Beyonce, I’m Going to Let You Finish, But…

I really need to clear some things up for everyone and set the record straight.

For many, Queen Bey can do no wrong. She sings, she dances, she wakes up flawless. But many others have called into question the sexy songstress’s lyrics due to anti-feminist sentiments and have even accused her of encouraging domestic violence by directly referencing Tina and Ike Turner’s marriage. In order to counteract this bad publicity, Beyonce recently performed at the VMAs with the word FEMINIST in large letters behind her. Most of social media regarded this as an excellent endeavor to ward off the “haters.”

But let’s be real. Posting a sign behind you makes you as much a feminist as sticking a Post-It note to my forehead with the word “Beyonce” written on it makes me talented and famous.

That is to say, not at all.

However, despite Beyonce’s best intentions, I still have to come to her defense. I, personally, do not partake much in Ms. uhm…Z’s music, but I am a feminist in my own rite. And I know one when I see one.

Now, I can understand Beyonce’s hesitation in declaring herself a feminist because unfortunately, like many “isms” out there, most people associate feminism with its most extreme form. However, feminism, at its core, means that women and men are equal. If you are a feminist, it simply means that you support the idea that men and women should be equal. Which is to say, all women, all races, all abilities, all sexualities, all religions should be able to make as much money, receive the same opportunities, and be perceived by all of society as equal. Notice that I did not anywhere make a claim that the world should be ruled by a bunch of amazon women overlords with no bras. We just want our fair share of the world. What is rightfully ours, as people of this earth. 

If you’ll stay with me, I’m going to describe my own belief in feminism because like feminists, like people, there are many schools of thoughts and different opinions about the subject. This is why you probably don’t think you’re a feminist because what you may believe may not conform to current feminist thinking. But if you want to find out, just answer this question: do you believe women are and should be treated like people? Then, congratulations! You’re feminist positive!

Now, my own idea of feminism is centered upon empowering women. Every single woman. Even if I personally don’t like what they stand for, I will defend their right to stand for it.

Take Taylor Swift. She is giving dorky white women a horrible reputation. As a dorky white woman, I recognize this. But I will absolutely support her when she decides to dance awkwardly (and repeatedly) at her concerts. This is because I recognize that we shouldn’t be putting other women down. And it isn’t women against men, either. It’s people striving to make this the best world they possibly can.

So, when I see Beyonce up on stage with FEMINIST written in big letters behind her, well, I support her. But do I believe her?

Yes, I do. Because there is another aspect to feminism outlined in The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. It is called the “cult of domesticity.” This essentially meant that all women had to stay home and clean and make dinner and not pursue careers. But not only that, they had to act interested in the best vacuum and window cleaners. As if these activities were all they were capable of doing.

Now, do not confuse me. I know plenty of women who do not work so that they can stay home to take care of their families. This is a respectable choice, and I have nothing against it. However, there was a time, not so long ago, in the 1950’s when women did not have a choice. They had to stay home, period. At the time, having a career was revolutionary and outlandish thinking and wholeheartedly discouraged.

So, if we fast forward to when this all changed and when women began to enter the work force, around the 1980’s, there became a new problem when society began to ask: could women raise a healthy, happy family and still work a 9-5? Nothing was said about how the men would manage, but these issues were suddenly heavy on the shoulders of women. Were they being selfish pursuing careers instead of their children’s future? Could women ever have it both ways?

And after this extensive history lesson, this is where Beyonce comes in. Listen closely because this is my point: Beyonce is a feminist, whether she knows it or wants to admit it. Why? Because she has managed to do what most women thought was impossible only thirty years ago: balance a (really successful) career with a family. She did not stop making music when she had her child. She found a way to do both, which, admittedly is not very hard when you are rich, beautiful, and talented like Beyonce. But as far as feminist role models go, there are worse. Way, way worse.

In the end, Beyonce’s tale is one of “follow what I do, not what I say.” Maybe if women stopped yelling at each other for stealing one another’s “man,” maybe girls could really “run the world.” In the meantime, you don’t have to sing along to Beyonce’s songs, but you should respect her.

An Open Letter From Me to Myself

Lately, I’ve noticed that everyone is trying to “find” themselves. Or maybe it’s just because I’m in my twenties and this is the topic at hand. It’s sort of like, now that you are in a dazzling amount of debt from tuition bills, we all think, well not everything has to be about money…I need to go climb a mountain, discover who I am, eat granola bars, and watch eagles. Eagles don’t need money, and they are really freakin’ majestic. 

And, weirdly, that seems to work. You go on a hike to clear your mind and everything seems perfectly lucid when you return. Or you read a Buzzfeed article entitled, “20 Things 20-Somethings Should Know” and it’s all about traveling the world on a few bucks and living a life of creativity and pleasure. And everything comes into focus. All the decisions you have made or will make are laid out in front of you.

But then the weekend ends. And you return to work. And you realize that you need to put food in your mouth and a roof over your head, and while you are always working towards your dream, you are going to have to supplement yourself with something right now or you will faint on your desk. I mean, brain cells need to eat after all, although we want passion alone to sustain us.

And this “self-discovery” seems to continue in a very vicious, cyclical nature. A constant stream of questions: “Who am I?” “What will I do with my life when I grow up?” “When will people stop reminding me that I am grown up?”

 But what most people fail to realize is that you never stop being the person you are. You don’t need to find yourself, and you don’t need to torture yourself with half-prophetic questions. You just need to create yourself, and build your life by living it. Every quirky aspect of your personality and every horrible awkwardness you possess will always be in full view, no matter how much you would prefer to shine or hide them. The person you were when you were 6 is pretty much the person you are when you are 26, with a few more life experiences and a little less whining. (Okay, maybe the same amount of whining.) The cells in your body change every 7 years, but you don’t really.

And yes, this also means that people don’t really change, despite whatever line your ex-boyfriend is feeding you. A drug addict may recover, but they will struggle with the idea of addiction for the rest of their lives. And that’s okay. Because that’s a part of them, and if they didn’t have that piece, they wouldn’t be the person they are today.

However, and I would like to be very clear on this next point, people are always in full control of their decisions and their happiness, which is decidedly different from who you are on the inside. Also, who you are or what your background is should never predetermine what your fate will be or what you are capable of. And if you let that happen, that’s your own fault.

So, to recap: you are who you are but not always who you have to be. Good?

With this in mind, I would like to explain how I make any big decision in my life: I ask myself if my younger self would be proud of me. Sometimes, I don’t like the answer. But I realize that I can change the course of my life at any time, and if my younger self isn’t beaming from ear to ear right now, she will be soon enough. 

Occasionally, I even think about how my younger self would address me. How she would perceive my problems. I think she would sound a little something like this…

Dear Older Me,

Hi, older me. I hope you are doing good…and that you are tall. Are you tall? I’ve always pictured you as tall. And really confident. Can you write me back and tell me how that’s going?

Anywho, we both know that you aren’t too good at making decisions, but maybe you should just go with what your heart tells you. Nah, that’s stupid. Have you tried flipping a coin?

Okay, I’m kidding. Okay, I know you probably feel like the white crayon in the box right now (ignored) or maybe that really pretty blue color (abused), which is weird because we don’t even like to color. But you have to get back on the horse, which is a better metaphor for both of us considering that we love horses. Oh, did mom and dad finally break down and get us a pony? It would be nice to know so I can stop putting it on my Christmas list…

But really. You know what I’m going to say. You need to remember to be yourself and not care what people think. It’s easy to blend in, but it takes courage to stand out. You know all about that though, considering your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid of taking chances because they could have good results. Remember when you tried waffles for the first time? Now they are your favorite food! But stay away from cheese…

And it’s that simple. I suddenly remember what was (and what will always be) important to me. I may sound a little bit like Gollum, (we wants the preciousssss) but it’s a small price to pay for some intense clarity.

In the end, it all comes down to being rather than doing. This is why eagles are so majestic, by the way. They aren’t worried about how to be an eagle. They just take comfort in the knowledge that they are one. If we want to get technical, it’s called instinct. I think it’s high time we all stop clicking articles to find our calling and declutter our instincts and intuition. If you are unsure where to find them inside yourself, just lock yourself in a quiet room until you can only hear your heartbeat. Then, listen to what it tells you.

Nah, that’s stupid. Did you try flipping a coin? 

I’m kidding. 

But really, when was the last time you really listened to yourself? And when was the last time you let your inner child speak?

5 Things a Zumba Class Will Teach You

I’m not bragging or anything, but I am a Zumba queen.

I have been to several Zumba (latin dancing/exercising) classes in many gyms. I’ve heard Shakira remixes and Pitbull versions, but strangely, I have never heard the same song twice. I’ve danced alongside young women and with the moms of the young women I used to go to school with. And usually it’s the same.

Every class, I spend most of my time trying not to step on anyone else’s toes and going left when everyone else goes right. I fail a lot, and I don’t get every move just right. But when you make mistakes with jazz hands and enthusiasm, can you really call them mistakes??

Anyway, when I look around my Zumba class, I see a lot of women who want to be a better version of themselves. But I also see a lot of women who lack confidence. We turn off the light so that everyone feels comfortable dancing. But that’s the problem. We are enabling our own lack of self-confidence. Maybe we need to remember that we should be feeling ourselves dancing, feeling the movement, instead of seeing and criticizing it. As a result, I felt that (Zumba) women everywhere needed a few reminders about their beauty and power.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Listen, you’re not going to nail every move. Actually, I don’t know how the instructor (usually tiny and gorgeous) doesn’t stop from tittering behind her hand when she sees everyone screwing up time and time again. But I think it’s because she understands that that isn’t the point of Zumba. Being a dancing queen helps, but Zumba is for people who have just enough rhythm to not run into each other on a 5-minute basis. Just focus on getting a good workout by lifting your arms and legs higher. The rest will come in time. (Or in time 5, 6, 7 8…)

4. Let It Go

One of the biggest mysteries to me in life is why companies can’t make a remote for the TV with less buttons. But the second biggest mystery is why gyms put mirrors in exercise rooms. Do I need to see my sweaty mug staring back at me, as I unattractively complete squats? The answer is no. And on that note, try to avoid them if you can. All humans have this weird vanity reflex in which when they see a mirror, they are suddenly conscious of every hair out of place and move they make from that point forward. Concentrating that hard will cause you to inevitably mess up and stop enjoying your workout for what it is: time to be yourself. If you do mess up, see #5. If you want to learn more about being yourself, see #3.

3. Being Yourself

Everyone, everywhere, does everything a little bit differently than the next person. (Am I making sense? Good. Because it is about to get harder.) This means that everyone will lift their foot a little higher, shake their booty a little bit more, or whip their hair back and forth a bit…back and forthier than you. The point is that you need to be you no matter what the person next to you is doing. Unless they think they are God’s gift to Zumba and are whipping their hair like Beyonce. Then you can laugh a little. But after you are done laughing, you should congratulate them. Anyone who has the courage to be themselves in public is absolutely worthy of your admiration. 

2. Be Comfortable With Your Body

If you saw me out in public, you would be hard-pressed to look at me and say to yourself, “Yes, she drops it low on occasion.” And you’d be right about that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t in my Zumba class. I’m just loath to do it on the street, sir stranger. So, don’t let who you think you should be define you. (Huh?) Get in touch with yourself and shake ‘dem hips. (Oh.) Or don’t. It’s completely up to you. But being in charge of your body is what Zumba is all about.

1. Make It Fun

Look, it’s been a hard day. I know a lot of you out there aren’t skipping to your Zumba class at dinnertime. You are dragging your feet and your gym bag, hoping that you trip over the latter and injure yourself so you don’t have to go. But try to have some fun while  you’re there. I see plenty of women, brows furrowed in concentration trying to match each step. But you’ve been concentrating all day. Just laugh at yourself if you miss a step and keep going. If you have to think of it this way, this is your place to be silly. I promise, there will be plenty of time to put on a serious expression for the kids when you drive home.

I hope I’ve reminded all of the wonderful (Zumba) people why they are so great in the first place. No one rocks parachute pants with little straps on them like you do, and don’t you forget it. 


50 Reasons You Should Be Watching Doctor Who

Okay, yes, I have recycled a post from earlier in the year, but I have been waiting ALL WEEK to say this: DOCTOR WHO IS BACK!!!

If you have never watched  this amazing show, take this opportunity to slap yourself in the forehead for your silliness and then go ahead and start with the 9th doctor. If you begin right now, you will probably be all caught up to the current season before you even realize that you have no life and that you are crying/laughing in your pajamas with 3D glasses on.

But if you are still hungry for new BaileyDailey content, head on over to the “What I’m Reading…” tab because I’ve updated that as well.

If you don’t start watching Doctor Who after you’ve read this post, then I will make you read my Doctor Who thesis. All 15 pages of it. So, what will it be? This blog or my thesis?



That’s what I thought…


50. See somewhere new. Actually, see all of time and space.

49. Reenactments of historical events with some slight adjustments by the Doctor.

48. Meeting the T.A.R.D.I.S. again and again.

47. Meeting the Doctor…er…again and again.

46. Rose Tyler.

45. Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey.

44. “Just once, everybody lives!”

43. Martha Freakin’ Jones.

42. Donna Noble has been saved.

41. “That’s a bit ood.”

40. Captain Jack Harkness.

39. “It’s bigger on the inside.”

38. Sonic screwdrivers.

37. Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

36. Clara, the Impossible Girl.

35. The Silence…or not.

34. The Girl Who Waited.

33. “Bowties are cool.”

32. Christmas specials.

31. Bananas.

30. Daleks upon daleks upon daleks.

29. The Vashta Nerada.

28. K-9.

27. “Rude and not ginger.”

26. “Run!”

25. “I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself.”

24. The Slitheen.

23. Regeneration.

22. “Fantastic!”

21. “Geronimo!”

20. “Well…”

19. The Weeping Angels.

18. Sally Sparrow, and all the companions that could have been.

17. River Song.

16. Melody Pond.

15. The Doctor’s Name. In Gallifreyan.

14. Sarah Jane Smith.

13. Mr. Smith.

12. Sontarans.

11. “I’m not amused.”

10. Fishfingers and custard.

9. “He’s like fire and ice and rage…”

8. The Oncoming Storm.

7. The Doctor’s Wife.

6. The Girl in the Fireplace.

5. The Master and his drums.

4. Cybermen.

3. Fezzes.

2. Two hearts.

1. Fans like you!

Are you properly confused? Good. You won’t feel any less confused by watching Doctor Who, but you will have some fun!

When Animals Speak

I believe in just about everything, which makes me a bit more gullible than most. (This also makes me really fun at parties. Go ahead, tell Bailey a completely fake story and see how long it takes her to realize Big Foot doesn’t invite hikers to his bonfires.)

Believing in everything is sometimes hard, though. When you know deep in your heart that fairies, mermaids, angels, gnomes, elves, psychics, miracles, spirits, and demons exist, and then you are told that you’re being “crazy” or “childish,” when you express these opinions, well, it can really ruin things. Especially when you are trying to set up a tea party for all of your magical friends when you are six…and then again when you are in your twenties.

But in all seriousness, it’s not a secret that I’m a bit more trusting (and a bit more superstitious) than most. I don’t cross black cats or my fork and knife, just to name a few. But you have to remember, I am also an English major. We are trained and wired to believe that the curtains in our favorite stories really represent repression and that the snide comment made by a side character will actually foreshadow the entire twist ending. You may call it “book paranoia,” but an English major will call it “interpreting a text.”

Speaking of English major things, I also own a lot of books, particularly about things that I believe in. I have never regretted buying any of them, but I have bought one in particular that has been worth every penny. It is called Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. From cover to cover, it covers every animal in the animal kingdom, great to small. It is similar to a reference book in that you can look at it when you cross paths with a specific creature, and it provides the “meaning” of your encounter but also daily “animal magic” practices.

I don’t usually use it for the normal animals I see: spiders, squirrels, and sparrows. But tonight was, for lack of a better word, unusual. On a walk, I saw a fox, a deer, a baby bunny, and a large skunk. Being a believer of signs and premonitions, I had to take a look in my book. So, I’m taking you along with me.

From Animal Speak:

The Fox-Of course, its obvious meaning is one of cunning and stealth. But foxes also represent feminine energy. Much of fox folklore in some Native American cultures tell of a man’s surprise when he discovers his wife is actually a fox. Strangely enough, my mother and sister are not foxes, but they did join me on the walk. Perhaps the fox’s feminine energy was acknowledging the same within us.

The Deer-As you would expect, the deer represents gentleness and innocence. But also maternity. Andrews talks extensively about a deer mother’s loyalty to her children, nurturing and teaching her fawns to eat and run from danger. This is truly applicable because my sister and I still live with our mother. Perhaps, again, the deer was acknowledging our bond.

A Baby Bunny-(Or “Rabbits” to people who have no soul) quite obviously represent new life and fertility. But I don’t think that this meaning is supposed to be taken literally. I think it is supposed to mean good tidings of new beginnings ahead. (And that’s the thing about belief, you can twist it to fit anything you want.) The book goes on to say that mother bunnies leave their nest in the daytime as to not attract predators. However, the little one we found was out on its own. Perhaps this little guy was saying that it’s time to explore the world and extend past our comfort zones.

The Skunk-We can all recognize that distinguished (and putrid) skunk smell, even though we may not want to. What we don’t readily recognize is how much skunks command our respect. Andrews points out that we give them wide berths, yet they are peaceful and ambling animals. The skunk, according to my book, represents self-esteem. I am told that when I see a skunk, I should be mindful of my self-image and how people perceive me. Perhaps I will be able to control how the world sees me, once I step outside of my comfort zone.

In the end, we can find meaning all around us. But it is up to us to seek it out and apply it. Who knows what you may find in the animal kingdom and elsewhere. But I have found that if we can piece together some meaning in our lives, then we don’t feel so small and the big questions, like why do I exist, don’t feel so daunting. So, the next time the world or a few animals speak, make sure you are listening.

How To Be A Friend

Now that I have gotten all of my anger out in last night’s post, I figured it would be in my best interest to write about a lighter subject: Friends. 

No, not the (best) television show. And not the people you “stalk” on social media sites. I’m talking about the people that are not related to you by blood but are tied to you by something stronger. That’s right, the people who actually chose you to be in their lives, instead of being forced to take baths with you and share clothing (AKA siblings.) (Although, I  am lucky. My best friend is also my sister and my sister is also my best friend.)

So, how do you keep a friend? Well, it’s really that simple. Just keep them in your life. Being a friend is just choosing to make sure that person gets to participate in your journey from time to time, but time after time after time. In other words, you don’t have to be joined at the hip to prove your friend love. You just have to pick them over everyone else once in awhile and when it counts.

Of course, there are going to be friends that are going to fight tooth and nail (whether they are consciously making the decision or not) to leave you out of their life and to ensure that they don’t keep in contact. They are going to ignore your calls, they are going to forget you had plans, and they are going to make you feel stupid on more than one occasion. These are still your friends, but they are friends that are taxing to your spirit, and you will eventually need to let go of these people. Now, sometimes, you will need to forgive them. And sometimes, you will need to say goodbye. I promise, you will know the difference when you encounter these situations.

In the end, you need to stay with the people who may not remember to respond to you right away but will apologize profusely when they realize they haven’t answered your texts. You need to keep the people who you don’t get to see very often, but who look forward to the next time you will meet. You need to remain friends with people who may not know every minor detail of your existence but who will always make you feel good. If you continue to accept that sometimes life is like a ship on a rough and far sea and that the weather will eventually be suitable for sailing once more, then, congratulations, you are a great friend.

So, whether it is your friends, your family, or your framily (Thanks, Sprint) you need to remember to be vulnerable and to answer their calls once in awhile. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, even if it’s just for a few hours. You can always make a world of difference by acknowledging the life of a friend. 

5 Things You Can Do to Support The ALS Foundation (Besides Dumping Water On Your Head)

This post is not a rant. In no way will I point out how the “ice bucket challenge” has turned into Frankenstein’s monster, how it has been squeezed through the social media grapevine, how it has become diluted into an “either/or” competition, how so many people believe that if you pour water on your head, you will not have to donate to the ALS foundation at all, how so many people still do not know what ALS even is, and how narcissistic this has all become.

I won’t do that. What I will do is point out that I have been nominated for the challenge, and that I will not be pouring water on my head. Instead, I will be donating to the ALS foundation tonight, but not $100. (I am happy to take a picture of that).

Why? Because I don’t want to be bullied into charity. I don’t want to be guilted into donating. I don’t need to be. I’m happy to donate what I can and when I can. (I’m sorry if that it isn’t “enough,” but it’s what I can do.) And that’s the whole point. People participate in these social media campaigns because they don’t know what else to do. We’re humans. We’re mostly good people. We want to help; we don’t want to see people suffer. So, when we see that other people are making “a difference” by not doing much, we think, well. this is the least I can do. And it is. It is literally the least you could do. So, try a few of these to make a real difference and save yourself the unpleasant wet underwear feeling. This list goes from the least effort to the most effort. Because if everyone did a little bit, we’d have a whole lot.

5. Share a Link.

You probably thought that the last thing I tell you to do was post something on social media. But awareness is at the heart of this “challenge.” Try including a link to the ALS foundation with your monotonous video of you screaming from the onset of hypothermia. (Can you tell I’m bitter?) FYI: Here’s a link for anyone (or their loved ones) recently diagnosed with ALS. 

4. Donate.

I bet you are surprised to see this early on in the list, too. It’s so easy to donate. Actually, it’s easier than getting the ice for your bucket. I’ll make it even easier for you. There ya go. There’s the link.

3. Shop.

Seriously. You can shop your way to the cure. All you have to do is use AmazonSmile to shop for goods that you would usually buy (if they qualify). Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to the ALS association. How easy is that?

2. Hold a Fundraiser

We all have different talents. Use yours to hold a fundraiser. Make baked goods, sell lemonade, design t-shirts, write poetry, run a 5k, anything! Donate the profits to the ALS foundation. Think about it: someone gets a cookie, and you get to donate to a great cause. It’s a win-win. The “ice bucket challenge” is a lose-lose. (You are wet, and when you don’t donate, we’re not any closer to living in an ALS-free world.)

1. Volunteer

Yes, you can even volunteer for your local ALS chapter (or even make your own) to help the foundation fundraise and generally get the word out. Of course, this might be the most effort you can put into the cause, but I promise it will be the most rewarding.

I’ve made this blog post nice and short so that you can get out there and do any one of these things. Just pass it along, and don’t “freeze” out the ALS foundation.

And just in case you were wondering…

I donated. #picsoritdidnthappen

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 9.30.56 PM

Long Live Shark Week

I’ve spared you all from a horrible fate.

You see, I was going to rant about the sanctity of shark week and how it has turned into nothing more than a second “spring break” where women paint great whites on their chests and scream the Jaws theme song. I mean, I love “Bob” the shark as much as the next girl, but is shark week slipping? Last night I watched a man tickle sharks’ noses to put them in a catatonic state. Where is the science!?

As a shark week veteran, I know that the average white shark is anywhere from 13 feet-16 feet long and that a bull shark once swam into freshwater and wreaked havoc in a small New Jersey town at the turn of the century. I know how to avoid a shark attack, and I can even remember who is going to die and who is going to live in almost every shark attack they show during the week.

know my sharks. So, why haven’t I learned anything this week? Where’s the “discovery”? Do I really have to watch semi-famous people don chain mail suit after chain mail suit just to sit at the bottom of the ocean in a tropical location to see how hard a reef shark can bite them?

I guess I will have to. Because I won’t stop watching shark week. Ever. As long as they have it, I will sit down and watch it. I love everything about these majestic, absolutely horrifying fish. Maybe my fear has simply turned into fascination over the years. But I refuse to smear shark week’s name in mud (or blood.) So, I wrote a few sharky haikus because I love poetry just as much as I love sharks. I hope you enjoy them.

Great Whites

“They aren’t that great,”

said the tiger shark to his

meal, “they were just first.”


Big Fish

He told me it was

huge but couldn’t show me with

only the one hand.



Your teeth are razors

your skin can make wallets but

you’re a big softy.


Personalized Shark Attacks

Red water? Can I

get this flesh wound in something

that matches my eyes?


Dead Eyes

Your eyes have a dead

look to them but I see the

future of our seas.


Long live the shark. Long live shark week.

Reality 1, Childhood 0

My childhood has taken some blows this week. 

First of all, the greatest comedian of our time, the man who voiced and played so many of my favorite characters, has died. I don’t have to tell you who I am talking about, and I am not going to make this post about him. The reason? I wouldn’t be able to do him justice, and I’ve seen too many people try. He was an amazing man, and no one will be able to truly follow (or capture) his footsteps.

As for the rest of this week and my childhood, it hasn’t looked this bad since I was told the Tooth Fairy was not real. (It’s okay. I know, I was traumatized too. We can talk after this.) 

I was recently very fortunate to be able to visit a place that I had wanted to go to since I was able to express that I needed a vacation. The place was Chincoteague Island, which is famous for its wild ponies.

As you can probably guess, I was like most young girls growing up. But instead of dreaming of a knight in shining armor to come and scoop me up, I was hoping to push him out of the saddle and take his horse instead. I loved horses, ponies, unicorns, pegasi, even horseflies. I wanted a Mustang (car) and a Denver Broncos jersey (football team) because their names briefly referenced horses. Chincoteague Island was the final frontier for my equine obsession.

Chincoteague is an amazing place, and I highly suggest that you go there. But for me ( and my mother voiced the same relief) I am so glad I didn’t go as a child.

For one, there were stuffed animal ponies in every single store. And, if I am remembering myself correctly as the bratty child I was, I would have pleaded with my mother to have every fluffy one of them in my grubby hands. Secondly, to see the ponies, you have to travel by kayak or pontoon boat to their island. My young, impressionable stomach might not have been able to arrive without losing my lunch. And, by the time we arrived to the island, I may have made my parents deaf by screaming, “WHERE ARE THE PONIES?” And finally, on this trip, you may really want to see the ponies, but they may not want to see you. When we got to the island, they stood in a pack (a beautiful, wonderful pack), refusing to close the distance between us and them. We got more than a glimpse of them but not much more than that. 

I loved my trip, and I would happily go again. But never as a 12-year-old. (Thankfully, that ship, or pontoon boat, has sailed.)

I began to realize, even though we all want to hang onto our childhood for dear life, there are some things we must experience as adults. With this new perspective, I came home, took the beanie babies hanging from my door, and hung up a truly magnificent horseshoe I purchased from a shop in Chincoteague. Certainly, it was tough for me to look into their bead-y eyes and deny them one more playtime, and I was saddened by the fact that, at some point, they had become completely covered by dust. But I realized, it wasn’t fair to keep them there anymore.

I’m sure we would all love to stay children forever. Scraped knees, stuffed animals, and sleeping whenever we wanted. But it isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to our parents (who have to take care of us), but it also isn’t fair to us. To the adults we would eventually grow up to be.

I’m a big proponent of keeping yourself young and maybe being a bit immature at times, but I am also a big fan of being the person you are meant to be. So, go on. Chase your childhood dreams but remember to keep something heavy enough to ground you. Say, a horseshoe, with plenty of luck.  

Please contact me directly for my support group hotline: “The Tooth Fairy Is Real In My Heart and In My Dentist’s Dreams.” 

Lactose Intolerant Living

I’ve been sort of living a lie.

I can’t believe I didn’t know that “lactose intolerant” doesn’t normally have a hyphen in it…

Oh, and I’d like to also confess that I am a lactose intolerant individual, and I have been eating cheese  for about, oh say… my entire life.

Until recently. When my body decided that I should cut out the shenanigans and stop eating cheese forever.

I know, I know. How first world problem can you get? Oh woe is me, I can’t eat pizza. Oh, what a world, what a world, I can never eat ice cream in the summertime. I’ll just have to settle for water ice.

But really, I’m used to it. I ate cheese all my life because I wanted to. It was a lifestyle choice. My side effects weren’t fun, but I could live with them. I’d rather stay mum on what they are, but I can tell you this: they are a far cry from the side effects I had when I was younger.

Once, (I say once because when this happens, you don’t do it again) my dear dad gave me a piece of cheese. A morsel, really. When I was just a wee babe, you see. He could literally see my mother pulling out of the driveway. He was holding me in his arms and then…


I threw up all over him. No problem, he thought. I’ll just put on another shirt. Except I kept throwing up. And barfing. And retching. And yakking. Until he decided that it was worthless to do all that laundry. So, he stopped putting new shirts on. He just allowed me to throw up on his chest for a solid couple of hours. (Yeah, that’s hardcore parenting.)

So, as long as I’m not projectile vomiting, I thought, what’s the harm in a little pizza once in awhile? And yes, I’d love some extra parm on my three-cheese tortellini. Sure, why not? We can grab some fro-yo.

Until recently. I’ve already lost my gallbladder at this point, which I had previously blamed on an overdose of Nutella, but now I am starting to wonder: Have I been killing myself softly with blue cheese my whole life?

In other words, the take-away from my life’s journey as a lactose intolerant American… and by the way, you think you’re special because you can digest cheese? You’re really just a mutant. Humans aren’t supposed to eat dairy so get out of my face with your Got Milk? ads and your delicious cheeseburgers because if I start, I won’t be able to stop… Ahem…

So, the take-away from my life’s journey as a lactose intolerant American: enough is sometimes really enough. You will come to a point in your life that your habits, or the habits of others, are just going to be too much for you to take, and you’ll make a change. I just hope it’s not too late for one of your organs, like it was for mine.

The point is, you can apply that advice to any area in your life. (For me, I applied it to food, which tells you something about me…) There are going to be times that you will need to push through the hard stuff to get to the gooey center of life. But, there will be times that you will reach your limit. And I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to say, “I can’t do this anymore.” Because I don’t care how delicious cheese is (or how delicious your annoying partner is, or how delicious that job is that sucks your soul but pays you good money), sometimes you just have to say no because it will help you in the long run.

But you have to promise, next time you have a slice of pizza, have one for me. I’ll be over here with my rice milk (which is actually kind of amazing) and some goat milk (which is a bit goaty, but also very good.)

You shouldn’t stop yourself from doing (or eating) what you love, just have the courage to know when you need to mooove your life in a different direction. (Oh, c’mon. Like you didn’t see that coming…)