The Eleventh Commandment

Dear Chrissy’s Readers,

This is Katie from Words for Worms. Chrissy isn’t here writing today. She and Brian have suffered a terrible blow. Brian’s mom, who had been battling cancer for the past 7 months, passed away early Saturday morning.

My first instinct when someone loses a loved one is to find out if there’s anything I can do to help. The impotence of the situation is maddening. My friends are hurting and there’s not a damn thing I can do to fix it. So, when Chrissy asked for a guest post, I jumped at the chance. She said that she and Brian want to laugh, and I freaking love these guys, so I’m going to give it a shot. So. Here goes nothing…

I’m pretty sure the 11th commandment is “Feed The Grieving.” This is a universal cultural phenomenon. Seriously y’all. I think cavemen dropped off a nice Wooly Mammoth hot dish to the neighboring cave in times of mourning. People empathize, but they also realize (if they’re smart) that all their words of comfort won’t make the loss any easier. Thus? They feed. When local friends lose someone, I bust out my tried and true chocolate chip cake. Sometimes a pot of chili. I don’t even like cooking, but THAT’S WHAT YOU DO. You feed people! You know what sucks? I’m currently too far away to feed Chrissy and Brian! (Although, they’re probably thankful for that, because they’re foodies and I’m a doctored up cake mix kind of girl…)

After sitting through the tri-fecta of sad funeral songs, sometimes you just NEED chocolate cake. In my experience, the songs that are indelibly linked with funerals are “How Great Thou Art,” “On Eagle’s Wings,” and “Amazing Grace.” In fact, my husband’s aunt once told me that she wanted “How Great Thou Art” played at her funeral because (and this is a direct quote) “It’ll make people cry even if they didn’t like me.” (She’s one feisty broad.) The thing is, even if I swear off these songs for my own funeral (which I fully intend to plan because I don’t want anyone else to have to deal with that) I couldn’t use songs I love- it would ruin those songs for people! I’ve decided that I’m going to have songs I hate at my funeral, so that everyone else will hate them too. Celine Dion’s greatest hits shall play. Everyone’s hearts will go on, and nobody’s favorite songs will be sullied by sad funerary memories…

I’m terrible at funerals. Even if the deceased aren’t my loved ones, I see a single grieving family member and melt into a puddle. It’s hard enough when you lose someone in their 80s, but losing someone far too young to cancer? That’s just CRAP. Cancer sucks. Hard. If Cancer were a dude, I would kick it in the nads really hard. Stupid little mutant cells. You’re not even COOL mutants like the X-Men! You’re just mean and dumb and grow out of control and RUIN LIVES. Nobody is impressed by your rampant proliferation, Cancer. You think you’re all high and mighty, but you’re no super virus. Step back, loser disease, before I kick you again.

I hope you all will join me in sending loving, healing vibes to Chrissy and Brian. I hope you will also join me in sending angry, poisonous vibes to Cancer. Brian’s mom was Irish, so while googling some comforting words of wisdom, I found this gem on a website of Irish proverbs, “If God sends you down a stony path, may he give you strong shoes.” Praying that your shoes are sturdy. I love you both.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Katie’s Guest Post: Like a Word Ninja

All Chrissy commentary has been, as promised, printed in a separate color so as to differentiate from guest post writing. Enjoy.

Hello Chrissy’s Readers,

This is Katie, and I’m guest posting today. Let’s just go ahead and clear a few things up before we start, shall we? I am Katie and I write a little book blog called Words for Worms. I am one of Chrissy’s real life best friends. As in, we knew each other prior to whoring ourselves out as bloggers. Regular readers of Chrissy’s blog will know me as Penny, because when Chrissy started this blog odyssey, she offered me the anonymity of a fake name. I accepted, because she knows too much about me. Perhaps my trust is misplaced here, but so far she hasn’t posted anything terribly incriminating about me. And, frankly, I’m really boring, and was pretty boring even when I was “wild,” so I’m blowing my cover.

The first time that Katie posted–as Penny– I was running late to work and needed a post. Fast. So I said to Katie… “Hey Katie, want to guest post on my blog?” And Katie gave me a resounding “YES!” You know… as resounding as a text message can get. “What does that entail?” So, I gave her a login and password for my site. I told her not to embarrass me too much. And I told her to have fun. Three days later, Katie decided that she, too, wanted to be a blogger.

Okay. So. As my blog suggests, I’m a big nerdy bookworm. I love words. They’re delicious. My parents are both notoriously bad spellers (sorry guys, but you know it’s true) so we never played Scrabble in my house growing up. Ever. When I got to college, Chrissy took it upon herself to teach me how to play Scrabble, so she’d have an unsuspecting victim someone to mercilessly eviscerate challenge.

Double word, triple letter score. All. The. Time.

I was just learning to play Scrabble. I was content to create words with my little tiles. It was exciting and fun! While I was having a ball making words like “garden” and “feet” she was still going full force. We’re talking full Scrabble domination. She’d routinely have quadruple my score. Imagine the modern US Army picking a fight with… Luxembourg (a Luxembourg without any allies to save them from the onslaught.) “Garden” and “feet” were met with “Qoph” and “Qi” and “Qat”. In case you were wondering, those ‘Q’ words mean: the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a circulating life energy in Chinese philosophy, and a leaf of the shrub  Catha edulis, respectively. The Q’s always fell on triple letter squares.

In my defense, I was only trying to help Katie learn. You can’t learn without a strong master. Would Karate Kid have become a karate genius without the challenge from Mr. Miagi? Would Obi Wan have been the Jedi master without Qui Gon Jinn? Would Baby have gotten out of the corner without Patrick Swayze? No. 

Chrissy knows every two letter word. Every weirdo Q word. Words that don’t look like real words. But don’t challenge her! Damn Straight! She’s got that doggone Scrabble dictionary memorized. Way before there was Words with Friends, Chrissy found scrabble online. Nobody we knew could challenge her. I almost lost a few friends because of it… She had a super amazing high score. Sometimes she’d play on my account because I was so pathetic. Not only is she super good at Scrabble, but she’s crazy competitive. DO NOT bet her money on a game. Any game. Ever. I can beat her at Trivial Pursuit, but we’re matched pretty evenly. It’s just not a good investment.

Katie is very good at Trivial Pursuit. I’ll admit…She’s better than me. But I like it better when she talks Chess. “I’d play by myself, but I won’t. I know myself too well, and I’ll end up cheating in favor of one side.”

Also, Brian’s friends call me the Jason Bourne of Gaming. I can pick up a gamer game (with ridiculously detailed rules and win conditions) in less than a game, strategize, and often win.

Remember in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey how they played board games against death to win back their lives? (You. Have. Sunk. My. Battlesheep.) Chrissy would totally win her soul back if she played Death at Scrabble. Like a word ninja. You’ll never know what hit you.

Trust me, Death. You don’t want a piece of this.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Cinderblocks

Hello World,
This is Katie. I’m sure you’ve seen me mentioned in Chrissy’s blog before. Chrissy clearly has both writer’s block AND poor judgment, because she’s offered to let me write a guest post.

This is an unprecedented opportunity. In fact, I’ve been mulling over what I would say in my Maid of Honor speech at Chrissy’s wedding for years now. It doesn’t matter to me that I may not be “Maid of Honor” or “in the wedding,” but I’ve decided I’m giving a speech at her eventual wedding. No. Matter. What. I guess this is as good a time as any for a rough draft.

I first met Chrissy at freshman orientation at Bradley University. Since I didn’t know anyone, I accepted the invitation of a peppy student aide to accompany a group of fellow orientees to Steak and Shake. This is where I first laid eyes on the girl who would become one of the most important people in my life. My first impression? PINK. She was wearing a pink halter top, pink sneakers, and a pink scrunchie (in fairness, scrunchies were only about 4 years out of fashion at the time). She was also drinking a child sized pink milkshake. I was still in my grunge phase, sporting enormously baggy pants and black t-shirts. By the end of the evening I knew one thing for sure. This girl was going to make sure I had fun, in spite of myself.

Katie and Chrissy Disney

In life you make a lot of friends. You make friends of convenience, acquaintances, surface friends. The best way I can describe my friendship with Chrissy, is that it’s like a marriage. Lesser friendships would not have survived the chaos of college and boyfriends and minor bouts of charming mental illness. There are friendships that, like relationships, implode at the first sign of trouble. That can’t handle a real fight. The ones you never cared enough about to fight for. Chrissy has always been worth fighting for. I liken our cosmic bond to something beyond a typical friendship. I’m fond of telling Chrissy she was my butter churning best friend in a past life, and as such, she’ll never be rid of me.

We’ve taken a sappy turn here, so I may as well go for the gusto. Our sophomore year of college, I was going through a rough patch. I was sitting in my dorm room crying because one of the boys I had a crush on wasn’t interested in me. It was then that Chrissy did what Chrissy does best. She put her arm around me and said “Katie, my love for you goes through walls” (at a loss for further description she glanced at the dorm room wall) “Thick ones. Cinderblocks.” I started laughing. And to quote one of our favorite movies, Steel Magnolias, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

(This is a wedding speech, I hope you hadn’t forgotten that!) This is where I’ll raise my glass and offer a toast to the newlyweds: “May your love go through cinderblock walls, and may laughter always shine through your tears. Congratulations. And Groom… Good luck!”

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!