Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Which I Reveal the Meanest Thing I've Ever Done

I know you're all thinking,"Okay, she's going to write about me now, because (insert terrible thing I did to you) has to be the meanest thing she's ever done." Wrong. Not even close. And besides, I never did anything to you. And if I did, you deserved it.

It was May, 1983. In Seminary (for my non-Mormon public, that's basically Sunday School that high school students go to every morning before regular school. Yes, you read that right--every morning before school) that year we were reading the Book of Mormon, and every night our assignment was to read 1-2 chapters. You're going to be shocked, but I never did my assignments. In May, I still hadn't progressed past September's assignments.

But neither had anyone else. Except for one girl. This girl always had her reading done, and she was one of those suck-ups that even read ahead. She was plain and mousy and had nothing in her life except church --and the French Club -- I almost forgot the French Club --so of course she could keep up on her reading. You get the picture.

Anyway, May rolled around and The Girl only had a few chapters left to read. Our teacher, Brother Mircer, would joke every morning in a sing-songy voice, "Gee, I just don't know who's going to finish the Book of Mormon first. I just don't know who it will be!" Every time he said it, we all looked at her and she giggled and blushed, because she was just that kind of girl.

I don't know what came over me. I really don't. But one day when I got home from school, I started reading. I read and I read and I read all night long. I read 300 pages in one night and I didn't understand a word of it, and I didn't care. I finished the Book of Mormon!

I kept my achievement to myself until the perfect moment. The next morning, when Brother Mircer said his, "Gee, I just don't know..." thing, I let it loose.

"Well, quit wondering," I announced. "It's me! The contest is over! I finished the Book of Mormon last night!"

Everyone in the class started laughing at The Girl because I stole the victory right out from under her.

The Girl promptly began bawling, causing Brother Mircer to roll his eyes at me and say, "Now why would you do that?" And his eyes finished the thought: "You know she has nothing in her pathetic life but this lame contest!"

So there you have it, the meanest thing I've ever done. And the thing is, I did it just to be mean. It's not like I won a Wii, or a gift card, or even a ribbon. I did it just to SCREW her!! And I screwed her just because I could. It doesn't get any meaner than that, folks.

So, The Girl from Seminary, if you're reading this, I'm sorry about the whole Book of Mormon thing. (And don't be offended by my description of you as a plain, mousy, suck-up with no life. I mean it in the best possible sense.)

By the way, my husband and 15 year-old daughter read this, and they agree that there's no way this is the meanest thing I've ever done. They each rattled off about ten things I've done to them that are, they say, much meaner. They said I should put up a poll on my blog about what my public thinks, but I'm not sure I want the answer!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How I Know I'm Getting Old

  1. I really like the look of a Buick.
  2. I don't know how kids today listen to that noise they call music.
  3. Trick-or-treaters are wearing costumes that look like the outfit I wore in my Senior pictures.
  4. I have trouble digesting raw vegetables and dairy.
  5. I tell unsuspecting people about my digestive disorders.
  6. I wear the warm coat instead of the cute one.
  7. "Sick" means something good?
  8. A little Ben-Gay on the knees at bedtime...aaahhh...heaven.
  9. I wish someone would invite me to a church hall to play Bingo.
  10. There is Metamucil in my medicine cabinet (refer to #5 above).
  11. I say "lovely" and "delightful" -- a lot.
  12. Sensible shoes might not be so bad.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Tradition

"Please don't make me go there again this year!" I begged the man who vowed to always honor me and do his best to make me happy and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember now. "I'll clean the entire house and make dinner (and do freaky things I can't write in this blog) if you just don't make me go!"
For a few seconds, it looked like he actually might be considering it. But then he must have remembered how many times he'd gotten burned on similar deals with me in the past, because he said, "You're going. Get in the car."
And thus began our trip to the House of Annual Ritualistic Torture, otherwise known as Kraynak's Christmas Tree Lane.

Those of you who have been there know exactly what I'm talking about, although you probably won't admit it because it's apparently un-American or blasphemous or something equally awful to detest Kraynak's at Christmastime. For those of you who haven't driven hundreds of miles to Kraynak's, as my husband claims people actually do, let me just give you the basics of this yearly ritual:

Pile in mini-van. Listen to kids argue over who's sitting in the back and who's sitting in the back-back. Listen to kids argue over whether we're listening to Fall-Out Boys or Hannah Montana cd. Tell kids to quit crying. Tell kids Daddy can't drive with the light on. Tell kids to quit screaming. Listen to kids argue over whose butt stinks the worst. Tell kids to quit screaming (this time louder). Tell kids we're not listening to song number 6 again because we've already listened to it 11 times in a row and Mommy's sick of it. Tell kids to quit screaming (this time really loud).

After 35 minutes, see Kraynak's and comment on how long the line is. Drive around looking for a good parking spot. Settle for a parking spot in the back of the parking lot across the street. Imagine death from hypothermia while walking in 4-degree weather. Stand in line forever. And ever. Argue over who's holding the coats because all the shopping carts are taken. Tell kids to get up off the filthy floor. Leave line 3 times to go to the bathroom.

Finally get in Christmas Tree Lane. Feign delight while looking at 25 Christmas trees that look exactly like the ones last year. Pretend to ignore people getting hostile while husband holds up line by taking pictures of kids in front of every single tree. Wait 27 minutes in line for Santa Claus. Shell out twelve bucks for sucky picture with Santa Claus.
Re-live mini-van scene from above.
Every year.

Hey, it's a tradition, so that makes it joyous.

I guess I shouldn't be such a Scrooge because the kids do have fun at Kraynak's. But then again, they also have fun at home trying to wipe boogers on each other.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Cheer

This conversation occurred during a recent visit to my doctor:

Nurse (promptly upon her first glance at me): "Melissa, I can tell you're really happy!"

Me (intrigued by her apparent psychic ability): "Really? How?"

Nurse: "Oh, everyone always gains a lot of weight when they're really happy!"

Me: "How are your children going to feel when their holiday is ruined because a really happy patient pulled a two-pound bag of strawberry Twizzlers from her purse and bludgeoned their mother with it?"

(Okay, I didn't actually say that last part, but I soooo wanted to!)

Alzheimer's is Fun

The PRESENCE awoke me from a dead sleep.

I heard a startled "Ahhhhh!" come from deep within me as my eyes flew open to see the eyes of what could only be a serial killer two centimeters from my face.

"Hey!" the serial killer huffed. "I want some supper! Everyone else had supper but I didn't get any!"

My heart returned to my chest cavity from its temporary lodging in my throat, and I emerged from my REM sleep enough to process the situation.

"Mom," I croaked as I looked at the clock, "It's only 5:30."

"I know it, and I want my supper!" The serial killer had a serious attitude.

"No, Mom, it's 5:30 IN THE MORNING."

"Oh, it's 5:30 in the morning? Well, go back to sleep then."

Yeah. That'll really happen.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

You Snooze, You Lose

This blog has nothing to do with eye prostheses, or with people named Grady, except for my cousin Grady, who did have a glass eye and is the inspiration for the title of this blog.

You see, Grady's cooking was legendary in the hills of northeastern Alabama. He could fry a pie like nobody's business and he made the best buttermilk biscuits a beer can ever cut. Eventually, he decided to open a restaurant. He couldn't come up with a good name for the restaurant, so he solicited suggestions.

I excitedly offered, "Glass-Eyed Grady's! Isn't that cool?" I knew in my twelve year-old heart that it should be the name of my cousin's restaurant. It was so clever and it just felt right! It was pure genius and I was so proud of myself!

"Glass-Eyed Grady's? That's a stupid name!" was the response I got from everyone who heard it.

He picked "Jennie Lou's", after his girlfriend.

"Jennie Lou's"? Are you kidding me? Talk about a stupid name! Why would anyone choose "Jennie Lou's" over "Glass-Eyed Grady's"? I couldn't understand it then, and I can't understand it now. What about the originality of my name? Or the alliteration? And don't forget the imagery! Sadly, the brilliance of "Glass-Eyed Grady's" was lost on them.

As it has been lost on so many since then.

"I'm starting a business. What should I name it?"

Me: "How 'bout 'Glass-Eyed Grady's' ? That 's such a cool name!"

"We have to come up with a name for the office newsletter."

Me: "We should name it 'Glass-Eyed Grady's'. I love that name!"

"I wrote this paper for my class, but I can't come up with a title for it."

Me: "I know! 'Glass-Eyed Grady's' is perfect!"

No, no, and no.

Well, the heck with all of you! I finally have something to name, and you all lost out on the best name ever.