The tone of this blog has sort of missed the mark that I was originally shooting for. The idea that I had upon creating this blog was to recount a lot of my memories in a fun and humorous manor. Instead, I seem to have come across a little too depressing. A friend of mine told me the other day that my last entry almost made him cry.
A different approach:
Many years ago, my parents had made the decision to home school my siblings and I. Soon after, it was decided to sign us up for some children’s Bible studies. It was really an excellent idea considering that we had no other real access to families that had made similar choices. As you are most likely aware, we were very close to our immediate family and spent a lot of time growing up and playing with our cousins, but they were not the best of influences considering their exposure to public education. Evolution was evil and my science textbook referenced Noah’s Flood while explaining the rain cycle. Public education was not good and we needed some more like-minded peers.
I will never forget the first day of Bible lessons. My mom drove us there in our Ford minivan and parked on a hill that I felt would eventually make the van roll onto its side. But it didn’t. I do not know where my mom met Anita (a very loud and large woman with the biggest heart and a most robust laugh that infected everyone around with smiles), but I know that she was the person that suggested this particular Bible study place. It was someone’s house in the middle of what seemed like a giant field of dead grass that all sloped toward a ravine. The lessons were taught by a really nice, but very old man, who I assumed lived in the house. Please keep in mind that I was nine years old and this man was probably only forty. But he seemed really old to me.
The old man had these amazing tokens that were awarded to the children that were the quietest and the most polite during Bible story time. I, however, was not able to earn one of these totally cool and shiny coin-like tokens because of a girl named Laci. She was a beautiful blonde that was a year older than I. It was the way I liked it back then. And, She really liked me too! She was constantly trying to get my attention while we were learning about Joseph’s coat of many colors, by poking me, ticking me, or making funny faces at me. Now, before you start thinking that this is really cute, let me tell you a little more about Laci.
Even though my judgment was slightly skewed at the time, I knew that Laci was bad news. She was pretty and knew that she could get away with just about anything. She had spirit too! And, she seemed to get some thrill out of making guys look like fools.
She intimidated me.
Laci was one of those girls that enjoyed leading a guy on just enough to get him to do or say something goofy simply to end up laughing at him. Of course this meant that she liked him, but it was a good way to establish who was in charge. She was what I now call a manipulative bitch. This brings me back to the part where she tormented me (in a very good way of course) during our Bible lessons. It made me fidget and giggle. It made the old man scold me. It made Laci laugh. I was her bitch and she liked it. This is all fairly complicated for a bunch of nine and ten year olds, but one hundred percent true. I must admit that I was totally in love with the attention!
The next week was our second Bible lesson at the strange house in the grassy field. I was so completely determined to earn a “good boy” token that I did the unthinkable. I completely ignored Laci. I didn’t move. I hardly breathed. It took every single part of my conscious effort to remain as still, and as quiet, as a young boy possibly could. I was so incredibly intent on getting a token that I do not even remember what we were taught that day, but I remember as clear as can be, the amount of mental concentration that I had invested. Time passed about as slowly as an evening spent watching “The Lonesome Dove” with people that you can’t stand.
It completely paid off and I was awarded a token at the end of the day. I half expected a little extra from the old man in recognition of the substantial level of stillness that I brought to the lesson, but instead, I was handed the token just as casually as the other kids that sat only almost as still as I did. But, I did not care. I had my treasure and would in fact treasure it for many weeks. It was stowed along with my other little and shiny treasures.
Laci still loved to torment me, and I didn’t mind as much after I won my token. I had gotten what I wanted, and decided that it was too much work to earn another. I would continue to chase after her and she would start this little game of “Hard to Get.” By the time that I was twelve, I had given up on the cute and bouncy blonde and had become much more interested in a tough, tomboy brunette. By this time, Laci’s younger and more awkward sister, Sara, had fallen in love with me. She was a very sweet and funny girl (I think that her humor developed because she lived in her older sister’s shadow), but I was not available.
I had my heart set on Katie the tomboy. She became the love of my childhood life and will be the center of some really fun stories to come!