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Words Hurt, Man -- The Sequel

Monday, November 23, 2015

So, after what happened to me at the last place I got my nails done, I decided to try this other place my friend Sarah suggested that is also close to where I live.

I arrived a little after 10 a.m. Saturday, after having taken a yoga class. There was no one in there when I arrived except for a lady, a man, and the cutest little girl, whom I found out later was their 3-year-old daughter.

The salon was nice, clean, and welcoming, and the lady started soaking my old polish off. When it was time to apply my new polish, the guy took over. He asked me what I did, and I told him I was a teacher, and he said how nice that was. Now, whereas I am perfectly content to sit there in silence, apparently some people are not, and you will never guess what happened next.

"So, do you have a fiance or a boyfriend?"

PLEASE IMAGINE THE LOOK ON MY FACE AT THIS TIME?! Like are there NO nail salons in Huntington where the (to date, always male) nail tech will not ask this?!

So, because I am not a liar I reply, "No, I don't."

And he said, "Oh, okay, not ready?"

To which I reply by looking up at the TV on the wall where Bob Ross is painting and thinking to myself that I am soon going to have to leave the dang city to get my nails done.

He goes on to talk about something else, I'm not even sure what to be honest, and then he says, "When do you think you will be ready get a boyfriend?"

At this time I realize I have a few options: 1. Say something incredibly rude and/or sarcastic, 2. Blow him off with some sort of nothing answer, or 3. Use this time to educate him in the hopes he will not talk to another person like this in the future.

As much as I wanted to go with 1, I went with 3. So I said, "I'm not saying I'm not ready now. I'm saying that it's not really up to me. I assume it will happen in whatever time God has planned for me."

He started to say something here, but I wasn't done.

"... and, you know what? The thing is, maybe it will never happen. And why should that be my goal anyway? I have a job I love, a nice family, and great friends. I have a very nice life, and this is not some sort of problem I have."

He says, "That is awesome."

So, I'm really glad I stood up for myself this time. The only thing I wish I would have added was this:

"And since I'm telling you all this, sir, I want to advise you to perhaps reconsider what you plan to say to your lovely daughter when she gets older. Perhaps talk to her about her interests, her personality, and her career goals, and not push her into thinking that life is some big marriage waiting room and if she doesn't marry she's somehow failed at something."

And this guy is not the only person I've ever met who needs to hear this. People of the world -- just stop. STOP. Stop asking single people you know why they're not dating anyone/when they will be dating anyone/how sad it is they're not dating anyone. Why should we spend our days acting like our lives are some sort of dress rehearsal for the real thing? Because, intended or not, that is EXACTLY what you are saying.

Perhaps I'm not dating anyone because God's plan for me is to educate all the nail techs in the greater Huntington area how to appropriately make conversation with people. And clearly that's going to take a while. :)

"We Took Lunch Count and Attendance"

Thursday, November 12, 2015

For the past five weeks, I've spent Thursdays at a local high school for my clinical for grad school. (Don't ask. That's a story for another day, but if you are a praying person, please pray for me.) There is another teacher at my school that handles my homeroom for me when I am not there on Thursdays. I always leave a sheet of paper on my desk for her that allows her to take attendance and lunch count.

In case I've never said it before, my homeroom is eighth grade. There are 11 boys and 1 girl in that class, and this is the second year I've had them. They are a rambunctious bunch, but I dearly (DEARLY) love them because they are my people, you know?

So, I get back to Fatima today around 2:55, just in time to see my kids before they leave for the day. I walk into my classroom and look at the white board to find several notes and funny things written on there by my students. For example, I always do a "thought of the day" on my board, but it was blank today since I wasn't there. Well, I mean I left it blank. When I got there there was a quote on there. It said:

It's a good day when nobody dies. 

I was cracking. up. Because ... true, right?

But what made me laugh even harder was not only did my students write me notes, they also used improper apostrophes in their notes -- and even added improper apostrophes to some things I'd already had written on the board -- just because they knew it'd drive me crazy. For example, what that thought of the day actually said was:

It's a good day when nobody die's. 

AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH.

HAHA.

They came in the room to get their backpacks at just the moment I was standing there laughing. That's when they told me the amazing news -- apparently the teacher who covers for me on Thursdays wasn't able to get there this morning, so the kids were left there alone. YIKES! But guess what they told me they did?

"Well, Miss Lafferre, C found that paper on your desk, so M took lunch count and attendance."

YOU SAT THERE AND DID LUNCH COUNT AND ATTENDANCE?!?

I mean, really?

They did. Also, they PUT IT IN THE DOOR BOX so the school secretary could pick it up. WHAT?!

I said, "And everyone stood for prayer and did the pledge?"

"Yeah, we did."

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THESE KIDS.

Now, granted, apparently my class clown, G, ordered himself two lunches and a milk today and got called to the office to explain himself later, but in the grand scheme of things how terrible was that really?

I mean these kids took attendance and lunch count today, stood for the prayer and the pledge, took down all the chairs off the desks (where we put them so the custodian can sweep), and stayed until 8:05 when the first period bell rang.

They also left me many funny board decorations.

Maybe they do like me after all.

Words Hurt Man

Monday, November 9, 2015

On Friday I stayed at school for a couple extra hours in the late afternoon, and I had to be at the Junior League building to volunteer at 6:30. I had also recently gotten a $20 refund from my doctor's office (and how often does THAT happen?), I decided to treat myself to a manicure between school and volunteering.

My usual place is a bit out of the way, so I decided to go to a place that was really close to my volunteer site.

And, oh, how I wish I hadn't.

My manicure looks great, no problems there. No, the problem was with my encounter. Please, read on.

So this older guy starts doing my nails, and he asks me if I had been at work that day. I say yes, and then he asks me what I do. So I proudly tell him that I am a teacher! (I love being able to say that so much, by the way.) His reply?

"Oh, that's great, you get so much time off!"

Yep. You got it, sir. That is exactly the reason I am a teacher. However did you guess?

It only went downhill from there. Next, he asked if I was married. I said no. Then he asked me if I had a boyfriend (not sure why any of this is his business, by the way), and I said no. So he said:

"Ohhhhhh, still single?"

I mean REALLY. Like being single is some sort of marriage waiting room, not an actual real life. So I say, "Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with that."

I thought that was a nice way of getting him to change topics (or shut up), but I was wrong. Because THEN he said:

Him: "Well, you're probably not as old as my daughter. She's 26."
Me: "Actually I'm 31."
Him: "REALLY?! REALLY?!"
Me: "Um, yeah, I wouldn't lie about it. That's my age."
Him: "Well you should really think about having a baby because 32, 33, 34 -- that's about how long you have."

I. MEAN. REALLY. REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?

So I didn't say anything because, you know, if you can't say anything nice ...

Turns out that doesn't always help because apparently it encourages the other person to keep talking. Which this guy did. And he said, "Well, don't you want to have a baby?"

And it was at this point that I said, "I do not want to talk about it."

Guys.

GUYS.

No. No. No. No.

And I know you might say that I was overreacting or whatever, but words hurt man. I don't care what sticks and stones say.

I guess, though, it did serve as a good reminder that WORDS HURT MAN, and I need to be careful about what and how I say things to other people. You never know what people are sensitive about or having problems with.

*(Oh, and when someone tells you they're a teacher, it's NEVER okay to reply with, "That's great, you get so much time off!") 

Thanksgiving Food Drive 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Man, there has been so much going on lately -- teaching, three graduate classes, student teaching, Junior League, Dress for Success, life!

Luckily I was able to spend yesterday doing one of my absolute most favorite things, and that was helping man The Divine Intervention Thanksgiving Food Drive. The Divine Intervention is a local nonprofit, and I am on the board of directors. I encourage you to check out our website (especially if you're local) because there's something we might be able to help you with! Three times a year we do a food and/or clothing drive for local organizations, and those three days are among my most favorite days of the entire year! I can't really explain it, but there's something so fun about spending the day watching people help other people and spending time in fellowship with each other, enjoying coffee and a donut. I also like the other people on the board/volunteers -- Dave, Kim, Lisa, and Eileen -- because they are such a joy to be around, and I always love the time I spend with them.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I helped unload donors' cars and re-load the food into our trucks. I also took so many photos because I love to document how much fun these food drives are. Luckily, I was also able to make the trek out to ECCHO (where we take the food) to help stock the food on the shelves. Our donors are so awesome because they gave SO.  MUCH. FOOD. It was awesome seeing ECCHO's shelves fill up. It's also very humbling to know that that food won't be on the shelves for long because there are so many families in need. As John (an ECCHO volunteer an DI supporter) said, "If you have 70 families come in, and each family gets two cans of vegetables, that's 140 cans right there." And ECCHO serves WAY more than 70 families.

I love this time of year for so many reasons, but one of the biggest is how much focus is put on thinking about people other than yourself. Yes, people are hungry all year long, and yes, we need to donate food all year long, but there's something really special about the holiday season that brings out the best in (most) people, and I really see the Thanksgiving Food Drive as the kick off to my holiday season!

Here are some amazing photos of people's generosity.

Kim, Lisa, and Dave

Me, Lisa, and Dave

First truck starting to fill up!

A donor unloading her car.

More donations coming in.

About an hour into the drive!

Catching up! Our food drive is really an event, not just a food drop off.

My dad and Father Jim.

The shelves at ECCHO as we're beginning to help fill them.

Another shot of the shelves at ECCHO.

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