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 strength...in 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!