I'm sitting at this big arena, waiting for the Mastership Inaguration to begin. All week, I have been trying to figure out what to write about this. This night, this ceremony, this one moment, has been my husband's dream for his entire life. Or at least, it's been his dream for my entire life.
Nothing this significant has ever happened to him.
And instead of the running dialogue I usually have going in my head which tends to become my blog posts, I've got nothing. No words. Only joy.
I have been smiling, beaming, really, because he is beaming. I have been following him around in a daze, because he is wandering around in a daze. I have been saying "thank you" to congratulations because he is doing the same.
It is wild, pure, unadulterated JOY. There is really no other way of describing it. I am indescribably proud of my husband.
And you know, you'd think in an organization that teaches respect for others, self-control, honor, and integrity, you wouldn't see stuff like this. But I was dealing with spectators* in this case, so I'm just going to assume he didn't know anything about taekwondo (yeah right) and was therefore never taught respect.
When I arrived at the tournament this morning, most of the chairs were empty because Jack made us leave a half hour early even though the competition never starts until an hour after it's supposed to anyway and also it's a 10-foot walk across the street and OH MY COW it's 7:30 where is my coffee!? we got there a little early.
I took the seat on the end in Jack's ring, watching the long, drawn-out speeches and awards presentations that aren't technically scheduled but they do them every year at this time even though they say the competition starts at 8 lovely opening ceremony before Jack competed. After everything ended and people began getting ready to start their rings, groups of people began trying to get to the coveted one row of seats that were on the side (there are more behind the ring but these are slightly better since you can see the competitors' faces).
A group of four came over, and noticing that there were only two chairs left next to me, brought over two more and put them on the other side of me (evidently they are the keepers of the elusive, magical chairs). Seeing that the addition would split their group up, I offered to move over to the new end seat so they could stay together.
"Really!?" they gushed, "you would do that?"
"Sure," I replied. It was just me, so it was no big deal at all. I gathered Jack's my belongings and scooted on over. No big deal.
They thanked me several more times, obviously grateful for the chance to stay together in the group even though they had arrived later.
Fast-forward to an hour or two later, when the sparring matches were going on in Jack's ring. By then, Jack's dad had arrived and was standing behind me watching the matches. The guy beside me was standing in front of his chair and therefore in front of me, like so:
Don't worry, red-shirt guy. I didn't need to see any of the sparring.
It's kind of a given that if you're going to stand up, you should really move behind the chairs. Not only does that free up space for others to sit if they wanted to, but that way, you wouldn't be standing in front of the people who are sitting.
But, no, this guy was evidently much more important than all us commoners. So important, in fact, that when my father-in-law decided to sit down in the empty seat next to me (there were two empty next to me, actually, the guy's bag was in the one two seats down and he was standing in front of that one, and the one next to me was completely empty), the guy turned around, horrified look on his face, and announced that HE WAS SITTING THERE.
Um, couple things, red-shirt dude. First of all, your bag is in the next seat over. You know, where the rest of your group is sitting? That group that I moved over for so you could sit with them? DO YOU REMEMBER THE ONE?
Also, you're not sitting. You're standing. In front of all the people who are sitting. Because YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT.
So my father-in-law, politely and respectfully, as he ALWAYS is, said "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought this seat was empty."
The guy huffed and puffed, snatched his bag up from the next seat over, and put it down in the seat next to me where my father-in-law had been sitting. My father-in-law moved to the now-empty next seat over.
And the guy? KEPT STANDING IN THE SAME PLACE.
Bag now next to me. Father-in-law next to the bag now two seats down. Moron now standing in front of the seat next to me instead of two seats down. STILL BLOCKING EVERYBODY'S VIEW.
And I'm sure the part I didn't realize was that he somehow SAVED THE WORLD by keeping that seat completely empty (no wait, I'm sorry, his bag was in it after he moved it there).
Maybe he knew that a sniper had his scope set on that VERY CHAIR, and this guy saved my father-in-law's LIFE by keeping him out of that spot!
Or maybe it was like the movie "Speed," except that instead of speeding to keep the bomb from going off, he had to keep less than 20 pounds in the seat.
And the bomb! It would completely wipe out all of Arkansas, NAY, THE CONTINENT had it gone off! And because of the explosion, trillions of millisieverts of radiation** would be emitted and WE WOULD ALL BE DEAD WITHIN HOURS!
So come to think of it, this guy's a HERO! He saved the world. Thank goodness, someone's here to make these kinds of sacrifices.
Or, you know, he might have just been a self-centered jerk.
I'll let you decide that one.
*Of 6th-degree Masters
**Yes, I did just Google "radiation units of measure." No, I'm still not even sure that that's the right unit of measure for this particular scenario. Evidently there are several units to choose from. I'm too pretty to know the difference.
Currently, Jack and I are in Little Rock for the taekwondo World Championships. I flew in yesterday, and Jack has been here since Monday, completing his training for Mastership.
Cliffs notes version of Mastership: Once you earn your 6th degree black belt, which Jack did last year, you start the training for Mastership if you meet certain requirements (number of students testing every year, etc.). The training lasts an entire year, and requires participation in rigorous physical training with the Chief Masters and Grand Master at all the National tournaments, as well as writing more than 30 papers (both book reports and papers on various topics important to taekwondo Mastership).
This week was the last part of training, which included a multi-day fast, combined with all-day workouts and several ceremonies and rehearsals. Saturday night is the official Mastership Inagural ceremony, where he will be dubbed a Master by the Grand Master. After this, Jack will officially be called "Master Hornbuckle."
(It's kind of a big deal.)
So, that's what we're doing this weekend.
Today, Jack will be competing for World Champ again in forms and weapons. Oddly enough that's secondary to the Mastership this year, but I'm still optimistic about his chances to medal (even though he's low on energy from having fasted all week.) I'm hoping to share some good news with you in just a few hours!
I guess there's something about airports that turns people into complete self-centered jerk-holes (see also: people are probably always like that). It never ceases to amaze me.
But then I started thinking that, maybe, just maybe, they're not the ones doing it wrong! I am!! Politeness is SOOOOO antiquated. I might as well be wearing a corset (do Spanx count?) and letting my husband handle the money (he does).
Not anymore, world. I figured it out! And since this is the internet, my figuring it out has made me an expert on everything related to this topic and therefore I am qualified to write a tutorial about it! By following a few simple guidelines, you too can act like a moron in public.
1) If you are a PRIORITY passenger, with a PRIORITY ticket, looking for the PRIORITY line, please, by all means, shout that at the TSA agent. Not only will you let everyone around you know how important you are, but you'll definitely make yourself feel VERY superior to those suckers in the NON-PRIORITY line by doing so.
2) If you are a TSA Agent, make sure you let everyone know how miserable you are to have this job! A scowl is a great start, but also be on the lookout for novice travelers so you can scold them about breaking one of the ten thousand security rules. Make them feel as dumb as possible by condescendingly reprimanding them with phrases like "You're SUPPOSED to remove your shoes, sir. WHY DIDN'T YOU REMOVE YOUR SHOES?" and "You can't bring more than 3 oz bottles of liquid on the plane, ma'am. HAVEN'T YOU EVER TRAVELLED BEFORE, YOU MORON?" Again, be as loud as possible for optimum douchery (See rule 1).
3) When the coffee place gets your order wrong, march yourself back up to that counter and DEMAND that they redo it. Don't waste your time asking nicely; that kind of crap is for suckers. And even after they start fixing the order, ream them about how the coffee was HORRIBLE and how it completely ruined your day. These baristas get paid a good $7 an hour - there is no reason they should EVER make a mistake making that kind of money. Especially on YOUR order. DON'T THEY KNOW HOW FREAKING IMPORTANT YOU ARE?
4) Take every opportunity you can to push and shove people out of the way or jump in front of others in line if you feel like it. Security lines, Starbucks stir-stick stations, bathrooms - it doesn't matter as long as YOU WIN. And for the love of all that is holy, never EVER let anybody ahead of you. You can't be a winner if you don't get there first!
5) And finally, make sure you are completely clueless when it comes to the security rules and common courtesy guidelines. Clog every space you can by stopping in the middle of walkways to talk or adjust your bags. Ignore all the signs that say to take your laptop out of your bag or put your liquids in a plastic bag (and then throw a fit when they take them away!) After all, it is all about you. Don't ever forget that.
If we all work together to follow these rules, I think we can make the world a much ruder and more self-centered place.
And I think that's exactly what it has been missing.
For three twenty years, I have checked under the covers in my bed for critters before entering it.
I have seen geckos in my shower. I have caught snakes in my room. I have witnessed beetles walk across my floor. It was only a matter of time before they all ended up in my bed.
And in my toilet. I check there too. Because TOILET SNAKES TOTALLY EXIST. Remember that the next time you have to pee.
Anyway, every night before I turn out the light, I check under the sheets. Then between the sheets and the comforter. Then behind the pillows. And then, depending on how paranoid I'm feeling that day, inside the pillowcases and under the bed as well.
And if Jack's already in bed when I go to bed? The light goes back on and the bed gets checked with him in it.
He has always made fun of me for it. (Also, probably contemplated divorcing me for it on the nights I turn the light back on.)
But tonight, as I was checking the bed, I found and killed a spider in the sheets on his side.
Basically, I saved Jack's life. (HE COULD HAVE DIED, YOU GUYS.)
I told him of my heroic act and that he could no longer think I'm crazy for doing my critter search.
"Thank you," he said, "but I still think you're crazy."
Next time, I'm leaving the spider and sleeping in the guest bed.
Shane: I think when you sent me that message I was picking out what flavor of ice cream I wanted from CVS. So, obviously, I was too distracted to notice my phone.
Me: There's a CVS right next to the Subway I went to too!
Shane: Ours just opened two weeks ago. It's great to have next to the office.
Me: I'll bet.
Shane: And then people in the office see me eating ice cream and they're like "You have ice cream??!?!? I'm sooo jealous!" to which I reply "There's a CVS across the street, stop being lazy and go get some. It's not in limited supply."
Me: Well, technically it is in limited supply. Surely they don't have infinite ice cream. But if they did, that'd be crazy. And probably messy. And then there'd be a flood. Oh man. That's terrifying.
Shane: Well... I could argue that since they can make more, the supply is not at this point in time limited.
Me: Well, maybe.
Shane: It might not me infinite, but it's indefinite.
Me: Alright. Definite ice cream.
Shane: And also, shut the hell up. You know what I meant.
It's a problem for me. I usually don't even wake up - I have a tendency of turning the alarm off altogether in my sleep. And it's really a problem for Jack, who is a super-light sleeper and is pretty much awake after the first alarm.
But it's getting harder and harder to get up every day, not only because I'm exhausted in general, but I know what's waiting for me now.
The thing is, I used to love getting out of bed in the morning for work. I looked forward to it every day, and I would be excited to see my co-workers and tackle the projects I was so passionate about.
Things have changed. The work has changed. The atmosphere has changed. The people working there have changed.
This week, 10% of my co-workers were laid off in my company, and countless others got their hours cut. When you work in ministry, the financial situation depends very much on how much is donated, which is affected by the economy and the places people choose to put their money. And lately, people have not been putting their money toward our ministry.
It's a fact of life, and I'm blessed to still be there, to have a job at all, but you know, it sucks too.
It's an odd thing to have such dramatic cuts happen in your company. It's a mixture of uncertainty and loss. The home where you always felt safe doesn't feel safe any longer. You can't trust what you thought about the place. You get that your boss still cares about all of you, but the fact is, that boss's boss took your friend's job away. The friend that you sat next to for three and a half years is not there any more.
I used to see her every day, eat lunch with her every day, talk about our lives together every day, and tell her to have a good night at the end of every day.
But now, I'll be looking at her empty desk through my window instead. Every day.
Which, to be completely honest, doesn't really help make me want to get up and sit at that desk when my alarm goes off every day.
I've been hearing a lot of people* complain about how much of our time social media sucks from people these days, how there are no "real" relationships left, and how we're losing something by allowing this internet world to be a part of our lives.
To which I say: HOGWASH.**
Social media and "real life" can and do come together beautifully. They enhance each other. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Facebook allowed me to reconnect with people from my past in a very real way, many times facilitating "real" face-to-face relationships.
Twitter trained me to be concise and allowed me to catalog tiny things I normally would have forgotten.
Google made it possible to learn anything I could ever want to learn with the click of a mouse.
Skype allowed me to maintain relationships with people I long to be close to geographically but can't.
Pinterest inspired me to get off my butt and do something (or a LOT of somethings).
Ironic that this Five Minute Friday topic is forgetting, huh? Since, you know, I keep forgetting to blog.
Life is wild right now. The really, really, really good kind of wild. I really thought I never saw my husband before because of our schedules; now I know what really never seeing your husband is like.*
*I realize that many of you have deployed husbands right now, and if that's the case, feel free to think "She's a stupid jerk-face. I'll tell HER what never seeing your husband is like!" if it applies to you.
I used to be really good at remembering everything I had to do, but as more things pile on the to-do list, I have to work extra hard at keeping up. And lately, things have been falling through the cracks. The business website hasn't been updated in a while. I can't seem to remember to bring things to work when I mean to. I forget about digiscrap pages I'm supposed to make. And every time we think we're catching up, we get buried again.
It's enough to make anybody forgetful.
Jack will forget to bring home some paperwork that he needs (he's forgetful too these days, you see), so we'll drive the 20 minutes back out to the school at midnight on a Tuesday to pick it up. We'll take the dog too, because, why not? We can. We own the place, after all.
When we arrive, the dog will run around the school, tail wagging wildly, and we'll laugh at her and run around with her in our dark school for a few minutes.
We'll eat drive-thru fast food for dinner at 1 a.m., talking and laughing while we sort belts and cut students' pictures for the black belt wall. Finally, we'll kiss goodnight and PASS OUT.
In the morning, he will get up and make dinosaur noises at me while I'm getting ready and tell me to "have a most wonderous" day as he kisses me goodbye.
And I will be happy. So, so, happy that I'm living this exhausting life with him.
And that? Is the kind of stuff I'm not going to be forgetting any time soon.