Apr 17

If It Ain’t Yours, Don’t Carry It

If it ain’t yours, don’t carry it.

Simple enough.

If it ain't yours, don't carry it.

Don’t pick it up. Don’t offer to help. Don’t open up your bag and let someone else drop it right in there.

Because if it ain’t yours to carry, you don’t need to carry it.

But what about the stuff that others can’t carry? You know — the things they’ve picked up along the way. The extras and the afflictions and the little nonconformities that make it hard for them. If you know their story, it makes it hella hard not to carry something for someone else.

Whatever it may be.

But you can’t.

You’re supposed to be here, but you’re not here to carry what’s not yours.

Pretend I’m coming at you like an angry mama who found her toddler crawling on the floor of a public restroom, and that toddler also happened to pick up several things and shove them in her mouth.

NO NO NO, I say to you.

Not yours.

Don’t pick that up. Don’t put it in your mouth. Leave it there, it’s yucky.

Because if it ain’t yours, don’t carry it.

Because if it ain't yours, don't carry it. Click To Tweet

(This is as much a reminder for me as it is for you, you know.)

(I’m sure you know.)

(If you’re here, you know.)

But what about when, you ask, brow furrowed in consternation, what about when someone leaves what’s theirs with you? Then, are you not obligated to carry it?

Hell no.

If some well meaning asshole approaches you with with what belongs to them, and drops it at your feet, that is exactly where it stays. You don’t pick that up, and you sure as hell don’t carry it. And if they look at you expectantly and wonder why you ain’t carrying it, you don’t have to explain shit, because it’s not yours.

If they come back later and ask if you’ve got it, remind them that you don’t carry it if it ain’t yours, and they can go pick it up just where they left it.

You have to take care of yourself, because sometimes the Universe is conspiring against you.

The secret is that you’ll gladly carry for some. Some truly deserve it. Those people who are inextricably linked to you by a force that pulls and magnetic coincidence — you’ll carry what belongs to them because you know they’ll carry what belongs to you.

But here’s the rub: You can’t carry theirs if you’re carrying someone else’s. And just imagine how foolish you’ll feel when you realize you’ve been schlepping what’s not yours to carry when you could’ve carried something better all along.

But that’s the thing. If it ain’t yours, don’t carry it. And if you’re going to carry it, best outline the carrier-carryee relationship upfront. And honestly, let them know your policy on carrying what’s not yours.

Oh, and make sure you uphold that policy.

Jul 16

The Six-Year Anniversary and Bold Predictions for the Future

Today marks six years since Chris and I officially became a couple. The six-year anniversary isn’t a particularly special one, but it’s one that I will mark nonetheless, simply for the sake of marking arbitrary milestones throughout the course of one’s life, which I’m told is something you humans do.

Chris and Marisa - six-year anniversary

I met Chris while I was bartending at the McNellie’s on Main Street in Norman. It was July 12. I was covering a pint night shift for the regular bartender. On pint nights, the bar gave away a free, featured pint glass to the first 50 or so people who ordered the beer starting at 5. The crowds were always huge, and generally not your best customers. But after the rush, the night settled into a regular Monday night at a bar, which is to say incredibly slow.

Chris came in around seven or eight. He sat at the bar and ordered pork chops with a side of veggies. (I actually remember the majority of the food and drink he ordered that evening.) When he sat down, I knew I was going to date him. It wasn’t like a premonition or anything. It was the sort of knowledge (and power) a 24-year-old woman has when she meets a viable mate. Ask any waitress or bartender. They’ll tell you they can pretty much make anyone date them.

We chatted a bit as the evening wore on. His friend, Aaron, joined him for a bit, but left long before Chris did. After Chris tabbed out, he asked me, “What’s your favorite beer?”

What's your favorite beer? The dreaded question. Click To Tweet

The dreaded question. McNellie’s is a beer bar. They had roughly 300 or so beers. And somehow, every customer always managed to ask me my favorite. And if you know anything about my ability to consume food and drink, then you know I don’t have A favorite, I have favorites. So in an attempt to not sound like a complete alcoholic, I told him I liked ESBs. Little did I know then that he was also a fan of ESBs. And, even though he’d closed out his tab, he ordered a Fuller’s ESB so he didn’t have to leave just yet.

Then, after he finished his beer, the cute guy with shaggy red hair and beard reached over the bar top to shake my hand.

“I’m Chris. I hope I see you again sometime.”

Chris and Marisa - six-year anniversary

And with that, I knew I’d met the man I was going to marry. (That wasn’t 24-year-old power. It was like fate punching me in the gut.)

After Chris did some clever Facebook stalking to find me, we went on our first date one week later, on July 19, 2010. And here we are — on our six-year anniversary.

To celebrate, we went out for steak dinners on Friday, and then came home and watched Spotlight on Netflix. Perhaps it’s not the most romantic evening you could imagine, but for me, a night spent on the couch with someone who doesn’t mind that I take all my makeup off before I watch the movie (just in case I fall asleep) is a good night. I’d rather spend every night for the rest of my life on a couch in my yoga pants with a person I trust and respect than chasing those beginning-of-the-relationship butterflies with overly involved date nights and grand gestures.

So, keeping that in mind, I’d like to give you six bold predictions for the next six years of our relationship on our six-year anniversary. They are the sort of predictions that make sense for people whose life revolves around Netflix and the couch.

We will get another dog.

Rosie needs a baby brother or sister. Chris doesn’t seem to think so, but he isn’t always right. The Norman animal shelter is full of pit mixes that would just love to cuddle and play with our little Rosie. And, after we get that second dog, I can realize my dream of becoming a full-time stay at home dog mom.

We will finally finish renovating this damn house.

That, or a tornado will sweep it away and we can move on with our lives.

We will take a family vacation.

And by family vacation, I mean me, Chris, and Rosie will go somewhere. We’ve been looking into this for a while. We’re thinking maybe Eureka Springs, or Fort Collins. We just have to find a fun cabin or B & B that will allow Rosie to tag along. Oh, and we’ll need to actually take time off work to make it all happen. That’s the hard part.

Chris and Marisa - six-year anniversary

We will get professional couples photos taken.

Maybe that’s what we should’ve done for our six-year anniversary. But Chris and I aren’t big on having our pictures taken. In fact, every picture in this post is from before 2013, and was taken by extending an arm all selfie-style. You can tell these pics are old because I’m still wearing glasses in them. Check out pre-LASIK Marisa! So, I’m pretty sure that we’ll have some professional pictures taken in the next six years or so, mainly because I want them, but also because I know an entire boatload of photographers. Now, to get over this fear of having my picture taken…

All out war will be declared between us and the teenage dirtbag kids who live on our street.

It’s only a matter of time, and I’m honestly surprised that it hasn’t happened yet. But know that there are a lot of teenage dirtbags who live with their parents in our neighborhood. And, since it’s a working class area, a lot of those parents are off at work while the kids are at home alone. When they aren’t setting off fireworks at 3 AM, you can hear them screaming out in the street in the middle of the night while they play tag. And if they aren’t doing that, then they’re sneaking out of the windows of their homes. It’s fun to watch, unless you have to wake up and go to work the next day.

We will attend midnight showings of every Fast and the Furious movie that comes out.

Because yeah, we totally will. Also, Helen Mirren is going to be in the upcoming eighth movie. OF COURSE WE’LL BE THERE.

Chris and Marisa - six-year anniversary

So those are my bold predictions for the next six years on our six-year anniversary. Oh, and if you want to wish us a happy anniversary, feel free to leave a pizza and a bottle of wine on the doorstep. We need it to watch Netflix.