I used to work at a candy store.

I used to work at a candy store.

We’d get shipments of both candy and fun non-candy at the store. I’d say the stock was about 50/50. One of the vendors we’d get items from was Gund, maker of adorable stuffed animals and more. We got in these boxes of awesome dragon themed items and one of the boxes had little dragons holding a wire with a clip on it.

“They’re photo holders!” my manager explained. I’d never seen a photo holder and certainly couldn’t imagine them selling well. The manager agreed it probably wouldn’t be a hot item. I mentioned that they looked like they were holding little signs. I mused, “What kind of sign does a dragon hold anyway? Something advertising that he burned a village?” YES. DONE.

I busted out the markers and made signs for the dragons as well as burning buildings (you can kind of see them in the back). And they sold LIKE HOT CAKES. My manager was SHOCKED. I was especially happy to hear that one was being purchased to go to the room of a child patient down the road at the medical center. My dragons were spreading joy… and fire!

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SPOILERS: I didn’t stab anyone.

I have a story for you. It’s about the time I answered my front door holding a bayonet and our house’s cordless phone. NOW THIS MIGHT SOUND SKETCHY. And maybe it was, a little.

I was sixteen, maybe seventeen. My parents had decided to go on a road trip with my other siblings to see Barry Manilow perform out of state. I had been taken out of the loop for the trip to see him and I was informed that I was going to be home alone for about a week. Without a car.

I’d never been home alone before. Sure, I’d babysat for my siblings. I’d spent an afternoon hanging out at the house while the family dispersed, left to their own devices. But I was never alone for so long… and I was NOT comfortable with it. You must remember, this was the age of the Scream movies and I Know What You Did Last Summer. I reached out to my friends who were around town to let them know I might need a ride somewhere or that I might call if something went awry. We didn’t really have family friends and didn’t know our neighbors well… so this was the best I could make of a less-than-ideal situation.

Generally everyone was pretty supportive. But one of my old classmates, Rosie, thought she’d play a trick on me. One night, after dark, she came to my front door and knocked on the door. She’d hide. I’d look. No one there. I certainly wasn’t expecting anyone. Knock knock. No one there. Knock knock. No one there. Knock knock OKAY SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

At this point, I am terrified. My homeland security meter is colored somewhere between crimson and maroon. I’m alone, miles away from help, with knocking sounds at my front door. I scrounge up our cordless phone. I pre-dial 911 but do not press the call button. I go into my father’s office closet and proceed to remove his World War 1 bayonet. LIKE YOU DO.

My father bought this bayonet some years ago, mostly because it is completely bad ass. It is in fantastic shape – a name and year are etched into the blade, along a channel in the side of the blade that allows blood to flow down and out of the person you’ve stabbed with it. It is shiny and it is sharp and it is my first line of defense. I’d be damned if I was going down without a fight.

I open the front door with a cry and look around, bayonet and phone in hand. “JESUS LAUREN WHAT THE HELL” was her, given the circumstances, fairly rational response. There was a brief exchange of expletives and apologies from both sides. I didn’t stab her. She never pranked me again. And we both got a good story out of it. Well, I suppose her version of it might not be as colorful as mine was. But we all laughed about it in the end.

Death Cab For Cutie – You Can Do Better Than Me

I should start this post by saying I love my husband, a lot. We met on the internet, before everyone was using OKCupid and Match.com to meet people. We got to know each other on message boards and in IRC rooms before giving a long distance relationship a shot. It’s 12 years strong at this point and we’re crazy about each other. But sometimes? Sometimes things get snarky. You have a spat in a car. And then, THEN, the shuffle on your iPod plays a Death Cab For Cutie song entitled ‘You Can Do Better Than Me’ with lyrics like:

I’m starting to feel
We stay together
Out of fear
Of dying alone

GAH. You sloooowly turn your heads to look at each other, not saying a word. There’s nothing TO say. Ben Gibbard is narrating it all for you.

I have to face the truth
That no one could ever look at me
Like you do
Like I’m something worth
Holding to

Years later, if I hear this song, I think about this little squabble. And how after the song played I snapped off the radio and we sat in silence for a bit. And then we apologized to each other. Because that’s what you do. I don’t know that we could ‘do better’ than one another. We can just try to be better.

Here’s a silly story about Nick’s wedding anniversary present.

I figured an easy way to get back in the groove of blogging was to post some recycled content! This was originally written August 5th, 2010 and it’s not like anyone’s going to remember anything from back then, right? We were all babies then! Enjoy!

 

I was at Toys R Us when I formulated the Secret Plan Operation “Tinfoil Surprise”. See, Nick has wanted to play Red Dead Redemption. He loves video games and loves westerns so its natural that he’d want Red Dead Redemption. But he had already forbade me from buying it for him.

I was at Toys R Us to buy a baby shower gift anyway, and I figured it’d make a good wedding anniversary gift for Nick.

But if I bought it today, our wedding anniversary was like 22 days later! How would I pull this off?! It quickly became clear what I needed to do.

Jump to our apartment a few hours later!

Nick: I hope you didn’t do anything silly while you were at Toys R Us. Like buy Red Dead Redemption.
Me: Noooo… of COOOURSE not! *grabs Toys R Us bag* *grabs roll of tinfoil* *goes into the back of the apartment*
Nick: uhhhhh
Me: I NEED TO GO IN THE BEDROOM FOR A MINUTE

A FEW MINUTES LATER I EMERGE FROM THE BACK OF THE APARTMENT WRAPPED IN TINFOIL

Me: NICK. NICK I’M HERE FROM THE FUTURE.
Nick: what! what the- I swear! what!
Me: I AM HERE FROM THE FUTURE WHICH YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE FROM MY CLOTHING MADE OF TINFOIL
(It is literally a sheet of tinfoil I’m holding up around my torso.)
Nick: Yes, CLEARLY you’re from the future.
Me: You see, I’m here from August 28th, our wedding anniversary, with your present. A copy of Red Dead Redemption. See, you were so sad that I waited until our anniversary to give this to you instead of giving it to you today, the day I bought it, THAT YOU DIED
Nick: I died?!
Me: YES YOU DIED AND I WAS SAD SO I CAME BACK HERE FROM THE FUTURE TO THE PAST TO GIVE THIS TO YOU
Nick: Oh, thank you Lallers!
Me: I love you and don’t die and Lauren wants a flying car. Because they have them in the future where I’m from.
Nick: uhhh okay
Me: OKAY BYE

I then ran back, tore the tinfoil off, and ran out.

Me: Sorry Nick, I passed out there, that is SO WEIRD!

Nick then proceeds to explain that Lauren from the future came to give him a game. I just kept loudly saying THAT’S SO CRAZY, HOW WEIRD over and over.

I am awesome.