Thursday, March 5, 2009

The One You've Been Waiting For

Some would say I haven't been myself lately. Actually, I have been every bit myself. News of my little 5 year old "boyfriend" being so ill hit me hard. (For those who didn't already read about it, he is one of my preschoolers.) I have cried at least once everyday since I found out. I've tried not to cry, not to think on it. But that's not me. I had to process it, feel every ounce of it, and now I can handle it. I was feeling apologetic, feeling my reaction to this sadness has been a reaction of weakness. Last night I realized I have handled things just exactly as I should have. Not the way someone else should, but as I should. I love this child, and his family.

He has a tumor on his brainstem. I saw him at school yesterday. Such a gift, the chance to love and hug on him. He showed off his port that was inserted on Monday (for his chemo and other meds). I watch him in amazement. So innocent. How could it not hurt my heart? So, I'm not feeling apologetic anymore. It is completely ok for me to have taken the past week or two to cry it out. I have decided that taking a little time to allow my heart to hurt for others is not weakness. In fact, I wonder if maybe it could be some weird, make myself feel better sort of way?

I have to give credit where credit is due. My little boyfriend is not the only one on my mind. Princie is contributing MORE than her fair share to my tears recently. I have pulled from my hat, every teacher and mother trick available. I have read multiple books. Nothing. No reprieve. So I sucked it up, threw my pride to the curb. We paid a visit to the pediatrician and are currently on our way to solutions. That visit + this quote from President Thomas S. Monson (courtesy of Snarky Mama, thank you very much): "Sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities...pray for abilities equal to your tasks." = Ahhhh, relief. I slept last night. Didn't wake up one time. Nice.

So when am I getting to the "what you've been waiting for" part? Right now. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I have a most embarrassing moment sure to make you blush on my behalf. I feel like telling you about it this morning. Just some good ol', laugh at yourself, kind of fun. I must warn you that I've told this story before, and some people don't think it's funny. They think its level of humiliation far exceeds the value of its humor. Yeah, I felt that way for a long time too. But now, I just laugh (really hard) when I think about it. Oh crap, now I've built it up and you won't think it's funny either! Crap. Look, just leave a comment anyway (yes this includes you closet readers), please leave a comment so I don't feel like the complete idiot that I am! I thank you in advance.

I was not allowed to date until I turned 16. Prior to my 16th birthday, my parents drove me to the Homecoming football games as well as to and from any school dances I attended. I didn't turn 16 until my junior year. But, I had liked the same guy since my sophomore year. He knew I couldn't officially date until I was 16, so he hung out at my house a lot. We were "going out"....yep, even though I couldn't go anywhere at all. I should insert a very important tidbit here...his father and sisters despised me. (Pretty sure his sisters still do. What is it with me that I find that so funny?) Why did they dislike me so? Because I am a...GASP!....Mormon. Oh the horror! In their opinion, I was going to lead this guy straight down the road to hell.

I remember when he gave me his class ring (class rings were a big deal back in 1987-88ish). I didn't have it long at all when his father made him come to my house, break up with me, and take the ring back.

Now the next part is a little fuzzy. Snarky Mama can probably remember...she has a memory that is scary good. Somehow, his father agreed to us seeing each other; although, I'm fairly certain his entire church was praying that this young man would survive the evil Mormon girl. (This is when I began to realize that people believe exactly what they want to believe. Even though our church bears the name of Jesus Christ, and even though I am absolutely a Christian, there are people who choose to believe otherwise. You might be surprised at how very little I care.)

When I turned 16, he was my first real date. He told me he had a surprise planned. (I'm confident this experience led to my loathing surprises.)
I was beyond excited for this date. He picked me up and took me to his house. His parents and sisters were home. He took me upstairs to their gameroom. We walked in and there stood his best friend (one of the absolute sweetest guys around) in a tux! The best friend informed me that he would be our server that evening. Oh my gosh, I couldn't believe it. There was a table set for two, there were candles, soft music. I think I remember flowers, but it was a long time ago.

Now keep in mind, when I was 16 I was not the person I am now. Most everything made me nervous and I was far from comfortable in my own skin. So, the plan was for us to have dinner and then watch a movie. I had been too nervous to eat before he picked me up from my house. I was so hungry!!! And that hunger brought with it a dilemma. No way was I going to really eat in front of this guy. Pick at my food, move things around on the plate? Yes. But really eat? No way. The best friend served us our dinner. It was all so lovely, mixed with I think I might vomit I'm so nervous.

Well, my boyfriend decided to go downstairs with best friend to get dessert, or something. When they left, I promptly began inhaling my food. I was like an animal. Chalk it up to nerve-induced temporary insanity, but I shoveled the food into my mouth like a crazy person. And holy cow, the green beans were seriously delicious!! So delicious that I (are you ready for this?), I snatched green beans from my boyfriend's plate and ate them!! Ohhhh, yes I did. I mean grabbed them up and snarfed them down. I was acting like a maniac, an absolute maniac who had not eaten in months. Did I mention how hungry I was, did I mention temporary insanity? (By the way, if you could see me reenact the snatching and inhaling of food, you might wet yourself from laughing so hard. I've seen that happen twice during the telling of this story.)

So after attacking my food and the food of my date, I sat and waited for them to return from downstairs. I picked at my dessert. After all, that's what proper Southern girls do....not to mention, I had just eaten a bushel of green beans. No, he didn't ask if I knew what happened to his beans...he didn't really notice because best friend server dude took our plates. WHEW! I was in the clear.

We watched our movie and then it was time for him to drive me home. We walked downstairs. As we were walking out the door, his father announced that our entire evening had been videoed. Yes, you read that correctly. The whole thing was on video. A tripod had been set up and hidden behind some stupid fake ficus trees...I hate stupid fake ficus trees. I held myself together until I got home. I walked into my house and burst into tears. My boyfriend had no idea why I was so upset,and I couldn't even tell my parents what had happened. I ran to my room. I vaguely remember the phone ringing. He called to tell my parents that he and his entire freakin' family had watched the video. Obviously, he now understood why I was so upset.

Mortified. Embarrassed beyond belief. Adding to the misery was knowing how much his sisters hated me. Over the years I have watched America's Funniest Home Videos and wondered if his family still has that video. Probably not, but I'm thinking some serious cash could come from my humiliation, and I most certainly would demand my share!

I learned a lot from that experience.
#1: Teen girls, just hurry up and be comfortable in your own skin already. Had I been, I would have just eaten the blasted beans, and asked for more if I was hungry.
#2: If I'm hungry, I'm going to eat. Pushing food around on a plate is so lame. The Captain says one of the reasons he fell for me was my willingness to order something besides a salad. And I was happy to eat whatever I did order. Apparently, I was one of the only girls he'd ever dated who would do that. Cool.
#3: Oh I am soooooo happy I was a good girl who could be trusted. Can you even imagine how much worse that would have been if anything more than my frenzied eating and us watching a movie had taken place? Yikes. In fact, truth be told, I think that's why his father set the tripod up in the first place. How happy it would have made that man to get some dirt on the Mormon girl. HA! Too bad.
#4: Don't video people without them knowing it. Really, there's just no use. Unless you think your nanny is beating your child, that might constitute secret recordings.
#5: Your most embarrassing, most humiliating moments might just end up being the ones that make you laugh the hardest....twenty years later.

Remember, I really need you to leave a comment for this one.
Don't make me beg.
Not after the things I just shared!


Amy said...

That is HILARIOUS! I can't stop laughing! Aren't the awkward adolescent years the best for remembering silly things we had done? I think we have to pass through them, just so we can have things to laugh at ourselves when we are old and telling the world that we are above self-humiliation. Proof? Look at the teen years. Thanks for sharing!

-clevergirl said...

You are so sweet, I am so incredibly lucky to have a friend like you. **HUG**

Sue said...

That's hilarious, Natalie...and I wish I could see you do the "eating of the beans" shtick in person. I really do.

Having said that, it is despicable that they took a secret video of you. Outrageous!! If I had been their son, I would have been seriously angry at them for putting you in that position. It's crazy.

As for being heartbroken about your young friend, of course it's normal. Who wouldn't be hurting? His situation is very serious. It makes me sad, too, and all I've done is read about him.

And your daughter couldn't ask for a wiser, more concerned mom to work her through whatever struggles she has.

Done. =)

Carly said...

That is so stinking funny, but seriously, what is wrong with those people? What did they think you were going to do that they felt the need to tape it? Dance around throwing Satan's ashes on their stuff? People are weird. I think 20 years later, that is way more embarrassing for them than you--you know if you really think about it--because on the surface, yeah, I would have cried too!

mom said...

NO...I STILL DO NOT find ONE single OUNCE of humor in that depraved voyeuristic behavior of his "family." (More like a "pack" of animals! Wait "pigs" don't travel in pack would not be correct). (Disclaimer:"step-mom" and step-brothers" are wonderful people..oh that's right they are now "EX" step-mom and brothers...mmmmm wonder why).

Hello Snarkettes, if you think for a minute I did not want to kick somebody's sorry @#&....WRONG! THAT is probably MORE the reason she did not tell me then. I had already told his father what a hypocritical sorry lowlife I thought he was.

Just for the record...I will NEVER find the humor in a grown man who thought embarrassing my daughter was funny. My points:

1. Absolutely, I am proud that she was exactly WHO we knew her to or not, no behavior she would have to be ashamed of!
(inhaling green beans may be embarrassing, but not immoral)!

2. WHY do you SECRETLY video something...memories? Nah, I don't think so...don't even try to give me the "first date, how cute" spill...your freakin' camera would not have been in your tacky ficus tree.

3. "Boyfriend" was a maniac that needed his face knocked off...guess he grew up to be o.k., don't know and don't care! All I could see behind that cute face and those big blue eyes was his dad lurking in the shadows...."Apple tree theory."

4. Sometimes as parents you simply have to allow just enough slack that they don't break the rope trying to pull away..otherwise, she never would have been at dinner at their house. That which is forbidden becomes stronger in desire....Heaven forbid...she COULD have ended up marrying a "Baptist!" (to all my Baptist friends, you know I love you...but, you so know it is true).

5. I am very glad Snarky can laugh...I would much rather her be able to do that than feel what I feel. Complete and total disgust! are a good sport and a far better woman than your mother! (And yes, her re-inactment is hilarious...even I chuckle WITH her...not AT her)!

6. I DESPISE practical jokes, don't think they are funny...don't think they are cute...and in case no one has noticed, typically, the only people laughing are the ones who are not the victims....can't say not the "butts" of the jokes! Oh there are always the "butts"...just not the ones being laughed at!

There....just in case any one wondered, "who on earth COULD NOT think that was funny?"

Snarky Mama...enough said!

Grace said...

oH... I busted out laughing when I got to the ficus tree part... It's easy to laugh about it now... but oh how horrible for you at that point in time...

em said...

and the stories just keep on comin'!!!! really, BE HONEST, were the cookies stale? i've thought of this question several times over the past days. i should have paid the $20 to get them to you in 2 days. i'm sorry i was cheap!!!

em said...

i gushed the cheeks.
it was glorious!

karen said...

All I can say is that I'm glad that there was no such thing as owning a video camera during the time I was dating, or who knows what could have been captured? I was always doing embarassing things! You're a good sport - grace under pressure - even if it took several years. My best to you, your daughter, and your sweet little friend. I'm sure there are some lessons there, and I hope they're not too difficult. You've got lots of us in your corner for support.

Natalie said...

Mom, you are funny. I can just feel the fury. Thank you for not finding humor in my suffering. That's what being a mom is all about, right?

For those of you who did not grow up in, or have never resided in a city that oozes anti-Mormon sentiment like nasty puss from an infected wound, I will give you a little clarification.
These are common phrases spewed from the mouths of most Southern Baptists in the area I am from: "Well, everything's ok, as long as he/she doesn't date that Mormon." or "I kmow she seems nice, but no you can't be her friend. She's a Mormon."

You may even hear something along the lines of: "Yes, I know it's awful that your son is dating the cracked-out hooker with syphillis, but come on now. Chin up, at least she's not a Mormon."

That's why Snarky Mama said it could have been worse, I could have ended up marrying a Baptist. We joke because that's what they all say about Mormons. Once in college I even dated a guy over the summer who told me that just before classes started up again, we would have to stop seeing each other. Why? Well, we attended the glorious Mississippi College, a private Baptist college, and he couldn't "risk his reputation" by dating a Mormon.

We do have wonderful friends who just happen to be Baptist. They deserve kudos...some of them have risked tongue lashings and tremendous disapproval from their families because they love us. I'm not kidding, it's that bad people.

Mom, I can't remember...did you answer the phone when he called to say they watched the video? Or, did he come over to tell you and dad? Maybe he called first? I just remember a phone call, am I right?

mom said... was a phone call...a laughing..."ha ha ha"..."I think she is upset" (snicker, snicker).."I mean it was just a joke" (snicker, snicker).."she was so cute" (snicker, snicker)!

And also, for the record, I cried I was so mad for you!

Dang have fired me up all over again!

And one more very best lifelong friend since I was 8 years old is the daughter of a Baptist Preacher...they love me, I love them....Snarky's grandmother, my mother, was a dyed in the wool Southern Baptist....until!(she saw the light!) JUST KIDDING!!!!!

But, truth is truth....I love a lot of the players....I just don't care so much for some of the games!

For those who might not understand, just wait until someone tells you what a wonderful person your daughter/son is, but that they "cannot risk their child becoming like them."

Makes Me CRAZY!!!!(ier)

Fiauna said...

Oh my. Did you ever see him again? How embarrassing--and funny!

Dennis and Cherise said...

Oh my goodness, it is nice how you can look back at this experience now and laugh. I understand all too well about the whole Baptist-Mormon thing. I was raised a Baptist in small town Missouri (Not that far from Hans Mill mind you)and well Mormon was not a pleasant word. I remember when Dennis was going through basic and AIT I moved home to live with my parents. I went to Stake Conference and my Dad was irate that I went, saying I belonged to a cult and a bunch of other stuff. I just wish that I was raised in the Church, because I feel I would not have made some of the decisions that I did make. It is far better to be video taped inhaling green beans than making bad choices.
Love Ya Girl!

KC Mom said...

Oh my...not funny but I'm glad you can laugh about it now. Seriously...that would have traumatized me. What a psycho family...truly. I've never heard of anyone so sick...what I'm completely fired up!! I guess it's because I keep thinking about some of the cruel things that happened to me and so I'm going down my own memory lane now.

Rachel T. said...

Oh man you poor hungry girl! That is too funny that you ate everything on your plate and his. I am surprised that you didn't think that he would even notice that your food that was once on your plate was now gone. LOL You poor thing. Thats the good thing about childhood, it teaches us things. Had you not had that experience you may not have been as comfortable in your skin as you are now. You experienced that to learn that you just have to be who you are and people will love you are leave you and there is not much in this life that you can do about that.
Im sorry about your boyfriend. That is rough. I worked in pediatrics for 3 years, I saw all of that stuff first hand. Its hard to see them suffer like that. But kids are resiliant. They bounce back a lot quicker than adults. And childhood cancer has a lot higher of survival rates than adult. So as hard as it is, all you can do is love him and have faith. He needs his girlfriend by his side. And that is what you can do, just simply love him!

Loves2Craft said...

I absolutely love that quote from the Prophet! I also love the quote from President Hinckley "Of course we're Christian, the very name of The Church declares that!"

When I read your 1st REAL date experience I seriously snorted out loud, which caused my coworker to jump (spill pop on herself) and an uncontrollable uproar of laughter. You created quite a chain reaction of events w/ your story!

Shauna said...

that is so hilarious! I laughed out loud. My little brother set up a hidden video camera and caught me and my boyfriend making out! I wasn't just embarrassed I was in TROUBLE! thanks for sharing! We will pray for you and you sick little boyfriend.

Valsy said...

I threw up Malibu chicken at the Sizzler in 8th grade. In front of half the town. :) Feelin' ya

jen said...

I'm still laughing, and I read the post five minutes ago. The idea of my teenage daughter being secretly taped shoving in food is too much!
Love it!
And stay true to yourself. There's no right or wrong way to mourn. Teachers feel more for "their kids" than I think non teachers realize.

Katie Hatch said...

LOL, That's HILARIOUS! Luckily I've never been a girl that's afraid to eat (although sometimes I wish I were, LOL) I threw up on a first date once, ahahaa! I've had A LOT of REALLY embarrassing moments, one involving FARTING when I was dating my husband, LOL!!! I won't go there ;-) Hope that makes you feel better.

La Yen said...

That wouldn't happen in my home town, because we would have sued. Props to the OC!

little jill said...

Horror. funny Funny horror.

It could have been worse, but still, that would be horrific at 16. Yikes

funny though, very very funny

K2cole said...

Lucky, Lucky girl to have such a great Momma!!!

You recovered and can laugh and share so we can really laugh because you have such a great mom!!

I remember learning you should not wear flower panties and white pants (still horrified Jeff Warren pointed it out to me in Seminary). Good thing time takes care of alot of the embarassment.

I will pray for your boyfriend.

love and snarky to you,

Anonymous said...

It angers me to know that ANYONE would take advantage of the adorable young Natalie I knew. I enjoy reading her blog to see she has grown into an incredibly vocal and gifted woman.
I am Snarky Mom's life long friend, Baptist preacher's daughter who has always been unable to believe that my loving friend and her family have been treated that way. My Daddy had wrong information and ideas about
"Rachel's" beliefs but he loved her like a daughter!
Keep 'em coming Snarky Belle!

I am LoW said...

It's hard to laugh when in shock they they'd secretly video taped you!! :-O

When I get over that, I'll find it funny. :)

Jan said...

All I can say is YIKES! What a terrible first date story. It is good that you can laugh now. I spent my teenage years in the South, so I know some of what you talk about. Being Mormon almost got me kicked out of the National Honor Society of all things! (Long story.) Thank goodness for the passage of time and maturity that helps us to learn, see things for what they really were and move on!

mom said...

"Anonymous" IS my lifelong friend....She is exactly right, her father did have some incorrect info about our beliefs, but he stretched himself beyond just "what he was told." He looked beyond labels and saw a little girl's heart...he knew I loved my Savior, Jesus Christ.

He (preacher-man) was a bear of a man, with a heart just as big...He loved his "Rachael, the Jew girl" like a daughter and I love her parents more than words will ever express. He really did call me, "Rachael, the Jew girl" all his life....funny how some people would find that so politically incorrect. He just thought it "fit." Funny man!

All it ever did was bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart.

I think Penny's dad knew what being a Christian really meant....look beyond labels and into someone's heart...who knows, if others could have been more like him....maybe a lot of myths could have been disspelled. They might actually have found the light of Christ in the people they were hurting...b/c they sit in a different pew!

I love you, Penny..

Snarky, you have Penny blogging!!!
Miracles do to happen, see!!!

Gretchen said...

That is REALLY deserving of a comment! What in the world would trigger this father to video the 2 of you. That is the most (okay not the most, but pretty close) bizarre thing I have ever heard. And, what did your boyfriend think of it? Was he ticked at his dad?

Amy said...

OK, I was expecting Funny...but that was really funny!! I cannot even imagine. Thanks for being brave enough to share it and entertain us all.

Barbara said...

Ah at least you were eating your greens!

You know, allowing yourself to hurt for another life is, I think, one of the greatest strengths a human can have.

Thinking healing thoughts for your little boyfriend.


Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

OK. You've got it. A one-handed comment from me b/c N has my entire left side (including boople) pinned to the bed.
I'd be mortified. And, I'd steer clear of the sick video-taping-pedophile.
I'm so sad about your little guy. Keep me posted.

little jill said...

Link away

Laretha said...

Oh honey! FUNNY! I think that dad would get sued today!

KatieB said...

Oh Natalie - This is precious funny and really irritating (darn Baptists)all at the same time!! Makes me miss you just that much more! Love you!!

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Oh...I am cracking up! This is so funny...(and sweet!). Thank you for the laughs! :)

MammaWarrior said...

I am sorry to hear about the little boy..breaks my heart!
I have been MIA lately but thank you for the sweet comments! You have blessed many peopole with your comapssion! Thank you

Diva Queen said...

Natalie, u are too funny! I hate that we lost touch after elementary school. We could have showed those boys a thing or two about us nice Southern girls!!! I did not go up in the Mormom church but Never did it once change my opinion of u as a friend or person. U are an amazing woman! That guy and family have no idea what a beautiful, genuine and loving person u are. Their loss!!! I love u no matter what your religion, beliefs or opinions are. U are MY FRIEND!!!! I LOVE U!!!