Adventure in Fractured Fort Wayne

It’s extremely difficult to find someone in Fort Wayne who is more than two degrees separated from anyone else. In a city of over 250,000 people that’s pretty remarkable. I’m sure it’s not entirely true, but like I said, “difficult,” not impossible. It makes the city feel more small town than it is. The lack of public transportation adds to that.

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Here’s the thing about Fort Wayne, it’s incredibly isolating. I’ve lived here most of my life. I moved away and came back, because I realized how passionate I am about Fort Wayne, about making it better.

Being in the midwest, Fort Wayne is very stuck in its ways. Being at one time governed largely by members of the KKK, Fort Wayne is very stuck in its ways. Having once passed on an arts campus that could have reshaped the entire city, Fort Wayne is very stuck in its ways. Having once opted to build its interstate around the city rather than through it, Fort Wayne is very stuck in its ways.

Let me preface this by saying, I love the people I have. I love the people who this does not apply to. I love the people I’ve never met who dig in and love this town the best they can. Know that I’m aware of my own fault in the problem and am trying to change.

Fort Wayne has a inclusion problem. I’m sure every city does. Fort Wayne’s feels more prominent, because, as I said, it feels smaller than it is. Fort Wayne is broken, and it does it to itself. People are digging their heels deep into their corners and punching down to people in other corners.

There are people trying. There are people offering art, entertainment, kindness, hope in an attempt to be as inclusive as possible. It’s beautiful. It’s hard.

There are people feigning interest. There are people who call themselves supportive of a movement, when all they do is patronize people they already know and enjoy. That’s not support of a movement. That’s drinking with your pals.

Watching people feign inclusion while they create exclusivity hurts the community at-large. There are people fighting to create spaces designed to be as inclusive as possible, those people continue to be excluded.

I’ve watched people move away because they’ve worked hard to break in, to feel welcome, only to be shut out. It’s gross. We’re doing it. Those of us in the heart of the city excluding people trying to be a part of new things.

Everyone has this idea in their head that there’s only so much attention and money to go around. That’s true. It’s limited. But that limit does not mean you punch others down to get what you want. Work together. We set things up on opposite sides of the street that are exactly alike. Find ways to put it in the middle of the street.

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I came back here to try to improve this city I love so much. I don’t have a lot to offer, but I’m trying to impact and better the culture. Many people I know are. The people in control, the taste makers are not concerned about improving the city. They are concerned about making sure it looks like they are concerned about improving the city, which is gross. I’m not asking for credit. I chose a thankless job. I know there are no accolades in that. It makes me sad for the people I see trying. Know that I’m aware of my own fault in the problem and am trying to change. It makes me sad for Fort Wayne.

I get it. Some things are comfortable. Some things are scary. Reaching beyond our current scope, groups is hard. Try. Reach out. Please. Meet someone new. Invite them to things.

I’m not ready to give up. I’m close, but not yet. It feels like a wash. I know it’s not. It feels like it.

If we can, we need to be working together.

I know we can, because I’ve seen it once before.

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Adventure in Gratitude Day 4

Good thing I led with Guerrilla Theatre yesterday. What a beautiful transition into this thing of beauty that keeps me going.

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Let’s Comedy has done what it set out to do. We’re creating a community of comedy. It’s not perfect. Even we fight with each other. Even we struggle. Even we have fallings out. But we fight and we struggle and we fall together. It hasn’t also been easy, but it feels worth it. Things have morphed and grown, and I love where we are.

Do I get frustrated? Boy howdy. Do I get mad? You bet. Do I love every minute? Hell, yes.

Open mics. Local comics. Regional comics. National comics. Fort Wayne to Indy to Detroit. We’re growing.

I’m so thankful for each opportunity and door and friendship and conversation (even the hard ones) that exist because of this group. That Guerrilla Theatre exists. That I’ve met so many amazing people, and not just famous humans. I now have some of the best friends in the world, the most amazing support system of other female comics.

But when it comes to this team specifically, I’m so incredibly thankful for the men I work with. Who have fought along side me to create safer spaces for women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community. Maybe not always successfully, but we fight and we try and are constantly working to be better. Who have worked to bring people together. Who have loved me when I’m being a brat. Who have called me out on my own bullshit. Who have become some of my dearest friends. Every day, every show has not been simple, but we keep working.

Ryan, Jared, Ian, Alex, Corey, I love you all.

Even tonight, we have two shows and our first album recording, and I’m so proud.

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Adventure in Gratitude Day 3

This one was going to wait until Sunday or even Monday, but my mind is spinning about this. My heart races about this.

Guerrilla Theatre started long before I knew about it. As far as I know, my friend and former professor and director and boss Mike Burnett introduced to the theatre students of Huntington College. As a freshman I instantly fell in love with it. It was silly. It was sad. It was absurd. It was release. After Mike left Huntington the department changed, but some of us tried. Some of us fought to keep the old traditions alive. Pickle ceremonies. Costumed awards banquets. The right music at strikes. And Guerrilla.

Pickle ceremonies fell first. Then Guerrilla. But we fought. My friend Brett and I would prepare as many things as we could for it just to try and get people to come out. By the time Brett graduated and I was a senior it was gone. With it a part of me left too.

But when I joked to my friend and boss, I guess?, Ryan that I wanted to host a show on the regular, he ran with it. There sat Guerrilla in my back pocket, ready. We had a venue waiting. It was ideal.

This Sunday marks our fourth show, but already I’m so in love with this set of a few hours every first and third Sunday of each month. I’ve watched old friends who fell out come back together. I’ve seen so many people try new things. I’ve watched myself change as a performer, which feels silly to say, but I know I have. I’m massively passionate about this show, and I’m so satisfied with it. I love watching it grow and change. I love that it challenges me. I love that it challenges other people. I love that it provides a space for people who haven’t had spaces. I love it.

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Adventure in Camping and Movement

A few months ago my friend Melissa and I decided that we needed to spend some quality time together. Away from our lives. We found a weekend we were both free. And slowly. Very slowly began planning a camping trip. Eventually we decided we wanted to go to Holland, Michigan. We started inviting people and planning things.

We were getting close to the leaving point, and I began to have doubts. Fears. Lots of fears. I kept having these dreams in which I would break my neck while camping. In the lake, under a tree, in the bathroom, in a crash. I was nervous. And I was slowly and rather convincingly talking myself out of going. That I shouldn’t go.

On Friday, the day we were leaving, I received a text from my friend Joel expressing doubts in the trip, about two hours into his 12 hour drive from Maryland to Huntington. He asked me to pray. I did, and I should have spoken up, but for some reason I didn’t. Joel came out, and he left with the first car to go up in the afternoon.

I had been watching the weather all day and a massive storm was heading straight for Holland. It was just going to pound the west side of Michigan. But in a matter of minutes the path of the storm shifted and completely devastated Fort Wayne instead. It’s caused a good deal of trouble and tragedy in Fort Wayne, but it left our weekend safe.

It took me two hours to get through the city and down to Huntington. A drive that ordinarily takes 40 minutes. Traffic lights were out all over the city. Power was out everywhere. Trees were ripped from the ground by their roots. Houses were crushed. Vehicles crushed.

Outside a Montessori school near my parents’ house.

On Landin Road in New Haven, when trying to get home after the storm

More of the devastation after the storm. This is in New Haven.

The calm after the storm that tore through Allen County

Melissa and Margo’s basement was flooded by a backed up sewage pipe, so we waited for the plumber to finish up before we could leave. We left about two hours later than planned, and after a long drive finally made it to camp.

Strangers were meeting for the first time. Friendships were already forming. And after a long day in the sun at the beach and several sunburns we came back to camp on Saturday. Later in the night the conversations took a beautiful turn in their focus, and without much detail let me just tell you how ridiculous God is. He’s just such a goof. God needed Joel to be there to be there for someone else. I’m not expressly sure why I needed to be there, but I’m so glad I was. I’m so glad everyone was. It was a beautiful night, and some very powerful things came out of it. Some wonderful truth. Some very painful truth. And all of it so perfectly orchestrated. Even when we got home. We unloaded the cars and got on our ways just moments before another storm crashed through Huntington. I only regret one thing about the whole trip. That I didn’t trust God from the start. I even came home to see the electricity was restored to our house and that the city was working on my brother’s house, which had it’s cables pulled from the house.

On the way up to Holland, we couldn’t ignore our need to stop at Martin’s in Warsaw for muffins.

I went to bed about 2:30 a.m. on “Friday” night, and got up Saturday around 5:30 to see the sun just beginning to rise.

I spent my open morning with God and then in Rant by Chuck Palahniuk.

Chris “The Beard,” Stephen and Melissa joined me in the next couple of hours, and we had a 7 a.m. book club at the fire. Just the quiet, our books and our friends.

Brandon, our resident wrestler.

This is my favorite picture from the whole weekend. Joel. Exactly as I’d expect him.

My neon toes in the sand

Holland’s beautiful coast

Joel started digging a hole. A horrible sand castle was built. Stephen wanted a tunnel. Brandon began a second hole. This is the result. Before Joel accidentally crushed it.

His voice was raspy. His articulation was poor. But man could he strum. In downtown Holland

Even with sunscreen, this is what happened. My nails matching my shirt and flesh was not intentional.

This pic stitch is courtesy Kari. Please note that Joel and I are making the same face. Also it’s a good summary.

Soon Melissa will post pictures from the weekend, and I will, of course, share them with you. As well as, I’m sure, more thoughts on how beautifully God moves. I still feel like I could cry at any moment for how perfectly God works. My friends, please, don’t let me become someone who is so easily distracted by life’s pains, by the deserts of my days. I want to revel in the beautiful blessings I’m constantly lavished with. In my friends, in my family, in my life.

Adventure in I will be better

I realize that January is nearly over, but I’m pretty crap at making resolutions for the new year. I’m almost as bad about making them as the rest of you are at keeping them. I can’t disappoint myself if I never make a promise to me. I also can’t do much growing that way either. So after some consideration I’ve decided that without making strong commitmenty sounding words I’m going to try at these things.

I want to be better at being alone. I spend 90 percent of my time alone these days, and I complain about it a lot. But only because it’s really hard. It’s so much harder than I thought it would be. I lived by myself for a year at college, but I wasn’t really alone then was I? Not with hundreds of people around every day.

In that same vein I want to stop being so fearful in my solitude. It offers me so much, including constant opportunity to be alone and undistracted with God. It also offers me the chance to step out of my door and do the things no one else in my life ever wants to do with me. This Saturday I’ll start pursuing those things by going to the art museum. I’ll go to the movies I want to see. I’ll go to theatre productions. I’m probably not back on board yet with going to dinner alone, but I’ve done it before. Maybe by the end of the year I’ll be stronger.

I will take risks in the new church community I’m pursuing. I will sign up for classes that interest me even though I know no one, because who could I ask to go with me? Who better to take than Christ. Christ beside me. The Spirit speaking.

My friends Brett and Erica and I want to run the Fort Wayne mini marathon together, so I suppose I should get better at this running thing. It goes well in phases. And then I remember that there are cookies that can be delivered right to my door in the middle of the night. Discipline and self-control.

I want to be better at listening to the Spirit. I want to be better at understanding how the Holy Spirit directs me, and I want to be better at discerning my weird desires from the Spirit’s weird proddings.

I will take risks in the new church community I’m pursuing. I will sign up for classes that interest me even though I know no one, because who could I ask to go with me? Who better to take than Christ. Christ beside me. The Spirit speaking.

Speaking up. Over the course of the last seven months I’ve lost my voice and my strength. I want it back, and I’m going to take risks in that. It’s scary, and it will be hard. But I can’t feel silent anymore. I don’t need to be loud. I just need to know that I’m sitting idly by as I watch injustice exist. I will raise my voice. I will shout. I will try.

I will do my best. I will try to be better. I will try.

Adventure in Passion (not as salacious as you’d like or expect)

One quiet evening on a visit to Huntington I was sitting at the Rusty Dog with a friend of mine. We were discussing life’s pains and the things that drive us. I knew that she had started attending dance classes in Fort Wayne. She humbly told me that she knew she wasn’t very good, but she knew that if she wasn’t dancing somehow she just wouldn’t be able to survive. I had remarked how brave I thought she was. Going up there to this class every week where she simply did not know anyone. And all I could think was, “Good for you.”

Until, I got away from the conversation and all I could think was, “what the heck drives me that way?” I enjoy theatre. I enjoy comedy. I enjoy writing. I enjoy painting. But none of them so much that my life would explode if I did not have them. I used to think it was the case with theatre, but I’m really doing quite alright without it. So what is it? I’m not really passionate about anything. I’m not really driven by anything.

I don’t adore myself enough, or pine for the approval of my words enough, to pursue any sort of stand-up comedy. Sit-down comedy maybe, but only because I’m lazy and I have little feet. I write all day for work, perhaps not the most uplifting material or what I enjoy really, but it’s enough to satisfy any slight “need.”

I thought about taking some art classes. I even looked into it briefly, before I got horrified by prices or the insistence on having a child. If you want an inexpensive, but still quite acceptable class you take it with your child, which makes it less…inviting or really probably challenging. If you want a challenging class for adults you shell out more money than one’s bank account could possibly afford. An art class would be a seemingly appropriate way to meet new people with similar, slightly douchey interests, while simultaneously challenging myself and improving my meager skill.

As it is the benefits do not outweigh the cost.

I’ve looked into getting involved in helping with area children’s theatres, but their mission statements almost always infuriate me. Some of them so blatantly suggesting that they would prefer to only foster a love of theatre in those they think most worthy of it. They’re kids; let them play.

At the end of all of it, though, there’s nothing in me that requires something so beautifully as the way my friend needed dance. And when I’m honest about it, I’m disappointed in myself for caring so little about so very much. Passionless living. I disturb even my own heart with it. It takes me to a place that feels a lot like mediocrity in many areas. An unfocused emptiness. Or perhaps better a driveless focus. A regular Jane of no trades. Settling for average, or more often, less than average quality in many areas, none of which are excelled in. It’s a little, if not entirely, shattering every time I realize how truly passionless I am.

Adventure in the Zombies are Rising. Today.

Yesterday morning Momper Insulation, an insulation warehouse, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, caught fire. The smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away. Fort Wayne residents in the area were warned to stay in their homes so they would not be exposed to the toxic fumes. Some people were even evacuated. Firefighters spent a good deal of time controlling the blaze, but eventually resolved to let the fire die out on its own. This decision was made so the toxin-infused water did not cause too much toxic run-off. Considerate.

KIND OF! Because here’s the thing. That warehouse is across the street from a very large cemetery. And today is Halloween. I didn’t think about it until my mom and I started making jokes. Actually, my mom. “The people in Lindenwood don’t have to worry,” she says. And I begin to say, “Yeah, because they’re dead,” but am cut short by my own thoughts. I gasp far too dramatically and shout, “MOM! Get a shotgun!” “What?!” “You have to protect yourself, because those dead people won’t be dead people for long. We’re talking zombies. Undead people.” She laughed. For a very long time.

Meanwhile, ZOMBIES. It’s here, kids.

Adventure in Improper Liasisons with Dr. Mary Ruthi

Ah, I think that the idea of being happy and emotionally close to another person through marriage is indeed a relatively recent idea.  A century ago, for instance, women were thought to be too unintelligent to share meaningful conversations with their husbands, and even sex was seem as primarily for reproduction and not as an emotional bonding experience.  The notion that marriage is a partnership of equals is a fairly new idea.  And, it probably does have a lot to do with women’s lib, which advocated the rather novel idea that women were as intelligent and competent as men.  

Of course, the desire for satisfaction in all areas of our lives is far more prominent than it used to be.  We aren’t content with having jobs to support ourselves; we must have meaningful jobs that pay well and don’t demand too much of us.  We aren’t content to attend church; we must be entertained and impressed by the service and by the pastor(s).  We aren’t content to have vacation time; we must go to more exotic locations and do more daring feats.  Once we have met our basic physical needs, we start going after psychological needs (wants??).

Women’s lib has changed over the past couple of decades, or so it seems to me.  In the 1960s and 1970s, women’s lib was concerned with having women receive equal pay for equal work and with securing reasonably equal opportunities for women in employment, education, etc.  Having largely achieved those goals, the women’s movement looked around for other dragons to slay and then started tilting into a bit of insanity (claiming that it was sexist to have mother/daughter banquets instead of parent/child banquets, arguing that all sex is actually rape because of patriarchy, etc.).   

Mary Ruthi, Ph.D.

Gosh, we’re so extreme.
 
See, I can see myself getting being the original notions of women’s lib. Though if someone let me stay home all day and bake and cook I’d be thrilled. I don’t know where this lust for more than we need comes from. Granted, I’m more than guilty of it myself. I have to wonder if the momentum behind it builds as things around us quicken. With the ever increasing immediacy of technology do we find that we should also be obtaining other things more quickly and more extravagantly? And is this “need” for better and better things a first world problem? I don’t really see how it could be anything, but a first world problem. It still begged to be asked.
 
There’s definitely a bleakness to this conversation, but when have we ever shied away from the truth at the risk of a lack of sunshine and rainbows? It’s raised a question with L though, which is, “Is it possible to find a godly man anymore? One that hasn’t had sex?” I happen to know the answer to be yes, but to find one that isn’t an asshat too, now that’s the real trick.
 
She finds herself daunted by the idea that such a man doesn’t exist. But I think that’s a fallacy of our generation. That 1) we think it’s something we deserve and 2) if we look hard enough we’ll find exactly what we’re looking for. Which I don’t think is ever the case. I feel like we’re all too broken to ever be exactly anything to anyone. But I feel like the women, or in some cases, girls of my generation are searching for this “ideal man.” Like life is a scavenger hunt and the perfect husband or even a husband is the prize. But there’s also this wait for him mentality. That if I sit on my couch long enough he’ll just show up at my door. Which, for me, and I think everyone, but for me especially, that’d be a dumb way to look at things. I live in a gated community! It’s dangerous. And it’s I think very telling of us as women, now. That we believe that what we want will just come to us if we wait around long enough. Not that it won’t, but I’m a pretty big proponent of living life and letting things happen.
 
Meanwhile, it poses another interesting question. How did you and the farmer come to meet?
 
Hayley

Hayley,

To me, the heart of feminism is about freedom of choice.  If a woman (or a man) wants to be a full-time homemaker/child care provider, I think that’s fine.  But, if a woman (or a man) wants to work outside of the home (full time or part time), I think that’s fine also.  I don’t like to see people constrained by gender roles.  Fortunately, there are far fewer constraints than there used to be when I was your age. Actually, in some ways, I believe that women have more freedom than men do in this area.  A married woman with small children can stay home full time, work full time, or work part time.  There’s a lot of pressure on married men to work full time, regardless of what they want to do.  And, the cost of child care (and other expenses associated with having both parents employed) is greater than the additional income produced by the spouse with the lowest salary (usually the woman, but not always).  

Certainly there are men who haven’t indulged in premarital sex, but, as you suggested, some of those men may not be particularly attractive and charming.  And, again, the double standard rears its ugly head.  Men tend to want to marry women who are virgins, but many of those men have conducted a number of improper liaisons themselves.  Grrrr!  

Sitting around waiting for the knight to come riding up to your castle on a white horse probably isn’t going to work for most women.  I think you are right that you have to live life and enjoy it as it happens.  If you meet a great guy and end up married to him, that’s wonderful.  But, if you don’t ever get married, that doesn’t mean that your life will be miserable and devoid of meaning.  Marrying a jerk is far worse than being single. However, the more you are involved in your community, church, volunteer organizations, etc., the more likely you are to meet potential husband candidates.  Most of them will end up being jerks, but it only takes one good guy to fill the husband role! 

I picked up the farmer in the Chicago airport.  He had been in California visiting his sister, and I had been in Kansas visiting my family there.  The flight from Chicago to Fort Wayne was cancelled because of fog, so the airline chartered a bus (something that would never happen today!) and hauled us to Fort Wayne.  The farmer was in the line ahead of me as we waited for the bus to arrive, and we just started talking.  He seemed nice, so when we got back to Fort Wayne, I agreed to his offer to come to Huntington to visit me the next weekend.  And, the rest is history (although it did take him a decade to get around to deciding that getting married might be an okay idea).  He doesn’t like to rush into things!  Eeeek! 

Mary Ruthi, Ph.D.

An Adventure in Hearing God and Listening to Him Under Any Circumstance

I don’t know if it is appropriate to describe God as a “cool cat,” but I just did it in a conversation with a friend.

Last night was the big premiere of Nero Bloom: Private Eye a film directed by Jason Eberly and written by Nathan Hartman starring Philip Black, that I have been helping with all year.  Needless to say I was pretty darn excited to be there.  I had to wear a fancy dress and pretend to be a real person for a whole night, and I mean the whole night.

My guest for the evening was a very good friend who took me out to dinner before the premiere. We made quiet and strange conversation the whole car ride to the restaurant and then even at the restaurant.

I got to the point where I loosened up the tiniest bit when we got to the theater, but I had this huge balls of nerves sitting in my stomach because I was told I’d be meeting the man I’ve recently been referring to as my “Secret BFF,” a columnist for the local newspaper that I’ve been communicating with via the internets for the past few years. As more and more people arrived to the event I felt more and more uncomfortable in my fancy dress and my big curly hair and my borrowed, outrageously tall shoes.

The films began and went off without a hitch and were magnificently well-received.  The reception was, well, I’m sure it was wonderful for Jason and Nathan.

After spending some time at the reception my dear friend and I scurried off to Club Soda where we were to meet up with friends.  While we waited for our table for ten a drunk woman and her fella walked in the door. I stood there in my sparkling and bedazzled champagne colored dress, with my friend in his providencially cooridnating tie and suite, and the woman approaches us almost immediately upon entering saying, “Oh my God! You two are too cute! You’re perfect for each other! Your hair colors compliment each other perfectly!” There is a brief beat. “OH MY GOD DID YOU JUST GET MARRIED?!” I stifle a snicker. My friend simply replies, “Not yet.” “Oh my God are you getting married TOMORROW?!” “No, not tomorrow,” my friend says looking at me, “it’s what now? Seven months?” I can’t let the fun stop now. “Yep, seven months,” I say. “REALLY?!” The drunk woman shouts. The boy looks at the woman and then to me and says with a slight chuckle, “No. Not really.” “Oh good,” she says, “I was going to have to commit suicide,” and she trails off as she walks away.

We went to our table and talked to friends for a couple of hours, maybe three of them. As things were winding down the conversations between the dear friend and I grew more and more pressing, I suppose is the best word. I learned a good deal about him and his life, and I tried to, while simultaneously trying not to make it about me, give him that same courtesy.

There was no need for anything to end in the 40 minutes in a drive back to school so we went for a walk in Headwaters park and spent a little time with my good pals the Hamilton Women Statues. After a little while my dear friend started being loud and making loud noises, which were then replied to by someone from across the river. A small shouting match ensued.

We sat quietly conversing about life when a gang of five teenage boys rode up on bmx bikes. They asked us if we were the ones shouting; we told them we were, but we did hear the shouting. They were still pretty convinced it was us. Smart boys. We just sat there and talked to them for about twenty minutes. Well, my dear friend did most of the talking to them, but we mostly just let them talk.  A thirteen-year-old who thought he needed money and needed it badly enough to be spending his time (at 1:30 in the morning) stealing bikes so he could sell them. A seventeen-year-old who dropped out of school to take up a full time job so he could pay his mom’s rent. It was sad. These kids who knew so much about juvey. I wanted to give each of them a hug and tell them that even though I don’t know them I still love them, but I didn’t really know how to make that work without seeming weird. So I just listened. The boys finally left us, and we decided that it was best that we, too, left.

We drove back to Huntington and talked about some really cool things. Things I’d never found the courage or the opportunity to talk to anyone else about.  Things I’d never even admitted to myself, but there I was flatly telling my heart.

Then conversation that changed my heart.

I have a hard time with girls, particularly girls who seem to somehow step right into cool parts of my life just as they’re getting cool and take them from me.  It’s not an intentional thing, always. And in this particular case it most certainly was, mm is, not. But somehow this girl seems to just pop up everywhere.  Places I have to earn my invitation to she gets invited for no reason and with no one else knowing her. People who I work hard to get to know she knows within five seconds of meeting them, and has them falling in love with her. And I admit that if there’s one thing I am, it’s jealous of her for being so wonderful. The conversation in the car though pointed me to something I wasn’t prepared for.  This girl and I have more in common than I could have ever guessed, and while I didn’t judge this girl ever, which is startling for me, I did become instantly jealous of her.  That jealousy then got in the way of me ever wanting to let myself get to know her, which I think perhaps I should have, because now there’s something rather unique that I’d like to speak with her about.  At least to say, “Hey, you’re not alone.” Because knowing that I’m not alone was encouraging to me, at least in this particular case.

It’s interesting to me how God can use the people we want him to use the very least to give us hope and encouragement, or worse yet an ally of sorts. There’s still a big part of me that doesn’t want to talk to this girl about our situation, but the tiny part of me that says I should is prodding at me and bugging me.  It’s a strange subject to bring up, but I feel that I should bring it up. I don’t know that it would do me any good to talk to her about it, but I want to at least give her the chance to talk to someone else who is in the same boat. If that’s what she wants, but there’s no harm in at least offering the opportunity.

When I want to listen to God the least that seems to be when he doesn’t want to shut up. And when I want to like someone the least that seems to be when God decides it’s a great idea to use that person in my life. He’s sneaky that one.

tornadoes and tunnels

Another day. Another adventure.

Last Sunday Brett and I decided to completely avoid our homework and our commitments by making the drive to Fort Wayne to return something to the mall.

Well, the mall turned into Target and plans to meet the Freers for sushi.

So we make our run to the mall to return the article of clothing and then choose to venture to Target as we still have about an hour to kill before we have to meet the Freers.

We go to  Target because this lady needed underwears.   I find some undapants and a flick I want to buy. I have them in hand and we are headed to the check out when Target employee Fatsy Markson tells us we all have to go to the “fire tunnel” because there’s a “tornado” coming.

“What?” I say.
“Are you serious?!” Brett says.

And we are herded with the rest of the cattle at Target into the Target “fort.”  Brett and I avoided the grumblers and went to the back of the fort in the Fort.

Settled on the floor next to the baby mattress Brett says, “Whenever I’m in situations like this or like on a plane I wonder to myself which of these people I’m going to bond with when we start to die.”

I laugh a little, hoping this isn’t the way we go.

“Let’s check our supplies,” Brett says as she opens her purse.

A pen, a notebook, some moneys, and probably something outrageous.

My turn comes.

“Well, I have my Bible,” I say.
Soon to be new friend, funny Target employee “Shirley” (that’s what I call her in my head now) says, “You better go ahead and start reading us that just in case.”

We laughed, because that was a pretty funny thing to say, but it was made funnier when the lady with the little girl who had weasled back into our corner looked really panicked by the statement.

I list off some more useless things. And then providence smiles on me there in my impending doom. My good nosering. The stud. The magnificent missing friend returned to me, valiant.

“MY NOSERING!” I shriek.

A few more hour minutes pass and I say, “We’re gonna be late for sushis.”

And it happens. Our new BFF Brandon (or BFFB or BOBFFB) says, “Aw that sounds so good right now.” And we smile.

We make jokes about the world ending and how none of us will survive and how those fire doors aren’t tornado doors and we’ll soon be dead.

Then the manager tells us it’s safe to leave the “fort”.  We do. I buy underwear and Shaun of the Dead from BOBFFB and we almost ask him to sushi, but wuss out.

And no one died at all.