Sunday, September 30, 2007

I turned in my keys just a few short hours ago

I am officially living at Mom and Dad's house.

I cannot decide if it was a mistake.

My neighbors, friends of my parents since high school, were teasing my parents about their new "roommate" yesterday. I heard them and now I'm feeling all sensitive and unsuccessful. Which, really, I shouldn't. It isn't that I needed to move home. It is that I wanted to. For a short period of time.

I have a bitchin' headache.
I don't want to go to hockey tonight - but I want to join Colin and his friends after hockey.
I have homework to do for Tuesday. Which is my birthday. As if working on my birthday wasn't bad enough.

Meg is home and I am making an apple crisp that will be done in five minutes but, unfortunately, not consumed until tomorrow.

My feet are cold.

I realize this isn't making any sense. I went to bed at 9:30 last night and, still, I just don't have it in me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Boomerang

I’m at Mom and Dad’s house, organizing my bedroom. I’ll return to my apartment tonight, after my soccer game. It will be the last night I spend there.

I always thought that, when I moved out of my apartment, it would be due to something big. A move to Chicago. Relocation to New York. A job in downtown Detroit with a commute that would be more convenient from a suburb I actually liked.

Not moving back home merely for the sake of moving back home on the eve of my 25th birthday.

I can hear the high school’s – my high school’s – marching band warming up for the football game tonight. It feels like a night for high school football.

It feels like, at any second, my friends’ parents will start dropping them off at our house. That I’ve been checking my hair in the mirror every two seconds for hours...or at least ever since I got home from school. That I will slip on my varsity jacket – my most prized possession (especially during my freshman year, when I had one before all of my peers) – and out the door. That my friends and I will walk up to our high school, just down the block, giggling with excitement about the prospect of a few hours of socializing, flirting, and maybe watching a few downs of high school football.

It feels like nothing has changed.

That I’m still 15, not 25.

I would like to say that I’m far from that life.

But here I am, in my bedroom, listening to the marching band.

My varsity jacket is still hanging in the front closet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Change in me

I am no longer important. Today, Nielsen came and took my television meter.

I am no longer so stressed out about this move. I made a large dent in the kitchen this evening. There's hope.

I am no longer withholding from Colin the fact that I wasn’t baptized. I learned last night that he wasn’t, either. Sort of takes a weight off of my shoulders. Makes me feel less inadequate. I always had this quiet fear that one day a church marriage would be an issue and it would be entirely my fault.

I am no longer sure that I want to move home. The impending commute feels oppressive.

I am no longer feeling guilty about not going to the gym at all this week. Sometimes, the days are just too full. This week of transition has been full of days like that. And its okay.

I am no longer racing to finish Season 3 of Grey’s Anatomy. I polished up the final episode – and watched Private Practice (which better get a helluva lot better right fast if I’m going to continue to watch) – tonight.

I am no longer reminding myself to blog today. I’m posting this, you see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I have issues to address

Colin and I – who had a relationship, up until a few months ago that was spotty (at best) – are at this new and lovely place where we both want to be in a relationship. At the same time. And nether of us have changed our minds about it for more than a week (which was our previous record).

I’m not sure how clear I’ve been in detailing how spotty my relationship with Colin was.

Was. As in no longer is.

Before, we weren’t quite certain of what we wanted or how we wanted to go about a relationship. For me, it was a matter of being insecure and afraid of allowing myself to be vulnerable; Colin was hesitant to commit. We tried, yes, but we never tried enough. The smallest indication that a relationship would require effort, that we wouldn’t just fall into an easy and happy life together and be married with four kids at the blink of an eye, and it would fall apart.

It was as much my fault as it was his. He was the one who would stop calling. He would disappear. And I wouldn’t think enough of myself to put up a fight. To tell him how he hurt me. To give him any indication that I cared.

We had more than our fair share of those ill-fated attempts at a relationship. Pouring our hearts out, promising that this time would be different. It never was. We were, essentially, an awkward pair of junior high kids, holding hands in the hallway and trying to figure out the interworkings of these relationship things.

Our method of guessing and testing seems to have finally paid off.

I have a lot of confidence in Aly and Colin: Version 163.0.

I have a lot of confidence in Colin.

And, yes, I know that this isn’t the first time that I’ve boldly proclaimed, “it’s different, it’s different! It’s different and wonderful and, one day, I will be his bride and one day I will breastfeed our blonde babies!”

This time, though, I’m not just saying it. I’m feeling it. And I see it when Colin looks at me. I hear it when he speaks.

He’s ready for this.

I’m afraid that I’m not.

I’m scared that my insecurities will strangle this before it has a chance to grow.

There are a lot of issues that I need to get past. Quickly.

I’ll blog about them, I think – blogging is my favorite way to work through things.

Stay tuned, rubbernecks. Guts and gore are on the way.

While you don't (and shouldn't) care

I would like to share the fact that this paper of mine, and every paper of mine that follows, is to be written in APA style.

I'm an MLA girl. And I can jive with the Chicago Manual of Style.

But APA? Ugh.

I hate change.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Everyone, everywhere, everything

This life? I cannot handle it.

I cannot do this.

I cannot be a girlfriend (hi, things with Colin? Never better.)

A best friend (suddenly, The Girls want to go out every single weekend)

A student (the assignment I’ve been working on all weekend is entirely too long and involved...couldn’t we have done a word search instead?)

A professional mover (Operation: Cram All of my Shit Into My Bedroom has commenced)

A gym rat (I’ll probably get to the gym once this week and, honestly, that isn’t okay)

A Grey’s Anatomy addict (Two discs to go by Thursday! And I want to watch Private Practice! Where will I find the time?!)

A hockey player (I think I broke my finger at practice last night)

An employee (So what if I pay my bills and call my cable company while I’m at work?)

A bibliophile (Fearing that I will not indulge in pleasure reading until I finish graduate school)

A good, supportive former work girlfriend (The baby shower for Kevin’s wife is next Sunday and I’m only halfway through the hat I’m knitting and now I have a broken finger)

A figure skater (I stay out late on Saturday night, I pay for it – on the ice – on Sunday morning; ditto for Thursday night/Friday morning)

And a sane person. I need more sleep. I need more time.

I desperately need more time and, starting next week, I will be spending nearly two hours in the car during my commutes.

Please pardon me if I’m just a little distressed.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I shouldn't be surprised

At soccer last night, I mentioned to Heather that I'd gotten into grad school.

I told her the whole story - how I applied in August for the fall semester hoping I'd get in, but thinking that it was more likely that I'd start in January - and about how overwhelming the last-minute nature of this has been.

She asked me what I was studying.

Library and Information Science.

"Are. You. Kidding? You're. Going. To. Be. A. LIBRARIAN?"

Okay. Hi, Judgmenta Bitch, that wasn't very nice.

I was shocked by her response, which was so entirely rude and thoughtless, but I handled her calmly. I won't necessarily become a librarian in the standard sense of the word and, if that is what I decide to do, there's nothing wrong with it. I can work at a university, for a law firm or a non-profit or a thousand other places.

It's a good job. It will be a good fit.

Could you get over yourself and pretend to be supportive? I'm sorry that part of me wants your approval. You're my oldest friend; I've known you since 5th grade.

I don't hate on you for being a middle school math teacher (seriously? Math and middle school? Personally, I would rather kill myself, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good fit for you.) or for having a weird, stocky boyfriend who is completely devoid of personality (whatever floats your boat). It isn't my place. It isn't my life.

And while I would like to say that I was completely shocked by your comments, I'm not.

I'm shocked that I was stupid enough to tell you.

It's like we're freshman in high school and just I made the varsity soccer team all over again.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Looking on the bright side

Good: Waiting less than 10 minutes at Secretary of State.

Better: Dropping $226 (that I would rather spend on other things) on renewing my driver's license and getting my new University of Michigan license plate.

Best: Getting my picture taken for my license, seeing the photo immediately after and realizing that my blue shirt is almost identical in color to the background, giving me the nice floating head effect, and my hair is flat and stringy and looks as though I am using five dead squirrels as extentions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Human garbage disposal

So far, the best part about moving has been cleaning out my refrigerator.

I want to transport as little food as possible, so I've given up grocery shopping entirely. Instead, I am burrowing into the corners of my freezer and pantry and gobbling up anything that I can find.

And everything that I haven't allowed myself.

The egg noodles I've shoved aside because I only eat wheat pasta? My lunch today.
Cookies that I'm hiding from myself in the freezer? Will be defrosted ASAP.
Dinner tonight? A tossup between Pizza Rolls and a Digiorno's frozen pizza.

I'm only here for another 10 days. Please forgive me if I don't get around to the stir fry vegetables and the canned vegetables of an unknown origin, as I have never served or purchased myself canned vegetables. I'm going for the unhealthy stuff first, you see; my parents are on a diet and I don't want to subject them to the junk.

Yeah, I know. I make astonishingly selfless sacrifices for my loved ones. You don’t have to tell me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Moving Manifesto

I don’t know how September has unraveled so quickly. Wasn’t it just a moment ago that I was staring at the month that stretched out in front of me, pleased that I had 30 whole days in which to prepare for my move?

I made the mistake of blinking; now I am down to 12 days.

Something about moving makes me a little bit sad. While it is entirely nonsensical for me to be sad – as I never liked living out here in the first place – I’m a little down about leaving my cute little apartment, about the short commute, about killing the unlimited freedom I’ve enjoyed for the last two years.

And then there is the whole process of moving. WHICH SUCKS. I am drowning in boxes. Tripping over the knitting needles that I vacated from a drawer and abandoned on the floor (is it considered packing if you just dump it out of wherever it was previously stored?). Not packing with the speed or the passion with which I should be.

Moving bites.

Once I am through with the unforgiving process of moving my belongings, however, I expect that I will be happier. I will see Colin more. I will see my friends more. I will watch Grey’s Anatomy in HD every week. I will waste less of my money on useless things like food and electricity and free up more of my income for the important things: designer jeans, manicures and Starbucks coffee. I’ll be more comfortable. I’ll do less housework.

I’ll essentially morph into myself, circa 1998.

There’s nothing like the soothing feeling of regression.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Materialistic Monday

I have a headache and I’m hungry and I’m doing my homework (on company time! Always impressive.) and I am attempting to distract myself from my desire o’ the day.

Shopping.

Oh my goodness, all of the shopping.

I don’t know how it happened. One minute I was checkin’ out some deals, and then I was at the American Eagle website and the next thing I know I’m punching in discount codes and, okay, I am really not so good at turning down a bargain and I really, really, really like sweaters.

And I absolutely must buy myself a cute Birthday Girl outfit because I am under the impression that Colin and my friends are planning something fun to celebrate the fact that I will finally be the same age as them. ...until December, when Colin hits #26.

I am mostly blogging to keep myself from buying. (Also because my homework isn't doing much to keep me alert and awake.)

Because there’s this Smashbox eye makeup set that I would love to drop $60 on, too.

I also have my eye on a couple of cardigans at Forever 21.

Boots. I also want new boots.

And perhaps a pair of new turf shoes for indoor soccer.

I have to put my $1,800 tuition bill on my credit card today. That really should be enough to sate my craving to crawl a little further into debt.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tie a ribbon around my finger

We were leaving the bar. My arm was slung loosely over your shoulder. I rolled onto my tiptoes, tugged you closer, pressed my cheek against yours. I closed my eyes. Breathed you in.

A millisecond of perfection.

A minute snippet of the everyday that I don't want to forget.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Weekends shouldn't end

My Friday
So much more productive than last Friday. Last Friday featured me: skating, sitting at home between the hours of 11:00 am and 4:30 pm (picking my ass, eating, obsessively checking my email, eating, and then picking my ass again) and making dinner. This Friday was: skating, going to Panera to do homework, watching fifty-hundred (two, actually) episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, making dinner, completing my graduate school online student orientation, making a bad ass dinner for my parents and me, knitting and playing in an indoor soccer game.

My Saturday
Way, way too busy for little ol’ me. I know that I am fabulous at my job, dear customers, but it would be fantastic if you weren’t so bloody dependant on me for every.little.thing. For example, I think you could probably handle putting paperwork into alphabetical order. But maybe I’m completely insane.

Tonight, I'm going out with The Girls. Colin is invited along. Anna, my cousin and future roommate, is joining us, too. While I love and adore every second with my friends, I truly hope we are not out too late. I'm exhausted. And I had planned for tonight to be a lazy evening of Grey's Anatomy and a very early bedtime.

I have to make an effort to be social.

My Sunday
I'm getting up relatively early. I have a lesson with my skating coach and, unlike last week, this week I will not arrive in a stupor induced by the previous night's debaucheries. Not a chance. I will skate well. Or my coach will probably kill me.

When I get home from the rink, I'll hopefully suck up my pride and put my nose to the grindstone. I have a few chapters to read for homework and, quite honestly, I will enjoy remainder of my day significantly more if I don't have homework hanging over my head.

In the early evening, The Girls are coming over to Mom and Dad's house for our own little Emmy watching party. You see, my cousin the actress is going to the Emmy awards as a date of another actor who has a significant part on a well-nominated ABC show, so we're going to watch for her and giggle madly if we see her looking all fabulous in her lavender dress.

(Just for the record, my cousin the actress isn't famous. You wouldn't know her. And you probably wouldn't know the name of the man who she is going to the Emmy's with, but I'd be very surprised if you didn't recognize him.)

(And if you can't handle not knowing, and you're smart enough to locate my email address on this humble li'l blog, shoot me an email and I will gladly spill the beans.)

It isn't any huge deal, actually. Just our own little piece of Hollywood here in the Midwest. My cousin is absolutely delighted and painfully excited, so we're all thrilled for her.

Eventually, I will have to drive back to my apartment (just 2 weeks until I move out!) and put the mountains of dirty clothes I have on my floor into the washing machine and figure out what I'm going to pack for lunch and try not to be too crabby about the start of another workweek.

I wish every singly day was Sunday. I can do without the rest.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Answer me this

I want to get a PDA/palm pilot to help me keep tabs on my soccer, skating, school and hockey schedules, appointments, when bills are due, birthdays and the like. I would be using it almost exclusively for the calendar, but I also anticipate using the address book, the calculator, the to-do lists, and a little bit of the word processing/spreadsheets. Probably wouldn’t use it to send or receive email. What kind of PDA should I get?

In making the big move from my apartment to my parents’ house, I am going to need to pack some of my summer clothes away; I simply cannot fit all of my clothes into the dressers and closet in my bedroom.

If my mother knows about my clothes overflow, she is going to nag me to weed out what I no longer want/need/use even though it really isn’t a matter of what I don’t want/need/use (I really do wear the majority of what is in my closets), it’s a matter of space. I considering going to Target and buying big ol’ plastic storage bins, but doing so will scream YOUR DAUGHTER IS A DISHONEST CLOTHES HORSE to my mother the minute I attempt to store them in the garage. So, I’m thinking that my options are limited to boxes. Is storing my summer clothes in boxes for 3-4 months going to ruin them? Is there anything I can do to keep them from getting too crapped up?

Lately, my life feels just a bit uncontrollable. Hockey is starting, class has started, I’m moving, Colin and I are inching towards serious, my friends want to go out every Saturday night, I have to watch the entire 3rd season of Grey’s Anatomy before September 27, I’m turning 25 in 21 days, etc. So, logically, I am spending a lot of time trying to think up a Halloween costume that is cute and clever and not too slutty but maybe has just a hint of slutty to it (I don’t do all of this workin’ out for nothing), and is definitely not store-bought.

Cannot, will not go to a store and buy a complete costume. It isn’t my thing. My mom made every one of my costumes. It is family tradition, in a way.

Do any of you have any fantabulous ideas for a Halloween costume that is cute and clever and not too slutty but maybe has just a hint of slutty? I’m not really into the dead and scary genre and I have already been a unicorn, if that helps at all.

Lastly, I have a $1,800 tuition bill due next Monday. Do you want to foot the bill?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hurrah for today!

It is a great day to be alive.

After waiting – impatiently – all summer long, the Grey’s Anatomy Season 3 DVD is finally out. I am a dork. I am also a nerd and a loser. I was definitely at Target at approximately 8:05 am to pick up my copy on my way into work.

Which is huge, since I won’t be breaking into those DVDs until 9:00 pm tonight.

Tuesday is School Day and I am not even a little bit tempted to skip class so that I can watch five consecutive hours of Grey’s. Aren’t I a mature and responsible student?

I have homework due today and, I must admit, I wrote a bitchin’ mini-paper for my assignment. And I read the journal article that we were assigned and I am, like, so on top of things.

I am an awesome and talented and professional student. It will be no time until my classmates are scowling at me in the hallway! I simply cannot wait.

There are a lot of things that I am not good at. These include, but are not limited to: playing basketball, painting, speaking Italian, hiding my emotions, making new friends, saving money, playing cards and composing symphonies. What doesn’t it include? Going to school.

I’m good at being a student.

Somewhat bewildered to be a student again, sure, but still pretty damn good at it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Resolution Review 8

I originally wrote this on Friday. And then I tried to post it and BLOGGER ATE IT. Blogger is not supposed to eat posts anymore! I was bitter and angry. I am bitter and angry. But I'm also kind of obsessive and - seriously - could I go a month without updating you all on my resolutions? I think not.

1. Read 12 novels.
Currently holding at 9 novels in 2007.

Much like my prior struggle to get through John Irving's Until I Find You, I've been fighting my way through Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. It isn't a bad book, it just hasn't captured me. I'm reading it on strong recommendation from Lucy. Every time I tell her that I'm about to give up, she urges me to soldier on. And so I do.

2. Find a new job or go back to school. Or, ideally, find a new job AND go back to school.
I applied for graduate school in August. There was a slim chance that I would get in for the fall semester. I expected that it would be 2008 before I was in the classroom again.

My first class was on Tuesday.

3. Go to the gym with increased frequency.
Gym: I made it to the gym 13 times in July, which isn't all the bad considering that I was in Vegas and played a awful lot of soccer. I have made 92 trips to the gym in 2007; my lofty goal is 175.
Skating: Three. Which is truly sad.
Soccer: I played 7 games in July. The holiday helped keep the games to a reasonable amount, which my old joints really appreciate.

4. Not make a weight-related resolution.
I had a few weeks in August where I was a regular ol' piggy.
It pretty much took all I had not to break out Excel and make multiple charts (my weight and my food intake, not a chart of my many neuroses), which I would laminate and carry around with me so that I could study them obsessively every hour of the day.

5. Knit more.
I am a knitting loser.

6. Stop the incessant purchasing.
I have been in shopping rehab. I am starting to realize that if you stay away from the mall for long enough, you eventually get used to a life where shopping is not a major source of entertainment.

7. Visit with my grandparents more.
Quality time with the grandparents on Mom's birthday and the beginning of The Wedding From Hell, but I think that was it. I need to get back to carving time into my schedule to stop by their house just to chat.

8. Cut back on the coffee/hazelnut cappuccino mix that I feast on allfrickingdaylong at work. It’s as bad as sipping on a soda all day.
The significant reduction in my SugarCoffee intake as a result of this resolution is mostly smart and awesome and great. Quitting this crutch cannot be anything but positive for my health. I have a cup here and there, but nothing like how I drank it before.

9. Become a sweet-ass juggler.
Negligent juggler. Guilty as charged.

10. Allow myself to trust Colin.
I have thrown myself into the latest reincarnation of our relationship - Aly and Colin: Bigger, Better and Less Dysfunctional. I'm withholding approximately 5% of my trust, because I am guarded and cynical by nature, but I've invested the rest of it in him and us.

We'll see how it goes.

If you wouldn't mind crossing your fingers for us, that would be great. If this doesn't work out (again), I'm going to be awfully broken.

August’s resolution of the month: Floss my teeth...every day!
Better. Not perfect. What sort of lame-asses actually floss their teeth everyday, anyhow?

A pinch to grow an inch: September’s resolution of the month
Put together a damn photo album

Not just a photo album. A damn photo album. I have far too many really cute, really fun, really memorable photos to leave them stranded on my computer for the rest of eternity. In September, I will have them printed, I will slap them into some cute album and I will love it.

On 2007's resolutions:
The Original
Resolution Review 1
Resolution Review 2
Resolution Review 3
Resolution Review 4
Resolution Review 5
Resolution Review 6
Resolution Review 7

Sunday, September 09, 2007

When I go to Ann Arbor today, I will moon the Big House

I drank a lot last night.

Pretty sure it had something to do with The University of Michgan SUCKTACULAR Wolverines.

In my next life, I will not base such a significant chunk of my self-esteem on the success of my school's legendary football program. Because apparently? Even renowned and respected football teams with the biggest stadium and the coolest helmets can ROLL OVER AND DIE.

It's a good thing that I started grad school this week. Now a student at another university, I don't have to consider myself a Wolverine.

I will consider to do so, however. Because in addition to being a (fallen) football elitist, I am an academic snob.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Stupendous Saturday

My immediate family – Dad, Meg, Mom and I – went to breakfast shortly after we got up on Saturday morning. I had a tasty meal of French toast and fresh fruit; it turned out to be exponentially more delicious than the meal we were served at the wedding.

The ceremony wasn’t until 6:00 pm. We had many daylight hours to kill. After stopping by Aunt Marie’s hotel room for a bit of late morning chitchat, we gathered my Aunt Annette (who is my dad’s sister) and her family from the lobby. Their room wouldn’t be ready until precisely 3:00 pm.

The ladies of my family, Aunt Marie’s family and Aunt Annette’s family decided shopping was in order. Macy’s was our destination – being just down the street and on account of the fact that Aunt Annette has an employee’s discount (she works there part time just to get the discount, believe it or not).

Aunt Marie, who can maneuver around her house with just the aid of a cane, had to use her wheelchair. It is humbling to see her in the wheelchair. And it is heartening to see how, nearly two years after she broke her ankle and nearly lost her leg, she has accepted her disability. Where she used to cringe at the idea of being pushed around a store, she now realizes that riding in a wheelchair is part of who she is. I’m sure that it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a big, big deal.

We shopped for a few hours. I snagged a glorious purse. We went back to the hotel to get ready.

Meg, Emma, Anna and I had to be on the first shuttle to the wedding site. Supposedly, we had a job at the wedding. We were to be the greeters. Shiny, smiley and blonde, welcoming wedding guests and directing them to where the ceremony would be held.

(Kinda weird that they asked us, right?)

Anyway. We get to the site – where the wedding and the reception would be held – and it is, like, painfully obvious that greeters are wholly unnecessary. The entryway is narrow and guests are coming in huge groups dropped off by the shuttle. I go to ask Uncle Ed what exactly we were expected to do and he walks by me wearing one of those fake smiles that you give strangers who you come across while walking your dog.

Ooookay. Guess you didn’t want to talk to me.

Just before the ceremony was to begin, Uncle Alan appears. Glorious Uncle Alan. The first to quit the family; the first sibling who betrayed my mom, my aunt and my grandmother.

He’s dead to me.

And, judging by the amount of interaction I had with him over the course of the evening, I am dead to him.

Whatever.

The ceremony was nice. A rabbi married them. Which is sort of insane. The groom is Catholic and, while Mara’s dad is Jewish, I don’t think she has ever been to synagogue. But, I guess she identifies with being Jewish and its great that they found a rabbi who would actually marry them.

Mara looked beautiful. And the groom was obviously elated.

Cocktail hour? Eh. I have nothing interesting to say about it. Except that MY UNCLE ALAN IS A FUCKTARD. He saw my Aunt Marie, with her frigging cane, going down the stairs into the venue and said one thing to her: “you look a little wobbly.”

YOU LOOK A LITTLE WOBBLY. TO YOUR PERMANENTLY DISABLED SISTER.

It is the only thing he said to her all night.

Dinner was, eh, dinner. The service was slow. It wasn’t that great. Oh, and the table that Meg and I were assigned to was at the very back of the room. Next to the kitchen. Which said enough.

Here’s what also said enough: I was never spoken to, gestured at or otherwise acknowledged by Aunt Louise, Uncle Ed or Evan the entire evening.

I don’t count. And neither does my family.

That was pretty much the resounding feeling of the entire weekend.

You’re related to us, so you should be here.
But we don’t really want you to.
You’re embarrassing.
Not good enough.
And mostly inhuman.

Here’s a little story that sums it all up.
At the reception, my grandparents were dancing. Dancing up a storm. Which is what I would imagine that you’d want your guests to do when you have “the best wedding band in Chicago” playing at your daughter’s wedding reception.
My grandma, being a cute little old lady, asked one of Uncle Ed’s friends to dance with her.
And Uncle Ed went sprinting off to find Grandpa. Because my grandmother asking one of his friends was completely inappropriate.

Because we’re completely inappropriate.

We were there because that’s what you do. You invite your family.

Even if you don’t like them. Acknowledge them. Care if they’re alive.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Friday Fun

We’re going to have to do Cousin Mara’s wedding day-by-day, not because I really have all that much to write about, not because I want to stretch this out, but because I’m not mentally capable of regurgitating so much hate and insult all at once.

Friday was the rehearsal dinner, which my family, Aunt Marie’s family and Grandma and Grandpa were all invited to, despite that ugliness that was spewed at all of us in May. While Grandma and Grandpa committed themselves to all of the wedding hoopla, the rest of us remained undecided about the rehearsal dinner. On one hand, you know that you’re family and you should go; on the other hand, you have a strong feeling that you were invited more for show than for the actual desiring of your attendance.

After much deliberation, it was decided that, in addition to the grandparents, my cousin, Emma (who is 16 and was very excited about the family wedding despite witnessing Sunday Bloody Sunday), my mom, Meg and I would represent the rest of the family. My dad, Anna and my uncle had to work on Friday – and Aunt Marie simply didn’t want to go.

Mom, Emma and I left on Friday morning; Meg was meeting us in Chicago (she’d been visiting with her roommate elsewhere in the Midwest).

The drive was surprisingly speedy – interrupted only by a speedy stop at a Panera Bread that is right off of I-94 on the west side of the state. [I would like to interrupt this blog to personally thank God for Panera Breads, especially those conveniently located at the bottom of an exit ramp. It was incredibly refreshing, and very supportive to my mom’s diet choices, to enjoy a road trip meal that didn’t leave me feeling gross at its completion.]

We got to our hotel – a cute, boutique, European-style place – around 1:30 pm. Unsurprisingly, our room wasn’t yet ready. We dropped the car off with valet, got our luggage stowed and trekked off into the city. We wandered around aimlessly, never straying far from our hotel in the shadows of the Hancock building. At 2:45 pm, knowing Meg was minutes away from arriving, we attempted to check into our hotel room again.

Denied. For the second time. Because we were 15 minutes ahead of the guaranteed check-in time.

Very impressive customer service.

Instead of getting settled in our room, we sat outside the hotel and waited for Meg.

AND FOUND OUT THAT THE U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM WAS STAYING THERE.

We never ran into any of the players, who were there preparing for their game against Brazil at Soldier Field next weekend, but we had high hopes.

Eventually, we got our room. We also got our Meggie a sandwich (she was hungry and very crabby) and then we got to the business of beautification. Even though all of us would insist that, for us, beautification comes naturally.

Oh. And on our way up to the hotel room after The Great Sandwich Expedition, we see Aunt Louise, Uncle Ed and Evan in the hotel lobby. What do we do? Sprint to the elevator bank. That’s when I knew how bad this was. When I felt my mom’s terror at the prospect of speaking to her sister.

The rehearsal dinner was at 6:00 pm at a restaurant that was about a five-minute walk from our hotel (also the hotel for the U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM. Did I mention that they were staying at my hotel?). The actual rehearsal was earlier in the day. So glad I wasn’t expected to sit through that crap.

We’re among the first to the rehearsal dinner. Meg, Emma and I stake our claim at our preferred table; Mom, Grandma and Grandpa meet the groom’s very warm, very normal parents. We mill about, heavy with anticipation.

Uncle Ed asks me how I’m doing. “I’m fine,” I reply. My eyes dart to Meg and Emma, who are making a beeline for the appetizers. “The girls are hungry,” I say, awkwardly. Our conversation ends at that.

Meg and Emma sit at a high top table by the bar. Aunt Louise joins them. She makes meaningless small talk, but it appears that she is really trying. I sit down, as does my mother. They pretend that everything is okay.

Everything, of course, is not okay. Not when Uncle Ed hugs my mom and pretends he is happy to see her. Not when Evan ignores our presence.

Mara, the bride, is just as she always is: gracious and sweet and beautiful. She is the only member of her family that I can stand to look at, to be around.

In hindsight, I am glad that we went to the rehearsal dinner. It was the only opportunity we had to spend time with Mara. And the time we spent with Mara – whose happiness was palpable – was the only part of the weekend that made it worth it.

Anna stopped by the rehearsal dinner when she got in. Meg, Anna and I finished our night with a martini; we giggled our way back to the hotel.

We did not speak of our dread.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Holy fucking shit

Just got phone call.

I'm in for grad school. For the fall semester. Which starts today.

Gah.
Cannot process.
Need more time for mental preparation.
TODAY?!
Jesus.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Stalling

I am still not capable of writing about the wedding weekend.

The more I think about it, the worse I feel. It is like I was a soldier, fully capable of turning off my emotions so that I could do my job, as difficult and as traumatic as it may be. So that I could survive. Now I'm home - where I feel safe - and I'm getting hit by all of the bullshit. The maneuvering and manipulating. The constant repetition. You're not good enough. None of you.

So. In lieu of all of the hurt, a few pictures. A very random selection. Per usual. You all would not expect anything less.


A new picture from last weekend! Colin, Me, Lucy, Chet.

I've never posted a picture of Colin before.

Makes me kinda nervous.

If you don't mind, I think I'd rather not know if you think we'd have ugly kids.


Me and Dad in Vegas! (I'll do an entire Vegas picture post if I can ever get everyone else's pictures. Promise.)


The cousins (minus my asshole cousin Evan) on my mom's side, at the wedding shower that got us into this mess in the first place. The bride? Also the only brunette.


Meg and my cousin (and soon-to -be roommate) Anna. They were recreating a corny prom shot. Because that is the sort of thing we like to do.


Meg and Anna do Girls Gone Wild. I know for a fact that once upon a time, when leaving a college party that they were both at, Meg and Anna kissed goodbye thinking nothing of it (its common practice in our family), and accidentally made approximately 500 boys fall over.


Meg, Mom, Me at the wedding shower. Rumor has it that I look like my mom and Meg looks like my dad. I don't think I look more like one parent than the other. And I definitely think that the people who ask Meg and I if we're twins are high/blind/mental.


Me and Meggie at the rehearsal dinner. I don't know why I'm posting this, as it is not a flattering picture of either of us. Don't I look disgustingly peppy? I was actually scared shitless.


I attempt to squash the dorkiness of the previous shot. It does not work.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Quickly

We made it through the weekend without any major blowouts. Insults and hatred were delivered passive aggressively. Mostly by ignoring. Also by strategic seating arrangements, behavior monitoring and other immaturities. More on that when I'm rested.

I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT MY MICHIGAN WOLVERINES LOST TO APPALACHIAN STATE.

The wedding was beautiful. Very different than what I imagine my wedding will be like, but beautiful nonetheless. The groom is obviously very much in love with my cousin. Wasn't crazy about her (custom made, couture) wedding dress, but she was stunning. And my aunt - the mother of the bride - looked just like Hilary Clinton.

I had a horrible night of sleep on Friday, thanks to my dad.

My momma bought me a new Kate Spade purse at Macy's. I don't get it 'til my birthday.

Definitely need to catch a yoga class tomorrow.

I love trail mix.
 
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