Monthly Archives: April 2012
This week’s Throw Back Thursday is an old favorite of mine…
We were riding in the car home from IKEA and I thought about a really stupid trend from jr high…which got me wondering…What are the dumbest trends I’ve taken part in. Here they are. Don’t judge me.
1. Pillsbury Dough Boy Shirts. Who came up with this??? Great for Pillsbury, bad for everyone one else. I honestly don’t know why this had such mass appeal, but I had one. I wore it often with my wide leg pants. It’s such a wonder I didn’t have a boyfriend.
2. Long chains hanging from jean pockets. Okay, I didn’t personally have this, but I dated several guys who sported this look. Which means I was attracted to this trend, and that is far worse. Point? Whats the point? Maybe they were supposed to look tough, but I doubt James Dean would have worn one.
3. Beanie Babies. Why did we believe that these were going to be super valuable and we should all collect them? I didn’t exactly collect them, but I did get some as gifts. I kept them because they were supposed to be worth millions by 2025 or something. Obviously, that didn’t quite pan out.
4. “You Go Girl”. I think that I may have said this phrase a few times in 2001. A decision I deeply regret. Thankfully, this phrase is no longer in use with the exception of a few middle-aged white women.
5. Spiral Perms. In elementary school, my parents had a brief lapse in judgement. This included letting me get a perm. A spiral perm. Permanent spirals are never good…its very similar to vertigo. Which, is what you would get if you saw pictures of me in first grade.
6. The Macarena. Apart from the ‘Bunny Hop’ this is the dumbest dance. I proudly danced the macarena. I think it is because it is one of the only dances I could do. Still, this whole macarena thing should never have happened.
7. Rope Sandals. Yes, it is what you think. Sandals made out of rope. Perhaps you don’t remember this trend. I’m not sure if it was a wide spread thing, but at Midway High School or Highland Baptist Youth Group…it was. I had them & I looked like a hippie…which isn’t my best look. And they smelled.
8. Brick colored lipstick. I don’t know why all lipstick in the late 90s was the color of a faded brick, but it was. Including mine. The cast of ‘Friends’ pulled it off…but no one else. Actually they didn’t either, but their haircuts carried them through.
9. Uggs with all day gym wear. The only person who need this outfit is an aerobic eskimo. I did this a few times in college…hey, I was in a sorority. What do you expect?
10. AOL Chatrooms. Ha! Yes, I did on occasion visit chat rooms. Thankfully Facebook came along and put an end to these. I hope.
Okay, those are my top ten. Feel free to write yours in the comments.
Under most circumstances, I like flowers. But not on days like today. In fact, these stupid flowers might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The fluffy white dandelions were too big a temptation for my kids to resist. They blew them, stepped on them, & threw them. It was so irritating. Especially since I had given a pep talk before leaving the house, “Okay, guys. We are going straight to the car. Not to the swing set or patio. To the car!”. With my impatient accusation of the delay they were causing, I was finally able to get them in the van to go. Driving through the neighborhood I am thinking about how ridiculous this is. Why can’t they get in the car? No way it should take 5 min to leave the house. We need to GO!
The funny thing is that we are just going to the grocery store. It really didn’t make a difference if they played in flowers for 5 min. No big deal, right? Except it was a big deal to me. I was in a hurry. I have found myself in a hurry a lot lately.
- That’s dope – an entire generation refering to something ‘cool’ as being a narcotic. What was wrong with us? Didn’t we take D.A.R.E. in elementary school?
- Ugh! I forgot to rewind the video! Remember when Blockbuster had those posters in their stores saying ‘Be Kind. Rewind.’ ? I still forgot.
- Aiight If we needed a shorter version of ‘Alright’ why didn’t we just say ‘ok’?
- How many beanie babies do you have? The measure of a persons worth…
- I want a love like Cory & Topanga. This couple from Boy Meets World was one of the most iconic of the 90s. Until Ross & Rachel came along.
- All that & a bag of chips! See, we didn’t really think this one through. Chips are cheap, full of fat, and found in vending machines. Why is that a compliment?
- I need a new CD player. Mine keeps skipping. Most likely the result of my dropping it a lot.
- Talk to the hand! So. Stupid.
- Whoops! I forgot to feed my Tamagotchi.
- Sorry I missed your call! My brother was on the internet. Kids today will never understand the tension that comes from wanting to play Oregon Trail on the internet & having to get off because someone needs to use the phone.
I spent lots of time in that Starbucks and became friends with a barista named Autumn. She had dyed black hair, plugs in her ears, piercings in her face and tattoos on most of her skin. We hit it off from the beginning. I would invite her to church up in my living room on Sundays and she would return the warm gesture by inviting me to her burlesque parties. Neither of us ever took the other up on the invites.
Slowly my friendship with Autumn began to grow. We couldn’t be more different and yet oddly we found the other refreshing. After about a month she was my closest Seattle friend. I would meet her when she got off work and join her for the bus ride home. She went home and I went to the college campus to meet students.
We would talk about God and she would ask me questions I didn’t have answers to. This sentence left my mouth more times than I can count : “I can’t answer that. You just have to meet Him for yourself.” .
Autumn had a one year old little girl named Opal & a boyfriend named Merlin. Like the wizard. He changed his name to Merlin because he hated God and felt that naming himself after a wizard would reinforce that point. Meeting Merlin was nothing compared to what came next.
The big news came in a parking garage when I was about to give her a ride home. Autumn was talking about slam poetry and mentioned that she started performing in prison.
Uh…prison? That’s when it came out. She was a murderer. Mind you we are alone in a dark parking garage when I make this discovery. Freaking out inside, faking a causal smile on the outside. The crime wasn’t intentional, but it happened all the same.
Two weeks later I found myself driving to Autumn’s house at 6:30 in the morning. Opal needed a babysitter while Autumn went and got her drug treatment at a nearby rehab clinic. I sat with a sleepy Opal for an hour in Autumn’s room. Very much a reflection of Autumn’s life, her room was a wreck. It was decorated with black ravens and pornographic pictures of herself. It was the darkest place.
I would sit and rock little Opal while singing worship songs to try and keep my sanity. I would bring my Bible and read scripture , and pray over Opal’s life. Autumn would come back and we would walk Opal to her daycare. Then we would drive back to my apartment. She would start her shift at Starbucks and I would go home and make breakfast.
I did that for about two weeks until Autumn was able to get Opal into daycare earlier. You may read this and think me some sort of Christian hero, but I am not. If I had visited her house before offering to babysit, I would never have volunteered.
I learned a few things during my time with Autumn & Opal.
First, I learned that in really dark places God’s presence glows the brightest. Autumn’s creepy bedroom changed completely when I worshiped and prayed with little Opal. The ravens were overshadowed by the goodness and lightness of God. All else melted away. It didn’t matter how dark and oppressive the environment was, it mattered that I met God there.
Second, I realized that the Church isn’t going to change the world by promoting a certain agenda. It is going to change the world by sitting in creepy living rooms. Holding babies that aren’t ours. Listening to stories that make us uncomfortable. The Church is going to change the world by loving and serving the broken & knowing that without the grace of God their mistakes could have been our mistakes.
Third I realized that the goal of loving people isn’t for a happy ending. This story didn’t have a happy ending at all. They disappeared without telling me where they moved. No one gave their life to Jesus or came to church. I told Autumn once that even though she doesn’t want Jesus now, some day she might. And if she ever does, she can call upon Him and He will come without delay. I’m hoping she remembers that & in heaven I can find out it was a happy ending after all. We don’t love so that we have great stories of happy endings. We love people because God loves them, and that is reason enough.