Monday, March 27, 2006

Letter to Katie

April 14, 2005
Hi Katie,

How are you today? I’m glad you enjoyed your quiz and I’m also glad that you did well on it. In answer to some of your questions:

• Ecuador: Um, only if your parents are paying for my ticket and expenses, otherwise the farthest I can go is Pullman. (They could sell one of their planes.)
• The disappearing tree: It’s just a tree whose shadow went perfectly across the sidewalk so that anyone walking would “disappear” for just a second.
• And NO, none of the game players is “Mr. Cheese”. I’ve invited him a couple of times to play, but his only experience with the game was him against a married couple so he hates the game, which is unfortunate because we all have such a fabulous time playing.

You know that all my stories are long and complicated. Here’s the latest one:
When we play “Settlers of Catan” I usually have T.J. as my “pretend” boyfriend for the night. Well, Tennille had a dream that featured T.J. as her date, so I was teasing her about stealing my pretend boyfriend. So, one night T.J. was not available for the game, so I asked Joe if he’d be my pretend boyfriend, he said that he would. Then I found out that Tennille had asked him to the dance on Saturday night. She’s stolen both of my pretend boyfriends. But Joe said he’d be my boyfriend all the way until this Friday...mostly because he’s going on another date with Tennille on Saturday! However, this Sunday Joe was over playing Settlers and he gave me the cutest little compliment...and then he gave me a cupcake. I told Christina that he’s the best pretend boyfriend I’ve ever had. She said that she likes him better than all the other real guys I’ve liked. Joe likes being teased about having two girlfriends and me and her fighting over him. So, it’s good that he’s having fun, too.

Date, engagement, argument and it’s done:
The following is a conversation Joel Harris and I had during church–writing back and forth in my “Happy Bunny” tablet:

ME: Niki is really pretty and very kind and she likes to run–I don’t know how smart she is, but I think you should get to know her better–or are you stuck on blondes?

JOEL: No, but the only time I will run is either from a dog or the cops. I have thought about asking her out though.

ME: Me too (about the running!)–I think we’re meant for each other! What’s the blonde girlie’s name?

JOEL: I don’t think we are sitting next to each other by chance! Chantel.

ME: Oh, yes. I remember. So, do we need to set a goal by when you’ll ask her out–or can you handle it w/out outside help?

JOEL: I can handle it! Hey, let’s date!

ME: Ok, but we need to date at least two weeks before we get engaged.

JOEL: No, better yet, let’s get engaged now! Hell we’re Mormon aren’t we?

ME: Yes–we are! Let the rumors fly! Do you want to date Niki and Chantel first?

JOEL: Ok, back on topic. I really don’t know yet. My family goes by a term: Timing is everything.

ME: Ah, I see...well, good luck then! But, you can be my “pretend boyfriend”.

JOEL: Um.............okay.

(Pause in the writing)

JOEL: You don’t let me breathe...that’s it, we are through.

Joel’s a nut. But a cute one.

James thinks he’s in charge.
So, T.J. and Paul (I don’t know Paul’s last name...he’s listed in my phone as Paul Catan because he’s one of those that we can call if we can’t find a 6th for the game.) came on Sunday night to play Settlers, but they brought this kid in a stripy shirt named James. He comes in, sits down and gets all in-chargy. Well, that didn’t last long at all. Joe (my pretend boyfriend) was being the banker and after James said something dumb Joe said, “Hey, be nice to my girlfriend!” Eventually, I had to let James know, in an ever so subtle yet completely SCORPIO way, that he was not to come into my group and start bossing us all around. Next time at the games there will be no James.

Walnuts and Stradivarius:
John and I went to a trio concert where this gentleman was playing on a million dollar violin. ACK! I don’t even trust myself to hold anything I know costs more than I can make in a month...like any piece of china! I don’t own any expensive jewelry just because it could be lost. I buy most of the things I own at Good Will so if they’re lost or broken I don’t have to feel guilty about it! All I can say is ACK!

A guy walked in and sat down in the row over from us. John said (somewhat incredulously), “He brought a novel.”

“He didn’t have a friend to bring.” I said.

“Thanks for being my friend so I didn’t have to bring a book.” said John.

Anyway, before the concert started I told John that I want to be a cello when I grow up. (He said, “Good luck with that.”) And I was very happy about it because then I’d get to be a tree first for at least 50 years. But then I realized I didn’t know what kind of tree to be. So, I asked “John, do they make violins and cellos out of certain types of wood?” (Because I’d like to be an oak so squirrels will live in me; they could bury the acorns by my toes, run up my body and arms and live in my hair. But in the end I’d probably just be a door, or a shelf, or some cupboards.) He told me that they usually use spruce or walnut trees to make cellos.

The concert began–the page turner was the cutest little old man! He was absolutely adorable! He was kind of a cross between Einstein and Mr. Tudball. The concert was absolutely amazing. It started out with a piece by a Spanish composer and it was actually my favorite of the three pieces. (They played a prelude from Shostakovich at the end which was hauntingly beautiful and ethereal.) The whole thing was so fabulous.

At the end of the concert as we were walking to John’s truck, I said, “If I’m going to be a cello, I’ll have to be a spruce, because I’m allergic to walnuts.”

“I don’t think it works that way.” he said.

“So, if I’m a walnut tree I won’t break out in cankers?” I asked.

“You’ll break out in walnuts.” he said.

I told that story to Trish at work and she enjoyed the childlike way I looked at life (I believe that is the greatest gift God has given to me). Then I told her that maybe I already was a walnut tree and that’s why I’m allergic, because it’s kind of like cannibalism. But, sadly, I don’t remember the cello part of my life. But, maybe that’s why I love them so much...maybe that’s why they speak to my heart like they do.

But I still wish squirrels would live in my hair.

Well, that’s all today...a shorter letter, of sorts.
Love,
Maaike

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