Monday, March 7, 2016


So remember how we felt the frenetic urgency to buy Julia a dress (eight months early) for next year's Homecoming dance? And we were so excited when we found it because it was modest and cheap and blah, blah, blah perfect? Yeah, well, fail. Or more specifically, "Asian cut" fail. Basically, it was made for a girl without shoulders and missing some of her ribs and Jules still has all her bones, so things didn't work out.

Jules was kind of upset when I zipped up the dress and she realized she was immobile. Within seconds—and I am not even kidding, you guys—I had a claustrophobia attack just looking at her. I actually started to hyperventilate, thinking about not being able to get that dress off. It looked completely capable of squeezing the life out of her...and me, vicariously.

She was almost as relieved as I was when we yanked it off of her amidst trying to suck air back into our lungs. I packaged it up that very minute, returning it to the factory, so that some other poor fool could have the same beautiful experience. And then Julia lamented, "IT'S NOT FAIR! I WANTED THAT DRESS SO BAD! WHY COULDN'T IT LOOK LIKE THE PICTURE?"

Which brings me to a disease so many of us suffer from called, "Wishful Thinking." The wishing, wanting, imagining and coveting of everyone else's best case scenario.

Just last night, Jules sent me a DM on Twitter. Of course, I never saw it because I'm Twilliterate. So she hacked into my account to pull it up for me.  It was an advertisement for some sort of naturally curly hair product and diffuser. In the fast motion ad, the girl swiped on the mousse, diffused her hair dry, and within 15 seconds, looked like a goddess. Jules' accompanying comment, "I want my hair like this soooooo bad. Let's get some 'moose' and that dryer attachment and see if this works."

Me: "MOOSE? HAHAHAHAHA! Hon, you don't have naturally curly hair."
Jules: "Yes, I do. It's totally got a curl when it air dries."
Me: "No, ummm...I'm sorry to be the messenger here, but that's not a curl. It's like, a slight curve. On about three sections of hair."
Ster: "Yeah, sorry Jules. You have fuzzy hair. You let it air dry last night, and look at it right now—it's fuzzy."
Jules: "I KNOW it's fuzzy right now. But I CAN MAKE IT BE NATURALLY CURLY!"

This went on for a while, Jules insisting she had naturally curly hair, and her parents telling her the truth. But I knew exactly how she felt, because I remembered the days when I saw girls with long, flowing, glorious blond hair set with spiral perms. And I wanted that hair more than life itself. So I'd go to the salon with my dirty-dishwater-above-the-shoulders hair and say, "I want a spiral perm." Of course, what I really meant was, "I want long, flowing, glorious, sexy hair." Which they promptly misinterpreted, and I came out of the appointment with crazy ass worms shooting out of my skull.

I also remember wishing I had Amy's teeny, tiny waist and cute bum. This dream was shot to Hades with a diet that consisted of fries, bologna sandwiches and Swedish Fish. The bum fail happened when all of my family greeted me after I sang in a choir concert and said, "Did you know you don't have a bum? We especially noticed in that dress that you have no bum at all. In fact, it's kind of like a frog bum, where your back goes straight into your legs." My friends were happy to concur.

I wished for full lips, but they're as thin and tight as an O-ring. I wished for Janine's flawless skin, but my nose outshines the north star and I have one pore as big as a nostril on my cheek. I wished for my obituary to say, "She never knew an idle moment" but as I type this while still in my pajamas, I can see this hope dimming like a flashlight with a dead battery.

As my thoughts and time are devoured by this disease, I notice that I am no more inclined to appreciate what I do have, as I am consumed by what will never be. And just like the dress Julia tried on, it has the capacity to squeeze the life right out of me.

But there is a remedy. Wishful thinking can be cured by a glass half full. Doesn't matter what it's full of,  just as long as you see what's in there.

Sure, my lips are thin, but now you notice my eyes because my mouth doesn't distract you. Yes, I am still in my pajamas at almost noon, but HOW AWESOME IS IT THAT I AM STILL IN MY PAJAMAS AT ALMOST NOON?! And okay, my bum is flat, but I never, ever have to ask my husband if "these jeans make my bum look big?" The answer is always no, no matter how hard I try.

So let us waste no more time trying to squeeze into a restricting ideal that diminishes our potential and lung capacity. Yank that thing off your head, and climb into something that lets you breathe the way Heavenly Father intended you to breathe! Brush out that wormy hair, put on some skinny jeans and apply some powder to your shiny nose.

Truth is, it is highly likely that someone is looking at your best case scenario and suddenly finds themselves infected with Wishful Thinking.