Friday: go home. Eat KFC. Fix hair. Persuade Cody to change his shirt. Go to his company's Christmas party. I met his boss, and a few of the people he works with. We sat with his cousin and his girlfriend and talked with them a little bit and met some of the people his cousin works with. Then the founder of the firm gave a speech about Christmas parties past, and their plans for the future. Then we talked to another person or two and went home, making it to the road before anyone else. Then we went to Blockbuster before it closed and rented a couple of movies and bought The Best Christmas Present Ever For Robert. I'm pretty proud of it. I can't say what it is, but if you come over, I'll show it to you. We watch Superbad and laugh at the foul hilarity.
Saturday: sleep late. Call Mom to wish her a happy birthday. Shower. Dress. Eat at Kierre's. Discuss gift ideas with Spencer and Cody's grandma. Go to Pier One and buy wonderful, glitter-laden ornaments for various people while talking on the phone with Levi. Go to Best Buy and react with astonishment at all the things they don't have. Return the movie. Go to the Asian grocery just to see what they have. Buy tea. Go to Hobby Lobby (did you hear that? Yeah, that was an angel choir.). See Elizabeth Drye with her mom and sister. [Tangent: I keep running into people I know and it really startles me. I don't think I've gotten over living in Conway, where the only person I ever ran into was my sister. So now I see people like Brad in Kroger and Elizabeth in Hobby Lobby, and I get incredibly awkward and I'm afraid I look terrified. It's pretty painful. I'll adapt. And then we'll probably move.] Buy more wonderful ornaments. Guess what you're probably getting for Christmas. Eat a pizza. Watch the movie Cody picked out, Who Killed the Electric Car? and wrap presents. Badly. The movie was...okay. I guess I should call it a documentary. Anyhoo. We drank the tea. We felt sleepy and sick. Cody went to bed around 9:30 and didn't get up until I told him to at 11:30 or so the next day. I couldn't fall asleep until 2, so I passed the time cleaning up the wrapping mess I made in the living room, loading the dishwasher, knitting, and watching my favorite insomniac movie, The Exorcist. Part of the sleeping problem was the result of the people upstairs. I do not love my neighbor. My neighbor is fat and clumsy and makes a lot of noise for everything he does, causing the lights to shake, and sometimes flicker. They also sit on their balcony, smoking and talking on cell phones. Unfortunately, my neighbor is one of those people who talks loudly on a cell phone, I assume to feel important. And, it turns out he's in a band. Did I mention that I wrapped presents and we watched a movie to the sounds of (we think) crappy Christian band practice? Yes, my neighbor is in a band that (1) sucks and (2) fights. The yelling did not stop until some time after 2. In the morning. I desperately wanted to go up there in my bathrobe and let them know that if they hadn't gotten the problem straightened out by then, they probably weren't going to have it settled that night so they should just go home and try again later. I have not experienced anything like that in a while. Probably ever, because the Jenna and Taylor cage matches in college were usually dealt with by R.A.s, and the drunk fighting girl who was our neighbor in Conway was usually pretty quick to pass out. Bleh.
Sunday: Wake up at 3:30, turn off the TV, and go to bed. Sleep wayyyy through church. Decide to stick with Earl Grey and green teas for a while. Go to the grocery store. Run other errands. Eat supper with Jeff and Alana. Cody goes to his mom's house to download podcasts, and I stay at home in favor of playing Trivial Pursuit: 90s edition. Jeff wins. Fine. We discuss gift-giving and party-hosting and an elaborate car-swapping, ride-sharing scheme that will no longer have to be put in place. Here's how it would've worked. Cody and I would have met my mom and sister in North Little Rock and given Mom my car so that she could go to her grandmother's funeral. Then Cody would have dropped me off at work the next day. Since Cody gets off later than I do, we just thought I'd wait around for him to pick me up. Then we'd meet Mom and Sara again and I'd get my car. No big deal. Except for the part where we forgot Cody had his Spanish final Tuesday night. Big deal. If he didn't get out of his final till later, when would we meet Mom? You really don't want to rush finals, especially for the one class he needs to pass to finally get his degree! (By the way, Sara and Cody have finals tomorrow. Prayers are welcome, and in fact begged for at this point. Also, if you want to pray for Mom and Dad and my mom's family right now, I know they'd appreciate it. And all those who can't be at home this Christmas. And that Levi gets a job with Bill Davis Racing. That's it for now. I am completely serious. Thank you. I am more than willing to return the favor.) So we enlisted the help of Jeff, who would be picking me up and then driving me to North Little Rock, where I told him my mom and maybe even my sister would probably hug him, which seemed to be all the encouragement he needed.
Monday: Mom finally gets her birthday present in the mail. I can finally stop worrying about the package and feel pretty smug that I got a gift she enjoys so much--2 Burl Ives Christmas CDs. The smugness fades when she says she can't wait for us all to listen to them for the holidays and is replaced by some apprehension. But I also find out that she and Dad will be able to go the funeral together, which I'm glad for. I begin knitting a scarf and discover that I probably won't have enough yarn to finish it. Bella Lana, why did you have to close shop before Christmas?! Another important fact about Monday: today is Kelly's birthday. I love her, quite a lot, really. Throughout college, she was one of my educational heroes. She's seriously one of the smartest people I know. Not just wise, or knowledgeable, or well-read (and she's all those things, too). She is smart. You don't even know. She is the queen of legible, articulate, and thoughtful marginalia. She is now a teacher, which makes me feel a little better about the future of students in Arkansas. She rocks at notecards. She's tall. She's unexpectedly hilarious and witty. She has a great sense of style. She's smart. Nearly every time her name comes up in a conversation, Cody will smile, sigh, and say, "Oh, Kelly. She's such a sweetheart." In a lot of ways, she's what I've always wanted to be. Which means, because it is her birthday, I feel obligated to tell her:
"Did you ever know that you're my herooooo
And everything Iiiiii would like to beeeee?
I can fly higher than an eeeeaglllllle
For you are the wind beneath my wiiiiiings."
(I actually felt a little teary typing this.) She used to email that to me sometimes, and has even serenaded me with a couple of lines before I would run away, mortified but laughing. I hope she has a wonderful birthday. In conclusion, Kelly: Flyyyyyyyyyy, flyyyyyyyyy, flyyyyyyyy!!!!