Monday, February 28, 2011

Pants Girl and the Defective Pants: Part II

So, maybe my day wasn't this bad . . .


But it was still pretty embarrassing.

It all started at Girl Scouts.  It's cookie time and the troop's leader held a meeting for all the parents.  I normally love going to that sort of thing, but I cringed this time because of a lady I call "The Snoot."  She always has to sit by me and talk about how awesome she is.  She used to be in Girl Scouts.  I was too, but that didn't seem important when I told her; she was too busy spouting about her badges and muffins that won prizes at Camp Perfection!

Since I knew The Snoot would be at the meeting, I did my hair--for once--pulled on my new Snoopy pants and donned my birthday BootsI thought I looked all right.  Maybe The Snoot would feel like being nice to me.  Then she'd quit boasting and teach me how to make muffins that win stuff.  Well, that was my plan, too bad my Boots must have made her more competitive.

At the meeting I sat at the far end of the table where "The Snoot" joined me.  Some strange looking father ogled us.  He wore a crocheted rainbow hat and blond dreadlocks hung against his Hawaiian button-up shirt.  John Lennon's glasses balanced on his angular nose; those frames were pretty cool, but everything else just portrayed his love for "Cool Runnings."  I actually thought he'd make the kind of Mad hatter Alice would love.  But as interesting as that was, between his searching eyes and The Snoot's comments, I wanted to run from the meeting.

"How many cookies did your girls sell?" The Snoot asked.

I paused.  She hardly ever asks me questions since she'd too busy bragging.  Maybe my outfit had helped.  "Thirty-seven boxes each," I said.  It was sweet of her to ask and I was proud of my girls.

"Oh, that's . . . nice.  My girl sold over three-hundred, all by herself.  Can you believe my husband and I sat in the car while she did all that work?  She's such a hard working kid and so smart.  She--"  The Snoot continued talking, but I didn't listen anymore.  I pinched the bridge of my nose.  I had to be nice.  I HAD to be.  But why does she always insist on being such a putz?  Thirty-seven sounded like crap next to over three-hundred!

"Excuse me," I said after she'd finished.  "I better hurry to the potty before the meeting starts."  Potty?  I'd just said . . . potty.  I wanted the lady to think I was cooler than Hera, yet I'd used the word "potty?"  It's amazing how being a mother leaks into every other part of life.  At that rate The Snoot would never be nice to me.

I walked into the bathroom and stared at the my reflection in the mirror.  I put my hands on my face, stretched the skin near my eyes.  Yep, I had bags under my smeared mascara, and a few of my hairs probably just turned gray.  What's sad is that I'm not even thirty!  So, I didn't look especially great, but I'd tried.  I glanced at my boots; at least my pants and boots were nice and brand spanking new.  I smiled suddenly.  The Snoot hadn't seen my pants.  If she had, I felt sure she'd stop making snide remarks!  

After finally going in the stall, I was just about to tug my pants back up when I heard a voice.  "Are you still in here?  The meeting's about to staaar-t."  

The Snoot had followed me!  She must love making me suffer.  So I yanked my pants on, a bit too fast because I wanted her to see them.  That's when I heard the metal zipper groan in death.  Remember how I hate Zippers?  Well, I hate them even more now because my Snoopy pants--those awesome pants I'd gotten because my mom is a rock star--had busted at the zipper.  

"Everything okay in there?" The Snoot asked.

I held my breath and shut my eyes tight.  Maybe if I stayed like that she'd just go away.  Out of sight, out of trouble.

"I can see your boots, honey.  I know you're in there.  Everything okay?"

"It's just . . . fine."  I wished she hadn't seen my boots!  I inspected the zipper.  Yep, my new pants were having issues; they'd need a new zipper for sure.  I put them on my hips and buttoned the suckers, but one problem remained--an X-Y-Z (examine your zipper) problem.  I completely looked like I'd forgotten to zip.  I tugged at my shirt.  If I could just get it to stretch down maybe it would cover the zipper area.  It bounced back up though--stupid springy thing.

I tried again.  Nope.  It wouldn't happen.  I'd been so busy trying to impress The Snoot, I'd worn some tight shirt that barely slid past my belly button.  

"Elisa?  You okay?"

"I'm fine," I said in a very high pitch that DID NOT sound fine.  I looked around a moment more.  Why had I worn bright orange underwear that screamed, "I'm here.  Look at me!"  I LOVE orange, but right then I abhorred it.  There was nothing to cover my zipper with, nothing but toilet paper or my hands.  I wound some toilet paper up, but that just looked ridiculous!  So, with nothing else to do, I walked out in the symbol of holiness.  I held may hands as if in prayer and hoped she wouldn't think I was weird, clutching my hands stoically so she wouldn't see my zipper.  

I prayed then, really prayed.  God.  I know I shouldn't have put Snoopy's pants on.  I know I shouldn't have worn this outfit just to impress The Snoot.  And I'm sorry for calling her that.  I know you love her too because she can cook and her kid sold more cookies than an infomercial.  Anyway, if you could magically fix my zipper, that would be awesome.  I'll pay you back somehow.  Maybe I can do some push-ups in church--when I actually attend.  I'm sorry I suck at going to church.  So, anyway, thanks in advance.  I appreciate it, and I'll fess up to Snoopy if you'll just fix my pants.    

I smiled when I walked from the stall and saw The Snoot.  For some reason, I didn't say a thing in that moment.  Since I couldn't move my hands, I guess I thought my tongue was stuck too.

"Why are you walking so weird?"

"I'm not walking . . . weird."  And it wouldn't have seemed odd IF I was a penguin with legs that started where my knees do.  The Snoot was being so nosy.  I walked toward the door and wished she'd quit asking questions and stop stalking me in bathrooms!

"Aren't you going to wash your hands?" she asked.

What was she playing at?  Mother may I?  "Of course I am.  I love washing my hands even if I don't need to.  I even wash them before AND after I cook home-made stuff like muffins."  I stood a bit too close to the sink.  I wondered if God would indeed answer my prayer.  But I had little faith; I wouldn't have been healed of leprosy if I'd been in the Bible.  So, I washed my hands and before drying off clasped them together in front of my zipper.  I decided there was no way God would fix my zipper.  He was probably still processing my apology about Snoopy.  My prayers work on a snail mail-like system.  They aren't always answered instantly. 

"Aren't you going to dry your hands?"

She really thought she was my mother.  "Fine!" I said, holding up my hands and grabbing a towel.  "Are you happy now?"

She gasped.  "I knew I heard something break when you were in the potty."  So she did notice my orange panties and my broken zipper.  Couldn't she at least look on the bright side and tell me how awesome my boots are!  That didn't make me feel better, except that I could walk normally.  She'd seen my dead zipper, but at least she'd used the word "potty."   

"I can't go back to the meeting."

"You'll be fine, just stop acting so funny.  Every good girl scout carries a safety pin.  Don't you have one on you?"

"Of course I do?  What kind of girl scout mother do you think I am?"  I acted offended, REALLY offended.  But who was I kidding?  I didn't have a safety pin.  I may be a seamstress, but if I've learned one thing it's: don't bring your work with you!

She nodded.  "Maybe you were a good girl scout after all, but I bet my troop was better."  I wanted to smack her in the nose; poke her in the E-Y-E!  Why does she always have to shove it in my face that she's better than me.  I was standing there with my broken zipper and she wanted to talk about her awesomeness again.  I already felt like an idiot and God hadn't answered my pants prayer.  

"Well," she said.  "I'm glad you're all right.  I'll see you in the meeting.  Good thing you have a safety pin."  She waved as she left the bathroom and I realized she knew that I'd lied. After she left, her perfume stayed eating the oxygen in the air.  

I thought of my problem and realized why God hadn't healed my zipper.  It was because I didn't want to fix all those zippers for the people in my neighborhood.  Maybe I do feel bad about that, but I still wasn't sorry I'd lied to The Snoot about the safety pin.  Sin clung to my heart in that moment.

So, I didn't know what to do, but at the end of a long internal debate I decided to just walk out there.  You've seen people who haven't zipped, right?  Sure it's embarrassing, but it happens to everyone.  I'd go out there and blind everyone with my construction orange.  My worst fear was that someone would actually tell me I hadn't zipped.  I didn't know what I'd say back. 

They'd say, "You might want to zip."  

And I'd respond with, "Ummm no thank you.  I've been down that road before."  Then I'd wink.

With that full-proof plan in mind, just as I was about to leave the bathroom, my second oldest daughter burst through the door.

"Hey, mom.  Your zipper's down, but those panties are cute.  Oh and can you keep this by you?"  She smiled and I nearly cried when she tossed her jacket to me.  "It keeps falling off my waist when we're playing Red Rover.  Is your meeting going good?"

"It's just starting," I said.  I pulled her jacket around my waist and tied it there.  Sure it didn't look stylish and it was a bit small, but I didn't care.  It covered my zipper.

I went into the meeting and was surprised that The Snoot was no longer sitting next to my chair and The Mad Hatter stopped checking me out.  I'd thought I needed to impress The Snoot with fancy clothes and great achievements, but I've decided I don't care what she thinks anymore because she only thinks about herself, her muffins, and her safety pins.

I have two things to be thankful for today.  Maybe God did answer my prayer, just not in the way I'd expected.  He'd sent my little girl into that bathroom so I'd have something to cover up with.  But that's not all I'm happy about.  I'm also thankful I've had plenty of practice fixing zippers.  My mom spent a lot of money on these memory-making pants and I'm so glad I know how to fix them.  Maybe I'm "Elisa the Alterer" for a reason.  Maybe it was so I'd be able to fix my own pants someday and there's nothing wrong with that.

I have one question for you: Is it horrible if I wear these pants to the next girl scouts meeting?  I'd love to show them off again.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pant Girl and the Defective Pants: Part I

A couple of days ago I wrote about Pants Girl and her Law-breaking Manager.

Well the story doesn't end there.  If you remember, "Pants Girl" A. K. A. "Snoopy" brought me some pants to alter since my name is practically "Elisa the Alterer."  I hate altering clothes, but she was so nice, so absolutely sweet I bent my seam-ripping hatred for her.


I've hated altering ever since some gem in the community volunteered me to fix everybody's clothes.  Men's zippers are the worst and that's what needed fixing last year.  I couldn't fathom how so many men kept breaking their zippers.  It felt like a big, fat zipper funeral everyday for months!  Plus, I don't like altering those since I know where they've been.  But I've fixed so many that maybe (when I die) God will remember how much I did, and how it made me bitterly hate zippers and men who break them.

Have you ever heard that scripture about how God puts names in the lambs book of life?

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

If I'm lucky enough to enter Heaven and thus be in that book, I bet my name says: "Elisa the Alterer."  Don't ask me how I know that, I just do . . . because that's why God will forgive me for being a shmuck-hater; He'll forgive me since I altered all those gross zippers!

So, Snoopy gave me her pants, even though I'd cast off altering like it was a rotting potato. I went to hem her incredibly expensive pants and discovered something.  They were my size!  I looked around, even though I was alone in my room.  The pants were awesome; much more costly than something I'd ever buy.  So, like any good seamstress, I put the pants on.
*** Now hold up!  Before you tell me my name isn't in the lamb's book anymore, let me stop you right there.  She googled my name!  I was a stranger and she googled my name!  In fact, one of my dearest and favorite friends pointed out that "Snoopy" could be reading this . . . at this exact . . . moment!  If so, "Hi, Snoopy.  Please forgive me.  Great pants by the way."

But if she could google me, then I could try on her million dollars pants.  I know it was wrong, but I'm glad I did because they looked great!  I normally buy used jeans.  If I'm lucky I'll get those discount ones that are actually new.  I didn't think it mattered, not until I tried on Snoopy's jeans.  I felt like the main character in "The Little Princess," or Cinderella after the fairy does her thing.  I trotted around the room and before I could wipe the smile from my face I called my mom.

"You sound awfully happy today," she said,  "What's going on now?"

"I tried on Snoopy's pants."

"You did what?"  It was a reprimand.  She hushed though, and I wanted to know what else she was thinking so I waited quietly.  "And . . . how do they look?" she asked, a bit excited.

"Wonderful.  Almost as good as my boots.  But they probably cost more than my life is worth."

She had to know all the details then, the brand, the style.  I gave her all the dirt because I knew she wouldn't believe the jeans even if she saw them.  I didn't realize she'd had a plan as she took down the information.  I had no idea, until she showed up at my house and had a pair of Snoopy pants in her hands.

"Do you like them?" she asked.

I burst with emotion near tears.  "I LOVE my Snoopy pants," I said.  "I can't wait to wear them with My Boots!"

So, I dearly love my mother and those incredibly awesome Snoopy pants lit up my life.  I wish that's where the story could end, but it didn't stop there.  I think God punished me for trying on Snoopy's pants.  Is it okay if I write about it tomorrow?  I'm a bit mortified and don't have the courage to write it now.  Let me just leave you with one warning: If someone asks you to alter their pants DO NOT try them on, or God will make you pay.

I told my husband the whole story and he confirmed my suspicion.  "God must a done that to ya."  He chuckled.  "That's pretty funny though, I'm not gonna lie."

So, until tomorrow, when I grow the courage to write the rest of this story in my blog.
Why do I always have such crazy things happen to me?  Even when I'm trying to skirt imbecilic occurrences--they sniff me out!

Sewing Saturday

Picture taken by: Best Impressions

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mimes--I'm Regressing

I wrote about Mimes a couple of days ago, how there are different stages we go through in life.  Here are the stages if you didn't read them before:

Stage one: Innocence
This is a person who's never seen a mime.  They're happy (SORT-OF) but don't know what they're missing.

Stage two: Seeing Stripes
This is a person who's seen a mime.  Envy hasn't had time to brew in their heart.  They smile at the mime and wave.  The mime waves back--since that's still allowed in the miming industry.

Stage three: Hater
This is a person who's seen a mime, but HATE them.  This is where envy has crept into their mime-loving soul.  They hate mimes because they're really the mimes' biggest fans.

Stage four: Becoming Your Enemy
This is a person who decides to become a mime.  Less than 1% of our population has the courage to reach this point.  I know that's sad and hard to swallow--but it's true!  It's hard to get to this stage, but you'll know if you make it there because you will completely lose your voice and your kids will LOVE being around you.

I'm sorry to inform you that I've regressed from a classic Stage four Aspiring Mime to a Stage three Hater.  Why?  Because my children practically cast me from my Mime-loving pedestal.


I loved mimes.  I was ready to become one.  I thought I could stop talking just like Miss Gilbert in "Eat, Pray, Love," but I wouldn't have to travel half-way across the world to do it.  I'd just don a stripey mime-suit.  But no, my children had to turn the idea on me.

I felt excited at first because my second oldest daughter, "The Hippie," stopped looking for Boggarts in the walls.  She was so obsessed with Spiderwick and Boggarts that everywhere I turned, all I saw was honey and traps set to catch brownies.  Well, miming cured her.  She stopped whispering to hob goblins and began eating imaginary apples.  I thought that was gold, pure and sweet, until my girls wouldn't talk AT ALL.  They still giggled--sure that was all right--but wouldn't talk to save their lives.

I said, "Wipe off the table."

My oldest daughter,  "The Scribe", shook her head.  She touched the table and acted as if it was scalding hot.  "The Hippe" followed suit.  They turned to each other and winked.

"You can't wipe the table?"

They nodded vigorously.

"Because . . . "

They touched the surface and I swore it made a sizzling sound.

"It's too hot?" I asked.

They grinned, then "The Scribe" acted as if blowing up a huge balloon.  That thing must have been bigger than a planet because it took her long enough.  Then when she'd finished, she handed me the balloon's string.  I knew it floated above me--in her imagination.  That was great, but the table wasn't clean!  I looked at the table.  "The Scribe" motioned to my balloon, bowed, and both girls started skipping from the room.

"Oh no you don't!"  They turned.  Their fingers pointed to each other and did a bunch of alien hand signals.  I hated that!  It reminded me of going to a restaurant where fellow customers talk in a different language NO ONE else understand.  You wonder if they're bashing you--right out in the open.  It's the worst form of mockery.  You feel too stupid to stand up for yourself, yet if you do, they can deny the whole conversation!  Well, that's how this felt.  I didn't know what my girls discussed until they started swinging invisible lassos over their heads.

So, they wanted to play it rough?  "I can play this game," I said and rolled up my sleeves.  I wasn't about to go down like Gulliver in his travels with the little people.  "Bring it on!"  I zipped my lips and threw the key way down the kitchen sink.  Those girls, with the fiery eyes, still swung their lassos, but were about to meet their mime-loving match.

Just when they threw the ropes, I pulled out a huge pair or invisible scissors.  It cut through those ropes faster than a hot knife through butter.  I laughed--because that's how bad I suck as a mime--I know mimes aren't allowed to laugh.  My girls paled.  I'd ruined their ropes.  Maybe they would have to wipe the table!

They made some swords.  They looked like big ones too.  They jumped next to me and fought before I could make anything new.  I remembered those scissors, thankfully.  Sometimes it's hard battling kids' imaginations.  They don't forget a thing and they never miss a beat.  The scissors seemed to do the trick though, since I could parry and cut.

Soon my girls backed against the table.  I cackled, feeling the power of victory--thank God for scissors!  That's when "the Scribe" stepped back.  She let her little sister battle me alone.  I knew "The Scribe" was up to something bad.  She wouldn't leave "The Hippie" for just any dumb idea.

As I watched bits and pieces of what "The Scribe" did, fear filled my movements.  She acting as if cutting the pipes, gluing the sections together.  Then when she got to the flint igniter I knew I'd lose.  She'd made a . . . A SPUD GUN!!!  I don't know if you know this, but in the mime world nothing can best a spud gun.

My lip quivered.  I edged back.  My girls guided me until I was the one backed against the table.  I felt like they had me walking a plank.  I wanted to say a farewell--my last words on Earth--as "The Hippie" touched the table and winched.  She purposely reminded me that I could either cooperate, lose by sitting on the table of fire or get shot with the invisible spud gun.

They had me, they really did.  I'd lost my scissors somewhere along the way, and knew one move could be my last.  Then a smile slithered across my face.  I had a fantastic idea.  I'd make a potato-proof wall.  I'd do one "talk to the hand" motion and the wall would be up!


It was a great idea--in theory!  I made the wall.  My girls looked at each other.  I continued reinforcing the wall.  I glared through it.  How did it feel trying that on for size!!!  Not even a potato launcher could fire through a wall like the one in front of me.  I crossed my arms and smirked.  They could try getting through that, but I knew nothing could break down my wall.  That's when "The Scribe" started messing with her side.  That wasn't allowed.  What was she thinking?  She made something, slowly altering my wall and I didn't like it one bit!

Before I completely knew how to react she'd made a doorknob IN MY WALL!  She motioned for "The Hippie" to do the honors.  They opened, my wall and stepped through, still holding the potato launcher!!!  Couldn't they just leave my wall alone?  I'd been so proud.

So, I lost the battle of imagination, but at least my girls did end up wiping the table off.  They still aren't talking much unless we're around other people.  If this keeps up today we might go to a play land, just so they'll have to talk.  I don't know If I'm ready for another mime battle, but I need to prepare just in case.  What in the world is better than a potato launcher--nothing that's what.  Nothing except a bigger one.  All right, I'm glad I wrote this, those girls are going down!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pants Girl and The Law-breaking Manager

I LOVE copy stores. There's something magical about hot paper with instant words written all over it. Just those sounds and smells make me giggle.

I'm always happy when I visit the copy store, usually because that means I've finished a manuscript and am getting ready to submit it somewhere. 

The other day I e-mailed some files (a couple queries, a full manuscript and some sample chapters) to the store by us. I specified that I'd pick them up later. When I got to the store a lot more than papers awaited me.


I walked in and the cute girl behind the counter said, "Are you, Elisa?  The author AND the seamstress?"

"Well, I'm not a published author.  I'm an aspiring one."  Then it hit me.  How did she know me?  "I am a seamstress though.  How . . . did you know that.  Have we met?"

"Oh, no."  She giggled.  Then, like an eccentric magician, she produced a pair of pants from behind the counter.  "I liked your writing so much that I googled your name.  I wanted to see if you had any books for sale."

"What . . . writing?"  

She put her hand to the side of her mouth and whispered.  "I read a bit of your attachment.  It's been really slow today, but I couldn't stop reading.  Did that witch really take Jack?"

Was I hearing right?  Had she really read my stuff?  It honestly didn't bother me especially since she's so young.  It was actually a huge compliment, something I'd needed to hear because it's hard getting rejection after rejection in the writing industry.  

"So, I found you online and I'm in love with your clothing designs too.  Do you ever do alterations?"

"For pants?"  I looked at the pants on the counter.  I actually loathe altering things.  A few years back someone put my name on a list of people who like donating time to the community.  I didn't think that was bad until realizing I was listed as "Elisa the Alterer."  When you're little and dreaming about what you'll be after growing up you think; I'm going to be an astronaut.  I'm going to be a famous preacher-lady.  I'm going to be Minnie Mouse at Disney Land . . . NOT I'm going to be "Elisa the Alterer."  Plus donations are great and everything, but then people expect more and more--FOR FREE.  I don't want to go broke just donating.  My husband would kill me and my kids enjoy eating more than Top Ramen!

But that snoopy employee was so cute, so darn sweet, I said I'd alter her pants.  She ran to the back room and put them on.  She'd even brought a measuring tape so I'd know how much to hem them.  That's when her manager came out.

"What in Heaven's name are you doing?" the manager asked the young girl.

"I'm getting some pants hemmed," Snoopy said.  "What does it look like I'm doing.  I told Elisa I googled her name after I read her . . . " She let the words trail off.  Her manager's eyes lit with fire.

"You told her you did what?" the manager fumed.

"It's okay," I said.  "She actually gave me some really great feedback.  I've been wanting to know if teenagers would be interested in my manuscript."  I turned to the girl.  "Looks like I just need to take off two and a half inches."

"And now she has you hemming her pants?"

I bit my lip.  What were we going to do, stand around talking about that girls sins?  I had places to be.  "It's no biggie.  I LOVE hemming pants."  It was a lie, but meant for the best possible outcome.

The manager's eyebrows arced in opposition as if they prepared to fight a well groomed duel.  "Go to the back room," she said to Snoopy.  "I'll take care of this customer."

As Snooppy left she turned and said, "I'll bring these pants out in a minute."

The manager put her face in her hands.  "I am so sorry.  How unprofessional."

"It's really okay.  She's a cute kid."

"So, you have over three-hundred pages . . . at six cents per side."  She paused.  I wondered what she was thinking.  She tapped the papers next to her.  "I don't want you to think I go reading everyone's stuff, but I . . . found a couple typos.  I took the liberty of fixing them."

I snorted.  I didn't mean to, but I did.  She'd read it too!  It must have been the slowest day known to man.  "Thanks for fixing them.  That was nice."

"I didn't read it, I swear."  She turned red.  "My eyes just fell to these two spots."  She opened a couple of pages, one of which rested deep inside the manuscript.  "Did you mean for it to say this?"

I read the sentence.  "I don't know what you fixed, but that's exactly what it was supposed to say."

"Oh good," she mouthed.  "I just notice those things because I'm a writer too."

That made me smile.  I think everyone's a writer in one way or another.  We all have something to say.
Just as I finished paying, Snoopy trotted from the back area and handed me the pants.  "Thanks for altering these," she said.  "Do you mind if I finish reading the rest of your book?"  

The manager seethed, but when she looked at me I raised an eyebrow--who was she to judge?  She'd read my stuff too!

"Sure," I said.  "Maybe I can talk to you about it after I finish altering your pants."

"Sure.  Why did you write it anyway?  I feel like there's something more to it," she said before I could leave.  "Why did you write that book about Jack?"

"I had a baby who died."  I felt the sadness swelling as I spoke.  Sure it's been eight years, but I don't like talking about it.  "My little girl wanted to know why, so I told her a story about how he went far into the ocean.  She loves the ocean and I knew that was something she'd understand.  Anyway, I said he had to leave us, even though we didn't completely understand why, but at the end of his journey he found everything my daughter always dreamed of.  He found love, adventure, pirates, mermaids and treasure.
"Even though he's gone, she realized it was something meant to be.  We're the ones left with the pain and the heartache.  He's no longer suffering."

"What was wrong . . . with him?" Snoopy asked.  

"He was so sick."  Tears choked my voice and I continued babbling.  I don't know why I went on.  I used to burden strangers with Zeke's death all the time, right after it happened.  I don't do it often now.  But sometimes I guess you just need someone to talk to--someone to say it'll be okay.  "I made the decision to let him go.  I made the decision!  For years I felt like a murderer."  I'd gotten emotional during the speech.  "Sorry, to be standing here crying.  I don't know what's wrong with me?"  It was the strangest trip to the copy store ever!  "Anyway, I ended up writing the whole thing down so she'll always have it.  The story might not mean anything to other people.  It might never get published, but it's special to us because that's how my daughter came to terms with death.  There's a part where she got to see her brother again--after he grew up.  She said it was pure magic because it felt so real.  I think that's how she got closure.  Maybe it's how I did too.  I cried when I wrote that section, just thinking how he would have been, if life was perfect and he was born healthy and all."

Snoopy and the hardened manager had tears in their eyes.  The manager wiped her cheeks.  "Do you mind if I read it too?"

I laughed so hard my stomach hurt.  Then we all laughed.  I clutched the pants closer to my side and smiled.  It was hilarious, really it was.  Those two women were cut from the same stone.  

"Sure, I'd love that.  Thanks for asking."  When I'd gone to the copy store, I'd expected to find a pile of papers; instead I'd found a pair of pants and two new friends.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Lovers Pee Standing

The baby freaked out, wailing against my neck.  I felt her snotty nose pressed hard against my skin.  "Shhh, baby.  Shhh.  This is a library.  We need to stay quiet."  She wouldn't listen though.  She probably didn't understand since she's one.  I gasped, feeling like the world closed in on me.  EVERYONE stared.

Then my little boy joined her sobs.  "Mama.  Mama."  He groaned and did a one-footed jig like a flamingo with a thorn in it's foot.  "I go pee pee."

Why does he always have to go at the worst possible moment?  I put my fingers to my lips.  "Shhh."  My fingers motioned to my oldest daughters.  "Can you watch the baby if I take your brother potty?"

My baby sneezed--a monster's sneeze.  My oldest girls looked at their sister's snotty face.  There was nothing around to use.  No Kleenexes--nothing.  I winced and desperately wiped her nose with my coat, took the soiled accessory off and cast it into the bottom of the stroller.  "What do you say?"  My eyes pulsed nervously.  An old man slide his glasses from his face.  He tucked them into the collar of his shirt and tapped his book impatiently.

"I guess I'll watch her," my oldest daughter said.

I flung my boy over my shoulder.  We barreled toward the kids' bathroom, but the door's little sliding tab read "occupied."

"Pee.  I pee on bad guy," he giggled kicking me and pounding my back.  "You bad guy."

"Shh.  Don't pee, honey.  I'm sure there's another bathroom . . . somewhere."  We raced to the front of the library where four ladies checked books in and out at the counter.  They watched me and my boy who still fought against my back. 

"You bad guy.  Put me down."

"We're almost there.  And I AM NOT a bad guy!"

I saw the door, obviously leading to the bathroom, and that's how I discovered that book lovers pee standing.


I can't believe one of those four ladies at the desk didn't scream, "That's the men's bathroom."  Instead they remained silent as I hurtled through the door.  A man stood there peeing.  He looked at me, did a double take.  Then his hands shot into the air.  His face turned to shock and he acted like I had pointed a gun at him.  Did he think he was under arrest?  But as he turned--still holding his hand up--he didn't stop peeing and it must have been a reflexive move because he looked down horrified.  "Oh my God," he said and covered himself up.  

I hate it when people take the Lord's name in vain.  I didn't know if he'd said that because I'd walked in on him, he'd just missed the urinal completely, or since he was guilty of indecent exposure!  My boy waved then.  "Hell-O," he said.  Why was he waving to that man that had just . . . well . . . exposed himself?  Okay, that sounds wrong.  I know it was my fault.  But why did he throw up his hands and turn?  I didn't want my boy waving to that idiot!

I gawked at my son, and as if the whole thing was his fault said, "This isn't the women's bathroom."  I slid out the door.  The four ladies leaned in my direction and their laughter burned against my nerves.  They laughed AT me.  We went to the family bathroom which waited vacant--Thank God.  My boy twisted and turned; he whined so hard I thought I'd bust.  To add to my turmoil, my phone rang.

"Cade?" I asked.  "I just went into the men's bathroom.  I'm in the right one now, but I never want to come out of here again.  All the librarians and shelvers laughed at me."  I know this type of thing happens to everyone.  I bet almost everyone I know has gone into the wrong bathroom at least once, but those four ladies made fun of me."

"Don't feel bad," he said.  I leaned against the wall and hoped he'd say something to make me feel better.  "You know you just did it so you could blog about it."

I wanted to kick the wall.  That made me so angry.  What kind of loser does he think I am?  Like I'd just say "Hey everyone, look at me.  I'm walking into the men's bathroom so I can blog this."  NO!  That's not something I'd do.  I told him so and hung up the phone.

My baby wailed from outside the bathroom door.  We washed up and went to my girls and the baby.  My oldest daughters smiled when they saw me.  "Thanks for hurrying mom.  We found more books." 

I put my boy in the stroller but he flailed around like a dying fish.  "Hold still, buddy.  We're going home."  A librarian passed me and I diverted my eyes.  She'd seen me go into the men's room.  

"Grab your books girls," I said.  "Let's get out of here."

They had over twenty books, but ended up getting them all together quickly so we could check out fast.  Too bad the line was about a year long!  They only had one person checking out books.  The other four employees huddled, snickering about something.  They looked at me once and I fumed.  I thought about whacking them with a book, but none of our current picks would do.  Where were the good hardcovers like: "Gone With the Wind," "Grapes of Wrath," or "War and Peace."  A big book would work for whacking those chucklers!  

I thought about just leaving, but remembered the worst was past me.  I'd never have to see that flasher guy again and my kids wanted to read those books really badly.

The snickering got louder the closer I got to checking out.  I didn't understand why the women needed to act like twelve-year-olds.  Then, as I started lifting my books near the counter, I looked at the guy who stood waiting to help me.  I couldn't breathe.  My hands shook and I wanted to hide in a hole!  Before me, staring into my embarrassed eyes, was THE FLASHER!!! 

I turned bright read as he gulped and grabbed the books I'd dropped on the counter.  He gained his composure, adjusted and glared.  "I trust you found everything you were looking for?"


"A little . . . more than I was looking for," I mumbled.  

"A little?" he pulled out the word like it felt fetid on his tongue.  What was he getting at?  I didn't want to know.  He'd ruined my day, not to mention I didn't want talk about his crime in the bathroom! 

Then those four ladies started full out laughing like windup toys that have no off buttons.  The oldest one bloated with merriment.  That's when I started crying.  I grabbed my books, pushed the stroller as fast as I could and hurried to the van.

I pulled out my cell phone.  "Why do things like this always happen to me?" I asked my friend after telling her the whole story.

"These things happen to everyone.  Everyone does stuff like that."

"He was the librarian!  The flasher was the librarian.  It would have been fine if I didn't have to see him and those ladies didn't laugh."

She paused and I almost heard the wheels cranking.  I knew she was thinking of a blog I wrote about how my husband and my brother pee: Manly Man, Leg Crosser or Intellectual    
"This is crazy timing with everything you've been writing on your blog," she said.

"It sucks."

"Yeah, but you still haven't told me one thing."


"Was he standing or sitting?" she asked.

I snorted.  Of course she'd find the funny side of the situation.  "He was standing, and he peed on the wall."

"No way!" she busted with laughter.  "Did you really see . . . something?"

"I saw it all.  I'm so embarrassed . . .  It is kinda funny though."

"That librarians pee standing?"

"Yes," I laughed.

"I'm glad we talked," she said.  "This is just like Shindler's List.  You went from crying to laughing."

"I guess I did."  A smile rested on my face, like a feather floating on water.  I hung up the phone and giggled because now I know that librarians pee standing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mimes--I have an obsession

I'll admit it.  Here I go confessing again, but I'm in love with mimes.  I think I'd make a great one.  I wouldn't have to talk, nag or yell, and I'd still get to write my blog.  They're just romantic and amazing.   
Miming . . . 
where people don't need to speak 
to say what they mean.


I'd love to be a mime.  I could pull a piano out of thin air, and when I played it, no one else would hear my LOUD music.  Then they'd be curious and wish they could hear it--ha!  Plus, mimes can make anything.  They make: walls, apples, drinks (which I always assume are water--you don't imagine a mime drinking pepsi or anything.)  They make weapons, instruments, happiness.  When you're a mime you're better than superman!  

If you get arrested, the cop won't bother telling you to remain silent.  Then during the trial you can be your own witness and mime in front of the captive jury.  If you do a poor job and they send you to the slammer you don't even need to change your clothes.  Why?  Because you're a mime!

Here are some great examples of why miming is awesome:

No one can hear mime fights. I bet their suspenders don't even snap in our realm.
Doesn't that just make you smile!

Mimes obviously sit when they pee! We went over that in
Manly Man, Leg Crosser or Intellectual: Part I  
Lots of cool people sit when they pee. I know I do!  Note to readers: I hope my brother just read this.  I'm going to get it now!

Miming can bring families closer together! Take a close look at this photo.  This could be you!

Miming can help your marriage--as long as your spouse is on the mime wagon with you.  Don't worry about this woman.  She's just a hater.

If you're a mime you won't have to hear your babies cry anymore. You can have all the perks of beginning parenthood without the noise!

Despite all these rock solid facts, most people don't like mimes.  While being a street performer I've meet plenty of mimes.
I've even heard mime-haters ask strange things like:  
If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would it make a sound?
If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would anyone care?
When you shoot a mime, do you have to use a silencer?

I didn't understand those haters until yesterday.  It hit me though, finally--people hate mimes because they're jealous!  When you're an average person you can't turn air into something.  You can't make babies laugh just by walking around in a convict outfit.  The best you do is sit, frown and watch a happy mime.  So of course normal people have mime envy.  It's natural.  So if you're reading this and thinking "I hate mimes" don't worry.  I have a solution for you. 

There are four stages people go through in life:
Stage one: Innocence
This is a person who's never seen a mime.  They're happy (SORT-OF) but don't know what they're missing.

Stage two: Seeing Stripes
This is a person who's seen a mime.  Envy hasn't had time to brew in their heart.  They smile at the mime and wave.  The mime waves back--since that's still allowed in the miming industry.

Stage three: Hater
This is a person who's seen a mime, but HATE them.  This is where envy has crept into their mime-loving soul.  They hate mimes because they're really the mimes' biggest fans.

Stage four: Becoming Your Enemy
This is a person who decides to become a mime.  Less than 1% of our population has the courage to reach this point.  I know that's sad and hard to swallow--but it's true!  It's hard to get to this stage, but you'll know if you make it there because you will completely lose your voice and your kids will LOVE being around you.

Miming reminds me of a scripture in the Bible and anything that brings out a Bible verse is amazing!
Here's the verse:
 Matthew 7:13-14 (New International Version)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Miming = A narrow gate!

That's why I feel so great today because after years of mime envy, I'm finally moving from the stage three to stage four.  I'd like to encourage you today.  Try this with your kids.  They'll love it.  Act likes mimes.  I did it yesterday and there was no fighting!  It was the coolest day every.  Thank God for stage four!

Questions of the day:  What stage are you at?  Do you suffer from mime envy?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Manly Man, Leg Crosser or Intellectual: Part II (I told a lie)

Yes this is me . . . Elisa, and I told a lie, a fib really, but it gave me nightmares.  I swore I'd never do it again.


"Did you read my stuff?" a sweet lady asked after four of us gathered for critique group.  The truth was I hadn't.  I wasn't her ideal audience and I had other things I'd done instead.  I know I sound mean, but having four kids leaves me with little free time.

Instead of telling her the truth I said, "My printer is ummm . . . broken."  I looked at the sky, the playground, my other friends' faces, my kids.  "Yeah.  It's not working.  I'm real sorry."

"That's too bad it's broken.  So you only read stuff if it's printed out, now?"

"Yep, pretty much.  And my printer's . . . not working."

"That's too bad."  

Why did she keep saying it was too bad?  Didn't she believe my lie?  What's wrong with people these days?  Can't they just let a lie be?  There was a reason I'd lied and she was being rude by saying it was too bad.  "The printer majiggy won't budge."  I put my hand in the air and moved in a "cartridge won't budge motion."  Then I wanted to kick myself.  "See, it's moving like this.  Cha ching.  Except there's no ching to go with my cha.  It's goes, cha . . . cha . . . cha."  I went on and on about the stupid printer like I was a printer repair woman!  It would have sounded more legit if I'd just stopped there.  But no, I went on like a lying idiot because I suck at lying!

That night God taught me a lesson about my big-fat tongue of doom.  I dreamed that Pinocchio chased me through the desert.  "You're a liar!  Liar, lair pants on fire.  Nose as long as a telephone wire."

"Is not," I screamed back, but touched my nose to make sure it wasn't growing.  I ran, scared of his Disney face with those pink cheeks.  He really freaked me out even more than a horror clown.  I slipped across sandy hills until I'd left him far behind.  I smiled greedily.  He couldn't run as fast as me; he still wasn't a real boy!  And he wasn't as fast as the gingerbread man!

Then as I cackled into the dry air I saw a tree in the desert!  It waited beautifully, and I knew I should pull it up and bring it home.


I tugged on that tree, yanked on it with all my might.  Even though it was big, it started to come up easily.  The further it moved the more I noticed a problem.  It didn't have roots.  It had a face connected to that tree!  And it was Pinocchio's face.  I screamed.  The tree was his nose!!


He jumped from the ground and drug his nose behind him. "You're a liar! A big fat liar."  I woke up.  That's when I swore I wouldn't lie again.  Too bad I broke my rule yesterday.

I wrote a blog about my husband and my brother.  It's called Manly Man, Leg Crosser or Intellectual 
I didn't want to come out and say hey, my husband refuses to sit when he pees and he won't cross his legs to save his life.  I felt it would be equally bad to write that my brother crosses his legs and sits when he pees.  So instead, I called them "Charlie" and "Nate"--quite nice names if you ask me.  Then in an effort to smooth the whole "identity change," I made them blood brothers instead of brothers by law.

My brother (the leg crosser) who is actually my hero, read my blog.  I thought that was pretty cool.  He's really one of my favorite people in the entire world.  He used to hang out with me for hours.  Our Dad always worked away from home and my brother was there when my dad couldn't be.  He played sepa with me.  We played tether ball (which I always won even though I'm nine years younger and I'll be dreaming about Pinocchio after writing that.)  He read countless books to me, helped me with homework, jammed with me on our instruments, created silly messages on the answering machine.  The list goes on and on, so much that I can honestly write: my brother was and is one of the biggest influences in my life.  He helped make me into the woman I am.  Because of his generosity with his time and love, I was able to stand strong when I got married VERY young and then later when my son died.  My brother taught me what life is about: family and love and taking care of each other because family is what lasts.

So that's why, when he called yesterday and wanted to know who I'd written Manly Man, Leg Crosser or Intellectual about, I had to lie.  It was a Pinocchio summoning sort of lie.  "I'm actually scared to know who this is about," he said.

"It's about . . . Cade."

"And who else?"

"Ummm."  I looked around the room.  I hoped something would help me.  "It's about Cade and . . . his brother."

"His brother?"

"Yes.  He crosses his legs."

"That's interesting.  It's a funny thing because I cross my legs too."

I was in trouble.  "But so does Cade's brother."  What had I been thinking?  He'd known the truth of course--he'd been there for the entire thing.  Cade even asked him if he pees sitting!  We hung up shortly after, and I felt worse than a mouse in a mouse trap. 

I called my mom.  "What do I do?  I lied.  I lied hard!"

"Tell him the truth," she said.

"I can't."

"You can."

So I called and told him.  I told him everything.

"You don't need to lie to me."

"I'm sorry . . . but you said you were scared to know who it was about.  That scared you and then it scared me."

"Well, I'm going to leave you a comment," he said.  Then when I checked my blog late last night he had indeed left a comment.  You have to read it because it's gold, pure and sweet.

Here it it:

Anonymous said...
This story sounds vaguely familiar... Perhaps it is because I’m the author’s brother, or that I’m an engineer. Or, maybe, it’s because we had this exact conversation! And yes, her now-spouse asked me if I pee sitting. And, yes, I do on occasion. Why? I don’t know. And, no, I don’t care who knows. I would have you know I just called she-who-shall-not-be-named and asked her who this post was about, and she had the shear gall to lie! She lied to the older brother who read to her for hours on end; the older brother who pushed her for miles around the house on her tricycle. For shame. For shame. To amend the record, I would say there is a correct and an incorrect way to go into a full crossing of the legs. Of the utmost importance is to ensure the tender bits are out of the way first. Otherwise, said legs become the jaws of a nut cracker. Second, do not play with the legs, bobbing the ankle up and down or swinging the distal end about. This may indeed threaten a male’s manliness. Finally, limit the time spent in such a position. For while comfortable in the short term, it can cause a lack of circulation in certain critical areas. It brings to mind the words blue and ball , and no one wants to see that. Shame on you EC Writes for misleading the public. Shame on you.

I'm sorry I told a lie, but this comment was well worth it.  So, I told a lie, confessed, got an awesome comment on my blog and didn't dream about Pinocchio, all in all I think everything turned out all right.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bible Girl and the Smoke-filled Car

They were the "cool kids."  So when they asked me to sit in their car, what was I supposed to do?  I was only sixteen and I was cold! 

This is A VERY embarrassing story for me to write, probably because it shows how naive I was, and probably since it makes me look like the biggest nerd the world ever birthed.  So, it was sometime in November.  I know that because Thanksgiving rested on my mind and snow blew across the ground like fairies dancing to a crazy beat.  My Junior year stretched before me and I loved school mostly because of the Bible study I held during lunch.

It was strange timing that specific day because we'd decided not to meet for Bible study.  Many of my friends went on an AP field trip and weren't around.  That meant I'd have to sit alone during lunch--not a pleasant thought since the rest of the kids sat in clumps at the cafeteria tables.  I figured I'd read my Bible and keep my head down, but as I walked further into the lunch room some of the kids yelled out "Bible Girl."  I usually didn't mind the nickname, but that day it really bothered me how those girls spit the words out, like something revolting.

I guess I'd had enough.  Instead of getting pizza or Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I burst through the heavy lunchroom doors and ran to the front of the school.  It was so cold my breath wrapped around me like a coat.  I shivered as I stood watching the cars glide past.

The mountains loomed, bedded in mist and made me wish I could drive to them and play my violin.  Whenever I had a hard time I'd take my fiddle to a cave in the mountains.  It was fun jamming inside for hours.  The music would echo off the walls, an effect of sorts because while playing there I'd harmonize with my own melodies.  I was just longing for my cave, when a car appeared from the mist to my left.  It parked in front of me and the most popular skater in school stepped from the door by the back seat. 

I couldn't master the bewilderment on my face.


It reminded me of those movies where the famous musician walks from the fog.  You get chills and have to catch your breath.  That's exactly what happened to me.  I wanted to tell him he'd make a great musician and could have been in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.  What's hilarious about "Thriller" is that it was the only secular music video I'd seen.  I wasn't allowed to watch MTV or listen to non-Christian music.  I could answer a million questions about DC Talk, Michael W. Smith or The Newsboys.  I was fine as long as nobody asked me about Metallica, Pearl Jam or Green Day.  I didn't know much about them except they weren't recommended listening at church.

"Hey, dude.  You need a lift?" the skater asked, even though I wasn't a "dude."

I looked around, making sure he was talking to me.  "Are you serious?" 


"Anything, for a pretty girl."


So, I got into the smokey car.  It was so foggy INSIDE that cab, I wondered if it was the source of the haze wrapping around our valley.  I squinted and realized two guys sat in the front seat.  

"Where to, Bible Girl?" the driver asked.

I coughed and waved my hand in front of my face.  "The mountains.  But is your car okay?  Isn't it a bit smokey in here?"

"It's just this dumb engine, man.  We're gonna fix it in shop next week.  We'll make it to the mountains.  No problem."

I paused.  "Okay . . .  Thanks for the ride."

All three guys laughed then, giggling like little girls.  I had no idea what was so funny, but I shut my door and sat back into my seat anyway.  I cinched my eyes and willed the driver to go as fast as he could.


"Wanna brownie?" the driver asked.  "I made them myself."

All three guys laughed again, reminding me of kids at Christmas.  They really thought those brownies were hysterical.

"You . . . like to bake?"  

He nodded.  It was shocking really, and even though I didn't want to be rude I didn't feel like eating something he'd made.  He did NOT look like the baking sort and their merriment made me think he'd put something horrible in those brownies, like cat poo or egg shells.  I suddenly worried that the whole ride was a prank they'd wanted to play on me for years.

"Ummm . . .  Thanks so much, but no thanks."

I sniffed.  The closer we got to the mountains, the more I realized how strange that cab smelled.  It did not smell like a malfunctioning engine.  It seemed like a strong cologne mixed with a woman's perfume.  Clues hung in the haze around me, but unfortunately I didn't have the knowledge to discern what really went on in that car.  I was too naive.  So, in an effort to dispel my concern, I opened my Bible.

The handsome guy next to me said, "Oh dude!  She's opening her Bible."

They all started laughing maniacally again.

I didn't look up, and instead pointed me finger onto a verse in the Bible.  I'd opened to second John.  I read aloud, "For many deceivers enter into the world."

"Deceivers, man!" the driver hooted with amusement and shoved an entire brownie into his mouth.

He had Samson's appetite!  I looked ahead, then wondered how the driver could see through the fog outside and inside the car!  He must have had a Biblical appetite and Superman's x-ray vision.

I thought of that brownie again.  The words I'd read rolled around my innocent mind.  I gasped and smiled, thinking I'd discovered their secret.  The thought hit me like a light-less train in the dark.  I sniffed the perfumy-stuff again.  Maybe those three skaters were hiding together in the back of a big-fat closet!  The driver liked baking; they drove in a car that smelled like potpourri.  The guy next to me held his hand out like a limp fish when he talked.  They all giggled despite the fact that most straight men chuckle.  I knew what was going on!  All three of those guys--were gay!

I puffed so proud from my power of deduction, I had to grin.  Then a laugh burst from my mouth.  I laughed harder and harder.  The whole thing was like a crazy sitcom--or so I suddenly thought--and I LOVED it!  I was part of three's company, friends with a bunch of sensitive guys just like Jack!

"What's so funny, man?" the driver asked even though I was still a girl.

I blinked.  "I . . . don't exactly remember."  

We laughed for a long time after that.  It was a blur really.  I had a great time with those gay guys.  I'm not sure how long we drove around, but we never made it to the mountains.

It wasn't until the next day that one of my best Christian friends gasped and told me those horrible sinners weren't gay.  I had a very long debate with him and myself.  I didn't know what to think.  I felt horrible.  I HATE drugs, always have, always will and yet I'd unknowingly hot boxed!  After thinking about it for a long time I remembered John 8:7 about casting the first stone: "Those of you who are without sin cast the first stone."  I thought about what Jesus preached in the Bible.  

"What would Jesus do?" I asked my friend.

"If He'd been in your shoes He wouldn't have followed that skater and stepped in that car."  His motions were blunt, angular and exact, like he suffered from OCD.

"But if He had ended up in that car . . . somehow, He would love those guys and not condemn them," I said.

"You know they're headed straight to Hell," the guy said.

I look back now and have to laugh.  I still can't believe those skaters did that to me!  They tricked "Bible Girl" into hot boxing!!!  I NEVER stepped into their car after that, and I'm so glad I never ate one of their homespun brownies.  I can say this though, they came to my Bible study a couple times after that and I never sat alone at lunch again.

"You know.  You're all right, Bible Girl," one of them told me once.  He'd bought a Bible and everything.

"So are you," I said and started giggling.  "I still can't believe you convinced me to get into that smoke-filled car."

"That was hilarious," he said.

"Yeah, especially since I thought you were gay."

"What?!" he gasped, and I had to laugh harder than that day we never made it to the mountains.

So, I have a question: If you were me, what would you have done after discovering those boys tricked you into entering that smoke-filled car?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Manly Man, Leg Crosser or Intellectual: Part I

In high school most of my close friends were guys.  Sometimes they forgot about me being a girl, and had crazy conversations right in front of me.  They talked about who they would date and how far they'd go.  They punched each other in places I don't want to talk about and made fools of themselves in ways they never would in front of other girls.  As I think about it, one of their conversations sticks out; it was how to separate a manly man from a leg crosser.

To give you a good picture, let me show you an example of a "very cool" manly man.  I think everyone would agree on this.  If you don't think James Dean is manly, your mama dropped you when you were a baby.  I'm sorry to ruin her cover, but it's time you should know . . . she most likely never told you about it.

Here's a picture of heartthrob James Dean.  This isn't my favorite picture because Natalie Wood is up in his grill.  In this picture she doesn't know a thing about personal space and James doesn't look like he wants her being that close--just staring at him.  It reminds me of those people who keep their eyes open when they make-out and that's just Silence of the Lambs scary!
Anyway here's the picture:

And here's a better one.  Wasn't he a good looking guy!

According to the main expert on this, (let's call him Charlie) manly men like James DO NOT cross their legs; if they have to, they cross their ankles.  As he said one day, "It's physically impossible for a true manly man to cross his legs. And if he does, by some miracle cross his legs, he definitely DOES NOT sit when he pees."

It reminded me of the princess and the pea.  I love fairy tales but this was real life--like a dream come true.  With the leg crossing thing you could watch anyone and know if they were manly or not!

The whole thing kinda stuck with me.  I'd ask Charlie about different people we knew.  I didn't mean to sound judgmental, but it was more interesting than cinnamon toast.  I love people watching anyway and the leg crossing thing made it fifty times more interesting.  You could watch someone's mannerisms and see into their leg-crossing soul.  The more I learned, the more I understood.  I swallowed his theory faster than that one about global warming.

So, Charlie said . . .

This was acceptable:

This was not:

This was acceptable:

This was not:

This was acceptable:

This was not:

Now as you look at these pictures, you've probably already realized there are some VERY COOL leg crossers.  I unfortunately didn't pick up on this as quickly as you did. 

Instead, I believed the lie.  My friend and I lounged around talking for hours.  He'd boast of some guy that probably sits when he pees because he crossed his legs like they'd been super glued together backwards.  It wasn't until one day while we visited Charlie's family, that his theory blew into pieces.

Charlie's brother, Nate--his ultimate hero--sat on the couch across from us.  We talked about chess and how Nate would be an engineer soon.  Charlie laughed hard, loving every minute he got with his brother, but that was when it happened.  I saw it in slow motion, as Nate squirmed, looking uncomfortable.  He moved slightly.  Itched his thigh, then his knee.  He grabbed his ankle and started lifting his leg slowly.

I wanted to scream, "No!  No!  You can't be a leg crosser.  I've watched too many good men fall . . .  Plus, you might hurt yourself!"

Before I could say a thing, his ankle rested atop his other knee.  I sighed.  He was safe for a moment, just as long as he didn't seal the deal and cross his legs completely.  I felt relieved; if he was a manly man, that would be physically impossible anyway.  Why had I been so worried?

As I sat, breathing hope, that was when it happened.  Nate went for it, sending his leg down, down into a clenching crossed leg position.  I stared at him.  My jaw fell into my lap.  I'd never known he wasn't a manly man!  I swallowed as I gaped at him because he didn't seem hurt at all.  I expected him to gasp for air, like he'd just been hit in the groin with a hockey puck.  I pictured two water balloons about to burst!  But he didn't even wince!  He just sat there, laughing about engineering and chess.  It wasn't until I looked at my friend, that I almost spit out my drink.

Charlie's face withered to ashes.  He turned to me and shook his head.  "I never knew," he whispered.

"It's okay," I said, suddenly doubting the theory.  "Maybe there are exceptions."

"I don't think there are," Charlie said in a monotone.  We both eyed Nate who stared back curiously.

"You two okay?" Nate asked.

Then Charlie, being the brave manly man I knew, dove right into the fray.  "Nate.  Do you . . . sit when you pee?"

Nate laughed and sat straight.  "Why, yes.  Yes, I do."

I wanted to clap for him, tell him, "job well done," because what he'd just said took guts. I was proud of him for being himself and showing that the rest be damned!

Later, when Charlie took me home, he said he'd been wrong.  His theory had been flawed.

"How so?" I asked.

"It's because there are three types of men.  Any guy can be in one of three categories.  A man can be a manly man, a leg crosser," he paused, "or an intellectual."

That conversation makes me giggle because "Charlie" still believes his theory.  Even though I'm not a complete believer I think it's hilariously awesome.

With all that being said, what do you think of the theory?  Do you think it's ready to go to the "law" phase or still a work in progress?  What type of man did you marry or what type of man are you?  Do you cross your legs and sit when you pee?  Go ahead, this is the internet, feel free to let us know.