Wednesday, December 29, 2010

emotional commotion

I have been crying a lot lately, and only sometimes for very legitimate reasons.

On Christmas Eve, with hundreds of candles lit in the darkness, and singing "Silent Night," I thought of my grandpa. I used to sit on his musty tan bedspread beside him and listen to him pluck out the notes and chords on his guitar. I wondered if heaven is any different on Christmas, and I imagined my grandpa in the very presence of Jesus, while we sang about Immanuel.

But sometimes my crying is not so legitimate. The other day I cried at an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress." (Her mom left her when she was very young, and she was just the sweetest and wanted to please her future mother-in-law, who was like a mother to her. You had to be there.) And on a completely different day I cried while watching "Super Nanny." (The father - who was a Navy Seal! - was just really supportive, okay?) And yesterday when I saw that the gas prices had risen, my eyes teared up. (I have no excuse.)

And that's when I knew I was getting ridiculous.

I don't know what's wrong with me. It used to be that I only cried in very extreme circumstances, like when Boromir died in The Fellowship of the Ring. Now I cry when people simply love each other. I cry when I think about sadness - it doesn't even have to be a sad thing in particular, just knowing someone is sad makes me cry. I even have dreams where I am crying.

Today I watched an episode of The Office and my chin quivered.

Possible reasons for this recent emotional outlet in tear-form:

My Christmas lights blew out on Christmas morning, as if to say, "It's over, buddy. Pack up the holiday cheer and move back to Normalville."

The snow is beginning to melt, and there is nothing more depressing than patches of dead grass flattened by weeks of snow, singing with sorrowful, muffled voices, "Where once was light, now darkness falls...."

I broke the 2 on my keyboard. Now it's just a little black stubby thing.

And if that demon cat attacks me one more time, I am going to shove it down an ice-fishing hole and then plug up the hole. Last time I checked, "Heather Flesh" was not on the market at Pet Smart.

I know none of these are the reasons, because I was crying a lot before Christmastime. I think the real reason is that I am going insane. And I'm okay with that, as long as I don't know I'm insane when I finally go insane. My mother's grandmother went insane and sang hymns non-stop, clapping and dancing up and down the halls. I would like to be that kind of insane. Actually, that kind of sounds like me, anyway. So...I guess that's it, then. Either that or I've been abducted by aliens. Either option sounds pretty probable.
Friday, December 24, 2010

reason to rejoice

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. - 1 Peter 1:3-9

a man in a santa beard playing christmas carols on his saxophone.

snowflakes softly and coldly landing on my cheek.

the smell of cinnamon from german pretzel vendors.

i'm not capitalizing any of my words because that's what artsy creative people do.

and because my hair is short now i feel i should be more artsily creative.

therefore i'm going to start making up words.

like artsily.

my favorite picture of my family, because why is mom looking off into the distance?

Merry Christmas Eve to all.
Friday, December 10, 2010

welcome, welcome, fa hoo ray moos

Next week is going to be great.

Tuesday I'm getting my hair cut, short. To the guys who have told me that girls with short hair are unattractive, I say, just wait.

Wednesday are double brand new episodes of Psych. USA. 10/9c. Wait for iiiiiiiit.

Thursday I'm taking my parents into Chicago to see White Christmas on Broadway. HOW. STOKED. AM. I. Dad doesn't know yet. I told him to clear his schedule for Thursday, and sometimes I pretend to slip up and accidentally give away the surprise. "I hope the weather's nice for when we go skiing next week - oops!" He has no idea the stemming and the plotzing and the shushing that's in store.

Next weekend I'm taking my final trip to KY to pick up my car and move the rest of my stuff into my duplex, affectionately nicknamed Mab (shortened from Mabsoot Manor, "mabsoot" meaning "happy" in Hebrew), before the final move-in after New Year's. Sometimes I very much wish I were still eight and adulthood is a long way off. Then other times I remember times like these and I'm ready:

And on my way back from KY I'm stopping by someone I haven't seen in far too long, for some quality Christmas cheer and friendship. We're going to go ice skating, hold hands, build gingerbread houses, and then...we'll snuggle.

I cannot wait.
Thursday, December 2, 2010

"dear" old books

I walked into the used bookstore that my coworker Ashley had called "odd." I had only been there a couple of times before and hadn't noticed anything particularly odd about it. But I remembered Ashley's statement yesterday as I stepped inside.
"Hi," I greeted the lady at the wooden counter just inside the door. Her salt and pepper hair fluffed out on the sides like Christopher Lloyd. "My dad brought in a bunch of boxes of my books the other day and said I had some store credit."
"Oh, yes," the woman said. "You have tons of it. They were in such good condition. You take very good care of your books."
I smiled at her. I know, thought Inner Me. When I was in high school I carried Sense and Sensibility in a Ziploc bag.
She shuffled through some papers in a drawer and found my sheet. "Yup. You have tons." She closed the drawer and looked up at me.

At this point in the story, I would like to introduce you to Inner Me. Inner Me is very blunt, honest, and feeling. Sometimes I wish Inner Me would smother Outer Me with a rag soaked in chloroform, and take over the conversation. Instead, Outer Me's composed, polite, homeschooled interaction takes the form of the following visit to Dear Old Books.

Umm...."Could you tell me how much?"
She shuffled through the papers again and said, "It's a ton. Like $80. Oh, it's not quite that much. $57.50."
"Okay, thanks!"

I walked down the aisles of books. I didn't want more books. The reason I painfully gave away my own books was because I have, in the words of Christopher Lloyd, tons of them. I don't need more books I want to have read but don't want to read sitting on my shelves.

But as I sat on a footstool in the classics section and stared at the books in front of me, there, my own bindings looked back at me with betrayed and lonely faces. I felt what a mother must feel when she hands her baby over to be adopted. How could I explain to them that I couldn't care for them anymore? That hopefully they'd go to a good home with someone who loved them more than I could?

I admit that I looked at my own books more than I looked at possible purchases. I wanted to collect all my lost children and take them back again. "I've made a mistake," I could say. "They weren't supposed to go. I was weak!"

I finally picked up John Steinbeck and went to the counter. A man was there instead, and he looked up my information on his cream-colored computer, in true 90s condition.
"That'll be $3.50," he said.
I slung my purse over my shoulder and froze. What? "But...the credit doesn't count?"
"It takes off half. So a 6-dollar book is $3.50."
"Oh. Oh I see." I looked up at the crack where the wall meets the ceiling and pretending to be calculating something, when inside Inner Me was seething, Are you kidding me? You want me to give you my books AND pay for yours?
"Well, in that case, I don't think I want this book," I said kindly.
He just looked at me.
"Is that okay?" I offered meekly. Is that okay?? You don't need his permission to not be cheated.
He nodded.
"Do you want me to put this back? I know where it was."
"Would you mind?"
I put the book back and walked out the front door, saying, "Thank you," though I have no idea for what. Thank you for taking my books and being willing to take my money, too. Thank you for being rude and having very bad people skills. Thank you for making me want to cry because I am very sensitive to people who look at me with annoyed expressions. By the time I reached my car, Inner Me and Outer Me had melded into one, and I replayed the scenario in my head again, only this time with me demanding all my books back and telling them they are a lame establishment.

The only thing that gets me through it is imagining that my Barnes & Noble classics will go to good homes, maybe to a teenage girl who will obsess over keeping them as pristine as I did, or, better yet, someone who will wear out their covers with repetitive reads.

Ashley was right. And I am never, ever going back into that store. On principle.

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