Let me invite you into my world (as if I don't do so with every post) and share a little with you about the dynamics in my home. Last night I went to the 'Bucks to work on...yep, you guessed it--
grad school application essays
--and ended up writing something entirely unrelated to the application process (but that's beside the point), and hours later dragged my exhausted self into my house, ready to crash. Some dear friends of ours, Mary and Steve, were over watching the Kansas State/Texas basketball game, a couple who I hadn't really seen in over a year. I love these people, even though it may not show through the fact that they live just up the street and I haven't stopped in to say "Hi" in over a year. So despite my poor correspondence skills, I was excited to see these two who mean so much to me, despite my exhaustion and the paired fact that I had to hit the sack anyway to get up early for work today.
We chatted for a minute, I put a miniscule dent in the cheese ball deemed for their sporting event, discussed my insomnia, my recent vacation, grad school. I said "See ya," and as I headed to my bed chamber no one promised to be quiet, because there were five minutes left in the neck-and-neck game. I didn't expect them to be quiet, was too tired to be angry about it, figured I was tired enough that I might fall asleep despite extra noise, and above all else I've kind of given up on sleeping at normal hours anymore. It's a battle I'm losing the way only a true loser can lose, so why put up my fists anymore? At least I have a good book to read right now (Girl Meets God, Lauren Winner), and reruns of "The Nanny" are on Nick at Nite.
Shortly after I crawled into bed I heard faint bell ringing coming from the living room. If your guess is that this was alarming to me, you would be wrong. This is because my family has rung bells for sporting events for as long as I can remember. Since 1994 at least.
When the Chiefs or the Jayhawks score a touchdown, each family member
(except Riley usually, who boycotts the watching of football, but because he at least likes to play it and also because he's so incredibly cute we've decided to keep him)
grabs a bell (cow or otherwise), runs out the front door, down the front steps, down the entire driveway, then pivots and runs the same course back to the house, ringing his or her bell the entire way. When an extra point is scored, lather rinse repeat, folks, we need to show these teams our support, not to mention annoy the neighbors as much as possible. During high scoring games (obviously in recent years this would refer to Jayhawk games rather than Chiefs games), it is likely that your feet will be frozen, because you will tire of putting on shoes for each victory lap and will head into the tundra as you are, regardless of precipitation on the ground.
Point being, I was not alarmed at the sound of bells at 11pm.
Because teams score much more often in basketball than football, my parents and our friends were not running these aforementioned laps for each basket last night. But they were lightly jingly them in their laps each time K-State scored. After a few minutes only one bell could be heard, and I can guarantee you that bell belonged to my father, the noise maker from whom I inherited my own special volume level. I considered at one point to playfully yet seriously call upstairs and ask someone to "Please take that bell away from Dad," but decided against the move. Instead I read for a bit and then flipped on the TV to hang out with Nanny Fine.
The game ended soon enough, and it was evident that K-State had won. It was at this point that I heard my mother ask, "Tom, do we have any fireworks?" Mary, our friend, replied, "Oh yeah, that'll help Bailey sleep."
Now examine with me this situation:
1. 24-year old me arrives home at 10:30pm, declares to her 58 and 60-year old parents that she is going to bed, and asks them to keep the volume level down.
2. Within ten minutes, my parents procure bells.
3. Yet five minutes later, my mother suggests that she and her adult friends shoot off fireworks in our suburban cul de sac on a weeknight, while her daughter is trying to sleep in the basement.
Do these roles seem a little reversed to you? Shouldn't I be the one with friends over to watch the big game? Shouldn't my parents be reading in bed, asking us to keep it down? Shouldn't my friends and I continue on in our noisemaking regardless of a request to keep it down? Shouldn't twenty-somethings have the desire to shoot off fireworks, and otherwise carouse?
Well not for this household, friends. No no, it is I who am the representative old soul, and my almost-grandparent parents who keep track of the explosives around here.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.