Saturday, December 17, 2011

p.s. I love Jesus

I have a statue. It’s a regal woman who stands about five feet tall, and she’s holding what appears to be a horn of plenty. That, or she’s fondling her left breast, I’m not entirely certain. At any rate, when I placed her out in our front yard last year, the neighbours in our bay started a pool on how long she would last. I didn’t see the problem but they were like, “Don’t you remember what it was like to be a teenager? That thing will be smashed by a hormonal, pimply-faced angry person inside a month. It’s a perfect double-dog dare. You’ll see.” Well, I chose to stick to my guns and hoped for the best, but secretly I feared for the sultry woman’s life. 
And so the days passed. Months. Every morning on the way to work we’d back out of the driveway, and there she’d be, standing proud, erect, and protecting our front yard. At one point she did get kidnapped and held hostage by a gaggle of burly rugby players, although they returned her alive (well, not really) and unharmed. Apparently she was a hot ticket item and scored big points for their scavenger hunt.

But for the most part, she was left alone. That is until this past summer. I was wandering around the house in early August, gearing up to do some housework, when mercifully the phone rang thus distracting me from doing anything useful. As I was chatting with my sister on the phone, I happened to look out my front door just as two girls were approaching my statue, giggling, whispering, elbowing each other as if to say, “You do it. No, you do it!” I almost knew it was going to happen before it did. And then it came – an arm shot out and shoved my lady, and she went ass over horn of plenty into the shrubs. I went flying out of my house wearing a bright purple dress with a large patch over the top of my chest, covering the stitches from a mole I recently had removed. In hindsight, it may have looked as though I had just got home from heart surgery. Needless to say, whether it was from my outfit or me trumpeting at the top of my lungs, I must have looked completely bat shit. The girls jumped ten feet in the air and took off like their pants were on fire. I shouted out after them, “Hey, I saw that girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrls!” I wanted them to know that I had witnessed the whole thing unfold and that I could easily identify them. Sort of.

When relaying the details of said event later that evening to my husband and sister, I said they had to be teenagers, close to six feet tall if they were an inch. In all likelihood, gang members with sleeve tattoos. I rather shamelessly admitted that what I had done was extremely dangerous and brave, and should not be attempted by the average person. In my mind’s eye, I was a small-town hero, avenging neighbourhood crime and statue bullying. I boldly declared, “Now, one of two things will happen. Either my statue never gets harassed again, or by tomorrow morning, it’ll be smashed to smithereens. Either way, I’ll be here waiting.” By this point in the story, I could see I was dangerously close to losing my audience so I was about to make minor adjustments to the story to amplify my heroic behaviour, when something caught my eye. There was a letter hanging out of my mailbox. My inner detective lunged outside and greedily opened what appeared to be a handwritten note. Here’s what it said:

In the interest of protecting said juvenile, I've withheld name and photo.

Now at first glance at the spelling, I thought perhaps one of my older brothers was in town – upon closer inspection however, I realized the punctuation was far too advanced. My sister took one look at the letter, then the photo, then looked at me and declared, “So really, what you’re trying to say is that you spend a large portion of your day terrorizing small, adorable children. Nice.”

I snatched the letter back and stared at the photo. What a clever child she was, attaching a picture of herself most likely taken years ago when she was still young, dewy and innocent-looking. Point to you, Miss Petty Crime.

For some reason, this whole incident reminded me of a letter my mom recently found (Particularly the bullshit p.s. part...what's with postal scripts anyway? I hereby declare I'm going to stop using them.). While going through old boxes containing report cards and other school crap, pardon me, memorabilia, she came across two letters written to her, one from me when I was eight years old and one from my sister, who would have been five at the time. My mom had been in the hospital for a bit so my note went something like this: 

"Dear Mom, I hope you are having fun in the hospitle. We are havng fun. I helped Dad do dishes. Dad took us bowlng. I did not win. We miss you. Come home son.”
Now for the bootlegging pirate's my sister’s letter:
“Dear Mom, I hope you are having fun in the hospitle. I am havng fun two. I helped Dad do dishes two. Dad took me bowlng two. Janita did not win. She got mad. We miss you. Come home son. p.s. I love Jesus.”

The little goober had pretty much copied my letter word for word, and then to add insult to injury, added in the clinching postal script, p.s. I love Jesus. What kind of 5-year-old does that? It was sheer brilliance on her part, one-upping me with a near perfect God-fearing statement that put her right up there with the Big Guy. It also made her look more spiritual than me, swiftly depositing her as rightful owner of the favourite child badge. Not that her competition for that has ever been fierce.

What did I learn from all this bullying? That it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being a big enough person to apologize to someone when you’ve done something wrong. (Fry: this is a direct hint...) That little girl who tormented my statue? She got it right. I wish I could meet her, give her a great big hug, thank her for the laugh, and tell her parents that they’re raising her right. I would also tell the clever little kitten that I totally got a kick out of how she dropped her friend in the shit while apologizing. There's nothing quite as entertaining as stopping mid-apology to kick someone else under the bus. But hey, I enjoy that sort of humour.

And remember, if you can’t bear the thought of saying sorry to someone's face, then drop a letter in their mailbox. Hell, attach a photo of yourself from high school to really throw down the charm...who can get mad at a mullet wracked by a Toni Home permanent? If they're still angry after seeing your un-photoshopped Grade 10 photo, then they have no heart. Move on. If it’s a particularly heinous crime, then don’t be afraid to throw in a “p.s. I love Jesus”. After all, he’ll be making the final call so best to have him on your side all the way.

I’ll be writing a few apology notes myself this holiday season...although I plan on attaching my sister’s photo to all the letters. No sense in being a damn fool about it.

Merry Christmas friends, and may 2012 bring you everything that's good.

p.s. I'm totally kidding about never using a p.s. again.
p.p.s. They're actually the perfect place to drop a bomb in an otherwise friendly, "Hey, how's it going? Kids adorable as ever? Hope this finds you well! p.s. where's that f*&%ing report you were supposed to have done?"
p.p.p.s. Jesus loves Janita. It goes without saying the feeling is completely mutual.

A version of this article recently appeared in the December issue of Grainews.


Anonymous said...

Janita. You need to write another book! I laughed so hard reading this and many of your other blogs. Alexis keeps asking me what is so funny and I hauled Eric off the couch to come read this. Thanks for tickling my funny bone and Merry Christmas to you guys.


Kelle said...

Stop it. Seriously was shaking laughing. The "I love Jesus?" Brilliant, I tell you. So much I love about this post. Especially the "u" in favourite. :o) xoxo Keep writing, my friend. You've got talent.

Yvonne Parks said...


I agree...I want to hug that kid! What a sweetheart for writing the note, and attaching the photo....such a soft hearted kid. That's what made me tear up!!!


Jo said...

I CAN NOT BELIEVE Jackie would stoop so low as to copy your letter and then steal the thunder with a p.s. ... too funny!!!

Janita said...

Fry, you are such a shit. Always have been, always will be. But an adorable one at that. xo

Janita said...

Marnie, Kelle and Yvonne...thanks so much for your kind words. You're all rockstars.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janita, your blog really touches me, have been reading it for awhile... Just wanted you to know about a website i started It's a place for Bible study guides.. I also put a forum in that can be viewed from a mobile device.. I couldn't find where to contact you privately so I'm commenting, hope that is okay. :) God Bless! Jenn.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...