Saturday, January 19, 2013

My family: A life less ordinary

We had family meetings, and listened to records, where I learned to love Sam Cooke, "Red, Red Wine," and "I danced with a dolly with a hole in her stockin' and her knees kept a'knockin' and her toes kept a'rockin...we danced by the light of the moon." We danced in the living room.

We had talks. Happy, sad, mad, and glad, we talked. (Except that time that Dad wouldn't get through the "Why Did Grandpa Have to Die?" book without crying. So I hid it. Sometimes, a girl's gotta take matters into her own pudgy hands.)

We had bedtime. After prayers and goodnights, we would sometimes sneak little lights on and blankets over our heads so that we could read until our eyes felt sandy.  I can also remember holding the blanket over my head like a babushka so that no one would remember that I had braids in my hair and ask me to take them out for more comfortable sleep. I just thought they were so beautiful.

Friday, January 18, 2013

"What will you do with your love?"

Sister Agnes Mary, SV asks this in a YouTube video on vocations.

Isn't it a beautiful question?

Hello. This is me.

I love those conversation games that people play when they're waiting for a bus, or riding a bus, or waiting for their table to be bussed. "Crowbar," or "Twenty Questions," or "Truth or Dare" (but leave out the dare because I just get nervous. The extended sleepover version of "Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat" would just leave me with compounded ulcers). I love games where the only skills required are telling a) the truth, and b) stories about myself. I could tell and tell all the live-long day, and believe that behind me, the crowd is chanting "MVT! MVT*!"

When someone asks, "If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would you meet?" I always know just what I would like. If I could meet anyone, I would like to meet me. I would meet myself as an outsider (not Tala but hopefully someone kind, observant, and analytical), and size myself up. I would get that golden first impression, and people-watch myself with a great intensity, noting my quirks and graces, smiles, gestures and freckles that I've never been able to see. (I know. There are mirrors. Not the same!) I mean, what do I really look like when I sneeze? When I laugh? When I'm fuming in a passive aggressive manner at the people who insist on cutting ahead of me in concert ticket lines?

As much as I can tell my own stories into the ground, I don't really know what it's like to receive them, what it's like to receive me. (To type it like so lays that narcisissm out plain, with a blinking little cursor joining the "LOOKuphere! LOOKuphere!")

Still. I'm just saying.


*Most Valuable Teller