Chris, Ann-Marie and I walk out to the parking lot to attend the Deaf Ward. I lead the group to the spot where I always park my car. Except... it's not there. "What the crap? Where's my car?"
Thinking that maybe I'm just an idiot and parked my car some place else in the lot, we started wandering around looking for it. But it wasn't there. I thought that maybe somebody was just playing a prank on me and moved it. I mean, I did steal Ramos' car last year. A couple times. And moved it to make him crazy. I had it coming. So we looked around the entire Villa parking lot. No car. Ann-Marie and Chris went to my place to listen to Kat laugh about it. I went to Provo High School and the Seminary building with Lisa to see if it was over there. It wasn't.
By now, an hour has passed and there's still zero sign of my car. And I don't know anybody who would play a prank like that any more. I mean, I only know my parents. And so I came back to the apartment. A small crowd had gathered there because somebody losing a car is entertaining and new. Who loses a car? It's not like I lost the keys. I lost the whole freaking car! What's left to do? It's been an hour. I can't find it. I guess it's stolen. I don't know who in their right mind would steal my car but it's the only other thing I can think of. So, I called the police.
And they hung up on me.
So I called back.
And I reported it missing.
"I'll send an officer over."
"Okay," I said.
And I waited. The people talked and laughed about funny mission stories. I laid on the big yellow ball of happiness, sprawled over it on my back. And I just thought as I waited for the officer to arrive.
I thought about my checkbook balance. And about how I needed to repaint my toenails. And about how much I disliked police officers. And about how the school year was almost over. And about how I should probably visit my family at some point. And about how lame yesterday was because I had to be at work on a Saturday at 7am...
I shot up! I gasped! "It's at WORK!!!" I yelled. "It's at work because I had to be there at 7:30am and then I carpooled up to Salt Lake for that convention thingy but I got out an hour early and so YOU drove me home!" I pointed accusingly at Kat. The room was silent only for a split second before the laughter and mocking started. Yes, I am an idiot. I didn't forget that I parked my car a few slots away than usual... but a few blocks away from usual.
And so I called the police back.
"Hi, I'm Emily Hansen and I just reported my car stolen. But I just had an epiphany and... it's not."
"Okay, we'll cancel the call."
And that was it.
I've been helping out in Mrs. Wilde's second grade class in the afternoons lately. And trust me, it's not just a clever name. That class is WILD! And Mrs. Wilde herself is somebody I'd hate to be stuck next to on a plane. I come in right after lunch recess and every day thus far she's been late. So I'm stuck in the hallway with 33 screaming second graders trying to convince them to not spray each other with water from the drinking fountain and, by all means, not to spray each other with water from the toilets. But today, not only was Mrs. Wilde late... she decided not to show up at all. The principal met me in the doorway of the classroom and asked if I'd seen her.
"Nope, not since morning recess."
"Oh. Well... I don't think she's coming back."
Mrs. Densley took one look around at the screaming children as they jumped off of desks, played in the closet and fought over a bouncy ball. "Hey, What do you usually do right now?"
"Well, I used to tutor but I've been an aide in this class for the past few days."
"Perfect! The class is yours."
And she walked away. She just left me there. With 33 screaming second graders.
It just so happens that my name is common. All three of them. And combining them just makes it all the more common. Emily Ann Hansen is almost the equivelant of John Smith. During my years at BYU I was one of eleven Emily Hansens and one of four Emily Ann Hansens.
As a result of this common nonsense, I got an announcement in the mail today. Susana Cristin Bair and William Reed Harty will be married on May 29th in the Los Angeles Temple. I have been invited to their reception in L.A. that evening. What does this have to do with anything? I don't know Susana or William!
I can only assume that they have made the same mistake as numerous others who have emailed and called me to ask me about classes I'm not taking, to invite me to hang out with people I don't know and to inform me about things I don't care about because of my name. Route Y is a beautiful thing but only if you know something about the person you're looking for because just typing in Emily Hansen will get you nowhere when you're trying to find that cute girl in your chemistry class. It's not me, guys! Wrong numba!
For most girls they fear inheriting some long, odd name. Not me. I'd embrace it. I'm ready for a bit of flavor to my common name. As long as it doesn't start with with an R. Or a T. Because then my initials would be EAR or EAT. And what if I lost my hearing later or got obnoxiously obese? What then? That would just be sad. Get it? Because I'd be deaf with the initials EAR. Or really fat with the initials EAT. And we can't have that. No, no.
Today Kat and I decided to leave our small yellow and orange Nerf football at home and venture into deeper waters with... a real football. So, we did what any girl in our situation would do. We borrowed the ball from our neighbor, changed our clothes and shoes, did our hair and added the necessary accessories (a backwards, tilted baseball cap) to prepare for our new adventure. And then, since we were looking pretty cute pretending to be athletic, it became obvious that pictures must be taken on this momentous occasion. So we knocked on our neighbors' door, heard boys and ran away. Then we had another neighbor take pictures of us with the football in "footballish" poses. With all that out of the way and with a few minutes of daylight left, we ventured over to the big field across the street to "play football." And by "play football" I mean we were going to see if we could actually throw it. And then, if that finally became possible, we were going to attempt to catch it.
Just outside the fence were two high school boys. I don't know why they were there. Perhaps they were waiting for their mom to pick them up after their boyscout meeting. Or they got in trouble for not putting their saw away properly in woodshop and had just gotten out of detention. In either case, there were two high school boys watching us. And this is what they saw...
They saw me "throw" the ball straight up in the air, landing halfway between Kat and I (who were standing only a few yards apart). They saw me cheer and do the Dance of Joy when I finally caught it. They saw me turn a full circle and then eye the ball suspiciously when Kat's cell phone rang and I didn't know where the sound was coming from. While Kat was on the phone they saw me focus really hard before I tried to kick the ball. They saw the ball I kicked fly backwards over my head, off the fence behind me and into the parking lot. They saw me when I put all my strength into throwing that ball and they saw that after I released it I flew around in a full circle then ended in a heap on the ground. They saw that the ball that I threw at full strength still barely made it to Kat who was still only a few yards away. They saw Kat and I look relieved when Leah called to have us come over to meet her mom. And they saw that we looked tired as we walked home. Because we were.
Mr. Giles is our elementary school's janitorial custodian. Monday he came into our first grade classroom and walked to the back of the room where I was sitting grading state tests. "Hey! I had a dream about you last night!"
"What?" I asked, hoping I had misheard.
"You were in my dream last night. It was really weird!"
"Oh, yeah? Huh..."
"Yep. Let me tell you about it."
"So, you and Mrs. Hannig and two other teachers and my old Bishop and his son all went to Salt Lake City to the Church Office Building to try out for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Do you sing?"
"Huh. Anyway, I wasn't there to try out but I was supporting you guys. And you would go in one at a time to audition and if you made it you'd come out with a patch of fabric which was half black and half gold. And you'd also wear a black robe that looked like a graduation robe. Which is weird too because the Mormon Tabernacle Choir doesn't wear robes."
"Ya, anyway, you were the first one to go in and you made it! Congratulations!"
"You and Mrs. Hannig were the only two to get in."
"Are you sure you don't sing?"
"Yep, pretty sure."
"Okay, anyway... you were so excited to get into the choir that you wanted a haircut. And since I cut hair, I offered to do it for you."
"That's cool that you cut hair. I didn't know that until about a month ago." (The guy seriously went to beauty school!)
"Ya, so, you wanted an undercut and I was willing to do it for you for your new look for the choir even though your hair was already pretty short."
"I do want an undercut."
"You do?? I'm psychic!!"
"I knew it."
"Ya! Cool! Anyway, I went to get my haircutting shears but they were so dull because somebody had used them to cut some branches off a tree."
"I know! It's a really weird dream! So, the scissors are really dull and I'm trying to hide that fact from you since you already seem kind of nervous about having me cut your hair."
"It's okay. So I start cutting your hair but since I'm left handed, and my scissors were so dull, I accidentally scratched the back of your neck on your right side as I was coming around. And you didn't really complain but you just said ouch and when I looked at where you put your hand I noticed just a little scratch. It didn't bleed. It actually looked like an old scar... Do you have a scar on the back of your neck?"
"Oh. Anyway, you were so upset about me scratching you that I left you alone for a while so you could gather your courage to let me finish."
"I can be a pansy."
"Oh. Well, it was at that point that I realized that there were two older women kissing just inside the Church Office Building."
"I know! So everybody had to wait as the General Authorities who were listening to the auditions escorted the women out."
"It was also at that point that I realized that President Hinckley was there. Except he was wearing a black toupe as a disguise. Nobody recognized him but me even though it was so obvious."
"Hahaha! You had a dream about President Hinckley in a black toupe?? Hahaha!!"
"Ya ya. So I come back to you and start cutting your hair again and at that moment my wife flipped the light on in our room just in time to hear me say, "I just gotta finish her hair!" and she asked me who's hair I was cutting and I woke up and told her it was some random girl from work."
"That's officially weird."
"I know! I didn't even see you on Friday!"
"No, I was outside all day."
"And I only saw you twice on Thursday when we said hi to eachother in the hall."
"Ya, that's all I can remember, too."
"The lesbians I can explain because there are two old lesbians that Mr. Johnson was tellling me about the other day. And the other people in the dream I had just recently seen. But I can't explain why you were in my dream. Maybe I just want you to date my son."
"It's a possibility."
"Ya, that must be it."
So I was at work yesterday. Nasty habit. I was coming in late from my lunch break. Another nasty habit. But fortunately for me, the children had not yet come out for their afternoon recess. I sat down on the park bench, reached into my backpack and pulled out my book. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, in the parking lot behind the playground I could swear I just saw... a donkey? What the crap? I blink a few times and look more closely. Yep, a donkey. And is that a freaking pony next to it? Oh, my gosh. I'm losing my mind. I have finally snapped. I'm seeing things. I'm freaking hallucinating. But if I'm going to halllucinate then why am I seeing farm animals? Why not hallucinate my very own Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom or a new wardrobe or some ice cream? Why farm animals? WHY? And do I hear a goat? Oh dear. I'm officially crazy. We all knew it would happen eventually.
But then a child comes out. She runs for the swings but suddenly freezes in her tracks. Her jaw drops, her eyes grow wide and then she turns to me and screams, "Miss Hansen! I see a donkey!!" And then she ran for the parking lot.
I was probably supposed to stop the children from going over there. They weren't on school property, the animals were there for Oakridge (the school next door) and if all the recess children went over there it would be really overwhelming for the animals. But I didn't care. I was so relieved that the children saw the animals too that I was willing to let them do whatever they wanted.
And they did have a goat. A baby one that was less than a week old and it kept making a sound that resembled the sound of a horn on a child's bicycle. And there was an ostrich. And some rabbits. And a couple geese. I have no idea where these animals came from. But they were there. I swear. I have yet to officially crack.
I left my DJ post for a minute and while I was away a few boys took over, including two creepy boys. Kat came over to me and said, "Em... I want to go over there to pick the next song but the creepy boys are over there." I didn't know what I was going to do about it but I walked over there, squeezed between them (they were really tall), just stood in front of the computer and started scrolling. The boys left without a word.
Kat came over. "Fixed it," I said.
"What did you do?"
"Nothing. I just came over here and that was enough for them to want to leave. I've got the power!"
"Oh yeah! The power to make boys want to leave! Hey... wait a second... that's not a good thing!"
"But just the creepy ones! That's a good thing!"
"Whatever. It's not just the creepy ones. Crap. I've got the power..."
It's true that sidekicks should have some kind of super power that really doesn't really do anything all that helpful. Apparantly mine is clearing a room of the male gender.