Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Wedding Date

Lucky, lucky Colin. I’m his date to a wedding on Friday!

Here’s a little snippet of how sheltered my life is: I’ve never been a wedding date before. Well, maybe I was something of a faux lesbian date when I went to Aviva’s brother’s wedding to keep her company. But I knew her brother long before he was getting hitched, so it was a little different.

What I’m getting at, really, is that I’ve never gone to a wedding of someone I don’t know. Where I’m going in with no idea of what the wedding will be like or how dressy the reception will be and whatnot. I also have no idea where the bride and groom are registered at, because Colin is a guy and doesn’t even know what a damn registry is let alone why I need to know the specific store where theirs is located.

Colin is all “I’ll write a check for the wedding present, don’t worry about it” and I’m all “can’t you at least tell me where they’re registered so that I can pick up something to go with the oh-so-personal check?” Because I think that it would be nice to at least participate in the gift giving process and decent to get them something that they asked for and not just be the girl who was there for...hmm...I’m not sure why random, unknown dates are invited to weddings. Moral support?

So far, all I’ve gotten was thumbs up to buy the card.

He’ll never get that registry information to me. Which leaves me on my own if I decide to buy a little something to enhance the boringness of a check. I want to do it. It would make me feel better about being the random guest, about having Colin giving the gift, all of that. But I really have no idea what to buy.

Amazingly, I am not concerned about what to wear. It is helpful to have 7,931 dresses to choose from. I’m going to wear the dress I wore in Lucy’s wedding because it is cute, because I’ve been looking for an excuse to wear it again, because brown seems okay for an early November wedding and because I paid an ungodly amount to have it cleaned and pressed so really I have no choice but to wear it again.

(It isn’t too summery, is it? I wondered if it was too summery. My mom says no.)

I am also not fretting about my hair. I’m getting it highlighted on Friday afternoon. My hairdresser will blow it straight. I will put on my pearl earrings and look like a movie star. Fabulous.

Colin’s coworker is the bride, so we’ll be sitting with a bunch of people he works with. You would think that would be a recipe for disaster, but Colin’s job is more like a fraternity than like a stuffy workplace. I know most of his coworkers to some extent. They’re fun. They’re young. They’re nothing like the tools I work with.

So it will probably be okay.

As long as he doesn’t suggest that we stay at the hotel after the reception.

I have no idea how I’d break that news to my parents.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ethical quandary

Let’s say that you do This Thing for, like, 40 hours a week.

And at That Thing (which isn’t that fun, but they give you money every two weeks so you keep showing up) you have this person and they are like your Thing Mom except that they care more about yourself than they do about you.

Also at This Thing is this neat little stash of money. We’ll call it the Rainy Day Fund. At everyone’s Thing the Rainy Day Fund has different amounts of money in it (mine has $1,000), but it has the same general concept: to buy the little incidentals that come up.

I’m in charge of reconciling the Rainy Day Fund once per week.

There has been a half-dozen times recently that, when reconciling, I come up $100 or so short. And then Thing Mom comes along a short while later and is like, “oh, I had $100 from the Rainy Day Fund. I’m putting it back right now.” And then she puts it back.

I always reconcile on Mondays.

We seem to be short whenever Thing Mom goes away with her daughter for sports on the weekend. (Which they do a lot.)

On Friday, Thing Mom had the builder who put the addition on her house come in to collect the check she owed him. He comes in once a month and collects from her.

And a coworker watched Thing Mom take money from the Rainy Day Fund and give it to him. The builder. Who put an addition on her house. Not on the building owned by our Thing.

When I try to reconcile, we are short again. Thing Mom said that she has some of the money (a greater amount than usual). No explanation given (she usually says it is to buy a this or a that – purchases that never come to fruition).

I’m a little sick about this. Because, from what I understand, the Rainy Day Fund is for Thing use. I’m pretty sure that it isn’t to be treated as a personal slush fund. Because if it wasn’t, I think I would’ve used it to take out a personal loan to pay for my tuition.

This Rainy Day Fund has me in a little bit of a nervous, ethical dilemma. I could certainly speak with someone higher up at my Thing. But I’m afraid that it would just get me thrown under the bus.

Thoughts?

What would you do?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saddest day ever

In four hours I am handing Stella over to the dealership.

It will be nice to have a new car, I suppose. Despite the fact that I'll be paying $100+ more per month for my Milan and it won't have all of the bells and whistles and it won't be my best friend or my first ever brand new car. Or have cooled seats.

This sucks.

To make myself feel better while cleaning out my Stella for the very last time, I am so putting my initials in some inconspicuous place. And maybe some sort of honing device. So I can visit her with her new family. Make sure they're treating her nicely.

That's normal, right?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yes, I realize none of this is interesting

I am a bad present buyer
I ran to the mall yesterday to buy Emma a birthday present; she turns 17 tomorrow! I went thinking it would take me a half-hour. I would fly into American Eagle, pick her up a sweater and cruise out of there with blazing speed.

Not so much. American Eagle had no sweater that I’d consider for Emma. I couldn’t bring myself to buy her anything from the Victoria’s Secret PINK store (mostly because I bought her a pair of sweats last year). Everything at GAP seemed too old. Didn’t have a clue of what she’d like from somewhere like Charlotte Russe or Forever 21. So I headed over to Macy’s. I was hoping there would be some adorable handbag – maybe LeSportsac – that I’d deem as perfect.

No luck there, either.

I ended up with a pair of Crocs. She loves the pair she already has and these are a bit different, Mary Jane style an in an obnoxious pink.

Finding a suitable gift was quite liberating. I don’t know why I get so stressed out about shopping, but it happens every time.

Ouch
My lips are so dry from being inside rinks and out in the elements. I’ve developed a nice crack at the corner of my mouth. I am very displeased.

Feeling like a dutiful housewife
I spent my entire Friday afternoon in the kitchen. Lucy came over and we whipped up a few batches of caramel corn to bring to her parents’ Halloween party tomorrow night. Then I held up my end of the bargain – as my mom likes to say – and made the one dinner per week that I’m required to do now that I’m living at home.

I made a beef and orange stir-fry featured in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food cookbook. It was fantastic. My mother lavished praise upon me. And it was easy. [Translation: I’ll definitely be making it again.]

A severe case of Cannot Say No Syndrome
A girl I play summer soccer with invited me to play on an indoor team on Tuesday nights. I agreed. Before I got into grad school. When I got into grad school, I emailed her and said that I probably couldn’t play because we’d have some 8:30 pm games and I’m in class until 8:15 pm.

Somehow, she didn’t quite get that I was saying that I couldn’t play. She asked for later games. Our team’s schedule is now split between 8:30 pm games (which I can’t make) and 10:30 pm games (which I don’t want to make). I’m mostly screwed, since I was the idiot who committed to this team.

Here’s what next Tuesday will be like for me. 6:15 am – get up. 7:15 am – leave for work. 8:30 am – get to work. 5:00 pm – leave work. 5:30 pm – start class. 8:15 pm – finish class. 8:15-10:15 pm – Waste precious time, spend precious money doing so. 10:30 pm – start soccer game. 11:30 pm – finish soccer game. 12:15 am – get home.

I do not understand why I do this. I cannot figure out why I am so unaware that I cannot do everything. That I have limitations. That I am human.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Desperately seeking advice

I have settled on a vehicle but I have no idea what color to get. Mostly because I don't want it, I suspect.

If you'd just check out my options and cast a vote, my ulcer would appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Loving

(Stealing this idea from the delightful Girl From Florida!)

Cover-Your-Butt Sweaters

I think it has something to do with the fact that my office is kept at a pleasant 25 degrees, but I’m really digging longer sweaters. If my butt is covered, I am much more toasty and, thus, quite happy. I have a few of these longer sweaters, including this GAP sweater that I, um, knit for myself. Not sure that covering the butt with a big swatch of wool is the best thing to do (“hi, this is my butt. It is covered up, drawing even more attention to the area I’d like you to ignore.”) but I’ll take that chance if its going to rid me of a goosebump or two.

Gossip Girl

Clearly, I am too old and too intelligent to watch this show. And then my sister told me how addicted she was to it. I was bored one afternoon; you can watch episodes on CW. It all went downhill from there. I got caught up. And caught the disease, too.

Mangos
Fresh, frozen, dried. I do not discriminate. For the longest time, I proclaimed that I did not like mango because I thought it tasted like mold. Am fairly certain that I was confusing it with papaya.

My Palm Pilot

Oh, little square of endless information. I heart you so. I heart that you are separate from my phone, so that I don’t have to take you to the bar or to the gym with me. I heart that you hold addresses, so that I can write my birthday thank you cards at work. I heart your calculator, your cute little stylus, your color screen. One day I will put pictures on you and love you even more.

Internet TV
I cannot get over the novelty. I can watch TV shows on the internet, at whatever sweet time tickles my fancy. (Which is usually when I’m lying in bed.) After a particularly riveting episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I like to watch it again sometime during the week leading up to the next episode. I can watch Gossip Girl at a time when nobody is around so I do not have to explain my teenybopper tendencies. And, one day, I might even catch up on Private Practice (I haven’t seen the last three episodes – someone tell me if I’m wasting my time) and give Pushing Daisies a try.


Fancy New Lunch Bag


A coworker found these adorable lunch bags that Lean Cuisine is selling on its website to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation. At just $10, I couldn’t say no. It is insulated, which is nice because I don’t particularly enjoy rancid food. Even more importantly, it comes with a zipper. A zipper means that when I hit my breaks really hard, my lunch doesn’t fly out of its bag when it tumbles over.

Cheap Shoes

A few weekends ago, I was looking for a pair of brown heels to wear with an outfit. I wanted something plain. I spent hours bouncing in and out of department and shoe stores looking for a pair that I liked. No luck. I stopped at Target on the way home to pick up various other sundries and (insert chorus of angels here) I found my shoes. Plain in a not-too-boring way. Comfortable. And, best of all, inexpensive. If I don’t like these in two months, I will throw them in the back of the closet and not even feel guilty about it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I might never move out

Dad and I went car shopping last night. I came home in a terrifically terrible mood. Oh, so crabby. Wanted. To. Kill.

The car shopping did not go as well as I had hoped.

Because I am basically screwed.

So far over my mileage that, if I buy a car, I will be paying $1,000,000/month for the car plus the overage on my lease. And, if I lease a car, I will be paying $900,000/month for the car so that I can have a lease to accommodate all of the driving I have to do to get to my shitty job and pay off Stella's mileage.

I’m afraid that I am backing myself into a quagmire.
Cannot afford to move out because I pay so much for my car.
Cannot afford my car because I live so far from work.
Chase my tail until I fall down dead or get a decent job or a significant raise and – hello! – that will never happen because I work for some hella cheap jocks so hopefully I get my degree and get the job that goes with it. Preferably sooner rather than later.

Living at home is okay, actually, other than the commute. The commute is what is fucking up the car situation. The commute is what is stifling what had previously been a very consistent relationship with my gym. The commute is contributing (along with The Hills and my social life) to my sleep deprivation.

Last Wednesday, I went to Lucy’s house and hung out with the girls and did absolutely nothing. I couldn’t do that if I wasn’t living at home.

Last night, Colleen came over to pick up the Halloween costume my mom had put the finishing touches on. We sat on the floor of my bedroom and talked about nothing. If I weren’t living at home, I wouldn’t have seen her.

Tonight, I’ll go to Colin’s house. We’ll watch a movie. I’ll stay up a little too late. But, when I decide to go, I won’t have to drive an hour to get home. I’ll drive four minutes.

That’s the best part. Being close to Colin. It makes things so much easier.

What also makes things easier is his newfound commitment to making this work. We’re both in this. I’ve never been so happy with him.

Which might be why I’m seeing my world – with the exception of my commute – through these charming rose-colored glasses.

Monday, October 22, 2007

If you love something, set it free

En route to work this morning, Stella hit 55,000 miles.

I drive a lot.

And I love my car. My little Stella and I are good friends. She gets me where I need to go and she gets me where I need to go in a bit of luxury and style.

I have a three-year lease on Stella, which is up next June. I’m already 10,000 miles over my lease, so I am pretty much screwed. She is worth less than I owe on her. I’m going to have to pay something like 11 cents per every mile over 45,000. That’s a lot of miles if I turn her in at the end of her lease. Shit, it is a lot of miles now.

My dad is pushing an early trade-in.

Early as in…sometime this week? Possibly.

I am very depressed.

I know that the logical thing to do is to trade Stella in. I cannot spend the next 10 years dropping nearly $500/month to pay her off. It is incredibly illogical. Stella is a car and I can’t be putting myself into (more) debt because I am emotionally attached to my car.

Seriously, though? The thought of getting rid of her makes me want to cry. And the look on Lucy’s face when I told her that she might be riding in Stella for the last time? Made me want to cry. And whenever I admit to someone that I’m in the market for a new car? I want to cry.

Yes. That’s me. Stronger emotional attachments to an object than to people.

Stella represents a lot, to me. That fresh-out-of-college enthusiasm. I had a job! They were paying me money! Not a lot, maybe, but enough to lease my dream car. Stella was purchased at the peak of my optimism.

In some ways, it seems like I’ve had her for a lot longer than two and a half years.

As much as I’m resisting, I know that it is the right thing to do. In the long run, it will cause me less stress and anguish. Maybe, one day in the future, I’ll be able to fret a little less about paying bills and I’ll be able to thank myself for making a responsible – if not a little difficult – decision when I was 25.

This growing up bullshit sucks.

I want to spend all of my money on cars and shoes. Fuck the rest.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Awkward moment of the year

So, today is Sweetest Day. Pretty sure the entire country doesn’t celebrate it, but some of us do here in the Midwest. It is just like Valentine’s Day, as far as I know, just in October. And not quite so overblown.

Colin and I had plans to meet my friends at the bar tonight.

And, when I walked out to Stella, sitting on the windshield was a card and a rose and a box of chocolates. I’m not going to lie: I squealed like a little girl. And then I called Colin and thanked him profusely.

He met me at the bar. Lucy got drunk and Colleen was obnoxious and April was in a surprisingly jovial mood. Chet – Lucy’s husband – joined us when he finished working. He bought too many rounds of shots and everyone, with the exception of April and I, was fairly drunk by the time we called it a night.

Colleen realized that she was being an ass and feigned illness so her parents would pick her up. April left when we did. I drove Lucy and Chet, and then Colin, home.

We’re standing in Colin’s driveway and we’re doing our goodbye kissy-face whatnot and I’m heading back to my car and I realize that I never gave Colin his present.

[Side note: did I really go out and get Colin a Sweetest Day present? Uh, no. What I did have, however, was the watch I bought him for his birthday last year and never gave to him because we weren’t really dating and it was awkward and he kept saying that I couldn’t give him a present and whatever. I hadn’t even unwrapped it.]

So I run to the driver’s side door and pull out the present. He’s on the other side of Stella, watching me rush around like a bloody fool.

I thought he was watching me, anyhow. Because, in a fit of pure stupidity, I toss the present over the car. And hit him. Right in the head. With a metal box.

I thought shit like that only happened in movies. Apparently I am very wrong. Apparently, I have a rocket of a pitching arm. Apparently Colin was a little more drunk than I had assumed.

And apparently he likes the watch.

More than he likes the bump on his head, I imagine.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Holiday girls weekend awesomeness of all the world

Instead of exchanging Christmas presents with The Girls, I brought up the idea of a little weekend trip instead. Lucy and I went to Chicago at Christmastime a few years ago and had an absolute blast. And a trip would be so much more fun and memorable than any stupid present we could buy one another.

We decided that Chicago, again, would be the destination. It is blissfully close. I know the city well. There will be plenty to do and lots of shopping to be had.

I’m excited.

We firmed up our plans at an impromptu gathering at Lucy and Chet’s apartment. Everyone made her official commitment. And I jumped into action.

Alyson: trip planning extraordinaire.

Mostly, I just became obsessed with getting us a hotel room. On our last trip to Chicago, we used Priceline and got a bitchin’ deal on a room at the Palmer House Hilton. I obviously wanted (read: needed) to duplicate our prior good fortune.

I did. Great price. Even better location. Shenanigans and tomfoolery will commence on the streets of Chicago on Friday, December 22. The fun will be unparalleled. The awesomeness, unstoppable.

I, trip planning extraordinaire, am assigning my travel companions two tasks:
1. We each must make two exceptionally good mixed CDs to listen to on the drive.
2. We are all obligated to pick one place we must see, store we must shop, restaurant we must eat at or tourist destination we need to join the crowd at.

Excitement. Crazy excitement.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ew.

If I was a more talented writer, I would have the ability to more aptly describe myself today. During a three hour span, I was every girl that I hate. An obsessive, panicking, shallow Barbie.

The long and the short of the story is that Colin and I are going out with Greg and Kellyann after our soccer game tonight.

Immediately after I agreed, I melted into a puddle of pure stress.

I was paranoid about:
1. Not knowing where we were going or what we were doing. What if I am overdressed? What if I am underdressed?
2. Leaving right from soccer. Ohmigod I am going to smell like my shin guards. OhmigodOhmigodOhmigod.
3. Having nothing to wear. I could not fit one more article of clothing into my bedroom yet nothing is appropriate!
4. Being around Kellyann. She thinks that I am lame. She thinks that I am lame and talentless and boring and when she goes home she calls her friends and tells them stories about Boring Girl, who is getting her sloppy seconds.
5. The appearance of my hair, courtesy of a gusty day. I wonder who will be the first to ask me if I stuck my finger in a light socket.

Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

During this time period, I was rushing from store to store in a pathetic attempt to find an outfit. I'm pretty sure I was too mental to even make a proper assessment of anything I tried on; I didn't end up buying anything.

When I got home, I updated my iPod with the music from the first four episodes of Grey's Anatomy ate some chocolate, watched Oprah and got over myself.

It doesn't matter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trauma of the Day

I got an email from my favorite person, High Bitch of the World, saying that she needed biographical information on me (and all of my coworkers) so that she can write a biography for each staff member and post them on our company’s website.

In the email, she told us to go to another branch’s website so we would have an idea of what she is looking for.

I zip on over to the website to check out the goods.

After a career with Random College and Minor League Team in the Fancy Pants League, Coworker was drafted by Big Professional Sports Team. At (insert his position here), he played at every level of the game in his professional career including stops in The Big Show with Another Professional Sports Team. A former firefighter and EMT, Coworker has worked at Loser, Inc. since 1993. Coworker lives in Lameville, IN with his wife Susan and two children – Mitch (3) and Molly (1).

And then I scratch my head and realize that, apart from my college degree, I have done nothing with my life.

I immediately called Work Friend to lament this turn of events. Like me, she is single. Like me, she hates her job. Like me, this is her first job. Like me, she will not be able to fill a paragraph with impressive biographical facts.

Unlike me, Work Friend is a true pal. A few minutes after hanging up with her, I had my biography in my inbox.

Alyson loves shenanigans and tomfoolery. Gossip is her middle name. She has been alive for 25 years. Alyson is single and lives with her parents. The top bunk is available.

I think it will work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Open letter to my professor

Professor Spinster,

I’m okay with getting less than exceptional marks on an assignment or two.

If you tell me that my work is wrong or off or otherwise substandard, I will take it. I will accept it, learn from it, improve because of it and move on. That is the kind of student that I am.

But if you mark me down a full grade because of “poor sentence structure” you will hear from me. If every complaint on my paper is my use of semicolons, I will schedule a meeting with you. And I will come armed with 25 sources that say the same thing: there’s nothing wrong with my use of semicolons.

There are very few things that I do well, but writing is one of them. Never once in my life has any part of my writing been labeled “poor.” Not by one English teacher in a single class at that big, respected university I graduated from and not by anyone else, either.

So we’re going to have to talk. And maybe I’m going to have to teach you how to use, respect and appreciate the semicolon.

Don’t mess with my favorite punctuation mark, bitch.

Family bonding

Last night was an impromptu family night.

Meg is home from her fall break (a little mental health weekend scheduled into the academic schedule) and I was jonesing to watch Knocked Up. We whined and begged and cajoled my parents into sitting down in front of the television with us.

It is such a nice, wholesome film. Especially the gratuitous sex. As a family, we really appreciate that.

(Should I mention here that I’m kidding? Just to be safe? So that the kids who cannot pick up on sarcasm do not think badly of my wholesome family?)

Watching Knocked Up with my parents – minus the sex scenes – was actually quite entertaining. When Alison (Katherine Heigl) goes CrazyPsycho because of her pregnancy hormones, my mother beamed. When Debbie is a raging lunatic, she beamed again.

And during the labor scene? I thought we might have to give her CPR; she was laughing so hard she gasped for air.

It was cute to watch Mom and Dad give each other sideways glances. Those looks that said, “we did this,” “I cannot believe we did this,” “remember when that happened to us?” and “I cannot believe that we remember when we did this.”

And they had been married for almost seven years when I was born.

It was cute, though, watching them relive a part of their lives that ended 21 years ago. I appreciate that they did it with nostalgia and a hint of amusement. Like they miss it, but only a little.

They make such an awesome couple.

I want the relationship they have. And I want to have babies.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And so we close my 25th birthday celebrations

We had my family party yesterday. And now my 25th birthday is officially over.

My dad’s birthday is tomorrow – so we always share the festivities and the German chocolate cake. We do not, however, share presents. Thank goodness. While I would gladly take his night at the MGM Grand Detroit, the two pairs of golf shoes and gifts reinforcing his manly, manly manhood kind of make me want to barf.

Much as my new purse and my Vera Bradley tote and the sweater and the c-u-t-e pants for work and the makeup (with an extra special something, as it was purchased during Clinique bonus time) would make him want to barf.

I bet he wouldn’t mind the Palm Pilot. And perhaps we’ll have an evening of family time around his beloved flatscreen and my Blades of Glory and Knocked Up DVDs.

You know what I wouldn’t mind?

Having another birthday next month. I was spoiled absolutely rotten on this birthday, the very best in recent memory.

Oh. And how about this? A present came in the mail from Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed. Awkward! It was a sweater from GAP. Which, unfortunately, is really cute and I sort of love like crazy. Sending it back really isn’t an option (I’m not going to be the one who puts the nail in the coffin of my family’s relationship with them) and even my mom admitted that it is too cute to return or relegate to a place in the back of my closet.

“Just wear it,” Mom insisted.

I told her that it made me feel guilty. “And plus,” I added, “I’ll think of them every time I wear it.”

“Tell yourself that you got it from the Salvation Army.”

A lovely idea of random proportions, perhaps, but I won’t do that.

I’m telling myself that I knit it, instead.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Resolution Review 9

This is going to be the most depressing Resolution Review of 2007. I did nothing. EXCEPT GO TO BACK TO SCHOOL (yay) and move out of my apartment and have a shitty month at work.

I traded in a lot of my goals for a few very noble causes - the pursuit of higher education and the great search for personal bliss (and by that I mean moving back home because I hated where I was living) - so I guess that is okay.

Looking at all that I didn't do in September is still depressing. Which is why I've avoided writing this until now.

1. Read 12 novels.
I only read textbooks. And continued my struggle with Fall On Your Knees, which I will obviously never finish and should just give up. I have some shorter, lighter reads that I can mesh with my reading for school. I just need to make time for it.

2. Find a new job or go back to school. Or, ideally, find a new job AND go back to school.
Wheeee! Best resolution kept EVER. Besides the part where I have to do homework.

3. Go to the gym with increased frequency.
Gym: I went to the gym FIVE times in September. I knew it was bad; I didn't know it was that bad. Hahahaha. How truly awful.
Skating: Seven skates in September. Getting back up to my average. Like that.
Soccer: Indoor kicked off in the middle of the month; I played 4 games in September.
Hockey: Is back, making me even more busy. My team started out the season with two practices in September.

4. Not make a weight-related resolution.
When you're trying to eat your freezer empty, you're not exactly feeding yourself the best fuel. When you go to the gym five times in a month, you don't exactly feel great about your body. Despite this, I am not obsessing. Merely observing.

5. Knit more.
I made a hat for Kevin's unborn baby. Sure, I dropped a stitch right at the end and cannot stand its imperfection and therefore did not give it to his wife at the baby shower, but I made it!

6. Stop the incessant purchasing.
Too busy packing up all of the crap I bought during my shopping junkie phase to buy anything else.

7. Visit with my grandparents more.
I didn't see Grandma and Grandpa other than at my cousin's wedding. That's really bad.

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.
I would have a cup here and there, just because September was exhausting and overwhelming and stressful and I couldn't get enough of a kick from tea.

9. Become a sweet-ass juggler.
No practice. S-U-C-K.

10. Allow myself to trust Colin.
It's happening. Like a real relationship featuring real grownups. My doubts in him are insignificant. Trivial. I'm on the edge of this pool and I am ready to throw myself in. He's standing with me. Holding my hand. We're ready.

September’s resolution of the month: Put together a damn photo album
I ordered the pictures, which is a victory in itself. Did I actually put the albums together? Um. NotSoMuch.

So I'll just carry it over.

Because I'm not doing an October resolution because I need to not be so intense for, like, seven seconds of my life. And October is those seven seconds. So there.

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
Resolution Review 8

Friday, October 12, 2007

There was something perfect about tonight

Colin picked me up for our soccer game. Usually, he’s coming straight from work and we meet at the facility two seconds before our game begins. And then we’re both wildly throwing on our gear, concentrating more on our shin guards than each other.

He picked me up tonight. I slid into the passenger seat, silently marveling at how excellent this was. And how if we did this every Friday night for the rest of our lives, I would be happy.

Arriving at soccer, we got ready with our teammates, chatting idly about our place in the standings, last weekend’s team outing to the bar, the squad we were playing, whatever. The typical.

When we gathered our bags to head over to our field, one of our teammates slyly edged me away from the group.

This teammate? Also one of Colin’s coworkers.

“Soooooo...” Her eyes danced mischievously. “What is going on with you and Colin?”

At first, I was speechless. Shortly thereafter, I had progressed to awkward. “Oh, you know, it is probably best to talk to him about that. Who...exactly...who wants to know?”

“I can’t tell you. But he would know exactly who it is.”

“Ah ha. I see. Well...”

“So are you dating?”

“There’s nothing...it isn’t…it isn’t official.”

“You’re dating unofficially.”

“Yes. You could say that.”

That conversation – with a complete stranger about something that I am so private about – probably should’ve rattled me.

Instead, I went out and scored three goals.

And had an amazing dinner with Colin afterwards.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I don't read minds

I just sat through a training session on a program that I know better than anyone in my company. Given by someone else in the company. Who seriously doesn’t know it as well as I do.

It was no secret that I was not excited about this training. I told my boss, approximately 50hundred times, that it would be a waste of my time. She agreed with me because, though she is psycho, she is not blind to my many skills.

This training session, I should add, was given by Carrie, my boss during my internship. Yeah, the one who quit...and then unquit, while I was interviewing for – just before I had landed – her job.

I don’t like her. I never liked her. She is passive aggressive and bitchy and she snaps at all the wrong times. I was friendly with her through the course of my internship (when I wasn’t walking on eggshells around her on her bad days) and after I took my full-time job. But when she quit/unquit, I was done. Very done. As much as I want to burn her CDs and read emails about her personal life (which is the relationship I had with her until she quit), I’d rather cut the ties. We can be business acquaintances; I don’t want to hear about the concert you went to last weekend.

She called last Thursday to ask me a few things about the subject of the training. I gave her some information. I told her that, if she wanted me to look over the material before the session, I would be glad to.

She emailed it to me. I told her it looked fine. She emailed me back to see if I’d gone to the Matt Nathanson concert this weekend. I ignored it.

So today was the training. Where I would learn nothing new. I sat next to my best (read: only) work friend. We whispered once or twice (in a completely non disruptive way about what we were doing, I should add). Work Friend looked at me.

And Carrie loses her shit. In front of everyone.

“Do you want to do this, Alyson?”

I seriously thought she wanted me to explain that portion of the training, so I responded with a very cool “sure, if you want me to.”

I guess I didn’t get the hint. Carrie followed up with “No. And I know that this is basic for you but I would appreciate if you paid attention.”

I just stared at her.

We continued with the training. She would ask me questions (that she didn’t know the answers to because I KNOW THE PROGRAM BETTER) and I’d give her the answer in the driest, most uninterested voice I could muster up.

At the end of the session, still in front of EVERYONE ELSE, Carrie is all “Alyson, I’m sorry that I called you out in front of everyone. It’s just that I put a lot of time into this.”

I replied with a roll of my eyes (my back was to her) and an “okay” as I walked out of the room.

While leaving the building a few minutes later, Carrie cornered me. “Listen,” she said, “I really wanted you to give this training session.”

And I’m all “uhhhh...okay. But you didn’t ask.”

“I wasn’t comfortable asking because you don’t work for me.”

It is all becoming very clear. Carrie is pissed at me – and Carrie snapped at me during the meeting – because she’s mad because:
a. I keep brutally rejecting her attempts at friendship
b. I did not READ HER MIND and know that she wanted me to volunteer to do this presentation for her.

“You should’ve asked Boss then, Carrie. I had no idea.”

And she repeats the same crap a few times over. I end the conversation with “next time, you’re just going to have to ask” and I walk away.

Then I call my boss and rant. Like a maniac. About Carrie and her misbehavior.

Better to come clean, I figure, then to let her hear about it from Carrie. My boss was abnormally sympathetic, telling me to enjoy the rest of my day (I wasn’t going back in to work) and not worry about it anymore.

But I obviously cannot let this go, since I’ve called the following to rehash this situation:
a. Work Friend (who talked to another girl for the rest of the session, just to see what would happen, and didn’t get in trouble)
b. Dad (“Wow, you’re really angry.”)
c. Colin (“Did you just call her a cunt?”)
And will call Mom and Lucy.
And write very long, somewhat uninteresting, ranting entry on my blog.

I was going to spend the afternoon working on homework, but I might need to look for a new job instead.

That stupid bitch.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Reveal

When Alexa moved to New York last month, she shacked up with a couple – friends of friends who were looking for a roommate. Alexa was grateful to put down her roots semi-permanently; she expected to bounce from one friend’s couch to another’s for the first few months.

The couple that Alexa moved in with happens to be a pair of lesbians.

“How long,” Lucy mused on Saturday night, as we discussed her housing situation, “do you think that it will be until Alexa comes out?”

An ironic question. Unbeknownst to us, it was less than 24 hours.

She called Lucy on Sunday evening and told her that she’d been on three dates since moving to New York. All of which were with females.

I am surprisingly okay with it. Not that I would’ve cast her out of my circle of friends, disowned her and vowed never to speak her name again. But I expected to be weirded out. I expected it to feel strange, learning that the sexuality of a person I’ve known since high school was not what I had always assumed it to be.

And it wasn’t. At all. It was a shrug of the shoulders and an exclamation of “good for her!”

I surprised myself, I suppose, by being just a little more blindly accepting than I knew I was.

She deserves to be happy.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lucky, lucky me

I could not have handled going to the bar every night for three consecutive nights when I was 21.

And I definitely cannot do it now that I’m 25.

My weekend was obscenely fun and indulgent. It was light on sleep, heavy on alcohol. And I love my friends just a little more for it. What they did – what they spent – how they surprised me...it was too much. More than I deserved.

That is why I love them. Because they think more of me than I think of me.




Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pretty, but unpleasant

Finally getting around to posting photos from the Labor Day Weekend wedding.


The Cousins (minus the token male cousin, Evan the Asshole) at the rehearsal dinner.



My Grandma the Troll and me at the rehearsal dinner.



The dessert spread at the rehearsal dinner.



My grandpa and me at the rehearsal dinner.



Meggie and Emma on the shuttle bus to the ceremony/reception.



A view of the reception site from the main floor, looking up the stairs to the main corridor, which led out to the garden (where the ceremony was held).



Grandma and Grandpa at the reception.



This was our table (at the back of the room. Did I bitch about that? I can't remember).

Notice all of the architectural pieces in the background? The building they rented for the wedding was a store that sells all sorts of architectural pieces salvaged from all around the world. Visually, it made for a very interesting and unique setting. I definitely liked it, but it wouldn't be something I'd chose for my own wedding.



This scary guy overlooked our table. It was a little freaky.



My mom and I check out the art. Please note my hot ass.



Meg at the wedding.




The store/wedding site had three floors. This picture was taken upstairs, where wedding guests were free to mill around and check out what the store had to offer.



Stained glass for sale...



...as well as a very classy piece from London's Playboy Club.



...and some bottles.



My cousins Anna and Emma at the reception.



Anna and Aunt Marie. Note Aunt Marie's cane, which was what prompted my uncle Alan to point out that she looks wobbly.



Speaking of Uncle Alan, here he is. Anna has balls of steel and asked him and Aunt Louise (neither of whom spoke with our families during the wedding) to pose for a photo. Which Aunt Louise sort of looks like Hilary Clinton in, if you ask me.



Emma is tired of dancing. I am wearing a goofy expression (this is very typical, especially when I'm dancing). And the bride is looking away.


Mostly I'm posting this picture so you can see a bit of her dress.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Three whole days

In a rare exhibit of decency, my boss gave me Saturday off.

Tomorrow, I am getting up at 6:45. I'm skating for two hours. Then, I'll get my hair cut. Angie, my stylist, will blow it straight. My hair won't feel like my own, but I'll feel beautiful.

I have a 4:00 pm appointment for a massage. Perhaps I will stop at the mall beforehand. I will make time for a manicure and a pedicure.

My soccer game is late - 10:15. After we (hopefully) win, my teammates and I will find a bar that doesn't mind its patrons sweaty and disheveled. We'll celebrate the birthdays of two teammates. Myself included.

And that's only Friday.

On Saturday night, my friends are taking me out. Dinner at a restaurant in my favorite ethnic neighborhood in Detroit. Stopping at a bar or seven. Spending the night at a downtown hotel.

I'm skipping skating on Sunday morning. We're capping off my birthday celebration with brunch.

The rest of my Sunday, I expect, will be spent napping (in the warm fall sunshine, if Mother Nature can arrange it) and staring blankly at the television while MTV broadcasts some mindless marathon of the trash that I do so love.

And if it all works out well - and I expect that it will - I would like a repeat. Every weekend. For the remainder of my 25th year.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A thought before I go to sleep:

I don't know why everyone doesn't blog. Blogging is cheaper - and it must be more fun and make you more friends - than therapy.

Seriously, ya'll. I am sitting here in my gym clothes and my robe and, like, spewing love. It is coming out of my eyes, I am so grateful and humbled by your mere presence. That isn't even taking into account the commentary, all of which is sweet and thoughtful, some of which has the potential to change my life.

I'm not just talking about today.

But today? Crazy appreciation for today.

I had to close my eyes to work up the nerve to press "publish post." And I closed Outlook when the first comments on my post shot into my inbox; I wasn't ready to tackle this but - oh, right - I already blogged about it. No turning back now, kid. And eventually I worked up the nerve to read the comments (THANK YOU) and even though I haven't even started to digest it all, I feel better. Incredibly better. Miraculously better.

I don't deserve this. But I am so grateful for it.

Thanks for holding my hand.

TMI, extreme version

I’m not sure that I can properly express how thrilled I was to receive a memo this morning stating that, with the renewal of my company’s health insurance plan, the co-pay on name-brand pharmaceuticals has jumped from $30 to $50.

This means that I will now be paying $50/month for birth control.

And I’m not even having sex.

(ohmigod, Colin would die if he knew I was broadcasting this to all corners of the Internet. I am genuinely sorry, darling, for kicking your manhood in the balls for all the world to witness.)

Seriously, though. I’m going to pay $50/month for birth control even though I still haven’t given it up to Colin (or anyone else – hi, virgin for life, party of one) because I still cannot convince myself that this go ‘round in our relationship roulette is real and, holy fucking shit, I am terrified to open myself (and my legs, hahahahahaha) up to getting really, really hurt which is exactly what will happen if I put out and things between us fall apart like they have EVERY TIME BEFORE, which is in an anticlimactic, yet still quite painful, way.

In that run-on sentence, I pretty much just described the primary fears that plague my pathetic existence.

1. Paying exorbitant amounts for prescription medication
2. Sleeping with Colin.

Oh, and also:
3. Confronting my abandonment issues
4. Also confronting my intimacy issues
5. And all of the other issues I need to address, including my fear of squirrels.

Colin is really sweet about backing off when we get into the situation where I start freaking out while trying to pretend that I’m not freaking out, even though my knees are practically knocking against each other and my hands are shaking and I’m like “nonononoNO not now. Not with how you’ve gone MIA before. We’re not doing this because I don’t know that tomorrow you won’t forget my phone number and fully erase my existence from your memory because you’ve done it before. I need time. I need time for YOU to prove that: a.) this is real and b.) this is really real.”

It is almost like I’m holding over his head the fact that, in the past, he hasn’t treated me well.

But I’m not. I’m genuinely scared. Terrified, actually. Paralyzed by an absolutely irrational fear that he’s the type to hump and dump. [side note: isn’t that a fun phrase?]

He’s not. Especially now. He’s in this now. He’s not just at the edge of the pool, dipping his toe in.

If anyone is doing that, it’s me.

Jumping in means admitting to my friends and my family that Colin is My Official, Real Boyfriend and I haven’t done that before. Jumping in means having sex with My Official, Real Boyfriend and I haven’t done that before. (I know! I had no social life in college. One day we will cover that.). Jumping in means relinquishing control. I’m not big on giving up control.

I need to get over it and just do it. All of it. But especially the sex part.

I hate the idea of wasting $50/month.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Princess Shit-Eating Grin

I just got a delivery that consisted of a teddy bear, chocolate and balloons.

And a card. Anonymous.

I am grinning like a damn fool.

Attack of the Birthday Fairies

Colin called me exactly at midnight so that he could be the first to welcome me to the Quarter-Century Club.

When my Grandma the Troll stopped by last night to give me a happy birthday hug and kiss, she slipped a cookie cake and a little present into the front seat of my car. I found it this morning.

...just after I nearly tripped over the balloon tied to a box of muffins and candy left at the front door by The Girls.

I came to work and, waiting on the counter, was a tray of rice krispies treats.

And, from another coworker, a box of gourmet chocolate cupcakes.

It is 10:12 am, the exact time I was born 25 years ago.

This is going to be my best year yet.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Use 'em or lose 'em

I just glanced at my paystub (unusual, because I have direct deposit) and learned that I have 16 vacation days.

And then I consulted the resident Company Policy Nazi, who informed me that employees are permitted to carry over a maximum of five vacation days to the next calendar year.

Which means that I have 11 vacation days to burn in the next three months.

What an exciting, lovely concept, seeing as how I planned to take one, insignificant, single vacation day between now and the end of the year.

Will obviously take off a few days around when my final project is due for my class.

And drop hints to Colin that maybe we should go somewhere fun for a few days - New York or Chicago or my aunt's vacation house in Florida.

Catch up on sleep.

And generally be pleased as punch with this unexpected little windfall.
 
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