Church, bras, and tangled hair

I was discussing with a co-worker this evening a church that my family attended when I was a baby, and it brought to mind the last time I attended Mass there.  We had moved elsewhere for church when I was still quite little, but occasionally still went to Mass there for a while.  Eventually, though, we had stopped altogether going there, and always went to one of two other nearby churches.  Therefore, it is easy for me to remember the last time I attended Mass at this particular church, because it was a singular event, with no other occurrences within years of its happening.

My youngest brother and I were tasked with going to church together on our own.  He was probably 16 or so, making me 12 at the time.  I remember how we were hanging out at home, and how he was playing games on the still-new PS2.  And I eventually finished getting dressed at the last minute, and we rushed off to Mass.

We ended up having the Mass time incorrect, so we weren’t just a little bit late to Mass.  But we stayed, anyway, and attended what little was left of it once we arrived.  When we arrived back home, a very unique experience happened, and one which I feel shows how loving we are, my brothers and I.  I had worn this top that went on like a tube top – yes, there were sleeves of some sort, or else a sweater that I wore over it, but it went on like a tube top.  However, it wasn’t the usual stretchy material of tube tops, but rather a somewhat set-size material with elastic around the top piece to help it stay in place.  (I’m almost certain that it had wide-ish straps, but nothing like actual sleeves to it.  I remember specifically that I had to wear a strapless bra with it, because of the strap situation, but that is all of which I am certain about the straps – strapless bra required.)

When I went to remove my top, changing out of the nicer clothes and into comfy, regular clothes, I got myself stuck.  You know the feeling… pulling it upward first, and, at the pivotal point, feeling the fabric stop sliding and suddenly hold tightly to the width of your currently-expanded shoulder blades… and being incapable of pulling the top back down, because your arms are now stuck up in the air, because the fabric really just doesn’t give almost at all.

So, what could I do but get help?  I remember having the slight concern of going to my brother for help, because he would see my bra! my thoughts shouted in whispered tones.  It took almost no time to accept the social standard as just that, and then to let it go.  I was beginning to panic at being stuck, when I was walking back out into the living room for help from my brother.  He easily stopped immediately what he was doing, and came to the rescue.  I think it might have actually taken us a good bit of effort to free me, but we eventually succeeded, and I was grateful for his help.

And, what is amazing about this, really, is that neither of us was uncomfortable with the situation.  Sure, it was an odd situation – I was already at the point of having been able to dress myself alone successfully for years.  But it was still easy for us both, because of our love and care for one another.

 

As another brief anecdote, I remember a time my oldest brother was babysitting me, and I went to use my mom’s rounded brush, typically used for curling hair while blowdrying, to brush my hair.  I did it in a sort of hurry, and somehow twisted the brush while it still had my hair running through it (I had long hair at the time), and began brushing a new spot on my head… ultimately knotting a big chunk of my hair into the brush.

My brother was able to reach my mom on the phone, and she said to check with the neighbors, because the mother there might be able to help unknot my hair.  A good, long while later, the neighbor was convinced that my hair had to be cut, in order to remove the brush.  I remember my mom’s voice on the phone declaring, “Do not cut her hair,” to my brother.  I think it took over an hour, possibly longer, and I don’t remember who finally did it (though my brother, the neighbor, and I all worked on it at times, and my mom might even have had to finish it up when she got home later), but my hair eventually was freed.  And I was concerned about ever using that kind of brush in my hair again.

Obviously.

You know, I think those were the worst that ever really happened when my brothers were in charge of babysitting… not bad, I think.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

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Just…oh, man…

Today, I have been in an area that feels like the end of my whits in terms of toleration of things.  Even the little things, the ones that usually are very oh, well, whatever to me, evoked strong reactions from me today.  To be fair, I did have a good amount of nonsense and frustration today with school.  And I am quite tired.  I struggled driving home tonight, and it was hardly after 8:30.  By 9:00, I was sort of an angry emotional wreck, desperately prepping and eating some food, in a state of distress.  Now, showered and sitting on my bed, I have tears edging their way out of me, though I haven’t felt any in waiting all day.  (Except for during the really good bits of the opera, of course, but that’s totally different from the rest of the day’s events and emotions.)

I am angry, to at least frustrated, and I’m not sure why… and I worry that it is for health reasons that I am so stressed.  Part of me wants to be right, but I think more of me wants to be wrong… and I worry that I am right, anyway.

I’m hardly making sense, I think, so I’ll just go to sleep, possibly sobbing a bit to relieve whatever this is coming up right now.  I had a similarly-strong-emotion day this past weekend, and I wonder if they are related to the same underlying concern to which I have considered attributing today’s emotional state.

Anyway… goodnight, please.

Post-a-day 2017

Asian-English teatime with the bff sister

This evening, by a wonderful unfolding of events, I ended up having tea with my best friend’s little sister.  As my best friend’s little sister, she holds a sweet spot in my heart.  What’s more, the fact that she’s the first person I’ve seen go from little kid, singing nursery-rhyme-type songs, to a mature young adult (and soon full-blown adult), makes that spot even sweeter.

As we sat in the tapioca teahouse, drinking our warm (Taiwanese style, I think – at least, that’s what a friend of mine saw constantly while in Taiwan, and which we haven’t seen much elsewhere) bubble tea, our attention somehow turned to the menu on the wall.  Naturally, we hadn’t thought anything special of it when we actually were looking at the menu to order earlier on, but it was suddenly relevant to our conversation, so our attention turned to it.  She is studying Mandarin this year (since August), and I’ve just moved here from Japan.  So, we have some common ground on understanding Chinese characters.  (For those who don’t know, Japanese kind of stole the characters from Chinese, and adapted them a bit, so loads of them look exactly or almost exactly the same and have the same or very similar meanings.)

We joyfully pointed out that “ice” was on the end of each name in the ‘Snowy Drink’ category, and that “little” was next to one other character on the “Snacks” sections – likely ‘little meal’ or ‘little food’.  Something like that.  And then we discussed how we were scouring the menu, picking out little pieces that we understood.  It was like a fun little puzzle that we were putting together, piece by piece… one that we know will take months, even years, but the timing of which doesn’t seem to bother us in the slightest.  We’re just excited that we’re able to make the little sense of it all that we already can.  And we aren’t even using the same language to do it, technically, making it simultaneously that much sillier and that much more awesome.

So, we got to enjoy one another’s company and be nerdy language-lovers together, while sipping warm asian versions of English tea (Earl Grey) on a cold, cold night (for Houston, anyway).  Blessings abound when open our minds and schedules to them, it seems.  And I am grateful for this one in particular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

Singing, Showering, and liking you better…

Today, I sent a message to my best friend that read, “For some reason, I regularly think about messaging you when I go to the bathroom”

Her response was prompt and simple.  “Lol,” followed by, “You like me so much better when youre naked”

“Duh,” was my casual response.

You see, the whole thing started back in college.  Freshman year, I was Skype-ing with Christine one day, probably early morning.  I had gone into the common room to chat with her, but, since we were in an all-girls dormitory, and it was too early for visitors to be around, I wasn’t fully dressed (probably just a t-shirt and underwear).  When we started the call, she let me know that a friend of hers was with her, and that it was a guy (because it was already afternoon in Cambridge, England, so it was normal to be hanging out with people already there). So, I had to go put on some more clothing before we turned on the camera.  (At least, I think that was the case… she might have just checked to make sure I was properly clothed, because I regularly would be not fully clothed.  Either way, the next part did happen.)  When I commented about this, the guy friend of hers made a comment about liking someone so much better naked (I forget if it was about Christine liking me, or what, but it was totally silly, and seemed such an odd comment.)  We both were lacking in understanding at first, but he explained that there was an actual song (by Ida Maria), and that that was the line the girl used in it.  (See, it made sense and wasn’t actually weird at all.)

The chorus goes like this:

But I won’t mind
If you take me home
Come on, take me home
I won’t mind
if you take off all your clothes
Come on, take them off
‘Cause I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked
I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked

We found it hilarious.  We found the actual song and music video, and fell in a sort of this is silly and utterly ridiculous, but I still love it kind of love with the song.

I shared it with my hallway neighbor, who played guitar, and we tried playing it a bit on the guitar.  I eventually played it for Christine one day on Skype.  My greatest, proudest achievement with the song, however, was the time I snuck into the bathrooms (they were shared, and had loads of stalls and multiple showers) one day, just after Jessie, the neighbor, had gone in to shower.  Once I knew she was actually in the shower, showering, I walked into the showering area (mind you, not into her stall, just in the showering section of the bathroom), and began playing the song on guitar, and singing it to her.  I could hear her snorting, gurgling, guffawing laugher emitting from the shower stall as I sang and played.  It was spectacular for the both of us.  I shared the story with my best friend, too, and she loved it.*

So, the song has always held a special little place in our hearts, minds, and lives, all three of us.  Everyone else probably just thinks we’re crazy, whenever they overhear us mentioning or quoting or singing it.  😛

Here’s a link to the music video.

 

*This reminds me… I sang to a friend of mine in Japan while she showered one night.  We were chatting on the phone, just hanging out one night, after we’d both gotten internet, and so didn’t have to hang up after every five minutes anymore, and she really needed to shower, but we weren’t ready to end our conversation/hanging out.  So, she set the phone to the side on speakerphone, and I sang to her while she showered.  I had been humming and singing quietly already anyway, so what was the difference if I just did it a little louder, right?  It was spectacular, of course.  Then a night or few later, when I mentioned to another friend that this had happened, he complained that I didn’t sing for him and that that certainly wasn’t fair.  And so I sang to him over the phone… and he fell asleep.  😛  Spectacular in a different sort of way, I guess, but still spectacular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

 

Granny at heart?

I’ve never really been one for people my own age.  I’m not sure what it is about me or about them, but I just have never much meshed with people my own age.  A recent party was no exception in proving this.

See, I was attending this party, and there were people of various ages.  The handful around my own age all got on really well with one another, in a few groups that all would mix and mingle off and on with one another.  I was not part of any of them, really, at any point, though various individuals greeted me briefly throughout the evening.  Near the end of the party, they all started going on about whether everyone else was going to the afterparty.  They weren’t really asking the older folks; just the youngish people, the ones around my own age.

Except, in all of the inviting and discussing, no one ever mentioned the after party to me. And it wasn’t as though it had been announced or anything, and so I had heard all about it, and everyone was invited.  No.  Someone commented publicly the day before that there would be an afterparty, almost in a joking manner, yes.  But, at the actual party, it was a one-on-one or one-on-two topic of discussion.  And I was never included in any of those small groups.  I only heard the, “Are you going to the afterparty?” questions posed among friends as I passed by them.  Multiple times.

And it’s not like I really wanted to go to the afterparty, anyway.  They were going to some bar, it sounded like, and in the opposite direction of my home (which was already half an hour away).  Neither of those ideas appealed to me.  Plus, throw in the factor that I’m not exactly wanted there, and I definitely am less than thrilled at the idea of the afterparty.

The thing is, I wanted to be invited.  It hurt ever so slightly that I wasn’t even invited.  That I never expected them to invite me made it hurt that much more.  I spent most of the party chatting with people quite older than I am (at least a decade or two), and I loved that.  It felt almost like I actually belonged in that group.  But I still am a tiny bit disappointed that the my-age people seem not to like me.  I’m not sure if they dislike me, or if they think I dislike them or something.  I am, at the very least, unimportant to them. And, while I don’t really like them all too much, anyway, – I don’t dislike them, let’s be clear – I would invite them along to something, if I were doing something tied to that group of people.  I wouldn’t exclude them.  I don’t wish the feeling of exclusion on anyone.

Anyway, the bottom line is: I really just don’t get on easily with people my own age most of the time.  This party the other night emphasized the fact that this has not changed as I have aged.

Post-a-day 2017

A foreigner at home?

Have you ever felt out of place within your own culture?  As time passes, it happens to me more and more often.  Last night, I attended an event with coworkers.  The noise volume took me by slight surprise when I first arrived.  How can people be this loud? I thought.  And then I remembered almost before I finished asking the question: They’re americans (from the USA).

But I’m american from the US, too.  Wouldn’t I be used to this, then?

I quickly compared it to a drinking party at an izakaya (like a bar) with nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) in Japan.  Yes, the Japanese can get quite loud there.  It was never to the point of wanting to cover my ears, though, I hear myself thinking.  So, I am very much accustomed to a much quieter environment for parties, then.  I’m not just being a bit dramatic and overly sensitive to normal behavior and a normal situation.

Even still… I felt so oddly out of place, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with myself.  I ended up semi-hiding in the coatroom (it wasn’t a closet, but an actual room, I promise) to take a breather from all the people and the noise from time to time.  I also took extra-long any time I went to the bathroom, because it was cozy and quiet in there on my own. Yes, I could have just gone home.  However, I rarely spend time even around people who aren’t high schoolers right now, so I felt it was somewhat necessary – even if just for social practice – to spend time around adults, especially happy ones in a good, safe environment.

I definitely adjusted after a bit, but I still felt quite out of place for most of the event.  I guess I’m just not so USA american anymore… which doesn’t surprise me, really.  It’s just odd, not belonging in a place everyone calls my “home”.

Post-a-day 2017

Life goals(?)

I found myself tonight considering a conversation I had with my cousin several years ago.  People were talking about jobs and interviews and moving to work in different countries and kids, and all that jazz.  Reviewing it all in my head, as I prepared for bed just now, I wondered about giving things my all.  I feel that I never give my all for things.  I am certainly not certain of this as a fact – I just mean that I feels as though I never give my all on anything.  And I think that is tied in with passion; if I were passionate about something truly, then I would give my all.

But I couldn’t call to mind anywhere that I have given my all.  I give a great effort for different things and different times, and oftentimes a much greater effort than someone else has given or would give.  However, is it ever my best effort?  I think not.

Thinking about this, then, I began to wonder about where my passion lies, such that, when presented with it, I would give the situation my best effort, give it my all.

And then I remembered the conversation.

‘I want to make a difference for people in life.  I want to help people.

‘Why do you want to do that?’

I am halted.  I consider deeply.  Eventually, I have a response.  ‘I think it is because I feel valued, needed, when I help others.  And that makes me feel like I am worth it in life.’  If I am needed, then I am necessary and worth having around.

I’m not sure if I want to be upset by this or not.  (Obviously, I want to be content, not upset.  However, this is calling for some deep consideration, which I do respect.)  Does this still drive me in life?  It was years ago, and I consciously took action to free myself of the mentality, and then forgot about it until now.  It just lived as a picture on the wall of a room through which I pass so often, that I’ve forgotten what decorations are even in it.  And now, someone has asked me what I think of this picture on the wall….

I don’t know.

Post-a-day 2017