I must say, my life is rarely boring. When you work directly with the public... I don't think much is.
My step-mother always has some doozy stories to tell after work. She's a judge.
And me? I am privy to my town's most intimate gossip. While women, and men, are getting their hair done, eyebrows waxed, or faces made-up, they will talk about anything.
I mean, anything.
It's ridiculous the kind of inside information I walk around with on a daily basis.
But whatever... So on to today. Today was going pretty smoothly. The salon was busy as usual. And I had been at the shampoo bowls for nearly a constant two and half hours when I got a break.
I went into the back, opened the freezer, and pulled me out an ice cream sandwich.
Yum. I think I have an addiction. Anyone know of an Ice Cream Sandwich Addiction Support group?
Anyways, back to what I was saying... After I finished, I headed back out of the breakroom and back into the salon. And I propped down in the vacant cutting chair and spun it around so I could see Keeva working on cutting one of her usual client's, *Victoria.
They were both silent for a few moments, then Victoria looked at Keeva in the reflection of the mirror. "You won't believe what happened to *Grace, you know the girl I work with..."
Without looking up from her scissors, Keeva nodded.
Victoria continued, "She has a son, Brandon, you know, with Down-Sydrome, he's seventeen. And he stays by himself on the weekdays for an hour after school until Grace gets home from work."
I see Keeva raise her eyebrows slightly, but continues snipping.
"Well, on Monday Brandon called Grace at work to tell her that he'd caught himself a Leprechaun. Apparently, his class had been talking about St. Patrick's day. Well, Grace just laughed it off and told him that she was busy and that he could show her when she got home."
At this point, Keeva flips Victoria's hair over her face. So she continues talking even though I can't see her face.
"After, she hung up with Brandon, he called his grandmother, aunt, and two cousins to tell him all about his Leprechaun. Well, they all called Grace at work and she decided something was up and left an hour early."
Up until this point, I was only half interested in this conversation. Now, I was leaning a little closer to hear, trying not to look too nosy.
"When she got home, Brandon had pushed all the funiture in his room up against his closet door. Grace said she heard something banging around inside and started worrying about what kind of animal Brandon had managed to catch."
Keeva flips Victoria's hair back, and Keeva stops cutting and leans against the chair and looked at her in the mirror.
"When Grace got all the furniture moved, she opened the closet door and..." Victoria half laughed, half balked, "She found a midget."
Keeva's mouth fell open.
And I blurted out, "What?!" Which startled Victoria, who spun around to look at me.
She just nodded. "Yep. A little person. He had come witnessing at the door and Brandon had picked him up and drug him into the closet thinking he was a Leprechaun."
Keeva tossed her scissors onto her station. "You mean to tell me that boy just kidknapped a midget?"
Victoria smiled and nodded again. "I know, crazy right? Grace said she apologized profusely to the man, but he left completely pisssed. She's worried he might press charges..."
And I think to myself... If I'd been locked in a closet, for God knows how long, by a mentally incompetant person, I would be freaking out about all the possible ways I was going to be murdered. And she thinks the guy might press charges?
Once the shock wore off, I found myself laughing so histarically, I had to excuse myself to the breakroom.
*Names have been changed to protect the ridiculous.
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 7:36 PM
It tries to kill me on a daily basis.
I can feel it before it makes a full appearance. My face goes numb, my heart starts racing, my breathing becomes erratic, my arms start losing feeling...
Oh well hello there, Fear, you snuck up on me.
So if you've read my blog for very long, you know I have panic attacks... And I blog about the real significant ones.
Sunday night, my husband, Freddy, and my brother Chris, and I found ourselves sitting around the house like nerds, playing the Wii.
Okay so we've been playing the Wii for like three hours straight when one of them comes up with the great idea to go finally see Avatar in 3D.
I'm all game. I had been wanting to see the movie forever and was shocked when we found a movie theater in Kennesaw still playing it in 3D.
The three of us scramble to get into the car so we can make the ten'o'clock show.
And Kennesaw is a good hour drive from where we live.
So as weird luck would have it, we make it into the crowded (apparently we weren't the only losers who hadn't seen it either) theater right as the movie was starting! We totally missed all those commercials.
So, anyone seen Avatar? It's an awfully long movie.
That's about the time that fear saw it's chance. And boy did he jump on it.
Avatar is an action packed movie... And I can handle action movies... At home.
In the movie theater? They tend to make me hyperventilate without my ever realizing that I am doing so, until I go numb.
Well to my left was Freddy. And to his left was my brother, Chris. So to my right was some guy.
When my panic began to swell into uncontrolable territory, I started gripping the armrests on both sides on me.
Had it been any other movie? I would have stepped out to regain composure. But this was Avatar... And I had waited too long and paid too much for the ticket to miss anything.
I think I heard Fear laugh. He knew he had me trapped.
You're big. And bad. And well, okay nevermind, not bad like bad but like baaad. You know? Can you kick his ass for me?
I was beginning to hyperventilate. My breathing was apparently so loud, that Chris, on the other side of Freddy, heard me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see him lean up. He looks kind of weird with his 3D glasses on. But I can't laugh 'cause I'm so freaking scared.
My brother just looks at me, though I can't see his eyes in the dark. He whispers, "You gonna be okay?"
I swallow, probably really loud, and nod. My brother has panic attacks of his own, so he knows what it's like.
I begin to rock back and forth.
Deep breath. In and out. Crap. I'm going to suffocate!
Sound the alarm! My brain screams. My lungs have suddenly forgotten how to process oxygen! So this is it, what it's like to die...
Stupid, stupid! You're not going to die. Fight or flight is malfunctioning... That's all this is... Another panic attack.
Oh no it's not! This one's for real! I can feel it. I'm dying.
Ever tried rationalizing with an idiot?
Yeah well, that's me trying to calm myself down during a panic attack.
I was really starting to get pissed at myself. I didn't want to miss the movie, yet I couldn't concentrate like this!
Freddy slid his hand into mine and squeezed. I squeezed back. I could do this.
Another wave of panic hits. My throat starts to tighten up.
Crap! I'm choking!
I make some weird gagging noise that alarms my husband, brother, and apparently the already freaked-out guy to my right.
He leans a little further away from me. And looks at me like I'm an alien species myself...
Some people just shouldn't watch Sci-Fi movies... I swear.
I'm not quite sure now what scene finally reeled my brain back in and away from my erratic, stupid body with it's crazy signals that miss fire and... Stuff.
Whatever you wanna call it.
So, I finished watching Avatar in relative peace. But the guy to my right did not. He seemed to stay rigid in his seat for the rest of the movie, which was over an hour, nerviously glancing at me the whole time.
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 9:45 PM
I have one hundred followers!? Holy cow!
I'm not trying to tute my own horn here, but I'm in shock.
When I started this blog it was with the idea to work on my writing skills and just blow off some steam. Now, that is still what I do here, I just can't believe so many got interested in it!
So anywho, this isn't a big post or nothing. Just a huge thank you and shout out to all you guys who read, comment, or follow, whatever. You rock!
So now, since I've been neglecting my little corner of the interweb, I've also been neglecting all you guys I follow and will now attempt at catching up!
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 3:37 PM
I'm a fan of UFC. For anyone who is unfamiliar, it's the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I don't always know all the fancy names for the moves, but I love the show non-the-less.
My husband loves it. He could tell you the name of every fighter, what makes them better, what makes them weaker, and whether or not they are trained in Jiu-Jitsu.
I'd say he's a way bigger fan. It's inevitable, when he and my brother Chris get together, that that's going to be just about all they talk about beides cars.
Well, a while back my husband and I were watching UFC, stuffing ourselves with ice cream and popcorn.
The fight we were watching was pretty intense. Both of the fighters were good. It was hard to predict who would take the win.
One would get in a good punch and a moment later the other would get in a leg kick.
Both their faces were looking pretty rough by the end and there was blood coming from everywhere.
I was on the edge of my seat.
Without taking my eyes off the tv screen, I spooned in a mouth-full of ice cream.
And then bam!
One fighter had knocked the other to the ground. And then they began to wrestle.
"This is how he takes his wins..." My husband says of the fighter who'd just knocked the other down.
The other fighter was struggling to get his arms free. He struggled to get a punch in. His legs flailed as he struggled to work his way out of the grip of the other fighter.
But the other fighter was too strong and soon had him in some kind of headlock with a fancy name that my husband called out.
"Ooooo, he's going to tap out." My husband leans up from the couch and focuses closely on the tv screen.
I kept my eyes glued to the tv, as well. And sure enough, not ten seconds later, the fighter tapped.
When I exhaled, I hadn't realized I'd been holding my breath.
The best fights are the ones you can't predict, the ones that keep you on the edge of your seat, the ones that keep you from blinking...
I sat back against the couch and watched as Joe Rogan walked onto the rink to interview the winner, by way of tap out.
He'd been asking the guy the usual question for about two minutes when I looked down at the fighter's sponser covered jersey. In the middle of the sea of logos were the words: Jesus didn't tap.
Wow. No, He didn't.
Jesus could have summonded an army of angels to save Him from His bloody death on that cross.
But He didn't.
He didn't tap.
And in the end, He won the fight. The Ultimate Champion. Over death, over the grave, over Satan.
Because He didn't surrender, He didn't chicken out, He didn't tap out.
Ever heard the Champion by Carmen? I've always thought it to be an amazing piece of work.
Check it out.
Carman the Champion - Watch the top videos of the week here
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 6:10 PM
Well, it went a little something like this... I slept on the couch last night.
My husband was snoring so badly. I think it's because I got sick and then consequently, got him sick. But he's always snored.
Just not that bad.
Last night, I tried rolling him onto his sides... Pulling his pillow out from under his head... Yanking the covers off of him...
I'm such a great wife, right?
And nothing worked. If anything it all made him snore all that much louder.
So with my pillow in tow, I was off to the couch.
And this morning, I woke to the phone ringing. At the ungodly hour of ten'o'clock.
I don't work on Wednesdays... You would think people would realize I don't rise before noon.
And it was Dad. My brother needed a ride down to the parole office. (Yeah while I was off on my little hiatus from blogging back in November, my brother got released from prison.)
And my brother has a resrticted driver's licsense due to back child support.
Fine. So I don't have a life and drive my brother around so he can pee in cups and... Other stuff. Don't judge me.
Plus, my shoulder was KILLING me. Apparently, I'd found the ONE hard spot in the couch last night, and had tortured my shoulder.
I stetched, I did push-ups... To absolutely no avail. (And it hurt all day...)
So I get dressed and head to pick up my brother. I get there and knock on the door.
Nobody comes to the door, so I just let myself in. I walked loudly through the kitchen and into the livingroom, hoping not to scare my brother or grandmother.
(Bro's living with my grandmother for now.)
It was dark and I couldn't hear anybody moving around.
"Hello?" I hollered into the dark livingroom and down the hall.
I creep down the hall, just a little and wait. Was my brother even home? Was my grandmother?
I creeped down the hall a little further. The bedroom doors were closed. So was the office door and bathroom.
And everything was quiet.
So when my brother throws open the bathroom door, I screamed.
When I screamed, my brother screamed.
When my brother screamed, from somewhere in her bedroom, my grandmother screamed.
So starting off, my nerves were shot. And so were my brother's. Because as we were walking out the door he shoved a dip in his mouth.
Me and my brother get to the parole office and he goes inside to do whatever it is people do at parole offices...
And I decide to wait in the car and get some more sleep.
Now, I'm not an idiot. Even though I do live in a small town, the kind where everybody knows everybody and if they don't know you, they sure as hell know your parents... Haha.
One of those kind of towns.
But I lock my door non the less.
I don't know how long I've been asleep, when I wake up.
Why did I wake up? Well, you ever get that feeling like someone is watching you and you turn around and your suspensions were true.
Well, there was an old guy standing outside my car door, smoking a cigarette... And looking in my window!
I jerk my seat up into a sitting position and was ready to abandon my brother, when the old man gives me a weird facial expression, like I'm the freak, and then walks off.
Moving forward, brother finally returns to car where he informs me we need to pay a visit to Family and Children Services. Something to do with his child support...
So we're off to Cartersville. Which is a good 45 minute drive. So I'm all groggy and tired, trying to manover my way on the highway.
And I'm really wishing at this point that the idiots who run Family and Children Services wouldn't take fathers' driver's licsenses away for back child support, because all that means is that they are going to have to get someone else to drive them to work and to wheverever.
Ugh. The world is run by idiots. I swear!
On the way back from Family and Children Services, my brother decides to regail me with a tale from his high school days when he and buddy of his took a road trip up to Ohio.
And he tells me how they went to some arts festival around some river in Ohio. The Ohio River, I guess?
I have a retired meth-head for a brother here, People.
And he proceeds to tell me that since all the porta-Johns. Yeah, port-a-poddies? My brother called 'em porta-Johns.
He proceeds to tell me that since all the porta-Johns were full, he and his buddies decide to just pee into the river.
So for hours, they are walking around drinking Bud Light and peeing into the Ohio River.
And then my brother goes to relieve himself one last time before they leave, and he pees off the ledge.
Only appartenty, he didn't see the dock or whatever below him, and ended up pissing all over some chick and dude trying to get their groove on.
So, I drop brother off when sister calls, "Hey you wanna go to the gym with me?"
I'm not a gym person. I go for a run ocassionally, but that's it. "Um, not really why?"
"Oh, no reason. It's just have you looked in the mirror lately?" My sister sounds serious.
"Excuse me? Is this your way of telling me I'm getting fat?"
"Look, I don't like working out by myself. Too many guys. Plus, It's not gonna hurt you. You need to tone up."
Thank you, Sister Dear.
So I guess that's how I ended up at the gym on a treadmill, watching my sister try to lift weights.
I had completely skipped the weights and gone for the treadmill. I'm no idiot. I could maybe bench the bar.
Now, my sister is a totally drop dead gorgeous blonde. Even after having a baby, she's hot.
Plus, she's single and has ever dude in the place starring. What else is new?
So I jog my twenty minutes on the treadmill and walk over to her, all sweaty and gross with my newly dyed dark hair plastered to my face and neck. "You ready to go yet?"
My sister hadn't even broken a sweat. "Not yet."
I sit and wait another ten minutes while my sister lifts weights. But it looks more like she's just playing around.
Turns out, she was wasting time so she could run into her old tennis coach from high school.
Eh, but she doesn't talk to me about her love life anymore, appartently I'm too opinionated about guys, while she chooses to be ignorant.
We head out of the gym to the parking lot. And I notice a good sized dent in the rear bumper. "Hey Kim, did somebody hit you?"
She looks over and then real quick-like changes the subject. "Dunno, you wanna go get something to eat?"
Uhhhhh. I know that trick. "Uh, Kim... What happened to your bumper?"
She's now cranking the car and I'm in the passenger seat, looking at her. But she doesn't look at me. "No big deal, not like my car doesn't have dings already. So, where you wanna eat?"
I cross my arms. "I don't care... Kimberly, did you hit my car?"
My sister throws up her hands and turns towards me and looks me in the eye. "Gah, you're ruthless, yeah, yeah, okay?! I hit your car! It was a complete accident. It happened the other day when you where at mom's. I forgot you were parked behind me."
Great. "Did anything happen to my car?"
She pulls the car out of the parking spot. "I didn't check."
"Nice. We're eating at Zaxby's. And you're buying." I click my seatbelt.
"I'm broke." She looks at me sheepishly.
"Dude, you hit my car? And now I'm buying? Didn't you ask me to go with you?"
"Uh, yeah." She looks at me like I'm stupid.
Yeah, so we get to Zaxby's and we decide to go through the drive-thru and just take the food with us and rent a movie.
So, I pay. And as we're driving off, I realize the guy at the window didn't give me the right change.
I was short a dollar.
And maybe on another day, I wouldn't have cared... But today, it was like he'd shorted me a twenty.
I glare at my sister. "You know what?!"
She jumped and the car swerved. "What?"
"If I wasn't such a nice person, I'd go back in there and demand my dolla back."
My sister laughs. "Your dolla back?"
What is she deaf? "Yeah, my dolla!"
My sister throws her hands up. "Can I get a holla back?!" And laughs.
"This isn't funny."
So, we rent the movie The Box. Don't watch it. It's stupid. And plus, it sent me into a panic attack.
Stupid Sci-Fi movies.
So yeah, I'm writing this while my hands are still shaking.
I think I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.
Oh wait. Excuse me.
Wrong side of the couch.
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 3:28 PM
Hey God... Hello?
Wait, I hear You.
No, actually You seem to be breaking up.
There must be something wrong with the connection...
I watched the Passion of the Christ a week ago. I hadn't seen in in a few years. And I sobbed for two hours. It is a powerful movie. As I watched my Savior take my beatings, take my ridicule, take my punishment, carry my cross, and bleed for me, I could hardly bare the sorrow.
I repented of sins long forgotten. I was heartbroken that I could have forgotten so easily just how much my Savior endured for me.
I'm no better at this than anyone else. I'm no saint. Just a sinner saved by grace. I fall. I sin. I screw it up.
But God is faithful. He's there to pick me up and dust me off when I repent.
But as of late, I feel like God is distant. I've always heard that when you feel like God is distant, then look around. You're the one who has moved.
Maybe I did move. Took the wrong path. Skipped off the straight and narrow. I don't know.
I've been asking God to give me the answer to my question about Protestantism vs. Catholicism. Is one right and the other wrong? Are they both right? Or by some crazy chance, are they both wrong? I have been so confused as of late.
I've been wondering, have I been looking at things the wrong way all along? Did I miss something? Is it about more faith, less legalism? Or about more legalism, less faith?
But then that doesn't seem right.
Jesus came to build the bridge. The gap between humans and God. So why the need for a Pope?
But then again, it seems that all denominations of Protestantism have taken some things too far... Like speaking in tongues... Or believing in the gift of healing to the point of not believing in doctors.
So where's the answer? On both hands you've got the same God. Same Jesus.
But a lot of doctrine thrown around, shoved down throats, and bashed agaisnt the hard-headed.
I don't think this is what Christ had in mind for His hands and feet. The world is looking at us and watching. They want to know where the difference is. Just how powerful is this God that we believe in?
Sure we wear the t-shirts and have the fish stickers on our bumpers... We can all talk the talk.
But what about the walk? What about the everyday, in and out, fight to lay down ourselves at the foot of the cross?
What about the fruit of the Spirit?
How do we show the world Jesus, when we're all too busy fighting amongst ourselves to shine the light?
And has anyone ever seen godhatesfags.com? Excuse me... But Jesus got up on that cross for those same "fags" as for you and me! What has happened to the church?
I've been told I was going to hell because I wear pants, because I wear make-up, because I don't speak in tongues, because I cut my hair, because my parents are divorced.
Thank you very much, Church. Is that what you call yourselves?
Condemning everything I do and don't do. I don't understand it. I can't comprehend it.
So I pray, "God, if I'm wrong show me. Show me! Are you gonna turn me away because of what I wear, because I can't speak in some crazy blah blah nonsensical language, or because I couldn't help the fact that my parents didn't want to stay married? Am I cursed for all eternity?"
I thought He smashed all that trivial stuff to the grave 2,000 years ago on a cross? But apparently, the majority doesn't agree with me.
I'm no biblical scholar. But I am 100 percent sure of my Savior. That, is my only anchor in this storm. I can't see my hand in front of my face.
It's that dark.
I believe abortion is wrong. More than wrong, it's murder. I practice my right to vote and try to vote in men and women who will uphold morals. Abortion seems like a black and white issue to me.
And to me, the Bible's stance on homosexuality is black and white.
But what about other things that the Bible is not so clear on?
What about something as simple as birth control? Or in ventro fertilization?
What about those?
If birth control is a sin, am I going to hell?
Is God going to condemn me for seeking medical help that saved my life, while endometriosis was trying to take over my insides?
And estrogen was trying to kill me?
What in the world do I do now?
I've got one hand on the cross and and the other outstretched, waiting.
For what, I do not know.
Will answers come?
I don't know.
Will God leave me in the dark?
I don't know.
All I know, Friends, is this: Jesus chose the cross for you. There's power and forgiveness and love there. I may not have all the answers, but I can point you to the One who does.
You've got nothing to lose.
I don't for one minute believe my God has abandoned me. Letting me learn some hard lessons? Yes.
Staying silent, so that I seek Him more fervently? Yes.
But abandoned me?
No. And that's all I've got left to hang onto.
"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." -C. S. Lewis
(Note: The above picture breaks my Savior's heart, of this I am sure. I am in NO way supporting the radical baptist church.)
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 10:50 AM