Skip to main content

Rubber Bands in the Dryer

I have taken to eating one chocolate ball every day after I come home from an exhausting day of work. The balls are wrapped in golden and red aluminum foil, and they sit in a clear jar next to where Philip and I keep our keys. I haven’t liked chocolate since I was six, and I’m not sure I like it now.

There’s a one-legged man who walks down Lambert every morning at 7 am. I see him on my way to work. He has a billowy white beard and looks ever so much like a sailor. He uses crutches.

Rubber bands are invading. I find them on our front porch. I find them beside our trash cans. I find them on the bedroom floor, and I find them in the dryer. They are always in the dryer.

One of the math teachers at Heights Christian Junior High has taken a temporary leave of absences, and the remaining math teachers have taken up his classes while he’s gone. We are all over our heads. Perhaps this is why I’ve taken to eating chocolate balls.

My birthday this year was the best I think I’ve ever had. It was certainly better than those silly sixth grade slumber parties when my parents scolded me for being too loud at 12 am. One of the highlights was when one of my students presented me with a Costco-sized chocolate birthday cake with nondairy frosting. I ate several licks of the frosting. Students, teacher, and family wished me well. My brother Jacob sent me an edible bouquet of fruit. Gretchen, my mother-in-law gave me a balloon and card. My family all pitched in to get me a laptop computer. This is shocking when considering my family’s usual disregard for birthdays.

There’s a rubber band around my wrist as I write.

I have started shopping at Gigante’s. Salespersons try to solicit me in the parking lot for pimple products and oranges. The cashiers attempt to carry on conversations with me in Spanish. The Jicama is never put in the same place of the produce section. One week they have poptarts; the next week they don’t. One whole aisle is devoted to beans, and half a row to tortillas. No feta cheese, but cojita, yes. They sell bananas in 3 sizes: tiny, normal, and gigantic. The lines are often held up with people trying to get cashier checks or using food stamps. But I believe it’s better than the Super Bueno Market on Lambert.

Typewriters are the devil. I don’t know why Parkville Insurance still uses one. I don’t know why I don’t just figure out how to do 1099’s on the computer instead of the typewriter. The machine goes bonkers every time I return and when I push caps-lock I have to push shift to uncaps-lock. I dream of throwing that contraption over a balcony.

My students have been unusually cooperative lately. They listen when I talk. They pass in their papers when I ask. They tell each other to shut up. They compete to do better. They understand my rules, and don’t take it personally when I tell them to go out of the room and come in again quietly.

I have made a keen connection. More than once Philip has told me how he and his coworkers shoot rubber bands at one another for momentary office stress relief. He has even taught me the proper way to shoot a rubber band. He is particularly impressed with the three-inch wide rubber bands. I haven’t found any of those in the dryer yet.


Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Testimony

I didn't used to want to be baptized. I was too stubborn. I was determined to be the upright, genuine Christian who wasn't baptized—something of a superior class, I suppose. All that physical symbolism was for the archaic layman or the really emotional sort or the person who's afraid baptism is necessary for salvation. It's not for me. It's not for the steady, reliable believer who's doesn't have a big conversion story. I was in preschool when I prayed the prayer. In 6th grade, I gained a deeper understanding of sin while bickering with my siblings in the backseat of the family van. When I was 16, I began a daily quiet time with the Lord. And now at 36, I'm hearing the Lord asking me to make my faith work. Make the rubber meet the road. Get out of "morbid introspection and into deeds," out of "anxious hesitation and into the storm of events" (Rohr & Ebert, 129-130). Stop retreating into my head to figure out God and salvation

Why the Enneagram Numbers Quarantine

Type 1: The Reformer     I quarantine because it's the right thing to do and everyone ought to be doing their part for society by following the same procedures. Type 2: The Helper     No, I'm not concerned about myself, but I quarantine for everyone else. I want to help my neighbors feel safe, and I would absolutely die if I found out I had passed on the virus to someone else. Type 3: The Performer    I quarantine because that's what's expected of me, right? Plus, think about how bad it would look if I didn't. Type 4: The Individualist     I would've loved to quarantine before all this started but now that everyone is doing it, I'm not so sure I want to follow along. I guess I'll quarantine but somehow find a way to still remain exceptional. Type 5: The Observer     I might quarantine. I might not. I probably will while researching the facts about this virus. When I know enough, I'll make a final decision. Type 6: The Guardian     I q

Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along, But I don't want to hear them fight. I want them to feel their emotions and understand them, But I don't want them to slam doors or be sassy. I want them to be respectful to adults, But I don't want to be embarrassed when they say something totally inappropriate. I want them to choose to obey me, But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't. I want them to fill their own time with play, But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or carve into the walls or cut through the upholstery with scissors. I want them to be good. But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good. I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband, But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness. I want to have friends who are different than me, But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions. I wa