I landed at DFW, gate B44. My flight to Texarkana on the tiny bounce-up-and-down-you-are-for-sure-going-to fall-to-your-death plane was leaving out of B2.
I exercise for a living so this should not be difficult.
But I was wearing my cute little shorty boots with 4-inch heels and these boots were actually not made for walking.
And I was wearing said heels because my jeans are too long and heels are necessary.
Apparently, I’m shrinking. The doctor’s office says 5’4, but my drivers license says 5’5 and drivers license never lie.
These are the jeans that cost more than my car, and to be honest, given the fact that I bought a LEMON from the GRETNA AUTO MALL, they are worth more than my car. These are my jeans that still fit. Not the jeans that became victim to my week-long experimentation with steroids.
By the way, my neck still hurts and Dr. Hynes is a jerk.
Which brings me to the first thing I’ve lost over the past 20 years.
My ability to keep my mouth shut.
And so I said to Dr. Hynes PA, “Your boss is an ass.”
And I said it because it was true.
Anyway. Jeans. Heels.
In the 20-some years that I’ve lived in the midwest, I’ve flown into DFW dozens of times and I always see someone I know.
And I always look tired and hard, as if life has just beaten me right on down and I know they are thinking, “Yikes. Wonder what went wrong in her life!”
But today I was ready. I looked like a million—well, more like a couple hundred—bucks.
My feet hurt and my back hurt and we already know that my neck hurts and DFW is renovating so the entire walk was concrete. I made my way past anything and everything that resembled civilization. The arrows to B2 kept pointing straight ahead. I came to a corridor with not one.
In the Dallas airport, y’all. It’s got to be one of the busiest airports in the country and I was flippin’ alone!
And that’s when it happened. I was in the middle of an NCIS episode. And it was that part where’d you yell at the television, “You stupid woman! What are you doing? Don’t go in there!”
It was clear to me that at any minute the bad guy would appear and everyone would be all sad that I’d been abducted but secretly they’d wonder why I’d been so stupid as to walk down a creepy hallway, alone, past construction, past the very.
“What was she thinking?” Y’all would’ve asked.
Number 2. My inability to understand that my life is not a television drama.
Although sometimes I’m certain I could have my own reality t.v. show.
I found my gate. I sat down at the little computer, plug-in kiosk thing and I take a breath. A gentleman sits down next to me, his, a fine southern-drawl, that reminds me I’m almost home and he says, “I hope I won’t bother you sittin’ here next to ya.”
“Not at all.” I lie.
Oh. My. Gosh. Walk away! Of course you’re bothering me. You are in my bubble. You have popped my bubble.
I can’t breathe.
Number 3. My natural southern-born-ability to make small-talk. Midwesterners, in general, are much more reserved and I seem to have adopted this, in sorts, and I do love people—sorta. I sorta love people—but not this man. Not now.
For the Love of God, please don’t make me talk to this nice man.
“Where ya headed?”
“You know Bud Gentry?”
Everybody knows Bud.
And loves Bud.
Gentry Chevrolet. Where I should’ve bought my car.
My sister called. Thank you sweet Jesus.
I hesitated to answer because I’d forgotten to tell my siblings that I was coming home.
And I was certain that the overhead voices of “last call for flight 5782” would give me away.
#4. My memory.
And I blame my children.
It’s as if when the kiddos come out they hold tight to that piece of you that is able to remember things like telling your siblings you’re coming home.
Last week, Emma Claire asked me at 8:00p.m. what we were having for supper.
Seriously? I need to remember to feed them every night? This feels completely unreasonable and over-the-top.
Emma Claire, probably hungry because we also forgot to eat breakfast, could not begin to comprehend the idea that I was visiting her CeCe And Pop without her.
But I’m here. Without her. 🙂
They are my parents, I explained.
I still have parents! I still get to be the daughter!
And how can you not remember breakfast? I wake up thinking about food.
Over the last 12 years, (#5) I’ve lost the idea that I was a daughter before I became a Mother.
A daughter. Of my parents.
Of the King.
Daughters run off planes excited to see their parents.
Seriously, I forgot how fun that is.
And a daughter is not expected to have all the answers.
A daughter is not expected to understand that life is hard.
Daughters don’t have knots in their neck and knots in their legs and daughters don’t get knots.
Grown-ups do. Mothers do.
A daughter can cry to her mother, “that’s so unfair!”
Yesterday the Mexican woman that has worked (legally) for my parents for the past 25 years spoke about her friends and family who are scared of today.
Mexicans, Hispanics, Mexican-Americans—people—that’s all that really matters, right? People—who are deeply rooted in this community. Mexicans who have revitalized a ghost town. Revitalized a downtown. Brought business and restaurants and bought houses (and paid cash) and the Catholic Church that was a relic? An empty museum that I drove by my entire life? Is now packed throughout the week.
With celebrations. With worship. With people who love Jesus.
And she says, “they’re fleeing”. They are selling their houses and pulling their children from our schools and they are leaving businesses behind and since I’m feeling more like a rebellious daughter than a responsible Mother, I’d like to offer a challenge.
No. Wait. Daughter’s don’t challenge. They dare.
I dare the current administration to visit our little town in Southwest Arkansas. Immigration? Consolidation? The blending of faiths and cultures and languages—the blending of the ultimate step-family? Well. This town got it right. And before we go building walls and ripping apart families, somebody should visit.
And like a child in school, they should take notes.
Ok, where was I?
Number 6. I loss the ability to filter. Wait. Maybe we already covered it, but I’m guessing it bares (bears?) mentioning again.
Number 7. I lost people whom I loved with all my heart. My Grandmother Pearl. My Mammaw, my aunt Betty, my aunt Mooney, my aunt Ida, my aunt Ann. Incredibly strong women who are completely to blame for the aforementioned #6. 🙂
Number 8. I lost weight. And I gained weight. And I lost weight again. And I took steroids and my zipper broke. When my aunt Betty was a young mother, my Grandmother Pearl told her to “throw away the damn books.”
Trust your instincts.
Throw away the damn scales.
Eat healthy and trust your body.
(About half of my clients just rolled their eyes. I know. It’s OK. Keep the damn scales!) 🙂
Number 9. I lost my way. A thousand times, I lost my way. Not all who wander are lost, but I was.
Amazing grace. I once was lost but now I’m found.
Number 10. My keys. My shoes. My mind. My sunglasses.
I know. I know. If you buy cheap sunglasses you don’t care if you lose them, but after one summer of wearing those big black “over” sunglasses (the sunglasses you wear over regular glasses) I decided it was time to invest in nice shades or be alone forever.
The last time I lost them, I drove all over town retracing my steps only time find them in the cereal cupboard.
Because, duh. That’s where you’d put them if the first thing you thought about when you got home was cereal.
I also lost my wallet once. It was underneath the lawnmower.
That’s all for now. I’d try to come up with something profound to end, but I’m at home (daughter!) My mom is making sweet treats while my Dad (who can no longer eat anything but dry barely) is at work. I will eat my sweet treats, have a pedicure and then my dad and I are spending the day at the farm.
Who knows what we’ll lose there.
Who knows what we’ll find!