Saturday, January 30, 2010

What a difference a day makes

I woke up before my alarm clock went off this morning. My down comforter was tucked underneath my chin and the sun – a rare visitor in a Michigan winter – was streaming in at the edges of the window shade. There was a blissful four or five seconds where everything was perfect. The halcyon of sleep still fogging my mind.

Everything was okay.

I sat up. My memory kicked in. The ache in my heart returned. I remembered. Yesterday was a bad day. I fell asleep terribly sad.

Last night was hard.

I had been repressing all day. When I read The Groomsman’s email, I didn’t cry. I closed the window. I shook my head. Scolded myself. I should have known. I blogged – I needed to get it out there – and I went on with my day. I was undoubtedly bummed. I felt it in my stomach, so knotted that I couldn’t eat all day. I felt it in my head – cloudy, stubborn, slow. But I held myself together through the workday. I was sad and I was efficient.

And I cried the second I got into my car. A big, ugly cry. Splotchy and tear stained. Mascara everywhere. I got home and I blogged it out. I forced myself to eat dinner. Forced myself to clean up. Make myself presentable. Fake it.

I had plans with Lucy and Colleen and Chet – plans that had once included The Groomsman – and I wasn’t going to cancel on account of a silly boy who made a mistake that he will eventually regret.

The night was largely unpleasant. I felt as though I was communicating through a closed, dirty window. Everything was distorted and hard for me to understand. I was there and I wasn’t.

It wasn’t fun. Nothing about it was. Spending time with people who would never reject me, and all I could think about was the one who did. The boy who determined that I was not good enough.

It was a hard night.

I went home. Hours and hours after I wanted to go home.

I went to bed sad. Pathetic, small, disappointed sad. Heavy sad. Judgmental sad. Taunting, intense, mean sad.

But that is not how I woke up. I work up remembering how awful I felt yesterday and determined not to feel the same way today.

Because today is a new day.

Because The Groomsman is just one boy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Different

Could anyone possibly feel as stupid as I feel at this very second? I am doubtful.

I am doubtful and I am sick to my stomach.

I should have known better. I should have seen through it. I should have taken hints. Moved with calculation. Tried harder. Straightened my hair more often. Put out. Bought new jeans. Never told him about Aunt Marie’s death. Ate more at dinner. Been more bubbly. Invited him in. Wore more makeup. Let him lead. Waited to introduce him to Lucy and Colleen. Told him less about my family. Acknowledged my instincts and done the exact opposite. Been a completely different person.

A completely different person.

I just hope that the girl that he needed me to be wasn’t the girl who I was on November 16. Before I found out that Aunt Marie was dead. Before the weight loss. When I didn’t replay the closing of her casket every. damn. time. I close my eyes. When my pants fit. When I felt like myself. When I wasn't a regular witness to the unraveling of my family. When these weights weren't on my shoulders. When my heart wasn't so full of sad. Before this haze of mourning settled in around me.

Maybe things between him and that girl who I was on November 16 wouldn't have worked out, either. I don't know. I won't ever know. All I know is that he didn't feel a spark. And that I don't feel like myself. Perhaps there is a connection. Perhaps I am just looking for something to blame.

I didn’t want it to end like this. As gentle as he may have been in his email. (Side note: A FUCKING EMAIL. OMG, GROW SOME BALLS.) As kind as it was that he didn’t string me along. Even though a sliver of me is naïve enough to believe that we can be friends. I didn’t want it to end like this. With me shocked. Unprepared. And feeling like less than nothing.

Funny. Except not.

Guess who got dumped via email?


"I want to say that I've really enjoyed getting to know you better over these past few weeks. However, I don't see us progressing into a deeper relationship. Which is my fault because my heart is not in it. I don't feel a strong spark between us, and I thought with a little time that would change. But it is not. I'm very sorry and I hope we can remain friends in some fashion."


I want to:
puke
cry
laugh
punch
find the website he copied/pasted this generic breakup email from.

Ugh.

This stings.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Timeline

9:40 pm. Send.
9:45 pm. I am not going to worry about this.
9:51 pm. JOY! A text message!
9:51:03 pm. Oh. It’s from Emma. Asking me a question about my college roommate. Random.
10:07 pm. Self, do not worry about this.
10:49 pm. I bet he’s out with his friends. They like that one band. Sometimes they see them on Wednesdays. I could just check the band’s website. And then I could know and I could go to bed.
10:50 pm. Bingo!
10:54 pm. Being back on the pill is really fucking with my skin.
10:59 pm. Read or go to sleep? Read? Sleep?
11:00 pm. Sleep. But definitely check phone once more first. Might have missed something, with it sitting two inches away from me all evening.
12:23 am. Why am I suddenly awake? Why do I feel like there’s something I should be doing? Ooooooooooooh. My phone. Definitely my phone. Checking my phone, because I could’ve slept through something. Except that I didn’t. Stellar.
12:24 am. Fuck this. I will flip over my pillow and indulge in some dreams.
4:52 am. Another hour to sleep! This is the best thing ever.
6:00 am. Wait, what? What is that irritating noise? Where am I?
6:01 am. It is really fucking cold. And it is Thursday. My bed is so much more awesome than either of these things. I am bitter. And cold. Today sucks.
6:01:18 am. My phone! My phone! Must check my phone.
6:01:20 am. Damnit.
6:27 am. This robe is so fuzzy and fluffy. Must find reasons to put off getting dressed for at least a few more minutes.
6:29 am. Why, yes, I will turn on the news. And check my email.
6:34 am. My hair is gross.
6:35 am. Freshly shaven legs are the best.
7:07 am. I need to leave in five minutes and I haven’t packed food or made any tea. Can I ever be on time? Seriously?
7:13 am. Only a minute later than planned. Score!
7:13:41 am. OMG. THE WINDCHILL IS NEGATIVE AND I DIDN’T REMOTE START MY CAR. FAIL.
7:13:49 am. I think my hair might be freezing.
7:31 am. Oh, work. I must say, I didn’t miss you.
7:31:16 am. I’m ready to go home.
7:46 am. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee? For me? I knew there was a reason I came to work today. And that reason is to have someone else buy me coffee.
8:38 am. I will never cease to be amazed at the number of people who aren’t here at 8:30 am for the start of our 8:30 am workday.
8:45 am. Tweetin’ away my misery.
9:17 am. He’s been at work for 17 minutes now. I wonder if...yeah. No. Of course not.
9:25 am. I want string cheese.
10:41 am. I should probably check my phone.
10:41:06 am. I should probably stop checking my phone.
10:42 am. Goodness, I am feeling bummed. Not that I want to cry. Just disappointed.
10:43 am. Tweetin’ away my misery, part 2.
11:05 am. Here’s an idea: get over yourself.
11:09 am. I’ll just feel however I feel like feeling.
11:11 am. This doesn’t matter.
11:13 am. Déjà vu, right? Right.
11:41 am. My head is clogged with so many trivial things.
11:41:18 am. I need to sort this out. I need to blog.
11:56 am. I annoy myself.
11:57 am. I should have a better filter. My insanity is not something I should share in such detail.
11:57:06 am. Perhaps I’ll check my phone. Just in case.
11:59 am. This isn’t the morning for happy endings. Let it go. Shake it off.
12:01 pm. Publish.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cut into thirds

Part of me: wants that conversation. Even though I will be awkward and shy and inarticulate, I want that conversation. I want to know what we’re doing. How he sees me. How we will proceed.

I want a definition.

I want him to know that I’m not seeing anyone else. That I’m not interested in seeing anyone else. That I want to spend more time with him. That I’m all in, if that is what he wants from me.

My gut tells me that it is what he wants from me. I have a feeling that we’re on the same page. But I don’t know. I can’t know. We haven’t had the conversation. That’s why we need to have it.

All I know is that there was a moment on our first or our second date where I looked at him sitting across the table from me, knowing that I wanted him to be in my life – somehow. I like him. He’s cool. He’s fun. I want to be his friend. I want to be more than his friend, obviously. But I hope that we can at least be friends.

I don’t see how being friends – if that is all we ever amount to – would ever be possible if we don’t define this now. Should we keep things the status quo, not define what we are, I’m going to keep falling. Falling for someone who isn’t going to catch me will hurt. Bruises on my heart stay tender for a long, long time.

I can’t stay here indefinitely, teetering on the edge of this cliff.

I’m not scared of the conversation.

I’m scared to start it.

Part of me: would just like to avoid this conversation entirely because my ignorance has been nothing but blissful to this point.

Part of me: is certain that I won’t ever hear from him again so this is all a moot point.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jumping in

I have a hard time keeping my mind reigned in and in tune with reality.

I do this. I do it often. Every day, probably.

I get this idea. Or feeling. Or premonition. And then I run with it. I see a job posting and, in my mind, I have it. I am writing my resignation letter in my head. I am buying a house with my substantial wage increase. I am skating a few mornings per week because of my awesome new schedule. I am happy and fulfilled in my new job. I just need to get the job. Land the interview. Mail in my resume.

There's really nothing in my life that I don't do it for, honestly. I get an idea about what to buy Mom for her birthday and Meg is getting 500-word emails full of research an hour later. I decide I want to go on vacation and I'm scouring for hotel rooms before I find someone to go with. I consider a new career path and I'm buying books on Amazon and looking up graduate schools before the dust in my brain has a chance to settle.

I'm starting to realize that I am an exhausting person.

Or maybe it is just exhausting being me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shameless photo post

The awesome thing about my best friend, Lucy, is that she will be my date to a wedding.

And she'll take endlessly goofy pictures with me.



Because, when you get us together, we ham it up in front of a camera.

Especially if our other good pal, vodka, has been invited.



Lucy isn't one to care about what other people think.

And I am good at following her lead.



Not that I have much of a choice. She is incredibly convincing.

"Hey, ladies. How about a shot where we all put a rose in the front of our dress?"

Like anyone could even resist.



(This picture makes me glad that I didn't wear black.)



I wore big heels. I have never towered over anyone in my life. It was sort of great.

Also sort of great is this picture of me and The Groomsman.



Squeal.

Friday, January 22, 2010

If, Then

If you are my coworker, then we’re probably going to fight today.

If tonight’s plans with The Groomsman fall through, then I will likely fall into a heap on my bed and cry myself to sleep. (Because I am overly tired, not because I’m psycho.)

If you were the stack of book by my bed, then you would consist of: South of Broad, Last Night at Twisted River and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

If you’re my high school frienemy Heather, then you picked a really crappy weekend for your weekend (hello! It is U.S. Nationals and the Olympic team is going to be selected! I should be parked in front of the television!).

If I was smart, then I would delete all emails from Kate Spade prior to opening.

If I have any chance of staying sane, then I need to get a new job.

If you think that, because I joined the Facebook group that it means that I’m actually planning on attending our 10-year high school reunion, then you’re sadly mistaken.

If I want to feel even more sure that The Groomsman is someone special and decent and such an incredibly huge upgrade and definitely more along the lines of someone who I both respect and deserve, then I will keep reading my blog archives, especially circa December 2007. Seriously, Colin, you are the biggest fuckwad ever.

If Lucy comes as my “date” to Heather’s wedding, then we’re going to have a ridiculously amazing evening of dancing and hilarity.

If Lucy doesn’t end up going to Heather’s wedding, then I’ll be perfectly fine and look hot in my red dress and enjoy the company of everyone else at my table.

If Ashley’s move to North Carolina results in our drifting apart, then I will be sad. But definitely not surprised. It is happening already, I think, and it is hard to stop the momentum.

If I go ahead and order this silly, funny picture of The Groomsman and me from Bridezilla’s wedding – the day (oh, I guess it is technically the day after) we met, then we better not crash and burn before I receive it. Because the photo is from the photographer, thus wildly overpriced.

If we’re being honest, then there are no guarantees in life. (Not even with The Groomsman, unfortunately. Even if he is exponentially more awesome than Colin. I can’t let myself get too involved, too invested, too certain of that. I do not react well to unpleasant surprises.)

If you think I'm being pessimistic, then you're quite observant.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Interrupting The Crazy

I lost my insurance card.

I didn’t realize that I lost my insurance card until I needed it. Who surveys their wallet for their insurance card on a regular basis, anyway? Please. I live in the real word, where important things are only important under OMGIneedittoday circumstances. Otherwise, it is just extra bulk to carry around in my purse and it isn’t like I’m going to get in a car accident or break my arm playing hockey so clearly I don’t care.

On Monday, I needed my insurance card.

I recently decided that it would be a good idea to start filling my birth control prescription again (hmmm), which apparently I haven’t done since changing insurance companies. This perky pharmacy tech called and was all “don’t forget your new insurance card!” and I was all “oh, fuck.”

Clearly, I didn’t have it. And a new copy takes 7-10 days to arrive once you've reported it missing. I was mostly screwed. So I moseyed over to the pharmacy and got the prescription anyway.

$80. Fine. I can bring in my receipt and paperwork after I receive my new insurance card and they will bill my insurance company and refund the remainder and that seems fair and lovely.

Except that my copay is still $50, because it isn’t a generic. Which is approximately $45 more than I would like to spend.

I hate insurance. And I am so, so grateful to have it.

* * *

My nemesis coworker brought me a coffee from D. Donuts this morning. He also brought one for my boss.

Nemesis coworker: “Here you go. Medium coffee, cream and sugar.”
Me: “Is that the same as my work dad?”
Nemesis coworker: “That is the same as your work dad.”

Here is what warms my heart: being able to refer to my boss as my work dad in conversation without is becoming a distraction to what I was saying. That, my friends, is the sign of an awesome nickname.

* * *
Oh! I never told you guys what I heard back from Bridezilla, 2 or 3 days after I had originally emailed her about me and The Groomsman.

"Very cool that you and The Groomsman have gone out. Thanks for letting me; I had no idea. Have fun :-)"

I don’t really know what that means.

* * *
I have recently decided to return to using a paper planner.

I’ve been using a Palm for quite some time. I like it okay. Except that I can’t keep it charged due to my frequent fits of extreme laziness. It would probably make sense to upgrade to a phone that is awesome and keeps my calendar and lets me check my email every sixteen seconds, but then I would be checking my email every sixteen seconds. And tweeting every four minutes. And checking Facebook nine times per hour. That can of worms? I am avoiding opening it as long as humanly possible.

* * *
I’m currently reading Pat Conroy’s South of Broad. I love it.

* * *
My trip to the mall for Operation: Pants was a success.

Except that my pants feel strangely tight.

You can’t fit an extra person into my pants and I just don’t know how to feel about that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I seriously may be losing it

My RSVP to Heather’s wedding was due a few weeks ago.

Because Heather and I have a rocky relationship, and because The Groomsman hadn’t met any of my really good friends, and because we had yet to spend multiple hours making out (please note the use of past tense – halleluiah!), and because we really hadn’t gone on all that many dates and because I have this feeling that Heather’s wedding is going to be somewhat of a gong show, I didn’t ask The Groomsman to go with me.

I think that it is a hard situation to be in, the date for a wedding of someone you’ve never met.

And I wanted my bestest friends to meet him before my high school acquaintances did.

And I didn’t want him to say no.

So I told Heather that I would be attending her wedding solo. Then bought myself a really pretty dress to wear. Because, if you’re going to go by yourself, you should at least look hot.

Today, she emails me. “Someone at your table canceled so if you want to bring a date you are welcome to bring one.”

Oh, great! Yes, it was nice of her to think of me. (I must be the only other solo loser at her table.) But now I have to make ANOTHER decision. Fantastical.

I’m just not crazy about the idea of inviting him at the last minute. Like, he might have something way better planned and then I’ll be mildly bummed that he would prefer to do whatever it is than go to a potentially trashtastic wedding at a f’ing VFW hall. (I am not even kidding.)

But I do have a pretty dress. And I am planning on looking hot.

Yes? No? Invite him? Don’t? CAN’T ANYONE SEE THAT I AM EXHAUSTED FROM ANALYZING ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH THIS BOY?!

I could always bring Lucy. Or Meg. Or my mom.

Or I could skip the wedding, stay at home, and think about every. miniscule. detail. of my life. For hours and hours and hours on end.

Why live your life when you can analyze it?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Crazy. Not. Crazy. Not.

I am all over the map.

When it comes to The Groomsman, I am so all over the map.

Sometimes, I am calm. I’m all “oh, I am dating someone casually. He is lovely and we’ll see where it goes.”

Other times, I am giddy. And, while I want to jump up and down and squeal, I hold it together and just walk around with a goofy smile on my face.

I can be paranoid. I don’t hear from him, or maybe he doesn’t return a text. So I am forced to spend the next four hours reviewing everything that we said or did in our last interaction, as I attempt to determine my dating faux pas that forced him to immediately cease all contact with me.

Sometimes, I am assertive. I make the first call. I send the “what do you have going on this week?” text message. I stop caring – for two damn seconds – about playing the game and I just do what I want to do. Which, strangely, has worked out in my advantage. I sort of doubt that we would have ever made it to the first date, let alone this far, if I hadn’t initiated it. (Is that a bad sign?)

For the most part, I’m playing this fairly cool. Cool for me, anyway. Which would be neurotic for a lot of people. But we’re ranking me against me, okay? I am capable of much worse!

I still have The Crazy. But The Groomsman doesn’t bring out as much of The Crazy as Colin or The Athlete did because – drum roll, please! – he isn’t a huge douchebag. (Hurray!)

(At least he isn’t yet. I feel like I should qualify statements like that, because I’m afraid that, without a healthy dose of doubt and cynicism, he is going to turn out like all of the others and this is all going to come back and bite me in the ass.)

* * *

Seriously, though. Indulge The Crazy for just a moment, okay? (The volume of The Crazy has been turned down, but it is sure as hell still ringing in my ear.)

We had so much fun on Thursday and then I really didn’t hear from him all weekend. What the hell? Is he just trying to keep things from getting too serious too fast? Does he not want me tagging along with him and his friends? Am I really obnoxious? Is my hair too short? Is he so shy that I have to make it painfully. clear. that I am:
a. available
b. waiting for him to invite me to do something
every. damn. time?

* * *

OMG. What if I’m still with him at Valentine’s Day? How will I know what to buy him? This is way too hard.

* * *

In conclusion: I just wrote all about how not crazy I am. And then followed it up with three paragraphs displaying The Crazy.

If I had any brains, I would censor myself better.

Oh, how loveable and insane I am.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Operation: Pants

At the end of the summer, I was feeling a little chubby.

For those of you who haven’t been reading foreva, I should probably point out that my weight, fortunately, is very, very stable. I am always the same size. And, at the end of the summer, I was at the heavy end of that. And I didn’t like it.

But didn’t really do anything about it. So I stayed slightly pudgier than normal through the fall.

But when Aunt Marie died, I lost most of my extra fluff. Not eating will do that to you.

And, for whatever reason, my appetite has yet to return to pre-Aunt Marie death levels. Yes, I eat. But not like I ate before (which, honestly, was something small every hour or two, in addition to three meals/day).

There have been positives to this: I don’t have to grocery shop as often. I also don’t have to haul as much food to work every day.

There have been negatives: mostly, that my pants don’t fit. I still look respectable in my jeans, thank goodness. The pants that I wear to work, however, are a joke. A saggy, ill-fitting joke.

I’m at work right now, actually. Should one of my coworkers try to pants me, he/she would have no problem yanking these pinstriped beauties down to my knees.

It is not cute. Saggy ass is not in.

I am finally to the point where my pants are loose enough that I am left with no other choice: shopping. Shopping for pants. To wear to work.

Shopping for stuff to wear to work is not fun. Especially when it is pants.

But having your ass hang out of your pants is not cute or fun.

So I'm going to the mall. The lesser of two evils.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Late night

I arranged to see him after work.
After a lot of work.
After 7:30 am.
Through 9:00 pm.

I was tired and I was not.
I was tired and I was deliriously excited.

Because that's what happens when I see him.
I am deliriously excited.
But still myself.

Around him, I feel like myself.
A smarter, prettier, wittier, more engaging version
Of the girl who I am always with.
Me.
Her but better.
Still myself.

He tells me good stories.
And listens to mine.
His laugh is contagious.
And generally linked to something
Absurd
Embarrassing
Ridiculous
That has spewed out of my mouth
Before thinking it through.

Our hair is almost exactly the same color.
I might have a little more red.
But it is extremely close.
And he also has a bit of curl in his hair.
I haven't quite decided
If this is creepy
Or just cute.
(Am I dating myself?)

I'm okay with it.
Either way.
Because I am okay with him.
More than okay.
Deliriously excited about
Impossibly infatuated with
In pleasant disbelief of
This boy
With hair the same color as mine
Who isn't afraid to laugh at me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mending a crack

My mom is tough. It is one of the characteristics that make her great. She has a huge heart. And she’s not going to take your bullshit. Or get intimidated by a situation. Or be anything, quite frankly, than a badass.

I’m not sure that I ever wrote about what she did on the night Aunt Marie had her leg amputated. Her surgeon kept pushing back her surgery. Later and later and later. He didn’t give a timeframe. He just pushed it back. Extended her mental anguish.

So my mom – an advanced practice nurse – got up in his shit. This surgeon, who thinks that he is God, has this patient’s sister in his face. Refusing to let him treat her sister poorly. My mom knows right from wrong. She isn’t one to stand by and watch if she is witnessing a wrong.

My mom doesn’t crack. She’s good under pressure. If a surgeon had been treating Meg badly? I would have been frustrated. I would have been scared. And I would have cried. Perhaps not in front of Meg. But I would’ve cried. I would have felt helpless.

It isn’t that my mom doesn’t have feelings. It isn’t that she is not vulnerable. But she does a pretty good job of keeping that part of her under wraps. Her shell is hard.

Last Friday, her shell cracked. I came home to my dad, in the driveway, calling for Ellie. The dog had gotten out on my mom. We found her shortly thereafter. It wasn’t a big deal. My mom returned to the house, sobbing.

“I can’t even keep the dogs safe,” she wailed. It was almost comical, seeing my mom in such a state. It is so rare that she is so emotional. My dad and I did what we could to calm her down but, clearly, she wasn’t in a great place. I expected her to cancel her dinner plans, put on her pajamas and go to sleep. But she pulled herself together. A short time later, we went over to Grandma and Grandpa’s for dinner.
The instant my mom saw her mom, she was a mess all over again. “I lost Ellie,” she cried. “I lost Ellie. I can’t even keep the dogs safe. Ever since Marie died, I feel like I can’t even think. I can’t do ANYTHING. How am I supposed to do my job if I can’t think, Mom?! And Meg has to have surgery on her shoulder and WHAT IF SHE DIES JUST LIKE HER GRANDFATHER.”

“Oh, honey,” my grandma sighed. She patted her back and held her. “It’s all going to be okay. You’re just fine, honey. There is nothing wrong with you.”

My mom cried for a few minutes more. I stood by, helplessly, awkwardly. Worrying. My grandma, my teeny tiny grandma, held her tightly.

And then she was okay. Just like magic.

I think that’s all you need, sometimes. A hug from your mom and a shoulder to cry on and an assurance that you’re not as crazy as you think.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This will go one of two ways

I was chatting with a blog buddy yesterday when an email came through from Bridezilla, inviting me to a party, date TBD, at her house. And when I say party, I really mean a lame get together that requires me to purchase something that I do not need. Awesome.

The email got me thinking about – and subsequently chatting with AM about – Bridezilla.

Bridezilla doesn’t know about me and The Groomsman. Just as she wouldn’t know about me and any boy who I would happen to date. I’m not exactly a OMGIAMGOINGOUTWITHANEWBOY type of girl to begin with. (Well, except for on my blog, where I am a squealing schoolgirl 92% of the time.) And there’s the part where, despite the fact that I was in her wedding, Bridezilla (side note: check out the comment that togethertheycome left on this post. HA!) and I aren’t close friends. “You seem like more of an acquaintance,” The Groomsman said to me once. It was an accurate assessment. It’s one thing to tell Lucy and Colleen; it is quite another to tell a random coworker and the barista at Starbucks.

Anyway.

The Groomsman is a high school buddy of Bridezilla’s husband. Bridezilla doesn’t get along well with her husband’s high school friends. (There was some incident years ago at a movie theater and now she’s convinced that they all hate her.) But she has always spoke kindly of The Groomsman...which either has something to do with the fact that he wasn’t at the movie theater on that fateful night, that she’s spent more time with him (The Groomsman and her husband used to be roommates) or just because he is so incredibly nice and awesome.

Still, The Groomsman is part of His Friends Who Really Hate Me.

I have no idea how she is going to react.

Until yesterday, I was set on avoiding the situation. Let her find out when she finds out. From her husband. From one of the other members of His Friends Who Really Hate Me. From The Groomsman himself. Via Facebook stalking. I didn’t care. As long as it wasn’t me.

But AM, goddess of wisdom, pointed out that maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to let Bridezilla hear it from me. That it would be “normal and logical.”

Hmmm. I don’t do many things that could be considered either normal or logical. But this sort of made sense. I could be classy, for once, and let her hear it straight from me.

So I responded to her email. And, at the end, I tossed in this gem:

“I don’t think I told you, but have gone out with The Groomsman a few times. Just casual. No big deal, but I wanted you to hear about it from me, since I did meet him at your wedding and whatnot.”


(Those weren’t my exact words, but that’s the gist of it.)

She is going to go one of two ways with this:
1. Completely fucking ballistic: how dare one of my bridesmaids get mixed up in His Friends Who Really Hate Me. She has no loyalty. I can’t believe she would do this. This is the worst thing to ever happen. Etc., etc., etc.
2. Completely fucking overjoyed: my fairytale wedding was the catalyst to another fairytale romance. Their happiness is all thanks to me. Lets go on double dates every second Tuesday. I am definitely going to be the maid of honor in their wedding. They will likely name their first child in my honor. Etc., etc., etc.

It’s been almost a day. I know that she’s been online. And I haven’t heard back. I’m going to assume, until proven otherwise, that she had reaction #1.

So that's awesome.

And something that I'm not going to bother worrying about.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A growing list

I have so much to do.

Tonight was just the second time I had been to the gym since Christmas. Christmas! That is so unlike me. And, considering what I pay for my gym membership, somewhat unacceptable.

I desperately need to balance my checkbook and pay some bills. Not that I'm bouncing checks left and right or anything, but I need to get some shit in order before it becomes completely unmanageable.

Feeling completely guilty about this one: I haven't written my thank you notes for my Christmas cards. I need to do that. Super soon.

Speaking of Christmas presents. I need to decide if I'm going to keep the camera Grandma got me for Christmas or exchange it for another one.

I need to get my eyebrows waxed.

I need to upload the videos from my Flip.

Vacuum.

Make a dent in the recordings on my DVR.

Find time to see a musical with my mom.

Clean out my bookshelves.

And show up for work 55-60 hours per week.

This growing list is unfortunate. And sort of unpleasant. And oftentimes the last thing on my mind, thanks to The Groomsman.

I guess that's okay.

I'll exchange a balanced checkbook for him.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Squeezing it all in

Drive to Mom and Dad's.
Go to Grandma's for dinner.
Drive back to Mom and Dad's.
Get ready. Really quickly.
Drive to The Groomsman's.
Drive to the bar.
Drink one drink.
Play a card game.
Split a shot with Lucy.
Sing karaoke.
Drive to The Groomsman's.
Make out with The Groomsman.
Drive home.
Go to bed at 4 am.
* * *
Get up at 8.
Drive to work.
Work from 10 am - 3 pm.
Rush to the mall.
Return pair of shoes.
Go on a mission for a pair of panties that would remind Heather of me.
Visit far too many stores.
Buy pair of panties that really has nothing to do with me.
Go to the drugstore.
Go to Starbucks.
Drive to Mom and Dad's.
Briefly visit.
Get ready. (Rushed, again.)
Drive to restaurant.
Eat.
Drive to bachelorette party host's house.
Spend too much time listening to an adult toy saleschick.
Text The Groomsman.
Drive home.
Get to bed at 1:30 am.
* * *
Get up at 9 am.
Get ready for skating.
Leave at 10:20 am.
Skate.
Drive home.
Shower.
Dress for memorial luncheon.
Drive an hour to Grandpa's memorial luncheon.
Sit with my cousins.
Have a decent meal.
Drive another hour to Mom and Dad's house.
Collect up my crap.
Drive to grocery store.
Purchase excessive amounts of food.
Drive to my apartment.
Freeze ass off while unloading car.
Put away groceries.
Put away clothes.
Throw away random crap.
Snack.
Blog.
Sleep.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Passing the Test

The Groomsman met Lucy and Colleen and Chet last night.

The second he got up to go to the bathroom, they all turned to me.

“Oh my God, Aly,” Lucy said. “He so nice. And cute. And friendly.”

“I really like him,” Colleen said.

“So much better than Colin,” Chet laughed. “I mean, Colin was okay.”

“Colin was not okay,” I snickered, shaking my head.

“Well...” Chet hesitated. “Okay. He wasn’t.”

I just smiled and shook my head as they continued to sing his praises. I wasn’t surprised. But it was certainly good to hear.

Later, in the bathroom, Lucy gushed again. “Seriously, Al. He is so great. And you two just – I don’t know – you look good together, I guess. Honestly, though. I really like him.”

The Groomsman’s shining moment, however, came when we had the amazing idea to sing karaoke. Hanson’s Mmm Bop, as a matter of fact. Even though we only knew the chorus. The Groomsman came to the microphones with us. And totally carried us through the song. Which he didn’t know either.

Whenever she wasn’t belting the chorus, Colleen was turning to The Groomsman and (drunkenly) exclaiming “you are so awesome. Seriously. I love you. You are so awesome.”

There was also some point in the evening where she boisteriously announced that he had “passed the test.” I dropped my head into my hands, feigning absolute horror. (Okay, maybe that part wasn’t entirely an act.”

“There’s no test,” I laughed. “Seriously.”

Poor kid. I warned him about Colleen. But words cannot properly prepare someone for the winning combination that is Colleen and 4+ drinks. He hung in there, though. He was a good sport. It’s one of the (many) things that I like about him: he isn’t afraid to be a little silly, a little ridiculous. Sing some karaoke. Dance like the white boy that he is. Entertain my crazy friend’s nonsensical babble.

We called it a night around 1:30 am.

When Colleen got home (courtesy of her designated driver, who may or may not also be her father) she sent me a text message. “The Groomsman is awesome!!! I am so happy for you!”

Oh, Colleen. I’m happy, too.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

2009 In Review: Books

Not my most prolific year, here is what bookshelf looked like in 2009.
  • I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Tucker Max
  • Rattled, Christine Coppa
  • Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
  • It Sucked and Then I Cried, Heather Armstrong
  • When You Are Engulfed In Flames, David Sedaris
  • Belong to Me, Marisa de los Santos
  • Jesus Land, Julia Scheeres
  • Julie and Julia, Julie Powell
  • Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, Chelsea Handler
  • My Horizontal Life, Chelsea Handler
  • Loose Girl, Kerry Cohen
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey
  • Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
...in addition to too many text books. My list is small and humble, but I spent half of the year in graduate school. Which I feel is a completely acceptable excuse. You heard it here first: 2010 will be better.

Favorite: Angela’s Ashes
Made me laugh the hardest: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Made me think the hardest:
Jesus Land
Took me longest to get through: Julie and Julia
Book that I hesitate to admit that I read: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
Theme of my 2009 reading list: Memoir mania

Have any suggestions for a book that I absolutely must not miss in 2010? Let me know! Other suggestions, teasing, statements of praise and disgust and other comments? I'll take those, too.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Switzerland Attempt

Date with The Groomsman tonight. Wheeee! Oh, how I adore that kid. Oh, how sillynervousexcited I am merely by the prospect of seeing him. Oh, how I have no idea what I am going to wear.

This dating stuff is equal parts exhausting and exhilarating. The exhausting part involves making sure that my hair doesn’t make me look like Medusa, wearing something other than yoga pants, being on top of my game enough that I don’t do or say anything terribly rude/ridiculous/offensive. And the exhilarating part is all of the rest. Sliding into the passenger seat of his car. Listening to him laugh.

I keep trying not to let my hopes not to get too high. I want to take inventory of his attributes, everything about him that makes him seem near perfect, and I want to compare it to Colin, to The Athlete. I want to marvel. He fascinates me.

And I want to be neutral. To enjoy his company but not crave it. To recognize his flaws, because we all have a few. I want to keep my feet on the ground. Because I am afraid that, as soon as I go head over heels, it will be gone. That’s how it happens with me, isn’t it? I blink and it is over.

Straddling what I want to feel and what I’m allowing myself to feel is difficult.

One of these days, I am just going to have to let go and fall hard.

But not just yet.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Only One I Ever Knew

The relationship Grandpa Stan had with our family was a strange one.

He was the neighbor. Divorced, messily. He had kids, but not much of relationship with either of them. He moved in with my grandma when my uncle was still in high school.

Before I was born, and when I was younger, his relationship with my aunts and my uncles was rocky. His fuse, I think, was somewhat short and the entire situation, I think, was awkward: some random, wild, heavy drinker of a man moving in with your mom. It would probably be difficult to be gracious in that situation.

But he was always my grandpa. Not the type of grandpa who would take you to the park or to the zoo, but my grandpa nonetheless. We would play card games – mostly War. He would pay us feeble amounts of money to count tiny light bulbs, which he sold. He was always at the beach, slathered in baby oil, listening to the radio and playing cards with Grandma. We, the grandchildren, ran around and swam and ate chips.

When my grandma died, suddenly, he was the one who found her body. Her death broke him. Skinny and lifeless, he would spend hours upon hours at Mom and Dad’s. For no reason, really, except to avoid being alone.

Sometimes we would joke and call him our inheritance.

He wasn’t a father or a stepfather. Grandma left him behind and we inherited him.

It wasn’t terribly long after she died – probably not a year, even – that he found a new girlfriend. A widow in Ohio who he would drive to see. For a while, he continued to spend holidays with our family, as he had for over 20 years. And then that stopped, too.

We still saw him, but infrequently. He would stop by, randomly, when he was in town. Aunt Lynn would cook him dinner. And he would call, too. To tell me that I look like the girl in Mamma Mia. To send his condolences for Aunt Marie’s passing. To wish us a Merry Christmas.

He called after Christmas – the 26th or the 27th. I answered the phone, chatted with him for a bit. He briefly mentioned his upcoming surgery and his liver cancer. For such grave subjects, he sounded remarkably upbeat. He sounded as though the cancer and the surgeries were just another obstacle. Something else to overcome. He gave me the impression that beating the disease was a certainty. I didn’t worry about him.

And I never saw him again. And I never spoke to him again.

But what I did do, before hanging up with him, was tell him that I love him.

I’m so glad that I did.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Again, already?

My grandma, who died in 2003, had the same boyfriend for the 20 or so years before she died. She lived with him. We called him grandpa.

My dad's father died before I was born.

I always called him grandpa. While, technically, he was not (which I was always aware of) he was the only grandpa - on that side of the family - that I had ever known.

He was my grandpa.

And he died today.

It was a routine surgery. The first of a few, to fight the liver cancer that had recently been found. The surgery went poorly. He died later, in the Intensive Care Unit.

His children aren't having a funeral. And so it is just over - like that. Here. Gone.

I thought 2010 was supposed to be better.

Bringin' the sap in 2010

I have a feeling that, once the giddy thrill of New Year’s Eve wears off, that there is little of that night that I will remember.

Forgetting it will not be my goal – unless, perhaps, things with The Groomsman end especially poorly – but remembering every detail will not be my goal, either. The restaurant we ate at? What I made for dessert? The color I painted my nails? It is all on the periphery of that evening. It wasn’t what made it special.

What made it special happened in a fraction of a second. The Groomsman leaned down and brushed a kiss across my forehead. We had been standing close. The room was alive, the band was loud, there was so much activity around us. I don’t think he knew that I noticed. I don’t think he wanted me to notice.

That’s what I will remember about New Year’s Eve. A simple, chaste kiss on my forehead.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Down and Up

On Thursday, I was walking the dogs. We were just nearing the end of the street. Steps away from the park. The dogs were pulling and I sped up. Stepping onto the grass, assuming it was less slippery than the pavement, I fell. One leg under me, one leg outstretched. I managed to keep both leashes in my hand. I got up. We continued our walk.

On Friday, I had started the car. The dogs and I were headed over to Lucy's house for a playdate with Wolf. I left the dogs in the house while I spread a blanket in the backseat of my car. We were running a bit late. I was dragging, thanks to a 4:30 am bedtime. I would make up time by running back into the house. Across a patch of ice. And onto my knee.

This morning, I skated. And I skated fairly well. There were just five minutes left in the session. I busied myself doing footwork. Intricate, yes. But not jumps. Not spins. I pushed myself through the footwork sequence, knees bending as they should, blades cutting into the ice quietly. It was easy, until it wasn't. Until I leaned too far back, ran out of blade, fell hard on my backside. It was startling, really. I hardly ever fall. And when I do, it isn't like that: not on footwork, not so violently and unexpectedly. I should have hit my head. I didn't.

That's how I ended my 2009. And how I started my 2010. By falling down hard. And getting back up.

I have bruises to show for it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010: keep it up

Okay, 2010. We've started off on the right foot. Don't disappoint me now, eh?

Last night was fairly awesome.

I was a nervous, anxious mess. When I was getting ready, all I could think about was how badly the evening could go. My friends might get mad at me for leaving. The Groomsman might not want me to show up. Such silly, silly fears. Completely unfounded.

I spent my night proving my anxiety wrong.

Splitting the night between my friends and The Groomsman/his friends worked out swimmingly. I had dinner and dessert with Lucy and Colleen and Chet and a handful of others. I left Lucy's house around 11.

The bar that The Groomsman and his friends were at was nearby. I slid in around 11:15, equal parts nervous and excited.

It was --- well, it was pretty darn close to perfect. I got my kiss at midnight. Danced. Acted ridiculously silly. Had someone holding my hand when leaving the bar.

There's so much more I could write about. (The night didn't end there; we went over to The Groomsman's friend's house. I finally got home at 4 am.)

But I'm having an awfully hard time writing it.

I'm just not sure that I have the right words to give justice to this incredible video that I'm replaying over and over and over in my head.
 
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