Remember all you know about my shy high school self from my previous posts. Now, you should knowthat I was the most sought after babysitter in the ward for most of my high school years. I like to think this was because of my overall awesomeness with children. Seriously, before I had my own kids I was like the Pied Piper (not with rats but with kids). Now that I have my own kids I am still like the Pied Piper, but instead using sweet music to entrance children, I'm like the other story of the Pied Piper where he has an AK47 that he shoots over kids heads to try and get them to run away and leave him alone. And if he hits one, oh well. You remember that story.
Anyway, part of the reason I was a sought after babysitter was that I was awesome- for sure. Another reason was propbably that I had a lot of free time on my hands since I didn't really talk to people my own age. If I couldn't babysit for you, then I was probably babysitting for someone else. In retrospect I feel really sorry for all the parents who picked me up to babysit their kids. I was kind of hard to have a conversation with sometimes, uh all the time. My parents used to frequently say to me, "Penny for your thoughts, Anna." I always thought this was an awkward phrase and finally when I was home for college one Summer I asked my dad why they always said that. My dad laughed and said, "It's because you just stopped talking one day and we never had any idea what was going on in your head. It's better than saying 'TALK ANNA!'" So, I remember a lot of awkward silences going to and from jobs. Still these nice folks kept hiring me and a lot of them took great pains to help me against my will.
For example, the Evans family. At one point, I was very into photography and in fact, that was my first major in College. I almost went to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) because they emphasized their photography program. I applied there and got in and everything. I was sure it was a good school because I had heard of it before...although it turns out I hadn't. I'd heard of MIT and had gotten them confused. Seriously, I applied and almost went to RIT under a misconception. It's a wonder that anyone lives through their teenage years.
Anyway, my point. Oh yes. I took an awesome picture of the Evans kids and gave a copy to their parents. They really liked it and decided to help me in the artistic world. They did this in two ways. First they started getting me wedding gigs. They told people I had never met to hire me as their wedding photographer, and when I turned them down, feeling terrified, the Evans ignored me. Not rudely but they just insisted somehow, and suddenly I was a wedding photographer. Not a terrific one, I'll see if I can find some of the pictures I took and post them up here sometime (not tonight though). Still, I tried really hard.
It made me feel really cool and grown up to be a wedding photographer in high school. It was especially nice of the Evans to do this even after I sort of accidentally/on purpose poisoned their son. HE got better, but they told me not to do it again. That's another story.
So the other thing they did had a lasting impact on me. There was a HUGE Van Gogh exhibit in DC and the Evans bought me a ticket to go with them to see it with them. I turned them down because I would have to talk to them and I didn't like talking to people. Sister Evans frowned at me, and brought it up again later. I turned her down again. Finally when she dropped me at my house after babysitting she told me they would pick me up on Saturday and I should be ready. So I went. Against my will. And it was so awesome. I really think it changed my life. Seriously, I think differently after seeing that exhibit. It's not like I hadn't seen all those paintings in textbooks or as prints before, but I never realized how different it is to see them in real life. That was one of the greatest gifts I received during my high school years. After that exhibit I checked out tons and tons of books about Van Gogh's work and his life. I worked as a shelver in the library (kind of the ideal shy person job) and I would always try to shelve books in the art section so i could just put the books I wanted to take home on the second row of the shelving cart while I shelved the others. FYI, when you work at the library you don't get charged fines. Nice, no?
So, here are the Cliff Notes to this post in case you couldn't be bothered to read the whole thing:
The Evans are awesome. Van Gogh is life changing. I no longer like small children unless they share my genes.