Alright, I’ve got my sharpest, most lethal looking imaginary tools in hand and am now prepared to pick that bone I was telling you about last week. And a big bone it is.  So if you were imagining that a toothpick-like instrument would be adequate for the job, think again. This instrument, imaginary as it is, is a cross between Edward’s scissorhands and Terminator’s master-blaster. My dear friend Jeremy inspired over-the-top weaponry with his casual remark a couple weeks ago. Little did he know…

Those of you who are acquainted with Jeremy (aka Joel) may have been deceived by his “I’m so cute” exterior. You may have been taken in by his marshmallow-meets-cotton-candy demeanor. A lovely soul, a kind spirit, a cheerful disposition, and a just-plain-nice guy. Sure. That’s until he finds out this aging woman has another birthday in the offing. He comes by the front office, where I sometimes work, and casually initiates a conversation. So what’s up? Busy today? Oh, you had a birthday right? How old are you anyway?

I reply honestly, because hiding my age is about as futile as wearing a girdle. The truth eventually comes out–or, to keep the metaphor intact, bulges out. Besides, I’m proud of my age. Furthermore, I LIKE my age. So, unaware of the sheer evil lurking inside this teddy-bear-slash-serial-insulter, I smile and answer, “Thirty-eight.”

He looks at me consideringly for a moment while I answer yet another phone call with my very best receptionist voice. “Black Forest Academy–this is Michele.” I look through 90 extension buttons for the correct one and punch it, replacing the receiver as I glance back at Jeremy-the-giant-fraud-who-wants-everyone-to-think-he’s-a-nice-guy-when-really-he-is-arsenic-in-human-form.

He looks at me pleasantly and drops his bombshell: “Man, I hope I’ve made more of a life for myself by the time I’m your age.”

My body convulses, my eyes roll back, and steam comes out of my ears. That’s a slight exaggeration. Maybe only the body and the eyes–hold the steam. Or maybe I just raise an eyebrow and give him my patented you’re-in-deep-doodoo-now-buddy stare. Some of the bounce goes out of the marshmallow. Some of the air wooshes out of the cotton candy. I’m pretty sure I hear a sound akin to stale breath leaking from a balloon…and I’m pretty sure it comes from the general direction of my newest worst enemy. Jeremy seems to shrink as his earlier bravado deflates, and his eyes glaze over while his mind reels in a futile attempt to come up with some mitigating reason behind the verbal diarrhea that caused his impending doom.

Rather than leap across the reception desk and remove his eyeballs from their sockets with my handy letter opener, I decide to quell my best instincts and let time pass. We terminate our conversation in friendly terms, and I silently burn a hole in his back as he strolls away. The afore-mentioned letter opener whistles faintly as it flies from my hand and imbeds itself in the back of his left knee, but only in my imagination.

And I’ve been pondering this topic ever since, while juggling multiple Candlelight Dinner responsibilities, massive baking (12 dozen muffins for my basketball girls), and general insanity. I’ve reached conclusions–really, I have. About age. About revenge. About smart-alec students with the sensitivity of rabid pitbulls. About God’s plan for my life and for Jeremy’s demise. …about really profound things that shall have to wait until my next post.

In the meanwhile, my dearest Jeremy, watch your back. And your kneecaps. And anything else you hold dear. This 38-year old hag has had a lot more time to ponder true pain than your 17 years have allowed. It’s a good thing I really like you…




  1. Aw Michele, I hope I’m like you when I’m 38. Seriously.

  2. Michele…tut tut tut. What ever happened to “forgive and forget”? Oh, but since when have you forgiven? Wow though, I didn’t think that you took that comment THAT seriously, i didn’t mean in it SUCH a way, frankly i like my “1876”/”1976″ comment when I was wearing my Grove City shirt, but i’m sure that episode is to come. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

  3. JOEL SCHINDELDECKER! The wedding is OFF! 🙂

  4. I haven’t gotten a copy of the published book. I want to get one…where can I send a check? Let me know.

  5. michele…yur hilarious. i luv how you can turn like two lines of conversation into like 9 paragraphs of test. it’s amazing! hehe…and btw…you don’t look thirty eight at all! promise!

  6. YOu never cease to crack me up!!!!  I have a recovering guest this week…Erica Owen plus the challenges of retreat prep coming waaaaaaay toooooo fast!  So much to talk and hear about…when shall we have libation and cookie time?  ;c)  As to “Jeremy”..well, he is probably one of the many young men that have a crush on you and wish you were younger!!!  hee hee! The line from Miss Congeniality keeps coming to mind..”you think i’m sexy, you want to date me…”

    love ya

  7. wow…sounds quite harsh to me…so thirty-eight…I would have guessed lower. Patience is a virtue with students whose sensitivity resembles that of a pit bull!!!!! I guess it is a virtue with all students for that matter 🙂

  8. I’m so embarrassed. He didn’t learn that from me… at least I hope he didn’t… I do apologize, on his behalf 😛 I hope you do your worst to him! I know he deserves it, the little twerp. 🙂 I can’t wait to see you again, Michele! Keep my brother in line and I hope you punish him adequately. I’ll see you in a couple of months!!! I can’t wait!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Just tie Jeremy up somewhere and feed him once a week. Muhahahah!

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