A morning conversation about the greatest luger, Kate Hansen, and her experience at the Sochi Olympics left my buddy and I super inspired. Including her warm-up dancing, which also thrilled Beyonce. We talked about life being about big dares and no regrets, and living not with greatness, but with gratitude! And then we had a life rejoicing moment via text, dreaming up larger-than-life possibilities, and the heavens opened and started playing rapid violin music, and the tops of our heads lit up like on Touched By an Angel.
"But still... remember how we haven't been tweeted about by Beyonce or competed in the Olympics?"
I'm screaming uncool right now. I'm wearing grandma shoes because of my foot injury, and I drove to work in a mini van (#lastavailablefleetcar) sing-belting One Direction.
But, fortunately, there is one memory that salvages some of my coolness. Actually, this one moment left me feeling like THE coolest person in the world.
And it's not the one I told my friend about out-eating 18 dudes in an ice cream eating competition. Because when I asked Beyonce to tweet about that, she sent me this picture:
So here's a better story.
My kid brother, Brennan, looks up to me like I'm the bees knees. Whatever that means. Every time I come to town, he can't stop saying how awesome I am and that I'm his best friend because I am just SO fun. And weird. All true. And then he starts listing off memories with me. Like the time we put on oven mits and held a boxing tournament in the kitchen, while everyone else just sat there. Or the time I slipped a jalepeno into my dad's water and winked at Brennan across the table. Or the hours we've played Just Dance, and the one time I punched him on accident, and he popped right off the ground, gloating that his coolest sister just marred half his face.
But most of his favorite memories center around... driving. Anytime our family goes somewhere, "I'M WITH CHANTEL!" he says. Because there ain't no party like an S-Club party, except in my car. Windows down, music up.
First of all, I will go to the very furthest extent of energy and entertainment when I'm around Brennan. Every child needs one person in their life who absorbs all the fun of the universe and brings it right to them. And I love to see Brennan so happy and laughing.
And second, I have my car specifically prepped for these drives with my little squeeze. You see, my grandma is always concerned that my car is "prepared" - equipped with blankets, water, emergency packs, and light sabers in case I break down somewhere. So when she asks if I'm "ready," I just nod my head. Because yes, I am ready. Not for a Zombie Apocalypse. But for a Car Rave. Which, if you think about it, the items for each aren't mutually exclusive...
Anyway, just this last Christmas break, Brennan and I hopped in my car to go visit my mom at work. Immediately, the volume went up, and I started pulling out my gear. Which consists of Flashing Light Rings - which I got in India when we had a dance party on the top of the orphanage, and then we lit one of those Tangled lights on fire and threw it up into the darkness and it went just beyond the orphanage wall and then promptly fell to the ground of super dry weeds, and we all starting blowing from atop the roof of this building, as if that would prevent the whole field from igniting. Remember that time I almost burned down an orphanage in India? yep.
And my next gear item, these Super Star Glasses - which I got at a work White Elephant party this last Christmas, given to me by this old lady who kept making sexual comments about everything - like how some candles should go to this super quiet newlywed girl because they'll come in handy for some... bow-wow, and all the men were red-faced blushing, and I was laughing my head off, and then she gave me these star glasses because "I'm single." Remember that time I wore star glasses to put men in heat with me? no.
Anyway, so I'm wearing these flashing lights and crazy glasses, and I'm pounding to the music, and Brennan is just giggling over in the passenger seat. Then he asks, "Chan, can I wear those glasses?" YEAH LITTLE MAN! So I put these oversized glasses on his tiny little head, and I keep pumping my arms to the music.
Then I look over at him, and he is just BEAMING up at me. He is leaning towards me with the widest grin on his face, staring at me with these big, bulgy, gleeful eyes behind these ridiculous glasses. And he just looks so overjoyed and full of admiration for me that the whole world seemed to slow down to this one moment of just his little self captivated with my presence.
And then I turned my attention back to the road. Good thing.
Later in the day, when I had to say goodbye to him, he wrapped his little arms around my waist and held tight for a really, really long time. He said over and over, "Chan, I will miss you." And he kept holding on, long enough for me to look at my mom with a quizzical face - is this normal? "He really likes you," she whispered. My eyes watered up.
His wide-eyed, big-grinning face looking up at me in the car has never left my memory. I felt like a million bucks to this kiddo. I am as cool as cool can get in the eyes of an eleven year old boy.
Tweet THAT Beyonce.