Once upon a time, a few months ago….
No, wait. That doesn’t feel right. Let’s try again.
I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. Sort of. I guess you could call me a…wimpy rebel? A rebel who is also afraid of getting in trouble? Is there a word for that? A…um…you get the point.
For years I was, and admittedly continue to be, dictated by the fear of getting in trouble by authority figures, something that I unfortunately lacked when among my own people. Growing up, I was in a constant state of flux between rebellion and “perfect citizen.” At home, I was a devil child. At school, never a better student did you see.
My at-home rebellion was never anything huge: hiding the vitamins I didn’t want to take under seat cushions, avoiding doing chores of any sort, riding my bicycle around the block without my mother’s permission, etc… Normal spoiled-and-stubborn-youngest-child stuff. I’m sure that my family would say that I am much worse than I am letting on, in which case I would probably have to agree. I blush to think of some of the things I said and did when I was younger. I’m blushing now just thinking about thinking about it. But, still. In the world of rebellion, it would be considered very minor league stuff.
Which is why getting a tattoo is my peak of rebellion.
My family members, once they discovered my rebellious actions, reacted with surprise and exasperation. The surprise came from their knowledge of my needle phobia. The exasperation came from…well, it seems like I’m always doing something to exasperate them.
Aside: It frustrates me that people can’t seem to grasp the difference between syringes and tattoo needles. Yes, it’s true that I despise the terrifyingly long needles that are used for inserting or removing liquids directly into and from my bloodstream. However, tattoo needles, and needles used for piercing ears and such, don’t commit such heinous crimes. Therefore, I have no reason to fear them. Tattoo needles may indeed insert liquid into the skin, causing a butt load of pain in the process, but they’re not nearly as intrusive as syringes. It’s not that complex an idea! Or, maybe it is, and this is just my contradictory personality at work again.
Sorry. I’m getting off track.
Anyway, unlike most television portrayals of such ventures, my tattoo was not the result of a night of wild, drunken, spontaneous rebellion. Well, the timing was a bit spontaneous. There wasn’t any wild drunkenness, though. Sorry to disappoint. The truth is that I had wanted a tattoo for a few years, and I was tired of waiting. Plus, my friend Shawna was wanting one too.
So, one Saturday we hopped in the car and headed to the City.
As soon as we arrived at the tattoo parlor, I felt immediately out of place. The blackout windows, rock music, big bulky guys covered in piercings and tattoos, and slightly inappropriate pictures on the walls did not blend with my middle-class, small-town self. It probably didn’t help that I was wearing a tank top covered in cute little cartoon moons and earrings in the shape of owls.
This alienness greatly increased when I revealed to the tattoo artists what I was there for: a pattern of simple little birds on my ankle. Their dismayed and exasperated expressions immediately informed me what a cliche and teenage-white-girl request I had made. Which, honestly seemed kind of rude and uppity. I mean, I’m sorry, good sir, that I don’t also want the image of a creepy leprechaun permanently etched onto my shoulder. Besides, I wanted birds before they were cool.
Despite their disapproval of our tattoo choices, and obvious doubt that I would go through with it, they agreed to oblige us. Appointments were made, time blurred, papers were signed, money was passed, and before I knew it I was sitting in a slightly creepy dentist-like chair in the back of the parlor getting my first tattoo.
Some of you may be wondering: Was it painful? Well…Have you ever had a tooth drilled when your mouth is only half numbed up? Cause it reminded me of that. For Shawna, it felt a bit different, “like an electric kitten scratch on some parts, and on other parts like he was holding a burning cigarette onto my skin.” Really, Shawna? How do you know what that feels like? Despite the negative, and slightly strange, mental images that I’ve just given you, it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be.
Still, it’s not an experience I’m likely to forget anytime soon. Especially since it’s now immortalized on the internet.
And, no, I don’t regret my decision.
I’m not a huge fan of goodbyes. Unfortunately, life is just chock full of them. The next goodbye I’ll have to make is to my sister, Shannon.
As she recently accepted a fancy new job in the City, Shannon will soon be leaving her modest little Weatherford apartment to start a new-ish life. Although she’ll only be an hour or so away, I’m actually quite sad about this. And, no one quite appreciates my love of puns like her. Despite this, I am also super happy for, and proud of, her. She worked hard to get her Master’s degree and land this job.
So, in honor of Shannon’s accomplishments, and as a sort of virtual farewell card, I thought I would write a little “Shannon Appreciation” post. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. Should I write the things I’ll miss most? Should I list her best qualities and quirks? Should I talk about my top favorite sisterly memories? Should I just put a bunch of quotes? Finally, I decided to wing it and do all of them. So, without further ado:
1.Things I’ll Miss Most
There are lots of things I’ll miss. I’ll also miss driving around with her while singing along to her IPod. I’ll miss dancing around the dining room while our dad stares at us like we’re lunatics. I’ll miss releasing our frustrations together by screaming like pterodactyls.
To be honest, however, I’ll most miss invading her territory in order to stay up late together and watch British television whilst eating ice cream. Out of all of my siblings, I’d have to say Shannon is the closest to myself in terms of likes and dislikes. We’re both English majors. We both love to read. We both like to write. We’re both awkward, adorably so. At least, Shannon is. She’s like a baby penguin. I’m more like…well,something much less adorable.
Sometimes you just need a fellow nerdy introvert to be weird with. Shannon is one of those fellows. I am selfishly sad that she will no longer be available to me at a moment’s notice. Plus, no one else appreciates my love of puns like her.
I’ll also miss the hugs.
2.My Favorite Shannon Qualities and Quirks
- Her eating-something-yummy happy dance
- Her funny stories
- Her funnier dreams
- Her excitement over children’s books
- Her perfect and pale vampire-like skin
- Her passion for cookies
- Her creativity and wit
- Her fondness for all things British (something we share)
- And, in a moment of seriousness, her gentleness, innocence, compassion, and love for her family and friends.
3.Top Sisterly Memories
There are just too many things to choose from, such as the time we had each other in Secret Santa and got each other almost identical presents. So, instead, here are some pictures, including one from our days as small humans.
“Courage, dear heart.”
-C. S. Lewis
“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
-C. S. Lewis
“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
“You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”
“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”
-J. R. R. Tolkien
“Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new!”
“We are all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
I shall miss you dearly, Slothfather. I wish you good luck. 😉
P.S. For those of you who are wondering about that last comment, you can find the backstory on Shannon’s blog right here.
I’ve missed you. These last few weeks have been crazy, but now it’s Spring Break (Yay!), and I’ve found a space of time to quickly catch you up on everything that’s been going on.
First off, I am no longer a red-head. I am a brunette again. Sadness, I know. That stage of my life is over for now, but I shall come back to it again some day. Some day.
Second, my sister, Bethany, got engaged just a few days ago, and it’s been nothing but butterflies and sunshine since! Well, sort of. They’ve decided to get married in July, and I am super happy for the both of them. I’m also super happy to have been named ‘Maid of Honor,’ and I am ready for battle. Bring on the dress shopping, bachelorette party madness, and wedding planning drama!
Third, some of my sisters and I (I have a lot of sisters) are going to a Ben Rector concert next weekend, and I cannot wait! This has been in the making for months, and we have almost made it. For those of you who don’t know who Ben Rector is, he is a super fantastic singer who I’ve been wanting to see in concert for a long time. Dreams do come true! For your viewing pleasure, here’s a link to one of his videos, ya know, just to give you of a taste of his fantastic-ness. Enjoy!
And last, but not least, in April, I will be returning to the Medieval Fair (Faire?) in Norman, OK. I went last year with my sister, Shannon, and some of our friends, and it was so much fun. There was a jousting tournament, knife throwing (which I didn’t participate in due to my fear of accidental murder), horses, princess hats, and dragons.
I also bought an awesome dagger. This year I am going with a much larger crowd of my people. The more the merrier, right? I am so excited! I shall conquer my fears and throw that knife! Apologies in advance to those poor workers. Nerds unite!
You thought this was going to be a gooey Valentine’s Day post, didn’t you? Nope.
A few weeks ago, it was National Friend Day. Or something like that. I’m using Facebook as an authority here, so I don’t really know. However, the Facebook-made photo video that popped up on my home page inspired me to write a little post about my friends. And that is what I am here to do. Pictures shall be included.
Some people are absolute social butterflies. They open up their bright wings and welcome any and all into the bosom of their friendship. They thrive on the nearness of others, collecting new friends like squirrels collect nuts for the winter. I am not one of those people. Oh no. Trying to pass through into the friend zone with me can be quite difficult. It’s not that I don’t like meeting new people, although humanity in general is often on my bad side. I just have a bubble of social awkwardness surrounding me, and it can tend to repel normal human beings. Any potential friends have to push forward and wade through that social awkwardness until they reach my soft, gooey, caramel-y center. Okay. I may have drifted off and started thinking about chocolate there. Oh, chocolate. How I love thee.
Anyways, back to me. The point is that it takes a while for me to warm up to people and make friends, but once I do, they are my friends for life. I’m one of those people who prefers a small tight knit group of super-close friends over a large group of semi-close friends.
For this post, I am going to be talking about two of these super-close friends: My best friends Shawna and Sarah.
Shawna and Sarah are two very special people for they have been blessed with the ability to put up with me and my nonsense. I don’t include my family in this category because they have no choice. Shawna and Sarah on the other hand are champions among men. Well, women. They braved through my social awkwardness and reached…well, more awkwardness, but with an added bonus of massive amounts of weirdness, occasional bouts of wisdom and sanity, and the pleasure of receiving random texts at 2 am about whether or not a whale’s heart can be broken. (They can, by the way.)
First, I must give a special round of applause for my friend Sarah. We met in our 7th grade Art class, and became polite acquaintances. Then, as the years passed, Sarah slowly began to wade her way through the awkwardness and shyness surrounding me. It wasn’t really until our senior year of high school, after spending Junior year in Yearbook together, that Sarah and I became really good friends. Yes, a mere five years later (Talk about patience, right?), Sarah finally made it to my soft gooey center and got stuck in my sugary stickiness never to escape. She’s been my best friend ever since.
Shawna, on the other hand, was a bit of a special circumstance. I met Shawna the summer before my junior year of High School, and she too, like Sarah, became a friendly acquaintance. Then came the incident where we found out we both had a crush on the same guy (hopefully she doesn’t kill me for mentioning that. Sorry, Shawna!). Then came the other incident with the frozen coffees. Let me just tell you: frozen coffees + teenage girls with sleep deprived brains and at least one with a very strange personality = chaos. And that is how, in the span of about a month, maybe two, Shawna charged through my sphere of social awkwardness, in record time, I might add, and reached Best Friend Level.
Now for a moment of sappiness: there are no two people in this world who are more kind, or patient, or loyal, or fun, or supportive than these two ladies. They are both so smart, and beautiful, and loving…and slightly crazy, of course. 😉 I know that they will always be there for me when I need them, and I hope they know the same about me. We have had so many adventures over the years, and I am so excited for the many more adventures to come.