But that's beside the point. The point is this: Indians - or Native Americans, if that's how you roll - have this fun little quirky knack of doing things their own way, in their own time and who cares if it's inefficient. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the perks that come along with being Native American, but sometimes I get frustrated when I sit in a less-than-cherry community center for 3 1/2 hours with a hundred or so other Native Americans and my own three children, two of which swear they didn't hear me say "Take something to keep you occupied because we're liable to be there for awhile!" and therefore brought nothing to keep themselve occupied. Fortunately Abby had a tiny thing of PlayDoh that kept the three of them busy until it go so dirty that I was about to have a panic attack. And Sam kept throwing the container at Abby. And Kady kept getting PlayDoh on Mrs. Coach's pants. Yeah, good times.
Oh yeah....they were also giving out free sno cones. 40 gazillion children in a gigantic room with nothing to keep them busy, fueled by pure sugar poured over ice. What genius said, "Let's drag out the sno cone machine for clothing voucher day!"?
By 12:30 my kids were all but convulsing in the floor (the dirty, dirty floor) and I dug through my purse for some change. Fortunately Mrs. Coach was much more prepared than I was and had some ones. A small stampede to the vending machine and my kids came back with Chips Ahoy!, blueberry PopTarts and powdered donuts. She's like the cool aunt who always has gum. Had I escorted them, they'd have come back with nothing because as a mother I'm contractually bound to not give them crap for lunch, but because they aren't her children, let the crap be eaten, kids!
If it wasn't for our cell phones, we'd both have been COMPLETELY insane by the end of our adventure. Heck, we were even texting each other and we were literally sitting feet apart. She's way more popular than I am, so I'm sure she texted more than one person over the course of our visit, but I just conversed with The Queen of Dirty Laundry, aka My Favorite Texan, who took pictures of her kids and her dog in a onesie (which was borderline disturbing, Lori, hon...) to keep me occupied.
We interrupt this blog post for a friendly PSA: Tube tops. Bad. If we can see the total details of your nipples through the thin yellow fabric covering your gazongas....it's actually a bad thing.
They called Mrs. Coach around 1:15 and I had my purse on my arm and I was in a runner's stance as soon as her name was called because I was on the list after her. After being prepared to hand over my kids' tribal cards, proof in income, proof of residency, urine sample, a DNA swab, the results of my last pap smear, a contract agreeing to give the Cherokee Nation my nextborn AND tell the interviewer she was pretty, I was pleasantly shocked at how quickly I got my clothing vouchers. Mrs. Coach and I both were utterly astounded at the lack of skepticism we were presented with yesterday. Normally, yeah, you have to do all those things I listed previously. Yesterday, however, we basically slapped down proof of residency and income and didn't have to compliment anyone. That's progress, people. All we can figure is that the certifiers haven't been working for the Cherokees long enough to become good and jaded.
My poor children dragged their malnutritioned bodies back to the van and we promptly headed to Sonic. As we pulled in, Mrs. Coach noticed the new advertisement on the board for Biscuit Dippers - little sausage biscuits to dip in a mini-vat of gravy. She said, "Does that look wrong to anyone else? Or is it just me?" I heartily agreed that yes, it seemed indeed wrong. I took my kids' orders while they drifted in and out of consciousness - trust me, they thought they were just. that. hungry. When I had my kids' orders squared away I looked at Mrs. Coach and said, "Okay, what do you want?" She leaned way over in front of me and said, "Hmmmm....I dunno.....what do they have?" I looked her square in the eye and said, "I hear they have these new biscuit dippers. They make great suppositories." She conjured up an order pretty quick. Well, after we both managed to breathe again after the laughing. I don't think we would've laughed that hard had we not just endured what we just had. Or maybe we would've. Because we really are just that weird.
So now I have $225 worth of clothing vouchers just burning a hole in my pocket but I hate to buy school clothes for my kids right now. They can wear shorts until November 1 at their school and trust me, here in Oklahoma, it could very well be that warm November 1. Of course, we could also have 12 feet of snow on the ground and more on the way. But my point is, my kids are growing so fast these days that I hate to buy jeans now and them outgrow them by the time cooler weather comes around. I have until September 15th to use them so guess who will be at Stage on September 14th 15 minutes before it closes? Come join the fun! I'll be the one screaming at her three children in three different dressing rooms to "HURRY UP AND GET THOSE JEANS ON YOUR SKINNY INDIAN BUTTS."