Thursday, November 22, 2012

{so you can know me better}

Photobucket In my college days I had a friend named Stephen, who always said everything he was thinking. If my hair looked bad, he'd say, "Your hair looks bad." If I sung off-key, he'd say, "That was terrible." If I did something well, he'd tell me, "Even though you aren't very good at that other thing you were trying to do today, you're really good at this." In a world of insecure people flat-out lying to each other all the time just for the sake of feeling good, it was a weird kind of refreshing. Besides, compliments mean more when you know someone wouldn't give them unless they were deserved.

We ended up writing a four-person musical together with our friends Becky and Derek {pictured above, behind Stephen and I}, taking it on tour, and spending a ridiculous amount of time in a van driving across the prairies together. To pass the time as we drove from Calgary to Winnipeg, or Edmonton to Swift Current, we'd sing at the top of our lungs in four-part harmony and host an imaginary radio talk show for Becky's camera. {I found the recordings on my computer yesterday, and listened to an "episode" in which Stephen "interviewed" Batman [Derek].}

Maybe you had to be there. We thought we were hilarious.  

Anyway. I've been in a bit of a schmaltzy mood since finding the recordings, and that made me get out the memory box from under my bed. It's full of cards from friends and love notes from Barclay and ticket stubs from concerts and stuff like that. I dug to the bottom of the box, back to the stuff from 2006 and found something I'd forgotten about entirely: my life story, as written by Mr. Stephen Haiko.

Good graish. I'm so glad I held onto it. He "interviewed" me in the mess hall one day between classes {or maybe during a class; oops}, and I remember thinking it was a joke and wondering how he was going to fill a page with the little information I gave, but the next day he handed me a four page paper on my life, complete with details about my dad's stint in the mafia and slightly leaky information he'd gleaned from my friends.

Blogging is such a funny thing, because, you know, it's me in my own words. So I thought I'd share some of Stephen's words. I won't type out the whole thing for you, just some choice excerpts to help you understand me better:

Life Story. Suzi (Elena) Christensen. Interviewed March 5/06.
Suzi and I got to know each other this year through two ways. We both worked in the little canteen in the student lounge selling five cent candies, candy bars, and sodas. She's very unorganized and forgetful. As many times as we tell her to put the lids back on the candy, she manages to forget every time. It's not that she doesn't listen, she just gets excited about more important things, like people. We also went on tour raising money for the school to replace carpets in the dorms and windows in Dickson Hall. Our group, along with Derek McDonald and Becky Gault, was called Watchmen X.

This is all true. I'm so forgetful and unorganized, and it was absolutely my fault that all of the five cent candies were hard and dried out. But also Stephen's fault sometimes.

Also notice he spells my name "Suzi". This is because I went through a phase where I thought "Suzi" was a cooler name than "Suzy". Which never mattered anyways because my name is and always has been "Elena".

Suzi's parents are Joel and Liz Christensen. Joel's parents are Martin and Arlene. Liz's parents are Glen and Enid Hanson. Glen was very musical along with the rest of his brothers so it seemed natural that they do music together. He played accordion and sung. They formed a group and called themselves  The Hanson Brothers.

Also true. I grew up listening to The Hanson Brothers before you even knew they existed. Only my Hanson Brothers yodelled and sang old hymns. And were about 105% awesomer than your Hanson Brothers.

Suzi has two siblings: TJ and Elise. TJ is twenty and has down syndrome. Suzi and him were best friends growing up. Elise is only fourteen. They have the same mannerisms and walk. 
Joel is a farmer and a school-bus driver. He even had a short stint with the Mafia but Liz was scared for him so he dropped out. The family would have had to go into hiding but the mob boss was busted for possession of illegal drugs and locked up in the slammer. Liz teaches Suzi things like housecleaning and how to deal with boys. 

Yep. Somewhat. At least, the part about TJ and Elise is true.

Suzi's early memories of childhood are swimming in mud puddles with TJ and peeking in the basement at her Christmas presents even though her parents told her not to. One Christmas Suzi's dad built her a beautiful doll house. There was even a little picture frame with a picture of Jesus inside.
Suzi started spending a lot of time with her friend Micah Groth. Early in his life Micah had married the color pink. He had a pink tarantula and also carried around a pink highlighter. Once he brought a telephone to show and tell... Suzi got in trouble quite a lot, being sent to the principal's office thirty-seven times. Suzi did not mean to be bad, she just didn't think about things before she did them.

Also mostly true. And then he goes on to talk about my high school years and says a bunch of things that he found out from someone else that ended up being partly true and partly not, and then he misspells all of my favourite bands' names. It's quite long; I'll spare you.

She learned guitar and began to write her own songs. Now, as a college freshman, she is still writing music, usually while sitting through theology class. By this time, she should have a large collection, but many doubt as to whether her songs really exist. She won't play them for anyone, ever.

I laughed when I read this. It's true; I have a massively thick binder full of songs about absolutely every single event that has ever happened to me. And no one will ever hear probably any of them. Isn't that so wonderfully mysterious of me? The truth is, they're just not good. So.

He spends a page after this speculating on my relationship status and eventual marriage and then finishes the whole thing with an acrostic poem about me.

Silly and good
Used to Frontier
Zebra girl
Indifferent to Structure

So now you know all about me.