Sunday, August 21, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
“Hiya, babe! I’m Emily!” gushed a full-figured brunette, her bubble gum smacking loudly between her pearly white teeth. “It’s sooooo fabulous to finally meet you.” She turned to my brother and, with serpentine precision, tightened her manicured fingers around his arm. Her voice was piercing as she squealed, “Trevor has told me so much about his darling little sister!” She successfully reached a pitch that is only audible to canines.
I think it is important to note that I generally dislike emotional generalizations like “love at first sight” and “immediate dislike.” However, I now understand the place cliché holds in awkward first meetings. From minute one, I did not like her. I did not like her one bit. Her fluttering eyelashes made me dizzy. The flighty and flirtatious giggle exploding out of her heavily glossed lips made me nauseous. Her excessively strong, ten-dollar perfume made me want to puke. As decided by my dramatic ten year-old brain, being in her presence was more than I could bear. I could not stand her. Death would be more pleasurable than her unfortunate company.
I was doodling in my sixth grade history class one day, and instead of coloring my map of Mesopotamia, I drew a picture for Trevor. It featured an oversized crimson heart and the words “I LOVE MY BROTHER!” smeared across it in black Mr. Sketch. When I gave Trevor my artistic masterpiece after school, he praised it and immediately hung it on his ceiling. That way, he explained with a smile, he could look at it as he fell asleep.
Unfortunately, the attention-hungry Emily was not as touched by my gesture. In fact, she was infuriated when she saw my banner hanging above Trevor’s bed. She couldn’t stand that his last conscious thought before drifting to sleep revolved around the comforting admiration of his sister, and not his girlfriend. My brother did love Emily, but not as much as he loved me. Why, Emily must have thought, would he want to spend time with his stupid… SISTER… She probably spat the horrid word and stomped it into the pavement under her knee-high pleather boots. Why would he rather be with her than me? Trevor and I have always had a fantastic relationship, despite the fact that he always calls “age-has-priority” when I want to sit in the front seat. Emily hated my sixth-grade guts for this reason, and she wanted to strip him from me. Thus began the war of the women in Trevor’s life.
I can almost imagine Emily sneaking into his room with a manila folder under her arm and a roll of scotch tape gripped in her fierce claws, her teeth bared in frightful determination. Trevor’s bed squeaks as she clambers onto its frame. I can see her back straighten and her precariously balanced form stretch toward the ceiling. From the manila folder, she extracts her revenge. Then, as quietly as she had entered our house, she leaves.
“SHE DID WHAT?” I cried. My eyes widened in disbelief. My mouth went dry.
“Come look for yourself if you don’t believe me,” Trevor chuckled. I could not understand how he found this situation amusing. I did not find it funny at all, not one bit. As I stumbled down the hall to Trevor’s bedroom, I heard traces of Emily’s shrill laughter reverberating off the walls, and my heart beat quickened. I reached Trevor’s door and curled the fingers of my right hand around the brass knob. With a slight turn, the door creaked open. I slipped through the crack. I was in.
And there it was.
Savagely taped on top—not next to, but ON TOP—of where my drawing should have been was an enlarged photograph of Emily’s face. Her two front teeth were the size of my thumbs, such was the magnitude of the poster. Her lips were curled in a successful sneer, the impact of which was enhanced by her sparkling eyes. They were cooing he’s mine, Megan. He is mine. I will take him, and you will never see him again… Static video clips of real-life events quickly joined these imagined words. She was sobbing on our carpet because Trevor wouldn’t let her paint his fingernails an obnoxious flamingo pink. She was sticking out her bottom lip in a disgusting pout, yet again. The next moment, she was bubbly and flitting around our house like Glinda the Good Witch. She was lovely and endearing; who wouldn’t adore her? And then, she was pulling me aside and hissing at me, telling me to stay away from my brother. These memories came bursting into my head like fireworks until I could not endure them any longer. I let out a frustrated growl that built into a window-breaking scream. “She is absolutely insane!” I roared. “How on earth can you be dating her?” Trevor flashed that smile again, and he chuckled softly, his eyes cast to the floor. “She’s not half bad, Meg. I like her…”
It was impossible for me to like her. She was the Voldemort to my Harry Potter. She had tried to kill me, I survived, and now I could only wait for a final showdown. My family backed me up by jokingly calling her “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” However, to me, this female specimen was nothing to joke about. She was an evil wizard when it came to devious behavior; I was just a battle-worn student in tattered robes, limping blindly through my counter-attack. I was in way over my head. However, I knew that I had to get my brother back somehow. It was just a matter of logistics. How could I get Trevor to see the demon I saw? How could I free my brother of the flattery he had imbibed so readily?
It turned out that a stick of butter and a crummy transmission would solve all of my problems. One night, my family, and the parasitic Emily, decided it might be fun to watch a movie. Trevor volunteered himself to make the popcorn, and Emily offered to stand in the kitchen and watch him work. My parents gave me “the nod,” which meant I would be resuming my appointed role as chaperone to the sick lovebirds, a calling that I hated above all else. I inconspicuously peered over the counter, memorizing their every move. With every pass her fingers made through his hair, I cringed. Her giggles were masked by the sound of dancing popcorn kernels, but they were still audible to my poor ears. Then, salvation quickly came.
Trevor pulled away from Emily and stalked into the family room, pretending not to see me crouched between the counter barstools. He explained to my parents that we were out of butter. This was not a tragedy, they replied, for Trevor could easily drive to a church member’s house several blocks away and borrow some. Trevor and Emily grabbed the keys to Emily’s white Volvo and were almost out the door when Trevor yelled back, “Wait, which house is theirs again?” I will be grateful for this question forever, for it was then that my parents replied, “For goodness’ sake, take your sister with you. She knows where it is.”
I hopped in the backseat of Emily’s manual transmission coupe and slid into the middle of the bench. Emily sat in the passenger’s seat, tapping her fingernails restlessly on the center console, waiting for Trevor to place the keys into the ignition and start the car.
We were speeding through my neighborhood, and something happened. Trevor did something wrong. At the time, I did not know what it was. I am not positive that I understand even now, with my limited knowledge of stick shift. However, the car stalled. It convulsed a few times and then came to a grateful stop. Emily hit Trevor’s arm playfully and howled his name. Her lips formed a strong pout.
“Why did you do that, baby?” came her question. “You’re going to wear out my poor transmission.” She painfully drew out the “n” in a grating whine. Trevor threw back a comment about how he didn’t mean to and then softened with a quick, “I’m sorry.”
“No,” Emily stated firmly. “My car doesn’t like that. It doesn’t like that at all. It is very upset right now, Trevor John.” From my place in the vehicle, I had a perfect seat for the histrionic freak show that was taking place.
“Kiss the dashboard,” Emily demanded. Trevor wrinkled his nose and shot her a quizzical glance. What on earth? I wondered. The two Botts children sat in stunned silence. Then, the words came again, this time with more force. “Kiss. The. Dashboard.”
“No, Emily,” Trevor replied, “that’s dumb. I’m not going to kiss your dashboard.” I crossed my legs, leaned back in my seat, and smiled at the ceiling.
Emily’s face turned to marble for a brief second, and then she exploded into fury. Her voice became frantic. She cried out, “TREVOR! My car is very upset right now. It would help GREATLY if you would just KISS THE…!”
“Get out, Megan,” Trevor interrupted. “We’re walking home.” I un-clicked my seatbelt and slinked out the door, missing the last words that Trevor said to Emily. She was shrieking, “Kiss it! Trevor, KISS IT!” as she removed herself from the car and stormed around the hood. With a wild cry, she launched herself at Trevor and began pounding his chest with her fists like a crazed Barbary ape. Lifting her head skyward, she screamed with space-expansive force, sending the terrified moon clambering behind the distant mountains. Jumping into the driver’s seat, she drove off, leaving us in a cloud of dust and exhaust.
“Well, she’s bipolar… isn’t she?” Trevor mumbled, as he turned back in the direction of our house. His Etnies slid along the sidewalk in a dejected shuffle.
“More like octi-polar,” I quipped. His lips spread into a soft smile.
He one-upped me with, “More like mentally unstable,” and his face broke out into a huge grin. I hadn’t seen that same carefree grin for quite some time.
He pulled me safely under his protective arm and slowed to match my gait.
“You know what?” I giggled. “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
- I'm grateful for all these lovely people. Preston, Scout, and Tate. They are all such wonderful friends (as are most of you guys :) ) who are so strong. I was telling Lauren, "I'm so grateful for all my friends Lo. I mean, we're friends, but we're friends in the gospel too."
- I don't know if you can tell, but on the left is my aquarium. Flip, I love that thing. When I was little, I'd hide in the cupboards from my dad. I remember when I was finally allowed to stand on the stool all by myself, and pour in the shrimp/kelp mixture to watch my fix hungrily devour it. I am grateful for my aquarium, and all the memories that come with it.
- I'm grateful for my fire place. It's over on the right, and when I was a lil' nugget, I would perform on it. Thus started my singing/dancing/acting career. Such a wonderful stage.
- I'm grateful for my mouth in it's current condition. It sounds silly, but after you've had 20 teeth extracted, 8 or 9 oral surgeries, and two years with braces, you become grateful you're not getting ready or recovering with something orally.
- I'm grateful for that necklace I'm wearing. You can't see, but it's a lock I got in Virginia at an antique store. I was with my sisters, and we found this lock. From 1896. And on the back, it says "For Mary." So now, it's destiny for me to name my child Mary, and bequeath it unto her.
- With Tate and Preston in this picture, I am so grateful for the priesthood. I think we often take this for granted, since most of us have father's blessings at the beginning of the school year. But year after year, my mom always reminds us, "Kids, be so grateful there is a worthy priesthood holder in this house. Because you all know, I didn't have these blessings when I was younger." Then we all sigh, and say "Yeah, we know mom."
- Even though it's technically not pictured, I'm grateful for my computer and a built in web cam. Last night, I talked to my brother face to face via Skype for the first time in over a year. Me and my parents were surrounded around the computer, laughing about some silly student and golden teeth.
- I'm grateful for my hair. It sounds conceited, but really. Every morning as I brush it I look in the mirror at how blessed I am with my genetics. For reals, the combination of my mom and dad's genes gave me really long silky soft hair. Don't believe me? Stroke it for yourself sometime :)
- I'm grateful for fuzzy sweaters. The one I was wearing is from Old Navy and oh so cozy for those chilly Utah winters.
- I'm grateful for my house. It was completed just a few months before it was born, so we are both approaching the ripe age of 18. This is the only house I've grown up in, and there are so many memories and adventures here.
- In the middleish area, is my TV. My television that we hook up my daddy's laptop to watch mormon messages. Or watch Modern Family, The Middle, or Psych together. It is a sin in my house to watch a new episode of one of these shows without one of us being there. It makes it more exciting.
- My couch. Silly? Maybe. It's where family prayers are every night. Without fail, at 10 o'clock, my dad will be over there, kneeling and patiently waiting for my mom to wipe the counters, or finish washing her face. We also squish on the couch for General conference, FHE, or just to tell them stories about my day.
- Umm... seeing Tate's glasses, I'm grateful for my vision. Really, I'm the only person in my family who hasn't worn or currently wears glasses. For reals. 1 out of 7. Yeah, I'm unique :)
- I love braiding my hair and I'm grateful I can do that. I used to get so frustrated when I was little I'd just burst into my mom's room my hair full of knots and tears on my face.
- I'm grateful for my phone. I'm grateful for the scriptures of the week it helps me send. And I'm grateful for all the sweet messages I receive.
- I'm grateful for heat and air conditioning. Really. I would totally die if I was a pioneer and just had to be chill with a log fire and a quilt all the time.
- I'm grateful for making friends. Like Scout. It was totally random, her grandma just called and said "My grand daughter is here, will you play with her." But oh, Scout how I'm so glad we're friends now.
- I love that my Mac can make pictures look cool
- I'm grateful that we have a beautiful computer. To quote Miss Kim, "Well, in my day, computers took up an ENTIRE ROOM!"
- I'm grateful for my body. That if I scrape myself, I know it'll heal on it's own. If I get sick, it will take care of itself. I'm grateful that I can move it in the ways I can with dance and everything.
- I'm grateful for the snow. I love skiing, snowball fights, making snowmen, and a good ol' cup of Moe :)
- I'm grateful for my smile. Each morning, I try to give myself the cheesiest, biggest smile in the mirror. It helps me start my day off fabulously.
- I'm grateful I can make goofy faces in pictures, and that people will still love me.
- I'm grateful that this house is a loving, welcoming, and happy environment.
- I'm grateful for love. That I love all these people dearly. That I love YOU blog reader dearly. Really, thanks for taking the time out of the day to entertain my insanity :)