Friday, June 11, 2010

Beauty school drop-out

Every now and again, I have a desire to beautify myself.  Usually it starts when I see some cute little starlet in a magazine with fantastically made-up eyes and I think, "I can do that!  And it'll obviously make me look like that!"  Or I have occasion to notice that my nose is ALWAYS red, no matter what time of day or what state of inebriation.  Like yesterday, for example, when I went to get a pedicure.  Now, admittedly, your make-up is not at its' best at the end of the day, but I spent the hour looking in the mirror wondering why I even bothered to put make-up on, since it's obviously all gone by mid-morning and WHY.IS.MY.NOSE.RED?  If you don't believe me, go look at a picture.  It looks huge and red- just call me Rudolph!  I don't know why- I always use sunscreen and don't spend a lot of time with my finger up there... sigh.  I guess it's just part of me.

So while I was getting a pedicure and lamenting my red nose and lack of make-up, I was also perusing a Spanish Cosmo, which means I was looking at the pictures.  And, lo and behold, there was some cute little thing with gorgeous eyes.  I felt almost ashamed for looking like a run-down teacher on the last day of school.  Which I was.

But here's the thing: I always feel a little ridiculous in a lot of make-up.  Maybe because most teachers that I've worked with have worn little to no make-up.  Occasionally, you'll meet that one new, young teacher who slaps it on.  Or you run into one of the old-school ladies who still smears the base on with a spackle.  Usually, though, teachers don't spend a lot of time "putting on their face."  I wear powder, blush, eye shadow (most days), eye liner and mascara every day.  And, by the end of first period, it's gone.  So mostly I think, "What's the point?"  I'm not really girly enough to wear a lot of make-up.   After yesterdays feelings of inadequacy, though, I slapped on a little extra powder and more eye liner than usual and, I won't lie, I feel a little silly.

Maybe I just haven't found my style yet.  I've always said that if I were ever to be rich and famous, all I would want is for someone to dress me and do my hair daily.  Now I'll add 'someone to do my make-up' to that list.  See, I don't ask for much.

If you do like make-up, you should read my friend Dawn's beauty blog.  She's probably ashamed to be my friend.  She should be.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

School's out for summer...

I do not remember the last day of 8th grade.  I barely remember the last day of high school- you take some finals and leave when you're done- it's kind of anticlimactic.  I do remember the last day of 5th grade, though.  We all sat on our desks for the last few minutes of class, singing the 'na na na na' chorus from "Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam, as loud as we felt was safe to do.  Mrs. Rollins may or may not have been in the room, I don't remember seeing her there.  That was probably because I was so blinded by love and the fact that Chris was HOLDING.MY.HAND.  Right there in class, right in front of everyone. He was definitely my boyfriend!  I was giddy with the excitement of it all.  I knew it would last forever (it didn't, just in case you were wondering).

The bus ride home must have been absolutely torturous for the driver.  There's no control over kids the last couple of days of school- there is nothing you can threaten them with that means anything.  No detentions- there's no time left.  Zeros mean nothing by this point.  Punishment... they know that the teachers are just as eager to be done with the school year as they are, so punishing them only punishes the teacher.  And nothing a bus driver could say, especially on the last day of school, means anything!  We jumped in our seats, threw paper at each other, screamed and yelled out the window as one by one, friends and enemies alike stepped off the bus and their summer officially began!

Now I'm not sure if this next part is true- well, that's to say I don't know if it was true for that day.  When the bus finally pulled to a stop outside my neighborhood, I remember leaping from the last step with Shannon and doing cartwheels half-way down the street to my house.  Shannon and I were screaming and yelling and laughing and waving goodbye as the bus pulled away.  This is a true memory, though I'm not sure if that was the end of 5th grade or another year, but it's one that still makes me smile because of the feeling of absolute freedom of those first few moments of summer.  The WHOLE summer is lying before you- watching TV, maybe a family vacation, the pool with my cousins.  Staying up late, sleeping in late... ahh, sweet freedom!

Today, as we said goodbye to the kids, that feeling is back... sort of.  As teachers, we are still contracted to be here for another three full days.  There are grades to finish, classes to clean, lesson plans to be made.  But, even with all that, watching the kids leave, some hugging, some crying, some laughing, I have that feeling again- the WHOLE summer lies before me.  On that last day of 5th grade, I did cartwheels half-way to my house and then Shannon and I both ran to our respective homes.  We had to call our mothers by a certain time or they got worried.  Then, we would immediately call each other.  I don't know what we talked about.  Probably Chris or our love for the J. twins, and which one of us liked which one of them presently.  Or NKOTB.  Or Kirk Cameron.  The summer itself was glorious in its' freedom, but kind of boring in retrospect. 

The funny thing about summer now is that it's so much more exciting.  Summer then actually meant watching a lot of TV, working hard to convince our parents that Shannon and I could hang out together during the day and then RUNNING to get to one of our houses.  I wasn't allowed to answer the phone- if Mom called, she let it ring twice and hung up then I would call her back.  For anyone else, I had to wait for the answering machine to pick up and for the person to announce who it was (usually Shannon).  I knew exactly when the mail came and that was one of the more exciting parts of the day because I got to run outside to get it.  I did chores, usually at 5:45pm, right before Mom got home.  Nights were spent in the cul-de-sac near Shannon's house or riding bikes through the neighborhood.  Sometimes Shannon and I still played make-believe, though that was changing more into make-up.

Now summer means going home.   It still means sleeping late and watching lots of TV, but it also means family and yummy Southern food.  It means friends, new babies, lots of hugs and the comfort of speaking English and not stumbling over simple phrases.  It means Target.  I love summer.  I say, for me, it has officially begun.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thank you for being a friend...

There are so many things that I thank God for every day and one of the biggest is my friends.  I am so lucky to have some of the best and most amazing friends in the world.  It's hard to label one as a "best" friend because they are all the best.  Each one makes a different part of my soul smile.  They all know different stories, remember different things and laugh for different reasons.  They all cry for the same reasons, though.  They are strong and beautiful, kind and loving.  And I could not live a day without knowing they are always there- for a hug, a laugh, a cry, or a bottle of wine (or pitcher of margaritas), as needed.  Having these women in my life makes the rest of my life bearable at times.  Overseas, it's hard to make lasting friendships.  When I meet new people, I find myself thinking, "I don't need any more friends."   I know this isn't the greatest attitude, but it's really true- I have made a lot of amazing friends.  Sure, I have room for more, but it's kind of a hassle.  It takes a long time to build relationships like the ones that I already have in place.  And a lot of times, people just aren't around for that long.  And I already have friends.

BUT... I wish my friends were all friends.  I mean, my friends are friends, but not really without me around.  They might send a little message on facebook to each other now and again.  When I'm home for Christmas or the summer, they will probably hang out with me at least once all together, either as a hello, good-bye, or a birthday party.  But I don't think they talk much while I'm away.  And I kind of wish they did.  It would be nice to have a "group" of girls who were truly a group, not just a group because they all happen to know me (I sound quite self-important today, but I'm not trying to be).

If you can't tell, I went to see Sex and the City 2 last night.  It made me miss 'my' girls.  It made me long for that type of group dynamic.  Mostly, though, it made me super excited to get home.

So... thank you for being a friend.  You know who you are (and the word 'friend' also applies to other people who usually go by the name 'Sissy,' just so we're clear).

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rambling thoughts...

The boy is tall.  He is not skinny but he is not fat.  He has short, curly hair that the other kids call an afro, though it isn't.  He is kind and soft-spoken, intelligent and thoughtful.  He will make an excellent worker, husband, and even father one day.

I never see him with anyone else.  He spends recesses walking alone along the hallway.  Sometimes, he'll engage in a conversation with a teacher but rarely with other students.  He doesn't play sports.  He never gets called over to join a group.  He's the kind of kid that other kids go to when they want help with something.  And by "help" I mean that they want their work done well.  They don't pick on him.  They don't notice him until they need something. 

He is not like some kids- he doesn't try to fit in.  It's almost as if he has accepted his lot.  He walked by today and I thought, "Thank God he's going to 9th grade next year.  Maybe he'll have a chance to meet new people, to make new friends."  But then I remembered that the same kids would be in 9th grade as in 8th grade.  There are no feeder schools here- people don't come from other places to start high school.  There may be one or two new faces.  Maybe.  He may have the chance to interact with some of the older kids because I know he will be in advanced classes.  Perhaps he will find a place to belong.

If he even wants to.