So, moving on from my bad news, I’m going to fill you in on my Girl Date, which was loads of fun. Liesl is just fantastic–funny, down to earth, unflappable, a great mom, really smart–the total package. And I’m so freaking glad that the Cuz had the good sense to marry the girl.
We went to a “Children’s Expo” which was sort of a misnomer, because there really wasn’t much for kids to do there–it was mostly aimed at mom’s. Which was fun, and fine, because we didn’t bring the kids with us, anyway. There were plenty of “goodies” that we could bring home with us for them, without having them there with us ruining our good time.
At one booth, Liesl was looking at consignment clothing, and I was just dorking around (since I was attempting to continue my spending fast, and my children need more clothing like they need another hole in their sweet wee heads). Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a man looking at me. I’m thinking, “Yeah, Beege, you rock your new trouser-cut jeans!” and feeling all empowered by the absence of my children, I smile at him. He smiles back, and then all of the sudden all the tiles slide into place in my mind and I realize, “Beege. You know this guy.” He comes over, still smiling, “Beege. How are you. It’s been a really long time!” It was a guy I had total crush on in high school. Josh. And he looks exactly the same. Totally. And his wife and kids are standing there, so I grin sort of foolishly (definitely not my jean-rocking smile) and say, “Josh. How are you? It’s nice to see you again.” and then slipped away.
I felt like such the goober. And I’m not sure why. I mean–I’m always suprised that people even remember me. I always expect a, “Gee…you look sort of familiar…did I go to school with your sister?” Or even a, “Ahhh, no. Can’t say as I can place you. We hung out in geometry sophomore year? Really. Huh. I got nothing. Sorry.” But Josh remembered me. Remembered my name. Gave me that cute smile I remembered dreaming about when I was 15. Stroked my ego a little bit, because I’m feeling so far from sexy and attractive it’s not even funny.
But the other weird thing is living in a place where I know people. Where I have a history with people. Where it’s completely possible (indeed, probable) to run into an old crush at the convention center, or have my hair cut by a former best friend, who is a former best friend because I got religion in high school (and I also got annoying about getting religion in high school) and she told me, “God’s a jerk.” Pious little me couldn’t allow my golden crown to be smudged by hanging around with someone who would say that, so I fled to the sanctuary of the Baptist youth group. Now, I’ve uttered that same sentiment a time or two myself (actually, mine is a lot less ‘God’s a jerk‘ and a whole lot more ‘What the hell? Who the fuck do you think you are, asshole? God?‘ To which the answer is always, ‘Ummm… yeah. I thought I’d made that pretty clear.‘ and I never have an answer after that.)
Every move we’ve ever made, from my first move east for seminary 10 years ago, to the one we made in October has been a fresh start for us–we’re going to have to make our own way in a new place, with new people, who don’t know us. But the longer I live here, I realize: I’m not in a new place, with new people, who don’t know me. I’m in my hometown, with all that goes along with it. And it’s strange. Because I am so different from who I was when I lived here before. But all these people I knew from before who are still here? In my head, they are exactly the same as they were when we traded gossip about how tampons would make you lose your virginity. Odds are: they’ve changed, too.
I never in a million years expected to come back to my hometown to live. When I left this place for college it was with wings of joy in my heart ‘cuz I was going to the big city: Spokane. And I would NEVER come back to this place again, except to visit and encourage my parents to move so that I’d never have to come back to this place again.
But I find myself here. And it’s good. It’s a good place to raise kids. It’s good to be near family. It’s even good to run into old crushes, and have them not only remember me, but be happy to see me. It’s good to think about getting to see my old best friend, and apologize for being such a schmuck. It’s good to fall asleep, with the moutain snuggled up behind our house as surely as M is snuggled up behind me. It’s good to be in the land of wheat fields, and vineyards, and mighty, deep blue rivers. It’s good to see my children embraced and loved by the people who embraced and loved me when I was a girl.
So. Life is definitely weird. But life is also definitely good. Even in the face of inexplicable church decisions. Even in the face of selling pants for the forseeable future. Even in the face of wondering if we’ll ever get to the point where we’ll be bringing in enough money, and have enough bills paid down, that we can move out of my parents’ house and into something that’s ours. It’s still good. I still get to be married to my best friend. I still have the sweetest and most loving girls I’ve ever come in contact with.
Life is boog. 😉