For a few weeks when I was three or four, I drove my mom insane trying to pee standing up. I still remember the contortions that took. I would straddle the toilet bowl as best I could with my pudgy little legs and let fly, swiveling my bottom to adjust the stream. It was a messy and frustrating endeavor. I was trying to be like my dad. Thankfully, I discovered pretty quickly that my biology prevented me from emulating him in this aspect. I'm sure my mother was relieved. I moved on to other pressing things, like lodging a button in my nasal cavity and encasing my right leg in purple bubble gum.
When we were first married, the Chief Lou and I were on our way to my parents' house for dinner one summer evening when I decided that I needed to apply some of the Carmex that had been sitting in the hot glove compartment of the car all day. That went pretty much like you'd expect it would. I opened the little jar and liquid, hot, camphor scented magma poured out all over me and the seat. Since it was a time before babies, we didn't have a stash of napkins anywhere in the car for random acts of nonsense. I rode the rest of the way trying not to touch anything while my new husband shook his head in disbelief that I didn't know that was going to happen. When we arrived at my folks' house, I scuttled into the bathroom to try and clean up the greasy mess and I heard my mom in the other room: "I should tell you, she's always doing something."
She's not wrong, either. It's another way I have emulated my dad all these years. He was a preacher and a missionary by vocation, but he wrote, sculpted, painted, gardened, made stained glass, did basic carpentry, baked homemade bread, trained bonsai trees, did graphic design, desktop publishing, plumbing, wiring, and really anything else that struck his fancy. His response to art galleries, craft fairs, home improvement shows, and life in general was "I can do that." And then he would set about with intensity and passion to see if he could. Most of the time he could and he would until everyone he knew had a loaf of artisan bread or a bust of themselves or their own crooked little tree. I have inherited this trait along with his smile and his excessively hairy legs. It is one way my biology hasn't prevented me from being like him, but it can still be a messy and frustrating endeavor.
I am always up to something. Right now I'm up to something, as a matter of fact. I have an idea that is still a bit nebulous, but will take form. It will require some audience participation. Because it's no fun to be up to something if you can't make a mess and involve as many people as possible, right?
I've written here a little bit about my first love - my dad. I will write a little bit more about other loves, too, in the days to come. I want to hear about your first loves. The ones that made your heart go pitter-pat, the ones that got away, the ones you're glad are gone, the ones that never made much sense to begin with. The heart is an unwieldy and willful thing. It baffles and confounds us with its choices. Let's hear about those choices your heart has made. Blog about it, send me an email, forward this to non-bloggers even. This is part one of the plan. Stay tuned for part two. Just be glad that this particular fancy of mine doesn't get pee on the floor.
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