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day 7: be awesome.

February 8, 2011

First things first.  Check this out:

How nice is this?

(You can’t read the note because I am a complete idiot with the cameraphone, but it says, “Hi.  These are for Anne — couldn’t find the flavor she wanted to try, but figured she might like these”). A friend left these at my husband’s office after reading this post. How nice is that?  Thank you, Lara Bar fairy.

Something reminded me, on Day 7, of my sixteenth birthday gift from my parents.  Let’s time travel back to a newly sixteen year old me, shall we?  Number one, I was bitter that I wasn’t Molly Ringwald and Jake Ryan wasn’t waiting for me outside of the church (man, did I want to be Molly Ringwald).  Number two, I was convinced I was hideous — that I was too fat, that I had bad skin, that my hair wasn’t right (in retrospect, my hair wasn’t right — it was 1989) — and that no one would ever understand me.

For my sixteenth birthday, I had asked my parents for a television for my bedroom, presumably so that I could watch John Hughes movies alone and wallow.  After dinner on my big night, my parents brought a huge cardboard box out to the living room.  It had a lovely bow on top, and I could read the anticipation in their faces as they watched me open it.

What was inside the box was not, in fact, a television.

Inside the box was the taxidermied head of an eight point buck, much like this one:

Hello, deer

My parents had clothed Mr. Deer in a tie, a pair of sunglasses, and a baseball cap.  My reaction to this gift, captured in a photo that lives somewhere in my parents’ house, is the truly priceless gift.  I am decidedly unamused. Sixteen year-old me, all spiral perm and giant hoop earrings, refuses to even look at the thing, appearing instead to be close to vomiting.  I can still hear my parents’ gales of laughter in the background.

While it may have taken me a year or so, I did finally see the humor in this unorthodox birthday gift.  In this and so many other circumstances over my lifetime, my family has offered me the gift of laughing at myself.  I needed that gift as a black-clad, Morrissey-loving teenager, and I still need it today.

I found this poster on Etsy and liked it so much I showed it to some friends, one of whom has three fantastic girls.  She told me that her middle daughter, who is years away from angsty teendom, loved it — she kept re-reading the sign and laughing hysterically.  I love the image of her laughing at this, and I think she needs this poster for her bedroom.  It is in the mail, on its way to Atlanta, sealed with the hope that she and her mom keep laughing together or, at the very least, being awesome together.

Have an awesome day.  Thanks for showing up.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa Hawley permalink
    February 8, 2011 10:55 am

    I have to ask…were you already a vegetarian at that point? Also, I LOVE that poster! How do I get one?!

    • February 8, 2011 5:40 pm

      hey mel. great question — i’m pretty sure mr. deer might have pushed me over the edge from flexitarian to vegetarian. and r.e. the poster, you can either click the hyperlink on etsy in the post above, or hang tight until day 57…

      • March 30, 2011 5:13 am

        oh, and I didn’t forget about the poster on day 57 — it is on its way.

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