Simple Story

Several months ago, Mickey suggested I consider going back to school.  He thought I should look into the MFA in Creative Writing at UT (Tennessee.  I know, I don’t think it’s right either, but there are only 26 letters in the alphabet. I don’t live in Fricassee.  Well, now look at that.  Actually, some days I do.  I digress.).

I found out who I needed to speak to, got distracted, and never followed up.  The admissions process looked difficult.  In my opinion; difficult is stupid.  I’m SO old school, I think people should speak on the phone, learn cursive, have a favorite kind of pen, wear their pants pulled up, and I’m really uncomfortable with visible tattoos (I think it goes back to the State Fair when I was a kid. That said, I’ve been campaigning for a navel piercing. Mickey is in opposition.  Except, he wants to know how much it would cost.  But, you’ll never know if I get it.  Unless you follow me on Instagram.).

Really, really old school.

Time passed,  Mickey didn’t forget about it, but I did.

One of our daughters decided what she wants to do.  Doesn’t look to the right or to the left.  She’s decided to be a dental hygienist.  Period.  Shut up. Leave her alone.

The other daughter simply doesn’t know.  If you walked downstairs and asked her this minute, she would say she is going to be an interior designer.  If you had asked her last Saturday, she would have said phlebotomist.  On any Saturday in February, she would have said, cosmetologist.   There is an upward trend, yet, cosmetology has been her mainstay, as you can walk to an Aveda Institute from our house.  In January, however, she was exploring her options.

One day, we drove out to a little Bible college, tucked into the hills.  She was stoked.

I thought in the interest of research, we’d visit another Christian University nearby.  I couldn’t get any takers.  I knew we needed to go.  We kept getting mail from them.  Offers of free basketball tickets for the family, if the high school student takes a tour.

“We’ll take the day off school.”

*crickets chirping*

I grumbled and clicked over to their website to find a picture of a cute boy or a danish or something.

My hand slipped and I clicked Adult and Graduate Programs.

I shot them a quick e-mail.

They referred me to a departmental advisor.

She and I talked on the phone.

I told her my interest, but also my barriers.  It was way simpler than I thought.  When we got off the phone, I told her I would talk to my husband.

Okay, here’s the deal.  I probably shouldn’t say this, because then everyone will know, but a lot of times, I “talk to my husband about it” so I don’t have to move forward.  To Mickey, a decision is like buying a gun, there should be a 30 day waiting period.

I promptly called him to activate my 30 days.  I told him about the call.  Things were simpler…graduate assistant-ships…blah blah…

He said, “You need to do it.”

Right there.  Right then.

I went home and looked at the online application.  I sort of filled it out.  I had work to do, so I didn’t send because I was scared there were blanks I couldn’t answer.  I just navigated away.  It wouldn’t be a big deal to fill my name, address and phone number again.

The next day, I got an email from the office of Graduate admissions letting me know that my application had been received but that I had left a field blank.


At this point, let me take a break and tell you about a little side story.  We love to hit Plato’s Closet.  It’s a juniors and young men’s re-sale shop.  In January, we breezed through with some Christmas money.  I kept holding up this striped sweater.

“Hey! Y’all.  Someone get this sweater.  J. Crew.  Cool colors.”

Who do I think I am?

I tried on some skinnies from the $1 rack.  They were…size 2.  It was a triumph.  I got the freaking sweater.  Because, size 2.  That’s why.

So, back to my story, where I sneaked behind my own back and applied to grad school.

I went for my interview with departmental advisors.  I’ve never had so smooth an interview in my life.  There were high fives and cheering.  Someone told me there was a possibility I could….


I know what that means.

She said it quickly, but I got it.

Like a perch gets a worm.

I was hooked.  Through the eye.  As usual (usual for the perch.  Not me.).


In a couple of weeks, I received a call.  Not the one where I talked to the gal in admissions about everything under the sun for 45 minutes.  I love her.  Different call.  Department head asking which program I was interested in and the names are being changed, and was that okay, and look for a letter in a couple of weeks.

She and whomever was in the background were… Giggling.

Yes, America Jennifer and Carrie.  I received this in the mail:


Manicure Level: Lower Primate


And.  Even before the trip to the first college…


Selfie Level: Senior Citizen

A sweater in school colors.

Confirmation? The people who matter instantly affirmed the idea. The kids and my best friends are excited. Geeked.

Who hesitated?  Exactly whom you’d expect.  The ones who don’t love you enough to let you follow your path unless it’s the same as theirs.

Apparently, God submitted my application and gave me a sweater.

Mickey didn’t forget.

Dream. Come. True.




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