Today… for the past week… I have felt terrible for my poor sister. She is so so so sick. Just miserable. And today she appears to have contracted a stomach bug on top of the back/abdominal pain she’s been experiencing since giving birth 8 months ago plus the sinus infection she was diagnosed with last week. She called me, sobbing, and it broke my heart because there was not a thing I could do. I sent her to the ER via my brother-in-law (thank goodness for him– he’s amazing), and I listened while she cried, but that was about it. My poor sweet sister. I wish so much that there were something I could do!
“It is through prayer… that one will be given the most powerful light to see God and self.” –Angela of Foligno
Is prayer, for my sweet sister, perhaps something I can do?
“‘To see God’ is to care very little about anything lesser. But in prayer I see my own littleness most clearly. I know how cowardly I really am. My voice is but one drop of water in an ocean of oppression. It will not change the ocean. But it may put it in need of explaining the injustice it can no longer hide, perhaps. I cannot not speak what my heart knows to be true.” –Joan Chittister
Here’s what I know to be true: my sister is hurting and she needs me. I cannot do anything for her physically, but I can send her my love. I can throw out a prayer or two. I can ask God, the Creator, maker of heaven and earth, all the Angels and Saints, to wrap my sister in love, love, love. To give her comfort and peace. To let her rest and to take away her worry.
We are so small in the grand scheme of things, like Joan says… in the world, the universe, all of it. And this exceptionally rough time for my sweet sister will pass. But it most certainly does not feel small to her right now. Her whole world right now is pain and discomfort and worry and uncertainty. So my prayer this evening is for her, to know that I love her, that we all love her, that God loves her, that she is going to feel better in the blink of an eye and this will all be a vague memory of struggle, something that Abby and Stu and their sweet little family made it through, allowing them to look back on their strength.
When I was in fourth grade, my Grandma Mormor (which as an adult I recognize is like saying “Grandma Grandma” since Mormor is the Swedish word for grandmother… but I don’t care) passed away over Christmas break. We weren’t planning to go to Marquette for Christmas, but when an aneurysm in my grandma’s head burst, sending her straight to the hospital with a severe hemorrhagic stroke, we packed up our clothes and our Christmas into our blue van and drove straight up to the UP. Although she came through a surgical repair successfully, another stroke left my grandmother brain dead and life support was removed the day after Christmas. She was only 60 years old when she passed away on December 26th. I chose not to go to the funeral because I was scared (of the funeral? of death? of my grandmother’s body? I don’t know…), but I regret that now. I did write her a letter that was placed in the coffin. Regardless of whether I was there or not, she knew I loved her, and that’s all that really matters.
My Grandma Mormor’s birthday was February 24th and I always think of her then. She was happy and gorgeous and made amazing oatmeal on her kitchen stove. Her house always smelled good and she wore a floral apron in the kitchen. I know other people have other memories of her, but mine stop at the age of 8 and it’s all beautiful to me. I also always think of her on December 26th… the day she died. She would have died on Christmas, maybe Christmas Eve, without artificial prolonging of her life. But nobody wanted that, so she was allowed to pass on the 26th and the 26th always had something of a pall over it. It was not a good day.
On December 26, 2011, my sister’s first child, her daughter Emma, was born. To me, it seemed like the universe had righted itself again. December 26th was no longer a day for mourning, but for celebrating this amazing little life that came into our family. Today, Emma is three and more amazing than ever and I am so grateful for the gift of timing the universe gave our family.
Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but December 26th feels bigger than that.
This year, December 26th also marked 14 days after IUI— the day I could take a pregnancy test. Something else to make the 26th of December even more significant. My sister found out she was pregnant with Emma on my dad’s birthday. We were both excited about the possibility of me finding out the same on Emma’s birthday.
I’m not pregnant though. No need to test. (I did, just in case, but it was negative. No ambiguity here.) Remember, I said I’d tell you either way. I was hoping for the other. But a promise is a promise.
I guess the fact of the matter is that we all struggle, in our own unique way. Maybe we don’t want children and others see our familial choices as incomplete. Maybe getting pregnant is easy, but the timing is poor. Maybe the timing works out, but our child isn’t as “perfect” as we would have expected. Maybe everything seems just right, but postpartum depression settles in. Maybe things get tough with your toddler, your adolescent, your adult child. Maybe you can’t get pregnant at all.
The good news is that you don’t have to get pregnant to have a family. And families are beautiful and imperfect, no matter how they come to be. There’s no right way, no wrong way, when you fill a home with people (or animals!) who love each other, it really doesn’t matter.
I know all of that, intellectually. But to really know it… that’s tough stuff. So for now, I’m going to let myself just be a little sad. Really sad. Disappointed. Confused and upset and frustrated and guilt-ridden. Just for a little while.
I’m also going to drink enough wine and take enough cold medicine to make up for all that I passed up over the last couple of days on account of the potential for pregnancy– a little Christmas cheer to go with my Christmas cold.
And here we are, it’s Christmas Eve! Perhaps one of the best things about getting married (besides the whole commitment to spending the rest of my life with the person I love and all that…) is that I get to celebrate Christmas even more.
We did the Vonck thing last weekend with my parents and siblings and nieces and aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and puppies on that side of the family.
Tonight, we start the party Stankowski-style, which as I have mentioned before is big, big, big.
No matter the “side” or the location or the event, as the Muppets say (in the best version of A Christmas Carol ever produced EVER): wherever you find LOVE it feels like Christmas!
And it’s so true! Love, love, love… every where! In every way!
I wish you shelter form the storm
A cozy fire to keep you warm
But most of all, when snowflakes fall
I wish you love
That is truly my Christmas wish for you. For everyone. For myself even. Lots of love.
And especially for my sister’s dear friend Jackie, who I unfortunately did not get to meet when I was in Midland for a few days– I really hope she knows how much she is loved! To be loved by my sweet and fisky sister, that’s a big deal 🙂
I love all the rest of you too and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for hanging out with me for another year here at Under the Tapestry.
My goal for 2014 was to convince you that I am truly unhinged, but full of love. (The best kind of unhinged, really.) If I haven’t done that yet, let me just send you a quick Christmas card…
Transition to crazy dog lady — complete!
Oh how I love that pup!!
Wishing you and all of your furry (or scaled or feathered or whatever) friends a very merry holiday season full of love, love, love!
Ho-ly cow! When it rains it pours! And I am basically being swept away!
But for seriously, I’m writing a big old grant right now and by the time I get home (late! woe is me!), I’ve basically used up all of my writing juices and I’ve been unable to get anything bloggy out the door (although stuff’s cooking, I swear it).
All day today, though, I’ve been itching, itching, itching to write for fun! Weird because I was also on a crazy roll all day with less fun writing– if my fingers weren’t moving a mile a minute, my mouth was! Talking and writing and thinking and writing some more. Super productive!
So quickly, while the juices are flowing, a short and quick list of things I super love! Ready? Go!
1. My sister’s use of emoji. She’s a genius at it… she turns it into an art.
Those emojis though, right?! It’s awesome, awesome, funny, ha ha… then bam, martini glass and I die! I love my sister girl so so so much, you guys!
2. Making humble people accidentally compliment themselves. It’s the best! I think I like it so much because it satisfies my evil tendency to trick people into doing things while still being nice. Genius! (Evil genius– wringing hands, narrowing eyes…) I kind of got my friend Marie to acknowledge being fascinating and thoughtful today. It was thrilling! (She’s both, by the way, for seriously. And way too humble about it.)
3. Watching people open the perfect Christmas gift. And this is really my favorite favorite. The thing I love more than anything else throughout the whole year.
I don’t want to toot my own horn too loudly here or anything, but I am a good gift giver. (And I’ve got almost all of my gifts for this year already! Burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket because I just want to give them all right NOW!) Because I love it. I love thinking of something and then watching someone else open it and finding the just right thing inside– so satisfying! It makes me crazy happy.
And this grant right now. It’s like that. As I’m finishing it up, I feel like it’s Christmas… which is what prompted this post.
It’s insane, really, this grant. I’ve been working my tail of and I’m completely beat, but you guys, it’s GOOD. Like real good. I’m more proud of this than I’ve ever been of anything else I’ve ever written. Even my dissertation.
Let me say that again real quick:
EVEN MY DISSERTATION.
That’s big! But this is big, and I’m so excited! It’s like I’m putting on the finishing touches, wrapping it up just so and affixing a perfectly coordinated label and bow before slipping it under the tree and I’m getting so crazy excited to see it opened up!
Where in this case the grant is the gift, and the tree is PCORI, and the recipients are the physicians I’m writing for, and you know, metaphors.
Just trust me, it’s good. And worth the time it’s taking. Worth every single second, because it could really help some people and the people I’m writing for are 100% inspiring.
So… as a wise man once sang to us all while changing his shoes:
I’ll be back, when the grant (poetic license) is through
And I’ll have more ideas for you
You’ll have things you want to talk about
I will too.
See you on the flipside!!! (of the grant.. because I’ve been busy writing it… I made that clear already, right?)
Oh. And #4. I also love Anchorman. Hence the lamp thing in the title.
The letter L is coming, don’t worry, but today I must I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for a very important announcement.
Baby Claire is here!
My champion Fisky sister was admitted to the hospital at 7:30 am on Friday, June 27th and didn’t stop (or eat any real food!) until she had herself a baby at 9:09 pm. And, as expected, she’s perfection.
World (i.e. readers of Under the Tapestry), please welcome my newest niece, Claire Elizabeth.
This is what really kills me though– Claire with her big sister. And Emma is being a top notch big sister. Turns out, she’s way less selfish than I was when my baby sister came around!
Could they be any cuter?!
It’s times like these when this distance is extra hard. My sister is so much more than just my sister, she’s my best friend, my confidante, my favorite person on this Earth… and Lake Michigan is IN THE WAY of all that at the moment.
Maybe it’s for the best though. Emma and Claire have two sets of devoted grandparents who need to squeeze those cheeks and spoil them rotten before it’s my turn. So I’ll leave them to it… for now.
But get ready, girlies! Auntie Rachel is on her way!
And don’t worry, Fisky Sister, I’m fully prepared for cooking, laundry, dog walking, diaper changing, Lifetime movie watching… whatever it is that you need. I’m even bringing you dairy-free banana muffins! Surprise! Best sister ever!
(Don’t worry, she won’t be reading this right now. She just had a baby… a SECOND baby. No way does she have time for bloggity blogs.)
First thing Thursday morning, I’ll be trekking across the UP (yesssss…) with several books on CD and plans to stop at the lovely little rest stop in Naubinway for a photo op on the dunes of Lake Michigan. Then across the bridge and downstate a ways to Midland, land of these little darlings.
Only a couple more days!
I will likely have some relatively shoddy internet in the interim (making an overnight stop at a cabin in the northwoods with my husband and his family), but I’ve got stuff cooking for the letters L and M… so you can expect them shortly. I just wanted to take this moment to share the most shiny silver lining of all.
True, I have no babies. And I’m having a lot of trouble trying to have babies. As such, it can be hard to watch other people have baby after baby after baby and know that I can’t. It’s hard not to feel broken. But then my sister has one… and wow.
The truth is that someone else having a baby has absolutely no bearing on whether I can or can’t, will or won’t, should or shouldn’t. It’s unrelated. And it’s amazing. My sister has brought two incredible little humans into this world, and even I am surprised at how deeply and how quickly I’ve fallen in love with them.
I’m sure it’s good to be a mama, but I don’t know that good yet. What I do know is that it’s great to be an auntie and awesome to be a sister. And I’m happy to be those things any day, any time.
I am watching Frozen right now. I can’t believe I waited so long to see this movie! No one told me it was all about sisters! I freaking love sisters! (See the letter F.)
My friend Christina is a real life Harvard professor. (That is a brag.) The most important thing I’ve ever learned from her is this: Harvard professors are real people, just like you and me, except they’re also brilliant.
Despite their brilliance and what I have to imagine amounts to pretty crazy demands on their time (business professional slacks don’t press themselves, you know!), they still make time to do normal people things like take pictures of their adorable children (they make really, really cute babies too, n = 1) and send awesome articles to nerds like ME on Facebook! Yesss!!!
Christina came across this article recently and thought it was likely to be more than a mere coincidence that it is the 30th anniversary of the movie Ghostbusters and I just made it to the letter G. Given her academic credentials, I’m going to go ahead and agree. Wholeheartedly. I do love the Ghostbusters! … as well as the paranormal in general.
When I first saw the article Christina sent, I was pretty shocked. I mean, I’m 30. And so is Ghostbusters. So it came out shortly after I was born and obviously I didn’t watch it right away. (Or maybe I did? But methinks I was unlikely to have comprehended even if that is the case.)
But then I thought about it and realized that Ghostbusters was a really big deal, even years after the movie. I was obsessed with the cartoon and basically wished for Slimer to be my pet. I drank ecto-coolers (despite hating the orange flavor) and played Ghostbusters with my friends. (Who, incidentally, were clearly sexist pigs and always made me play Jeanine, never a Ghostbuster, because I was the only girl. A-holes. I’m over it.)
And still: I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!
Truly, though. I find ghosts to be absolutely fascinating and I cannot tell you how much I wish for something like PubMed, but for the paranormal– a site for peer-reviewed research into the paranormal. PubDead? I read Spook by Mary Roach and it was kind of there, but I’ve got to admit, it was no where near as good as Stiff and I was so put off by it that I didn’t even bother with Bonk, Packing for Mars, or Gulp even though they sound fascinating. Maybe someday.
I’m not a ghost hunter myself, or anything, but I love ghost hunting shows and books and such. My favorite of all time is definitely Ghost Hunters. Why? Because more often than not, they don’t find any concrete proof of the paranormal. Makes it so much more believable to me when they actually do. Ghost Hunters International and Paranormal State? I’ll watch them… but there’s way too much of the “omg! something just touched me! definitely a haunting!” for me.
The article that Christina sent me focused on 9 timeless life lessons we learned from the Ghostbusters that are still applicable today. They’re 9 excellent points, to be sure, but I’m sure there’s many more.
So, I though to myself:
What Ghostbusters lesson is most applicable to my own life– today?
Well, if you’ll remember, the evil EPA (no offense, Rob… oh wait, you’re on a bike in the middle of nowhere— no offense to be had! huzzah!) came in and completely SHUT DOWN the ecto-containment unit (very dangerous!) and the G-men were essentially out of business for a second.
Likewise, I am in a very precarious position at work. Cuts need to be “deep” and I am quite uncertain about whether my job will even survive. Someone may come in first thing tomorrow morning and shut down my ecto-containment unit, for all I now, and then what?!
Then what is: there will always be a Marshmallow Man to battle, a pretty lady with demons in her refrigerator to save, a nerdy guy/nerdy girl love story that needs to be completed. I will persevere. Right?
You know how after the ghosts are all let out they zoom all over town and it’s super creepy and everyone is in a total panic? Imagine those ghosts were instead rumors and speculation– that’s my work place. Morale is very low, everyone is on edge just waiting for the ax to fall. Not a pleasant place to be!
What would Bill Murray do?
Be cool! Stay relevant forever. That’s what Bill Murray would do.
Let the storm rage on… the cold never bothered me anyway!
Because I can’t let my dear friend Dawn down, ever, let’s return to the letter E for just a quick moment.
Now on to the letter F!
April 9th, 1987 was the last “normal” day of my life. I was three and already an old lady in my mind.
The next day, I was sitting in the living room of a family I barely knew when a tall, glasses-wearing, balding man in work clothes came walking up to the door. I yelled out, “Daddy!” and was absolutely mortified when it wasn’t him. I was so embarrassed that the lady I was staying with thought it would be nice to give me some jello. Green jello.
Green?! Salt in the freaking wound! Of all the jello colors… green?! Ugh.
(Note: I have no opposition to the use of green jello as one of many layers in a delicious multi-layered jello salad, which incidentally counts as a side dish rather than as a dessert in the great state of Wisconsin. But green jello on its own? No thank you.)
Before that, I remember being in the hospital with my mom and dad and leaving without my mom. What the whaaaaaat?! As far as I was concerned, it was my mom’s job, passion, life to take care of me and now I was to be abandoned. Abandoned to the not-dad and lady with green jello.
On April 10th, 1987, Abby was born and I was no longer an only child. I had a sister.
I’m a jealous and self-centered person by nature. I realize that sounds super self-deprecating, but it’s the truth and certainly not unexpected of a three year old. (Not so hot at 30; I try to be better.) My sudden realization that I was no longer alone, no longer the sole focus of my parents’ combined adoring attention was basically devastating.
In the months that followed, I came down with a severe case of what the doctor called “Abby-itis”… constant nagging, yet invisible, ailments that required frequent trips to the doctor. Ahhh… attention. Very astute diagnosis, Dr. Stone.
Sometime around high school or so I stopped calling my sister Abalucus (and singing the accompanying song that ended with “Abalucas, you smell like rotten po-taaaa-to peels!!!”) and switched to calling her Shabsky. I don’t know why. It just came to me.
Then she got a middle name– I started calling her Shabsky Balu. Short for Shabsky Baluga. Last name? Fisk. Why? No idea.
(Imagine my shock when I went to google an image of a “baluga” whale only to find out that it’s actually spelled “beluga”… too late to change the nickname birth certificate now!)
Most of the time I call Abby Shabs, short for Shabsky. When I use it after “I love you,” it’s Shabsky Balu (on account of it rhymes and rhyming is awesome). When I’m feeling a little more formal, it’s Shabsky Baluga Fisk. When I talk about her as my sister, I call her my fisky sister. And now you know.
Turns out, Fisk isn’t a terribly uncommon word. Johnson and Johnson’s CEO’s first name is Fisk. Fisk Johnson. And there’s a historically black college called Fisk University in Nashville. I doubt very much that I had ever heard of either of those things back when I started calling my sister that, but it’s good to know that I may actually be able to purchase a Fisk sweatshirt someday when I finally make it to Nashville. (Shhh… don’t tell Shabs!)
My fisky little sister is freaking amazing.
You don’t even know.
(Unless you do know, and then I have no doubt you agree.)
She’s gorgeous, like so gorgeous you want to hate her, but then she opens her mouth and you think “oh, poor thing, such a ditz” and you love her… except then she suddenly puts on some steel-toed boots and a hard hat and tours you around her million story chemical plant, knowing all the ins and outs and pipes and valves (she’s a chemical engineer) and you realize that, actually, she’s freaking brilliant, and you want to hate her all over again. Except you can’t, because she’s ridiculously and crazy and genuinely nice. She’s just so… fisky! It’s the only way to explain it!
After I skipped third grade, Abby and I were far enough apart in school to guarantee that we were never in the same building. I never really knew how exceptionally sad that was going to be though until I went away to college and moving away from my sister was like leaving a little piece of my heart behind.
Imagine the surprise this warranted for the three-year-old self trapped in my 17-year-old body!
I’ve always loved her, but it took distance for me to really appreciate her. She told me when I moved away, “Don’t get drunk. Don’t get pregnant. I love you.” and then made me a bunch of killer soundtracks for life to take with me. I came home that year to watch her run in a cross country meet and to do her hair for her Homecoming dance (I colored the ends of her exceptionally bright blonde hair red with a washable marker– it was genius, she looked so great). We got closer that year, after I moved to the very opposite end of the state, than we had ever been before.
Since then, I’ve felt like my fisky little sister and I are basically intertwined. I love every single second of time I get to spend with her and I miss her always when I can’t. But, to be perfectly honest with you, I got really nervous about our relationship in December 2011 as her first due date rapidly approached.
I knew I already loved my niece more than anything, but I was jealous all over again. I like thinking of my Shabs as Rachel’s sister… I didn’t think I would like very much when Abby stopped being Rachel’s sister and started being Emma’s mom.
Good news, though! They’re one in the same! And as much as I think babies are cool and whatevs, no one is as cool as this crazy little Emma girl that my sister (and her husband, the illustrious Stu man) managed to produce– she’s amazing! A little mini-Abby! And I adore her!
Abby’s got another due date rapidly approaching at the end of June… she’s going to have another little girl, I’m going to have another niece, and Emma, that lucky ducky, is going to have a sister. I know how it’s going to feel for her at first; her world is going to be turned completely upside down. Little does she know, it’ll be the best thing that ever happens to her… because there is nothing better in this world than having a sister. Especially if she’s a real fisky one 🙂
Abby and I have always said that if we ever have a girl, we can’t stop having babies until we have another girl because every girl should have a sister. I know my mom and Aunt Susan would agree. So would my Grandma Rita and Great Aunt Judy. So far, my Shabsky Balu is batting a thousand– good work, Fisky!
What about you? Do you have a sister? Is she fisky? I hope so!
PS: My brother, aka my Stubby little Stubnitz, is pretty dang ah-ah-ah-mazing too. And he’s lucky enough to have TWO awesome sisters. If you ever wondered how wonderful life would be with a sister, he’d be the one to ask. Eh, Tombo?
Also, he’s going to write a book. He’s really good at writing dialogue. Like reeeeal good. Sometimes he sends me snippets of said book via text message in the middle of the night and I always, always, always want to read more. I’ve given him permission to use a couple of my more spectacular blog sentences (mostly because it flatters me when he says he likes them) and I fully plan to be acknowledged right at the beginning. Look for it someday!
Getting my ears pierced was a huge deal to me. HUGE!
My mom took me to Meijer’s (and yes, I know it’s Meijer not Meijer’s, but I’m from Michigan and therefore allowed to make the names of stores arbitrarily possessive) on Carpenter Road to get it done. The woman we paid was Indian and she had a piercing in her nose— I remember being super impressed by that, but also very, very happy with my ears.
My mom and I timed the piercing so that I could take out the studs and put in my first pair of new, real deal earrings on the first day of kindergarten. We even ordered special gem stone earrings from Avon for the occasion– one pair deep green-turquoise and the other a deep yellowy-orange. I think I wore the green ones on the first day of school, and man was I ever proud of them.
You know who else was proud of them? My Great Grandma V, Esther Van der Voort.(although as far as I was concerned “Grandma” was her first name). She lived a few miles from us in Sumpter Township and we used to go there a lot to eat a bucket of KFC in the breakfast nook, look at old pictures, and snack on Windmill cookies. (Mmmm… I still get cravings for Windmill cookies.)
To my Grandma V (yes, she was my mom’s grandma, my great grandma, but we always just said “grandma” and I’m not going to belabor the “great” part at this point in my life) having my ears pierced was an awesome right of passage and something to be celebrated. Every time we came to her house after that, she would give me a little baggie full of earrings from her own collection– how I treasured those!
Truthfully, part of it may have been her participation in the taunting of my sister that I treasured so much… “You know, Abby, you could have earrings too if you would get your ears pierced.” I’m a real sucker for teasing my sister (so sorry, sweet darling, Shabsky Balu– you know I love you, ardently (look it up)).
I must have been in first or second grade when I started bugging my parents for a second piercing. It was obviously out of the question at the time, but they told me I could get one when I started 6th grade.
Ladies and gentlemen, an elephant never forgets.
The second 5th grade was over, I was back to begging. (Please note that this was around the time of the hair, so you can imagine it was relatively easy for them to give in to something that might make me just a bit more satisfied with my appearance.)
Ultimately, my mom and dad relented (good call, parental units), and by the time I was in 8th grade, I had three piercings in each ear and was jonesing for a cartilage piercing… which I got two of when I was in high school.*
Even now, at 30 years old, I still love, love, love my earrings. I feel completely naked without them. So naked that I pretty much just leave them in always and rarely ever change them. Three sterling silver hoops in each ear, one more in the cartilage on the right. It’s my look… my thing… what makes me feel comfortable.
On special occasions, I slip into the big, creamy pearl studs that Seth got me with two smaller pairs of chocolate pearls or two other pairs of diamond studs. Those always make me feel special, too.
Some people dye their hair, wear crazy make up, get their nails done regularly, get tattoos– most people, women especially, have a signature thing. My thing (besides this crazy curly mess on my head– raise the roots!, and this square-jawed robot head… my thing that I can control, anyway…) is most certainly my earrings. And likely always will be. Earrings never go out of style after all. And even if they did… like I would care!
Much thanks to my Grandma V. No matter how old and cranky, arthritic and drug-dependent (sadly), she became, there was no ruining my memory of her– her big cheeks, hearty laugh, multi-colored bingo markers, beautiful tea cup sets, and the earrings that slowly became mine.
*Later, my new-ish boyfriend Seth would literally rip both cartilage piercings out of my ear. It hurt. A lot. But I missed them. So I got one of them re-done with a gift certificate his parents got me for Christmas. Earrings 🙂
I’m feeling ridiculously down-and-out this morning. Valentine’s Day was lovely and everything (Seth says Curls learned how to use the phone just to send me flowers– she let Seth put his name on the card, too… very sweet), so it’s not a post-Valentine’s Day let-down or anything.
It’s personal, really. But suffice it to say: I feel like a loser. An idiot. Etc.
I was sad last night and spent the morning eating pancakes and lounging around with my pup… still sad. Still feeling completely stupid. Fortunately, Little Miss Sunshine came on tv and it’s on my list of movies-I-can’t-resist-anytime-they-are-on-tv-no-matter-how-many-times-I-have-seen-them.
I just love this movie, it’s so great– it’s about family and struggle and perseverance and love and the sweetest, most interesting little girl ever. One of my favorite scenes is so happy-sad I can barely stand it. Olive, the little girl, is getting ready to go to sleep and asks her Grandpa, “Am I pretty?” and then explains that she’s afraid of being a loser because her daddy hates losers (he’s a motivational speaker) and here’s what her grandpa says to her:
“Do you know what a loser is? A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning, they don’t even try. Now you’re trying, right?… Well, then you’re not a loser!”
And I thought– yeah. I did try. I try to put myself out there over and over and over again, even though it’s scary to get close to people, to make new friends and grow new family. Fortunately, I have a sweet, sweet sister, Abby, who also serves as my very best friend, and she reminds me that trying to get close to people is totally worth it for those occasions when it works. It’s sad when it doesn’t of course, but you’re only a loser if you don’t try. And I always have my sister to console me when it doesn’t. Thank goodness for that!
So I guess that’s all I can really be responsible for– trying. And that alone is enough to guarantee that I’m not a loser, just a girl putting herself out there, doing the best she can.
Ummm… also this just happened. Hard to be bummed at all in the face of such ridiculous cuteness!!!
I have always been a big fan of my little brother’s sense of humor. It’s like Will Ferrel, Carl Sagan, Andy Samberg, and Friedrich Nietzsche got together to have one, very tall, very skinny, very fascinating love child… and that is my brother. (Steve Martin and Bill Murray are his exceptionally influential God-parents, in case you were wondering.)
We don’t get to chat terribly often, but when we do, it’s always good. (Especially when it’s a long text conversation that involves cyber-bullying our sister… but that’s another story for another day.) When the Superbowl got Superboring this Sunday we struck up one such conversation and although it never really ended, I went to bed.
Such glorious things were waiting for me when I woke up!
First: a list of genius movies for a Vonck-style film fest. Ummm, yes please! Where do I sign up?
Still not the point though– (and I am taking my sweet time getting there, aren’t I???)
The final text awaiting me on Monday morning was a novel and brilliant way to think about your ideal weight (my brother– he gets me, you see) and I couldn’t get it out of my head all day. I believe my brother and the person he quoted were on to something spectacular, and I would like to propose this genius algorithm as the ultimate way to calculate your ideal weight.
The holy grail of health and happiness!
And it starts with considering how much you love puppies. Because of course.
First, on a scale of 0 – 10, how much do you love puppies? That’s your input:
The algorithm output is your ideal weight and it’s actually a very simple calculation.
Say, for example, on a scale of 0 – 10, the amount you love puppies is 8. Then your ideal weight is simply the weight of you holding 8 puppies.
Let’s try another example, if the amount you love puppies is 5, then your ideal weight is the weight of you holding 5 puppies.
It even works if you don’t like puppies (for the love of all that is holy– what is wrong with you?! but no judgement…). In that case, your ideal weight is the weight of you holding zero puppies, and you’re there!
So the actual algorithm inspiration was this quote that my brother sent: “My ideal weight is the weight of me holding eight puppies.” Tom’s addition: “I think that’s a level of physical and emotional and psychological comfort everybody should strive for in so many different ways… in all of the ways.”
My sister responded with these:
But seriously, puppies are amazing. And puppies do not care what you look like for even a second— not even one! To a puppy in your arms, you are at your ideal weight. No need to worry! And that’s probably the best attitude you could take about it. The puppy attitude.
If you’ll excuse me please, I need to gain same pound(puppie)s…
(Seriously, that was a genius play on words, was it not?!)