Sunday, January 23, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Recently, I've begun to receive similar question all the more frequently. Perhaps it that every Wednesday morning I can be seen leaving Wal-Mart with one or maybe 2 carts full of diapers, wipes, bouncers, bassinets, playpens, strollers, you name it. On my 2-cart days I especially draw a lot of looks. "How many kids do you have?" people will ask. "Are you stocking up for a year?" "Do you have twins?" "Triplets?"
It really would be the perfect opportunity to respond with some snarky comment, but instead I use it as a time to talk up the ministry I work with, the Gabriel Project Life Center.
A priest that I used to work with, however, took advantage of a similar opportunity to have some fun. He retold this story at lunch one day to 4 nuns and me:
"When I was the president of the high school, we always kept extra uniform parts on hand in case the kids arrived to school for any reason without their uniforms. One day Shoe Carnival was having a great sale, so I went and bought about 30 pair of shoes to keep on hand at the school. As I was loading them into my car, there was this teenage boy watching. Now, I was dressed as I am now, wearing my collar, black shirt, black pants--certainly identifiable as a priest. The boy watched for a bit until he finally asked 'who are all those shoes for?'
'They're for my kids,' I said.
He chewed on this for a minute...'How many kids do you have?' he asked.
'I have 136' (the number of kids at the school).
...he thought for a minute...and finally asked 'Are you a pimp?'
At this point in the lunch, I exploded into laughter, while 3 of the 4 nuns tentatively smiled, and the 4th, who had yet to crack a smile, said "I do not know what that word means," to which I laughed even harder. The priest, caught off guard, didn't have a particularly great explanation to offer to the nun, completedly dodged the bullet and finally offered "Allison can probably explain it better than I can."
Now, I'm not sure what sort of image I had given to this priest or these nuns to make them think that I would be any sort of expert on the subject, and I really had no intention of diving into an explanation. After some hesitation on my part, the nun conceded with "I can use my imagination." Whew!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I must have been about 15. At least I hope that I was 15 because although this memory seems more recent than that, I would have been dating my high school boyfriend at ages 16 or 17, and this entire thing would be completely inappropriate. Think of me what you will...
One evening in my religious ed class, as teenagers were apt to do, we started talking about "who liked who." I have no idea what I said or if I even took part in the conversation. I do, however, distinctly remember one of my friends saying "I know who Matthew likes!" and then looking at me and saying "Hi Allison." Then, as luck would not have it, we broke up into 2 smaller groups and my group went into another building to hold class. I never had the opportunity to see his reaction to this revelation, and I never found out if it was true. I wasn't sure how I felt so I thought it best just to pretend that the whole situation never happened (although you can bet I replayed it in my mind, reflected on any hints that he might have given beforehand, yadda yadda being a girl).
Fast forward a week or two: I had reflected on the idea that this boy might actually like me and decided he was someone who I could like in return. Being a silly high school girl, of course I didn't put my feelings into words; I decided to flirt and gauge his reponse. My flirting method of choice? Steal his cap and wear it the rest of the night (along with, I'm sure, general teenage girl silliness). We must have also broken up into the 2 small groups that night and I must have been in his group, because when he and I and some others walked back into the classroom at the end of the evening, I noticed him sitting beside a new girl. You can imagine my shock when she was introduced as his girlfriend! Oh I was sooo embarrassed, gave the cap back, and never thought about acting on that situation again (ok, well so maybe I thought about it...)! Fortunately this story had a happy ending in that he and (surprisingly) the girlfriend didn't seem upset by the situation at all and I remained friends with them both.
May your soul spend its eternity in Heaven, dear friend.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Fast forward a few years and I understand where she was coming from.
I see hugging as an activity reserved for specific circumstances or individuals:
- Immediate family members
- Significant others
- I have not seen the person for an extended period of time preceding the hug.
- I will not see the person for and extended period of time following the hugs.
- The person or I have done something admirable and am being congratulated/thanked.
- Someone has died.
- We are extending the sign of peace at Mass (reserved for individuals in my speed dial).
Unfortunately for me, I tend to find myself in situations of excessive hugging. My boss, for example, must think that hugging is one of my favorite things to do (right up there with singing children's camp songs). I am greeted each morning with a hug, hugged during the sign of peace at daily Mass (boss is not in my speed dial), and hugged at the end of the day before going home (15 hours does not fall under my definition of "an extended period of time"). That's 3 hugs per day. About 2.873 hugs over my daily quota. That's on a good day.
We recently finished hosting a 2 1/2 week volunteer training. 14 volunteers+2 aspirants+2 nuns=18 people not including me. We began the morning with Mass, and let me just say, this was a very huggy group. I'd say I definitely ended up hugging the people sitting on either side of me, then maybe averaged 2 more either in the row in front of or behind me.That's 4 hugs, but still only 1 more than I have learned to tolerate. But it didn't stop there. Every evening we ended with a sign of peace. Which meant that I was forced to hug EACH other person. Count them, 18 MORE hugs, bringing our grand total to 22 hugs each day. I always hoped that our little goodnight hugging ritual would somehow be overlooked, and a couple of times we came so close! Until someone would exclaim "we forgot the sign of peace!" and hugs would begin all around. One night the ritual began when we were all going inside for the night and I hoped to be able to sneak inside before anyone realized that they only had 17 instead of 18 goodnight hugs. Wouldn't you know that I was locked outside until the whole thing was finished (and I was forced to take part)?
Recently I've been working on subtle ways to avoid some of my daily hugs, and occasionally I even succeed. Moral of the story: Just say no to hugs!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Unfortunately, since it's a sportier version of a family car, I qualified for the "standard" size car. This is what I got:
Comparable? I think not. Besides looking like a funeral director, it was hard to see out of and my coffee cup didn't even fit in the cup holder. Granted, I did not have a skull hanging in the back window, but still my friends got a good laugh seeing me driving around in the thing--even people I don't know too well thought it was a riot. And wouldn't you know, I had to parallel park the thing in a narrow, muddy alley with a couple of guys watching. That's hot. Luckily, the body shop got me fixed up in just a couple of days.
Soon thereafter, I made my first independent business trip and again had a rental car. Fortunately, this one turned out much better:
Ironically, I had the Beetle when I was making a mission appeal. The deacon of the church already gave me a hard time because the other mission speakers in the area were priests or religious from foreign missions, and they got me: a 25-year old Texas girl. And instead of looking like a missionary, I pulled up in my little red Beetle wearing giant sunglasses and high heels. Ok, so I didn't actually wear the heels for this very reason, but it paints a better picture to imagine them. I enjoyed this car very much despite the Louisiana roads that live up to their reputation--much better than driving a hearse!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I should probably mention that I'm writing this blog entry from New Jersey. I'm staying here while I'm at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. When I say that I was counting down the days that the bridge had to last, I was really counting down the days until my UN conference is over--because losing my bridge before that would be the worst timing ever (and seriously...it's lasted 12 years. What are the odds?)
I arrived to NJ on Saturday afternoon, and sure enough, while I was brushing my teeth Saturday night I noticed that it was no longer attached, and it came out in my hand. I ran to one of the Sisters (I'm staying in a convent) nearly in tears and poor thing I don't think she knew what to do with me. She said that you couldn't even see it, but it's right on the front and I knew that I just looked like a hillbilly (which is not entirely inappropriate for a girl from the sticks who somehow found her way to the United Nations). I also called my parents almost hysterical, even though I knew that there wasn't much they could do for me either.
I was much calmer the next morning. My dad first suggested that I call a family friend who is a dentist. Unfortunately, I left my phone in Jersey when we went sight-seeing in Manhattan so I didn't have a chance immediately. In the meantime, my dad talked to another friend who is a dental tech who specifically works on bridges. He mentioned that possibly I could super-glue it. I had actually thought about using super glue, but worried about using something toxic in my mouth. I called the family friend dentist who said that he wouldn't use super glue exactly, but recommended emergency dental adhesive. So Monday while we were waiting in line to register at the UN, my companion here held my place and I went to CVS and bought a denture repair kit (because I am obviously 90 years old). It looked like exactly what I would need, so I bought 2 to make sure I had enough to last the entire 2 weeks. When I got back to the UN I went to the restroom to try to do a little dental repair.
When I opened the box I found that there were powder and liquid adhesive that needed to be mixed together. So there I am in the UN bathroom with a white powdery substance and some adhesive that smelled like a nail salon (and for all of you ladies who have set foot in a nail salon, you recognize that that's hardly something that should be used in one's mouth--probably worse than super glue). I know that I looked quite suspicious--especially when I pulled the baggie out of my purse that held my tooth. Seriously, a baggie and white powder that could have been cocaine, anthrax (wasn't that the stuff?), anything! (And to make matters worse, I dropped the tooth in my purse so I had to dig around for it.) I knew that the nail-salon smelling adhesive couldn't be good for me (when I opened the box I realized that you're supposed to use it in a well ventilated area and NOT in your mouth), but I tried anyway. Fail. I put the tooth back in the baggie and continued the day toothless. (I should also mention that I had to get my official UN photo ID made directly after that. I obviously went for the closed-mouth smile, which makes my eyes look abnormally large and the camera was much higher than my face, making my chin look pointy so that I resemble an alien in the photo.)
So after we had lunch, we had a bit of time to kill but didn't have enough time to go to any more meetings. I went back to CVS and returned the 2nd dental repair kit and bought something called Dentemp for caps and fillings, as well as some good-ole' Fixodent. That night I re-opened my dental shop in my room and glued my tooth back using the Dentemp. Then for good measure I squirted a bunch of Fixodent to affix the tooth to my gums as well as the bridge. So far it's holding up, but we'll see. I plan to re-apply the Fixodent daily for good measure, which I've found that as a bonus glues my upper lip right to my gums.