Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fabulous Realities


I was introduced to fabulous realities in my English class my first semester of college. Fabulous realities are, as the name implies, realities that stand out because they are somehow unique or sometimes ironic in their presentation.

We were given the assignment to find five of them over a week's time. I don't recall all of my fabulous realities, but I do remember two of them. I observed the first on the second floor of the David O. McKay Library where I usually went to study (except when I was trying to scope out the cute boy that worked on the third floor). I noticed a student absorbed in a book entitled How To Read a Book. That was my first fabulous reality. I noted the second one in the living room of my apartment as my roommates gathered around the TV watching one of their favorite primetimes. I overheard one of them lamenting, "I just wish I had more TIME!" Don't we all?

Fast forward several years. I deliver newspapers to a fairly well-to-do neighborhood... that is, if the houses are any indication. One house appears to cover the span of two lots. The second lot houses a pool, a basketball court, and a little pool house as near as I can tell. After driving past it for over a year, I had the thought, "Where do people get so much money?"

As I asked the question, I turned the corner and noticed a name in bold letters on the side of a mailbox that had NEVER before caught my attention. The name?



BANKS.

Fabulous. Really.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Standing Out



Let me just start out by saying that I heard the initials T.M.I. put together for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and it took me a day or two to surmise what the letters actually stood for... That being said, you need to be warned that this post contains T.M.I. (Too Much Information, just F.Y.I.).

I went to Girls Camp this past week with the 12-18 year-old girls from our ward. The theme for the camp was "Stand Out" coupled with Survivor-type references. My title of Camp Cook is what won me a spot on the island. I actually did a lot of slicing and dicing and organizing, but the only time I even approached "cooking" was when I placed my foil dinner and banana boat in the coals from the fire... it was better that way.

Back to the theme of "Stand Out." I had an experience at camp where I stood out in a way that puts every other embarrassing moment of my life to shame...

The last night of these camps is always set aside for a testimony meeting--an opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts and feelings about how they have grown or what they have gained during their time at camp. It is often a highlight of the week... for most.

Friday night we weren't very far into the meeting when I decided to stand up and share my testimony.

This is where I need to interject a little confession. I am approaching my 39th birthday and I have borne six children--naturally. Consequently, my body is known to occasionally take liberties that, frankly, I wish it wouldn't.

After my fifth child was born, I started having the oddest episodes of bubbles releasing from my vaginal opening. (Hey, I warned you and you kept reading anyway!) I might have mistaken these as flatulence only they didn't stink and they were LOUD and LONG. Besides that, I was powerless to stop them. It might have been extremely embarrassing, but I took great (read: ENORMOUS) comfort in the fact that these episodes nearly always happened in the privacy of my own home.

[Note: My doctor has informed me that this condition is more common than most people realize, because who is ever going to talk about this... besides me... on my blog... for all of my 13 followers to read?]

So back to my testimony. I stood up and noted that it was more quiet than most campfire gatherings. As I stood up, my body had something to say. Something loud. And long. I ignored it, because really--what else could I do? Once my body had its say, I proceeded to share my testimony. Then I sat down, at which point, my body took a few seconds to have the last word.

Thankfully, no one said anything and the meeting moved forward as though nothing had happened, so I opted to do the same. That false sense of security was short lived...

That night after turning in, I lay in my sleeping bag unable to sleep. I could hear the younger girls giggling in their tent. Then I heard the older girls speaking right outside my tent. [Note to the world: Nylon tents don't even approach sound proof.] They were talking about flatulence, and I heard my name connected with a third-party description of my experience.

I. wanted. to. die.

Then I wanted to go out and set the record straight--to explain to them what had actually happened, that I was powerless to control it, and that maybe, just MAYBE, they should be more selective about when and where they talk about other people.

But I didn't.

It just goes to show the merits of always keeping a blow horn handy--you just never know when you might need it.