RSS Feed

Tag Archives: photo

F*ck Field Day

Posted on

Thousands of kids across the country are currently, or have just finished, participating in a “Field Day” of games and displays of athletic prowess. Every school has a different name for it. You know of which I speak.

I feel so sorry for them.

Like the odd duck that I am, I always dreaded Field Day.

I was a kid who rarely talked to anyone if it wasn’t necessary, something I would realize three decades later was generalized anxiety disorder. Even back when I was a tiny third grader, I got up the nerve to try and talk my gym teacher out of making me participate in Field Day.

It didn’t work.

She assured me she would put me into something easy. The 50 yard dash, she said. I had no idea how long that was, but any distance I have to run is too long.

It was a chilly morning, so I wore my grey hooded sweatshirt. I ran as fast as I could. I came in fourth. That might not sound bad, but there were only four kids in the race. Total.

They gave me a ribbon to remember my shame. (It is still in my house somewhere. I think my young son ran off with it.)

I just talked to my mom on the phone, in 2017, and she was apparently there in the stands. (I don’t remember that, but I don’t remember a lot of things.) She remembers that there were other mothers sitting in front of her who watched my performance and felt bad that I was so far behind the other kids.

Great boost of confidence there, mother. I know I am forty-one years old now, but that doesn’t really help the old self-esteem any.

I guess this is where LOVE YOURSELF would come in handy.

If I remember right, I didn’t even know that the 50 yard dash was an event you ran. It could have been a long jump for all I knew. I probably had to wait for the other kids to start before I even knew where the finish line was. (It is a good story. I think I will stick to it.)

Someone took a picture of the racers standing behind big signs that showed where each of us placed. They took the picture from my end. The losing end.

They put that picture of me behind the giant four, with my sweatshirt hanging off one shoulder, my hair escaping my ponytail, and looking winded, in the glass display case in the main hallway at school the next year.

And the year after.

And so on.

I was a week from graduating high school, happened to be walking through the elementary building, and there I was, in that picture, STILL BEHIND THE DAMN FOUR!

I believe to this day they are probably still putting up the same picture of me from June 1985. Boy, I bet my clothes look really dated now.

I Googled “Field Day 1983” and half expected my picture to pop up. So far, it hasn’t.

Even more amazing, that is the ONLY YEAR I ever participated in Field Day. Maybe that is why they thought it was momentous enough to display year after year.

At my school, when I was there, only third, fourth, and fifth graders competed in Field Day. It was the 80s. All the kids drank Kool-Aid and Sunny Delight and watched copious amounts of television. There wasn’t a drive for everyone to exercise. Society was busy telling us to Say No to drugs.

I didn’t avoid Field Day in fourth grade on purpose. I had the pox. (Chicken, not small.) I missed the last two weeks of school. I had a grumpy teacher all that year who seemed very tired and done with teaching. What kind of reward did I get for putting up with her all year? I had to miss her retirement party 😦  Although cupcakes and treats were left inside my desk for when I returned. (Eesh, talk about unsafe food storage conditions!)

The next year I did avoid Field day on purpose. My mom took me to the lake. She is a good mom. I thought she was just being kind to her woefully unathletic daughter for all these years. (It is genetic, after all.) But now that she told me that story about the mothers in the stands, maybe SHE just didn’t want to have to feel bad for me again.

And if the goal for the day is exercise, then the school should be satisfied. I am sure I got way more exercise at the lake than I ever would have running a race for two minutes and feeling anxious the rest of the day.

Middle school had many, many (too many to mention) hells of its own, such as showering after gym class and dissecting frogs and all those pubescent hormones trapped inside a building with gray concrete walls and no windows all day, every day. But at least I got to leave the hell that was Field Day back at the elementary.

Remember, if you see me running fast, then either there is an escaped dog in front of me or a zombie behind me.

Dog chasing was once a regular hobby of mine. Not by choice, mind you.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

What I Learned This Week – 9/15/13

Not my family, but very funny! Photo: http://www.reddit.com

Not my family, but very funny!
Photo: reddit.com

This week I learned that I am very in need of being a part of something.  I was ridiculously excited this week that the church was having directory pictures taken. Although I half expected for someone to stop my family and be all like “What the heck are YOU doing here?”

It is my asbestos friend’s church. My family has tagged along with her enough times that hopefully they have forgotten that we never officially joined or anything. We were in the previous directory because it was just a list of names typed up by my asbestos friend (who happens to be the church secretary) and she was just like “Do you want me to add you guys?” and we were like “Sure”.

Then the church got a new pastor, so he just sees us at events and hopefully doesn’t notice that we don’t actually belong there. At least, that is how my mother makes me feel about the whole deal. I can’t even tell her when I am going to the church for an event, because she acts so juvenile.

Don’t believe me?

TEXT 9/15/13
ME: C is contemplating buying L & B’s old car that was in the accident that they traded with the pastor for their old car. Somehow I ended up being the one to call pastor Z. 6:19PM
MOM: I read the word pastor twice. Gag me. 6:22PM
ME: You are so juvenile. 6:44PM

She so lives in her own world that she can’t even grasp why I might want a circle of people who are supportive to surround my family.

She grew up with a normal mom, dad, and brother family, with a huge extended family.

I grew up with just her and my grandma. Most of my extended family were already dead by the time I was born. She doesn’t understand where I am coming from, and she never will.

Photo: http://the-bradford.blogspot.com

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

This week I also learned that squirrel’s can be WAY more ruthless than even I had first thought.

Earlier in the week, I had one try to assault me from the air.

Some people have run-ins with bats. My enemy animal is THE SQUIRREL.

I let my dogs out the back door. They raced to the backyard. I heard a scrambling on the roof of my garage. So I kicked the side of the garage and yelled something to the effect of “Get your damn furry ass off MY garage!”

Now, to set the scene for you, my garage is not attached to my house, even though the insurance company classifies it that way. There is about 6 inches between the edge of the house roof and the garage roof.

I was standing directly under that spot, when the squirrel decided to try to run across.

As the back half of his body was hanging in mid-air directly above my head, his beady eyes met mine.

Now I know that I have seen EVIL.

Pieces of leaves and other roof debris were falling on me, as a preview of what was to come. Now, I have had a squirrel on me before. It may have been like 33 years ago and memories fade, but I DO remember that that is something I never want to repeat again.

So I screamed and ran away.

The squirrel regained his footing and made it across to the other roof.

I was shaking with terror that I had come so close to wearing a live squirrel as a hat.

They are evil. Head my warning. Keep your distance from those varmints.

Be careful out there…

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

I LOVE THIS PICTURE!

I flippin’ love this picture!

I totally love this picture of my son. But alas, I seem to be the only one who sees the ultimate beauty and meaning in it. It was taken of my son playing in a gazebo when we visited the Huckleberry Railroad and Crossroads Village earlier this year (for more info on that adventure, click here.)

I took the picture with my old 5 megapixel camera. But I totally love that camera. The sun was shining, so I couldn’t even really tell what I was getting as it was hard to see my LCD screen.

The picture turned out so stinking well!!! The steps draw you in. They are wonderfully aged and crisp white at the same time. The railing and even the beams of the ceiling draw you in to the picture as they head for their unseen point of convergence. (And looking at it I don’t even think about how many bee’s nests are up in the rafters, although I did think that when I was there in person.) The plant life is so green and well balanced. I love the hint of yellow in the upper right corner. Except for the clothing, this picture could have been taken a hundred years ago, or yesterday. (Timeless.) I especially like that you can’t see any hint of his diaper between the bottom of his shirt and the top of his shorts.

I had an 8″ X 10″ made of this photo. (As a print, all the colors and objects totally pop.) I put it in a matted frame. I feel like the picture should come with a great quote about climbing into your future or stepping into your life. (I Googled. I couldn’t find one:( The image just represents so much for me. I see it as my son aging with each step he climbs. And I am so thankful for that, especially after having the same major surgery twice in 2011. He is stepping up into a world of endless possibilities.

It also looks like it could be used for a motivational poster in a corporate office. It would have to have a motto like “No progress is made until we take the first step”, or something boring like that.

I know years from now, he will be all grown up and I will look at that picture and wonder what happened to that little boy. My little boy.

I also think the picture looks like one that might come in a picture frame when you buy it (except then it would probably be black and white–Oooooo. How good would that picture look in black and white?!!) I strive in life for things like that–to meet the standard of consumerism. I sometimes make dinner and try to get it to look like a restaurant meal when it hits the plate or table. I even do it with simple things. I love getting a dill pickle spear with my sandwich at a restaurant, but normally don’t think to add it to my plate with my chips unless I am thinking with the “restaurant” state-of-mind.

It turns out black and white didn’t rock, but blue-tint is awesome!


I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

%d bloggers like this: