For as long as I can remember I have been incredibly proud of my strength. My ability to handle both every day little challenges and life-changing adversity with courage, all by myself defined me. I have always appreciated my loved ones who listened and offered support, but I always preferred to laugh with them instead of wasting time complaining. I felt that asking for something, help, or whatever it was I needed was weakness and that in turn brought on guilt.
But I have recently learned the opposite. Asking for what you need is strength. It takes courage and it’s not selfish. Denying my feelings is not only emotionally unhealthy for me, it creates a wall for everyone in my life. If I want my people to be able to share their needs and feelings with me, I have to offer them the same from me.
I have always considered myself an open book because I have no problem talking about things factually, but I am making a commitment to allow the people close to me to see the whole book, even the fucked up parts. So look out, friends, a new chapter is about to drop.
I’m never going to joke around or be sarcastic again, it’s all tears, wining and fragile Colleen from here on out.
I started this blog a couple years ago for several reasons, one being that communication is my industry and I wanted to be “hip to blogging” and write about the changing landscape of social media, blah, blah, blah. Also it was a way to keep my people back home informed of my stuff without having to pick up the phone (sorry). Another reason is that I have always been an open book and I felt terribly isolated after we moved. I had no friends to listen to me over-share and needed “an outlet” other than beer and my husband. Over time, the weekly bragging-thought-leader-bullshit pretty much disappeared and I started writing whenever and whatever I felt like. I started writing for me which has been an interesting thing to reflect on.
What I discovered through this blourney is that I like to have an audience, but not a live one. I truly enjoy expressing myself (safely behind a computer) and the feeling that there are people out there listening, relating, laughing and understanding me a little better. Writing is therapy that also helps me understand myself better. A little bit better – understanding my hot messiness is going to take a lot of actual therapy. There was a time during this blourney that I thought my path was to work in a professional environment and climb that ladder, and a time I was certain I was meant to be a stand up comedian and climb that stage, but I discovered they weren’t for me. I had someone challenge me once and question if I was just too scared to follow through with those dreams, but I disagree and am proud of myself for trying, but not forcing something that didn’t fulfill me. Another thing that I have learned is that no matter what, I will always have humor to fall back on. You can hand me the shittiest day in the world and at some point I will laugh or try to make someone else laugh. That’s what fulfills me, even if it’s writing a blog post that one person reads.
So thank you, friends, for joining me on this crazy blourney. There is no telling what’s around the corner, in reality or in virtual reality, but I will always do my best to stay laughy.
*blourney- blog journey
Had a couple of “firsts” this weekend including a ghetto urgent care in the midst of flu season, Indian food, and most important, being a complete asshole to a stranger who didn’t deserve it.
Saturday afternoon a friend called in a sheer panic after spending days alone on the couch with the flu, feeling delirious and freaked out. After an interesting couple of hours people watching at urgent care and a diagnosis of “drink lots of fluids,” she insisted on buying me dinner in exchange for my aid with her bout of hypochondria. Fair.
I was thrilled when she suggested ordering Indian food, as I was an Indian virgin and her offer was the perfect chance to try it risk free. That weird shit is not cheap. No, taking advantage of my “ill” friend is not the part where I am an asshole. That’s next.
Back at home that evening, the doorbell rang causing my chihuahua to go insane, forcing me to obnoxiously hold my angry dog like Paris Hilton while showing the extremely tall restaurant delivery guy to the kitchen. Just to further paint the picture, I was also wearing a dress (from an earlier work appointment) and holding a glass of red wine in the other hand.
“You can put everything right here.” I pointed and said immediately feeling like a snob instructing him on where and how to serve me.
Then with a sarcastic and loud tone so my husband and friend could be entertained by my hilarity, I said, “By the way, you’re name isn’t ANDRE by any chance, is it?”
He responded with a polite and sort of sad voice. “Ha, ha, I get it. Heard that one before.”
—- Here’s where I need to explain that I was not trying to call him Andre the Giant. I am not an asshole douchebag who makes fun of appearances. I make fun of people, but it’s usually a dirty pun or something like that. Intellectual humor, as I call it.—–
What I was referring to was an earlier conversation, in which we were discussing the name of the restaurant delivery service, Entrees on Trays and how it should be run by a guy named Andre so it would be Andre’s Entrees on Trays. Which stemmed from the hilarious Low Cal Calzone Zone from Parks & Recreation. I attempted to explain Andre’s Entrees to my poor unintentional bullying target, but it was clear that the damage had been done and he went on his way to the rest of his lazy asshole customers’ homes.
I still can’t get over what a bitch I accidentally was. Hopefully he just brushed it off, thinking that was typical of the yippy-dog-holding, overpriced food ordering bitch I appeared to be. Anyway, I just need to put it out there to him in public, I am so sorry for the double entendre, pun clearly bolded and intended.
On another note, if you are in the DFW area, Chicken Tika Masala from Maharaja is superb. And you are free to use my potty wordplay if you use it carefully: chicken-tikal-myasshola.
It’s been a few days since our return from the homeland, Columbus, Ohio back to the foster homeland, Fort Worth, Texas. And all the love that I felt surrounding me during the visit is thankfully still lingering. I have some incredible friends that I will always cherish, but the individual I am thinking of constantly is my brother, Patrick. Not because he willingly allows me, Adam & Stevie barge in to his home and treat it like our own every time we show up. Because the way Patrick and I love and care for one another can be defined by one very vital word: unconditional. There are many reasons for that word’s importance, one being that we are children of alcoholics and though they always loved us, the way they showed it was often conditional upon their sobriety and sometimes unpredictable. We are grown ups now but just having the knowledge and security of each other’s support no matter what is invaluable to me. We both suffer from severe self titled “Harris guilt” and have counseled each other for that throughout the years. He reminded me of this last week over a therapeutic breakfast and I just can’t stop thinking of how grateful I am for him. Did I mention he drove me there and paid for breakfast too? Bet your therapist charges $100 a visit and there are no giant pancakes or fake British accent waitresses involved.
I said this in a speech at his wedding last year and it’s the truth: Nothing makes me happier than seeing him happy. Whether it’s a short-term laugh from a joke from me obviously, watching him settle down with his wife and seeing their excitement over MY soon to be niece or nephew, or my fav: just the two of us relaxing over beers, talking and laughing about ridiculous things. All of those things that make him happy truly make me happy. But, in true Colleen fashion, I have reached my sentimental limit and would rather share a few funny Patrick & Colleen inside joke stories:
A Quote from Patrick, the Wise Old Soul:
Patrick was probably about 11 and I was 7 or 8ish and we were fishing with the family. After an hour or so, he paused with a moment of enlightenment, looked at me with a serious face and said, “Well, Colleen, we’re going to either catch a fish or we’re not.”
At the time I couldn’t grasp the real meaning of that statement but it has and continues to teach me nothing at all. Thanks for allowing me to still make fun of you for that one Pats.
*The Miraculous #2:
No, not a miracle dump. It was 1994 in the kitchen of our family’s home in Dublin, Ohio. I was trying to explain a story to my BFF and neighbor, Nat. Facing the counter and attempting some sort of re-enactment I grabbed a pencil and tossed it behind me. Patrick was facing the other counter opposite of me, paying no attention at all, until the pencil I lobbed accidentally landed behind his ear and stayed there. Like a freaking Carpenter. I peed my pants on that kitchen floor. *He claims that he threw the pencil that landed in my ear but this is false.
The Houston Blizzard of 1989 a.k.a Cardboard Boxes and a 1/2 Inch of Snow
The plan was to add a video until the Harris guilt struck again and I made the decision to A) Get Patrick’s permission to humiliate him. And B) Edit it down to a few minutes so my fans don’t have to sit through an hour of a home movie. Is it ok if I call you my fans? What do you say Patrick, my biggest fan… may I? Also, to my other biggest fan, Adam: Will you help me edit the video on our desktop that you digitized? Give the people what they want guys.
Around this time last year I shared my most embarrassing Christmas story and have been looking forward to doing some festive writing again. So here are some jolly things:
1. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. This Christmas classic will never sound the same once you discover how much it truly sounds like Brenda Lee says the F word…
Rocking around the Christmas Tree
Let the Christmas Spirit ring
Later we’ll have some fuckin’ pie
and we’ll do some caroling
Just listen about 28 seconds in to see how serious Brenda is about us having pie later:
2. I haven’t been back to Ohio in seven months- the longest stretch I’ve ever gone without a visit to my homeland. So many new babies to meet, growing kids, family and friends to hug I have chills thinking about the upcoming holidays. Literal chills. But they may also be from thinking about how cold it will feel after this 80 fuckin’ degree December in Fort Worth. That’ll give you the kind of chills that your bra can’t hide. You know what I’m talking about Brenda Lee.
3. The John Denver and the Muppets Christmas album is my jam. It brings me nostalgic tears and smiles every single year. Especially you, Miss Piggy. That line about five gooooold rings taught me so much about Christmas and life. Also it’s obvious that you hooked up with John D during the making of that record, but it was the late 70s and I think that was pretty normal then.
4. Finally, my Christmas gift to you, friends and readers, is my embarrassing 2012 Christmas story, which took place just three days ago: Adam & I, being the idiots that we are, chose to go to the mall on a Saturday three weeks prior to Christmas. Continuing to be idiots, we made an impulse decision to get our photo taken on Santa’s lap as a goof. There was no line whatsoever, so it was obvious that this decision was genius and we strolled toward Santa’s bouncer elf. But Adam hesitated, embarrassed like most thirty-four-year-olds should be. So I grabbed his arm and assured him “It’s okay! We don’t know.. any…. one… except…there’s my former boss, who is now a friend… with her two little girls… and she’s laughing really hard at us.” We all obviously laughed together at the situation and she kindly promised not to watch so we could proceed to visit with Santa. But in the end, I couldn’t recover from blushing and feeling ridiculous and instead rushed off to Forever 21… I guess this means I am finally growing up.