If you've ever seen The Ultimate Gift (which I had to watch a total of seven times during high school- it's apparently an unofficial piece of curriculum) you'll understand in sharp, painful detail the story I'm about to tell you.
In the movie, a snot-nosed trust fund party child is sent through this life-changing obstacle course before he is allowed access to the millions of dollars inherited from his grandfather. He's required to complete meaningful tasks like "Make a true friend" and things like that. Anyway, one of the first assignments requires the guy to build an impossibly long fence in the middle of Texas in the sweltering heat, with no indication of how long he must work or what length the fence needs to be.
I experienced my equivalent of that two days ago, during what my quaint town playfully labeled as "Dog Days of Summer" to disguise the lava-sweat bath a street full of vendors would be battling in an attempt to shimmy out some extra cash from the equally sun-suffering constituents who had, just moments before, buckled their belts and sprinkled on their makeup in their deliciously air-conditioned houses, only to have it melt off within minutes of setting foot in their lawns.
I was a vendor, having sorrowfully weeded out my closet and decided to pass on some of my most loved yet least worn dresses and jackets to the thankful populous. My sunburn should be studied at NASA, due to the incredible amount of actual sun that is still burning and raging to escape from my now leather-ed skin. I ended up with a successful turnout, having marketed my "Going to College!" sale well, but boy, oh boy did I work hard for what I got. I am now an equivalent to Mr. Ultimate Gift Guy, except minus the three weeks or so of digging a fence in Texas. Point is I've worked hard for my money, which makes the savings account it's all being dumped into that much more valuable.
Also, due to the amount of dignity I still possess, I did not photograph my tomato face. I do give you leave to imagine it, though. Just reflect on that Florida vacation you and your family took back in '05.
On a more positive note, I made a really good fresh-veggie pizza with my friend Mel.
Oh, an on an even more positive note, I got a post card from Dianne Lynch, that Lady President we all know and love!
Dude, I totally can't wait to be a Stephens girl!