The Fellowship of the Likes

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I made it! By golly, I made it through!

I won’t say I’ve started reading The Fellowship of the Ring 100 times, but 3 is practically 100. In the grand scheme of things, I mean.

No?

Failing to read a book three times, and then coming back for one more try– that’s a lot of trying. I knew if I could get past those first 100-150 pages, I’d start enjoying myself. I knew that it would be on the fourth time of listening to the Proudfoot heritage that I’d finally absorb enough to persevere.

Finishing The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring made me feel like a hero.

Too far?

And what do I have to say about the experience, you might ask?

There are some books that touch you; they’ll leave a mark on your heart and occupy a lot of space your head. You’ll reread them several times in the beginning. If you’re renting it, the librarian will contemplate just giving it to you already so she can stop seeing your embarrassed face and asking you if you’re interested in a similar book. “Similar, as in not the same book, dear.” Your love for that story will eventually ebb into a slow burn on the fringes of your heart. Another book will steal you in the same way, but when that old favorite is mentioned, the fire will spark yet again. You’ll reread the worn copy and discover it’s both a little better and a little different than you remembered it. A great book will bring you right back to that first time you read it, the first time you loved it. I gasped here. How could I have been fooled there? I think I skimmed this part; I’ve never read that line, surely! My favorite scene’s coming up. Poetry! How did I not see the poetry?! Settle down, Hil; he’s not really dead.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is not and will never be one of those books. Not for me, anyway. I’m sorry I feel that way, but I do.

I read The Catcher in the Rye recently. Guys, I feel even worse about that one.

It takes a lot for me to admit that. Sometimes I feel an enormous pressure to like the things that are universally considered great. (Don’t we all?) One of the biggest lessons of my adult life has been accepting that it’s okay to like what I like and dislike what I don’t. I don’t like kale unless it’s greatly disguised, but you can feed me spinach all day. (Please don’t.) Fresh flowers make me feel good, and I like that they do. I like the smell of puppies, even though I’m pretty sure it’s two steps away from urine. I like to wear makeup, but I don’t like to have to wear makeup. I like to wear pants, but I don’t like to wear them for more than two hours. (Sweat pants are the obvious exception.) I like to hear honest opinions when asked, but I don’t like to be told what to do (even though I might still do it). I don’t like loud bars–so I don’t like bars– but I love late night talks. I love to read, but I do not like The Lord of the Rings books. I do not like a traffic jam. I do not like The Catcher in the Rye, Sam-I-am!

And well, I think all of that is okay. I think I’m okay. More than okay, I say! I’ll quit with the nonsense rhymes. Actually, I’ll quit talking, full stop.

PS Oh, Bridget…

PPS I totally listened to The Fellowship on audiobook. That still counts, right?

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Something Good

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Me: Ardmore!!! Oh, Ardmore!

Ardmore: …

Me: Ardmore, I went to see The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl and I wore suspenders and sang with everything I had and laughed and ate popcorn and realized that Christopher Plummer should only wear grey suits for the rest of his life.

Ardmore: I preferred the brown.

Me: Really? 

Ardmore: I see your point.

Me: And there were cowbells and a little girl dressed as a bed!

Ardmore: Come again?

Me: It was so cute. And Edelweiss. Edelweiss, Ardy! Edelweiss always.

Ardmore: *mumbles*

Me: What?

Ardmore: Oh, I was just writing down: “patient in manic state.”

Me: IT WAS MUSICAL MANIA. THIS IS WHAT HAPPINESS LOOKS LIKE.

Ardmore: It looks like suspenders?

Me: I was working those suspenders. And there were nuns and kids.

Ardmore: Nuns and Kids. That’s a band name.

Me: Ardmore, do you even know what bands are?

Ardmore: I know everything.

Me: Oh, but you don’t know the sound of an entire stadium booing Nazis.

Ardmore: …

Me: Ardmore? Ardy? Aaaaardmooooore?

Phone Camera Memories

A month ago my phone did the thing we all fear: it told me that there wasn’t enough storage space to take pictures.

And then I decided I didn’t really need to send a picture of my dinner to my mom.

It was disastrous (1) because my phone is my main camera and (2) because my momma will never know the beauty of my over easy eggs.

It was up to me to do the unthinkable. On a Friday night–the only appropriate night for this sort of thing–I was left to delete pictures from my phone. (I’m stuck in the past tense, but just so we’re clear, I waited until tonight to delete them. Procrastination alert!)

And you know what?

There are some really great pictures on here. I’m not saying I’m Cindy Sherman. (I always go with Cindy Sherman in a photography conversation. I have a very limited scope; there’s Cindy Sherman, Ansel Adams, and that woman who takes adorable pictures of babies in things. See? Limited.)

But these pictures show some really good times. I’m reminded of what a wonderful life this is and also that I’m not immune to poor choices.

 

Jill. A zebra farm. Wicked soundtrack. Four hours until we change in a parking lot and Jill curls her hair in the hallway.

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This is a blurry picture of Kevin Costner. I swear.

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This is a blurry picture of two ladies I’m blessed to know. I swear.
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Sometimes growing out your hair has its bumps, speed bumps on the highway that throw your car down the ditch.

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Pepperdine at night can kind of make you feel like a Disney princess (with rabies).

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I climbed this rock and sat on it, and my Italian Rachel just happened to snap a picture at the right time. (She also took about fourteen failed versions, but details.)

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Oh, and the dog pictures, but I’m keeping those on the phone.

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Maybe I’ll keep them all because my heart’s memory is bigger than an iPhone’s or something really meaningful that I’m too tired to articulate because it’s 9:30 on a Friday and I should be in bed.