Tuesday, January 31, 2012

deadlines a'loomin...

which means no post this week. Check back next week. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sluts, Schemers, And Other Shockingly Interesting Women Of The Bible #6 – Mary of Bethany

Disclaimer: I am doing this as a way to share what I learn about these gals. I’m not saying what I discover and write about here is the absolute truth about them. I’m not thinking I’m going to discover some revolutionary truth that nobody’s heard before, nor am I looking to start legalistic fights. This is more about me being curious and wanting to learn more about these gals, and saying “Here’s what I learned in my Bible readings today!”

Which One Is She?

There’s a bunch of Marys running around the Bible, so you’re forgiven if you sometimes mix them up. The following are all different Marys and not the same person:

1. Mary, Jesus’ Mother, the Virgin Mary

2. Mary Magdalene (not a prostitute as most commonly think)

3. Mary, mother of John Mark, the apostle.

4. Mary, wife of Clopas, mother of apostles James and Joseph, and Jesus’ Mother’s “Sister.” (Quotes are there because the Greek word for “sister” could also be translated as “cousin,” “aunt” , “niece” or other female relative. So this Mary probably isn’t really Mary’s SISTER sister, because the Virgin Mary’s parents already have enough on their plates by being grandparents to the Messiah to not need to add drama by naming two kids the same name. The people in the Bible can be messed up, but not THAT messed up, heh.)

But today we’re looking at the FIFTH Mary, which is Mary of Bethany, sister to Lazarus and Martha.

She’s a Shockingly Interesting Person, as we shall soon see.

Who Could Be Her Celebrity Counterpart?

The Arquettes are a giant bunch (as seen here - Alexis, Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia, and David). And even though there’s a few more siblings than I need for this example, let’s say Rosanna is Martha and Patricia is Mary, and Richmond and David can duke it out over which one of them is Lazarus. (Alexis is the most fabulous of them all and can be anybody she wants to be.)

Where Is She In The Bible?

Luke 10: 38 – 42 – where she sits at Jesus’ feet instead of helping Martha with the housework.

John 11 – Where Jesus raises her brother Lazarus from the dead.

John 12 - Where she washes Jesus’ feet with perfume.

What Did You Already Know About Her Before This?

Everyone in Sunday School knows the story about Mary and Martha, and how the Bible’s Martha could easily have been the Martha Stewart of Biblical times, because Martha’s so focused on cleaning the house for Jesus (and later on, mentioning how Lazarus’ corpse will probably smell after five days when Jesus goes to raise him from the dead) while her sister Mary abandons all housework to simply sit at the foot of Jesus and listen to him teach.

In fact, if I ever get around to writing a musical featuring Women Of The Bible, I think I’ll have a duet between Martha and Mary, called “I Was Always Jesus’ Favorite.” It’ll be sung to the tune of Deck The Halls:

Martha sings:
I was always Jesus’ favorite
La la la la laaaaaa, la la la la.
He loved me because I was obedient.
La la la la laaaaaa, la la la la.

Then Mary sings:
I was always Jesus’ favorite
La la la la laaaaaa, la la la la.
He loved me ‘cause I know what’s more important.
La la la la laaaaaa, la la la la.

Then Apostle John would probably jump in
I was the one whom Jesus loooooved.
La la la la laaaaaa, la la la la.
It’s all in my Gospel, yes it waaaasss.
La la la la laaaaaa, la la la la.


In addition to not helping with the housework and pissing off her sister, Mary of Bethany is also the one who washes Jesus’ feet with an expensive pint of perfume and dries it with her hair. As we read in John 12, this angers Judas, who argues that instead of washing Jesus’ feet, they could’ve sold it and given the money to the poor (John editorializes that Judas actually didn’t want to give the money to the poor, he wanted to keep it for himself.) Jesus tells Judas to shut up (not like that, but nicer) and explains that Mary has actually anointed his body for burial, “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” (John 12:7-8)

Why Is This Shocking?

Sitting at Jesus’ feet to listen to him teach was considered something a disciple would do. Mary’s a chick, but Jesus allows her to sit where a disciple would because he considers her, a woman, a disciple – pretty shocking.

Back in Biblical times, a guest to a house would get a foot bath as soon as they entered the house, because Sandals On Everyone + No Paved Roads = Dirty Dirty Feet.

Normally, a servant would do the washing with water. Jesus and the apostles are meeting IN Mary (and Martha and Lazarus)’s house, so Mary is technically a host, and didn’t have to do the washing.

And even if she wanted to do the washing, water was fine. But she chose to use a very expensive gift on the most humblest of body parts – the dusty road weary feet.

(P.S., while Mary is washing Jesus’ feet and Judas is getting angry, what’s Martha doing? She’s SERVING! John 12:2 – “…Martha served…” Martha is gonna pitch a fit pretty soon if she doesn’t get some help. Though the servants aren’t washing Jesus’ feet currently, so she could grab them if she wanted.)

Whatchoo Thinking About?

I think Mary of Bethany’s all about emotions. Not necessary an emotional wreck, but she doesn’t hide her feelings, she wears them pretty openly. She drops everything to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him, never mind what Martha wants.

When Jesus arrives in Bethany after Lazarus’ death (John 11) , Martha goes to greet him first, which seems a little out of character for both sisters. But interestingly, this section is more about Martha’s character arc, and how she finally believes that Jesus is the son of God (this is even before Jesus raises Lazarus, and I love that Martha has her own moment here). Mary is back in the house, mourning with others, as someone whose grief is so overwhelming emotionally would do. Yet when Martha tells her that Jesus is here and is asking for her, Mary “got up quickly and went to him,” (John 11: 29)

When Mary gets to Jesus, she throws herself at his feet and says, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Pretty emotional statement right there, she’s crying, everyone around her is crying, Jesus “was deeply moved in spirit” (John 11:33b) and wants to know where Lazarus is buried, and what comes next is the thing that causes Jesus to say the most memorized Sunday School verse ever. Seriously, if you’re in Sunday school, and the teacher says next week’s assignment is to memorize Scripture, and you get to pick the verse, go for this one, John 11:35. Because it’s simply this:

“Jesus wept.”


But back to Scripture! What moves Jesus to tears, among other things (dead Lazarus) is Mary’s tears. Tears from an emotional woman, a woman who says what she thinks, who doesn’t hide her feelings, who acts on her emotions.

A woman who doesn’t give a toss what anyone (Judas) thinks of her washing Jesus’ feet with perfume in John Ch.12, instead of selling the perfume to give the money to the poor. After all, Jesus is the guy who raised her brother from the dead.

Or perhaps, she’s the one who actually understands what Jesus has been telling the disciples for some time – that his time on this earth is drawing to a close. The disciples aren’t getting it. But Emotional Mary Of Bethany is taking Jesus at his word, and anointing his body for the burial that Jesus says is happening. The disciples may think it’s another metaphor, but Mary takes Jesus at his word. Which we all should do.

What Did You Learn?

Looking at these examples, Mary of Bethany could be seen as almost operatic. And I’m kinda jealous of her openness and emotional bravery. She doesn’t care what other people think, she’s gonna feel what she’s gonna feel.

How else would you react in the presence of your Lord and Savior? All pretense should be cast aside. Not point in putting on a mask in front of Jesus. He’s gonna see right through you.

And FYI, it was pretty impossible to find a screen shot of Patricia Arquette in an emotional pose. She’s always calm and collected in front of the cameras. If you wanna see her crying, you’re gonna have to go rent her films. I like True Romance, myself.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sluts, Schemers, And Other Shockingly Interesting Women Of The Bible #5 – Bathsheba

Disclaimer: I am doing this as a way to share what I learn about these gals. I’m not saying what I discover and write about here is the absolute truth about them. I’m not thinking I’m going to discover some revolutionary truth that nobody’s heard before, nor am I looking to start legalistic fights. This is more about me being curious and wanting to learn more about these gals, and saying “Here’s what I learned in my Bible readings today!”

Which One Is She?

Bathsheba was married to King David, and bore him a son, King “I Wrote Most Of Proverbs” Solomon.

Conservative religious chuckleheads would say that Bathsheba is a Slut for going along with King David’s adulterous wishes. I disagree. She’s actually a Schemer for what she does after the fact.

Who Could Be Her Celebrity Counterpart?

Because she is the only woman in the Bible who is described in Hebrew as “maod towb” which means “very beautiful”, let’s go ahead and say she’s Angelina Jolie, who is one of the most beautiful women in the world and always looks like she’s got mega scheming plans behind those big eyes. We are lucky that those plans are usually about helping Serbian orphans or adopting another child from an impoverished country, because she could be scheming to bring about the zombie apocalypse. I mean, look at her – doesn’t she look like she could convince any scientist in the world to unleash a zombie virus if she really wanted to?

So really, people, we’re only alive because Angelina Jolie wants us to be.

Where Is She In The Bible?

The part of the story that everyone remembers is 2 Samuel, Chapter 11 and 12. That’s where King David sees Bathsheba, grabs her, impregnates her, and then sends her husband Uriah to the front line of the war so he’s killed quicker so King David can marry Bathsheba and claim the kid as his. That kid dies, by the way, as God’s punishment on King David (and some say Bathsheba too).

But King David must’ve really really loved Bathsheba, because he stuck with her forever. He could’ve booted her after the first kid died, but nope, she sticks around. But again, she’s Angelina Jolie beautiful. Who wouldn’t want a gal like that to stick around?

BUT! She also has a small adventure in 1 Kings, Chapters 1 and 2.

And when you look at her actions in both of those stories, you realize she’s a Schemer.

What Did You Already Know About Her Before This?

Everybody knows she’s the chick bathing naked on the roof when King David saw her. Everybody knows King David fell into such lust for her that he purposefully schemed to get Uriah, her husband, killed in battle so he could marry her because she was already pregnant with King David’s kid. And the bulk of this story falls upon King David and his actions, because yes, he’s the bigger sinner here.

I used to like to get into debates in various small groups whenever anyone said that Bathsheba bore some of the blame of the sin of adultery by going to King David when he “sent messengers to get her” (Ch.11:4), even though she was married to Uriah.

But hello!

When a King “sends messengers to get” you, how do you think he’d do it? HE USES SOLDIERS. Big burly men with swords and battle axes and other weapons that not-so-subtly indicate that It’s Best You Come With Us And Sleep With Your King Serve Your Country.

Because a King is only going to accept one answer here. And Bathsheba is a woman of the Bible whose husband happens to not be at home ‘cause he’s fighting in the war, and she’s got zero options.

Put another way - If the Secret Service comes knocking on your door and says “The President Would Like A Word With You,” you don’t really get to say no. Any movie will show you that you get your ass tackled if your answer is anything other than yes.

So nope, Bathsheba didn’t have a choice, and any conservative religious chucklehead who argues that she did is usually #1) a guy or #2) someone who likes to blame women a lot. Back away slowly from those folks. The zombies will get them in their time when Angelina gives the say so.

What’s Her Story?

After Bathsheba gets pregnant by King David, and after Uriah gets killed in battle, King David is courteous enough to wait - “after the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.” (Ch11:27) Oh yeah, NOW he can wait. Couldn’t wait before, but NOW he can. Heh.

So here comes Nathan the prophet, who essentially tells King David God knows what you did, you bad bad person! Calamity approacheth! King David, to his credit, instantly confesses, and Calamity averted, but the kid (who never gets a name, poor little bugger) dies after seven days. Because sin has consequences.

As usual, the Bible spends zippo time checking in on its women, in this case Bathsheba, and what she must be feeling/thinking. Her husband Uriah is dead. Her firstborn (if she had kids with Uriah, the Bible would’ve said something about them) is dead. The King who got her into all of this mess is still alive, and now she’s married to him.

And yet, she still stays with him. She doesn’t run away, she doesn’t pull a Cleopatra and Asps Away! She doesn’t even kill him. Why? The only thing I can think of is that she must love him. Or he must be really hot. Like, Brad Pitt hot. Maybe that’s the series I do next – Life Of King David As Played By Brad Pitt.

It must also be noted that God wanted these crazy kids together, because she gets pregnant with David’s kid again and in Ch.12:24-26 “She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him, and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jeddiah.” Jeddiah means “loved by the Lord.” And God really loves Solomon, because he is also in the bloodline that will eventually produce Jesus.

So let’s skip the parts where David has other kids by other wives, and they’re obviously not Bathsheba’s kids, because they’re all screwed up and raping their half sister (Amnon), or killing their brother because they raped their half sister, and trying to take the throne from David (Absalom). I like to think Bathsheba is just trying to raise baby Solomon, and giving him all the wisdom that he’ll need to write Proverbs later (which could quite possibly be as simple as “don’t do anything you see any of your father’s sons doing.”)

But she pops up again where not a lot of people expect her to do so, in 1 Kings, Chapters 1 and 2.

At this point, David’s son Adonijah (who is NOT Bathsheba’s son) decides he’s gonna jump over the whole succession thing (which dictates that Solomon would be King when David died) and claim himself King because David is way too old, and too busy trying to get it up with young virgins named Abishag (yeah, when the Bible says “he could not keep warm,” that’s a gentle euphemism for “I cannot perform sexually to produce more heirs and thus prove I can still be King”) to fight him off.

So Nathan the prophet, yes, the same prophet who told David that his firstborn son by Bathsheba was gonna die because of his adultery sin, finds Bathsheba and says, “You wanna do something about this or else Solomon’s not getting the throne.”

And seriously, can you imagine Bathsheba looking at this guy, this prophet, the same guy who told David (I’m guessing she was either in the room or nearby) that their firstborn son was gonna die because of the sin that David kinda sorta coerced her to participate in, THIS guy, is now coming to her saying “Yo, need your help.”

Nathan the prophet needs Bathsheba’s help, because he’s already figured out that if he went by himself to talk to King David, his words wouldn’t be heard.

But if King David’s not gonna listen to the prophet who was right in the past about his firstborn son dying, then who would King David listen to?

BATHSHEBA. Which is why Nathan went to her to ask King David first. If Nathan could’ve done it by himself, he would’ve. But nope, he needs the one woman who, when she speaks, KINGS listen.

(We are not brain-eating-zombies only because Angelina Jolie loves her kids and Brad Pitt too much to give the order.)

Nathan instructs Bathsheba to go to elderly King David (whose throne is probably a hospital bed at this point) and say something to the effect of, “What the hell, you said Solomon would be king, and Adonijah’s just sent out a press release saying he’s taking the throne.”

Bathsheba does him one better, and tells King David that not only has Adonijah sent the press release, he’s excluded Solomon and Bathsheba from the victory dinner, and they’re most likely gonna die soon.

So King David quickly crowns Solomon as king, while Adonijah is at his victory dinner, and since what King David says still goes, Solomon is now king, and Adonijah sulks away, because Solomon, in his wisdom, doesn’t kill him.

That doesn’t stop Adonijah from requesting through Bathsheba for Solomon to grant “I Don’t Like Being Known As The Virgin That King David Couldn’t Get it Up With” Abishag as his wife. Bathsheba allegedly innocently carries the request to Solomon, who promptly kills Adonijah for his request (because if Adonijah could get it up with a virgin that his own father couldn’t, that means Adonijah has conquered Virgin Territory And Thus Deserves To Be King. Gross and stupid.)

See I bet, I just bet, that Bathsheba knew that would happen. This is her chance to get rid of the pesky Son Who’s Not Her Son Who Tried To Take The Throne From HER Son once and for all.

Why would Adonijah ask Bathsheba for help with his dumb request? Because when Bathsheba speaks, KINGS listen.

Oooooooh, she’s crafty, she is.

Whatchoo Thinking About?

At first glance, it looks like Bathsheba is nothing more than a pawn in other men’s schemes – King David must have her, Prophet Nathan needs her to talk to David, Adonijah needs her to talk to King Solomon.

But how she not only survives those plans, but often times does them one better, is kinda awesome.

Everyone wrote off Bathsheba as a beautiful woman and nothing more. I think just about everyone has more going on under the surface. Sometimes not a ton more. But something more. Look beneath the surface of everyone

What did you learn?

Don’t have a victory dinner until after you’ve taken the throne.

Never ever underestimate the persuasiveness of a beautiful woman (who, by the way, was verbally persuasive with King David and King Solomon. Again, more than meets the eye.)

Brad Pitt is staring in the movie version of World War Z, which is about the zombie apocalypse. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Sluts, Schemers, And Other Shockingly Interesting Women Of The Bible #4 – Gomer

Disclaimer: I am doing this as a way to share what I learn about these gals. I’m not saying what I discover and write about here is the absolute truth about them. I’m not thinking I’m going to discover some revolutionary truth that nobody’s heard before, nor am I looking to start legalistic fights. This is more about me being curious and wanting to learn more about these gals, and saying “Here’s what I learned in my Bible readings today!”

Which One Is She?

Gomer is firmly in our Slut category, as she’s the woman God told the prophet Hosea to marry, despite her indiscretions that continued even after Hosea married her. She’s willful, stubborn, wants to do her own thing, comes back and says she’s sorry and she won’t ever do it again… and then promptly goes and does it again.

Just like most of mankind.

Which is why God told Hosea to marry her, as their union would vividly be a metaphor for God and Israel, his chosen people.

In that metaphor, Hosea is to God as Gomer the slut is all of us.

Who Could Be Her Celebrity Counterpart?

I’m gonna get in such trouble for this. It really doesn’t matter who I name, it’s gonna be bad news. Oh, yes, please DO “name a famous female celebrity who’s slept with MASSIVE amounts of people.” Let me Google that phrase and see what I come back with. HA! GOOGLE DOESN’T COME BACK WITH ANYTHING! GOOGLE’S STAYING THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS ONE!!

You know what? I’m gonna say Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love (Venus is the Roman version). Who was VERY well known for taking numerous lovers, and never really being faithful to her hubby Hephaestus (Vulcan is the Roman version). And since Mira Sorvino played a prostitute (and won an Oscar for it) in Woody Allen's “Mighty Aphrodite,” that’s the face we’re using today. (we’re NOT saying Mira is a slut. WE ARE NOT SAYING THAT. We’re saying that we’re using her face as an illustration. THAT’S ALL.)

Where Is She In The Bible?

Hosea, a minor prophet book in the Old Testament. Fourteen chapters long.

What Did You Already Know About Her Before This?

I knew about her, because it’s a wackadoo part of the Bible that not a lot of people know about, so when you read about it you’re like “?!HUH?!” but then I forgot. Then I remember. Then I forget. Minor prophets are like that.

What’s Her Story?

God told Hosea to marry an adulterous woman, though look at the hilarious way it reads in the Bible,

Chapter 1, vs. 2 & 3 “…the Lord said to him, “God, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord. So he married Gomer, daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.”


See, the way I read it, God doesn’t tell Hosea WHO to marry, He tells Hosea WHAT KIND OF WOMAN to marry, i.e. “Go find yourself a whore and marry her,” and Hosea thinks, “OH! I KNOW JUST THE ONE!”

Meaning it’s up to Hosea’s own judgment to find the whoriest of whores. OH MY GOD, PEOPLE, DO YOU NOT SEE THE HILARITY HERE?

After being instructed by God to pick a whore for a wife, Hosea marries Gomer and they have three kids (there’s debate over whether the second and third child are Hosea’s), and God tells them to name the children specifically these names because of what the names mean:

Jezreel, a boy– Jezreel is a famous battleground where a historical bloody coup took place under the king of Jehu. Jezreel means “God scatters.” By Hosea naming his child this, God is speaking through Hosea that Jehu’s rule is coming to an end.

Lo-Ruhamah, a daughter, - Lo-Ruhamah means “not pitied.”

Lo-Ammi, a son - Lo-Ammi means “not my people.”

With a slut for a mom, and these wackadoo names, I am shocked that we don’t hear more about how these three kids grew up to be serial killers. I mean, seriously.

God is using not just Hosea’s marriage, but his children as an extended metaphor for the bumpy love story between God and the Israel nation. Though I don’t think that explanation would’ve stopped those kids from getting their asses kicked on the playground. Thanks, God!

So the majority of the book of Hosea is either God talking, or talking through Hosea about how Israel (the nation, which takes on female qualities when God talks about her ) has turned away from Him, so He’s gonna take everything away from Israel, strip her bare, then charm her all over again, like in Ch.1 vs. 14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.” And if you’re thinking this makes God sound like an abusive husband – I gave you everything, you abandoned me, so now I’m gonna take everything back! – you’d be sorta right, except for the fact that Israel brought it on herself by turning its back on God first and #2, When God woos Israel back, He doesn’t mistreat her. Israel’s the one who keeps running off (in the form of abandoning God in favor of worshipping other pagan gods), over and over and over again and God’s the one who lets Israel suffer the consequences of her choices, waits for her to come back, and takes her back over and over again, until the next time Israel runs off, enticed by some new pagan god.

This is played out in Hosea’s marriage by Hosea continually going to find and bring back Gomer from whoever’s bed she’s currently bouncing in. This includes buying her back out of slavery/possible temple prostitution (Chapter 3). While Gomer’s only specifically mentioned by name in Chapter 1 and 3, you can extrapolate that she’s married to Hosea through all 14 chapters of the book, otherwise it would’ve been mentioned if they busted up (and when God wants to use things as a metaphor, they kinda go the way He wants. Because He’s God, you know.)

Hosea’s still continuing his career as a prophet, and you gotta think this makes him an especially effective speaker, who’s literally practicing what he’s preaching in terms of how God will always go after His people, will always take them back. It’s also a good thing that Hosea’s a prophet, and not a minister, because you know he would’ve been kicked out of any church for having a wife who would so publicly embarrass him, and whom he seemingly can’t control.

No reason is given for why Gomer runs off. She could be a nympho, she could be bored of Hosea’s constant preaching of Israel’s sorrows, she might take the attitude of “F it, if this is what he thinks I’m going to do, might as well prove him right.”

She’s stuck in a pattern of behavior that she’s been in for so long, it’s quite possible that she thought this was a normal way to live. She could have said, “Yo, you knew I was a slut when you married me. In fact it was BECAUSE I was a slut that you married me. I have to keep being a slut, or else God’s metaphor of our marriage doesn’t work. So I’m heading down to the bar to pick up a guy, and I’ll catch you on the flip side, mmmkay?”

I keep getting the picture in my head that Hosea was the nerdiest of nerds, and Gomer was a total (if a little road-worn) babe. (Woody Allen and Mira Sorvino, maybe?) Because had Hosea been the least bit studly, Gomer would’ve totally stayed around, no?

I wonder if Gomer simply couldn’t handle at first what love is about. True unconditional love means accepting the person, warts and all (and there’s an assumption that the warty person will try very hard to change their warty ways, and you will love them through that process too.)

There had to have come a point where Gomer was so tired of her negative behavior that she just gave up and thought, yeah, you can have me back if you want this broken down soul and beaten up body. Because nobody can keep living that kind of life and end up happy.

And for Hosea to take her back must’ve blown her mind. Why would you want me back? After everything I’ve done to you. After everything I’ve done to myself. I am not beautiful anymore. I am not worth your love. I am not worth anyone’s love. I am not worthy of being loved.

But Gomer was worthy of being loved. We’re all worthy of being loved. Warts and all.

A big part of me wishes that the book of Hosea focused more on that aspect of Hosea and Gomer’s relationship, and less on God and Israel. Even though they’re metaphorically the same thing. But you know how it goes when it comes to Old Testament prophets – the prophecies take center stage 99.9 percent of the time.

What Did You Learn?

We’re all worthy of being loved, and that can be the hardest realization of all.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Disgusting New Year's Metaphor

Oh, you guys. I have the most disgusting New Year metaphor ever. It’s positively DRIPPING with sentimental ooey gooey BLEGH of inner meaning. So I absolutely have to interrupt the current Sluts, Schemers, and other Shockingly Interesting Women on the Bible series to tell you all about it!

I didn’t get a vacation this year. I was supposed to, the entire family was supposed to go to St. John for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. My father’s Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis put the kibosh on that (for now, there’s hope we can do it in 2012), yet circumstances in the form of multiple dogsitting income gigs throughout 2011 and Hollywood basically shutting down between Christmas and New Year’s all conspired to allow me to take a mini vaca to the amazing Casa Laguna Inn in Laguna Beach for a few days between the holidays.

As soon as I walked into the room, I knew that this was absolutely the right thing to do. I was very well taken care of (they upgraded me to a balcony with a partial ocean view and the TUB! The TUB, people! I took a bath every damn night with that TUB! It was AWESOME! THANK YOU, CASA LAGUNA INN!)

I love Laguna Beach, I really really do. It’s closer than Santa Barbara, and the beach is awesome. I haven’t been here since my birthday in 2007, and Casa Laguna is further south of Laguna Beach than that adventure. But turned out to be absolutely fine. The Inn is located close to Victoria Beach, a pretty much hidden beach and only known to locals and people staying at Casa Laguna, since they include helpful printed directions about how you can walk there.

So walk there I did.

We all know my End Of The Year custom is to go down to the beach and toast the sunset, preferably with tequila. Normally, it’s Santa Monica Beach, but this year, it’s Victoria Beach and no tequila (no glass on the beach, no beachfront bar in sight, and it’s 3:00pm in the afternoon.)

But here I am on the beach, and in search of an adventure. So I decide to head north, to see how far I can get, and see what I can see.

There’s plenty of nifty beachfront housing, and even an old lighthouse? Tower? Something? But I continued on.

There’s a lot of rocky coastline and tidepools, and plenty of signs saying DON’T PICK UP ANYTHING YOU IDIOT! (paraphrasing)

And I came across a patch of coast where the tide was coming in and out in a somewhat irregular manner. So the challenge was to take your shoes off, dash across the wet sand (which would suck your shoes off if you still had them on) before the surf came back in to get you wet, yet have enough time to put your shoes back on to climb the rocks and get up to the next part (You can’t climb these rocks in your bare feet. You absolutely cannot.)

So I slipped my shoes off, dashed across the sand, put the shoes down on the rock, got my right foot into one shoe, and then... WOOOOSH! Here comes the water, and grabs my left shoe! It’s gone! MY LEFT SHOE IS GONE!

“SERIOUSLY!?” I yell uselessly at the water. I see my left shoe bobbing far out in the surf, tossed back and forth by the currents. I’m so pissed, I forget to take a picture (so you’re just gonna have to trust me.)

What am I gonna do? Walk back to the Inn with one shoe? That’s going to be uncomfy. Casa Laguna supplies a BUNCH of things – a gourmet breakfast, a nightly wine and cheese reception, bathrobes, hair dryers, ear plugs, Q-tips, umbrellas for inclement weather,

Himalayan sea salts for the awesome jetted bathtub (and so so much more) – but I think a size 7 ½ left shoe is out of their paygrade.

I watch the shoe bob and bob on the surf. My right shoe in my hand. Both feet in the sand and my legs getting soaked by the surf.

And I wait.

I wait.

In truth, I’m waiting because I don’t know what else to do just yet. I’d like to think that waiting was my instant Grand Master Plan To Get My Shoe Back.

But in all honesty, I was standing there because I didn’t know what to do next.

Until I realize that if I keep spotting the shoe, and watch the waves, there might be a chance the waves would deposit my shoe back to a place where I could snatch it.

So I wait.

And wait.

Maybe two minutes. Probably shorter, just felt like two minutes.

Lo and behold, the tide returns the shoe practically to the same rocky place where it grabbed it away in the first place. And I grab it.

I am officially back in double shoe business! Yay me! I don’t have to limp back to Casa Laguna! Yay yay me!

So here’s the disgusting metaphor part – 2012 is going to be the year of Not Panicking.

2012 is the year of knowing that even if life/fate/God/Whatever Higher Power You Believe In throws you a curveball, or snatches something that you really really need right out of your hands…

Your first response is to wait.

(Okay, your first response can technically be yelling “SERIOUSLY!?”)

But THEN, wait.

Wait and watch.

Watch the landscape, then make judgments based on what you see. 99% of the time, it’s probably not as bad as you think. And if you simply wait, you can get what you needed back.

Yes, it’s a simplistic metaphor, and I reserve every right to say THAT METAPHOR IS COMPLETE BOLLOCKS! should events of 2012 sock me in the gut.

But then I’d probably go back to Casa Laguna to shake it off. Or shake my fist at the sun setting over Victoria Beach.

We shall see.

Happy New Year everyone. And if you ever get the chance to visit Casa Laguna Inn, I highly, highly recommend it. They are awesome awesome folk. :)