Sunday, December 19, 2010

Epitaph for a Tree

Oh tree, you are dead.  You were such a good tree.  I loved you very much.  When my friend Mary gave you to me for my 21st birthday I was ecstatic.  You were such a bright and hopeful little tree; you made me smile even on dark days.  You sat on my counter and tried every day to be the best tree you could be.  Sometimes I would forget to water you, but still you would persevere in your efforts to be my favorite little tree.

Then when we remodeled the dining room, you had to be moved away from the dust and fumes and the men in the steel-toed boots.  It was supposed to be a beneficial move for you; one that would keep you safe and healthy.  But somehow you ended up in a forgotten corner behind a stack of boxes.  You waited patiently for me to find you - to water you, care for you, and love you as I had in the past.  You waited a day, a week, two weeks, maybe more.  You waited as long as you could, little tree.  I know you didn't give up easily.  You certainly must have kept fighting until the very end because you knew how devastated I would be if you didn't make it, so you stayed alive just as long as you could.  But my ignorance and forgetfulness were much more longstanding than your ability to stay alive in an environment with no water and very little sunlight.  And so now you are gone.

I am sorry, tree.  Sorry that I ever forgot to water you.  Sorry that sometimes I would leave you sitting on the living room windowsill when it was much too cold outside for you to be there.  Sorry that you were placed in a lonely, dark corner in the den to suffer a slow and painful death.  I am sorry for all these things.  You were too good a tree for me to deserve you.  I hope to one day find another tree that will withstand my erratic watering and trimming habits with half your patience and good grace.

Goodbye, my little tree.  You will be dearly missed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Learned About Myself from a Presbyterian Minister

My friend Natalie is in a bell choir (which is awesome).  On Friday they had a concert.  The bell choir itself is non-denominational, but it is sponsored by the local First Presbyterian Church and so the Pastor was acting as master of ceremonies at the concert - announcing each piece, introducing the soloists, etc.  (Just in case you didn't know what a master of ceremonies does.)  He also shared an interesting thought about M&Ms.  He was talking about how there is a bowl of M&Ms on a table outside his office that some "evil person" keeps refilling, and how he can't seem to keep himself from grabbing a handful whenever he walks by.  Then (and I wish I could remember more specifically how he tied these thoughts together, but I can't) he ended by wishing us all a good Christmas season, full of Holy M&Ms that will bring us things like love, peace, joy, and justice.  It was then that I realized that, except for justice, I get all of this from M&Ms already.  Truly.  Should I be alarmed?

P.S.  If you have not tried Pretzel M&Ms, you should.  Just saying.

P.P.S.  I hope "Pastor" is right.  I tried searching for the correct term on Google and did some reading on Wikipedia but I had a hard time finding an answer that was clear cut and I was confused.  However, I think I am correct in my understanding that "minister" is a general term for a religious leader, so I didn't misuse that, right?

UPDATE:  After a bit more reading I found that "Reverend" can also be used, and I apologize but I was not paying enough attention and so I do not know how this gentlemen prefers to be addressed. 

UPDATE:  I randomly found the program from the concert in my purse today and it turns out that this good religious leader is, in fact, a Reverend.  Please replace "Pastor" with "Reverend" in the text above.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sock Drawer

When I was very young, I remember that besides the candy, one of the best parts of potty training were the underpants featuring Barbie or Care Bears or a similar girl-friendly animated character printed on the backside.  My toddler thought process:  "I get to wear awesome underwear?  Then yes, I would like to use the toilet, please!"  Also, my socks always, always matched my outfit.  And fancy ruffled socks on Sundays were a must.

As I progressed into my elementary-school-uglies and tween years, I began to categorically refuse to wear anything besides plain white undergarments - socks, underwear, undershirts.  Always the same brand, always white.  One summer a friend of mine wore orange polka dot underwear one day at girls' camp which, unfortunately, we could all see through her pajama pants.  (This is what happens when you make your own pajama pants for girls' camp – sometimes they are less than completely opaque and, many years later, I will still taunt you by singing the "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Orange Polka Dot Bikinis" song.)  But I remember being kind of in awe that she would wear anything besides plain white underwear, because she seemed so "serious" to me (yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds).  Turns out I would have been better off with the polka dots that day at camp, since my rendition of "Bootylicious" caused the rear end of my own pair of homemade pajama pants to split wide open so that everyone could really see my boring, plain white underwear.

Now I don't know if I am getting tired, or lazy, or I am trying to fight my OCD, or if (unsurprisingly to those of you who know me well) I am just trying to rebel against becoming an adult, but for the past several years, I have paid little or no attention to what colors or patterns are featured on my underclothes.  Well, unless it is to purposefully choose something wild and crazy, something reminiscent of my childhood (that I probably still like, like Princesses or Care Bears), or something that I find humorous.  But mostly I just grab a package of random socks or underwear from Wal-Mart when all of mine are worn out or have all been eaten by the dryer (or if Austin has worn a pair of my socks and therefore I can never ever touch them ever again).

My sock drawer, which once could have been an ad for Clorox bleach, is now overflowing with an abundance of different styles and colors and features all kinds of different characters and patterns including Halloween Snoopy, stripes, Belle, polka dots, sparkly Christmas, penguins, Fair Isle design, even glow-in-the-dark!  When I wear socks now, they rarely match.  As long as they are the same general shape I will wear them together.  (Unless I am working out.  Then they are white and they are matching.)  My undershirts used to be only white; now when tanks go on sale at work sometimes I buy a certain color not because I need it, but because I don’t have it yet and I feel like I should be able to find a use for it.  Then I find myself thinking, “Does this bright pink tank really go under this blue shirt?”  Well, too bad if it doesn’t because I will probably wear it anyway.  And as for underwear, the last package of underwear I bought had a nautical theme and I just thought that was hilarious.  Who knows why?  Nobody knows about it besides me.  Even my socks are so rarely seen by anyone outside my own household, I don't know why it matters or why I am blogging about it.  But in case you were wondering, I like funny underwear.