Well, this is the second post in one day. ON A SUNDAY. I KNOW. But here’s the deal.
Tomorrow I’m talking to / visiting with some high school girls about healthy, God-honoring friendships. I had really great friends in high school and college – and there was rarely, if ever, any drama between us. So – because of my own friendships, which have been overwhelmingly positive, I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my brain around what goes on in a “mean girl” culture. I also have a hard time understanding how girls can be so threatened by / distrusting of each other, because (thankfully) that’s never been my experience.
HOWEVER. I don’t want to be unrealistic when I talk to the girls, and I don’t want to ignore the fact that some of them probably have some hurts that go pretty deep. So I want to make sure that I’m considering perspectives that may differ from my own – and that is why I have three questions.
1) When you were in high school / college, what trait did you most value in your friends? Honesty? Trustworthiness? Loyalty? Kindness? Something else?
2) If you struggled with friendships when you were in high school / college, what were some factors that made friendships difficult? Bitterness? Jealousy? Gossip? Insecurity? Something else?
3) If you could travel back in time and give the high school / college version of yourself some advice about friendships, what would that advice be?
Thanks in advance, y’all. I’m oh-so-grateful for your help!
I know that I rarely post on Sundays, but for the last 24 hours there’s been an issue that I haven’t been able to get out of my head or off of my heart, so I figured I’d take a few minutes and blog about it. Maybe the process of writing will bring me a little clarity. Or at least it’ll help me vent.
Last summer I started to realize that there was a tendency – a trend, if you will – that was troubling to me on a lot of levels. I thought maybe it was a short-term deal, something that would run its course in a couple of months, but I’m realizing that this trend isn’t going anywhere. And I feel like I need to speak up about it.
Here we go. I’ll say this as plainly as I know how.
Dear Grown Men of the Universe,
You’re gonna need to put away the tank tops.
Because SERIOUSLY, Y’ALL.
And please understand. I’m not talking about undershirts. I’m not talking about work-out shirts, though I’m a little EWWW in that category, too. I’m not even talking about a loose-fitting something-or-other that a man throws on before he goes to the pool or the beach.
I’m talking about, well, stylish tank top options. I’m talking about what Peach says that her sons refer to as “bro tops.” I’m talking about Cool! Let’s go to the movies! Hold on while I throw on some shorts and a tank top!
I’m talking about this.
And listen. I get it. The weather gets hot. Tank tops can be comfortable. Plus, if you’re a man who works out a lot, you may see wearing a tank top as an excellent opportunity to invite the general public to your own personal gun show.
But FOR THE LOVE, PUT ON SOME SLEEVES.
Because here’s the bottom line, at least for me: what’s going on underneath a guy’s arms is his own personal business. I don’t need to be privy to ANY OF THAT.
I brought up this issue on Twitter yesterday, and I appreciate what Amanda had to say about the male tank top trend.
That’s a hard word. But it’s a good word.
And clearly I’m (mostly) kidding about this whole thing, but the kidding doesn’t change the fact that I’m not really a fan of grown men going sleeveless.
So what do y’all think about the bro tops? Yay or nay?
So. A couple of months ago I drove way out in the country to record the audio for my book trailer. I mean, I didn’t drive out there because I wanted to stand in the middle of the woods and use my phone to capture the sounds of rare birds – though that would’ve certainly been kicky and fun – but it just so happened that I had an appointment with a local sound engineer who lives in a remote-ish area, hence the “way out in the country” part of the story.
The folks at Tyndale had set up the whole thing, which was so great of them to do because, well, some of y’all have heard what happens on the rare occasions when Melanie and I try to podcast. It is no secret that I am none too gifted in the recording arts. So yes, oh have mercy yes, CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS.
Anyway, the very kind sound engineer has a studio in his basement, and after we enjoyed several minutes of fairly stilted conversation about my book (it wasn’t him; it was me – because apparently I will never be able to talk about this book without turning into a case study for all the many facets of awkward human behavior), I put on some headphones and stood next to a really big microphone and resisted the urge to lean over and say, “Check, check, 1-2, check” just like the singers on TV do.
I also may have contemplated what it would be like to play a guitar and sing a few bars of an old George Jones song.
Fortunately, though, I didn’t sing. I just read the script. And when the nice sound engineer called me into another room where he was working on a bunch of fancy-looking equipment, we listened to what I’d recorded while I shifted in my chair and also cringed at the sound of my voice. We had to re-record one little section because I had unintentionally said the word “God” like “Ga-ad,” but even still it didn’t take more than five minutes for me to read through the script a couple of times.
Afterwards, though, there was a whole lot of tweaking. Adjusting. Checking sound levels. Etc. And I probably would have been totally fascinated by all of that (I get such a kick out of watching people do the things that they love to do) if listening to the sound of my own voice OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN hadn’t been a part of the audio equation.
Nonetheless, this was my view for the better part of an hour.
In that hour, I thought about all the people whose voices I would like to have instead of my own.
Here are a few of them.
Unfortunately, I was and continue to be stuck with my own voice. In all my Ellie Mae glory.
Once all the editing stuff was finished, I didn’t have anything else to do with creating the video other than providing five or six family pictures. You’re gonna be really grateful for that, I think, when the circa-1971 picture of Martha and Sissie pops up on the screen because OH, THE HAIRDOS. And as you will see, I was very enamored of the side ponytail when I was in 4th grade.
The pictures are by no means a reflection of my whole family, but since the book mostly focuses on my experiences with family members who are a generation or two ahead of me, the pictures follow suit. And oh my goodness that picture of Alex with Sissie makes me want to scatter glitter and rainbows as far as the eye can see. They were always so delighted with each other.
So all that to say: here’s the book trailer. The concept, the execution, every bit of that stuff came from Tyndale – and I am mighty grateful.
And judging from the sound of things, I am also a little bit of a Clampett.
I hope you don’t require subtitles.
There you have it. We must never speak of this again.
Unless we speak of Martha’s hair in that first picture.
Nothing in this post is going to be connected. I feel like I should warn you about that from the get-go. But I just can’t. Because this week has already been four months long, and my brain is all a-jumbled (pretty sure that’s not even a word), and I couldn’t tell a story in sequential [...]
Over the last three years I’ve hosted several giveaways for my friend LisaAnn and her company, Nations Outfitters. LisaAnn started Nations about five years ago, and during that time she’s designed some great-looking, modest, stylish clothes. She’s also encouraged young people to live lives of service, and she’s been focused on Kingdom-building every step of [...]
Well, this has been a delightful weekend. Friday afternoon I went to see The Great Gatsby with some friends, and since I love the book a whole bunch (it’s borderline unhealthy, really), it was fun to see a new adaptation of it. I wish that the pacing had been a little faster, though I thought [...]
Now I know that the title sounds like an exciting new breakfast offering from McDonald’s, but alas, it is just a made-up word that popped in my head when I was putting together a mental list of links I wanted to post. And yes, it would be ever-so-exciting if I managed to write a post [...]