Meet Shelley, who is sharing her experience as an OC parent through her blog. Her daughters Emily (OC '14) and Rachel (OC '15) are only mildly embarrassed by her stories.
So this is my third, and possibly final, Spring Sing post since I’m probably going to be fired for neglecting my duties here lately. But I’ll take a tip from Scarlett O’Hara and think about that tomorrow. Today, I will tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the Wonderful World of OC, but since I’ve waited almost a full month to write about it, the details are somewhat hazy. So here’s what I do remember (in no particular order):
1. Being highly entertained by every single show, every single video, every single host and hostess, and at least one banner.
2. Never spotting for even ONE moment my two daughters on stage. (It’s true that my eyesight is not what it used to be, but honestly, who didn’t have trouble distinguishing their offspring among those droves and droves of redheaded cowgirls?!)
3. The Monster standing beside me during the awards (I had an aisle seat) going nuts, but pausing to say “bless you” to me when I sneezed.
4. The rest of the Monsters going nuts.
5. The Freshmen going nuts.
6. The Poohs going nuts.
7. And speaking of nuts, my brother Paul passing a bag of circus peanuts down to me halfway through the show.
So I apologize for not providing you with an insightful analysis of each individual show of 2013, but guess what? I have something equally nice to share with you. I have an actual email, written by my nephew Zach after the 2005 Spring Sing show, in which he evaluates individual Spring Sing performers from our family. Yes, pretty exciting, I know.
So…in Zach’s words:
I felt it was time to unveil the rankings for best spring sing family member. I have seen each show these people have been in so I feel more than qualified to give my expert opinion. In descending order here we go:
#6 Haley Hawley - 1 Year Full Member before being a college dropout - I am probably getting in trouble for saying that. As much as it pains me to say this she could be one of the worst spring sing performers ever. While she looked cute in her ARMY outfit, she never possessed the true Spring Sing spirit. You always felt she was looking around at her fellow Theta members and wondering what she was doing on the stage.
#5 Luke Watson - 2 Years Full Member, 1 Year Part Time, 1 Year Quitter.
This ranking comes from not being a full-time member some years and
completely dissing his club this year. While he was a solid performer when
he participated, his lack of involvement hurt his ranking.
#4 Meagan Hawley - 4 Year Full Member. While Meagan wasn’t the most technically sound, she more than made up for it in spirit. She had a great time on stage and in turn made us have a great time in the audience. Her smile was infectious and her trilling gave the Gamma songs that extra boost to make them sound extra great. Very fine performer, and she didn’t quit on her club when they needed her most.
#3 Katy Watson - 4 Year Full Member. When thinking back, this spot was between Meag and Katy and I had to give the nudge to the cousin that was more technically sound. Katy was never out of place and always knew her lines. She was a great leader and never, ever got flustered or frustrated to the point of tears. She was a joy to watch. I love you Katy and will get up and hug you whenever you want.
#2 Amanda Watson (nee Forrester) - 4 Year Full Member - Spring Sing Director. There is no doubt that Amanda’s leadership played a major part in her high ranking. Being a director gave her some major points. Besides her leadership, Amanda is flawless when performing. The only problem she has is being on time herself and also making sure others are on time as well. She has great expression and does it while always on the front row. That’s a high pressure spot but Amanda always rises to the occasion.
And #1 Ben Hawley - 1 Year Full Member. This ranking may be disputed but in my expert opinion, I have never been so thoroughly entertained by a single spring sing performer. First of all, his energy was off the charts. He made eye contact on numerous occasions, sometimes at the expense of the group. He embodied the essence of spring sing, he didn’t care about awards, he didn’t care about how his club finished, all he cared about was having a great time on stage and giving the audience the best he had that night. For me Benny, it was spectacular.
Obviously, Zach had far too much time on his hands in 2005. But more obviously, we’ve had quite a family history with Spring Sing at OC.
I will leave you with a fun spotter game…like Where’s Waldo?
Only this is “Where’s Emily?”...
And this is “Where’s Rachel?”...
If you have ties to OC and you don’t live in a cave, you may know that my niece Abbie is the star of the latest viral YouTube video, one in which she laments, in rare form, the loss of her wisdom teeth. Here’s the link to this gem of a video, just in case you haven’t had the pleasure:
I have several observations, of course.
First off, Abbie is a dear girl. In fact, just the other day she said to me, “Aunt Shelley, you’re my favorite aunt, but don’t tell the others.” So see? She really is precious.
But sometimes good people do bad things. For instance, Abbie’s reference in the video to my daughter Rachel is admittedly unfortunate. But from their toddler days, they’ve been best friends, and in their current status as roommates at OC, they’ve forged a bond that can’t be broken by a few careless, drug-induced slurs. So who cares if 764,684 people, to date, think Rachel looks like trash? I’m just happy to advise the 48 people who read this blog that her problems stem from itchy, watery eyes, and not from mascara overload. I’m sure Abbie would have made that clear, had she been in her right mind.
Next, while Abbie obviously said some extremely poignant and profound things about her wisdom teeth in the video, it’s my sister-in-law Trudie that impressed me with her classic mother-lines, delivered in a rich “mother knows best” tone during those few moments when she wasn’t wildly laughing at her poor daughter.
Some of my favorites?
Abbie, your teeth are o—kay. They’ll be alright.
No you couldn’t [have accepted them]. They were crowding your other teeth. They would be painful.
Just wipe your mascara off.
A tooth is not life, honey. That is not life.
And finally, when Abbie wails that she just wants to be happy, Trudie states calmly, “You will.”
I’m sure Trudie’s words and tone are as familiar to you as they are to me. We mothers all say the same things, don’t we, when our kids are in distress?
“I didn’t win the election, Mom.” “You’ll be alright.”
“I could’ve stayed up all night studying.” “No you couldn’t. That would have been painful.”
“I think I might have failed that test, Mom.” “A test is not life, honey. That is not life.”
And ALWAYS, when they wail, “I just want to be happy,” we tell them in no uncertain terms, “You will.” And we mean it.
I will leave you with a pre-slur photo of Abbie and Rachel…since I had trouble finding any good post-slur shots. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean anything though…and please note the lack of mascara issues in this pic. Thanks.
As I understand it (per Wikipedia), a cautionary tale is a story in which someone disregards a warning, performs a prohibited act, and then gets his or her just reward…an unpleasant consequence frequently related in GRISLY detail. The goal of the telling of such a tale is, of course, to help others avoid the same grisly end, and so it is with my cautionary tale…
You see, a couple of weekends ago, I ignored the warning bells going off in my head, and performed a clearly dangerous act. I took my college-aged daughters to Target and traversed the aisles with them…while pushing an empty cart. Sure enough, the end result was grisly, for my credit card that is. The fact is, those girls have a tendency to view an empty cart being pushed by me as an invitation to stage their own personal “grocery grab”. The only differences being that there is no time limit, and they’re never limited to just groceries. So they can carefully weigh the options in each department, taking their sweet time to decide such things as which shampoo will give their hair more shine or whether they’re more likely to wear footless or footed tights. On this last trip, we even had to agonize over whether to get the humidifier shaped like a cute elephant or the one shaped like…well, a humidifier. (Don’t worry. Clearer heads prevailed and the grown-up humidifier won out.)
To give the little moochers some credit, I will admit they always talk a good game while negotiating those aisles. “I need this, Mom, but I’ll pay for it,” they say sweetly, as they pile the goods into the cart. And they sound so sincere, but no one is truly fooled into thinking that everything in that “magical cart” won’t be paid for by mom. After all, I didn’t raise no dummies.
Here’s an old pic, but a good one I think to illustrate my cautionary tale…
So…future parents of college-aged kids…heed my warning. To avoid the financially grisly results of the above-described leisurely stroll through Target, I’m thinking it might be safer for you to stage a real “grocery grab” for your kid(s). And by safer, I mean cheaper of course. Give them, say, 5-10 minutes to pile everything into the cart they can.
And hey, if you don’t do it for the savings, you could do it for the entertainment value.
In order to be a full-service parent blogger, I thought I should conduct a close-up and personal investigation of dorm life at OC, and what better way to do that than to spend a weekend in an actual dorm? So I learned about the guest room at Uhouse back in August (during the move-in) when Jenna Pederson (resident director) showed me the door and explained that parents could stay there for $50 a night. But what piqued my interest the most was her next, rather cryptic statement, “But I can’t show you the room right now.”
Okay, so maybe what she said wasn’t exactly cryptic. And maybe she even explained nicely that it was because someone was staying there. Nevertheless, and quite naturally, I was intrigued. So a couple of weekends ago, before heading down to visit the girls, I booked the room (Danno). And naturally I wanted to be like one of those food critics who eat at restaurants incognito to get the TRUE experience, the REAL low-down. But then I forgot to wear my sunglasses when I was checking in at the reception desk, so that wasn’t very clever of me. Still, it’s possible no one recognized me so the following report of “what lies beyond” is probably unbiased.
So first off, the guest room is truly nice, with two queen-size beds, cable and internet access, a flat screen TV (albeit a smallish one), a private bath, and plenty of linens and towels, all as advertised in the email confirming my reservation. But some of the room’s best features were not included in the advance hype. They included:
(1) The room’s spaciousness…enough to accommodate three coeds demonstrating ALL their moves from Zumba class, and
(2) The room’s location…while staying in the guest room, you may be just a few steps down the hall from your daughter’s room. (Lucky girl!)
In fact, only one problem surfaced during our stay with regard to the actual room. Yes I must report, sadly, that no mints appeared on our pillows during our entire stay.
As for the dorm in general, it was all neat and tidy, and even strangely quiet. And the students we ran into seemed unnaturally polite. What’s up with that? Don’t they know they’re supposed be rowdy and out of control? I’m tempted to write a book about them, with a working title of “The Stepford Students”.
So I apologize for having no dirt to report, no scandalous behavior to lay bare, no shady dealings to reveal. I’ll have to save that for another day, another investigation. Perhaps next time we will pop in at…the cafeteria? And I’ll try to remember my sunglasses!
I forgot to take a pic of the guest room before we trashed it with our stuff…so here’s the only one I don’t mind going public. It does give you an idea of the lovely decor…
And no, the Krispy Kremes didn’t come with the room either.
Another weekend note: It was so pretty on Saturday that we took Emily, Rachel and Abbie to Arcadia State Park for a short hike. Can you find clues in the following photo which might indicate, or possibly even scream, OUR FAMILY DOES NOT REALLY HIKE?
One of the girls, who shall not be named, even told me, “I AM NOT GOING HIKING,” when I mentioned the idea to her. But she caved under pressure, and before she was a quarter of a mile down the trail she was extolling the virtues of the great outdoors and enthusiastically planning future hiking trips to the park. I was quite amused, of course, and didn’t mind showing it. It’s what I do.
Just before Christmas break, Emily changed her major…again. She is now in her third year at OC, and on her third major. And if you must know, just before classes started two weeks ago, she was busy eyeing a fourth major. Fortunately, an incredibly discerning staffer in the registrar’s office talked her down off the ledge. That woman deserves a raise. Just saying.
I don’t think Emily has set any kind of OC record yet, for changing majors, but it’s certainly not for lack of trying. The crazy but good news is, she’s still scheduled to graduate a semester EARLY. What are the odds? Of course, she’s threatening now to take two additional semesters and get her MBA, but we actually like this idea. Even though we probably shouldn’t get too excited about it since any day now, well you know…the plans could change.
I know I should be more frustrated with the poor girl’s lack of direction, but unfortunately I know all too well how she feels. I’m 54 years old and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I know I don’t want to be a lawyer (which is what I am) but that’s about all I know.
And while we’re on the subject of indecisiveness, I forgot to tell you that David has decided he doesn’t want to graduate a year early after all. Of course we can’t help but be pleased as punch (whatever that means) to have him around another year. But meanwhile, we’ve had to unravel all those rationalizations we’d formulated around his early graduation idea. We’d convinced ourselves and argued to everyone else that it was SUCH a great idea for him, he NEEDED this challenge, he was SO READY for this step, blah, blah, blah. And now, in our most sheepish voices, we must say…um, never mind. Um, he might not be THAT mature, um, he could DEFINITELY use that extra high school math credit, um, there’s PLENTY of time for college pursuits, blah, blah, blah. Of course, no one’s buying what we’re selling anymore, but HEY. He’s mine for another year so I can live with it!
So what will the future hold for my vacillating children? I used to sing to them (well, I did at least twice while they were growing up) that old Doris Day staple…
Que sera, sera,
Whatever will be, will be,
The future’s not ours to see,
Que sera sera,
What will be, will be.
I’m pretty sure it would have been better parenting to keep Doris and her fatalistic viewpoint out of it, and keep reminding them instead that God has a vision for their future…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
…and leave it at that. I just need someone to set that to music so I can sing it to them in my annoying way, and I’ll be good to go.
In closing, here’s a pic of Emily struggling with an early decision in her life…
Oh and here’s a link to the Doris Day song…just in case you’re interested :)