November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving with Barbie

"I love playing Barbies.  I can create so many stories with them." 

I was working to put a meal together in the kitchen when Emily came in and started telling me the virtues of playing with Barbies.  Imagination and what-not.  I was distracted, but tried to make an effort appear interested amidst my bustle.  I asked about her latest story and then continued to work.

Something about three rich girls in a palace going on a tour of the countryside  -- so far, so typical.  Where did I put that can opener down?

Then the evil tour guide abandons them in the forest and goes back to take over the palace-- Ah!  Some action.  Always a damsel in distress.  What temperature does this oven have to be again?

The bad guy starts spending their money while they have to find out how to get home with scarce resources -- Girl power!  Not the prince I was expecting.  Red bell pepper is kinda like celery, right?

I continued to listen absentmindedly till I heard the following words:  "Yeah.  See, the girls were kinda spoiled before.  Now that they're out on their own they have to help each other.  They don't have much money with them so they have to be creative.  Because they don't have much now and the bad guy is stealing their money they are learning to be thankful for the things they do have."

She ran off to wash her hands or something and I was left to ponder.  First, how awesome my little sister is to be "teaching" others to be thankful, strong, and selfless, and second, how true it is that you don't realize the good things you have until they are gone -- be it possessions, health, job, or even friends.

There are a number of things in my life right now that will not last (Transition time between school and full-time adulting).  Really good things.  This Thanksgiving I'm not going to wait till something is gone to value it.  

Like those Barbies, I may have to find creative ways to use my resources and rely on new people, but it is teaching me to really appreciate what I have.  I'm finding my way back to the palace -- creating a life -- and I'm so thankful for the things (and people) I do have.  Y'all are the bomb.

November 17, 2015

Back to School Party

Because days like these are worth remembering:

Part 1: Swings, Frisbee, and Tie-dying

November 15, 2015

Particularly Tall

I got a rather odd comment this morning (or was it a compliment?).  I was walking down the hall at church this morning wearing the above outfit.  This friend turned to me and said, "Joanna, today you look particularly. . .tall."

Um. . .

Guys, this is NOT smooth.  Don't say this.  Especially with the pause. When in doubt, neutral comments are better not said.  They are equal to negative comments.  I felt bad for the guy though, so I took it like a statement of fact and went into the optical illusions of proportions and how different clothing choices make different body types look certain ways.  It was actually only a 30 second schpeel, but just long enough to smooth the awkward comment into a mini conversation.

If you don't know what a neutral comment is, here is a crash course.

Negative: Those are weird shoes.
Neutral: You have new shoes.
Positive: Liking the shoes!

I'm not sure how this affects guys, but when you give a girl a neutral comment she will either seek clarification or put it in the negative pile.  If you notice a girl's shoes and say "You have new shoes" she will do one of three things.  (1) Try to find out what you actually think: "I do! What do you think?", (2) Become self-aware and think that you disapprove (actual reaction depends on the girl at this point), (3) be momentarily conflicted before distancing themselves from the issue and treating it like a fact.  This includes an educational seminar like mine from earlier or straight contradiction of the statement.

So there you go, guys -- a little "intelligence for your life" as John Tesh would say.  Go forth and be winsome.