"Black Friday" like "Not in the red" Friday? I wonder…

November 26, 2009 § 2 Comments

So it’s 9:45 and I’m going to bed, because tomorrow, for the very first time, I’m going shopping at the crack of Black Friday dawn. I’m not sure why I’m even remotely excited about this – crowded stores rank just above the dentist on my list of favorite places, and man, six thirty is early for shopping, especially when you can’t even actually buy anything. But I’m going, and in a twist that is an insult to stereotypes everywhere, I’ll be accompanied by my father and bro-in-law while the rest of the women in my family get their beauty sleep. Wish us luck.

I wanted to take a minute and acknowledge that I live a life consistently packed with blessings. Here are a few of the greatest hits:

Things I am thankful for always:

1) “You hem me in – behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me.”
2) My family. There is nothing to say that hasn’t been said, but I drew an unusually fantastic card in the family game. They are nothing short of amazing. So much of what I am, I am only because they are.
3) The usual suspects – roof over my head, food on my table, friends to spend time with, health, life, sunshine… you know. You’re thankful for these things too, I’m sure.
4) I have the best dog, like, ever. Seriously. Ever.

Things I am particularly thankful for this year:

1) Imago Dei, which has been a completely world-altering discovery for me. To feel I have a home in a church I can actually connect with… priceless.
2) More specifically, Northwest Home Community. I just sat here for five minutes trying to decide what to type, and I’m at a loss. You have all changed my life this year in your own ways, most of you I suspect without even knowing it. Thank you.
3) My lovely roommates and our new home. We have the best little Boston family… I’m a lucky, lucky kid.
4) The rest of my Portland family- specifically Dan and Mel, who are my constant. I know it’s been a busy year. I love you both so very much.
5) The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Cheesy as anything, reliably boring by hour three, and still always manages to give my gullible, sappy self goosebumps at least three times.
6) Portland in general. You, city, you have stolen my heart.
7) New traditions- Monday breakfasts, Thursday Office parties, Sunday brunches… and people who are willing to play along.

It’s 10:01 and I need to go to sleep if I’m going to be watching some soccer moms fight for sweaters at Target in 8 hours. But if you’ve read this far, I’m thankful for you. I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving.

And as of tomorrow… :)…Christmas. (!!!)




November 20, 2009 § 6 Comments

(right, so, if this doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry about it. Sometimes the interwebs get the better of me.)

heh hemmm…

T’was eight days before Christmas, and all through the house
I had thrown seven dresses, two tops, and a blouse
I’d established the fact I had nothing to wear
And Shannon could not do a thing with her hair
The beer had been purchased, and our bags were packed
With a fair contribution of holiday snacks
But she, in her curlers, and I, in my robe
Were, as usual, stumped by the issue of clothes
I said,
“What the heck is it with parties these days?
Once again the dress code is decidedly vague
According to this, I must dress like a slob
To escape the harsh judgment of someone’s friend Robb”
“Who spells Robb with two Bs?” Shannon wanted to know
This wasn’t quite helpful. We needed to go.
“Do you still have that Evite?” I asked of my friend
“I think it might help us. Let’s read it again.
Alright, no ugly sweaters, and no stupid gifts
A signature cocktail? How swanky is this?
They got some new trash cans, and Amber is baking
Sounds like one heckuva night in the making
But the part about dress code is quite sad and dire
A comfortable outfit, or cocktail attire?
How more very opposite can two things be?
Shannon just sighed, and looked sideways at me.
“You know, we would not be in this lousy quandary
If all of our black shirts weren’t still in the laundry”

I’m not sure how the rest of this story will go
We may show up in jeans, or in satin and bows
You may feel you should mock us: “How hard can it be?
You just put on an outfit and drive down the street.”
And sure, it’s quite easy to live by that credo
If you happen to own a corduroy tuxedo.
But fit throwing isn’t the proper behavior
When joining to celebrate our Lord and Savior
We would like to accept your most kind invitation,
Dress up and come over for snacks and libations
(I’d like to point out that this poem’s almost done
And I haven’t yet once hit the shift key and 1)
And there truthfully isn’t much we’d rather do
Than spend one of our evenings kickin’ it with you
So if our outfits are awesome or give you a fright
Merry Christmas to all… we’ll see you Friday night.

Dear Potential Suitor

November 6, 2009 § 10 Comments

In my world, the one where people spontaneously burst into Michael Jackson song and dance routines and secret handshakes are an acceptable form of currency, people would come with warning labels. We could wear them printed on our tshirts or tattooed on our arms or project them like holograms in front of us whenever we catch someone giving us the eye. They’d be personal, but unfailingly honest, and you’d be able to see past the nervousness and the awkwardness and the lousy communication skills and straight to the point of a person. They’d go something like this:

Dear Potential Suitor:

This is Karyn. She’s aware of her height. She does not play basketball, or volleyball, or model. If you feel the need to discuss any of these topics in great detail or demand an explanation as to her reasons, she is probably not the girl for you. Kindly move along.

This girl is a relentless bundle of enthusiasm. She will drag you out into the night on crazy adventures and behave like a five year old in the presence of rides or costumed characters. She will narrate for your pets and coerce you into participating in cheesy holiday activities. Though you will certainly be allotted grace if you have a hard day, a mood, or an occasional issue, generally, in most parts of life, you will be expected to play along. She has the utmost respect for people who play along.

She will gladly suffer fools, but cannot stomach a snob. Your being too cool to watchthatshow/eatatthatrestaurant/dothatsillydance/hangoutwiththosepeople simply will not be accepted here. However, if you can look like an idiot without flinching, you will win her heart in moments. She loves a man who can laugh at himself.

She seems silly, this girl, a lot of the time, but she’s serious in her core, and the things that matter to her are non-negotiable. She thinks about things entirely too much, and she’ll want to tell you about them. You would do well to be the sort who will engage in truly unimportant debates without a hint of condescension. She isn’t always very good at loving her God, but the trying to is central to her being. You will have to lead her sometimes, but she will come and find you if you need her to. You will always be the second highest priority in her life, and you will be asked to help her remember to keep it that way.

There are four loves for which she will not apologize: musical theater, Disneyland, knitting, and cheesy love songs. You do not have to understand, applaud, or admire these things, but you do have to respect them, and love the part of her that loves them. If you can find it in your heart to humor her from time to time and let her show you why she loves them, she’ll return the favor.

She is not always easy to love, this girl.

There are scars in her that are difficult to look at and harder to erase. She won’t want to show them to you. She can be reckless with hearts, including yours and her own. She has a stubborn streak that will catch you off guard, and she’s sometimes prideful and often insecure. She’ll gladly address thousands of people, but be scared to death to meet your mom. She’ll hold you to a difficult standard, and at times you’ll resent her for it. She’ll defend people who anger you and it will annoy you like you wouldn’t believe. You will get very, very tired of the sound of her voice. She lacks direction, she doesn’t cook well, she hates folding laundry. She’s moody sometimes for no reason at all, and she’ll just want you to leave her alone.

This girl, though, she’ll be a lot of fun. She’ll be game for just about anything, and she’ll do everything she can to support you in whatever you choose to pursue. She’ll show up, this one, she won’t cling too hard and she’ll want you to be who you are. She’ll move mountains to make you laugh. If you can win her respect, she’ll try to make sure you always, always know you have it. She’ll let you go on and on for hours about the things you care about – she’ll try to learn about them and ask thoughtful questions. She’ll love you for your eccentricities…the parts you think are the most unlovable will likely be her favorites. She’s weirdly wired like that.

She’s a little gun shy sometimes, and a little reckless others. She’ll spook if you move to quickly and get bored if you take too long. She can’t promise she’s worth it, but she might be.

Check yes or no.

What does your warning label say?


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