Bearding the Lion

I have a confession to make. Not that I don’t regularly confess my own stupidity and other shortcomings here, of course, but this is something I’ve never confessed before and I kind of don’t want to confess it now, because you’ll think less of me, but on the other hand today’s accomplishments would mean nothing if you didn’t know what I’m about to tell you.

Like lots of other people, I generally fear and loathe bureaucracy in all its forms. I don’t mind you knowing that. What I hate to admit is that I’ve been living in absolute terror for a couple of years over something that is really so trivial. For the last three years at least I have offered to put up posters about the Renaissance Faire at the university where Walter works. The first year I got Walter to inquire about it, and he was told that the posters were unacceptable because there was one little part of the collage that depicted a belly dancer. After that he washed his hands of the whole idea.

Last  year, I offered again to do it, and to cover up the offending image with a manly jousting photo, but I was off the hook in the end because I didn’t actually receive the posters. As this year’s faire approached, I found myself deeply conflicted. On the one hand, I really, really want to help the faire in any way I can, and I also think the college students would greatly enjoy the faire. On the other hand, every single time in the last three years that I’ve mentioned my desire to put posters up on campus, I’ve been reminded by everyone in earshot that I have to get the posters “approved” and “stamped.” Every. Single. Time.

First of all, I think this says something about my family’s assessment of my memory, which admittedly is not what it once was. Secondly, the relentless repetition of the warnings led me to believe that getting that coveted stamp of approval was only slightly less difficult than running a triathlon while handcuffed to a millstone. Every time I thought about going to the university and finding the right office and confronting the right person, I found myself inwardly quivering.

So, it’s no wonder that when I finally got the posters, and got them all ready with pockets to hold the coupons, that I couldn’t seem to make myself go over there. I cravenly dodged the issue by asking some of our chai party kids to do it, but I didn’t get a single offer of help. Then I kind of backed myself into a corner by promising that I would do it this week, and because I normally keep my word, I found myself out of options because there’s no way on earth that I would go to the faire tomorrow and admit that the posters were still not up.

Yesterday was the day I was going to do it, but what with the lunch at the church and the play I was short on time and very, very short on courage. That left only this morning, because we had Biology in the afternoon. I got up early and did my shopping and then came home and had breakfast, but after that I was out of excuses and would soon be out of time if I didn’t do something. I had asked my husband who I had to see and where her office was, so I even knew where to go.

The one thing that gave me hope was that the lady I needed to see was in fact the mother of one of my former students, and though I hadn’t met her in person I had exchanged emails with her and I am very fond of her son. So, I drove to the campus and braved the intimidating brand-new student center, and found the right office. The lady was friendly and sympathetic, but it turned out there was an issue with the posters that I hadn’t thought about. She had to consult a superior while I waited anxiously in the foyer. The longer I waited, the more certain I was that my mission had failed.

You can imagine my incredulity when she returned and said that the posters could be approved after all. Not only that, but I did not have to even do it myself. Student workers would put them up for me. And not only that, but they would put up the Highland Games flyers in addition to the regular Faire posters. I was so stunned I’m sure I just gaped like a fish.

By the time I got to the elevator I had a powerful urge to dance, but I was pretty sure there was a security camera in there somewhere so I just danced in my head. After three years of anxiety, it was incredible to realize that my fears had been ungrounded. After that I drove to the post office and mailed a package that I had been putting off for a week or two, and picked up a package that the mail carrier had tried to deliver during the five minutes this week that no one was home. Either that or he tried to ring the doorbell. Our front doorbell doesn’t work even a little bit so if he tried to ring the doorbell, he wouldn’t get an answer even if the house was full to bursting with people.

By the time I arrived back home I was feeling pretty happy about life in general.

After lunch we drove up for Biology, or, as I like to think of it, “Linda’s nap time.” I am always so sleepy and I always fall asleep on Kim’s couch while the girls are having their Biology lesson.

We stopped at the health food store on the way home and then tackled the task of making not one, not two, but three kinds of pizza for supper. There was “normal” pizza for Walter and Jasper (Spencer is in another town for a tennis tournament and Mercy had a seminar to go to). There was gluten-free pizza for Lucy. And there was everything-free pizza for me. A gluten-free crust with dairy-free “cheese” that looked more like bits of straw. Fortunately I no longer can really compare the stuff I eat to the “real” version, so the gluten-free dairy-free pizza wasn’t as bad as I expected.

Tomorrow is Lucy’s birthday trip to the Faire with friends so I’ve been in full preparation mode. We’re going to have a great day, I’m sure of it. This weekend’s theme is “Pirate Invasion,” so I got these charms at Hobby Lobby this week and Lucy made them into earrings for me:

 cutlass earrings

Bring on the pirates!

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