Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday's Things To Be Happy About

Happiness isn't "out there." It's "in here."
-- Unknown

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I am cheating a little bit with this post, but I wanted to have a regular feature here at HMITH (Yes? No? I can't decide whether I like the acronym or not), and this is what I've come up with.

When I was a senior in high school, my dad went on sabbatical from his job to do research at the University of Barcelona. My mom and I went with him for the fall semester. When I first got there, I was miserable and I cried every day. I know it sounds stupid and ungrateful, and the adult that I am now can see that, but then all I could see was that I'd had to leave my friends, my boyfriend, and all the things that senior year means, to spend four months all the way across the ocean where I didn't know anyone except my parents.

We moved there in mid-September. In October, my parents enrolled me in a Spanish high school so that I could meet people my own age and have something to do every day. That single choice changed everything about my trip. I made so many friends, and finally had things to do that were interesting to me (back then, museums and stuff just didn't cut it), and I literally stopped crossing off the days til I got to go home on my calendar. In November, I bought a little notebook - it's got graph paper in it, which makes me smile, because that's just how they do it in Europe - and decided to start making a list of, and I quote from the "title page" I created, "Things to be happy about, reasons to smile, the little things that make life worth living, etc. . . ."

I've kept it up, on and off, over the past 14 years (almost to the day - the date on the title page is November 5, 1993), and it now has more than 1400 items in it. Reading back through it is like looking at a time capsule of my life at particular points. I can tell, almost without a doubt, where I was when I added any given item, and sometimes, stream of consciousness is obvious because there will be a whole series of related items that take me back to another place altogether (camp, for example). It turns out, too, that some of them don't quite make sense to me anymore (Nail files? Really, Mel? Must have been a slow news day).

Anyway, I thought I'd pick 10-20 every week and share them with all of you, in the hopes that you'll get to know a little bit more about me and that they might bring a smile to your faces as well. So without further ado, here is the inaugural edition of Tuesday's Things To Be Happy About (comments from the current me appear in brackets):

1. adorable foreign boys that you can only look at and laugh at because you can't speak their language
2. a completely erased blackboard - no stray marks left to annoy you
3. brothers
4. realizing that teenagers everywhere are pretty much the same
5. wishing on the first star you see
6. electronic mail [ha! how long has it been since people called it that?]
7. pineapple juice
8. when you were little, pretending to be asleep in the car so your dad would carry you up to bed
9. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10. dogs with curly tails
11. long-sleeved t-shirts
12. the way ballet dancers run in toe shoes
13. reading a long book in one day
14. finally grasping something and realizing that you won't have to take Math 115 pass/fail after all
15. champagne bottles with the black labels you can write on

Hope you enjoyed this - I'm looking forward to your comments!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Dentist

"You only got one life; you can't sit around waitin' for your next life to start."
-- Lucille, Crazy in Alabama

I think I'm going to ask out my dentist. Do you think that's weird? I mean, he's only my dentist in the sense that I saw him for the first time about 10 days ago, after I got decked in the mouth by a line drive while pitching softball at a work picnic, and I have to go back to see him for a follow up in about 3 weeks.

We laughed and joked through the whole appointment; when I told him I'm a lawyer, he said, "Well, nobody's perfect." When I complimented his garden, which I could see from the exam room window, he said, "Would you believe me if I told you I did it myself?" I said, "Sure, I'd believe you. [Beat] Is it true?" He cracked up and said no. The first thing he asked me after he introduced himself was whether the male co-worker whose name I listed as having referred me was my "better half." He touched my arm several times throughout the appointment. He doesn't wear a ring, and my co-worker later told me he thinks he's single. I think I'm going to ask him out. Part of me really believes he might say yes. Part of me thinks the "follow up" might be a complete fabrication on his part. Most of me thinks I'd better not get my hopes up.

The thing is, I really suck at stuff like this. If you know me in real life, you know that I turn into a giant puddle of dork whenever the moment comes that I have to talk to the guy I have a crush on. I blush profusely, I look anywhere but at his face, I stammer, I talk around what I want to say instead of just coming right out and saying it. It's really unbelievable. Somehow, I got to be 30 without knowing how to ask a guy to have dinner with me. And I don't know what I'm so afraid of: so he says no? Big effing deal, right? At least I put it on the line.

I want to get better at this, I do. I promised myself when I moved and started my new "real" life post-law school that I would stop waiting for things to just happen to me. There are things in life that I want, the big things - a husband and a family - and I finally understand that I have to make them happen for myself. But it feels really scary.

I have a plan for asking out the dentist. I have three weeks to psych myself up.

Or out. Bets?

Friday, October 26, 2007


My life's an open book
and it starts on chapter nine
-- Harry Connick, Jr., Reason to Believe

Ok, so . . . blogging. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and just yesterday my friend Karen and I decided that we would each start a blog. We decided we'd give ourselves the weekend to come up with catchy blog names and, maybe, pen names. As in most things, I tend to be an overachiever, so I came up with my blog name this afternoon - although it might actually be more of a sign of boredom at work than anything else. I decided against a pen name, and instead will reserve all my fake-name-making-up skills for the people I talk about, which is how most of the people whose blogs I read (see side bar) do it. Might as well copy the best, you know.

As for the name of my blog, well, it took me a while (by which I mean I agonized over it for a couple hours). I know the blog name is pretty important, and I wanted to be sure to choose a good one. I even googled "how to choose a blog name." Really, I did. None of you who know me will be surprised by that. Anyway, Hear Me in the Harmony means a couple different things to me. It happens to be my favorite Harry Connick, Jr., song, and also I fancy myself a bit of a singer. But more than that, I thought it was a good name because it sort of symbolizes adding my voice to the larger chorus of bloggers out here on the internets. I'm happy to finally be among them, and I hope you enjoy visiting with me.

My blog, like many others that I read, will just generally be about my life and what's happening in the world. I don't promise a laugh a minute or clever turns of phrase or serious discussion about world politics. Don't get me wrong, there might be some of that, sometimes, but I don't want to set the bar too high, you know. It's just me. I'm glad you're here, and I hope you'll come back.