Saturday, April 2, 2011

Virtuous, here I come...

Because unknown forces in the universe work against any attempt for perfection, here was how my first day to becoming Elizabeth turned out:

I awoke to daybreak, my alarm clock beeping furiously.  It was almost 7 in the morning and I cannot remember the last time I woke up this late.  The extent of my prayer went something like this, "Oh, my Lord, I'm late for work!"  And I ran to the window, peered into the streets which confirmed that indeed, it is no longer dark.  I said a couple of acceptable, Christian profanities and planted my feet slightly apart on the floor.  I bent forward to touch my knees, the extent of my flexibility.  One, two, three.  There.  I stretched.  Then, like a derailed train, I proceeded to get myself and daughter ready for work and school.

I walked into work ten minutes late.  Shoot, shoot, shoot!  Epic failure on the first day but no worries, there was always tomorrow.  I examined myself in the bathroom mirror and grimaced--this was not the picture of beauty.  Crumpled hair, crusts in the corner of my eyes.  I am shaming Elizabeth!

The following day was much better.  I got up before 6AM--5:59AM to be exact (I'm serious!).  I had time to say a prayer with several phrases and then I walked in my daughter's bedroom.  Stretch time, baby!  I placed an arm in an angle over my head and pulled.  I'm sure I didn't do it right based on the searing pain that shot up from the back of my neck to the crown of my head.  I went for the knee stretch, then the cat pose.  I liked the cat pose because it was the least painful, which probably means I did it correctly, I hope.

Because the morning before was short of humiliating, I heated up my flat iron while I showered.  And then, I made myself beautifully acceptable.  My husband said, "Be careful out there.  You look extra pretty today and you know how that can go."  I nodded, yea, yea, not knowing what that meant.  I felt good.  I was awake while it was yet dark, I had prayed (somewhat), and I had stretched (somewhat), and for good measure, I spent some time on myself.  It was going to be a good day.

I opened the door.  It was raining.  My hair slowly but surely, started sticking up.  I didn't know who to yell at.  At work, the girls said, "You straightened your hair on a rainy day?"

I could hear Elizabeth laughing.  But wait, she wouldn't do that.  She'd smile at me approvingly for trying.  But there was laughter somewhere, probably from my coworkers.

I went to my second job later that day after trying to call out--again.  People were happy to see me.  I was proud of myself for being accountable.  Then I went to the kitchen, and there it was.  Brownies.  I had bonded with my sister on her journey to a 90 day no-sugar diet and I had done real good, including drinking bitter coffee, for two days.  Anyone who knows me knows I would probably sell my left kidney for a brownie.  I heard Elizabeth speak:
               Elizabeth:  Don't do it, Chic.  It's not worth it.  You made a commitment.
                       Me:  It's the size of my pinky.
               Elizabeth:  It's a matter of principle, which reflects your character.  You made a commitment.
                       Me:  It's Kosher.
               Elizabeth:  You made a commitment.
                      Me:   (Grab the brownie, shove it in my mouth, chewed and swallowed without tasting.)
               Elizabeth: Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!

Needless to say, I returned to the dining room of this residential home where I treat a special needs child feeling like an absolute idiot.  A brownie, the size of a pinky.  And I was having such a good day.

I can only blame my poor start to these unseen forces in the universe.  Clearly, they don't want another Elizabeth to exist.

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