Sunday, February 14, 2010

You Should Have Seen It

One week ago I watched my friends do Awana Bible Quizzing. This is the first year since I was 9 that I haven't participated at all. One of the teams was dressed in black and white with hats. They called them fedoras, though I'm not sure they are. Anyway, they were all so cute together!

On my way to work on Monday, the roads were rather slick, but I was doing fine in my wonderful car. When I merged onto the more major road of my commute, the young lady in front of me, was not doing fine. She turned around to face me, in her old white car. Her dark hair framed a rather confused and frightened face. But I got around her to give her room to maneuver herself out of trouble. In my rearview mirror I saw her take a while to right herself.

My face probably looked so peaceful the first half of the week, peace and love and joy. My Jesus was very good to me, reminding me of His incredible grace to my base unworthiness. And He loves my friends like that, too. And my enemies. I've been dancing, praying, and sighing all week.

Friday night I was with some friends. I'd come from judging a debate tournament, so I was wearing my favorite navy blue dress with a crochet-trimmed white sweater - not the style of clothing most people were wearing there. One of the guys, a stout young man with a Chicago accent and red hair, said good-bye to two guys standing next to me. He fist-bumped them. You know, that moment when someone's clenched hand comes toward you in slow motion so that you have time to think, "Is he trying to hit me? no, he wants me to push my fist against his, but... oops! it's too late!" Since he'd done it to the two people before me, I was ready for this. My had preceded his, up in a fingery wave.

Another young man, whom I had never met until that night, laughed from across the room. He was laughing at the idea of someone looking like me doing a fist-bump. But when I explained that I absolutely cannot fist-bump, the fun started. Really. Ever since the gesture came into vogue, I've been incapable of accomplishing my end of the greeting. In fact, if unexpected, I freak out. Usually my hands go up like I've been held up, and start shaking. My face contorts to a look of panicked awkwardness. I explained this to my friends, who tried it on me.

If you're very slow and patient, of course, my fist can contact yours at the correct angle. But a slow and hesitant fist-bump, that's signature Lisa. I think part of the problem is that I didn't get initiated soon enough, before variations began appearing. So by the time any of my friends wanted to fist-bump me, I didn't know whether they would bump, pound, slide and bump, pound up then down, bump and sparkle, or anything else I had as yet not encountered. As if it isn't difficult enough to manage a handshake, eye contact, and a word of greeting, must we mix it up?

In a few weeks I'm having another Pigfest, so I was making invitations. They are themed after Fiddler on the Roof, to emphasize the topic of TRADITION. I used so many different fonts, a watermarked silhouette of a fiddler on a roof under the "headline", orange paper for an extra blurb paperclipped to the whole thing, and a black background. I was working on this joyful project Tuesday night when my brother asked me if I wanted to meet friends in the middle of the night at IHOP. Of course I said yes. But I had some ice cream already in a bowl to eat. So I ate it as I drove, hurrying to get to the restaurant "no later than 11," as my friend had directed. And then I sat in the lonely dark parking lot of IHOP for fifteen minutes, hoping not to look too suspicious, before my brother called to say we were meeting somewhere else first. But I finished my ice cream and filed my nails in the mean time.

Tonight I was making chocolate cheesecake, with a chocolate chip cookie crust. I put the crust in the oven to bake and ran to the store for cream cheese and cool whip, so I could make the top of the cake. Just as my grocery-laden self entered the house, the timer went off. So I set my things on the table and went to pull the crust from the oven. But, you know those spring-form pans that you use to make cheesecake? This one was loose, so when I pulled the pan out of the oven, I felt it slipping against the potholder I had on my hand. Still moving to the nearest available counter space, the cake slipped a second time. The bottom fell out of my pan, cookie flew across the kitchen floor. Only a tiny portion was safe on top of the pan. My dubious eyes just blinked at the mess, unsure how to handle the hot cookie and pan sitting on the ground, or what to do next.

Our kitties are lying curled into ring-shapes in our living room. For having only one person here, it is very not empty. At the mall on Wednesday, I was talking to my sister about how I like rooms with a few pieces of furniture, some color on the walls (paint or framed art), and a vase in the corner. But it doesn't seem to be a style we can accomplish in our house. We go for the collection, layered, Victorian meets suburban America meets homeschool family. We have a lot of mis-matched furniture and fabrics, a piano covered with hymnals and Bibles and family pictures, stacks of books and stored around the room are DVDs and blankets and other odds and ends. For example, there is a no longer hot curling iron sitting on a plate also on top of our piano. A cup from Wendy's is on a tv-tray serving as end table. And my half-eaten dinner is in the kitchen with my half-made cheesecake.

I started a book called Jane Austen Ruined my Life. No, I'm not writing it; I'm reading it. The writing is of such low quality that I would be ashamed to have written and published it. Anyway, the title is interesting. And on Thursday a friend asked me whether I thought reading novels was bad for people because they give us unrealistic expectations, especially of relationships. I said no, because we know the books aren't true. Real life is much cooler than fiction, but we do sometimes make sense of it using art like novels. Her kids, for example, do very much like to be pushed and crawled over, hefted in the air and jostled - who would imagine such things and put them in books?

Blogging is cool because it is real life. And sometimes real life is cool because it is material for blogs.

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

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