So, I figure if my goal is to write at least once a week I can meet expectations. So that is my goal. So far, so good. Ok on to other things . . .
Those of you who know me know that I love Halloween. Mostly because when I even think about dressing up, I get all little-girly-excited inside. The truth is I dress up even when it's not Halloween. A fair number of the dresses in my closet hearken back to yesteryear (before even I was alive) and I revel in the Sundays when I can show up for church looking like I stepped straight out of the 1940's or the 1960's. Mmmm . . . so fun! Anyway, but Halloween is my chance to go all out and wear something I couldn't get away with at church.
The other thing I like about Halloween is that you get to decorate your house all crazy-like or whatever (so eloquent, I know), especially if you're having a party. This year I decided to throw a party at my apartment despite the fact that my relatively recent relocation to the area might make it difficult to get enough people at the party so as to make it feel like more than just a visiting teaching appointment. So in preparation for this party, I bought a few things, planned the refreshments, and made a bunch of things by hand (but mostly "by X-acto knife) to make my apartment seem all spooky and such. Admittedly, I may have spent a disproportionate amount of time on this party than I did the rest of my life for at least the week before the party (which was on Friday). I blame this, of course, on Martha Stewart. Well at least I blame it on her website. It gets you all excited about the holiday much sooner than it should. Those decorating thoughts start small; they're so innocent and sweet. "That will just look adorable", you think to yourself. But then the next thing you know the grandiose plans for the amazing party you're planning consume, as Jack Black said, "your head and your MIND and your brain." But no big deal, right? Because your party will be amazing and everyone will talk about how talented and wonderful you are and it will all be worth it. All the paper cuts and time spent cutting cardboard with an X-acto knife (because you don't have a heavy duty box cutter) so that you can turn your coffee table into a coffin table to give the effect of a funeral parlor in your living room will all be worth it.
"So how was your Halloween this year, Rachel?", you ask.
The answer: kind of lame.
It wasn't terrible. I did have some fun, but the part of me that likes the spotlight, attention, etc. (I'm a yellow on the color code test) - so essentially my vanity and pride - was a little bruised. "How was your vanity and pride bruised Rachel?" (that's you asking again). Well, I'll tell you.
This year, as I usually do, I wore a different costume to each of the Halloween events I attended. That equalled 3 this year. The first event was a ward FHE costume party. There was to be a costume contest, so I decided to wear my gown from last year and the long redhead wig that I got for the costume I was going to wear to my party on Friday. Well, I thought I actually had a chance to win because when I arrived there were "oohs" and "ahhs" probably at the sheer size of the dress (pictured here as it was worn last year - sorry I don't have one from this year with the wig). I also thought I had a chance to win because most were wearing the typical throw together costumes of hippie, stereotypical Native American princess, and some sort of bug made evident by a headband with pipe cleaners and craft pom poms. Some weren't even dressed up. And maybe it was because no one there knew that my mom and I sewed that gown out of a TABLE CLOTH, but the Native American princess and the guy dressed up as an Indian (you know, from India) got the prizes for most creative. And a girl who showed up as headless got the overall best costume. I'll give her that, because it was pretty impressive. But overall, I just kind of felt like this was a sign that I'm not 'in' the ward yet. I'm there and some people know me, but not many people really know me enough to appreciate me and I will go further with that train of thought with my next piece of evidence.
Exhibit B (we'll say the last incident was Exhibit A): more than once that night I was told that I should grow my hair out long. I usually replied that even if I did, my hair wouldn't look like the wig because it's crazy curly. One guy came back with a classy, "I have one word for you: flatiron". Why thank you sir, I like you just the way you are, too. Granted, this same guy, a week or so before, when I answered his "why aren't you married?" with a sarcastic "I don't know, maybe it's because I'm not smokin' hot." said to me, "No that's not why. I have friends who have married ugly girls." Like I said, CLASSY. Anyway, back to my point. I have heard more comments since then about how I really should grow my hair out. Another guy told me that he heard someone say that my "hotness factor really went up" with long hair. What is it with guys and long hair? I've been made fun of my crazy hair for most of my life and I finally felt like I was moving to a look that was even more 'me' than I ever knew I could be when I chopped off my hair and went for something different. I truly like my hair short. So should I grow it out so that other people like it? I protest that the answer is NO! I should be myself and people should like me for who I am. There is a part of me that rather despises the "typical". Around here most of the girls do the long hair with the loose barrel curls. And I'm just so over that.*
The last reason my Halloween was kind of lame (and Exhibit C of why I don't really feel like I've been accepted by the ward as a whole) is that even though there were more than three people at my party, there weren't that many more. I announced that party a number of times and personally invited a number of individuals, but even people from the ward that I thought would come, just didn't. Some very important people (yes, VIP's so to speak), people who are very important to me, did show up and that was the reason the party didn't really stink for me. But I was just kind of surprised how few people from my huge ward did show up. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, because we all know that the bigger the ward, the less connected people feel. These are the moments that I miss my little branch back in New Haven. As crazy as it gets, at least people know and care about you there. I do have some friends in this ward, but not many. It's kind of hard to break into the group because they all went to high school together . . . 2-3 years ago. "Why do you even want to break into a group that is so much younger than you, Rachel?" (there you go asking again). My answer: I don't know. Sometimes I don't. But most of the time I do. I'm considering moving to an older ward ward once I'm done teaching my Sunday School class, but until then, I need some friends and this is the group that I have already put the effort into getting to know, etc. So I continue to push my way into it. And it's my ward, so I should at least try to be a real part of it, right?
"So will this story have a happy ending, Rachel?" You ask too many questions. Actually . . . sticking with this ward and teaching that class may have paid off. After a VERY busy week, even a very busy Sunday (the actual day of Halloween) morning, I scrambled to put together my lesson entitled "Children are an Heritage of the Lord." (Yes, I'm teaching about parenting, now. A little crazy, I know.) Anyway, I taught my lesson and afterwards a complete stranger (I do know his cousin, who is in the ward, so I assume he's not a murderer or anything) came and talked to me for a little bit. Did I mention that this is a 31-year-old male stranger? Did I mention that he is already graduated from college and has a real job? Anyway, after talking to me a bit, he asked for my phone number to which I responded, "Why?" (I was running on very little sleep, people. Give me a break.) Luckily he didn't run away. In fact, he called that night to see if I wanted to get together the next morning because he was leaving to go home (which is in another state) in the the afternoon.
So . . . we went out yesterday and I had a good time. In the phone call, he mentioned that I seemed like I wasn't the typical BYU co-ed. Thank you! I am not typical and someone appreciates that. He also didn't seem to mind that my hair wasn't long with loose barrel curls.
Basically, he's a man. Not a boy. How refreshing!
I guess I did have a good Halloween this year.
Also now I need to know if I should call him back the next day (today!) or if that is a myth propagated by the movies. Hurry, people! I'm kind of running out of time!
And I'm including my costume from Saturday night when I dressed up as the Bieber. Sorry I don't have a pic of the beloved long redhead wig. Maybe I'll steal one from someone later.
*I should note that those of you that are my facebook friends (that's all of you at this point, I think), may have noticed that my profile pic was recently changed back to one with my long straight hair. The truth is that I'm just trying to mess with that guy who said that my hotness factor went up. I'm not growing this hair out for any of them.