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Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Festering Easter

I had a bad day. 

For starters, I hate seeing my church go through the charade of Christmas and Easter services. They don't mean to put on a show for the huge crowd that only shows up when they feel the obligation, but everyone is so totally on edge, nevertheless. The music was nervous and off, trying not to frighten the old ladies with our usual volume and power, trying not to bore the young overdressed crowd, trying not to intimidate the forced-into-it people with complicated lyrics they're expected to know. My family had to sit a few rows farther back than we usually do, which, you know, is fine, except that my godmother-figure and friends are supposed to be within arms-length, and I couldn't even see them. My family travels at all times in groups no smaller than seven, so I normally get to avoid weird contact with overly friendly strangers, but alas, I sat next to a woman I barely know, who promptly whored out her tuxedo-clad toddler grandson for attention. And there was no acolyte. My absolute favorite part of church are the acolytes.

Every service, a different third-grader walks down the aisle during the first song, carrying one of those long poles with the candle at the end of it (Do those have names?), taking slow, careful steps, like they're in a wedding procession. The kid always watches the tiny flame intently, as if one false move could bring the whole church down in a firey peril. They light the two candles on the altar (although in my church, it's more like an open stage), extinguish the Stick, and return back the way they came, looking around for recognition. Their own little curtain call. I love acolytes. I was one, and I remember how it felt. You were special, and you had a part in something special. God was real and magic and you were the personification of blind, cheerful faith needed in the sick world of adults who, for some unknown reason, didn't have light in their eyes anymore. I don't know. I guess I feel like one of the lifeless adults now, and I need the Little Haylies to keep me going.

I didn't even listen to the sermon today, which is really weird for me. Instead, I sat and thought about my friends' engagement party that I may or may not attend next weekend in New York, and how, despite how much I want to go... I don't want to go at all. I can't even begin to explain why. I have the money. The friends I rarely get to see will be there, loving me, missing me. But at the same time, it just makes me want to go to sleep.

After church, I went to my grandparents' house, like most Sundays. My mom comes from a family of four very dramatic women and one exhausted alcoholic father. At the current time, my two aunts aren't speaking to each other. For no known reason. It made seating arrangements at brunch unnecessarily awkward. I sat next to my mother, so she could place her hand on my knee and shake her head every time she knew I'd be tempted to swear loudly or make a sassy comment about the conversation. One of my aunts made sure to say, "Hayley, you're almost becoming like a girl!" when my sister showed off the pictures of my prom dress. The other aunt made sure not to say anything to anybody. My grandfather slurred, "Ya sure you need all that pie?" while nudging me in the stomach. I therefore ate about five pieces of pie. My mother spoke a lot about my senior pictures and graduation party, my oldest sister pulling out her planner and yapping about all her planned appearances at all my planned appearances. To be difficult, I made sure everyone knew my intentions to run away and not walk my graduation ceremony. Grandma told me I have to go through all the crap to appease her, and then gave me some shoes.

When I got home, I talked to a friend, Sebastian, on the phone for a few minutes and fell asleep mid-conversation. I slept for two hours. My mom told me that he came by to see me and that she couldn't wake me as hard as she tried. I missed my sister leaving to go back to school. She was wearing my only pair of stud earrings. I got in the bathtub with the intention of quickly shaving my nasty legs for the first time in forever (Sure you wanted to hear that, right?), but somehow ended up reading the entirety of Let It Snow, cover to cover.

I have to write a paper tomorrow for AP English. I don't have a clue what the prompt is. I haven't made much of an effort to do any of my schoolwork this grading period. It's the last one. They can't honestly expect anything of us, and I have a 3.8. I'm safe.

Sexy: Asian men. Maybe it's the inherent nerdiness that America associates with them. I realize this is much like saying "all American girls are rude and slutty" or "all American boys wear letterman jackets," but I'm going to pretend this one stereotype is accurate, just to feed my fantasies.
Unsexy: Wearing a high-hoisted backpack that makes you lean forward and creates a turtle-like shadow.

Weight: 10,304
Chipotle burritos this year: 11
Subscribers: 15,051
Days left of high school: 30

28 comments:

Alan said...

You have a problem with my turtle-hump-shadow-creating backpack? That's it. Back to the old email signature.

Alan said...

What's up with not allowing OpenID comments? I *never* use my Blogger account for anything stalking you.

GEORGINA said...

Gosh, your day sounds so much like so many of mine; every single detail.
Plus, I'm at a school in Britain with about a 40% Asian population, and I still associate Asians with nerdiness. Eek.

Maya said...

Your blogs are made of epic win. <3

Oh, and about 85% of my school friends are Asian. And I'm more nerdy than most of them.

...Which isn't actually saying much. Never mind.

Joey said...

I laughed so hard when I read your weight...

Kara said...

Aw, I'm sorry about your day. And I don't really have anything to cheer you up... But how 'bout this? http://nedroidcomics.livejournal.com/

A.J. James Brooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.J. James Brooks said...

Bad days are like bad chinese food. It sucks, it hardly looks as bad at the beginning as it feels in the end. Luckily there is good chinese food out there... and better days ahead...

You are Gorgeous... Tell Gramps to shut it.

I apologize for the deleted comment there was a grammar fail that really bothered me.

You are awesome...

RoboFillet said...

My church always purposely puts on something special for the people who don't come at other times of the year. It's actually kind of nice because I think it makes them feel welcome. It sucks about the lunch with your family though =( I hope your days get better.

As a side-note: I finally spied you on Skype! It was only for, like, a second but I thought to myself "Wow! She really exists!"

justjustine said...

I looked up the word 'acolyte.' And then I got to the next paragraph and realized you'd explained it XD.
I love your writing style. ie "I guess I feel like one of the lifeless adults now, and I need the Little Haylies to keep me going." I know you don't know me but what better than compliments from a random stranger to lift spirits?
Hope you're feeling better :).

VicMorrowsGhost said...

The end of high school time void.
So much to do but,
None of it really matters.

Catherine said...

Sexy: Retardedly heavy, extremely large backpacks, in school colours worn slung on the lower back making a demented sea horse shadow. Also makes wearer have amusing running style when trying to avoid end-of-school traffic.

thealphabet said...

I have the slightest inclination that your weight is perhaps an exaggeration, for some reason. Hm.

My favorite bad day cure is a creative fire lit under my butt, making something or write something beautiful and if all else fails, "Absolutely (The Story of a Girl)" by Nine Days is HIGHLY therapeutic.

Good luck in all of your impending endeavors! I am confident in your ability to successfully succeed!

<3!

Eddy said...

I think the device the acolyte carries is called a candlelighter. That's what we call them in my church. I guess I'm a nerd for knowing the name. Yeah, I'm Asian!!

Mark said...

you know, you had a VERY similar day to mine...
it's very odd, i kept reading and you kept doing things i did....
including
church
awkward family dinner
too much sleep
finding friend activities over-rated
reading Let it Snow
AND missing my sister leave to go back to college...

TommyKay said...

I used to love being an acolyte! Wow, the memory of doing that actually made me smile.

Sorry about your day though. Seems to be a lot of bad dayness going round atm.

Kristina said...

I got out of church yesterday. xD

Wooow didn't you shrivel up and disintegrate, being in the bath that long?

Graham said...

I know visiting us is painful and stuff, but you owe me. Sorry.

And I completely agree about the unsexy qualities of high backpacks and turtle slumping.

<3
-Sarah (Not Graham. I refuse to get a blogger account and it won't let me post a comment without one. Humph.)

Joy said...

I was an acolyte at my church when I was younger... I loved it. You're right, it makes you feel important and involved when you're that age :o)

Funniest memory: I don't know what your acolyte stick things (I don't know the name either!) look like, but ours had a retractable candle thing that sat inside. You'd push it up to get more candle each week. ANYWAYS, it was my friend's first time being the acolyte, and halfway down the aisle the candle went out. She freaked out, and tried to relight it by retracting the candle and pushing it out again. She thought that it automatically lit itself when you pushed it up. Haha.

(One of the guys in the congregation came to her rescue and relit it, and disaster was averted...)

Ahh those were the good 'ol days! :o)

Graham said...

(This really is Graham :P)

"I guess I feel like one of the lifeless adults now, and I need the Little Haylies to keep me going."

Hayley I hope you never lose:

"You were special, and you had a part in something special. God was real and magic and you were the personification of blind, cheerful faith needed in the sick world of adults who, for some unknown reason, didn't have light in their eyes anymore."

That child like faith is exactly what Christianity is all about and never let anybody tell you differently. The people who "grow up" and lose the magic and mysticism and wonder we all start out with lose a very crucial element of the faith. I love you and pray for you daily, and can't wait to see you (whenever it happens) :)

Becky said...

Hayley, I had a similar Easter church experience this year, and a very apathetic Easter day. I feel for you and I hope you have a better day tomorrow!
P.S. I really love reading your blog, your creative style is so fun to read :D

Lor said...

I remember the ushers in the front of the church would tell me not to catch anyone's hair on fire with the candle. Then they would laugh and on the inside i was terrified...good times.

Driscoll said...

How long did it take you to read that book?

Nicholas said...

Family can be exhausting...

scratch that. Family is always exhausting, but sometimes in a good way.

Let me cheer you up with something my Grandma said some time ago when I told her that I'm on a first name basis with my boss now.
"now, you're sure that he doesn't... you know... want something from you?" well... the sexual innuendo wasn't quite so subtle, but I'm paraphrasing.

seurat2 said...

Wow, you carry that weight really well...

You need to go to NY. I'm sure you'll find it was totally worth the trouble.

You're such a good writer, there's some seemingly off the cuff thing in almost everything you post that dazzles me.

Lauren said...

If you decide to go to NY, you need to let me know. I'm pretty sure I'm going to stay home because Matt's coming over this weekend and I have all these papers due this week that I haven't started and I am going to need to sit and relax.

If you're going to the party, I will be there. I need some Hayley lovin'.

Kaitlyn said...

I was an acolyte!!! Actually, I was an acolyte for WAY too long. My mom wouldn't let me quit until I hit high school. It's so fun when you're little, but it's really embarrassing when you're 13.

Btw, we just called them "candle lighters." Probably not the technical term.

Finally, I too think Asian men are sexy. I think they're the sexiest race of man.

Sammie said...

Hey Hayley..

I know you wrote this a year ago haha, but i recently found 5AG on youtube, as well as your personal channel, and therefore your blog! I am in the process of watching all the vids from both...i know, i'm so cool right? haha. Anyway, i had to comment on this blog entry-i was at church this morning, and being easter the gigantic easter crowd really annoyed me!! I know it should be great that they come on easter and christmas but, i agree the show that the church puts on for them is a bit silly!!

Thanks for everything you do! You (and the other girls) really put a smile on my face!
Sammie, Winnipeg MB Canada.