Thursday, June 14, 2012

joyful sorrow

I was planning on writing this in a few weeks, but time has recently become very, very precious.

Almost two weeks ago my sister sent me a text that said: "Uncle Jim is dying". I knew my uncle on my dad's side has single cell cancer and I immediately thought, she must mean Uncle Gene, although I thought he was fine too... I get a call explaining the text. It really was Uncle Jim. I boo-hoo because it's 1) overwhelmingly shocking, and 2) I start to think about all my cousins who have new babies, have just recently moved back and are all over the country with summer plans, and how they will face life knowing their dad is leaving.

I went to see him on Tuesday, but before I left, Sunday I talked to my pastors about Jim and let them know the little information I had and to pray for his soul, whether he was a believer or not, I wasn't sure. Monday night I had a meeting with the pastors and a few other people to discuss music and informed them of what more information I knew. Even then, amidst the mixed feelings of "what exactly are my reactions supposed to be?" and "how much faith do I really have?". Tuesday morning my dad and I set out for Birmingham to see Jim at UAB. I have never seen a demeanor so altered, so soft. Jim has always been the clown of the family, joking about everything, laughing at all situations, and being perpetually sarcastic; I had no idea how he would handle all of this information knowing his life would soon be over. Jim went to the hospital the Friday before and discovered that Saturday morning that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. When I met my aunt in the parking garage at UAB she was telling me stories of all these other families that discovered their loved ones had the same diagnosis and were no longer with them 2 weeks later. I was so amazed at how she was speaking so openly about death and not melting into a ball of emotions. Uncle Jim was joking around with the doctors, Aunt B was laughing right along with him, and the whole room was peaceful.

Soon after Jim leaves to have a procedure done and Aunt B starts to get real about how life will be. Still, unwavering in her faith and in the moment of trial and pain, she starts to cry and starts to thank God for how He has brought her to this point in life, and how this really is a celebration. Uncle Jim has a renewed heart, has his life resting in the arms of his Savior, and how all that has been broken through life is now made right and new. All of his scars are beautiful, they're made beautiful, his life is and has been beautiful because it brought him to this point of living out his salvation! The only thing that can be seen in this is pure JOY. We are full of joy.

I don't know how much longer he will be with us here on earth, but our hearts, now pricked by the beautiful faith and love that my family has been shown and has been living out through these short weeks, have made that time and whatever time we have left with him so wonderfully precious. What a blessing Jim's life has been, and what a privilege to be able to call him family. I'm looking forward to see him again, reuniting with all my family in the Kingdom that is to come.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Holes

This past summer, Jenna was either just back from Brazil or on her way to her summer routine of fuge camping and had some of the girls over for craft night. Personally, I was really excited since I had been in an office building for a long time and the chance to break free was like an opportunity of a lifetime...

I was planning on doing some watercolors, Jenna was either sketching or something similar, Tori was painting her nails, and Emily was putting together a scrapbook of all her student's drawings (really, could that be any more precious?). How did I remember all these nitty gritty details, you may ask. Well this night was very memorable:

Tori needed to leave early and I was blocking her in in the driveway. Jenna's apartment is built off her parent's garage and you have to get through an iron gate to get to her door, but the hallway you walk into leads to the pool in the back yard where Caroline dwells. Caroline: honestly, probably one of the cutest dogs, but, unfortunate for me, she's a creature of habit, also scared of the dark (dun dun dunnn). As all of you probably know, I'm vertically challenged. Jenna, whom some of you don't know, she is not. She is tall with brown hair. I am short with blonde hair, or it was blonde this summer due to the blessing of natural highlights. Back to Tori, she needed to leave and it was already pitch black outside. I walk out first probably giggling about something (shocker) and then " WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO!!!!" Gigantor Caroline, who I purposefully left out is a Great Dane, comes up to my neck on me when calm and standing still, is barreling down on me. Everything was almost a blur, except for the screams and the "OUCH!!". I get back in the apartment and Caroline is angrily barking at the door like, "How dare you be short and walk out on my property!". She sure showed me.

looks like the culprit, but she's so pretty. boo height deficiencies.

I'm standing in Jenna's living room holding my side and my upper thigh. I don't know what anyone is saying, I'm just standing there. Holding myself together. It felt like time had stood still, I don't think I knew what else to do. Finally Jenna asks me if I'm okay, and I think I respond with, "...uh, I don't know...". She takes me to her bathroom, I lift up my shirt and I hear, "OH CLARA!". Aw crap. What? I look at my side and see teeth scratches. Then I start laughing. How did this happen? How does this always happen to me? (laugh laugh laugh). I think Jenna thought I had lost my mind. Then she goes, "Did she get your butt too?" Yes, yes she did. I pull my pants down and DID SHE EVER! Jenna is yelling "I'M SO SORRY OMIGOSH OMIGOSH.... I'M SO SORRY! MOM, COME LOOK AT WHAT YOUR DOG DID!!" Her poor, sweet mother. Oh bless. My favorite part was when Jenna goes, "How about we put a Captain America band-aid on that?"

I walk out and fall onto the couch, I can't stop laughing. Jenna and her mom keep apologizing. Finally, after all my adrenaline wears off, I feel the pain of my new holes and I go home. Swim suit season was fun trying to hide the one on muh bum. So one of the scariest experiences, but also one of the funniest. I'm also glad it happened at Jenna's because the two of us could not have handled it better. Laughter really is the best medicine, Captain Amercuh helped too.
This is my life. Sit and stay a while. It gets better.

Monday, October 24, 2011

hey random, hey

My birthday is coming up. I'm pretty excited because this is one year closer to being able to rent a car!! What? No. That's just silly. I'm really excited about it because about a week and a half after the day of my birth, I'm going to Disney World to see Harry Potter and fall in love with those books all over again.

I'm not sure why I started with that; I haven't thought about my birthday in a while. I really had about 10 other things on my mind. I think for my jubilant return, I'll be serious. I have a couple funny stories to share, but I think I'm going to call some kids out, subtly, naturally. Hold on to your britches!!! I'm probably going to be talking about you... Aren't you excited?

Okay, so really this isn't mean, but I know I'm an observational person who likes to point out when people do something. My reasons for this are so that either I'll learn to be more respectful and kind or so that they'll see, if they read this jumbled mess, that they have some things about them they should consider taking a second look at. I have the great privilege to be friends with brilliant people, even if I don't care for what they love, I love to see them passionate. With football season upon us, I have to bite my tongue. I am most normally surrounded by Auburn fans, which isn't terrible, and since I don't pull for that team it's a stretch of love I'm willing to give to hear those kids talk about how amazing their team is and how much they "bleed orange and blue"( to be scientifically correct, that sounds dangerous and you should get that looked at). However, what I will no longer tolerate is a person who is so beaten down by their team's loss that they can't bear to be around people. They'd rather sit by themselves and wallow in their pathetic misery over a team that they 1) don't play on, 2) have put nothing into except some money for tickets and money for the belligerent (if you follow me on twitter, this has become my word of the week... no place is off limits) alcohol spree they went on after their team lost, and 3) are most likely not even friends with anyone on the team. I totally understand being upset; I get upset when Alabama does something dumb, but I am either mature enough or not so dependent on a team's performance that I cease to function like the person I am the other 6 days of the week. Grow up, guys. Your wife will abhor your behavior one day, she will, I promise. And remember, I LOVE FOOTBALL. I love it. So so much. Upset for a hot minute or 10, sure. 2 hours after the game is over? Absolutely not. Am I speaking from experience? Not really, nothing that really affected me, but remember how I'm observational? K, Thanks.

I have one of the silliest BFF's in the world, @scottymo88. Homeboy makes me laugh all the time. He also lives an annoying distance away and teased me with a little visit at the beginning of October and since then I've gone through horrible withdrawals. Kid, get home.

School... (look guys it's been a while since I've been personal, I need to get out my life stories before I talk about how my life is awkwardly wonderful) gahhhhhhhhhhh... knowing that I have to CONTINUE my education if I really want my master's makes me want to fall down and break my leg. I don't know what that would do, but I just can't even wrap my mind around MORE SCHOOL. This semester has easily been my most difficult. Some of my classes are challenging, but I really think it's because I've stopped caring. That's so bad... I love school, despite my previous declarations... I'm kind of torn between loving it and never wanting it to end and wanting to be free so I can have adventures in Africa or Pennsylvania or California. In that order. (I know you didn't see this, but I just got really introspective)

I think for now, before I get into the dirties of my heart and the really personal stuff, I'll bid adieu.

Oh! If you can all make a wish for me on my birthday, it needs to be that I can have more time to devote to this joy of a creation, my blizzog.

Here's a picture of my neph for the family:

he says my name now: arrah

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

life in law

I rarely have a day so ridiculous that I post about it immediately. However, they do happen, so here goes nothing:

Today was like any other day: got up... finally, got dressed, got my beloved dirty chai, went to class, and headed off to work (LIKE AN ADULT!). I was really looking forward to work today because sometimes school becomes so overwhelming that I need to be reminded I can play AND be responsible at the same time. The office is a great outlet for that. So there I am, blissfully seeing NOIs flow out of their bin, and then one of the paralegals comes in with the "look". You know like when you have to tell your parents you got ANOTHER ticket or that "your friend" wrecked your car, or, for the parents out there, that the baby pee'd on your side of the bed. Yeah, that look.
I even said, "Oh no. Why that face? Why the smirk?!"
She sweetly said, "Well, you know that subpoena...?"
"Yeahhhh... the one in Opelika?"
(insert lolz here) "You need me to take it, don't you?"
"Yeah... Is that okay?"
"Yeah, that's fine..."
Mind you, last time I served a subpoena, the twit that I gave it to was such a jerk. Dear human, WE PAY YOU TO COPY PAPER!!!! C-H-I-L-L-A-X. And dear person who doesn't know what a subpoena is, I'm not suing you, and if I were, I certainly wouldn't come here on my own. I'm just the messenger. 99.79% of the time, you just have to produce documents. You've been schooled.

Before I head out on my wild adventure, I get summoned to sign a Will. My nickname by one Speagie is Padme', like Queen Amidala ,or Natty P. He probably couldn't tell you my name if a gun was held to his head, but it makes it all the more fun. Anyway, the Will, so one of the guys, who I'm guessing didn't read a ton of comic books as a child because he yells this AWESOME line to me every time I'm need for one of those: "TO THE BAT CAVE PADME'!"

Okay, to the real story. So I get on the road and the first stop is Tuskegee. For those of you who don't know, as a small white girl, I would stick out like a turban on a plane (i just did that... didn't i?) in that city. So there I am driving down the road to the back of Tuskegee, even better, and my directions send me down the wrong county road. Since I'm like Michael and it's telling me to go into a lake, I must obey. I go down this road, dirt mind you, covered in trees, no one in sight, OH and did I mention my phone is on the fritz?! I have no ability to have verbal communication to the outside world. Texting is about as far as it goes. I tweeted about a million times on the drive over because I had nothing else to do (Oh our poor generation... we're broken). The only thing flashing through my mind is when my sister and cousins almost got killed in Tuskegee on a back road (story for another day). This is not healthy. I finally decide that, "you know, I'd rather live", and turn back around. I see a tiny Mom-n-Pop station at the last turn I took, so here goes nothing...
I walk in, completely bemused and disheveled:
Lady: "Can I hep you, hun?"
"Heyyy... hey, hey. Okay, so I'm super confused. I have no idea where I am, but I keep being sent down CR 53 when I want to go down CR 63, but, well, this keeps happening."
Lady: "Well, hun, you gosta go down duh road an you see a ho-tel on duh right an duh street right aftuh it."
"Okay, so right down the road on the right, a hotel is in front?"
"Yeahhmm. Choo know, right down deh on duh right. Mmmhmmnn."
"Okay. Thank you so much!"
"Yeah dahlin, on deh right, hotel, mmmhmmnn."
"Yeah, okay. Thanks again"
"On deh right, doll."
I knew at this point if I wasn't just completely rude and walked off  right then, I'd be saying thank you all day and I would still be in Tuskegee right now. Off I go. (Guess what was on the right?) I see that this road is not NEARLY as terrifying as the last CR. UNTIL I get to the place of my destination. Oh hey abandon log house and your scary side shop filled with overgrown grass and rusty trucks... Wait a second... Am I staring in Shark Night 3D?!?! jklolz. So I go to the house, and don't yell at me. My one job was to serve the subpoena, and I am going to  serve that subpoena. Well how about that, there's a creaky swing and a breeze? I seriously felt like I was in a made-for-tv movie. Long, LONG story cut a smidge short, I walk to the uber creepy shop that says HOURS: 8AM-5PM. Liars. No one was there. However, as I'm standing there I see in the distance a tree with lovely yellow leaves. One leaf falls, and falls slowly, to the ground. If any of you have "The American", so many long and dragging cinematic clips in that movie were in exact timing with my life. If you haven't seen it, don't waste your brain cells; ugh, just the worst. So now that the point in life I'm in and the love a fascination I have for symbolism and literature (thanks Flannery O'Connor) I thought, "OHEMGEE. That is totally representing my impending death," and I run back to my car. I send a text to one of the girls at work (remember HOW I CAN'T CALL ANYONE?!?!) threatening that I'll haunt her and everyone else in the firm if they don't get me out of there alive. Since there are no cell towers in the backwoods of Deathtopia, I don't get her response for a solid 20 minutes. Marcus Mumford and I bonded over some lovely lyrics and great tunes.

I get to Opelika, where the real place is for me to serve, and I can't find the building. I stop at one location and they send me into the Mexican ghetto. I try another place and they sadly see an ugly side of me. I may have snapped at one of the guys in the building, and he was just saying hello. My b, boy. The other guy must live with lots of girls because he was super sweet UNTIL he walks outside and says,
"Are you going to be coming back by here?"
"No. What? Why?"
"I could just take you over there."
"Yeah, I don't think so."
"Here get in my car and I'll pull up the GPS location-here-we-are-map-touch-screen-thing. (It should be noted: I'm technologically retarded and all technology knows that I am. Look at what my phone did to me.)"
"Uhh.. what's your name again?"
"My mom told me to never get in the car with strangers... (plop into his car)"
Sweet Brian found the building for me. And I thought I was done with ridiculousness, UNTIL:

I pulled up at the wrecker shop, where people actually worked, and as SOON as I get out of my car, "Hey daRlin. What can I do for you?"
"Is your supervisor here? I have a subpoena for him to sign."
"It's not for you, it's for him. Is HE here?"
"No, baby. He ain't. He ain't been here but for 10 minutes today."
My face must have been full of rage or tears; I'm not sure.
"You o.k.?"
"Yeah, okay. Can one of you sign it and make sure you give it to him as soon as you see him?"
"I don't want my name on no legal doc-u-ment. I ain't bein sued fer nuthin."
"And neither is he. He just  needs to show up and testify. No one is in trouble. And subpoenas AREN'T BAD. PRODUCE DOCUMENTS, SHOW YOUR FACE. NOT. A. BIG. DEAL. Now one of you sign it. NOW."
"Alright, Will you go do it."
W: "So he jus gotta go to court? I gotta do that next week for some child support crap."
(you have GOT to be kidding me)
 William takes the pen from me and guess what... he has 9 fingers and about 7 teeth.
Other guy: "Alright, you from 'round here?"
"You come 'round here much?"
"nope." (then I thought, "I'll be back here in less than 2 days... he doesn't need to know that...,")
"Can I subpoena you fer lunch?"
"Absolutely not."
Papers are signed, I'm saying thank you to 9 fingered Will.
"You sure I can't subpoena you for lunch?"
"That's not how this works, and I wouldn't go anyway. Good-bye."
Mind you, I could not have sounded more condescending if I tried. Good Country People.

As I get in the car and I start to hear lewd comments about me (always a good feeling by the way. Makes you feel treasured. Buncha creeps), I was like "WHAT IS MY LIIIIIFE?!?!?!?!" I leave to go to another serving location and at 5:04, when I pull up, the building is locked. This is Life in the Law.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


 My friend Josh (Shwaa) was going out west to meet up with a couple other friends for a wild road trip. Before he left he had a wedding to shoot (he’s a part-time/slow getting things out videographer). My friend Jenna accompanied shwaa to the wedding, partially for my benefit since I was the one driving shwaa to the airport and needing to not die on the journey home. This is that story:

Jenna and I love music, but we REALLY love to sing it, especially car singing. You know, where you trap other people in the car and they have no choice but to listen to you and your person karaoke sesh… yeah, we love that. After the wedding that all 3 of us went to (btdubs, it was so beautiful; YAY MEAGGIE AND HUNTER!!), we were all disgustingly sweaty, and fortunately for my and Jenna’s noses, shwaa was close to a shower and took advantage (preesh). As we’re making our way out of Tallassee, we stop at the only gas station near the interstate for some caffeine and treats. After jenna and I get our snacks, we head out to the car, but not before we see Sgt. EXTREEEEME. The rent-a-cop is wearing combat boots, a bulletproof vest, has a bald head (nothing wrong with that, I’m just telling you what he looks like; everything else is ridic, but i actually like the bald look for a minute or two), and is carrying… a taser. A little bit excessive for a Saturday night at the Tallassee BP, but you know, I wasn’t going to judge... until the following happened. Jenna and I are patiently waiting for shwaa to get his chicken (gas station chicken… really shwaa? Really?), when Sgt. E. comes out with his gas station pizza, leaning on the trash can and busts out this gem of a story: “whell, yew know when dat bwoah comes back down her’, I’ma be ready. I tell you what. (whips out taser) I ain’t ‘fraid to use this. (tases the air) I hope Volduhmort (yes, VOLDEMORT) shows his face. I can’ way-uht,”.

Jenna and I are just sitting there, trying to avert our eyes, but he’s there putting this show on for us (Dear Sir, let’s get real. You probably don’t have a high school diploma; you work the night shift at a gas station; and you’re about 45. While your attempt at being young and cool and a bit BA was noble, you can’t avoid what you really are, old and washed up. Ttyn). When he said “Volduhmort” I’m pretty sure jenna and I fell over with laughter. Shwaa FINALLY got out to the car and we sped off into the night. Did I mention that I’m blind as a bat when driving in the rain or in the dark? Yeah, this just adds to the fun. 

Well, there we are.  I think Shwaa wanted to have a meaningful conversation on the way to the ATL, but Jenna and I wouldn't have it. We sang so much T.Swift that it would have made country people like heavy metal (we're passionate singers... not gifted). We find our way to the airport, drop Shwaa off (4 or 5 hours early mind you) and Jenna and I head back to the Gump. Before we really get on the road, we head to the nearest coffee joint. Awesome, it's a gas station. This gas station had a "coffee bar" with pumps of additives. Being that I'm about 5, I was like "PUMPS OF ENERGY SHOTS?!? GIVE ME 20!!!!". Jen over-loaded on cinnamon and we left... not before I hit up the restroom. As I'm walking out of the bathroom, I see this woman standing outside the door in her socks talking as "doown howme" country as possible. She was closely followed by her daughter wearing the same shoeless ensemble. As she stood and talked to me for about a billion years, Jen is standing off to the side just watching, no attempt to rescue, just watching.

Torture over, we attack the road again. And following are tweets that were sent from me and Jen that night: 

jpeyt: @clarabell87 is so hyped up on the crack cocaine energy she put in her coffee she's only saying 1/every 10 words she needs to to communicate

Me: I may or may not die from multiple tastebud hemmorages on the way home.

jpeyt:  @clarabell87-"Taste it It's like burned popcorn and I like burned popcorn but this coffee's like kettlecorn burned popcorn what am I saying"

Me: This crack coffee has brought laughs out of me i didn't know i was capable of forming. They're really scary.
jpeyt: @clarabell87 fortunately it hasn't impaired your driving judgment...oh wait
 And don't worry, you know we took a twitpic to remember what the crack coffee killed in our brainz:

 After we decided we still wanted followers and friends when the trip was over... I had to go potty again. ( I blame it on the crack coffee) There were no gas stations open since it was about 2 in the morning est., so Jen and I got creative. We saw that there was a truck stop with lights on and we prayed it was open, but our (my) worst fears came true. We found a ton of shrubberies on the other side of the parking lot, which was massive, and we parked as close to them as possible, and, well... I guess you can figure out what happened... this was the picture that Jen took to immortalize the most ridiculous moment in my life (which is saying a lot if you know me at all):

The End.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

perpetually providential

I found this in my drafts, and i said to myself, "self, why you no post this a long time ago?" And then I remembered that I had been advised not to... I don't see why I shouldn't have, I'm just asking a question, which is something I'm allowed to do. And here it goes: I've spent days thinking about how I could phrase this topic without either being offensive or sounding like pretentious. Friends, I love you all. Don't think I'm picking on any of you; I'm most definitely preaching to the choir. So... here goes nothin!

I notice that a popular theme amongst the majority of my friends is proclaiming God's goodness or how providential He is when they get something they really wanted. Excuse me, but there is something missing in that phrase/ thought/ action, right?

I know that there are many of my friends that will go, "Clara, you're totally taking this out of context. Why so literal?". I don't really believe that I am taking anything out of context. How often do you see or notice God working in the crappiest of situations? How often do we give Him the glory when we have the flu, can't study for a test, have a child that is sick, or whatever your crappiest situation is? Seriously. Ask that question... daily. I know for a fact that I struggle with this more often than I'd like to admit.

I saw a friend tweet that they were "thankful for the Lord's providence..." because they got something they  wanted; which is now something they are not happy with (job... shockerrrr). I'm not getting on to them, I'm just now aware of how little we thank God for EVERYTHING. Not just the things we want. What if they hadn't gotten that job? I hate to think how I would have responded. Actually, I know how I would have responded, and that is heart breaking for me to think about. This whole post might be full of questions and no answers and that's okay to me. I don't believe I'm supposed to have answers. I believe I'm supposed to question and become aware of who I am, what I say, and what I do. Aren't the most annoying things you see in others the things that bother you most about yourself? Well, I'm bothered. *sound the alarm* I plan on taking action.

What bothers you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Minerva and Gottfried

For my 22nd birthday, my mother surprised me with the most hilarious and ridiculous present I’ve ever received in my life. Here’s what happened:

Friday the 13th, the day of my birth 22 years prior, I should have known something weird would come from being born on this day (like my liiiiife), my mother and I took the day to do our favorite things, book and clothing shopping. We spent the majority of the day looking at stuff for Europe, mom and dad were leaving in February for a trip, and then did a little clothing shopping for moi. After the day was over, mom had a few more errands to run so I went home and got ready for dinner for that evening.
All dolled up in my little jumper, so what if I’m 22, I can still rock a jumper, I was waiting on mom to come back to the house and get me for dinner. She comes in and calls my name. I walked to the kitchen where she was and she stood at the door with this very large cardboard box. She had “that” look on her face. I stood there looking at her and said,
“mom? What’s in the box?”
“it’s your present!”
“I thought the clothing and stuff were my presents this year?”
“no, I got you one more…”

Dun, dun, duuuunnnnn…

As she starts pulling things out of the box, I start to become a little concerned. Rocks? A bamboo stalk? Is that a display box?!
The last thing she whips out is a clear plastic box, like ones used for storage, and a bag inside. I’m standing there and I know I can feel my heart sinking. I. Am. Terrified.

Small back story:  my mother is one of the most thoughtful people in the world. I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated it until close to recently. And even now I fail at seeing how precious she really is.

Thoughtfulness: when I lived in auburn, I had a pet fish, 3 really, but 2 died from ick. I barely mourned over them because they weren’t with me very long. However, I had this other fish, Thaddeus, who was a precious little tiger barb. I felt like it was appropriate, auburn tigers, tiger fish… anyway, I had Thaddeus and he was so cute. He would swim like crazy whenever my roommate or I entered the room. I think we watched Finding Nemo one night and he must have been paying attention because when I cleaned out his bowl later that week, he jumped down the drain. Freaking out, I call my mother and ask her, through tears, what I should do. She says, and I quote, “just get him out with a fork.” Me: (sob, sob, sob…) “YOU ARE EVIL!!”

All that to say, Thaddeus died; he found out only drains near the ocean lead to the ocean. All the other ones lead to sewage systems or to the nasty, evil duck infested pond back behind my house.

*Back story over*

Mom pulls out the little bag and two creatures are floating around in it.

“mom…? What the heck is that?”
“it’s frogs!”
“…like from our back yard?” we had an over population of those little tree frogs that would reign over our back porch at night; it was disgusting, but my mom thought they were adorable.
“no, clara! They’re African water frogs!!”
Puzzled look: “ohhh, naturally.”
“you love frogs.”
“no, mom. You love frogs. I love fish.”

I start laughing because I can literally not believe this is happening. Tears are pouring down my face, I don’t think my mother feels that this is any laughing matter and is bemused as to why I find humor in this at all.

“clara, you said you wanted fish, but I saw these at brookstone and thought, ‘she’s quirky. She’d probably love these.’”
Insert me falling to the floor, in a heap, still crying from laughing.

The rest of the night followed with me at dinner, and after a margarita, still laughing with tears, talking to my sisters asking why they allowed her do this, and hanging out with a friend later still crying from laughter.

The joke’s on me. They’re still alive, and one of my friends recently looked up the life expectancy for those specific frogs: as long as 20 years. Blessed little Minerva and Gottfried, the best/worst and weirdest present I’ve ever received in my life.