When I was younger—in fact, not all that much younger, pretty recently, really—I thought that parents just naturally had all the answers. I thought that people grew up, got married, and were suddenly endowed with the power to solve any problem that might arise. But sometime in the past couple of years, when I became aware that I thought this, I looked at it and realized it made no sense at all. Tonight, I was listening to my parents scold Brother for his bad report card, and I was remembering this strange mindset I used to have (which, admittedly, probably a lot of other kids had, too)…and I really saw that my parents are just regular people like me who grew up and are married and are still the same people they were before they met, but older and more mature. They don’t know how to solve every single problem, but here they’re faced with one. A parent problem. The typical kid-brings-home-bad-report-card sort of problem. And I listened to their lecture, and it was so much like so many lectures I received when I was the kid with the bad report card. And then I thought how much I really respect my parents, because after going through all the kid stuff with two of us already, they’re doing this for the third time. Even though they don’t have all the answers, they are now experts on how to be parents. They’ve done it before. Because there are no definite examples of every way to be the perfect parent, all that parents can claim is experience, and mine have that. So they’ve reached that elite group of expert parents. I don’t know…it was just this abstract thing that lasted for only a second or so…in fact, I had to memorize what I wanted to say about it in the walk from the chair to the computer, because I knew I’d forget by the time I got over here. It’s kind of like when you have those weird dreams in Stage 1 sleep, so it’s almost like you weren’t asleep at all, but of course you were, because who thinks things like that while they’re awake? And then when you do wake up in a matter of seconds, you’ve forgotten whatever it was that was going through your head, except that it was out there. I can no longer feel whatever it was I felt while listening to my parents talk, but I do know that it was “out there”.
So I still haven’t told Milo how much I love his eyes. I want to, but it’s so hard for some reason. Tonight at work, this guy that I’m always saying is really hot (I think Tinny told me his name is Philippe…?) came through the line, so I sort of muttered, “Watch this,” and I looked at Philippe (I’ll just call him that, even if it’s not really his name, because that’s how I know him now) and I said, “You know, you have really nice eyes,” and he said, “What?” and I said, “I really like your eyes…just wanted to tell you that,” and he smiled (got a nice smile, too; he’s hot all over, but I had to mention the eyes to make a point) and said thanks, and I looked at Tinny and said, “Look how easy that was! Now why can’t I just say that to Milo!?”
The words are the same, but the feeling is different. That’s why. The emotion behind it isn’t just, “You’re a handsome stranger that I’m going to compliment just to get a handsome smile,”…no, I suppose I want a little more than that from Milo. Not that I expect anything—I certainly don’t—but even if I did get a handsome smile from him…it would be so much more than your typical, everyday handsome smile…it would be Milo’s handsome smile.
There I go with that abstract frame of mind again. I did know what I was talking about there, when I was “in the moment” with it.
Earlier tonight, I was sitting on the couch, and he was sitting here at the computer, and I looked up at him dreamily like my friend told me to do, and he gave me this really sly smile which I knew meant something, but I had no idea what, and he held up a glass of what looked like watered-down green dish detergent which was actually Gatorade that he had stolen from Sister—marvelous. And I almost said, “I love it when you look at me like that…” but fortunately I didn’t. Because I never do.
Gave my Quidditch speech today in Defense Against the Dark Arts…it was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I wasn’t nervous at all before I got up there—in fact, I was supposed to go third, but the girl who was going first wasn’t ready, so I swapped with her, so confident was I—but I screwed it up pretty badly. I’m not exactly sure how. I had my outline, it was very well planned out, all the things I had to say in exactly the way I needed to say them…and I pointed to my visual aid (my drawing of a Quidditch pitch on a piece of posterboard) while on the introduction page. I wasn’t supposed to point to that until the second page. So I pointed to it, suddenly realized that what I was doing was no longer scripted, and I was just “out there”, and I was lost, so I started saying just whatever the hell came to mind. I ended up describing my whole visual without even moving from the introduction page. And then after that point, because I had already destroyed my entire order of business, I continued to say whatever the hell came to mind. Fortunately, most of the things I was saying sounded similar to my outline, but…Merlin’s beard…there was one frightening moment when I did happen to glance down at my outline, and that was when I realized that I hadn’t been following it at all, because until then, I hadn’t even realized that I was just saying anything at all that came into my head. It was weird, I tell you.
Oddly enough, everyone else who went today had similar experiences—it wasn’t just me. It’s like all this practice stuff we did in class to prepare for the speeches was a waste of time. That stuff was all easy. No one was nervous or worried about those sorts of things. But on the actual speeches, everyone’s been screwing up. And now I am nervous. I’m nervous about the next two speeches, because when I think how much crucial detail I left out of this speech (I neglected to explain what the Keeper does!), and I take into account that I probably knew the information for this speech better than I will know the information for either of my two next ones, considering the subject…yeah. Those next two speeches have the potential to really suck.