Thursday, June 26, 2008

AVADIJ- Paths, Part Six

My child, don’t go along with them!
Stay far away from their paths.
Proverbs 1:15

First, an announcement. I'm participating in a summer book giveaway carnival. You can go here to see all the other participants, and here to enter to win my little contest. Enjoy!

If you're just joining us on the Paths series, and you have a few hours to waste would like to get caught up on the first five installments, you can do it all at once by clicking here, or in smaller bite-sized pieces by clicking: part one, part two, part three, part four,and part five.

So, we last left off when I had been dumped by the boyfriend that I just wasn't all that into, and I was starting to really become aware of how much I just didn't like myself when I used people. With that little handy information, I trekked off onto my own little path of new adventures. I was still trying to measure my value by the Boy Standard, and found myself coming up miserably short. My diary at this point was very sporadic, writing here and there about crushes and outfits and hair and friends. I wrote briefly about M, the foreign exchange student boyfriend whom I grew bored of and then cut loose, my discovery of Spandex, and the end of the year excitement. I would soon be a senior!

Toward the end of the school year I wrote about a boy I saw across the school- I was amazed at how beautiful he was. Seriously, the best looking boy I had ever seen in real life. It was like a slow motion movie, watching him rake his tan hand through his blonde hair and grin at me as he walked by. I couldn't stop thinking about him. One day, when I was in the school cafeteria, I found myself on the opposite side of the salad bar from him. I was so nervous, but I knew I had to say something. I ran through all the possibilities in my head of what to say, and eventually came up with a classic... as he poured his dressing over his salad, it spilled overflowing over the side of his bowl. I opened my mouth and out poured the words that were sure to win him over; "You're dripping."

Yes, that's right. That's the brilliance of my social skills at work, my friends....and thus started the conversation that dreams are made of. He asked me for help showing him around the school, told me he couldn't believe he found a girl who didn't have those dorky puffy bangs, wrapped his arm around my waist and kissed me.

not really.

here's what actually happened:

me: "you're dripping."
Logan*: "huh?"
me: "You're dripping. salad dressing. oh your hand."
him: "oh well."

me: (to self) dorkdorkdorkdorkdorkdorkdorkdork.

It wasn't long, though, before he somehow found his way into my social circle. I set to trying to set him up with friends as a brilliant scheme of making him like me. (so so so stupid!) Over the summer I attempted to pair him up with a neighbor friend, but it didn't take. He would ride his bike to my house to talk to me about his girl problems and I would patiently listen, just waiting for him to open his eyes and see the real me. It wasn't going fast enough. I tried even being direct. Someday, I said, I will be beautiful. Then you will be sorry that you didn't fall in love with me early in the game, before you'll have to take a number. He laughed. I died inside.

I diverted my attentions by dating another boy that summer for a while, starting a job waitressing at a local family diner, and hanging out with friends. School started again, I felt all grown up, and I was enjoying the freedom of driving and having my own money. I cruised in to school each day in my red hand-me-down Nissan Sentra blasting the B-52s (tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin roof! rusted!) decked out in whatever getup I adopted as my 'Senior Look' and my Ray-Bans.

The exact chronology is sketchy here, but at some point, Logan told me that he thought my best friend was pretty. When I told her I could tell that she liked him too. I was of course heartbroken, but thought that if I helped them get together, that would somehow make me feel better. So, of course, in the interest of helping them find their true love connection, Logan and I began talking on the phone every day. One day, he called and asked me to babysit his sisters so he could go into work unexpectedly. I dutifully responded, as what else is a girl to do? That's what friends are for, right?

--2008 sidebar---

We'll get back into the story in a second, but I want to interject something important... Here's the thing. I'm not going to be able to wrap today's installment of this series up with a great spiritual truth, because to be honest, I had at this stop in the road not one spiritual thought in my head. I'm telling this story with a point in mind, but it'll be impossible for you to get until you know all this back story. I want you to have a clear look at this path I chose for myself, and when you hear what happens further down the road, Glorify God with me for the amazing miracle He did in my life, and can do in yours, and in our children's, and in the lives of those out there you think have walked away forever. I would much rather skip to the end and just tell of the joys of walking on a path that He laid out for me, but I feel I can't do that unless you see the path I let myself get guided by

--- back to 1989---

also, if you should happen to be my mother or my husband, you need to be done reading now. Catch me back in a couple installments. It's for the best, trust me.

So, as I am babysitting Logan's sisters, his parents come home. I explain where Logan went, and that he should be back any minute, and by the way, my name is Amber, nice that I am no longer a stranger in charge of your children. At that moment, Logan comes home from work, all handsome-y and charming and he thanks me for bailing him out, grabs a glass of water from the fridge and tells me he wants to show me something. As we walk to the back of his ranch-style house, he put his hand on my back to kind of guide me down the hall, giving me a sort of tour of the rest of the house that I had been too nervous to explore while I was babysitting. I totally felt all shaky and happy and terrified as I let him lead me past the bathrooms with the floral wallpaper, past his parent's Laura Ashley bedroom and past his sister's rooms with the Lisa Frank stickers on their bedroom doors. As we turned the corner to his room................

oh, what's that? time to put in a load of laundry? oh shucks... guess I'll have to continue this story later....

*names changed to protect me from looking like fool the innocent.


bcolmer said...

Even though I was there...I am hanging on every word. I love the way you tell a story. Don't forget the part about me giving your name in detention...hahaha!!!!

Praise God he brought us through all that.


Suzanne said...

This is like starting to read a good book and every time you just begin to get into the story someone grabs the book out of your hands! LOL Seriously, I can't wait for the next installment. :)

Gretchen said...

Brat. Leaving me hanging like that. Oh, honey. That these angsty times could glorify God is so amazing. Almost makes it worth going thru them.


Becky said...

I looove your writing style. I can so identify with so many of your same growing pains...and life in the late 80's, lol.

With the teens at church and with my son, I often have to dredge up the backstory, to show them how it wasn't pretty...but how God worked it all out for His honor and glory.

And that's what He has done with you...all that 'turmoil' of your youth He has "worked for the good" as is evident in your life today.

Jenster said...

Oh Amber. I'm not entirely sure where this is going, but what a familiar story it is. Thank you, though, for letting yourself be vulnerable. It's the only way God will be glorified.

BTW - I listened to the B-52s when I was in highschool, too. But then it was Rock Lobster and STrobe Light. Does anyone even know those songs? Everybody seems to think Love Shack was their start, but they'd been around for a while before that.

Linda said...

Wow-you have a gift for narrative!

Beck said...

Oh my goodness, a cliffhanger! You write so beautifully - and I can relate so much to the mixture of naivety and bravado. Wonderfully done.

Genny said...

Talk about a cliff hanger! LOL. I love your honesty.

Alana said...

Aaackk! It is just not nice to leave a girl hanging like that ;-)

So tell me, will your husband and Mom really stop reading???? I know I wouldn't.

His Girl said...

b- I totally wasn't going to include that part, but now I will since you gave the okay!

jenster- oh yeah, loved the B52s long before Love Shack! but that cosmic thing album shall forever be associated in my heart with my sentra!

alana- let's all hope they do. it won't be an enjoyable read for them pretty dern soon!!

all- sorry about the cliffhangers, but there's only so much you would want to read in one sitting anyway, right? this is a looooong story!

Earen said...

Oh can't just continue to leave us hanging like that. I assume I might know where this is going, but I'm not for sure so I'll try to wait patiently to read your next installment! Ahhhh!!!

Scrapper Mom said...

Oh My Gosh! What a great story. It's almost like my own teenage boy chasing days! I love it. I got this crazy boo thing going on too and since I'm new to the blog world, I haveno idea what it is and what to do about it.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

i'm just now catching up on all these posts...


Halfmoon Girl said...

Oh the suspense. I totally did the "tin roof, RUSTY!" along with you! Now I am going to go find the next part...

Jenn said...

Glad I do not have to wait - off to read it now...