only best friends swear at you when you tell them you're engaged

When we got engaged, there was only a handful of people we were able to share the news with in person. Though we called our parents and siblings and grandparents immediately after the proposal, their reactions were unlike those we would have received had we announced it to them face-to-face. That said, I hope to always remember the expressions, the astonishment, the words from those who we did see.

My "Purdue friends" and I had been planning a night out, and Hans and I certainly were not going to change our plans, regardless of our new engagement. Concerning our night out, one friend repeatedly texted me, asking "When?" "Where?" "How are you getting there?" "Who's going?" "What are you doing now?"

I sneakily responded with, "I'll see you later. Hans and I just have some things to talk about right now."

Indeed we did: wedding dates and ceremony locations, the option of whether or not to have a bridal party. Our excited and shocked talk continued over supper, which was actually at a Chili's. I nibbled on incredibly tasty fried shrimp tacos while fielding phone calls from aunts and soon-to-be in-laws. At one point in time, Hans and I were both on the phone: he with his father, me with his father's wife, Hans's step-mother. Excited. Smiling. Happy. Happy. Happy.

That evening, we commenced Round One at Jake's, a rowdy bar which guarantees enjoyment if you like blatant drunkenness and having to yell, at the top of your lungs, directly into the listener's ear.

My friend was seated near the back entrance, at a high top table. He nursed a drink and looked expectant. As usual, his gaze shifted from one person to the next, continuously scanning faces and personas. Hans and I pushed through the crowd (which comprised seniors commemorating their final days on campus and underclassmen celebrating the end of finals) and sat down opposite each other.

"How's it going?" my friend asked nonchalantly. His casual tone breached time; it felt as if I hadn't seen him in a few days, rather than six months.

"Good! Loving my visit! Things are good." I slapped my left hand down on the table, showing off my ring. "This happened!" I was smiling.

He appeared unfazed. "I figured that would happen," he said knowingly, unsurprised and, as always, chill. He nodded to me, Hans, his bottom lip curling back into a smile. "I'm happy for you guys," he said, gazing about the bar, "Congratulations!"

We smiled. "Thank you." Cheers. Bottoms up.

The most entertaining reaction was next. Another friend, Charlene, strolled in the back door, and we immediately grabbed her attention and beckoned her over. She and I hugged and made small talk. I asked how her final week of school was; she asked how my job was. She asked Hans what he was up to. We talked.

"Yeah, I'm really not doing that much," I said. "Just work. Work and sometimes sleeping. I'm hoping to find something in publishing sometime soon, though. But...uh, yeah. Things are okay. I'm really excited to be here! I'm still dating him--" I jerked my head in the direction of Hans, who lifted his glass, tilted his head, and smirked goofily--"and our anniversary was yesterday. We were in Indy and we had dinner and went to the comedy club and, uh, yeah. And now we're here visiting, and seeing people and doing stuff and, uh, oh yeah, we're engaged." I quickly sneaked the last few words into my rambling, hoping to catch Charlene off guard.

I succeeded.

She was stunned and stumbled over her words. "You, wait, you," she pointed at me, pointed at Hans. "Wait, you guys? WHAT? What the fuck? Why? WhWhWhwhaaaa...fuck!" Standing up from the table, she stood between Hans and I, who remained seated. "How long?"

Hans squeaked in, "A few hours ago."

"Why didn't you tel--WHAT?" And she was up and off, rambling and ranting about things I cannot precisely remember. She's happy for us, happy, and something about hoping I wasn't expecting her to react one way or another because she wasn't that way and holy crap are we really doing this and she was happy for us, so happy for us and talking and talking and ranting for the sake of talking and what what what WHAT.

In the foreground, beads of sweat drained themselves from my glass to the table. The noise in the bar droned on, a white static compared to the hilarity that ensued at my table. I cared for nothing but her reaction, Hans's smile. I was leaning over, hugging Charlene around the waist and laughing, laughing and crying from happiness because she was speaking the most beautiful profanity I had ever known. So surprised, she was, so taken aback by my reveal of the news.

"You know what? Fuck you," she said loudly, trying to twist out of my grip. "No. Fuck you." She turned away from me and folded her arms, but I held on to her waist, still laughing.

"You're so perfect, Char," I managed to get out. "This is exactly what I wanted and you know I love you for it."

We hugged. Laughed. Seriously talked about dates and decisions. We smiled. Cheers. Bottoms up.

Round Two began just before 11:00 and just over the river. Though Charlene had remained at Jake's with other graduating students, my other friend had hitched a ride with us to Chumley's, a popular Lafayette bar known for its great variety of beers. Indeed, Hans (who actually does his own home brewing) ordered a beer, while my friend and I requested sweeter mixes.

At long last, my friends Zoë and Ty arrived. I was most eager to see them. I could feel the smile on my face already, and I found it difficult to remain calm. I had planned to show them the photo on Hans's camera, the one of him on his knee, hands and ring stretched to me.

"Sorry we're so late," breathed Zoë, who was rocking black boots with shorts. "It's Ty's fault. Apparently, '10:00 or 10:30' means 'Get in the shower at 10:20.'"

"Is this why," I asked, "you texted me earlier and said you'll be on your way as soon as Ty finishes fixing his hair?"

"Well, one should look respectable when socializing during the evening hours," Ty said, combing back his thick red locks. He enunciated his words like John Wayne, but spoke with more warmth and less twang.

Zoë rolled her eyes, and they began to talk about other matters.

"Hey guys, I want you to look at this." I stood up from my side of the table and walked around, camera in hand. "GUUUUuuuuuys. LooooooOOOOOook."

They continued to ramble. In mock frustration, I backhanded Ty's shoulder. "Hey!" I said, gaining their attention. "I'm important! Pay attention! Look at me! Look at me! Look! Look at this!" I shoved the camera to Ty, the photo already on display. He and Zoë bent over the small screen, squinted their eyes. We were silent for a few moments. They looked, their faces bent together. We waited.

Ty was the first to realize what the photo was of, and when he looked up to me, I read the bewilderment in his face. Much like my wanting to always remember Charlene's caring, yet hilarious rant, I hope to never forget the gleaming look on Ty's face. His eyes shone, and his lips froze halfway between shock and smile. I do not remember if he said anything; perhaps his face gestured in such a way that asked, "Really?"

I nodded, scrunching my face with glee and holding my left hand up to my face. I started to laugh again, awkwardly but happily, and put my hand to my face.

"Wow," Ty said, scraping his chair back to stand up. "I believe congratulations are in order." Ty and I hugged, then Zoë hugged me, then Ty shook Hans's hand, then I hugged Zoë, then Zoë waved to Hans, then I shook my friend's hand and hugged Hans and we all nested ourselves to the table.

"So," Hans started. "I thought, just for the heck of it, that we could have some Jell-O shots. Half the people at this table have never had them, so I'm offering to buy a round." We consented.

When the waitress returned, we put in our request. "Red or green?" she asked.

"Red," I said.
"Green."
"Red."
"Red."
"Ummm," Ty paused. "I'll ... go with ... green. Thank you."

We all breathed, shrugged our shoulders in that awkward moment between ordering and small talk. "It doesn't really matter what I get," Ty said. "I'm colorblind. SURprise me," he said in his typical emphatic way, and we all laughed.

One LMFAO song later, the shots arrived. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

We tapped our plastic cups together in a mock toast, exchanging "congratulations" and "thank yous." We smiled. Cheers. Bottoms up.

Fountain Square

Rhianne from For the easily distracted shared some LC-A photos from Harrogate, where she captured some architectural typography. Here, in a similar fashion, I have some photos from Fountain Square, a cultural district in southeast Indianapolis. My theme? Outdoor artwork. Painting. Graffiti. Whatever you want to call it. And, whatever they are, squint your eyes so they are almost closed. Then lean your head back and make half of your face twitch. Perhaps, then, the quality of these images will not make you shudder.


Regardless, the day I took these photos was actually me and Hans's three-year anniversary (and the day before he proposed). We wandered around antique stores as well as traffic cones and construction zones. It was only our second time in the district; our first time had been the day before. I had flown into Indy and, promptly after leaving the airport, we drove to Siam Square, a delicious Thai food restaurant on Virginia Avenue. There, I had planned to meet a fellow blogger. Though I was initially nervous, I really enjoyed meeting Anna, who was incredibly easy to talk to.

(I also know that she's probably reading this, so, in addition to saying, "Hi, Anna!" I'll add ... "Gosh, I hope you didn't think I was too awkward. 'Cause I'm pretty awkward. And kind of abrasive sometimes. And I look around a lot. Or down. Or around. 'Cause I'm awkward. As in, you take really dreamy photos, and if you were to take a photo of me, I would still look awkward. I would find a way to photo bomb my own portrait. Enough rambling. It's making things awkward.")

But really, Anna does take some stunning, laid-back lifestyle photos. Check out her latest posts if you don't believe me--they include images of white sandy beaches. If that hasn't hooked you, then check out Kong Cat, because everyone likes pictures of cats. (Well, practically every blogger, that is.)

Also, I want to apologize for the disgusting watermarks. I recently came across a Twitter account and a website that were using my photos without permission. They were not the greatest images by any means, but it still upset me. I have no doubt that all of us here know to always ask. But, for anyone who doesn't, I'll say it again: always ask. Because of those two incidents--which were not related--I've elected to slap a watermark on all of my images. I do not wish to, and it is not something I enjoy taking the time to do, but I'm beginning to find that it necessary. There is no reason why I should have to explain to an individual that Google is a search tool, not a source.

Sigh. Rant over.

But before I get to this hideous images, I should also mention that this post is for Arielle, because she's cool and likes graffiti. Art. Paintings. Whatever.





Oh, and in case you're wondering, we spent the rest of our anniversary wandering about the city. We spent time downtown, around Monument Circle (which also happens to appear in Anna's latest post, which is another reason to go check it out). We ate at The Libertine, a fancy, delicious, courteous, and flat-out amazing restaurant. Expensive, yes. Worth it? Absolutely. We had honey-glazed chicken, a fat bowl of semi-spiced mussels. Bread. Cocktails. Absinthe. It was fantastic.

Later that evening, we attended Crackers, a comedy club. Like Fountain Square, we were visiting it for the second time. Again, it was well worth it. Though the headliner was relatively and unsurprisingly raunchy, it was a wonderful evening full of laughs. And more drinks, of course.

What a wonderful anniversary that was.

Stay classy, my friends.

Fabric Doesn't Make Me Cry: Part Two

When it came to wedding dresses, I thought I knew what I wanted.

But, after trying on over 25 dresses at three stores in Des Moines, I was defeated. My disappointments, especially after visiting David's Bridal, had left me tearful.

However, two days after my marathon shopping day—and without anyone accompanying me—I went back to Stacey’s, a warehouse of a store in a Des Moines suburb. My original consultant was present, and she was everything I needed: patient, understanding, laid-back, questioning, encouraging.

I put on the first dress I had liked. Some lace. Some sparkle. A nice pinky-brown tone. Straps. Mermaid. Tight. Okay. I took it off five minutes later.

I put on the second dress I had liked. I wore it for 45 minutes straight.

It was the one my mom and cousin had loved, one they had suggested I try. At the time, I had taken one look at its shocking inclusion of color and said, “It’s too ______, but I’ll definitely try it on.” They had smiled; they had known it was “me” before I even realized it.

At Stacey’s, I was handed a sash, a birdcage. Jewelry was discussed, as was my groom’s clothing. Shoes. Undergarments. Our choice to go without bridesmaids and groomsmen. To keep everything outside. I even spoke of our love of vintage and antique items.

“Our ‘new’ kitchen table is a 1950s chrome model from an antique store,” I told both two consultants, as they gussied my hair and hid what I considered to be the dress’s “imperfections.”

“Oh my gosh. That’s fantastic! I love that.” He—whose name I have forgotten, but whose persona I can compare with Kleinfeld’s Randy—stepped back and looked me from head to toe. “You need this dress. This works for you.”

He, my consultant, and the seamstress were flourishing with comments and ideas … and yet, I couldn’t commit. The dress was so different from any vision I had imagined. It wasn’t what I had expected. I was happily shocked, but easily confused. I liked it … but would it seem costume-y? Would it be enough to be “different?”

“What will the groom be wearing?” The seamstress, Laura, asked me.

I smiled. “I picture him in a suit. Not necessarily with a jacket, though. Brown or gray or something. An ivory shirt. And a vest. There has to be vest. And I think he’ll want a top hat.” I smiled again, looked down at the fabric that graced my toes.

“Oh. My. Gosh,” “Randy” gushed. “That’s so perfect. You guys are so great.”

But again, I couldn’t commit. I couldn’t understand the vision; couldn’t grasp the concept that this … this garment, this particular garment … would be my dress. The employees at Stacey’s encouraged me to think about it; they handed me a glass of wine and instructed me to weigh my vision, my guests’, my feelings, my budget. “Think about everything, but think about how you feel.”

That night, at 2:20 in the morning, I texted my mom. “GRrrrEEeeat. Now all I can do is think about that stupid dress. Figures.”

We agreed, once again, to meet at the Des Moines store. I drove 45 minutes, mom drove 2 hours. It was on a whim—I did not expect to obsess over an article of clothing.

Once in the dressing room, I told the consultant, “I want to put the dress on, fix everything up the way I had it, then put on the headpiece. And get some flowers. I basically want to have everything ready … and THEN I’ll look in the mirror.”

She tucked, pinned, clipped. I was plucked over like a mannequin. And when I finally emerged from the dressing room, I didn’t even look in the mirror; I looked at my mom’s face. She was smiling, albeit a bit sadly, waiting for my reaction. I stepped onto the pedestal, slowly. I fluffed the bottom of the gown, gazed at the fake floral arrangement in my hands. Finally, I looked up.

AND LAUGHED.

“Yeah, I don’t cry,” I exclaimed to my mother, who wore an expression of both humor and mock embarrassment. “It’s just not me.”

The consultant and my mom both looked at me, hoping for a more detailed explanation.

“Fabric doesn’t make me cry.”

My mom shook her head. "No, that's ... just not you."

Again, for a long time, I paraded around the store. I gazed at myself, asked for encouragement. I disappeared into the prom dresses, the train popped by the consultant. I could see another employee pointing at me and commenting. I looked in the mirror again, scrutinized my silhouette. Turning to the back of the store, I pictured Hans, his face, his vest, his top hat. His smile. His eyes. I walked toward them.

That’s when I knew.

I strolled back to my mom, enjoying the train, the fabric.

“Fabric doesn’t make me cry,” I said to her, touching her arm. “But Hans does.” I choked out his name, and my eyes filled with tears. “This dress, or any dress, no matter the cost, will not make me cry. I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to have those butterfly feelings. What makes me feel those things is Hans.” I paused, and mom tried desperately not to tear up herself. “When I think about him, when I thinking about walking toward him, that’s when I cry.”

And indeed I did.

After that exchange with my maternal parent, Stacey’s made me an offer, a bargain. I took it. And an hour after arriving, after trying on and testing, of fussing and worrying, I walked out with a large cloth bag, a dress enclosed.

Sadly, I will not be divulging its looks to you at this time. I will admit that my fiancé, my groom, my love, has seen it. (If I was going to purchase it, I needed him to like it; and—since I do not believe in traditional superstitions—I sent him a photo of me wearing it.) Quite literally, only a handful of others know what it looks like. My choice to remain secretive is to protect my guests; they are the ones whom I want to surprise, to stun. I wish for them to take a look at my somewhat unconventional gown and say, “That’s Dawn.” If a guest does not think my dress is beautiful, then he or she should not feel obligated to tell me it is. He or she should recognize only that the dress—one my mother and cousin attached themselves to first—is “me.”

In truth, I cannot wait to show it to you.

But first, some words for the wonderful employees at Stacey’s:

I want to thank all of you for helping me find my dress. For me, it was a difficult process, and I'm sure you could sense my frustration and defeat. However, you helped cultivate a NEW vision for me, one that felt different ... and right. You welcomed both my mom and my cousin into the appointment, one in which they fell in love before I did. Though I was unsure for one, two, three days, you continued to welcome me—and welcome me excessively and politely—at each successive appointment. Each compliment was appreciated and highly regarded. You fussed and played, tweaked and tolerated, and I cannot thank you, especially Moriah, enough for assisting me. You gave me hope, confidence, a dress. Thank you.

Fabric Doesn't Make Me Cry: Part One

Sheath. Lace. Floral. Sexy. Must have straps. Whimsical. Ribbons. Flowing. Light. Breezy. Fairy. Color. Different. Claire Pettibone.


















It’s what I thought I wanted. In fact, it may still be what I want. What matters is that I am no longer looking.

I’m particular. Very particular. So very picky, so very stubborn, that those closest to me often refrain from voicing ideas; they fear my instant rejection. Indeed, I often disregard the suggestions of others; it is one of my many faults. I insist that things exceed perfection, and this had earned me a not-so-favorable (and yet understandable) reputation.

So, when it came time to examine—yes, “examine,” for I knew I would scrutinize any shape, style, bead, sequin and seam—wedding dresses, I feared I would not be able to find something that suited my vision precisely.

Trying on dresses for the first time was overwhelming; I was fresh from my vacation to Indiana, engaged for four days. It also happened to be my birthday.

My mom accompanied me to a store in Ames, one which featured approximately four dozen dresses. Most were frilly A-lines I immediately despised; “princess gowns” were nowhere on my list of wishes and wants. Sheath. Lace. Floral. Straps. Color. Whimsical. Breezy. Lace. Sexy. Lace. Lace. Lace. Different.

I was allowed four dresses; I forced myself to pick two I knew I would never buy. I was slighted by the sales assistant’s questions, her forceful pushing. “Try this.” “What about this?” “How many people at your wedding?” “What’s it like?” “How many bridesmaids?” “This?” “This?” “No lace, but what you do think?”

I sighed. No thanks. No. 150 max. Outdoor. Zero. No. No. No.

Of the four dresses, only one was tolerable. It was entirely lace … and entirely strapless. And also entirely too small.

“Well, you’ll have to order it,” the sales assistant told me. “It takes at least sixteen weeks to get it in.”

I laughed. “Then this isn’t it,” I said, staring at the train and the fabric, which stretched taut across my hips. “As of yesterday, I’m getting married in sixteen weeks.”

We left the store empty-handed, discouraged. The lace dress was the only one that had interested me; I had preferred its dreamy silhouette, its dropped waist. Though it was pretty, it was also stark white—a color not suited to my olive skin—and more than twice my budget.

Mom and I spoke for awhile in the parking lot. She spoke from the heart, spoke with emotion. She was not ready to let go; was not ready to see me try on dresses.

“You’re my miracle baby,” she said, with teary eyes and a bobbing head. “This is … this is hard.”

The only response I felt was one of reluctant abandonment; and so I stretched my arms around my mom.

It was three weeks later—and the morning after my last day in the newsroom—that I met my mother and cousin in Des Moines. I had planned for an entire day of dress shopping. We would visit three stores, try on a dozen dresses, eat lunch and supper.

Perhaps, just maybe, I would find a dress.

The first store—which I will get to in my next post—was wonderful at accommodating me and my family.

The second and third stores were not as thrilling. The second store was not large, and even its consignment gowns were above my budget. Though I tried on three dresses, I was not sold by any of them. Trying to remain positive and polite, I insisted on finding something I liked about each gown. The shape, the narrow waist. The slit. The zippered back I could unlock and move by myself. The color. The sequins. Something. Anything. But there was nothing in the store; nothing within my meager budget. Both my mom and my cousin could read my eyes, read my lips and see they were without a smile.

The third and last store of the day, David’s Bridal—the Walmart of the bridal industry—was simply terrible. Out of morbid curiosity, I had wished to experience the chain store myself; I had heard of rudeness, of forgotten brides and overworked salespeople.

Upon arriving at the store, I was pushed aside by other appointments. My assistant was evidently eating lunch, so I was forced to wait. When she finally arrived, she led us to the mother-of-the-bride dresses (which, of course, we had no interest in), then to the bridesmaid dresses (which, again, I had no use for). When I was finally given a dressing room (a tiny, mirror-less square), I was roughly handed a crinoline and a strapless bra.

“I already have on a strapless, actually,” I said.

“Well, we recommend that you wear one of ours, which happens to be a partial body suit.”

“Oh. Well, no thanks; I’m actually more comfortable wearing my own. And thank you for bringing in the extra tulle, but I’m okay without it.” I pointed to the hoop dangling from a nearby hook.

“Again, we recommend it. It gives you an idea of how the dress will be shaped.”

“Oh.” I was taken aback by her tactics. I glanced at the attachment, which was priced $79.99. I resisted the urge to scoff. Our exchange was a subtle sales pitch. “Again,” I said, “I appreciate it, but I’m fine without. I’m interested in purchasing a sheath dress, anyway.”

“Well, those are going to get caught between your legs, so we encourage all of our brides to put them on.”

I was confused. “But … then … it … wouldn’t be a sheath.” Her absurd behavior almost led me into a sadistic smirk.

“Well, I’ll just pull some dresses and see.”

One after one, I donned a design. Each was cheaply engineered. The mass-production was appalling; there were many dresses in the store, yes, but they were identical. A strapless lace gown could be found in one, two, four, ten sizes. I could see each seam, see where patterns overlapped and holes were placed. I stood, disgusted yet submissive. Dress after dress after dress.

The assistant would appear only to take away one dress and return with another. When I finally had a lace sheath on, my mother, cousin and I took control of the appointment. We had been deserted by the assistant, so we took it upon ourselves to pin on flowers and ribbons, a sash and bows. They played and fussed. I yawned. Stretched. Looked in the mirror. Looked in the other mirror. I was overwhelmed, tired, exhausted, frustrated. I could not, and would not, pay $600 for an ill-quality, mass-produced gown that still needed a steam trunk full of improvements.

Back in the small cubicle, I shed the lace gown, stood in my underwear and cried silently. I sniffed and choked. I was defeated, upset. Finding my dress was an impossible task; my expectations were not realistic. Because I already knew that my vision was financially unattainable, I wrongly assumed I would have to settle. It was an entirely negative outlook, one that left me in tears on the sidewalk outside David’s Bridal, my mom comforting me behind a stone pillar.

I didn't think I was ever going to find one.

Kevin & Octavia


I met Kevin and Octavia during my last semester at Purdue. Kevin was my R.A., Octavia was his girlfriend. A year later, after graduation and a move to Milwaukee, they are engaged! When I spoke to them earlier this spring, I was stunned by their wanting to have an engagement shoot in central Iowa--a six hour drive from their Wisconsin residence!

They drove to Iowa on Memorial Day weekend, and we wandered around Ledges State Park and downtown Boone during their two-day visit. In addition to doing the shoot, we were able to catch up on the year's events, talk about each other's weddings, and go out for BBQ and some locally-brewed beer. I had a fantastic time hanging out with this pair again, and working with them was an absolute joy; despite the heat and humidity, we were full of laughs between shots.












Thank you, Kevin and Octavia, for taking a round-trip 12-hour drive. I am humbled by your willingness to work with me, and am forever grateful for your suggestions. You guys helped me forget the stress and the nervousness. Whether or not you guys knew it, you helped me shy away from feeling inadequate. I still have much to learn, yes, but the biggest lesson I received from our session? Have fun. Always have fun. Laugh and smile and see things; see what you, the client, the photographed, would want to remember.

606 Benton


I am moving once again. I must box up my belongings. Take down my photos. Fold my clothes.

I will miss my little apartment.













It was "me," for me and supported by me alone, for the past five-and-a-half months. It is the first residence in which I have had total freedom; to go to bed when I wanted, to wake up when I wanted. I could drink wine at 1:00 in the afternoon, take showers two hours later. I could leave my keys on the window seat, on the microwave, on my computer cabinet. When I would wake up, the messiness or, what was more likely, cleanliness of the apartment would be identical to the messiness or cleanliness of the apartment the night before.

Shoes could be put away in the magenta shoe rack I recycled from college. Flip-flops and flats could be kicked off and onto the rug next to my computer. My hairbrush, over there. My phone charger, here. ChapSticks would remain on counters and on nightstands. My orderly disorganized stack of paperwork and newspapers would remain on the bench.

My apartment, one of five in a house built in 1899, is halfway decayed. But it is beautiful and wonderful. Crown molding. Ten-foot ceilings. The largest bathtub I have ever seen. Original fixtures. Large windows. A nine-foot front door. Hand-placed tiles. A creaky, yet interestingly curved staircase. A sunroom. A wrap-around porch that had been transformed into an apartment. Pocket doors. A fireplace. A stained-glass window I can see from the window in my kitchen.








It has its shortcomings though, too. My apartment is the smallest in the house, one that I would wager to be at least 3,500 square feet. The only room of my efficiency that bothers me, though, is my kitchen. It is a small, 4x6 rectangle of flooring, with only a sliver of countertop. It is dark and claustrophobic, and I must maneuver my hips, diagonally even, between the counter and the spectacularly old stove to get to my cupboards.


Furthermore, the house is entirely drafty, and is without air conditioning. There are some cracks in the ceilings, the floors, the walls. While crookedness and angles typically lead to an establishment's demise, I believe that this house, like the Weasleys' Burrow, is held together by magic.


There are notes and postcards plastered to my refrigerator, but I will not miss it, as it over-cools things and sounds like a mild car crash whenever it shuts off. The jolting compressor still wakes me from my dreams, shocks me and causes me to gasp in fright during the late hours. The sounds from my largest appliance are not the only noises that disturb my serenity. The endless steam of semis, cars and motorcycles on Benton can be distracting, especially when trying to sleep at 2 a.m., with windows thrown wide in hopes of catching a nonexistent breeze. The trains, a few blocks away, honk and whine, badgering my slumber. My fiance had hoped that I would get used to the noise; alas, my freakish hearing, combined with my always having been a light sleeper, have kept me awake all these months.


Nor will I miss propping up the heavy windows.


I still love this apartment, though. It is mine; entirely mine. When guests did visit me, they remarked at how it was so "me." Though I could not see it, I appreciated their comments because, in time, this place had become comfortable. A home. It had its character; its antique charm. I had a supportive and friendly landlord. A grocery store within walking distance. A garage.

If I were to ever be in a position to rent something like this again--a house itself, or an apartment within a house--I would do it. Why? Because I prefer the old, the used, the forgotten, the well-loved, the misshapen. Because it's, well, because it's "me."

And while we're discussing what is "me," I will tell you that I am not one to wash dishes. I despise doing dishes and, as I have never had a dishwasher, I procrastinate in washing them. Just the other day, I was without bowls, plates, silverware or pots. I rediscovered my college roots when I stirred up the makings of a tuna fish sandwich in an deep, wide plastic cup (which had actually been part of a "here, take this free junk" promotion at a housing fair at Purdue).

Most bloggers will shy away from sharing images of their messes, but, here I am, sharing with you who I am and what I do.

I am a hater of dishes. (But a lover of smoothies.)


I am also a lover of Oreos. (Those are colored pencils in the base of a lamp, by the way.)


I am a collector of papers, ones that I will soon sort and organize and toss away.


However, I am also an admirer of the smaller joys, and of the quirks this home has to offer. One of my favorites is the warped glass of my closet window.


Goodbye, sweet apartment.




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