green Evil Thing in your life?

Leave your comments below.

soothing the tempest

He steadies the tempest in my mind by using a smile. He heals my scars by just holding me. I struggle daily, saddened and distressed by fear. He listens. My nerves quake at sharing my dreams. The ones I’m afraid to admit to myself. He doesn’t bat an eye. He says the two words that soothe, a balm to my growing panic of the future: “I’m in.”

Thanks to God for making Pilot my minute-by-minute reminder of what a true love is. I hope to reflect a fraction of the love he shows me each moment of every day.

Here’s to 4 years of marriage, 11 years together, and to a lifetime of love. Happy Anniversary to my sweet Pilot!

thanks to the internet: compared to Pavlov, i’m a fucking genius

It has come to my attention that I’ve become a somewhat bad wife.

Due to the struggles of my Daily Life, I have allowed the Stressors of my Daily Life seep into what once was the serene calm and peace of my Real Life. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad because the rare times these occasions have occurred, the result ends with me scolding myself in my mind. Unfortunately in this case, I started doing something really unsettling to my core: I’ve been letting the Stressors interfere with my relationship with Pilot.

Now, Precious Readers, you may not be aware-

-Or, I’m going to live in denial, acting assuming blissfully that you’re unaware of the fact-

-that I’m a bit of a hot head.  Believe me, Precious Readers, Pilot and I really are one of those lovey-dovey couples, as proven by earlier posts full of smoochy-kissy-such-annoying-comments-they-make-you-want-to-puke-adorableness.  However, you must realize that no matter what, together or separate, Pilot and I still have one, gargantuan problem: We’re human.

We still have egos.  We still have the kaleidoscope of emotions that people have.  We still have our own varying levels of tempers.

My temper is significantly bigger than his. This one measuring contest with an evil prize for having the biggest one.

Unfortunately this fact is not going to remedy itself anytime soon, but not from a lack of trying.  I’ve been working on this less-than-ideal aspect to my personality my whole life, and continue to work on it on a daily (sometimes minute-by-minute) basis. Regretfully, I admit to blowing up quite a few times over the last several weeks.

This fall has been difficult as Pilot was not yet hired on by a school district.

Pilot, if you’re reading this: I have full faith in -some- of the school districts and that something will come up soon.

Times are tough so that means I’m working full-time while he’s applying for positions at home. That’s right ladies of the Precious Reader brigade: I’m the sugar mama right now.

The biggest problem: the bills are stacking up higher than the Leaning Tower of Pisa and we have credit card debt.  With only one of us working full-time, it’s exhausting and frustrating, making it difficult for each of us to stop ourselves from resenting the other while enduring this particular predicament.

Case in point: back to the blow ups.

While conducting my most recent tirade, a warning bell went off in my mind.  A tiny stitch of a memory began pushing itself to the forefront of my brain.  In the middle of a few choice words, a lightbulb went off.

I’ve lived this entire argument before.

In fact, it had been exactly one year earlier venting about the exact same topic, at the same someone with whom I should treat as my best friend and confidante.  As the TV series, How I Met Your Mother would advise, I was experiencing the negative side of “Revertigo.”

Now, revertigo was a term coined by series (and I’m paraphrasing here) defined as someone who, when placed in proximity with someone from your past, reverts to their past personality traits of a previous life stage with such someone. For example: seeing a friend from high school and reverting to your teenage vocabulary and body language.

In this case, my revertigo was triggered by being placed in a very tough situation that is out of my control, and acting out.  A very similar situation that presented itself in October of 2011 and October of 2010.

After recognizing the apparent anniversary of this argument, I gave myself a thorough scolding. After such scolding, I delved into the cobwebbed, dusty part of my brain to assess how I fixed this issue the last time I had to conduct an inner-attitude check.  Then, a dim bulb brightened.

The Internet.

On of my favorite pass-times emerged reminding me I had conducted research on this very subject.  I tore through the interwebs trying to gather the same articles that had helped me before.

You would be amazed at how many articles exist to assist with stress management and communicating with your partner. After re-reading (what was probably the third anniversary of reading) these articles, they all pretty much chalk up to the same basic principles, focusing on how to ask for things, how to reward good behavior (yes, Pavlov’s dog references are made, and the gender-stereotypical notation of wives to use sex as a reward), and the overarching point they drive home: Respect.

Mutual respect to be exact.

Check out an article written by Jodie Gould (JG) for Woman’s Day magazine that I find provides the best summary of great methods to use with your partner.

For me, first pinpointing my exact frustrations would help me apply her principles to create a happier home environment for Pilot and me.

Example Frustration For Sake Of Blog Posting This Topic: Cooking.
Typically, our routine is I do all of the cooking, Pilot does the dishes and takes out the garbage. Pilot did not cook until he met me. I’ve taught him about the kitchen over the years, and although he may not be a gourmet chef, he has reached a level where I no longer have concerns that the kitchen will catch fire, a burrito won’t explode in the microwave, and that he won’t starve when left to his own devices.

Now, I love to cook.  I have no problem taking time in the evening to set up dinner when I know he has also put in an equal amount of time outside of our home contributing our combined income, and is as equally exhausted as I am.

Unfortunately, our dynamic has changed. Right now, I’m at work all day and Pilot is at home. I come home with the same exhaustion I face every other workday, but Pilot has, what I had considered, ample time to himself.  I was irritated that at the end of the day, I come home (tacking on having been in an additional hour or 1.5 hours in grizzly Seattle traffic) to find that I’m going to now have to prepare dinner for both of us.  From scratch.

We’ve established that I’m not a morning person, so the argument of morning prep work to save time in the evenings is out of the question, unless it’s a slow-cooker thing that I throw the kitchen sink in and come home to a good smelling meal.

JG’s first recommendation is easily applied to this situation.  Be advised, Pilot and I have always made use of the words “please” and “thank you.” We were each raised by very traditional parents. Manners were a high expectation in our respective, childhood homes. We’ve always used our P’s and Q’s-

Like what I did there?  A wee bit of rhyme, somewhat Dr. Suessian style?

-and applied the same manners with each other in our relationship. We also made a separate vow to always use them, even when we’re old.  <shrug.> What can I say? I find good manners are important.

However, as far as task completion of any “honey do” lists are concerned, I’ve found that the use of P’s and Q’s aren’t always enough.

In 2010, I tried this method a few times and it produced about a 50% improvement.  “Hmm… 50% isn’t bad.  Worth pursuing,” I thought to myself.

The real key to making this method work? Touching.

No, not THAT. We’ll, at least not yet. But we’ll get to that later.

JG’s additional point of using a slight touch to your partner’s arm registered a much more comprehensive response from Pilot that my mere vocal request. When I first experimented with this, after receiving the 50% improvement results, I pushed this method even further, and it worked.

“Time to bring in the big guns, again,” I thought yesterday.

Just this morning, re-tested this method (sorry, I must have Dr. Seuss on the brain), phrasing my request from a mere “Would you mind prepping dinner a little before I get home? I’m so tired at the end of the day.” to “Would you mind prepping the vegetables for our salads tonight before I get home?  It saves me time putting together dinner. That way I can come home, throw them together in a few minutes and we can spend more time enjoy dinner together.”

Not only did I receive a nod of response, I also received a watt-burning smile and an, “Of course, sweetie. That makes sense. No problem.”  And what did I come home to?

Chopped and rinsed vegetables so dinner only took 10 minutes to prepare instead of 40!

VICTORY!  It works! It really works!  I can’t believe I stopped doing this!  Must. Keep. Using. Touching. Method.

The reason for this amazing victory?  I created an opportunity for him to be my hero.  It may sound clichéd, but there are typically 2 different personality types in a relationship:

Partner 1: The Do-er/The Problem Solver. Recognizable by the fact that they’re the ones who struggle when you say, “I just want you to listen” and have to practically rip their own tongues out to not provide a “Well have you tried…” statement after listening to your problem. That [insert favorite annoying mechanical device here] is making a weird noise, and they leap off of their seat and go fix it and say, “Ta Da! I fixed it!”

Then there’s Partner 2: The Listener/The Nurturer.  This is the partner who is good at listening, will hold your hand or give you a supportive hug while they help you figure out what you want to do, and talk it out as much as you are willing to talk it out. They will not make suggestions to resolve your problem unless truly asked for it.  When stressed, Partner 2 is the one who just likes to vent and feels better after sharing their feelings, ready to move on with the day.  No resolution may have been suggested during this venting.

I am nowhere near going to make a statement that this is based on gender roles, because that in itself is sexist. Don’t even get me started on how much I hate gender roles.

In this case, Pilot happens to be the Problem Solver, and I’m the Nurturer.  I’m mostly all bark and no bite (unless I’m scared, then I’m the “punch attacker, then run” person).  If I say, “Sweetie, not right now, but the next time you get up, would you get me a glass of water?” And I truly mean, just the next time he happens to get up.  I may not even be craving water at the time, but I know I might down the road.

What can I say? I’m Type A and a planner. Those types of thoughts of needing water within the next hour come to me.  Don’t judge me.

Now, one thing you should definitely know about me, if you haven’t already picked up on this, is I don’t sugarcoat things. I don’t play games. I say exactly what I mean.

Again, I don’t always mean to say things out loud, but that’s bound to happen when you’re a babbler.

Even if it’s inconvenient for him, Pilot immediately springs into action and gets me a glass of water.  He didn’t have to, he could have waited. But that’s him being The Problem Solver.  Over the last ten or so years of being with Pilot, I’ve learned this.  And he’s learned my quirks as well.

While recalling the nuances to each of our personalities, I recognize I need to keep working on keeping my temper in check.  Re-learning how to ask Pilot for things and continually reminding myself that the ‘touching’ method works for us will help prevent tirade-inducing situations, negating the need for keeping my temper in check in the first place.

Now back to the…<cough.> other subject: Rewarding good behavior.

Now, one thing that all of the articles I’ve read boiled down to, was similar to parenting methods and pet training: You need to reinforce the good behavior and reward it.

Personally, I find the comparison of my husband to a child or a puppy degrading, but hey, I didn’t write those articles.

All of the articles’ suggestions of the type of reward was a polar opposite to child rearing and pet training.  You guessed it.  Reward your partner with sex.

Really.  That’s it.  Sex.

All of the articles basically had one form or another of physical intimacy rewards, such as:

  1. Quantity = Quantity. Such as, however many minutes were spent on dusting is directly equal to the same number of minutes spent making out
  2. Certain tasks = Certain acts. Laundry folding = 10 minutes of touching, each dish washed = 1 kiss, extra bonus points (think french kissing) if the person took the time to pre-soak the dishes or did it without being asked
  3. Big Project = Big Bonus. Did he finally get to that garage and clean it out?  Well holy smokes, you get to fulfill a certain fantasy that person has specified as a reward.

The list goes on an on of examples, but… basically they all boil down to sex.

<shrug.> I figure, whatever. The articles are what they are.

To clarify, the point of these articles are not to use sex as weapon, and I do not condone this behavior.  What I mean is, I don’t believe in withholding sex as a method to get someone to do something.  Creating a ” ‘No soup for you,’ until [insert task that hasn’t been completed here]!” environment is bad for any relationship.  That is not the point of these suggestions.

Now I’m not going to share whether I use this method or not, because this still is the internet, and there are some things best left kept private about my relationship with Pilot.

I will, however make the statement: The suggested reward ismutually beneficial… So, what’s the harm in invoking this method into your home.

And that’s all I’m going say about that.

So what do you think: are these good suggestions?  Are the experts right?  These methods have worked for Pilot and me, but do they work for you?  And how about you: are you the partner who is The Problem Solver or The Nurturer, or another type entirely?

i think mother nature has an evil twin… and she hates me

Take that disgusting thing off of my boobs, thank you!

Holy cow! I can’t believe I’m already on DWC 15! (There are a total of 25, so I’m over halfway through!)

ATTENTION ALL READERS:

Coining a term from my Daily Life, “Scope Creep,” has fallen upon me. Maintaining a lifestyle of a full-time job, dealing with said Daily Life, writing this blog, working on the DWC’s, trying to carve additional time for my WIP’s and trying to obtain a fair amount of sleep each night… Well, it’s becoming all too much and something has got to give. If I’m not careful, it could quite possibly be my sanity.

Let’s face the facts: If the sanity is completely gone, who wants to read the ramblings of a crazy person?

With most of the outline for my first of a two-book series written out, I hope to have at least both outlines completed, along with officially having started to knock out the first book by the end of the month.

With the ultimate goal of getting published someday, (if I’m lucky enough to be selected by an agent, and then, by some miracle have my work picked up by a publishing company), these last two weeks have proven me wrong:

I cannot continue with the mere goal of writing something each day. I need to be focused on my WIP’s each day.

The (mostly) daily blogging has assisted with me getting back into the groove of taking at least one hour to focus on my Real Life work. I need to use my now aging memory for redeveloping my writing skills.

I will try to post as often as possible, at minimum weekly. So bear with me readers, the few but precious you are! I promise to remain faithful as ever to provide a detailed, if slightly ridiculous, report of my progress.

And now, back to our show!

Daily Writing Challenge 

Day 15: Your character is upset. What about? How does it affect them? Does anyone come to comfort them? Write a scene where your character is distraught.

[Today’s DWC and my daily blog post are one and the same. So hope you enjoy!]

Lesson Learned: No matter how much you try, one cannot fight Mother Nature.  Even if you hate it sometimes.

I believe that God has a sense of humor, (don’t believe me? Have you ever seen a platypus?), and although I’m 100% sure He loves everyone, I also believe the caveat of His humor is that He enjoys screwing with me, just a tiny bit, to see how I’ll react.

Case in point: As part of Pilot’s birthday weekend, we went out to watch the IL2, a Russian WWII war bird fly this afternoon. Instead of being part of the museum’s crowd, we made our way to the opposite side of the runway, near the windsock, amongst the tall grass.  After an amazing one-hour show, Pilot and I made our way back to our car.

As I was belting myself in, I felt a presence on my shoulder. Batting the nuisance away, I froze.  The annoying presence fell into my shirt.  Glancing downward, there it was.

A spider.

A really big spider.

Cricket on a cracker, there is a HUGE SPIDER IN MY BRA!!!

As I gracefully scream and tastefully swat at my boobs-

Get it out! Get it out!  Get this fucking thing off of MEEE!

-I end up repeatedly squashing it against my poor, innocent breast.  (Let’s just say some more screeching ensued for the next few seconds on top of the additional swatting and accidental exposure of myself to those within viewing distance of our vehicle.)

Desperate to remove this creepy crawly from my person, I was finally able to dislodge the Spawn of Satan out of my shirt, flinging it unceremoniously onto the console of Pilot’s vehicle where the humongous thing proceeded to lie there… somewhat flatly while twitching.  Bursting through the car door, I stand outside facing the interior of War Machine, (Pilot and I dubbed his vehicle War Machine not too long ago. What can I say? I already told you it’s a tradition that we name our modes of transportation), and pointed directly to Evil Incarnate calmly requesting Pilot to “Get that… that… THING, away from me!”

Pilot, having just sat in the driver’s seat watching this whole ordeal with a look of amusement on his face, (the rat bastard), proceeds to take his hand from the steering wheel, placing his forefinger and thumb behind Satan’s Mistress and flicked it out of the car.

Sadly, I was under the misfortune of not having my wits about me, (remember, I said complete loss of sanity. I never claimed to have full sanity to begin with) and was standing in the direct path of The Devil’s Wrath Upon Humanity.  The spider bounced off of me, causing another Eek! to emit from me, and it landed on the ground.

I maintained my composure by gracefully scrambling into the car, proceeding to lock all doors, seal all windows, securing Pilot and myself in impenetrable cat suits complete with boots and gloves, placing heat-seeking goggles over our eyes, surrounding our vehicle with motion-sensor cameras and setting up a perimeter of an electrified, barbed wire fence.

Pilot: Um, Sweetie? Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a little?

Me: <moves joystick to turn motion-sensor cameras back and forth.>

Pilot: I promised my parents we’d go visit them so they could celebrate my Birthday dinner with us.

Me: <adjusts heat-seeking goggles, searching for unidentified moving entities.>

Pilot: Sweetie, weneed to get going.

Me: <puts finger to lips.>  SHH! They’ll hear you!

he may not wear red underwear, but i’m ok with that

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh, wait… Yeah, it IS a plane. Never mind. <Shrug.>

Although it may technically be Sept. 15th at 1:00am, I’m still living in the past 24-hours of it being Sept. 14th. Sept. 14th marks one of the greatest days in history.  It’s Pilot’s birthday.

There are many reasons why I love Pilot, but this post would never be finished. So, instead, I thought I would write about why Pilot excels far beyond Superman.

1. He’s a sexy nerd.  Clark Kent was a mild-mannered English nerd. Writing for The Daily Planet, Mr. Superman himself was the geeky guy of the office, just short of Jimmy the photographer.  You may think that the reason I call my husband, Pilot is because his job is being a pilot. Well you’d be wrong.  Pilot is actually a special-education teacher. To this day, he amazes me his ability to connect with students who experience an exceptionally difficult time with learning, or developing the skills needed to improve. His love for science and math knows no bounds, to which I thank God for because I can’t succeed in science and math to save my life (although he and I did very well in an astronomy class together.

Me: What a great night! Ellensburg’s skies are so clear!

Pilot: Yeah! Here, let’s go to this field and setup. I’ll pour the hot chocolate.

Passerby 1: Hey! Is that a bong? It’s huge!

Me: <indignant, setting hands on hips and frowning.> No, it is not a bong. It’s a telescope. See? <points to eyepiece.>

Passerby 2: Sweet! Party time! <calls to friends in distance.> Hey! Check this chick out! She has the biggest bong I’ve ever seen!

Me: It is NOT a bong! It is a highly functional TELESCOPE! Look! You can see Venus and Mars, right there!

Passerby 1: Cool! It’s multi-functional!

Me: <shakes fist, screeching at Passersby 1 & 2.> Listen, cretins! Just because you’ve lost some brain cells does not mean you need to corrupt mine with your incessant insistence that my telescope is a device for drug use!

Passerby 2: Way to party little lady <pats the top of my head.>

Me: Argh!

Pilot: Sweetie, I think it’s time we move to a different field.

Just as Superman disguises himself to be a simple and plain man, but is all super-hunky man of steel in reality, my Pilot is a seemingly boy-next-door guy, but is superhero to children and helping them have a fighting chance in this world.  Plus, listening to him explain space’s gravitational patterns for each planet with his toothy-white grin is sexy as hell.  And besides, I’m the (maybe not-so-mild-mannered) English nerd in this relationship.

2. Ok, so he does fly a little bit. Like Superman, my Pilot is also, well a pilot. Before Washington changed its laws of age limitations for obtaining a pilot’s license, he took his first flying lesson at the tender age of 13. He literally flew a plane before ever driving a car. The way he’s better than Superman, is that for me to go flying with him, I don’t have to worry about someone looking up m nightie and freezing my crumpets off from the high altitude because I’m contained inside an ACTUAL airplane.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button> Wow! I’m flying an airplane… And I’m scared shitless right now. You can take the steering back now!

Pilot: <laughs.> You only had it for two seconds.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button and glares at Pilot.> Two seconds too long… Ooh! Nice yoke-work, Bacher! Why don’t you use those hands somewhere else?

Pilot: Sweetie, you need to stop pressing the ‘push-to-talk’ button because you just announced that to all local flying aircraft and the Tower.

Tower: Cessna 5210-AML, you’re clear to land… If your hands aren’t too busy.

Random pilot sharing airspace with us: <chuckles.>Yes, please keep your hands to yourself, Sweetie.

Me: <holds ‘push-to-talk’ button> Umm… I think they heard me.

Pilot: You’re still holding the ‘push-to-talk’ button, Sweetie.

Me: <still holding ‘push-to-talk’ button.> Oh. Sorry.

3. He has superpowers. No not actual, born an alien or dipped in toxic waste superpowers. But with one look he can provide a multitude of things: reassurance, giggle-inducing hysteria, empathy, one of the few people who can make me shut up once in a while if I’ve said something [insert favorite word here, such as weird, odd, annoying, ridiculous, etc.], and the occasional heat-induced glance that magically makes my clothes disappear. (Hey, don’t judge. I’m married and Superman had x-ray vision.  You really don’t think that Superman didn’t use it to his advantage just once?)

4. He’s talented. As Clark Kent was a journalist and fairly decent reporter, my Pilot is also extremely gifted.  Separate from his teaching and flying gigs, my Pilot is also an aviation photographer. Even better, he’s a good one!  Pilot has been published in a few magazines over the last couple of years, and also has written several blurbs on the aircraft subject in question.  He has a successful Facebook page and YouTube account where he also posts videos of his work, narrating and adding factoids to the videos for viewers to enjoy.

5. Lastly, but not at all in the least, he’s romantic. Superman had ladies drooling for decades, most of all a Ms. Lois Lane. And in this case, this little writer wised-up and realized that a kind, quiet and talented man was interested in me and I jumped at the chance at love, never regretting a day since. Thankfully, Pilot has made this relationship really easy on me by being just completely wonderful and supportive, even if I post stuff like this on the all-knowing interwebs. Even if the first Valentine’s Day card I ever received from him was signed, “I don’t care what they say. I think you’re pretty nice,” causing a temporary 2-hour argument between us.

Happy Birthday, Pilot! And I don’t care what they say, I think you’re pretty nice, too.

<blows kiss.>

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 14: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

Dear Diary,

Today I met the most impossible of all human beings! There I was, walking through the bookstore trying to keep my nonchalant, “Yes, of course I’m in the self-help section-there’s-nothing-wrong-with-that-it’s-a-perfectly-normal-thing-to-do” face. So what if I’m pushing into my latter-thirties and newly single? If someone wanted to excel in their profession, they would study for it. If someone was to perform a self tune-up of their car, they would buy a guide. So why not buy a book to help accelerate changing my single status?

While wandering the bookstore, trying to find a decently large covered book to disguise my purchase with, I bumped into a man at the mysteries/thrillers section.

“Oh! Excuse me,” I said slightly blushing at the blatant lack of focus on where I was going.

“Not at all, pardon me,” he replied. I took in the light hair and blue eyes framed by some very nice looking professor’s glasses. He was tall, wearing a slim fitting navy blue sweater and jeans. Hellooo Dr. Jones!

His head tilted slightly as he tried to glance at the title of my self-help-for-singles book, Single? So What? guide which had decided to hide itself behind my back.

“You know, if you want a really good read, you should try I’m Single and I Know It, instead.”

I blushed at the recommendation.  “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said tucking a strand of my plain brown hair behind my ears. “I’m looking for a thrill- I mean, looking for thrillers. Oh look, there’s a great one!” I say as I pluck a random book from the shelf to the right of me.

He tilts his head to the side. “Hmm… So you’re into swashbuckling pirates who stealthily rip the bodices off of young maidens, huh? I would’ve pegged you more knights-in-shining-armor kind of woman.” I raise my eyebrows at the book I had just selected.

Sure enough, there was a shirtless pirate and a young wench who apparently had no problem or apparent discomfort from having her breasts shoved up to her chin, while the pirate’s swarthy hands were undoing the ties to the back of her very cumbersome looking satin corset. Quickly glancing up to the empty space that held the damning evidence of my random selection, I realized the shelf on my right had been historical romance instead of mystery/thriller. Shit and double shit!

“You know, all you need is a glass of wine and you’re probably set for the night,” he said winking of me.

Eyes narrowing, “Why of all the nerve! I-” I pause to straighten my back at this very nosy and appalling man.  I closed my eyes for a moment taking a deep, calming breath.

“Once again, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am merely grabbing some reading material as a gag birthday gift for my friend, Lizzy, if you must know.” No need for him to find out that Lizzy is actually my dog named after my favorite romantic heroine, Elizabeth Bennett.

“Of course, my mistake,” he said, having the nerve to smile at me.

“Well, thank you. Now, if you don’t mind. I need to have these presents gift wrapped. I’m very busy and important, and must be going now. Ta!” Turning on my heel, I pause at the sound of his voice.

“Fantastic! I was busy getting this for my brother. We’ll go to gift wrapping together!” He said grinning at me.  Of all the rotten luck. Two years without a man and now I can’t get away from this one!

Together, we both walk to the gift-wrapping center’s counter and hand our items over to the customer service rep.

“Sorry about your friend. Is she going through a tough breakup right now?”

“Huh?” I blink at him.  “Oh! Yes!  Um… Right… Well, she’s recently gone through a divorce, which she’s very happy about, and is throwing herself a divorce shower,” I quickly spat out.  We both take our nicely wrapped presents, his book in pretty forest green with a gold ribbon, mine in a patterned wrapping paper covered in random letters of the alphabet and red ribbon.

“A divorce shower?” he says amused at my frustration.  “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before.  What exactly does one do at a divorce shower?”  Oh come on! Can’t I just live this humiliation in peace? It’s bad enough I resorted to self-help guides, but does it really need to have a commentary squad like Mystery Science Theater 3000?

“Well it’s- um…” I sigh and throw my hands up in the air, waiving my ‘gift’ in the air. “Oh, hell. We both know the book is for me.  Look, it’s been a little nerve-wracking catching my bloody husband in my bed with my sister and I haven’t had sex in two years, all right?”

The man’s eyes widened as he stared at me.  A woman who had been waiting in line for the gift-wrapping services looked extremely uncomfortable.  “Um… I think I forgot to comb my cat…” she said as she inched away from us slowly, and then bursting into a slight sprint towards the main door.

I felt my face burning as red as a hooker in church.  Also waiting for him to run away from the crazy-cat-lady vibe I was giving off; to my surprise he actually was pretty nice about the whole freak-out scene.

“Wow. That must have been awful. Are you ok?” he spoke softly, his eyebrows slightly furrowed, deep in thought. All they did was focus on his glasses which were straightforward black frame, emphasizing the blue-ness of his eyes.

Another deep sigh escaped my lips. “Yeah, I’m good. Sorry about that. I had just moved here for him because he was offered a job at Boeing. We were living with my sister until we could find our own place.  Then… Well, you know…” my voice drifted off as I felt tears prickling at the back of my eyes.

“I’m really sorry.  Was just teasing before, but if I’d known…” he gave a slight shrug and palms up gesture of apology.

“It’s all right. Sorry for going all berserker on you,” I smile slightly.

He stifled a snicker, “Berserker? You’ve seen Clerks?”

“Of course, hasn’t everyone? I mean, Kevin Smith may be raunchy, a little out of my comfort zone sometimes, but nonetheless is an insightful writer and commentator of life in our generation,” I state matter-of-factly.

The man stares at me again, this time in wonderment. “Wow, I think I may have fallen in love with you a little bit. Most women can’t look past goofy comedy movies like that.”

“Oh… Well, that’s just, really nice,” I say flustered at this man’s response.

“I’m Elliot. Elliot Helmsworth,” he says sticking his hand out to me.  Grasping his palm, I reply, “Claire. Claire Whitmore.”

first kiss hijacked by unknown kindergartner!

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Earlier this week, I was asked to guest post on 5thingstodotoday!  Thanks to David Ridings for the amazing opportunity and for helping me check this milestone off my my blogging bucket list!  Check it out and share a comment on how YOU beat writer’s block!  

Oh man, my first guest posting and I haven’t had this blog for a full week! <Squee!>

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program…

———-

Today’s DWC asked me to write about someone’s first kiss.  Boy did that bring up memories!  I wish I could tell you my first kiss was with my husband, a serious boyfriend or even a mere crush.

Well, it wasn’t.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but under full disclosure: my first kiss wasn’t even romantic.  

I don’t even know his name.

I was a plucky, annoyingly-perky kindergartner waiting impatiently for the recess bell, as all kindergartners do.  Rushing to be one of the first people in line, I marched along with my other kiddie classmates to the wood chipped playground.  Recess time is about all a four-year-old lives for, other than finger painting.

Utilizing my time carefully, I climb the “Big Toy,” run down the slides in the exact manner we were instructed not to do and play foursquare with those intimidating rubber bouncy-balls.

You know the ones. The scary ones notorious for marring children’s innocence during lethal games of dodgeball.

While making my ascent to fulfill my plan of going across the monkey bars-

I’m going to make it all the way across this time, I know it!

-my plan was being interrupted by a boy from another kindergarten group. He was about the same height as me with light brown, somewhat-curly hair, his little face complete with dimples. He runs up to me and said, “You’re Katie! I like you!”

Smack!

He leans over and kisses me square on the lips. Pulling back after a mere fraction of a second, he gives me a partially-toothy grin and runs away.  Standing there blinking at the empty space which only a second prior had held a human being.

So what happened next, you might ask?  Well, I did what any logical four-year-old who had just been hijacked emotionally does.

I tattled on him.

I run right up to the teachers monitoring (and apparently not very well) the children at play, wiping my mouth with my sleeve. I raise a serious finger toward my pint-sized-temporary-captor, stating in a steady but angry voice, “That boy just kissed me!”

The teachers looked at me.  They looked at each other.

Then, they laughed.

They laughed!

Well, you can imagine the indignation I felt as the color worked its way up my collar.

My mom was into turtlenecks at the time. No, I don’t get it either. To this day I hate to have anything tied around my neck.  To this day, scarves are worn loosely, if at all.

I gave these inept people an evil stink-eye, promptly stomping away from the useless supervisors the school had hired for my education, and tried to fill the rest of recess time with some other activity to get over the humiliation.

Now, some parents might say the cause of this humiliation is due to boys and girls thinking of each other as having “cooties” during this stage of life.  Well, for me it was quite the opposite.

Being born a hopeless romantic is really tough on the psyche.  As a matter of fact, in preschool (yes, preschool) I had huge crush on a boy named Tyler, and I’d kind of hoped he was going to be my first kiss.  Even at this tender age, I must have been destined to be a romance novelist because I never went through the “boys have cooties” stage.

Do you want to know my reason for being completely undone by this unknown culprit?

Every little girl is told that her first kiss will be a special one with a special boy.  We’re assured our first kiss will be a magical experience making us feel like fairy princess, and we’ll always remember it.

My first kiss was hijacked by an unknown kindergartner.

We’re also told you can never get it back, because once you’ve had a first kiss it’s gone. Forever.

Doesn’t that sound a little harsh to you, too? Yeah. I thought so.

Even to this day, my own mother was never able to figure out who the boy was, which group he was in, or even his name. This boy’s innocent kid-crush completely obliterated any ability for me to attach emotion to my first kiss.  I was devastated.  The experience was gone and I was never able to get it back.

Looking back on that first kiss, it makes me ponder the idea that maybe this unknown boy is why I’ve kept romance in my heart for the rest of my life.  My four-year-old self’s emotionally crippling day made me want another kiss. One that meant something.  Now, as an adult I can say I’ve had a kiss, <rolling eyes> (ok, maybe a few), with boys who actually meant something to me.  Some meant happy memories, others… Well, lets just say some were regrettable.

In several ways you have to give mad props to that brave and brazen kindergartner, whoever he is.  Spending countless hours (ok, maybe some years during my youth), trying to picture who this man is today sparked endless possibilities for me.  Maybe he’s in the military, perhaps an artist, or most likely, just normal guy who is probably married and even started a family.

Either way, it’s a sweet notion and I look back on that “Hijacked Kiss” much more fondly than my four-year-old self.  Today, I even have my own (at one point in my life) “mystery man” who became the love of my life.

To that boy back in kindergarten, thank you.  You have become the inspiration for several make believe men based on whoever you *might* be today.

To my husband, Pilot, I thank you. You are the inspiration for all of the wonderful traits my heroes have and will carry with them for the rest of my life.  You’ve made all my romantic possibilities come true.

<Blows Kiss.>

I want to hear from YOU!  What was YOUR first kiss like?

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 9: How was your character’s first kiss? Who with? Where was it? How old were they? Write the scene.

The sky was filled with brilliant purples and pinks as the sun was making its lazy trek home toward the mountains.  Ethan stopped and pulled out the quilt and thermos of homemade hot chocolate they brought for their sunset hike. 

Spreading the quilt out onto the mossy grounds of the woods, they each sat looking out at the view.  Keeping their voices low as if sharing secret information with each other, they watched the daylight slowly recede from view.

Ethan shook his head.  “I’ll never understand people who live in a flat, landlocked state.”  Molly looked at him, absorbing how the light reflected off of his hair and illuminated him in a soft orange glow.  He shifted his gaze to hers.  “They’re missing out on one of nature’s greatest shows!”  She poured him a cup of the hot chocolate, handing the steaming container over to him.  She then poured herself one and took a sip.  Mmm… Heaven in a cup.

“Really?  People in the Midwest have to have daytime and nighttime just like anywhere else, right?”  Molly raised her eyebrows.

Shaking his head a second time he said, “It’s not the same.” He pointed off in the distance to the mountains that were glowing with a fiery red, slowly being consumed by a growing dark purple sky.

“Here, when the sun sets behind the mountains, we still get about a half hour to an hour more of sunlight.  In the Midwest where it’s flat, there’s no twilight. It’s sunny, then black.  Hardly a transition.  There’s no time to enjoy it.”  He slowly turned back to her, and Molly noticed a glimmer of something emanating from his eyes.  “Or enjoy it with someone.”

Her eyes widened slightly as he took her hand. Her hand looked so small in his.  His palm warm against her skin, his fingertips slightly scarred and padded from hours of guitar playing.  As her pulse quickened she watched his eyes journeyed from her eyes to her hair.

“What?” she asked softly.

“Your hair-“ he paused.

“Yeah?” She was beginning to feel self-conscious now. Please don’t let there be a bug. Oh, please no!

“It always seemed dark brown, but it’s red in the sunlight.”  One corner of his lips quirked up in a shy half-smile, causing her to melt inside.

Ethan’s face relaxed as if lost in a daydream. The sun was now touching the snowcapped peaks. One at time, he set their drinks down.  Shivers of delight tingled throughout her body as she felt his fingers pass through her curly locks and felt them lightly twist the end of a strand.  He dropped his gaze back down to her lips.

“Molly?”

“Uh huh?” Words evaded her now.

“I-“ he sighed. His eyes glowed with some affection she wasn’t ready to identify yet. “God you’re beautiful.”  He placed both of his hands on her face, and before she knew it his lips were brushing hers.  There was a final spark of light permeating the sky as the sun disappeared, the last burst of color before final nightfall.

Mfph. A breath caught in her throat as she felt his lips brushing hers. A kiss so gentle it grounded her, unable to move. All too soon he pulled back slightly, leaving her insides fuzzy.  Molly slowly opened her eyes feeling dazed and warm.

His eyes searched hers.  “Was that ok?” he asked softly.

She felt his breath on her face as she let this moment sink in.  After blinking a few times, she slowly wrapped her arms around his neck and scooted closer.

“That was very ok,” giving him a slow smile.  Ethan raised his eyebrows in amusement and a corner of his lips quirked up.  Molly looked at his lips, the ones that had just touched hers a mere moment, yet forever ago.

“So you liked it, huh?” His eyes squinted slightly as he gave her an ear-splitting smile. 

“Why, yes. I did.” Molly gave him a quick nod in confirmation.  He laughed.  The sky was dark now, glittering with the stars all around them.

“In fact,” she continued, raising an eyebrow at him.  “I think it’s about high-time you kiss me again, just to make sure we did it right.”  He laughed harder as he put his arms around her waist bringing her body flush against his.

He shook his head at her.  “You’re too much.”

As he leaned back in to kiss her again, she made sure to kiss him back this time.