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Mare Martell I now have bright red hair instead of blonde. (to be fair)

Mare Martell
I now have bright red hair instead of blonde. (to be fair)

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25 Struggles Only ENFPs Will Understand | Thought Catalog

25 Struggles Only ENFPs Will Understand | Thought Catalog.

This article is so me it’s frightening. I had no idea I was this difficult to live with, but my husband, thankfully, has figured out my key to happiness. Let me ramble until I figure it out myself then poke a couple holes so I think some more. AND I LOVE people but LOVE to be alone too. Oh boy, if this doesn’t describe me, nothing does.


The pocket full of happiness

I keep a pocket full of happiness with me almost always. It contains: two rubber ducks (one yellow with the word Believe on its chest, the other silver), a squishy rubber pig, an alpaca, a scarab beetle, a small handmade book, and a full sized harmonica.

Top Hat Ravioli

Top Hat Ravioli

I use it to bring smiles to children and adults alike. I change it up sometimes so there are different things, but those are typically the staple items. If you want to see someone smile really big, pull something they’d never expect from your own pocket. Fussy kids? No problem, pull out a rubber pig. Cranky adults? No sweat, a rubber duck usually does the trick. Giving them an unexpected surprise from a stranger’s pocket (that isn’t disgusting or ethically challenging) brings joy which is kind of a trademark of mine.

It’s the Monday after payday and our finances have hit as close to nada as they’ve ever been. The ban on overtime (even the measly four hours my husband would get a week) really hurt. Our groceries came out of that overtime and boy are we feeling it.

I felt a tremendous amount of stress when I went to Pet Supplies to get food for the cats and dogs. The bags of food glared hatefully at me, “You don’t have enough money to feed them and you too.” The prices exclaimed disdainfully. I started to cry. I broke down in the middle of the aisle while my frequent companion, six year old (nearly seven) neighbor Nicholas, was off looking at fish, and a guinea pig he insists is a hamster, and scorpions. I just flat out couldn’t keep my cool.

“How can I afford to feed my cats and dogs and my family.” I bemoaned. Despair washed over me as I tried to do math in my overloaded brain. My little dog Piggy needs to have grain free food. She doesn’t do well if there is grains so tack on another 5 bucks just for not having filler. yay.

One of the young women that worked there disappeared as soon as the tears started. I felt really alone. I picked up a 5 pound bag of food for 12 bucks. I went to the cat food and picked up a 20 pound bag for the same price. Here came the young woman who gave me a five pound bag at just over 10 with no grains in the ingredients. She said she was sorry she couldn’t do more.

When I got into the car, Nicholas said, “Are you in a bad mood today, Mare?”

“No, Nicholas. My heart is just sad because I don’t have many dollars.”

“You know what you need, Mare?” He asked while waving out the window absently.

“No, what do I need.” I asked, impatiently waiting for the light to change. I wanted to be home sulking.

“A pocket full of happiness that has $100 dollars in it.” He said just as matter of factly as if he were telling me the weather.

“Indeed, that would be a happy pocket.” I chuckled. Oh, the wisdom of children. Then I remembered, I get to work for some dollars this weekend as a dishwasher. I’ll have enough. I forgot all about it until he reminded me with happiness.

I promised him a Dunkin Donuts (our favorite) when I have dollars again. He was pleased he made me laugh. I was pleased he prodded me to remember to look forward in hope.


A Pocket Full of Happiness!

A Pocket Full of Happiness!

Thank you to whomever left the pocket full of happiness tacked to my door with a nose magnet. The gratitude I feel for this is just magnified. I will obey the command that Nicholas get his doughnuts. Thank you.

I asked Nicholas as he walked up the hill to his home after getting off the school bus, “Guess what I got on my door today?!’

Nicholas was so overjoyed to declare it before I even said anything, he said, “A pocket full of happiness with dollars in it so I get Dunkin Donuts!”

I laughed. “How did you know?”

“I just knew it!” He grinned while swinging his Spiderman (his favorite super hero) backpack from shoulder to shoulder. Man, I sure do love that little kid.

We went to Dunkin Donuts as the instructions commanded. Nicholas had a raspberry cheesecake doughnut, an Oreo cookie cheesecake doughnut, a milk, AND a cinnamon munchkin. I got a small coffee and a chocolate coconut doughnut. I mooed every time Nicholas lifted his milk up over the bag we place in the middle of the table. He laughs hysterically every time. Then he started doing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” on my arms and hair so I screamed playfully.

“YOU SCARED ME!” He said as he dropped his raspberry doughnut splatted on the floor while he farted. While we both bellowed peppery laughter, he declared, “Excuse me!” We laughed even harder than the cows. It really was a pocket full of happiness. Truly, thank you with all sincerity.

NaPoWriMo: I, Tree

The north eastern tree

Brrrr! Yah nasty wind, ye stripped me clothes off!

Ye made me blood retreat from my trunk

Burying me roots in the frozzzzzen earth

Unlike the kiss of your wetted white,

I will return to shatter your deaf silence

With barbaric spears of buds piercing yer with renewed life

I will return!

 The southern tree

Hey, ya’ll! Check this shit!

I was jist standin’ here by the sod of ‘his her road

An dis nassy smillin ting came at me bro!

Flippin me a nasty finger cut uppin der

Ya see that scar? Loss tree branches in a wind storm

Still stannin.

 The South western tree


Fuck you nestle

 The north western tree

I am paramount to the indigenous people

That…HEY! Cut that…bad choice of words

STOP THAT! HEY! That’s my history! HEY!




The Midwestern tree

So ya see, I get used for maple syrup

Vermont thinks they have the major bunch,

But we’re really number one

Except for Vermont

 The plains states, middle America

Come on baby! Let’s do the TWISTER!

Whoosh! Caught me a trailer home!

OH! And a car! Roll the dice, weather,

Papa needs a new pair of 18 WHEE!-lers. NaPoWriMo

Pirates in your cabinets

Slut Walk 2011 Costume

Slut Walk 2011 Costume

I admit that I am an explorer of other people’s homes.

A pirate seeking buried treasure that’s right beneath their nose.

I like to admire the stained glass lamp that has a shade with fringe.

I like to see the beauty beneath the cobwebs and the dim.

I like to use the bathroom and see the colors of your towels

I won’t rhyme this line unless I can remove all the vowels

Wn’t rhym ths ln nlss cn rmv ll th vwls

May I peek into your medicine cabinet to see your secret life?

May I, with little poking ‘round, see what gives you strife?

Are you careful with your products all neatly lined up in a row?

Are you careless with your inventory like a freaking circus show?

Do you keep random things to surprise people like me?

Or do you hide that secret life in your secret menagerie?

Do you appreciate your happies when you look shiny to reflection?

Or do you begrudgingly criticize your imagined dereliction?

I reluctantly admit, that I’m an explorer of other people’s homes.

A pirate seeking buried treasure that’s right beneath their nose.




I lived in relative poverty as a child. We had more than some, less than others. Wherever my family stood on the economic ladder of the late 1970’s, I was constantly reminded by my peers that my second hand clothes (I was the eldest so it was glaringly obvious on me as on my brother who was the eldest boy) were not acceptable. I wanted so desperately to fit in, to be accepted, to feel worthy. An opportunity did arise during a Kool-Aid fad during my 5th grade year.

I had Mr. Pakulnis. It was early in the school year because he hadn’t yet discovered my wanderlust eye watching the birds or day-dreaming. That’s a habit, by the way, I still do when I write. I stare out the window and get lost.

The Kool-Aid fad was that many of the girls brought in Ziplock (not the sandwich fold over) bags with any flavor Kool-Aid mixed with the sugar as if ready to add water. Then, the girls would take their rainbow stained fingers and dip them into the cesspools of sugary goodness, licking their fingers clean then hiding the evidence quickly when teachers approached. Chenique Quarterman shared hers with me and I felt like she was my best friend in the world because I was doing something that the “Kool Kids” did. It felt gloriously naughty. And although Kim Tarpley was my best friend, but she didn’t have Kool-Aid so she’d been temporarily demoted.

I decided I was going to make my own. I thieved away a baggie from my friend’s house because we only had the fold overs at mine. I stole a single package of the only flavor of Kool-Aid I was allowed which was lemonade (due to red food dye allergies). I’d pilfered enough sugar to make up my very own baggie to share.

I felt excitement at my accomplishment and perhaps a bit of remorse but not enough to feel shame. I was ready to become popular. I was ready to fit in. I carefully read and measured my stolen goods into the filched treasure bag as quietly as possible. I hid the baggie in my coat pocket so it would remain undetected by my mother who I’d hoped wouldn’t yet be awake, she was, but thankfully was busy drinking her coffee in the living room. I made it out the back door successfully.

I patted my pocket reassuringly, my anticipation growing as I waited at the street corner with Mona Lee, the Farr boys who liked to beat me and my brothers up, and Lisa Cloud. It was early when the long bus pulled up to the curb. Mrs. Humphries in all her gold toothed rotund-ness sat in the first seat and greeted each of us by name. I sat closer to the front because I didn’t feel safe in the back. My brothers usually sat nearby as well. Plus, with the contraband in my pocket, I didn’t want it taken before I could conquer my classroom with generosity.

I remember snaking my hand into my pocket feeling the grains through the bag, terrified that I’d tear it open before I could share it with my friend Kim Tarpley. I’d hoped that each grain would bring me another friend. The way I felt had reached magical proportions since I’d successfully smuggled it thus far and therefore I was allowed to project my wishes into the sugary lemon concoction in my pocket.

The bus picked up other kids but I was lost in the imaginary conversations I’d have once I arrived under the canopy of my elementary school. Patience was not ever a virtue of mine but I knew that if I pulled it out before first recess, I’d most surely lose the entire bag. I, like an evil mastermind of the Master thief I’d become on this mission, must carefully bide my time.

My chest, which had yet to bloom into young adulthood, puffed against my teal blue coat’s zipper as I stepped off the bus and onto the concrete. I felt as if I were about to wage a war I knew I would win. With rare confidence, my hands swinging freely at my sides, I strode into the school knowing that at first recess, my entire life would change because of the magic package I carefully hoarded in my protective pocket. I was about to become popular; guaranteed.

As I hung up my coat on my designated hook I felt a sense of panic. What if, while I was sitting in class listening to Mr. Pakulnis drone, someone got a bathroom pass and went through my pocket and found what I’d been protecting. I became increasingly distraught at the idea. I looked at my peers and questioned each of them in my mind with clever scrutiny.

Jeff Plume was the most likely of suspects. He was in sixth grade. I’d watched him accidentally inhale a feather he’d been balancing on his breath for an insanely long amount time while we were supposed to be watching a filmstrip about animals. Most likely suspect identified, I imagined what my interrogation of him would be like:

“Why did you take five minutes to go to the bathroom?” I’d ask him.

“Because I had to go pee.” He’d retort.

“I think you were doing something besides just using the bathroom.” I’d push (wasn’t I clever?)

“I washed my hands.”

“You’d never do that because you’re a boy. You really washed your hands so you could eat my Kool-Aid!” I’d reveal my purpose for the inquiry with a flourish like I saw on Dallas.

“You caught me!” He’d cry and Mr. Pakulnis would take him down to the principal’s office for Jeff’s execution. At the last minute, I’d forgive him and then we’d share the lemonade anyway.

But my panic and subsequent interrogation of my classmate led me to err. I took the baggie out of my jacket and put it into my pants pocket which bulged in protest. I knew it would be safe now. Nobody would have to go to their deaths because of my soon to be new-found popularity.

Mr. Pakulnis greeted us by name as we scrambled to get to our seats before the bell rang. We still had our desks in rows before he grouped us into fours for the math test. I saw him glance down but figured if I kept my back to him, I’d be able to sneak it into my desk before he became wise to my ruse. I scurried past him sure that he would grab my shoulder with my former confidence wavering under his watchful eye.

Safely at the edge of my desk, I opened the top while digging into my pants pocket that held the Holy Grail of friendship. I pulled the yellow mix from my pocket, nearly making it into my desk when I saw the teacher’s hand descend onto my wrist in slow motion. I, in identical slow motion, looked up, way, way up, (Mr. Pakulnis was tall) at the frowning face staring back at me. A slight shake of his head, an open palm, and my valiant effort to become popular was removed straight away. A few of the girls who witnessed this snickered at my plight.

I spent the rest of the day with a tragic heart. My dreams in magic and sugary goodness were absent. I’d failed the mission. I’d failed socially. I’d been humiliated.

Later that afternoon, I overheard Mr. Pakulnis talking to my future sixth grade teacher, Mr. Martinez. He realized after several days of over-active girls and stained fingers what was happening. I got caught because of the popularity of the fad?! It wasn’t technically my doing, but that of my peers that got me caught?!

I, truthfully, can’t remember if I deduced that then or if this is years of cobwebs cleared away that showed me the story in different light. Either way, I began to learn at that age that fads could get you in trouble, teachers see more than they let on, and Kool-Aid stains on fingers last longer than the fads. If I had to do it all again, I believe, with truest of intentions, I would have left it in my coat as I’d originally planned and not second guessed myself which, over the years, has cost me far more than a bag of “illegal” Kool-Aid.