Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Torturing Myself

Today I received a really sweet email from a childhood friend, Missy.  In it, she mentioned the summer when we put up bulletin boards in her dad's seminary room, and it immediately brought back a flood of memories involving that room.  Why I'm sharing them now, I do not know!

The first one that came to mind was "the fly incident."  This is a memory I have tried to suppress, but apparently it's still there.  I was in 9th grade.   In Utah, we can choose to have release time to go to a church class called "seminary."  This particular week was a "battle of the seminary classes."  Our teacher began the class that day by telling us that someone in period 2 had eaten a fly, and if we were to stay on top of the battle, someone from our class would have to eat one too. (This from one of my favorite teachers???)   He asked for volunteers.  Of course, practically everyone raised their hand... it was the only cool thing to do.  I raised mine with the rest of them, but was caught off guard when he said, pointing at me, "Ok, Christianne.  You're the lucky gal."

I acted all cool... not ruffled in the least... but inside I was DYING.  A FLY?  Are you kidding me?!  A couple of the guys had already gone to task finding the biggest one they could find.  And let me tell you, I am not exaggerating when I tell you the thing was HUGE.  They took great pride in it, and presented it, still twitching, in a kleenex.  I went to the front of the classroom where everyone began to chant, "maggots, maggots!"  Um... thanks.

Luckily, two guys in the class were my heroes that day.  One of them, Marcus, told me, "It's just like when you're riding your bike really fast and you accidentally get one in your mouth and swallow it right down!  You can totally do it."  I'll never forget the comfort in those words.  The other gave me a piece of licorice to eat when all was said and done-- I have never been so grateful for a piece of candy in my life.

The rest of them found WAY too much joy in watching me try to be brave as I held it above my mouth.

Believe it or not, I ate the fly-- just like that.   I can't remember if I chewed or swallowed whole-- I just remember wanting to never think about it again.

And here I am thinking about it.


Still, that memory isn't quite as bad as the other vivid one I have from that room.  It was my senior year this time, and I was on the Seminary Council.  (Hey, maybe eating that fly paid off somehow!)  It was one of the best experiences of my life serving on that council with such amazing young men and women (including Missy, by the way.)

One of those young men was Scott.  Scott was one of those guys that most girls had some sort of crush on at one time or another.  He was athletic (ended up playing college football), funny, good and smart.  Though I was dating Jeff at the time, just considered Scott one of my best "guy friends," and never had anything romantic with him-- there was always a little bit of a crush going on, and at the very least, I enjoyed flirting with him.

This particular day, the council had been asked to go and speak to the junior high seminary classes.  We were sitting on a table facing the classes, and there was a break.  We were just chatting (eight of us or so) when Scott looked sideways at me and let out a little laugh.  Before long, it turned from a snicker to a full-on, couldn't-catch-his-breath laugh.  "Ummm... what's wrong?" I asked.  At this point, all the other council members are of course all-ears.  It took him awhile to spit it out.

"I guess you're growing a beard, there!"

He reached over and pulled out a course, DARK hair from the bottom of my chin.  It was like, three inches long-- no joke.  How I never saw it myself, I do not know.  All I know, is that it was the second time I found myself in that room wanting to die.  I was "growing a beard" and it was discovered by one of the cutest guys in school.

To Scott's credit, I don't think he was intentionally being mean.  In fact, he was one of the nicest, sweetest guys in school (hence all the crushes.)  I just think that seeing a black hair growing out of the chin of a strawberry-blonde caught him off guard.  Go figure.  (:  To this day, I still rub my fingers over my chin searching for that little course hair-- which seems to grow off and on-- and believe me, if it gets even a fraction of a millimeter long, I will tweeze and tweeze until it's out of there!

You know, speaking of Scott, I have another very "fun" memory that involves him.  It was a Sunday in December, and I believe I was 15.  My friend, Jessica, had asked me to accompany her and a couple of others on the piano at her ward's Christmas Sacrament meeting program.  I was more nervous than normal because, well, guess who was in her ward?

Jessica and the others were going to sing first, followed by a talk, then a song on their violins.  I was to accompany both songs.  As I stood up for the first song, her mom whispered, "Don't forget to put the lid up on the piano."

Putting the lid up makes the piano sound a bit louder and more clear.  I walked up to the front of the chapel, started to lift up the lid, and immediately heard an audible gasp from the congregation.  The Bishop had bolted out of his chair and was stretching out his hands toward the piano.  It took a second for it all to make sense.

The violins had been sitting on top of the piano lid.

(Just like the hair-- how I missed seeing them, I will never know!)

They were now sliding OFF of the lid, through the hands of the Bishop, and (with a very. loud. bang.) onto the floor.

This would have been bad enough any Sunday, but this particular day the chapel was full to overflowing for Christmas.  There had been a reverent, peaceful spirit as we celebrated the birth of the Savior, and I had to go and knock the violins to the ground.

You know...  I think I'm going to stop reflecting on my teenage years now.



Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes yesterday!   It was a good day, and I felt loved!  I spent most of the day being much lazier than normal and trying not to feel guilty about it!

Jeremy and I have never taken all of the kids together to a restaurant before (fast food is an exception-- but even then we usually bring it home to eat) because A) it's too expensive and B) Elli.  Last night we decided to throw caution to the wind and brave it for my birthday.  We thought it best to start small (something live Olive Garden terrified me) so we went to Rumbi Island Grill.  Yummy food, no fancy tablecloths, small, and happy Hawaiian music to drown out our noise!  I'm happy to say it was a success-- the kids were all great, Elli only had to be taken out for a walk twice, and the food was a hit.  (:  After dinner was done, the kids were eyeing the dessert menu.   I told them they could have like, one bite of dessert there, or I could go to the Smith's next door and pick out something bigger for the same amount of money.  I bought a dozen donuts from the bakery (made that morning and marked down to $1.49) and a box of ice-cream bars for the same price as one little dessert at Rumbi. And it's a good thing, too, after paying for dinner for the ten of us!

My friend Heather sent me an email that read in part, "Here's wishing you a quiet night, a hot bath and a nice dinner out on the town...wait who am I kidding.  Let's try this again...here's wishing you a messy homemade birthday cake decorated and made by 4-8 kids, a noisy but lovely rendition of happy birthday, and 5 minutes on the couch with at least 2 kids on your lap.  Ha!"   I laughed and was sure that she was right on, but I am happy to report that she was closer on her first wish than the second-- I did get dinner out on the town, and after we got home, Jeremy sent me in to have a long, hot bath while he got the kids to bed.  Not too bad!  (:

 So grateful for good family and friends!