Sleepy Hollow(een)

Things are only a big deal if you make them into one. This applies to certain days, too. They’re only a big deal if you make them one. Kind of like today. Happy Halloween. Big whoop.

It was fun when we were little. My mom made our costumes (I don’t think she EVER bought one) and we went out to gather up pillowcase-loads of candy. We came back, turned our bags upside down to empty them of their contents and then sorted into piles based on the kind of candy. Trading ensued, but we never ever traded a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. That was part of our Unwritten Constitution (<-APUSH reference).

Seventh grade was the last time I went trick-or-treating. That was five years ago. Last year we ran around as our XC team, but that was in celebration of the team’s victory that day and we  only stopped at a few places along the way because we were on our way to our coach’s house to get candy out of him.

My brother, Trevor, went trick-or-treating up until his senior year in high school. At the time, it seemed like he was too old for it and I figured he must have been the only kid his age who went around with his friends. Now I’ve realized that a lot more do it than I thought. Everyone’s facebook statuses said something about going trick-or-treating, and that definitely surprised me. Trick-or-treating strikes me as something for kids in elementary or middle school; not high school. I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud or anything, I just feel that I’m too old to go parading around in a stupid costume just to get some candy off of people.

It sure is sad, though. That I feel too old to go trick-or-treating, I mean. I probably would have gone in ninth grade if I had not have had musical rehearsal that night (damn you, stupid musical). I opted not to go in eighth grade because I wasn’t allowed to go with friends and it seemed lame for me to go around with my dad.

I never wanted to grow up. I did, though.

Tonight I stayed in. My boyfriend came over and we carved pumpkins, passed out candy when my parents weren’t home (to our grand total of 9 trick-or-treaters) and then watched Sleepy Hollow with the ‘rents. We ate candy, listened to music, baked cookies and admired our pumpkins after the movie. It was fun. The only thing that made me feel festive was the Emily shirt I chose to wear that has a mummy cat on it. Other than that, it was just another day in the life. It was just another movie night with my boyfriend. It was just another fun time.

Holidays are only a big deal if you make them into one. Happy Halloween. Big whoop.

As you would have done unto you

I have learned many lessons in my fifteen years. Not as many as other people have, I’m sure, but I am getting there.  I could sit here and try to think of them all, but there is only one that stands out to me everyday to show just how prominent it is. Being polite gets you far. No question about it.

My parents have always taught me to say “please” and “thank you” whenever the chance arises; to be courteous and open a door or two for people, and to help an old lady out by loading her groceries into her car. (Okay, so that hasn’t happened yet, but I am waiting for the chance to do so!) It’s not like we – or I – believe in karma, that what goes around comes around (in this case, it’s a good “what”), it’s more like we go by “do unto others as you would have done unto you.” It’s that sort of thing. So, when I have to pass in front of a person or need a person to move out of the way, I say “excuse me” and get what I needed accomplished complete in a polite and sincere manner. I hold doors open for people, and when I hear a simple “thank you” it makes me happy and brightens my day considerably. I am careful to lower my voice when in public so as to not annoy or aggravate those around me whom I do not know. I am considerate, courteous, and thoughtful. I think about not only what I need, but what others need and wish for as well.

Now, what’s the point of this insightful post? Well, today was one of those days where every person I met was not polite in any way whatsoever. In Walmart, my mother and I were in the produce department looking at the Clementine oranges, and this lady came over and leaned over where we were standing without a single uttering of “excuse me.” Each time someone does this to us, either my mother or myself will say “excuse me” for the person who lacked to do so. It is so rude to just barge in near a person whom you are not acquainted with. The nerve of some people!

Lastly, my mother and I went to Kohls to check out what kind of a selection of flannel shirts they carried. We purchased what we wanted, and headed out the door. Well, almost entering the  door we are heading out of troops three women. Okay, so my mom went on through and opened the outside door for them, and I opened the second door that led to the inside of the store. They walked on by. No acknowledgment. Not a single one of those three women said a tiny little “thank you.” They didn’t even look at us. Well, my mom yelled “you’re welcome!” and then we walked across the parking lot, ranting about how there are no polite people these days.

And it’s the truth. Honestly, some people have no class and are so rude that it kills me. No wonder our country is so messed up. People take the help they receive for granted, and don’t know how to feel thankful for anything. I was raised to be cordial and polite to everyone I ever come in contact with, whether I like the person or not. You’d better believe that my children will have manners and know how to say “thank you” more than every once in awhile. They will appreciate everything I have provided them with, and will hopefully spread it on to this thankless nation. The people in this state, in this country, no, in this world, need a little make-over. Maybe I shall build an arc and rid the world of all of these people with a teensy little flood. Start the world over with a group of people that know and adhere to my policy. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

It all started with a record player

A few weeks ago, I bought myself a record player. I was ecstatic to find it at such a good price, and was beaming as I walked out of the store with the box in my arms.

When we got home, I immediately took it into the Living Room and set it up. My parents taught me how to use it and to be careful not to jump around whilst listening to it. My mother and I ventured into the cave (our basement) to retrieve some of their old records to bring back some of the past. We carried armload after armload upstairs to the Living Room and left them in stacks all around the room. I left the ones I bought earlier that day (Coheed & Cambria and a Fueled By Ramen package that were extremely cheap) on the couch and my dad and I had a look-see to pick out what I should listen to first.

I thought my brothers would think it cool for me to have purchased a record player, but they avoided me like I had the plague. They seemed pretty pissed off and jealous that I got to one first and because my parents’ old one needs a new needle thing. Trevor especially because I bought Coheed & Cambria. Because he likes them, I’m not allowed to. Oh well.

My dad sat on the couch as I rifled through stack after stack, holding record after record up seeking his approval. All of the ones with his name written on them were the ones approved – all of the ones with Barbra Streisand on the cover were kept in a pile that I would not listen to. Sorry, mom.

I have discovered a whole new music taste thanks to my record player (though it does have a CD player, radio and iPod hookup included, I tend to listen to records on it more). I found out that I love the bands Sweet, REO Speedwagon (You Can Tune A Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish), Joan Jett & The Black Hearts, The Knack, Boomtown Rats, Supertramp, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, London Town and some Pat Benatar. I still love Escape the Fate, Paramore, Tilly and the Wall, and all of the other bands I have always loved, but I am now broadening my music taste. It’s cool to think that my parents played these records once at the same age I am now. I wish I could go back and meet the teenage versions of them. My mom and I would be identical, and I bet my dad and I would have fun listening to music together – just like we do now.

Don’t “go with the flow”

These days I live in a world where people quote lines from movies constantly. Maybe I am bitter about this because I do not tell stories or quote movie lines very well, but it gets annoying when I ask a question and someone responds with a line from Stepbrothers or Juno or The Dark Knight. It’s as if there are no more original thoughts anymore… it’s like everyone has their own personal screenwriter. I guess people just piss me off in general.

Am I the only person in this world with confidence? When I first brought my knitting to school, everyone laughed at me – but was I discouraged? No. I kept bringing it to school despite what people thought or think. If you like something, don’t be afraid to express it. Liking something makes you who you are and what’s wrong with showing who you are? Watch me walk down the hallway in what people call my “hooker” boots and my adorable Tripp skirt. Sure, people will stare, but do you know what they are really thinking? I think that they are wishing they could do something like that; dress like that; be who they really are. I can tell when someone has their shield up…and it’s kind of disappointing. I am kind of sick of taking the initiative. There are too many people that just “go with the flow.”

I have a friend who has changed a lot in the past year. Sure, I have changed too, but I haven’t changed what I believe in or my sense of humor or anything. My friend (he has been a friend for years) recently discovered his love for God. He goes to this church that sucks people in (at least, I think they do) every Sunday, and for the extra teen things that they do. I think of it as a cult. Going to church (should church be capitalized? ‘Cause I really don’t think it should be) so often has changed him completely. It’s as if he thinks he needs to be righteous all the time and do the right thing. If we gossip around him he gets pissed off. Oh, but when he wishes to gossip, it’s okay. I really miss who he was before he became super religious. Before he started bugging me about going to church. I feel like he has a wall up, and it needs to come down. I wish to knock it down, but we fight everyday over stupid things, and I never get the chance. I am very opinionated, and he can’t seem to accept my opinion, so he gets all cheesed off when I say mine. When he says his, I consider it. I don’t really know about him anymore. He is a completely different person these days. I don’t know what happened.

Anyway, yeah, people piss me off. Most people are selfish and it drives me nuts. I may not seem like it, but I think about other things besides myself. I am concerned about world hunger (which is why I visit the Free Rice website often), the economy – I was even thinking about how I was complaining about having to wake up early to go to school this week. Then I thought about it and here’s what I came up with: here I am complaining about going to school to be with friends when there is some kid who has to wake up early to go to school and gets beat up everyday and comes home covered with bruises that his/her parents don’t even notice. Yeah, suddenly waking up early to go to a place where I have friends and am at no risk whatsoever of being beaten up (unless I piss someone off) doesn’t sound too bad.

I have scratched the two resolutions I wanted to tackle. I can’t just quit everything cold turkey – I will ease into breaking free from my habits. Right now I am trying to be extremely thoughtful. And people still piss me off.