This Christmas was a weird one for me. It has been a rough couple of months. December, no exception.
Anyway, it's Christmas Eve, and when my brother and his family went home after dinner, my parents and I drank tea, watched The Grinch, and then, I spent the rest of the evening by myself in the basement, wrapping presents and watching Meet Me In St. Louis, something I usually do with my sisters. It doesn't quite feel like Christmas this year. But I've been thinking about all the family that I do have around me, and I don't think I could get through this life without them. I love these people. And I'm grateful for my mom, when, even though I am 22, she still gives me her loud opinion on the short hem in my skirts. And my dad. The man is obsessed with me getting good grades. But regardless, my skirts remain short and my grades plateau at average. And you know, somehow, they still love me more than I could possibly deserve. Because they tell me I try, and those are the kinds of things that make them proud.
Remember the Sex and the City episode where Carrie talks about how she has secret single behaviors? She likes to eat saltines with grape jelly, standing up in her kitchen while she reads Vogue magazine.
That kind of sexy.
+ The other day, I ate a Big Mac. THIS WAS THE FIRST SEXY THING I CHOSE TO DO THAT DAY. After I ate, I sat down to watch a movie (by myself) and didn't notice until AN HOUR LATER that I had mayonnaise on the corner of my mouth. The sex appeal is unreal (the title of a song I'm writing about this exact incident).
+ If I'm lying down on a couch or a bed, reading a book or watching a movie, halfway through the book or movie, I always notice that one of my socks is off. Not both of them. Just one. And the weird part is that I never have any recollection of taking it off (sexy reference). I think this is both incredibly sexy and wildly bizarre.
+ I could spend all day watching Giuliana & Bill which I'm pretty sure is a deal breaker for men who want to propose marriage to me. ATTN: ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DATE ME, PLS STOP READING THIS NOW.
+ I have an extremely strict nighttime ritual. I'm serious. Like, I never deviate. So, after I'm all ProActiv'd out, I tuck my pants into my socks, and my shirt into my pants. And then, I wrap my body in a plush blanket, and I get into my covers. And I've got this rad menthol chapstick from Bath & Body that turns my mouth white, and lemme tell ya... I just... I look SO. DAMN. GOOD. And sexy.
+ I only like pickles if they're freezing cold. And I don't like them too pickly, you know? So, I run them under the faucet, which gets rid of a majority of the juice. And then, I like to sit on the couch watching E! News, dipping said pickles in roasted pine nut hummus, and drink a glass of orange juice.
+ Today, I watched Charlie Brown on Netlix. By myself. Intentionally. SEXY ALERT.
I don't know.
P.S. I am so in love with Jason Kennedy. Who is the regular kind of sexy.
So, I just watched this documentary called Blackfish about killer whales at SeaWorld, and I think it made me a SeaWorld hater, which wasn't my original intention, but whatever because
WHALES ARE PEOPLE, TOO.
Like, if you're not into learning about environmentalist perspectives, probably, this documentary isn't for you. But if you are curious about weird stuff and get freakishly obsessed with it, you maybe will want to check it out. It's on Netflix. And it's pretty disturbing, but very informative. Also, I don't think I'll take my children to SeaWorld ever, but that's subject to change because I really like dolphin shows and the corn dogs they have there.
I keep avoiding going to bed because I'm scared I'm going to have a nightmare where I'm a whale trainer and I get pulled into the water by a five thousand pound orca. So, I just started watching Frasier. Growing up, my dad would turn it on after the news was over, and I would fall asleep next to him on the couch. I guess I would just rather have a nightmare about Kelsey Grammer than Tillikum, the deranged bull whale... unless... maybe I'm going to have a dream about Kelsey Grammer dragging me into the water during a show where I'm training him to do tricks...
Most of the SnapChats coming from me this past week have looked something similar to this.
But weirdly, all of the ones pictured above came from last night, alone.
So, really, what I did was I slaved away last week ALL WEEK LONG, put together two portfolios of the writing I've been doing all semester, and then, this week, I had two more finals and they were today. Naturally, I procrastinated until yesterday afternoon. Luckily, I didn't have to study for the math final that I was inevitably going to bomb (which happened around seven this morning), so I worked on my colonial American lit final for, count them, THIRTEEN HOURS and finished this morning. After bombing, literally bombing... I PHYSICALLY THREW A BOMB ON THAT TEST (j/k I just didn't answer the last five questions) I ate McDonald's and am sitting in my living room beside my Christmas tree because I think it's groovy.
So, after all of that, I seem to be pretty emotionally unstable right now. As in, I just cried while watching Bride Wars b/c what if you had to call off your wedding when you were getting married to Chris Pratt?!
ALSO MY ROOMMATE CAME HOME FROM AUSTRALIA AFTER BEING GONE FOR THREE WEEKS AND I ALMOST MADE HER LET ME SLEEP IN HER BED WITH HER.
And maybe you should go tweet up a storm with Sarah. I'm obsessed with her.
Also, do you want to follow me on Twitter? I'm a tweeting fool: @courtykearns
L: Me in high school (with my good friend, Matt, who wears a bow around his neck because we were on our way to the Christmas dance) R: me, a few weeks ago taking SnapChat selfies (this is only one of many).
I keep thinking about that little girl I used to be on the left there. I remember that night and the week that followed, so vividly in my mind. I was lying by the fireplace in my mother's living room the night of the Christmas dance. She was on the couch watching the news. Matt told me earlier that day he would pick me up around six and we'd go to dinner and the dance. but I completely forgot about all of it and fell asleep on the carpet. We had so many Madrigal performances that winter (we were choir nerds) and I couldn't keep my eyes open for even one more minute. Matt rang the doorbell a few times and eventually, I woke up to him hovering over me. I remember feeling so stupid that I'd fallen asleep. I also remember being extremely nervous about having to go to school on my birthday the following Wednesday. Senior year of high school--the only year I've ever had to go to school on December 22. I walked into school on my birthday and since it was blizzarding, parking was a nightmare, and I was late for English. As I ran down the hall, I saw my old boyfriend who rarely acknowledged my existence. Curious to see if he'd wish me a happy birthday, I went out of my way to pass by him. He didn't wish it and I was, for the three thousandth time that month, DEVASTATED. I was a teenage masochist, I tell you!
Boy, I'd kill for those stupid problems today.
In two weeks, I'm going to turn twenty-two. As I enter my twenty second year, I have made a rule: there will be a lot less Taylor Swift and a lot more Lily Allen. Because, apparently at twenty-two, you put your game face on, accept the fact that you're pretty messed up, and try to pay your rent on time. Am I right?
And can we talk about the big, bushy, beautiful eyebrows I used to have? they used to be Lily Collins worthy, I'm telling you. And then, freshman year came along and I tweezed them until the eyebrow font ran dry. They haven't been the same ever since. RIP, eyebrows. You were good to me once.
I always really appreciate it when others post inspirational anything on social media sites. I particularly appreciated it this morning when a friend of mine posted a scripture to Facebook.
I have been sick with a cold for about a week and on top of that, I have really been struggling with different things, a lot harrier than the common cold. Like, struggling in ways I never thought I would struggle. But I guess that's what happens when you let your guard down. The adversary picks up on that stuff like mosquitos to blood.
I have had a lot going on inside my head and haven't been able to sort through all of it. I've never been one to come down on myself. Like, ever. I always just decide that when I'm failing at something, well I've failed, and I can always give it another try later. This comes with my ability to resist being disciplined in any form, and the bad habit I have of giving up on things (this is making me sound like a fantastic job candidate!). I have always considered myself a B average student because I couldn't care less about perfect grades or The Dean's List. It gets me into lots of trouble sometimes. But this is not really about school. It's about me. And how failing is necessary.
I took two NyQuil last night and was out, I mean OUT, at 7:30, which means I was up and stirring around 5. It isn't my normal routine, although, I would kind of like to make it so. Anyway, after I said my prayers last night, asking Father help me get through this trial, I lie in bed with a calm reassurance that everything was going as planned, that I was going to get through it because that's the way God has designed our lives. You just get through it, regardless of whether you think you're going to or not. After that, I fell peacefully asleep until this morning. I woke up not necessarily wanting to read my scriptures, but hearing a voice in my head telling me to. I ate breakfast and the voice persisted. I tried to watch some morning television, and there the voice was again. I got on Facebook, and a girl I met over the summer posted a scripture. That was it. That was the final straw. Time to break out that little blue book.
But then, there were so many distractions! Bradley Cooper and Tom Hanks were going to be on The Today Show in a few minutes! Good Morning America was broadcasting crazy power outages across the country! I watched for a while, and heard that voice. Read! it said. Okay, well, I'll just keep the commercials on mute until the show comes back on, then I'll take a reading break and watch, I thought. And then, after saying that, I felt pathetic, soI walked over to the television set and switched it off. Feeling liberated, if only slightly, I opened up my scriptures to the verses my friend had posted.
"Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name. Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. Yea, we see that whosoever will, may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked--and land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out." Helaman 3:27-29
AND THEN, BAM.
I'm not totally healed yet; I've got a long way to go. But, I feel at peace knowing that trusting in God to carry me through my trials is the only way I can get through this life. And I don't know if you know God the way I do, but if you don't, I know he lives to give you guidance and blessings. And I know that if you just throw all you've got at him, regardless of how little you think you've got to throw, if you ask for His help, help will be on the way faster than you can even imagine. I know this because I've tried it. I know that if I pray to God, He hears me. And I know that he hears you, too. He created the earth and everything in it, and he know our names. Individually. Knows that you struggle, too. Best of all, he knows how to help you through. There are simple recipes for a more smooth-running life in The Book of Mormon, and regardless of what you've heard might be in there, it brings peace. Read it for yourself to feel it. God doesn't abandon His people. He simply tries their faith and rescues them when they humble themselves to call upon Him.
"Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." Helaman 3:35
stranger to me in that sacred space I breathe in at night, though, you've been
You used to
show up as this illustrious man whom I adored, and often, too. Nine times,
you've come through to tuck me into my thoughts and the act is so abstract that
I'm not really even sure how I can recall any of it, to be honest. In one of those scenes, we
were at my mother's house. You lay your head on my lap. I ran my fingers over
your forehead, drawing horizontal lines across it. A Chef Boyardee commercial
lit the television. We watched and it was so mundane, so breathtakingly dull.
That was the
third dream I had of you.
And again, like I said, last night, I
had the ninth.
My alarm has
been set for seven o'clock each morning this week and as it chimes in the dark,
early hours of the day, I fall back to sleep for another few minutes of quiet
rest. This morning, I fought my unsettlement for an hour, tossing in my bed, making
imprints in the memory foam. And isn't there something to say about that?
In it, the
dream, I mean, you had on that zip-up sweatshirt I can't pinpoint my reason for
loving. There was a dark theater. I sat on the floor of it and a love story I'd
never seen projected on a screen wide enough for a room of six or seven dozen.
I looked around, soon realizing I was the only one in the room. The film played
out in pieces. There was this part where a man told the camera advice his
mother had given him. Don't hesitate to ask because when you know you
know, he said. And he took the woman beside him between his hands and kissed her
forehead. I watched because the man in the film was you. And the woman wasn't
And then, you
were there with me in the theater, but you couldn't remember my name, acted
like you'd never been told it. You didn't even know me. On the other
side of you sat the woman in the film. She was still and stone-like,
breathing shallow and her hands fit, as though the area of them had been calculated for just enough space to fit inside of yours. Your eyes averted
the screen for only a minute or two and you scaled me, finished with a
question: Who are you? From then on, the dream, a nightmare.
Not a word
about the roof or the zoo or the time early in September when I tried to pick
you up from that place but instead, got caught on an unlit canyon road. I was
frustrated and anxious about how you weren't wearing a jacket and you said
through the phone, Court, I'm okay, now let's make you okay and
I said okay and then, we were okay, remember it? Well, you didn't
in that theatre. Next to you in that movie theatre in my mind, you. didn't. remember
it. Instead, you took her calculated hand, pressed it up against your jawline and
rested it there and watching the two of you together jarred me so much that I woke immediately.
And I've been
sitting here in my bed all morning thinking that if you don't want a place in
my dreams, then get out.
And then, I
remember the time with the roof and the zoo and the canyon road and I remember
that I don't have control over remembering those things, but simply that
remembering those things is a part of the life I've been building while you've
been around. They're a part of being your self, too, and well, fine if you
don't want to remember them, but they happened and the point is I STILL DREAM
And what I'd
say if I could get you alone again wouldn't have much to do with any of those
things because I really just want to know where the hell you went.
I've had a few
years to think you over, and when you disappeared like I never thought you'd
have the heart to do, I panicked. And I'm still panicking. I think about
why it is that you don't fire me up. Why you call when you should and leave
letters in the crease of my front door when you shouldn't.
I wonder if
that silent car ride from Salt Lake a while back was your attempt at
bowing out and I wonder if I made you do that. I sat there in your driveway
that night, thinking, say something to him, and
uttered no more than Don't let it be three weeks again before I see
you. You nodded. I didn't get out of the car. I didn't put my arms around
you like before because I didn't know if you wanted me to. So, you got out of
the car, came to my window, and I rolled it down. Let me know when you're
home safe, you said. And that was the last conversation I remember us
The third week
I think I saw
you through a window last Tuesday. And did I ever tell you that I'll make Edelweiss the lullaby I sing to my children each night? Because I meant to.
And the point
is, I still have dreams of that illustrious man, so come back soon, would you?
He sort of makes guest appearances on this blog because he's sort of kind of a Courtney-classified hero (hasn't always been that way, but now it is) and I just adore every single bit of him. I like you a mil, Plaid Shirt.
He's a democrat who doesn't vote and that's why I'd be nervous to introduce him to my parents, but if you pick out a war in European history, he could tell you ten facts about it, as well as spout off the architectural style of the period. And then, he'd want to have a conversation about it with you. He's my favorite human and here's why:
+Tonight, he sat on the couch with me and watched The Kardashians for three hours. THREE. Minimal complaining, a little bit of iPhone gaming (understandable) and mostly just a whole lotta intrigue.
+Before going into the kitchen, he announced, I'm going to get a glass of water in the kitchen. Do you want me to bring you a Diet Coke? At which point, I could've just kissed his face.
+He got a blanket from my bed, brought it to the couch, and it covered both of us equally. Twenty minutes later, the blanket was wrapped around me, with just the tiniest corner covering his upper thigh. He wasn't bothered. Shaking from the cold with his hands in his pockets, yes, but no complaints.
+He came to my house because I was overly-excited to show him the tinsel on my Christmas tree. And he even pretended to be excited about it, too.
+He didn't say anything about my bangs being split down the middle in lieu of a really bad hair day. Instead, he told me You look pretty without makeup and even though I think that compliment is boring and overused, it made me feel like a million sparkly Christmas ornaments. Turns out the thing is overused for a reason.
+He stood up to leave around midnight. I stayed on the couch. Within a minute, he had his things packed up, his jacket on, boots tied up (sigh, those boots!), hand on the door handle and I said Wait! You can't leave until I turn off all the lights. He stayed by that door until the last lights of the Christmas tree were out.
+He was reading over my shoulder while I wrote and since that is literally the thing I hate most and he knows it, I pushed my palm to his face and he licked my hand. Then, we had a conversation like Your saliva doesn't bother me because we used to kiss, so this palm thing is really not new territory. He said good point and licked me again.
+He told me about some of his insecurities and I got to tell him how he was wonderful and how he made me feel wonderful, too. And then, he smiled the Jude Law smile (visual here).
+After an hour of begging to watch Titanic, he pitched a bold settlement: I will watch that movie, start to finish, with you on your birthday and that's the best I can do. I just really like his guts.
So, Plaid Shirt,
our lives are mundane and nights typically finish with Jimmy Kimmel, but you're my best friend and I know my roommate doesn't like you, but I think you're just, like, totally rad.
Maybe one day, I'll catch the Jude Law thing on film and you can all see what I'm talking about. Maybe I won't, though, because I sort of think it's magical that you all just picture me running around with Jude Law all the time.