Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Ain't the Kinda Girl You Bring Home to Mama

OK, that's not really true. I've met plenty of mothers in my day. Some of them even hatched some of my boyfriends.

But there were many, many days I didn't feel worthy. I'd like to say that's all behind me, but I still have those days. So here's to Robin Williams and everyone who's struggled from time to time, especially those of us still in the battle.

Lest you uninitiated to the wonders of country music be confused by my title, it's a lyric from a Miranda Lambert hit that champions the idea that Jesus would understand a heart like hers even though she may not be the first choice for pastors and mamas. 

As I sit on the cusp of an age I never expected to see, I wish I could say definitively that I'm through with all the negative and that the dawn is finally here. But I can't even kid myself into believing that.

What I DO know is that I'm incredibly blessed and I want to make a more concerted effort to revel in that rather than to wallow in feeling unworthy.

Case in point: For my birthday, Jeff splurged big time to let me see Miranda Lambert in person. He even got VIP parking at the local outdoor music venue. Parking is a big nightmare there so the quick in and out -- and access to bathrooms where the line is long but not Exodus-long -- was key to keeping my impatient self happy.

The show was fabulous. If you know the Captain, you know country music is near last on his list of music he enjoys. I like to think I'm dragging him in, but he's just indulging me, and proving every time that he really does, honest-to-God love me.

Proof: I knew most of the songs of Miranda's opening acts (Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore) and every word to all but three of the songs she sang. Fueled by Red Bull & vodka and proximity to one of my favorite artists, I was belting most of them. Here's where the proof comes in: I can't sing. I can mouth the words and follow rhythms but I wouldn't recognize a key if it were presented to me on a pillow in large font. 

It was a large, outdoor venue, so maybe (let's hope) he couldn't really hear me. But he didn't flinch, and stayed right there with me. That, my friends, is true love. It's a good thing we live in Indiana because my voice is the stuff to attract whales. Or musk oxen. It's nowhere close to pretty. But sometimes you gotta sing anyway, right?

Jeff loves music. Lots of music. His range of knowledge is a little unsettling. Alison got a music assignment Friday to give a little spiel on mariachi music. Every kid got a differen genre.  She'd done some research but was looking for information on a famous mariachi person and said it was someone with a really long name.

Not only did the Captain know the guy, he even has an album downstairs. My contribution was "La Cucaracha" which Ali already knew. Sigh.

She'll deny it but Alison has admitted to liking some of my country music, though she prefers Jeff's stuff usually.  We had a great time at our annual mom-Ali day of fun & beauty. I take the day off work for the last day of her summer vacation and we get her hair done, shop and hang out. 

At one point shopping, she and I were in side-by-side dressing rooms, each with a pile of possibilities. At one point I said, "I'm afraid this might be hideous. What do you think?"

"Um yeah. You're right. Let me pick things for you from now on," she said.


Last week should have been all about school prep, but she was mostly more interested in GenCon. I'm convinced the Big Bang Theory gang's fascination with the convention was her initial inspiration but her friend Nick was equally interested. They went to the fabled convention with Nick's dad serving as chaperone and papparazzi.

Ali and Nick are fans of Dr. Who and all kinds of other sci-fi characters.  He dressed as The Punisher. She went at Mystique. More because she had a blue morph suit left over from last year's school play and she had an idea of using it to channel Jennifer Lawrence.

I have to say she looked pretty good. Nick, too. More importantly, they had an awesome time wandering around the acres of decked-out Gen Con gaming extravaganza.

This week the birthday stuff continues as the actual date has yet to arrive. I'm having two separate friend gatherings and Jeff and Alison have something going on that I don't know about. So it'll be a great time with fabulous friends and family. 

Those friends and family are part of what I'll revel in. Another is that Jeff did, in fact, bring me home to meet his mama, and that turned out to be pretty fantastic. It's early in the teen years but Alison still likes me. And we did have a great day on Wednesday. We have great days all the time.

Here's to great days for everyone!

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