Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why leave pickles by the mailbox?

As I arrived home this afternoon I noticed that someone had left pickles by the mailbox! What the random... And who does that?

It is a true story. Had they still been there when I passed by I would have picked them up. But they were gone when I went by again an hour later. Who left them and for whom they were left will remain a mystery I am sure.

There must be an epidemic in the neighborhood because some mysterious visitor left me a gift with instructions to meet them this evening at a given place and time. My roommate handed me the mysterious note and said she found it outside which I did not believe because I had been outside and there hadn't been any card on the porch. I knew that whoever it was had been intercepted because she was outside watering the lawn. Of course she denied knowledge of the culprit and of course I didn't believe that either but there wasn't any sense in probing further because I'm sure she'd been sworn to secrecy by default.

Can I just say anonymous notes and such can be a little bit nerve racking for the recipient, especially when it involves the recipient taking an active role. Sometimes it is difficult to get all excited about putting yourself out there to meet some unknown person/s and to be there or be square.

I have some really vivid memories of 5th grade and being square. I was really nervous about being in a new school. One of the first assignments we had was to come up with a product and a commercial for it using a prop from a box the teacher provided. By the time the box got to me there weren't very many things to choose from. I chose a plastic stick that had one of those things inside it so that when you turned the stick the part inside would slide to the other end and make a funny sound. My product I made from that was called Mr. Loony Shampoo. I used the stick like a shampoo bottle and when you turned the bottle upside down to squirt out the shampoo it made the noise. Other students in the class were supposed to provide feedback based on each presentation. The majority of critiques on my commercial involved how I should have made better eye contact and looked up more. I was so nervous and shy and I didn't know anyone. I remember it being so hard to look up at the other kids, and honestly I don't think I looked up at all during the two minutes I was in front of the whole class pretending to shampoo my hair with this silly Mr. Loony Shampoo that made a noise when you used it. I remember that two boys were pretty nice about it though. Their names were Mark and Robert. Mark had a really cool watch and Robert's favorite color was black and he was allergic to chocolate.

I remember there were two Andrews in my class. Both were really tall. Andrew Ramirez was quiet with a dark complexion and Andrew Davis was a red head and an only child. I knew he was an only child because his mom worked with my mom at the primary school and one time I went to his house and in true only kid fashion was excited to share all his I'm-the-only-one-my-parents-have-to-spend-money-on kind of toys, like the batting cage in the backyard. It was a sweet cage and he and I fed balls through the pitching machine for each other.

I remember that on the first day I met Kristen Clement who was new that year too, but it was because her mom had died recently and they moved to a different house. She had three sisters and her dad. We became friends because neither one of us knew anybody.

I also remember the time that OJ (his real name was Oscar) blamed me in front of the whole class for passing gas and everyone laughed. I tried to turn it around and blame him but he just laughed and didn't care. It was during math class on the day we learned about tessellations and had to make our own.

I remember once we had a program we were supposed to practice for so we were on the stage in the auditorium but the air conditioning wasn't on. It was really hot and I started to feel sick standing under the bright stage lights. Before I could even say anything about it to the teacher, I stepped through the row of kids in front of me and barfed everywhere. Kids scattered like nothing I'd ever seen before.

I remember on field day our class was really excited about the tug-of-war. Maddy Dizdar was probably the most popular girl in the class, maybe even in all of fifth grade, and she was planning out how we would win the tug-of-war. "All the fat people need to go at the back," she said before she turned to me and said, "Except for you, Breanne. You can go at the front because you are strong."

I remember what it felt like to shave my legs for the first time. I got to school and it was chilly but I was wearing shorts. There was heavy dew on the grass and on the playground equipment. And for some reason I want to say it was November. My legs felt so different that surely others noticed as much I did. If it really was November, I had just turned 11.

When I went to meet my mysterious gifter/s I remembered all of these things and I worried that no one would be there waiting, that the joke would be on me and I would be the square.

I was much more fortunate than my younger self. Friends were waiting and excited that I had come. I thought there must be something to be learned about letting me be loved.

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