(1) I got an email from a very trendy store today that said “Start Your New Year off right with a new set of knives.” Instead of just deleting it, I sent them back a response asking if owning new knives really set you up for a successful year. Is it even possible there are other more prevalent issues that would set the tone for another three hundred some-odd days like being healthy and volunteering more and caring about homelessness? Because I have a feeling that ordering a new set of knives will only cause one to feel as crappy as they did back in the dull butter knife days of December. Stupid trendy store don’t care. Stupid trendy store just wants to sell some mother-lovin knives up in here.
(2) I hosted a brunch today and several people asked me “but where do you have the time to do all of this?” and I don’t think it was a compliment but more of a “honey, you might need some more friends or take a yoga class” type of statement. My response was to show them how I made party favors by hand stamping “Happy New Year!” on little brown bags and I realized as the words were falling out of my mouth I was making their point exactly so tomorrow I’m signing up for a gym class. But it was hand stamped. And the bags were tied with grosgrain ribbons.
(3) As I’m writing this I noticed my daughter’s Elmers Glue on the desk and it says “visit us at elmers dot com!” and why, I don’t mind if I do! There are many articles with drop-down menus on what types of glue are appropriate in certain situations. I can assure you I’ve never wondered mid-craft project which type of glue would be the best possible choice. I might have called the Butterball line on Thanksgiving once but undercooked turkey can kill people and glue just sticks things onto construction paper, for heaven’s sakes.
(4) I’m attempting to date post-divorce, and I have this complete prohibition on dating guys who smoke. I realize the irony as I found myself at a restaurant talking to a cute dude who owns a tobacco shop. If he wants to know how to adhere the smoking papers together, however, I have this secret insight into glue.
(5) At dinner this evening I was trying to cut up cherry tomatoes for a salad and my FREAKING KNIVES ARE DULL. If only I had newer, sharp ones. It would really project my year into total awesomeness.
(6) I told my boss I like to garden and he was all “you have time to garden? Do you really have that much free time?” and my response was “absolutely not I work so hard and so many hours my snow peas are drying up and I LOVE MY JOB and the kale’s eaten by rabbits why would you think I’d ever have the time to garden OMG I get home at bedtime and gardening is the lamest hobby ever I WORK SO HARD.” Maybe that was overkill.
(7) The kids are with my ex this week and I miss them so much I found myself talking to their picture and lovingly touching their piles of clean laundry like stroking tiny corduroy pants would somehow reach their little beautiful souls.
(8) I went to Texas Tech so when things get hard at work I imagine that I’m a superhero and say to myself “you can so totally revise this contract and create an amendment to the existing agreement and rock those meetings before heating up leftovers in the break room for lunch because you have RAIDER POWER.” But I don’t say it out loud because that’s weird.
(9) I looked at a glue website and pretended I’m a superhero. Weird has already been established.
(10) A guest at my brunch today brought over this fancy bottle and she whispered “it contains alcohol” like that might be frowned upon and I said really loudly “are you kidding? I so totally love alcohol!” which might have been a reason the folks referenced above were concerned about my well being.
But let’s be honest. We are all like children, ready to create a project of our colorful life, envisioning things of beauty being cut with sharp scissors and plastered onto a poster board to show off to our family and our neighbors that we are valuable. Worthy. Important. We want to make good impressions and be appropriate and stay within the lines to show that we bear good fruit and that we are clever little soldiers. And on facebook and twitter and every social media site on earth we want to portray our lives as a scrapbook of our best selves. Because we are constantly trying to prove something to somebody.
But might I challenge you this year to throw those conventions out the window. Push the limits of your faith. Bring your true fears to the table and talk to God about them. Be weird. Be yourself. Dice and glue and run around hosting ridiculous brunches with full silver service or laugh off a few extra pounds and hug your children and look at a glue website if you must because YOU ARE ALWAYS LOVED by a Father more miraculous that you can imagine. He touches your face with his angel wing like a million stacks of corduroy pants and says come home to me, you strange little bird. I love you exactly the way you are. If you’re goofy or messy or strange or need attention or crawl into a hole in fear or like to make party favors from tiny brown sacks. It’s okay. You’re still invited to the table.
And that feels good. Even better, I dare say, than a new set of knives.
Happy New Year, my friends and faraway people. Make it weird and wonderful.