Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's On the Box. We Verify and Ship!

A bunch of good things happened today, and I am convinced that the heavens smiled on me because it is Emily’s birthday, and because they know how lonely I am Without Her, they said, What the heck, while make some good things happen. Because last week? Bad things Happened.
First, the sky opened on my walk from my bus stop from my apartment, showing a big blue sky. I would have accepted this and called it a good day without anything further. (See? BAD THINGS, people BAD THINGS.)
Then, after a quick shower, FedEx arrived with a package. Last week FedEx would have arrived during the shower and the box would have been in the front office for two weeks. I was glad that FedEx arrived when I could sign. I thought it was some art supplies I ordered last week, but I was wrong. (I would like to know where those supplies are though, Montana.) It was my graduation dress!
I’m not a Dress Person. In fact, when I had a swanky work party and, with money in hand, could not find anything satisfactory. Part of the problem was me, and we’ll get to that, but part of the problem is that I’m not very good at finding dress clothes. I’m very good at finding clothes for other people though.
The other, slightly aforementioned problem is me. I’m vaguely unsatisfied with my appearance. To be honest, and this is “hard” (the brain says: DO NOT SHARE, DO NOT SHARE), I was sort of hoping I’d lose some weight and order a size down. Well, shit, I ordered my usual size, but unlike Target, it’s really cute. Appearance is something I struggle with it. A big part of it is just me, bowing to a harsh, shallow, and vapid patriarchal society that asks that my waist be the same size as Ma Ingalls and sees myself as much larger than I am. And a big part of it is that I really like cookies. It doesn’t help that I am surrounded by skinny friends, many of whom have worse images of themselves than I do, and judge “larger” people as a means to cope, so then, in this nasty little circle, I feel like the…nevermind. The end. SO THIS DRESS, IT CAME IN THE MAIL. It came and I ordered a few days ago! And, the best part? It fits. Part of that joy is because it was made by a woman, a woman who knows how to make You Look Good, and she did it using red and black and some nautical stars and an anchor, so now I look Really Good, plus a little bad ass, but mostly just cheeky.
But wait! There’s more! Winifred was in Baltimore today, so I showed it to her, and she loves it. We agreed that because it is strappy, I will wear a cardigan to appease the old people in our family. Also, because according to Delia’s, cardigans dress up a casual dress. She asked if I had a “shrug” from when I was in Laura’s wedding, and lo, I reached into my closet, pulled it out, and put it on.
I win! Well, I win above the ankle. I want to wear my old crappy red Chucks with the dress. If I have to sit for six hours and listen to the President of my University blab about social responsibility and environmental awareness (I agree! But not for so long.) and our success as people, I should get to wear footwear I personally enjoy. Also, I think I’ll bring a Bic and write every band I’ve ever heard, just to make a juvenile point. You’re boring me dude, hand the diploma, like a fourteen year old asks for the bell to ring in math class. Don’t look at me like that, I know you wrote 80085 on your calculator. Winifred asked if I wanted a new pair of Chucks, but I don’t want real Chucks, remember?
And with that conversation done, we decided where to eat dinner.
But wait! There’s still more! Before we ate dinner, I checked my e-mail. Before Winifred arrived a woman from school e-mailed me to let me know that I was eligible for a scholarship renewal. The school still e-mails me about registering classes by default, so I said thanks but I’m out of this place in May lady. She said no, we want to give you the money anyway. I called her right there, and she asked if I intend to pursue the career I did last year, and I said, heck yes I do, and she said cool, that’s what I thought, the money’s all yours. We’ll “cut you a check” when you graduate and you can pay the money to those nasty loan people. Hip hip hooray! It’s like money fell out of the sky!
Winifred was so excited she almost fainted, so I left the room to give her some air. When she regained consciousness we went to Bel Loc diner, where we dined, ate cake in honor of Emily (it was good, with orange essence!) and dragged Biscuit to a lecture by Marjane Satrapi. Marjane was everything I thought she would be, and I desperately want to meet her one day, be witty and smart, and have her realize we should be friends. Over cocktails we will discuss the evil patriarchy and then drunk dial my ex-boyfriends.

Now that I’m done wallowing in my own glory, I’ll make up for it with a story about Emily.

When I was little I would whine until she agreed to walk me to the playground near my house, where I would force her to push me on the tire swings, stand at the bottom of the slide to catch me if I went to fast, and cajole me into hanging from the monkey bars without hands. It didn’t take too much whining to do anything, because I am spoiled. (Except the monkey bars. I still can’t do it without burping out my heart, and then I don’t hang for long before I wuss out.) On a warm night we walked to the park after dinner, before it was too dark, and on the way out, Emily announced that tomorrow, she would be thirteen.
And I panicked, begging her to stay twelve until I could catch up and do big things too. She refused, on the grounds that physics won’t allow for it, and that duh, she wants to be thirteen. Really, who doesn’t want to turn thirteen? My angst amused her, and she asked why it was a big deal, and I told her I was afraid that if she turned thirteen, she would get snobby and mean—because that’s what kids on Nickelodeon did, never mind that Charlotte was already past thirteen by two years—and then we couldn’t go to the park anymore, or the pool, or any of the fun things that she let me do by agreeing to hold my hand and supervise.
I was wrong. The next day, she waited long enough for me to wake up to open presents, and then I think she may have even taken me to the park again after dinner, and wouldn’t you know, she held my hand and supervised all kinds of things.

In fact, she taught me math, how to drive, how to make my essays appear longer by using teacher-sanctioned typefaces instead of fudging the margins, and in high school, took me to movies at the cheap theater and the regular theater. Because every post-undergrad twentysomething wants to hang out with her little sister, a sophomore in high school! (And she did!)
And when Annie got married, we had to do some sticky family things, and in nudging her with my elbow, briefly grabbed her hand to say Holy cow, these people are all crazy. You're my witness.
Happy Birthday, Emily! Thanks for not getting snotty like those jerks on Fifteen.

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