Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For once, I'd like to be gaga!

I have boxes and boxes of memories.  Silly things that I don't want to throw away.  Anna and I had talked about it and she said I should take pictures of the items and blog about them and then I can throw them away.  Good idea.  So this is the first installment of that process.

When Chris and I were dating, his family invited me to go to Chicago with them for the weekend.  They had a suite at a hotel downtown with plenty of room for everyone.  It was supposed to be a great weekend of shopping and eating and fun.  At this point in our relationship, I really liked Chris a lot and the prospect of this weekend with his family was very exciting.  I went shopping and borrowed clothes from girls in my building.  I got my hair cut.  I was thrilled to be going.

We stayed at his house in Plymouth the night before we were leaving because we were taking the train to Chicago and the train was leaving very early in the morning.  I got to sleep in his old bedroom.  Chris helped me put my bags in his room and on the bed was a Godiva Chocolate box.  I was thrilled.  I had never had Godiva Chocolate before but had heard much of its delightfulness.  I didn't want to open it and eat it then.  I wanted to savour it and make it last.  Chris was like, "Open it and eat one."  So I reluctantly opened the box.  Inside was not chocolate but a gold bracelet.  It was beautiful.  I had never been given jewelry so beautiful before.  I put that bracelet on and did not take it off until it fell off years and years later because the gold wore out and it broke.

The first item I picked out of my memory box was the gold Godiva box with the original ribbons and tissues still inside.

As a side note, I had never slept on sheets as soft as the sheets on Chris' boyhood bed.  I didn't know sheets that soft existed.  I was responsible for the laundry and had never been clued in to something called "Fabric Softener."  Also the sheets were probably 700 thread count.  They really were wonderful.  I put my head on my pillow that night and thought, "This is what it's like to have your mom do your laundry."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I am not going to hell and if you think I'm going to hell, you should care that I'm going to hell even though I am not.

When I was a freshman in high school, the vending machine sold Lipton Iced Tea.  I tried it and it was delicious.  I bought one every day at lunch.  It was my favorite drink.

About half way through the year, we had a lesson at church on the Word of Wisdom.  The teacher went through the usual no tobacco, no coffee, no tea. No tea, hot or iced she said.  I sat there horrified.  I had been breaking the Word of Wisdom!  It never occurred to me that iced tea was part of it.  I felt terribly guilty and I told my mom what I learned that day when I got home.  She assured me I wasn't headed straight for hell and to stop drinking it.

Stop drinking my favorite drink!  It was hard but I did it.

In 1996 the Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, was interview by Mike Wallace on 60 minutes.  They discussed the Word of Wisdom.  Here's what was said:

Mike Wallace: No alcohol, no tobacco, no coffee, no tea, not even caffeinated soft drinks... 
Gordon B. Hinckley: Right

So I gave up caffeinated soft drinks.  Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper.  All of them.  Because the prophet of God said the word "right."  It was hard but I did it.  I haven't had a caffeinated pop in years with the exception of some Sunkist Lemonade that we didn't know was caffeinated and all spit out simultaneous as a family about 3 years ago.

Then the Church issues On Wednesday (Aug. 29), a statement on its website saying that “the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine” and that the faith’s health-code reference to “hot drinks” ‘’does not go beyond (tea and coffee).

Ok So this is confusing.  Was President Hinckley just giving an off-handed "right," when questioned by Mike Wallace?  Did he just not want to get into it with him?  Have I been teaching my family the right thing for the last 16 years?

I'm really not ready to start drinking caffeinated Coke.  It just seems not right.  However, when school started and I began getting up at 5AM every morning and going to bed at 11PM every night and getting up several times in the night to feed the baby, my butt started really dragging.  I mean really.  So I talked to my sister and told her I was considering a Coke or 5 Hour Energy or something.  I was desperate.  Anna told me about this really great thing called Water Joe.  Water Joe is water with natural caffeine.  Just water and caffeine.  Only two ingredients.  So I went to Meijer and bought it.  I felt about as sneaky as a 18 year old trying to buy a 6 pack of beer.  I didn't drink it for a couple of days but then finally when I was dying, I drank one.  It felt like on Desperate Housewives when Lynette takes her kids' Adderall.  I was worried I was going to get caught or in trouble.  But I didn't.  And the most AMAZING thing happened.  I don't feel tired.  It is keeping me awake all day.  And I still feel tired at night when it's time to go to bed.

So no coffee, no tea-hot or cold, no alcohol.  That's in the book.  Black and white.  No caffeine?  Still a grey area.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I mean once for like, no reason, I flattened my hair and I had all these strands hanging in my face all the time...

In sixth grade, I got a really bad haircut.  This would have been 1986 and I got this awful asymmetrical 80's style.  I seem to remember that it was on a magazine in the salon and I told the stylist to do it like the picture.  But I didn't leave the salon with any product or hair-doing know how.  The haircut was really bad.  I remember no one liked it.  I didn't even like it but I was fierce in it's defense.  My mom would ask me all the time, would I like to get another haircut and I was determined not to.  Finally after weeks of this haircut growing out and progressively getting more and more awful, my mom must have had it.  She came into my room one day and said "Jennifer, your hair makes you look like a slut."

You can imagine my response was not very receptive to her criticism.  But it hit me in a way that her "nice" comments had not.  First of all, I heard my mom use crass language very rarely.  I knew when she used the word "slut" that she meant business.  Second of all, if she was willing to hurt my feelings by being so blunt, that hair must be really bad.  Grudgingly on the outside, but willingly on the inside, I had her take me for a new haircut.  Luckily it was right before picture day so my new haircut was what lives on for posterity.  I have searched for a picture of my ugly haircut but one doesn't exist.  I should probably be thankful for that.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson. I  could always trust my mom's taste in hair, clothes and other things like that.  She knew what looked good and what didn't and she would be honest about it.  I hope my kids will trust that I am honest with them about their appearance and won't lead them astray as to what looks good and what doesn't.  And I hope I never have to use the word "slut" to describe something they are wearing!
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