Hello there followers of Liz’s blog!
It’s Jackie here covering for Liz while she is in Disney World. I thought it would be fitting to tell you about the time.. two times actually.. that I went to Disney with Liz. But for those of you who don’t know me I guess I will start by briefly summarizing how Liz and I became to be friends (though friends doesn’t seem a strong enough word here. Someone who lets you live on their sofa while you were “in between” career paths deserves a better title than mere “friend”). Liz and I both attended U of I. By fate (or rather God’s plan) Liz and I both took on the challenge of entering into leadership roles in the large campus ministry that we both attended. Having never met before, we were assigned by Cru staff to be co-leaders of a bible study in the dorm we both lived in. I don’t think Liz remembers the first time we met, but I do. It was at our first Cru leadership meeting, which was extremely overwhelming. There were a lot of people crammed into one room and everyone seemed to know each other while I recognized only a few faces. That may have been the night they told us who our co-leaders would be. I can’t remember exactly how I knew who Liz was, but I remember walking over to meet her to talk about how we would do this bible study thing. By the looks of it she was as overhwhelmed with the multitude of loud conversations going on as I was. I don’t even remember what we said to each other. I just remember that it was brief and I remember thinking I don’t think that girl liked me very much.
Obviously, Liz does like me now and was probably just flustered by all the meeting goings on. I don’t remember meeting again after that before we began recruiting people for our study, but I know that we very quickly felt at ease with each other and soon I was spending large chunks of time with this girl that turned out to be amazingly fun and awesome. So basically we were assigned to be friends.
Liz and I weren’t the best at recruiting people to join our bible study. We mainly had one dedicated attendee. But the three of us had some fun times together studying the bible and inventing the game of Spinny Cup in the park. One time we decided to really try and earnestly talk to people about Jesus and our bible study. We had a stack of servays that girls in our dorm had filled out so we made a batch of cookies and started knocking on the doors of those who had responded that they would be interested in talking further. The first or second door we knocked on was answered by a girl in her pajamas. We told her that we had read her survey and wanted to know if she wanted to talk more. She declined our offer to chat with her, but we offered her a cookie anyway. Rather than take a cookie or two this girl had the gall to reach out and take hold of THE ENTIRE PLATE OF COOKIES. I could see that Liz was trying hard to hold onto the plate. But this girl wanted ALL the cookies. I watched them struggle in akward silence. Finally, lest we seemed rude, Liz had no choice but to release the plate. Without a word, the girl took the plate of cookies and shut her door in our faces. We took that as a sign that we should probably give up for the night.
Besides the recruiting aspect of leadership, I like to think that Liz and I made a good team. The year after we led study together we decided to live together with our friend Jenaynay. It was a cozy little apartment a few blocks north of the main campus that we still lovingly refer to as The 319 (yeah, yeah putting “the” in front of the apt. address isn’t real creative but it just stuck). Liz only ended up staying for one semester because she got an internship at Disney World. Which brings us back to my visiting her there and having the best time ever.
When Liz first started her internship I drove down to Florida with her and spent the week helping her get settled in and wandering around Orlando while she was at work. I visited her again when my Dad had to attend a work conference in Orlando and I took the opportunity to go along to see Liz. Both trips were AMAZING. Going to Disney World with Liz is great because she knows all the best rides and all the best food and all the best shortcuts and all the best shows and all the inside fun facts and also the words to every single song that they play during every single ride. I will highlight just a few of my favorite memories from these trips.
When I almost peed my pants on the Tower of Terror:
I always get very very anxious while waiting in line to go on rides that I’ve never been on. I start out all excited and run up to the line thinking in 25 minutes I am going to be having the most fun of my life! Inevitably 2 minutes later I am thinking what am I doing? Mankind wasn’t meant to fly through the air or fall hundreds of feet and land safely. This is nuts. Is this what we do for fun? Build giant structures that defy all laws of physics just to feel a short-lived rush of adrenaline? This is insane! How can I trust this man-made thing to not kill me? And the people operating this ride are surely just counting down the minutes to their lunch break and aren’t even paying attention to whether the ride is functioning properly or whether by lap belt is securely fastioned. I’m outta here.
This is similar to the pep talk I give myself every time I am on an airplane that’s about to take off (Are we as a species so arrogant that we think that we can fly? We are literally inside of a giant, heavy metal bus that is about to be up in the clouds. The freaking clouds! And we think we can just float around up there? We are just asking God to strike this plane down!)
My silent pep talk then turns into a spoken list of questions thrust at whoever is with me.
(Paraphrased from memory):
Liz, how do you know that the elevator will stop before we hit the floor and die?
It will stop. It always stops.
But Liz, just because it always has before, what if today is the one day that it doesn’t?
It will. The people who built it know what they are doing.
Yeah, but when’s the last time they checked to make sure everything was still working right?
They maintenence the rides all the time.
So the rides break down a lot?
No they don’t. And the elevator will stop. I promise.
But how can you promise that? I mean how can you really truly know?
Because I do.
No, you can’t know. I mean, how can you really know?
I. Just. Do.
Unconvinced, I usually just worry and pray silently until we get on the ride. Once the ride starts going I forget all my worries. And then when the ride is over I usually exit thinking: That was great! This right here is what life is all about! I live for adrenaline!
While waiting in line for Tower of Terror, however, I not only had to worry about my very likely soon to be met fate, but I also had a very full bladder. So even if against all odds we did survive this death trap of a ride, I feared I would stand up and find that my pants were soaked in the middle of a very crowded public place. Liz and I had another conversation that went like this:
Liz, I have to pee. I’m going to pee my pants on this ride.
Yeah, but I’m not going to be able to help it. I am definitely going to pee on this thing.
Yeah, but I can’t just-
Since there was no convincing Liz that I needed to get out of that line and immediately find a bathroom, we loaded into our car and we started weaving our way through the ride towards the elevator of death. The whole way I kept whispering to Liz, reminding her to tell me when we were about to drop and asking repeatedly if it was about to happen. Finally we were in the elevator shaft going up and when those doors opened to reveal a brief look of the park waaaay below Liz said, “Now!”
And then we dropped. And we did not plummet to our deaths. And somehow I did not pee my pants. And it was the best ride of my life. Ever. And after I barely made it into a bathroom in time we went on it again. And again.
When I was so close to an endless supply of tacos and Epcot crushed my dreams:
Knowing my love of Mexican food, Liz knew exactly where to take me for dinner: Mexico. They had the BEST chicken tacos I have ever eaten (though I know tacos are techincally texmex and not even authentic Mexican cuisine. But who cares? They made my soul fly with every bite). This, of course, only made things worse after I scarfed them all down as fast as I could shovel them down my throat and I was left with nothing but a big, taco-shaped hole in my life. But then I had the most amazing idea.
I need to work here! Yes, I will work here at Mexico in Epcot and then I will eat all the tacos and chips and salsa that I want all the time!
Though it took less than a full second to come up with this life plan, I knew in my heart that it was my calling. And then Epcot crushed my dreams.
They won’t hire you, Liz said.
You’re not Mexican. You’re not even hispanic.
So they have to keep an authentic atmosphere.
But.. but.. that’s discrimination!
Yeah, well that might be true but they want to keep things authentic.
So this is what it feels like .
What what feels like?
Being discriminated against. Everything I ever wanted in life has been taken away from me. Because I’m white.
Well I have dragged this post on long enough probably. I will be back in a day or two with another one. I’ll try to think of a good story for you all. I hope it was at least somewhat entertaining. Till next time internet!