Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh What Fun...

It is to run in a Jingle Bell 5k.

A little known fact about yours truly-I make up lyrics to songs all the time using popular, well-known tunes and they always rhyme (my songs, not the tunes). My college roommates used to do this and I'm fairly sure that's where the habit began.

The run was awesome! We all finished at a running pace. Lance came in second in his age division. Emily broke her goal of finishing under 35 minutes. I shaved a few minutes off my own time and Dustin, Brenda and Ben all came in running like a true team. The bunch of us made up team "Lance's Beard." It was wonderful. Those of us who finished, ran back to join and encourage our teammates who hadn't quite completed the run yet and we ran the last leg of the race with them, only jumping off the path to let them head through the finish line alone, in true style. Way to go, Lance's Beard! A true testament of team and Christmas spirit!

Yesterday, I started to write a blog about how much I hate Chia Pets. It wasn't always like that, though. I'd been fascinated with them for a while because of their longevity. The advertising campaign hadn't changed. The same early eighties commercials were being used (this was the early 2000s and even now they still do, really) and people were clearly still buying the Chia Pets. They'd evolved, even, from just a porcupine-looking Chia to various cartoon characters and trolls, depending on the trend. Because they were and are still around, I started to think that maybe there was something more to the Chia Pets than I knew. I started thinking there had to be a reason why people were buying them, which they were, or there wouldn't be money to spend on the continuous advertising for them.

So I sort of obsessed over the damn things for a while. I was completely into the commercials and applauded their longevity, until, that is, an ex-boyfriend was struck with the brilliant idea of going one step further with my minor obsession by buying me one for Christmas. At first, it was ok. The head was in the shape of TweetyBird and I followed the directions, mixing together a sludge of seeds and water until it was a dark brownish-black, then smothering the goo onto the head of my Chia. I sat it in the window where there was sunlight and kept it watered just as the directions prescribed. I didn't mind the Chia when it didn't have anything to pet, but when little sprigs started to pop up (and not all at once) it made me think of a balding man's head in reverse. One strand would come, then another would sprout, then a patch here and there. Imagine a mostly bald Tweety bird with a few stringy strands of green sprouts (yeah, like the sprouts you find on sandwiches and salads sometimes). Eventually, the entire head filled up so there were no bald-blackish gross spots. Instead, the Chia hair went crazy. It was like an overgrown field of weeds. Something was wrong, I decided, when I realized the Chia Pet was so hairy I couldn't look at it without feeling a little sick to my stomach.

I pulled out the directions only to discover that the package of seeds was not meant to be used all at once, as I had done, but in separate plantings. This way the life of the Chia would be longer. I looked from the directions to the Chia across the room: it's big Tweety smile and overgrown sprouty hair stared back at me. The hair was beyond unruly; it was a life unto itself and Tweety seemed to really dig it. 
What happened next is harder to explain so I've never done so until now. I can't figure out whether it was the goofy Tweety smile or the unlikely and unattractive green stalks of hair with mini-sprouts (Tweety was YELLOW! and, let's face it, didn't have hair anything like the Chia Tweety version!) at the tips or whether I had just gotten tired of avoiding eye-contact with the corner of the room the Chia resided in (I avoided it like the plague), but I suddenly found myself standing over the sink, warm water running, disposal grinding away within the mouth of the stainless steel basin, Chia pet in one hand while I frantically pulled off the green hair with the other and threw it into the disposal. I kept pulling off the hair and throwing it down the sink until Tweety was bald. Then I rubbed at the head of the Chia, removing every remnant of growth that had once existed. I didn't want to take any chance that it might grow back. I was like a woman possessed. I couldn't rest until I was certain the Chia's ability to grow hair was over. Forever. Some strong hold had taken over me and I could no longer stand sharing a studio apartment in Pittsburgh with a Chia-haired, toothy-smiled TweetyBird.

When I was finished assaulting the Chia, I turned it to face the wall behind the sink and tried never to look at it again. The day I moved out of my apartment, I donated the bald Chia pet to GoodWill. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out, since it hadn't ever actually done anything to me and I saw no reason to trash the poor bald thing, but I certainly couldn't take it with me-not after what had passed between us. No one I knew wanted it; the boyfriend's time had run out (hence-the "ex") but I hope Tweety Chia found a good home somewhere in the greater Pittsburgh area. I'm sort of sorry I couldn't be a good home for the Chia, but it really had a bad influence on my otherwise calm, accepting personality. I just didn't like the person it made me become. I mean, I'm the kind of girl that insists all of our ornaments should be put on the Christmas tree no matter what because it's their sole purpose in life. It's their one and only time to shine all year long and how dare we forbid them their only joy in life. It just wouldn't be right.

I feel good about donating the Chia and putting all the ornaments on the tree. That's the kind of person I want to be in my life right now. I know I could probably look for the symbolism in the Chia pet incident and the ex...blah blah...but I think, at this point in time, I'm just happy knowing everyone gets a fair shake in this house and no one is forsaken out of selfishness.

Tweety Chia, I hope you're being loved somewhere. 
Everyone else, come by and check out the tree, but please-no more ornaments. D might kill me soon :)


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