What is Drastic + Dramatic

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

The world is probably one of my least favorite places the day after Thanksgiving. Perhaps there were some great deals that I missed, but I'm going on a mediterranean cruise in a few weeks. I don't need to spend money on anything else.

Instead of venturing into the Blackness of the day, I played mommy-daughter-day with Alexandra, a lovely, young neighbor friend. At my mom's house in Provo we had a bundle of neighbor kids stay the night. Alex woke me up because I told her to, before she'd have to go home so I could see her. She's a delightful twenty-year-old trapped in a ten-year-old's body. :) We quasi-snuggled for a few minutes as I fully awoke, then went upstairs to eat some breakfast.

At a point where I'd sat down to dink at the piano she came up to me with a suggestion. "You may not like this idea, but here's what it is: can I do your hair, and you can do mine?" Something like that. We set out to do our hair (and of course i knew she wanted to do make up, too, by the way she watched me put it on the day before) and it was the most simple and inexpensive and charming fun two girls can have. Make up went over pretty well. We only had to wipe away a little renegade mascara with a q-tip. Here's how stunningly we turned out:

After being beautified we went upstairs again and I made lunch for all the kiddos (fresh Mac & Cheese and Thanksgiving left overs. Glorious, I know). I asked Alex if she wanted to go see Tangled, the movie, and she said yes. We looked online for times but when we got to the theater seats were sold out. So we went to another theater, Movies 8, and looked for other movies and times. She wanted to see Easy A. I couldn't remember really what it was about, but she said she and her sister had wanted to go see it and I asked if she was sure her dad would let her (PG-13) and she said yes. Of course they always say yes.

The movie didn't start for another hour and twenty, so we had to find things to do. We got the tickets and drove over to the car wash, got the express spritz and rinse/no dry service to clean off the salt and what-looked-like-poo off my car...and then I dragged her (of course willingly she came) to KOHL's and we tried on cute clothes/business suit options for my limo driving job. I hate how hardly anything every fits my body quite right.... Anyway, we killed some time like a ma and daughter would at a store, then we steered ourselves over to Cold Stone for a sweet, melty treat to sneak into the movie with us. (Cold Stone has a dark chocolate peppermint flava...delish with almonds and coconut.)

The movie Easy A....yeah..not exactly what I hope to take ten-year-old ears and eyes to...But still, it was actually enjoyable. I'm glad the ultimate message could be summed up: avoid messing up your life with premarital/extramarital sex and telling lies...but the presentation was unsurprisingly irreverent. I talked to Alex afterward, expressing my feelings about the movie, these same ones I'm saying here, and she was mature about it, but also still so innocent, ya know. 10 years...she's learned a lot, but we only come to find that the more we live, the more there is to learn, right? Well, I felt kind of bad having taken her. I was sure to mention what I disapproved of and how the consequences of the portrayed actions were rather true to life, etc. She listened and agreed.

I thought how I wished my own little sister (17) would have come, as well as Alexandra's big sister (16); they hadn't been invited but, even if they had, and had come, interactions with them would have been so different during the day's activities. The life-growth in a day, let alone six or seven years, is immeasurable, really. And maybe what happens is that people they admire, like big sisters, expose them to sleazy stuff little by little over the years and they begin to think they know what they think and understand what they feel. They're discovering their place in the world, defining themselves, either by the world's standard or some other standard, but by mid-teen years, we've pretty much got it all figured out, right? Or at least we definitely know we don't need anyone's help to figure it out.

Sweet, tender Alex was happy to have spent the time with me. She expressed gratitude for the things I spent money on, but there was unmistakable, unexpressed gratitude that I could read on her face that she was so glad to have been "mothered" for a day. Alex lost her own mother nearly seven years ago, an uninvited illness placing a permanent resident of unknowable grief in the hearts of four young children and a brave, unshrinking father. I have no power to replace, but I can love. And I do.

Money can buy and time can spend, but one free afternoon sponsored the priceless building of memory. Eight hours of my twenty-six years given to do whatever I wanted, and I can't think of a single thing I could have wanted more. If I were her mother I would be so grateful....That sounds bizarrely egotistical in a way. I didn't know her mother at all, but if I left four children in mortality I would be eternally grateful for every kindness bestowed on my children. It was my humbling and cherished honor to play mommy today.

I feel I got the best Black Friday deal of the day.


J. Coombs said...

Emily, you're a far better person than I, and Alex is lucky to know you. :)

Jessie said...

You're going to be such a great mom Em!

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