Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Time M-f'n Out, I'm Calling a Conference

When I was little, I had a favorite poem in a book:  "Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of."  Now when I think of that child's rhyme I cannot help but to think of Mar.
I had heard countless stories about Mar from Jenn, "She is so much fun, I can't wait for you to meet her, you will like her and get along so well."  I had heard that about so many people from countless mouths, rarely was the prediction true, "Too bad she is stuck up her loser boyfriend's ass and always spending the weekends with him in Covington."  So when I finally had the chance to meet this girl I had been hearing about, I jumped at it.

When I first met Mar she was in her apartment "getting ready for a date" to the Orpheum Theater.  I thought to myself, her boyfriend sure must be something special for her to put so much into being as effortlessly beautiful as she is.  Then there was a knock, Mar came rushing out of her bedroom, a cloud of perfume trailing behind her.  She answered the front door.  Before Jenn, Mar and I, there stood a very handsome and distinguished looking gentleman every bit of 49 years old.  My mouth dropped and my mind was swirling, was it the beer or the flowery scent in the air?

He said, "Hurry up, we are late.  I'll be waiting in the car."

As soon as the door shut the perfume cleared from the room.  I gave Jenn a wild eye look and in
disbelief asked, "Where did she meet her boyfriend and how old is he?"

Jenn fell over in a fit of laughter, "OhMyGod! That is her dad!"

First impressions are first impressions.  In all of my life I have never seen someone change a first impression in such a short amount of time as Mar.  From dressed to go to an opera, ok Les Miserable, with an 'older man' to running through the cold January rain down Beale Street to drink beer at an after-the-party birthday party.  Mar burst through the doors of the bar with such a blast of energy the entire bar stopped to see this sultry red-headed wonder.  I was amazed.  How could a woman of barely twenty have so much charisma as to spellbind an entire party with a simple twist of her hips, a flirty rise of an eyebrow, a twinkle in her eyes and a full out smile on her lips?

Although she would never admit it Mar is strong:  emotionally, mentally and willfully.  She is confident in herself and transfers her confidence towards her friends.  She is uplifting and also willing to stand behind a friend or beside them when they are not strong enough to stand on their own.  She has a quick wit, a fierce temper, and a mischievous streak that more often than not has brought hours of laughter into our friendship. She is not afraid to tell a joke, or crack one on herself.  She is humble and admits when she is wrong. Mar is honest, if not blunt.  She loves her friends entirely, forgiving their flaws.  If I could pick one adjective phrase to describe her it would be "pure sex appeal."  She has taught me what it is to be a Southern girl, dually appreciated.  She is the ultimate 'can-do' girl, comfortable playing with snails and puppy dog tails in the country or makeup in the city.  I am proud to admit that Mar is my friend.

Before Mar moved from Memphis to Texarkana, TX she carried a video camera around for weeks making everyone she knew tell stories about herself.  Me, forever procrastinating, said I would do it later. Really I was avoiding the 55lbs the camera adds, kidding... besides when I'm perpetually behind the camera why would I want to be in front of it?  Essentially, I have too many wonderful stories about Mar to choose just one.

One horrible day during Spring Break, with a Sam's club card pressed against my cell phone and that to my ear, "I hope you are ready to drink because I am bringing the beer."  Armed with two cases I drive my jalopy across the Mid-South interstate system then winding through various ghettos and barrios.  At 2 o'clock in the afternoon Mar and I started drinking.  I don't remember much more than singing and dancing on the balcony and hollering at guys passing by or on the phone, but one thing I will never forget is that day I gained an invaluable friendship.

In the course of our friendship Mar and I have spent too numerous of hours on runs, ok walks around the University campus, the only thing really running is our mouths, fondly referred to as "Boy Venting Walks and Talks."  With Mar's 'good head' on her shoulders and talking through our social lives, she gave me the courage to change my life, "You're not in love with him, you love someone else...blah, blah, blah."

Besides, being the voice of reason - I must admit that Mar has never tried to influence me from random make out sessions with Grande Juan, it must simply be a slight lapse of  my judgment or sobriety - Mar can be the little devil that sits just above your ear whispering evil thoughts and ideas.  At least when she is the instigator she sees the concept through to actualization. Visualize~Actualize.  Whether it is dancing on stage at the local pub, walking home drunk and pushing over every trash can on the street, getting me to act like a complete fool to win the attention of some guy, although I am quite good of doing so on my own, drunk dialing guys - it always seems like a good idea at the time, or even yelling Sigma Epsilon Chi chants at the tops of our lungs, Mar always has an ace up her sleeve and a design at making the situation better.  She is the life of the party.

When Mar and Torin found each other I was never so excited.   Although with him she has calmed down, trust me, you have to meet Mar. She is so much fun.  You will indeed discover that she is sugar, but a little warning:  watch for the spice.

Monday, February 14, 2005

A Date on Valentine's Day

Good News:  I have a date for today.

Bad News:  It is a Court Date...."You see what ha-happened was"

Apparently, it seems that when you run a stop sign you must remember not to cut off a police officer while doing so.  Speaking from experience, they tend to frown on that.

For goodness sakes, it was 6:10am! Shouldn't he have been busy at the Quickie Mart getting a donut?

So I am officially the worst driver I know.  I’m not really that bad, aside from running over two mailboxes, various speeding tickets, and one failure to maintain control.  In my defense, that jerk dead stopped in front of me to make an illegal left hand turn across Union Avenue into the Schuncks. For those non-Memphis readers, Union Avenue is 6 lanes.  Three of those are on-coming traffic.  This guy was trying to cross, with a broken turn signal.  The ordeal was completed, the police leaving and then the driver needs an ambulance with a "Oh my neck and back” injury.

I have truly calmed my driving down.  I feel sorry for any of you that rode with me between the years of 1998 through 2001.  Those were the years of taking turns on two wheels.

 Anyway, as I got ready for my date, yes I am taking it to be that important.  I showered; figuring out Victoria's Secret is not to get the shampoo in my damned eyes, shaved, tweezed and manicured my nails too.  I slathered on my war face and opted for the salmon pink sweater set, the pearl necklace complete with matching earrings, and lucky panties.  Don't deny it girls; you all have a pair that never fails.  I thought preppy would be better than good girl turned bad with the mini skirt.
I parted my straightened hair on the right side and pulled it into a loose braid, slipped on my heels and headed to the Town of Atoka City Court.  I sat there, nervous as I could be until my name, "A.V.E.U.L, Ariel Conway," was called.

I plead, "Guilty," and was charged $70.00. That is five dollars less than the underage, open-container, driver kid who went before me got charged!  Five stinkin' dollars for alcohol in a car!!  I’m not complaining, it could have been worse, it could have occurred in Shelby County.

So let me tell you one more story, with this one I am crowning myself "Queen of the Dorks."  That is until one of you can dethrone me, and I'm sure you have the power to do so.

The day I ran the stop sign I quickly left the house after brushing my teeth and subsequently not looking in the mirror.  No wonder the police officer let me go so quickly.  I drove all the way to work in Olive Branch.  Olive Branch is an hour away from my home.  I was thinking I was just the cutest thing on earth.

Can you believe I didn't even check myself out in the rearview?  Well I didn't.  All sorts of men were checking me out, or so I thought.

"Damn, I must be really hot today," I thought to myself.

I walked into the office 20 minutes late and explained to my office manager why I was late.  Still everyone was looking at me.

I sat down to begin dispatching the plumbers.  Mr. Mushroom, in all of his glory, sat down to flirt with me.  The thought of mushroom's have recently made me gag in disgust.

This gentleman, and I use the term loosely, has recently declared that he has the hots for me.  He has also deemed it necessary to share with me that he has named his appendage “the mushroom,” because that is what he is shaped like. Gag!

Anyway, he looks at me and loudly announces to the entire office, through his thick Mississippian draw, "What is that white shit on your face?"

"Oh...yes," my left hand flew up to touch the corner of my mouth.  I tilted my head and said, "It's toothpaste, I'm keeping it there for's the in-thing to do."

Instantly I was relieved, anything I can do to make myself look less cool in front of him works for me.  However, I do have a problem, was it too far above the call of duty for the police office to notify me of my toothpaste mishap?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Going Home

You know, as I feel sorry for myself, and I have been, I think about a girl I met for a brief moment this summer.  It was a Friday early in September.   I can't describe her as anything less than an angel sent by God.

This summer I worked at Hobby Lobby, a Michael's art supply, retail store but bigger and much cheaper.  As some of you know, St. Jude a medical hospital for children with cancer and the nation's leading cancer research hospital is located in Memphis.  Many of the sick children are forced to leave home for months and even years to receive treatment here in Memphis.  In this journey these children leave mostly everything they own in their home and live in apartments, with their families, provided by the hospital.  These children, wiser beyond their years, are brought to Hobby Lobby by their nurses to purchase items that they left at home.  The things you don't think to pack when your child is in a life and death situation, simple items such as crayons, coloring books and puzzles.

As this ten year old child was being pushed around the store in her wheelchair, I couldn't help but to be drawn to her.  Her head had small tufts of hair scattered, but it was mostly bare, her small skeleton scarcely filled half the wheelchair. She was sick and yet she was filled with such wholeness.

As I walked by, one of her nurses asked the girl, "Would you like to purchase these markers?"

The girl said to the nurse, "No ma'am, I have markers at home," at this point she looked at me and said, "I'm going home."

It was then that the nurse looked at me and I knew.  I walked away before the girl could see me crying.  Four days later the girl succumbs to cancer.

 It is days like today that I begin to feel sorry for myself that I think about this girl.  Either she was absolutely determined to beat her disease or she knew that she was going to her final home.  Any so called problem I have seems infinitesimal compared to what this little child had to deal with on a daily basis.