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Dear Decatur Craft Brew Fest Organizers:

You had no way of knowing months ago when you set the date for the event that Mother Nature would be a complete bitch.

The coldest day since winter. And raining. Of course.

Not the ideal day for an outdoor festival.

Still, folks like us came out.

They must be made of heartier stock than I am, though. I was ready to bolt as soon as we got there.

But I tried to stick it out, managing to drink a few of my much-beloved sours.

My Southern blood is thin. So is Eddie’s. At one point, he said this:

I’m embarrassed. I gave the guy my glass all shaky hands.

Even the statue of Thomas Jefferson looked cold with rain dripping off his nose.

Once the rain soaked the bottom of our pants, and the cold had fully paralyzed our fingers, we knew we were beat.

We aborted the mission before I could even get my pretzel necklace out of the bag.

(I’ve been to enough brew fests to come prepared.)

We tried. You tried.

Better luck next year.

Love ya!
Beth

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Dear Gideon,

I’ve never written to you here. It’s always been your brother.

Why?

Because he gives me loads of trouble, and trouble can be funny (i.e., My mantra: Bad decisions make good stories).

You don’t give me any trouble at all. You help out around the house, haven’t broken a single phone, are an A/B student, earned Student of the Month this month, and do your homework before dinner.

You also are my couch chooch.

So when you were off for fall break, I wanted to do something special for you: Spend the afternoon at Six Flags. (I invited your brother. No surprise he didn’t come. And broke his fourth phone while we were gone.)

The day started with a ride on the Twisted Cyclone.

I look so calm and collected, right?

Yet moments earlier, you were laughing at me because of this:

I scream and laugh and laugh/scream on rides. It’s what I do.

Still, you agreed to be seen with me, riding rides such as Batman (front row!):

Eating Dippin’ Dots:

And being a fool in the Fright Fest decorations:

Thank you for putting up with me taking so many photos.

And screaming like a banshee. (And thanks to you, I do hear someone yell “chicken strips” right before the first hill on the Mindbender.)

We had a great time together. Though I looked a little worse for wear once we got home:

Not pictured: My jumbled organs thanks to the Scream Spleen Machine.

I would do it all again just to spend the day with you.

Love,
Mama

Dear Friends:

It’s the rare time of year in the South where I can put down the top on my convertible and be comfortable.

One of my favorite things to do is play music REALLY LOUD and (possibly) torture those around me.

I’ve been in a serious metal and rock phase lately: Think Halestorm, Drowning Pool, Rage Against the Machine, Disturbed, Metallica, etc.

But I do have eclectic taste. See this recent screenshot from my Ticketmaster app:

I’m looking for suggestions. What’s your favorite song? Though I will listen to almost anything, note that I’m not a huge fan of rap, trap, jazz and classical music.

And please don’t send me video game theme songs. The 14 year old has the lock on that. And he is persistent. (Read: annoying when he wants me to do something.)

(Yes, this is what I have to live with every day.)

Looking forward to your suggestions!

Sincerely,
Beth

The above is from The Pattern, an iPhone app that freaks me out daily. And this is accurate.

Dear Emotions:

You know I don’t often truck with the seven of you, with the exception of Joy. Joy and I get along GREAT!

As a matter of fact, Joy and I hung out this morning when my niece Chelsea sent me this delightful video:

Yessss.

The rest of you can shove off. I’m the worst at allowing myself to consider any of you. I don’t know if it is a woman thing or a mom thing or just a me thing, but I usually think about myself and my own feelings last.

But.

I showed a speech in my Public Speaking class yesterday that featured Psychologist Susan David noting that we human beings need to do a better job of acknowledging our emotions.

And my friend Brian told me the other day that I needed to “roll my feel window down.”

Fine.

So here are the six other feelings I tend to — or try to — ignore:

1. Anger
I married into a family that goes from zero to 60 in a hot second. So I try to tamp this one down as hard as I can so things don’t escalate. All bets are off with Dominic, though, when he refuses to help around the house but then asks for a replacement phone when he shatters his. For the fourth time.

2. Contempt
I reserve this for Mitch McConnell.

3. Fear
I’m an extrovert in general. But, as I revealed to my Public Speaking students, there is one scenario I find surprisingly crippling: receptions/networking events. I just have the hardest time walking up to a closed group of people and inserting myself.

In fact, I was faced with this scenario Monday during a Rotary meeting. I walked into the room, saw about 30 groups of two to three people close-talking, and decided to visit the restroom and breathe into a paper bag.

Not really, but I did give myself five seconds of panic like Jack in “Lost.”

4. Disgust
This emotion only manifests while I’m watching “Ridiculousness.” Or the aforementioned Mitch McConnell.

5. Sadness
This one is kin to disappointment, which I feel all the time but pretend I don’t. I try to avoid this emotion by managing my expectations. Sometimes it works. (I don’t really expect to win the lottery.) Sometimes it doesn’t. (Want me out of your life? Break a promise.)

6. Surprise
I’m rarely surprised in a bad way (see above for managing expectations) or in a good way (see my post about a recent holiday). But, I was surprised not too long ago that someone I trusted at work could not be trusted. At all. So that was a shock that quickly led to No. 5 before I could put a cork in it.

Yeah. The truth is that I experience all of you but I either pretend that I don’t OR bottle you up as quickly as you appear.

According to Dr. David, I’ve got to do a better job of prioritizing emotional truth over (sometimes false) positivity.

So.

The truth is that sometimes I’m not OK.

And that’s OK.

I guess that means I’ll be hanging out with all seven of you more often. That’s a crowded house, but a richer, more honest one.

My feel window is open.

Come on in,
Beth

 

* Apologies to “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”

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Dear Goat Yoga Lisa,

Thanks for asking about my progress with my biddy boot camp. The ladies have accepted me fully. So much so that I was actually sad last Friday when I was the only one there.

(The benefit of that was that I got a personal training session with taskmaster Christina. She blasted AC/DC, and made me work harder than I’ve ever worked in the pool.)

This past Friday, everyone was back and ready for action. My two favorites were there: June and Jamie.

June was the first to welcome me into the pack. She has advanced MS. She also is the cheeriest, most optimistic person. Definitely Glass Half Full. She makes me laugh every time we’re in the class together.

Jamie is her opposite. She’s Glass Half Empty, but I love her too. She also makes me laugh because she bitches about every single exercise.

And as it turns out, Enis (the Alpha Female) is quite nice.

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Not sure where Kim was Friday. She’s also nice, in a backhanded way.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean. Christina recommended I buy a special bathing suit because the chlorine kept destroying my cute ones.

Kim overheard:

“I got mine at Swim and Sweat. You and I probably wear the same size. Here, look at my tag!”

Her tag turned out to be in a place I wasn’t about to check out. So she said she’d email me.

To my surprise, she did. I was also surprised that I’m two sizes smaller than she is.

She closed with this line:

“You seemed long waisted like myself, and this suit was good for that.”

I’ve never in my life considered myself long waisted.

Eddie said it’s just because she couldn’t wear her glasses in the pool.

Still, she meant well and my new suit arrived this weekend.

The great thing about the Friday and Tuesday classes is that these ladies are here to WORK. Not like Sunday’s class. That’s the convo class.

So there you have it: an update on the pool ladies.

Now I want you to go to horse yoga, and report back.

Love you!
Beth

Dear Body Fat:

I’m definitely in a period of change, ditching all that isn’t working for me. (Poor Adam.)

You were the first to go exactly a year ago. I don’t miss you at all. Sorry, not sorry.

You and I had an off-again, on-again relationship for years before I had the strength to shed you for good.

Without you, I’m a new person. I’m brave enough to share a bikini photo with the world (even though selecting “publish” on that post nearly made me barf).

I say “the world” because it’s a public post on the Internet. The true number is actually 720.

(Oof. That’s so many people online to have seen me in my bathing suit. Pardon me while I get sick in this trash can over here.)

People have noticed we’re not together anymore.

Just over a week ago, I had a chat with Disgruntled Danny, he of the pothole guest post, at a Jesse’s Divide event. (Yes, yet another mention of this band. Again, sorry, not sorry. They’re that good.)

This exchange happened early on in the convo:

Him, ever so British: May I ask you a personal question?

Me, completely American: Sure! Ask away!

Him: Where is the rest of you?

Along with breaking up with you, I’ve also broken up with all your best friends: self consciousness, anxiety, high cholesterol, all my large clothes and snoring.

I’m totally OK with that. You and your awful buddies drove me crazy.

Yes, I know you saw the things I ate while in England, including this:

Fish, chips and mushy peas? Sign me up!

But an occasional meal like that does not mean I’m welcoming you back into my life.

In fact, just the opposite. I’m now seeing plenty of the Gym. We’re very happy together. The Gym has friends like abs (haven’t seen them in SO LONG — see poster above), developed triceps, endorphins and workout soreness. They are all much cooler than your friends.

So stop trying to worm your way back into my life.

It’s over.

For real.

Regards,
Beth

Dear Adam,

You know I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for you, but our love affair is over.

It’s not me. It’s you. Definitely you.

I gave you a pass when I saw you in 2013. And another in 2017.

But this time, it’s really over.

It’s too bad.

Pam and I were so excited to see you Friday. You were our first.

Our first concert, that is. The original “Friend or Foe” tour.

We even got there early to see your opener, the Glam Skanks.

They were great. Even though people sat through their set, the Skanks didn’t phone it in.

Unlike others (cough cough).

Listen, I know you are geriatric now. Maybe your hips hurt. I don’t know.

I do know that fans like Pam and me expect to see you do more on stage than just hop weakly a few times.

Was your hussar jacket too tight? Had you sweat too much already in your leather pants à la Ross? Were you afraid of your ridiculous straw hat falling off?

Whatever the case, your moves are gone. It appears your voice is too.

I’m sorry to be so hard on you, but I paid for a service — and I don’t feel serviced.

As Pam said, “We’re living on a memory.”

Part of it is not your fault. Perhaps the acoustics in Atlanta Symphony Hall are great for the Atlanta Symphony, but they were not great for you.

It wasn’t until I drug Pam up to the front that things got interesting. You had shed your jacket at that point (but not the hat, of course).

You went deep into “and the Ants” history and brought out “Physical (You’re So).” I thought maybe we could stay together.

But then I got a good look at your new facial hair pattern.

You know me: all or nothing.

I don’t know what’s going on with you.

All I know is that I’m moving on.

Adam, meet Chris and Randy.

I’m sorry you had to find out this way.

But, I went out last night to see Fozzy.

They BROUGHT IT in a way you haven’t for me for 20 years.

Don’t be too sad. We had a good run.

But I just can’t with you anymore.

You’ll be fine.

Go spend your time grooming and buying hats.

Sincerely,
Beth