My mom had this annoyingly competitive friend she left behind in our podunk Indiana town as we joined the Yankee mass exodus to Texas in 1984. My mom used to receive frequent letters from her detailing the very model of perfection and hallowed goodness her two children embodied. My mom's friend delighted in filling page after page with announcements like how the fruit of her loins had just won the Lifetime Golly Gee You're Neat-O Achievement Award and would we please consider sending a monetary donation to ensure that her kids can make their annual summer pilgrimage with the church down to Mexico to show the poor, impoverished little brown children how to change their pathetic lives by becoming super Neat-O mini-replicas of her own fantastical offspring? Yeah.
My poor mom didn't have much ammunition to combat her with, either. I mean, having a slacker daughter who's on the high school bowling team doesn't exactly lend itself to bragging rights. I was also a proud member of Amnesty International- Well, only because I thought brooding guys in black T-shirts that listened to The Smiths and Charlatans UK were teh awesome. They really should have been credited with the title, 'Godfathers Of EMO' and established Robert Smith as their patron saint.
So, one day while driving through the next neighborhood over from us, we both had an epiphany. There, standing before us, like a giant, looming beacon screaming out "Hey, It Smells Like Team Spirit!", we saw it-- a yard filled with signs, and all of them with my name emblazoned upon them. My mom had me pose smack in the middle of the glory field. A few staged pictures later and she could now tell her friend that I was not only a cheerleader, but also the captain of the track team, a member of National Honor Society, and on the Country Club's elite swim team........and then silently pray that her friend would never get a sudden yearning to come visit us. In keeping with my family's shameless traditions, I made my children pose for Easter pictures at our neighbor's house last week because their grass is greener and their azaleas are in bloom. Meanwhile my yard is in some sort of crunchy brown haze and everything but my trusty, no-fail dianthus are on a blooming strike. Yeah, I'm going to pass my neighbor's yard off as my own this year to long-distance friends and family who don't know any better. I gave up lying for the Lent season, but by the time these cards go out, Lent will be over. Keep on moving, there's no sin to see here. Nope, none at all........
(Okay, the Lent thing is a lie. We're not even Catholic.)
*Clicking on humor-blogs.com for me will release all the guilt and stress you've been feeling lately*