She won't stop bugging me to let her do another post so here ya go!
by Rebecca The Redhead
Today started with the TO DO list, and on that list was:
Clean off the huge piles of paperwork from the kitchen island:
Watch The View
Take the kid to school
Go to Safeway
Write guest blog
Paint fingernails & toenails (if there’s time for toenails, but definitely fingernails)
Make appointments (doctor, etc)
Make charitable contributions of lowly amounts, save receipts for taxes
So far, I have accomplished a few things on the list. It doesn’t matter which ones, people. They are all important. Kind of like sin: they are all the same. Murder is the same as Thou Shalt Not Covet (Whatever “covet ”means. I don't covet my neighbors: one never turns on her porch light & the other one's dog barks incessantly!) Coveting: That’s my topic today. I had to look it up. I knew it did not mean bedspread, but I wanted the true dictionary.com definition. Also, I have a real paper dictionary (kids, ask your grandpappy what this is) but it’s heavy, oh so heavy, and all the way downstairs... and dictionary.com is right here. CLICK: COVET
But first a little history:
I was not raised in any kind of religious faith. I went to Sunday school a time or two (I loved the crafts; Mom loved the free childcare.) I looked up the name Rebecca on Wikipedia last week and learned about this biblical girl watering camels and snagging her hubby Isaac. As a kid, I had a plastic Noah’s Ark that was a giveaway at a Union 76 or Shell station in the late 70s; and with every fill-up, I got a new animal to fill said ark. I had no idea it was a religious thing. I wish I still had that toy. It was pretty fun to march the animals in and out, two by two and all that jazz. I never got the lady zebra or the male giraffe, tho, so I made up a new species: Girabra (tall & stripey!) I am fascinated with church, tho. And all because of second grade... when.... yes, I COVETED!
It was mid-year, and Ms. Brown announced we had a new student: “Sunni Tsuboi” and the most beautiful Asian girl stood at the front of the glass, black hair shimmering. She had a cast on her ankle (A bike accident, she shyly told us.) And then the magic words, Please, Sunni, take a seat next to Rebecca, The Redhead... OH MY GOSH! I had never seen anyone like her, I was AB-SO-LUTE-LEEEE in A-DUBYA-E! She sat down. I said HI! YOU ARE SO PRETTY!! I LOVE THE NAME SUNNI!!! IS THAT YOUR YOUR REAL NAME? WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WHERE DO YOU LIVE? WILL YOU BE MY BEST FRIEND? DOYOUHAVEANYBROTHERSORSISTERSAREYOUCHINESEORJAPANESEWHATISYOURFAVORITEFOODDOYOUUSECHOPSTICKS ...” and the teacher said, “Ahem, Rebecca, please stop talking. Save it for recess.”
Rebecca The Redhead: That’s me! Since day one, thank you. That’s my name. Middle Name The. Last name Redhead. Sometimes it changes to Rebecca The Redhead With Freckles (formal occasions).
To see Sunni Tsuboi (silent T like Tsunami, readers) every day for the next four school years, with her past-shoulder length hair in one long ponytail, two high pigtails, braids, French braids, parted on the side, parted in the middle, two barrettes, one barrette, curled one day, wavy the next, straight the next. IT WAS SIMPLY OVERWHELMING for a girl with thick red wavy hair that looked exactly the same every day (ICK!) HOW I LOVEDTHAT STRAIGHT BLACK HAIR. Sunni’s hair was PERFECTION to me. I WANTED IT! (I also thought it would be neat-o to have a cast, like Sunni did, but was not about to stick my foot in the back wheel of a moving bicycle to achieve it.) I was coveting the cast, a little, the shiny, straight, long black hair A LOT.
I believe this is what Sunni would look like today
Sunni and I became friends. She lived across the street from my babysitter so we walked home together, played on her swingset, played paper dolls. She had BUNK BEDS. She had a SISTER (like me, but Erin was a little sister, how magical!) and a BROTHER (older, wow! I wish I had an older brother, too....lucky!) Her mom was named Judy (like mine!) Her dad played the trumpet. (My dad played the radio!) First, she had the perfect hair, now the perfect LIFE! I kept coveting. I invited her to my birthday parties. We went swimming. She introduced me to CHEEZ-Its and American cheese. We pretended a baby elephant lived under my staircase. We named him Elmer.
Sunni went to church every weekend. I wanted to go, too! I asked her, can I go sometime? She hesitated... Um you may not like MY church, but she asked her mom, Can She? And her mom said YES!
The Yellow Smiley Face: On every brown paper sack & my best dress!
I dressed up in my most favorite dress: White with Yellow Happy Faces all over it (again, this was the 70s: very popular icon.) Picture this pale, freckled, bright redheaded girl in a very idenfiable 70s iconic knee-length dress at church ... but not any church... a Buddhist temple with an ALL JAPANESE CONGREGATION.... J
|Danny P, talented & beautiful!|
I didn’t just Stick Out. I didn’t just get a few quizzical looks. I didn’t just Fit In as any other guest of a regular church member. I did just look like Danny Patridge in a Happy Face Dress pouring sacred tea over a ceramic temple and bowing to some random Asian person who was apparently the In Charge guy (like a minister or whatever the Buddhist equivalent is.) I noticed that some people looked at me oddly, but I didn’t care. I was happy to be part of this group, although I didn’t look like anyone else, and I certainly did not know their religion or customs. I had a blast. After church, Sunni & I ran around the gardens and put coins in all the statues. It was a beautiful day, made more special by hearing Judy Tsuboi tell a group of her friends, “... Oh that Is Sunni’s friend Rebecca. She wanted to come along today... Doesn’t she have the most beautiful red hair and freckles? I would LOVE to have her coloring!")
Me & my first born, 1997. My hair was flaming red; my boy had a little touch of it, too but not anymore...
REALLY??? NO WAY!!! Everyone covets, I discovered early in life, at this Buddhist temple. But keep it in check... be complimentary not jealous. Be happy you have wavy hair, you don’t have to straighten it to fit in with the latest trends, but if you want to, great! If you have freckles, like me, be happy they cover a few wrinkles! Blondes and Brunettes & Gray-Haired ladies too: It’s all good. I happen to adore my practically bald husband along with any all-bald men: That is another blog I have brewing about TV’s Kojak, but you will just have to wait....!) I have found in the wisdom of my old age of 44, that it is easier to compliment than covet. The jealousy evaporates and you can enjoy your differences while embracing your uniqueness! There is NO ONE just like YOU. Isn’t that just so very cool?
There were never any redheads or freckly girls in magazines but now there are! This makes me happy!!
And about that To Do List... CHECK!