Thursday, January 20, 2005

corrective lenses

I recently purchased a green t-shirt that had the Macintosh apple with the bite taken out.

My Bad

~ Eve

was printed underneath. I love that shirt ... It's an example of my ability to laugh at the downfalls of women, including my own. But do I just laugh... or do I learn from those errors. Can I learn to accept responsibility for my faults ... or will I place them on another?

I want so badly to blame Robert Comacho for my present predicament ...

When I was 10 years old, after an eye exam at school, it was found that I would need glasses. Hey, no big deal, both of my parents had them. But I never realized how much they would change my life.

The first day I wore them to school, I had to sit at a special table at lunch with other children who had forgotten their lunch tickets. When the principal wasn't paying attention, Anthony, Robert's "side-kick," delivered a message and darted back to his seat. I pushed my frames back up my nose, and unfolded the note.

I was devistated. My friend. My artistic rival. The one I had given a stuffed heart with my name embroidered on it for Valentine's Day ... he didn't want to be my friend anymore ... because of my glasses! I promptly ripped the large plastic frames off my face. I was crushed.

During the following weeks I would conveniently "forget" and leave them at home when I left for school in the morning. Who cared if I couldn't see the chalkboard!

Thankfully we moved when my dad was restationed, and I was determined to make a new start. No one at the new school knew me (I had been at the previous one since it opened, my kindergarten year, and had become quite popular). The following years I forgot about boys (they cared only for the physical appearance). I concentrated on school, put art aside and read scores of books. For ten years, I wore glasses without a second thought as to how they made me look. They were a shield for me ... something to

hide behind.

What was I hiding from? Boys. If I made myself unattractive they wouldn't bother with me and I wouldn't get hurt again.

Then in college I was drawn to the Art Crowd. Art began to affect my life once more and my glasses no longer had a place in my new life. They didn't fit in with my new image. But instead of glasses I built a wall around myself. I had a nice number of friends who were guys, but everytime a boy tried to get too close and touch the wall, I threw the switch and an electrical current would race through the wall and into his arm sending him retreating.

And Oh how I HATED compliments! Friends scolded me for not being able to accept compliments ... It was supposedly a sign that I lacked self-esteem. HA! It was hardly that. I knew what the compliments really were ... flattery ... and the inability to look any further than physical appearance and recognize me for who I really was.

However, looking back I'm beginning to understand. Can I fault people who only had words of affirmation for my "looks" when I never let down the drawbridge to let them have a peak at what was behind those fortified walls?


Regrettabley these past few months I've reverted back to my 5th grade self. I put my contact lenses into their case and replaced the glasses back onto the bridge of my nose. I had snapped. I was unable to take one more compliment. No more pretty clothes ... no more pretty hair ... no more pretty makeup ... t-shirts, sloppy jeans, and my glasses became my faithful companions. They would shield me from the predators.

But oddly enough a series of events have changed me, each one serving to remove the wall piece by piece. One of which was a comment my pastor made ... "Christine, didn't you used to wear contacts?"

The comment was innocent enough. However, I honestly hadn't thought anyone had noticed my retreat into myself. And then my Pastor of all people... huh.

So, as part of my New Year's resolution I am attempting to tear down my fortress. I'm inviting people go to movies with me, to come to the apartment and hang out, and not to mention occasionally allowing a person to cross the bridge and examine the inner workings of myself.

And yesterday ... I bought new contacts.

So, here's to a new year of vulnerability. And maybe eventually I'll hear more of "I love your sense of humor and your passion for life" and less of "I like your shoes."

Monday, January 17, 2005

finding love at register 2

On Saturday, I stopped by Publix on my way home from work.  Feeling a bit ill, I was in need of some knock-out medicine and soup.  While I was inline, a guy started talking to me ...

"How are you today?"

"I'm okay ... well, not really ... I've sort of been hit over the head with a cold."

"I can see that ... hmm, soup mix and benadryll.  Don't worry, I'll take care of you."

"No you won't.  You never do.  It's always empty promises.  Besides you're working."

Yes indeed, dear readers, the high school kid running the register was offering to see me through this sickness.

"Well, I would if I could.  I would make you soup and bring you flowers."

"Ah, that's so sweet."

"Don't worry, I'm sure someone will bring you flowers anyway."

"Ha, yeah!  One day!"

I like Publix.  The commercials are right.  The employees ARE nice!

I'm not sure how I caught this nasty little bug.  It wasn't around the night before when I went to go see Phantom of the Opera (which is going nationwide this week everyone ... a "must see" of the season!).  Stepping out of my comfort bubble ... I thought I might actually ask someone to go see this movie with me (Jenn, my roomate, doesn't quite get why I go to movies by myself... not to mention the occasional restaurant!).

Hello, my name is Christine.

Hi, Christine.

I go to movies by myself.

Well, out of everyone I knew, I gambled on Rebekah.  In the end, we had a jolly ol' time ... all eight of us.  I'm fairly positive that most of the guys in the group weren't fully aware of what they were getting themselves into when they agreed to go see a movie with us that night.  But Lindsey was enamored with the music ... and Forrest appreciated the glamorous scenic design ... i'm not quite sure that John quite grasped the whole plot, however ... but nonetheless, culture had been administered.

and then ...

The next night we all watched Napoleon Dynamite.

It's not the first time I've been accused of being bi-polar.

And you know what?!!  It's still funny the fourth time around ...especially when watching it with a group of people who haven't seen it before.  We're starting a chapter of Napoleon's Groove here in Savannah. Friday nights, pop in the dvd, and learn from the master himself.

"Our love is like a flock of doves, flying up to heaven above. I love technology, not as much as you, you see, but I still love technology ...always and forever!"

Monday, January 10, 2005

all that drama

for all of you non-PCCites out there, I feel like I should explain myself ... lest any of you begin to question my morals.  I'm refering to the "college incident" ... now don't let your wild imaginations get the best of you.

... here's how it all went down:

My senior year of college I became involved in the drama department of Pensacola Christian College.  I played such interesting characters as the elegantly seductive Snow Queen (boys begged me to do that beckoning motion with my hand, and talk soon spread around boys' dorms about the girl with blue lips ... the Student Body President even offered to let me kidnap him--hey, back off, will ya?!!  i was acting ... ), then there was Miss Spider from James and the Giant Peach (without informing the director, I went out on a limb and died my long hair bright ruby red ... I was going for a shocking Audrey Hepburn look with my vintage black dress and hat with the accent of red ... however, someone who saw the show thought my face looked more like Michael Jackson ...), and then there was Matilda Livingstone (in Lena Rivers--a romantic comedy).

I knew the role was in the bag.  By this time I had it figured out ... I had been type cast ... the drama department figured that I made a great snob.  Kind of like poor Jamie Brown could be nothing but an "old man".  Matilda was the epitome of Southern Genteel sophistication that would stop at nothing to see her children in the best circles.  And then her country bumpkin niece moves in and ruins all of her plans.

There was nothing cool about my costume in this play ... I had no control.  The other two roles i had contributed a lot to my character's image ... but each time I tried to put my two cents into this one .. my "wrist was slapped".  As the Costume Designer handed me the combination of thriftstore rejects she had put together, I cringed ... but silently went to go find a spot to change.  (Hopefully no one would see me).

The drama department is on the other side of the Fine Arts building.  So I felt fairly certain my friends working in the art labs that night wouldn't catch a glimpse of me as I dashed across the hall to the ladies' faculty bathroom (off limits to students ... oops!  they were all at home anyway).  I changed and left my change of clothes in the bathroom and dashed back to be poked and pinned by the "seamstress."

"Christine, we need you on stage for Act 2 Scene 3."

"But i'm being pinned ... "

"They can finish it later, c'mon"

An hour and a half later, I finally headed back to the restroom to change back into my clothes.

left ... right ... left ... no one around ... dash ... phew! .... flip ... close ... lock.

When I switched the lights on ... I couldn't believe my eyes.  I opened the door again and poked my head out ... no one ...


Someone suggested after hearing this story that I just wear the costume back to my room.  Sure, everything is crystal clear when seeing hindsight ...

Instead ... I hid in the bathroom and waited for the Art building to close.  I heard security as they checked the classrooms and turned off the lights.  after I was convinced that everyone had left I returned my costume to the sewing room and made a mad dash for the doors (there are rumors of security cameras being everywhere).  Everyone was already in their dorms (due to the 10pm curfew) ... but you never when "do do doododoodo" (wicked witch themesong) a security guard might ride by on his/her bike.  So when the coast was clear, I, garbed only in my undergaments (thank God I was wearing panty hose--otherwise i could get demerits), made a dash for the bushes across from my dorm. The desk worker having seen me sent two floor leaders out to bring me in ... ha ... What do you say when asked what you're doing out after hours in the "buff" (or pretty close to it anyway)?!!

At least that's the story I told my friend Beth.

When I went back to the faculty bathroom to change back into my clothes ... yes, my clothes were gone ... but there was another set of clothing in their place.  I realized that I recognized them.  They were Beth's ... the friend I had gone to dinner with just a few hours earlier ... ha!  What a great joke!  And she must be wearing my clothes!  This made it even more comical.  You see, she is one of the tiniest people you will ever meet: 5'1" size 0.  And she was walking around somewhere with my humongous clothes meant for a 6'1" amazon princess on.

Knowing that I would have to go out on stage again before night was over I quickly put her clothes on.  Looking in the mirror I could only wish that she looked as ridiculous as I did.  Before going back on stage, I made a dash for the art labs.

Had anyone seen beth?

no ... Christine, was that what you were wearing earlier today?

No. These are Beth's clothes.

Beth had left for the evening it seemed and I was stuck with her skirt up around my abdomen trying to keep her top from showing my midrift.  It was all too funny ... and to see the faces of my fellow actors ... ha ha.

Well, I called Beth when I got to my room later that night.  I told her my "streaking" story and asked if she knew what had happened to my clothes ... yeah, She had them ... didn't i see her clothes lying there?

"I don't know what you're talking about, Beth.  All I know was that my clothes were GONE!  What else was I supposed to do?"

"Are you serious?!!"

It nearly knocked Beth off her feet when she walked in my room and sure enough I was stripped down to my undergarments AND pantyhose (thank God for those).

Well, word got around about the prank.  And the guys all thought it was the greatest joke ever.

... but then the yearbooks came out.  The guys ran up to me and opened the book to my senior portrait.  It looked as if i had no clothes on ...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

remember mr. rogers?

Remember Mr. Rogers? How he would come in whistling, take off his jacket, hang it up in his closet, put on his cardigan, and then sit down to take off his shoes and put on his slippers? And then all the little boys and girls in TV land would learn some incredible bit of wisdom, like ...

... it's okay to be different.

But there's a reason why he and other children's TV personalities feel the need to make us feel okay about ourselves.

Because we don't. We look at ourselves and begin to wonder what's wrong with us.

... or maybe it's just me.

See ... I have a problem ... I feel sometimes (like tonight) that I should feel like there is something wrong with me.

... but I don't.

Wouldn't you feel odd having watched Napoleon Dynamite for the 3rd time and still thinking that it's funny? ... "I'll love technology. always and forever ..."

Wouldn't you feel strange when the pizza guy looks in the door and comments on your "being alone tonight" with a twinge of pity in his voice?

Wouldn't you feel funny getting a rush from studying US Government and Politics, Statistics Analysis, Economics, and World Geography ... when you really don't have to? (Well, if you want to pass the Foreign Service Exam you do ... but it's not as if it's for school or anything)

Sigh. and that's where I feel different. I don't know anyone else that would be okay with the above idiosyncracies (except maybe dolly ... but that's because she's my friend ... but even she says i'm weird) and yet ...

... I am okay with it. Goodness knows I have a different sense of humor than most girls. And sure I'm alone ... but I don't know anyone else who likes looking at maps of Central America on a Friday night.

So, thank you Mr. Rogers for letting me know that it's alright to feel okay about myself ... even if I am different.

(I was never a big fan of the whole little choochoo train part of the show).

Okay, so who wants a holidays update ... I realize it's slow in coming but it's a quicky. Went home to Germany. Luggage took a slower flight. Walked around downtown Celle in my Birkenstocks. (ha ha! No it wasn't a repeat of a particular college incident, I was wearing clothes ... but the same ones from the flight 2 days earlier) It snowed. My feet were cold and wet. Came back to the US. Flight cancelled. Got sent to Cincinatti instead of Savannah (a sort of indirect route). Best friend came to visit for New Years. Ate lots of free food (what can I say, we're missionary girls ...). Gave a "tour" of the Savannah historic district to some guys who have lived here their whole lives. Made a salad and took food out of the oven for the New Years party. (I swear, i don't know why the smoke alarm went off 3 times... the lasagna wasn't burnt!)

There we go. That sums it all up. Just trying to make life easier for you who like to get by in life by just skimming through (eh hem ... C. Garrett!)

If you want to know about the college incident ... go ahead ... ask.