Something a little out of the ordinary happened yesterday that I wanted to share with you all. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it had a big impact on me.
It was 8:20 and I was still in bed. The kids slept in and I had no reason to get up, other than to try to make it to my 9:30 moms Bible study, whiiiich let’s just say I wasn’t really wanting to do. I had actually told myself the night before that I wasn’t going to go, simply because I was tired right at that moment. I mean, I had just watched 5 straight hours of Downton Abbey and it was late, yo. Totally valid excuse! I’m sure you’ve all had those times when you know you should get out of bed and start getting ready for that ‘thing’, but the bed! It’s just so warm! And I’m just too tired! And I’ll never make it on time because I’m late already so why even try! And the lame excuses! Just! Keep! Coming! It was TOTALLY one of those mornings. Whether it’s work/church/appointments/school… I’ve always been this way. Procrastinator to the core. I know very well I’m going to get up and get ready for ‘the thing’ and I will only make it harder on myself the longer I stay in bed, but IT’S JUST SO DANG COZY ONE MORE MINUTE WON’T HURT I MEAN 10 MORE MINUTES WON’T HURT, RIGHT?
I got out of bed. The kids woke up and we all were fed, dressed and out the door in record time. This never happens. I did my usual “I’m late, but there’s still time for Starbuuuucks!” run because obviously I have priorities.
Some of you might remember my road rage post from last year. Well, the Starbucks over by my house attracts the most interesting people and never fails to provide unique and memorable experiences (or, weird and slightly terrifying experiences). Yesterday was no different. I was in the drive-thru, and if you can imagine this, there’s no physical barrier for the line. It’s surrounded by painted parking spots and people push their way into the line ALL the time. It drives me nuts! They will flat out cut in front of you and act like nothing’s strange or rude about it at all.
Yesterday, that happened. I was about to scoot up and a woman sped in front of me with the foulest expression on her face. Out of habit, my arm flew up in a “HELLOOO??!” gesture, but I stopped mid-flail and realized something. I didn’t feel angry. The arm came down. You guys know I’m almost always raging about something, but not this time. In fact, in that moment of clarity, I realized that she had been sitting in line when I drove up, and though she was not in the ‘correct’ line, she had still been there before me.
So this is the weird part. I said to my kids, “I’ll be right back, everything’s okay!” and I stepped out of my car. I calmly walked up to this scowling woman’s car and tapped on her window. (WUT. Do I have a death wish?!) She opened her door and harshly said, “Can I help you with something?”
I responded, “Oh no… I just wanted to apologize for cutting you off back there. I didn’t realize you were waiting in line before me and didn’t want you to think I was trying to jump in front of you on purpose.”
Her reaction? Tears in her eyes. She completely softened and that scowl on her face just melted away. Her face didn’t melt away… I might’ve explained that wrong, but you get what I’m saying. She said, “Thank you for saying that. I really thought you were trying to go in front of me.”
I said, “I just wanted to make it right with you before you drove away. Have a good day!” And she said, “You too.”
Now this is the part where I get a little deep and tell you what that meant for me. Some people would call me crazy for leaving my kids in the car and walking up to a complete stranger who was VERY angry with me, but I can’t say I regret it. Would I do it again? Well, if I had time to think things through, I would have probably come up with one of my famous excuses not have done a thing. Like, “She was the wrong one…You were in the real line… you don’t owe her anything but your middle finger” or “Don’t leave your kids in a car alone in a parking lot” (to be honest, they were only 10 feet away from me, but still… I wouldn’t have done any of this under normal circumstances). The woman would have driven out of that parking lot hating me for life and I would have probably been angry with her for quite a while as well.
I went on to my moms group. Our leader didn’t actually have any scripture for our lesson, she just talked about some things that were on her heart. One of the things she said went along perfectly with my Starbucks experience, like how we should not being so quick to judge others when we don’t have the full story or know what hardships they may be going through in their own lives. THAT. I ALWAYS do that. I struggle with feeling proud and entitled and angry when someone thinks I’m in the wrong, but I don’t often stop and think about where they’re coming from. So I was about to go off on this lady and — you all know I’m a Christian by now, so I feel completely comfortable saying this — God totally intervened. Those tears could have been anything — embarrassment, the wind in her eyes, relief… it’s not for me to say — I am just glad things were made right with her. One of those non-resolutions I’ve been working on is my anger and entitlement, so I view that crazy, out of character thing I did yesterday as a total victory. That wasn’t me. There’s no way I would have done that on my own. Shoot, I didn’t even want to get out of bed that morning because I’m lazy and entitled and imperfect in every way!
I’m being worked on. Changed for the better. I’m so excited about that.
I’m not big on New Years resolutions simply because I am a stubborn mofo and if there is a rule to follow, it is in my nature to NOT want to follow it. (Oh hi, I haven’t written a post in a month, how are you??) Yes, even if it is a rule I set for myself. I don’t know, I’m a little mental. So I have to pretty much trick myself into reaching my own goals that I didn’t make because I won’t want to reach them if I actually made them. Make sense? No, it absolutely doesn’t, but I’ve made peace with it.
What I’ve found that works best is that I can’t be strict with myself. I can’t even really set a true ‘goal’; I have to be all ‘everybody is a winner’ about it. I will not write these down in a journal or repeat them each morning as I wake up or put them on post it notes. Nonono, that would mean I am committed in some way. I don’t commit to things, remember? I am mental. So this is what I do. I tell myself this one thing:
Morgan, be better.
That’s all I need, as simple as it is and as weird as it sounds. That simple “be better” is loaded with invisible aspirations. I know I’m not perfect and am VERY aware of what needs work. I ask for God’s help with those things every day, regardless of this being a new year (my non-committal nature being one of the big ones, obviously). WHOA NELLY, this is getting too deep for la petite blog. I should have just said “lose 15 pounds” and be done with it. Seriously though. Rules… I don’t like them, but in my crazy backward way, I’m working on it.
Also working on taking pictures with my eyes, you know, open.
Hi friends. We are friends, right? Who stand by each other through thick and thin? For better or worse? Even though one of us might be more than a little loco? Okay, remember that as you read on.
I’d like to introduce you to a very important part of my childhood.
I found it a few days ago in a box full of old keepsakes and miscellaneous junk. As soon as I caught a glimpse of that black and white splattered cover, ominously peeking out from beneath some photos, I let out a quiet gasp and whispered, “Oh no…”
You see, back in elementary school, I was a tad obsessed with the movie Harriet the Spy.
I remember sitting in the theater and wondering why I hadn’t come up with the idea spying on everyone. It was brilliant! Harriet was my hero. I took mental notes while watching it and knew immediately I wanted to have my own notebook to write down all the very important things my very silly 5th grade self discovered. I begged my mom to buy me this notebook as soon as we got out of the theater. I was a spy, called to action. This was my destiny.
I started by giving a warning to whoever might try to sneak a peek into my private notes.
Do you feel threatened yet? That kind of gave me some spine tingles.
Over the next hundred pages, stuff got real. This thing started filling up quick… there was just so much vital knowledge I had to document!
I even spied on my then-seven year old brother.
You obviously can’t read that crap because 11 year old me used pencils LIKE A CHILD. What kind of a crappy spy… anyway. Let me translate:
Daniel – I’m hiding in his closet, waiting for him to return to his room. He’s looking for me now.
He’s in his room, burping! GROSS! He’s talking to himself and singing “Wild Thing.”
(He’s still singing!)
He’s making squishy noises in his mouth. GROSS!!
Oh, no! He caught me!
CIA, if you’re looking for a new agent with exceptional sneaky skills, you know where to find me.
I’ve gone through the entire notebook and have chosen several more pages to share with you all. Unfortunately, my top secret Spice Girls files, my stalker-status shrine I dedicated to my 6th grade crush, “The Invention Zone” and multiple drawings of my Tamagotchi will have to wait until another day. Until then, here’s something for you, my dear BFF.
(You remembered you still love me right? Because things are about to get weirder.)
I’ll just back up a smidge and give you all a history lesson. Bear with me through this part. And read the whole thing so you don’t end up hating my husband.
Justin and I had a pretty rough start to our relationship. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told the whole story on this blog, but we met on Myspace back when it was cool. Or was it ever cool? Fine, back when it wasn’t just a wasteland of sixpack abs photos. I was a sensitive and very emotional young woman of 19 and wasn’t exactly what you would classify as emotionally stable. Justin was nearly 5 years older and at first glance, seemed to have had some experience with the tan bimbos of Skankville.
Like a moth to the flame, I was drawn to his comment archives. And okay, I hacked into his email a few times. I went ALL the way back, people. I tried to connect the dots and figure out who was who and which girl was the one he kissed once and why were there 10 others telling him he’s cute and why are they calling him Pumpkin and HOW IN THE HOLY FRICK do they know where he lives and sweet Moses, it was spiraling out of control. In my head I had built up this scary version of Justin that was like a mash up of Dane Cook, Adam Levine and Jon Hamm’s character in Bridesmaids.
So after several years, this Myspace thing has turned into a joke between Justin and I. I can safely say Justin is no playboy. When you hear some of the stories about what happened with these girls, you would laugh at how awkward the situations actually were. My husband is actually is one of the most socially awkward and shy people on the planet. I’ve seen girls flirt with him and he just stands there and acts confused, then usually ends up saying something in an attempt to be witty, but just ends up insulting the poor woman. I love it a lot, actually.
And me? Well I grew up a bit. Not THAT much, seeing as I’ll still hack an email account every now and then, but who doesn’t? This is America. Criminy.
END HISTORY LESSON.
All that leads to this: After joking with Justin the other night about his so-called Playboy years, I suggested we do an experiment. He’s always saying how much more at ease I am in social situations, so I offered up my services to help Justin cope with his awkwardness.
His first test? Flirt with an attractive woman without stuttering.
On Sunday morning while in line for coffee at the Dutch Brothers drive thru, I said, “Okay, here’s your opportunity. Flirt with this girl. Don’t be nervous, you can do it!”
He’s all, “I wasn’t nervous until you said ‘don’t be nervous’! I don’t know what to say!”
I said, “Ask her what DutcH2O is.” (We had previously discussed whether it was flavored water or something somewhat special because $1.50 is too much for plain water.)
After several minutes, he finally worked up the courage. He leaned out his window, smiled and nervously said, “I… have a question for you… what is DutcH2O?” Smooth.
The girl gave him the side eye and said, “It’s water…?” then went back to making drinks without saying another word. SO FANTASTICALLY INCREDIBLY AWKWARDLY BAD. Oh man, I snort-laughed. Though I have to admit, I’m not the least bit disappointed that Justin can’t flirt. If that situation would have gone differently, you better believe 19 year old Morgan would’ve made an appearance and sent that girl some anonymous hate mail. That’s my M.O. and a story for another day.
We’ll continue to work on Justin’s confidence and social skills and keep you informed of his progress. Any ideas for what his next test should be? I was thinking to send him out to buy a box of tampons and some chocolate. You know, for the experience and all.
OKAY. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN TLC’S NEWEST DEMENTED WEIRDNESS DOCUMENTARY ENTITLED, EXTREME CHEAPSKATES, YOU HAVE TO DO IT NOW. CAPS NECESSARY.
A friend of mine was telling me about this show and how much I would love it/hate it/barf when I watched it, so I set that thing to record and finally got around to watching the horrors last night. Have you seen it? DID YOU GAG? I mean, I gagged, at least 45 times during the goat head segment alone. Okay, I’ll stop being all vague and explain.
The episode highlighted 5 or so people who are extremely consumed with the idea of saving money. I’m not ragging on them for trying to be frugal, it’s just the lengths they go to save VERY little are just… I don’t even know. Watch this clip about a lady who doesn’t buy toilet paper for her family. Keep an eye out for the STAINS.
You saw the stains, right? gaggfaklsdjf;alksdfjgag
There’s also a guy who goes dumpster diving for funsies and collects a bunch of random crap to give his wife for their anniversary. Like, he actually presented the gifts to her while they were out to dinner in a ceremonious fashion, right before he asked the other dining patrons if he could have their leftover food. Classy fella, that one. What exactly would you do if your husband gave you an old tea kettle with mysterious dumpster stains on it? I was asked this same question, and I can honestly say I would first beat him over the head with said kettle, then promptly drown myself in the moldy dumpster water it contained. There’s… there’s just no point.
So after Justin and I watched the show, we were so inspired by all the people who could think outside of the box that we started coming up with our own winning money saving ideas. It’s our new thing now, and our goal is to make our ideas as gross as possible. I’ll be washing dishes and Justin will come in and be all, “I have another good one. Clean all your old hair out of the drains, dry it out, then use it to stuff pillows for the couch!” And I’ll be like, “Why don’t we rinse out that bag the hotdogs came in and I can carry my makeup in it!”
Today I was hanging out with my brother and he came up with some pretty inventive ones too.
Old grapefruit peel as a key catcher on your entry table.
Old shoe becomes the perfect charging station! (Notice the cord running through the hole? I die.)
Soda can vase... a frugal gift for that special someone.
Don't throw away that toothpaste tube! Cut off the end and you have a glasses case. (Thanks for the high fashion model pose, bro.)
It’s all about upcycling, people. Now go find that show and watch it.
A 27 year old mother to the silliest little girl and the funniest man-child in the world. Wife to the most handsome geek. Jesus is my BFF. Thankful to be a stay-at-home-mom. Trying my best to keep it real.