Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The perfect gift for the child you love, but whose parents you hate.

So, I was at Wal Mart last night and saw a huge stack of these in the middle of the aisle, apparently there to entice me to buy it for my children.

I'm going to use a sweeping blanket statement here, but there is no parent in the history of parents who has looked at a miniature metal drum set, complete with cymbal, and thought, "I need to buy that for my small child! Because you know what I don't have enough of in my life?  Loud noises."

And if you happen to be a parent  who is an exception to my sweeping blanket statement, I'm not counting you.  Because clearly you have issues you need to speak with someone about, and it's not fair to judge you in your current mental state.

You know who buys these for kids?  Your childless siblings or friends.  Or people who secretly hate you.  Or maybe your own parents, on a mission to get even for all the years of grief you put them through. Those are the people who will buy this for your child.

They're also the only people buying Play Doh. 

What's the most obnoxious gift your child has ever been given?  Or that you've deliberately given someone else's child? 'Fess up.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Desperately Seeking Jayme

 Have you seen me?
Odds are good I've lost the early 90's round glasses by now.

A long time ago (1995), in a galaxy far, far away (Logan, Utah) I was a college sophomore at Utah State University.  And I had five really great roommates.

One of them was a particularly bright spot in my life.  No, wait. Bright is an understatement.  She was like a supernova.  She was a splash of vibrant color in what could have been a really dismal year.  As wonderful and great as all my roommates were that year, she was the only one I felt like I could truly be the real me around. Not only did she accept the real me, but she liked the real me and encouraged me to let ME out more often.  She reminded me that I was fun.  But for some reason, we let ourselves lose contact.  I haven't talked to her in 17 years.

But I really, really want to.

The only other picture I have of her that I can post without 
potentially embarrassing her or ruining any future political aspirations.

Internets, I need your help.  I've exhausted my Googling abilities.  Short of paying a ridiculous amount of money to one of the people locator sites,  I have come up empty handed.  But there are a lot of you out there reading this.  A lot of you who are from the same area she's from (and may currently still be).  Maybe one of you knows her and can tell her I'm looking for her.

Here's what I know.  Her maiden name is Jayme Lee Hendrian.  She graduated from Skyline High School in Idaho Falls, ID in 1994.  She was on the volleyball team and in track, and I'm pretty sure she was kind of a big deal in both. She attended Utah State, and also played volleyball and was in track there.  She was raised LDS, though I honestly couldn't tell you what her status would be today. 

If the Google gods are correct, her married name is Jones.  She may be using Hendrian-Jones.  And it looks like she's either living in Idaho Falls or Rigby, Idaho.

I will come up with some sort of reward for the first person to get me a good e-mail address, mailing address, or gets her to contact me at brandidouglass@gmail.com. I'll even settle for a phone number, although cold calling someone I haven't spoken to in nearly 20 years makes me want to throw up a little.

And Jayme, if you're somehow out there reading this, e-mail me!  I have so much to tell you.  First of all, I married Will, so I guess I owe you some money for that bet.  But Tiffany totally married Scott, and they're still married, so you owe me for that one.  We'll call it even.  Also, I promise I'll destroy all the pictures I found today of us being...us if you ever decide to run for office.  We were kind of crazy, but it was so much fun.  Also, put on some pants.

Thank you for helping me be me for that year, and lending me a little of your supernova brightness when I couldn't find my own. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

And a very merry Christmas to you too, Neil Papworth.

Twenty years ago today I was a 17 year old high school senior in a tiny town in Wyoming.  My friends and I talked to each other on phones--the kind with cords. Our conversations were brief--mostly just long enough to make arrangements to get together so we could talk face to face.  And if we had something to say to each other that we didn't want all the other ears in our house to hear and we couldn't talk in person, we'd sometimes leave notes at each other's houses.  And my longtime childhood friends I had recently left on the opposite side of the country?  We sent real letters.  Like, with stamps and envelopes. Quaint, I know.  I didn't own a computer, and e-mail wasn't something available to the general public.  The communication options available in 1992 were not ideal for shy, awkward kids who moved a lot.  Like me.

Also twenty years ago today, somewhere in England thousands of miles away from that hick town in Wyoming, Neil Papworth unknowingly changed my future life for the better.  He was testing this new technology called SMS messaging, and he sent the very first text message ever.  It said, "Merry Christmas."

I was late to the texting party,  but once I got started, I became an overachiever. I am valedictorian of texting. They estimate that 200,000 texts are sent per minute. I'm probably personally responsible for a third of them.  I wasn't exaggerating when I said Mr. Papworth's achievement changed my future life for the better.  Texting is a godsend for people like me.  Because even though I'm 37 rather than 17, I'm still shy and awkward, I still hate talking on the phone, and I still move a lot.

E-mail will always be my first love.  It's the main reason I was able to maintain any friendships at all when I've moved in the past.  But then I started dating Facebook and e-mail mostly became a fond memory,  like that old boyfriend you still think about years later.  But then I met texting and we've been having a hot and heavy affair for a few years now.  I'm still seeing Facebook, but texting and I are going steady. We're going to prom. I'm wearing texting's class ring. (Don't tell, but sometimes I text and Facebook at the same time. And sometimes I'm thinking about e-mail while I do it.)

Texting has allowed me to build relationships with people that I probably wouldn't have otherwise.  Normal people can make those connections through phone calls.  If you've read even one post here, you clearly know that I am not normal.  So today I celebrate the anniversary of texting, and I honor Neil Papworth and the others who created the technology that allowed him to text "Merry Christmas" 20 years ago. What they gave me was more than the ability to send words through my phone.  They gave me human connection within my comfort zone.  They gave me friends I cherish.  They've all but eliminated the miles that separate me from those I care about.  Merry Christmas indeed.