21 April 2008

on being mormon

It's the end of a busy time at work. To celebrate our survival skills and to reward us for dealing gracefully, my boss planned a little retreat for our department for our inservice yesterday. I say retreat and not "retreat," since it was nothing like those mislabeled "retreats" with contrived get-to-know-you games, endless meetings, crowded sleeping arrangements, and not a single five-minute period in which one could actually, you know, retreat. This day was simple and enjoyable. One of the perks was that my boss hired two masseurs to be available with their comfy little chairs throughout the morning, to give neck and shoulder massages. After laying out the plan for the day, she went to great lengths to make it clear that massages were in no way a mandatory activity. Anyone who wanted to opt out was welcome to do so. Please don't feel like you have to have one. It's fine if you don't want to. On and on and on. She probably spent five minutes of precious retreat time detailing the procedure for how one could confidentially remove his or her name from the list to avoid getting a massage and yet avoid making a scene.

To which we all privately responded in our hearts, "Whaaaah?! Who in her right mind wouldn't...."

But at last we moved on. A half hour later my boss came to my table. She whispered, "So you're okay with... everything?"

I quickly surveyed my situation: while many people I knew were attending a riveting inservice on bullying prevention in a stuffy gym, I was in a plush meeting place, my feet up on a neighboring chair, and I was working my way through a heap of beautiful fresh fruit, while shooting the breeze with people whose company I enjoy. This one was a no-brainer.

"Uh, yeah."

"Okay. I just didn't think... I didn't know if you would be allowed to do the massage thing."

I'm searching her face, first to see if she's serious, then to look for clues. Why is she saying this to me? Because she's confusing me with someone who has chronic neck issues? Because my mom called to say I had to come right home after breakfast? Because my getting a massage would send my husband into a jealous rage?

Oh. Of course.

I'm giggling. "Um, you mean because I'm Mormon?"

She nods. In all seriousness, she nods her head.

"Right. Whew! For a minute there I had forgotten about Mormon Commandment 87b. 'Thou shalt never have thy neck and shoulders massaged by unfamiliar professionally-trained men, lest thou thereby be found unwholesome. But, if thou must have thy neck and shoulders massaged by a strange man, thou shalt do thy best not to enjoy it.'"

Don't you worry. I took the commandment loophole route. I got my silly massage, and did my very best not to enjoy it. I failed at that effort though; even after all the hooplah, it was positively lovely.

15 April 2008

grow something wild and unruly

Springtime makes me a little bit crazy.

Exhibit A:
I am compelled to stop and swoon when I see these tiny, sweet terra cotta pots with the modest label "GROW KIT." Not only do I swoon, but I buy an armful of them before I even realize what's going on. They bear pictures of chives. Basil. Strawberries. And more. I have no idea what is in them. Could be just dirt for all I know. I have no idea what I will do with them if there turns out to be some kind of actual seed product inside. My track record with house plants is dismal and makes it pretty clear that I lack the necessary skills for fostering plant life.

But when the whole world seems to be burgeoning and blossoming and sprouting new life, how can you not want to grow something?

10 April 2008

coulda woulda shoulda

If I were having a viewing party to celebrate the return of "The Office," I think it might include:

* Chili's take-out
* stapler jello
* warm soft pretzels
* lemoñadé
* Angela's double fudge brownies (or sugar plum fairy wands!)
* a jar of jelly beans from the reception desk

Each person in attendance would have to wear a label on his/her forehead with a different racial/ethnic group written on it, and we would all try to guess what our labels said based on the comments of our friends. Maybe sumo wrestling? Maybe a hot-dog-eating contest? Maybe yogurt lids for party favors? Maybe Schrute Bucks awarded to those with the best look-alike costumes? Talk about Funtivities.

As it is, I am at work until late tonight, screening/assessing hordes of preschoolers at my district's "Kindergarten Round-up." (They're not livestock, people. I think it's time to come up with a new event name.) I will probably get home just a few minutes before the much-anticipated episode airs, where I'll hunker down on the couch, watch and laugh with Shay, and then promptly fall asleep before the credits have finished rolling. I am tired today.

But maybe, just maybe, I can pick up a few bottles of lemoñadé on the way home.

08 April 2008


It's 2 a.m. and we are finally winding down with some soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. We loved watching Kansas win the national championship game in overtime tonight. I still can't believe they pulled it off, but I'm glad they did. We watched the game from Allen Fieldhouse and my ears are still ringing from the loudness of that place. We went downtown afterward with a group of friends and were pretty entertained by the craziness to be found on Mass street. People were packed into the street for blocks and blocks. A small number of them were even sober. Regardless... it was so fun to be caught up in the energy of something exciting tonight.

Those of us in this family who are students are not overly concerned about waking up tomorrow, since all KU classes have been cancelled in celebration of the win. Those of us who have real jobs, however, and were only pretending to be students for a day, still have to leave the house in about 5 hours. So, rock chalk Jayhawk. This non-student is signing off.

02 April 2008

that kind of day

A direct quote from the last e-mail I sent from work today - a sort of plea directed at my boss:

Input? Ideas? A large object with which I can club myself over the head? I’d appreciate any of those things today.


Yes, it’s been that kind of day. A want-to-club-myself-over-the-head-in-frustration kind of day.

It comes on the tails of yesterday, a day in which I woke up with a start after having a nightmare about work, rushed out the door in a frazzled state, and ran around like a crazy person until noon, and then finally took a deep breath. And saw myself in a mirror for the first time all day. And noted that I was wearing two different earrings. Not in the sense of, like, I am the infidel who has two piercings in one ear; more in the sense of, well, I had one earring in the left ear, and one quite different earring in the right.

That’s right, a so-frazzled-that-I-make-accidental-fashion-statements kind of day.

What kind of day are you having?