Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Big So Everyone Can See

Oh, dear. This morning has been very, very funny.

Yesterday afternoon, our receptionist asked me if I could go pick up a check from Wal-Mart at 7:30 in the morning since I lived closer to it than she did. It was a check for the March of Dimes, and since our company is a big partner with them, we are on a first-name basis with the regional representative, Abby. Wal-Mart was donating $1,000 to the March of Dimes, but Abby actually lives in another town and wasn't going to be able to pick it up, so she asked her go-to person, (also our receptionist) Melissa, to do it. "Why 7:30 in the morning?" I asked Melissa. She didn't know, but I didn't have a good excuse to not do it other than 30 more minutes of sleep which seems really petty and ungrateful when someone is donating $1,000 to babies. So, I said yes. I realized on the way home that I neglected to consider that Ryan and I's one carpool day (now that he is back to school) is Friday. I had to ask him to get up early with me if we wanted to carpool, which we did.

We were on schedule (somehow) as we drove past the insane traffic that was headed into town for work (thankfully we were heading out of town), but Ryan mentioned he would probably have to call in and let them know he was going to be late just because of the traffic. He dropped me off at the entrance of Wal-Mart and I walked briskly towards customer service, as instructed. There was a re-grand opening ceremony getting started that I had known about through the chamber of commerce partnership. As an ambassador for my company with the partnership, I am supposed to go to these events, but I had declined this one as it was 7:30 in the morning! Little did I know I would be here anyway. I asked the lady at the desk for the person I was supposed to ask for, "Sara Richards" (name changed to protect the... ahem... innocent). She asked me to wait a moment and she went off in the direction of the 100 or so people gathered around a man speaking at a podium in the produce section. Right then they started praying. They had brought someone in special for this... I was very touched to hear the prayer, it was a very good one. However, about 5 minutes into the prayer, the employee helping me motioned for me to come to her. She whispered and pointed out Sara Richards in the crowd. I thanked her and headed into the crowd to get closer.

I was beginning to feel like this was a bad situation. Why had Sarah asked me -- err, Abby -- to come at 7:30 in the morning if she knew she was going to be in the middle of a ceremony??? Maybe she just sucks at thinking ahead, I thought. When the long prayer was over, everyone turned towards the flag and said the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, a lady came up and sang the National Anthem. It was all a very nice ceremony, but I was preoccupied. How was I going to get to Ms. Richards without causing a stir? She was standing kind of at the front, so I was afraid she was part of the important ceremony people and I called on all of my social rules knowledge to weigh whether it was appropriate to tap her on the shoulder or not. Ryan was waiting in the car -- he probably was getting more concerned by the second and definitely later to work.

All of a sudden, I heard the speaker say, "Abby Perkins with the March of Dimes. Abby, are you here?" I didn't have much time to think, but I raised my hand and went up to the front, telling the speaker that I wasn't Abby but I was here on her behalf. A lady handed me the oversized check and shook my hand. I looked down at her nametag. It read, "Sarah." I must have misunderstood who the employee who had helped me was pointing at. Who knows who the lady in pink was that I had targeted! They took a couple of pictures, I smiled big. Everyone was clapping. Oh gosh, I am going to be in the paper, I thought.

Well, I got the check. And after standing there with it under my arm and clapping for a bunch of things, worrying about what Ryan was thinking, it was finally over. They cut the ribbon, everyone clapped, and I split. Well, I went as fast as I could without making it look like I was running away with the check. Ryan was standing outside the entrance on his phone. I heard him say, "Tell Steve I'm going to be about 30 minutes late." And he hung up. I showed him the big check and told him what had happened and he laughed so hard, which was a great relief to me. He said it was worth being late because it made such a good story. Bonus: I love him.

I'm really glad I opted to put my makeup on in the car ride BEFORE getting to Wal-Mart!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Friend's Birthday

Today is the birthday of my longest-time friend, Laura. I'm feeling sentimental so I thought I'd look back at some things I remember.

In our relationship, I am almost always the free-spirited fool and she is the practical parent. I have always felt like we are more that way around each other. At times, it has frustrated me that I couldn't be more like her, but at the same time, it's one thing has not changed. We have always had that, no matter how our interests have changed over the years (we have known each other since kindergarten), or how far apart we have been (at times as far away as Okinawa, Japan when her husband was stationed there). Now that we're both back in Texas, we still haven't seen each other for 8 months, but in these long stretches where many of my other friends have become more like acquaintances, we have 20 years of material to reminisce about over Google Chat (c:

We walked around a lot. Maybe it made us feel more independent because we were too young to drive. Several of my memories were of conversations had while walking. I had a lot of trouble with my dad growing up, and on one of these walks (I remember we just coming over the hill before reaching her house), she told me that God wouldn't have put me in my family if He knew I couldn't handle it, and that I was basically cut out to fit for them. I had to find the strength to deal with it rather than run away (something I often considered during those years when I thought it was getting too much for me). It didn't stop the fights I had with dad, but it did stick with me and I learned a little bit better how to lean on God.

We did some pretty embarrassing things, too. The time we convinced our friends to dress up like members of Nsync and spent weeks (months?) meeting for rehearsals to teach ourselves the choreography of their most popular songs in preparation for our church youth group's "talent show." She was Lance Bass, I was Chris Kirkpatrick (they put my hair in tons of tiny braids and drew a goatee on my face with makeup), Amy Yerrington was Justin Timberlake, Kelly Motley was JC Chasez, and Aarin Manning was Joey Fatone. Oh wow... how I cringe when I think of how naive I was about the repercussions of that event. That just proves how bad it was, haha! It was caught on tape but I am pretty sure we destroyed it years later...

Laura introduced me to the Internet. It's true, she may not realize it. While I was stuck playing round after round of Solitaire on my family's computer, I'd go to her house and was instantly addicted to AOL Mail and Instant Messenger. That was back when you could survive off of free 30-day trial AOL CDs that you could find anywhere. Juno was the other "big" Internet, I understood it was just for email though. We spent a lot of time chatting with friends on AOL, including CKH72, a girl we met in a chat room and hit it off with. Laura might still talk to her every now and then? She kept in touch with her for many years. I can't think of that time without remembering how I would wait for Luke to get online, and being so elated when he'd actually respond to my IMs. His screen name was punkskatercow - lol. We did spend a lot of time in chat rooms, responding to a/s/l? questions, giggling and flirting. I don't remember ever talking about anything of significance.

There are so many more memories I could describe, but I need to get back to work (c; Hope you have a good birthday, my friend! Maybe in the next 25 years we'll live close enough to make some more memories. I love you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

About Me

I don't know what to write about lately, which is why I haven't been writing. I've also rather enjoyed being more productive at work. My to do list doesn't shrink as much as I feel like it should, but that's ok because if it gets too small I lose my momentum. Anyway, it seems to be the season of bulleting random facts about yourself on your blog, so that's something.

• My least favorite thing about myself, lately, is my social awkwardness. Perhaps I haven't quite learned or matured enough to interact with the people around me at a level where I feel like I'm cool. I have been walking away from most encounters feeling like I just failed that one, again.
• My favorite thing about myself -- lately -- is my brokenness. I'm at a low, but going to this new church and meeting new people, being reminded of the real stuff in life has made me realize that I'm at a place to grow more. In all this, I do look forward to that.
• I want kids one day, but that is one of the scariest things in the world to me. The only reason it's not the scariest ever is because I am married to Ryan and I know both of our hearts are in it and neither of us is alone.
• In my ideal future, I want to be wake up early in the morning and go out to my studio with all windows and white furniture. In the early morning light and quietness, I want to tie back my hair and put on my smock and just paint for hours. Have a sandwich for lunch, tend the garden in the afternoon, and fix supper with the fresh vegetables from it. Then eat supper when Ryan gets home and talk about our days and our non-routine plans. It does sound cheesy, but it also sounds nice (c:
• I want to be an entrepreneurial genius. But who doesn't?
• I have gained about 20 pounds since we got married. You can say that it's because I'm "comfortable" in my relationship now, but I am extremely uncomfortable in my jeans! But yeah, thus is the life of most women.
• I'm obsessed with financial planning and budgeting. Ryan and I keep a close watch on every penny. We have been proud of ourselves, but as we all know, pride comes before a fall, and we have fallen a few times into poor money management. Now we try to stay humble on that front... (c:
• My favorite food is tortilla soup. I try it every time we go to a restaurant that offers it, but my mom's is still the best. I can say that with all honesty!
• I love, love, love Calidad corn chips and On the Border mild salsa. Throw some sour cream in there, and I could it eat it all day, every day.
• Some of my childhood dreams were never realized, but I turned out okay. I blame Disney for making me believe that I wouldn't.
• People in my life who I thought I would be best friends with forever are fading. They're changing, I'm changing -- it's just inevitable. I didn't have the foresight to know that when we were kids and I just thought distance would be the only thing that ever separated us.
• I have gotten a lot better at telling salespeople, "No thank you," and "Not interested," in the past 3 years. Sometimes I still try to be nice but I have learned they don't appreciate that in the way a normal person would.
• I hate bigotry, so I take a lot longer than some to make decisions on controversial subjects. Issues like gay marriage and abortion I am still trying to work through. I know how I feel about them morally, but legally...?
• I like people who make mistakes and can laugh about them.