Feb 212010

My dear friend Christy took me to get my first tattoo the year before I got all sober and suburban and normal. Just in the nick of time, thank God. I love my tattoo. When I’m in my mini-van it reminds me of my bad good old days and when I’m at church it signals to others that maybe I’m not as safe as you think, there, Missy. I like that.

The only problem is that I’m not at all sure what my tattoo says. When Christy and I went to get it, I was either completely wasted or royally hung over. I don’t remember which one. But based on the way I spent my time those days, there is a 100% chance that I was one or the other. Likely, both. So I didn’t do any homework. I just stumbled into the tattoo parlor with my Britney bleached hair and sequinced tube top and low rise frayed jeans and plastic neon green heels and asked for…you’ll never guess…Japanese characters on my lower back. Clearly, originality was not my main concern. It was either the Japanese characters or something tribal. I don’t even know what something tribal means, to tell you the truth. Regardless, I’m just grateful that I didn’t go with my third choice, which was a barbed wire arm band in honor of Pam Anderson. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Come to think of it, I actually remember purposefully applying a fake barbed wire arm tattoo to wear to a friend’s wedding one time. Lilly. Oh Lord, I think it was your wedding. Are you there, Lilly? Are you reading? So sorry, Lilly. Really sorry. Also, I’m pretty sure I forgot to get you a wedding present. I’m really sorry about that, too. I know it’s been like twelve years but I’ll send you something soon. Who else do I owe gifts to? Email me privately, please. Also Lilly, I think I was poorly behaved at your wedding. I’m sorry about that, too. I was grossly and recklessly overserved. I’ve been told that it was a lovely wedding. Just lovely, Lilly.


So I teetered into that DC parlor in those neon green heels and announced that I wanted “teacher, sister, friend” written on my back in Japanese characters. The artist looked me up and down and smirked a little and said “Cool.” And then he took me into the back room and Christy held my hand while he buzzed away. But the thing is that I don’t remember him, like, looking at a book or anything. And I don’t remember him looking Japanese either. So I’m not really sure how he knew what he was writing. I don’t remember caring that day because, really, all I wanted was a cool tattoo. I just thought of it like a fun new accessory to wear to clubs between my Wet Seal halter top and feloniously low jeans. And I worried much less about details back then. Now, however, I sort of wish I would have taken a moment to Google what I was preparing to permanently add to my body. Oh well.

Here it is.

I assume it really says something like “Drunk Fake Blonde Who Sleeps in a Tanning Bed.” That’s what it says if the dude was paying attention, anyway. Regardless, some things are better left unknown.

I’m getting a new tattoo soon. Bubba, just joking. Everybody else, I’m really not. Lou and Tattoo Tom voted for “Here I am” from Isaiah and I like them and trust their judgment, so I might go ahead with that. Plus, I get lost a lot so that tattoo would be especially helpful to me. This time I’m gonna get it in English though, just to be safe.

Are you Inked? If not, what would you get?

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Feb 192010


Glennon has mentioned her collection of wooden word signs in several Momastery posts. Her signs say things like, Simplify, Love is patient, love is kind, and Prayer changes things. What she didn’t tell you is that I’m responsible for a fair portion of her collection. It all started when I and two other friends had a sign made for Glennon as a birthday gift several years ago. She went on and on about how much she liked the gift. After that, whenever I spotted a board sign that reminded me of Glennon, I’d buy it for her and leave it on her porch. Every time I took a trip to Homegoods, both of our wooden word sign collections grew. And since the mounting hardware on most Homegoods items is just a touch off-center, none of them are level.

I have decided to stop cluttering up Glennon’s house with word signs. (I can take a hint.) Instead, I’ve been concentrating on cluttering up my own property a bit more. The inside of our house has at least one sign in every room, so I had to take my habit outside. My most recent purchase is a big wooden Life is Good sign to hang in our back yard this spring. It will be placed directly underneath the wooden plaque already hanging back there that says, Welcome to our Deck. There is plenty of room left back there for more, so I really don’t see an end to all this.

I’m not sure why so many of us enjoy hanging word signs in our homes, but we do. Maybe we like them because they are a way for us to come right out and say what is important to us. We can let certain values be known, loud and clear. (I know a LOT of people who firmly believe we should all Live well, Laugh often, Love much.) Or maybe we’re just drawn to them because we grew up in homes with signs and quotes, and they make us feel nostalgic. Glennon grew up reading Bubba’s sign that said, Don’t be so humble – you are not that great. Something about that sign must have stuck with Glennon because she really is one the most courteously respectful people I know. She has lots of reasons to be arrogant, but she isn’t. I especially love how she humbly offers her heart to us on this blog.

I grew up with signs too. The one that I remember most vividly hung in our dining room. It was a quote by Carl Schurz that said, My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. I cannot imagine how many times I must have read that sign over the course of my life. Its message must have stuck with me and my big brother because we both are passionate today about our beliefs about this country and what is best for it. The funny part is that we are polar opposites regarding our political views. So even though we were raised together in a house where political ideas and opinions were discussed at the dinner table, my brother and I avoid the topic these days in order to keep peace in the family. The fact that he lives on one side of the country and I live on the other is also helpful. (Note that I followed the rules and managed to write that paragraph without actually telling you my political views…or explaining in great detail why I am right and my brother is so very wrong.)

So if wooden word signs helped make Glennon humble and turned me into a political big-mouth, perhaps I ought to put more thought into the signs currently adorning my home and influencing my kids’ behavior. I’m thinking that some of our signs might be too vague. There is one hanging above my daughter’s bedroom doorway that says, Live a good life. That signs leaves a bit too much room for interpretation for my liking. After all, she and I could have two very different definitions of the term good life. Maybe I should take that sign down and replace it with a clearer directive, like Earn a Full College Scholarship.

My favorite sign in our house is hanging in our playroom. Before I tell you what it says, I need to point out one of the signs hanging in Glennon’s house. It will be another fun comparison of her sweet to my spicy, my yin to her yang. You can make your own conclusions about what effects these signs are having on our children. In Glennon’s basement, which is decorated in a style I like to call preschool-meets-toy-store-awesomeness, she has a Dr. Seuss quote on the wall that reads, A person’s a person, no matter how small. Isn’t that sweet? No wonder kids feel loved and valued at the Melton house. Whenever my daughter’s play time at the Melton’s house comes to an end, she never ever wants to leave. Perhaps going home to play does not appeal to her because the sign in our playroom is less sweet than the one in Glennon’s. Hanging directly above a rack of toy bins at a child’s eye level is a sign that reads, BE NICE OR GO AWAY.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Feb 192010

Hello Lovies.

It’s Friday. We made it. Inhale, Exhale.

Sister was over last night and we talked a lot about ya’ll. Also, she bought us pizza. She always offers to pay and I pretend to object and then sigh and sit back down quickly. It takes a big woman to allow her unpaid slave freeing Sister to spring for her family’s pizza…and I am that big woman.

Craig and I have rarely eaten out without Sister paying our bill. Usually, she’s not even with us. She just finds out where we’re eating, calls the restaurant, and takes care of it. The waiter comes to our table with a big smile (Sister is a good tipper) and says, your bill is taken care of. And we smile and leave. We have come to expect this. Occasionally, (and quite irresponsibly) Sister forgets and the waiter brings us the bill like we’re just any old family. We are, of course, horribly offended. Craig smiles patiently at the waiter, hands him back the bill and say, “Oh, there must be some mistake…we are The Meltons. THE. MELLLL-TONS.” And we all stare at the waiter wide-eyed, waiting for him to get it. The waiter usually stares back, places the bill on the table and walks away. Then we drive home and talk about how selfish and distracted from us Sister has been lately. We always forgive her though, because she’s family. But we make a point to call her immediately and tell her all about our embarrassing moment because it’s important to allow people the chance to do better next time.

This is not what I was going to write about today.

Here’s the Momastery haps. My Lymie Mono is sucking me dry. My very good friend, Erin, who is doing an amazing job over at Full At Last, reprimanded me recently for not getting enough sleep. She suggested that since bodies repair themselves during rest times, perhaps I should be sleeping past 4:30 am. She suggested maybe I post less often. Don’t be mad at her, she just loves me even more than she loves Momastery.

So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to go ahead and post more often, which is pretty close to what Erin was suggesting. A little different maybe, but close.

Lv2run said she’s having a hard time on Saturdays, because she doesn’t have Momastery. Isn’t that something? We are starting to depend on each other and I love that. Tomorrow, in honor of Lv2run, Saturday will become Inspiration Saturday. Every Saturday I will post a special quote or a poem. I love poetry… it touches my heart and comforts and inspires me, and I want to share that with you. I’d also like to invite Chimmy, Momastery’s poet laureate, and other Monkee poets to share their work with us. Also, there are many Monkees who don’t consider themselves poets, but appreciate poetry so much that they have become passionate about sharing it. They are like beauty collectors….Diane comes to mind. So if you are a poet or a beauty collector, and you discover a poem, short story, or quote that you think would be perfect for Inspiration Saturday, send it my way.

FURTHERMORE. Many of you have requested more family pictures. I avoid posting pictures too often because this blog isn’t about my family, it’s about all of us. It’s about your family just as much as mine, and so I avoid too much of that based on principle. But here’s the deal. I’m usually excellent at sticking to my principles until I get tired. And I’m a little tired. So…starting next week we’ll kick off “Picture of the Week” day. Once a week I’ll post no essay, just a picture. And yes, yes, I am aware that when you ask for pictures of the family you really mean pictures of Craig. I’ll see what I can do. I think this new plan will work out well. Once a week- you get Craig, I get sleep. Good stuff.

Lastly, on Picture Day and Inspiration Saturday I am going to close comments. This is not because I don’t love your comments. It is actually because I am completely obsessed with your comments. It’s because I check the blog 400 times a day to see if you’ve left any new comments and I read and reread and rereread them and my kids are starving. I need to start feeding them more often during the day. They’re getting really skinny. I need to get a grip, Monkees, at least twice a week.

Okay. Check back this afternoon for your Cocktale with Adrianne. And tomorrow for some beautiful poems. And leave me a comment, please. My kids ate a lot of pizza last night so they should be fine till Craig gets home tonight.

Love you, Sweet Monkees.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest