Thursday, August 27, 2015

II Corinthians

As many, many of you know, I was raised Catholic - yep, I'm a "dirty knee bender," fallen, unpracticing, "unChristian" heathen. I've been called it all including "Mary worshiper" because I was given the pleasure of growing up in the Bible Belt. I'm about to admit something else that will make some of you place me at the top of your prayer list: I don't know the Bible. 

Yep, a real life, living and breathing unchurched sinner is in your midsts. 

However, tutoring this kid, who goes to a private Christian school, I am forced to memorize Bible verses with him. I usually sing them to him, like the songs I remember from my Sunday School or Catholic Church Camp. Last week it was, "The heavens declare the glory of God..." The poor kid always looks at me like he's terrified, but the first couple of times he repeats it back to me I can faintly hear him humming the song I sang. 

This week his scripture, he always corrects me to say Bible verse, is "May the grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you."

At this point I whisper, 'also with you; You may go in peace now to love and serve The Lord,' because that is how a priest dismisses mass. 

I complete the verse by telling him, "Eleven Corinthians 13:14"

"Uh, Miss Averill?"


"I think that's supposed to be Second Corinthians, not eleven."

"Yep, yep it is. Thank you for correcting me."

#imgonnalearnyou #aimingforstraightAs #unchurched #imasinner #ifollowthegoldenrule #churchhumor #ratedG

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Diary of a Spinster: Here Comes the Bride

Today I found a wedding dress, tried it on, fell in love with it, and bought it. 

The bride is the daughter of  Real Life Superman and The Silver Fox. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a bachelors degree in English Literature and History with a minor in Sociology. She has no plans, date set, or groom, but she revels in her awesome life and her preparedness for all of the possibilities and spontenaity in her future.

Moving to Memphis

As I spent the weekend driving to Memphis I thought it was a serendipitous event that every radio station along the interstate just happened to be playing Elvis music. There I was in my Dad's Maroon Taurus following him in the Uhaul that carried all of my earthy possessions to Memphis. Once I arrive in T-county I must admit my surprised that the Elvis music was not a good sign from the universe but a tribute to and remembrance of Elvis' death. That was 16 years ago today. 

Tomorrow is the 38th anniversary of Elvis' death. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Lesson in the Form of Cheetos

Yesterday I was nice to Scrunchie. Because these chips tear up my stomach, I give her an opened bag of Jalapeño Cheetos. She eats them every morning for breakfast and never turns down free food so I know she will take them off of my hands. She accepts the bag, "Yeah, I'll eat them."

As I am walking away from her I think, "Damn, she didn't even say thank you, but then again, I mean, it's an already opened bag of Cheetos." 

I think about how this year my life has been invaded by a lazy, ungrateful, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, unappreciative, entitled, controlling, manipulative, meddling, lying asshole. But then again it's just an opened bag of Cheetos and it is not being accommodated with a roof over her head and a bunk bed to sleep in all while feigning utter helplessness and pretending homelessness. It's just an opened bag of Cheetos that I would have thrown away. 

So, I pull my head out of my ass and tell myself to get over not being thanked. 

This morning, I hear her on the other side of the cubicle wall unruffling the plastic of the Cheetos bag. I hear her crunching individual cheese and jalapeño coated crisps. She moans in delight. Instead of hating every utterance coming from her cubicle, as I usually do, I think, "Wow, I'm really glad she is able to enjoy those chips."

Shortly afterwards she knocks on the screen door to my cubicle, "Hey Averill?"


"Thank you for breakfast this morning."

Sometimes you aren't ready for the reward without the lesson God is teaching. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

National S'mores Day

The proverbial "they" say that a person only truly experiences unconditional love once you have a child. I do not have my own biological children, but Jeff let me share his Little Rottens for almost four years. 

In the past six months there has not been much communicating. Last week I texted  the kids. 

I'm homesick. But what I really mean by homesick is I miss them so much that my heart is broken, but they are intuitive enough to read that on their own. 

So it is settled, even though Jeff and I are no longer together, his girls want to continue our tradition of celebrating National S'mores Day, making today our fifth annual S'mores festivity. 

Here they are in my kitchen tonight preparing the S'mores and sneaking marshmallow snacks.  

We shared hugs, tears, smiles, laughed at old antics and new stories, as well as making new memories over a bowl of Taco Soup and our favorite August 10th dessert. 

I miss these ladies tremendously and I am only slightly less homesick after their visit. I can honestly say that because of them I finally understand unconditional love. 

Who would have ever thought all of that could all be found inside a gooey marshmallow and chocolate covered graham cracker? Certainly not I. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Stealing My Shine

If ever there was a day that the devil has been trying to steal my shine, it is today. 

First thing this morning, I put on my favorite blue dress and head out to work. Making a quick stop at the gas station I purchase a $.65 soda fountain drink. While I am in line the store manager hollers at me from her office, "Girl, I didn't know you were pregnant." 
I look around because I know she's not talking to me. 
"Ehhh, Chee-chee," she makes noises to get my attention.
I mouth "Me?" and point to my chest.
"Yes, Girl! I didn't know you were pregnant!" 
By this time a line has formed behind me because the cashier is changing out the log tape.
"Me either. I'm not. I'm just fat."
Someone in line laughs entirely too loud, "She just said she's fat!"
Manager, "Are you sure?"
Me, "Yes, I'm just fat."
Manager, "Should you be wearing those heels so far along in your pregnancy?"

At this point there is no telling what shape of disgust my face makes as the register tape change out was completed. From now on I'm going to have to wear a belt with this dress. 

#suckinthatgut #didyounothearme 

But with every low something bigger and better eclipsed the bad. I was sitting at my desk brooding over how fat and ugly I must look today when I had to use the facility. 

A photograph sent to my best friend while brooding. 

On my way to the restroom Mr. Jimmy, our janitor & maintenance man, stopped me out in the hall, "I just have to stop you to tell you how lovely you are." 

Wow! He said "lovely." How can I even focus on the devil stealing my shine when God is shining at me through others? 

#IrebukeyouinthenameofJesus #Getbehindmesatan #illshineinspite

Friday, July 17, 2015

Diary of a Spinster, Part 3

Today is a difficult day. 

I've been depressed, rejected, defeated, hopeless, lonely, and sad for the last couple of weeks. If I'm being honest it has been months not weeks. Sobs of sadness have been uncontrollable at times. For the last few days I've managed to regulate only letting two or three tears to escape when I talk about it before swallowing down the pain. 

That's acceptable. I can deal with two or three tears. 

I guess we were supposed to make it. We were supposed to be one of those small percentage of couples that ride off into the sunset towards happily ever after. I reflect upon it now, I see the relationship from a different angle and light... 

In late November or early December, Jeff shows me his mother's engagement ring. He tells me his father gave it to him after meeting me for the first time in October of 2011, only three months after Jeff and I started our relationship. In one short weekend his father met me and gave his approval. As Jeff tells me this I am sitting on my crossed left leg on the bed with my right leg dangling off the edge and my toe tips touching the floor. In my head I do the math, for over three years Jeff has been holding on to this ring. 

I burst into tears and crumple in half. 

In a flash the almost three and a half year relationship surges through my mind. I see our first anniversary on the beach in Mexico. I relive the excitement, nearing the second anniversary, when Melodie tells me, "My Daddy is going to marry you. He told me." Then the third year Jeff spent unemployed. I am inconsolable because I think to myself that not one time in our entire relationship was good enough to propose; not once. I thought he didn't have money for a ring and then it never happened. He made excuses that when Gay Marriage becomes legal is when he would marry me so I didn't know what to think other than it was never going to happen. 

He tries to explain. He says exactly what I'm thinking, "There just hasn't been a good time." 

I wail with sadness. 

He continues, "I planned on proposing when Nick and I got back from Philmont. I was going to talk to Nick about it while we were out on the trail....but then Linda kidnapped Kaela and he was...we were all dealing with that and I didn't get a chance to talk to him. I was going to propose to you on your birthday when we came back. But it didn't seem right for us to be celebrating when the kids are mourning because Kaela has been kidnapped."

"So you let Linda win, again? And there's never been a good time? Not one good time in three fucking years? You're a grown ass man, Jeff. Men make decisions. Men make it a good time. As a man if you wanted it you would have found a way in all of that time."

I didn't want him to affirm my questions. I didn't want to make him feel like shit. I wanted him to confirm how I felt, not that there hasn't been one good time to propose, but that I am not good enough to propose to. I want him to tell me the true meaning of not a good enough time. Tell me I'm not good enough to marry.

I die a little more inside. 

He locks the ring away, his tone changes, quieter, serious, darker, "Look, I wasn't trying to hurt you. That wasn't my intentions. That's not what I wanted to do. I don't know why I did that. It was a mistake. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have.... I'm excited, and I'm nervous, and I'm sick over losing Sammie because Clif asked me for permission to marry her." 

That, like many nights before and many more to come, I cry myself to sleep, alone. 

This afternoon at lunch I run into Leafy and Doc Studdard at Jason's Deli. I say hello. He gives an feeble attempt at an excuse as to why they are in Memphis. I pretend I didn't hear about the warrants out for his arrest. He asks how I'm doing. I say, "Okay." The second question out of Doc's mouth, "How is Jeff?"  

I stop like a deer in headlights. 

"How is Jeff doing?" He repeats.

I shake my head, trying to etch-o-sketch the question out of my mind but it's too late. The tears start streaming out of my eyes, "Um...I don't know." I take a deep breath to calm down but it doesn't work because I see the look of confusion on their faces, "We broke up." The tears start coming quicker.

"Awe, I thought y'all were gonna make it..."

But before he could finish the rest of his statement and without saying goodbye I was halfway across the restaurant with the visions illustrated above shooting through my memory. 

I guess we were supposed to make it, but instead today is a difficult day.