Thursday, December 13, 2012

Who's Weird? Apparently I am, Three Things My Husband Finds Weird about Me

We all have our peculiar mannerisms that make us the weird humans we are in life. I must admit, at first when approaching this essay, I was going to use the weird idiosyncrasies that makes my husband so unique, being from “the port bub” he has a sufficiently large number of weirdisms. However upon deeper thought, and not because he is taking me away for the weekend after this final, I’ve decide to write about my own weird traits that he is forced to live with because, well he married me! I am sure I must have three, I would definitely have to think very hard to come up with three items of weirdness, but in the interest of a successful weekend, or eh all’s fair in love and weirdness, I was willing to put it all out there and take one for the team.

First let me say, in my life food is a necessity, a source of comfort, a staple, and a daily requirement.  As prior essay confession will show I do not like vegetables. However my distaste for the veg does not hinder me from partaking in a vast variety of food items. You can imagine I enjoy baked beans, rolls, seafood, pork, beef, venison, and on and on. Sounds pretty normal right?  This is where things get weird, at no time in my eating, does any food item touch another food item on my plate. I also go to great lengths to keep my food from touching and mingling together. At home we have separated plates, with divider slots so that everything stays well within its borders and territories. When I go out to eat, it can be a little complicated separating the food on my plate, but I assure you it can be done. Wraps unwrap with a single flip at the college luncheonette and I proceed to eat the meat, cheese and bread all separately. Fruit salad isn’t even safe, as it may come in a little cup, but it can be dumped out onto a plate, separated according to size and color, and then enjoyed one bite at a time as was intended from the beginning. What is all this hub-bub about combining food items, and don’t even get me started on shepherd’s pie, that meal is way too much food touching each other. Casseroles, chop suey and even pork fried rice can all be enjoyed separated and eaten one item at a time.

Secondly, and this may not be as weird as my husband says it is, but I have a particular way that my socks have to go on my feet. In 2005 I broke my ankle and had a cast for 6 weeks. During that time my husband very graciously had to put my socks over my toes and stretch the rest over my cast as far as it would go. As if it wasn’t aggravating enough trying to get the sock over the cast, it was even more aggravating that he didn’t understand the rules of sock donning.  There is a line sewn across the top of the toe of most all socks, at least the ones I can afford. This line, though hidden from the outside, has a very distinct starting and ending point on the inside of the sock. If one isn’t careful the starting and ending knots of the thread that the sewn line creates can become rather bothersome on the great toe and pinky toe. Therefore the line of the sock must be straight across the top of the toes and a gentle tug at both sides of the toes to remove any bumps the toes might feel from the sew lines. All this prior to ever putting on a shoe. Sock comfort is right up there with underwear comfort, it only goes on one way and no bunches allowed!

Thirdly, I have a certain way clothes and towels are folded when they come out of the dryer while still warm so no one has to iron. Towels are to be folded bilaterally length wise, then flipped three times first time away from the folder, one time back toward the folder and finally away from the folder one last time. All this to attain uniformity and fit in the closet and look neat so when someone sees the closet contents, like a nosy mother-in-law, the towels are not shoved in there all helter skelter like. Likewise pants have to be folded in such a manner that the pants are snapped fresh out of the dryer, folded with the butt together, a gentle tug at the crotch and another quick snap. Next use the same towel tri fold to achieve perfect size of the folded pant in the dresser drawer. If that sounds weird to anyone else besides me then color me surprised indeed. I thought everyone learned to fold clothes the same way I did. Clearly the expression on my darling husbands face the first time I showed him how to fold clothes and towels definitely let me know I was not getting to the make sense part of his brain. After numerous attempts we have decided I will fold the clothes and towels. It just makes perfect sense. 

In conclusion, I would just like to defend my weirdness as perfectly normal behavior to me. I see nothing wrong with savoring each individual bite of my food as it is supposed to taste not mushed together with a bunch of different foods and then I don’t know what I am tasting, all this while wearing my perfectly toe aligned socks and crisp pants free from wrinkles of an otherwise crazy life.

Respectfully submitted-Linisa E Beal

Monday, December 3, 2012

Divison Essay The Road in Front of My House

I am writing about the road in front of my childhood home for two reasons one because it was the last time I actually was able to just sit and watch traffic for lacking of nothing better to do. Two, I now live on a drive not a road. I have history on the Wyman Road it was also where my mother grew up and it only seems natural that I too would experience the best times of my youth on that road. Although our viewing pleasure was only 125 feet long of road footage, my siblings and I agree we definitely had the best spot on the whole road to view all sorts of antics.

First, there was a small hill, we called it a belly tickler, there due to the ledge that ran under the piece of road in front of my house, was cause for much laughter. The cars back then where big gas hogs. Many of them did not have proper shock absorbers under them. On more than one occasion we would watch the cars speed by our home and hit that small piece of hill and bounce a great distance afterward and even spin off a hub cap on to our property somewhere. You didn't even have to be present to know that someone was going to fast and hit the belly tickler, the scraping of their exhaust system was clue enough. I'm fairly sure we could have opened up a shop for exhaust repair and hub cap recovery.

Secondly, the distance between our dooryard and mailbox, which was directly across the road from our house, was six giant steps or twelve small baby steps or ten hops or five crooked cartwheels wide. It really depended on who was watching from the living room window how you actually crossed the road to get to the mailbox. Safely crossing the road was not always the best decision made by an eight year old. I left a lot of knee skin on that particular path to the mailbox. But I never got ran over like my mother always predicted. She would say, "one of these days you're going to get run over cutting up like that." She was very good at giving warning advice prior to trauma that never seemed to happen.

Thirdly, when the boy starting coming around in his car and showing off is when I must admit I did the most embarrassing thing I ever did on that road. As if it was some sort of romantic ritual, he was very talented at leaving rubber tire marks on the road in front of my house. I remember being more impressed with the smoke from the tires than the actually rubber mark itself. However, one time, after a long tire mark was left behind, said boy kissed me, he didn't even ask first. Again I wasn't as impressed with the kiss as much as needing to capture a piece of tangible history to mark the event. So I ran into my house after he left and took a picture of the skid marks on the road with my Kodak Instamatic 126. I kept that piece of history for years and though it seems funny to admit now I would totally do the same thing today.

When I return to the Wyman Road, I smile at all the memories made on that road many still very fresh in my head today. I'm even more sure when people ride by that small piece road, they don't think about the little blonde haired girl that lived there for nine years. They don't know about the excitement that ledge contained or the secrets of the bump belly tickler that seems to be a whole lot smaller now than I remember. I'll bet the few times I missed a cartwheel and dragged my DNA across the road was never given another thought once the rain would wash the blood away. But as for those tire marks that kept showing up in front of our house that caused my parents such confusion during that summer in 1979, I still have a picture, somewhere, that represents my historic first kiss and a pretty nice set burned rubber tire marks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Process Essay #9 Three Step Process to Attaining my Three Dogs

As previously stated, my love for animals is relatively new, probably within the past five years. We have three Maltepoo’s. A Maltepoo is a Maltese and toy poodle mix. They are only breed once, which means maltepoo offspring are not allowed to breed. The journeys of their arrival into our home are not more than 24 months apart. We do not have any children living with us now that help take care of the dogs. We are our own little family; we have certainly grown on each other, and learned a lot about each other’s personalities. The unconditional love they return to us far outweighs the demand they are on our time. For this reason I can’t be sure we aren’t going to go spontaneously go get yet another dog from our breeder. We seem to be old hats at it by now.

The first step in finding our first dog led us to finding our breeder. ATender1’s Puppies came highly recommended from the friend who also had the first Maltepoo we had ever seen. When people hear the word breeder visions of run down puppy mills and deplorable conditions in which puppies and dogs of all ages are forced to live come to mind. Just because she has a nice looking website, a license and she is an inspected breeder within the State of Maine does nothing to quench that vision in my head. So we took a drive to Norway one day in to see for ourselves. We found out a lot about our breeder that day, and have since become very good friends. Just an important though we found out a lot about the breed that day. They are do not have an undercoat so they are non-shed, they don’t usually get bigger than ten pounds, and they like to bark. They have great personalities and love people of all ages. Truly to this day I don’t know how we were able to leave her home that day without a puppy.

The second step was finding a good vet because of the intense aftercare we needed to provide, as stated in our signed contract from the breeder, which had to commence by the fifth day we had our puppy at home. This important step obviously had to take place before we had our puppy. We were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to find a good vet that was taking new puppy patients. Yet again, upon a wonderful friend’s reference, we were able to secure a wonderful vet. We showed him our contract and set up the necessary shot appointments and mandatory spaying of our girl that was required by the breeder. We were not interested in paying an additional 200.00 for breeding rights.

The third step was picking out a puppy, a step that involved a little backwards planning. We had to wait for dog that met our qualifications to be born. We had a three stipulations we left the breeder with, we wanted her coat to all-white Maltepoo, the dog had to be a female, and if at all possible, the runt of the litter. We gave her a standing deposit to be applied when we made our final purchase. We began a two month wait, as many male dogs or brindle colored females were born. Finally, our Gracie was born on March 8 2008. She was the only female in a litter with two other males and she was indeed the smallest in the litter. We waiting 9 weeks after her birth to go retrieve her and brought her home on Mother’s Day!

The same steps were used in acquiring all three of our dogs as they all have come from the same breeder. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it, we always say.  The question of why three dogs in my even numbered world I live in, remains unanswered. However, we acquired the second dog, for a companion to the first, and the third because everyone deserves a home at Christmas time. I have to admit even though we are friends on facebook I stay away from our breeder friend’s website because I’m afraid of what will happen when I see the photos of the newest pups that are readily available. Although it would even up the numbers for me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Effect Essay #8 What am I?

 I can effect your mood, relieve stress, lower your blood pressure, while being extremely contagious. At the same time I've been known to boost your immune system and even release endorphins to make you feel fabulous. I come in many shapes and sizes with too many motives to list. Due to my flexibility factors, I can be cracked with little effort and quickly widen to an almost breaking point. Don't underestimate my effects I don't have to be used all the time or last a long time to be as powerful as I am. I have no shame in who I use to accomplish my survival.

Today as I left a homeless man that was walking down the street, I remembered it was the first time he had used me in years. Deep inside himself he was completely convinced he was done using me. But I showed him who was boss when someone passed him a hundred dollar bill. He was using me again just like old times. As he walked down the street his head high for the first time in years. He passed me around and around like a cheap drug. I infected numerous people that day.

A recent widow walked by that day and saw my friend the homeless man. She had been married to her husband for 50 years and gave me to her husband every day without knowing how I was affecting him. He told her on his death bed, what sorrows had been drowned in me for many days of their married life, as a result of her always being ready to make sure he had me. Since his death she had stopped using me, it was no fun for her to use me now that she was alone, or so she thought. She walked towards my friend the homeless man who gave her such a contact high before passing him by, man it was good to be used by her again!

My reacquainted friend the widow, made her rejuvenated self into the hospital to attend to her duties as a volunteer. GASP! I love the hospital it is my favorite place to spread myself around. She rolled her flower buggy on to the cancer floor, the CANCER FLOOR! People with cancer love me! Slowly we rolled into room 805 where an eleven year old girl with no hair and a short time to live sat upright in bed. The look on the little girls face caused me such excitement, I knew soon I would change it for there is no immunization against me. As the flowers were passed from the widow to the little girl, their hands touched, and I leapt from the woman to the girl with no remorse. From my perspective my day couldn't get any better.

Is this an effect essay or an effective riddle? Do you know what I am, if you do, you know my effect on the homeless man, the widow, and young girl with cancer, and this essay makes perfect sense and deserves an A. If you haven't figured it out yet, then it's an awesome effective riddle. However, in the interest of a good grade however I'm sure I don't have to tell you I am a ____________.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Timed Essay #2 * describe the effects on your vehicle of the roads you drive

   I love my Yukon all 199 inches of it. It's white, it's sporty, it's safe and it's mine. It even has a nickname, Cornelius, as in Yukon Cornelius from the movie Rudolph and the Misfit Toys. I'm not ashamed to admit I have a passion concerning my truck. So tell me why oh why would I want to drive it on the roads in Downeast Maine? Can they even be classified as roads? Im pretty sure during the past five years the roads have reeked havoic on my truck.

    My new truck had brand new tires on it. The tires were so new the whiskers were still on the tires. I'm driving to work in a snowstorm in four wheel drive. I'm feeling safe and a little confident. The new car smell had barely worn off when suddenly without warning the front of my truck felt as if someone was pulling into the ditch. I couldn't imagine what was happening. I slowed to the side of the road and sure enough I had a flat tire. A flat tire on a brand new truck! How does that happen? A nail was found to be the culprit a one and a quarter inch galvanized roofing nail. Not impressed.
   My not so new truck with the not so new plugged tire, is tooling down the road on fine spring morning on my way to work. A black hole presents it's self in my distance line of site, wait a black hole? What is that? Before I could think swerve BANG! I hit it! I thought sure my bottom jaw wouldn't stop stuttering from the force of my teeth being slammed together. My cream colored coffee was on the gray ceiling and my truck didn't want to stop shimming. The rest of my ride to work my truck shook harder than a James Bond martini. One set of front end ball joints later my truck was running smooth again.
    My not so new truck with the not so new plugged tire, complete with a new set of front end ball joints and the cream colored coffee stain on the ceiling was without incident for the next three years. Then one day just like something off the pages of Murphy's Law I stepped on my brakes to slow down going around a corner and the peddle went to the floor board. So this is why we have bumpers on the front of vehicles, so when we no longer have brakes in emergency situations we can slowly come to a stop by gently nudging the poles on the side of the road. I always wondered what safety purpose the poles served. I would like to personally thank the Maine Department of Transportation for using the liquid salt slurry on the roads to protect me from icy roads. Unfortunately it also eats your brake lines and I just can't see using the salty mess as a safety measure.
    So there you have it, my not so new truck with the not so new plugged tire, complete with a new set of front end ball joints and the creme colored coffee stain on the gray ceiling with new brakes, is all geared up for more fun adventures on the Maine highways and roads or as we like to refer to them as, the salty nail beds full of black holes. Poor Cornelius will he ever be safe on the roads?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Example Essay T.O.E.

Terms of endearments have always been high on the list of things closest to my heart. Below are three of my favorite and the small history behind them. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do writing about them.

My husband doesn't refer to me as his old lady. The number one reason for this is beside the disrespect involved is because I am really am older than him. For all you math freaks out there that like to have numbers confirm a relationship will last. I am seven years, seven months, and fourteen days older than my husband. 7+7=14. Meant to be, see?  The first endearing premarital nickname my husband gave me was Baby. But not just Baby, he has a certain Southern-Downeast drawl to it, so to spell it the way it sounds would be something like ba yh bee. It made me smile to hear the first time and it sounded so original it just stuck. To this day it remains one of my favorite words out of his mouth. Of course once we were married, much like every other princess, I received my official title that he refers to me as "my wife" especially when talking with others about me and I'm in the conversations as well. Not my wife, Linisa, but just "my wife". Of course I balance that out nicely by referring to him as "my husband".

My husband calls me "my help meet". He shares with me that during his daily prayer time he thanks God for me. Me! This little phrase is in the Bible in Genesis 2:18 and it says "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him", It brings me a sense of honor to know that he pulls these little nuggets from the Bible and is able to use them in our marriage. Building strength in places that could go weak without reinforcement. He pays attention to even the smallest of details. He assures me in using this word "helpmeet" it means we are in this together. We will be there to help one another, to support each others decisions, and as a team not to be divided even by death. 

"My best friend." This one always makes my heart smile. You don't know my husband, but I can tell you that he has lots and lots of friends, relatives, acquaintances, customers, and people that know him he doesn't even remember. He was 29 when we met. He had a history path full of true friends, that he thinks dearly of, and they him. So for him to call me his best friend. His BFF takes my breath away! If you aren't friends first prior to being husband and wife, you can't expect a marriage of love, honesty, and faithfulness. But there is something special about really being best friends first before you are married. I can't really describe it other than I concur with him, I would give that title to no one else. 

So there you have it, three examples of terms of endearment that my husband uses for me. There are a few more but I don't want to have to wrestle you for your attention.Be complimentary and compliment your spouse. Don't be disrespectful. Thank you for letting share these three. I pray they have been an inspiration to you to treat your wife or your husband as your help meet and as your best friend. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Process Essay #1 I Do, I Did, I Don't

"Marriage, marriage is what brings us together today" -the Impressive Clergyman from the Princess Bride. Whoops stay on topic this is not an essay about the Princess Bride, although, one of my all time favorite movies. It's just every time I hear the word marriage I hear that silly little clergyman stating that line from the movie, ever so eloquently with his mouth full of cotton balls. Though I'm not a Princess by namesake it safe to say I've kissed my share of toads. I was even so silly as to married two of them and to quote one of my most favorite "Linisa-ism's" concerning marriage/divorce is "The number one leading cause of divorce is in fact, marriage."  Sadly, I can say I know a thing or three about marriage, and for my two failed marriages it seemed to involve three stages, the I Do stage, I Did stage, and the I Don't stage.

To explain the first stage of my experiences known as the I DO stage,  you should know,  I hung on every word this man child told me like it will be the last words I would ever hear. I believed every thing that came out of his mouth, even if I had to deceive my own heart of hearts to do so. My ears were deafened to the words of wisdom from my parents, friends, co-workers, all I could hear was his voice over and over. He intrigued me. Looking back on it all now, if my parents had not forbid me to see him I would have been over him on my own. I was falling for the rebel side of the idea of making my parents worry.  I found myself scrawling our names on any piece of paper I could doodle on. Then, with one felled swoop of the pen I wrote it down. I wrote my first name and his last name. I was going to marry this guy.  He played into it perfectly, just like the fox in the hen house. He turned himself into the victim and with my caregiver personality I said YES I do want to be your wife. I knew the I Do stage had been successful when I was walking down the aisle to kiss my toad. 

The I did, stage starts with the fairy tale not quite measuring up to my I Do stage expectations. Life gets involved and to the immature at heart I felt second to his job, when he had one, then his friends, and lastly his activities. It was the subtle small things at first that I missed. The sweet nothing that were once so desperately whispered in my ear  faded to black like the end of a movie. My friends became unusually absent from their normal involvement in my life and it's activities. I wont go out on weekends any longer, I will stay home while he goes out with the guys. Bad habits of alcohol for him turn into worse habits of drug use. I did choose this man, by doing so, this life is the result. Futile measure have me trying to change myself as if I'm the one that changed in the relationship. I attempt a workout routine, do some weird stuff to my hair, and may even try to wear clothing that isn't comfortable in any position, all to gain his attention back. But did I really want his type of attention anymore. Communication breaks down in ways I can't even talk about and turns to violence that now has left me broken inside and out.  Days of abuse turn into weeks, weeks turn into years, and years turn me into a shell of my former self. Feelings of silliness give way to worthlessness and it washes over me like water cascading from the fountain of youth I long to return to. I'm about to enter a stage of no return in my marriage, someone that pays attention to me steps in and here I am in my I did stage. Wondering, is there a future with him?

The "I don't" stage begins with me facing with the reality of divorce. I manage to utter, I don't love you any more. I don't deserve to be treated this way. I don't like the person you've have become. He fires back with a lame response, I don't know what your problem is. I don't know why you think I'm acting any different. I've acted this way for years. With bowed head and closed eyes, I softly whisper I don't want to be married to you any longer. The last thing I remember him saying was I don't want to live without you and then a gun shot. I awoke in my bed alone, again. I was dripping in sweat, my heart was racing so fast I couldn't count my pulse. He wasn't home yet and I needed to get out of the house before he arrived. I opened my night stand, found some old paper and looked for a blank page. There starring me in the face was my handwriting where years earlier I had written our names, my married name and the date we married. It took my breath away, but I knew this would be perfect ending. I turned it over and wrote the following: This is what I wrote before I said I do, the years of trying with you is my effort and is what I did, and as of today's date I'm all done and I don't want to be married any to you any longer. 

I can tell you after going through this not once but twice before I turned thirty five I was very hesitant as an adult to remarry for a third time. I can tell you I took some time to get to know me. I'm a pretty cool person. I have a personality, that when allowed to shine, shines with the brightest of them! I am capable of being anything I want to be by myself.  I met and fell in love for real in February 2002. I do, I proudly promised in Aug 2004 because I did find the man of my dreams, after my line of toads and I don't ever intend on losing him.