Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ok Maybe I did Look Like Waldo

Please read comment #3 on "Remember High School," to totally understand this post.

I really didn't realize that I looked so much like him. I am so glad to have friends who were willing to point it out. I am thankful everyday for Mr. Dr, Mrs. Blue Eyes, and Drummer Bubble Boy. I am surprised more people didn't point it out. I seem to have forgotten my glasses though.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Roger Federer

I saw him. In person. I breathed the same air he was. I could hear him talking under his breath. I waved at him. I watched him win an easy match.

He was beautiful, and one of my dreams have been fulfilled.

The sad thing was, had it not been for my friend Tana, I wouldn't have seen him at all. You see, we bought night passes for this tournament. Roger's match was the last day match. There was plenty of room in the stadium, so we thought they would let us in anyway. But the first guy we went to said, "OH, so sorry, you can't go in until 7:00." My heart dropped. I had come so close to seeing this paragon of tennis greatness in the flesh. Just on the other side of these great walls of the stadium was an icon of tennis genius and complete kindness. And because this gate keeper thought rules were rules, I was going to miss seeing Roger. With tears burning my eyes I dropped my shoulders and headed over to watch some other tennis on lesser courts. Tana, being a super hero disguised as a mild mannered doubles partner made this simple suggestion. "Let's try another gate." Genius I tell you. Sheer genius. So we went to the other side of the stadium, confidently handed the gate keeper our ticket and he said, "These are for the night match, but there is plenty of room in this match, so go on in." My heart leaped for joy like it hasn't in a long time.

I climbed the steps of the stadium, looked down on the court, and there he was.

Roger Federer...I almost cried.

Remember High School

I have relatively good memories about high school. I had a good circle of friends. We had friends that were popular and friends that were nerds and I, at any given time, could be considered either one. I was the ASB president, but I was in all honors classes; I didn't go to parties, but I did go to church. I could have been called a geek, a goody two shoes, or a popular geek. Anyway, I have spent a good part of my life being insecure. I specifically remember thinking as a high school student that I would be so glad when I was out of high school so I wouldn't have to worry about how I looked anymore. I actually thought it stopped mattering after high school.

Oh, how wrong I was. The need to be approved of only became stronger and more sophisticated. Especially when it came to how I looked or dressed. I have always hated to be looked at in anyway. I think it goes back to being called ugly in fifth grade, or the guys who made fun of my yellow tights in Kindergarten as I got onto the bus, or the girl who made fun of my Lee jeans in junior high, or....I could go on and on. I'm sure everyone has their stories, but mine have caused an unnatural insecurity that still plagues me to this day. Now, before you think I am trying to get sympathy, let me announce that I know I am weird in this area. I know that I am still stuck in the mentality of high school that if you are ugly, or not stylish, you are unacceptable on all levels. I know this is not true and at age 34 1/2 I am almost over it, and will basically wear what I want and hold my head high no matter what.

Well I thought I was over it, until last Wednesday.

You see, I had purchased a very cute hoodie that happened to be red and white striped. I bought the shirt with a pair of white pants and thought I would be sooo cute someday when I was brave enough to wear white pants. (Maybe on board a ship when I was being the first mate or something). Anyway, not feeling particularly brave last Wednesday I wore the shirt with jeans. Red white, and blue always look good together. For me, walking out in front of a group is always difficult. I still struggle with the egocentric feeling that when I walk into a room everyone stops what they are doing and looks at me with a critical eye. I know it is ridiculous, and those of you who know me well, are shaking your head at my arrogance, but to know me is to constantly be shaking your head. So walking onto stage for rehearsal on Wednesday was as daunting as it always is, but I did it and smiled confidently. Then it happened, the thing I fear everyday, someone looked at me and noticed something that had to be joked about. I don't remember from whence it came, but I heard muffled laughter and a "There's Waldo!" I laugh even as I write, because yes I did have on the perfect combination of colors to be Waldo. I hadn't even thought of that. Then as I tried to regain my composure from almost bursting into tears in embarrassment, another person whom I call friend put up a sign that read, "Where's Waldo?" So this underscored that what I was wearing was indeed joke material. If two people said something in that short of a time span, the whole choir and orchestra were probably all thinking the same thing. I was immediately taken back to that sick feeling in high school when you knew you had worn something socially unacceptable, but you still had to go through the whole remaining day of school. That feeling of not wanting to make eye contact with anyone, and if your gym clothes were not already so smelly that you would wear those for the day. Yes, I still get those feelings. However, I did recover quite nicely...I think. I knew how hard I was struggling to not run off the stage and go home. So my response showed that I have ever so slightly matured past the age of 15...

After, Mr. Dr. said, "Really you had no idea when you were buying that shirt that it was a Waldo shirt....maybe the rack of "Where's Waldo" books next to it should have been a clue."

I swallowed my embarrassment and said, "If Waldo had looked this good, he would have sold a lot more books."

See, old dogs can learn some new tricks.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Dreaded Question

It happened today while we were in the car.

That question I knew was coming eventually, but thought I still had some time.

I wasn't prepared and therefore my response was fragmented and weak. I'm sure Haley was unimpressed and maybe slightly embarrassed by the stuttering buffoon her mother suddenly turned into.

We were listening to Dr. Laura on the radio. I like her show. It helps me treat my husband and kids better by listening to her perspective. I think I have always assumed that the kids aren't really listening. But today I found out I was wrong. One of the callers made the comment that she and her husband were "trying to have a baby."

Haley:, "How do you try to have a baby?"

Me: Gulp..."Ummm when you are married, it is something you and your husband decide to do together and if God decides it is the right time you get to have a baby...hey look it's Disneyland.

Kayci: So you talk about having a baby and your tummy hears it and gives you a baby.

Me: No, not really. God is the one who decides if you can have a baby.

Haley: Why do you need to talk about it with your husband if God is the one who decides to give people baby.

Me: That's a great question...umm err...this is actually something that we will talk about when you get a little older. There are somethings too hard for kids to understand. (And truthfully too hard for me to explain right now)

Kayci: I'm thirsty.

Me: Me too Kayci. Let's talk about things that would be good to drink right now.

I need to start putting some serious thoughts into this conversation. I don't think this is the end of their questions. No, no...I think this is only the beginning.

Two good things that happened:

1. I went to the chiropractor today, and it has been a month since I have gone. I really feel better. I am glad there is relief for the stress that accumulates in my neck and forces my spine into skewed positions.
2. I am getting the kids hair cut today. It has needed to be done for sometime and I am finally doing it!

The Butterfinger Story

My husband is a funny guy. Most people don't know this side of him, but he really is one of the funniest people I know. I guess it is because he is not always funny that his humor still makes me laugh side-splittingly hard after 15 years of being together. Haley was the recipient of one of his well calculated and perfectly timed jokes.

Now that Haley receives her own allowance, every once in awhile she elects to buy herself a candy bar. I often struggle with this. I think since it is her money she should be able to purchase what she chooses within reason. However, I am not a big fan of the amount of candy these kids would eat left to their own decision making abilities. So in spite of this inner conflict I allowed her to purchase a Butterfinger candy bar from Target. Now, while her money saving abilities may be a little underdeveloped at this point, her candy hoarding abilities are top of the line. She gleefully flaunted to her sisters and dad that she had her own candy bar. Of course Kayci and Courtney both cried that it wasn't fair and they wanted some candy, but I responded with it is her money and it is her candy bar. Haley carefully hid her candy bar and mistakenly announced to everyone that she had hidden it. Hourly and daily, she would announce that her candy bar was still intact and still hidden from the rest of the family. This is when Steve's mind started formulating the joke of Haley's lifetime. I'm not sure exactly how many days Steve waited, but his timing was perfect. Haley still had not eaten her candy bar or revealed her secret hiding place. I didn't even know where she was keeping this sweet treasure of chocolate. While I was quizzing Haley on her times tables, Steve walked in casually with a Butterfinger. The same size of Haley's precious purchase. He stood right in front of her eating it. He exclaimed, "I found your candy bar!!" Haley at first started to laugh, as did I, because we both thought that Daddy would not be so mean. But as time wore on and the candy bar disappeared the thought crossed both of our minds that, yes, he would do it if he really wanted it...he'd replace it...but he would eat it. So Haley's laughter became mixed with tears. She was still laughing and smiling, but tears were coming out of her eyes. That's when Steve thought the joke had gone far enough and admitted to going to the store just to get a candy bar to trick Haley. Oh the look on her face was priceless and the laughter that spilled out of both Steve and Haley was just precious. To get Steve to laugh his real laugh is a rare occurrence, but this day we got to hear it. As I write this you may be thinking that we are cruel, cruel parents to think that this kind of joke is funny to play on an 8 year old...

Then yes, I guess we are cruel...because it was VERY FUNNY.

Two good things that happened:

1. I finally got the front and back yard mowed.

2. My parents came to watch the girls last Thursday and then played tennis with me and a new friend. I'm so glad to have parents who still want to hang out with me.

Imagine Ifff

Sorry about my long absence. It's not that I don't have any ideas; in fact my mind is so full at this point I am having a hard time organizing everything I have to say. So I apologize in advance for the rambling that will take place hence forth.

A couple of weeks ago Steve and I got together with some or our musician friends. (Remember, this is a crazy bunch of people because, like I said in an earlier blog, we have all spent far too much time alone in a practice room...we are repressed party animals. When we get together, you can guarantee that the cops will be called!!) Anyway, we got together for a game night. We played many games including, Farkle, Dominoes and a very interesting game called Imagine IFF. This is a game that should be played during premarital counseling. It really lets you know who knows you or a better way to say it is, how well someone knows you. Everyone in the game writes their name on a square. When your name is landed on there is a question like: "Imagine if Steve was a criminal...who would he be?" Then it lists 6 possibilities: 1. Michael Meinken 2. Robin Hood 3. Jack the Ripper 4. Heidi Fleice....etc. Then the group turns over from their group of cards the one they think matches Steve. Steve also turns over the one that he thinks matches him. It is great fun and very funny. It is interesting, because you may think that you are giving off a vibe to be one way, but after playing this game you realize that people are perceiving you in a totally different way. I had one friend at the table who never got a question wrong about me. (This means his answer agreed with what I thought of myself every time.) However, Steve and I agreed about 50% of the time. I thought this was interesting. We've known each other for almost 15 years. We've lived together for almost 12. Yet, I'm not sure we really know each other completely. When the question was "Imagine IFF Jenn was a perfect vacation, what would she be?" 1. A luxury cruise 2. A safari 3. A trip around the world 4. A mountain getaway 5. Staying home 6. A beach trip. I chose a luxury cruise, because I have been saying for years that I would love to just getaway by myself and have all my meals taken care of. I don't want to have to pack and repack. I want to be in one place. Steve chose number 5. He thought I'd rather stay home because I don't like to travel. He actually said, "You would love to be able to stay home and clean without any interruption." I shook my head and thought that this response explains so much. So, I say words about a hotel room and room service and a stack of books to read and these words go through the filter of my husbands genius mind and he hears that I'd rather stay home and clean. Interesting....very interesting. It makes me wonder what other ideas and desires I feel I have clearly communicated and he feels that he has "clearly" understood.

It is a great game. We had so much fun, all of us. I was so happy Steve agreed to come with me to this social event. I really do forget how much fun I have when we are together without the distractions of life.

Two good things that have happened:
1. Southern California weather is the best!!
2. I made some new friends this weekend that I am really excited about.