Confessions of: A Curious Ex-Girlfriend

This Life According To Lu: All My Exes Have Tattoos.

I have no appropriate pictures for this, so naturally I'm going with a cookie. Oh and love. obviously.

I have no appropriate pictures for this, so naturally I’m going with a cookie. Oh and love. obviously.

           ‘Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting
past.’
–Jack London

“What does it mean?” I asked Jeremy, running my fingers through my middle part. I called him gem, with a J.

Xīwàng, hope,” he responded, offering the translation for my limited understanding of Mandarin.

“Oh,” I said, unsure of why I felt disappointed. He turned over his shoulder, as we both stared at the chinese symbol permanently engrained on his back. “I like it.” I lied. “Did it hurt?” I wondered, considering when I went with my best friend, Morgan, to get hers the year prior, she giggled the entire time while the man drew a paw-print on her left butt cheek. Still, I held her hand anyway.

“Yeah, a lot. I’m glad you like it, baby.” He smiled, displaying his lime green braces, which made me smile, and I reciprocated the awful neon that encased my teeth. It had been the most romantic gesture my dorky, 8th-grade self had ever received from a boy. It looks like I have gum stuck in my teeth! I explained to my friends, a hasty rubber band choice I regretted immediately. A few days later he came to school with the same color and grabbed my hand as we walked to assembly together. Now we both do. A few weeks later we were already texting each other on Nokia bricks words like “luv” and the cliched “u r my world.”

My first LUV and first ex to get a tat.

While the following is by no means a compilation of all the men I’ve dated…’cause that’s quite a list, it includes the milestones. And Jem, he was the first.

My second first “real love,” it’s in quotes because not really, was Ludwik, though I called him Lou-chi-oh (pronounced exaggeration of the OHHHHHH). We dated for a year in a high school, which equated to the length of time I lived in several cities, my best friend completely, though we aren’t even friends on Facebook, anymore. He now has at least a half dozen tattoos, one of which is a bumblebee. Ironically, my AIM screenname was bumblebeelac (I liked the rhyme, okay!), although there’s absolutely no correlation.

My third significant ex to make this list is Eli, although we had the most messed up relationship of all time. But I had such a crush on him throughout my duration in Germany and we had an on-off relationship that involved way too many other people. Now his arms are completely sleeved with various designs. *Also, we’re still buds, so perhaps this admission is nullified.

My actual first love was my college boyfriend, who I dated nearly two years. He has some symbolic saying of his family’s name written across his back.

Most recently, my boyfriend of two years, Tom, whom I lived with, got a tattoo of his grandparents on his chest. I am pleased that this purchase was post-breakup.

Hey, I’m not here to judge because bumblebee’s and chinese symbols? Quite feminine if you ask me, but you didn’t. Interestingly, I hate tattoos. Perhaps this relates to my inability to make plans and my lack of permanence. I get bored of my favorite sweater after a month, I can’t imagine living in the same place for two years and thrive on change. How could I ever value something that is eternally stained on your skin? And yet, the majority of significant men in my past are decorated in ink. Maybe it’s cupid’s way of trying to spite me, or maybe I seek consistency more than I realize.

Either way, this is my life and I think it’s weird that all my exes have tattoos.

Confessions Of: A Wanna Be Baker

Confessions of a wanna-be-baker:

...mouth-watering.

…mouth-watering. chocolate chip cookie dough brownies-both made from scratch

             “you can’t buy happiness. but you can buy make cupcakes. and that’s
kind of the same thing.”
—?

This life according to Lu, my ambition to be a baker.

I’m an anomaly. While most young girls’ life ambition/adulthood consists of cliched answers like ballerinas or mothers, even school teachers, without fail, I picked the humble profession of farmer (pronounced “FAH-MA.” Ugh r’s were impossible). I envisioned life playing with the cutest of animals, (read cows, chickens, horses, ranch dogs) surrounded solely by nature and wearing a plethora of overalls & plaid.

Always loved animals.

Always loved animals.

Eventually, said dream morphed into becoming a writer or novelist and has yet to re-alter. I love words, the ability to create an image by stringing together diction–carefully debating which syllables complement each other and which can fully convey the thoughts inside my head. I’m easily inspired and for some odd reason, feel as though I have a story to tell…with a passion for photography on the side.

Writing+animals = progress

Writing+animals = progress

Like I said, such is my dream, but secretly, I want to be a baker. It should come as no surprise–though perhaps, we aren’t that well acquainted–chocolate is my kryptonite. Whoever said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” clearly never OD’d on cookie dough, tasted a brigadeiro, or spent Christmas at my house, in which we (and by we I mean I) bake easily a dozen different cookie flavors–sugar, peanut butter blossoms and fudge are staples, the rest are up for debate. (Cake box cookies, thumbprints, snickerdoodle, red velvet, gingerbread, chocolate chip, turtle, crinkles)

Classics.

Classics.

I can spend hours perusing baking blogs to search for a new recipe. Recently, I baked banana bread, in which I carefully argued a cinnamon crust or a peanut butter chocolate chip. Ultimately I went back to basics: everything tastes better with peanut butter.

see?

see?

Now, with the arrival of Easter, I am thoroughly browsing blondies, pizzokies, brownies and cookie recipes, to decide what to bake with my purchase of Easter theme M&M’s. (I clearly purchased regular and the PB filled). I am insanely jealous of baking bloggers who have turned their career into their hobby (I’m talking to you Sally’s Baking Addiction), altering recipes and experimenting with foods–the way I examine words and sounds. Like this peek-a-boo cake I made last fall:

MMmm

MMmm

Anything I bake is homemade. Screw mixes and pre-made doughs! That baby was quite the beast, a pound cake with a pumpkin bread inside and a sweet frosting. Does anyone else frequently dream of chocolate chips or is this just a problem of a wanna-be-baker? Sigh.

Can't get you out of my head.

Can’t get you out of my head.

 

Confessions Of: An April Fools Day Hater.

Confessions of: An April Fools Day Hater.
198220_1010315864206_9456_n           “What if April Fools Day doesn’t exist and its been the longest prank in
history?”
—?

This Life According to Lu, should be April Fools Day-less

There’s an art to mastering the practical joke and to be victorious timing is of the essence.(Right, Kristi?) Which is why I detest April Fools Day. Rather than an opportunity to perform an original act of comedy, it is instead a day designated for the ingenious folk whose failed attempt at humor relies on a specified date to achieve said plight. The true commanders of their craft are capable of executing tricks in unforeseen timing and ostensible spontaneity. And so, to the conventional souls who rely on tasteless wit & an ever-so-boring labelled day: you have floundered at being amusing and have only triumphed in utter annoyance.

Historically, in the life of Lu, this day has become a staple of inconsistency and connotes capricious life-changing events.Although, I still commend my older sister and her ability to anger my dad to such an extent he stopped watching the madness that is March basketball (an ironic detail considering it was April). Her well-contrived prank began with a tiny halter shirt, a belly-button ring stud and a casual strut past the television. “TAKE THAT OUT RIGHT NOW,” he screamed in such a terrifying manner the joke lost much of its humor, and we were all deluged with a paralyzing fear, thus the two little words “April fools!” lost quite their well-intentioned, naive, core fun.

To this day I remember it, the exact moment (see what I mean about the crucial detail that is timing) we we’re Eastering in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, playing trivial games on my grandma’s carpet, waiting for our parents to return with chocolate milk, a dozen donuts (for me) and bagels (for Chels and Tis). Ah, nostalgia, for a simpler time pre-coffee addiction when calories didn’t exist and I could casually eat 6 donuts before noon without gaining an ounce and yet still manage to be starving for lunchtime. When my biggest concern having to put on sunscreen before swimming and whether I preferred a sugar or chocolate chip cookie.

Playtime interrupted for breakfast, hooray! Only not so fast…

We’re moving to China! 

Ha, you got us, guys, good one, April Fools. 

Except it wasn’t. A revolutionary twist on the cliched holiday. An admirable, original approach to the dull day.

Because we did move to China. Every other attempt at a practical joke on 4/1 will forever seem obsolete. My parents laughed and laughed at our inability to accept said truth as fact, until the second, when the craziest practical joke didn’t fade into the sunset with the inception of April, but instead lingered in the April air, like a rain cloud that can’t decide where to pour

Seven years ago today, my neighbor in Germany sat outside on our stoop, our homes connected into one gigantic mansion, he smoked a cigarette, casually, in jeans and a blue sweater when he proceeded to walk downstairs and rest momentarily in our shared garden. His wife, watching him, lovingly from the kitchen window. I was upstairs in my pj’s, playing on my computer, my mom was reading in her bedroom, while Kristi sat with her back to the garden, in our living room. And that’s when he blew his brains out. He looked like a fallen garden gnome in the grass, I will never forget it. Especially the sound of the gun, my mom thought a madman was outside trying to murder us, the shrieking of his wife’s cry, a moment I will never be able to stomach.

No one believed us. April Fools. As if suicide was some sick, funny subject to joke about.

And so much in the way Chandler (always a Friends  reference) hates Thanksgiving, I hate this day and it’s sick, twist on humor. It’s unfunny attempt to be funny.And while China was ultimately, the best experience ever, I still resent this day and those who resort to it to play jokes. I FIND IT CRUCIAL TO BE FUNNY YEAR ROUND, okay?

Confessions Of: A Drinker.

This life according to drunk Lu, confessions of a beer & wine lover.
n500126372_394723_1348                                    “Write drunk, edit sober.” -Ernest Hemingway
‘I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning,
that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.’
–Dean Martin

Recently, I read an article from one of my favorite blogs: Elite Daily. As an avid reader of their posts, I frequently feel connected to their lists of what it means to be a millennial #20somethingproblems. Yet, I stumbled upon a post (which I am by no means discrediting, considering it was well written) entitled: “How your drunk self could actually be your greatest inspiration.” I couldn’t help but (oops, Carrie Bradshaw reference) laugh, reflecting on what the world would be like if drunk Lu had any power.

And I have to completely disagree.

I am eternally grateful my drunk state of mind redeems no value, credit or significance in the world. Because were my inebriated self to be my greatest inspiration, this is what (my) life would be like:

1. Filled with awkward dancing.
Ahh, to the poor witnesses in fraternities, dive bars and Euro clubs that have experienced the rarest of tequila-inspired moments in which I believe I can dance. Sober Lindsey, pay attention & memorize this: you cannot (thanks, dad). If I had to describe myself in a single word I might chose: uncoordinated, albeit even in its strongest capacity, said definition does not fully comprehend that which I am. An amalgamation of clumsy, ungraceful and awkward, wherein I believe that bouncing up & down qualifies as rhythm, like a 5th grader at their first boy-band concert. (Also me circa 1998, and it was Backstreet Boys–I love you, Brian!)

Trust me, the world ’tis a far better place when my attempt at dancing remains solely in GIFs, much like the following:

And unfortunately:

2. Tattoo’s.
Okay, look, I have no bias against tattoo’s, but they are just not me, simply put. I get bored of my favorite sweater, song & city after a month or two, I would be consumed with regret were I to modify my body in permanent ink. And yet, brilliantly, drunken Lindsey once made a reservation at an Adam’s County Tattoo Parlor (IN GETTYSBURG, PA) with a couple girlfriends. We incoherently, (I shall accredit this innovation to unnamed frat’s jungle juice) agreed to stain our wrists with a tiny pink heart (like why?). Perhaps, even more embarrassing, I was 20 at the time–not just some whimsical middle schooler captivated by Chinese symbols and inspirational quotes. Although my middle school self was much more concerned with the prospect of a belly button ring than a tat, which is kind of worse.

I know, everyone says the truth comes out when you’re drunk, but in this endeavor, such is not truth, nope, not even close. The tat’s shall instead remain intoxicated stupidity as opposed to sheer brilliance.

3. Inappropriate commentary.
A world without filters? Please, millennia’s cannot comprehend said plight, considering a difficult task includes Instagramming: X-Pro or Lo-fi, decisions, decisions. Wasted Lu believes it’s appropriate to say rude things, that are more often than not, incredibly false. I.e. uttering “I hate you” to my sister’s boyfriend, who I actually highly regard; or, whispering to a handsome man, aka my college crush: “I think you’re gorgeous,” –a memory I wish I would’ve blacked out, instead.

4. Repetition.
Repetition. I literally repeat, everything, like a freaking parrot. It’s so annoying I even irritate myself! And so, commence my poem to represent my redundant, impaired state of mind:

Life is like a poem
A haiku to simply say that:
Life is like a poem

The next great American author, and yet you’ll never read past the dedication page.

5. Illegible text messages, way too many extra calories, improper grammar and unwanted make-outs.
I think justification is implied and further explanation is unnecessary.

Who knows, maybe one day drunk Lu will rule the world.

Confessions Of: Being Gray

This Life According To LU: Confessions of being gray.
photo-1 “Life isn’t black and white. It’s a million gray areas, don’t you find?” -Ridley Scott

I was raised in a household divided. My father is very “black and white,” set in his beliefs, able to find right and wrong, moral and immoral in all situations, staunchly grounded in his beliefs, period. Whereas my mother is empathetic, capable of seeing both sides to every story and easily persuaded, her opinions are based in emotions, or very “gray.” Like mine.

And just as implied, I see this as a good and a bad thing. This perspective is synonymous with being a pushover, gullible, naïve, even hypocritical, though perhaps also sympathetic and kind. Yet, it affects my life every day, from my stance on political issues to the tiniest of details, like what I order for lunch. (I know that I initially wanted the tuna salad when the waiter asked, but upon glaring at your burger, I’m well aware of the fallacious extent of my impulsive decision.) When it comes to being gray, I am all 50 shades plus some.

In high school, I was a vegetarian for the sole purpose of loving animals. I should note, my favorite food is pulled pork, but I was dedicated, as I hated the thought of any creature suffering. My walls were littered with PETA posters displaying chickens squawking: “we are not nuggets,” and I donated to The World Wildlife Fund. I also wrote a fifteen page paper on Vivisection and why it is wrong and cruel.

Five years later, I drunkenly consumed meat, the posters on my walls changed to sorority emblems and my dad got cancer. I began to reconsider my diehard stance; wouldn’t I rather find a cure?

In debate class, I composed a PowerPoint presentation as to why I believe in the death penalty. My final slide echoed with what I imagined to be a powerful, haunting zinger, as if I were Matt McConaughey in A Time To Kill, “what if it were your mother?”

Glenn Ford, a Louisiana inmate was just recently released from Death Row after 30 years of imprisonment, which has made me contemplate my grayness. Upon finding new evidence, he was freed from the crime he was originally sentenced for, proving to be not guilty after all. How can I believe in the death penalty when many prisoners are innocent?

“My sons — when I left — was babies. Now they grown men with babies,” he said, upon liberation.

Ford, a black man tried by a white jury, is an example of our flawed judicial system. A devastating example which makes me think of Rust from True Detective (can you say McConaughCrush?) who made it clear: “It’s just one story. The oldest. Light vs. dark.” And it’s true.

We live in a world of black and white and maybe it would be better if we could all see more gray.

Confessions Of: A Middle Child

Lions and tiger and bears, oh why didn't I get to be Dorothy?

Lions and tiger and bears, oh why didn’t I get to be Dorothy?

               “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” -Albert Einstein

This life according to Lu, confessions of a middle child.

It’s a syndrome. We, middles, are clinically defined as problematic.

Think about it, the oldest child is coveted, which is implied in their royal birthright: the first. They are the keepers of their own room, entitled to the front seat and valued of their own opinions because the assumption, which is engrained in our younger (read lesser) brains from birth: older is wiser. The first of the firsts, busy marking their territory and reinstating the rules.

The youngest, the baby, is nostalgia, a savior of a parents youth, the firsts of all the lasts and your annoying bunk slash room mate. The bayyy-be (said with mocked elongation of each syllable)  is preoccupied with the excess of attention and indulging in coddling and all of its pacifying glory.

The middle child is the forgotten kid, smack dab in between, we are the layer of lettuce inside a sandwich that you can barely taste, yet significantly uniting the meat and cheese.

Perhaps this just applies to my family, as we epitomize the birth order stigmas. But…
My older sister, Chelsi, is bossy, nurturing and demanding of her opinion; meanwhile, my younger sister, Kristi, is a perfectionist, diligent, a strong leader. And then there’s me, Lu, the peacekeeper, people pleaser, who thrives on friendships and hates conflict. Mostly, I dislike being told what to do.

I guarantee the first word spoken by most middle children was “no.” (Whereas the oldest’s was “mine” and the baby’s was “mama.”)

But ya see, here’s the thing, my admission: being the middle child is totally underrated and completely over diagnosed. The oh woe is me mantra that textbooks dramatize was clearly not defined by a middle child.

In fact, I love being the middle child and here’s why:

1. We reap the benefits.
The first child’s self-righteousness came with a side of ridiculously early curfews, an infrequent indulgence in sugar and the horrible, mom-approved style (I distinctly recall an abundance of polka-dotted shirts and self cut bangs). The baby’s over-pampering resulted in the most teasing (“mommy’s shadow”) and an intensive hazing ritual. The middle child can side step the mistakes the oldest makes, while still importing wisdom onto the youngest.

2. The MOH status.
I shall be Maid of Honor to both of my sisters. Why? Because they like me best.

I’m highly aware of how arrogant that sounds, but I won’t apologize for the truth. As a kid, I was closer to Kristi–my roommate, bug catcher, fellow trouble-maker, polly-pocket sharer and co-inventor of our own language (we once created a tongue in which we replaced the first character of every word with the letter “n,” for obvious reasons, it nailed), and P.I.C. in games and schemes (all of which involved pissing off Chelsi). Once my awkward-as-shit-ugly-duckling stage commenced (when does that end, by the way?) I developed a close relationship to Chels, sharer of secrets, crushes, and advice, boys, grades and fashion. Mid-teen years to now I have a fabulous relationship with both. I win. Suck it.

3. We get away with it.
The first time Chelsi returned home visibly drunk, she was grounded for a few weeks and banned from wearing black eyeliner, admittedly, the latter was a wise decision from my parents. Although normally, I was much more sly, the first time I came home ridiculously wasted–mostly due to the puking, way to play it suave, Linds–I was greeted with the greasiest McDonald’s meal, a milkshake and a stern “just don’t let it happen again.”

An “I win” seems redundant and unnecessary here.

4. I am the mediator.
While I’m not solely responsible for decision making, (i.e. Chelsi) my input is semi-appraised and not totally satirized (uh ehm, Kristi).

Also, I’m Switzerland. I’m empathetic and laid back and I don’t have my shit together, a refreshing perspective for my two sisters as I am the family screw up.

And since we abide by our roles, Chelsi is all like, hey I’m the responsible, mature 86-year-old, whose up for game night in a self-knit sweater and a pot of Chamomile tea? Meanwhile Kristi’s all, I’m sleeping in today, I set my alarm for 4:15am and I plan to conquer the world, cure cancer and get rich and skinny before you eat breakfast–anything else I can do for you, mommy & daddy?

And yet, I’m over here pondering how to make coffee and beer complementary, fully responsible for keeping Tide-To-Go in business after staining all my clothes with peanut butter and barely capable of planning life day by day.

Obviously this sounds like more of a con than a pro, but it can be refreshing to be relieved of pressure based solely on birth lineage. I’M FREEEEE.

5. The Creative Factor.
The plight of the middle child results in creativity, mostly because we’re forced to fend for ourselves, fight for attention and have our voice heard. Which consequently leads to several presidents–a role I will NOT be contributing to, but still, I appreciate the inclusion.

**NOTE: August 12th is National Middle Child Day. We have a day, an ironic and hilarious detail that we appreciate.  (Also, August 13th is National Left Handers Day. August 8th is my birth day…I’m just all about everything August.)

I am not pleased.

I am not pleased. Blame it on the Middle Child thang…