Thursday, January 12, 2006

I didn't mean to overhear, BUT. . .

Topher and I went on a date the other night and found ourselves in line at the Magleby's Fresh. And yes, yes it was. Topher and I have very interesting things to say to each other, especially when the children aren't around to interrupt us with their selfish demands for food and attention, and so our discussion of Brad and Angelina--I mean third-world debt --was getting preeetty intense. We heard, "When I was on my mission, when we came to the door, people wanted to know one of two things. . . " and OF COURSE Topher and I lifted our eyebrows and leaned in to hear better. I'm not going to pretend we don't eavesdrop on a regular basis, but admit it and add that we do it with running commentary.

The guy, very tall, very clean shaven, and clearly had come straight from the airport, was giving the performance of his lifetime. And to give him some credit, he was doing a fabulous job. He'll get an A in that public speaking course for sure. Either that, or his pesticide business will go through the roof. Through THE ROOF! We followed them in line, sat down, within earshot of them. I could look out the reflective window and see their reflection even though they were sitting behind me, and give Toph a play-by-play description of how the date was going. Come to find out it was a first date. He's just home from his mission which he loved. He had a nice mix of "interesting things that happened on my mission that happen to everyone" stories intended to entertain and impress. The stories where you're able to slip in a little something about what an honest, hardworking person you are--you know, for the story's sake.

She's only 17, " a youngin," she calls herself. She has long golden brown hair that looks like its been brushed 100 times each night (just like Marsha). She's quick to laugh and vocally confirm that she's fully following the conversation. This pleases him and he gains more and more confidence. He's obviously rehearsed some of the topics, but doesn't forget to ask about her. She confirms his musings on why she doesn't date a lot: boys are intimidated by her (Topher spits up a little Pepsi at this point and has to go for more napkins). She follows his lead and gives a detailed resume that would impress anyone. We learn that she never dates. That boys NEVER ask her out. And all her friends and her mom have told her time and time again that it's because she's so intimidating. It's obvious she's not going to lower her achievements, but move on the best she can. There's some hair flipping and gentle head nodding. These two are made for each other and we are happy they've found each other.

When their food comes, he insists on a prayer, to which she replies (a little too loudly--a clue that she's obviously taken off guard) that "that's so cool!" But her body language is telling us that she's obviously NOT comfortable--she's curled up in a little ball, squeezing herself so hard I'm convinced it will leave a dent in her soft, cream sweater. After they're hunched over together for a GOOD 5 minutes (someone's showing off. . . ) Topher is DYING, he's so embarrassed for her because she looks so uncomfortable. (At this point, Topher has to turn away and goes for more ketchup). We know it's over when we hear -again, a little too loudly- "NO, no, I don't mind AT ALL! That is SO COOL! Yeah, that's. . . cool!"

Then we looked at our watches and knew it was time to leave to catch our movie, but I was a little sad to go. I hate not knowing how things would turn out for these crazy kids.

I hate the idea of that uncomfortable date. It physically pained Topher. Maybe that's why things turned out so well with us--because we never had to go through that ritual. A few I did go through come to mind from way back when. The blind date who later said I reminded him of an ex-girlfriend, so that's why he ignored me. The date who ate block of lasagna by stabbing it in the middle with a fork and chewing on the ends. The blind date who was in his 30's and told me he never read a book in his life. . . that's a fun trip down memory lane. Who has the best story, I wonder. . . .

(*In other news, Gina got a Serger for Christmas and she can't stop talking about it. She goes to a Serger class with other middle-aged women who own Sergers (remember how Gina's younger than me? Yeah.), and she can't stop talking about it EVEN when I tell her not to ruin the idea of that class in my mind with words. Today Gina said, "But I say it in fabric, not in words." [yes you do, Gina, yes you do] )

Friday, January 06, 2006

Reach for the Stars!

Christopher is great at New Year's Resolutions. Me, not so much. He actually makes goals in each area of his life and accomplishes them. He's pretty out of control that way. He does more in one day than many do in a week. When people ask me what Topher "does for a living," I just say "stuff," because it's easier and most people who ask really don't want to know; they're just being polite. He has a real talent for Resolutions, you could say, much like his talent for reading palms and picking winners at the Oscars. They are magical gifts which he has magnified and used for the betterment of others.

My resolutions are less concrete and more ethereal like "Be the best I can be!" or "If I can dream it, I can do it!" or "Be more awesome!" (the general rule of thumb is they should look awesome on a t-shirt). The benefit of these resolutions is they're hard to pin down then it's easier to say they've been accomplished and they seem really important. In my defense, I'm concentrating on the needs of four other people. Our goals are basic (eat, poop, clean, repeat), but time consuming nonetheless.

My family, the Valentines, have extremely strong, loud opinions and I have certainly inherited that. We don't make New Year's Resolutions, but we SURE WISH OTHER PEOPLE WOULD! Here are topics that have been visited and revisited at our get togethers:

1. What you are reading.
2. What movies you've seen.
3. Where is the most painful place to get a zit and what lengths you've gone to to get rid of it.
4. Whose going to win at the Oscars.
5. What James should do with his fame/money.
6. What Amanda should do with her career.
7. What food we should eat.
8. Funny things Gina says/does.
9. Ways Lisa has exploited #8.
10. How unnaturally cute our kids are.
11. Hair removal.
12. Bicycling/running.
13. How soda is so bad for you but it SURE TASTES GREAT!

I realize that everyone is passionate about something. My problem is that I have a strong opinion about everything. I wish I could nod my head and say, "Hmmm, I don't know how I feel about that. . . " or be lukewarm and say, "Whatever! Is Lost a rerun tonight?" I'm not trying to say that I'm a brainiac or anything and read and watch the news all day. When I say I have an opinion about everything I mean EVERYTHING. Since this is a blog about me, here is a list of things that come to mind, in no particular order that pushes me up on my soapbox (I will withhold my ranting/chosen side/reasoning/research on the issue. We all love a little mystery, don't we?):

1. People who don't watch tv.
2. Big white houses on the hill.
3. Western Medicine and Doctors.
4. Gina's hair.
5. UVSC.
6. Milk.
7. Elements of a Good Marriage.
8. Decorating.
9. Measures of Success.
10. Air-freshener scents.

Of course this is a small, small sampling, which leads me to my New Year's Resolution: Be more discriminating. I am going to choose my battles better this year: what to get upset about and fight for, and what to let go. I may choose trivial matters (like acceptable forms of chocolate), I may choose a cause (like feline AIDS). . . but I'm sure this will make me MORE AWESOME IN 2006!