no need for an EpiPen or an Intervention

Hello. My name is Melissa and I like bananas.

For a long time I didn’t eat bananas. I thought I was allergic.

I ate one in church one time—yes, in church—and my mouth got all tingly. It was super annoying, especially since I was trying to listen to what the two resigning pastors had to say.

But I really really missed bananas. The taste, the texture, the way the slime gets all over everything and turns brown and crusty if you don’t clean it up…

So last semester I did something unintelligent:

I decided to eat a banana.

Granted, my reaction had not been over the top last time, but allergic reactions are supposed to get worse every time.

Eating a banana that I might be allergic to is not a wise thing to do.

But I did it anyway.

And man, did that banana taste good.

But better than the taste of the banana was my absolute lack of any allergic reaction. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I ate many bananas. And you know what? I was fine.

No reaction whatsoever.

Sometimes I think we’re supposed to push our limits. To question the accepted order.

Is that maybe the definition of growing up?

Not being stupid and trying foods you’re allergic to (because even though it worked out for me, I don’t advise you repeating my behavior because you might have your throat close up and that would be awkward. No dying, ‘kay?). But questioning the things we’ve accepted because they were handed to us by our parents.

I promise this isn’t a post about modesty or the purity culture, but I’ve grown up kind of in the eye of that storm, watching the madness all around me and disagreeing with both extremes of opinions. I have my own opinion on the matter now, and it doesn’t necessarily line up with my mentor’s. Or my mother’s.

Not that I don’t appreciate and greatly look up to both of those women. Not that I don’t love them.

It’s that we don’t see quite eye to eye on the matter.

Tolerance isn’t about embracing or championing another person’s viewpoint.

You’re even allowed to believe that the other person is misguided and still be tolerant.

Culture would do well to remember this.

As this year has progressed, as I’ve made the transition from high school student to college student, I’ve found that I disagree with some of the things I’d been brought up under. I happen to not mind wearing spaghetti straps. Harry Potter makes me happy. And staying up past midnight—while stupid—is something I like to do more than occasionally.

Some things I’ve been brought up under I still wholeheartedly embrace. Like, people need to know how to work hard. Off brand macaroni and cheese isn’t worth the money you “save”. And life must always revolve around a personal relationship with Christ.

So in case you’re wondering, I’ve not gone off the deep end in some sort of sheltered-kid rebellion.

And to be honest, it still makes me laugh when people tease me for using outdated phrases like, “Heavens to Betsy!” instead of the swear words that are so popular. (But my philosophy on cussing has, like so many things, changed and broadened this year, leading to a shift in my reasoning behind not swearing. Maybe I’ll write something on that sometime…)

I’ll keep dancing this dance of old blending with new, of firmly-rooted values realizing their application, of California country girl colliding pell-mell with Texas country culture and coming out alright.

I’m Melissa, and I really like bananas and Harry Potter and the funny way people look at me when I put my own nonsense words to pop songs.

Also, if you know of a (non-yellow) dragon looking for a new employer, I’m in the market, so have him or her contact me.

TTFN,
Melissa

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the post i actually got typed up (instead of just thinking about it)

Life is never planned.

I mean, perhaps your parents planned to have you, and maybe you even came at the time they were hoping you to.

(I was 10 days late, but born around the time of life that my parents were hoping to have kids. My younger brother was a surprise baby.)

But what I actually am talking about is our absolute inability to dictate how a day is going to transpire.

Sometimes everything goes right.

Sometimes everything goes wrong.

Sometimes life balances precariously in the middle of absolute disaster and absolute ecstasy and there’s nothing but the color of your lens on life to decide which way the scales are going to tip.

Speaking of scales, my youngest sister is learning to play piano and I wish she had a keyboard with headphones.

It’s how you view life that mixes up everything.

Today I got paid way too much to move furniture, far too little (in my opinion) to work a few hours at renovating a house my dad is trying to sell, I took a lovely (though belated and short) nap, and watched bits and fragments of rather uninteresting movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime.

Six months ago, today would have been a bust in my eyes.

Two months ago, I’d probably be curled up in a corner somewhere, trying to remind myself that things are never as bleak as I make them out to be, pep talking myself with the good that I could recognize from today and trying to reason that the good at least balanced out the bad and that today was at least counts as neutral.

Today, however, isn’t six months ago. It isn’t two months ago. It’s today. Here and now in the present.

Today, one of my favorite quotes comes from Owl City: “Every mushroom cloud has a silver lining.” (Which I think maybe I’ve quoted within the confines of this blog before, but it’s still one of my favorites so I’m going to risk redundancy which isn’t really a risk because I have no shame about repeating myself when I’m safely within the confines of my blog.)

Today, I’m fully capable of laughing softly at the misfortunes of today, of grinning joyfully at the unexpected pleasures of today, and of sending nonsense text messages that have very little to do with anything at all sensical.

Sensical is a word. Because nonsensical is a word. Because I say so.

I found a picture last night of a trio of meerkats, dressed and ready for a wedding. There was an officiating clergyman, wearing spectacles and clasping his bible; a bride, clad in a lovely dress and veil and holding a bouquet of roses in her gloved paws; and a groom, spiffy in his tux and bow tie and carrying a rather too large ring in his mouth. It is one of the odder sights that my phone’s screen has presented, but I find the nonsense of the thing perfectly delightful. It made my night last night, and continues to prompt an idiotic grin from me whenever I catch sight of it.

I haven’t really planned for most of what has gone on in my life recently.

Granted, I planned to come home for the summer.

Hallelujah, I’m home for the summer!

And I planned to spend time with my horse.

One forgets the possibility of being so sore after riding until she quits riding for almost a year and then suddenly resumes it with ferocity…

But I hadn’t really anticipated how much adjustment it would take—on the entire family’s part—for long-absent sister to reintegrate herself into the unique (and sometimes volatile) mixture of personalities and emotions within our household. It’s like a daily experiment, and because I never liked science, I never know which chemicals are going to make the other ones explode. Actually, it’s nothing like science. I just felt like saying that. On the bright side, I think all four siblings are on speaking terms with me at the moment. Unless I’ve missed something. Which is entirely possible—life seems at times nothing more than a mad scramble to try not to step on toes.

I also hadn’t really prepared myself for what an analogy of myself my horse provides. Granted, he always has reflected (quite clearly) all the worst parts of me in his stubborn insistence to do things in his own way and his ability to just barely toe the line while still asserting his control over the situation and other lovely tendencies like that, but so long out of the saddle let me forget what a humbling experience trying to work with a horse is. Particularly a horse whose poor training is entirely upon your own head. This summer is going to be a mad scramble to teach an old horse new tricks. Specifically, how to do some very basic maneuvers without grinding his teeth at me.

I have a confession to make:

Humankind is not as idiotic as I usually assert.

It’s only that most of humankind is totally idiotic.

I just keep meeting the exceptions.

I maintain this position because social media and news headlines are both full of records of people doing stupid, stupid, stupid things. Occasionally even my friends decide to dabble in mainstream idiocy and do stupid things. Me included.

But that’s an exception.

Just like the non-idiots are the exceptions.

Hear me: I’m not definitely calling you an idiot. Just vaguely alluding to it in a way that hopefully won’t offend you but will instead demonstrate my general disgust with the majority of society.

We should all keep ducklings to snuggle with.

Ducklings make everything better.

Except for soup.

Never put ducklings in soup.

That’s just cruel and unusual.

Life doesn’t go exactly as we intend it to. But whether the glass is half full, half empty, or full of idiots, God is good and, if you’re looking, you’re sure to glimpse that.

Blessings,
Melissa

Watch this if you need a smile. Also, I can sing ALL of it, including the onomatopoeia and the too-fast-for-belief monologue.

Friday afternoon of “dead week”

For the record, I owe y’all a post titled “Zombie-ism: Sleepwalking through Life” because a) it’s an awesome title and b) that’s been my life as of late. But with a title that cool, I feel I need to invest some actual mental energy in the writing of the thing, and actual mental energy is something I don’t actually have.

What I do have is a list of random facts.

  1. Adam Cartwright is incredibly attractive.

What you may or may not know about me is that from 8th grade year through somewhere between my sophomore and junior year of high school I was obsessed with the TV show Bonanza. For those of you who didn’t know this about me and also don’t know what Bonanza is, it was a TV show that premiered in 1959 and ran for 14 seasons. And if you’re familiar with the TV show ‘Little House on the Prairie’, Michael Landon who played Pa also played Little Joe on Bonanza. Brief history lesson for you there.

Anyway, Little Joe was my first TV crush. I married him within the fandom when I was 13 (in fact, we celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary on May 10th), and pictures of him still make me sigh happily.

Like this one:

Joe 2

(Isn’t he attractive???)

But today, recovering from the emotional drama that was Avengers: Age of Ultron (SOOOO GOOD!), I decided to watch an episode of Bonanza—something I haven’t done in quite a while. And you know what? I realized that Adam Cartwright is incredibly attractive.

  1. Beds are not couches

This may seem incredibly obvious, but as I adjusted my laptop just now I was again reminded of it. My bed is very nice, but it is not a couch.

  1. Blue Bell ice cream is almost as necessary to life as breathing is.

Y’all may or may not have heard about Blue Bell recalling ALL of its ice cream, but I can assure you that the students of Hardin-Simmons know, because we went (in one afternoon) from having ten (twelve? I’m apparently not that observant) ice cream options to having NONE. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

And I think we’re all slowly dying inside.

I know I am.

The saddest part: Blue Bell ice cream isn’t a thing in California. Meaning that regardless of how soon there may happen to be more Blue Bell on the market here in Texas, I most definitely will not be getting any until school resumes in August. Sad day.

  1. Sometimes one man’s trash is just everybody’s trash.

Because nobody wants to buy my Biology textbook off of me. Well, actually, one company offered me 10¢…

If you’re interested in paying more, or if you’re going to take BIOL-1401 at Hardin-Simmons next semester and the textbook doesn’t get changed, contact me.

  1. Having a car door that only opens from the outside is a royal pain.

If you thought my bed/couch statement was obvious, this one is going to seem ridiculous. But you try living for two weeks in the way that I’ve been forced to, and then look ahead to a 21 hour long road trip in a week where you’ll have to roll down your window in order to get out of your car at gas stations, and maybe you’ll better understand how central this random fact is to my life right now.

  1. My freshman year is one final away from being totally over.

And that needs no explanation.

I hope your week has been splendid, that your weekend is filled with even more splendid, and that no matter where you are you can remember that God is right there with you, in the mess of things, and He’s got no intention of leaving you to fight for yourself.

– Melissa
If your day needs brightening, or even if it doesn’t, check out this video.