Time Traveler

What would you do if you went back x number of years? Someone asked me and I asked the specifics. Did I time travel, or was I in my younger body? Did I have my memories and experiences from current me? Specifically, I considered what it would be like, having my current memories and experiences trapped in me during my freshman year in high school. I hated high school, especially now that I’ve lived ‘real life’. “I would chew my mother out,” I finally answered.

“Really?”

“Yeah. And I would enroll in more extracurricular. I felt like she didn’t let me enroll in extracurricular.” He was surprised, especially with my bitterness towards that chapter in my life. He somehow had drawn the conclusion prior to our conversation that I was popular and social in school. “No, I was the outcast of the outcasts.”

I understand myself now well enough to have been a counselor for young me. I would have been able to point out why I was looking so desperately for validation from my peers, and that I do behave differently from them due to the isolation I went through. I would point out that the reason why I was not drawn to boys my age was because they lacked the ambition and leadership skills that are not commonly found, especially in boys, but that there were people out there that would love me for me. In fact, if I went back in time as my friend suggested, I would spend those years waiting and preparing to come back to where I am now. I would make sure to be at the college cafeteria during the first week of school where Alice and Edward would see me and invite me to sit at their table for the first time.

I even considered the relationship with my ex and how it affected my relationship I’m in now. I wouldn’t date him. I wouldn’t be content to be with anyone knowing my “soul mates” were out there and I would meet them again. What I would do is I would surprise my ex by telling him things that others didn’t know, and tell him that he was important and needed to not give up. I wonder what that would have done to him, to not have wanted anything from him and still validate him as a person. To kill time (I’m waiting years for true love) I would have probably made friends with him still, and taught him what a non-sexual significant other is, and then hang out with him and tell him the future. I think the mistake I made with the first go was that I thought that if I loved him enough he would love me back, and in a weird way it eventually kind of worked, but it wasn’t organic so it was disastrous.

I would have studied the bible more, and burned my Tarot cards sooner. I would have worked on my relationship with my mother and sister. “I know I’m not like the person I was yesterday, but today I want to be my true self, and that’s what I’m going to do, whether you can appreciate it or not,” might be the first conversation I had with them. From then on, I wouldn’t be feeble, and I would try to allow myself to argue back. I would have defended my writing time, making the argument that this could be a sign that I’m a young prodigy and my mother wouldn’t want to get in the way of that. I wouldn’t let myself be afraid anymore. I would have been a completely different person by the time I put that into practice.

I think I was still going to my father’s place every other weekend per court order, and to be honest, I would have allowed myself to go one more time. I’ve struggled now with my memory, and I think by reliving one visit to his place, I would have enough fuel for my novel to flush out my character confidently. And then I’d draw the line and say more bluntly that I was not going to be around my father anymore and that he made me uncomfortable and crossed boundaries. I think I could have prevented him from molesting my sister, and he also would not have gone to jail years later. That makes me feel strange, that the abuse my sister went through has resulted finally in my ability to go anywhere in the city without looking over my shoulder for a few years.

I would have gone up to Bailey when I saw her in the hallways, and I would have kissed her and told her I would marry her someday, before walking nonchalantly to class. She would have appreciated it, too, even before knowing. Hell, she would love me more now if I had.

I asked her this evening what she would do if she could take her current experiences and go back to her first year in high school. I’m glad I asked, though her take would have been almost opposite mine. “I would tell everyone I was bi and polyamorous, and get the shock factor out of the way then so it wouldn’t surprise them with my relationship now. They will see it coming.” And she would have made sure to have fun. Because we went to high school together at the same time, but weren’t close, it was an interesting and enriching conversation. I got to learn more about her now by hearing about the old her and her motivations, and some of my memories returned to me. I also have a greater appreciation for who I’ve grown into.

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My Children Have a Price Tag

The Power Ball has been increased to half a billion dollars. I don’t know about you, but I’m not acquainted with holding more than a few hundred in my hand at a time and can’t fathom how much that is, and am too lazy to count the zeros.

At the news, I turned to Ed. “If we did win the Power Ball, then the argument that Alice’s parents are more fit to raise our children because they have more money becomes invalid, right? So then what other argument do they have?”

“They don’t.” The case was brought on by their false accusations that the children were neglected and abused and has since been cleared by CPS twice and by a court appointed psychiatrist, and though she had some discriminatory things to say about our family structure, she too admitted that there were no signs of abuse or neglect. It is literally about money now.

My next question was would I have to work. Nope, absolutely not. I will say, though, that I would not leave my position in the charity that Ed and I work for. If that was what I could do now, that would be a higher focus, but serving the needy makes a modest living and it takes a separate income to keep that up.

Attention shifted back to the case. Hire the best of the best and get our case to the Supreme Court so that other families like us will not be discriminated against via abuse of the system. It is strange to me that the only factor in bringing my children home is money. If we have enough money, this stops being a problem.

Once that was done and the children back in our home, we could afford to donate to charity regularly. Besides funding our charity, I started going down a mental checklist of the other charities that have helped us to make it where we are and how we can give back.

I also thought of how money changes people and what that would do to our kids. We can afford to put each of them in the best schools, and they won’t hear whispers in the halls about how their parents live off of the government, as is being said about us now (untrue, by the way). I thought of all the high quality yarn that I could buy, and how I don’t have to worry about things on Etsy actually selling, just hosting a pretty shop where you could buy things I made but where I’m not desperate for sales. I also remembered that Gary wanted to learn how to knit. We could buy materials for the kids to teach them skills. Think very vaguely about that. We could buy musical instruments, since all our children seem to be musically inclined (Guinevere beats at her children’s battery operated piano, which has dead batteries, and looks at me to tell me she’s the next famous pianist waiting for the opportunity), yarn and fabric for creating clothing, materials for building so they can help design the tree house that came with the property, etc. We could afford to make the business property environmental, all this while pouring money regularly into the charity to help kids with terminal illnesses.

Of course, I’m thinking small, because I cannot fathom how much half a billion really is. Bailey, on the other hand, jumped straight to travelling. And I think back on how that benefits the children, which is exposing them to other cultures, which itself helps contribute to teaching them politics. This is relating to outside of the country; inside the country, while our charity drives around to all the hospitals, our family would be tagging along in a bus of a sort. Edward says it’s more economic to drive a school bus, I think that if we don’t have to sweat about expenses go for the luxury of a tour bus we can sleep in. And if we are so comfortable financially, contribute to the betterment of technology by investing in mods that make a vehicle more resourceful and environmentally sound.

I don’t know how many people feel this way, but I’m almost afraid that if we won the lottery, we would become too comfortable. Things would be too easy, though I’m sure that when you ‘level up’ in class, there’s a different set of challenges. But I think more about my relationship with God. If I have everything I need, will I still be asking the Lord to bless me and my ways? Or alternatively, without possessing any need to stress about material things, would I feel unhindered and be willing to dedicate myself more to meditating on Him and the bigger picture?

I don’t know, what would you do with half a billion dollars?

Blogiversary

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I’m so glad today is a leisurely day, and I get to share with you that it’s Ch4rl13Sm1th’s anniversary! Steve nicknamed it a blogiversary, hence the title of this post. As for the title of the blog itself, I haven’t come up with a better name for it yet, but at the same time don’t think I mind it either. A year ago today I reflected on the way I live my life and wondered how to do more. An introvert with a story to tell, I have enjoyed writing for years after somehow not associating it with the chore of doing school assignments. Starting a blog and not having it backfire on me gave me courage to write the rough draft of a novel, and accomplishing such a task in 30 days has led me to feel invincible and most of all like I matter. That might be a big leap and hard to explain, so just take my word that I feel like a better person because of having the courage to write.

Initially I signed into my account to do a little post about all the knitting I was able to accomplish and what that looks like. I was inspired by Kristin’s post about how she did presents last year and wanted to show off how I managed my time well enough to squeeze in some pretty knots.

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Edward wants me to call them Bags of Holding and I can’t think of a cooler name for it. I made one for each of the kids that would be home for the holidays except for two, who both have a pair of knit baby booties.

The pattern for the bags is available here, though I give more details on my experiences on my Ravelry account. I was raving to Ed about my accomplishments when I knit four for the Girls and Guinevere tried to snatch them all up, so I understood she would appreciate one as well and made hers in turquoise. I put a Baoding ball in since she isn’t quite old enough to find something better to put in it herself and made a longer string so that when she’s older she can practice her dexterity tying and untying it. She loves shaking it around for the music. Knowing that the first thing the Girls would do was sniff the fake flowers, I sprayed rose perfume into them. Geraldine was the first to catch it, as I expected.

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I knit some for the grown-ups as well, matching Edward’s to his two sets of die and increasing the size accordingly. Mine being the first it has the most mistakes, but I still love having a customized, hand-made pouch to show off.

Daisy was kind enough to share her yarn with me earlier last year, which gave birth to Seamus and ALL THE BABY BOOTIES I made. Every day at work I had a booty to knit and became somewhat famous for it.

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And for myself, I really wanted pretty fingerless gloves. My mother had given me a few skeins of brown acrylic yarn a few years ago. I feel like brown is her color, and if I knit it into certain shapes my artwork gets called certain things I would rather not associate with my craft. I tried using it up to make fingerless gloves, borrowing patterns from Google to get the size and adding in a cable stitch to make it pretty. Then I learned from my mistakes and made a shorter set in ribbed, and the day after I mended one of the gloves I lost the other and became rather depressed about gloves. I gave it another go this year to play with an amethyst wool yarn Danielle got for me and am pretty satisfied. The left one is too small, but it was painstakingly made and so I’m going to show it off anyway.

I think I did pretty good with my timing, since Christmas presents were all finished before Christmas, meaning I completely bypassed the last minute shopping that the holiday is famous for. Some were done during the month that I wrote over 50,000 words. I didn’t include a picture of the little basket thing I knit up for Danielle to hold the miniature spa kit I assembled for her because it is embarrassingly ugly, but what I can take away from the experience is that it is interesting knitting with strips cut from T-shirts and pillow cases.

Couple-Couple-Couple

“It’s my favorite couple-couple-couple!”

Katniss invented this nickname for our group, which was probably the easiest way to describe us. In our culture, if you are with someone, you are a ‘couple’. ‘Couple’ now means two people that have an intimate relationship with each other. We have yet to discover a term that so easily communicates, “Yes, I am with that person, that person, and that person. Yes, we are ‘together’ together,” the same way that a word like ‘couple’ communicates, plural. I suppose she says it three times to put emphasis on plural, or because we’re a couple of ‘couples’ and by dissecting it out it would equal the same term stated three times. So we are referred to as Katniss’s favorite ‘couple-couple-couple’ and it actually makes sense.

Katniss is a character that waits tables at a restaurant where all the servers are popular characters. Danielle was Tinkerbell (or Stinkerbell, as some wanted to put it) when we met her. I thought I wouldn’t like her, but apparently it was because she was in character. They dance and sing for happy birthdays and potty trips and for a massive platter specially for parties of four, which we thought was too ironic to let down and ordered one for ourselves. Jokes ensued, and it was the fastest way to get to know people and the most memorable thing about us. We may start our conversations with our servers using the phrase, “what is the weirdest thing anyone has told you?” This is followed with the most disappointing pause as they consider some conversations that were held with their customers and either an “I don’t know, I’ve heard a few,” “I can’t think of any,” or a not-so-amusing tale. You would think more interesting things happen, but somehow they escape memories. In theory it’s a good way to start up a conversation, and sometimes it actually does create a lively conversation where we are perplexed as much as the server. Funnily enough, I can’t think of those stories right now, either.

At another restaurant, our waitress answers that she had a customer who said that he was with two women, who knew about each other, which she found interesting enough to be memorable. “We can top that,” was my immediate response.

Does Donald Trump Actually Stink?

I may plan on celebrating Troll Week in August each year. But when living with Edward, any day can be Troll Day.

He discovered that Donald Trump had a team that bought up web domains that could be degrading to the Trump brand. Edward has a thing against people who think they can pay their way through their problems, and so spent a few bucks on a site that Trump’s team missed: donaldtrumpstinks.com

Not even 24 hours in and the number of visitors is in the hundreds. “I’m going to see if Deez Nuts will do an interview.”

“He’s fifteen, he’s in school now.” I read one article about Brady Olson that mentioned briefly that he was getting more requests than he could respond to, and before the school year began.

A few hours later I hear laughter- Deez Nuts responded and agreed to do an email interview. You should totally read all about it, and share. Everywhere.

What do you think he would smell like, anyway? I think he would smell like too many hair products, but Alice thinks he would smell like bigotry and lies.

Happy Baby

Happy Flowers. Comment if you know what kind they are.

Edward bunched his socks like he usually does when he’s decided that his day is now complete. (I don’t know why he does this. They have to be unbundled before they’re thrown in the wash, but at least the exterior is clean.) Facing Guinevere in her toddler seat, he sat on the rug and called out, “here, Guinevere, catch!” He tossed them each gently to her. She was unfazed, observantly wide eyed.

“Edward, don’t be so mean,” Bailey chided. She rubbed her large belly, curled casually on the couch.

“I’m not, look. She’s picking it up.”

Guinevere extended her hand to the bundled cloth hesitantly, looked up and saw that we were watching her expectantly. Her expression clicked from naïve to mischievous, and she ‘chuckled’.

She wheezed and grunted like an old man, even poking out her chin, pulling the skin from her lower face and neck. Edward responded with a sort of Mikey Mouse chortle that sounded like the character running from a snapping dog. Somehow these things sounded similar. She got excited and chuckled more enthusiastically. They went back and forth this way until Guinevere was so passionately wheezing and whatever other noises she was making while simultaneously rolling her wrists and ankles the way she does when she knows she’s being watched,  and Bailey couldn’t breathe because she was laughing so hard.

Daddy’s Day

Such happy flowers.

Daddy strummed loudly, but even louder were the thundering feet as the Girls twirled and jumped and rolled, too much motion in a tiny space in our crowded bedroom. I’m not sure what my deal is, I like to think that I’m overprotective, but I get pretty anxious when there is too much noise and action. I tried to be as relaxed as the other grownups, so only a few times did I tell Geraldine that she needed to calm down. I explained to her that when she’s in the Grownups room, she has to act a little more like a grown up. She went back to rolling all over the bed, and into Daddy’s guitar. Still, better than off the edge and into one of her sisters. Edward stopped the music abruptly and asked Alice to put the guitar up.

“Alright, we’re going to play a game,” he announced. “We’re going to wrestle, and I’m going to win, but here are the rules.” The girls squealed and bounced in place with anticipation. “There will be no screaming. No biting, no pulling hair. You can’t get off the bed.”

My eyes shot over to my purse on the corner on the bed, as well as Bailey’s jewelry box that Gina was told earlier not to play with, positioned carefully on the bedside table next to a few other trinkets. “No props,” I added.

“No props, take your purse,” he instructed me as I tried adjusting Guinevere in one arm so I could grab my purse with the other hand. I quickly left the room. I didn’t need to be there getting myself worked up just watching them wrestle, knowing that I couldn’t easily handle the chaos of simple dancing.

From the other side of the door I heard squeals of laughter, which are far more musical when you’re not watching.