Merry Christmas from an American Girl

Mom, I'm sorry for the following, but it is fact and I still love you very much and very much enjoyed my childhood.
Every Christmas, I had two requests for Santa Claus (I believed in him to a uncomfortably old age all thanks to a hoax letter post marked from the North Pole in 1993). One was for a Power Wheels, preferably a Jeep, but I wasn't picky. This wish ended in 6th grade when my mother explained that I was over the 80 lbs. weight limit, so it was useless to keep asking. However, each year I received wonderful presents, including a few bikes from time to time. So be it that some of them were used or were accompanied by elaborate stories, like the year Santa got lost and I woke up on a February morning to find my new bike sitting in my bedroom. So, I wasn't deprived, but I learned the most valuable lesson you can teach a child, which is, you don't always get what you want. Unless you went to TimpView High School, in which case the opposite is true. ha.

Besides a Power Wheels, there was always one other wish in mine and my sister Lacy's letters to Santa that never seemed to make it under the tree. We always got dolls, partly because my mom loved dolls as much as we did. But, I'll admit that I was a little disappointed the year we got Cabbage Patchs and mine was a Hispanic with glasses named Tina, she was on sale. Of course my wish list doll never went on sale and she has yet to go on sale to date. She has always cost $88 and that's how much my parents were unwilling to pay for an American Girl Doll. But, they were willing to give us the paperback books that told the stories of each of the girls, so we are well-versed in the world of American Girl, but alas I never owned my own. So, this year, I dedicate these photos to Chelsey of 1990-1996. Whoever said that dreams don't come true?

Should I have interests?

There aren't a lot of tasks that stress me out, mostly because I'm an extremely capable human. But, for some reason, after I graduated from middle school, there has been one task that continually makes my stomach churn . . . filling out questionnaires. Not the kind that my dentist sends me via email, where I check "Strongly Agree" to every unread question in order to get a $20 rebate towards my next cleaning. No, what I'm referring to are the ones that ask me about the one thing I should know everything about . . . myself.

It seems simple enough, just list your favorite color, band, candy bar, soda, time of day, over-the-counter stimulant, you know, the basics. Usually, I can come up with decent answers that reflect what I know to be popular with most teenagers. Consequently, most of those answers have very little resemblance to my actual favorites. Since, apparently on paper, I am a social outcast. Turns out that if you list Alanis Morrisette’s “Jagged Little Pill” as your favorite CD, you may be labeled as “unhip” or worse, “Lesbian.” And, if you admit that you prefer Baby Ruth to Skittles, people might guess the truth. The truth being that I am prematurely old. Favorite breakfast item: A handful of Peanut M&Ms. These kinds of answers are ultimately appalling to my counterparts in the R.E.I. co-op. Unfortunately, I become sheepish anytime the age-old analogy about jumping off a bridge comes up. The answer remains the same as it has always been . . . probably.

But, as we all know, these kinds of questionnaires never just ask about surface items like music and food, no, they usually get much deeper, and consequently, more painstaking. The kinds of questions that cripple me are the kinds that reveal anything about my actual life. The worst of them being . . . hobbies. I don’t know about the rest of the adult world, but I haven’t really had a hobby since 6th grade. Back then I could list Basketball, Softball, and Cross Stitching (don’t forget, prematurely old) without a second thought. This was before high school, before anything you loved was destroyed. Playing sports in high school helped to remove any fun that was associated with physical exercise and replace it with dread anytime I smell gym floors or Endorphins. But, it’s a crime to be hobby-less in today’s world. Frankly, even I can’t account for my time most of the time. The Chelsey of the 21st Century prefers napping, channel flipping, snacking, and having the same conversations with the same friends over and over. To my shame, none of these activities are considered “Hobbies.”

So, for honesty’s sake, here’s a questionnaire that hasn’t been edited for the general audience. I’ve included both my fake and real responses:

Why were you given your particular name?

Fake: Spiritual prompting

Real: It was Mother’s turn to choose.

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Fake: 3 brothers and 3 sisters

Real: This could get uncomfortable, since 2 of my brothers live in Heaven, but I’ll stick with 3 brothers and 3 sisters.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Fake: Snowboard, Wakeboard, or anything adventurous.

Real: Nap, snack, or watch reality TV on MTV

What is your favorite food?

Fake: Salmon and the fruit of the season

Real: Chocolate Cake, preferably refrigerated.

What is your favorite book?

Fake: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Real: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (sorry Mom)

What is your favorite candy bar?

Fake: Twix

Real: Charleston Chew (more candy for your dime)

What is your favorite cookie?

Fake: Something from Pepperidge Farms

Real: Pinwheels

What is your favorite sport?

Fake: Basketball

Real: Freeze Tag

What is your favorite kind of music?

Fake: Indy Rock

Real: Top 40 from 1994-1999 or Country

What is your favorite song?

Fake: Penny Lane by the Beatles

Real: Hold On by Wilson Phillips or Fancy by Reba McIntire

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Fake: A teacher

Real: Lay-at-home wife to someone wealthy

What is your favorite temple?

Fake: Oakland

Real: Don’t have a favorite

What place would you like to know about?

Fake: Where can I begin?

Real: Colorado City

What place would you like to visit?

Fake: Bangkok

Real: Nordstrom Rack or Colorado City

What is your favorite thing about your mom?

Fake: Her kindness

Real: That she laughs at my inappropriate humor

What is your favorite thing about your dad?

Fake: His humor

Real: His ability to sneak into Football games for free

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Fake: My ability to give advice

Real: My ability to make up funny nicknames

Do you like to dance?

Fake: For excercise

Real: At parties to be funny

What movie can you quote?

Fake: Newsies

Real: Muppets Family Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, While you Were Sleeping, The Santa Clause, Steel Magnolias, Beaches, and Blue Crush

How would your friends describe you to someone who has never met you?

Fake: Cool

Real: Emotionally distant

In five years, what kind of person will you be?

Fake: Successful

Real: The same

What do you want to be doing in five years?

Fake: Whatever makes me happy

Real: Giving singles advice about marriage

When you have an hour of free time, what do you like to do?

Fake: Read

Real: Watch TiVo

What is your favorite church movie?

Fake: Lamb of God

Real: Labor of Love

What is the strangest thing you've ever done?

Fake: Went to bed without washing my face.

Real: Spoke at the funeral of a woman I didn’t know.

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